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Re-defining Productivity and Reducing Overwhelm: Strategies for Success with Louise Miller

Today’s episode of the podcast is an interview with Louise Miller, where we are talking all about a new, human-first definition of productivity, and how business owners who struggle with procrastination and self-sabotage can overcome this to take action in their business.

In this episode, Louise shares some incredibly useful practical tips and advice, including her treehouse analogy, that she passionately believes is your fastest route to success.

 

KEY TAKEAWAYS COVERED IN THE PODCAST

  1. The re-definition of productivity that all business owners need to embrace
  2. How to balance productivity with maintaining self care
  3. Why productivity actually happens before you take any action

 

Louise is a productivity mentor, the founder of Make It Happen Club and host of the Unfrazzle podcast; and she is on a mission to change the world by helping her clients change the world.

Described by her clients as a soothing balm and a magician, her experience of work-related stress and anxiety led her to develop a slower, more mindful approach to productivity, which she uses to help her clients get the important things done.

If you enjoyed this episode then please feel free to go and share it on your social media or head over to iTunes and give me a review, I would be so very grateful.

 

LINKS TO RESOURCES MENTIONED IN TODAY’S EPISODE

Download Louise's 5 Step Guide To Go From Frantic and Frazzled to Focus and Flow

Tune in to Unfrazzled, Louise's podcast

Connect with Louise on LinkedIn

Connect with Teresa on Instagram, LinkedIn or Facebook

 

Transcript

Teresa: Hello and welcome back to another episode of the Your Dream Business Podcast. How are you doing this week? I hope you are good. Okay. So this week I have an interview and as I was prepping and reading, when someone comes to an interview with me, I get them to fill in a form. And in that form, They tell me, you know, various things about what's important or what we can talk about, what questions I can ask and all that jazz.

And the way this guest filled out the form and the details she gave does not surprise me one little bit when it comes to what she does, because it was an excellent, it's making my life very easy, which as you will find out in this episode. That is her job and she does it brilliantly. So today I am interviewing Louise Miller and she is on a mission mission to change the world by helping her clients change the world.

She partners with coaches, consultants, and community community builders who have a big exciting vision, helping them land their ideas into reality. She's reaching more people and making a bigger impact whilst take caring of everything they're juggling day to day. Cause as we all know, as business owners, We are not just running our businesses.

If only that's the easy bit and being kind to themselves along the ways. Louise is a productivity mentor and the founder of the make it happen club, and also the host of unfrazzled podcast. Louise has also been working with me for the last month or so. So I am very excited to welcome her to the podcast today. Welcome Louise.

Louise: Thank you for having me, Teresa. And I'm glad that form made your life easier. That's made me very happy as well.

Teresa: Well, do you know what's so funny? And I'm just going to have a look on my Asana form to see when this episode. Okay. So an episode hasn't come out yet by the time yours comes out, but it was with another guest.

And when I said, what questions could I ask you? Because that's one of the form questions. This person said, Question one, why are you so charming and incredibly good looking and modest? As in for me to ask him that question, right? And obviously he was joking, but the thing was, although he's joking, he actually didn't write any questions I'd ask him.

So yes, the way you wrote yours, where you not only said, these are the questions you could ask, but this is, What you're going to be covering for that question was excellent. So thanks.

Louise: You're welcome. Thank you for having me. If I didn't already say that.

Teresa: Well, yeah, I completely digressed as we do. So Louise, we have had a conversation about what you do and we have, and I liked seeing that you put yourself down as a productivity mentor because I do think that's a really good description of what you do.

And we had a conversation about actually how difficult it is to explain what you do and how you do it, but what is even more. I guess interesting at this point is how did you get to do that? So let's talk about how you got to do what you do and what it is that you do today.

Louise: Yeah. Okay. So I'll try and cut a long story short.

Basically back in 2015, I was absolutely run ragged. I was, I was that person, you know, if you need something doing, give it to a busy person. That was me for 15 years. And I got to a point in 2015 where work related stress and anxiety had really got its claws in. And as a result of that, my GP signed me off sick, which was actually the best thing that could have happened because it gave me some space to actually think about what I was going to do next.

And I decided at that point, I wasn't going to just keep bouncing from job to job. I was going to take a step back and figure out what on earth I wanted to do, so I handed in my notice knowing that I wasn't going to get another job and very much excited to strike out on my own. And then I had an existential crisis because what I realized was that my strengths, which are very much around helping people to focus, helping people get stuff done, I'm very naturally organized and efficient, but all of that felt in really deep conflict with my realization that actually there is more to life than getting stuff done.

And I didn't want to feed that narrative that really damaging narrative that made me ill, which is that our self worth is tied up in our productivity because I'd been running around like headless chicken for 15 years, waiting for somebody to lean over and go, it's all right, Louise. You've done everything now.

Yeah. Have a rest. That's never going to happen. So on the one hand, I knew these are my gifts. These are my strengths. This is what I know I can help people with. And on the other hand, I'm going, but I know how damaging that can be. And on the third hand, I also knew that small business owners, particularly people who are really comfortable in their right brain kind of space of creativity and ideas, which is a lot of small business owners, that's why they go into business because there's loads of things they want to do.

They actually needed my left brain to help them to get their work actually out into the world. So it wasn't just forever rattling around in their heads or stuck in notebooks. So I knew that I wanted to support those people, but before I actually felt comfortable doing that, I first needed to change the way that we think about productivity.

And so I redefined it firstly for myself. And then secondly, for everyone else. And I've been sharing this new definition for years now. So in my definition, productivity is not about doing more in less time and cramming more and more in. So that we can just keep doing more doing. For me, productivity is about doing what's important as efficiently as you can, so that you can create space for what you love, not so you can create space to do more doing so that we can actually enjoy the journey.

And, you know, I'm not here for the hustle. I'm here to enjoy the journey, hence the creating space bit, not the cramming more and more doing. So. For me, I know it's not about trying to do all the things, but about doing the things which are going to make the biggest impact. And sometimes the thing that would make the biggest impact is rest or fun.

Yeah. And so, you know, you mentioned earlier about make it happen club, which is a space where we gather together and I guide planning. And a very big part of that is me reminding people to protect space for fun and for rest, because those are the things that are going to keep them moving forward. And the other really key thing, actually, I think particularly working with my private clients is that it's not only about the stuff that they're getting done.

It's about how they're feeling around what they're doing. And one of my clients I'm working with at the moment. The last, the most recent school holidays were the first time in her seven years of running business that she'd been able to completely switch off without feeling guilty, knowing that she'd done everything she wanted to do. And to me and to her, that's a huge win. Yeah.

Teresa: And that's the thing, like, Otherwise, what are you being productive for? Why are you, you know, why are you getting all this work done, hustling in this way, trying to achieve all these things just to then do the next thing? And, and, you know, and I know we can't do that.

We can't live like that. We can't carry on like that. And, and sometimes you need that person to look to. at what you're doing to go, hang on a minute, you need to just slow down or calm down or stop a second or breathe or whatever those things are. So yeah. So did you start your business as this?

Louise: No, no. Great question. No, I started out as a VA. So I knew I wanted a transition that would feel quite easy, which I don't know why I thought that felt easy, but actually I think I was incredibly lucky that when I started, I made a very good contact very early on and I got fully booked very quickly, which actually gave me a full sense of full sense of security.

But I became very fully booked very quickly as a VA, always knowing that wasn't the thing. And I noticed working with as many clients as I did during that time, that they were all struggling with the thing that comes really easily to me, which is the figuring out what to do, what order to do things in, what's most important, what can wait, how much time and energy have you got, how are you going to manage all of that?

So when I realized that the VA thing wasn't what I wanted to be doing, really, I then I created a few courses to teach people productivity. I designed a mentoring program to teach people productivity. And again, very quickly realized, actually, this is not it either, because yes, I can teach you how to manage your time and, you know, all these various things that lots of people out there are teaching people.

But what I realized for me and for my clients, where I give most value is when I'm actually in the trenches with them. So it's not this kind of theoretical, here's a way of managing your diary. It's more of a,  okay, what have you gone? Yeah. How are you feeling? Yeah. You know, what's on your plate. Let's figure out how you're going to manage that.

Because I think otherwise with the best will in the world, people just go back to their default patterns. They nod along and learn and listen to what you're saying. And it makes sense, but it's really hard not to just bounce back to your default when you've not got that person on your shoulder.

Teresa: So, and even when you try it and you know, it works and we do know it works like we're not stupid, you know, the, the reason there are all these productivity things out there is because they work when you do them.

But like you said, you know, we have trod a, path in our brain a certain way for a long time. And we are trying to then step off that path and try a new one. And when we do it, you're like, yeah, this works. This is good. Except keeping that up is really hard work. And we will by nature, just drop back onto that other path.

And then we'll beat ourselves up and go, Oh, I can't do it. This is awful. This is, you know, when that isn't the case. Like some people had, I have someone in my world, which actually would be fascinating for you to work with her because she, and she'll know who I'm talking about her, but she used to come to me to every coaching that we did and go, I'm just not organized enough.

I need to get more organized, need to get more organized, need to get more organized. And we, She was physically fighting with herself, trying to get more organized and was beating herself around the head every other minute. Why am I not organized? Can't believe I need to do more. And everything stopped for that.

You know, it was almost like that. This was the dream that if she could get more organized and suddenly the business would be better, this would be different. This would be, you know, she would be different. And it got to a point when I said to her, maybe you're just not organized. Maybe that just isn't you.

So stop trying to fight it. Stop trying to, you know, and you've said yourself, like, you know, left brain and right brain, right? Some people are just way more creative. So don't, and there's that great quote that I put up on Instagram once and Instagram told me it was fake. So deleted it, which was hilarious because I think it's, was it from, I don't know who the hell it was from, but basically it's like, if you, measure the ability of a, Oh God, what is it?

What is it? What is it? What is it?

Louise: Is it the thing about judging a fish by whether it can climb a tree?

Teresa: Yeah. Yeah. And that's the thing. That's the point I was trying to get to her. Like if you're, why are you trying to make yourself something you're not? So stop saying it, stop trying to get organized. Just be like, kind to yourself of actually, this is the way I work and this just has to do.

So yeah, so not everybody's like that. I just completely digressed then and pulled us back from somewhere. But so yeah, you started VA, you changed over to this and started doing this. Now, one of the things that we struggled with is how do we describe what you do? Because you, you and I had a call last year.

So this comes out in March 23. We had March 24. We had a call end of the year 23. And you said to me, this is what I do. And I said, I think I've been looking for someone like you, but I was looking for the term coach and we, and when I said to you productivity coach, both of us went, no, don't like it. Like that doesn't sound good, but it trying to find that word.

So talk and I don't mind you using me as an example at all, but tell us what you do for me.

Louise: Yeah. Okay. So I think the reason that the word coach makes us both want to vomit a little bit in this context is because If people are thinking about true coaching, it's the whole asking the questions because you have the answers and I just need to get those answers out of you.

Yes. That is not what I do. What I do is very hands on and very practical. So I will just talk people through what happens in a 90 minute session. I think that's probably the easiest thing. So first thing we do is we celebrate because people don't do that often enough. They don't notice what they've achieved.

therefore spend the whole time feeling like they're behind, failing, haven't done as well as they wanted to. So we have to acknowledge the good things that have happened. So we do that. Then we look back at vision and goals to make sure that we are, you know, the client and me are connected in with that big picture, what it is that you're trying to achieve and how you're going to get there.

And I make sure that that is a proper kind of check in. It's not just a quick, let's glance at it. It's spoken so that we can really embody and feel it really strongly because I think it's quite easy to go, Oh, I know what my vision and my goals are and not fully embody them. So we spend a couple of minutes on that.

Then we'd have a look at capacity. So we'd be like, okay, so what is coming up? What have you got in your diary? How much time do you actually have? How are you feeling?

Teresa: Because the last time we did this, I was like, Oh my God, I haven't got any.

Louise: Yeah. I know you'd be amazed. Well, maybe you wouldn't be amazed how many people do their planning without actually looking at that.

And then they write a big old long list without realizing they actually have very little time. And with that part of the process. You know, I talk about that as checking capacity. Capacity is not just about your time. It's about your energy. And if you can see in your calendar, you've got a really full week with lots of calls and lots of outward facing stuff, and you know, that's going to exhaust you, trying to cram a lot more stuff into that week.

Again, it's not going to end well. So it's a time and energy kind of conversation. And then it's okay. Let's look at the specifics of what it is you're actually going to do this month. So we'll get really into the weeds and into the nitty gritty about these are the goals you've got. Maybe there was some deadline.

So for you, you know, there's the summit and all this kind of stuff that we're in the process of organizing right now. So it's looking at all of the moving parts for those things and going, right, what needs to happen this month? and what kind of order do we need to do those in and then where it feels appropriate.

Okay, so when are you going to do those? And let's see if we can protect some time to make sure you are not finding that that time's being stolen away by something else. Cause if we don't protect the time something else will come and take it away from you. Yeah. And we, we spend 90 minutes on that. And I think that is the key because for a lot of people, if they're doing planning, they'll go, Oh, I just need 10 minutes.

Yeah. Just grab a sheet of paper and go, these are the things I'm going to do, crack on. Yeah. And it's, and then they wonder why it doesn't work out because it does take this time and space. Yeah. And really dive in. Yeah.

Teresa: And without trying to sound rude, cause you definitely know this is not how I mean it, it sounds so incredibly simple and because it sounds so incredibly simple, people will sit there and think.

Why the hell do I need that, right? And take someone like me. So I use my full focus planner. I plan my weeks. I'm very good at that. Like I do a lot of the things. I do the goal setting. I review my goals. I review every week, like I do all of that stuff. But there is something so very different about having someone who isn't you doing the stuff because.

When it's you, you're not just thinking, I've got this thing to do. You've got a million other thoughts going around your head. So even if you do do all those things, which I do and did, I still can't step out of my head to make it all clear. But also someone who can look at your space, your energy, the work objectively, because you won't, right?

So I do a lot of stuff on procrastination and self sabotage and all those sorts of things. And. I have emotions involved in everything I do, and therefore that naturally means it's very difficult for me to objectively go, yes, I know I want to mess around in Canva for five hours. However, that is not the best use of my time.

And I really need to get on and do this other thing. And one of the things I just want to say on it as well to do with that is. That for me has helped massively with the procrastination, with the self sabotage, with the me getting in my own way, because you have given me a plan. So, you know, this week, so we're recording this at the beginning of Feb and it's going out at the end of March, but because I'm getting very ahead on stuff, but like this week, I am going to speak at an event and we looked at my diary and it's like, okay, there's very little room.

However, what are you going to do on the train? And it's like, okay, can you, and do you want to do certain train? You weren't like, you've got to do that work on the train. And I was like, yes, I'll work on the train. Okay. Well, what's the most important thing to get done? So now I know tomorrow when I got on the train, excuse me, I'm going to be writing emails because they need doing, and there's a space I can do it.

So already. I don't feel overwhelmed about that. I know that I won't sit and debate and fap around doing something else because I know that when I get on the train and open my laptop, what I'm doing is writing emails. and I'll write emails. Like it just, like I said, it's so frustrating and I think sometimes the most simple things that we know we can't do and we, we argue with ourselves that we don't need help and we shouldn't need help.

But the difference that help makes is ginormous, isn't it?

Louise: 100%. Absolutely. And you know, there's so much in what you've just said. I think I don't know what it is, but there's something about this whole being organized and getting stuff done thing. I think when you're a smart, savvy, intelligent human, you think you should be able to do it on your own.

But like you said, with the person you were talking about earlier, not everybody finds that It doesn't come naturally for everyone. And that's okay. We will accept that. Some people can run the 100 meters in however long it takes for a quick person. But for some reason, we've got this thing in our head that this whole implementation, getting stuff done thing, if we can't do that, then that means we're faulty in some way.

And people, I see it all the time. People spend so much time and waste so much energy, giving themselves a hard time. Looking for fixes in the wrong place and something you said earlier, actually, I just want to quickly pick up on. You said, you know, we know there are loads of people out there telling us if we just do this thing, we will be organized and it will work.

And that is 100 percent true. And not everything will work for everyone. No. And I think there's a big thing around self awareness and getting curious about what is a good fit for you and your personality and what isn't because. you know, things like accountability, it's how to just the, you know, the thing that is going to solve everyone's problems.

If you are a rebel, accountability is not going to work for you because you'll just stick two fingers up at it and go, no, I'm not gonna. Not doing it. And then you'll be giving yourself a hard time for that when actually that's just not how you're wired. And there are other ways for you to find ways of getting stuff done.

It's just not that. And I think, so there's a big thing there around, like you said, trying not to fight yourself, understanding yourself well enough that you can try lots of different things. And again, that's hard on your own. You know, I've been immersed in this world for seven years now. I've got lots of tips and tools and things up my sleeves that I can try out with people depending on who they are and how they work.

But trying to figure all that out on your own is really hard. And there's nothing wrong with you if you need that help, you know, go, go get it. Make your life easier.

Teresa: Yeah, absolutely. And I think the other thing that you do specifically with me is. You stop me and slow me down because I will work and work and work and work and work and I always have done like I was the child whose mum had to go into school and tell the teachers not to give me any more homework because I was working all the hours because I'm a people pleaser and I like being patted on the head and told I've done a good job, which actually brings up something else, which I'll come back to.

But, but so at school, I, I worked so hard. I was running myself into the ground and I will do the same in my business. And actually, What you've been able to do is not only look at the productivity thing and make me more productive, which I am way more productive than I, than I've been, but you're also able to go, hang on a minute, like, where are you going to breathe?

Because I am, I said to my husband just last night, he's like, how's your day looking tomorrow? And I have an obscene amount of calls back to back. And the last one finishes, I think 30 minute gap after this call. And then that's it until 6. 30, right? Like, which Louise will tell me off for later, but, but he said to me, and who books that in?

And I'm like, me, obviously. And he's like, why do you do it? And I said, well, at the moment, I am really busy and obviously I'm out three days this week and I've got to get some of these calls in. ASAP. Like, so I, I know I've purposely like blocked my day. However, if I was doing that every week, you would start to come and go, hang on a minute.

This isn't sustainable. You can't keep doing this. Like you've got to make some plan to do something. So I think. I think when people think productivity coach, like you said, not coach, cause you're not productivity coach. When they think productivity, they think you're going to be like cracking the whip, get on with it, focus, do the work, work harder, do more things.

And like you said, that is not what you do at all.

Louise: Because that is quite often what's doing the damage is people feeling that they do need to be cracking the whip. And what I see constantly. When people feel they're not being as productive as they want, their default go to is I need to go faster. Need to speed up, need to do more, need to go faster.

And actually that is just going to compound the problem and you're not going to get any more productive. You're just going to get more and more knackered. And we all know that when we're exhausted, we could be sitting on our laptop for hours and not doing anything constructive because our brain's screaming at us to take a rest and we're just not listening.

Yeah. So, Yes. Often it is about, okay, let's just slow this down a second. I mean, I think I said to you yesterday, yes, it's busy at the moment, but where are the micro breaks? Yeah. And instead of trying to fill those micro breaks with checking your email, what can you do that will nourish and energize you to get you through those moments?

And yes, right now things are busy for you because there's a lot going on and it's exciting. And we both really want it to succeed and we want you to be the best version of you in going into all of this exciting stuff so that you can have a blast while you're doing it. If we got to April and you were still pushing yourself as hard as you are, that might be a different conversation again, because we will all have seasons where we're busy and I'm not going to tell you, no, you can't do that.

Yeah. But what I will do is keep an eye over the long term that that's not your reality 12 months of the year because you will kill yourself.

Teresa: Yeah. And this is the truth. We will. And then we won't have anything. We won't have a business. We won't have a life. We won't have anything. So. Even though it feels counterintuitive to stop and slow down and breathe and, and those micro moments, I think, you know, there's such, it's such a good point in terms of even little things like I'll stare out the window for a little bit, or I will literally like from one call to another if I've got 10 minutes.

Other than going for a wee, I will literally just sit on my chair and just breathe and just do nothing. Rather than thinking, I've got to check that email or got to do that thing or got to, you know, just because it's, you need those moments of pause and rest and stop. The other thing that I brought up during that, when I was talking, which again works beautifully for me is I like being patted on the head and told I've done a good job and I am in a world as a coach and as a speaker and a membership owner.

I'm the expert. I'm the person who is the boss almost, you know what I mean? Like, and I, even though I have a really lovely relationship with everybody in my world, and I'm a very honest person, so I will turn up to a call and go, Oh, I'm shattered today. Or, Oh, you know, I'm back to back all day or whatever.

The it's always done with a quote, you know, there's always that line of, okay, I can take it that far, but then that's not professional or then that's not serving them how they need to be served. So for me, there is, there is no one in my world who can do that. And that motivates me. So having someone who, who can do that, who can say, Massive.

Well done. And, and who does for me, what I do for other people is so very important from a real practical sense. Obviously everyone knows if they've listened to the podcast before I have other coaches. I have Mary that I work with, who's wonderful, but she doesn't do this type of thing. She doesn't do the very practical, very strategic, very like detailed orientated. But also, you know, there are points where last week I just needed to blurt a load of stuff out to you because I didn't have anybody to say it to. And, and I guess you will span into parts that are, because we're complex humans and it's never just about one thing.

So I guess you, you must find that you end up getting into bits that maybe aren't just the bits that you normally do.

Louise: Yeah, absolutely. And I think. I mean, that's okay. You know, I'm happy with that because we are not robots. And I think anyone who tries to pretend that you can keep your work life and your personal life completely separate is kidding themselves.

Because there will be stuff that goes on in your personal life that is going to experience work. I had, I was working with someone once who was moving house across the country, first time by on her own, and also was organizing a live event at the same time. And it hadn't occurred to her that those two things at the same time might be slightly stressful.

So of course there will be moments where the things we're talking about have got nothing to do with work. And that is okay. And. It's the same in Make It Happen Club. I'm not just like, what are you doing in your business? I'm like, what's going on in your life? And I want to be that sounding board for people.

If it's going to help them to get some stuff off their chest, move forward and feel clearer about things. And I'm absolutely 100 percent here for that. You know, it's, it's called In It Together for a reason. And when I look at your action plan and I see that boxes have been ticked, I genuinely am beaming from ear to ear and I'm just so pleased for you.

And I want to tell you that. So, you know, I do very much feel in it with you. That's the whole point.

Teresa: Yeah. And I think cause you do the other thing that you do, which I think is super important that we can't do ourselves is step back and look, you have this line about tree house. What is that? Tell us about that.

Louise: Yeah. So I, I'm just going to tell you the analogy. Let's do that. So when you're running a business, I often think it's a bit like walking through a forest, right? You want to get to the other side of the forest, So you start walking and there's bits where it's lovely dappled sunshine and you feel all lovely and calm and, and warm.

And then there's little dark dank bits with muddy puddles and you're not quite sure what's lurking in the trees. And when you're walking through a forest in that way, you've got your eyes on your feet a lot of the time. because you're trying not to trip over anything. And there comes a point sometimes where you start to feel like you're walking around in circles and you think, hang on, I recognize that tree.

Have I not been here before? And you start to panic, starting to get a bit dark and you're starting to get into panic mode. So you stop and then you look up and you see there's a tree house. just ahead of you in one of the tallest trees. And in that moment, you get to make a choice. You can either carry on walking and hope you're going in the right direction, potentially walking around in circles, but hey, you can try, or you choose to climb up to that lovely tree house.

And if you make the choice to go up to the tree house, You know, it's lovely and twinkly and nice and warm and there's cushions on the floor and you get to just sit for a minute, catch your breath, let your nervous system settle. And then you can go look out the window and you can look back to where you came from and see how far you've come.

Yeah. Often is a surprise. And then you get to look the other way and you can see where you're trying to get to over in the distance. And that excites you again to keep going. And then you get to look down at the floor. from your kind of high advantage point and you can see the route, you can see the obstacles, you can start to plot out where you're going to go and you can also see there are more treehouses on the way.

So you know that if you start to feel like you're going off track again, you can take this moment out again. So when you climb back down from the treehouse onto the forest floor, you're feeling so much calmer. like, you know, what direction you're heading in, you're feeling resource to carry on with the journey.

And the reason that I share that is because I think a lot of people would assume that the most productive thing to be doing is to keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep walking, keep going. But actually the most productive thing that that imaginary person just did was climb up into that tree house.

And it might have felt like they were taking a break when they were actually really wanting to get to where they were going.

Teresa: Wasting time. Yeah.

Louise: Yeah. And this is why I really strongly believe that productivity actually happens before you take any action. The productivity is in the pause. the reflection and the choices that you make before you start taking action.

And that is what we're doing. You and I together, when we have our 90 minute calls, it's what we're doing and make it happen club every month. And it's giving it that space and the regularity that will allow that to kind of support you as you keep building the momentum and keep moving forward. And it is not a waste of time.

Yeah, it's the best thing you could possibly do.

Teresa: Yeah, I love that. So obviously I am very lucky that I get to work with you and you get to help me and keep me accountable and organized and all that stuff, which is amazing. What does someone do if they're listening to this and they're thinking, you know, Okay, I am in the absolute pits of the wood right now and it sucks and I am fighting to get out of this part of it and I just can't see the wood for the trees.

How do they take themselves up into the treehouse and what, what's some, what's some of the practical things that they can do to help review and go back?

Louise: Yeah, so I have got a resource that will help guide people through this as well, so I'll share that at the end, but I think the key the thing is to give yourself permission to stop, realize that actually when you're in, you know, I call it a frantic and frazzled overwhelm loop.

It's like this Tasmanian devil swirl where you just can't think straight and you will just be thinking you need to go faster, need to do more. So the first thing to do is to be aware of that and allow yourself to stop and completely remove yourself. Particularly if your nervous system is jangling at you and you're just feeling really frayed around the edges.

stop before you do anything, you know, if that's go and stand outside and take three deep breaths, if you don't have much time, if you can go out for a walk, go do that, but just give yourself a break. And a big part of that is the permission thing. And then when you've done that, so we've spoken about this progress cycle that I talk about.

So it starts, you come out of the overwhelm loop. The only way out is into the pause so that you can settle yourself and then you get to reflect. So once you're feeling calm in an ideal world, it would be looking back at your vision and getting excited about that again. And then if you've got some goals that are nice and clear, having another little look at them so that you can go, okay, this is what I'm supposed to be doing.

and then looking at all of the things that are on your plate and choosing which of these things do I want to dedicate myself to right now that's going to move me closer to where I'm trying to get to. And inevitably in that, you're also choosing to put some things down. And I know that for creative ideas, people that can be the hardest bit because it feels a bit like choosing your favorite child.

You know, you've got to, if I'm saying yes to this thing that I'm saying no to that one, but. If you're saying yes to fewer things, you'll, we've got much more chance of seeing that thing through to completion, which then means you'll get the fulfillment and the satisfaction of seeing it out in the world, making a bigger impact, boosting your bank balance, potentially, if it's an income generating thing.

So, yeah, the pause, the reflection on your goals and your vision, and then the choice around, okay, what am I dedicating myself to? And then just break it down into a smaller, teeny tiny inaction as you can, and then you try and pick things up again, but with that clarity, calm and focus and connection to what you're doing and why you're doing it.

Teresa: Yeah, yeah, I love that. And I think having that, having that ability to look, above it all. And, and it's just about being realistic to yourself. Like there's no point and lots of us don't do this, you know, look at my diary this week and realize I have Monday, Tuesday full of calls and then Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, I'm off speaking.

So where is the work going to happen? But what would happen if we didn't stop and pause and review and, and have a look at it is I would set myself an unrealistic list of things that I want to achieve by the end of this week, because I haven't given the thought of actually, I haven't got the space. And then I'd get to the end of the week, haven't done it, and I'd beat myself up.

And then I'd think, well, you're terrible. And then you're going into the net, or I've got to work harder, or I've got to fight harder, or I've got to hustle more. And that is just so unproductive.

Louise: Yeah. And it sends us into such a spiral and it, the shame and the self doubt and the, I'm a piece of crap and all of that stuff that can come out of all of that and can follow people around for years when actually all that's happened was that you didn't take a moment to reflect and go, what have I actually got time for?

Yeah. And actually, even with that, We still get it wrong, you know, make it happen. So we sit and do this every night, every month for 90 minutes and people will still come and go, well, I overestimated again, or I was going to do, but that's okay. Yeah. You know, just notice it. You don't have to beat yourself.

Teresa: You learn. So yeah, exactly.

Yeah. So can I ask a couple of personal questions? Yeah. Have you always been this organized and are you this organized in every aspect of your life?

Louise: People might hate me if I don't say yes, but yes, is the honest answer. We do. Yeah. I mean, and it's actually not, that's not always been a good thing because my default, I'm exactly like you were saying, you know, around the people pleasing and the doing and then all of that, which is what made me ill back in the day when I was in a normal job.

So for me, this whole slowing down thing, that's not my natural setting. I had to really work to get here. And if I hadn't hit rock bottom and made myself as ill as I did, I probably wouldn't be here right now doing what I'm doing in the way that I am. So yeah, the getting organized, being organized, being efficient.

Absolutely. And. to the, to the extent that my poor husband, if he's washing up and I think he's doing it wrong, I'm like, it would be much more efficient if you just did it. He'll get me in his ear. I have to try and reign that in. And, you know, we're, we're having the kitchen done, in a month or so, and there's spreadsheets for that.

And we've, We had a dinner party where we were cooking tapas and that was all in a big time because tapas is a whole, a whole fandango when you go. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Teresa: That's a lot of dishes to get all ready for a similar amount of time. That is difficult. I love it.

Louise: My skills do come in handy in other areas as well, but they do also drive me and other people nuts from time to time.

Teresa: That is so brilliant. What about, so this is an interesting correlation that I've noticed. Because I used to work with someone else a lot. My first ever VA was very similar to you in the sense of how organized she was, how structured she was, how she spoke, how, how she managed me. And I've talked, I don't know if I have talked on the podcast before, but sometimes I did a load of calls once with different coaches to try and find someone who could do what now Louise is doing, which ironically is not coaching.

But basically, One thing that I found is these people couldn't control me, right? Which I know sounds ridiculous and it sounds like, well, don't be so mean, Teresa. Like why are you trying to, but my natural position and state is to hold the conversation as to hold the space. to take control. And in fact, we joked when we got on this call, it's like, Oh no, I have got to be in control today because this is my podcast.

But, but that's my natural state. That's what I default to all the time. So therefore, when I was having calls with other coaches, they weren't able to kind of go, hang on a minute, this is my rodeo. Like, And and take the reins, they were not strong enough to stand up to me and take the reins and go, Actually, this is how I work.

This is what I'm doing. If you want to work with me, great. If you don't, that's fine. But you did. And so did this other person that I've worked with years ago. And the other thing that you both have in common or you appear to have in common is your boundaries. Like, I would never, and I think I'm pretty good at other people's boundaries, but like, I didn't negotiate with you from a price point of view, because you were very direct and you said, this is what it costs.

This is what it is. This is, boom, done. And I would normally negotiate. I, Yeah. didn't try and say, like, I talk over all my hours, right? So I'll say book an hour with me and I can pretty much guarantee people if I have the time, if I've got another call straight off the back of it, back of it, then I don't.

But if I have time, I go over. I never once expect us to go over our hours. You keep me very controlled in thing. Do you think, do you think, A, I'm right that you are very good at your boundaries and do you think it's because you are so controlled and good at this kind of thing?

Louise: That's such an interesting question.

I think I am. Yeah, I am very good at boundaries in that sense, in terms of this is how long we've got for the call. And it's partly, it's out of respect for you and your time as much as it is out of respect for me and mine, because we've both said, we've got this amount of time to this call. I know you've got other things to do and I want to make sure that I am delivering what I've promised you in the time that I've promised I'm going to deliver it.

So for me, it's, it's, it's as simple as that really. But I think it does partly come down to my personality type. I don't know whether you're familiar with wealth dynamics as a kind of profile.

Teresa: Do you know what? This is the second time this has come up in literally three days. Interesting. And I've never heard of it before.

And I love the test. Yeah.

Louise: So I can guess where you might be, but you, you should go and do the test, but I'm an accumulator profile, which makes me want to vomit. I mean, how horrible does that sound? But basically it's all about detail and being organized. all of that good thing, good stuff. But the other thing about Wealth Dynamics is that it talks about, I think it's five different types of energy.

So there's steel energy, there's tempo, there's blaze, and there's dynamo. Maybe it's just four. And I'm very strong on the steel and the tempo, tempo being all about timing. I think about 90 percent of my energy is pretty evenly split, split between steel and tempo. So for me, a sense, a really good sense of timing is just in my bones.

So I've always got a sense of where we're at. in terms of the timing of things. So I think that's partly to do with it as well. Just the kind of natural thing that I have in built. Yeah.

Teresa: Yeah. But I think, I think where it comes from, from me is confidence. You and when I think back to this other person I worked with, you were very clear in your mind of what you did and how you did it and that you were good.

Now, whether you feel that is another question altogether, but therefore that's why I don't question. If I start to sense that someone isn't confident or there's any confusion or hesitation around a price, a service, an offer, obviously not when I'm coaching them, that's what I'm there to help them to do.

But if I'm going to work with someone and they don't go, this is how much I cost. This is what I'm going to do. This is what you can expect from me. then that's almost a window. And it's not that I want to hammer people down all the time at all, but that's a window to go, Oh, hang on. They're not dead set on this.

And therefore, if I thought 90 minutes is too long or 90 minutes, wasn't enough, then I might come back and go, actually, I think a two hour call would work better. Whereas I would never have done that to you because you were very kind of, this is what it is. So do you think that is confidence?

Louise: I think it probably is.

And I think that's a journey as well, isn't it? You know, I've been, we talked earlier about how my business has evolved, but I've been doing this in this way for God, it's four years this year. Yeah. So I've been working with people on when I first started out and was just testing the waters and trying to work out what lengths of call I wouldn't have been coming across as confident as I, as I obviously did when we were talking.

And a lot of it's trial and error, isn't it? And the, the, Way that I offer the support has shifted and evolved when I've seen not just what other people need, but what I need. So you'll know that I offer, you know, Voxer basically unlimited Voxer support in between calls. And we have a couple of little mini check ins during the month as well.

I never used to do that, but the reason that I do is because I, if I don't do that and I'm only seeing you once a month, maybe with a checking call, I don't feel as close to you and your business. So when we pick up things again on the next 90 minute call. My brain's a bit like, hang on a minute. Those check ins are as much for my benefit as they are for yours because it allows me to feel like I'm in it with you, which is coming back to the fact it's called in it together.

So it has evolved over time, but now I am a hundred percent confident that the way that I do things right now for most people is going to be what they need. And of course, if somebody said that they wanted to do things a bit differently. I'll be open to having a conversation, but I've got the experience under my belt now to know that this works really well like this.

Teresa: Yeah. Yeah. And I think, you know, obviously that wasn't what we planned to talk about this, but I, I think if you're listening to this and you are not, even if you're not 100 percent confident, but you can confidently, Say how much you charge and what you do that will go miles like in terms of working with people and, and, you know, it was interesting because the way we found each other was, was something completely different.

And then we had a conversation and, and, and I still didn't understand at that point. And then we started working together and I was like, Oh, now I understand. So, you know, you need to be confident because it's not as straightforward as. I'm going to write you a copy for you, or I'm going to design this picture for you.

Like it's not, it's a service that is a bit nuanced in terms of, you know, what you're doing and how you're doing it. Yeah. Okay. So as we wrap up, please tell us about that resource that you talked about. Cause that sounds really helpful.

Louise: Yeah, so if anyone is listening to this and feeling right in the midst of it all, it's frantic and frazzled and a bit all over the place, then I have got a resource that will give you that time in the treehouse that we spoke about earlier.

So it's a five step intervention that will help you to first get out of overwhelm, Then reconnecting with what's important to you so that you can then start to take action on the things that will be most impactful for you and your business. So if you go to bettylouonline.com/yourdreambusiness, you can go and get your copy from over there.

And also, can I also mention my podcast, Teresa? I've got my podcast unfrazzle is very snackable. All the episodes are under 10 minutes. So that's really great to listen to whilst making a cuppa. And the feedback I keep getting from that is that it helps people to feel calm and fired up at the same time, which is an interesting combo.

And I think.

Teresa: I get it like, honestly, working with you, I get it. I guess actually now I think about that makes perfect sense because the calmness of, I know what to do, but excited that I'm going to be able to do it. Yeah. So. That makes perfect sense. Louise, thank you so, so much. Also, weirdly, I found it difficult calling you Louise, which is odd because that is your name, but it's because all your stuff says Betty Lou.

And whenever I try and say Louise, I'm like, that's not her name. Even though I work with you and I know that's your name. It's really funny. Why, why Betty Lou?

Louise: Oh, that's such a long, boring story. I'm not going to be Betty Lou for much longer. It was, I was going to go into business with a friend many years ago and Betty Lou was just an amalgam of both of our names and I liked it so it stuck, but it doesn't make any sense.

So the problem is Louise Miller, there are lots of us around. So yeah, There are things bubbling under where Betty Lou as a thing might not be around for that much longer.

Teresa: Okay. Okay. It was just interesting because every time I see you like, no, okay. So no, thank you, Louise. It's been lovely to talk to you.

And like I said, I am very lucky and privileged that I get to work with you. So if you do need some help, then please do check her out, but don't make it too busy so she can't work with me. Thank you very much. So Louise, we'll go and link up to all those things in the show notes. Where on social media do you hang out and do to come say hi.

Louise: Yes, please. I really am only on LinkedIn. So come find me. I'm very active over there. So it'd be great to connect.

Teresa: Awesome. Thank you so much. It's been a pleasure to have you on.

Louise: Thanks Teresa.

Teresa: So that was the lovely Louise. What you don't know is during that recording, I literally had a complete brain fart and my brain stopped and I couldn't think of what else to say.

Not what else to say, but I had something in my head and then it went. And then So even after these hundreds of episodes that I've done, and now two podcasts, as in I have two different podcasts, it still happens to me. So if you're sat there thinking, you know, I don't think I could do that. No, I can't do it either.

So don't worry about it. So anyway, that was the lovely Louise, please do go and check her out because getting your head around this stuff is game changing. And I, as we talked about, I have had a lot of stuff. And if you follow me and you watch me, you know, I have done a lot just in these first three months and I couldn't have done it without Louise.

So please do go and check her out. I will be back next week with another interview and I will see you then. Take care.