Episode 397: My Journey of Building a Business with Perfectionism: 2017 vs Now

Can you believe we’re almost at 400 episodes!? I thought this would be a fantastic opportunity to reflect on the remarkable journey I’ve embarked on since the podcast’s inception back in 2017.

So much has unfolded and evolved since then, not only in my business but also in my personal life. Now, I’m a proud parent of three kids under two!

Since 2017, I’ve tackled my perfectionism head-on, allowing me to make great strides in productivity and achieve remarkable growth in my business. 

In this episode, I delve into the contrast between what my life looked like in 2017 and where I am now, particularly in terms of productivity and the impact of perfectionism. Get ready to discover what’s possible when you release the handbrake of perfectionism and embrace a new level of productivity!

Addressing underlying perfectionism is key to unlocking your true potential and achieving business growth.

Take a moment to reflect on where you currently stand in your perfectionism and business journey as you listen to this episode.

Find the full episode transcript and show notes at samlaurabrown.com/episode397.

In This Episode You’ll Learn:

  • The contrast of what my life looked like in 2017 compared to how it is now, particularly in terms of productivity and perfectionism.
  • Discover how addressing underlying perfectionism is crucial for unlocking productivity and achieving business growth.
  • The key indicators of high productivity that have emerged for me.
  • Challenging societal norms that prioritise constant busyness and hard work as indicators of achievement and success.
  • My personal experience of achieving success while working three days a week and delegating tasks that don’t align with my strengths or I don’t enjoy doing.
  • The decisions I’ve made in my business with how it relates to my family and children.
  • Learn what’s possible when you release the handbrake of perfectionism.

Featured In The Episode:

Announcement: PGSD will open for enrollment on 12 June 2023 (for one week only)

If you feel behind on your $100k goal, it’s just because nobody’s taught you the different productivity rules that apply to perfectionists.

To make $100k you need to work smarter, not harder. And to do that you need to get your perfectionist mindset on your side. 

If your week is filled with lost time even though you’re always busy working, it’s time to take control of your productivity. The process is simple – set your Growth Goal, plan properly with Power Planning and then strategically tweak your way to $100k.

My group coaching program Perfectionists Getting Shit Done (aka PGSD) is designed to get perfectionist entrepreneurs to $100k. The doors to PGSD will open on 12 June 2023 for one week only. To find out more about the program and be the first to know when the doors open, join the waitlist today: samlaurabrown.com/pgsd.

Listen To The Episode

Listen to the episode on the player above, click here to download the episode and take it with you or listen anywhere you normally listen to podcasts – just find Episode 397 of The Perfectionism Project Podcast!

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Hi and welcome to another episode of The Perfectionism Project. A podcast full of perfectionism advice for entrepreneurs. My name is Sam Laura Brown, I help entrepreneurs release their perfectionism handbrake, so they can get out of their own way and build a fulfilling and profitable business. I’m the founder of the Perfectionist Getting Shit Done group coaching program, which is otherwise known as PGSD. And for even more perfectionism advice to help you with your business. You can follow me on Instagram @perfectionismproject.

Sam Laura Brown

So we are nearly at 400 podcast episodes, and I thought it would be a fantastic time for me to share a little update on what my life currently looks like, compared with when I started the podcast in 2017. My business has grown a lot since then. And also I have become so much more productive because I have done the work on my perfectionism to get out of my own way.

So in this episode, I thought, just a great way to do this would be to share I guess a bit of a before and after, so to speak, to really contrast what my life looked like in 2017, even 2018-2019. And all of that, by the way, is documented on the podcast. So if you want to go back and have a listen to me experiencing that, and going through that, then you can, but I wanted to share what my life is looking like at the moment when it comes to productivity, so that you can really get a sense for what is possible when you do the work to release your perfectionism handbrake.

This is the work that we help you do inside PGSD, which is my group coaching program perfectionist getting shit done, the doors are opening again for one week only on the 12th of June. But regardless of when you are listening to this, you can always go to Samlaurabrown.com/pgsd To find out more about the program and how it helps you to get out of your own way and be more productive in your business. So yeah, I want to chat through what things are looking like now.

And really, I guess this is signs of being highly productive. And one thing I want to mention is that I have really had a habit forever, of downplaying my success and accomplishments, there are all sorts of reasons for that, including being a perfectionist. But really just, I guess, at the, at the helm of it being scared of being judged for looking like I’m bragging, or I think too highly of myself, or all of that kind of thing that I’m sure you are familiar with, that I have really just not actually allow myself to sit in the experience that I have created for myself and be so proud of that I have in different ways done that. But it’s always been with this tone of Yeah, but it could be better. Yeah, but I’m still working on things.

And honestly, I can really see this ripple through in the DMs that we get. And the comments that we get and also in our PGSDers that because I have had this habit of downplaying, and I’m not saying that it’s my fault or anything like that. But that’s in a lot of ways I set the tone for PGSD and all of that. And when I am downplaying my success, and what I have accomplished, that it really creates this culture, which for perfectionist, we’re already very familiar with it, but it further perpetuates this downplaying.

And, yes, I’ve done a good job of things, and I’m very happy with it. But I could be better, I could be learning more or doing more, or I have these things that I’m working on now. And I think it’s so important for all of us to just allow ourselves to be without accomplishments without downplaying them. So that is something I’m going to be focusing on, not just in this episode. But going forward, because I can really see how myself as a coach, how it doesn’t serve you, for me to downplay my success.

And I can still and will still talk about what I’m struggling with, what I’m working on the challenges that I’m facing, but it will be through a different lens, instead of it been through this, I’m struggling with things. So I’m maybe incapable kind of lens it has been. It is I’m capable, I’m successful. And here’s what I’m working on now.

And I think that tone is going to have a big impact just on you as a listener or if you’re a PGSDer having you in PGSD that, I really hope and do believe it will help you to celebrate yourself more, and to not just rush past or your accomplishment and it really can it just becomes the like, you know, you’re the fish in the sea and you can’t see the water because it just is your reality that even when I was putting this episode together and looking at like what are the signs of my life being or me being highly productive.

My brain just wants to be like, Oh, but there’s so much more that you have to work on and like just even though I’ve changed my mindset so much and I’m I really don’t beat myself up as much anymore. Like it is very, I mean, it still happens. But it happens so rarely compared to what it used to. But I can just see my brains constantly in this like, Yeah, but mentality, yeah, but it could be better. It could be like, you can’t say you’re there yet, because of XY and Z, instead of looking at all the reasons and supporting evidence for me being able to say, Yes, I’m a highly productive person.

And I think particularly when I contrast it with where I was, when I started the podcast in 2017, and what my life looked like, then it’s so obvious, that is so dramatically different. But because the changes were gradual, so to speak, that there wasn’t this like, one light bulb moment, and I woke up one day, and I went from being unproductive to being productive, that there was a skill set I learned, and with the help of my growth goal, and my power planning, and all the things we teach inside PGSD, that I was able to make that shift, and I was able to do it relatively speaking, in a quick, short amount of time, they will do it relatively quickly.

But my day to day experience, it’s kind of like how over time you’re aging, but every day you look in the mirror, you don’t look dramatically different to the day before, kind of the same thing with your productivity that you will experience leaps and bounds. But your actual experience of that in the day to day will be more gradual. And it’s kind of only when you do things like this, and you look back on where you were a year ago, or a few years ago, and you contrast that you can see, oh, I have made so much progress. I just didn’t notice it at the time, because my perfectionist brain is focusing on the things that aren’t working, and the struggles I’m having and the challenges I’m having.

So there’s that going on as well. But also just being a human, if we normalize, what we have achieved and our successes and our accomplishments. And it just can be hard sometimes to notice them. And I just really want to in PGSD and here on the podcast as well create an environment where you can take notice of that and celebrate yourself and do that without downplaying, I guess it’s the equivalent of like, if someone compliments your dress, and you say, Yeah, I got it on sale. Like that’s kind of what I’ve been doing.

And I think it’s very common. But that doesn’t mean that it’s helpful to do that to be able to say, Yeah, I’ve accomplished a lot, but I could be doing better, or whatever qualifier that there is for that. So in this episode, I’m just going to be chatting with you about where things are at currently, and if you want to versus where they were before. And if you want to go back and listen to different elements of this, it’s all available for you on this podcast. I love documenting as I go. And that’s my favorite way to create is to share my experience in the experience.

And to be able to just share the realizations and epiphanies and all that that I’m having along the way. And yeah, that’s what this podcast essentially what this episode is, is me documenting at this point in time, my perception of what it means to be highly productive, how I have gone from being so in my own way due to perfectionism, to being out of my own way. And there’s been so many times I haven’t fully allowed myself to say that because like well, I’m still working on my perfectionism. And yeah, I am. But I have become highly productive. And so that’s what I want to talk about in this episode.

And just in case, you’re new, I just want to very quickly recap what perfectionism is and how it does impact productivity. You if you are aware of your perfectionism, we’ll be experiencing how it impacts productivity, and how it is making you overthink and procrastinate, particularly when it comes to procrasti-working. So you’re doing that busy work, you’re burning out, you’re all or nothing, you’re scared of judgment, like all of those things are the signs of perfectionism. And they are all things that make us on productive.

And I love the quote that Brene Brown has about perfectionism and what it is, and it’s just this belief, a mindset that if we can just look perfect and do everything perfectly, then we can avoid shame, judgment and blame. So ultimately, and this is now the way that I think about it based on the work of people like Brene Brown and Carol Dweck, and so many others, is that perfectionism is just a strategy to avoid shame.

Ironically, because we shame ourselves so often, but ultimately, we have deduced through experiences that we’ve had it that it’s very important to be perfect, but more importantly, to avoid imperfection, and doing things imperfectly. And if we can just do everything right and do nothing wrong, then we are lovable, then we will belong, then we will be liked, we really have this way that we prioritize being liked over being loved, being liked by the masses, and kind of shrinking ourselves and hiding ourselves and feeding ourselves into a mold, so that we’re so vanilla, that we don’t offend anyone, and no one can ever say bad thing about us.

But it really has a way of impacting us. When it comes to having a business. I didn’t even realize I was a perfectionist, until I started my business. And I had all the signs of perfectionism, but because it is so highly rewarded in a schooling context, I did very well in school, I also have a law degree and a finance degree and a diploma in French as well. We love adding way too many things to our plates as perfectionist. So I did really well in all of that.

And the perfectionist mindset, say, for example, that all or nothing mindset, or even just this mindset, particularly comes up a lot in study, which is we don’t like wasting effort, we want to feel smart. And so what that manifests as is that we might leave something to the last minute, maybe we even do that intentionally, like we know, okay, I’m gonna just do that, then I’m before it’s due. And that, when it comes to the reasons for that, it’s so that we can protect our potential. And regardless of whether we do well or not, we can still feel smart.

So if we do well, and often we do, we, if we do well, we can say, or imagine how I would have done if I actually try my hardest if I didn’t procrastinate, if I didn’t put it off into the last minute and do it all within eight hours. Imagine how I would have done because I did super well. So I must be really smart, I would have done even better, I have so much potential, or if we didn’t do well. And this is something to really be paying attention to in business, maybe you have a launch that you’re prepping for. And you can notice this going on ahead of time.

And your power planning will really help you notice this as well is that you might be half assing things you’re so very busy working and but you might be spending a lot of time on things that aren’t actually that important, like your brand colors, or the exact wording on your sales page or things like that, that you are then able at the end of it to say, well, you know, I didn’t get the result I wanted but I didn’t really even try my hardest. Because really busy with this other thing.

I was really focusing on my personal life or as long as say those things weren’t going on, but we just give ourselves is out and let ourselves off the hook. Because when we leave it until the last minute, we get to blame the last minute for any lack of results. Instead of having to blame ourselves and point to our potential lack of potential, or our lack of intelligence or skill or capability or adequacy, we can say, Oh no, I would have done better if I tried harder.

So regardless of how we go, we can say I would have done better if I tried harder. And unfortunately, the school system rewards that when you get the A and they don’t really look at the way that you got the A. And so you’re rewarded for approaching things in a very unproductive way. And when I say an unproductive way, it’s looking at what’s more important, is it like you might do your best work at the last minute when it comes to getting a certain grade.

But ultimately, if the goal of school is learning, did you learn your best at the last minute, or you just got the best grade at the last minute. And so that was a distinction that really became more obvious to me over the years and especially in business. Because it’s not like you get the A and you just like cool. It’s okay if you didn’t learn anything from that. And it’s really you have to learn things. You have to really be mindful that you’re doing things in a way that is going to create long term success and not just short term wins for yourself.

And that grade might be a short term win, but long term. If you look at the span of your career, are you learning something and when I did very well result wise, grade wise when I did things that last minute, I had to learn in such a way rote learning just being able to regurgitate things I had to learn in such a way in such a superficial way. That meant even though I could say the right thing on the exam and sound like I knew everything. I didn’t actually know anything. I couldn’t actually retain anything.

And so it meant a long time, I was highly unproductive because I was spending so much time doing things that weren’t adding value, ultimately, to my skill sets. And so I was just very busy getting the A’s, but not busy learning, and not busy actually testing, whether I had the knowledge and really approaching it in that growth minded way that is going to help us get out of that perfectionist mindset be less perfectionistic, so to speak, that in the growth minded way, if we’re approaching things, that we are actually learning properly, and really understanding that learning means taking action with the knowledge we have having our ideas, meet reality, and then evaluating that and iterating upon that.

And not just been in this mentality of Oh, yeah, did I get the work to my client on time? Or did I get the product out, and this isn’t about then, okay, now I need to really perfect things that only put perfect things out into the world, it’s about learning or doing I guess, in a sense, the bare minimum, to hit publish, to ship something to share it with someone else. And then being willing to get feedback and iterate on it, and to learn and grow through doing rather than just through accumulating more intellectual knowledge.

Or trying to get everything perfect behind the scenes, before shipping something out into the world, that’s going to be completely flawless. So when it comes to business, and perfectionism and productivity, if you approach your business, the way that you approach doing well, in school, you’re going to have a very hard time succeeding, you’re going to have a very hard time. First of all, there’s no professor telling you like, here’s when this is due, maybe you do have clients, you need to get things done by a certain time.

But again, if you’re approaching it, with this mindset of like the magic of success being that you delivered the work and you got no criticism from your client, isn’t actually helping you long term over the course of your career as an entrepreneur, is that actually helping you to develop in the way that you will need to develop to ultimately reach your potential. Or are you Yes, just, you know, not getting any criticism now and hitting send on the project when you need to? Or if you have an E commerce business, like you know, the product is being shipped out at the right time, and you’re not getting bad reviews.

Like is that ultimately, what you want to be solving for? Or are you wanting to zoom out, have a bigger picture perspective and look at your career, over a 50 year span or more, and really look at the skills that you want to have to be really feeling satisfied and fulfilled and challenged. And how are you helping yourself to be in line with that, to achieve that. And so it’s so important, it’s absolutely fundamental for you to recognize as a perfectionist, the way that that perfectionist mindset, there’s nothing wrong with being a perfectionist, it’s just a way of thinking.

It’s coming from your present day thoughts, they might be thoughts that you have had for a lot of years now. But it’s coming from your present day thoughts. It’s making you overthink, it’s making you procrastinate and procrasti-work, it’s making you burnt out, it’s putting you in the all or nothing mindset. It’s making you scatter judgment, when you recognize that that is going on and impacting your productivity in your business.

And the amount of money you’re able to make the impact you’re able to have with your work and creations. The amount of freedom that you have the sense of control that you have over your time, when you can really recognize that you may have other things that are impacting your productivity, but perfectionism is one of them. And if you can really hone in on this perfectionism piece, and plan in a way that actually works for your perfectionist mindset, and therefore be productive as a perfectionist and learn how to get out of your own way.

There’s so many benefits to that. And there’s so many signs of that. And that’s what I want to talk to you about in this episode. I’m just going to go through I’ve done a little list up of all the ways that been highly productive. And from doing this perfectionism work, how it has manifested in my life in real times and the list like there’s so much more that could be on this list. But I really just wanted to think about some of the key things that I haven’t even before maybe recognize as being a result of doing this work and becoming more productive and having the success that I have had in the business as a result of being more productive.

Which was as a result of me getting out of my own way because if you aren’t in familiar before I started when it came to my business, so as I said, I started the podcast in 2017. But I actually started in 2013. It was a blog, it was called smart 20s. And I was I have, like, it was my first experience of being so in my own way that I couldn’t move myself forward. And obviously, since we’re here today, I was able to get out of my own way.

But initially, I was so scared of judgment, like I couldn’t even tell anyone, including my now husband, Steve, I couldn’t even bare to tell him about my blog, because I just thought, even though he’s so loving and supportive, as was all my family and friends, I just thought if I tell anyone about this, basically was my dirty little secret. If I tell anyone about this, it’s just so embarrassing that I even think I could share an opinion about personal development related things like I just found out about the personal development world.

And I was so intrigued by and it just felt like I’d finally had words put to the interest that I had always had, like, I didn’t even know it was a field, so to speak. They’ve always just been fascinated by why people do what they do and their mindset and like celebrity interviews, because in those people, I’m really sharing the mindset of success. And what had contributed to that. So I was always obsessed with that, and like Oprah and all of that kind of thing.

And once I found personal development was an actual field, like this whole industry, this whole area, I was so in love with it, that me starting to talk about it, and share opinions on it that just felt so crazy to me. And so embarrassing that I thought that I could do that. So even initially, I wasn’t even sharing, I didn’t even have opinions that I was sharing, I was just like, hey, here’s a link to a blog post on someone else’s blog that I like, or here’s this YouTube video that I like.

And it was so hard to be consistent with my posting, I would post like once and then not for months. And then when I posted I would edit it after the fact even though no one was reading it and maybe like seven page views. And it just I was so debilitated by my perfectionist mindset in a way that had never happened when I was in a school context, or in relationships that was impacting all of those areas. But it wasn’t until I started a business that truly felt like the most me thing that I had ever done. And I started that business.

And I started to actually do something that I wanted to do. So I was still a student at this time. I hadn’t yet finished my degrees. And I had just stumbled upon a podcast because I had a long drive to work every day. And I found the TED Talk podcast. And that led me to business podcasts. And I just this is why I’m so passionate about podcasts, I just surrounded myself with people talking about the world of online business, I had no intention to start a business yet alone an online business.

But I was just so intrigued by people talking about I wanted to keep listening, and eventually got up the confidence to start and then I just didn’t post anything for the first three months after buying the domain. Because I’ve like actually taking that action just felt like it just was so confronting like now I’ve taken that action, I actually have to do something. And then I managed after about three months to start posting some things. But again, it was so inconsistent, I was just really polishing and perfecting it constantly.

I just also thought like at this time, I didn’t even know that I was a perfectionist still. So I as I mentioned, it was called smart 20s It wasn’t about perfectionism at all. And I really just thought I had a motivation problem. And I was really navigating and exploring how to be more motivated, how to stay motivated, essentially, because I didn’t have an issue getting motivated, because I was listening to inspiring things and all of that, but I couldn’t actually be motivated for long enough to be consistent at things. And so that continued on for a few years and I’ve documented that as well on the podcast like I wasn’t podcasting yet, but I’ve talked about that period on the podcast quite a bit.

And also in the first episode of this podcast, I recorded that in 2017. And kind of recapped the story up until that point. So if you want to go in here 2017 me talk about that 2013 to 2017 period, highly recommend going back and listening to that one. So how to quite a few like enough of is enough moments in being sick of myself. And then really when it came to 2017, and 2018, so at that point, I left my full time accounting job. So graduated, went into insolvency accounting. In 2015, I graduated.

So I was in insolvency accounting for a couple of years. And I left that job to go back to working as a part time hospital receptionist, which is a job I had had as a university student, because at that point, I was like, Okay, now I can actually build the business and have that be my main thing. And I was really this mindset of like, I just need more time, I was just full time in my business, I would be able to be more successful, like I really it was, I just was looking at all these other bloggers and creators and just thinking like, well, I have this job that has taken up so much of my time and energy.

And if I can just figure out how to leave this job. And I still need to support like, if the business can’t support me yet, I’ve only made a few $1,000. And I don’t have really a system for making more than that, other than hoping and wishing and praying. So I need to have something to support me as I got that part time job. Not the exact same one, but doing the same kind of job at the hospital. And so I had transition. And there’s a whole story to be shared with all of that.

But long story short, me not having enough time, so to speak wasn’t the problem. And that I just went into this extended period of doing a lot of procrasti-working and busy work for me, particularly that look like creating a lot of Pinterest graphics, and writing perfect blog posts and that realm of things, creating a funnel for the online course that I had at the time, and just been very busy, not getting a lot done, but always working. And it really hit me like a ton of bricks after doing that for a few months that it wasn’t actually the full time job that was stopping me from being productive.

It was the mental drama that came with the perfectionism that was making me get in my own way. And I just had all this lost time, like I was just misusing time. And it only became obvious to me once I really had a lot more of it. Because my part time job, I would go at about 3pm I’d leave home. And I’d work from four till eight. So I had pretty much a full working day since I’m not really that productive in the afternoon, like the late afternoon. I had pretty much a full working day.

And still, I wasn’t making the progress that I wanted to be making. I told myself like if I I’ll just be at this part time job for a year. And then once that happened, I can have my first 10k month, and then I’ll be making 100k. And then Bob’s your uncle, I’ll be successful, and I can leave. And when it got to that year mark that I’d been at the part time job and I was still there. And I wasn’t really making any more money like I hadn’t had my first 10k month yet, or anything like that. That it was really that again was a wake up call of like, okay, I am really needing to do some work on getting out of my own way.

And not just being busy all the time, because I was always working and I wasn’t having really time off at all. But I need to actually start doing things differently. And it’s not going to take me more time. I just need to change the way that I’m spending my time and more particularly the way that I’m thinking about myself when my perfectionist, we think about ourselves in a certain way as I mentioned at the top about downplaying and all of that, like we really downplay ourselves to ourselves. We don’t trust ourselves.

We don’t really identify and appreciate how resourceful and resilient we are and that we can handle any emotion and we can weather any storm we tend to think we have to bubble wrap ourselves, only set realistic goals, for example, so that we don’t dare meet the feeling of disappointment because that’s going to be too much for us to handle. So we really end up coddling ourselves, and it holds us back so much to do that because we don’t really get to experience the full force of our potential and our capabilities and all the incredible things that we’re able to do.

It’s like we are driving a car and we’ve put like a speed limiter on that we can only go so fast like that handbrake, it’s, it feels safer to be going slow and to, I guess, in a sense, be driving so slow that if you were to crash the car that nothing bad would happen, because we don’t trust ourselves that if we were driving fast, and we did hit this big roadblock, or we had an accident or something bad happened, that we could handle it.

And so because there’s that lack of self trust there that is coming from that perfection is thinking, and the relationship that causes us to create with ourselves, we don’t put ourselves in risky situations, so to speak. And when it comes to entrepreneurship and building a business, you need to have some kind of tolerance for risk. And that doesn’t mean doing things recklessly. But it means being willing to do things that might not work.

Or that might not work the first time or the third time or the eighth time, they might work the 20th time. But you need to have that resilience to be able to attempt things that aren’t going to work immediately and perfectly right away. And so that can feel when you’re in the perfectionist mindset, too risky, too vulnerable. And so you’re not taking the calculated risks that you need to take in order to build your business to 100k and beyond that.

So you just end up playing it safe, and kind of going slow, you’re always busy, but you’re not really doing the things that are required to move the needle. So you’re not doing like the brave, simple things you need to do in order to make those leaps forward. And then you’re not letting yourself do the boring, repetitive things that are needed to actually support that and maintain that. It’s like we, when things are too easy, and calm. It feels so uncomfortable.

And I think there’s many reasons for this. But a big one is that many of us were praised for working hard for being smart, yes, but also for working very hard. And I know myself when I was especially once I’d started telling people about the blog, and the business. And people saw the quote unquote, work ethic that I had, as in I was always working, I was willing to say no to social things in order to be working. Even though I wasn’t doing the most important things at that time, I was just busy working a lot of time, but people will say, Gosh, you’re really working hard. And they would praise me for working hard.

And when I started making money and being more successful, and being in a position where I could leave my part time job and support myself, and then a position where I could really employ others and employ a team and have other people working for me and do a house renovation other things like that, that people were still praising working hard. And it’s just been so interesting, especially recently where people still will say, Oh, you must be working so hard.

And when I say no, I’m not working so hard. I’m actually I work three days a week, I have a lot of time off and work three days, and I have other like weeks off at a time. And I mainly at this point, do the work that I want to do, I’ve delegated out the stuff that I’m not good at or I don’t enjoy doing my experience of work is pretty much one of ease and flow there are times I get into a stressed pressuring feeling, but I’m able to notice that pretty quickly and I get out of it. They don’t believe me, and they want to tell me like how it’s through that I’m working so hard.

And what they mean by that is that I’m deserving of it and that I’m not ripping anyone off or whatever. And they mean it as a compliment. And it’s just so funny in our society how we do compliment others by saying you, you must be working so hard, like you deserve that success. And it creates in us this disease with ease and we don’t like things being comfortable, we don’t like things feeling flowy and really when it comes to balancing out the masculine and the feminine and, and being able to have and this is how I personally like love the blend of this and it works so well with power planning.

It really helps me create this that I love having structure and routine and rhythm. But I’m also someone who loves like following my intuition and manifestation and all of that kind of thing. And so having something that can bring those two together is really empowering and it’s why I don’t burn out anymore. And even like in this list that I have of signs of being highly productive. I haven’t even written anything about burnout, even though that was like theirs a couple of things like burnout and beating myself up, that I forget to even talk about.

They used to be the biggest problems in my life, my burnout. And the way that I spoke to myself, and because of how dramatically different it is now, I forget that that used to even be a problem. And I forget to even talk about it on the podcast, because it’s such a non issue. And it’s just so crazy to recognize that, that alone, like just not burning out. And I guess a sign of being highly productive is forgetting that you even used to burnout. And that used to be one of the most challenging things when it came to, for example, launches, or having like promotion periods in the business or working on a big project that there was always this fear of burnout in this reality that burnout was going to happen and just weighing up, okay, when do I want to burn out, because it didn’t even feel like it was an option, not to burnout.

So it’s just nice for me to recognize that. And I think if you can relate to that, and if not now, then in the future, when you can to just be like, Oh, this used to be a big issue for me. And now it’s a non-issue. And there’s just, it’s how our brain works that we forget, forget things like that. But yeah, having something in terms of the masculine and feminine, like making sure that we have something that really has that structure and holds us supports us in what we want to do. But we’re also able to be flowy and free and change the plans if we want to.

And so when it comes to really just recognizing the before and after, and really understanding how perfectionism has such a big impact on your productivity levels. And there’s so many things that you can do to become more productive. But if you aren’t addressing the perfectionism piece, regardless of what else is going on for you when it comes to productivity, if you don’t address the perfectionism piece, there’s only so much progress you can make.

And to really recognize that the productivity strategies that are out there, don’t address the way the perfectionist mind thinks. And a great example of this is with habit tracking, that really puts a perfectionist in the all or nothing mindset so that we’re doing that habit perfectly until we skip a day. And we actually also skip the second day, for whatever reason, and then we’re off the wagon completely. And even, for example, reading Atomic Habits by James Clear, and he talks about having a rule that you never skip two days in a row.

But sometimes life happens and you will need to skip two days in a row. There might be some kind of emergency, you might be unwell, whatever is going on, there might be a habit that you want to create where you need to not do it for two days in a row. And you need to have the self image that you can skip something for a week, and you can still keep at it that you don’t have to then instead of I, you know, I just I never skipped two days in a row like recognizing, I might never skip two days in a row say of working out or eating healthy or whatever.

But if I do, it’s not a problem. Because I’m someone who works out I’m someone who eats healthy, I’m someone who, whatever it is like having that self image we talk about self image a lot inside PGSD, it’s so important. The relationship you have with yourself the way you talk about yourself to yourself. And that’s just an example with the habit tracking. And it’s not just James Clear, a lot of people talk about habit tracking, and having little rules like that, that personal rules are great, but you need to make sure they really support you from every angle.

And that you aren’t now just creating some other kind of criteria that might be a better criteria than you had before. For deciding whether or not you will continue with something. But really having a personal rule or a criteria for yourself that fully supports you in your identity in the way you view yourself, the way you talk to yourself. And also your ability to handle defeat setbacks, obstacles, rejection, failure, you need to have a robust enough view of yourself to do that, that it’s okay to skip a couple of days and you can skip a month and then you can pick it back up.

And a lot of perfectionism myself back in the day. I couldn’t say that if I was very all or nothing about things. And that is one of the main signs of perfectionism. Is that all or nothing thinking of, you know, people say like, well if I you know if I can’t do something well I’d rather not do it at all. And there’s nuance to it, there’s something to be said about doing things well, but we kind of when we’re in this perfectionist mindset, we translate that into, if I can’t do it perfectly flawlessly in a very small amount of time, and have it be met with endless praise and approval, then it’s not worth doing at all.

Or if I didn’t have time to do it all at once, and just one big go, then it’s not like I don’t want to have to chip away at something and work at something, I just want to be able to get it done and get out there that we really make ourselves unproductive, we hold ourselves back, we stop ourselves from doing the important things that we need to do. And so most productivity advice, it just doesn’t take the perfection of my facts, and our all or nothing thinking into account.

So if someone isn’t in the perfectionist mindset, they can habit track and they can miss a few days or a few weeks. And it’s not a problem. They just pick it back up and they keep going. But if you’re a perfectionist, and you’re in that all or nothing mindset, you don’t want to ruin your track record your perfect track record. So what you’re going to do is you’re just going to give up on it completely. And then you’re going to wait a few weeks, a few months until you feel inspired again. And then you got to start over from scratch.

There’s a lot of starting over from scratch that happens with perfectionist. So we love January 1st, it’s the ultimate start over from scratch. So it’s just really recognizing how perfectionism is impacting your productivity. And I’m just going to read through now, the list I have of the ways that I am highly productive that weren’t true when I had that perfectionism handbrake on and was in my own way. And this is all as a result of doing the work that we do in PGSD, having your growth goal, your power planning, strategically tweaking your way to 100k.

And beyond that, it’s really about getting your perfectionist mindset on your side and not coming at the perfectionism piece like this is now this big problem you have to solve and get to the root of it. And all of that kind of all or nothing thinking that we tend to apply to perfectionism itself, I need to get to the root of what experience that I have that made me a perfectionist, and that can be helpful to look at those things. But also, it’s not necessary. It’s just looking at the thinking that you’re having today, the thoughts that you’re having, they’re creating feelings, having you show up in a certain way in unproductive ways.

And that’s creating certain results in your life, it’s having an impact on your revenue on your personal finances as well. Seeing those things as separate is very important. Just because you have a certain amount of revenue doesn’t mean your personal finances are in a certain situation, then your relationships, your spirituality, it’s impacting every area of your life. And it’s so important not to be then in this all or nothing mindset about perfectionism. And really thinking that it’s now this big thing you have to get to the root of or you have to be having all these big breakthroughs and epiphanies around doing the work we do in PGSD is what gets you out of your own way.

And if you want results like this, join PGSD when we open, it really is about approaching your business and your productivity in a way that supports your perfectionist mindset and stops you from being in a mindset of perfectionism is this big, toxic problem that I have. And I need to make it all go away at once to just recognize we’re getting ourselves into a growth mindset. We have a strategy to build our business that we are refining iterating tweaking, learning through doing and continuing up leveling that.

So it’s not a problem if it’s not perfect right away. And also recognizing within that part of having a business means having problems and challenges that you’re solving. And people say like if you don’t have problems, you don’t have a business and really recognizing that we’re not trying to get to this place where there’s nothing going wrong or no obstacles or setbacks. And I think that we often think if we can just be motivated enough and do everything right the first time, then we it’s okay that we’re not able to handle disappointment or defeat, because we’re not going to experience that because we did everything right and just getting out of that mindset and recognize it like you will be even if you’re doing everything perfectly, you will be met with defeat and setbacks and obstacles and rejection and failure in all different shapes and forms.

And so you need to have the growth mindset so that you have the resilience Do you need to release your perfectionism handbrake, so that you have the resilience so that you can get back up and keep on going. And it not mean something about you as a person, and your worth as a person. So let’s go through this list.

So first of all, I just wrote down, like, the feelings that I have throughout the week, how they differ so much from 2017, 2013. So ultimately feeling calm, and flowy and intuitive, grounded, like emotionally regulated, energized, resourceful, and ultimately in control, rather than feeling. Like I was pressured, and rushed and behind and stressed. And then I had to do everything right, and be very for me that kind of manifesting. And this is how I noticed if that thinking comes up again, it’s me feeling like I have to cover everything, or be really strategic about things.

That’s kind of my way of saying, I need to do everything right or like that, me kind of not placing value on how incredible things can be when they feel easy, and me wanting to get back into like, making things feel hard, so that I can create success and deserve the success. So a good example of this is with the podcast that when I have tried to cover everything with the podcast, so to speak, like I tried to be strategic about it. And it’s not to say that there’s no strategy involved in the podcast.

But it is to say that when I have tried to have it, tick certain boxes or look a certain way or look like other people’s that is when I have really taken the magic out of the episode. And it’s literally when I just tune into the way that works best for me, which is just writing brief notes, hitting record and chatting, and just letting whatever flows through flow through like it feels if I get my perfectionist brain about it, it feels reckless to do that, because I should be optimizing things and like all of that, and I should be super strategic with it.

And it’s just like trusting myself now. To do it my way, in a way that does feel easy for me and that just because it feels easy, it doesn’t mean it’s not valuable to you on the other end and it doesn’t mean that I’m not deserving of any success that I am creating like I can have ease and be deserving I can have ease and be successful. I can have ease and be loved by others.

And that even though we’ve all we all get praised for you’re working so hard that I can actually create a different experience for myself and still praise myself and I didn’t even have this in there but as I mentioned like beating myself up which is really yourself talk myself talk is fundamentally different instead of saying I should have done X Y & Z. It’s really forward focus on next time in that situation. I will do this thing differently without the beat up.

So I’m able to, it’s like, we think if I don’t beat myself up, I’m not going to do it differently next time. And it’s so interesting to look at it the things we beat ourselves up about the most. Typically the areas of our life or our business where there’s the least amount of change, that we aren’t actually doing anything with the notes and advice that comes out of beating ourselves up, we aren’t actually taking that on and doing something constructive with it.

And when I’ve been able to change myself talk, so I’m able to really have a good hard look at how things are going and to recognize where I can still learn and grow and develop, but talk about, okay, what will I do differently in the future in a similar situation, versus what should I have done differently in the past, it sounds very similar, but it’s a completely different flavor. And so that is a sign of being highly productive is the relationship you have with yourself, because you can’t have a poor relationship with yourself and be highly productive, you can get a lot done, you can work long hours, for sure, and have a horrific relationship with yourself.

But to really be highly productive, and have it feel flowy and challenging, fulfilling because it is challenging, you’re rising to an occasion. But to have all of that go on, it’s really, it takes having a certain relationship with yourself to be able to make that a reality. So I have as well on here, my output levels, I do less so to speak now. And I mean, I do literally work less hours than when I was making little money. But I’m way more productive.

So for example, I have zero time in my calendar. This year for Instagram content creation, we have content going out on Instagram, but I’m not spending any time on content creation for Instagram, I am spending time on building my team, creating marketing assets. So for example, like this podcast episode, thinking about the future of the business. So I’m like not getting the dopamine from like writing a caption and hitting publish and seeing how many people like it or whatever.

But I’m actually being way more productive, because I’m doing the things that matter over the long term. Also, what I have on here is having children. And if you didn’t know, I have three children. They’re all under the age of two currently. So I have my daughter, Lydia, and then twin boys, Jack and James, who I adore all of them, obviously. So with having children. The reason I say that’s a sign of being highly productive is really about my experience with having children.

But wanting like a big part of me feeling ready to have kids was wanting my business to be in a certain place, essentially like to leave my part time job for ages. I was like, Well, I want to still have a job so that when I do have kids, because I know I want to have kids and hopefully I’m able to have kids, when I have kids, I want to be able to have a maternity leave, I want to be able to have money come in during that time. And currently, that’s not possible with my business.

So I need to stay at this job. But once I really recognize that, me being able to have the business in a place where it could support me and I could actually in that time period make much more than I was making on a 14 week paid maternity leave. It really allowed me to like embark on the journey of becoming a mother. Because I really didn’t want to have kids until my business was in a certain place. Because I felt like I just needed to get to a place where I had enough momentum.

And I was making enough money, that it wouldn’t be stressful to add. Having a child and all the lessons and learnings that come with becoming a parent and the like the fatigue and everything else like that that’s going on like that I need to be in a place where I can actually have children and not have my business going backwards. And so the fact that I was able to get my business to that place, and then I was able to have children to have three children within the space of two years.

And the pregnancies are a big big as well. It’s just like having the children with being pregnant, and the impact that has on you physically and mentally. And the morning sickness and the fatigue and just all the appointments and everything that goes into the mental load and then preparing for the children. And then then being there and then figuring that all out like having all of that go on and the business has only grown even more since I’ve had children.

That to me is a sign of being highly productive. Also that I could have bad first trimester symptoms like the morning sickness I didn’t have. I didn’t vomit when I had Lydia In terms of morning sickness, but I definitely did when I had the twins and I was pregnant with them. So I did that could happen. And I’m still okay, I’m still, the business is still growing. And I’m able to actually take time off without being stressed about it, that’s such a big thing.

And me being able to have time off to prep for having the babies and giving birth and being in the fourth trimester and all of that, and knowing that I can be sleep deprived, and that it won’t impact my productivity, because I’m able to actually take time off. And when I’m working, I’m able to be highly productive, and I’m able to organize my schedule in a way that really supports that. And being at every like knowing that I can be at every family event that I want to be at, I’m not having to miss certain things, because of deadlines that I’ve set for myself, or I’ve agreed to that don’t actually work for me like having a relationship with myself, where I support myself fully with my business and also my personal life taking into consideration.

And is also a big thing is that I a sign of being productive, I’m demonstrating an attitude towards work that I would be happy for my kids to role model, and I am confident would help them create a positive association with working and with having a business or whatever it is they choose to do that I am happy for them to see me work because of the manner in which I do it. And that I am being a positive role model for them, when it comes to my relationship with work and my relationship with myself. And that, to me is incredibly, incredibly important.

Also, a sign of being productive, is that I’m able to be fully present with my family and just be a mom, when I’m not working. And as I mentioned, that’s most of my time because I work three days a week. And it’s not to say and this is not downplaying, but just to say, like, I think about business stuff, when I’m not working and all of that, but, and there are sometimes challenging weeks where there’s more going on, but for the most part, I’m able to just be in mom mode.

And if I want to think about business is because I’m choosing to not because I’m stressed. And also I can a sign of being highly productive is I can drop everything business wise without stress, if there’s an emergency. And last week, for example, Steve and I needed to stay overnight with the twins at hospital because Jack was having trouble breathing and he’s all good and it’s all okay. But I that was happening like that happened in the afternoon, one of my work days, and I was due to be working the next day. And I was just able to completely handle that and have it not be stressful, and there’s still things going on the business. And it wasn’t a big deal.

Because of being highly productive. And actually before I move on to talking about time off, and holidays, and all of that kind of thing, when it relates to having kids, and all of the decisions and choices that go into that something that has been really important to me, has been having a business and being productive in a way in my business that has allowed me to make choices about breastfeeding that the choices that I wanted to make. And obviously breastfeeding can be a touchy subject, and not everyone who wants to do it is able to do it. And not everyone wants to do it.

So there’s all of that. But with that said that the decisions I personally wanted to make regarding breastfeeding, and thankfully, I’ve been able to do them physically, that I have been able to breastfeed my children and to be able to still work around that and have me be supported in that physically and mentally in terms of my work life. And being able to as well plan and organize my time so that I am able to breastfeed on demand and still be able to be incredibly productive with my work while having those interruptions to my work day and also been sleep deprived, from feeding at night and all of that kind of thing.

So that has been a really important part of being highly productive in my business, like a benefit of that, that I am very grateful for and that when like if I had kids when I was kind of in the 2017 2018 phase of my business, that I really don’t feel like it would have been I mean, it’s definitely been challenging. So there’s a lot of challenges with breastfeeding, but oh feeding any child but it has been I have been able to support myself in those decisions and feel supported in those decisions by the business rather than feeling like that that is something that is going to take away time and success and having a negative relationship with it.

So moving on to holidays and time off and essentially like being able to take time away and to do that Add without having to be kind of working and without feeling guilty about not being productive. So I think a lot of times we’re either having time off, and we’re not working, but we’re feeling so guilty and like we should be being more productive than we are. Or we are having time off. But it’s not really time off, because we’re still working here and there. And it’s we’re not actually fully disconnecting.

So obviously, in PGSD, and on this podcast, I talk a lot about clean rest, which is resting without guilt, and how important that is for productivity. And yes, it’s nice to have time off for all these other reasons. But to sell myself on, taking time off, I really had to frame it in a lens that helped me see how I could be more productive. If I took time away, my brain actually had time to rest and to come up with creative ideas.

And I was able to then work in a more focused and powerful manner when I was in my work hours. And also, the benefit of just having time off means that you have to actually complete things. And you have deadlines for yourself, because you aren’t just always working. And so you can always leave that thing until tomorrow or leave it until a bit later in the day. And I just really found that when I was always kind of working, there was never really any urgency to get anything completed.

Because there was always more time even though it didn’t feel like I was working all the time, because I felt like there wasn’t enough time. And yet, also, I was constantly pushing things off, because it could always wait a few extra hours, rather than now, for example, when I’m working three days a week. So at the moment when I’m recording this, it’s Friday, I’m not working again for a few days. So the things that need to be done today, they really need to be done today. So I need to be focused and organized with my time and get them complete.

Because I can’t leave them until next week, because there’s other things I’m doing then. And I can’t just put all of it tomorrow, I’ll squeeze it in here, I’ll squeeze it in there. It’s just, no I’m having tomorrow off. Even if I don’t have any other plans tomorrow, which I don’t really, I’m deciding that I’m not working, and that I’m going to be spending time with my family, even if we’re just sitting around doing nothing. And so it’s not an option for me to work tomorrow. So I’m getting it done today.

And that especially if you ask someone like I mentioned at the beginning, with deadlines, and if you find that you tend to work better with a deadline, that clean rest is really important for having a deadline to help you create that experience. And then you get to learn how to meet your deadlines, without feeling pressured or stressed or rushed. Because I think one of the reason we love the deadlines is because it creates that feeling of stress and pressure and that we’re so used to and comfortable with creating from that energy that that gets us to do it and also has us dropping our standards, instead of having to be perfect.

Well, there’s not enough time to do it perfectly. So it’s okay, if I just get it done. Like there’s that whole thing going on there. There’s a lot that goes into this doing your best work at the last minute psychology. But with that aside, it is so powerful to have clean rest for so many reasons. But in terms of holidays and time off. And this being a sign of being highly productive, that as I mentioned, I work three days a week. And in 2022, the business made 600,000 Australian dollars, about 300,000 in profit after paying myself and all the other expenses.

So I share all of that, by the way in I do. Every quarter I do a Growth Call Update and share the figures. And I’ve been sharing the numbers on the podcast the whole time. So if you’d like that kind of thing, I think it’s just really helpful to hear what the figures and numbers are. And I love just talking about it and normalizing talking about it. And it’s so empowering. When other people do it. I love hearing about it. So that’s why I share that.

So that is a context as well for what I want to talk about in terms of time off and holidays, in especially the last couple of years, because it has really looked quite different with having kids and having two pregnancies and all of that. And so in 2021 to summarize that, yeah, I mean, there was and I haven’t gone through and looked at my power planning, but I did have a lot of time off and all of that. But we did a full house renovation, I gave birth to Lydia and was pregnant with her for the first half of the year and then had a newborn slash infant for the second half of that year.

And then yeah, it just really started to get into this groove of well I had time off around when I had the idea as well. But really getting into building the team and removing myself from having to be in the day to day like being able to create a business and I’ll talk about this a bit later. about having a team is a really important sign of being highly productive. It’s not that you have to have a team. But I think a lot of times you can hear someone talking about being highly productive be like, Well, yeah, but they have a team. Yeah, because that’s fun of being productive, is that you are able to delegate to other people that you’re able to only have to work in your zone of genius, and you have others who are working in their zone of genius to support you.

And I think we can be in this mentality of like, highly productive mean that you are doing everything by yourself. And you’re doing it quickly and efficiently. And you’re not getting help from anyone else. Because then you’re not like, it’s kind of like how, when people are billionaires and whatever, like, for example, with Kylie Jenner, it’s like, are they self made? Are they not self made. And I feel like, I mean, that’s a whole other conversation.

But I feel like, we put so much pride on being self made, when really like in that context, so many of us the big motivation for creating financial abundance, is to be able to support the next generation, but then were saying that the next generation aren’t deserving of their success, if they have had support from the previous generation, it’s just all a bit fucked up in a way.

But to say that it is really important in business not to be in this mentality of I need to do it all myself. And I think, you know, in the school system, we really like you get a grade, based on even if you do a group assignment, like you still end up with your individual grades. And we really learn that you should be able to do and know everything by yourself. And you might have to do group assignments and things like that.

But ultimately, we’re not told, like, you know, in an exam, if you don’t know the answer, you can go to the person in the room who does and ask them what the answer is, when literally, you can do that in your life. And so we miss out on these opportunities to build a team and to get support. Because we’ve been told no, you should be able to know the answer. If you’re smart, you should have the answer yourself. So I’m going to talk about team in a little bit, and a bit more about why that’s assigned. But that has been a big part of me, being highly productive has been me not trying to do everything by myself.

And just notice yourself, if you are thinking, oh, yeah, they can do this, because they have a team or whatever, to just actually the same way that with money mindset stuff, if you are speaking poorly about rich people, and subconsciously, you’re not going to want to be wealthy, that if you are diminishing someone’s accomplishments, because they have a team, then you are reinforcing to yourself, that you need to do everything by yourself to be worthy of success, and you are going to have a very lonely journey.

And you’re not going to get as far as you can. Because you’re like, the more that I have really figured out and become more attuned with what I’m actually good at, or what I actually want to develop, versus the things that I can do that aren’t actually my zone of genius. It has been so empowering to just take that pressure off myself to have to be able to do all the things when it comes to building a business.

And now I’m just thinking about building the business like the CEO skill set, and coaching. And yes, I collaborate with our marketing manager on marketing. And I’m still interested in that, but not having to put pressure on myself to be able to create a social media strategy or things like that, like that’s not my zone of genius, and it doesn’t have to be yours. And the more you can lean into what you’re actually good at my power planning has really helped me to figure that out, along with my growth goal, and to really give myself permission to not do certain things, it makes such a big difference when you can give yourself that permission and really see what you excel at.

And there are going to be plenty of things that you’re good at, but they’re not actually your zone of genius. They’re just like in your zone of competence or even your zone of excellence but you want to more and more as you becoming more and more productive, just be working in that zone of genius and outsourcing or delegating or deleting the rest.

So when it comes to specific amounts of time off just to share what this has looked like for me because it just feels normal at this point. But recently I was listening to Victoria Magrath she’s a fashion influencer and I just like watching her chatty YouTube videos. So I was watching one of her vlogs and she was saying like a big goal for me is being able to have two weeks I was it two weeks or two vacations per year and she’s someone who has who’s incredibly successful in her field has like a million followers, and then YouTube subscribers and like she’s doing incredibly well for herself, but to hear her say that she didn’t feel like she could take two holidays in a year.

And she traveled the time for work. But like actually having a holiday where you’re working and not are sorry, while you’re on the holiday not working, it just really hit me how it now just feels so normal to me that I can take time off. And I don’t feel guilty about it. And I don’t feel scared about what will happen to the business if I take time off. And I’ve created such a different relationship to what I used to have, which was I couldn’t even take one day off before, because I’m going to be going backwards. And I’m like, I just felt like I’m already behind. So I can’t afford to take time off.

And to me being able to take time off and have that big guilt free is really a sign of that change of relationship, when it comes to feeling behind. And like your relationship, particularly to your like where you want to go and where you are now. And whether you view where you are now as being behind on your goal, or whether you are viewing where you are now as progress on your past, or whether you are really thinking about it as progress on your past plus this exciting gap and tension between where you are now and where you want to be.

And I just really used to be in this behind. And there are times where I can be in that mindset of feeling like I should know this by now. But I can really pull myself out of it so quickly. And just having this different relationship with holidays and time off and rest, is a manifestation of that being part of my mindset, like it’s the proof that my mindset has changed, because the amount of time off when I look at it all together. And when I scroll through my Power planning and like the amount of time off I have had is obscene when it comes to what used to feel possible.

And what I hear so many others saying feels possible for them. And when I tell this to people, it’s why they still say, Oh yeah, but you work so hard, because it just doesn’t feel like this could be the reality. And it’s really just about giving yourself permission to take time off. And to have the be willing to be in the feelings that brings up because I wasn’t someone who’s like I hate work, I just want to have all this time off. Like, my issue is loving what I do, and wanting to spend all of my time doing it.

So it’s not like I was a person who was always craving that time off or like having free like, I’ve never been like I want to have my business because I want to have freedom. It’s not that that isn’t actually the case, I do want freedom. But it was never turned that way in my brain. Because I didn’t want freedom from something that I loved and enjoyed doing and working and like being busy and having that addiction to being busy. Like I didn’t want a break or freedom from being busy.

So it really has been for me an exploration like who am I when I’m not being busy, when I’m not working on the business and spending all of my mental energy towards that, like, what else is there to me and allowing that to be space to explore that and allowing them as well in that time of that to be time off where I’m not feeling energized, I’m not feeling inspired, I’m not feeling well rested, it’s a when we put this expectation on like, all the time off that we have needs to be perfectly used.

And especially if you don’t have much time off currently, or I can feel it when I’m not working. I’m with the kids. And if there’s time where Steve has all of them, I’m like, Okay, I have like an hour, what am I going to do and I can find myself being in that like trying to find the perfect use of that time. And I end up just wasting it. But it’s like that mindset that we can have that just instead of it being a once off like that we can be repetitively in that mindset.

So much so that we’re like, it’s easy just to not have time off. Because when it comes to my business, I at least know what I want to do. And I know who I am when I’m in my business. So it feels more comfortable to be working than it does taking time after there’s a hole. And I’ve talked about on the podcast in PGSD. There’s this whole other work that comes up when you actually allow yourself to take time off and be in the stillness and the calm and in that experience of it. And it’s not going to always be comfortable.

And especially if you’re taking time off by yourself or you’re taking time off when other people or your partner is working or you’re taking time off and someone’s babysitting your kids or you’re taking time off and essentially, yeah, it’s something else you could be doing and you’re not doing it. So that’s also a big reason to you release your perfectionism handbrake. So you can change your relationship with rest, you can actually get some which will make you more productive. And you can actually develop an identity for yourself that goes beyond your business.

So you actually like when your business is going through inevitable ups and downs that when it’s in a down, you are not going to feel like a worthless human because there’s more to you than your business. Even if you have a personal brand. You can separate out yourself from your business by having more time off and doing the work on your perfectionism so that you don’t make it mean horrible things about yourself when the sales aren’t coming in or when you get negative feedback and bad reviews or whatever it looks like for you.

So in terms of how much time off I had in 2022, I had three weeks off in January, part of that was being part of a mastermind for a few days. But all around that for three weeks, I had time off. Two weeks off in May, I got married at our home in June, and I had two weeks off during that period, I had two weeks off in August. And part of that as well was another mastermind for three days. And that was just online at home. And then I had a week off at the beach in November, no working.

Also, I was pregnant with twins. I had the twins early this year. And I wrapped up well. Now this is getting to this year, I wrapped up working at the beginning of January. So pretty much a month ish before I gave birth I had that month off before they came, then also returning to work when I after having the boys, when I chose to not because I had to, there was no pressure to come back, I’d organize the business so that sales could still be coming in.

And I could still be having the time off that I needed because I had no idea what it was going to look like to have three kids and to like what that would how that would impact my relationship with work my relationship with myself that I was going to be sleep deprived, like all of the things. And so I set things up so I could have a lot of time off. And I did the same thing when I had for Lydia that I was still going to be getting updates and that kind of thing. But in terms of me having to record podcast episodes, we’ll do coaching calls, I wasn’t needing to do that.

And not having the pressure to do that was so helpful. Because it it helped me come back, like without this pressure there. And I wanted to come back, because I didn’t have to so I could choose to. And then other people who I tell it like, oh my goodness, you must be crazy. It’s like well, I’m actually coming back because I want to and not just because I want to be busy, though it is definitely nice to have things to think about and be focused on and I love my home life. But I also love working and my business.

And so being able to fully express myself not just have to be only in one mode, but allowing myself if it feels good to me, it feels right for me and our family to do that. So not having that pressure has made such a big difference and is why I am back working. And now at this point back working fully. And then a few months old. And I love that that is the case. And in quarter one I worked 13 proper days, and we made more than 100,000 in the business. So that feels very surreal to be able to say that.

And yet it feels so normal to say that I used to work super long days. And I just had to also spend time working, like in my full time job. And then in my part time job because my business couldn’t support me. And also I had perfectionism wise it really impacts the way that we sell. And we don’t want to sell we want to just create high quality free content. So people buy from us without us having to ever actually properly sell anything.

And really been able to do my perfectionism work to change my mindset around selling so that I can help more people and so that the business can grow. And we can support the team as well. With finances and with jobs, all the things. So it’s just like a 180 in terms of I used to work very long hours and make little money. And now I work little hours and make a lot more money. Yeah, it’s just it’s been such a transformation.

Okay, so let’s talk about having a team. And how this is a sign of being highly productive. I do feel like I have mentioned most of the points about this that I did want to. But again, to just be aware of where you are thinking that having a team or getting your work done through others, is a sign of weakness or inadequacy and really flipping that to see that having a team is a sign of leadership.

And that if you can get your work done through others and have them complete the work to a higher quality or standard than you can yourself did that is you being a leader not you been made redundant or you been so paused or any of that. And it’s just again, we just we get into this mindset of I have to be able to do everything myself. And when you really look at the most successful businesses. They don’t do everything themselves. They have huge teams now, when you look at the biggest businesses in the world, but even when you look at the startup days, a lot of businesses they have two co founders, they have one that is on typically on the marketing side of things or selling or whatever, and one who’s more on the operation side.

So usually people would have heard this, you have the visionary with the big vision for the business and all of that kind of thing. And then you have the person on the back end, who’s doing all the operations and all of that. And most of us, we are doing those two roles at once. And we’re comparing ourselves to businesses where they have to separate people with skill sets for each of those doing those things.

And if you are doing it all yourself, it’s not to say that you can’t do it all yourself, but why would you choose to when you can build a team, and depending on the stage of business you’re at, it’s not to say you need to go out there and like, hire 10 people, but hiring that virtual assistant, for example, or hiring someone part time or then eventually hiring someone to help you full time. And maybe it’s on the operation side of things. Or maybe it’s on having the marketing side of things, maybe you’re someone like me that you can, you’re good enough at marketing that you can kind of get away with doing it by yourself, you can get to a certain point.

But it’s not your zone of genius. And actually, if you had someone else doing the marketing for you, that you would then be able to do what you do best. It’s like, if you think about, say, for example, an actor, or even a writer or whatever, like, all of those professions that you can become incredibly successful. So like an actor, they have the agent, and the publicist, and all these other people that are doing like the marketing side of things.

And they’re just doing the acting, for example, and then they’re showing up, someone’s already booked in, like, here’s a promotional tool, you’re not having to come up with a strategy for here’s when you’re going to go and promote this movie, no, no, here on this day in here on that day and did it. It’s just you do your work. And then here’s your marketing, like assets you need to provide to us essentially.

And then you don’t have to think about the logistics and the operations. And you don’t have to think about the overall strategy for the marketing, you just got to do the acting, or you just got to do the writing, or whatever it is. And so the more I’ve seen business in that way of like, I don’t actually have to do everything myself. And really, no one else is doing everything themselves. If they have a successful business, they are someone who is able to build a team and to surround themselves with people who are smarter than them.

And who, instead of being like, Oh, well, you can have a team. But you know, part of delegating is just knowing that not everyone is going to do it the way you would do it. But it’s okay, because it’s better for that to be done. They’re not done at all. Not at all, it’s like they can do it better. And it’s really recognized like there are people who the things you can do pretty well out or you might fill your time with because you enjoy editing videos, or whatever that is that there are other people out there who can do it better.

And they actually like not just that you enjoy it, they enjoy it. But like that is their favorite thing to do. So the more you can begin to delegate, and this also relates to your self image as a business owner, if you feel like you have a hobby business, and it’s going to be very hard to start delegating out and building a team or if you feel like you aren’t a productive person, and you have that self image. This is what I had initially really been not wanting to delegate because I felt like well, I’m not making perfect use of my time, which was a symptom of my perfectionism. I’m not making perfect use of my time. So I can’t hire someone yet. Because that’s reckless and irresponsible, I should just figure out how to make perfect use of my time and be this productivity robot.

And then I can justify hiring someone else, because I’ve fully maxed myself out like that thinking isn’t productive at all. And I’m so glad that I did eventually give myself permission to hire that first VA and then hire someone else and then hire someone else. And develop a skill set around building a team. And all of that because if your threshold is I need to be perfectly productive before I can begin that then you can never be perfectly productive because part of being highly productive instead of perfectly productive.

We’re not going keep saying that word but highly productive is having a team and also understanding that the reason you’re not able to fully max out your time like optimize it is because it’s filled with things that you aren’t the best person to be doing. So of course you’re going to be dragging your feet on for example for me, I wanted to just do lots of podcast episodes, but I didn’t like I just the tediousness of uploading the episodes after like it. I had someone else helped me with the podcast so that all I had to do was my bit that I liked doing.

And someone else could be that doing the other bit because if that was me, I’d stop recording episodes because I didn’t want to do the tedious bit. So team is such a big sign of being highly productive. And for me at the moment we have at the moment we are hiring for a full time operations manager. We have a full time A marketing manager. And then we have remote contractors. So we have a couple of PGSD coaches.

We have Daisy, who recently was on the podcast, who is PGSD clients access. And then we have a few other VAs an assistant to help with different things. And it’s really, it doesn’t matter what your team looks like, but even just starting to get a little bit of team going is going to really make a difference. And for your Power Planning, and you can really look at where are you dragging your feet? Where are you overthinking things? Where are you… Like, what are the things that you keep, you keep putting off or you keep prioritizing that you aren’t even, they’re not really a needle mover, or if they are a needle mover, you’re not the best person at them. That that is where you can start to delegate things out.

So having an organized home is another sign for me being highly productive. And this really relates back to just the mindset shifts that have needed to go on since beginning my business in 2013. And then in 2017, when I’m really referring back to like, at that time in 2017, I couldn’t have someone in my car at a moment’s notice, because there was shit everywhere. Wrappers and like all sorts of things in my car like food wrappers. And then the boots, God forbid, we had to put anything in my boot, it was just full of like, too hard basket items, essentially stuff that needed to go inside, but I didn’t have a proper place for it, I would just have things in my boot like unmade decisions of where that thing needed to go.

Or when I would take that thing inside for months that anyone was like, Oh, can I just put this in your boots like, eat sorry, I actually have a non functional boot because it’s full of shit. So I don’t have that anymore. An if anyone wants to go in the car, it’s clean. And there’s room and like, there’s no food wrappers isn’t none of that around.

No piles of laundry, I used to just live out of a laundry basket and constantly be searching for the things that I wanted to wear. And then I about year I made this rule with myself, I want to say like 2018 or 2019. I just made a personal rule that the day that the washing comes out, I put it away. And it’s just stuff like that, that the mental load of not having put the laundry away. And every time having to search through every item of clothing, you have to find that one piece and you know which baskets it’s in and all that drama does tax your brain, which impacts how productive you can be in your business, having a clean working space everyday.

So I don’t have to spend time procrasti-cleaning and you know, I don’t have that as an option. But I just used to have mugs, half full of tea, like six of them on my desk. And now like I’ve just trained myself to do things at the first opportunity, I literally feel compelled, like if I do have, like at the moment, I have a mug of cold tea, a quarter full on my desk from today. And when I finish shortly, I’m going to take the mug with like I feel compelled to do it.

I’m not having to willpower myself to do it, I have changed my self image, so that I’m an organized person. And so I feel pulled to that stuff, I don’t have to force myself to do it. And I’m able to maintain doing that, even though my life is circumstances. Meaning that there’s more laundry list of things that need cleaning with having kids and all of that that it hasn’t impacted my ability to say organize, also been able to and this relates to team hiring a cleaner and giving myself permission to hire that out and have someone else do that. I could go on and on about that side of things.

But knowing to thing doesn’t just relate to in your business. A sign of being highly productive is also building that out in your personal life, whatever that might look like. Whether that’s childcare, whether that’s a cleaner, whether that is having someone wash your car, whatever that looks like just giving yourself permission to do that, again, you don’t have to do it all by yourself.

In terms of relationships. Finishing work, when I said I would I refer to this as to me, it just feels like landing the plane, like how you’ve saved for example, I mean, in Brisbane, if I was flying to London, that the plane would take off, and it just lands on the other side of the world on this tiny strip of cement, or tarmac, like it’s just insane to me, like there’s something so satisfying about like, there’s this big thing that needs to be done. And you can just have this very precise finish to it of like, I’m going to land on exactly this strip of land on the other side of the world.

And to me being able to say, I’m going to finish my day at 5pm for example 3pm Or midday or whatever it is. I’m gonna finish at this time, and I literally close my laptop at that minute and I walk out with my mug and whatever else is in here, and my clean office behind me and I just go out into my day and my time off and not feeling anything else hanging over me, I’m able to create that sense of completeness, even when there’s a lot of things I need to do on my next work day or my next work weeks, for in a launch, or whatever I can create, I have the skill set now of creating the feeling of completeness, no matter what is going on.

And that doesn’t mean there aren’t times where I underestimated how long a task will take or things like that. But I have a skill set so that I’m always able to feel complete, which means I’m able to get guilt free rest, which means I’m able to be recharging my brain. And when I come back to work again, I’m able to be focused, and highly productive and are able to land the plane, and so on, and so and so on, it goes.

Also, the impact this has on your partner, when you’re able to instead of saying Just five more minutes, and it’s like three hours here to say five more minutes, and you literally just take five more minutes, it makes such an impact, you’re able to plan better, you’re able to have more trust, it’s not even like in this big kind of way. But it’s like the little day to day, things like that, that really impact your relationship with someone else and your relationship with yourself too.

Also, another sign of being highly productive is not feeling forced to turn all of your personal moments in your day into content. So for myself, that for a period of time, and I enjoy like Instagram stories and that kind of thing. But I just decided, actually it’s taking away from my clean rest and time with my family that I’m feeling like all this would be a good thing to share on stories and taking a video, I take a lot of videos and photos, my camera role is really all photos, videos of my kids.

And then also our dog Cotton in and just like I love doing that, but I don’t have to I’m not doing it for content, I’m doing it for future me and for the kids to see. And there’s that motivation behind it. And so I’m not in that lens of like I have to share this or I need to do something interesting today to share like I get to choose not to do that.

Also having the mental bandwidth, to support friends through challenging times with their relationships or things like just, that’s something that in the last couple of years that has been in my personal life been there for friends and being able to help them financially to loan them money and have that be completely stress free for me and help them get out of a hotspot or being able to drop everything because they have a crisis that’s going on. And I want to be there to support them.

And I can do that without impacting the business or without feeling any resentment towards that friend. So that to me is such a big sign of this, also, and I I will constrain myself here and not go on a tangent, or a rant about this, but having the self respect to keep the plans you make with yourself. And not just be a yes man. For everyone else. Like just because someone asked to have a coffee with you doesn’t mean you need to say yes, and just because so especially in I want to say 2018 and 2019, I really went through this and 2017 when I suddenly, I wasn’t working full time anymore. I wasn’t a full time Uni student anymore.

So I had more time to catch up with people and the people I was catching up with, they had full time commitment in terms of work and study and that kind of thing. So I was the one with the more flexible situation. So I found myself being in that people pleaser perfectionist mode of like, well, I’m the one who can make adjustments to my calendar. So if they propose a certain time, I’ll just say yes to it. Instead of suggesting a time that would actually work well, for me, or even if I had something planned, like I plan to work that day, I’ll just shuffle it around.

And just to shift from, I’ll just shuffle around my plans with myself because they’re less important to accommodate this other person to actually my plans with myself matter. And having a lens of, okay, if this plan I have with myself, if that was with another person, would I drop a commitment. So say for example, if I plan to work on the business during like, a full day, and someone wants to hang out with me and get lunch together, for example, maybe that would take an hour in terms of commuting to where we’re having lunch, and then we catch up for like an hour and a half or something or maybe two hours.

That would I if there was a if I had a commitment with someone else, instead of a commute with myself. And then someone had asked me to go to lunch, what I changed my plans with the other person to be able to go to lunch with this person who’s asked me, sometimes the answer is yes. And so that would be an example of when I might change my doing little tweaks in my Power planning and change my calendar.

But if I might actually if I already have plans with someone else, and I wouldn’t drop them to go and have lunch with this person, then I’m going to keep the plan I have with myself and I’m going to find a different time, even if it means we don’t catch up for a couple of weeks. I’m going to find a time that works for me to catch up with this person. And so that was just such a huge shift because it really changed my relationship with myself and with my business, which allowed me to be more highly productive, but it was also a sign of being highly productive.

And finally, I just want to mention the final sign that there are many more, but the one I will talk about in this is having a big picture vision for the business. And really knowing what long term success looks like. In 2017 2018 2019, I really was just trying to get to the next milestone. So the 10k month, 100k year than the 100k month and beyond that, and I still have goals like that, like this year, our goal is a million in revenue. But I also now have a bigger vision, and I’m able to make higher quality decisions.

So for example, hiring the marketing manager and the operations manager that has flowed from having the bigger vision, which is 50 million in revenue by being an example of the growth mindset in the year 2031. And 5 million in revenue in the year of 2025. So I’m making all my decisions from that bigger picture context, versus Okay, what do I need to do to get to the next milestone, it makes such a difference, it trickles through to every area of your business, if you only have a goal, especially if it’s just, I want to have a 10k month, or I want to have 100k a year, you need to have something beyond that to provide context as well for that goal.

So that’s really important and has been like it was really only last year 2022 that I really started to think that way. And it has just had a dramatic. It’s caused dramatic positive changes in the business and also in terms of my productivity, because essentially all the things that before having that vision, I thought would needle movers for me, now like oh no, I need to actually not be spending my time on marketing. That isn’t we’re not getting to that bigger vision with me in the lead of marketing. So I need to now hire that out and actually spend my time learning that more the CEO skill set and also further developing my coaching skill set.

And from having that serious skill set, then I can build up the team to get us there. So with all that said, That is how my journey has been developing and from 2013 to 2017 now and beyond. And I hope it’s been helpful to hear about the some of the different signs of being highly productive that have come up for me, and how do you reflect in on where you’re at in your perfectionism and productivity and business journey. Also, I just want to flag excitingly, that next week, we are releasing the perfectionism quiz.

And this is going to tell you, to what extent perfectionism is impacting your productivity, is it making you get in your own way? And if so, which areas are the most problematic for you? Whether it is the overthinking procrastination burnout, or and I think mindset or fear of judgment. So you don’t really know which of those ones to focus on working on, you can work on all those inside PGSD.

But this quiz, it’s a free quiz that we’ll be getting released next week. I’ll be telling you about it then. And I highly recommend even if you’re a PGSD everyone taking this quiz to just have a look at what is going on with your perfectionist mindset and what impact is having on your business so that you can get out of your own way you can be more productive, and you can show up fully show up in the way you want to achieve reach your potential all of that. So hope you’re having a beautiful day and I will talk to you in the next episode.


If you enjoy this podcast, I invite you to sign up to receive a short daily perfectionist power up from me. These are little notes and reminders sent to you via email that’ll help you plan properly as a perfectionist and get you out of your own way. So you can go to Samlaurabrown.com/power to sign up today and you’ll start receiving motivating perfectionist power-ups this week.

Author: Sam Brown