AMY PORTERFIELD: Well hey there! Welcome back to another episode of The Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast. I’m your host, Amy Porterfield and I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed right now.
Yes, I have to come clean and admit it. Today’s topic is how to get overwhelm to eat your dust and if I don’t admit to my own overwhelm then what’s the point, right?
So yes, I’m feeling overwhelmed. Here’s the deal. I just got back from an amazing trip to New York and I was there for business and pleasure. I did a business workshop with Melanie Duncan for a day and a half where we met with ten entrepreneurs who had webinars they wanted to take to the next level.
We talked all about webinar strategy for a full day and a half. It was tons of fun. I had never done something like that before. We don’t have a plan to do it again so it was just this one-off experience that we wanted to try and it was amazing.
I loved it so a shout out to all the ladies that were there. Thank you for being there. It was a lot of fun. For those that applied for it and weren’t chosen this first time around, if we do it again, I will definitely reach out to you.
We did that for about a day and a half and then I spent time connecting with some of my friends. I had an amazing time. And then I came back to California to what feels like a million tasks to take on. I bet you can relate.
Traveling is fantastic. But it always sets me back just a bit no matter what I do. But even if I wasn’t traveling there are just times in my business where I feel like I’ve gotten behind.
A launch will creep up on me and I’ll all of the sudden feel like, “Oh my gosh, I am not getting things organized,” and that word just keeps popping up. I feel completely overwhelmed.
I actually know that you can relate because I see it in my Facebook groups all the time. I see posts that say, “I’m making progress but I’m getting overwhelmed,” or, “I’m still in the overwhelm stage but I’m trying to work out of it.”
Or, I have seen, “I’m so overwhelmed I don’t even know where to start.” This comes up again and again and again. So I thought it was time for an episode to really tackle this issue. I know you can feel what I feel in this moment right now. I know you’ve been there before.
I wanted to talk about what helps me and pulls me out of it. I’m there right now and I really, truly do know what to do and I know how to identify when I’m at that really critical point that it could go really bad or I could flip the switch and it could start going really good in the right direction.
That’s what we’re going to talk about today. I’m going to really rely on my virtual sounding boards, my favorite mentors, and my favorite business resources to shape this episode. Specifically, I’m getting into the Triple S, three solutions for overwhelm.
I want you to try one of these on for size. You don’t have to do all of them but you can. Or, if you just want to try one of them and see if it really could help you ease some of that stress I want you to do so right away. Make a commitment to choose one of these in my Triple S and apply it right away. Let’s get to it.
Solution for Overwhelm #1 – Systematize your stress
I have a quick story for you. I don’t think I’ve ever shared this before, but the process to get hired in a creative position at Tony Robbins was grueling. I was in so many interviews that I lost count. They were really long interviews.
I remember one questions specifically that really stood out to me. I now use that exact same question they asked me when I interview people for my own team. That question was, “Where do you go under stress?”
I later learned they didn’t ask that question just because they knew I would be juggling a million things on the road with Tony like stage signs and last-minute changes to his keynotes and reminders for him onstage and last minute changes to his syntax.
All of that was going to happen. But more importantly, they wanted to know how I internally handled stress. Where did my head go. What action did I take first. They were looking for the kind of system I had or maybe the lack of system I had to handle stress.
To share personally, there are a lot of personal stories in this episode for you, for me, admittedly, my head first goes into a tailspin. Back then I’m not even sure how I answered the question. But let me tell you how I would answer the question today.
My head goes into a tailspin for sure. The first thing I think about is every single thing I need to do. When I do that I know I’m in the overwhelm. My head is flooded with a million things. So because I can identify that really quickly I can then instantly snap back to ground myself.
When all of these tasks start floating in my head and flooding my mind I say, “Okay, it’s time to ground myself.” The first thing I do is brain dump. I’m a pen and pencil kind of girl so I grab my notebook and I literally write down every single thing I think I have to do.
It takes me about three minutes to do the list but it’s a huge mishmash of tons of things. It might be personal stuff like going to the cleaners and taking Gus to the vet and then other things like working on my webinar slide deck for the webinar coming up in five days. It’s just a bunch of different things. There’s no rhyme or reason.
Once I do the brain dump then I go ahead and go through it and start circling the priorities. Really, I chunk things up. I might have things that are urgent or things that are really important or things that can wait until later or leverage. It can be things that don’t light me up, don’t really need to get done, and I want to take it off my list completely.
I start to kind of chunk things into different categories. That’s just how my mind works. Once I have the whole list of the brain dump I chunk things, cross things out, and move things around.
Then I get on the phone with someone on my team. It is usually my VA or my project manager. I talk about what I can leverage. I talk about what they are working on because when you have a good team they are usually working on the things you are worried about that you think you need to do.
I realized after a couple of years of really working on my team and finding the right people in the right spots the things I think I need to do are often already getting done. It just happened to me the other day. You’ve got to love when that happens.
I talked to my team and leverage. I figure out what they are working on. I make sure everything’s covered. Then I organize my calendar. I start to create some white space. This is where Tiger Time comes in. If you haven’t heard my episode on Tiger Time it’s my most popular episode I’ve ever done and I highly recommend it.
I’ll link to it in the show notes so if you go to http://www.amyporterfield.com/131 you can get a link to Tiger Time and it just helps you organize your time to actually work on your content creation.
I start to organize my calendar, make sure I have a lot of white space to work on my Tiger Time to get things done, and then I figure out what I need to say “no” to. I’m really quick to be a “yes” girl. Do you want me to speak at your event? Yes. Do you want me to be a part of your summit? Yes. At least that’s how I used to be.
Now I know that every time I say “yes” I’m going to feel it somewhere else in my business. I have to decide if it’s really worth the stress. I typically say “no” more often than I say “yes” now but it’s taken me a few years to get there. I definitely look at the things I need to stop doing in order to get to the things that are either urgent, and more importantly, are really important.
That’s basically my process. That’s how I systematize my stress. It takes me about 20 to 30 minutes and, again, you need to be able to identify what is overwhelm. You need to know what it looks like for you and then ask what your system is. Then I just get to work…brain dump, cross things out, chunk things, get on the phone with my team, reorganize my calendar, say “no” to some things, and I’m off to the races.
That’s how I systematize my stress. So my question for you is: How do you systematize your stress? How do you handle stress? Where does your head go? What actions do you take first? Do your actions actually serve you?
You might need to take just ten minutes to rework your plan to systematize your stress. I want you to write down how you identify a tailspin and then the quick steps you’re going to take to get you moving forward.
For me, I didn’t know I did that until I did this exercise. Now that I know my system I can go to it like BOOM, I’m there. But before you identify it and write it down, it takes
ten minutes, you might not know it and the tailspin can last longer and longer and longer.
That’s one of the solutions I use for overwhelm. Now let’s move on. Solution For Overwhelm #2 – Simplify Your Business
I love this one. This one is something that just comes naturally to me. You’re probably going to find one of those that comes naturally to you and one that you probably need to work on. This is the one I feel is the easiest for me but it is also where I can offer value to my students and I really take advantage of that.
A lot of times overwhelm comes because we think we have to do a million different things to make our business successful. I’m just talking in a business sense right now. In my favorite business book, Rework, the authors come right out and say, “You need less than you think.”
I want to repeat that, you need less than you think. They then go on to ask some questions. These are the questions they ask but wait for it because I kind of rework them for us and our business.
They asked, “Do you really need ten people or will two or three people do for now?” That is to support your team. “Do you really need a big office or can you share office space or work from home for a while?” “Do you really need a full-time support person or can you handle with less right now?”
I know people who have gone off and have rented office space and they did it at a time that the cost of that office space was going to be heavy on their mind each month when they had to pay it. Those extras aren’t necessary right now if you’re still building your business.
For you, I kind of reworked these questions. Maybe not all will apply but see if any of them do. Remember, the point here is that you need less than you think.
Do you really need that webinar landing page with all those bells and whistles or would a simple landing page really serve you? Like I talked about in Episode #130, a simple landing page tends to convert a whole lot better. Do you really need all the bells and whistles?
I have this motto that I use with all my students. I always say, “Keep it simple, get fancy later.” That motto really applies to this right now. Keep it simple and get fancy later.
Here’s another question. Do you really need a fancy designed header for your weekly newsletter or can you just send out the newsletter via email in a really simple format? You can use a little bolding, a little underline. You don’t necessarily need a really beautifully designed header for that newsletter. I promise it doesn’t make a difference.
Here’s another one. Do you really need the fancy and expensive new photos for your Facebook ads or could you find some really cool, cheap stock photos? I just recently found the site, actually Melanie Duncan told me about it, it is a stock photo site that is probably geared toward the ladies more than the gentlemen listening today.
Stock photo has really come a long way from those photos of the people in the suits with their hands in the air like, “Yes!” That stock photo is of the past. It’s incredible what people are doing right now with really inexpensive stock photo.
You don’t need fancy images to make your Facebook ads work. I’ll link in the show notes at http://www.amyporterfield.com/131 a really cool stock photo site I recently found. I can’t think of the name of it right now but maybe I’ll find a few others that I think are really top notch.
Do you really need to be spending time on your website redesign (this is a big one) or should you put that on hold right now and focus on getting your course done or your webinar up and running? This is a big one because you all have seen my website. There is nothing fancy about it. It’s looked the same for years.
I’ve built a multi-million dollar business anyway. I do not believe you need an extra fancy website. I will ask so many of my students that are just starting out in business where they are focusing and they tell me they are redoing their website. I hear it all the time.
If they would just redirect their focus and stop doing that and work on the projects that are really going to bring in revenue quickly it’s a game changer.
In the book the authors say, “Great companies start in garages all the time.” We know one, right? Apple. Yours can too. You don’t have to get fancy right now and really, truly, all of us need less than we think to get our business up and running.
I don’t want you to get caught up in what you don’t need right now. I would rather you get your webinar marketed or your course created and start selling. The thing is, making money brings confidence. After talking with so many of my students, a little shot of confidence will go a long way.
A little shot of confidence sometimes mean the difference in giving up and going back to the J-O-B and instead seeing some sales come in and thinking you can make it work if you keep moving forward. If you don’t focus on the stuff that makes you money right now you’ll never have that shot of confidence so that when the going gets tough you might want to go back to what you know so well.
For many of us that’s the corporate job. Get focused on the things that matter and remember you need less than you think. That’s the beauty of online marketing. We really, truly don’t have to have a lot of stuff. We don’t have to spend a whole lot of money to make our businesses work.
Keep it simple, get fancy later. To wrap that up, the solution for overwhelm here is to simplify your business.
Solution for Overwhelm #3 – Squash the Fear
This is our third S, squash the fear. On an unbelievable podcast (I have so many links for you today) Seth Godin talks to Tim Ferriss about entrepreneurial block. He says, “You get blocked, not because you’re not passionate about what you’re doing but because you are afraid.”
Seth says to conquer this you need to do three things:
- Be clear of what you are afraid of,
- Know why you are afraid,
- Commit to dancing with the fear because it will never go away.
I love this so much because it’s simple and oh so true.
I want to give you a quick story about my own experience with fear, what it looked like, how it showed up, and truly how I’ve been dancing with it. This is a really relevant, happening right now kind of fear.
Many of you know I’m not a huge fan of being on video. I just don’t love it. I really don’t. So I asked myself these questions when I was dealing with this fear of video. At first I didn’t even recognize it as being afraid. But really, truly, I have been afraid of doing video.
I’m going to get really personal here and walk myself through these three things and then you start to see how fear is showing up for you using these three questions as well.
Be clear of what you are afraid of. This is what Seth says to do. Be clear of what you’re afraid of. For me, I don’t want to look silly. I’m afraid I’m not going to sound polished enough on video. I’m afraid of not looking good on video.
I know these are my own demons but this is the truth. I’m afraid of how I’m going to present myself and that people will judge me and say bad things about me. I’m a sensitive kind of girl so I’m afraid of all of that.
Know why you are afraid. I thought that was an interesting take. For me, I am way too hard on myself. I am way too critical about how I sound or come across or how I look. I’m very aware of this but I thought it was interesting so I had to get clear of what I was afraid of. I was afraid of looking stupid or silly or not polished on video. But why was I afraid of that? Well, I’m really critical of everything I do.
Growing up, even though my dad was extremely hard on me, he didn’t need to be because I was going to be a million times harder on myself. I have always been that way. Because of that, know why you’re afraid, I’m afraid because I’m incredibly critical of myself.
I feel weird telling you all of this because it’s so personal. It’s the truth so let’s just say it. This one’s important to understand to see my transformation and hopefully it will inspire you as well.
Commit to dancing with the fear because it will never go away. This is so true. I have been doing a lot of video. I’ve adopted this way of thinking, dance with it because it’s not going to go away, wholeheartedly. I now do live video in two of my private Facebook groups almost every single week.
I’m showing up live. I’m direct to camera. I’m there with them and, to tell you the truth, I actually really love it. I also do live video on my Facebook page pretty regularly. That’s to the mass market. I’m doing more Facebook Live, which is video of the most epic proportion because it’s live. That makes me even more nervous because there are a million ways I can mess up and everyone see.
I’m doing that. But the thing I wanted to share with you most, I just recorded a series of videos for Facebook ads. Right now we are promoting a webinar I’m doing (I’ll tell you about that in a minute). My team had a great idea to really dive in to Facebook ad videos.
We’ve done them a little bit in the past but they were never really a big play. Because we’re launching right now they put together a whole plan. I have to love my team for it. I have a Facebook ads guy, Jonathan, that’s running things; Chloe is my project manager, she’s working on this; Devin, my partner. They have all been in this together to put a Facebook ads campaign together to invite people to my webinar and to sell my program.
They came to me and said, “Amy, we know you don’t love this but we have a plan for Facebook video.” We all know that video is where it’s at on Facebook. There’s no denying it. They really feel I would get more quality signups for my webinar if I got on video and did it.
They have five videos they want me to do. My heart started beating fast and I think I started sweating. Chloe is the one that came to me with it because she’s the most sensitive of the group and knows how to approach me with a long list of videos.
I know I have to do it. I teach Facebook ads in my programs so I know I need to be the guinea pig. Then I can share with all of you what worked and what didn’t work. I also know video is where it’s at and no matter how scared I am, I am dancing with this damn video. I’m doing it.
So, I have been making videos. Let me tell you a quick little story on top of that that made the dancing with the fear work for me. I made a few videos inviting people to the webinar. It’s just me standing in front of the camera, “Hi, Amy Porterfield here. I wanted to tell you about my webinar,” blah, blah, blah.
The videos are in my office. I do not love them but I did them. Then I thought I didn’t love the videos. They felt really static and professional. I just didn’t love them. So that night Hobie, my husband, and I were going on a date night to see a movie. We were in the car and I was feeling excited and relaxed because I finally got a date night with Hobie and we hadn’t seen each other for a few days.
I was just feeling good and had an idea pop into my head to make a quick video in the car with Hobie to invite people to my webinar. I was more relaxed and anything I do with Hobie makes me happy. I said, “Would you mind, babe?”
We were 20 minutes early to the movie and he is an incredible husband. He said, “Of course.” We parked the car, I turned the camera on myself and said, “Hey guys, I’m off to a date night with Hobie.”
I panned on to Hobie and asked him to smile. The poor guy, we did it three times because I messed up the first two times. He smiled and then I put the camera back on myself and said, “I just wanted to let you guys know real fast that I have a webinar coming up.” I said what the webinar was about and said I would love to see them there and what they would learn.
Then I said, “Talk to you soon, bye.” The lighting wasn’t perfect. The camera was a little bit shaky but it was super real. It was true and we were off to a date night. I was feeling happy and that came across in the video.
Of course, guess which video is converting the best? I sent them three or four options but the off-the-cuff, really quick, let me share something with you guys in real life with a picture of Hobie that was kind of fun converted best for me. It might not be for your audience but for me it worked.
The lesson that I learned is that I danced with the fear but then I put my own twist to it. I thought if I was doing it I should have a little fun with it. When I added the fun factor it actually produced some really good results.
I just wanted to share that with you because if you are scared of doing video or if you’re just scared of something out there think of where you could put your own little twist to it so that it feels more comfortable for you yet still get the result you need to get?
I hope that story inspires some of you and some of you might be curious about this master class or webinar I’m talking about. It’s called How To Create Your First Wildly Profitable Webinar. I’m doing live master classes and I’m taking people behind the scenes sharing everything I do on my own webinars to get massive success. If you’re curious, if you’re doing webinars and not seeing big results, or you’ve never done a webinar and want to see what it’s all about, it’s my favorite webinar I’ve ever done.
I’d love to invite you to sign up. All you need to do is go to http:// www.amyporterfield.com/webinar. It’s totally free. It’s going to be totally live and I would love for you to go there. Depending on when you’re hearing this, you want to sign up right away at http://www.amyporterfield.com/webinar.
That’s my story and hopefully maybe you’ll see the date night video on Facebook. It’s airing right now and doing really well so maybe you want to do some kind of fun, off- the-cuff video for your next Facebook ad and see how it goes as well.
The next time you feel overwhelmed, let’s make this about you now, I want you to ask yourself three things:
- What are you afraid of,
- Why are you afraid,
- How can you dance with the fear because it’s never, ever going away?
I thought that was the most important part.
Let’s stop pretending that it’s going to go away and we’re going to power through. It’s not so let’s dance with it. My solution for that is to have a little fun with it. How can you inject a little fun in what you’re doing?
I wanted to leave you with one last thought. This feeling of overwhelm and stress that you are feeling, maybe right now, is temporary. When things feel really out of control I use at least one of these solutions if not more. Now you have three solutions to try on for size.
A quick review, systematize your stress, simplify your business, and squash your fear, the Triple S. Systematize, simply, and squash.
There’s one more thing I wanted to add to the Triple S. That is that when things feel really crazy for me I ask myself what this would all look like if I let it be easy? Sometimes I overcomplicate things in my mind. If I say to myself, “Alright Amy, what would it look like if you let it be easy?”
Right away some of the stress that I’m feeling, the stress that’s at the surface like my heart beating a little faster and my mind racing kind of starts to melt away. There is always a way to let it be easy.
Let’s at least try that on for size just to calm you down a bit and then you can dive into any of these Triple S’s that you feel will serve you best. Let it be easy.
There you have it. I hope you enjoyed this episode. I wanted to share with you some of my strategies because I definitely know how it feels to be overtaken by overwhelm. It’s not fun but if we’re building businesses online there is no doubt in my mind it’s going to happen.
Forgive yourself. Don’t beat yourself up for feeling that way. Just get into a solution and hopefully some of these solutions will help you immensely. I would also love to see you on my live master class coming up. Go to http://www.amyporterfield.com/ webinar to grab your spot. It’s totally free. It’s absolutely live. It’s just me so I don’t even have any guests.
I’m diving in and showing you everything I do with how I create my webinars. I would love to see you there. Thank you so much for tuning in. I will see you again next week. Bye for now.