Time management for smarties

Time management for smarties

After a bit of a hiatus while focusing on some projects I have underway, I’m happy to be back and sharing TWO GIFTS to help you champion your goals and dreams – today!

  1. An applied psychology lesson in time management 
  2. A guidebook that walks you through exactly how to take it further

 

⭐ First, the lesson:

If you feel chronically overextended, like there’s never enough time or energy to make any REAL progress on your dreams and goals, that’s a clue that something deeper is going on. 

What you THINK is the problem, likely ISN’T. 

Here’s how to identify what’s REALLY holding you back:

In the therapy and coaching space, there’s what’s referred to as the “presenting problem.” The presenting problem is what exists on the CONSCIOUS level. It’s the problem that SEEMS to be what needs solving, that if you could just find a remedy for, you’d be free!

Or so you think.

Thing is, the presenting problem is rarely the real problem. What’s really holding you back is likely happening on an UNCONSCIOUS level. 

In other words, your brain and your habits are hiding the real problem from you.

Maybe you’re thinking, “Not having enough time or energy to make progress on my dreams and goals feels like a very real problem to me, Tara!”

I completely understand. 

As a coach and author with 20+ years of bringing the psychology of change to light in empowering and accessible ways, I know how frustrating it can be to feel like there’s never enough time or energy for your dreams.

Let’s demystify this hurdle with one strategy that you can apply right away: 

At the unconscious level, people often don’t actually want and aren’t actually eager for a solution to the “presenting problem” — even when they convincingly tell you that it’s something they very much WANT! And even when they recognize that it’s a chronic problem for them.

A client example comes to mind:

Despite her awareness and seemingly emphatic desire for a solution to being “chronically overextended” (← her words), she kept saying “yes” to things!  

“Yes” to that meeting…

And “Yes” to that friend…

“Yes” to that client…

“Yes” to her kids and driving them everywhere…

The countless time management books and trainings she invested in that claim to have the answer, haven’t solved the problem. And she’s painfully aware that she’s missing out on positive opportunities and experiences simply because she doesn’t have the bandwidth to act on them!

Nonetheless, the problem persisted.

Now let me ask you this: 

If she’s AWARE of the problem and eager for a solution, WHY would she keep saying “yes” and agreeing to too much for her capacity?!? (especially knowing she has other goals she wants to prioritize and work towards, like her health and her business)

On the face of it, it doesn’t make sense.

Here’s what’s really going on:

What’s really going on is … something about it SERVES her.  

This can be hard to accept at first.

To see this more clearly for yourself, when it comes to YOU not having enough time or energy to make any REAL progress on your dreams and goals, answer these 3 questions…

Each one nudges the unconscious to become conscious. 

(1) What do you get to AVOID doing, or having to be responsible for, BECAUSE you’re overextended? 

(2) Who do you get to BE in your overextended state? What self-concept does being overextended affirm for you?  For example: Do you get to be a generous person, a kind person, an important person? Does it provide opportunities to prove – to yourself or others – that you are good? 

(3) Who would you BE if you suddenly said “no” to doing the things that keep you feeling overextended? (This question is asking you to pinpoint what might happen if you change or start doing things differently. Who might you disappoint? And what do you believe this would mean about YOU?)

While answering ALL 3 questions helps you powerfully peel back the onion and go beyond “the presenting problem” to get to the heart of the REAL problem so you can find your way to a lasting solution … answering even just ONE can be immensely helpful. 

⭐ Download the Guidebook!

Ready to take this further with FREE immediate access to my 30-page “Refreshingly Unconventional Goal-Setting Guidebook” modeled after the work I do with my private clients to create real momentum on their dreams and goals? 

Click here for your copy!

Big love, 

Why I don’t call myself a business coach

Why I don’t call myself a business coach

I don’t call myself a Business Coach.

Even though I’ve been running my own company for nearly 20 years.

And even though I’ve coached numerous clients to create and build their businesses. 

Like Martha, who, when we first connected, felt she’d “already done the inner work to move beyond fear” and that “all she needed was nuts and bolts business development advice.” I helped Martha identify subtle beliefs that were holding her back from thinking bigger. We then rebranded the various aspects of her business into one unified message and expanded her product offerings. The result: In addition to feeling more confident as a business owner, fulfilled and aligned with her sense of purpose, Martha reported: “In my first year with Tara as my coach, my sales revenues increased by 117%. As of this writing, now in my second round of coaching with Tara, my first quarter revenues alone (during my quiet time of year) are up 46% over last year. Thanks to Tara, I’ve created a business that is unique to me and I have not had to compromise!“ 

^ From this testimonial alone, I could call myself a business coach.  

When someone is struggling in their business, it is completely understandable for them to think that a better social media marketer, or strategist, or new business coach is what is needed.

But – what my clients have found is that the real difference comes from a shift within THEM.

Another client, Cathie, dreamed of being a consultant for nonprofits, but she wasn’t clear on how to earn what she needed and attract the right clients while also maintaining the kind of work:life:family balance she wanted. Cathie and I mapped out her unique service process, packages, and plan (the 3 P’s) to create $240k in revenue, serving in a way that aligned with her “Big WHY” – all with just 7 client organizations and 4-day work weeks.

BUT – before any of this awesomeness was possible, her WHY needed to be clarified, she needed to learn how to manage her energy differently, and (perhaps most important of all) she had to self-identify as having what it takes to BE a successful business owner!

Her words: “Through Tara’s wise and focused support I have more energy than I’ve ever had, a clear plan to grow my business, more time to pursue a life outside of work, and I’ve learned to ask for and RECEIVE powerful support from other people. … Every day I wake up and am thrilled to be doing what I love! And I know there is so much MORE to come!”

Then there’s Friderike, who was able to double her income and generate her best revenue year ever! And, she added, “I didn’t kill myself in the process and had fun with it.” 

✴ Despite all of this AND the fact that people tend to be far more willing to pay top dollar for business coaching than life coaching, I still don’t call myself a Business Coach. ✴

Here’s WHY:

Because experience has taught me that you really can’t separate life coaching from business coaching, ESPECIALLY if the ultimate goal is a fulfilling and satisfying life.

And that’s certainly my goal for my clients. No matter who I’m coaching. 

But – in order for that to happen, life and business MUST work together. 

Yes, we strategize. Of course we strategize! Yes, we adapt and customize business models. And we most certainly create plans, test new approaches, and map out action steps – all to help ensure desired outcomes. 

But even more than THAT …  it’s the internal shifts, personal shifts in how you think, prioritize, and choose to spend your time and energy. This is what makes everything better, easier, bigger, and more powerful.

Businesses benefit from life coaching because business owners (like Martha, Cathie, Friderike, and numerous others), benefit from life coaching. 

Just as non-business owners benefit from life coaching.

When ‘the Business of Life’ thrives, YOU thrive.

Having the support of a skilled coach who knows how to create transformation within your personal psychology and help you live a fulfilling, impactful, joyful life creates a ripple effect, beneficial to every area of your LIFE – from your relationships, to your health, to your business, or whatever career path you may choose.  

Like Melissa, who shared that before connecting with me she’d “spent the majority of life doing things for all the wrong reasons.” Though she very much wanted success, she wasn’t sure where or how to focus her energy. Together, we uncovered a belief she had that was holding her back: that success was hard and that it meant sacrifice – none of which (understandably!) was how Melissa wanted to live. 

Upon realizing that her dream is not one particular passion but, rather, a passion for how she wanted to live (free to decide her own schedule, with autonomy and plenty of time for not just work, but for herself, her friends and her family) it became clear that real estate encompassed all the things she wanted out of a career, while also allowing her the freedom to live life the way she’d dreamed she could. In Melissa’s first year as a real estate agent, she made over $2.5 million in sales! And, to quote her, “the really amazing thing is … it felt effortless and FUN.” 

Having this kind of support on your side is invaluable and goes way beyond business!

Bottom line: None of this is unique to business owners. Whatever you’re up to, coaching together can help!

I am a coach who’s not afraid to ask the hard questions. I’m a coach who has an astutely attuned ear. I don’t let you stay on the track of old thought patterns and behavior patterns that aren’t serving you. Together, we stop, look at it, shine a light on it, name it, deconstruct it, and then implement new strategies and build new habits in those areas where a break in the old pattern is going to support you far better. (a.k.a. brule breaking)

It’s who I am. I see what goes unnoticed by most. As I learn your personal psychology, and I learn what your go-to behaviors are, and I see the default path that your thoughts and beliefs tend to follow over and over and over again, and I pinpoint the assumptions you make over and over again … opportunities for the applied psychology of change abound! 

That’s the fun part. 😊

Yes, your business may grow in the process. But that’s not ever going to be the primary measure of your success – or, frankly, mine. 

There’s one more piece to what really makes private coaching such a powerful combination: LOVE. I adore my clients. It’s why I don’t stand for them standing for their own BS. It’s why I lovingly help them see that. It’s why pattern interruption strategies are a must when what’s been happening isn’t serving. 

And, lastly, I believe it’s why my clients trust me to do the deep work. To tell me the truth, even when it’s hard or has shame attached to it. 

They know that I have their best interests at heart. They know I’m not here to judge them. In fact, in large part, what I do is help them understand how NORMAL what they are feeling shame about IS, and how wonderful it is that their bravery to share it anyway is already a break in the old pattern. 

With this shared understanding, and my decades of education, training, and tools for how to apply the psychology of change in a customized way, it then becomes easy to team up and help my clients effectively apply new practices and make new choices and see new possibilities that allow them to grow, to meet and exceed their goals, and make their dreams happen – business or otherwise. 

Are you next?

Go HERE to read the full testimonials of these clients and others, and, if you’d like, claim a complimentary Assessment Call so we can connect 1:1 and explore how I might serve YOU – and your professional goals and aspirations too. 😉

An Unstructured Time Experiment

unstructured timeI am in month #2 of an Unstructured Time Experiment … a new schedule that limits my availability for client sessions to three weeks per month in order to allow me one week per month of unstructured time. Not time “off” per se … I work, but with an I-can-do-what-I-want-when-I-want-where-I-want-with-who-I-want-and-not-need-to-watch-the-clock approach.

There’s a gradual transition underway before this new schedule will be in full effect.  To honor my agreements with those who were scheduled prior to my “new” schedule kicking in to gear, I still have a few client sessions during my Unstructured Week – but only one day during the week, is this the case.

When the idea was first “seeded” and I started to consider putting this into place … I had *ALL KINDS* of resistance rise to the surface!  All kinds of “not enough” stories and who-do-you-think-you-are questions.

Can you afford it, Tara? I mean, really … Who are YOU to decide it’s ok to be less available for new clients? And if prospective new clients have to wait, sometimes 3-4 weeks for a Dream Discovery session, you’re going to miss the chance to work with them … They’ll go find another coach! They won’t *wait* that long. Pfft!  AND – with a team to pay and your expenses being higher than ever, you really have no business even *thinking* about doing such a thing. Utterly arrogant. It’ll be financial sabotage…. And what will you DO with this time exactly? Follow creative inspiration?!? You’re not sure exactly?? Maybe you’ll organize your office? Go to the gym every day that week? Sit in cafes? Pfft! Sounds like playing hooky to me, Queen Tara. An all around terrible idea!

And on and on it went …

But I figured, what the heck, I’ll give it a few months.  I can always go back to my “old” schedule.

In full transparency, my “client time schedule” over the 10 years I’ve been in biz has changed over time, in phases …

Phase I: Anytime, 7 days a week, as long as I’m not sleeping.

Phase II: Monday – Saturday, as long as I’m not sleeping.

Phase III: M-F, as long as I’m not sleeping.

Phase IV: M-F, 9am-6pm.

Phase V: M-F, 9am-6pm, except Wednesdays which start at 11am.

Phase VI: Monday-Thursday, 9am-6pm, except 11am start on Wednesdays, and Fridays available for VIP Days.

Phase VII: Tuesday – Thursday, with 11am start on Wednesdays, and Fridays available for VIP Days.

And now …

Phase VIII: Tuesday-Thursday, with 11am start on Wednesdays and Fridays available for VIP Days, 3 weeks out of the month….

And so far so good!

I’m really learning how important Unstructured Time is for me.  How it allows for creative ideas and inspiration to bubble up. How sometimes I want to write, and sometimes I want to organize, and sometime I want to collaborate, and sometimes I want to play, and sometimes I want to revamp an old something into a new something, and sometimes I want to be in nature, and sometimes I want to be in a public library or a museum, and sometimes I want to take a nap, and sometimes I want to wake up early, and sometime I want to go to bed late.

Tara
Here are just a few of the results of my two-month Unstructured “Week 4” Time:

  • Revamped and restructured an old program into a new and up-leveled more streamlined version that better serves my clients and my team.
  • Followed an in-the-shower inspiration … connected with a colleague and pitched a collaboration idea and, after just a 1-hour “on fire” phone call, wheels are now in motion for a very fun “on the stage” event that we foresee will be duplicated, city after city…
  • Reflected and reviewed how I’m spending my time and as a result have reached out and started interviewing to hire a new Create Your Life! team member to take a time-consuming task off my plate.
  • I had an idea for a brand new business all together and conversation is underway with an interested partner.
  • The closet in my bedroom is organized like never before which makes getting dressed everyday a delight.
  • Plans for a dream trip is in the works.
  • Hot baths in the middle of day, because I can. (And with more frequent gym-time, what used to be a luxury feels more like a need.)
  • Leisurely lunch dates.
  • Long walks with my pup….

And, for the record, NONE of my fears have proven true. Revenue has gone up, not down. I’ve even started to wonder what Phases 9 & 10 might look like!

Thanks for reading. I felt like sharing. And I had the time to do so.

I’d love to hear from you … What does reading this inspire for YOU?

My hope is that you too might look at new ways to schedule your time, allowing for more Unstructured Time and the emergence of a new kind of productivity in your life and your work.

Carpe diem.

May your dreams always inspire more than they intimidate,