In the last month I’ve spent a lot of time out of my comfort zone, I’ve started to make big changes in my business and I’ve been settling into a new routine. It’s been messy AF (as always!) but it’s also been a great month – not because of any particular accomplishment I can point to, but because it feels like part of a bigger evolution. And that feels pretty magical.
In this week’s podcast episode I’m chatting through the highs and lows of the month as well as what I’ve been working on, thinking about and struggling with. I hope you enjoy it!
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FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT
Hi and welcome to episode 40 of The Smart Twenties Podcast. My name is Sam Laura Brown and this is a podcast where I share personal growth and life advice for women in their twenties, but today I’m really just giving you a live update on July 2018. I did do the first one of these life update episodes last month for June 2018 and I will be putting them out on the first Thursday of every month just in case you’re interested in what I’ve been up to what I’ve been working on behind the scenes, what I’m struggling with, what I’m loving. I’m going to be chatting through all of that stuff. So I hope you find it interesting. I know that for me it feels like why would anyone care, but I love listening to this kind of podcast episode when other people do it. So yeah, it’s really interesting for me as well.
I listened back to the June episode this morning and was just reminded of all the things that I did in June and things that I’ve done since then and really good. If you’re not keeping track of your life month to month, I definitely recommend it. So I’m guess I’m doing this in a more public way, but I’m just going to be sharing different bits and pieces from the month.
So the first thing I did earlier this month was I had a one off coaching session with Erin May Henry. She has a podcast called The Erin May Henry Show and a YouTube channel as well. You might know her from that. So I just really wanted to work with someone who is doing something similar in their business. She’s not doing exactly the same things as I am, but something similar and there’s a few steps ahead. I just really wanted that outside perspective from someone who has a bit of context and just someone that I could bounce ideas with that is really like understands all the different things that I have going on and also someone that I knew would be able to call me out on any fears that I have or anything that I’m putting off for a really dumb reason or anything like that.
So it was incredibly helpful and I’ve been making a lot of changes behind the scenes. Are we sharing them? When they’re ready to be shared which will be in the coming month or so. So that’s been really exciting for me and I just really felt that I was like, there was some reason that I’ve been really struggling in terms of my impossible goal and all that kind of thing.
I just thought having that outside perspective, I totally 100 percent believe in coaching because the coach is like a mirror and they just show you things that you haven’t seen yet about yourself. So I just really wanted someone to show me perhaps what I’m missing or if there’s something that doesn’t quite make sense because I’m just so involved in my business. It’s so hard to see things. So that was really, really incredible and just super clarifying for me and I felt so motivated since then.
Also a little bit overwhelmed. I feel like it’s gone between like motivated, overwhelmed, motivated, overwhelmed, and that’s okay. I’m just letting it be what it is and managing my mind and making sure that when I’m feeling overwhelmed, I’m really doing the work to manage my mind because ‘overwhelm’ doesn’t come from having more things to do. It comes from the way that I’m thinking, so I go back into thinking there’s so much time in a day. Instead of thinking, “Oh, I have so much to do” which is a thought that definitely creates overwhelm. I instead think, “Okay, I have these three things to do today.”
In the last month I had been really making an effort to plan my time, so I’ve been planning each day in my iCal before I actually start working. It was something that I had become a bit slack with previously and it has just really had a big impact on my productivity because I just ended up doing whatever I felt like or things would take a long time, but when I have deadlines for myself and when I really intentionally think about the time limitations, I think when we don’t plan, like when I don’t plan my day, it’s kind of like I’m trying to avoid the reality that there’s only a certain number of tasks I can do, but when I look at it on my calendar like, oh, I really only have say six hours, so I better make sure the task that I do in the next six hours are the ones that are actually going to be important, that actually matter. So it has really been helpful.
I did do my to blogging workshop, so in June I did this Start Your Blog Workshop and then this month, right at the beginning of the month I did the Grow Your Blog Workshop and then last week and I did the promote your blog workshop and that has been a really interesting experience because I found that especially the last two workshops I’ve been like on such a high when I’ve been doing the workshops, so they were live online workshops, which means people are watching me talk. I’m needing to concentrate for two hours straight. I had notes but I was just needing to not lose my train of thought and be really into it and answering questions. And I was also nervous before them as well. It just really wanting to make sure that everything I was saying was as helpful as possible that I wasn’t skipping over some of the more simple stuff that I know is really important and I find it challenging because I… like, I don’t want to be too basic about things, but then I know what I’m learning from other people, I get really frustrated when they skip the fundamentals, so I was really trying to make sure that I was covering all the bases, covering a lot of mindset stuff as well, so I was nervous about it before it and then I found that I was on such a high when I was doing it and for like a couple of hours after and then I would just feel like completely zonked for the rest of that day. And then after both of them I kind of got sick like this week I’ve had a cold. I’ve been wanting to record this episode all week but I haven’t been able to because of my cold and today I was like, I just need to get it done.
So sorry if I cough or splatter or anything like that. But I, yeah, it’s just been really interesting. I don’t know if it’s related or what it is, but I’m really glad that I did those. I know that there are so many people that got a lot out of them. There’s a really strong community that started in The Smart Twenties Bloggers Facebook group, which is for students and for those of you who missed out on one or all of the blogging workshops and you’re interested in that, I will be re-launching them as a package in August. So I will talk about that when it’s ready. But if you did miss out there will be an opportunity. And so that was really amazing and it really pushed me out of my comfort zone in a lot of ways. But it also, because it was challenging.
I really found that after it was over, like it’s kind of like I found when I was studying and when I’d have a big exam and I’d be like stressed and preparing for it before it and I’d be fine. And then after that I’d kind of like get sick or just be like, “Ugh!” because you just have this sort of release of all of that. And I hadn’t even realized I was stressed about it until after it. And I was like, “Ugh, okay, I actually can now tell that I was” in a really good way. And I think that it is important to do things that are challenging and that pushed me out of my comfort zone and I don’t want to be doing things all the time that I could do in my sleep because I am not going to grow. So that was a really amazing thing to come out of July.
So those three blogging workshops are now done and the ones that I will be reoffering are the replay recordings of those workshops so I won’t be doing them again live. And I’m still adding all the bonus tutorials and that kind of thing. So they’ll be coming as well just for those of you who are in it and are still waiting for a couple of the tutorials. So that was really good.
What else? Oh, with the coaching. So I’ve spoken about this in a few episodes, but working as a mindset coach is something that I’ve been thinking of doing for a couple of years now and have just put off because I was way too scared to find out that I wasn’t as good at it as I thought I was. Which is such a silly reason and is so fixed mindset to be like, “I’m, I’m just not going to try in case I get told that I’m not good and I’d rather just not try, so no one can tell me I’m not good” even though I genuinely believe that I will be an amazing coach and I have coached people before and like no one has ever given me that feedback.
It’s just a completely irrational fear. Irrational also in the sense that if someone does tell me that it’s not the end of the world and it’s just a skill that I am developing. So I am launching my coaching services very, very, very soon. And I put out a message to everyone who’s following me on Instagram and in The Smart Twenties community on Facebook and via email about applying to be a Beta Tester for my coaching program. So there are three of you that I will be working with, so that I can test out all my systems and basically make sure all the tech stuff is good. And I had 130 applications, which is amazing. And I honestly thought I would get less than 10 applications, so there were three questions that needed to be completed and so I’ve had 130 people complete those and I have now emailed the lucky three people that I will be working with as Beta Testers.
It was so hard to choose who to work with. There were so many people that I wanted to work with and it seriously took all of my restraint not to say everyone can be a Beta tester, but business wise, that makes zero sense. So I really had to be strict with myself and select three people to work with. So yeah, I’ve done that and I am now in the process of getting the final little bits and pieces set up to offer my coaching services. I’m so excited about it and I’m also nervous in a good way. We all know excitement, nervous feels like the same thing. But I, it’s really that anticipation because it’s something that I have been dreaming of doing for a couple of years and now I’m just finally getting out of my own way and doing it. But of course that brings up like all the fears that I had, which is why I had been avoiding it, so still doing a lot of managing my mind around that and I’m so excited to be able to be working with you guys one on one.
So if you are interested in having me as your coach, you can email me to find out email@example.com but I will be sharing all of the information about where you can find out more and find out the pricing and all that thing, that kind of thing once it’s available. So don’t worry. I will be letting me know about that. But if you’re interested before then you can send me an email and yeah, I’m really going to be helping people especially who are trying to figure out what to do with their life and just need someone who’s been through the same thing and who knows the whole perfectionist mindset and the way that your brain works and can just help you really get out of your own way and pursue what you want to do and help you overcome. All the obstacles and deal with all the fear of judgment and all of that kind of thing. So excited to do it and yeah, I’m pumped. So that was something really exciting. Probably the most exciting thing for me that has come out of this month. So amazing.
I just can’t believe that I had so many applications for Beta testers. Like I really was expecting. Like,I put it out. I was like, “I hope three people apply.” Then I had 130. So anyway, I’m just happy about that. I have been really enjoying working from the co-working space that I signed up for. So in the middle of June I signed up to work from a co-working space in the valley in Brisbane, which is where I’m living. If you didn’t know that. And this was really just to help me get some work life balance going, not balance. Balance isn’t the right word. Separation I think is a better word, work-life separation because before I was never working fully and I was never resting fully and I was just always in this awkward limbo and not being graded either.
So I signed up and I’ve worked that two out of the four weeks in July and it’s mainly because of the blogging workshops the first week of July, I just was so like zonked and out of it after doing that workshop that I needed like a few days to recover and then I got sick after the second one. So I’ve just been really working on resting and letting myself rest when I need to rest. And that is something I really struggled with in the past and I felt really proud of myself this week because even though like I’m working for myself until I go to my part time job in the afternoon so I can easily sleep in. But I’ve definitely been reminded every time that I have a week of sleeping in that I do not enjoy it and I just, I prefer to be up early.
But before I would just, even if I was sick, I’d really just push through and keep working and not really giving myself a day off or any time off or any time to recover because that wasn’t productive. But then I’d just be sick for longer or when I’m working, it wouldn’t be productive anyway because I was sick. So this week I slept in until about 9:00 AM. I didn’t go to my co-working space because it’s just really challenging to get a park. If I don’t go first thing in the morning and I just wanted to be at home and more relaxed and I was just spent most of the week getting all my stuff together for my tax, which is something I really enjoy doing. I am a nerdy numbers person. I am also a words person. I’ve spoken about this before but I feel like people, you know, people like either a numbers person or a words person, like I’m definitely family in both. And so I feel like that’s just like a false dichotomy. But anyway, I am a nerdy numbers person and I do enjoy crunching the numbers and not just any numbers but my own personal numbers and organizing myself. I really enjoy that.
So I did that this week, which I’ve been meaning to do for the last few weeks, but hadn’t. I was like, “Well, I just need to get it done” and there’s never going to be a good time, so I’ll do it this week while I’ve got less mental energy. So I was doing that this week and I was going for long walks in the middle of the day because even though I am wasn’t well enough to go to the gym, I still want to be active and I find that if I’m not active, I just go a bit crazy. So I was going for walks everyday and I just feel proud of myself and it’s Saturday when I’m recording this and I have found myself thinking, “Oh, but I shouldn’t have tomorrow off because I had like a slower week” but I’m still making myself have tomorrow off.
I am being interviewed for a podcast tomorrow morning so I will be doing that. But after that I am really going to be strict with myself and actually make myself have the day off. So next week I’m fully back into it. But I have been enjoying working from my co-working space and I’m in a really solid routine at the moment. With that, even though I just said I didn’t go for a whole week, I feel like the way that I think about routines now is so different and that I don’t see having a week off from being sick as like something that means that my routine’s out and that is like a huge win for me because I used to just be so thrown off by a week out and I’m like I can just pick it back up.
So I’ve been waking up at 5:30 getting dressed, going water my plants, then going straight to the co-working space. I get there at around seven and it’s about a half hour drive and then I work until 1:30. I do personal development work until 7:30 and do my planning and then work until 1:30, which is six hours. But I’m wanting to make that five hours of work and then an hour and a half of personal development because I feel like I haven’t been spending as much time on personal development as I want to be. And even though it feels a bit challenging to cut six hours back to five. I know that if I plan it right, that it will be much more powerful to spend that time on personal development and working on my mindset than just doing work. So that’s what I’m going to be aiming towards for August. And then I go to the gym at 1:30 and then I go to my part time job which starts at four.
So that gives me like about an hour and a quarter at the gym then I get dressed again after. And I was so glad I heard… I got an email from one of you about when I was talking about going to the gym at lunch. You hadn’t even realized that was an option. It’s so easy to get back into, like if you get dressed in the morning. So I get dressed in the morning, do my makeup, do my hair. Then after it, after my workout, I will get as sweaty as I need to get. And then I dry myself, like blow my face with the hairdryer on cool because I go bright red and then I just touch up my makeup and it really isn’t hard to do. It only takes like five minutes as well to get dressed. I know that I’m saying this because I know that getting dressed to go to the gym or getting dressed after the gym can seem like that’s too much of an obstacle for it to be worth it.
But if it’s something you could do really consider it because it doesn’t take much time. So I do that and then it gives me about I need about half an hour to get to work and then I work on my part-time job from four till eight. I have Sundays off and on Saturdays I am normally at home for a bit because I’m recording these podcasts episodes and then I go to the co-working space for a few hours and on Mondays I work a longer shift at my part time job 11:30 till 8:00. So I am… it’s like a rest day. So Sunday, Monday I don’t do blogging stuff unless sometimes there was an exception like tomorrow but normally not. So that is really what I have been doing, but I did join the gym next to the co-working space. I was saying last month that I just wanted to get settled into the co-working space and make sure I was enjoying it before I joined the gym.
I have been accounted, like I’ve been a member at six different gyms in the last three years. Maybe it was even last two years. Like I changed gyms very easily. I never sign up for a long contract. I always sign up for month to month and I just kind of change to whatever’s convenient for me and there’s a Good Life gym right next to it and I was like, well that is going to be super convenient instead of having to drive 25 minutes to my gym that I currently go to. That doesn’t have any branches. It’s just a one off gym. So I joined that. So that’s really good. I’m feeling like really getting settled into that routine and that I’ve just really noticed that having a day off every week and a day that I don’t allow myself to do blogging stuff even if I can’t think of anything to do has just really helped me.
It’s really hard to articulate, but I really just feel more comfortable with myself and comfortable when I’m not being productive like “productive”. I don’t have this same kind of self talk that I did before. Whereas before I was like, “I need to be productive all the time” and it was… a really like “aha” moment for me. You guys, a lot of you know that I do Brooke Castillo Coaching Program- Self-coaching Scholars. It’s a self-coaching program, but she has these really great videos where she like… they’re live videos where she’s coaching other people and I find it when I’m watching other people get coached is where I really have all of these… my biggest “aha” moments and she was coaching someone who was saying that they were buffering with work and when Brooke talks about buffering, she’s mainly talking about something that we use so that we don’t have to feel our emotions.
So you can buffer with social media, you can buffer with alcohol, you can buffer with food and you can also buffer with work and you can essentially overwork so that you don’t have to really feel your emotions, you just are always working. So you’re never, you never really have a second to stop and actually feel discomfort that you might otherwise be feeling. And this woman was saying like, but how do I feel productive? Like I want to feel productive and I’m on my days off. I just never, nothing feels as good. Like should I be, you know, giving myself a to do list so that I can take it off. And Brooke was like, “You don’t need to feel that all the time” like this woman was trying to like, how can I get this feeling all the time? It’s kind of like an analogy is like if you’re eating sugar and you get that sugar high, she’s like, how can I be on this high all the time? It’s like, maybe you’re not actually. You don’t actually need to feel that way all the time. You don’t need that dopamine hit all the time and he just needed to feel your emotions and just actually allow yourself to not be productive and to be okay with it. And I was like, “That is so true.”
Not since hearing that I have really been working on like my belief around like it’s completely okay if I just do nothing and I’m not the kind of person that will sit and watch like tv on the couch. I will definitely watch Netflix, but I just feel really averse to watching things on the couch. I just feel really passive. Anyway, Steve and I watch Netflix on my laptop in bed, but I think it’s with the TV, it’s just I don’t want to watch whatever’s on. If I’ve chosen it I’ll watch it, but I just hate watching, like let’s see what’s on. I don’t know, that’s probably a whole problem in itself. There’s nothing wrong with that and I shouldn’t be seeing it that way.
But anyway… so I have really been working on this need to always feel productive and have definitely felt that having a day off per week has really helped me just just feel okay with not being productive all the time and with just, you know, doing whatever. Like last weekend I did meal prep and I worked like a Queer Eye nonstop the whole time, which I love doing and I love shows like that. And I was like, this is okay. Because normally if I hadn’t given myself a day off the whole time doing meal prep, like I could be working on this, this is such a waste of time. Like I don’t want to be doing this. And because I had given myself a day off, I just didn’t even have that dialogue.
I was like, “This is actually really enjoyable” and I’m getting to enjoy cooking more because I just had this whole dialogue in my head that it was a waste of time when really like when I think about it, it’s quite enjoyable to do because it is something creative and I can do it. Like when I’m watching a show that I really love listening to a podcast, but that is something before that I’d put into this category of like toss it on productive and therefore a waste of my time and therefore if I ever find myself doing them, I should just complain in my head about it the whole time. Obviously that doesn’t make me feel any better about it when I do have to do it. So yeah, I’ve just been allowing myself to enjoy it and realizing that time moves so slowly in a good way.
I think I spoke about this in June, but I’ve really been creating the belief “There’s so much time in a day” like at the moment it’s 1:35 and I find myself normally and I feel like I switched back into this old thinking but it’s like, “Oh there’s like the day is nearly done” when really it’s not. And so like last weekend I went to the shops at about 1:00, went and got the food, did all this food prep and it only took a few hours. I was like, oh, that’s like, I don’t know, when I have this belief that time, like the day is nearly over then I find that I like procrastinate or fill time with unimportant things so that the day is over quickly. Whereas if I’m really intentional and conscious, then time moves really slowly. I guess it’s about being in the present and that when you’re actually being aware of what you’re doing it… I don’t know. It’s just like I feel so much more relaxed and yeah, I’m not sure what I’m going to do tomorrow on my day off, who knows, but I will not allow myself to work and it’s really going to take a lot of discipline to do that because there’s so many things that I didn’t do this week that I committed to doing and then I’m just going to have to push them back to next week, but I know that if I work all of tomorrow then I’m not going to feel relaxed and then it’s… I just need to still have that time for myself even if it’s challenging at this point in time.
So that’s all I really have to share from July. I hope it’s been interesting. I mean I feel like I really am just rambling on. So if you would like to send me a DM on Instagram, my Instagram is @smarttwenties or an email.
I would love to hear if you like these episodes or not because I do feel like I’m just blabbing on. I’ve also been listening to the At Home With podcasts with Anna from The Anna Edit and Lily Pebbles and I have been really enjoying that. The reason that just came to my mind was because they were saying a similar thing, but I really enjoy listening to them just talking and… but I’ve been listening to them this month quite a lot when I’m working out and I have also of course being listening to all of my usuals, The Tim Ferriss Show Podcast, The Life Coach School Podcast, and I also found a really good one which was recommended to me by my friend Amber, which I am opening my podcast app right now. If I can see it in the next few seconds Over it and On With It by Christine Hassler. I actually heard her on podcasts like years ago when she was talking about her book, The Expectation Hangover and then she just slipped off my radar, but I’ve really been enjoying that podcast as well, so I just thought, yeah, that’s. That’s all I really have to share for this month. I hope you are well and I will talk to you next time, bye!