One of my FAVORITE questions to ask myself (and clients) is how do you want to STRETCH next?
It's a great question for LOTS of reasons, but the biggest is that it's an OPENER.
It's the kind of questions that opens me (and them) to ideas, to things we might way to try or experiment with.
Thinking about stretching means you are leaning into learning, into experimenting, and into the leading edge of your own growth (and when you're stretching, so is the rest of your life and business).
So, how do YOU want to stretch?
Welcome, welcome. Welcome to another episode of Teachers in Business. This is Episode 39. And I swear I've been losing count. But I promise this one actually is Episode 39. So this one is all about one of my very favorite questions I asked this one of myself in of clients all the freakin time. And the question is, how do you want to stretch next? Now, let's talk about why it's one of my favorite questions. Because as a teacher, as a human, as a mom, as a business owner, as a lot of things, but primarily as somebody who like, is a dork and really just likes to learn stuff. If I'm stretching, I'm learning. Like, it's the question, I asked myself to make sure that I'm not staying stagnant, that I'm not getting stuck. Like, if I'm stretching, I'm not stuck. And so for me, it is a way to get a sense of what I want to play with next, or what I want to like, dip my fingers and toes into and play with. And it's just a really good way to think about experimenting. Questions like this one, like, how do you want to stretch? Or, you know, what could your business look like in a year or five years? Or, you know, there's a bunch of questions sort of in this vein, that I think of as expanding questions like this is an expander. It's meant to be an opener, right? It's supposed to open what's possible. The other thing that that means is, there's not a wrong answer to this. So there's no wrong way to stretch. The only really like, quote, unquote, wrong way is to not try, right, that's the thing. So we all want to learn and do and be better at what we do for a living like I am constantly thinking about how I can be a better coach for my clients, how I can be better at running a business, how I can, you know, be better at marketing and social media and connecting, and all of these things like these are all things I want to constantly be better at. And what I find is, if I am focused on, you know, not entirely but if I really am thinking intentionally about how I want to stretch and be better, every part of my business benefits from that. And, you know, when I'm not thinking about that, we're not intentionally thinking about that. And putting that at the front, like I tend to do we all do this, where you just do the same, like five things over and over and over again, and you forget about the new things, or trying in a different way, or looking at the data differently. And so I find that, when I don't think intentionally about how I want to stretch, I sort of get stuck in ruts where I just am like, just repeating the same dumb thing over and over again, or just repeating something that's working over and over again, that's a bad thing. But it is useful, I think, to, to think about how I want to stretch myself out of my box. Because here's the thing, if I'm going to try to grow into a better business owner, into a bigger business into a business that serves more people, if I want to grow into serving 10,000 teachers over the life of my business, I got some stretching to do, like I got to push on the walls of the box a little bit. I can't just stay the same and do that. And so this is a tool for experimentation. So now, this is a question you can try. It's a question I ask a lot. It's a question I ask clients all the time. I think it drives them crazy. But I'm going to warn you of a couple of things. There are a couple of ways that your brain is trying to try to like freak out over this one. The first one is that your brain is gonna be like, well, in what way? I so often the first time when I ask clients, like how do you want to stretch next there'll be like, Whoa, what do you mean In what way? Like, in whatever way comes to you? That's the thing your brain is going to want some specific like what direction and what which what blah blah blah blah. And, you know, I don't often answer them in which way because I really believe that if we just sit and listen for a minute, and we let the like screaming toddler scramble that our brain leads will settle That the answer of what way we want to stretch next will come. Sometimes you might have to think going on for a couple of days, or a couple of hours. Or ask yourself a couple of times, sometimes I asked myself the same question in a journal. Well, sometimes I do most of the time. I do it for like a month. But sometimes when I ask myself this question, the first thing that comes out is like, I don't know, what if I choose wrong? What if, what if all the wrong things. And so then that's, to me an indicator that like, I should just sit with it a little bit. And so I'll ask it again the next day. And I'll ask it again the next day until I'm like, Oh, you know, what I'd like to try in there it is, it's starting to open and unlock. So let it open. Your brain is going to be like, in what way? What do you mean, these more specific, it's okay, your brain is also going to serve you up? I don't know. I can't possibly know how do I know the answers that? Listen, the thing is, is there no wrong answer, your brains gonna be like, oh, gosh, I have to make the right choice. But you that's not how this works. So if you get served back, in what way or I don't know, just let it sit. Like be patient with it. It's okay, if you don't know right off the bat. But you do. That's the thing. I don't know is like a like a is much like my kid likes to clean her room, my older daughter, I swear, I don't know. As a teacher, like, you know, when you learned when you stood in front of a classroom, what you learned at some point was that like all the things you got away with as a kid in the classroom, you totally didn't get away with because you were not nearly sneaky enough. And the other day, my daughter was cleaning your room is a total side note. And what she did was shove everything under a blanket on the floor and just straighten out the blanket. As if I wouldn't notice that a there was a blanket on the floor and be it was super lumpy, because it was just covering all the stuff she didn't want to pick up. And so, you know, I don't know is sort of like that blanket in our job internally as to be patient enough to let that blanket peel away. And it will we just got a peek under the cover a little bit. So that's one thing. The second thing is that your brain is going to be like, well, this is going to be so painful. Because stretching is new things and new things are scary and they have to hurt listen. You can be like what would be fun to stretch into. And you can focus on fun. It can be fun, like the next thing I'm stretching into is really expanding my audience and my reach for the combination of YouTube and growing this podcast and public speaking. And so like the second half of my year, I think all this is like crazy been some super dork and I like learning stuff like right now I'm in a I hired a new coach and I'm in the beginning of his program. I don't know, I'm why I bought a book. I know I'm doing some really selective things. I'm not doing a lot of them. But that's you know, it's making stretching fun. Like I'm going to stretch in this new way. But it doesn't have to be like being marched to the to your death. Like it's not it doesn't have to be Doom, like stretching if you're like, Oh, I guess I could stretch in that way. That's not the way like whatever your brain offers that like, Oh, I could do that. But it would be so awful. Like, for me stretching and painful would be Instagram. So if I was like, Well, I guess I have to do Instagram. That's not the right stretch for me because I don't want to. I just don't want to. And so I'm not going to or Tick Tock like I had a little that Tick Tock clubhouse I had a little thought for a while that I really should try stretching into clubhouse, and I just couldn't get into it. And so I just was like, Okay, well that's not going to be the way I stretch. It's fine. Like whatever. There are different things that suit different people do what suits you friend. And then the third thing and this is my favorite part is that stretching is uncomfortable. So like that's just the nature of the game like think about working out like I did a legs workout last week I use the peloton app, which is like my favorite thing. Because every day I can do something different. I hate doing the same thing all the time. But I did a leg workout with the peloton app and I couldn't walk for like four days because my legs were so sore. It was painful. But what I needed afterwards was to keep stretching and stretching my muscles. This is going to be a little like a workout like that. We're like oh it was great workout and the next year like oh my God, why did I do that? There is going to be discomfort. That is just the nature of the game and it is okay. You will stretch yourself out and the next day you will have what we call a vulnerability hangover where You feel like he wants to climb back in bed and never speak to another human. That's normal. Like it's a you stretched and it snap back a little bit. It's okay. But also, you know, what I do is I'll write down in my journal how I want to stretch a little bit that day. And then underneath it, I'll write down what I want my reward to be. So reward yourself. Like, give yourself a prize. There's a reason that thing works for kids. It works for grownups, too. Like, I have a little tiny addiction to making myself ice Chais at home. And so when I do my little stretch that I have to do today, when I reach out to this person that I'm uncomfortable reaching out to, I'm gonna go make myself an iced chai tea, and put a little bit of simple syrup in it and shake it and make it all foamy, and I'll be so happy. But like, that's when I get my treat. So yeah, it is like, you know, giving a kid a sticker chart. But like you were a teacher, you know, that works. Kids like rewards. So grownups grownups like, rewards even more, it doesn't take much. So give yourself a big reward for a big stretch, give yourself a little reward for a little stretch, or give yourself a big reward for every dang thing. Doesn't matter. Reward it. There's this book by Martha back, that is no crap, I'm not gonna be able to think of the name right now. I'll put it in the show notes. But it is about gratitude. And one of the things that she suggests in there is giving yourself three treats every day, which is like the most thing ever, most fun thing ever. Because there's really something useful about giving yourself treats. It's called the joy diet. So she suggests like always getting three treats. Like, of course, having three treats every day would bring more joy into your life, but we don't feel like we deserve them. But the way she puts it is you you give yourself one based on like the new stretchy thing you want to do. And then two more just because you're awesome. Guess what you can give yourself a treat anytime you freaking want and a treat doesn't mean a snack. It might be like paint your nails or unbaked your nails today, I have to take nail polish off my nails. And doing that will be a treat. It could be spending five minutes alone. Just like watching nature. It could be reading it could be anything. doesn't have to be complicated. So reward yourself. Okay, so try this. Tell me how it goes. Send me a message. Send me an email, send me a Facebook message. Come on into teachers and business in the group on Facebook or come at me on LinkedIn. But calm talk about it. Try this. How do you want to stretch and if your brain is like, I don't know, sit with it.
See how it goes. And if you are looking for more expanding and opening questions, there is a freebie in my group called 30 essential questions, which is way more than 30 essential questions. It's like 45. And a lot of the questions that are in that PDF are expanding questions. So if you aren't in the group and you want a PDF, just send me a message. I'll send you the link to grab it. If you are in the group. It's in the file section and enjoy. Alright, so I will see you next week with another special guest. It's so exciting to have all these guests. Have a great week.