Knowing What’s Important for Better Decision-Making with Amber Hawley
Knowing What’s Important for Better Decision-Making with Amber Hawley

Knowing What’s Important for Better Decision-Making with Amber Hawley

We have a lot on our plates, and there’s a lot to distract us. From life events to phone notifications to all the programs and offers we feel like we “need,” there’s no shortage of things to take us away from what’s important.

But what IS important to you right now? Hopefully it’s a little bit of life harmony. It is for me!

As this episode is being released, my team and I are days away from taking two weeks away from work. We had a plan going into this holiday season, it got sidetracked a bit, but then we buckled down to get it done.

Because we determined what was important.

That’s exactly what today’s guest, Amber Hawley, is talking about today: determining what’s important and making the right decisions to ensure you stay the course. And as a client who has first-hand experience in my team pushing to get everything done, this is such a meaningful conversation. You won’t want to miss it.

Mentioned in This Episode

About Amber Hawley

Amber Hawley is a licensed therapist, multiple biz owner and former tech industry drop out who works with high-achieving, easily distracted entrepreneurs with mindset & strategies to stop suffering for success. As host of the Easily Distracted Entrepreneur podcast, she supports ADHD {and ADHD-ish} business owners who live in Distraction City to overcome shiny object syndrome.

Transcript:

Abby Herman 0:08
Hey there, and welcome to episode 159 of The Content Experiment Podcast, a podcast that supports the idea that content and marketing are ever moving targets in any business. And it’s okay if you don’t feel like you’re doing it All right all of the time. You have permission to experiment with little tweaks and changes in your content, to find what works for you, what increases value for your audience and what grows, your business, and most importantly, what feels good for you.

Abby Herman 0:38
I’m Abby Herman, content strategist and consultant for online business owners who are ready to make a bigger impact online. And I’m CEO and creative director of the content experiment, a content marketing agency that offers full service content marketing, and podcast management. I firmly believe that success isn’t about what big marketing brands and so called gurus think is the right thing. It’s about you in your business, your lifestyle, and frankly, your values and belief systems, you get to do business in a way that works for you.

Abby Herman 1:12
Today’s episode is a very timely one as for all preparing for the holidays, and trying to get work out the door so we can enjoy some time away with friends and family. At least that’s what we’re doing over here at the content experiment. And trying to cram six weeks of work into three weeks is a lot. Even as I record this intro, I wonder about the logic and sanity behind these plans.

Abby Herman 1:38
Today’s guest is Amber Hawley, a licensed therapist and multi passionate entrepreneur who works with high achieving and easily distracted entrepreneurs. She’s also a client who has firsthand experience with my team’s drive to get all the work done. ASAP. So we’re pushing our clients as well as ourselves. We talk about that in our conversation. Amber and I are chatting about being really clear on what’s important so you can make the right decisions for your business, or at least what’s right for you right now.

Abby Herman 2:12
We also talk about what’s distracting business owners right now and how to overcome those distractions. It’s a really fun conversation. And I just might admit something really embarrassing that goes back to childhood. It’s hilarious, and very self centered. You will love it. So keep listening. But before we get started, let me tell you a bit about Amber.

Abby Herman 2:36
Amber Hawley is a licensed therapist, multiple business owner and former tech industry dropout, who works with high achieving easily distracted entrepreneurs with mindset and strategies to stop suffering for success. as host of The easily distracted entrepreneur podcast. She supports ADHD and ADHD ish business owners who live in a distraction city to overcome shiny object syndrome. If that sounds at all like you keep listening, here is our conversation.

Abby Herman 3:11
Hi, Amber, thank you so much for being here today.

Amber Hawley 3:14
Hey, well, thanks for having me.

Abby Herman 3:16
I am excited to chat. And I’m so excited to talk about being distracted and being overwhelmed because I think we all need that this time of year. Before we get started, can you share with listeners who you are and what you do and who you do it for?

Amber Hawley 3:35
Yes. Well, my name is Amber Holly and I am a licensed therapist by trade. And so I still work with therapy clients. But I’m also a the podcast. I’m also a podcaster with the easily distracted entrepreneur, podcast and couples fix podcast. In the easily distracted entrepreneur.

Amber Hawley 3:57
What I do is I help support business owners with the emotional side of business. And that’s, you know, can be overwhelmed burnout. But also especially I love working with my neurodiverse slash ADHD people and helping them you know, navigate entrepreneurship.

Abby Herman 4:16
Yes. And I know that you have a rather because you’re practicing you’re a practicing therapist as well. So your schedule is a little a little crazy. Can you share a little bit about how you what does your client work look like? And how does the way you’ve structured your day and your week help you to live the lifestyle that you want?

Amber Hawley 4:37
Yeah, I mean, that’s, I would say in the last year plus especially, that’s one thing I do feel like I’ve really gotten on lock now that doesn’t mean that I can’t overcommit and overwhelm myself because Hello, we’re human beings and you know, the ADHD I want to do all the things happens.

Amber Hawley 4:57
But for me having boundaries around my schedule, like what days I work, my work hours, and then I really do time block because not only is it the task switching, which we know, you know, is really stressful, and you end up losing time and momentum. I especially think being ADHD, like when I stay in the zone of something, I can really focus and be super productive. And I think efficient, like efficiency is actually my thing. And so I tried to, I try to have like client days.

Amber Hawley 5:31
So usually I see clients on like, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Now, with my coaching clients, there’s a little more flexibility in that, because like, they use a scheduler. So there might be other days that they pop in and out on my schedule. But the bulk of my work with clients is on Tuesdays and Thursdays. And then even when I’m behind, I have found in the last year and a half, especially I take the weekends off, there is a rare exception, like I’ll, if I’m speaking or, you know, if I’m hosting an event that’s different, but you know, it’s again, having the boundaries around my time, but I’m a big I’m a big Bhature time blocker.

Amber Hawley 6:09
And, you know, the reality is, like three businesses and three children. So things leak in, but I’m always like, if you protect that space, you can, you can have that control over your schedule.

Abby Herman 6:23
Yeah, and I can totally relate to the weekends, it used to be that I would work seven days a week, and I’m just going to catch up for a little bit on Saturday, and five hours later, I’m still sitting at my desk, and it’s beautiful outside, and I’m mad at myself and all things. So yes, I totally, totally get it.

Abby Herman 6:44
So your podcast is The Easily Distracted Entrepreneur. And I can totally relate. Because, to be honest, this morning, so it’s almost one o’clock my time. And this morning, I have been working on a solo episode for the podcast since eight o’clock this morning. So and that’s absolutely ridiculous. Because my solo episodes, this one’s a little bit longer than normal.

Abby Herman 7:07
But I mean, come on, like, That’s ridiculous. I’ve got my phone beeps. And you know, the dogs are noisy, or, you know, my slack messages pop up, or I have to check my email, you know, 18 times in one hour. Because what if, obviously, right, so many important things come up?

Amber Hawley 7:26
Exactly. I was like, well, let’s face it every podcaster I’ve spoken to and maybe there’s a rare exception, but everyone I’ve spoken to they talk about the challenges of solo episodes. And I feel the same thing. And so, you know, whenever we have resistance to something, we will find ways to make it virtually impossible and so very painful to get that thing done. Right.

Amber Hawley 7:48
And that’s why, you know, I don’t just work with ADHD people because frankly, modern entrepreneurship is lends itself to being easily distracted. Like, there’s just so many opportunities to be distracted. And yeah, so I feel your pain. I mean, I know you know, my pain, because of my inability to get my solo episodes in to you.

Abby Herman 8:13
We love to listen to ourselves talk to right, I like the solo episodes, because I like to just talk I love to talk I love hearing my voice. But I mean, that’s the reality. Why I just can’t get the thing done.

Amber Hawley 8:33
I actually, I love to talk, but I want someone else to be like actively listening to me. I mean, I always say I’m so verbose. Like, it’s so hard for me to stick to, like, you know, a certain time frame. This is why I see clients for like, one hour, because it’s just almost impossible for me to see less. My thing is I love talking to pupils of which, you know, obviously went into the right profession for that. And so it’s so easy for me to just sit and talk to somebody about anything.

Amber Hawley 9:04
And it goes, it’s so much easier, but when I have to do it myself, it feels so like, we’re and I’m like, oh, and then I lose my train of thought. And then I’m like, Does that even make sense? My perfectionism comes out in solo episodes, so

Abby Herman 9:20
Oh, yeah, yeah, that makes sense. There’s a running joke in my family that when I was little, my favorite word was and because we weren’t allowed to, and we weren’t allowed to interrupt one another. So I just continued to talk and just said and you know, and and and just kept going and nobody can interrupt because I was continuing.

Amber Hawley 9:41
I love when I’m really a little kid. All right. Love that. We figured out those ways to make what we want happen. Absolutely. Or not happen.

Abby Herman 9:55
So let’s talk about the whole distraction piece and why it takes us so long to get there. He’s done. What are you? What do you think? or what have you noticed? You know, what have you heard from clients about distraction? What is distracting entrepreneurs the most these days? The thing are things?

Amber Hawley 10:11
Yeah, well, okay, that’s a good one, there’s a couple. So one is what we just talked about, I think whenever there’s an It may sound silly, but I would say like any kind of emotional resistance, or any kind of like, you know, cognitive resistance in your brain, we can fill that space with, I need to check my email, or I need to follow up on this or, you know, like, all those other important things pop into our mind.

Amber Hawley 10:35
And so we find other stuff to kind of fill it, and we avoid it. And so we make it, you know, often we make it very, very, very painful to get something done. And, you know, there’s, there’s all kinds of like, brain biases on like, how we do that, or why we do that. But I think that’s a big one, when there’s just something for whatever reason, it could be, it’s a difficult conversation, you don’t want to have a could be like, I see it a lot with people who don’t do their finances or budgets, because they’re really stressed. And so they’d rather just not even know the truth, right?

Amber Hawley 11:09
Like, I think there’s that. I always say, there’s a couple kinds of people, like, there’s a person who’s like, I don’t want to know the truth until the very end when I just forced to, and then there’s the person’s like, I want all the information I can up front so I can go forward. But if you’re in the first category, it’s very easy to like, avoid things. So yeah, I mean, there’s lots of reasons why or you know, maybe it’s like something new, you haven’t done or you’re not fully decided. So like, if you’re like, oh, maybe Is this the best way? So you’re kind of trying to save yourself time in the long run. I think that happens.

Amber Hawley 11:42
But the one thing that I mean, there are lots of things that distract us, I think there are two other big ones that stand out to me. One is not having clarity, on like, what’s important, and I think ruthless prioritization is a skill that we all need to learn. And I see this as somebody who doesn’t always do that, like, this isn’t about being perfect, right? But not having clarity about what is it your what’s your goal, like? What’s most important? What is an I always go back to like your one thing? That’s a fantastic book, you know, your one thing and essentialism, they talk about, you have so much clarity about like, what is your mission? What is your goal?

Amber Hawley 12:22
What are the things you’re trying to achieve that it helps you kind of discern and make those intentional decisions, I think that’s a big piece of it. And then I would say the last one that I’m hearing a ton, and especially now, but I hear it all year long, but is people feeling like, like life is coming at them or throws them like a curveball, and they get pulled away or distracted or taken away from the things in their business that they feel that they’re supposed to be doing.

Amber Hawley 12:51
And so whether that’s, you know, having a loss, like losing somebody having conflict with family members, you know, having a kid that’s struggling, having, you know, relationship issues, I mean, there’s so many different things or getting sick, you know, even getting sick for an extended period of time. There’s all these things that life happens, and they throw you, you know, life throws these curveballs. And it’s like, you’re not a robot.

Amber Hawley 13:18
So you’re not just going to keep you know, the focus 100% and keep going. But how do you not let your days just be determined by whatever life is throwing at you?

Abby Herman 13:29
Mm hmm. Yes. And I totally agree. And what is the way around that? How do we bring our focus back to what we need to do in business?

Amber Hawley 13:41
Yeah, well, it varies. I would say this is that favorite line that all therapists give that people are really pisses them off? Is? It depends?

Abby Herman 13:51
Of course, yes.

Amber Hawley 13:54
So on one hand, I would say there are times where something is happening, and you’re not really again, maybe it’s really big and emotional. And you’re thinking, okay, but I have to keep going, I have these things I have to get done for work or, you know, clients to see or whatever, whatever your work is, and they think I just got to keep going, I just kind of got a plow through. Sometimes what we actually need is to allow ourselves that space to rest, whether that’s allowing our bodies to rest if we’re sick, or allowing ourselves the rest of that day to, you know, have your feelings about what’s happening and going on and kind of regroup.

Amber Hawley 14:35
I mean, I think that’s something I see especially with all the like, type a gold go getters that I work with, is there’s just this push, push push all the time. And so you know, it’s kind of like asking yourself, do I need to rest or do I need to rally? And so Conversely, there are times where we realize this stuff’s going to happen like these curveballs come at you, left and right and you You need to kind of say, Okay, well, this thing is happening, there’s nothing I can do about it right now, or I just have to get this one thing done today. And then I can allow myself some space to kind of deal with whatever this other thing is, sometimes we do need to rally.

Amber Hawley 15:16
And I think, you know, sometimes, as a person, we have like one tendency we tend to go to, but sometimes it’s like a cycle, right? Where we go through a period where we’re like, every time something happens, we’re like, That’s it, I’m done, you know, like, mental health day, or, you know, you, I’m going to go watch Netflix, and avoid the, you know, this giant to do list or all these other crappy things that have been happening to me. And but other times, it’s the opposite, where it’s like, I have to go at all cost, I cannot have a break, there are no other options, I must go go go, you know, finish finish finish. And the reality is you needed to give yourself that space.

Amber Hawley 15:54
So I think you got to kind of kind of look at where you’re at, like, is this the season is this? You know, do you have a tendency, and just kind of check in with yourself. And this part can be hard, especially if we’re not in tune with our bodies, or if we don’t feel like it’s okay for us to make a different decision, but check in with ourselves to know, like, do I just need to take the rest of the day off, or the weekend off or a few days off? And that way, you know, once I’m rested, you know, the it’s kind of paradoxical, I think people become more efficient and productive when they give themselves that space to rest.

Abby Herman 16:32
Yes, I totally agree. And speaking of rest, we’re coming up on the holidays. And the, you know, a couple of days after this episode goes live, my business is shutting down for two weeks, and we’re, you know, taking two weeks off, because I want the rest, my daughter will be home from school.

Abby Herman 16:51
So I have the opportunity to spend some, you know, quality time with her, I want to go out of town, I want to have the holidays and just not have to worry about working. And so, which I think is kind of the same for a lot of people. So as a result, we are cramming a ton of work into a very short period of time. And you know, this, personally became a client of ours.

Abby Herman 17:15
So we’ve been pushing you to get some more episodes out so that we can be ready for the first of the year when the first of the year comes. But is there a better way? Like, you know, I guess, critique, critique me? Are we doing this the right way, the fact that we’re cramming all of this stuff, and we’ve known for months that this is what we’re gonna do. So we’ve been, you know, mentally preparing ourselves, but is there a better way, then, you know, to get this done, versus cramming six weeks worth of work in three weeks? actual time?

Amber Hawley 17:47
There’s a part of me that’s like, should I critique you? Or give a general answer? Because I could do both. And they sound fun. It sounds like so much fun.

Abby Herman 17:56
Only if you’re gonna say nice things. No. Say whatever you want.

Amber Hawley 18:01
I am the queen of care plantations, remember? Well, since I’m in the boat with you, I think I will not throw daggers okay. Yeah, I think there are a few things. I mean, this is the thing, right? Like, everybody knows this. There’s a reason there’s a million memes around this, like this idea of like taking vacation, whether it’s a vacation going somewhere taking time off, we tend to work like crazy beforehand and exhaust ourselves, and then we come back to a mass.

Amber Hawley 18:30
And so it’s like, I need a vacation from my vacation. Right? Like everybody always says that. And, you know, yes, I think there are ways that you can set that up so that it doesn’t feel so intense that way. But at the same time it if you find yourself at this space and time and you’re hoping to take you know, a week or two off on the holidays, sometimes you do have to do that. But I think again, it goes back to being really intentional and discerning about are there things that you would like to get done or the things that you have to get done? So that comes back to prioritization.

Amber Hawley 19:05
Now, when you’re talking about serving your clients, like regular work that you’re doing that and to get done has to get done, right, because it’s something for someone else, it’s not it would be nice to it’s a must do. I think yes, starting earlier is always better. I know that was my intention as well for myself was because notoriously, I get to that point where I’m like, oh, gosh, there’s all these other things coming up, or you know, things you didn’t anticipate.

Amber Hawley 19:32
And like I said, before life happens. And so I thought, oh, I want to get I really want to take time so that maybe it’s a few extra hours a week to get these things accomplished. So I can actually take that break because I know last year I had the same intention to take two weeks off same as you same two weeks. And what ended up happening is I ended up getting five days off because I just couldn’t get caught up and like I said I still took the weekends off. I just I didn’t push myself at that time there was my bandwidth was just not, as you know, I didn’t have that resiliency.

Amber Hawley 20:07
And so, I think it is better to kind of plan that and know and then like, start earlier, but when you’re dealing with other people, and you’re having to rely on them. That was an intentional cost. me who’s gone like five Voxer messages, like, Please upload that episode? And like, I know, I know. It’s hard because you’re relying on other people to finish things, right. And so, I mean, some of it is having those hard boundaries, like if clients don’t meet the timeframes that you gave them in advance, like, sometimes they’re just gonna have to miss out, you know, like, maybe they don’t get an episode published, because they didn’t do it in time.

Amber Hawley 20:45
And I, but again, I do think, you know, for speaking generally, like, there are ways to kind of think about that, like, what are the things that are hard for me to get done? What are the things that every time I go on vacation, when you think about it, that always seem like, Oh, I didn’t get this, this and this done. Like I said, I feel like there’s always categories for people, like for some people, it’s money stuff for me.

Amber Hawley 21:06
So, you know, case in point, I say the solo episodes for me are just harder, but I wanted to do like every other like a guest, and then solo guest and solo. And so I had already pre planned all of it out. And so what I said was like, Okay, forget it. So I just reached out to invite a couple of people to do like, just to have, you know, a discussion around the topic I was going to talk about anyway, because then it’s easier. So I’m trying to do things that just make it easier, where I don’t feel the stress where it’s like, I can show up and do it. And so I think it’s figuring out those strategies, like, I would love to alternate solo and interviews.

Amber Hawley 21:46
But maybe right now, it’s okay, just to do what I need to do to get through this time period. Right. So like, sometimes thinking about, are there other ways that I can get the work done that reduce that resistance? And allow me to, you know, like, let it, you know, be a little more laid back about it? Right?

Abby Herman 22:05
Yeah, I love that. And, you know, I mean, I feel like, for myself, I tend to take my content, and I’ll reduce my own workload on my content, so that I can get everything else done. Because what matters is the clients that you know, the people who are helping to pay the bills, that’s what matters, and serving the clients well. And then I can back off on my own stuff a little bit, so that you know, so it feels better. So that totally makes sense.

Amber Hawley 22:34
Right? Although the one conundrum there, though, is like, do you actually allow yourself to like, let’s say for if we’re talking about podcasting, like not publish an episode every week, if that was what you’re doing?

Abby Herman 22:46
Or publish the episode?

Amber Hawley 22:50
Are you doing the thing that I see so many, especially female entrepreneurs do and again, have been guilty of this? I’ve been in business for 10 years, where it’s like, I will we always priority, we always seem to prioritize our clients first. And we leave ourselves the leftovers.

Amber Hawley 23:07
And that also is like, well, I have flexibility in my schedule, like all figured out, which usually means once we finished all the client stuff, that we’re doing our stuff in that time that we said we were going to take off. And that was last year, it wasn’t like I was doing client work. I had the boundaries around my client work last year, but I was doing all the things I didn’t get done, because I showed up for my clients, right?

Abby Herman 23:31
Guilty. Yes.

Amber Hawley 23:35
I’ve been spying on you.

Abby Herman 23:38
You know, what I also will do is, maybe I won’t send an email that week, even though I talk about consistency and making sure that you, you know, do the thing, you know, repeatable on the schedule that you said that you were going to do it, I will not take my own advice. And I’ll skip an email or I’ll skip some social media posts, or, or I, you know, we just had Thanksgiving weekend. My plan was to sit down and really do some strategic planning for next year.

Abby Herman 24:05
And I didn’t do it, mostly because I was enjoying time with my daughter, I was sitting around eating cookies and you know, reading and so I just didn’t do it. So I guess, you know, I mean, it’ll get done, just not what I had planned to get done.

Amber Hawley 24:20
Was he I’m not okay. So that’s another problem that I think we do. One is the consistency thing. I think we also have to realize consistency means well, it can vary depending on what you’re talking about. Let’s say it’s 90 to 95% of the time you show up and do that thing. That’s consistency, because 100% is perfection. And now granted, of course, if we planned ahead, theoretically, we should never ever have to miss.

Amber Hawley 24:46
But again, we’re human beings and life happens and so it’s okay, like most people aren’t sitting there waiting and then get pissed off because this thing didn’t happen. I think it’s just about do you communicate it to people do you manage people’s expectations. I think that’s like a big piece of it. But even when we talk about schedules, this is why we kind of get away from the word schedule and talk more about routines because some people live or die by that schedule, especially as Virgos where it’s like, oh, no, it’s, you know, 1205, this must happen.

Amber Hawley 25:17
Well, that’s not realistic. It’s about having that routine, and you want flexibility. Ideal flexibility is actually very psychologically healthy. But I think sometimes what we do as women is say, Oh, I’m going to be flexible, but you’re not really you’re just actually saving all your stuff for the end, right?

Abby Herman 25:36
Then totally bursting my bubble here. But yes,

Amber Hawley 25:40
like you’re such a killjoy. Like normally, people think I’m fun, I am so not fun this. The other thing is, you said, Oh, I’m gonna take this holiday weekend where I’m spending time with my daughter, and I want to have some relaxing time to enjoy myself. And that’s when I’m going to do my strategic planning

Amber Hawley 26:06
the problem, right, like we were setting ourselves up to fail. And, and, again, this is something I think we always have to be thoughtful about, even myself, and I think you and I had talked before about over taking two weeks off and but but to not work at all on your business for two weeks seems like unrealistic, not because you have to, but because you start to fantasize about things or daydream about things or, you know, like, you’re you have the space to get creative and contemplate, and that’s the beauty of space.

Amber Hawley 26:35
That’s the other thing I do in my schedule, I have a lot more space, so that if I have to put in extra things, I can get it done. But it’s all dependent on bandwidth, right? Like, that’s the other thing. So, but going back to that, I found that even when I said, Okay, this year, I’m taking those full two weeks. And so I said, okay, the only project I’m going to do during those two weeks was ash, what was it, it was something, I think it was like organizing photos.

Amber Hawley 27:02
Then I was like, oh, but I’m also going to go through and finally get that one email, like cleaned out, because it’s causing me a lot of stress and problems, like it actually is becoming problematic by email. Because it’s like, 85,000. And so, like, Okay, I’m gonna do that. And then I was like, Oh, well, you know, this would be a great time to go through the kids closets and like, do this. And then I was like, oh, and then I could re you know, like, I started thinking of all these things.

Amber Hawley 27:28
And then I started to feel that like, overwhelmed feeling. And this is weeks before Christmas is even happening, right or that holiday. And so then I was like, No, I’m not going to do it. Like I’m doing one. Project. One thing, business wise, one thing, like personal and the rest, I’m taking off my plate. But it’s very easy to fall back into that. And so my strategic planning is not happening during my vacation. It’s actually happening at the end of this week.

Abby Herman 27:57
Nice. Good. I love it. Yeah. So what about like, the day to day stuff? So that’s, that’s all like, you know, cramming everything into before the holidays. And you know, making sure that we’re not totally overwhelming ourselves and holding our holding space for ourselves on our time off, but what about like, regular day to day stuff?

Abby Herman 28:16
So you and I were both at She podcasts recently in October. And in your talk, you said, when we aren’t intentional about decision making, we don’t show up as our best selves, which I thought was brilliant. I love it. Can you elaborate on that a little bit? And how we can be more intentional about our decision making on a day to day basis?

Amber Hawley 28:39
Yes, I was like, I’m still caught on how brilliant it was. It’s, it’s that it’s so true, though, you know, this is that thing of like, if you’re somebody who perhaps suffers from shiny object syndrome, who, who feels like, Oh, this is an exciting opportunity, or oh, you know, somebody told you about this new technology that would just change your life and change your business, or there’s this new strategy, it’s really easy just to, you know, start, you know, kind of chasing those squirrels and following down those paths, and then get in this place of overwhelm.

Amber Hawley 29:17
So it really is about coming back to having those boundaries and having a lot of clarity about what’s supposed to be on your plate. That’s what I like to say like what’s on your plate? What are you committed to? And I think taking into account what are your personal commitments, not just your business commitments, but what are your personal commitments? And I think if you don’t have that stuff in like black and white so you can see it, it’s very easy to just say, Oh, I’ve got space, look at this. I’ve got time and you just add it to your to your expectations, your two dues, your commitment, and then you overwhelm yourself.

Amber Hawley 29:55
And when we’re in that place where we’re kind of scattered and over committed, and we’re just running from one thing to the next, we’re not showing up in, you know, as our best selves, like not the perfect selves, but we’re not showing up and delivering the way we usually would, or, you know, kind of like crossing those T’s and dotting those eyes, or even just being thoughtful about things, because you’re just so busy. You’re just kind of in that gogogo mode, and you don’t question things or think about things. It’s just you’re, you’re kind of just in at the mercy of all the things happening, right?

Abby Herman 30:28
Yes. And actually, I think I kind of have a personal example of this, there was a program that I want to invest in that starts in January. It’s a huge financial investment. And I’m very adamant about not going into debt in my business, I don’t have a business credit card, I if I can’t pay cash, I’m not going to pay it, I’m not going to buy it, I want to pay in full and I don’t have the cash to pay in full.

Abby Herman 30:52
So I’m not going to do it. Because I know that if I say yes, and I make monthly payments for this program, I know I’m going to say yes to projects that I shouldn’t say yes to that are not in a not in line with my you know the business and what we’re what we do in the business, I’ll say yes to things which will then overwhelm my time and my space and invade on my personal time. And I was so ready to say yes. And to just do it.

Abby Herman 31:19
And I took a step back for about a week before I said yes. And I was like, You know what, this is not a good investment for me right now. Because I know that while the program itself would be really beneficial to me and to the business. I know what will happen. If I say yes,

Amber Hawley 31:36
That’s such a good awareness, though. I mean, that’s the thing where, first of all, I wish I had that skill set, like that’s impressive. But why that’s such a good awareness, it’s not about is this particular thing valuable, but it’s about understanding yourself in your process that you will, out of stress, because this is a value for you to be debt free, that you will take on things that maybe aren’t in alignment.

Amber Hawley 32:03
And I think that’s hugely important, because it may be. And I think, again, we can talk ourselves into anything. And so those small projects or working with a person who maybe is not 100%, in alignment, we can say and justify it right? Like, oh, it’s not that big a deal. It’s only this many hours a week or whatever. But the reality is, when we’re doing work out of alignment, it’s extra exhausting, we don’t really take into account the toll that it takes on stress wise.

Amber Hawley 32:30
And so that’s one of those things like if you could do that, and keep your boundaries around, you know, the types of clients or the types of projects that you take on, then it wouldn’t be such a problem. But knowing that for yourself is so hugely important.

Abby Herman 32:44
Yeah. And I think we’ve all taken on projects and clients that are not in alignment, and I certainly have and I had one that was my highest revenue client this year. And I I let that client go because it was no longer in alignment. It was causing me so much stress, it was causing stress on the team, because they saw me being stressed out, saying yes to things. I was like, I can’t do this anymore.

Abby Herman 33:09
So yeah, I think it just takes, it takes like going back and thinking how did I feel at that time? What did it look like? What did my life look like? What did the business look like? And is that something I’m willing to do? Again? No, it’s not. So I had to say no, for now to this program. And hopefully I’ll be able to do it mid year next year or something, I don’t know. We’ll see.

Amber Hawley 33:31
But that’s so smart. And that’s the thing, you need to pay attention on purpose, right? Like that’s paying attention and taking that in. I find though, it’s kind of reminds me of like relationship coaching or, you know, therapy. When I’m working with people, we can have real short memories.

Amber Hawley 33:47
So writing it out, like writing it somewhere writing it down or talking to somebody, like if you have a business bestie that you talk to you and they give you feedback about joining things like if you’re like, hey, this is the program, that’s what I’m thinking, What are your thoughts? Having somebody that does that for you can be really helpful or write it down? Because what happens is, like six months, a year later, you forget how miserable that was. Because we know we could have those rose colored glasses.

Amber Hawley 34:14
And, and forget, but yeah, we all do it. We’ve all done it. Right. And I know for me, like my therapy practice, I haven’t taken new clients in years, you know, because I tend to do long term work. But it was so great by the end, like from where I started, and the types of clients I would take on to being super discerning about No, these are, these are the exact types of things that I help people with. And this is the type of person and you know, I have an intake coordinator who like screens, all the clients for the practice. And then I would even say to her, you know, make sure also that they’re cool, like and she would kind of know what that meant.

Amber Hawley 34:50
Like, I get a vibe that they’re going to be like super snatchy and problematic. Like, I don’t want them right. Like don’t give me that person But, but but then you know, going into, you know, starting this business where, you know, I’ve been doing it for a while now. But where I was doing coaching, like there, I was in a place where I was opening back up.

Amber Hawley 35:11
So I had to go through that process again, of like, okay, my therapy thing, I’ve been doing it for so long, and you know, I’ve got that on lock, but having it where all of a sudden, I’m the one who’s talking to the people, again, I have to be really intentional to make sure that I’m not making that choice out of like this, either desperation, or this money pressure or something like that, that I understand like, okay, that never goes well.

Amber Hawley 35:38
And so yeah, writing those down or having those somewhere where you can just remember like that one client or, you know, that person, and just like how exhausting it was to deal with them. It just is not worth the money.

Abby Herman 35:51
Yeah, I agree. So you have actually a framework that helps with decision making, assess, discern, develop, can you walk through that, and talk to us about what that means, so that we can hopefully make better decisions? In the future?

Amber Hawley 36:10
Yes. Well, you know, first it had to be something add ish, right, like, so. That is why it is add, but, but it actually is, it is the process I use? I think so first step is kind of what you’re talking about, just now with your example is, you know, you got to start with like assessing, assessing the reality of the situation, not like the emotional feeling you’re having, but having assessing, you know, what are your commitments? What are your values? What are your goals for your business?

Amber Hawley 36:40
And, you know, seeing, are there things that you are still doing that maybe no longer serve you, or like commitments that you have, that, even if you love them, it’s not always about something like, Oh, this sucks, and it’s toxic, I want to get rid of it. But it’s also could be like, I’m in a season of business or life, where my bandwidth is less, or I have more on my plate, maybe I need to let go of some of those personal things.

Amber Hawley 37:06
So that’s some of the like taking an assessment. How is it that I want to feel, you know, what are the things that I want to achieve in the next year? Or right now? What are the things that are important to me? Because that stuff shifts, you know, things happen, and they shift. So it’s really about assessing overall, kind of, and I always, for me, I think it’s not just my business, it’s also my personal life. Like, I there’s so much overlap in that.

Abby Herman 37:33
Yeah, totally.

Amber Hawley 37:34
So for me, it’s like assessing all of that. And then the discerning is the hard part, the part that no one wants to hear about. Discerning, and that’s the making hard decisions. You know, that’s the reality, it would be great if everything we gave up was a toxic client. And it makes that decision easy. Even if financially, it’s not easy, but emotionally, it feels like such a relief. But often we have to like, let go of things or as I say, put a pin in it.

Amber Hawley 38:02
Because I think that’s a strategy where I’m not willing to say I’m not doing this anymore, but I’m willing to put a pin in it and take a breather from it, right. But sometimes we have to do that from things that we really enjoy that we love. Or, you know, when I think about moms that I’m working with that have, you know, children that are either teens or younger, where they’re, they’re like, well, but my kid loves doing this.

Amber Hawley 38:26
So I can’t say no, because maybe right now, the schedule’s too overloaded for you to be doing all of these things. And it feels really hard to make those decisions, or, you know, saying no to like a program that you’re super excited about that maybe would be really pivotal for your business or personal growth. Like, sometimes we have to make those hard decisions, right?

Amber Hawley 38:47
And so that’s the discernment process. And it’s, you know, one of those things, I think, I just forgot who said it, but it’ll come to me perhaps, where, you know, we can, we can do, we can do anything we want, we just can’t do everything like at this time, right? So it’s not about saying, like, I can’t ever do that. But if you think you can do everything all at once, it’s just not realistic, it’s not sustainable.

Amber Hawley 39:12
So that’s the discernment process is kind of going through that and figuring out and, you know, there are a lot of steps to that, because it can be hard. And then the develop is developing. The, for me, I like to go big picture too small. And so for me, it’s like developing the schedule, developing the goals, developing the step by step process to get to whatever it is you want to get to. And so, you know, obviously, we’re talking about business stuff, but it can be personal goals, too.

Amber Hawley 39:41
Or this is the kind of work life balance I want to see. You know, like, my goal is, and this isn’t my goal, but I’m gonna say for instance, my goal could be I want to work 25 hours a week, within four days, and that’s it and that I want that by the end of next year. And so if that’s your goal, which is fantastic. You’re going to have to make hard decisions about what you do and don’t do. And then you have to develop like, what is the plan to get you there?

Amber Hawley 40:09
Because right now, if you’re working, you know, 5560 hours a week, six days a week, how do you get from there to the 25, like it can be done, but you just have to be really intentional about that. So for me, that’s kind of that process of, like, narrowing things down figuring him out. And it’s, it’s really about what we’re committing to, and how we structure our schedule. And, and then, and then actually, you know, having those things like this is I have to do this. And even if you have that resistance, you do it. Right.

Amber Hawley 40:40
Like the like, if that was a goal for you. I mean, I guess I would reframe it as I get to do this, I get to record solo episodes for my podcast. And because it helps me reach more people to achieve my goals. You know, whatever the thing is, I think there’s, there’s strategies for that. But so that’s kind of the process is like figuring that out.

Abby Herman 41:00
And you have a downloadable to help with that. Can you talk a little bit about that?

Amber Hawley 41:06
Yeah, that in that one is I have a downloadable for helping you with shiny object syndrome. Now, probably not all of this is shiny object stuff, but a lot of it is right, like these new commitments or these new opportunities. And so yeah, I have a free downloadable that helps you kind of go through that discernment process to decide like, is this an awesome opportunity?

Amber Hawley 41:28
Or is it just a shiny object that’s, you know, beautiful, but, but ultimately is gonna make you feel more overwhelmed in the end, and your listeners can get that at Amberhawley.com/content. I was like, a problem when you do things in advance. You’re like, of course, why would I write that right in front of myself. But yeah, forward slash content for all your listeners, and they can get that shiny object downloadable.

Abby Herman 41:59
Awesome. And I’ll make sure that there’s a link in the show notes. Also, Amber, this has been so informative and eye opening, and fun. Where can people find you online?

Amber Hawley 42:14
Well, probably the best place I mean, you’re listening to podcasts, you could just hop on over to the easily distracted entrepreneur podcast and take a listen. But probably the best place right now is heading on over to AmberHawley.com.

Abby Herman 42:28
Fabulous. Thank you so much, Amber, for being here. I appreciate it.

Amber Hawley 42:32
Thank you.

Abby Herman 42:34
To close out today’s episode, I want you to think about what you want to put a pin in as we move into the new year. I encourage you to spend a little bit of time and maybe sit down and do some brainstorming and thinking about this. You can do anything but you can’t do everything. At least not well.

Abby Herman 42:54
If you found value in what you learned here today, be sure to share it on social media. Take a screenshot of the episode on your phone and share it over on Instagram Stories. Tag me at TheContentExperiment and tag Amber at ItsAmberHawley. The more you share, the more we can get the podcast into the hands of more business owners just like you who need to hear the message that they are not alone.

Abby Herman 43:18
Until next time, take care

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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