Transcript: How to Create More White Space & Still Succeed

May 24, 2022

AMY PORTERFIELD: “Where I went wrong is I never took myself out of it, and I think that that is something that is important to recognize. Maybe after your first few years of business, when you're starting to make consistent revenue, when you're seeing a profit, that's when I think it's important to slow down and say, ‘Okay. I've experimented. I've tried things. I figured out what I'm good at. I know my sweet spot. So how do I do less but continue to scale and make money and make an impact?’” 

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: So, I have a little homework for you. I want you to head to your favorite podcast-listening platform; search for the podcast Success Story, hosted by Scott D. Clary; and start listening. Success Story is a new podcast obsession for me; and it features Q&A sessions with successful business leaders; keynote presentations; and conversations on sales, marketing, business, and entrepreneurship. Scott recently spoke with a guest about the importance of socially conscious entrepreneurship, and I love that conversation. This is such an important topic right now, so be sure to check out that specific episode, for sure. You can listen to Success Story wherever you get your podcasts. 

Well, hey, there. Amy, here. Welcome to another episode of Online Marketing Made Easy. Today’s Shorty episode is all about hustle. And I really just got to start out this episode by saying I have a lot of guilt around hustle mentality, and I haven't really talked about it this way on the podcast, so I just wanted to share this with you. And I usually use an outline for these Shorty episodes. I have no outline. It’s just, basically, coming from my heart, and I wanted to share something with you. And this episode is for you if you are still in a nine-to-five job, haven't started your online business; or if you've got a side hustle and you want that to be a full-time thing; or if you've just been at it for a while and you're in the trenches. I actually have a message for each of those different seasons of entrepreneurship.  

But first, let me back up. Talking about that guilt or maybe even some shame that's attached to this, where that shows up for me is that I'm thirteen, now almost fourteen, years into building my online business. And for probably—I don't know, I'm just, like, estimating—at least ten years, if not maybe eleven years, I only knew how to hustle. Like, I literally only knew how to hustle in my business. And in my defense—although I know I don't need one, but I just want to kind of set the stage—you know, I come from the Tony Robbins world, where it's like, go, go, go. And then I learned Internet marketing from some of the best-of-the-best men in the industry.  

When I was coming on the scene thirteen years ago, there were very few women teaching what I teach—very few—and those that I remember who taught me, they also learned from many of the guys in the industry. Feminine and masculine energy is very different, and I think we need both. But I think that the feminine-energy side of things was often never taught, ignored, never part of the conversation.  

And so, because I learned from these guys that were absolutely great at what they did, it was, like, the time when I came on the scene, it was like the time of the standing in front of—I never did this—but, like, standing in front of the expensive cars, like, “Look at this Ferrari I have,” or being on private jets and talking about, “Look at this lifestyle I have.” And it was still that energy of go, go, go, go, go. Do everything you can to make it work.  

And I think—and here's the truth about this hustle mentality—there is a time and a place for that. I don't want to throw out this hustle mentality completely, but what I do want to share is where I feel guilty is that because it's all I knew for so long, it's kind of how I taught. And so, you know, the late nights and the weekends and whatever it takes, I had that mentality up until just a few years ago.  

Now, two things I want to say about that. Number one, I do believe that in your first few years, it's necessary. I do. I know not everyone's going to agree with me, but saying yes to almost everything to figure out what you like, what you don't like, what you're good at, what you're not good at, finding new opportunities, networking, going to the conferences, trying new things, that hustle mentality I think is necessary in the first few years of building your online business so you can figure out, what feels right for you, what do you love, where are you great? 

And also, making things work, because not every opportunity’s going to shake out, and you need to make money, and so you've got to figure this out, and that probably means some late nights and weekends. I just feel like that is necessary, maybe not for everybody, but for a lot of us.  

Where I went wrong is I never took myself out of it, and I think that that is something that is important to recognize. Maybe after your first few years of business, when you're starting to make consistent revenue, when you're seeing a profit, that's when I think it's important to slow down and say, “Okay. I've experimented. I've tried things. I figured out what I'm good at. I know my sweet spot. So how do I do less but continue to scale and make money and make an impact?”  

Now, I did that probably—like, I did it right, probably, I don't know, ten, eleven years into my business. I could have done it much earlier on. I had signs of it. Like, in 2012, I tell my B-School bonus members that that's when I started to realize you could do less but make more. And I started to. But then, unfortunately, the next year I just got back into hustle mentality. All these opportunities came my way, and I ate them all up; whereas, I wasn't, like, “Wait a second. Is this really something I should be saying yes to?” So I got out of the mentality and jumped back in.  

What I want to share with you is that you absolutely do not always have to be in a hustle mentality to grow your business. One of my dear friends and someone I love immensely is Kate Northrup, and I think she does a really great job of talking about this. And we actually talked about it a little bit in the most recent interview I did with her, so I'm absolutely going to link to Kate Northrop's interview on this podcast in the show notes. Go listen to that if you haven't yet, because it's going to expand on this episode.  

But what I want to say is that you do not need to work your life away to be profitable in your online business. And I believe the best entrepreneurs—the ones that feel centered and focused and give their true heart in what they do in their business—are those that really value their downtime, their time away from their business. That's where I went wrong. I didn't value time away from my business as much as I value time in my business. Thank God my marriage is still intact. Thank God I have a beautiful relationship with Cade and Hobie. But I feel like I got lucky, meaning, I think many marriages suffer from the hustle mentality when you've done it too long. When your spouse or partner can understand in the early years, “This is what it takes,” that's amazing. But there's probably a time that they're waiting for you to come up for air. I know there was many times Hobie’s like, “When does this end?” And it didn't end for a long time.  

Now I've realized that time away from my work allows me to be a badass in the work. I've realized that time at the lake or Sundays where they're just slow Sundays or whole weekends—imagine that—where I am not opening my computer allows me to kick ass on Monday, and I am a different person because of it. I’m a better wife, a better mom, a better friend, a better entrepreneur. And for so many years, living in that, just teetering on that burnout, I bet I could have done even better, more amazing, more impactful things if I allowed more rest in my life.  

So, where I feel bad is that I didn't know this sooner. So a lot of the strategies I taught probably came with a little side of hustle. But now I think, okay. Here's a struggle I have. I teach how to build online businesses, specifically info products like digital courses and memberships and coaching packages and all of that. I teach how to do that. And I know—I don't just believe—I know you can build a thriving multimillion-dollar business without the hustle mentality. However, I'm not necessarily an example of someone who has done so. And so I hate that. I wish I was the example. I am now.  

And what I want to tell my students and what I want to tell my listeners for this podcast, you, is that I definitely didn't do it for so many years, but I am an example of somebody now who's making pivots, changing my business up, trying new things, with a four-day workweek, with a team of twenty people all around the U.S. also experiencing a four-day workweek, and we just got to the end of quarter one and hit all of our revenue goals, in a time, you know, at the time we're recording this in early 2022, when things feel still a little bit shaky in terms of some conversions we're seeing and ways we need to sell and how we're doing webinars. But in quarter one, where we knew we were going to see the revenue actually come in, we hit every single goal, which kind of blew my mind. And so we can do that on a four-day workweek when we get better at our systems, better at our processes, and better at communicating with each other.  

So, what do I want you to take from this Shorty episode? Number one, the hustle mentality, there's a time and place, and I believe it's in the early days, year one, maybe year two. But if you're in year one or year two, give yourself some grace. You're figuring it out. You're making things happen. You want to figure out what's a good opportunity and what's not. And you'll never know unless you say yes to a lot of things. I get that. 

Once we're through year two, if you're still not seeing the revenue you want to see, or if, at least, you're not seeing it grow or if you are, either way, it's time to reevaluate. And the way you reevaluate is you say, “What is working for me? What is not working? My favorite question: where can I double down? Where can I do less but make more?” And it's usually in the things that are working a little bit or a lot and they need more of your attention.  

After year two, it's a good time—or wherever you are now. Maybe you're in your five, six—it's a good time to look at all your offers, all the things you're working on, all the things you've said yes to, and ask yourself, “Where am I overpromising? Where am I extending myself to a point that I'm resentful? What do I hate doing that I continue to do?” It's time to ask that question if you're a couple years into your business, whether you're seeing great revenue or not, because there's always a time to systematize your business.  

The reason I created my program “Systems that Scale”—and I’ll link to it in the show notes if you want to kind of learn more about that program—is that we wanted to get out of the hustle mentality. We wanted to work less. We wanted to crush it, still. And so “Systems that Scale” is literally how I got out of the hustle mentality. And I can honestly say the majority of weekends and nights for the last year, I have not been working. That's saying a lot for someone who thought she had to work her life away in order to be successful. You do not need to hustle to see a thriving online business. There is a time that that season needs to end, and if you want to be here ten, twenty years down the road, you've got to create a business and a life by your own design.  

So, I want you to look at your offers. I want you to look at your launch schedule, your promotions, your team, and ask yourself, what do you love? What do you hate? Where do you feel resentful? And what needs to change? Because I don't offer a lot in my business, and I only really live launch one main program every September. And I still am able to have a multimillion-dollar business with an amazing team, and I am not hustling. I can promise you I do not hustle, nor does my team. Sure, we work hard. Some times are harder than others. Sometimes we feel maxed and have to pull back. We're human, but we are absolutely not in hustle mentality. And my biggest mistake I made is that I didn't get out of it sooner. I actually think my business would be better if I got out of it sooner. I actually really know that to my core. And I have seen so many great examples from women and men who do not live in the hustle mentality and have even bigger businesses than me. It can be done.  

So, what I was saying earlier, just to kind of close that loop, is that I might not be that great example of someone who built their business from scratch without hustling longer than she wanted to. But now, when I teach ways to not hustle, it's either what's working now in my business or what I've learned from my students or my peers that they have been out of the hustle mentality longer than me, and they're doing some amazing things, and I share those stories as well. So that's how I've kind of rectified like, ooh, that's a mistake that I wish I could take back.  

So, if you continue to follow me, you continue to listen to this podcast, if you continue to or start to engage in my programs, just know that you're learning from a girl that refuses to continue to perpetuate this idea that you've got to hustle your life away to be successful in your business. Your time with your partners and your friends and your children and your dogs are equally important to me as your time working on your business. And I think you're so much more interesting and fun and engaging and insightful and smart when you have a life that's richer than just your funnels, your email list, your launches. When you can infuse your life experiences into your business, you likely will have an easier time growing it. And the only way you can do that is to spend time away from the business and soak up all those experiences. 

So, I wanted to share that. And one of the things—I have a podcast coming out in the future about this, and it's all about why I'm taking a month-long sabbatical this year. And it's something I could have done many, many years ago, and I was too afraid. So I'm talking about that in an upcoming episode. I don't care if you're in year two or year twenty, I want you to think about a month-long sabbatical in your near future, and so I'm going to talk about why I'm doing it and why I wish I did it sooner.  

Okay, my sweet friends. Thank you so much for tuning in. If you know somebody who is hustling—they're burning the candle at both ends; they're struggling; they're doing all they can, and it's just not working—please share this episode with them. Just grab the link, text it to them, DM it to them, Slack it to them, whatever you want to do—dang, there's a lot of ways to communicate these days, right?—but share it with them because my gift I want to offer all my listeners is the fact that you can learn from my mistakes as well as learn from my successes. So this is one of my mistakes that I hope you learn from.  

All right, sweet friends. Thank you so much for tuning in. I will see you this Thursday for a longer episode, more entrepreneurial goodness, same time, same place. Bye for now. 

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