Episode #83 - The Learning Phase Trap
2021 was a big year for me to try things out. I wanted to learn things and do things and take a crack at things I hadn’t done before. Boy, was it fun. Now, like a test kitchen for some high end restaurant, it’s time to shutter that part of the process and apply what I’ve learned to the menu.
When you’re in an intensive learning process you must conclude it to move forward. Students get a graduation but you never will. You’ll always have another thing to learn. In the academy you can go on learning forever. You can get more degrees and more certifications but in business the day comes when we have to take all that and go make money. We have to move forward because that was the whole point of learning something to begin with. If you get stuck in a learning cycle you won’t ever apply what you’ve been learning.
Welcome to the Get your act together podcast. I'm your host, Kelly Reynolds, ops strategist, and agency coach at the Reynolds OBM agency. This podcast is all about building well-run and profitable businesses so that we can create the lives of dreamers.
Hello, everyone, and welcome to episode 83. So 2021 was a big year for me to try things out. I tried a lot of things. It was the part in my business where I felt like I wanted to learn things and do things and try out things. I had a little bit of money that I could invest in things that didn't need to actually give me a return. Like I could try things out. Because it has been a good year in 2022 and 2021. I got to try things, which it's really fun, right? So many times in our business, we have to say, okay, if I'm going to pay for this, there has to be a return on my investment. I need to get this money, signups for this thing that I'm paying for, like all those kinds of things, but I had put aside some money to just try things, things I wasn't sure I was gonna like until I tried them. And I tried a lot of things. I have mentioned some of them on the podcast. But one of the big things that I tried this year was building funnels. I've always had a website that I've done through WordPress, myself, to varying degrees of professionalism, I guess, sometimes it's work, and sometimes it looks awful. But I've figured it out over the years because it wasn't a place I was going to invest. But this year, I really wanted to build automations and funnels for my business. That was really around the group program, getting things automated, so you could sign up for it, you get emails when they were supposed to make all the pages look pretty, there was a thank you page after you bought something, that kind of thing.
One of the big things that I did invest in was FG funnels, and also launch gorgeous to kind of walk me through how to build everything, how it all should work, what the software was, like, that was a big thing. Like, none of that was cheap. You know, it's not the freebie version for $5. You know, but I really thought that that was one of those things that had to be created to get to the next level of my business. So that was one of those things that I was like, Okay, this is a good investment. Or I mean, you don't know that in the beginning, you think it'll be a good investment. But for me, I have loved the software, I spent my weekend because I wanted to because I was having fun building something in there. So that was one of those things that I invested in. And I really saw an enormous return, both in just how my business is growing because of it and organized. And a lot of things are in one place now. And I really feel that we can scale so many things just from knowing that. And there are little things in there, I like to do a lot of things myself, or even just know how to do them so that I know what I'm asking other people to do. And that can slow me down. But in this case, I think it was really helpful because the last night of cart-open, I think it was the morning, after cart-close, someone reached out to me, and I had to figure out how to get them into the program. And because I built everything, I know exactly how to go in the back end, set this up, do this, whatever I had to do to get them in the program last minute, which I wouldn't have been able to do if I had hired it out to someone because that day was a Saturday. So I would have had to wait till Monday, I might have not had that person when I joined the program. So being the person who had learned the thing and kind of gone through the process, I understood how it all worked. And I could, in a pinch, figure out how to do something. Now there are other things that I did. That didn't really, really helped me a lot. There are lots of things that I signed up for free things, mostly little $35 things. I don't even know that I opened some of them. They seem to like this is a good deal. It's a limited time $30 Whatever the scarcity marketing got me and I was like, oh my god, I totally don't have time for this right this second. But I definitely want this. And then I would forget about it. And as I'm saying this as I was writing notes to make this podcast today, I thought of a whole bunch of things. I was like, Oh, I didn't buy that. I'd never even looked at it. And I think a lot of us do that. Right? We signed up for a whole bunch of stuff. And then yeah, we don't get to it, because it's so much stuff. So there were different things this year that I really did try. So there were some of those bigger things like ft funnels and launch gorgeous.
There were the smaller things that had varying degrees of helpfulness. There were some hires that I made that either didn't work out, or I didn't need what they were providing anymore. So there was like some trial in that kind of way of hiring people not just for my team but for services, social media, things like that. There were different ways I was trying to network, do I want to be in this mastermind? That wasn't in the cards this year, but those kind of like group coaching, things like that some of those were fantastic. And some of them were not, some I didn't get any real value out of beyond just being in the room with certain people. And maybe that value will show itself later on when someone comes back to me with some cool things to do together. But some of those things didn't work out. But the point of all of this is said, I tried all of these things. And knowing that, some of them were not going to work. But you can't know what will work and what won't work until you try things. Especially if you're an ops person like me, I want to go find all of the automation software that I can to figure out how I can make this easier to run while I want to go in and learn all these things. That is my natural tendency. And my natural tendency, I gotta tell you, sometimes it's just sucked into that and build and learn things forever. And my coach will yell at me for this because I would like to sit there and build things because it's safe and comfortable, and not do the doing. But at the beginning of 2022, I really started to get this just something went off in my head, it wasn't even a conscious decision that I was like, okay, trial periods of all things are over. We need to focus, all the trying and going to all the webinars and the master classes and all that kind of stuff to learn little things here and there. It's over. And I just got this overwhelming sense of wanting to pare down everything, get really focused on what I was doing, like, all the time to check everything it was over. And no one told me. It just kind of came over me. And I was like, Okay, that's it, I'm going to cancel a bunch of stuff, I canceled a bunch of stuff, things that I had subscriptions to or was a member of, or whatever done. The things I did keep were the things that I thought, okay, these are really helping me in my business. I kept my coach, she's been so helpful and helping me focus and giving me fantastic advice on you know, just figuring out like what I really want to be doing, not all the things, I kept some of the software that I really thought was really helpful, like fg funnels, but I got rid of a bunch of other stuff.
There were times when I wanted to try things out because I thought that they would help. And then you get in there. And they are not helpful because they don't do the three things that you need them to do. Or it takes four people to run it, and it's not worth it. So I did keep some of those things. But there was a huge paring down and a huge need in my head to focus. And that's hard sometimes. today's podcast is being sponsored by the Get your agency together group coaching program. This is a program I built for online service providers who either want to start an agency or to grow the agency they have so that it's organized, sustainable and profitable. Over five months, you'll be working with me and the rest of your cohort to break down and rebuild different parts of your business so that they align with the life you really want to build. The modules include systems you'll need offers you'll make the team you'll need to build and the journey your clients will take. Most importantly, you'll have to look at all of these things through the lens of the goals and the values you bring to the table. For more details, go to Reynoldsobm.com and join the waitlist, you'll be the first to know when the program opens. See you there. We want to stay in the comfort of the building and do the research. But the thing is, if we're learning to do a thing if we're testing for an answer, we have to get to a point where we have learned the thing and we're gonna go do it. We have tested for all the answers so that we know a thing so we can go do it. So we can't be stuck in learning and testing forever. And I gotta tell you, I really expected to have to fight my way out of that stage. And it just came very naturally. Like all of a sudden, I was just, I'm good at that. I think I think I'm where I need to be, I've tried some things. I feel like I know where I'm going. So let's go do this thing. Now, that feeling has never happened to me before. Usually, I stay in the building stage for a really long time because if I stay in the analyzing in the building stage, building the website, building the offers whatever it is, it means that I never get to the marketing stage. And that for a lot of us is the scary part. putting yourself out there saying I want to do this when you're creating an offer. This is the thing I want to offer. This is the thing I want to do, but never actually getting to the marketing stage is safe because you can say I only do this the thing I love but if you don't actually tell anyone you have no skin in the game. You haven't put yourself out there to tell the world ‘so I want to only do this from now on’ because that's scary. And I see a lot of people stuck in this testing and building stage. I see it all the time in a service provider kind of world. I see the same people go from course to course, to course, to course, thinking, I just need to learn more. I just need to know more about launching or courses or operations, or whatever it is, and you see them join every single thing. They think that once they know enough things, they will feel confident to go sell it. Or if they keep learning things, they don't have to go sell it. Either way, that's where we stop growing. That's where we stop going somewhere, test for the answer, learn the thing, and then move on to the pick-off thing. It's great to test all the things right. But you have to pick a thing you cannot move forward with 45 offers, you cannot move forward with all of your things all over the place. That is where people get stuck and stop growing. I challenge you to look at what you've been doing lately. And to see if you are stuck in the learning and building stage. Or if you are in the growth stage. Because there are times to try to learn new things, there are times to sit and really just think about where you're going and what you want. A huge part of my coaching is to sit in the beginning and think, What do I want? How do I want to build this business? What are my boundaries, all of that's really important to me? But then you need to move on and then do the thing. And I don't see a lot of that lately. And that's really hard. It's really, really, really hard to put yourself out there. When we are waiting to feel like an expert when we are waiting to feel confident when we are waiting to feel like we know enough that we can do it. When we are waiting to not be scared to say out loud to other people what we are doing. But waiting for those things will never come, you will never just automatically feel like an expert, and you will never automatically just feel confident the confidence comes in the doing. The expert comes in the doing. There are things that I have done over the last year that I learned how to do but I don't want to keep doing but I know how to do so that I can have someone else help me with them. That's also another way to do the thing, right? I have learned a certain amount of things about the software, but I don't want to be the one who actually enters everything into it. That's another way to do, to keep moving forward to have this growth, to really pare down to what you should be doing yourself. Not all the things we need to test and build, but then have a threshold for that to be enough. Or maybe you want to be continually learning. But it can't be all of your time. Maybe you put a limit on your time, like I can only test and learn new things 10% of my work week, whatever that is to you. But I'm not allowing myself to go down a rabbit hole. Unless I really believe this is the thing that I need to do to move forward. I've tested, I've built, I've learned now, I've picked a thing and I'm moving forward. So I had a conversation with my son the other day who, like me, wants to be perfect the first time we do anything. And that is something that I fight against constantly, especially with what we're talking about now, that kind of I just want to stay back and learn because I don't want to not be perfect. If I learn it all, then I will be perfect the first time anyone sees me do it. One, it's really stressful. And it's ridiculous that you waste so much time. And I want to encourage you to not be perfect. You know, we've talked about it here before like going live and doing videos that can be scary. It can be terrifying. And it's terrifying. Because a lot of times we don't think we're perfect, but you don't need to be perfect. It doesn't need to be that way. Just choose a thing. Go try videos, take video of yourself, not a live, and practice that. See what kind of light angle is good for you. Those are the testing things we need to do tests a little bit. Let this podcast today be a reminder to you don't get stuck in the testing and building phase of your business. You want to be in the growth phase. And if you stay there too long, you will miss out on the growth that is happening. Learn the thing, be excited about building something but then you've got to do it. Get out there and pick a thing, after all that research, you're gonna know all these things, then pick something and move forward. That is how we're going to get through 2022 With kick-ass businesses. I have picked some great stuff this year, I am focusing on my get your agency together group program. That's going to be my big focus for the first half of this year, probably the whole year. I tested a bunch of things. This is where I'm going. That is why I'm going to be successful. And I know that if you pick your thing, you go do it, you will be successful too. I'll talk to you guys next week.
Thank you so much for joining me this week. If you have an agency or want to create one, come join my Facebook community. Get your agency together, where we talk about all the things growing and scaling your agency. For show notes and more info on all the things head over to Reynoldsobm.com Follow me on Instagram and Facebook at Reynolds OBM. And finally, if you enjoy this podcast, I would love for you to give us a review on iTunes.