KATE NORTHRUP WATTS: “If you are a people pleaser or a recovering people pleaser, if you're someone who doesn't want to inconvenience other people with your needs, if you're somebody who has trouble naming your needs to begin with, it can be helpful to play a little trick on our minds and say, ‘Actually, if I continue to say, “No, I don't need anything,” if I continue to say, “I've got it,” if I continue to pretend that I have it all together when I don't, then, eventually, I won't be able to show up for the people I love the most.’”
INTRO: I’m Amy Porterfield, ex-corporate girl turned CEO of a multi-seven-figure business. But it wasn't all that long ago that I lacked the confidence, the budget, and the time to focus on growing my small-but-mighty business. Fast forward past many failed attempts and lessons learned, and you'll see the business I have today, one that changes lives and gives me more freedom than I ever thought possible, one that used to only exist as a daydream. I created the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast to give you simple, actionable, step-by-step strategies to help you do the same. If you're an ambitious entrepreneur, or one in the making, who's looking to create a business that makes an impact and a life you love, you're in the right place, friend. Let's get started.
AMY: Well, hey, there. Amy, here. Before we dive into the show today, we have some exciting news. As of this month, Online Marketing Made Easy is officially part of the HubSpot Podcast Network. Something we love about the HubSpot Podcast Network is all of the inspiring shows that are dedicated to helping professionals learn and grow, especially online entrepreneurs. If you love our show and want to check out other shows like us, we definitely recommend checking out the Goal Digger Podcast and My First Million. Check out all of these shows and more at hubspot.com/podcastnetwork.
Well, hey, there, friend. Happy Thursday, or whatever day you're listening to this. Today's episode, well, it is fantastic, and it's really important for you as an entrepreneur and as a human.
There's something that's been on my heart for a while now, and I wanted to talk about it here on the podcast. I feel like there's a theme I keep seeing come up as we continue to navigate this pandemic. And I know it was also around before the pandemic hit, but it's really rearing its ugly head now and has been for a while, and I wanted to bring it to light. It's this idea of doing more and more and more and inevitably facing burnout. It's the hustle to make more money and grow a bigger business and do all the things. It's just this feeling that you've got to do it all. And I am one million percent guilty of it at times. I'm very much aware of it, more so than I've ever been, but I definitely have work to do in this area. And I think the worst part of it all is that when we achieve the more we're aiming for, we never stop to take a breath. We just keep going. Like, okay, what's next? We don't even celebrate, not even for a minute, usually. We just look at it and say, “Okay, what's next? How can I get or gain or achieve more?” It's a vicious cycle. And no wonder it leads to burnout, right? No wonder burnout is such a buzzword right now. It's because everyone thinks, “Yep, I know exactly what you're talking about, Amy.” I'm assuming you're shaking your head like you've been there, or you feel it around you.
So, enter my guest. My guest is returning to the show. Her name is Kate Northrup, and she's all about working less while stressing less and still creating more abundance. Kate's life changed when she was forced to slow down and work less, and the best part is she still experienced more growth in her business than the year before, and we're going to get into that.
I hope you'll walk away from today's episode with some new strategies to shift how you show up for work and for your business and for yourself. And my hope is that you give yourself the grace to slow down because you just might be surprised with what happens when you do.
And as always, if you love this episode, could you please do me a favor and share it with your friends and your loved ones? Kate has such an important message, and I think it's essential that we get it out into the world.
So, please help me welcome my dear friend, Kate Northrop.
Kate, welcome back to the show. I am so very happy you're here.
KATE: I'm so happy to be here. What a joy.
AMY: I know. We were just talking about when we first met. We're not exactly sure when it was, but I feel like I remember you before you were married, I definitely remember before you had your babies, and so we have definitely known each other for a very long time. That's official.
KATE: That's official.
AMY: I just can't remember exactly when it was. But the thing is, I wanted to have you back on the show because this idea that you've been talking about for a while of doing less while actually stressing less as well and still creating abundance, I want to talk about that concept overall. And really, let’s start out with the fact that I feel like maybe, more or less, you were forced to focus on this area. Would you say that's true?
KATE: I would say that is totally true.
AMY: Okay. So talk about that, because I know it started the year you became a mom. So share that part of your journey with us because I think it's an important part of your story.
KATE: Yes. So often life redirects us. And for me, I was an online entrepreneur, starting in 2010. I think 2009, 2010. And I had no responsibilities, really. There was nothing I had to do other than make money. And so I just worked whenever. My life was really unstructured, and it was just kind of very much by the seat of my pants.
And then I got pregnant, and I just got knocked out. I did not have the energy I had had before that, and I was needing to sleep, like, fourteen hours a day. And I could maybe—whereas in the past I could work ten hours a day. At this point, I could work, like, two or three hours a day. And so I was forced to just dial it way back, and I was really nervous about what was going to happen to my business when I actually had my baby. And I went through a really rocky birth experience, and I struggled with postpartum insomnia and postpartum anxiety. So anybody who says, “Sleep when your baby sleeps,” I was just like, yeah. I wanted to kill anybody who told me that because I just couldn't sleep. It was terrible. It was like my whole insides were just rattling around in this empty aluminum can. It was terrible.
And then, my baby, at three months, got severe eczema and was scratching herself bloody all day and waking up screaming every ten minutes at night. It was awful. It was just nothing like I had imagined motherhood would be like. It was a million times harder.
And during this time, I thought that—I had organized, starting at three months’ postpartum, to have ten hours of child care a week. And I thought that somehow I was, like, that was enough to also run a business in ten hours a week, while I wasn’t [unclear 08:25]. And that's a whole other topic that we can talk about, of women and support and why we don't think we need it.
But what ended up happening is—so I was working less than half the amount I'd ever worked in my adult life. And one year after Penelope's birth, I went to my accountant's office with my husband, who was my business partner at the time, and we realized that we had made more money that year in our business than we had ever made before, working less than half the amount of time.
KATE: Well, it was a real wake-up call because even though I never would repeat that year for anything, I thought, “Well, what was I doing, working so many hours my entire adult life when I could have dialed it way back and gotten better results?” And so that was the birth of the Do Less methodology. And I thought, “If I could do this by accident and really under duress, I could certainly do this on purpose.”
AMY: Absolutely. And you have. And now you teach others how to do it, and we're going to get to some of those strategies. But before that, how did you experience overwhelm? Like, how did it manifest for you during those times?
KATE: Oh, feeling like every single thing was important and that I was always behind and that I was always letting other people down.
AMY: Mm, yes.
KATE: That feeling of there's so much to do, it all is important, and I can't do any of it, because I'm paralyzed by overwhelm. So I'm just going to sit here in this feeling, and I live here now, and this is where I'll die.
AMY: That word paralyzed comes up a lot for my students, where they literally feel like they don't know what to do or they feel like they can't move forward. It's too much, that they can't even move left, right, or forward or backwards or anything. I think that comes up a lot for a lot of our listeners.
KATE: It's very common. And what I've been learning and studying over the last eighteen months is a layer that I think we don't talk about enough in the business world. In fact, I've learned it through other worlds, and I’m bringing it to the conversation about business. And that's learning about our nervous system, because when we talk about this feeling of we can't move, where we're frozen, that is a real response and that is a real response of the nervous system to trauma. And so bringing in the element of learning what's actually happening in our bodies and why we begin to have thoughts like we're having is critical because no amount of strategy is going to unravel overwhelm if you're not actually going to the root of it, which is where it lives in your body.
AMY: Oh, okay. So actually, that reminds me, how do you identify how much pressure you feel? Like, you actually have a strategy for that, right?
KATE: Yeah. I mean, I think that when we are feeling overwhelmed and when we are not able to sleep properly, for me, it's always a physical gauge. So when I’m having physical symptoms—I can't sleep properly. My heart is racing. I can't take deep breaths. I'm getting headaches. I have digestive issues, things like that—that, to me, is always a sign that there's something off and I need to release the pressure somehow. I need to shift something. So it's a physical-symptom thing.
AMY: Physical. So I think some people are shaking their heads, like, “Okay. Yes, you've got my attention because I am experiencing some of that.” And I want to get into it even more so, but I also want to ask you, how do you feel like the predominant work culture has failed us? I know you talk about that a lot. Will you kind of share your thoughts on that?
KATE: Yeah. One of the things I hear a lot, especially from my super ambitious, really “successful” clients, is that this is just the way it is. So the expectation is we're going to be available twenty-four hours a day. We're going to respond to everything within three minutes. We are going to be there for every meeting and say yes to all the fancy opportunities or the shiny opportunities, and that in order to keep our level of success or get to the level of success that we want, that we just have to sacrifice something. And it is usually our physical well-being, our mental well-being, our emotional well-being, our spiritual well-being, and our relationships. So I think the work culture has failed us because it has turned us into elements of production or, like, automatons, that we measure ourselves based on how much we can get done, how much we can produce. And we don't consider the holistic concept that how we feel and also the quality of our lives is really important to the equation as well.
AMY: Ah, amen to that. And I want to go back to what you said earlier about women asking for help, because it's so easy to not ask for help, especially if you're Type-A and you think that if you want it done right, you got to do it yourself, and that comes up a lot as well. So how can we start to reframe this instead of taking pride in doing all the things?
KATE: So when—it only takes a certain number of years of doing all the things to realize that's not going to be a pathway to long-lasting success—
KATE: —because, eventually, your health falls apart or your marriage falls apart or your relationship with your kids falls apart or you just find yourself shaking on the floor at 3:00 a.m. and you can't function. I mean, these things happen a lot, and we just—folks aren't talking about it as much, especially in the world of social media, where we're supposed to make it look good.
So instead of trying to do all the things, because, eventually, that will lead us down the path of poorly functioning, really, and then not being available, the myth is, I need to be available to everybody, and I can't ask anyone for anything because that's how everyone gets what they need, and that's how I create success. But actually, when we don't ask for support, we end up, eventually, not being fully available for the other people that we often are sacrificing ourselves for to begin with. So I find that the reframe, if you are a people pleaser or a recovering people pleaser, if you're someone who doesn't want to inconvenience other people with your needs, if you're somebody who has trouble naming your needs to begin with, it can be helpful to play a little trick on our minds and say, “Actually, if I continue to say, ‘No, I don't need anything,’ if I continue to say, ‘I've got it,’ if I continue to pretend that I have it all together when I don't, then, eventually, I won't be able to show up for the people I love the most.” And so every time I say, “Yes, you could help me with that,” or “Yes, I'm going to receive the support that you're offering. Yes, I'm actually having a hard time. Here's where I could use some support,” if you can then reframe each of those times as a little investment in your relationship bucket that then makes you more available holistically to be there for the people you love, then you can actually trick yourself into getting better at asking for and receiving support. And then, eventually, you'll do it just because it feels good and it's important for you. But most of us need to start with tricking ourselves that we have to do it for other people first.
AMY: I'm all about the mind hacks that will help you get to where you need to go, so that is fantastic. And to ping pong off of the previous question about the fact that, you know, how do you stop taking pride in all the things and you ask for help, but many of those listening right now, including myself, we have all these different plates in the air. And one thing that happens a lot of times when we're trying to do too much is that we lack clarity. And in your teachings, I know you have some strategies and some guided questions to help hone in on that clarity. Can you kind of share with us what that looks like? because I think some people are like, “Okay. So I'm not exactly sure what I'm supposed to be doing here to move away from feeling this way all the time into a place that I feel more grounded.”
KATE: Yes. Oh, my gosh. I love this. So one of my favorite teachers, Barbara Hewson, always used to say, and still probably does, money loves clarity. So this is important if you are overwhelmed, but it's also important for attracting opportunities and revenue and wealth—
AMY: Hm, yes.
KATE: —which is a whole other wonderful reason to do it.
So, number one, getting really clear on your purpose or your mission or your calling, like, why are you even running a business? What is the mission? Yeah, making money and, yeah, impact. But usually—actually, I'm not even going to say usually—always, we were put on this planet for a specific reason. And when you figure out and are able to articulate really clearly what your personal mission is and infuse your business with that, it helps to cut through the overwhelm so easily because it becomes instantly obvious which opportunities and which strategies and which projects and which tasks serve your mission and purpose and which ones don't. So I really recommend doing the work around getting clear on your purpose, and I'm sure you've talked about that on episodes here, and there's so many wonderful places that you can go learn more about that. One of the places I would recommend is Rha Goddess’s The Calling. So clarify your purpose, number one, for sure.
The other one that's really useful is clarifying what you stand for and also what you don't stand for, because there's so much marketing noise out there. If you have ever had the thought, “Oh, it's already been done before. Somebody else is already teaching how to make green smoothies. Somebody else is already teaching you branding,” whatever, yeah, it's true. Somebody else is already doing it. But no one is going to do it the way that you do, and when you get clear on what you stand for, it will separate your message out from the noise, and the people who need your message from you, from your voice, or your brand's voice, will be able to hear it loud and clear because you have wrapped it up in what you believe in, what you stand for, and, also, what you don't stand for. And when you get really clear on that, it also gives you endless content ideas, which I know you love, tons of ideas for social, tons of ideas for YouTube videos or podcast episodes or blogs. And it also helps you to know, yes, I'm going to say yes to this because it aligns with what I stand for. And no, I'm not going to do this because it's not what I believe in. So it makes you stand out, and it also helps you make decisions and cut through the overwhelm.
AMY: Around this time of year, we start thinking about what matters most, and I ask this for my business as well. What truly matters? I often think about the impact I have on my community and my customers. If you find yourself feeling the same way, you also might find yourself asking how you can help strengthen those relationships between your customers and your community. With a suite of new purpose-built tools, a HubSpot CRM platform can help you build, maintain, and grow your customer relationships like never before. Custom surveys easily captures feedback unique to your business, shares insights with your teams, and helps you grow your understanding of how your customers really feel, meaning healthy conversations about what matters and less about what doesn't. And payment tools, like native payment links and recurring payments that directly embed in HubSpot's tools and emails, means seamless delivery and easy payment collection. Learn more about how a HubSpot CRM platform can help you build, maintain, and grow your customer relationships at hubspot.com.
Okay. So to get into that a little bit more, one of the things that you and I definitely are on the same page with, and I don't see a lot of people talking about this, and I'm talking from a very business focus, is that you talk about paring down what you offer—
AMY: —and being hyper focused. And I think I'd really love to go into this conversation with you because when I teach people how to create digital courses, my whole secret to success is create one digital course and continue to offer it over and over and over again versus reinventing the wheel. And I know you talk about, again, paring down your offers and being hyper focused. Why do you feel that's so important, especially around the kind of work that you do?
KATE: Yeah. Well, because we only, all, each, have a certain amount of bandwidth. And if you think about—I use this gardening analogy all the time. I'm not actually a gardener, but I'm trying. I’m trying to be better with plants because I use plant analogies a lot—and so if you think about you have a pile of potting soil on your patio, and you want to move it, and you have a hose that has that sprayer with the little clicky nozzle thingy so you can change what setting—
KATE: —there's usually a fine-mist setting, and so you might go with the fine-mist setting, and that has water coming out a bunch of different holes. And if you spray that at the dirt, the dirt just gets soggy, and it just sits there. But you also have a power-spray setting, and that takes the same amount of water, and it makes it come out of just a few holes so that there's actually power behind it. And when you spray that pile of potting soil, it moves off your patio, and then, you have a clean patio.
So, it is the same thing with our offerings. If we have fifteen different offerings, we are the fine-mist setting. And so we have a lot of different holes and a little bit of spray, and you just have soggy dirt. But if you pare it down to maybe two, three, four, whatever works for you and your business, then you have power behind you. So you are directing all the energy you have into a few channels so you can actually get traction. And paring down my offerings has been so huge, not because people don't want all the things, right? So if you're like, “Well, people still buy all my twenty-five offerings,” okay, fine. But think about how much energy and time it takes you, and possibly your team if you're working with people, to market all of those, do the customer service, do the research and development, create it, improve upon it, fulfill it, make updates. Every single offering you have, it's not just—we think about it just from the marketing perspective. “Oh, it’s not that big of a deal. I'll just write an email sequence. I'll just do a new sales pitch.” But there's all this invisible work that you don't see on the outside that really will weigh you and your team down, and it's unbelievable how much more time and energy you will have left over when you just cut some offerings and just say, “Okay. I'm going all in on a few things,” and the revenue on those most often goes up significantly because you have so much more energy for them.
AMY: Totally agree. I've seen this firsthand with my business and so many of my students, so I’m so glad you’re talking about this. But what suggestions do you have for people that want to trim up their offerings and get to the core of what they really should offer? Like, how do they even go about that?
KATE: Well, I really recommend getting the numbers down. So as much as I'm, you know, into astrology and intuition and tapping into your divine feminine and all that stuff, I also really love making spreadsheets.
AMY: This is what’s so special about you. You have a lot of different facets to you in that way. I love it.
KATE: So, I recommend making a list of your offerings and then having that in a column, and then making a list of the percentage of your gross annual revenue that each offering brings in. And then, also, on a scale of one to ten, rating each buy according to how much time and energy does this take me and/or me and my team? So you'll have the offerings list, the percentage of gross annual revenue, and then the energetic/time output. And what becomes very clear, nine times out of ten, is that 80 percent of your revenue is going to come from 20 percent of your offerings. This is Pareto’s Principle. I didn't make it up. It's just true. It's like universal law. That's just the way it is.
And I remember very recently I was working with a woman in my mastermind on this, and she was feeling, “Oh, I want to do all these automated funnels, and I've written them all out,” and duh, duh, duh, duh, duh, this whole thing. She had this whole thing going on. And I was like, “Okay, cool.” But she had a lot of questions. There was a lot of friction around it. And I said, “Okay, well, that's fine. So what do you offer now, and where does your revenue come from?” And it was so clear, so clear. In a three-minute conversation that her high-ticket, one-on-one or small-group programs bring in 80 to 90 percent of her revenue and that she loves doing them the most and that they feel really in flow. That's what you'll find is that most of the time, the thing that feels heavy is often also the thing that percentage-wise is bringing in a lower revenue. So if you need permission to just stop doing it, I'm happy to be that person. You can just stop now.
AMY: I love that. You can just stop now. Why do you think that people don't want to stop? Why do they hold on so tight?
KATE: Because we've been brainwashed to believe that our value is based in how busy we are.
AMY: Mm, that's big. That's big.
KATE: So we just add things in because it's like, if you’ve ever seen that bumper sticker. It’s something like Jesus is coming; look busy.
AMY: Oh, yeah.
KATE: Okay. So that has nothing to do with Jesus. But it just is, like, this idea that there's some overarching patriarchal father figure that's watching us to make sure that we are good. I mean, we should get into the whole Santa Claus thing. Anyway, that's a whole other conversation we don't have to have today. But it’s this idea somebody is watching and that we will be judged by how many things you have going on. And it's just a lie.
AMY: It’s so true. I found myself, even recently—actually, I found myself wanting to slow down and not do so much. And as much as I don't have a lot of offers, I even want to tighten it up even more. However, at the end of the day, I find myself going through a list of, did I do enough today? And I’m like, why do I keep asking myself that question? There’s so many better questions than, did I get through all my action items? Did I do the twenty things I wanted to get done today? versus did I spend my time in a meaningful way? Did I get clarity? Did I focus on what matters?
KATE: Yeah. So my husband was really, really ill a while back. He's doing great now, but it was a real reckoning time in our lives. It happened twice, very intensely. And he was going through a period where he could barely do anything. Like, he couldn't even stand up to wash the dishes for three minutes at a time. And as he was starting to get better, at the end of the day, we would lie in bed, and this one day, I was like, “How's it going? How was your day?” And he’s like, “Well, you know, I didn't get this done. I didn't get that done. I didn't get this done.” And the man was, like, really ill. And I said, “Honey, what if you asked yourself at the end of the day and judged the day based on how you felt instead of how much you got done?” And it really shifted things for both of us to be able to—you know, when you don't have your health, there's a reckoning, right? Things come—
KATE: —clear very quickly. And Bronnie Ware’s book, The Five Biggest Regrets of the Dying also makes it so clear that if we zoom out—I love making decisions by zooming out and designing my life by thinking about, what am I going to wish I had done when I was eighty-five or when I'm ninety-five?—and when we look back at the biggest regrets of the dying, not one of them says, “I wish I had gotten more done.” And one of the top regrets is, “I wish that I had given myself permission to be happier. I wish that I had been less focused on what other people thought I should do and just given myself permission to be who I am.”
KATE: “I wish I hadn't worked so much.”
AMY: I mean, come on. That book is incredible—
KATE: So good, right?
AMY: —and that book you wrote—yep—before it. It is all incredible. And you make such a great point. I love—I hope those who are listening didn't miss what Kate had said in the sense of at the end of the day, how do you feel? Not what did I do today, or my question that does not serve me, did I do enough today? How do I feel? And that makes a huge difference. And, Kate, I know what you went through with Mike, and it was so—like, it was a really big deal in both of your lives. And I would hate for all of us to have to go through something like that to realize, “Wait. Something has to change,” right?
KATE: I know.
AMY: That's the thing. We don't have to go through these really trying times to be able to wake up and say, “Wait a second. Something needs to change. Something feels off here.” You agree?
KATE: I completely agree. And if you're listening to this and you're having a sense, if my body always tells me if something's true for me, so here are the different signs. You might get a little bit sweaty, you might get a little teary-eyed. Or, oftentimes, when somebody says something that's true for you, you'll find that you automatically take a deep breath in. So if any of those things have happened as you're listening, know this information is for you, and this is a moment where you can say, “Okay. I don’t have to get to the end of my rope. I can incorporate some of these things right now, preventatively, and actually start fully living my life now and not have to wait for somebody to die or somebody to get sick or somebody to lose a job.” We don’t have to wait for those awful reckonings.
AMY: Absolutely not.
KATE: Though, sometimes we don’t, sometimes we do. I don’t know.
AMY: I know. Sometimes this happens. It’s what life is about. But you made me think of something. Recently, someone was sharing with me that they felt jealous about somebody else's story, and comparing ourselves and that feeling of envy or jealousy can come up a lot, especially on social media, so we've talked about that on the show before. But I thought it was so interesting because she said, “The advice I got when I felt jealous of somebody else's life, someone told me, ‘Look inward and ask yourself, what part of that do you want that you feel that you don't have?’” And when you start feeling a certain way because somebody has what seems like more time off than you or they're taking family vacations or they're spending their lives outside of work in a way that really speaks to you, ask yourself, what part of that do you want? and then come from that place versus just feeling bad about yourself because you don't have it.
KATE: Yeah. Use your jealousy as a compass.
AMY: Yes. Use your jealousy as a compass. I've never heard it said like that, but that's exactly what I mean here. And if that comes up for you around how you work, how you spend your day, what your days look like, if you're feeling any sort of way around that, use that as a compass, that maybe it’s time to make a change.
AMY: Yeah, absolutely.
And speaking of “maybe it's time to make a change,” there is something really specific that you teach that I think is powerful, and I want everyone to hear it. And that is this idea of cyclical work, and I wanted you to talk a little bit about that. What does that mean, and how do you use it to plan out the different seasons or phases of your business?
KATE: I'm going to tell a quick story about it to give context. Is that okay? And then I'll get into it.
AMY: Great. I love that.
KATE: Great. So, when my first baby girl was thirteen months old, I got my period back, which that happens. It shouldn't be that remarkable. But for me, it was a huge moment because after that year that I spoke about earlier of just feeling like I was adrift at sea and I was really struggling, it represented this return that suddenly my body had enough energy and resources to do something else other than, basically, like, create or feed this human. So it felt like this huge deal. And I started learning more about cycles, and I started learning about how our menstrual cycle has these four phases, and then how they connect with the moon phases, and those four phases that the menstrual cycle has and the moon phases have also connect with the season.
So we, essentially, have these, for people who have periods, we have this seasonal experience of the month, where we have a personal spring, summer, autumn, and fall. But we live in a world that's organized according to a twenty-four-hour cycle. So people who are testosterone dominant have a twenty-four-hour cycle. People who are estrogen dominant have a twenty-eight-ish day cycle. Our work world, of course, is set for the twenty-four-hour linear model, where we’re supposed to show up the same way every day, if not better and more energized and more productive. But there's literally 50 percent of the population who just doesn't experience time that way.
And so I started thinking about the planet, and I started thinking about the way our solar system works and the fact that we live on a round planet, spinning in circles and also orbiting a star, also being orbited by another round planet that's also spinning. That's the moon. And I thought, wow, isn't it interesting that actually we created our time system based on celestial bodies that are inherently cyclical, and yet we relate to time as though it's linear. But that's just inaccurate. And so when I began to think seasonally about my own body over a month's period of time, and I started to track the lunar cycle because I was interested in how I felt energetically—like, was I more productive at the full moon? Was I more energized? Was I more intuitive at the new moon?—I also began to realize, Wow, wait a second. If everything in nature has these four phases, and in many ways, my business is an extension of my creative energy, and that very same creative energy is the same thing that created my children, then maybe my business could use this four-phase model. Maybe I could organize my projects and my time in a more macro way in my company.
And so I started using something I call the upward cycle of success to map projects in four phases based on the four seasons. So, there’s emergence, which is like spring time, which is when you plan and initiate something. There's visibility, which is like summer, and that's when you would be launching, connecting, and being visible. There's culmination, which is like autumn, where you're focusing, completing, and analyzing. And then there's the fertile void, which is like winter, when you're resting, reflecting, and coasting.
Now, the problem with our business world is that we are hyper focused on springtime and summertime energy. So that is the more yang energy, the more masculine side, where everything is visible, and it's all about getting going and then launching, and then getting going and launching. And we wonder why, as entrepreneurs, we're so burned out. Well, it's interesting. Our bodies are nature, right? We are not separate from nature. And in nature, there's an entire second half of the cycle, which is the autumn-like energy and the winter energy. But as entrepreneurs, we have been so brainwashed to believe that we are only valuable and that the only thing that makes things successful is planning things and launching things that we skip the completion phase, and we skip the rest-and-reflection phase, and we wonder why we're exhausted, why we're sick. Burnout levels are at record-breaking highs. People are working more than they ever have before, even before the pandemic. It made things worse when we began to look at the data.
So building in how can we use the wisdom of nature, because we are nature, to actually guide our creative processes? And what I found with myself and with the clients that I work with is that when we work this way and we build in a spring time, a summer, an autumn, and a winter in our project planning, we might actually produce fewer things—like you were talking about, offering fewer things—but the offerings themselves are more robust. So we get fewer harvests, but each harvest itself is more plentiful and more abundant. And we are not throwing up and collapsing at the proverbial finish line.
AMY: Mm. I mean, so good. I'm so glad you explained that, because I have seen it work for so many people, especially in your community. So I think it's going to be a new concept for a lot of people listening, but it's something that I'm going to encourage you all to look into even more. And I'll give you some resources that Kate has created and can share with us.
But before we get there, Kate, all the work that you've been doing and the success you've seen in those that you have served, why do you think this work is so important?
KATE: Oh, because it's our lives, right? We are literally squandering our lives, trying to get more done.
KATE: And I don't exactly know what we're doing here on the planet, but I do know that we have not incarnated at this time to get more things done. Like, that is for sure. In fact, the culture that has us believe that that's what our purpose is is causing climate change, is causing so many social issues. I mean, it's just, I think, so many of the problems in our world are caused by consumerism and this hamster wheel to constantly create more so we can consume more. And it's killing our bodies, and it's killing the planet, and I think, in many ways, it's really harming our souls. So I'm on a mission to heal the way we work.
AMY: And you are. You're doing it. And I love that you've come here to share some of your secrets to this path with us. And actually, it's not so much of a secret, because you have a free resource. It’s called the Business Pressure Relief Kit. Can you talk a little bit about why my listeners need to get their hands on this and what it’s all about, and then I’ll share where they can get it?
KATE: Absolutely. So the thing is, we have a limiting belief, a false belief, which is that either we can go with our ambition and be led by our ambition and create our business dreams, or we can live a good life. And I've heard that over and over and over again from people, and I also have struggled with this myself. This Business Pressure Relief Kit has you go through six specific strategies, some of which we touched on today already. But this guide will walk you through the step-by-step nitty gritty, because I know, Amy, that you're so good about that, and your people love it. So it's the strategies to find peace as you increase your revenue and build your business, because we do not have to choose. You can absolutely do the work that you came here to do, because the work that you do matters so much. But we no longer need to sacrifice ourselves on the altar of success.
AMY: Ooh, say that last line again.
KATE: We no longer need to sacrifice ourselves on the altar of success.
AMY: Ah, so true. So important.
So, I just want to let you all know that this is a resource. It's free. I absolutely want you to get your hands on it. Go to amyporterfield.com/relief. So just amyporterfield.com/relief. We’ll put it in the show notes. This is something that can absolutely help you get focused, help you get that clarity, help you keep moving forward in the direction that will make you feel as though you are creating the life that you absolutely want. It’s going to give you those feelings you’re looking for, and we’re going to stop measuring just on how much you got done each day.
So, Kate, thank you so much for being here. I adore you, and I so appreciate you sharing your wisdom.
KATE: Thank you, Amy. Such a pleasure to be with you, as always.
AMY: I think what I loved most about this conversation with Kate was what she said at the very end. When we worship at the altar of success, when that is the only defining measurement of our worth, things can get really messy. Would you agree? I mean, I hate that I'm talking from experience, but it's true. So I hope Kate's story inspires you to slow down, which doesn't mean to make less money. It doesn't mean to make a smaller impact in this world. I hope you really got that from this episode. Slowing down allows you to reexamine things in your business and find ways to work less while still creating abundance and fulfillment of your goals, and those feelings that you want and desire. It's incredible what you can do when you get more clarity around where can you make the biggest impact? Where should you double down, and what should you let go of so that you can create a life and a business that you absolutely love? My friend, I hope you really heard us on this episode, that you do not need to be doing as much as you're doing right now in order to live an abundant life. That's something I wish I learned earlier on, but I'm definitely catching up now.
If you love today's episode, please share it with a friend. Kate's message is so important. And by sharing it, we may just be able to start to create a new narrative around how we work. And make sure to go to amyporterfield.com/relief to take advantage of Kate's free resource that will absolutely have you moving in the right direction so that you can get more clarity, you can get more rest, you can enjoy the work you do, and you can live an abundant life.
All right, my friend. Thank you so very much for tuning in. I'll see you next week, same time, same place. Bye for now.