Sometimes life is chaos. It happens here too. I get it - all the moving parts, life events, unexpected things can be a lot to navigate AND grow a business. Today we're going to talk about growing a business 'even when' - even when there is chaos in life and the world around you, your business can still grow. I'm going to tell you a little bit of my 'even when' story, and share 7 of the small, simple strategies I use (and teach clients!) that can help you to grow your business 'even when'
Book a free 1:1 coaching consultation: https://calendly.com/torpeycoaching/letstalkcoaching
Join the free FB group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/teachersinbusiness
Welcome to this episode of Teachers in Business. I'm Sara Torpey. I am a business coach at Torpey Coaching, and I am the host of this podcast in a Facebook group by the same name also called Teachers in Business, which we'd love to have you be a part of. This week on the podcast, I am talking about two words that have been game changers. For me, I think that post pandemic, my two favorite words are even when. So today, I'm going to tell you the little bit of a story about me and those two words. And then I am going to share with you, let's see what my list is 1234567 strategies, very, very, very simple, simple strategies that I have used to grow a business even when. So I started my coaching business in 2019. I have coached teachers and salespeople for many, many, many years, since like 2004, but my own business coaching practice has been, you know, three years old at this point. And when I started it, you know, I like you had a lot going on, I was still teaching a lot. I have small kids three years ago, they were much younger than they are now they're 10 and eight today. And so there were a lot of good things going on, I had a couple of part time roles, actually teaching, and I have a first business and I had two other part time roles that I'm still hanging on to. And then then you know, I was doing all the things at once. And then 2020
We all know what happened that spring when the world closed down. And so what I happened to me at that point was, everything was fine. I had let go of one of my part time roles and but then I got added on like kids home 24/7 world upside down. In 2020, my first full year of my coaching business, I made $50,000. And I somebody recently said to me, Well, how did you do that that first year? And this is why I've been thinking about this recently, because my answer to her was that I got stuff done even when. And what that has meant to me is that as a business owner, as a human as a mom, I can still one of the things I know about myself and I believe about myself is that I can still get things accomplished, that matter that make a difference that make a dent that move me forward that create progress that create momentum that that make a difference for my business to help me grow, even when everything else is a mess. I think that the reason this is something I'm sharing today is because one of the things I see so often in clients and in other business owner friends, is that when life gets hectic, when things go wrong, when there are lots of projects that are not business projects, when kids have a lot going on, when you know there's family illness when there's all these other things. What we tend to do is put business on the backburner and say like I don't have the bandwidth for this right now. And I get that. And I think sometimes that's the answer, because that's what we have to do. But I also know that I think and I've seen people do this a lot, I can't decide if this will be controversial or not, I don't know, I'm still just going to go ahead and be me and say it. I think what we tend to do in those moments, though, is let ourselves off the hook. Because what we forget is that what it takes to grow a business often is not as much time and effort as we think it is. So even when there are a million things going on, and not all of them are super pleasant. There are still lots of small ways to continue to grow and move forward even when so this has been coming up for me lately because the last couple of months. March April, May, right it's almost May the end of May now it's the week of 30. So we're just heading into June here. What the last couple of months in my house had been complete and utter chaos. We have been doing construction. So we have had people Well, in and out of the house that just ended this week, my son is playing a ton of sports, my husband has been traveling a ton. My dad was not well, for a little while, my you know, there's just been a lot of things, the world is kind of a mess. More so than usual, I guess it's always a mess, but it's been weighing on my soul more heavily than usual. And so there have been a lot of moving parts. And I have really felt that internal chaos with that. And I've seen it in my external day to day with just movement of people and things and all the things going on. But what I have learned as a business owner, and as a coach is that none of that needs to necessarily have an impact on my business, the chaos around me doesn't have to impact what I accomplish. Like those things don't have to be connected, one doesn't have to cause a decrease in the other, I just have to think more carefully and be a little more strategic. And I'll be honest, the last couple of months, my version of strategy has been like doing less. So like, I'm gonna get through the list right here. But I think it is useful to step back and think about these two words, even when, when there is a lot going on in your life and in your brain. When you have so many moving parts and it feels like chaos. Can you continue to allow yourself to grow, even when can you separate out. And I joke with my coach sometimes that I am like an Olympic level compartmental iser, and that's probably not my best, my best suit. But in some ways, it's like a defense mechanism in a safety measure. But I think, you know, sometimes it's really reassuring to come into my business, and move the levers in my control to grow, when so many things, it's so many other ways feel out of my control, right? It is really nice to come in and get into working and coaching with other people's problems, and helping them to grow and do their thing and get out of mind. Like that's one of that's something that has always been true for me about coaching, and about business and about work, like I used to, if things were going at home, you go to work, and you sort of turn it off and give yourself some space. And then you come home and you dive back in or vice versa. Like you get to split out those pieces and just sort of focus your energy on the space you're in and be present. And so I think that, for me being present in my business allows me space to not like not to disappear from my life and the cast and the other things, but to you know, make progress somewhere right and feel valuable and expert in some ways when I don't feel like that in other places. That's okay. Like there's this is, maybe somebody's going to tell me it's not okay. I don't know. But so for me for you. What is your reaction internally, when things get really crazy, when you get chaos when life changes really drastically? Is your default to go like, Oh gosh, I can't continue to grow my business, I have to stop doing this. I need to do other things or or the other direction, which is like I need to work three times as much in my business because I can't control these other things. Like what is your response to chaos? And what if you knew and trusted, that you were going to be able to grow and do what you needed to do and get all the things accomplished that you need to get accomplished that matter? Even when, like there's a level of trust implied here. And like I was telling a client the other day if 2020 for me is all about trusting that my business is working all the time. Because it is and that it is working even when I am not. Which is a really interesting thing to think about right? So what I have for you today is a list of what I think of as my even when strategies. So like when things are chaos and these are very much how I have run my business for the last 10 weeks give or take. And I will say right here like me has been my biggest month ever in my business like I've made more money in May that I ever in a single month. And it has been a greater level of chaos in my life. And I spent a really long time in one did not stop the other. Like making more money didn't make less chaos and more chaos didn't mean less money. They're not connected, because I can keep going and keep growing even when so here are the strategies that I have employed in my chaos. The last Few months that I think really have made a difference. Number one, what I wrote down on my papers, just say it. So here's the thing, we all have goals around social media posts, and making invitations and offers, what happens to me sometimes is like, I don't have the bandwidth to write anything complicated. I don't know what I want to say, and I don't have the time to figure it out. So at that point, I have two choices, I have just say whatever it is, that comes out of my mouth and out of my fingers, or skip it. And the deal I have made myself as a business owner is I'm not going to skip it. So then I have to go as well just say, like, I, I have a little spreadsheet of which kinds of things I'm offering on which days. Because I have multiple offers. And I want to make sure I'm talking about everything. And I hold to that list. So like there was a day last week where it was like, Okay, make sure to tell people about your Facebook group. And I was like, I don't know how to say this right now. And I was like, I'm not going to do this today. And then I turned around, I was like, no, no, I don't, it's not that I don't have time, I have two minutes, it's not going to take me any more than two minutes. And so I put out on Facebook on my personal page was like, Hey, I have this Facebook group. If you're a teacher, and you're in business, and you want people like you around you, come join us. Let's all set and it was like literally, that was it. And don't you know, a whole bunch of people shared it, and a whole bunch of people joined. Guess what, it didn't take any complex thought like it did not require any effort on my part, besides just committing to do it, I can do it even when the second strategy that works really well for me is a five minute timer. So when I am talking myself out of something, when it's like, Oh God, I don't have time to do that. I don't have the bandwidth, I don't have the brain space, there are too many things going on around do this right now. What I do is I think like, Okay, I'm gonna do it for five minutes. And I set the timer on my watch, and I start 99 times out of 100. That was the problem, I just couldn't start. And when the timer goes off, I have a deal with myself with timers. If the timer goes off, and I want to be done, I can be done. But the vast majority of the time, I've started and then I'm like, oh, no, I'm in it now. And I keep going. Because I know I knew what to do. It was just the Getting Started because there were so many other things going on that even when, like, I just wasn't sure how to start, or I couldn't get out of my own way long enough to start. So a five minute timer really pot makes me move and move forward. The next. The next strategy that I use, and this is very much how I survived COVID As a business owner and grew and thrived in the midst of it was that it is okay to be ruthless in your prioritizing like literally ruthless, like I think of myself as like a pirate swashbuckling through my list. So the question I asked myself all the time is, does this task move me forward right now? And if the answer is no, when there are a lot of things going on, when things are chaos, then I don't do it. That's it, period. So right now I have commitments to myself about making invitations every day, I try to send two emails a week, that doesn't always happen. I've been building some new content, but that doesn't always happen. I have an outline to write for something, I'm looking at my list. But really like on any given day, what's been happening is making invitations and sometimes that's it. Because that is the thing that moves me forward in my business like me being present and inviting people into my world me doing my lives and my connects. But everything else has kind of fallen off. Because I know that the other things can wait. But what can't wait, is telling people what I do inviting them to work together, sharing the best of the work I'm doing with clients. And in showing up, like showing up can't wait. But everything else can it does. It give you attend us to but now that we're out of construction like woof brainspace. The fourth thing that I find really helpful even when is deciding faster. This one feels really funny to people. I have clients that I talked about this one with all the time. But I think 99 times out of 100 when we're like thinking about a decision and agonizing we already know what we're going to decide. We just haven't been ready to admit it to ourselves. So what I have really practiced since the pandemic and when things get really chaotic is like okay, I have a decision to make. I'm going to give myself five minutes to like sweat about it and then I'm going to decide because I don't have time to screw around and like think through myself and get in my own way. And you know what I find most of the time I'm not any, like worse off, I'm not making worse decisions, because I'm making them faster. I'm making just as good decisions. But I'm just not taking the time to bullshit myself about them, which is what I was doing press the time, like when I haven't really decided what I'm really doing is just telling myself, I haven't decided when I already have decided. So I'm cutting out the middleman. Like the drama in between I've just wholly cut out, you can decide things faster. You don't have to take as long to decide you already know the answer. Most of the time. When I say to clients, and they're trying to make a decision, I'm like, okay, which if you had to decide right now, which way would you go almost all the time, they know. And that's the decision they're going to make. So we could just skip the like, wander around in circles over it and just get right to it. That helps a time. Number five is to ask for help. Listen, you know, when they talk about what to do with your list, when are prioritizing one of the DS and like the four DS is delegate, like, find some stuff to delegate, ask for help give things away. Or reach out to someone with expertise that you need and ask for their help. Connect. But here's the thing when you're like, Oh, my God, I don't know how to do this. Thinking you're gonna go teach yourself how to do it is not helping you feel less pressed. It is not helping you get things done, even when and the whole, like, question of does this help me move forward right now and reach my goal? The answer's no. Asking for help. Does delegating does and yes, sometimes you're gonna be like, Well, I don't have the money to do that right now. That's fine. There are other ways to get the help you need. There are other ways to get things off your plate. And sometimes they just don't belong on your plate to start with, like that website doesn't belong on your plate right now. It just doesn't like unless you are selling everything you do directly through your website. And then even then, like that's not necessary, if you don't have the bandwidth and the expertise, let it go for now. It's okay. No one died because they don't have a website. I know people that make multiple hundreds of 1000s of dollars a year that don't have websites not gonna die. Okay. Number six, is to let things fall off your plate. Yes, yes, yes, I hear you. My ruthless prioritizing in my even when means that sometimes things get pushed off the plate and like let fall on the floor. And they sit there. Like if you can imagine it like my kitchen, sometimes I'll leave that sit there. Because that's it's just not time to pick it back up yet. What I tend to do when I let things go like this is I schedule them into my calendar for like six or eight weeks away. So if there's a project I wanted to accomplish, and it turns out that it is not the time, and I just don't have the bandwidth, because there are so many things going on, then what I do is I put it in my calendar, so I don't lose it because I don't want it to go away. And I don't want to put it on a sticky note and have it on my desk because that's awful. But I do really make sure that I put it in my calendar and push it out. Like it's okay, you don't have to do it all right now like, Okay, if you don't have a podcast today, it's okay, if it's not time for you to write a blog post every week, it's okay. That's if it's not going to move you forward today, you can let it go for a little while until the bandwidth exists. And if you can't figure out how to get the bandwidth, let's talk about it. Because like that's part of what I helped clients do. And then here's the last strategy for each one. This one is gonna sound super counterintuitive, but it is what I have known to be true. Like I see this with clients, I see it myself. Success requires space period. If you're not creating space for your success, you aren't going to have it. Like it's like, if you're planting seeds in the spring, you don't plant them under other bushes. You clear a space in your garden, and then you plant seeds. You don't plant the seeds and then make the space. It's not how it works. We need to make the space first. And so what we do when we make space for successes we rest sounds insane. But when your life is chaos, and you're trying to grow even when what you need and I need more than anything is downtime. So like a couple of weeks ago, I took three days off to build furniture for my office and watched a lot of bridgerton. It was fine. I didn't write posts, I watched Bruton as I put together furniture, my brain needed the downtime. In a couple of weeks. I'm gonna go on a trip. My brain needs downtime. When things are chaotic. We feel like we don't deserve to rest. And the opposite is true. The only way we get through and those times when we are even when the only way we get to grow is if we actually take the space and create space for growth. Without it it's impossible. And I know it feels wrong like you feel guilty about taking space when things are busy. But that doesn't make it better. Like feeling guilty about it just like layers on the candy coating of guilt and drama. When you could just go like I'm going to take this hour off, I'm gonna get my head on straight. I often use it to exercise, I go sit in a chair in the sun, I do what I need to do. But when things are more chaotic, you need more space, not less and it is okay if not all the things get done and you rested, the rest is going to pay the dividends. So even when friends if you have other strategies that you use, even when that helps you get things accomplished and help you remember that you can grow even in the midst of chaos, feel free to hit me and share them come join my Facebook group and talk about it; message me on LinkedIn, send me an email, whatever if you are in this even when space but what you're struggling to do is accomplish. I hear you I get it, I have been there. And what I'm wanting you to know is that I can help you through this. I coach people all the time that are working to create space that are working to prioritize that are trying to focus that we are prioritizing their day in their tasks. We're helping them make decisions faster. We are I am the help they ask for if you are ready for help send a message book a time to talk on my website which is torpeycoaching.com. Or reach out via Facebook or LinkedIn. I am happy to be a part of the conversation and a part of the help you get. And remember that I believe in you. Even when I believe in your capabilities, I know that you can do this and I know that your growth is available to you even when the rest of it is chaos. We are all here. We are all capable and that includes you. Have a great week