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Kick the Should Demon to the curb to free up mental space

Embarking upon a journey in the form of a road trip to Oregon, I had the honor of spending the weekend with 20 other women, entrepreneurs all.

Inspiring. Revealing. Supportive. Feeling of belonging and connections. Hallelujah! Everything the solopreneur slogging it out on her own dreams of…

Tara Gentile, who planned the weekend retreat, brilliantly built plenty of spontaneous time into the weekend (take note event organizers: keep your introverts in mind!!)

At brunch on Sunday, I enjoyed oatmeal pancakes and conversation with one of the women, a biz coach.

In this friendly setting, a flowing stream of thoughts poured forth about my work (dangit, I always wish I had the microphone on in these moments!)

I was explaining energy management and how this is the missing piece in the greater conversation around “productivity” and “time management.”

The words flowed more or less like this…

When we get overwhelmed, we try to push harder.

When we get burnt-out, we consider slowing down.

When we get sick, we stop. Sometimes.

In other words, we have come to allow hefty amounts of stress and overwhelm as acceptable states of being. And to top it off, we ignore our high-impact work and get lost in busywork just to feel like we’re getting something done.


Being driven by the get-stuff-done obsession completely denies the inner experience. It’s as if you were to visit a majestic villa in the Italian countryside, wouldn’t you expect the grace and beauty to continue through each room?

“Your productivity plan must support your inner landscape as being fulfilled, healthy, & whole.”
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A variation of this inner journey approach is Danielle LaPorte’s work with the Desire Map. i.e. creating a new baseline for yourself based on how you want to feel—a brilliant process for reconnecting with and honoring the body-soul experience which so many of us have lost touch with.

Connecting with who you are becoming and how you are showing up in your life… these are usually relegated to the realm of “spiritual work”—a terrible idea if it means separating from the practicalities of daily living!

Delegation frees up more than time.

As an example of someone who took charge of how she was showing up in her life—and in the process freed up a crazy amount of time and energy for her biz—here’s the story of another woman at the retreat, Sara.

Passionate about growing her business, she became ever more aware of her dislike of her role as home manager—it was becoming synonymous with feeling guilty.

Sara had been ever more stressed out and overwhelmed by the number of house projects piling up. Not only was she feeling the weight of them growing, she didn’t feel free to work on her business because of them.

The crux of the matter was that her heart was in her business but her sense of obligation was to her role as a home manager.

Once she began considering delegating the home-work, she found intense resistance rooted in her beliefs such as, “I’m a midwesterner—you just don’t do that!” But she did.

Her helper works two hours a day (“She’s anal and not chatty. She’s perfect.”) and Sara works with her for one of those hours. For one hour of her own billable time, she pays for 10 hours of help.

Now, not only are the piled up projects complete, they are now working on projects that were way down the priority list (wedding album finally being created!). Laundry—Done. Shopping—Done. House—Clean.

“I can’t believe how much mental space this freed up. I now get the concept of leveraging my time!”

I love Sara’s story for so many reasons. Delegation. Letting go. Permission to work on her business which she loves.

PLUS, she illustrates what happens when you shift the paradigm

from accepting that stress and overwhelm are givens in your life

to creating solutions that support your Whole Being.

Ahhh… her story gives me hope that the tide is changing, and I’m so thrilled to be a part of making this a reality for women who want to grow their own brilliant businesses with integrity while embracing their true strengths ever more confidently.

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