Do you ever just sit back and marvel at how incredible, mysterious and down-right confusing life is?
I officially launched this Sunday Session podcast last week, I have just opened the doors on deannelove.com, all this massive soul work extrapolated from a lifetime and then…
I have sat out on the beach all week daydreaming about what I would talk to you about this week and my mind is completely blank.
Buddha would say a quiet mind is all you need, but all I bloody need this week is a podcast idea.
Lucky for me you are so freaking cool and you keep showing up and asking me questions so I am going to reply to a very common question that I get over and over.
“When it comes to business, sharing online content and being of service in my community is, how do you get so much done?”
That questions is usually followed up by :
You must have a huge team, that you work with. You must never sleep. You must always be working.
I will respond to those 3 comments first and then we can move on to the bigger question here.
Keeping it small
No, I don’t have a huge team. Staying small and working alongside Masa, my husband has always been something that I have deemed Wildly Successful. For me to be able to do what I love, have so much time to actually LIVE and not have to manage a huge company has helped me to stay creative, sane and on track. No, I don’t have a huge team, it’s just the two of us.
Side note on that : I do have a business goal mapped out for myself this year and that is that I would like to employ one or two soulful and creative women to come and work in the studio with me on my work days so that I can step up and serve even more. So that’s a new path I’m excited about.
And just to answer another FAQ while I’m at it…Masa and I have been working for ourselves and on creative projects since 2008 when we both quit our fulltime jobs and decided to embrace lifestyle and financial freedom.
Getting good sleep.
No, I actually love sleep and I sleep a lot. I need at least 8 hours, I love sleeping in and I never feel guilty about it. I think I am making up for all those years when I was a total night owl. When we started our first online business in 2007, I was still working full time as a primary school teacher, we were living in Tokyo and life was very full and very fast paced. I would get home from my day job around 5 or 6 and then work at our online job til about 2 or 3 am and then be up and gone at 7am the next morning. It didn’t take long for me to quit my full-time job. I hate alarm clocks and that lack of sleep just wasn’t working out for me, I was starting to suffer from health problems directly related to a busy lifestyle, lack of sleep, rushed diet and just not loving what I was doing with my life.
Making time to LIVE
No, I am not always working. As a creative, it is easy to fall into this trap and I absolutely love working, I’m a worker. But I go to the beach every day unless it’s raining. I always make time for a leisurely lunch, a slow breakfast and a well prepared, healthy dinner. I take time out to watch Netflix, go for walks, hoop dance and read as often as possible.
So something isn’t adding up, right? You’ve probably been told that if you want to be wildly successful you need to hustle like crazy, burn yourself out and be racing all over the place sleep deprived to get anywhere in this world. Oh I have been there, many years ago, I subscribed to that theory too. It was a shambles, I was shambles and certainly not anywhere near what I would consider wildly successful. More like Wildly chasing my own tail. Wildly overwhelmed.
Now just to be clear, the way that I perceive wildly successful is going to be different to the way that you see it. And we are both right. you do you. For me wildly successful feels like having space to breath and create, being my own boss (a really nice one), it means no alarm clock, no debt or money stress, living in a beautiful location, connected with nature and her cycles and happy relationships with my friends and family, it means personal and professional growth, being of service while having a healthy cash flow, it means the freedom to come up with new ideas and pivot as I need but with well calculated focus. Being wildly successful means I go to bed happy each night without work stress.
So how do I get all that stuff done?
Before I go on I have to say that nothing is perfect, this is not about doing all the right things and then you end at some ideal destination. My answers are more about being invested in creativity and wonder rather than overwhelm and destress.
I focus on the right things i.e the things that make me feel connected and like I am sharing something valuable. There are endless tasks that we could all choose to do on any given day, and often times we are being pulled in all different directions; especially in the world of online marketing and content creation. We can all have a to-do list a mile long.
But how do I choose which are the right things? Well, I get a little Marie Kondo about it all…if it sparks joy it stays, if it doesn’t it goes. How’d ya like that Magic of Tidying up reference? Yep it applies to your to-do list to ( I mean within reason, there are still some basic survival techniques I need to employ…going to the grocery store does not spark joy BUT I do love to eat…so somethings take a perspective shift) Generally, if I am excited about a project, energised and committed to it then I know I am going to do my best work, pretty efficiently and that means it is going to have a great response from my community.
I have a plan. I call it the She Strategy. Oh I am not sure if I told you yet…deannelove.com is up and running, she is alive so if you head over there after this podcast you will find a She Strategy audit workbook, it’s free, go grab it.
it is simple, helpful and oh so effective. get it SHE s..h..e a simple, helpful, effective strategy. Or is it soulful, healing and energizing…it’s both.
I am the kind of driver that cannot go anywhere without GPS. I get lost. Really lost. The same happens to me in business. And from working with women in business for a decade I am always amazed at how many of us jump behind the wheel of our business with absolutely no idea where we are actually going and how to get there. If I don’t have a road map of where I am going, what I need to create and the steps along the way, the results I want to achieve and the places I want to visit…I simply go wandering off into the woods…so to speak.
I map out EVERYTHING. My ideas, promotions, gigs, online courses, launch strategies, podcast episodes, blog posts, youtube videos. I have a plan, it gets put onto my big beautiful calendar and I know how to get there without taking a million wrong turns and wasting a ton of time.
My first job in Tokyo I worked for a child academy, once a week I spent the day in their head office preparing teaching materials and writing curriculum, the whole floor of this office block was filled with workers at desks, they would sit there for hours and hours AND hours. Of course, they were doing work and getting stuff done but it never seemed like they were serging ahead, motoring along pushing to get a million things done.
One night I stayed back a little later with my supervisor, she had finished all of her work for the day but just stayed glued to her desk, I asked her why she didn’t just pack up and leave, it seemed like most people in the building get everything done in the half the time they were there but would draw out the day much longer than needed; she told me that it was culture in many Japanese offices that they could not leave until the boss leaves even if they finished all of their work at 11am sometimes they might still be int he office doing busy work at 11pm. That’s 12 hours of their life wasted! It was a huge lesson in efficiency for me.
Excellent work doesn’t have to take 12 hours, in fact after about the 30 or 40 minute mark most brains need a break, fresh air or a new perspective. Long work hours don’t suit most brains. So I work in chunks. Short bursts of pure flow and creativity rather than long hours of busy work…you know when your body is there but your brain isn’t. If something is not flowing, I get up and move or walk around and come back to it, I take a break or a walk and come back later. If I am sitting down to write I either quickly check the time or set a timer on my phone and give myself 40 mins to an hour. When the sound goes off if I am still 100% in flow I will keep working but if not I will get up, have a break, refresh my brain and come back to it later. I work in chunks. It is far more effective than sitting staring at the wall, blocked or trawling Facebook for distractions. That’s not work and there are plenty of other things to do
Work when inspiration hits:
When inspiration strikes me I strike it back. Ok maybe it is more of a gentle hug, but I try to always respond. if an idea comes up I write it down. if a plan for an online course comes in strong, sometimes I can smash it out in a day or two. I have learned to listen to inspiration because if I don’t often the other noise get in the way…the self-doubt, the distractions, the procrastination. If a wave of inspo hits i ride it. if i don’t have a board i run and grab one. sometimes i miss it, sometimes it fizzles out but i have learned to listen. i start when it calls and i wrap up when it stops.
If you are gonna make cookies you make a whole batch. this is the secret to a full belly and in the content creation world, it is the secret to overcoming overwhelm and embracing sanity. if you host a podcast, share a weekly video, update a daily social media platform of any kind and you are scrambling to get it done every week a) you are going to have no life, all work and b) chances are you are going to end up hating the whole game…unless you like a weekly slide over the finish line and working under unnecessary pressure.
I think I should do a whole podcast on the beauty of batching. It’s a winner
OK there you have it my secrets are out. How I do it all…well not all…did I forget to mention I haven’t showered today? lucky you can’t smell me through the speakers. and besides, no one ever gets it ALL done, and if they tell you do… then they are lying to you and themselves…plus if you got it all done what a dull life it would be.
It’s all about quality, not quantity but with today’s tips the quantity gets a whole lot easier.
So what are your sneaky little secrets to being wildly successful?
What helps you to hack the hustle and steer well clear of overwhelm. it’s a must. Look forward to hearing your tips, always insightful. Your ideas also help others who might be struggling with finding their wildly successful path.