Note: Mythical Makers Podcast is produced for the ear and intended to be heard, not read. If possible, we encourage you to listen to the audio, which includes emotion and emphasis that’s not on the page. Transcripts are generated using a combination of speech recognition software and human transcribers, and may contain errors. Please check the corresponding audio before quoting in print.
Karen: Welcome to Episode 13 of the Mythical Makers Podcast. Today, we’re gonna be talking about motivation and How to Get it, How to Keep it, how to regain your mojo if you’ve lost it and how to do a little bit of focused planning in your business.
Babs: Hi there, and welcome to the Mythical Makers Podcast! These are weekly ramblings from myself Babs Rudlin, Fiery Phoenix, and…
Karen: I’m Karen Moffett, Mama Dragon.
~ Short Musical Interlude ~
Babs: Motivation. If you are member of Yarn academy, if you follow my newsletters or my Instagram, or any of my social media, you will probably have noticed, that at the summer holidays, I kinda took a step back, ah that was planned so that I could spend time with my delightful children, who suck away all my energy and mental power over the summer holidays (Karen chuckles) so attempting to do work at the same time as entertain them, is just exhausting. So I deliberately planned and prepped so that I would step back, however, that then left me feeling completely rudderless, I felt in the fog, totally in a fog. I had all this stuff that I wanted to do and it felt that I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t implement anything I couldn’t write any blog posts, I couldn’t plan anything, um…
Karen: You were adrift.
Babs: … Exactly, I just couldn’t follow through on anything. So my brain, which is always buzzing, and fizzing with ideas anyway, was continuing to do that throughout the summer, and I felt completely impotent. I couldn’t do anything with any of these ideas, I was making connections with people. I was still talking to people. I was still prepping for stuff to happen in September, but for two months I felt, as you say completely adrift. So then when it came to the first week in September I was kinda like, “What do I do now?”
Karen: Back to work!
Babs: I’ve got so much stuff that I want to do, and I wanna jump in and do it all now, and that just doesn’t work. Trying to do that doesn’t work. And I just didn’t want to go down the path of having absolutely no motivation, and no mojo. I’d already gone two months feeling foggy. And so I really wanted to, to try and nail down what we’d be focusing on, what we’d been looking at and how to actually get that moving forward. So I think we had a quite long meeting, didn’t we Karen?
Karen: We did! We did. We had… We had a good session last week.
Babs: Where I was talking through the main goals of what I wanted to achieve with the business and the projects that we were gonna be working on to meet those goals. And then I went slightly crazy with Asana. Now, I don’t know whether you know what Asana is. It is an online planning platform, project management, time management, organizational system, it creates to-do lists, there is a free version, if you want to have a play with the free version, we can pop a link in below the podcast for people. If they want to have a look at the free version, there’s a paid version that gives you all sorts of charts and project planning functionality and templates and all sorts of whizzy features. But, but, I spent two days prepping and planning on Asana so that I knew what I was doing, when I was doing it. I’ve even gone so far as to create a private board which has things like household cleaning and chores. You know those ones that never quite get done?
Babs: Washing the nets, creating the windows, cleaning the conservatory, all those sort of big things that sort of hide in the background, especially when you’re running your own business, and you can’t afford a cleaner. So…
Karen: The ones that always slip down the priority list.
Babs: Exactly. It’s like, nonono, I’ll do that later, I’ll do that later, I’ll do that later…why am I living in a pile of poo? Because I haven’t cleaned it for three weeks! I guess I need to do some cleaning. So rather than get to that point, I’ve just set up some reminders and it may be silly and they may be pointless, but they’re actually really useful reminders and it’s the same way that you can forget lunch when you’re really on a roll, and you just keep going and then you on four days you haven’t had lunch for four days. Well, you’ve had breakfast and dinner, but you’ve totally forgotten lunch of four days and that’s not a good thing.
So um, I’ve gone through and done a whole heap of planning around that and since doing that, I’ve actually managed to have more time off. I had a complete weekend, completely free of phones and internet. There was stuff that was scheduled to go out and it went out and there were, there were things that were planned in, and they happened, but I wasn’t online. I wasn’t checking my phone, I wasn’t looking through Instagram or Pinterest or anything like that. And it was really refreshing. And then I came, came to work on Monday this week and before lunch time, I had achieved everything on my to-do list, and it was quite an extensive to-do list. I don’t get myself three things to do. I do give myself a lot. And I’d actually got through it all, including my tax return, including chasing a huge, outstanding invoice that I was getting really nervous about asking for payment for, because, you know. I get like that. It’s very silly. But because I’d put them down as automated type tasks and it was like a weekly reminder, you just go in and do it. I didn’t even think about it, I didn’t give myself the time to worry myself into the state of “I can’t do this.” I’ve now created my own immobility. I was just working through the list without really thinking about it, and just got it done and sent out. And I’d sent it before I’d even thought about it. And it was like, “that was the big one I was scared of sending!” It’s like, “well, it’s done now!”
Karen: Yeah, yeah.
Babs: You know, the world hasn’t ended. I haven’t had incredibly rude comments coming back, I’ve probably got somebody elsewhere in Europen sitting there thinking, ‘well, I’d better find that thousand pounds now, please.” (chuckles) So it’s really important that, that if you do set up some to-do lists and you take time to plan that you then just use your to-do list and follow through. But I’m feeling so much more focused. I’m getting so much more done and I’m feeling much more motivated and for me the thing that makes me feel motivated, is when you’re making those progressive steps, it’s when you stop making those steps even if it’s one a day if it’s one a week, it’s when you stop making those steps forward that I find that I’ve completely lost my motivation.
Karen: Mmmhmm. Mmmhmm.
Babs: How is it for you, Karen? When do you feel like that?
Karen: I find, yeah, I am a planner too. I really like having a good, good to-do list to check things off. And that tiny sense of accomplishment of I get to check the thing off the list. I find I have trouble urging myself to do things. If the list is long and I don’t know which order to tackle things in. So I like, I like the way Asana has a due date and I can do this one at the top of the list, and then the next one down, and then in the next one down. If I know I’ve gotta get six things done and I’m like, “Well which do I do first? I find that that, that’s it, kind of squelches my forward progress. Yeah, it keeps me from, like you said, just inching forward a little bit at a time, even if it’s really slowly, at least getting something done and going in the forward direction.
Babs: Yes, I think one of the things that quite lot of people do, having looked back at the comments and the questions and the feedback from Yarn Academy, is they look too far ahead in terms of when they’re planning. So never plan or the three months out because you never know what’s gonna happen anyway. Opportunities will arise, life will throw things in your path, that you have to find a different way around.
But in addition to that, if you plan out too far ahead, then the burden of all the things that you’ve got to do, will suddenly become too much to bear. And when that happens, you stop. And you make absolutely no progress…
Karen: You feel like you’re drowning.
Babs: You’re drowning. It’s become this nebulous cloud and then other things start to kick in, and you’ve got anxiety, and worry, and lack of sleep and your stress level goes up and all of these things are happening because you’re not doing anything but then you’ll continue to not do stuff because you end up becoming completely frozen in your own circle of fear, and that’s horrible… You really don’t wanna get to that point.
If you do find yourself at that point, that’s when you need to sort of give yourself permission to just step back, switch the computer for a day, maybe longer, if you need longer, and then come back, but focus on what it is that you actually want to do. And then trying to understand what your goals are, is incredibly important because that helps you then decide what tasks you need to do to get towards that goal.
Babs: Because if you’ve got a goal of writing a pattern, but you spend all your time photographing yarn, and looking through Pinterest, you’re not going to write a pattern. You’re going to become an expert in photographing yarn and playing around on interest, on Pinterest. (Karen giggles) But in terms of actually producing any kind of pattern, that’s not gonna happen. What you need to do is research yarn, research stitches, make swatches, possibly go out and do some questions and answers with people in your audience. So put up a couple of swatches, put colorways, see which ones are most popular, see which ones will have the most interest and then use those in the next design and then actually get on and write the pattern. But all of those, there’s a lot of tasks that you can do, that will drive you towards your pattern, but if what you’re doing is completely unguided you’ll just spend a lot of time swimming around having fun looking at stuff rather than actually moving forward. And you can pretend that it’s research, but we all know deep down that it isn’t.
Karen: You’re just spinning your wheels. Sure.
Babs: Exactly. And I find that is a real motivation drainer, as well.
Karen: Yeah. Yeah, ’cause you know. I mean ya know you’re not really making forward progress.
Babs: Exactly, deep down, deep down you know. Yeah, the other… The other thing is that you can have your instant gratification money, which I’ve written about, and again, we’ll put a link to that post and that’s where you need to have a response now, and that’s where “oooh, shiny” comes in. So, it’s what I’m gonna go look at this because that’s so much more fun than doing my tax return. Or I’ll go do this because I like squishing yarn and I need to go to my local yarn shop and squish yarn for half an hour rather than sending all those invoices, that I’m supposed to be sending and all that other stuff, and so you’re inner monkey will take over if you let it. So you just need to be aware sometimes that your monkey is on the rampage. (Karen laughs) Because again, if that’s the case, then it can become a gorilla, and then it can become King Kong quicker than you can actually cope.
Babs: So there’s a few things that you just need to try and be mindful of and that’s not even counting any of the stuff that life throws in your path that you don’t realize. I mean, you’ve got all these poor folk who are struggling in the Carolinas at moment with Florence. And you know, clearly that is something that nobody was really planning for other than in the last week or so… And they’ve got to try and cope and deal with all of that before they can then come back to any semblance of their normal life. And it’s at that point that you start to think. Yeah, I wish I’d had some disaster recovery built in. I wish I’d had some systemization so that I could be asking somebody else to help me out. So if you’re wondering what we’re talking about with that, that’s, which episode was that we spoke to Dana is that twelve? Eleven?
Babs: So go and check out episode 12, where we talk to Dana of Dana Gervais designs about systemization and… And how you can sort of secure your business against disasters. Not that when we recorded it, we had Florence in mind, because we recorded that several weeks before Florence was even on the, on the horizon. But if those kind of things that you’ve got absolutely no control over that can totally derail your business. And that goes for brick and mortar as well as online businesses, so you know, it’s important to try and plan as much as possible so that you can deal with stuff as it gets thrown in your path. Have you got any other tips or with motivation or things that might… No, I don’t really wanna focus on things that might go wrong ’cause there’s plenty of those, we’ve all got experience with those sorts of things.
Karen: Yeah, definitely.
Babs: But more around ways that you recapture or mojo, your motivation, when it’s gone?
Karen: We’ve talked a little bit about inspiration, which I think it really plays in heavily to motivation as well and that is such a personal thing, but I think when you have a creative business that’s really important for you to know for yourself. What is it that inspires you, what is it that really kinda gets that spark going again? So if you have gotten bogged down in the planning and this and that, and the other, and all of the behind-the-scenes stuff from the business that maybe you aren’t really super enthused about then you do need to take a step back and say, “Okay I need to, I need to remember why I love this. I remember, I need to remember why I started this business and why I had this desire in the first place.” So that, sometimes, I feel like inspiration really, really kind of can give a jolt to your motivation as well. They play in heavily together, I think.
Babs: Yes, I totally agree with you. I think that’s an excellent point. We all need to, at times, remember why we started this in the first place. Why did you start playing with yarn? Do you love the color? Do you like sharing with people? Do you like teaching people? Do you like the fact that it gives them a mental break when they’re creating something or using something you’ve created? Do you like teaching people? What was it that really spoke to you in the beginning, and why did you want to start doing what you do? Absolutely is key to remember all of that.
Karen: What is it sets you on fire?
Babs: Yes, indeed. Says the Dragon to the Phoenix. (both laugh) Fire is our thing!
Karen: Oh yes, definitely.
Babs: And so if you’re struggling a little with all these things, one of the things that my refocusing this week has inspired me to do is to re-launch the Find Your Focus Challenge. It’s a five-day free challenge, which Karen, I know you’ve taken part in in the past where we look over the course of five days at what your goals and dreams are for your business, why you got involved in the first place. We do you go back through and remind people of the heart and soul behind what they were doing from the first place.
And then we look at how that translates into day-to-day tasks. It takes us five days to get there. And people need to learn to be patient with me and follow the process rather than trying to run ahead. Because we’ve also had to quite a few people trying to run ahead and then they kind of regret that after two or three days ’cause they realize that suddenly their work load is absolutely enormous rather than just following along with the process. Have faith in the process, and you will have plenty of things to be doing by the end of it. We don’t need to create loads on day two, because by day five you won’t know what to do with them.
So yes, definitely follow along. So that’s a free challenge. And again, we can put a link to that underneath the podcast. It’s open to anybody. Obviously, I tailor it towards people with yarn. But anybody who has any kind of business that the Find Your Focus process, will work for you.
And it’s good fun. And I think when you also realize that you’re not alone in the world trying to do something, when you realize that there are other people who are going through the same thing as you, who are going through the same struggles, whether that be that you’ve got no support, and you have small children and you’ve got no financial support and you’re trying to put food on the table or whether you are in the luxurious position of having a partner who is supporting you and you don’t have any children. And you got all the time in world and you can’t actually manage to move forward and now you’re drowning in guilt. You’re not the only one.
Babs: And everywhere between the two, every single position between those two extremes, you will find there are many, many others in exactly the same position as you. And I think that’s quite heartening thing as well.
Karen: And I think that’s one of the huge benefits of the online community, especially the online yarn community is just being able to throw that out there and say, “Hey I’m just really down today because I’m dealing with X, Y, Z,” and there’s so many people that come forward and say, “Me too, this is a problem for me too.” And it just, it makes you feel so much better to know that you’re not alone. I can’t imagine being having a business like this and not having that ability to commiserate with one another.
Babs: Again, I think having a safe space where you can say that, and then suddenly there is just a flurry of love that comes back to you, whether that’s likes, hearts, hugs, people sending you really powerful positive thoughts, and I think that is amazing. And nobody tells people to do that. People are generous and that is what they do without anyone telling them that they need to do it. It’s a wonderful environment. And it’s aways lovely not to see that somebody is struggling but to see that there are so many others who can empathize and are sending positive vibes and good thoughts across the planet and I think that’s a wonderful thing. And that’s one of the most positive uses of the internet that is availalble, I think, is the community.
Babs: So I’m so proud of the Yarn Academy community when they do that, and the Yarn Jugglers as well. You know, not just the business folk, but also those who are hobbyists, and they hang out in the Yarn Jugglers and… And again, if you’re playing yarn chicken, and it’s all going horribly wrong and you suddenly get 28-50-100 people coming back, and giving you sympathy and advice and commiserating with you and sending you hugs and lovely gifts and all that kind of stuff, and it’s just wonderful to see. It really is wonderful to see.
Babs: So do you think we’ve covered motivation enough? Was there something else that we’ve missed?
Karen: I think we got that one.
Babs: If there is something we missed, pop it in the comments and let’s know. And so we will share that amongst others so that we can all learn. And that’s really cool.
Karen: If you enjoy this episode, let us know in the comments, and please like and share with your friends so they can finedd us and we will talk to you guys later. Bye-bye.
Babs: Bye for now!
Please leave your feedback and comments so more yarn enthusiasts will be able to find the podcast!
Bye for now,
Babs & Karen
Links mentioned in the episode:
Links mentioned in the episode:
In addition to the suggestions given in the podcast Dana is also offering a special package for the Biz Knit System for our community.
The first 10 who buy the package will also get a bonus of a free call to discuss how to implement for your business.
Check it out at https://www.bizknitsystems.com/yarnacademy
Tell us of any systems you have created in the comments!