Episode # 38 - When You Need To Pick Priorities
Whoops! This episode didn’t get out on time so instead of the subject I planned for I’m talking about how that can happen. How when you’re busy spinning a lot of plates you’re bound to have a few drop.
For a lot of us business owners there’s real tension between getting your clients’ work done and getting your business’s work done. It bothers me. I don’t like to drop the ball. It feels like going to school without having done your homework. But the truth is that this happens over and over throughout business and life. This episode is about being realistic with that fact.
ALSO: There’s also a sneak peak at an offer Reynolds OBM is building right now!
Quotes from today's show:
- “This show doesn’t normally come out when this episode is coming out.”
- “I think it just makes sense to be honest about when you drop a plate.”
- “The biggest unknown is the client work, when they just drop a ton on you.”
- “I don’t care how prepared you are, the last week in January there are always problems.”
- “I always default to doing my clients work first, but in the long run if my company is second that’s a problem.”
- “The first call with my coach was great. The second was hard.”
- “Being coached is freaking me out in the best way.”
Hello, everyone, and welcome to Episode 38. So, in case you're keeping track, this podcast is coming out a few days late this week. Usually, this gets released Tuesday at 2 am. It is not Tuesday. I'm recording this on Wednesday afternoon. And hopefully, you'll be hearing this on Thursday morning. But who knows? Sometimes my first reaction is to tell you that I have everything together. I guess that's some kind of example, that I have all the plates in the air spinning perfectly. And I think part of that is probably just my own ego that I just want to present this wonderful image of me having it all together. And as you might have guessed, I do not, I do not have it all together all the time. Just like everyone else out there, all of you are not perfect either. So I thought that it was way more helpful for you. And for me, if I'm just honest about when I drop a platter to this past week, like the last week and a half, So this past week, week, week and a half, that last week of January, the going to the first week of February, there's just a lot happening. The biggest unknown is always like the client work that drops in, that needs to be done right now. Right. And last week, the last week of January is when everyone has to file their 1099. For contractors, you have to file this form. So when you're a contractor you usually start. So when you hire contractors, you have to report that income to the IRS. And that is on form 1099. So I paid someone $1,000. I tell the IRS, yes, I paid them $1,000. And you file this form. And then the contractor gets that and can file their taxes. It's kind of like a W two and you're a corporate. And those are due on January 31. Except this year, it was January 29. Because that was the Friday, the last Friday, last business day, I guess. I started working on these for some clients. I've helped out with those for years as part of just my overall work.
I started with one client in the middle of December, making sure that everything was in I had all the forms that I needed. I had all the information, the addresses the tax IDs, I don't all and it was all in the system, I was ready. And it doesn't matter. Because the last week of January, you will always run into 1099 problems. I don't care how prepared you are, there's always a thing. And this year, there was like a bookkeeping backend thing, that there was some confusion and then things weren't hitting the report. So then I had to go look for other things. And why weren't the numbers right? And it ended up being a lot of time last week that I didn't expect because I really thought I was on the ball. Mine were done.
Other clients, I everything was done already. And it was just this one last thing that ended up putting probably 10 hours on my schedule, back and forth, extra calls, things like that. And really, that's a lot of time to just throw into somebody's week. On top of the fact that I have a new business coach. And we just had our second call last week where I've been working on different things in my business. There's so many things I've wanted to do in my own business, but I always default to putting my clients work first and not getting my own stuff done. So their stuff is organized. Mine is not. I'm working on getting all of their stuff done for their offer. But my offer is been languishing, knowing what I want to do and put out there in the world and new ways I want to help people and I'm not getting it done. So I hired a business coach. Shout out to Melissa Frolic. And it's been great. And the first call was all excitement because it's a new offer and I'm ready to build it because that's what I love to do, right. And then the second call was really hard because well It was a whole bunch of things I had to confront, like really diving deep into my ideal client, and all the things that I had to really look at, and that I've been actively avoiding. Because my business has changed. And I've had to look at where it is now, what are my ideal clients now and all of that stuff. And having someone ask me point blank, what those answers were, and not knowing well enough, and then being told to go do it. Nope. That's what I hired her for. But it stressed me out, and really kind of put me back on my heels, which is what I needed. But it's still sad and scary sometimes stresses you out, when you don't think you're rocking the world, right? When you actually have to go do the things you don't feel like you're great at on top of the IRS needing forms right then.
So then there's all this like. So then, so we have 1090 items, we have coaching, just freaking me out in the best way possible, then I'm pushing this new offer. So now I want to build it. And now I want to get it done, because I want to offer this. So I'm working on I will let you in on it. So I'm working on a VIP intensive day, all around getting your operation system set up. So we come in, we do a big, like systems audit call. And we work through what you've got going, what you're missing, how can we get this better organized. And then we get off the call and I go through and I create a whole bunch of stuff, me and my team. So it's like operations, manuals, lists of SOPs that needs to be created. Like a whole bunch of that kind of tracking stuff. Like where do we put all the team info? Where do we put all the drives stuff where all the documents, so everything's really organized, so that when you need something like your finance stuff, or your corporate docs, or who were like, where does this contractor live any of that stuff, most people can't find any of it. And then the ongoing like, you know my love of an operations manual that is like an ongoing living document where everything you need is right there. So if there's an emergency, or you want to hire someone, all of that right in one place. So that's like this intensive, it's like a one day come into your business. And really map everything out, get it going, and then I leave. And then you can get either you can work on these SOPs yourself, or you can have a VA to do it and you don't need an ongoing OBM or do.
So that's why I'm so excited about it, because I love building things. But I don't have time to be in the everyday of everyone's business. So it gives me a chance to work with a lot more business owners to kind of get them up and running, get their systems going, know where everything is. And then let them go ahead and do that kind of other work that they can do on their own. So exciting. Also an enormous amount of work. Like there's things to put together and workflows and systems like I don't really have a lot of the marketing and onboarding systems automated because I didn't have a huge turnover over the years. So now I'm learning how to make workflows, or I'm learning how to do this. And I could hire things out, but I want to know how to do some of it. And you can already hear it in my voice. How the anxiety like just grabs me. So on top of all this, it's winter.
This week, we got a foot and a half of snow in New Jersey, some places got over two feet of snow. This is already a hard winter since we are pretty locked down for COVID. And it's cold and we can't go anywhere. And we're not going in places without masks. So we're not going to restaurants inside things like that. And you can't sit outside right now. So there has been no going anywhere. And this house is getting smaller and smaller and smaller. That dark and cold. Like crankiness is kind of creeping in in January. You're like yeah, the holidays are in December and you're like all right. That that gets you through January hits and you're like hoof it's really dark and cold out there. We have I will give my neighborhood awesome credit we have Sylvan doing Saturday happy hour whenever possible. outside and that is a highlight this winter. But I can't garden and it's dark. And I'm partially solar powered. So all of this together. This work for clients, me pushing myself to do new things, having to face things that I hadn't wanted to deal with, like the winter I can't garden. I have a garden right now if you go on to my Instagram, you will see my garden plants. They're under the snow. I dug them out today. I have hoop houses and And cold frames, and they're out there working. But there's nothing to do out there except to clear snow. And the house is loud.
So now that I've totally complained to you, what I'm telling you is, there's a lot of things going on, right. And somewhere around mid morning on Monday, I realized I had an outline for a podcast, forget actually recording it. Like, after I get that done, I still have to edit it and upload it and put the website together all that stuff like nothing had been done. I've been trying to batch record two at a time, because that way I could, you know, lock myself in my office and be quiet and get as much done as I can. But I was out of episodes. And part of me was just going to tell you that this was a snow day that I was just taking the week off. And that would have probably been fine. Right? You wouldn't have stopped liking me because I said I wasn't gonna do a podcast this week. But it bothered me. And I felt crappy about not showing up. My whole thing is that I'm committed to showing up here every week. And I just wasn't showing up. Not because there was a holiday like I could I took off for the week of Christmas, it was a holiday. But that's not what this is. This is just I dropped the ball. And I wasn't ready. I was going to school with my homework not done. And it bothered me. So I decided that instead of saying, forget it, I'm just not going to show up. I figured I'd show up a little bit beaten, a little bit late. But I'm here. And I think the moral of the story here and why I'm telling you all of this is that this happens over and over in business, and life. You can't keep all the plates perfectly spinning all the time. And you're gonna prioritize things. Because you have to, some things are going to be more important than others at different times.
So this week, I prioritized spending time with my family. It's rough for a little kid, and they're not going to school and seeing his friends. So I wanted to make sure I spent a little extra time with him. I picked focus on my new offers and work on my homework with my coach because I hired her to keep me on track. I'm not gonna waste that money on that investment of time. I want to grow, I want to build new things. And I can't just suck back into putting out client fires and forgetting about my business all the time. I've done that over and over again, I get excited. I'm almost there. And then a client has a problem. And then I forget about myself and I focus on them. Because I really do believe my clients come first their businesses. They've hired me to help their businesses. I can't just leave them. That's very important to me that they always feel like I'm there for them. But there's also a point where I have to put some kind of boundaries and say, okay, Friday, I'm not doing client work, I'm working on my stuff. So that was a big focus as well. And then there's, you know, helping my clients to a point because there was a deadline, and the IRS is scary. They needed that help. So a lot of the other things that I could have been doing for them got bumped because that was more important. And that's where I prioritize A lot of it. Now, there were other things that I did prioritize. And I let them slide this week. And maybe that's just fine in the short term. But some of these cannot become habits. Like I did no exercise. And when you're sitting at a desk working on numbers all day, like you don't really move because you're kind of in a groove. And you're thinking and you don't want to lose your train of thought or your place on the spreadsheet. So you don't get up. And that is terrible. And especially because there's a foot out snow outside, and there's nowhere to go for a walk or any of that. And I have noticed that there was definitely an effect on me because of that I've been cranky all week. Because I have an exercise, I feel awful. And I mean, obviously I wasn't prepared for my podcast as well, that didn't get prioritized. And then I think I've also kind of put myself off as well. My mindset, because I was cranky, and not just from exercise or not exercising, but also because I beat myself up because I'm dropping things. And I think anyone who has more than one thing in their life, a family and work family and company, whatever that is, you always feel like if you're focusing on one, you're letting the other one down. And to a point, that's always going to happen. You can't focus on all the things and we need to kind of give ourselves grace and figure out where that should be like figuring out We need to give ourselves grace to understand like, it's going to happen. It's not inevitable. We need to give ourselves grace so that we know that it's going to happen and don't kill ourselves over it, like don't beat ourselves up. But at the same time, what can we do in the future to make this better?
We're never gonna have a perfect week. But what can I do? Well, what I'm thinking about for my future, meaning this week, for the rest of this week. I still have a paper calendar, like a planner, I like to write things down. And every day, I map out my day, and lately, I just haven't been, I've been putting off my calls, like, I've been putting all the things I had to be on. But I have not made exercise my priority. So when kind of everything hit the fan, that just got bumped easily, and it can't. So I need to put that on my calendar as a meeting, instead of an afterthought, like, oh, maybe I could squeeze that in, no, like, at 10 o'clock, I'm going to do yoga, or I'm gonna go for a walk or whatever the hell it is. But making it more of a priority, I need to drink more water. I find myself much less cranky, I feel way better when I drink a lot of water. And with the heat kicking on every four and a half minutes, because it's 20 degrees out, I feel like beef jerky right now, like just completely dried out and cranky. And all the circles back right? Like, it makes me feel bad about myself. And then it swirls around and then I'm dropping plates, and then I feel bad. Which brings me to my last thing, giving myself a break. Yeah, I can put exercise as a priority. Yes, I'm going to drink more water, I am going to prioritize different things each week, and I'm going to have to be okay with that. But I'm also gonna have to give myself a break. And this has come up in a number of different podcasts where my advice to you is not a three-point process on how to get more work done. It is usually giving yourself a break as one of those steps to calming down.
We put so much on ourselves. Especially if we are parents. Especially because the mindset of an entrepreneur is to go go, go, go go, we're gonna go out there, and we're gonna rock this. And it's very hard to sit still, I do not sit still well at all. So giving myself a break and saying, you know what, it's just gonna be late this week. And everyone's gonna listen to it, and it's just gonna be fine. Like, no one, no one died because my podcast wasn't out on Tuesday morning. And I don't think this will probably ever happen again. Because now I freaked myself out enough that I'm going to be a little bit more prepared and maybe make this more of a priority to be done exactly on time, like I have always done. But you know what, this week, I'm just going to give myself a break. And I figured I'd share all this with you because this is tough lately with the winter and the business and the things and I figure somebody out there is probably dropping some stuff too. And I just want to say it's all right. We're gonna drop things and then we're going to fix things and it's, we're gonna keep going. So I hope you have a great week. And if you're dropping something, it's okay. We'll figure it out. I'll see you next week.