An Avant Garde Productivity & Lifestyle Design Blog, written for unconventional coaches, corporate climbers & service-based entrepreneurs.
Are days, weeks, even months going by without you hitting your life and business goals?
Do you constantly feel like you’re in an “entrepreneurial rat race?”
Does it feel like everyone else’s business is running like a well-oiled machine while yours is #struggling ?
You know you have a message worth fighting for, a service worth getting paid for, a business that can reach great heights, but the proof has yet to be seen in the proverbial pudding.
You tell yourself:
“They have teams to help them! I’m running this business by myself.”
“I have a full-time job so that’s why I can’t get things done in my business.”
“I’m a spouse and a parent so my time is not my own.”
All of it is valid. These are reasons, not excuses… Right? At least that’s what you tell yourself, but the truth lies somewhere in the middle…
Your point is valid. You don’t have a team and so your capacity is limited-sure. BUT is it also possible that you are complicating your processes?
You are straddling entrepreneurship and corporate-sure. BUT is it also possible that you are not telling your time where to go when you’re not working your 9 to 5?
Yes, you wear multiple hats and others demand your T.E.A. BUT is it also possible that you’ve failed to establish strong, healthy, non-negotiable boundaries?
…Asking for a friend…
I’m not trying to minimize what you have on your plate. I’m trying to help you view your circumstances from a perspective where YOU have control.
We have blind spots when it comes to our business bottlenecks.
Yup…I said it.
We’re so close and so deep in our business and personal life that we can’t see clearly what’s holding us back.
If I had a quarter for every time one of my clients said
“OMGosh, I’ve never looked at that way, you’re so right…”
I’d be rich. Some of us are walking around in dire need of a Productivity Coach, but we misdiagnose our problems. The misdiagnoses leads us to buying software we don’t need, investing in courses and programs that aren’t a good fit, or wasting money on contractors that we are not yet ready to invest in.
The cycle goes on and on.
I can’t speak for ALL Productivity Coaches, but I define a Productivity Coach as someone who helps you establish customized routines, systems, and boundaries that help you NARROW YOUR FOCUS and get the RIGHT things done, at the RIGHT times, for the RIGHT reasons, in the RIGHT way for YOU and the season you’re in.
A Productivity Coach doesn’t force you to implement cookie-cutter, one-size fits all strategies.
No, no, no… A real Productivity Coach helps you cultivate self-awareness and use what you know about your personality, passions, and purpose to create tailor-made systems, routines, and strategies.
Take, for example, your morning routines.
A Productivity Coach shouldn’t just tell you, “Hey, do the ‘Miracle Morning’ by Hal Elrod everyday and you’ll be successful.”
Smh…that’s lazy AF.
A real Productivity Coach will have you examine your natural rhythms, discover what fills up your cup, and analyze your current schedule and create your own signature ideal morning. They will help you understand that one person’s ideal morning routine may not work for you and that’s OKAY.
What are your goals and vision?
A Productivity Coach can help you identify your yearly and monthly goals and ensure that you create tasks that help you close the gap between where you are now and where you want to be.
More importantly, they will make sure that your goals are strategic and relevant.
In addition to that, a Productivity Coach will help you set strong, healthy boundaries and create systems that help you sustain work-life harmony.
Aside from helping you reach financial goals, a Productivity Coach can also help you reclaim your most precious commodities: your time, your energy, AND your attention.
A great Productivity Coach is able to help you look at your life and business from a bird’s eye view and expose your blind spots. It’s the blind spots that cause the bottlenecks and hijacks your momentum. Being able to see your life and business from the outside looking in (especially from someone who has no skin in the game) is PRICELESS.
Having a Productivity Coach isn’t the same as asking a friend to hold you accountable. A Productivity Coach helps you outline a game plan for bringing your vision to fruition.
They help you close the gap between where you are now and where you want to be by strategizing and planning you next BOLD move. A great coach helps you STAY ready so you don’t have to get ready.
Bet you weren’t expecting this one, but it’s true.
A phenomenal productivity coach will help you identify which skills (within your industry) are profitable, rare, and necessary for you to cultivate.
How much time have you wasted cultivating skills that end up being useless in the marketplace? A Productivity Coach can help you choose the right books, podcasts, courses, and coaches so that you never experience buyer’s or learner’s remorse again.
You may not know this, but confidence is rooted in the promises we KEEP to ourselves. Goal are just promises we make to ourselves and every time we keep those promises we gain that much more confidence.
Think about how you felt the last time you said you would work out and you did or the last time you said you’d complete a project by a certain date and you crushed it with time to spare.
How did that make you feel?
Like a Bona Fide Boss, I’m sure. I say that to say, great Productivity Coaches help you maintain integrity and consistency, which in turn boosts your confidence through the roof.
Again, I can’t speak for ALL Productivity Coaches, but I can speak for myself! These definitely are the benefits of working with me inside my programs.
Speaking of programs, my flagship course: CONQUER Your Chaose Crash Course is what you need if you resonated with any part of this article. I am 1,000% confident that you will emerge 8 weeks from now with:
—> Clearly defined goals, vision, routines, & systems
—> bird’s eye perspective of what’s serving you and what’s not and the areas of your life and business that need attention.
—> Monthly productivity game plan for crushing the goals you set and moving the needle close to your vision
—> Profitable and valuable hard and soft skills that can be leveraged at any stage of your professional life.
—> Renewed self-confidence because you were able to be a person of your word and do what you said you would do when you said you would do it long after the feeling of wanting to do it has left.
“How if the heck can one course help me achieve all of that.”
Listen I know it sounds remarkable, but when I say CONQUER Your Chaos Crash Course was created with love and intention, I mean that. Go see for yourself.
Let me guess…
There’s another crumbled-up to-do list on your desk. The ambitions? Abandoned hours ago.
You feel you should have gotten so much more done, but…
At the end of the day, you have no idea where the time went!
The next day. Same thing. You write out all of your ambitions. Item by item. You do everything in your power to cross it all off, but life inevitably gets in the way.
A week goes by. You’re feeling defeated. The needle barely moved. You had the best intentions, but time got away and now you’re behind on your most important tasks.
You chalk it up to it just being “a busy week.” You vow to start fresh on Monday…
And the cycle continues.
You need to stop writing to-do lists. They work for some people, but clearly not you and that’s okay because…
You can try a new approach. Something a little more radical and “in your face.”
But first, let’s take a quick moment to understand why to-do lists may not be working for you…
The Biggest Mistake You’re Making With Your To-Do Lists
This may be a hard pill to swallow, but…
Half the shit you’ve written down on that lists are irrelevant time wasters.
Hear me out!
Most people “co-mingle” their needle-moving and shallow tasks by putting them all on the same list.
Next thing you know,
You’re giving precious T.E.A. 🍵 (Time, Energy, & Attention) to tasks that are:
Not understanding which tasks are needle-moving and which tasks are shallow can cause you to dedicate the most productive hours of the day to tasks that could wait.
In Module 3 of CONQUER Your Chaos Crash Course: Narrow Your Focus, I discuss this in detail.
The point here is, your to-do lists are likely filled with items you have no business doing 💁🏾♀️.
Which leads me to my next point…
How to Identify Your Needle-Moving Tasks
When determining what needs to get done and when you have to understand your “zone of genius”.
A term famously coined by the author of The Big Leap, Gay Hendricks.
I define your “zone of genius” tasks as tasks that require your unique set of skills and knowledge.
The tasks can’t simply be delegated to someone else or automated using some software.
They are tasks that require your full attention and if it doesn’t get done, it affects other parts of your agenda.
When you think of it this way, it should be easier to identify the most important items on your to-do lists.
But remember, this was about kicking your to-do lists to the curb in favor of a more radical approach…
Do This Instead…
Now that you understand how to identify the “needle-moving” tasks on your to-do lists…
Take those tasks and add them directly to your Google Calendar- alarm, time block, and all!
This is about doing what you said you would do when you said you’d do it.
This eliminates many of the excuses like:
When you make an appointment with yourself to complete a to-do list item three powerful things happen:
This will take some getting used to, but it can be effective.
Think about it:
We’re so conditioned to add meetings with others to our calendars with alerts so we won’t forget. Why not add meetings with ourselves to get our most pressing tasks done.
Seriously, our agenda has to come first or someone else will make us prioritize their agenda.
At some point, we have to grant ourselves permission to pivot our processes when they no longer work for us.
If you’re failing at the game of to-do lists. It’s time to do shit differently.
Want to learn more about reclaiming your T.E.A. and getting the RIGHT things done, at the RIGHT time, for the RIGHT reasons? Click here for an inside peek at my flagship program: CONQUER Your Chaos Crash Course.
Did you just read another blog post bashing the “9-to-5, Monday through Friday” job?
“F*ck the man! Work for yourself! That’s the true path to wealth, happiness, and success!”
Give me a sec, because there’s literally so much wrong with this that my head literally aches…
Let’s start with this notion that working a 9-to-5 job can’t possibly lead to wealth, happiness, and success
Ummm… Can someone please call Andrew Hallam and let him know that he can’t possibly be happy or wealthy because he became a millionaire while working for “the man” as a teacher.
I mean come on! He was a teacher! That’s as 9-to-5 as 9-to-5 gets! He can’t be happy, successful, or rich, can he?
Everything we consume now tells us we have to be entrepreneurial and ditch the 9-to-5 cage and venture out on our own. Honestly, there were some people who were legitimately happy working for someone else, saving, investing, and taking trips once or twice a year.
Now, we’re out here shaming them, telling them they should want more out of life.
We’re telling them they should go start a business of their own and “make their own hours” and be free to travel as much as they want.
That’s the biggest fucking scam I’ve ever heard/witnessed- excuse my language. I’m getting upset because these people are actually succeeding at convincing so many people to ditch their jobs prematurely and enter into a world that’s not for everyone.
Obviously, there are people out there who are made for this entrepreneurial life. They can’t even stomach the thought of working for someone else, BUT if they’re being completely honest, they would tell you that this is not for everyone and contrary to popular belief you’ll be working a helluva lot more than 8 hours a day, especially in the beginning.
If you think that every morning when you wake up you are wasting your time and energy going to a job to work for someone else and that you can’t possibly amass wealth or be happy as a result, you have been hoodwinked! Bamboozled! Why not change your mindset around your job? Think of it as a place where you can develop skills, grow your network, and most importantly pay your damn bills.
There are a number of us who hate the people we work with, but not the job itself. Instead of changing companies or departments, we have been convinced that the ONLY solution is entrepreneurship.
If you work for a company whose vision you can believe in, whose people you can trust, and who pays you well for your role, why on Earth would you think that ditching that job would somehow lead to happiness, wealth, and success?
Help me understand, please.
To the geniuses telling EVERYONE that EVERYONE should quit their jobs and start their own businesses:
Who will take your order at Chick fil a? Who will check you in at your bougee ass hotels? Who will tend to your needs in your first-class cabin on your flight to Dubai? Who will tend to your needs when you arrive at the hospital or if, God forbid, your house burns down? Who’s going to come to your rescue when you’re being robbed? Who will teach your spoiled ass kids?
Oh, I’m sorry, did you not mean those people? They all work some type of 8 to 12-hour shift under some person or organization, and you’ve built your business telling them they’re doing life wrong because they work for someone else.
There are some people out there who would kill to work for someone else because that would mean they could feed their families.
Wanting more for your life and striving to be the best version of yourself as well as building wealth does not always mean “ditching your 9-to-5”, folks. Those who try to make you believe that, want you to buy their course or training or book. They have no clue about happiness and wealth building.
On the other hand, IF you find it soul-crushing to work for any organization IF you have a strong desire to start a business that could have a major impact on the people it serves IF you have a burning desire to be completely in control of how you live your life day to day, then, by all means, go do your thang, boss!
If you feel ready, go for it, boo. But don’t for one second believe the fallacy that you will work less than 8 hours a day, that you will automatically find happiness, that you will instantly thrive financially, or that you won’t hit major bumps in the road.
Understand that while you can make money on your own, save that money, and invest that money to build wealth, there are millions of others out there saving their money, investing their money, building wealth, spending quality time with their families, AND making an impact while being employed by someone else.
Conversely, you have those who have ditched their 9-to-5s, have no money, a lot of debt, no time to spend with their family, and only the illusion of control over their life.
Don’t get it twisted, that outcome can plague CEOs and employees alike.
Now, I will say this:
You do need multiple streams of income. In the world we live in today, you cannot rely on government programs or tax season to sustain yourself. You need to have a stream of income that does not require physical movement on your end. You need to put money to work for you in some capacity. It doesn’t need to be real estate, but it can be. It doesn’t need to be stocks, but it can be.
Feel free to think outside the box on that one, but the point is, you do not necessarily NEED to “ditch your 9-to-5” to establish security, happiness, and wealth for yourself. That’s just a bold-faced lie.
So…with all that said, how does one remain happy in a 9-to-5 job, even while using it as a stepping stone to something else?
Well, do these 10 things:
1. Never engage in gossip! Gossip will literally be the downfall of friggin humanity!
2. Surround yourself with the most vibrant, energetic, positive, loving souls you can find.
3. Like Cal Newport says, be so good they can’t ignore you!
4. Work for a company whose mission, vision, and practices you can get behind. Don’t sell out for a check, please. If it makes you feel morally uncomfortable to do your job, it probably means you need a new job.
5. Break when you’re supposed to break!
6. Do not rely on your employer for emergencies or retirement. Live within your means, save an emergency fund, take advantage of 401k company matches, but don’t put all your eggs in one basket (like I did and lose everything and have to start over).
7. Find a mentor you can trust.
8. Do not live to work, work to live.
9. Take your damn vacations. Don’t let those days rollover. Use your weekends for mini-vacations, too.
10. Document everything. Keep records. Be smart about all communications with management, HR, and colleagues. It pays to be ready for worst-case scenarios. Those who work in corporate settings know what I mean.
I’m curious. Do you agree or disagree with me? Why or why not?
Are you a corporate professional straddling entrepreneurship?
2. Mental Well-being
5. Quality of Life
6. Health & Fitness
7. Emotional Well-being
8. Spiritual Well-being
9. Intimate Relationship
10. Platonic Relationships
12. Personal Finances
✓ Create a S.M.A.R.T. Goal for each one.
Test the Goal against the 4P’s checklist:
1. Present Tense
✓ Identify an accountability partner who cares enough to keep you in check.
✓ Own the goal by creating a gratitude statement for each one.
✓ Never go a day without reciting the gratitude statements and taking at least one step towards one of your goals.
Do this sis, do it to a proverbial “T” and I promise you will WIN.
When you’re done taking action, share these three secrets with everyone you know and love so we all can be out here living our absolute best, most fabulous lives-Please & Thank You!
After facilitating over 200+ breakthroughs with course creators and hosting luxe VIP Day experiences with entrepreneurs at the top of their game, I was able to create a system that hits all the right spots for someone like you striving to build a profitable, productive, and unconventional business.
My clients are reclaiming their time, energy, and attention, designing unique business models that fit their ideal lifestyle, and creating signature systems that get their clients results, ditching programs and toxic thought patterns that no longer serve them, and finally enjoying the entrepreneurial journey.
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