The Ease of Hustle Podcast
17. The Folding Effect
Overwhelm likes to keep you from getting things accomplished in your business. Overwhelm often disguises itself as fear.
It sounds like, “It’s all too much. I can’t do this. There’s too much to do and not enough time. Am I doing enough?” Sound familiar?
On the show today I go over an approach that I call, The Folding Effect. Are you thinking that there is too much to do in your business and not enough time? So often you want to be overwhelmed and ask yourself, “Am I doing enough?” Join me on the show today where I dive into The Folding Effect to help you drop the overwhelm and decide you are doing enough in your business.
What You’ll Learn From This Episode:
- What indulgent emotions are
- How overwhelm can be disguised as fear
- What overwhelm sounds like in your business
- What The Folding Effect is
- How to use The Folding Effect in your business
- How you can decide you are doing “enough”
Copy the Scorecard Sheet
Listen to the Full Episode:
17. The Folding Effect
Featured On The Show:
Full Episode Transcript:
Hey, hello, happy Monday. I hope you have an amazing week. I am trying this new thing right now, where I batch record all of my podcast episodes based on where I’m at in my cycle. I haven’t really read the whole book by Kate Northrup on this. I also am curious to learn even more about the different hormone fluctuations. I used to know it a lot more when I was a nerdy science person, studying nutrition. I have my Master’s in science, in Nutrition Science, but I’m super rusty on all that stuff since I’ve been coaching.
So I’m excited to meld those worlds together, and in my group program teach one option of managing your time as a business owner is to do it in batching cycles around your cycle, or around the lunar cycle if you prefer. And that’s what I’m trying right now, is to record all of these episodes at once, around my ovulation week. TMI, for those out there that don’t want to hear about my cycle. But, I am super excited about harnessing my energy and using my feminine energy and the way that the cycles go for my business and helping serve my clients even more, rather than trying to do more of a weekly flow. There’s some weekly flow that I’ll still have, but I’m looking forward to, for the creative pieces, really harnessing other energy rather than just trying to record one episode a week. So stay tuned, I’ll let you know how that goes. I’m always experimenting new approaches on myself first, and then I love teaching them to you so that you can learn and use if you prefer as well.
Before we head into today’s episode, I want to give another review shout out. If you’re interested on getting a review shout-out, go to vivere.co/review. I also have that linked in the show notes. You can fill out info about you so that I can shout your review out with your Instagram handle and details about you so we can all connect with you on Instagram. So do that, you never know when I’m going to do another giveaway, and I appreciate every review you give because it helps other people find this podcast. They need this podcast if they’re anything like you, yeah? Make sure to help them out by leaving a review. We have instructions for how to do that on my website as well. Let us know if you need help. I know it can be a bit of a pain to the mind to go do that on Apple’s Podcasts.
So this review is a five-star review from MasHealy, thank you so much. The title is Groundbreaking New Approach. “Lauren has taken entrepreneurship and created a very easy to understand but clear new approach to growing your business. Definitely recommend this podcast.” Thank you.
Now that you know about Program Constraint and my ideas about that from Episode 14, if you don’t go listen to that episode. Program Constraint isn’t technically required. It’s not a matter of how many programs you’re doing, how many books you’re reading, how many podcasts you’re listening to, it’s more about what in the moment is meant for you, and not in the stories that your mind has either way. It matters more about if you have a clean goal, that also I recommend checking in with your inner knowing about what goal is meant for you or not. And most likely if you’re checking in, you’ll be able to create a cleaner goal if you’re checking in. But, you may still find, even though you’re doing that, you’re starting to learn how to listen to your inner voice or whatever you want to call it, your wisdom, what’s for you in every moment, you pick the programs, you know what the goal is, it’s clean, you may still find that the mind wants to be overwhelmed.
Do not be concerned if your mind wants to be overwhelmed. It’s totally normal. Overwhelm is what we teach at The Life Coach School as an indulgent emotion. It is an indulgent emotion. There are a few common indulgent emotions that I see in my practice with my clients. Overwhelm is one of them. Self-doubt is another that I see all of the time, self-pity, and there’s one more that I’m blanking on. But, let’s talk about overwhelm today.
Often our minds want to get overwhelmed because it’s easier and more practiced to be overwhelmed than to actually feel what is underneath that indulgent emotion. So, indulgent emotions cover up what’s really going on here. What would you be feeling if you weren’t feeling overwhelmed is a good question to ask yourself. Often, it is fear. Often, it is fear of feeling potential future emotions, of feeling embarrassment, shame, putting yourself out there, rejection, things around this nature. You often just want to get overwhelmed and then not do anything, so that you can protect yourself from potential future feelings you’re afraid of. Does this sound familiar?
So you may have gotten clear about what your next steps are or what some of the next steps are for what needs to happen to create your goal for this year, but when you look at the list, maybe some of that was given to you by your mind, some of it was given to you by your inner knowing. Your mind just thinks, “It’s all too much. It’s all too much at once. I can’t do this all right now, it’s impossible to do this all right now. I’m never going to be able to achieve my goal, I don’t have enough time. Who am I to be doing … ” It starts to offer all of this doubt and confusion. That’s the other indulgent emotion I wanted to say, confusion. And, the truth is, there’s never a bunch of things that you have to do all at once because we only ever do one thing in each moment.
So we have to get clear with ourselves that the overwhelm, the thinking it’s all too much, is just creating overwhelm, and what is it all. What does that even mean? What is the actual list of things we’re thinking we have to do all at once? We don’t actually have to do it all at once. And it doesn’t matter what level of business you’re at, most likely you will find yourself here not once, not twice, but millions of times in your entrepreneurial journey. Where your mind wants to go to, “There’s too much to do and not enough time, it’s all too much. It’s impossible for me to do all these things, so of course I can’t create my goal. I don’t have a huge team like some people,” whatever it is. “I don’t have as much capital. I can’t hire additional help.” Whatever it is that you’re thinking, “There’s too much to do and not enough time.”
Or you feel like you’ve been given all these different strategies for creating your goal this year, but you create this overwhelm when you’re thinking you have to do it all at once. You have to blog and get your SEO dialed in. You need to do videos. You need to do TikTok. You need to offer a free training. You need to do a popup webinar with a Facebook group. You need to do Instagram strategies for engagement. You need to have a content calendar for your Instagram. You need to design things. You need to have additional opt-ins. You need to have five different funnels. Facebook ads, podcast guesting. You just keep going, and going, and going with all these ideas that you think you need to be doing all at once for your business.
One of the things that I always say to entrepreneurs is, “Of course you have five million ideas for your business at any time, that’s not a problem. That just means you’re an entrepreneur.” Pretty much every entrepreneur I know has five million ideas for their business in every area from marketing, to sales, to program delivery, whatever delivery they’re doing, to product delivery, to running their operations, everything. You have all the ideas. That’s why you’re the visionary. That’s why you started a company, of course, you do. But you don’t have to do absolutely everything in one moment, and you’re not going to be able to do everything in one moment.
I used to get super overwhelmed. I would be super busy doing five million things at one time, and let’s face it, I still do many things at once now. But I used to do even more. And when I restarted my private practice almost two years ago, a year and a half ago, two years ago, I decided I was going to do things differently. I’m so glad I used this approach because it helped me keep myself sane when my mind wanted to be so, so overwhelmed. I used this approach that I’m going to call, The Folding Effect that was incredibly useful for me, and I’m still using it now as I am reconfiguring my business for scale. I want to offer it to you, in case it’s helpful. It comes in when you’re thinking, “There’s too much to do and not enough time,” and also it comes in with the conversation of, “Is what I’m doing enough. Am I doing enough?” It really helps with that whole mind game that the mind likes to play as well.
I want you to think about making waffles, or some sort of thing that you have batter that you need to fold in multiple ingredients into in order to create the batter. So The Folding Effect we’re talking about is how we fold the batter, and how we are folding in more flour with every turn after we’re able to completely incorporate the flour into our mixture for our batter. Are you following me?
In the same way that we fold in the flour, we don’t want to just pour all of the flour, pour all of the eggs, pour everything into the bowl all at once for this type of recipe. We need to fold it all in very carefully and cautiously and add more flour only when the batter is ready for it. This is the same way that I recommend you doing especially your marketing strategy, whenever you’re pivoting your business and you’re working on adding new things in. You want to fold the batter. You want to add one thing at a time, fold it in until it’s part of the very makeup of your business. It’s a part of your weekly routine. It’s just what you do. It’s just a part of the batter before you add in any more flour. Before you add in the next strategy, before you add in the next thing that you’re doing, you want to make sure that the batter is more solidified.
Now of course, if your inner voice tells you to do multiple things at once and it doesn’t follow this “rule,” by all means do what your inner knowing is telling you to do. None of this is a rule for you. But this is what I’ve found is really useful for my mind when I’m given multiple strategies that I’m to incorporate, but my brain just flips out when it’s like, “Oh my gosh, we have to do all these things at once!” This is how I handle my mind around that, is I create what I’m going to do next.
So this is how you can do this. I have four steps. I consider what is just the next thing. Number two is I ask my inner voice, I ask my inner knowing, “What is the next thing?” And, I ask if that is the thing that I’m meant to be doing next. Or, what are the top four things that I want to be doing for marketing? And then, I let the mind freak out about it not being “enough.” When I started my business, I first started just engaging with people on Facebook. I just started texting people, reconnecting with people, letting them know what I was doing. Engaging in a lot of in-person events, connecting with people. I didn’t even start my Instagram account until a month or two in. Then, I started doing Instagram posts, did that for a few months, while I was still doing the first things I was doing. I folded that in.
And then, from there, it wasn’t until December of last year that I started my email list again. So I folded that in after the Instagram was a part of what I was doing and felt like second nature to what I was doing. And then, even with the email list, I started with an opt-in, and an opt-in delivery email, and then my Weekly Notes. I had a Weekly Note going out, and then I had this “Here’s the thing that you opted in for,” that’s all I did with the email list. I didn’t even have the perfectionistic requirement that I needed to have the welcome sequence, the nurture sequence in place to get started.
I always do the next thing at the minimum viable product level that you hear folks talk about in the entrepreneurial space for agile companies. They just do the minimum viable product, get it out there, get the customer feedback, and then they revise it. This helps you with that as well. Getting things out there, overcoming your perfectionism, not procrastinating because of perfectionism, just getting it out there, getting feedback, incorporating feedback, and continuing on. Being resilient, getting back up, improving as you go, so this will help you do that, too.
The fourth thing is that you trust that the next layer will appear and that you can layer it in. You just trust that eventually the batter will get incorporated, the last thing will fold in and become a part of your makeup. And then you’ll be able to know, from the inner knowing, what the next thing is and when it’s time for that. The batter will tell you when it’s time to incorporate the next layer of flour, and then you can fold that in.
Then I eventually did create a nurture sequence for my email list. When you opt-in, you get the opt-in email with the PDF, and then eventually you get the emails of the nurture sequence. And then, you fold that in. And then it wasn’t until this fall that you know, that I created my podcast. I knew I wanted to create a podcast for years. But I didn’t fold that in until everything else was just second nature, part of my business, what I was doing. And now, I’m folding in the podcast. Soon the podcast will be a part of the batter. And then I can go to do, I’ve been sensing I want to do Pinterest, then I’ll be able to fold in Pinterest for marketing. This is how I just slowly keep adding things, as I feel like my inner voice tells me to do them. But slowly, so that I can incorporate everything into my practice as I go.
It doesn’t mean that I’m always going to be adding new marketing things in. There will be a time when that’s it, these are the things we’re doing. It doesn’t mean that your marketing strategy needs to be multiple things. You literally could just have one marketing funnel. You could just use Facebook ads and that’s it, and that is your strategy, that’s all you’re doing. I’m not saying that everyone needs to have multiple things.
But you can also use this, not just with marketing, but with projects in your company. You can start with one, be really constrained, and focused on that. When you’re adding things into, maybe, your programs, when you’re adding features into your product. How can you do one at a time, fold the next one in? Add the next thing in, and really get it solid and have the customer experience be amazing while you do that. And also, not spinning out yourself. Because there’s no rush, there’s no hurry, only the next thing. There’s this moment, and then there’s that moment.
If you’re interested to learn how I did this for myself, staying focused early on in my business, you can also use this in the new year as you’re creating a new goal, helping yourself decide what’s enough, first of all. What’s “enough to the mind.” You just decide by asking your inner voice, considering what the next best thing is, and then adding that in. Maybe choosing what are the top four or five things that you’re doing. Maybe even less than that, maybe the three things that you’re going to focus on in Q1, before you layer anything else in. And you’re just going to decide, “Of course it’s enough,” because of course, you’re creating your goal. And you’re going to get feedback along the way, and you’re going to adjust and evaluate after a previously determined timeframe. Decide, are you evaluating every month? Are you evaluating every quarter? Whatever that is, decide what you’re going to focus on doing, believing it’s the best thing because that’s what you picked. Of course, you’re going to create the goal, and then you’ll evaluate at the end of whatever your evaluation period is, and then from there, you can adjust.
The way that I did this was in a monthly format in the beginning of my business. I created this awesome spreadsheet, that I loved so much, in Google Sheets. I used it for the first year and a half in my business. I don’t use it anymore. I use this process, but I don’t even need the spreadsheet to contain the process for me anymore, it’s just the way I do things now. But if you want to start using this process of deciding what’s enough, focusing on that, being able to evaluate and change as needed, and also helping your mind not think there’s too much to do and not enough time at the same time, this spreadsheet will help you combat all of that mind drama. Because it helps you pick, you just pick the things you’re going to focus on, what you’re going to decide is enough. You’re going to pick what you measure. You will pick the timeframe.
This sheet, you will get an example in a month timeframe, and then you just evaluate every month, and only then can you change what things you’re doing and focusing on. And see, are you even doing the things that you said you were going to be doing? If you’re not, then you can’t change it until you actually have done the things to be able to measure the variables. You can’t measure if it’s working or not if you’re not even doing the strategy, right? So this spreadsheet will help you do that. I included this in my previous groups and it’s one of the resources in option of resources that I’ll have in future groups as well because it helped me really keep my mind in check around this, “Are we doing enough and there’s too much to do, not enough time.” It helped me keep myself in check.
If you want this sheet, I will create a link for you to be able to opt in to get this sheet. You’ll be able to copy the Google Sheet to your Google Drive. And then, I’ll also give you a little video overview of how to use the sheet, how the cells work. How to use the formulas because I found a lot of people actually don’t know how to use Excel formulas, or Google Sheet formulas, so I’ll give you a little tutorial for how to use the sheet for you, and not against yourself. If you’re interested in that, you will go to today’s show notes, and go to vivere.co/17, and we’ll provide you with that sheet and that little video overview so that you can use that as you work on using The Folding Effect.
Not everything all at once. Just one thing at a time, checking in with your inner knowing. There’s plenty of time, there’s no rush, there’s no hurry, of course, you’re doing enough. And if you’re not, be honest with yourself. What have you been doing? And then, pick some things you’ll focus on, and then believe you’re doing enough, of course, you are.
Thanks for listening, I’ll talk to you next week. Same time, same place. Okay, bye.
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