Episode 420: Using Power Planning To Hit Six Figures with Natalie Koons

Natalie’s experience in PGSD is a great example of how learning to plan properly as a perfectionist can completely transform your whole life.

Natalie explains…

“Before PGSD I was chaos. I worked CONSTANTLY but I wasn’t getting any of the important stuff done. From the first week I started in PGSD, I knew it was going to change my life – and it absolutely has in the most positive way and it’s rippled into my personal life too”

On 11 January 2022, Natalie signed up for PGSD. With the help of PGSD coaching and power planning, Natalie was able to quickly launch her course – which she’d been putting off doing for MONTHS.

On 3 March 2022, Natalie posted in the PGSD Forum to say that she had 125 people sign up for her sock knitting course and made over $34,000.

She hit her first quarterly milestone for her Growth Goal three times over! A milestone that had felt impossible only a few weeks earlier.

8 months into PGSD Natalie had already doubled her previous year’s income (2021 income was $59,000 and 2022 income is $125,000 and still growing).

Natalie’s business has only continued to grow now that she’s planning properly as a perfectionist.

And in Natalie’s words: “I know exactly what I need to do. I have taken the time to plan ahead. I am working through things every single day. I used to go to bed with an anxious feeling and I didn’t want to get out of bed in the morning…

PGSD has totally eliminated that for me. It’s allowed me to feel the fear and the big things that are scary and say “I can do this.

I now have support from the PGSD group and Forum and the coaching calls. It’s helped me to get up every day and actually be excited to go to work.

I’ve already seen big changes happen in my business. I’ve been able to be a better business owner and I’ve been able to help more people because of PGSD.”

Recently, I asked Natalie what were the 1-3 milestones that she achieved in her business with the help of PGSD.

Natalie replied with:

  1. I doubled my previous year’s income in the first 8 months of the year.
  2. I stopped working on weekends and at night.
  3. My husband and I were able to extend our dream of living in NYC from 1 year to 2 years because of the money I am making.

Experience PGSD for yourself! Sign up for Perfectionists Getting Shit Done (PGSD) – samlaurabrown.com/pgsd (*Doors close on 17 September 2023)

Find the full episode transcript and show notes at samlaurabrown.com/episode420.

In This Episode You’ll Learn:

  • Why Natalie wasn’t able to implement her business coaches advice before PGSD
  • How she planned her week before joining PGSD and the hidden mistakes she was making
  • The fears Natalie had around her audience finding out that she wants to make money
  • The self-coaching Natalie did during her launch to keep her perfectionist mindset on her side
  • How Power Planning has helped Natalie tap into her creativity

Featured In The Episode:

Announcement: PGSD is open for enrollment for one week only

My 12-month group coaching program Perfectionists Getting Shit Done (aka PGSD) will teach you how to plan properly as a perfectionist and get out of your own way. Inside you’ll get the coaching and productivity tools so you can create sustainable, long-term productivity and build your business to $100k and beyond.
The doors to PGSD are now officially open for one week only. To find out more about the program and sign up before the doors close at 11:59pm New York Time on 17 September, click here: samlaurabrown.com/pgsd.

Listen To The Episode

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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

To celebrate the fact that the doors to PGSD are now open for our upcoming cohort, I wanted to share with you an interview with one of our PGSDers Natalie Koons. She was interviewed on the podcast in the first half of 2022, to talk about her success inside PGSD. And she has only gone on to be even more successful in her business. But I just wanted to share this interview in particular, because if you are someone who has the business strategy, the marketing strategy, the information that you need to grow your business, and yet you find yourself not pulling the trigger, and doing the things that you need to do, you are going to be able to so relate to Natalie.

And also, I think, just hearing about her experience, with having the knowledge that she had, and being a smart person and being someone who does love being productive. Like when she was then able to plan properly as a perfectionist and get her perfectionist mindset on her side, she experienced results really quickly. And this is something that is possible for you too. So I just wanted to share this interview with you. We talked about so many incredible things. In this interview I’m so grateful for Natalie being on the podcast and sharing so openly and honestly about her revenue, fears, doubts, other things like that, like we really get into it in this interview.

So I will leave it with you. And I just wanted to mention as well, that the doors to PGSD are now open. I mean, I did already say that. But the doors are closing at 11:59pm New York time on the 17th of September, and we won’t be opening again for a few months. This is your last chance to be inside PGSD this year. So I want to make sure that you consider signing up and you know that you can go to Samlaurabrown.com/pgsd to find out more about the program and join us today.

In this episode, I am interviewing Natalie Koons, she is a knitter or crocheter a YouTuber, a pattern designer. And she is also a PGSDer. She introduces herself at the beginning of the interview, so I won’t share too much more about her here. But this episode is really going to help you to achieve your growth goal. And to actually enjoy the experience of it.

Natalie talks about her first quarterly milestone. So she signed up for PGSD in January 2022. She set her 12-month growth goal with her quarterly milestones, and then she blew it out of the water. And we’re going to be talking about what the process for that was like, how she was able to do that. So she launched a sock knitting course. And she was able to really, truly, as I said, blow her quarterly milestone out of the water.

Even though in PGSD, we don’t share any strategy in terms of launching a course or anything like that. Natalie was in a program to help her with that side of things. She wasn’t able to get out of her own way and actually implement what she learned until she joined PGSD instead of using the PGSD process to get out of her own way. And that she did very quickly.

So we talked about so much, including as well, what happens when you do achieve your goals, the emotions that that can bring up and how our brains can still tell us that it isn’t good enough, even though we intellectually know that it is. And there are so many other gems that Natalie shares in this episode, I am so excited for you to listen to it. So stay tuned for that. To sign up for PGSD and join Natalie and a host of other PGSDers who are perfectionist entrepreneurs getting out of their own way in their own business. You can go to samlaurabrown.com/pgsd.

Hi, Natalie, welcome to the podcast. So do you mind starting with telling us a little bit about yourself and your business?

Hey, Sam. I’m so excited to be here. Like I’m super honored that you would ask me to come on. So my name is Natalie. I also go by Knitty Natty on kind of my like online persona, but I have a knitting and crochet online business. It is based around YouTube. I also have a online membership where we get on and do virtual events. Sometimes I’ll host community wide events. And then I also create or design and create and sell knitting and crochet patterns.

Sam Laura Brown
Amazing. And why did you sign up for PGSD? Like where were you at in your business? And that was only a few months ago. But where were you at and what made you decide to join?

So okay, I’m gonna go back, like, because I have been working on this business. And I’ve only just started calling it a business because that makes it seem so real. But I have been working on this since 2018, the end of 2018. So about four, three and a half, four years. And I did it at first on the side for fun. Like it was kind of just for fun. I was a school teacher. And so I was doing all of that. And then I would go home or on the weekends I would work on my YouTube channel.

And I guess it was like a couple of years ago, I was like, you know what, I think I could actually take this and make it my full time job. I don’t think it will make very much money but I can maybe my husband and I can work this out somehow. And so I made that my goal. And during like the pandemic and everything. I really got to work from home and work on it a lot more. That was great. And so I was like, okay, the end of this school year 2021. I think it was last school year. It’s only been I’ve only been at this for less than a year. That’s a full time. But I was like, okay, that’s my goal, I’m going to do it.

And so I did not realize how hard that was going to be, I thought I was already doing the business, but somehow making it full time made it real. And I didn’t have that solid income from being a school teacher. And it just got so scary. And I think I kind of panicked and like, froze, and I couldn’t make decisions anymore. And I was just having a really hard time. I was actually growing and be in doing quite well, both financially and like getting things done. But I just felt like anxious every single day.

I woke up every single day, I didn’t know what I needed to work on. I had all these great ideas. But I didn’t, like… I didn’t think that I knew what to do about them. But I think what I’m learning is that I just wasn’t able to, like execute them. And I just knew there was something wrong. I even when I was in my school teaching position, I had a role where I, I was able to make my own schedule, and kind of get things done as on my own schedule. And I had such a hard time doing that. I thought I liked the freedom. And I just kept saying, why is this so hard? Like I’m making this 10 times harder than it needs to be. And I knew that because I would I had a co worker helped me sometimes.

And I would tell her what the task was that I had been putting off for two weeks. And she would do it in like 30 minutes. And then I was like, wait, what am I doing wrong here? And so I just I knew this about myself, and I didn’t know what it was called. And then I somehow came across you on Instagram. I believe that’s where I first saw you. And it just happened to be about two or three weeks before you were launching PGSD. And I was like, Yep, I’m in. I signed up for the emails. And I started listening to your podcast and like obsessively. I wanted to listen to every episode, of course, because I’m a perfectionist, I wanted to like listen to all of them. And I haven’t done that yet. And I’m okay with that.

But I just think I found out about you and a time that I really needed this coaching on perfectionism. And I finally was able to put a name with what was happening or what’s been happening for me. So yeah, I started getting your emails, they, I felt like you were in my head, like every day, like even the most exact things that would happen, like a situation with posting on social media, like that would be the email I would get that day. So I felt like you’re reading my mind. And I there was no harm in trying. And honestly, I feel like it’s changed my life already. That’s a lot to say. But it’s been so great so far.

Sam Laura Brown
And what were you doing in your business at the time that you signed up? In terms of learning about marketing, or that kind of thing? Was there anything that you were working on already to try and get yourself to build your business?

So I had hired a coach in September of last year to help me launch a course. I had this idea of launching an online course for sock knitting. And I was really excited when I got started. And I, you know, invested quite a lot of money in this coach. And they were so helpful, like everything they told me was great, but I somehow was terrified. And I just couldn’t get myself to do it. It seemed like everything else was more important than that. And so I just kept putting it off. And then eventually I actually had to pause the program.

And they allow that to happen, like where you can pause and then come back. But then when you come back, like that’s it, you have to finish the course you’re launching within that set amount of time, or, I mean, you don’t get to launch the course you don’t get the value that you paid for. And so I just was in the pause when I found PGSD. I thought it would hurt to invest money in something and not do it. And it did but like not enough like there was I thought I had like set up these traps over myself to like actually do things. And it like still wasn’t enough and I just didn’t know what to do. And of course, I’ve tried lots of different ways to organize. I’m actually I would think people would say I’m a quite an organized person. But like I kept going but why can’t I do the things.

Sam Laura Brown
Yeah, what were some of the ways that you were organizing yourself in your business and like that felt like they were working but weren’t actually working for your perfectionist mindset?

So I had for a long time use a paper planner and three whiteboards. And I actually did this personally for my online business. And then I also did it with my school teaching. And it worked great at school because I had these three big whiteboard calendars that everyone could come and look at and see what was going on. And everyone loved them. And I’m like, great, this will work for me at home, let me let me do this at home. And so I had my paper calendar, where I tried to plan things. And then I had the whiteboard calendars where I could see like the next three months in a glance.

And what that did for me is like, well, first of all, it really didn’t do anything but like, I would want to travel or like go to a coffee shop. And I felt like I was lost without my paper calendars. Like I didn’t know what to look at. And I just realized I was spending more time trying to make a calendar than I was actually getting anything done. And so before PGSD, I actually got rid of those on my own, and I was like, I’m going to get rid of these. And I’m just going to try something digital.

And so I did, I did what I like to call like a running to do list. And I would list out everything that I needed to do. And I had days of the week, like Monday through Friday on there. But then of course, I would add Saturday, and then Sunday because I never stopped working because I never got to the end of my to do list. And so it worked quite well, or at least I thought at the time because I was able to list everything out and see it and then I would kind of like, go okay, well, I didn’t get these five things done today copy paste onto the next day.

And at least I knew what I wasn’t getting done. But what I missed, I think from that. And what I learned in PGSD is that I wasn’t prioritizing. I wasn’t identified what actually needed to be done, I was doing a ton of busy work. And I was the one thing that I think is so amazing about the way you have this power plan and PGSD is assigning outcomes and times to tasks that has changed everything.

Sam Laura Brown
Yeah, it’s such an important distinction. Because when we have that to do lists, and as you said, it’s so common to have this that running to do lists that things get copied and pasted from one day to the next to the next. And it just ends up being this overwhelming list. And we love it because it feels like there’s so much potential for productivity. But when it’s not time bound and prioritized, then we’re not actually really being honest with ourselves about what’s important, what we have time for. We’re not even giving ourselves the opportunity to have a clear and simple business, when we have this list of like, Oh, that’d be nice. And maybe I could do that.

And oh, what about this, and as you said, with the course, that we then and when we have that to do list, bump everything up the top of the list that’s more comfortable. And things like launching a course even when you’ve invested 1000s of dollars to work with someone to help with that, that becomes one of those tasks just gets moved from list to list to list. So when you join PGSD, can you tell us about the growth goal that you set because that included launching your course, in the first milestone, your first three months inside PGSD. So what’s your growth goal that you have for this year? And how did you decide what to make your growth goal and what to focus on for your outcomes for your first quarter.

So this is still so uncomfortable for me to talk about. But I’m going to be brave and talk about finances because I mean, like I am running a business now. And like I said, I couldn’t even call it a business until probably like a few months ago, which is silly because it’s been a business since day one. But it’s like it’s so real to talk about it that way. So for my growth goal, I have a 12 month growth goal. And my goal is to make $120,000 with my business.

Of course this is like at the end of this year, so it’s even kind of scary to share that because I’m like, Well what happened? What if I don’t do that? And the way that I set this goal is I kind of I had like a mini goal in my head. I just wanted to hit my first five figure month, like my first 10k month was like a big deal for me in my business. I just felt like that was something that all the entrepreneurs I was listening to on podcasts and stuff like that was there a milestone of like I made it.

So I was like, Okay, I’m gonna hit a 10k month and if I hit 10k month, then maybe I can hit another and another and another and that would be $120,000 at the end of the year and I was like, Well, no, I’m going to be more realistic and say $100,000. But I listened to your coaching on our lesson on that. And it was like, you know, take what you think and then push it a little bit more, dial it up a little bit. And so that was my dialed up goal for the year.

And then, to make that more, I guess, to wrap our brains around that you shared with us like the quarterly milestones. And so my quarterly milestone for the first quarter of the year, so January, February, March was, or is because we’re still in march right now, actually is $12,000. And then for the next quarter, it’s twice as much $24,000. And so in total, the first half of the year is 36,000. I believe I have that.

Sam Laura Brown
That’s correct. I’ve got yours here as well from your persistence log, and that checks out. So do you mind speaking to what you said before, and we talked about it before I hit record about your hesitations about coming on the podcast and sharing about your financial goal in case there are people listening from your audience who might hear that you actually want to make money from your business. Do you mind sharing why you had the hesitations? And why you decided to come on the podcast to chat about it anyway.

Yeah, I’m like grimacing right now. It’s so difficult to talk about. So I, initially, when Sam asked me to come on the podcast, I was like, I don’t think I want to do it. Because I have been shouting the praises of the perfectionism project to my own audience. And so many of them have responded so positively and relate to this. So I have a guess that there’s at least a few of them that are listening to these podcasts. And I was like, oh, no, what if they come on in here that I want to, I have financial goals, and that I, you know, I’m excited that I was able to launch a course and make X amount of dollars.

And so I had to do some reflecting and self coaching on that. And my first thought was, well, nobody should be upset that you are making money in a business, because that’s what businesses do is make money. And so I was like, Okay, that is a truth that I can accept, like, my brain will go there. And then I was like, but why do I think that people shouldn’t know that I want to make money? What am I making that mean? And when I kind of came to the conclusion was that I think that if people know that I am making money, or am tracking that in any way that they will feel like I am not having a good time, or enjoying my what I do, or that I’m here for them, that I’m only here for to make money, that it’s just a job, I guess in quotes.

And I know that that’s not true about me. But I still had that in my head. And I was honestly terrified to come on. And let anyone know that I was, you know, making financial goals. So I kind of wrapped that, you know, decided to be brave anyway and come on. And if anyone is here, listening from my audience, hi. I love you guys. And I love doing what I’m doing. And I think that I don’t know why I have that belief internally. I don’t believe that about other people at all. And so yeah, I had to do some self coaching on that one.

Sam Laura Brown
Thank you so much for sharing that. And I’ve definitely had that belief at times as well. Even though I’ve talked about my financial goals quite a bit that when it comes to sharing that, like what we’re doing, and we’re putting out, we’re making money from that, It’s very easy to be thinking that people are gonna think we don’t want to do it, we’re not enjoying doing it, that we’re only doing it because of the money. And I think that’s just how we’re taught about money as a society that you only do it in exchange, like you get money in exchange for doing something you don’t like.

So that if you’re getting money, that must mean you don’t like it and that’s part of the reason. I love talking about money. And I continue to work on my own money mindset and share about my own financial goals on this podcast. Because the more examples we have of people making money and loving what they do, it gives so much permission. I have been able to make a lot of money in my business, and really have such a fulfilling business from other people sharing that example as well and a whole lot of different industries.

So thank you so much for sharing that and I know that there will be people from your audience who are listening, who will be so grateful that you are sharing this side of your business and of yourself as well. And that it can help them to release any shame they might have around making money, whether it’s from knitting and that kind of thing, or it’s from whatever else they are doing. So thank you so much for sharing that. So let’s talk about your first milestone. So you had your course launch, and publishing your knit slash crochet pattern. So let’s talk about your course launch.

Yeah, I came back. Okay, so unsurprising to probably everyone, I came back at the last possible minute from my pause for my course coaching. And I even had to send an email going, like, is it too late to start again, and I just don’t want to feel that way anymore. But it was not too late. And I was still able to do the course launch. And it was difficult, like, just I think you said this in a podcast the other day, but it was like, just because you know that it’s going to be difficult doesn’t make it any less difficult or challenging. It just still is. And it was and it still continues to be. I’m still creating the content for the course. And almost not quite daily anymore.

But I still have to tell myself, like, nobody is upset about the course, like everyone is actually enjoying it. And even if there were some, like questions or hesitations, then that’s okay. Like you’re still reaching. You know, the majority of people that signed up. When I went through launching the course, you had conveniently, I’m telling you, this is like you’re in my mind. But you had also released a series of podcasts about launching PGSD.

And I mean, not even like the week before that I was launching my course. And one of the things that I took from you and put into practice was daily, like daily self coaching, and reflecting. I never really journaled before, and I now use a journal all the time, like I don’t write a lot, and I write really messy, like, I’m not planning to save it. As soon as this is full, I’m throwing it away and getting a new one. It’s just to get stuff out of my brain.

But I did that like every single day before I would go in and check how my course was doing. Meaning like how many people were signing up and also interacting with everybody. Because what I knew about myself would in the past is that I would work really hard for this big thing. And then I wouldn’t enjoy it. And I wouldn’t be in the moment with it. And I wouldn’t respond to people. And so I just I made sure to have that daily time. And it just made such a huge, huge difference in like how I felt throughout launching the course.

And then the other thing is that I had an initial goal of 100 people. And on the first day, I think we had like 90 signups. And like I wasn’t happy at first, like for a moment, you know, I was like, No, but I wanted 100. And I’m like, did I want 100? Wait, I wanted 100 by the end of the week, and it’s the first day. And then I’m like, and I realized I kept doing that to myself. Like at once I got one thing, I was like, No, that’s not good enough, it needs to be this number. And so I had to do again, I had to do a lot of self coaching on that and take time to actually just celebrate the completion of the course launch no matter the outcome of how well it actually did.

Sam Laura Brown
Yeah, I love that you shared about when you had 90 signups in a day, the first day and your goal was for the week how your brain was like, it’s not enough and my brain is on the same thing. And it’s so important to talk about this because if someone has a like with their growth goal and their milestone and or their launch goal, or whatever it is, it’s so tempting to think, Oh, well, if I had 90 out of 100 on the first day I would be celebrating, and therefore, like the it’s really the numbers that are creating how I feeling. And if I just had better numbers than I believe in myself.

And when we have the better numbers, and our brain is still saying the same shit, it becomes so obvious that we need to do that self coaching and that it’s not the numbers that are going to change how we feel about ourselves and how good we are at celebrating and appreciating and that that really is a practice and that becomes glaringly obvious when you do breeze past your quarterly milestone, and your brain is still like, No, this still isn’t good enough. Is there anything else you want to say about that particularly in terms of like celebrating and appreciating and being proud of yourself?

Oh, well, you know, I already want to do it better next time, even the celebration part. But no, it’s funny that you said that because I shared earlier that I had that goal of like, before PGSD, I was like, I would love to have a 10k month. And I had a 10k month in January of this year. And I was just like, oh, okay, I didn’t even feel like I was just like, great. What’s next, like, it’s not even about the actual, you know, financial aspect of it, it was just like, I hit the number I said, in my head. And now what, what’s next, and so I didn’t couldn’t celebrate that moment.

And so with the course, I didn’t do anything, like, go to a dinner or, you know, have a glass of champagne or anything like that anything, no overtly celebration. But what I did do is I set aside one day, where I wasn’t going to work on the course, I had six days of launching, and then one day of rest, before executing. Before the work of actually creating the content and interacting with the people who had signed up, I was like, I’m gonna give myself one day. And for me, that was a way to celebrate. And also is just really hard because I realized that I don’t punish myself by not working.

I feel like I want to work all the time and giving myself rest has, it doesn’t always anymore, but at first, it felt like the punishment part. So having the discipline to like, take a day off was me celebrating. But for next time, I’m going too. I’m taking your advice, I’m going to schedule, like a dinner or something with my husband. And regardless of the outcome of the launch, I’m going to celebrate setting a goal and completing it and just practicing being satisfied with the doing and not the numbers.

Sam Laura Brown
Yeah. And would you mind sharing, specifically what the numbers are because of what you mentioned before about being scared to share it. But also, just to be an example of how you can achieve more than double your quarterly milestone in the first month. And your brain can still be like, oh, and I think like, what you said about now what like cool. Now I’ve had the 10k month now what? It’s part of the reason that we love saying confused and in the drama and feeling behind is because we’re scared to get to that, like, now what part of things.

And it’s easy to kind of be in the pursuit, like, oh, no, I know where I’m going. I’m trying to get to this 10k month and once we get there, like, Okay, now what? And of course our brains very quickly go okay a 100k Okay, I mean like, there’s always another milestone we can aim for in my own experience. My brain just okay, let’s go for the next one. But it is uncomfortable being in the having of it and the succeeding, and especially when we’ve been used to being behind and like creating that experience, it can be a little bit jarring. But do you mind sharing what the numbers were for your launch?

Um, no, I don’t mind at all. And I’m actually just realizing in this moment that I don’t know the actual number because I think I’ve tried to hide it from myself. Because when I look at the number, I’m like, no, no, but then I had like, these fees or these costs, and I’m like, Okay, now Natalie can just look at the number and that is okay. But I am quite confident that it was between 34 and 36,000. And I had 100. And so yeah, okay, so my first goal was 100 people. And for some reason, my brain was like, no more. And then I had my next goal of 125. And on the last day, I was maybe a couple people away from 125. And I was telling myself, that’s great, that’s fine. And I had like a little bit of an influx on the last day. So I think I ended up with maybe 136 people.

Sam Laura Brown
Amazing. It’s so fun when like, you’d only just set the goal very shortly before achieving it. And that that felt like a stretch to you. And then to just achieve it like it just goes to show that our brains can be so convincing about what we can and can’t achieve. And they are often lying when it comes to what we can’t achieve that we’re like, oh, I don’t want to get my hopes up and like all of that kind of thing. And it’s like, oh, no, like this is just the beginning.

And it’s just so fun to be in that energy and to really witness that and that’s part of the reason that I wanted to have you on the podcast because our brains are very convincing about what we can and can’t do. And as I said, especially what we can’t do, but do you mind sharing about how PGSD helped you launch your course when we haven’t given you any course launch strategy content, like none of that, and you invested 1000s. And you got that from someone else? So how did PGSD fit in with that? And have you actually execute what you already knew when it came to launching a course?

Yeah, I would say the coach that I hired specifically for the course launch told me what I needed to do. But PGSD told me how to do it. And what I mean by that is that I had all the tools and all the knowledge, but I didn’t know how to execute things and how to follow through. And I had, I was overwhelmed by how many tasks needed to be done for the course. It’s like, as soon as I thought I listed everything out, I would have 10 more things come up. And it’s kind of one of those things where like, you start on a task, and it branches into 10. And it’s like, what do you do from here.

And so with power planning, I was able to manage like, both mentally and I guess, physically actually to do all of the things that I needed to do. And it was still, you know, chaos, it was in my I was watching the course, in my like, first few weeks of practicing power planning. Not that I would probably do it like perfectly now or anything. But I was able to use the power planning to follow through finally on something that I had been putting off for a good six months.

And I just followed through exactly how you taught us in the lessons. I would write out everything I needed to do for the week. And I would have my course items always be the first thing that I wrote out. And they were my needle movers meaning that they were the thing that was going to get me towards my goal, my growth goal. And so I would put those on the calendar. Not exactly first, but like one of my first work tasks would be my needle movers. And after I did that my calendar is full. And I realized that I had been doing, you know, so many things that are good things that I want to continue doing.

But like I was doing them to avoid doing the most important thing at the moment, which was that goal of launching my course. And so when I was able to see that it was still really scary. And I still wanted to fill up my days and evenings and weekends with all the work. But I was able to prioritize and actually do the course work first. And often only because that’s all I could do. And yeah, it was still difficult, it was still hard and remains to be hard. But I can tell because of the weekly reviews that we do and the persistence log that I am getting better. I almost feel like I’m like growing muscles to power plan. And I’m learning more about myself. So it’s really that’s really exciting to see every week.

Sam Laura Brown
Yeah, it’s so exciting. And also that like we make the three month commitment to power planning, it takes a minute to learn it. But that doesn’t mean that you really can’t see the impact of it right away. And even it’s something as simple as you said about like putting everything into your calendar and then realizing once it’s in the calendar, in this specific way that we do it like, oh, actually, this like doesn’t make sense. And if I want to achieve my goal, then I’m actually going to need to not do some things that I’d been prioritizing, telling myself I need to do, what were some of the examples for you of things that kept being more important, then your course creation and launching and all of that kind of thing?

Well, there’s one that I continue to do that I might need to get some coaching on. I somehow spends like almost an hour every day just like answering emails messages. Actually, it’s more than an hour like I’m probably not putting that on my calendar as realistically as I should. So that’s one of the things and I always do that first in the day, instead of getting started on the tasks that really were more timely, not that I want to communicate with my audience and answer emails and things but I wasn’t even doing that well. The other thing was is always content creation. And I needed to really step back and look at like, okay, my goal is to have a businesses make money, and I want to launch this course.

I want to design these patterns, these are actually the things that, in all truth do make more money than the things I’m putting my time into. And so I continue to do all of those things. But when I’m weighing what’s the most important for my week, I think about my goal first, I think about my audience and just being present second. And then I do like those other things like the content creation and answering emails. And that mean sometimes I don’t answer emails for sometimes a week. But I get to them. And yeah, I just had so many things. And even still when I’m power planning, I’ll write out this whole long list of things that are in my head. And then I go, but does that actually need to be done this week? Or is it just easy? And then, yeah, and then it’s like, my calendar is filled. I’m like, what happens?

Sam Laura Brown
Yeah, it’s so important that we like when we’re going through the power hour, we go through the steps of doing the thought download, or the to do list download in the beginning. And then after that, really examining, what are the needle movers like, it isn’t just about getting the whole to do list in our calendar. And often in the beginning, especially, we will do that we’ll just take everything and try and jam it in there. And very quickly, we are forced to realize that that doesn’t actually work. And that we’re not actually getting stuff done. It can feel I think, a bit scary to have less on our to do list because it feels like we’ll get less done. Did you have any of that come up when you started to deprioritize things that had felt really important to you previously,

One of the hardest things for me has been to rest and to say no to things that I that I felt like were important. I 100% and I’m getting more done, and I’m having more fun, and I’m having more rest. And it’s amazing. And there’s things left on my To Do lists. And I’m like, not I’m just kind of getting to the point, I think I’m too. I think I’m nine weeks into the three months of my power planning commitment. And I’m just now getting to the point where I’m like, not freaking out about things being left on the to do list.

This week, I was actually able to put in buffer time, just time in between things if stuff comes up, and was actually able to use that in a great way. I use it today, one to work and second to rest. And it’s so weird. So yeah, I am getting more done. And I’m more efficient when I’m working because I have planned better, for sure. But I’ve also like taken time to like have fun. And I’ve Oh, one thing that I have just found amazing is that. So my second part of my growth goal aside from the course was to release patterns. I hadn’t designed a knitting or crochet pattern in 18 months prior, where I had done like almost one a month for two years.

And designing patterns is a creative task. And I think I was in such like fight or flight mode or something for the past year for sure that I wasn’t able to be creative. And so when I started power planning, so planning my day properly and getting things done in the time in between where I actually like, had time in the evening and had weekends off and things like that, I started getting ideas.

And I was like, oh, like, I don’t have to work right now. But I can like write things down that I’m going to explore and think about. And so that’s what I was able to bring designing back in a joyful way. Whereas before trying to force it felt just like there was so much resistance there. So yeah, I’m definitely getting way more done and to having way, like, way more of a good time doing the work.

Sam Laura Brown
Would you mind speaking a bit more to that in terms of what you said about forcing in terms of the patterns that when we’re working from a calendar, it is often people think that that’s going to be really rigid and strict. And that means having to force ourselves to do things that we don’t want to do or that we’re not going to be able to do. And what you’ve just said is basically that by working from a calendar instead of the To Do lists, and also by getting more clean rest, that you were able to do something important that previously weren’t able to get done before. So is there anything you want to say or would you mind sharing in that regard when it comes to having a calendar and power planning specifically be a tool for creativity rather than something that would stifle it?

I think that the reason that the power planning and having a calendar works is because you prioritize rest first. And so when going in to actually plan the week, you look at where you need rest. And for me, I know this is probably not the same for everybody. But I take weekends off like Saturday and Sunday. I’ve still am very stuck in the mindset that I need to like have this standard traditional work schedule of like working not nine to five or start earlier, but like nine to five and then like weekends off which power planning has allowed me to see that if there’s a week that that doesn’t work, I can actually do something different.

Like, why am I not taking advantage of this part of being my own boss, I don’t know. But you prioritize the rest first, and then put in everything that you need to do. And then the other part I think that works so well about it is everything is there. Like when I’m finished power planning for the week, I like to do mine on Thursdays for the following Monday through Friday. So then I have a little time to like, kind of review the weekend like look at Friday a little bit too, even though I’ve already planned it.

But once I’m done with my power planning, I feel like relieved. I feel like I don’t have to think on the weekend like, Oh, it’s coming up Monday, have I forgotten something. I know that everything that is important I’ve thought of and I’ve planned time for it. And should anything come up, I now have it all digitally on a calendar. And they’re like little puzzle pieces, I can move them if needed. It’s not that you have to create a plan and follow it to a tee. It’s there. So you know what needs to be done in what’s important. And as things happen in your day, of course, things will happen. You can make little tweaks to it.

Yeah, the little tweaks and really aiming for about 80% follow through makes such a difference when it comes to our perfectionist mindset and wanting to be all or nothing that a lot of times when a perfectionist looks at a calendar, it’s like I need to follow this to a tee. Like, first of all, we overplan and put way too much on there that we couldn’t even follow through anyway. And then when we’re not following through like, oh, well, that didn’t work. And I’ll you know, wait till next Monday. And I’ll try again, and I’m behind and all of that stuff. But when we just focus on, as you said, like stuff comes up like so we just make those little tweaks and keep it moving and have things like buffer time in there.

Sam Laura Brown
And really having that goal as the North Star so that when we do need to maybe like if we don’t have time to do everything that we had in our power planning that week, we can figure out what we can move to the next week without it having to be this big, dramatic thing. So yeah, thank you for sharing that. So with your publishing of your patterns, what do you think in terms of PGSD, besides clean rest and the power planning. Is there anything else that really helped you to actually get that down when it was something you’ve done before consistently, and then you weren’t doing it consistently? Is there anything that helped you just get back into doing it?

So I had a goal for this quarter to release two patterns for the month. And just in case there’s, I’m sure there’s people that are listening, they’re not knitters, and crocheters. But this is kind of like a recipe, if you will, somebody I will like come up with a scar for something, for example, and I’ll write up the instructions and then sell it as a digital file. And so, I had been doing this so consistently and was so excited about it. And the way I’d always motivated myself before was to share it before it was ready.

And so I would tell people about it. And sometimes I would even have a commitment to a yarn dyer. So somebody who would partner with me, like collaborate with me. And so it wasn’t just me that had consequences if it didn’t get done. And so those were like, kind of my failsafes before, and but then they didn’t work anymore. And I had this commitment with a dire for like, a year and I just kept saying, I’m gonna get to it, I’m gonna get to and I eventually said, You know what, listen, I’m still going to do it. Like, I know that I am, but I don’t know when it’s happening.

And I’m really sorry. And I, you know, I’d like to pay you for the yarn because they had sent it to me. And they were like, no, no, no, don’t worry this, you know, it’s fine. So that was actually one of the patterns that I put out this month. Not because of the commitment to anybody else. But I think just because I finally was able to like look at my priorities and get that done. So the first pattern I released in January for the quarter and then that went well. Like I did it. I got it done on time and it felt good. And then in February was to sell my course.

And so the pattern got pushed, the second pattern for the quarter got pushed to the wayside. And I was sitting down to do my power planning one week, and I was like, You know what, I need to review my goals for the month to help me figure out how to prioritize. And I saw that second pattern on there. And I’m like, Oh, my gosh, I kind of forgot that I was going to do that. And I was like, oh, shoot, do I can I even do this in time because publishing a pattern takes, you know, for me, I take about six weeks or so at least, to publish the pattern because it has to go through other people making the item to test it and getting it all done.

And so I was like, you know what, I think I caught this in time, I have about seven or so this was like early February is like seven or so weeks. But if I don’t plan this right now, it’s not going to happen. And this is my goal. And it’s my goal, because I know that patterns are great financially for me. And I know that people like my patterns, and I know that people want to see them, and I have fun doing it. Like there’s just no reason not to do this. And so I was like, Okay, this is going into power planning this week, I maybe can’t spend four hours on it this week. But I can do one or two.

And then the next week, I’m like, I can get more of my other my core stuff done so that I can do like three hours. And then I just kind of had to plan it out. And it was really because it was part of my goal. I think that was the big thing. Like, I knew it was a priority. And I just didn’t want to let that slide. Like I couldn’t break that promise to myself anymore. I was tired of breaking promises to myself. And so I knew I had the tools to do it. And so I finally was able to get it done.

Sam Laura Brown
Yeah, and this is why having the growth goal is such an important part of planning properly, that if we just were to take power planning and clean rest, and do that without actually knowing what we’re working towards. So we have the 12 month growth goal, the quarterly milestones, and then for each quarterly milestone, we have one to two outcomes, that we are working to achieve that without having decided that at the beginning of each year, then it’s very challenging to figure out what to work on, it’s very easy in that kind of situation that you were in to be distracted by a new shiny idea or to justify, oh, here’s why it can actually wait another month has waited this long already.

And I love how you said about breaking it down. Because what with the all or nothing mindset, what we tend to do is like, oh, I need to have nothing else to do. And then I can fully focus on getting this pattern done. But when we are power planning, and we’re getting out of that all or nothing mindset that we can see, actually, the best thing to do is to start now, and to just do an hour here, an hour there, and know that that’s going to add up and we can trust ourselves to do that work when it comes without having to be like okay, I need everything else perfectly squared away.

And then I can turn my attention to this other big project so that that big project can be perfect. And it kind of goes on and on. I wanted to ask you about your second milestone, which I believe you have already achieved. And we’re still in quarter one, which is fun. But you have decided that instead of launching, so initially, one of your outcomes for quarter two was to launch a different course. And you have instead decided to relaunch the course that the sub course that you’ve already done. So would you mind sharing a bit about why you made that decision?

So yeah, my original goal was or for this second quarter, what was to create and sell a brand new course. I’m still really excited about this course and I can still do it in the future. But I realized that now is not the time because I haven’t even finished with the the sock course like we’re still weekly, I’m sending out lessons and interacting with everyone in the sock course. And we’re not even wrapped on this yet.

Like one I think that it would be asking too much of myself as just like a worker to launch another course right now. But two it’s like I’m not even going to let myself celebrate and and have something done like come on now. I did of course I had the coach for the course and they recommended the same thing. They were like, because I told them I was like I have more ideas. I’m super excited and they were like, “let’s not do that right now”. Like you just created all this amazing content like other people want to see it.

I’m like, oh yeah. I don’t have to keep doing new things. And so that’s when I kind of had another little piece of self reflection that this belief and this belief that I have that nobody will want something that you’ve already done, you have to keep doing new things. And then I was like, that’s not true at all, like I see people create one video and use it in YouTube and use it in Instagram, and you’re reaching different people or different times, or sometimes people need to see it again.

And there, my sock course was only open for five days I think. And there were people that didn’t know me then that might need the sock course or didn’t knit socks, and now they need this course. And so I decided, since we’re coming to the end of March, and you know, second quarter is going to be April, May and June, that I would review my outcomes and change that one outcome from creating and launching a brand new course.

I’m laughing at myself now, like, how did I even think I could do that, physically, and to instead relaunch my sock course. And I don’t know how it’s gonna go. But I’m excited to do it and to see like to use something that I’ve already created and actually get to like, appreciate it. And I’ll get an even deeper meaning, I think the second time and be able to share even more the second time. Like, I think that I just always want to be doing new things for some reason. And then I’m always like, why am I always learning new stuff, and everything is always brand new, instead of really honing in, and getting good at something and celebrating that.

Sam Laura Brown
Yeah, it’s so important, what you’ve said about letting something be done, and like reaping the rewards of that. And just like being in mastery, instead of we love jumping to new things, I think, because when we’re in something new, we don’t have expectations around it being good. And it’s kind of funny to say that because a lot of times as well, we don’t want to be a beginner at anything. But we love like being in the newness of an idea.

Because there’s so much hope and optimism, there’s no evidence that it’s not going to work. And this is a lot of the work that I have been doing for the past few months. And like is my focus really, for this year is to just keep my business. So painfully simple, that I’m really the only thing that’s changing and growing, like each time we launch PGSD, like pretty much everything in the business that it’s staying constant, so that we can better execute as a team.

So that I can create at a higher level, all those different things. But I have spent a lot of time in the past, figuring out the strategy and the new thing to do and being so busy with the chaos of that, that I got to ignore some of the personal growth work that I needed to do, because of that newness and the chaos. And I think there’s so much growth in picking something and sticking with it. And regardless of whether you achieve what you did with that launch, or you had three people sign up that like it’s very tempting to think well, okay, but her course like she did really well.

So of course, you’re gonna launch it again, which is funny because our brains when we’re the one experiencing that our brain doesn’t often go there. But it’s like, when you’re the one who has had if someone’s had three people sign up, then it makes even less sense to do something completely new. And we think, Oh, well, it’s no one one says it’s like no actually keep that the same. And now you just improve your skills around selling and doing the work you need to do on your perfectionism. So you can put yourself out there and communicate clearly, and all those different things. So I love so much that you first of all gave yourself permission to change the outcome for the quarter.

And that you’re letting it be easy knowing that it’s going to require more courage to relaunch it than it would be to go into a new course and all the chaos of that. So I just want to celebrate you for that. And I really just wanted to underline it and emphasize it because of that tendency that we have to want to always be in the new thing. Is there anything that you would say to your past self, like it’s fun to think now your future self of the version of you that set your growth goal only a few months ago, but when you first sign up to PGSD, and you’re in that place of being sick of not following through with things and having all these ideas and all this potential and not actually implementing. Is there anything that you would say to that past version of yourself now that you are a few months in?

Yeah, I would kind of want to yell at myself a little. But like, I would kind of want to be like, snap out of it, like, look for joy and things and start having fun, because everything doesn’t have to be so hard. I feel rewarded when things are hard. And I think that’s why I made everything difficult. Even just making small decisions, I just made everything so hard. And I still catch myself with that. But I would say to my past self, like, stop making things so difficult for yourself. Start looking for joy and fun. There is like, we’re not work work working to see the reward at the end, there’s rewards to be had along the way. And that comes with rest. And that comes with celebration. And I just, I wish for my past self that I had had more of that in this last year. Because there were things to celebrate, and I didn’t allow myself to have any of it. So yeah, that’s what I would tell her.

Sam Laura Brown
And it’s so great that when we do achieve a milestone or a goal that that is when we really get like that cliche of enjoying the journey, because when we always, like deny ourselves achieving a goal, and let ourselves stay confused, and in our own way, then we think like, oh, but you know, when I achieve that, then I’ll feel successful, and then I’ll actually enjoy my business because I’ll be succeeding. And then once you do achieve the goal, and you realize you’re pretty much the same person in a lot of ways, that it’s like, oh, shit, okay, I better actually take charge of this experience.

Because regardless of these goals, and things like were in the day to day of the business, and so like at the moment, I’m doing all the prep for the PGSD launch. And it’s so easy to be thinking like, oh, well, you know, this is just a means to an end. And I’ve just got to grind through it. And I have been so creatively engaged and enjoying the process. And that has only come from really getting that no matter what we achieve, we’re in control of how we experience our business.

And we want it to be challenging and to have our growth goals. So that we like have a challenge to rise to because that’s what makes it fulfilling. But at the same time, that doesn’t mean beating ourselves up. And it just being this slog and a grind the whole way there. And then we get this little moment of celebration of the end. And then it’s on to the next thing. And I think there are so many people who talk about, you know, you should be in constant dissatisfaction with yourself and your goals. And it’s just like, even if that works, what’s the fucking point of doing that.

So I’m so glad that you have mentioned and shared everything that you have. And thank you so much for coming on the podcast and being brave with sharing your revenue, because I know there are so many people who will be able to relate to that, particularly artists and writers and but I really think all of us when we are in a business that we love, and we’re making money, it can feel uncomfortable to share that we’re doing really well. And we love what we do. And it can be true that both of those things are happening at the same time. So thank you for being an example of that for being an example of being in the growth mindset. Would you mind sharing where everyone can find you? If they want to know more if they want to maybe they’re a knitter or crocheter or they want to be, where can they find you online?

So I am most active on both Instagram and YouTube. So both of those are Knitty Natty which is, K-N-I-T-T-Y, N-A-T-T-Y. My name is Natalie. So that’s where it comes from. But yeah, if you find me either on Instagram or YouTube, I’m sharing about everything else that I’ve talked about, from patterns to courses, to lessons, everything that I’m doing is all on there.

Sam Laura Brown
Amazing. Thank you so much, Natalie.

Thank you.

Sam Laura Brown
So that was my interview with Natalie, I hope you found it incredibly helpful. To join Natalie and hundreds of other perfectionist entrepreneurs in PGSD who are getting out of their own way. You can go to samlaurabrown.com/pgsd. And yeah, that’s it for this episode. I hope you have a beautiful day.

Before you go I want to make sure you know that the doors to my group coaching program for perfectionist entrepreneurs called perfectionist getting shit done aka PGSD are going to be opening at 6am New York time on the 10th of September 2023 but only for one week only. So if you want to be the first to know when the doors open or to find out more about the program, you can go to samlaurabrown.com/pgsd.

Author: Sam Brown