Clarity is a journey, especially for creative women like us that have a lot of interests, love bright shiny new ideas, and love to learn. It’s not a process that should be rushed, know that you are on a journey that involves learning along the way.
Clarity comes and phases and layers and it comes through taking action not by sitting on the sidelines waiting for lightning bolt answers.
Let’s dive into what clarity means, how to find clarity for your online business, what to do with it, and more.
Links & Resources:
- FREEBIE: Feeling stressed and anxious on your journey to find clarity? A practice of daily gratitude can make a huge difference. In fact, if you let it, it can change everything. Jumpstart your gratitude habit with my 7-Days of Gratitude Starter kit here: https://selahstudios.co/gratitude
- Are you ready to find clarity for your business and website? I’d love to help: Get clarity on your business and website plans with the Business Clarity Coaching Sessions: https://SelahStudios.co/coaching
- Design a simple and sustainable business that you love, and can steward well with the Selah Society Mastermind here: https://SelahStudios.co/mastermind
Listen & Subscribe:
Marta Goertzen [00:00:00]:
Do you long for clarity in your business but feel like you can’t even hear yourself think, let alone feel calm enough to sit down and think through all the questions you need to ask yourself to find that clarity. Instead, you keep downloading the freebies, listening to the podcast yep, even this one, and buying all the courses, all in the hopes that you will find that one suggestion, tip, or idea that’s going to turn everything around for you and everything will suddenly make sense. So sorry, but looking for clarity about your business is not going to happen that way. Clarity is a journey discovery and it’s something you uncover layer by layer. But there are two things that I think you need to do first to give yourself the jump start you need to dive into this journey of finding clarity in your business. That’s what we’re going to talk about today. Hello there and welcome to the Selah Entrepreneur podcast, where we take a look at doing online business a little differently for women over 50. I’m your host, Marta Goertzen, entrepreneur and business owner since 2008.
Marta Goertzen [00:00:58]:
And for far too long, I struggled with trying to figure out what I wanted to be when my business and I grew up. I was tired of buying all the courses and downloading all the freebies, all in the hope that the answer I was longing for would suddenly appear. Turns out, clarity doesn’t come in an instant. It’s a journey of discovery and finding answers layer by layer. As I took action, I learned what type of work I really loved to do, who I had fun serving, and the problems I love to help them solve that clarity gave me the confidence to start designing a simple, sustainable business that I could steward well. And I’d love to help you do the same. If you’re ready to find the clarity you’re longing for, then you’re in the right place. Let’s take this journal of discovery together.
Marta Goertzen [00:01:44]:
Welcome to episode five. Today we’re going to dive into two things that I have found to be key components to make room in your life and in your brain. To find the clarity you are looking for, for your life and for your business and the direction you want to take it and what you both want to be when you grow up. Years ago, I was listening to a presentation by Emily Ley. She is the creator of the simplified planner system and you can find email@example.com. And she said something that stuck with me all this time and she said visual clutter is stress. She was talking about your home and habits that we need to develop in cleaning up clutter. But I have found that that same thing applies to my calendar, what’s in my inbox, what’s in my social media feed.
Marta Goertzen [00:02:32]:
It impacts a lot of what I do in my business. Hearing that advice, I really had to take the time to consider how that could be impacting my life and my business. It made me look at my home office differently, it made me look at my home differently, it made me look at my planner differently, it made me look differently at what I allowed into my inbox, what was in my social media feed, everything. Because just about anything you let into your life can clog up the works. Especially when you’re trying to use your brain in a very creative, more deliberate, more intentional way. And in the end it ends up creating more stress instead of being helpful or useful because of what she said and thinking through how it was and how that visual clutter in all its various shapes and forms was impacting me. I began two very important habits that helped me create mental space. The mental space I desperately needed and longed for and helped jump start my journey to finding clarity for the direction of my business.
Marta Goertzen [00:03:35]:
And the first habit was starting a habit of brain dumping all the things out of my brain and doing it on a regular basis. Our brains work so hard trying to keep track of everything and it wants to remind you when you need to be reminded. But it’s exhausting and we need to give our brains a break. So I personally recommend that you brain dump with pen and paper in hand. You can use the digital tools. And if my brain is flying 1000 miles a minute, I do go to a digital tool because I can type way faster than I can write. But I do think there is something very special about taking your pen or your pencil into paper and writing down all the things by hand. Keyboards and tablets and phones.
Marta Goertzen [00:04:17]:
These are all incredible tools and I’m pretty much on them all day long. They’re extremely convenient. My phone with a Note app is awesome. It’s probably one of the most used apps on my phone. But I often get this longing and this craving to sit down somewhere in a comfy spot with something fun to drink, usually a hot cup of tea or really cold glass of water and pull out my journal and my pen and just start writing. And when you take the time to actually physically write out what’s going on inside your brain, there’s some amazing benefits and some things that you will find that will happen. One, it slows you down. We don’t write nearly as fast as we type and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Marta Goertzen [00:05:06]:
Slowing down to write out a memory or a feeling or experience help us look at what’s happened more closely. And so when you are taking the time to brain dump out all these ideas, all these appointments, all these to do lists, everything that your brain is trying to so hard to desperately to hang on for you, you start to lose the connections, you start to lose details. And so when you take the time to write it all out. And so then you have it saved safely on paper and your brain goes thank you, this is what I needed to give yourself some space. And honestly, I find it easier that when I’m writing things down on a regular basis that it’s easier for me to remember. Instead of my brain trying to remember this one tiny little niggling thing, in the midst of a thousand things, writing it down cements it in my brain. I have a place to go back and reference it if I’m trying to remember the details. So the fact that it slows you down and so that your brain isn’t running 1000 miles a minute, this is just one of the benefits of doing a brain dump.
Marta Goertzen [00:06:09]:
Second is there’s a lot of creative connections that can happen. One of my favorite quotes is by the writer Flannery O’Connor and the quote is I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I write. And that is something that does happen in a brain dump. All of a sudden you start writing down something that needs to be done on your website or a marketing project or a service package that you’re putting together. All of a sudden you start making these creative connections between these different things on your brain dump. You can start writing drawing arrows from one thing to the next or it triggers another thought like oh great, I need to do this on my website, but now I need to do this, this and this. And this is something that all of a sudden becomes a complete thought rather than these random firings off on your brain. And if you don’t take the time to write it down and yes, in some cases you’re using a tablet or a digital device, but a lot of times when you’re doing it by hand, you’re going to see those creative connections and these AHA moments a lot faster.
Marta Goertzen [00:07:10]:
When your brain and your senses are engaged with this act of writing all your thoughts down, you start to identify themes and you find solutions and you find creative connections that you may not have seen before because they’re all floating around in your head. Some amazing AHA moments can happen as you write in a journal or as you’re brain dumping, depending on how you want to do it. There’s a lot of benefits of just getting it all out. The other thing is that it can help with increased memory and awareness. Personally, I take a lot of notes. I use what I call a business commonplace journal. You may have heard of a commonplace journal and I would like to do an episode on this idea later. But it is a notebook that I keep track of everything that I’m learning.
Marta Goertzen [00:07:55]:
It is quotes that I listen to. If I listen to a webinar or a training or a class that I’m taking, I keep everything in one notebook because one taking notes helps me stay alert, helps me remember, helps me stay awake. And I even do this for a prayer journal. Because if I’m not writing out my prayers in my quiet time, it’s not uncommon for my brain to either wander off in another direction or sometimes fall asleep. So writing actually does help me stay awake, alert and pay attention. It’s the physical act of writing that helps me stay engaged and aware in the moment and it really does help me remember the important points that I need to remember later. And then also as you’re brain dumping, this is something again, you can go back and refer to. So whether it be my brain dump list or in my business commonplace journal, I have a place that I can go back and I can go highlight things that are even more important that I want to remember, things that I need to do, things that need to get pulled out and put on a calendar.
Marta Goertzen [00:08:53]:
Because if it’s out of my brain onto a brain dump list, it’s easier for me to get things scheduled in my planner into reminders, set alarms for it. And that is just something that your brain needs help with because there’s so many things it’s trying to do for you and remember for you. So getting into the habit of brain dumping, or what I often call it, a clearing of the decks, can be an invaluable tool to create margin and space in your brain and help you to start thinking clearly again. And this isn’t a one and done habit and it is something that you need to add into your daily or weekly routine. And trust me, when you do this on a regular basis, your brain will thank you for this. The second thing is to go on an unsubscribe mission and this could be from your inbox. Any of you look at your inbox and just dread opening it because of the hundreds or thousands of emails that are sitting there unread? And how many of you feel guilty because you’re subscribed to something but you haven’t read in a while? And so all of a sudden you’re deciding whether to save it or to keep to toss it out or what? That is visual clutter and that is also very stressful. I’ve heard it from many of my clients where they say they look at all these emails and they feel so stressed of how many are in there or how many they feel and it makes them feel behind because they haven’t read them.
Marta Goertzen [00:10:11]:
That is not a fun feeling that your inbox is trying to quote, unquote, tell you that you’re behind and that your brain is saying I’m behind. I haven’t read all these emails and I haven’t read these newsletters. This is a source of clutter and that clutter is causing you stress. So I would suggest going on an unsubscribe challenge and I recently did another round of this and it has been so wonderful. But I didn’t just do it in my inbox. I went through and unsubscribe from a huge volume of my Facebook groups. I’ve started to unfollow accounts in Instagram and LinkedIn that did not really fit me and fit my business goals. Right now there are companies like on Facebook and the pages I’ve liked, I’ve started unsubscribe from them and following them.
Marta Goertzen [00:10:56]:
And also another big one is to stop the notifications on your phone. These notifications produce an adrenaline rush and can be very addicting and that’s exactly what those notifications are designed to do and they do a very good job at it. So I think you need to really be intentional on what you allow into your personal space. And when you’re not intentional about it, our heads get filled with distractions. We get triggered to buy something because we follow some really good marketers that are really doing a good job of explaining what their service or their tool or their course can do for you. And it gets to the point that we want to buy it, even though it’s not a good fit for us right now. We also receive conflicting advice, which is very mentally consuming and very difficult for us to process. And when you have five different gurus giving you five different pieces of advice, many of them conflicting, that is hard to wade through and you wonder what in the world to do and who to believe.
Marta Goertzen [00:11:55]:
In our social media feeds we can easily get sucked into. That what they call the doom scrolling and it just drags us down further and further and all of a sudden we realize 1520 minutes, half an hour has passed by even the fun scrolling. My sister and I love to share funny reels on Instagram and it usually has to do with a dog or a cat. And these are fun and these are really fun to share because some of them are really cute and really funny and they make you laugh. But even that can be a trap. And when you don’t take the time to be intentional about what you let into your life and into your social media feed and your inbox, even the good stuff can be heavy. We also get sucked into the comparison trap. We get the emails that explain all the things that they’re doing this summer and we look at our list and we’re going, I’m not doing any of that and now I feel terrible.
Marta Goertzen [00:12:43]:
Or we look at the gorgeous feed of somebody’s Instagram feed and feel like we feel less than. Even though we’re not seeing the full picture of what’s happening behind that em or behind that image on Instagram, we’re falling into that comparison trap. And again, that is another source of clutter and adding stress. We buy things out of FOMO. We buy things we really don’t need. And to be totally honest rarely finish, and then we feel guilty later about the money we spent. When we are full of all the things, as we call it, the good, the bad, the ugly, it uses up our mental energy to think critically and intentionally. And this is really especially true for those of us with chronic illnesses.
Marta Goertzen [00:13:25]:
For me, it’s fibromyalgia. And there are times when the mental energy and the mental stress is just as impactful as the physical stress and sometimes even more so. And when you combine the physical stress of if I spent too much time out working on the garden and then I’ve been listening to a very intense class that I purchased, those two combined can flatten me out for days. It’s easy to overlook the mental component, both if you have a chronic illness or not, and we push ourselves to the brink and it can get to the point where it hurts to think. Have you ever been there? I’ve been there just recently and realized I needed to give myself a break. Limiting our input can dramatically change our output and give us back the ability to think easier, think faster, more creatively, and more intentionally about our lives, revisit our priorities and see how we want to fill our days and check our calendars and see what’s on there. What’s in our planners? What projects are we saying yes to? So just like brain dumping scheduling, a regular reminder to review your social media accounts, to check your inbox, the newsletters you’re subscribed to, and your phone settings. Because it doesn’t take long for these to get out of control and start taking over again.
Marta Goertzen [00:14:38]:
So you need to set this on your schedule to be reviewed and updated on a regular basis. Remember that saying, garbage in, garbage out? And maybe I’m dating myself here, but when we fill our minds with such useless and distracting information, that’s kind of what we get out of it. If you feel like you and your business are living by that spaghetti approach of throwing things against the wall to see what sticks and you wonder why you’re not finding progress in your business or you’re not finding the clarity that you feel you so desperately need, these are two simple steps that will help you. These two steps may actually sound too simple, but I have found that they are some of the most impactful things that you can do, and they’re things that you can do today, right now. Even if what is landing in your inbox right now is taking up too much energy, instead of helping you, it’s okay to unsubscribe and let it go. If you really need it, you’re going to find it again. If you are feeling exhausted and your mental energy is low, give yourself a break. Give your brain a break.
Marta Goertzen [00:15:41]:
Clear the decks, do the brain dump, and get rid of all the things that you’re trying to remember and get it out of your head and onto paper so you have it tracked and recorded and can get back to when you need to doing these two things. One, your brain is going to thank you and seriously it will. You may even find yourself sighing in relief. When I go through a major brain dump and get to the end of it, I can actually feel my whole body. It sighs in relief. That relief is going to give you the mental energy you need to think clearer, more critically, and you’re going to get a jump start on finding that clarity you’re looking for. Whether that you’re at the beginning of your journey or you’re kind of somewhere in the middle or you’re moving to a new level of business and you have a new level of clarity that you’re looking for, these are two things that are going to help you right away. So I’m giving you a challenge, something I’d like you to do right now.
Marta Goertzen [00:16:38]:
One, I want you to go take five minutes and brain dump. Get everything out of your head that you’re trying to remember. And two, I want you to unsubscribe from at least two emails or two newsletters in your inbox that you haven’t opened in weeks. And as a final step, I want you to go unfollow or leave at least one group or unfollow one account that no longer is serving you and it’s actually turning into a distraction. Do that today and give yourself the gift and giving yourself the mental space you need to go on this clarity journal. Thanks for joining me. I hope you found some clarity or an AHA moment that inspires you to take some action today. Before you go, could I ask a favor? I would really appreciate it if you could take a few seconds and leave a review of this show in the Apple podcast app.
Marta Goertzen [00:17:27]:
Your review really does make an impact and help spread the word about this show and gets it in the hands of other women who are looking to build simple and sustainable businesses of their own. Until next time.
Marta Goertzen is an entrepreneur, writer, WordPress Website developer, and nature photographer. She daily explores the trails and beaches of the South Central Oregon Coast with her dogs Oliver & Mochi. You can follow along on their adventures on Instagram. Marta also fully believes that change starts with gratitude and that gratitude can change everything. Find out how with the “Grateful Friday 7-Days of Gratitude Starter Kit”