Today I’m pulling back the curtains on some counterintuitive decisions I’m making to reach my own next level - the level where I earn more, work less, and have a bigger impact.
Old Kat would have assumed this meant doing more. Working longer. Working faster. Saying yes to everything.
Kat today finally understands that scaling a business requires the opposite.
Doing less, doing it slower, doing it better. Say no more than yes.
I wish I'd known some of this stuff earlier -- I learnt a lot of it the hard way. So as always, I'm going to share transparently in the hopes that you can learn from my mistakes and anticipate some of this stuff before it's too late!
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You're listening to Episode 41. I deleted 3000 Instagram followers, and I'm not done. Here's why. So today I'm pulling back the curtains on some, let's say, counter intuitive decisions that I've been making lately, in order to reach my own next level. For me, that is the level where I earn more, I work less, and I make a bigger impact. And as always, if you want to learn from my mistakes, and hear some real talk about what it takes to build and grow a profitable personal brand, keep on listening. Welcome to the personal branding project. I'm your host Kat Elizabeth an actor and personal branding coach who is obsessed with helping creative entrepreneurs like you build personal brands that change your life for good from attracting bigger opportunities, more joy and freedom in your life. And the ability to get paid to do the things that you love most. Each week, I'm bringing you inspiration, practical advice and the occasional dose of tough love. So you can stop dreaming and start doing what it takes to make those dreams a reality. First of all, welcome back, happy to be in your earholes again. And what I'm going to say is today's episode is let's call it the beginning of season two. Yes, I know it's technically it's Episode 41. But I'm feeling the need for a bit of a symbolic fresh start. Because as you will hear from today's episode, I'm making a lot of changes at the moment really needed changes that I do have a feeling you'll probably be able to learn from and at least be maybe inspired by maybe some of them, you'll be like what the, but at least you'll be able to make an educated decision. So what I'm doing is I'm just calling it, let's say that this is a fresh season. And let's talk about why that needs to actually even happen. So this year 2021, just in case you're listening in the future, it has not gone the way I would have thought it was going to go Okay, and it has nothing to do with the C word. I ended last year. So December 2020, I had a an amazing month, huge month, like record breaking more money than I've ever made in a certain period, like in that period of time. And I was on a high, I was like this is amazing. And because of that I really thought like the 2021 was going to start with a bang. And it it kind of did but it kind of didn't. So what ended up sort of transpiring, which I'm coming out of now, but it's taken a really long time. I completely overbooked myself. So with that extra revenue came a lot of extra work slightly too much work. And I just really underestimated how long some of these projects would take. And yes, these are just so you know, and I'm gonna give you a bit of more context in a second, but service based projects, so I am hands on doing the work, which obviously, very quickly, kind of caps because there's only one of me, there's only so much of me to go around. So the first issue I had was that I was very overbooked. So, you know, for a few months, just completely disappeared was just having to give all of my best energy to my clients, because that is always my commitment to my clients. As well as the service base work, I had a whole like a big good bunch of, of new coaching clients that I was onboarding as well. So there was just a lot of energy out. And I was feeling very depleted, and just not in a place where I felt like I had the energy or the bandwidth to be posting on social media or doing all my usual stuff. So that was one thing, something else that happened. And I'm sure it's connected to the overbooking and the exhaustion and some of the stress that came with all of that work was that I had some health challenges kick in, my body started shutting down, which was terrifying because part of it was that my brain felt like it stopped working, like I got this brain fog and it's exhaustion. And I went through a period of about, I think it was six or eight weeks where I was just not myself at all, like every day was a struggle, ended up getting tested and finding out what was going on. And it turned out that I'd had a relapse of glandular fever, which was you know, ironically, or maybe not. The Universe was it works in mysterious ways. That was what took me out like eight years ago when I had my whole quarter life crisis thing you remember, you know when everything fell apart, so it reared its ugly head again, and kind of came back in the form of chronic fatigue and then as well as million other things going on with my body like all the levels were off and it was very clear at you know, why my body wasn't working, my brain wasn't working. So that just layered on, you know, the struggles that I was already having a bit of a book like being overbooked when I'm at, you know, my, my highest like at my best I can deal with that it might be a little bit intense, but normally I just pushed through and I'm like, I can't, I just I can just I can do all the things. It's all good. But I actually didn't have it in me. So I had to slow down beyond what I would ever want to do. And that was just yet was not fun, as a bit of a control freak, who has all of these very clear ideas of what's supposed to happen when I just felt completely out of control. But you know, as we'll be talking, unpacking In this episode, there was a gift that came with that. And then the final thing that kind of happened, and again, this is all wrapped up in the other two things. But I think it goes deeper than that, as well as I really felt like I lost sight of my vision, the vision that I had for the business and for my brand, and just for my life as a whole. It's like I had gotten so caught up in the to do lists in I have to do this, I have to do this that I was like, wait, what why am I doing this in the first place? Why am I why am I so stressed all the time? And why is this not feeling fun anymore? And it's because I really disconnected completely from from my actual deeper why. But anyways, long story short, this kind of mess of a year that I have. It has really led ultimately to all this clarity and direction that wouldn't have come if things had actually gone the way I'd planned. Now, I have probably if you've been listening for a while, you may have heard me talk about this before. I mean, the fact is, we learn from our failures, not from our successes, like if, if my very first big online course launch had been successful, I wouldn't be talking to you right now. Because it was a completely different business. And it's what wasn't meant to go well, because it wasn't the thing I was supposed to be doing. So, you know, 2020 hindsight, and all that has really showed me that I needed this time to unpack what was really going on and get my priorities back in order and get fixed back on the vision again. Now, I wanted to give you a little bit of context, because I don't I don't always share, like numbers and things behind the scene. Because I'm, I have a bit of an aversion to people that are always throwing numbers at you, because I know it can be very triggering, and just just gross. But I think it's really important that you have some context of where my business is at right now and where I'm wanting to take it so that you can understand why I'm making the decisions I'm making right now. Because the thing is, and I talked about this a lot too, like what got you here won't get you there. So the decisions that I needed to make in my first year as a copywriter in my first year as an online course creator, they were going to be different decisions to what I'm making today, I don't want you to just like copy what I'm doing. Because if you are in a very different place in your business, they're not necessarily going to be helpful. But I know it can be helpful to kind of understand the trajectory like the journey that we're on. So context, where my business is at right now is that I still have a mix of copywriting coaching, strategy and courses, which yes, is a lot. And for a while there I was looking at, you know, how can I just ditch everything and just do one thing. But I ended up realising that that is not the business that I want to run, like, Yes, I need to streamline, I need to simplify, but getting rid of all my other offerings, and only having one offering is going to bore me to tears. I've learned that the hard way in the past. So you know, the and this is part of the journey, like as a side note, because we're not going to go into this in a lot of detail. But you know, a huge part of what I've been doing over the last sort of six to 12 months is really trying to raise my understanding and awareness about myself. My personality, my energy, my strengths. You know, I've been, you know, from the Clifton strengths assessment, or maybe it's Clifton Strengths Finder. Yes, thank you. Um, test or assessment, and you know, Human Design, like I have been diving into everything that helps me to understand myself better, which has then led to me understanding why some things just don't seem to want to work when I'm trying to do them. And other things just managed to fall into place when I'm not even trying so highly recommend that if that's if you haven't done much work on that in a while. If you haven't done any sort of personality or strengths assessment test, just go pick one. Like anyone literally like Human Design enneagram the disc assessment, Myers Briggs, you know, 16 personalities and just read it and really have a look at whether your brand your business is in alignment with the things that you're reading. It can be really fascinating. Anyway, that was a huge tangent but I just wanted you to know so i have services which is done for you. I have coaching which is done with you and have courses which is do it yourself. I am currently on track for about $130,000 a year we're in Australia where Our financial year ends at the end of June. So that's how I'm able to kind of tell you that right now. And next year's goal is to do 300,000. To be completely honest, my stretch goal is 500,000. But I haven't even wrapped my head around that yet. Like, it just feels too crazy. But I also know that it's completely possible with a plan. So, you know, I just want to let you know, like, if you're going Whoa, like, that's a really big jump even from the 130 to 300. You know, how do you expect to do that, I know that what got me here is not going to get me to that next goal. Like, for instance, you can hustle your way to six figures, like I have added cost, obviously, you know, it's hustling, but it's doable. But good luck hustling your way to multiple, six figures, or seven figures. Like that is not, that's just not how business works. I quickly learned at the beginning of this year, when I had such a, you know, I had that huge month in December, where I was like, well, this is incredible. I then had a few really like, low months for me right afterwards, because I realised, oh, I capped myself out, brought in all that cash, and then I had to deliver the services, you know, I'm gonna really struggle to earn any more than this, if I'm relying on one to one services being like my main source of income, so, so just know that no, I'm not going to be doing more of the same, which is why I'm making a lot of decisions at the moment, a lot of them counterintuitive, in order to make these shifts that are, you know, going to help me align myself with that next goal. So what I'd always been told that I never, never fully got it. People who like you know, you know, saying yes, a lot is going to get you, you know, to the first step, and then saying no, a lot gets you to the next step. I was like, What does that even mean? Like, you know, my natural instinct is like, okay, whatever I've been doing, like, let's just double it, you know, if I'm going to do whatever I'm doing, just do it faster, do more of it. But I now know that, number one, it doesn't necessarily get you the results, but also to, you know, it's not sustainable. I now see my body's limits. And thank goodness, I saw them in time, like I have been in hospital in the past, because of my health, like, this is not something I should be pushing. So I now need to go Okay, so we've just doing more of it and working faster and longer. And everything is not going to get me to that next level, what is going to get me to the next level. So now I could spend literally hours talking about this journey that I'm going on right now that we're all going on. But I don't want to bore you. So instead, what I decided to do is I'm going to boil it down to the five most counterintuitive things that I have decided to do recently, as well as a few actually intuitive ones that I really believe are the keys to helping me achieve those goals. So let's just dive straight into them. I know it's not straight into we've been talking for a while so far, but I had to get you caught up on what we're talking about. So the first thing that I am that my anti Let's call these, like anti growth hacking tip, it's like we're literally doing the opposite of growth hacking. You know, because with growth hack, can we just try and reverse engineer everything and just do everything that everyone else seems to be doing? And instead, I'm kind of going, No, I'm gonna do it my way. So which is when number one is I'm ignoring a tonne of advice. And in turn kind of breaking a lot of so called rules that people are setting out there. The fact is, I do believe this kind of paint by numbers approach can help land you your first client, it can get you though, like a few foundations set up. But then there comes this time where you have to just own your strategy, you have to own the fact that you are completely unique, and just listening to everyone else's advice. Like I mean, not only are you not going to again, get the results, but how many different kinds of advice can you have coming in before you just like you know, you're buried under advice, you know, if there are so many ways to get the results that you want to get. But doing that trying to do them all at once is the slowest way to do it. So what I am doing is basically tuning out now from a whole bunch of people that I really look up to that I've been following for a while, you know, even courses that I've signed up for, I'm just like putting them on the shelf for the time being, and really deciding to kind of design my own strategy and own it and implement it and let it settle in before I start trying anything else. Now to get really granular some other kind of things that I'm doing like For instance, there is a lot of advice and a lot of like talk lately about like selling in the DMs and, and just showing up and like, here are the templates and just follow my thing and you're gonna make all this money. I don't like selling in the DMs there, I said, it is not my style at all, like, even when people are coming to and this is something I probably need to work on, even when people are coming to me asking, How can I work with you? I'm just like, I don't enjoy it, it doesn't feel good to me. And what I learned as well, like, especially because a lot of that advice, the social selling is like, you know, post something, get their attention. And if they reply, just like pounce, you know, start a conversation. Like, I hate that for me. And this is what's really important. Like, I just want to bring it back to this before we go into all the other points. This is stuff that feels right to me and wrong to me, you could be completely different. So I don't want you just listening to everything I say today and just changing everything that you're doing. Because you're like, Oh, well Kat says this. No, no, no, no, like, if that resonates and it feels really good, and you want to try something out, go for it. But you know, social selling, selling in the DMs is it's so popular and it works so well for so many people. But something that I learned about myself as in the Human Design realm is that I am so I'm a projector. And projectors are supposed to wait for the invitation. As in you meant to wait for someone to kind of reach out to you and say, Hey, like I want more information or Hey, how can I work with you. So a lot of the sales advice that I'd been receiving was so proactive. So like just put yourself out there and make a call and, and very aggressive, which felt horrible, but I never fully got why it felt so horrible. And then when I started learning about more about human design, it started to make sense to me. So I was like, Ah, okay, so that's just one example of advice, then I'm ignoring, but essentially like the, the guideline that I'm setting for myself is okay, does this feel good? And does it get results? Great, it can stay? Does this make me feel gross? Or is it just not leading to results? Okay, then it needs we need to reassess. And that's it, instead of just grabbing everyone's templates and just putting things out there without running it through that filter. Okay, let's keep moving. Because I know I'm talking a lot today. Number two is pushing back my launch indefinitely. Now that sounds very dramatic. It's not that it's like I'm not going to launch. Oh, and when I say launch, I mean of Seen, Heard, Paid Academy. So I was planning to launch in June. And then kind of July, I just kept pushing things back because I was I just had too much to do. But I actually decided to remove the date. Because I was rushing, I was feeling this pressure. And I was showing up in a way that I wasn't happy with like it didn't feel good to be just filling my days with all of these obligations. Now don't mistake this as laziness, I'm probably one of the least lazy people around like I can do 12 hour days work at full speed and not want to take weekends off because I actually love working. But I'm trying to embrace a different kind of working, kind of lose that feeling of there's being like there's a fire under my butt. And instead being guided by what feels good to work on today. And being really intentional and slower about doing it so that it's even better. And trusting that you know, if I create some whitespace in my calendar over the next couple of months, anything could happen. Like I'm leaving space for magic, for all the good things, but I was not leaving any space for any movement. And I know in the past like that has meant that I've missed out on some really cool stuff happening. It's also meant I've missed out on joy, and relaxation, and rest. So that is why like the launch dates gonna come back. But for the time being, I've removed it so that I don't feel that pressure. And I can just create from this feeling of spaciousness, and oh, my goodness, I'm only a week in. And it feels so good. Like, really, really good. So yeah, I'll check back in with that one, because I'm sure there'll be further updates. I'd love to let you know what kind of happens in all of that space. But for the time being, let's just jump in it. So the third thing that I'm doing is creating content myself. Now, I know that sounds weird. It's like, don't you always do that? Well, fun story. I hired someone to repurpose my content for me, because I was feeling so guilty and stressed about not consistently showing up on Instagram. And he's like, well, if I could just turn my podcast into good content for Instagram, then I wouldn't have an excuse anymore. I'm going to save myself all this time. Now there is a whole story attached to this that I will share in a separate episode, we do not have time for it today. But long story short, I am not, I'm no longer working with that person. And I decided to take back the reins on my content because I had a few realisations in that process. Like, number one, I love creating my own content. But because of all this pressure that I put on myself, and all the guilt and everything, I completely sucked the joy out of it. And it started to feel like a thing that I had to do instead of that, what I wanted to do. Number two, I also realised I'm the best person to create my own content. And even just like seeing the repurpose, you know, stuff from my, you know, from my podcast, it just didn't feel the same. Like I create different content for Instagram than my podcast, I speak in a different way. And so losing control over that, and just seeing this content that was kind of just a watered down version of my podcast on Instagram, like was just so horrible. And I never ended up using any of the content that was created for me, because I was like, No, this is mine. So that is why I'm doing it. So yeah, so that means that I then had to make some choices about Okay, well, how am I going to find the time to make this content. And this also connects to your why push the launch date back, rather than kind of I wasn't cutting corners, but trying to rush it and hire extra help. So that I could build this launch runway faster. I was like, Well, if I just gave myself more time, and blocked out a day a week to create this content really well, I'm going to give myself a much better chance of having a huge launch. So that is what it came down to. So number four is what I'm doing, which you probably won't surprise you at this point is I'm taking on less clients. Now I thought like my natural instinct, and you should like so you need to know this about me. The second I push back a launch, my fear is always like, Okay, well then, how much money am I going to be able to make between now and the launch, I better sign on more clients so that I don't, you know, run out of money and then freak out and then run out of time. You know, like what taking on the clients means that I run out of time to prep for the launch. And then the launch gets pushed back again. And I hope that made sense. Like it's basically it's a vicious cycle. But what I have decided is that rather than kind of going, Oh, I need to fill this space immediately with this many clients that look like this, I am kind of doing the whole projector wait for the invitation thing and trusting that the right clients are going to be coming my way as I need them. But in the meantime, I'm going to keep the space in the calendar. And you know, there is a little bit it's a trust exercise really like I'm kind of having to rebuild my trust muscle because again, control freak Kat, you know, does her three month projection of what she's earning and is like, I need this much more money, I better go sign these clients. And it's usually a client that's like slightly out of alignment or job that I just don't really want to do, but I figure I should. And then that you know, the cycle continues. So instead, I'm just kind of trusting that by having this lower volume, I'm going to be more present to attract clients who are perfect fits for me, and really limit my availability. So that because even though it's tempting, it can be great to call in some extra revenue. My big picture plan right now is to build you know, if I want to hit that 300k, you know, goal that I've set for myself, I know it's not going to come just from one on one client. So if I busy myself so much to look after those clients that I can't have my big launches and make sure that the Academy is in tip top shape, then I'm not going to hit those goals. So I'm really trying to think longer term here. And this is one of the ones where I said like if you're at a different point in the journey, like I had my year of yes, when I was first starting copywriting, like I said yes to everything. Because at one point that was important, like number one, I needed instant cash because I was freaking out about how to support myself. But also I needed portfolio items. I needed testimonials, I needed confidence in what I was doing and to figure out what I was going to do, like how am I going to niche down and I wasn't gonna know that until I worked with enough clients. So, you know, don't think that you know, taking less clients and being super super picky is necessarily good at any stage of the journey. I think there's a time and place for Yes, and there's a time and place for less. I was trying to make that sound really smooth. I suddenly thought of something else like that could go on a T shirt, but I totally ruined it. But anyways, okay, we're up to number five, the one you've probably been waiting for deleting 1000s of Instagram followers. So if you do follow me on Instagram, you may have seen my latest post. It may not be my latest post by the time you listen to this, but where I kind of say hello and goodbye. Because I was announcing that I'm ditching a tonne of followers, not people I'm following No, no, no like I'd already clean get most of them out, I'm picky with who I follow. But I so I was over 20,000 followers and my fragile little ego loved being over 20,000. But it started to cost me. So what I had noticed, because Instagram is so competitive these days, and it's only getting tougher. My reach was tanking, I was lucky if 10% of my followers were seeing my So those are my five counterintuitive things that I posts, some days, it was less. And that was not good. Because I know I've got some amazing followers who are perfect fit, you know, potential clients that have been, you know, find discovering the over the last few years, and yet so many of them follow me for nothing like that's it, I'll never see them again. So I mean, the first thing I actually did was I finally created a reel couple weeks ago, you may have remembered me talking in the social media series that I still hadn't created a reel well, I did my first one got over my fear. And intentionally put it out there very messy, like very imperfect, because I just wanted to get over the perfectionism. And that was very interesting, because it reached over 5000 people. And I was like, Huh, okay, they're not lying, like Instagram loves reels. But that wasn't enough, like I went back to posting so my, you know, reach getting worse and worse and worse, I thought I have to do something. So I decided to do a huge cull and get over myself and the whole 20k vanity metric and just start deleting. Now, I'm still going. But it's already helping. So that's interesting. So sometimes we need to cut down to speed up again. Because there are so many people following me that are either inactive, they're spammy, or there isn't that they're not the right fit. Like, I don't even understand why they're following me. I mean, maybe some of them are from the past. But like, I don't need them to be following me. They're actually dead weight at this point. And it's only hurting my growth, it's hurting my reach. And ultimately, and I mean, I think I, I don't know if I mentioned this in the metrics when I was talking about metrics, but like, the real metrics that actually matter are sales, when it comes to social media, like yes, comments, and likes, and DMS and everything, but ultimately, it's like, Are people actually going to end up working with you. And so I had that in mind when I was doing this cull. And it's crazy, like the most recent post has already blown up as in the organic reach is so much higher than other recent posts. So that gives me hope. And I've also just kind of reset the bar for myself of like, going, yep, I'm going to take ownership of this account, I'm not hiring anyone to help me with this, I just need to show up on on Instagram. So I do recommend this for anyone at any size following because you do end up with a whole bunch of either, you know, spammy followers, people who aren't really active or people just who wouldn't, who just and not the right fit for you, this is only going to help your engagement, and it's going to actually give you a better idea of whether your content is resonating. Because you know, if it gets really low engagement, and you've only got great followers, then maybe it's not resonating with them. But if you've got all these kind of not fake followers, but you know, people who doesn't they don't count, then you know, it's not really giving you accurate data anyway about what resonates and what doesn't. So it's felt really good. It's like a detox or cleanse. Like I feel like I've Marie Kondo to my Instagram. And now I'm a little bit hooked. Like, I just want to keep going. Now that I'm over the 20k thing I'm just like, yeah, let's just do this. have been doing that I am Yeah, I'm hoping make a difference. I tell you what, I feel better. And that's really important. I think we forget to take that into consideration a lot of the time. And it all just becomes about the numbers and the results. But it's also how you feel as you're trying to get there. I have burned myself out on more than one occasion. And I did not want to do that anymore. Like I'm honestly I'm done. And I also want to work my way towards, you know, going from working 40 hours a week, or let's be honest, on the big weeks, it's you know, 50 or 60 hours, if I'm doing something, you know, huge and cut it down to 30 hours a week. I actually don't want to do less than that, because I love working as I've mentioned, like I I love my clients, I love creating content, it's all awesome. But you know, I can see it still feeling like a full time job at 30 hours and 40 hours. But I want to increase the revenue in order to do that. So, you know, I want to be able to enjoy my life while building my business. And ultimately, that is what I teach now as well. Like, if I had created the academy a few years ago, you would have heard me giving very different advice because I just hadn't lived in my business long enough to really understand what's actually important. Like it's why my framework now is covering that self belief, strategy support, I now run my ow decisions through that, like m own plans and go Okay, like, yo know, how am I going to believ in myself will like at leas remove the limiting beliefs tha are going to stop me fro succeeding? What is th strategy? Like, how am actually going to get there? An how am I going to make sure implement this and that is kin of the key. So, I don't know wh I'm going on that tangent. Bu anyways, just felt like I shoul share that. Now. I said, I was gonna cover intuitive things that I am doing, but I won't break them down, I'm just gonna give you them really quickly, just so that I close the loop. So the intuitive things that I've been doing, which might sound like the wrong word, but I was like, what's the opposite of counterintuitive? It's intuitive. So yeah. Number one, I'm spending a tonne of time journaling and meditating each morning, something that had stopped and I restarted a couple of weeks ago, and oh, my goodness, it makes such a difference. Number two, I'm taking specialist programmes now to double down on what I want to focus on. So rather than very broad things like how to create a course like how to do Instagram, like, you know, those big topics, like for instance, I'm doing one that's just on launching, I'm doing one that's just on webinars and selling from stage, you know, because those are some topics that I would just I want to master and number three, investing time and money on my health. And that means actual, like preventative health care, being on supplements, that means self care, all of those things. Because, you know, as you can probably understand, after the scare I had earlier this year, I don't want to, I don't want to be in that position ever again. And I say that I was it was my own fault. Like I did get myself into that. So those are the things that are kind of obvious maybe that I'm doing. I'd love to know if this episode was actually helpful to you. I'm I honestly have no idea where this podcast is going. Now, I know that sounds weird. But essentially, I'm just trying to tap back into my own intuition. Because I've even been kind of affected by how other what kind of content other people have been creating, and have been trying to, you know, check a whole bunch of boxes with my content and do it a certain way. And I'm just really, I'm over that as well. So I am going to invite some really cool guests on soon who have been contributing to my own journey because I think you'll find out really helpful. And other than that, I'd love to hear from you like what are you finding interesting and helpful? Where are you struggling right now shoot me a DM over on Instagram at I am Kat Elizabeth, and let's chat. I'd love to hear your insights. And if you haven't left your review yet. Do you mind heading over to Apple podcasts and leaving a written review. Let me take you a few seconds but it's just going to help get the word out about this podcast which is a labour of love completely done by myself with no funding. So that would just be that would be amazing. But anyways, I'm gonna stop talking now because this has been this has been a big one but I hope we get to chat soon and I look forward to being back on the airwaves shortly. Alright, have a great week. Bye for now.