Are you feeling stuck or overwhelmed? Do you see all the puzzle pieces, but don’t know how you will find enough time to put them all together?
Relax and take a deep breath.
In today’s training, I will share with you one tip to consider when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
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The Concept of Layering
Have you ever felt overwhelmed or stuck in life? I think if you’re human you’ve probably been to a place of feeling overwhelmed at some point. We all are there.
This week, I actually had a one-on-one coaching client session. Typically, I have people send me before the session so I can prepare. That way, I can pray about it and get clarity. Then I can also prepare some talking points, questions, and some things that we can dive into during the session.
We met together and as I was getting ready for that session, I was feeling overwhelmed for that person. They are at the beginning stages of building a business and there are so many puzzle pieces. There are so many things that they need to do in order to be successful.
And as I was praying about it, I felt like the Lord said, “Share with them the concept of layering.”
So what I want to share with you today is layering. It is a concept that I used to be able to reach goals, and overcome feeling overwhelmed.
What do I mean by layering?
I want you to think of a hundred-piece puzzle. There are so many different pieces to this puzzle. And what you do, typically, is put the edges together first, right? Then you have the framework for which the rest of the puzzle goes together.
There will be some pieces that will be more difficult to fit in that framework, but it will help you be able to have an idea of where you’re headed.
In the same way, there are a hundred or a thousand different puzzle pieces in writing and marketing a book, as well as creating a business, or whatever else you’re doing. If we look at all of those puzzle pieces and think that they have to be done right now, your heart will start beating faster.
That’s when you start feeling overwhelmed. And being overwhelmed can lead you to be paralyzed. And being paralyzed gets you stuck.
Yes, it’s good to see the overall picture. Just like the top of a puzzle box, you see the big picture to be able to solve the puzzle. But we need to take a deep breath and realize that there are a lot of different pieces. We have to understand that we’re not going accomplish it all at one moment.
The layering process happens by having a 90-day goal – just one. Ask yourself,
“What is your highest impact task?”
“What’s your big goal right now?”
“What is your priority, as of the moment?”
For my client, it was income that she is focused on this week. She needed to start making some income. And because income is her main goal, I’m not going to have her focus on content marketing.
She wanted to start a blog and do all these things, but she has products to sell. So I was like, “Okay. What we need to focus on right now, is to get these set up online, in a system to sell your products. So you have to have an online store.”
For her, it was going to be Etsy because she sells different types of art. But for you, it could be something else – Gum Road, Amazon or some other platform where you sell your books.
That’s the first layer for her. She has to have those products up online to sell.
There was another part of the 90-day goal for her as well but that was the foundation. That is the highest impact task right now; for her to set up to have a product to sell.
She has it, but to set it up to be able to be sold. There’s a million other things that she can do to market and to set up her business, to do it, and I just kept saying, “Think about doing that later.”
The first thing I want you to do, if you are feeling overwhelmed or are looking at all these pieces, is I want you to take a deep breath.
Determine Your High Impact Task
One of the things I love to have you to do is a brain dump. It’s like a brainstorm, but you’re just writing out everything that needs to be done. Then, I want you to look at that list and begin prioritizing it based on your primary goal, right now.
If your primary goal is income, you’re going to prioritize that differently than if your priority is exposure, marketing, or speaking engagements. There are different goals for different people, so there are different layers.
Every time you’re in a different season, it’s a different layer you’re going to add.
So I want you to prioritize that list. Then I want you to take the top thing that is your highest impact task. I want you to look at that task. If you need help on that, I have a blog about high impact tasks. Just go to my blog ShelleyHitz.com and search for that.
It’s also in Author Audience Academy, In the Start Here module. There is a list of high impact tasks for authors. That’s a whole other training.
What is your number one high impact task right now?
It may take you one day, one week, or it may take you the next 90 days. I don’t want it to be something that will take longer than 90 days.
Then, I want you to focus on that one piece of the puzzle. I want you to clear all those other pieces in your view right now. Remove that list of that brain dump, and just focus on that one task. Put it on a sticky note, an index card, or on something where you just have that one thing in front of you.
What is that ONE thing you’re working on right now?
Let go of all the other things.
It’s going to get done eventually when you layer things. It’s like a snowball.
I opened Author Audience Academy in March of 2015. It’s been over 2 years now, and I still don’t have everything done. There are still things that I need to do.
I still need to set up a better onboarding email sequence. I already have one in place, but for my new members, I need to do that. But is that my highest impact, priority goal, right now? No.
I have that on a list somewhere, and that’s something I will do, but I don’t need to do everything right now.
I think sometimes we just get too pressured. Like, for instance, inside Author Audience Academy I teach about Author Automation System. It’s a system that is like seeing the big picture. And sometimes, when you look at it, you can get overwhelmed thinking, “Oh! There is so much to this!”
Guess what? One layer – one piece of the puzzle – at a time.
So I was just talking about this a little bit on the clarity call for Author Audience Academy members. It is a live webinar we have every month.
I was talking about this and one of the members said,
“It’s kind of like parking your car in a parking garage. You have all these cars – you have all of these things that you could do. You’re not discarding it. You’re not saying, “I’m never going to do this.” You’re not being irresponsible. You’re saying, “I’m going to park this in the parking garage. It’s safe there. It’s stored there, and I will get back to it.”
Tell your brain, “I have it stored here. It’s OK. I will get back to that task, but right now this is my main, high impact task.”
So I want you to think of it as layering. You are just providing one layer at a time.
When I started my Broken Crayons Still Color project it was so overwhelming. There was a lot of different things that went into that project. I had to really break it down in this way.
The first thing I had to do was get the first draft written and sent to my editor. Then, I had to send that to my beta group. I also had to create the PowerPoint for each week’s video, record each week’s video, and create each coloring page for each week.
So it was a layering of one task every week. I had, “My Main Task Today.”
Publishing the book was then another layer. Then launching the book, launching the podcast and creating a children’s book are other layers. And I’m still working on that last layer.
Then I had to market the book and that’s the layer that I’m working on that right now. I’ve done two special promotion for that book, and I’m going to continue doing it.
I’m actually going to record my results and add them as a case study inside Author Audience Academy. I will be featuring all the different places I’m using for paid advertising, and the different sites. It’s not just Amazon ads or Facebook ads. I have separate training inside Author Audience Academy for those things.
These are other sites that offer paid advertising. I’m doing that now for Broken Crayons Still Color.
But did I do that at first? No. It is just another layer. I set up my author Automation System for that book with one layer at a time.
If you start thinking about all those things right now, you will feel overwhelmed. I started feeling like it is a lot!
I’ve done it one step at a time starting last June. And it wasn’t overnight. It has to be one thing at a time.
I do this full time so I have more time to accomplish these things.
Layering. Don’t get to the point where you think you have to have everything done right now. It really comes down to prioritization.
What is your highest impact task right now?
For my husband’s running coaching business, we’ve been in that position with him. There are a million and two things that we could do for his business. But right now, the primary goal has been getting new clients.
He almost pretty much has a full clientele basis already. And we really grew his business through his Facebook ads.
I have a new class on Skill Share all about Facebook ads. You can go to ShelleyHitz.com/FacebookAds and I share his case study of how he’s started and grew his business from Facebook Ads. It’s crazy how I’ve used Facebook Ads successfully.
We also want to create digital plans for him to sell online. We have one of them done, and we’re kind of stalled in that. We want to do more blog posts and content marketing. We want to do more advertising.
There are all these things but you know what? Right now, the primary goal is for him to build his one on one coaching, and serve those clients. Then once he’s set up a system for that, then we can start layering these other things.
You know what? He’s profitable right now because we prioritized.
The very first thing we prioritized was having a sales page for his coaching services. Then we set up a Facebook ad, and then we developed his systems of how he’s going to get the plans of the clients every week.
So there are so many things we can do every day, but what is the priority? You know what? If you are a Christ follower, the Bible says, “We have not because we ask not.”
Ask God for what you need. But in James 1:5, it also says, “If we lack wisdom, all we need to do is ask God.” So ask him.
Say, “Lord, what is the priority for me today? What is the highest impact task for me today?” Then do it.
Maybe it’s just one thing every day, maybe it’s just one thing every week, but what is that one thing? What is the top priority?
I can guarantee that it’s not scrolling on social media or checking email thousands of times a day. What is the one top priority that you can do right now?
Layer it. Park everything else in the parking garage and write it down. Have one notebook just for ideas for the future. The things that you want to do, eventually. But concentrate on that thing that’s going to move the needle forward the most for you, right now.
Where are you already getting results?
Where are you seeing the most results?
What has been successful for you?
What has worked?
And what is the next step of the things that would really help you to do that?
The Power of Focus
Last year, during the first quarter of 2016, it was all about getting all of our stuff organized. I got everything organized in Dropbox, from our finances, passwords and all of that stuff. I did that so that we could hire outsourcers and do that securely. It will keep us organized.
Oh, my goodness. That was stressful!
I did not like it. It was not fun and it wasn’t easy. Getting everything set up and organized took me a good 90 days to do that whole process. Then, I have hire staff. So, the next 90 days was set to hire outsourcers.
The next 90 days was then to really get them trained and up and going. After which, I then worked on Broken Crayons Still Color. It was a layering.
I hope you’re starting to see the power of focus now. It says, “Follow One Course Until Successful”.
I hope you’re starting to see the power of layering and just putting one piece of the puzzle in front of your eyes right now.
Put all the other pieces aside.
When we start looking at everything, we get overwhelmed and stuck.
One. Thing. At. A. Time.
What is the one layer – one action – the ONE thing that you can do, right now?
Let me know by leaving a comment below. I love to hear what that one thing is, that next step, that you’re going to focus on.
Maybe you just need to finish your first draft; that could be your first layer. Or maybe you need to publish that book now. You’ve had it edited and all that, and now it’s time to publish that. Maybe it’s time to get it formatted.
It could also be the time to set a marketing plan in place.
Inside Author Audience Academy, I help you do that. I have a 30-day marketing plan including how to set up your Author Automation System that will work for you behind the scenes. And it’s just one layer, one piece of the puzzle, at a time.
Maybe it’s time for you to step outside the box and think about creating some digital products that you can also sell.
What is it for you?
For me, I have to constantly remind myself, “Shelley, one thing. You just have to do the next thing.” It’s about layering. We can’t do everything at once. It’s just going to be one step, one layer at a time, and it will begin to snowball. Then you begin to reap the rewards.
That’s where I’m at right now with Author Audience Academy. It’s been over 2 years and I’ve done one layer at a time. I am nowhere near where I need to be. Sometimes I listen to podcasts and I think, “Ah! I need to do this, I need to do that!”
But then I stop myself and say, “No. FOCUS. Follow one course until successful.”
Do it. Get your focus. Find your 90-day goal, and then realize that doing just one layer at a time will help you get unstuck. It will help you overcome the feeling of overwhelm, and reach your goals.
I want you to be a finisher and I know that God has great plans for you. I cannot wait to see what he does through your life.
Thank you so much for joining me in this training. I hope that it’s helped you. Until next time!
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