As you’re probably well aware, we’re living in an incredibly challenging time in history. For most of us, life is pretty hard right now! And yet, as you’ll hear on this episode, I recently decided to make things even harder on myself by starting a new challenge called (I can’t make this up) 75 Hard. It didn’t last, but along the way I learned some important lessons about the ways that we often inadvertently choose to make our lives harder than they need to be because of outdated scripts & ideas about how we “should” be living or doing business.
In this episode, I share my new motto – 75 Easy! – and how it has been inspiring me to make better decisions for myself. I also discuss how we desperately need to break up with the idea that harder things are always more worthwhile, and give you a few questions to ask yourself if you’re coming up against a hard problem or phase of life.
- 75 Hard: Created by Andy Frisella
- More info here on the ableism of a lot of productivity advice
- Everything Everywhere All At Once
- Autumn Hachey originally inspired me to try this challenge
- The Lazy Genius Collective + The Lazy Genius Kitchen
- Here’s $10 off Instacart!
- I sent Bruno to Wild Dogs Day Hikes
- I used Google One Storage for my photos
- The “When everything feels impossible, it’s time to find another way” quote is from Elise Blaha Cripe
- The 3rd Alternative by Stephen Covey
Listen to the Show:
Hello hello, hello everyone and welcome back to Slowpreneur. Thank you for tuning in to another episode. I do not take it for granted that you’re taking some time out of your day to hang out with me and hear what I have to say. This time we’re talking about making things easier, because we’re living in an incredibly challenging time. I don’t know if this time in history is objectively more challenging than other times in history. Although I do think about climate change and the level of climate destruction that we are currently facing. And that does feel recent and modern and new, unfortunately, but maybe there have always been just as many problems in the world and in our culture. I think that we are more exposed to them now on social media and with the world feeling more and more connected. But the point is that it’s a hard time. It’s a hard time to be a human. And so by extension, it is a hard time to be a business owner.
So let me tell you about the time recently that I decided to try to make things harder for myself. Literally. I decided to do a challenge. You may have heard of it. It’s called 75 hard, I’m not making this up. This is only the kind of thing that becomes like hilarious and absurd in retrospect, at the time, and in the moment it felt like an obvious choice. It felt like an inspiring choice. It felt like an exciting choice. And now in retrospect, I can laugh and say what on God’s green earth was I thinking. Let me explain what 75 Hard is, let me back up. 75 hard is a mental toughness challenge slash health challenge that was created by a fitness influencer or startup entrepreneur. I’m not 100% sure of his name. And it was announced on a podcast at some point as this idea of a 75 day challenge that most people would not be able to stick to and so it was advertised as this difficult but challenging but tough but exciting thing that you could do to increase your mental discipline and get healthy along the way.
So for 75 days, you are supposed to do two 45 minute workouts a day, one of them has to be outside. Okay, we’re starting strong. Also you have to follow some kind of diet or food plan of your choice. Also, you’re supposed to drink one gallon of water, which is a lot for those who do not think in gallons. It was still a lot. You’re supposed to read 10 pages of a nonfiction you know personal development type book. You’re supposed to take a progress photo, and then if you miss a day, or mess things up, you have to start all over. Oh, and no drinking. Okay. Now the problem with 75 hard is that I have an 11 month old puppy. That’s not the only problem with it. I feel like I can also see other problems with it the more that I’m talking this out and laughing at myself, but the major problem is that I have a 11 month old puppy. Actually at this point. I don’t even think he’s considered a puppy anymore. He’s considered an adolescent dog which from everything I’ve heard, and all the things that I’m reading and all the YouTube videos I’m watching in desperation, the adolescent phase is much harder than the puppy phase, which is shocking because during the puppy phase, I had a dog biting at my ankles and peeing on my floors. So to know that this is actually harder is a little sad, but also reassuring.
So I started strong, my partner and I decided to do this challenge together because we had really fallen out of the habit of exercising since I’ve gotten Bruno and I wasn’t eating super well. So my idea of a diet plan was just to try to have less fast food, try to have less processed food. I wasn’t being super militant about what I was eating, but I was just trying to make more homemade foods. And that felt good to me. My outdoor workout was just walks with Bruno, so that felt good to me. And so essentially all I felt like I really had to do was take a picture, do a workout inside for 45 minutes and drink a lot of water. But the problem with 75 Hard is not the actual challenge itself. It’s the consistency of it. It’s the repetition of it and I do think that there are some valuable elements to that right, sticking to something and committing to it over time. Those can be things that teach you a lot about yourself. They teach you about the excuses that you try to make up and the loopholes that you try to find to prevent yourself from having to go through with it.
But I’m also realizing more and more over the last few years that I think that our typical notions of productivity and our typical notions of discipline are pretty ableist and they’re pretty discriminatory and limited to people who might have neurodivergent tendencies, people who might have disabilities, or just humans. All humans! As I say a lot on this podcast and in my life, we are not robots. We’re human beings. We’re cyclical beings, as Julia reminded us, especially people who menstruate we’re going to have different times in our cycle that are more or less energetic, that are more or less excited and ready to connect with others or to stick to something like this over time. So the problem with 75 Hard is not necessarily a day of 75 hard, in fact, there were certain days that I loved it. I loved the structure. And I loved working out and I loved finding the workouts to try. I’ve gotten really into like dumbbell workouts through this process. I loved going on my walks with Bruno. You know the day itself could be really valuable.
But every day, and I think I lasted about a third of this, I think I did 25 days or maybe a bit more, the everyday nature of it became too much. It was exhausting! The cumulative impacts of this on my body, on my energy levels, when I was already dealing with an incredibly challenging experience aka my puppy, my dog was too much it was too much for me to handle. My partner to his credit had already kind of essentialized it down to the parts that he thought were the most important, which to him was the workout and trying to eat less salt (that was his sort of diet approach) and had dropped the water commitment because it was too much water and was just a bit more open with it, but I really tried to stay with it every single day and try and try and try and then I basically broke down one day. I was so exhausted, I was so tired. I was so mentally and physically drained and feeling overwhelmed at the idea of what I was going to make for dinner and how I was going to manage both my own needs and Bruno’s needs for yet another day. And it just felt like way too much. In that moment I think I realized, and had to be told by Mike that this is enough now. Just stop. Just stick to the parts you want to do. Don’t worry about finishing this challenge. Don’t worry about needing to be 100% all the time. Just do what you can, which I think is just a much more comfortable and comforting way to approach something like this.
I get where they’re coming from. You know I do think sometimes there are a lot of things to be learned and value to be gained from pushing ourselves. The reason I had started this challenge in the first place was because I was really inspired by somebody that I saw online who was doing this challenge and getting a lot out of it. So it’s not to say that it’s universally bad or that for some people that daily consistency might not be exactly what you need right now. But for me, I realized that it was too much all at once. I just recently watched the movie Everything Everywhere All At Once which is incredible and everybody should watch it, but it started to feel like everything everywhere all at once and it was too much.
So in that moment I just gave up. Good, good for me, great, love giving up on things that are no longer working. It doesn’t say anything bad about me, despite what the founder of this challenge might have to say. Because it’s very much positioned as a thing that not everyone will complete and not everyone will be good at. Not everyone will be able to and if you do you’re special. And I think I would like to say back to this person who I can’t remember his name right now unfortunately. I would like to say back, maybe? Or maybe there are seasons of life or times of life where you may be more or less capable of doing something like this. And what does that say about you? It says that you have other responsibilities, you have other things going on, and you have to pay attention to those things and give them space as well.
So that’s my story about adding hard to my life during the time that was already hard, because I’ve mentioned the puppy, but I haven’t mentioned that it’s also a hard season for my business. I’m not on Instagram, as we’ve discussed. I’m finding new ways to reach my clients and to create a sustainable business. It’s a hard time because we still kind of have a pandemic going on. It’s a hard time because there is a war going on. Because there are atrocities in the news every single day, because there was a storm this past weekend in Ontario that created a lot of destruction and power outages, some of which are still ongoing. It’s a hard time period. And so as I kind of stepped away from this challenge I realized I can’t do it. Don’t want to do it. Can’t do it. I also realized that maybe it was an opportunity to try something different.
And there’s something different that I decided kind of laughingly at first but now I am extremely committed to this idea was to start something called 75 Easy. Which for the next 75 days and or forever, why don’t I just make my motto 75 Easy? 75 Easy, hashtag 75 Easy. Now, I think it’s important as I introduce this concept of 75 easy and the ways that I’m applying it to my life and the ways that I think it could be useful to business owners is to say that I think we need to start by breaking up with the idea that harder and more challenging things are more worthwhile. We have this thing in our culture that things that are really challenging and that require a lot of discipline are the things that are the most valuable, right? We have the whole no pain, no gain mentality. If something is not really difficult, it’s probably not worthwhile. Important things are worth doing no matter how difficult they are, etc. etc, etc. And I’m not here to tell you that that’s never true. I’m not here to tell you that some of the things that have pushed me the most have not also been some of the things that haven’t given me the most value. That is true. I moved to Korea knowing one person, and that was a very challenging experience, and also was probably one of the most valuable experiences of my life.
So this is sometimes true, but it’s not always true. And I think my experience with this hilarious comedy of errors of trying to do 75 Hard with a puppy and also running my business during a really challenging period in history, it kind of showed me that there are ways that I sometimes make my life harder than it needs to be, because I think that that’s just the way it has to be, or that’s the way it should be in order for it to be worthwhile. In order for me to be working on things that matter, it always needs to be hard.
I was recently introduced to Kendra Adachi’s work. Kendra runs The Lazy Genius Collective, and recently came out with a new cookbook slash workbook called The Lazy Genius Kitchen. And she’s also doing this really amazing YouTube series called The Lazy Genius Kitchen, which is how I first discovered her work and there was one episode in particular that really stood out to me, which was her episode number three, The Dinner Kit with Erin Moon. And in this episode, they’re kind of talking to Erin about her approach to cooking and the challenges that she has in her kitchen. And they kind of uncover this limitation that she’s put on herself, this shame that she’s put on herself that has to do with using prepared foods or foods that have been taken 80% of the way. And I really didn’t mean for this whole episode to be about food. And I know food can be a really touchy subject and there can be a lot of moralizing going on about food. But what I really like about Kendra’s approach is that she starts by asking you to name what matters to you. What is the most important thing to you? And for this particular guest, Erin, what mattered to her was that it was easy and it was fast and there was a vegetable in there for her kids. And so as they go through the episode, she starts confronting her and saying, you know, why isn’t that Trader Joe’s chicken dish good enough? Where’s that shame coming from? Where is that judgment coming from? Because what’s not on your list is the word homemade. You said easy, you said quick, you said one vegetable. You did not say homemade.
And so by starting with what matters to us, by starting with what’s important to us in this particular season, we get to strip away all the things that don’t count towards that, that don’t work in terms of our core values. So I highly recommend Kendra’s work, I highly recommend to the YouTube channel. I have learned something new from every single episode. And not just as it pertains to the kitchen and recipes and cooking. But as it pertains to what’s important to each of us and how we can use that same system and apply it to our businesses and our lives.
Adread: This episode of Slowpreneur is sponsored by The Profoundery, a coaching and community program for thoughtful entrepreneurs run by yours truly. If you’ve been looking for a supportive group of business besties who share your values and really get it, this could be the perfect membership for you because these people are truly amazing. Every month in the program we have a bunch of different calls, for example, Productivity Parties to get our work done together, workshops on things like project planning, balance and boundaries, or goal setting. And we often do Creative Think Tanks that offer custom group coaching for members for whatever they may be struggling with. We also have a really supportive Slack community with weekly check-ins, we have a resource library full of recordings and interesting workshops, and a business book club so that you can learn about business from interesting and diverse authors. If this sounds like your cup of tea, I’d love for you to come check it out. You can learn more and get your first Productivity Party Pass for free by going to stephaniepellett.com/profoundery. I would love to see you there.
So as soon as I stumbled upon this idea of 75 Easy, as soon as I gave up on my challenge, I asked myself what could make my life feel easier right now in the short term. So the first thing that I did was order groceries through Instacart. I love Instacart. This is the best money I think I’ve ever spent. It’s more expensive than going to the store but if you like me do not have a car, then it is hugely, hugely, hugely helpful. So I ordered Instacart, and in my Instacart order I put in a few things that could be considered freezer foods that would make my meal prep a lot easier. So things like dumplings and frozen pizza, things that would be easy to throw together a salad and just make dinner rather than it being this really in depth and difficult process for me, especially when I’m trying to deal with this dog. Obviously this is not sponsored by Instacart I don’t know if anyone would ever get that confused. Instacart does not care about who I am. But I care about who Instacart is because it has helped me so much. That’s something that makes my life hashtag 75 Easy.
Another thing I did as soon as I realized this was I sent Bruno to daycare. I needed a day to myself, and obviously that has financial implications. So that’s not something I’m going to be able to do every single day, nor would I want to, but for the days that I really need a break or for the weeks that I’m just feeling super overwhelmed, what other options do I have available to me? Mike has offered to take Bruno many times and take care of him for a few days. So that’s an option that’s available to me for free. Maybe you have friends who would be willing to look after your kid or your dog or just help you out with something. It doesn’t always have to be a financial thing, although sometimes money can buy us more ease, and I think that’s one of the best uses of our money. So in this case, the $60 that I spent to send Bruno to daycare was hugely helpful for me to get so much done that day and to also have a little bit of breathing room mentally to think ahead, think for the future and also trust and know that he was being really well taken care of.
And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I had to have this framework in my mind, this question in my mind of how can I make things easier for myself, in order to be able to finally decide to send him. That’s not a coincidence. I really, really think that sometimes our stories get in the way! That’s what Kendra was trying to show to Erin when she was having all this judgment against Trader Joe’s prepared foods. That’s what I had in my mind of you know, I should be able to take care of this dog, or in smaller ways, you know, feeling guilty for taking him to a small dog park instead of a big one or giving him a shorter walk rather than a longer one. It’s really really easy to get caught up in our stories about what it really looks like to be a good… insert role here. To be a good parent, to be a good dog parent, to be a good business owner, to be a good friend, to be a good partner. And I think sometimes those stories really get in our way. I think part of the reason why we make things harder for ourselves is because we have all of these different scripts and ideas that we have inherited, whether that’s from our culture as a whole or maybe from our own parents or other examples that we see online. And these examples are what shape our views of what we should be able to do in any given role that we occupy.
And it’s interesting because not everybody has those same ideas, right? One person’s idea of what it means to be a good business owner is going to be very different from another person’s idea, but those ideas feel very true to us. They feel very strong to us. And I think one of my favourite things as a coach is that oftentimes I don’t have those same stories that a client has in their minds and so it’s a lot easier for me to see from the outside, what they might be struggling with. And what kind of false connection, you know, that they’re making in their minds, of these things necessarily have to go together. These things necessarily have to happen in a particular way. And don’t get me wrong, I have my own stories clearly! But when you have another person looking in on the situation, it’s really easy to see where you’re accidentally conflating things that absolutely do not need to be conflated.
And so having an external perspective is one really great way to start to see the areas where you might be making things harder for yourself, to have someone say, why do you have to do it that way? Why is that the way that it needs to be done? Because sometimes the reason that things are being done a certain way is just because they’ve been done that way. You just decided six years ago to do something a certain way and you never really reevaluated that decision.
So let’s talk about some ways that you can make things 75 easier in your business. And I hope that some of these questions and prompts will get you thinking differently about the way that you currently do things and whether or not anything could or needs to change. So the first question that I would ask myself if I were coaching myself would be: what is flowing right now. If everything feels hard, if everything feels challenging, what are the things that are flowing in your business? So that could be what people are asking you for? Right? That could be what is selling really well. That could be what services seem to be popular without you even needing to try to market them. It could be that writing feels really easy right now, it could be that graphic design feels easy. It could be that just getting on a coaching call with someone is what feels easy.
And I think that the reason I want to start there is because it can give us a lot of clues about where we want to spend our energy and our time. Once we know what feels easy, we can take steps to either minimize the rest of the things, or outsource the rest of the things, or delegate the rest of the things, or strip back our processes so that we’re spending a lot more time in the parts of our businesses that feel easy. And one way that this tends to show up I think a lot is when you’re deciding where to put your energy. You may have these big ideas and these big dreams of you know writing a book or creating a new coaching program or building something brand new from scratch, like a hub for all your resources. But then if you’re not making progress on it or it feels really difficult, maybe it’s because that’s not actually what’s flowing. That’s not actually what people are wanting or needing from you right now. And so if things are feeling overwhelming, if you’re in a season where you feel like you need things to be a little easier. What could you do instead?
And sometimes what I find funny is that people will often have certain products that are constantly bestsellers or they’ll have services that people are demanding of them, that are asking them, you know, what is in your email inbox right now? That is a good question to consider. Or what have people asked you for in the past that you never followed up with them or that it’s still an opportunity you could take them up on. All of those opportunities are kind of like low hanging fruit. It’s not perfect. It’s not a perfect system and they’ll still require work on your part to reach out or to implement the thing that they’re asking you for. But that can be a clue of what might flow a little more easily for you and also for your clients. So first things first is to think about what is flowing, what does feel easy, and what people have already asked you for that you could go with.
Sometimes I like to call this tip going downhill. So rather than trying to climb up the side of a mountain that feels very daunting and challenging and difficult and you don’t have the resources or the equipment that you need to make it to the top. How can you instead get on a sled and slide down? How can you go with what is working? How can you choose what is flowing? How do you ride the lazy river to the bottom? And again, as I’ve said before, that starts with us deciding to break up with the idea that it has to be hard, that even hard things can become easier if we choose to go about them in a different way.
So that’s my second question. How do you make the hard things easier? Are there things that you could do that would either eliminate the difficulty of this situation or reduce the difficulty of this situation? Can you throw money at the problem? Can you throw time at the problem? There are so many different ways to go about this. So one of the other things that I’ve done in my 75 easy challenge is to stop wrestling with the photos on my phone. I have been wrestling with the freaking photos on my freaking phone for as long as I can remember because I take a lot of photos. I take a lot of live photos because I do One Second Everyday. And I don’t have a phone with a lot of internal storage to my boyfriend’s great chagrin. I have a 64 gigabyte phone and it fills up very easily with all of the photos that I have. I think I have something like 37 gigabytes of photo storage. So finally I decided that instead of me wrestling and going back through and sorting through them: I had Flic, I had an app called Get Sorted. And all of those were supposed to help me go through my files and decide which ones to keep, but of course I never did it because it felt tedious and I have a lot of other things to do.
So I decided let’s just throw some money at this problem. And just put them in the cloud. So for you that could be you know, Apple Photos, for me I chose to use Google Photos because I was already using the app and I have a lot of photos uploaded into there from back when it was free to upload photos into there. But when I say throw some money at the problem, I think it cost me $27 for the entire year. That’s not a lot of money to throw at a problem that was annoying me every single day. So that’s an example of me deciding I can make this problem easier. In fact, I can totally eliminate this problem by uploading all these photos to the cloud and then never thinking about it again until I have to pay my $30 next year. That’s huge. That saves me back so much time, saves me back so much energy and basically eliminates the problem from even being a problem. Which is kind of what we want to get to.
Other ways that you could do this make the hard things easier could be situational. So I have clients who will routinely work from the bathtub because it feels more comforting and reassuring and helpful to work from behind a closed door or a locked door in the bathtub. I will often take myself back to bed if I’m too tired. So I will work on my laptop from my bed. That’s one of the perks of working from home. That’s another way to make something feel easier, right? Another way to make something feel easier is just to not do it. Which is not always an option. But are there things in your business where that might actually be an option that you just haven’t considered. So if it annoys you to no end to post all of your blog posts on Facebook and LinkedIn, take a look at your analytics, figure out if people are even clicking through and then decide. Maybe I don’t have to do this anymore. Maybe I can take a break. Maybe I’ll do an experiment where I don’t do it for six weeks to give myself a break. And then I’ll return to it. Maybe I will pay my cousin $15 an hour to post these on on Instagram and Facebook and then LinkedIn so that that person can get some experience in the field and I don’t have to do it. So that’s another way that you could make the problem easier.
Another way that you could make the problem easier would be to build in a break. So as you know I’m building breaks into every episode of this show. But I’m also building in a slower podcast schedule for one, and also I’m planning to build in season breaks. So I haven’t 100% decided when the podcast is going to go on summer vacation. It will probably line up with my own summer vacation which is coming up. But that’s a way to make the problem feel easier is to just say, well, this happens in seasons it happens in cycles. I don’t need to do one YouTube video every single week from now until the day that I die, I can do one YouTube video a month or I can do one YouTube video and then not do another one for three months. There are always ways that we can reinvent things and change things up so that they work better for us.
Pause: This is not an ad, it’s a pause. I’ve decide to build an intentional break into every episode of Slowpreneur because I know I’m throwing a lot of ideas and hopefully inspiration your way and I wanted to give you a moment to integrate it, to not have to pay attention, to not have to absorb any more, to just marinate in what we’ve talked about so far. And take a breath before we continue. Now let’s get back to the show.
Another question that you might want to ask is How can I swap something out here? If something is feeling impossible, it’s time to find another way. That is a quote from Elise Blaha Cripe, who I love, and that has always stuck with me: When it starts to feel impossible, it’s time to find another way. So a backstory behind this episode was that I had another episode in mind that I wanted to record this week, that I’ve been wanting to record for a while, which is all about misinformation and manipulation, and how you can avoid using manipulative tactics in your business and avoid succumbing to them from other business owners who are doing some sleazy stuff, but it’s a meaty episode. It’s a big episode. I have a lot of notes. I’m not even sure if I’m fully ready to record it. I might have more learning to do on this topic. And as the days were counting down before I wanted to have another episode up and live on the feed, it was starting to feel so challenging and so difficult for me to sit down and do this episode.
So I 75 Easy’d it and I decided what would feel easier? And I looked back in my notes and saw this topic idea because I had just had this experience and so I thought oh, this could actually make a really interesting podcast episode and I saw it and I felt that inspiration and I started writing down so many ideas and so many little lines that I might want to include and they’re all scribbled in my planner because it just felt like the exact right thing at the exact right time. And so I was able today to sit down and just record this, pretty much all in one go because I felt inspired and I had that spark and that inspiration. So if you’re struggling with something that is just not working, maybe it’s a blog post that you have to write, maybe it’s a new offering that you’ve been trying to get out there or a new product and you’re getting hit at every turn with something that’s just not flowing, that’s something that’s just not working, the supply chain issues that you’re dealing with, or a client who said that they would work with you and now has changed their mind. Something’s just not feeling right.
The question I have is how can I change this up? How can I choose something else that would make this feel easier? That could be working with a different person, it could be creating a whole different kind of product. It could be going with a different idea for that blog post that does feel exciting and aligned. I think sometimes we hold ourselves to things that our past selves decided were good ideas, and they might be good ideas. You know, that misinformation episode does seem like an interesting thing to talk about. And yet if it’s not the right thing for the right moment, it’s not the right thing. I remember hearing that as dating advice way back for if you’re going on dates and we hear all these things about Mr. Right or Mrs. Right or whoever you might be pursuing. But it’s this idea that if they’re not the right person right now, and right here in the right place and the right timing in your life, then they’re probably not the right person. You know, it’s not just like in a vacuum, that’s the right person because we don’t live in vacuums.
And the same is true for our businesses. Something might be a great idea, but it might not be the right idea or the best idea for right now of where we’re at right in this moment. And the last question that comes to mind in this realm is can I repurpose something? Can I use a template or use an existing design or use an existing blog post or piece of content and use that rather than making something new? So that could be going on Canva and using one of their templates. It could be re-recording something that you’ve already written. You know, so rather than coming up with brand new topics for every single video that you’ve done, why don’t you revisit your archives, I’m sure you have some really good blog posts that could be turned into videos, or I’m sure you have, you know, different images or templates that you’ve used for previous newsletters that you could just re-use. I’m very big on templates. I’m very big on redoing the same thing over and over again, and just adding new information each time. My newsletter format hasn’t changed in literally years. It hasn’t changed not even one time, you can go back in the archives and you can see exactly what I’ve been doing for years and that’s what makes it easier for me to do it every single I was gonna say every week, but actually it’s every two weeks. But every single time I create a newsletter, I use the exact same format that makes it so much easier.
If you don’t know what kind of format to follow, maybe you want to go and find a freelancer who will design a template for you. Maybe you want to spend $23 on Creative Market and get a really amazing brochure template that you can use. The point is that you can repurpose, you can reuse. You can find things that you’ve already worked on and break them out into new products, new Instagram posts, new pieces of marketing. You don’t always have to be creating something all the way from scratch every single time, even if you’re exhausted even if you’re so tired.
I think a lot of these questions kind of come down to finding another way. You know, and this is a topic that I’ve become very fascinated with in the last little while. And it’s kind of inspired by Stephen Covey’s work and his idea of The 3rd Alternative, which I actually haven’t read that whole book, but I’m familiar with the concept of essentially it’s not always between plan A and plan B, sometimes it’s about looking at both of those ideas and finding the third way, the third alternative that feels more manageable or more appealing or more exciting. And you can apply this to every area of your life, every area of your business, whether it’s marketing, whether it’s your client management, whether it’s your email, maybe there’s a way to make those things feel easier if currently they’re feeling daunting and overwhelming.
And sometimes what that requires is taking a really giant step back to look at the processes of how you’re working on things and see whether something needs to be different. And if there’s one kind of takeaway that I wanted to leave you with from this episode, it’s the idea that we can’t necessarily make things easy, right? We can’t change the world entirely so that nothing feels hard, because as I said at the beginning, we live in a time when everything feels hard. We can’t make things feel easy, but we can at least not make them harder on ourselves than they need to be, by looking at the scripts we’re inadvertently following or the ways that we’ve been doing something that we’ve just never reevaluated, and we can make sure that we’re not making things harder on ourselves than they need to be by adding things onto our plate that don’t need to be there. Case in point: 75 hard.
So as you end this episode, I would really really love for you to take a moment to reflect on what are the ways that you’re inadvertently making a certain task or project in your life or your business harder than it needs to be on yourself. Have you added a new layer of judgment? Have you added a new layer of shame? Have you added a script or a story that tells you that you can’t do something because it’s not right or it’s not good? Or it’s not what you should be doing? Can you eliminate some of those things so that you can really look at what’s on the table?
And I will say that this really helps to do with someone else. So if you have a friend or a partner or a business bestie or somebody who you’re in a, you know, business development group with, can you run some of these problems by that other person and ask them what they think. Ask themwhat kinds of solutions they might see, and try to find the solutions that feel actionable and easy. I do a twice yearly retreat with two of my really close friends. And one of the things that we always always always ask for from one another’s ideas and brainstorming is that the idea feels like something we could implement today or tomorrow. Meaning that it’s not a solution where we need to change our entire lives or abandon a project we’ve been working on for a really long time. It’s just asking what are those small but meaningful action steps that will actually move the needle, but that don’t feel completely overwhelming and daunting to put into practice.
So I encourage you to think about what you might be struggling with and then pick a person to bring that situation to find someone who has an innovative way of seeing the world and who is willing to poke a few holes in the way that you’re thinking about something because of course we can’t see what we can’t see about a particular problem. If we’re having trouble getting rid of things, if we’re having trouble organizing things, if we’re having trouble motivating ourselves to work on something, it could be because there are factors underlying each of those problems that we’re just not seeing, that we’re just not aware of because they are below the level of conscious awareness. But sometimes having that fresh perspective or an outside perspective can just be the exact thing we need to realize, oh, I’m making this a lot harder on myself than it actually needs to be. And it doesn’t have to be that way. I don’t have to make it harder. I might just be holding myself to some unrealistic standards.
So if you think of ways that you can make your business or your life easier for yourself, if you’re going to decide to take on 75 Easy along with me. I’m so happy to hear it. I would love to hear what kinds of tasks and activities that you make easier just by embracing this idea that we can choose an easier path, we can find a solution that feels more flowing and seamless, rather than one that feels difficult and hard and uphill. Let me know, you can always reach me at email@example.com and I’m really excited for us to make things easier for ourselves so that we can focus on the really meaningful and important work that we’re all meant to do in this world. We don’t need to expend all of that extra energy on things that don’t matter. We need to spend our energy on the things that do matter. So thank you for listening and I will talk to you very soon.
Thanks so much for listening to Slowpreneur. If you liked this episode, please share it with a friend or reach out and let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org, I would love to hear from you. As always, you can find show notes for this and all episodes at stephaniepellett.com/slowpreneur. Thanks for listening, and I’ll talk to you soon.