REBECCA BLACKBURN: “I always say put your stress to paper, because when it's swirling and you're not acknowledging it, it feels very stressful and kind of, like, locked up in there. And the minute you put it on paper, it's as if you have pulled it out of your brain and just laid it in front of you, and it all of a sudden feels a little more calming. So you want to get it on paper, remove it from your brain, see it as an observer, and start realizing, ‘Hey, listen. Some of these things I can achieve; some I'm already doing,’ and now you can see your big goals, right? So maybe you've got something on there that's, like, ‘I want to create a million-dollar business.’ Awesome. Let's figure out how we're going to do that. But if you don't acknowledge that, you're keeping it from yourself, and you're never going to unlock the next steps to get there.”
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 PORTERFIELD: I need to tell you about a podcast that I love. It's called Imperfect Action, it's hosted by Steph Taylor, and it's brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network. And it's a bite-sized online-marketing podcast for business owners. So Steph is going to answer all of your business-marketing questions and deep dives into all things online marketing, content marketing, social-media marketing, and marketing strategy for business owners. So if you love Online Marketing Made Easy, I think you're going to love Imperfect Action as well. I loved her recent episode about how to turn your audience into paying clients. Uh, yes, please. And she talks about how to use better call to actions, streamline your sales funnel, and so much more. You can listen to Imperfect Action wherever you get your podcasts.
Hey, there, friend. Welcome back to another episode of Online Marketing Made Easy.
If you clicked on this episode, then maybe, just maybe, you're here because you're running on fumes and not showing up as the best version of yourself. Maybe you've got too many plates spinning in the air, and you feel like one of those is going to drop and shatter at any moment. Or maybe you're so busy working on growing your business that you have literally no time to do the things you actually want to do. Or maybe you're stretched thin, giving your all to your business and to your family, and at the end of the day, you feel like you have nothing left to give to yourself. And I get it. I've been there. I've felt like a shell of myself at the end of the day sometimes, where I gave it my all, but now I literally have no energy to be a human being for the rest of the evening. Like, I have so been there. Feeling like you're running on empty all the time is no place to be. And if you continue to ignore all the red flags in front of you, telling you that it's time to recalibrate, you run the risk of burning out completely.
So if you can relate to any of this, then pay close attention to this episode, because I'm chatting with Rebecca Blackburn, a highly sought after life coach who helps overwhelmed female entrepreneurs restructure their lives so they can work less, live more, and still achieve success at the highest level. You're going to hear a simple three-step process that you can implement right now that will help you regain ownership of your life and take intentional action on how it's going to look moving forward.
Rebecca came into my world because one of the perks at my business is that I pay for half of a life coach. So if you want life coaching, I will pay for half of it month after month after month, for as long as you want to have a coach. I love it because my executive assistant takes advantage of this. Many people on the marketing team and the content team and community, they're taking advantage of this, and it makes me so happy. Two people on my team have worked directly with Rebecca. So one of the gals is from my operations. She's the operations director, Jess. And then Chloe, who used to work with me, used to work with Rebecca when she was on my team. And both of them got amazing, amazing value. And I've seen, like, total transformations from the experience. So I'm really excited to have Rebecca on the show, and let's go ahead and dive in.
Well, hey, there, Rebecca. Welcome to the show.
REBECCA: Hey, Amy. Thanks for having me. I'm so glad to be here.
AMY: Oh, I’m delighted.
So I want to start out with you, in your own words, just telling people a little bit about yourself, who you are, what you do. So let's start there.
REBECCA: Okay. So I am a life and success coach for female entrepreneurs. And my real passion and what I help them do is to reignite that inner entrepreneur energy, reignite the entrepreneur energy, and channel it so that they can execute with purpose and inspiration. Because here's what happens. You know, the entrepreneur energy—that excitement, the energy. You've got the ideas going. You've got the plan in place. You have a vision that you're going after. And it doesn't matter how much you have to work; you are excited, and you are, like, focused hardcore, going after it. And then what happens is you go into pure work mode, where you don't stop to take breaks. You forget to look up. You forget to even look to see if you're still on track to your original vision. You never check in with yourself, like, “Hey, how am I feeling? How am I doing?” You forget to check on your family, all the things. And when you do that, that allows for the stress, the overwhelm, and the burnout to come settling in, which leaves you not doing your best. It's not fun anymore. You become miserable. And the way you operate your business and your life, it's not fun for anybody. Everybody suffers.
And so what I help women do—and I call it hitting the hustle wall. You know, like, the hustle will get you so far. And then, you hit a wall, where you're just hustling now.
REBECCA: It's like you're hitting that wall, and you can imagine your legs are still spinning, but you're not going anywhere.
So what I help women do is I pull them back, away from the wall, and we reignite that energy by doing an evaluation on what's working, what isn't, and then we get a plan again. So we evaluate, create a plan, get that vision going so you can start to get the idea factory going, like, all the ideas and inspiration, and then we execute.
But I work with my clients three months at a time, so I like to create a three-year plan with them, and then we focus on three months at a time. That way, we keep the process going, where we do an evaluation, create a plan, make sure we're on plan, and execute. And it keeps that flow going, to really reignite the energy and channel it.
And I learned the hard way from my own experience as a business owner. I was raised by entrepreneurs, grandparents, entrepreneurs, all the things. And our mottos in our family—and I think you have the same ones. I think your dad taught you this, too—if you've got time to lean, you've got time to clean; and you can sleep when you die.
AMY: We were pretty much raised by the same people. Yes.
REBECCA: So it served me well for a long time until I got to the point where the hustle did not work anymore. I had two businesses. I'd quit my—I was a hair stylist for twenty years. That was my first business that I had. I quit that and went to go open a new business with a—business partner’s my husband—and it was bigger than I'd ever done. And the hustle didn't work anymore because I didn't have the amount of time and energy that I once had. I had babies. I had other businesses. I couldn’t do it the same. And so I had to pull myself off the hustle wall.
And I sought out life coaching for myself because I knew that this is where I wanted to be at. I loved being an entrepreneur, but I couldn't work the same way anymore. And so once I saw what life coaching did for me, I kind of went back to my original roots as a hairstylist. I work with women one on one to help them get their business and their life back in action.
AMY: Mm. And you've done such a great job. As I mentioned in the intro, you've worked with some key people on my team in order to help them excel in all that they've done. I saw huge transformations with them, so that was really exciting.
And I actually want to talk about something you mentioned, where you've had other businesses. So one thing I love about you is that before you even got into life coaching, like you said, you owned and operated two highly successful brick-and-mortar businesses. So you know from firsthand experience that when you're a small-business owner, especially a new one, it's literally you all the time. And until you're in a place where you can hire employees and delegate a lot of those responsibilities, you're doing everything. You're running the business. You're doing the marketing. You're handling the accounting. You're in the trenches, doing all the work, even the dirty work; not to mention all that you have outside of your business that needs and deserves your attention, like your family and your friends and your spouse or significant other, and, literally, the laundry that's been piling up for, like, weeks. So I understand that you have a three-step process that you use with your clients to help them figure out what's important and create the time for what’s important. So you've offered to walk us through that three-step process. Are you good to go with that?
REBECCA: I’m good to go. And I love that you mentioned the laundry, because that is a huge battle between, you know, husband and wife. It is in my house. I now hire someone to do that.
AMY: Okay, wait. You’ve hired someone to do your laundry? I haven’t even thought about doing that. That is incredible. I love it.
REBECCA: Yes. We call her—well, she does a lot for us. She’s amazing. But we’re like, “The laundry assistant’s coming today. We must have everything ready.”
AMY: I love that. You have kids, and so, like, you've got a lot of laundry.
REBECCA: Yes, we have a lot of laundry. So, yes, I love that you brought that up.
But, so, what I did when working with entrepreneurs, it's, like, a common theme: everybody needs the same thing. They need more time. I hear it every day. “I just don't have enough time.” And it is true. It really is. Because what happens is we get so controlled by our to-do list that it feels like we're just at the effect of our day, right? It's impossible to keep up with everything.
So I've created a three-step, what I call, a priority protocol. And this is where you actually decide your priority first. That goes on the calendar before anything else. And so it's similar to the book. This is really awesome because I found myself being controlled by my to-do list and, like, drowning in tasks. And then, here would be these things I wanted to do, and I was like, “I just never have time.” And I was like, “No, no, no. This isn't how I'm going down. I’m going to figure it out.” And so I started doing priority first, then I read the book Profit First.
REBECCA: Have you read that?
AMY: Yes, it's a good one.
REBECCA: Oh, my gosh. And I was like, “Whoa. This is how I do my time. I'm going to teach it in a way that makes sense to people based on money,” because I think time seems very much out of our control. Money feels very—it’s very tangible. It is in control. So I love the idea of comparing it to the book Profit First, because it seems like more of a tangible way to do it.
So there’s a three-step process. The first step is to create your want list. When I ask my clients, okay, when they say, “If I didn't have this two-hour meeting, I could get more things done.” And then I say, “What would you get done?” It would still _____(12:16) tasks. It has nothing to do with getting the goal accomplished. And so I'm like, we have to create a want list. You have to know what you're after, or you're never going to achieve it. You're always going to fill that void that's happening, or you're always going to fill it up with—I imagine digging a hole, and every time you dig it, ____(12:54) fills up, and you never have room for your rocks, right? And so you have to know what your rocks are, you have to know what your priorities are, or you're never going to make room for them.
AMY: Okay. So the first step, you said you got this want list. So are you putting things on the want list, like, big, lofty wants, like, “I want to take a month-long vacation”? Or are you doing something smaller, like, “I want to be able to have a fifteen-minute break in my day, where I could just sit down and breathe for a minute”? Like, what kind of wants are we talking about?
REBECCA: It's everything. You have to, because I think what happens is—well, I know what happens—our brains are full of ideas, and they're kind of locked in there right now because we haven't spent time—a lot of my clients haven't spent time—like, really getting to know what's inside their brains, right? And so it's important, you want to write it all down, because what you're going to notice is some things you're already doing, and you can acknowledge that and go, “You know what? I am doing good things for myself.” Or some things might be small enough that you can just plop them in your schedule right now. It’s as easy as happening, but if you don't recognize it, you're never going to know that you're actually doing things that you want to do, right? And these, like, I think about one of my wants was to drink more water. Okay, that's easy. But I didn't even really think about it until I sat down to, like, let it all out.
And the other thing is, okay. When you write down everything that you have in your brain, you're able to see it as an observer, which most of us don't ever do that. We feel that that's going on in our head. It feels like a lot of spinning and chaos. I always say put your stress to paper, because when it's swirling and you're not acknowledging it, it feels very stressful and kind of, like, locked up in there. And the minute you put it on paper, it's as if you have pulled it out of your brain and just laid it in front of you, and it all of a sudden feels a little more calming. So you want to get it on paper, remove it from your brain, see it as an observer, and start realizing, “Hey, listen. Some of these things I can achieve; some I'm already doing,” and now you can see your big goals, right? So maybe you've got something on there that's, like, “I want to create a million-dollar business.” Awesome. Let's figure out how we're going to do that. But if you don't acknowledge that, you're keeping it from yourself, and you're never going to unlock the next steps to get there. So you want to write it all, no matter how big or how little, because this is how you know the next steps to take.
AMY: That's great to know. I've talked about this on the podcast before, but a while ago, Mel Robbins challenged a group of her friends, and I was on the text thing to do it, where every day we had to come up with five things that we wanted. We had a write down five things—
AMY: —that we wanted. And you could repeat some things, but I think the goal was to really expand your mind. I struggled with that. Like, the first few days, I was good. And then I'm like, “What do I want?” And I think that's a very important question: what do you want? And I don't think we ask it enough.
AMY: And we just go on with our day, and we do what we think we should do, what we have to do. I find myself saying, “I have to do this.” Hobie always says, “You get to,” so he kind of, like, rewires my brain. But sitting down and really pushing yourself, what do you want? is such a great exercise.
Now, I have one more question. You might be able to get to this later, so tell me to pause if you want to pause on this question.
AMY: But in today’s day and age, we put things on our calendar. What do we want? We put it on our calendar. We could literally swipe it off our phone screen, and it's gone. So do you have some ways to hold yourself accountable and make sure that what you want you're actually working toward?
REBECCA: Okay. So when you talk about blowing things off or swiping it off of your phone, how do we keep these things that we want in top of mind, or something that we keep where we don't just passively keep ignoring it? There's a couple reasons why we ignore things or why we keep moving past them and don't make them top of the list. Number one is you have too much waste on your calendar. We have to start figuring out what we want, and then clear off the rest of the garbage.
Like, think about when you go to your closet. You're like, there's so many clothes, but once you clean it out for your spring or your winter, whatever you're doing, you're like, “Oh, I love that shirt,” and you don't even think about the rest of it. So you have too much waste on your calendar. That's actually in step number two, and we'll talk about that more, of the priority protocol. But you got to remove some things off your calendar, off of your to-do list because you're missing, it's covering up the other things, and you're not recognizing what's most important.
The other thing is you're not connected. If you have something that you want to do, you need to, okay, write it down. But then, in the priority protocol, actually as a bonus step, it's connect to your priorities. So it's about, like, why do I want this? And it doesn't have to be anything big. It really doesn’t. Like, why do I want to drink more water? Well, because I love to feel hydrated. I love to, like, feel—my skin looks better. Like, there's just so many things. It's energizing. It nourishes me, and I know that I'm taking care of myself. That's as easy as can be, right?
But when you connect with it, and not just, what it is that you want to do, but, who do you become when you create this new habit, when you do this thing that is what you want to do, it becomes more than just a to-do; it becomes part of who you are and who you're becoming.
And then, the third one is you need to find the right people. So I am terrible, maybe not terrible, but I struggle with self-accountability. And I know this about myself. I'm an entrepreneur. I love shiny new objects. I think something's a really good idea, and then I'm like, “Oh, that one's better,” right? So moving on. And it's easy when things get a little bit of a struggle or it's more challenging than being in a normal routine, you want it, but that challenge also distracts you. And then, you know, there's the emotional triad. I know you've heard of this, where it's our brain is designed to seek pleasure, avoid pain, and expel as little energy as possible. So when you set this new goal that you want to achieve or something new you want to do, your brain's like, “Mm, I don't know. That just seems too hard. So I'm just going to, like, go back to the old way.” It’s just doing its job. But you want to get your prefrontal cortex in action to do the things that you actually planned to do.
And so because I am not great with self-accountability, I find the right people to put in my life to help me be accountable. So that could be anywhere from friends to mentors to coaches. Anyone that you care about their opinion and you trust them, get them in your corner. So when you do the priority protocol, or you just make yourself a list and decide what you want to do, figure out how you're going to hold yourself accountable because your brain will try to avoid it, just because it's doing its job.
AMY: Ah, makes perfect sense.
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Okay, good. So this is really helpful. So the first thing we're going to do is we're going to create a want list. And we talked a little bit about what goes on that list and, also, how to make sure that you are focused on the things you want and you actually go after them. So step two, what is step two?
REBECCA: Step two is a quit list. I love this list.
AMY: Oh, a quit list. Okay. Tell me about that.
REBECCA: Yes. Okay. So the first step—and let's go back. I want to compare it to money again, because I think it makes sense to people. So when you look at your priority list, that's your profit. You're going to decide, “Okay, what is it that, like, how much money do I want to make this year?” You just decide that, and you put it on your—you keep setting the money aside first. And then, you need to look at your expenses and be like, “What am I spending money on that is just unnecessary?” And there are easy things to cut out. So your quit list, your delete list, is you're going to look at the no-brainers. What do I need to quit, okay? And you're not just going to quit to-dos. There are going to be some bad habits in there that you're going to quit. There are going to be some mental blocks that you need to quit. Maybe you have self-doubt. Those are some things that you want to put on the list also, because they're holding you back from this person that you're wanting to become.
AMY: Mm. That is so good. I totally agree. Okay. I've got some questions about this quit list. First question is, for someone who is highly focused—we all want to be highly focused. We want to be the person who doesn't hit the Snooze button, doesn't scroll IG all day long—what would someone like that put on their quit list?
REBECCA: That is a good one. And I agree. I think that there are some people that have just got themselves so dialed in that they're not doing that stuff. I do challenge people to take a look at your habits and see what you might be doing, that you're like, “That is just wasted space.” Like, really look in and figure that out. But, so, we're talking about a highly focused person, and they more than likely have the goals right in front of them. If they don’t, that's something that everyone needs to get, is figure out what your goals are and get them in front of you. I mean, I write my down every single day just so I can reconnect, remember what I'm doing.
And so things that a highly focused person would want to do, I love to ask the question, who do I need to be to reach these goals? Because it's different than who you are right now. And I don't care if you've already achieved a bunch of things, if you're already just—you're, like, so solid. If you were going to a new level, there are things you got to ditch about the old you, okay? Maybe it's people in your life, maybe it's friends that just keep holding you back. And I don't mean that to be mean. It's just as you grow, the same people aren't always willing to go with you.
So I like to ask these questions. Okay. If I'm going to become somebody new, what do I need to let go of? What do I need to change? What beliefs are holding me back? And here's the big one: what is stopping me right now from achieving this goal? When you ask that question, you’re like, “Oh, I know. I know what it is.”
AMY: It’s such a good one. I coach with Michael Hyatt, and after each coaching session, he sends a document, like, online that I have to fill out. And one of the questions is, like, you know, what are your goals? What did we accomplish today? Where are we going? And then the final question is, what is going to get in the way?
REBECCA: Ooh, yeah.
AMY: And it's always, for the record, I always write “Me. My mindset, how I'm thinking.”
AMY: “I'm in the way.”
REBECCA: Yep. Perfect. So those are the things. When you can unlock those—and the beauty is, too, I think when you ask it, because we had a lot of it. I feel like most of us are really good about, like, “Nope, I'm good. I'm good,” and we just keep bulldozing past it. But when you can unlock that magic right there, like, what's in the way?, that's when you're, like, “Okay, it's unlocked.” I keep saying the word unlock because I think what happens when we get stressed or we get in our own head, we get locked up. And if you can find the pieces that are stuck in there, like Michael challenges you to do, it's going to open up new possibilities for you, and you'll see what's in the way so you can start to remove it.
AMY: Absolutely. Okay. So I love that—those questions are very valuable. I'm going to admit right now—and I have already taken measures to stop this—I scroll through TikTok. When I've got ten minutes, where I should just be taking a moment to breathe, and it's before my next interview or something, I find myself opening up my phone and scrolling TikTok, and then my brain is, like, buzzing, and I've never relaxed throughout the entire day. It's a really bad habit. So I took TikTok off my phone, just for a while, and was, like, “I need to break this crazy habit. I am addicted.”
So that's one of the low-vibe things that I absolutely need to quit. So I admitted mine. All of my listeners, I want you to admit yours. And if you're so brave, get on Instagram—I'm just @amyporterfield—DM me what it is that you're quitting. Like, I'll share them with Rebecca, for sure.
REBECCA: Yeah. I can’t wait to see it.
AMY: I’ll text you. But I want to know, like—it's just between you and me. I will not broadcast it. I won't post it on my social—but what is something that is going to go on your quit list? I admitted mine; I want you all to admit yours.
Okay. Rebecca, I have one more question about step two, which is create the quit list, which I love this. So something that's being talked about more and more in today's day and age is this mental load that women carry. Now, some men carry it as well, but I'm going to talk about the women for a second. And when I say mental load, if you're not familiar with that term, it refers to the invisible, non-tangible tasks involved in running a household. It’s things like menu planning, making shopping lists, scheduling service providers, remembering birthdays, keeping track of appointments. And research shows that these tasks most often fall on the shoulders of women, regardless if they have kids.
And I have to tell you, Hobie and I do not have any kids in the home—Cade’s at college—and Hobie runs a lot of our household because he's retired. But I absolutely still have a laundry list of things that he would never even think about but it's always in my mind.
Like, Rebecca, we could go on vacation, we could be leaving tomorrow, and I could be going out the door, and I'll say, “Hobie, what are we doing with our dog?” Hasn’t even thought about it. And I've had it planned for a week that he's going to my mom's. I packed all the food, dah, dah, dah. Like, some stuff just doesn’t enter my sweet husband's mind, and that's okay.
So mental load is very, very real. So my question for you is I'd love to hear any special insights you have on how women, who are already doing so much in their businesses, can lighten their mental load.
REBECCA: I love this question. I talk about this all the time with my customers, with my clients. I just had this conversation, like, two days ago, I think, about the mental load that she has more than her husband has, and that is so real. And so here’s what I have to offer on that: remember that it is mental, okay? which means it's in our minds, and it's our thoughts. So we're constantly thinking of the things we have to do. It's in there.
Okay. There's a couple things here. One, we need to organize what we have going on. Okay. So I think, also, recognizing that it may always be there because we just, it's who we are; it’s probably who we are personality wise.
AMY: There's some things I'm never going to give up to Hobie, even if he wanted to take it.
REBECCA: Yes. Yes.
And I have to tell you this story. Okay. So I had a client who was married to her husband for years and years. They had children, everything. They got divorced. And she ended up, she married a woman. And she tells me, like, a year after their marriage, she said, “Isn't this crazy? I thought for sure when I married a woman, we would be on this same page all the time.” Right?
I think about me going on vacation with one of my best friends. We're like, “We're tag teaming. We got it.” And I think that's what she—I mean, not that she married her to have that, but they got married, and she was like, “Isn't this crazy? It's the same as it was when I was married to a man.”
REBECCA: Mm-hmm, yep. So it is women, but, also, a lot of times it's our personalities and the way we operate, okay? I want to give that power to the women listening. Like, it's almost like I think we can easily blame our partners, our business partners, our team, our coworkers. It's easy to blame them. Like, “Well, I'm doing all this. And you don't think of anything.” When we put blame on someone else or we feel like we are burdened with it all, we actually become, like, a victim mentality. We villainize them, “You're not helping me enough,” and we victimize ourselves. And when you're feeling more victimized, it's hard to find your own solutions. So I want to offer everybody has a mental load. Let's figure out what ours is and not worry about what theirs is, okay?
The other thing that happens is when we start thinking what they're not doing enough of, it's discounting what they ‘re doing, and then it doesn't make for a good conversation, okay? And if you want to change the mental load, if you want to take some things off of your plate, you have to be able to communicate. And when you take the victim mentality out or the blame mentality out, you're able to own what you do, okay? Then, you can organize it. So just start.
I love writing. I think to mentally remove it from your brain, put it on paper, it actually changes the direction or the movement of your brain. And then you use a different part of your brain to write. And then you see it as an observer, and you can organize, okay? So you think about you’re taking the emotion out of it by writing it down, changing your thoughts about it. You can then organize it. Write your to-dos down, see what's really important and what's not, and then you're able to communicate if you see, “Hey, listen, I have a lot going on. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed. I've organized it. Can you help me?”
AMY: I was going to say I love that. “Can you help me?” Once you've organized your thoughts and what all the things are and where you need help.
REBECCA: Yeah. Yeah. But until you let go of, number one, the stress and the overwhelm about it, because it's just going to be there. We just have—we all put so much on our plate. And the goal with this priority protocol is to start lessening your load some, okay? Lessen your load some. Notice when you feel the stress and a lot of the spiraling thoughts of all the things you have to do. Don't let them stay there. Write them down. Take ownership of your own—the thoughts coming with it. You know, like, “I do too much. I don't have enough time.” Those are spiraling thoughts. And then, figure out what you need and go ask for it in a way that's very productive.
AMY: I love this. This is great. And I love that you're, like, it's not going to go away; let's be very realistic here.
AMY: I totally agree.
Okay. So step number three, what is it?
REBECCA: Step number three is your to-do list.
REBECCA: So, okay, when you think about—let's go back to the profit first, because I think the money is such an easy way to see it. You have now decided what you want your profit to be, you've got rid of unnecessary waste, and now you have your to-do list left, okay? This is your other expenses. Now, here's the thing with expenses, running a business, running your life, it does take money, and it does take time to do certain things. You can't just say, “I would like to get a 90 percent profit and still be a very successful business.” Like, that more than likely is impossible. You have to have expenses in order to grow a company, right? So there are things that you're going to have to do in order to have a successful life.
So I want you to write down your to-do list. Dump everything out. This can get pretty lengthy at first until you get used to it, but write it all out, even the smallest things and the biggest things. And then I like to put a time beside each one, how long you think it will take. So I'm just going to say guess, okay, because there are some things that you might need to break down. If you're saying it's going to take two hours, I would break it into smaller tasks. What this does, though, it gets all of the thoughts out of your mind. As we know, your thoughts create your feelings. And if you're feeling overwhelmed, it's because all of your to-dos—they are thoughts, okay? They’re ideas in your head—they are causing your brain to get stuck. And it's like, “I don't know how to organize it. I just can't see it.” When you lay it all out, you can see it; you're the observer; you can organize it.
So this is where your, like, this is the accounting part, where you're actually reconciling the ledger. You add up all the time it's going to take you, and you compare it to how much time you actually have. What you're going to see is—let’s, for easy math, say you have ten hours of tasks, and you have five hours available. Guess what that forces you to do? You're forced to decide how you want to spend your money or spend your time. And now you have to look at it and say, “What am I going to actually do? What brings me fulfillment? What moves the needle?” That goes first.
REBECCA: That goes fast. You decide, “What am I going to do? And am I going to do it more efficiently? Is it possible? What am I going to delete that is—like, what—or maybe delay? Like, what doesn't need to get done right now at all? And then, what can I delegate?” And I like this being the last part of it, because I used to try to teach it as, like, the first part, the do, delegate, delete. And when it got to delegate and delete, people would freeze. Like, “I can't do anything. Everyone's busy. I have to do it all.” When you're forced to see how you've got ten hours to do, five hours of actual time, you don't have a choice. You have to figure it out. You have to let things go or at least delay some things.
But the goal of all of this is to put your priorities first. You get to decide how you want to show up in your life, who you want to become, and you have to be the one to take your first action in doing that. And then you're able to see what you can let go of. It is such a relief, it is such freedom when you can start taking ownership of what you really want, and then you build up that confidence to where you now, when something comes your way, you don't say yes to everything. You're like, “Let me check my protocol.”
AMY: Yeah. I love having a protocol. So is the protocol, the three steps combined is the protocol?
REBECCA: Yes, yes.
AMY: Okay. I love having a protocol, and I love being able to say, “Let me check my protocol.” I think that's really cool.
AMY: And one thing I've talked about extensively on this podcast is this concept that I started doing years ago with my executive assistant, Christine, where I used to have a laundry list of things to do throughout the day. And I realized, “Oh, this is twenty hours to the eight hours I have today.” Like, I didn't realize, why was I feeling so bad at the end of every day but I did so much? So now if it's in my Asana task, which is my project-management tool, if there is an assignment, a project I have to do, whether it be thirty minutes of reviewing an email or an hour of recording a podcast, if it's in Asana for a due date today, it has to be assigned in my calendar to prove to us I can absolutely get it done.
REBECCA: That is genius. Yes.
AMY: It helped so much. There's nothing due today that hasn't been scheduled on my calendar. Then, I know it's doable. And sometimes I don't get it done, but on the majority, I do.
So I guess that leads me to my next question is sometimes this helps a lot with not getting it done, this concept I just shared with you. But sometimes I'll get to the end of the day and I've just haven't scheduled appropriately, and I feel guilty with not getting all of the things done. So my question is, how do you let go of the guilt that often bubbles up when you simply aren't able to get to everything you thought you could?
REBECCA: That is so awesome. I think people avoid scheduling because they think it has to be perfect. And I know I struggle with that, too. I remember when I was a hairstylist, I used to say, “I wish someone would just follow me around and tell me what I'm doing wrong, because I'm always busy. So I mean, I don't know what's wrong here, right?”
REBECCA: And then I went on a mission to figure out the best type of way to schedule and the best way to do things. And what I figured out was you have to start somewhere. Pick the priority protocol. Use that one, right?, as your beginner step to start figuring out what works for you and what doesn't. And then you have to let go of perfection. I personally have to have a flexible schedule. I've got multiple businesses, children, I’m married. I have friends that I like to be around. I have to have a flexible schedule or it just doesn't work for me. And so that means I have to be very firm in my priorities or they could easily get pushed aside.
But I also have to know that if I don't get some of the tasks done, I have to figure out how to delegate it or be okay with pushing it to the next day. I really think the biggest thing you need to focus on is making sure you get your priorities done. That is the biggest thing. And then if you don’t get the rest done, being okay with, perfect isn't the answer. It never is. If you're looking for perfection, it's going to stop you in your tracks every single time.
AMY: So just really being okay with the fact that, “I just didn't get it all done.” And I think that's easier when you have a protocol. Look, I did my very best. I've got it scheduled. It's on the calendar. I went for my priorities first. I did a really great job. And sometimes it's just not going to get done. That’s just life.
AMY: So I love that you set it up that way. These steps are fantastic. Okay. This protocol, I'm loving. So step number one, create your want list. Step number two, create a quit list. Step number three, narrow down your to-do list, make sure your priorities are on it, and be very forgiving when it doesn't all work out, because we're not going for perfection here. I love this, Rebecca. I think it's fantastic.
Any parting words? As we tie a bow around our protocol and my audience starts to work on this—and I really hope you all didn't just listen for the last hour and not do absolutely do it in your next journaling session, create that want list. Create that quit list. Let's get it done. But anything else, before I let you go, anything to tie a bow around the protocol?
REBECCA: Yes. They can actually go to my website and get the protocol. It's rebeccablackburncoaching.com/priority.
AMY: Perfect. Okay.
REBECCA: Go there. And I've got, actually, a video and a workbook to help them go through that. It is the one thing that we all need more of: more time. So I will teach you how to create that for yourself and make sure that you get what you want no matter how busy you are.
AMY: So it's rebeccablackburn.com/priority?
AMY: Perfect. Okay, awesome.
Rebecca, thank you so very much for being here, and thank you for coaching some of my very important team members.
REBECCA: Oh, I’m so glad that I get to coach them. You all are so amazing. It's so fun.
AMY: They have really excelled, and I really see your coaching playing a huge part in that.
So thank you so very much, and thanks for being with us here today.
REBECCA: Thank you, Amy.
AMY: All right, my friend. How great was the three-step process that Rebecca shared? She's such a wealth of knowledge, and I love that all of her advice to women is based upon her own experience as a female entrepreneur, as a wife, as a mom, as a friend. She brings it all in to what she teaches and how she teaches it.
I'll be honest. Finding balance in my life has been a challenge for me from day one of building my business. Actually, it was a challenge when I was still in my nine-to-five job. I had the type of personality to be totally consumed by the work I do. And so I will always put the work first, and then I'll course correct to make sure I'm putting Hobie first and my family first. But it is easy for me to get back into work mode and forget that there's other things that matter in my life as well. And so I really work on being present with my family and also to take care of myself.
I think my favorite thing that Rebecca shared was the quit list. What are you going to quit? What are you going to stop doing? And me scrolling through TikTok at random times when I could put the freaking phone down and be present with my husband? I mean, come on. When I say it like that, I'm like, “What am I doing?” But it's just so addictive. And so remember what I said. I want you to DM me—I'm just @amyporterfield on Instagram—DM me and tell me one thing you're going to quit. And you have to really spell it out. “Amy, I'm going to quit” whatever it is. So I see those because I get a lot of DMs, but I really want to sift through and see the things that you're going to quit. I shared mine. What is yours?
All right. If you love this episode, and you’d be so kind to rate my podcast, I would greatly appreciate it. Hopefully, you'll leave a five-star rating if you love it. It really helps me get out in front of people that need the podcast the most that might not even know about it yet. I would greatly appreciate that.
Have a great day. I'll see you next week, same time, same place. Bye for now.