#17 - Stop the overwhelm - get Productive!

Do you find running a business overwhelming? Do you struggle to find the time to work ON your business as opposed to just in it?

Stop the overwhelm

Shelagh Cummins is a business coach and consultant specializing in helping women build and grow their businesses. Shelagh and I see a lot of business owners struggling with overwhelm. There is so much for business owners to do and so many wheels that need to be in alignment that it can be tricky to know where to focus without tipping the cart.

Do a brain dump

Take a piece of paper and do a brain dump of everything that is swimming around in your brain. Business owners carry so much in their brain from day-to-day that it’s important to put it down on paper. Don’t worry about organizing it – just get it out to get some clarity! Think about the one thing that will have the most amount of impact for you, your family and your business. What do you need the most of right now? This creates a priority list of what you need the most of: is it revenue, a better team, a marketing plan? What is it that you need that will have a domino affect on everything else?

Once this is out put it on a wall in front of you and start crossing off the things that are irrelevant or not that important. Then find the pieces that help you fill the immediate need. What are the milestones that you need to get done to get you the results you want the most? Do you need to hire help? Do you need to send an email to your mailing list?

Shelagh’s Productive! Planner helps you determine what you want the most and then determines the hurdles you need to get through to get there. Once you have the milestones, you then have to lay out the actions you need to take to get that end result. Once you have this figured out, just sit with it and be quiet with it, before you take any action at all.

Figure out your "one thing"

There is going to be many “gears” or things that you want to get done. But think about what needs to come first – what one gear or wheel needs to turn to make the others work? For example, if your one thing is to earn more revenue, then you need more clients and in order to get more clients you may need to ramp up your marketing strategies. It’s a matter of looking at all the conflicting pieces and figuring out which one is going to fuel the other ones. Focus on that ONE first.

Build out your plan

What is the end result of your project or goal? Why is that important to you? If you set a goal then you need to anchor it in something important. For example, if you want to earn more revenue don’t think of it in terms of a number, think of it in terms of what you will be able to do with that number. It allows you to derive from a place of purpose. For example, if you make $5000 you will be able to hire someone to help you grow your business or take a dream vacation.

Reach milestones

How do you get to that goal? What milestones do you have to reach to get there? If your goal is to reach a certain number, such as $5000 – think about how many services or products you have to sell to reach that number. Is it a matter of raising the quantity or products or services, increasing the price or decreasing the production costs? What do you have to do to sell that much of that product or service? Is it being more visible on social media or networking more? What has to happen for you to get the end result?

We don’t allow ourselves the time to plan forward. We instead focus on tasks that keep us busy, but don’t necessarily work on tasks that will move our businesses forward. It doesn’t have to be this way. By being quiet and strategic about the actions you take each and every day, you allow yourself the momentum needed to get to your end goal. Planning is key.

Make power moves

Power moves are strategic and intentional actions. For example, scrolling Facebook mindlessly is not a power move – calling a client you haven’t heard from in awhile – that’s a power move. It’s an action that can pack a lot of punch.

Plan your day with intention

Start your day in a place of quiet. Visualize your day before it starts – walk through it in your head so you are ready and prepared for your day. Then recognize that one, nonnegotiable thing that needs to be done that day in order to be successful.

Ask yourself how you’re going to be powerful today or empathetic today – figure out who you need to be that day to get whatever your one thing is, done.

Prioritize your actions every day. It allows you to focus on what is important. Give yourself permission to be human and celebrate what you did accomplish and understand that what you didn’t accomplish will still be there tomorrow.

Resources & Links

Shelagh Cummins' website

Get your own copy of Shelagh's Productive! (Use Discount Code: CLEARANCE to get the planner for $20+HST!)

Join my Free Facebook Biz Studio Community

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#16 The danger behind loaded words

When you hear the word success how does it make you feel? What is your definition of success? Did you know that how you define certain words can hamper or help you achieve something—especially in business? We call these words “loaded” and Megan O’Neill joins me today to discuss what they mean for you and your business.

Megan is a Core Belief Engineering Practitioner who works with entrepreneurs. She works with her clients on a deep level to help them overcome their negative mindsets, including around a person’s beliefs behind loaded words.

Loaded words carry more meaning then their dictionary definition. People need to understand that there are words that are really loaded and that how they define these words can impact their business and how they work toward their goals. 

What are loaded words?

Loaded words have a visceral response to them; sometimes this response can be negative. If there is a word that automatically gets your back up then there is a belief within you that needs to be examined and your beliefs around it need to be changed.

The question becomes, how are you operating around the beliefs of this word? Meaning is your definition of a certain word or words preventing you from doing or achieving something? Many people have mindset blocks around a number of words that can impact how they perform in their business - loaded words such as rich, ambition, success, hustle, and busyness.


How do you feel about the word ambition?

For Megan ambition is something to strive for; it’s an attribute. It is something you want to have in order to be successful. For Lara, ambition can be a risky path and does not always mean success - it's loaded for her with fears of too much work and sacrificing the joys of life.


What do you feel when you think about success in your business?

Many people don’t define success for themselves, but instead they end up using society's definition of success, or what they've witnessed and believed to be successful around them in their lives. 

It is only when you start seeing what you truly want versus how someone else sees success that you can start breaking through your beliefs around a loaded word. For example, just because someone else has the desire and ability to vacation in St-Bart’s twice a year, doesn’t mean it defines success for you if that isn’t something you really desire to do. If the idea of being successful in your business feels overwhelming at all, it may be time to write down a new definition of personal success. 


Do you want to be rich?

While one person may think being rich would be perfect, another person may hate the idea of ever being rich because of what they believe having money will mean to them. Some people think that being rich makes you cold and disconnected and therefore don't want to ever be rich. That definition has a lot more meaning than just having lots of money.

Our definitions of loaded words form when we are children. Maybe it is from movies we have seen as children where the villain was rich, or perhaps it is from our parents’ belief that people with money are evil.

You need to learn that your definition of a word can put a lot of needless pressure on yourself. You also need to understand that these beliefs can be blocking you from achieving success. You could be viewing the definition of a word through a lens that is not giving you the true picture of your situation. If your definition of a word does not match your true beliefs around something then you need to take another look at the definition.


There are two camps on what the word hustle can mean: If you’re hustling you’re working hard to be the best at your job, you love what you’re doing versus it sounds pushy, hard work, always in someone’s face, and never taking time for yourself.

Some people load it with positives, and some load it with negatives. Which camp are you in, or do you feel neutral about the word?


Busy has become a synonymous with success. There is a belief that being busy is positive for a lot of people because they are always taking action ad are always doing something. The other side could be that they’re not taking time for themself, their family or for the things they really want to do. Instead they are doing the things they have to do and not what they want to do. Being busy does not have to be a bad thing.

What are your loaded words? What kind of unconscious beliefs are you running around these loaded words? You can change a definition around words at any time, you just need to get a new education regarding a word to change it and move forward.

Resources & Links

Megan’s Facebook Group

Megan O'Neill's website

Megan O'Neill on Facebook

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#10 - Entrepreneurs and Confidence

Do you feel nervous or uncomfortable about putting yourself out there on social media or at a networking event? How does it make you feel when someone refers to you as an expert or guru? If either of these scenarios makes you want to pull back or hide then it may be time to look at your mindset to see why you are struggling with these.

When we talk about mindset in this context, we are talking about something that you may not be conscious of that is impacting how you behave in your business.  What are your beliefs around visibility, i.e. what makes you afraid to put yourself out there? How are your beliefs impacting your inability to be confident?

Lack of confidence can affect an entrepreneur’s ability to put themselves out there and be visible. Many entrepreneurs hesitate to put themselves out there in video, public speaking or at a networking event because they lack the confidence.

Podcast #10 - Entrepreneurship and confidence

My friend Megan O’Neill is a Core Belief Engineering Practitioner, who has many clients who are entrepreneurs and small business owners—some of whom struggle with confidence. Megan helps them determine why they struggle and what beliefs may be holding them back.

Lack of Confidence and Fearing Judgment

Megan recently spoke with a colleague who hesitates to do any public speaking because she feels she isn’t good enough and needs more training. In Megan’s eye, her colleague was already quite a good public speaker. Her colleague lacks the confidence to do public speaking and that is actually what is holding her back.

Similarly, Megan held back from doing videos for her business because she lacked confidence. She did not want people from her past, i.e. high school classmates to see and potentially judge these videos. Once she overcame this fear, she was able to create regular videos that allow people the opportunity to get to know her thereby helping grow her business.

People hold back because they fear judgment.

Imposter Syndrome

If you are afraid of looking like a fake or a phoney, you believe you are presenting yourself in a certain way that is not true. A lot of people who are extremely talented are, are actually some of the most likely to suffer from imposter syndrome.

You need to ask yourself how many years of experience or education do you need before you allow yourself to be qualified for what it is you do. Once you ask yourself this question you may start to realize there is no magic number, or magic certification... not really. (Though sometimes you really will want to get a piece of paper, that's ok too)

The same falls true for people who come from highly educated parents, they may feel they are not qualified enough because they are not at the same level of education, even though this is simply not true.

People will find ways to justify their fears. They don’t want to use the word expert or guru—but why? What are the beliefs behind not wanting to use these words?

There are old beliefs that you shouldn’t “toot your own horn.” Women in particular hesitate to do this because they fear they will not be liked and will look conceited, which is wrong because you are telling yourself to not be confident.

Imposter syndrome is really common - start to pinpoint where you're feeling stuck so you can start to move past the blocks in your thinking.

Measuring Up to Other People

Have you ever thought, “Who am I to believe I can do this?” This is one way we measure ourselves. We also tend to compare ourselves to other entrepreneurs who may be offering similar services or products. If you suffer from comparing yourself to other people it’s counterproductive. It does not motivate you and in fact, often causes people to pull back.

It is important to remember that the picture you hold of what someone else is doing, i.e. comparing your pricing, is done without knowing the other entrepreneur’s full picture. Maybe their prices do not reflect their reality. Maybe they are not making enough to support their lifestyle. Maybe they want to raise their prices, but are afraid to!

If you look at someone else, it is easy to fall into the trap of comparing.

Take Facebook for example, if you look at someone’s Facebook page you will think they are living the picture perfect life, and this can make you feel bad about your own life, even though it may not be that person’s true reality. People get caught up in artificial perceptions.

How Beliefs Affect Us

It comes down to how people value themselves—their self-worth. We are culturally taught to not value ourselves. Once you start to value yourself and look at what you bring to the table it can be a game-changer.

When you are a business owner or a solopreneur, you are IT! Go big or go home! Value your talents, your time and how you look and present yourself. You need to put yourself out there, so why not have the confidence to do so?

Become aware of your beliefs. Awareness is the first step to changing your negative beliefs. Notice and become aware of where your blocks are—write them down. If you are not taking action on something ask yourself why that is? What is holding you back? What part of you doesn’t want to do it?

Once you figure out these blocks ask yourself how you can change your mindset around these blocks. Can you talk it out with a friend or someone who is supportive of you and your entrepreneurial journey?

How can you change your change your mindset and be confident? And if that isn't working, book a call with Megan because she can help you dig down into the unconscious beliefs that can be hard to target on our own.

Resources & Links

Megan O'Neill's website

Megan's Facebook Community: Core Beliefs for Business

Join the Free Facebook Community

Subscribe on iTunes

Subscribe on Stitcher

Podcast Contest

As this new podcast gets off the ground, I’d really love your help to make sure that it gets in front of the right people. The first weeks of a podcast’s life are the most important in terms of the opportunities for iTunes to showcase you to other listeners. Because of that, I’m starting out this new podcast with a bang. There are 3 episodes available for you right now, and there will be at least two more episodes every week for the remainder of the eight weeks.

I thought I’d find some extra ways to thank you for all the sharing and supporting you do of the new podcast so every week until July 15th I’m going to be giving away one of my favourite business books to one person who either:

  • subscribe to the podcast or leave a review on iTunes; or
  • share the podcast on social media; or
  • come in to the Biz Studio and post your favourite tip from a specific episode (along with a link to that episode)

In all cases, you need to make sure that I either know who you are (email me a screen capture of the review or showing you are subscribed) or that the posts on social media are public and tag me (@larawellman) or the Biz Studio (on Facebook you can tag my page).

Each week I’ll be announcing the book winner on Wednesdays on my Facebook page

Some of the books I’ll be giving away are (I’ll be adding more titles soon):

  • Confidence Code by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman
  • It Starts with Why by Simon Synek
  • How to Live a Good Life by Jonathan Fields
  • E-myth Revisited by Michael Gerber

So get out there and start sharing your reviews and sharing the podcast and good luck. AND THANK YOU!