3 Ways You Resist Planning (and how to overcome them)

Welcome to episode 460. I am, as always, The Stacey Harris. I want to talk about resistance today, specifically resistance to planning because as we get sort of back into the swing of things around here, school is starting, fall will be here at some point, I kind of go into planning mode. I’ve spent the last handful of weeks sort of looking at 2020 and what I want in 2020. I’m starting to put dates on the calendar for a few things in 2020.

But really I’m sort of hitting this switch where it’s like, okay, so what’s left for this year? We’re hitting the end of Q3. We’re coming into the last, I mean, we’re certainly in the second half of Q3. And so I’m looking at Q4 what needs to happen? And for me, planning is everything. Planning is how I have built a profitable business consistently for the last eight years. Planning is how I retired my husband. Planning is how grow my business and my client’s audiences and we sell things and really, it’s how we make anything happen, including creativity and fun and ideas. Because when I have a plan, I have room for that creativity. And I’m sure we’ve talked about this in other episodes. I think we talked a lot about it in my self care episode.

So I want you to really think about what happens when your brain is not polluted with oh no, I have to get that podcast done. Oh no, I have to get the blog post written. Oh no, I have to get something up on Instagram stories because I haven’t been there in two weeks. Anybody else want to raise their hand on that one? I’ve been there and planning is how I avoid such things. It’s also how from time to time I go I can’t, I’m not, I don’t want it today. I’m not doing this. Here I can sub this instead because I have other things I’ve done.

So I want to talk a little bit about resistance today and how we’ve worked with clients to overcome it and what it can look like to get support for this resistance because here’s the deal. There’s going to be resistance. You know there’s going to be resistance, and for me, the fastest, most comfortable way to overcome resistance is to lean on somebody else. That could be a business buddy, that can be a mentor. It could be a coach, that could be a consultant. That can be a lot of things depending on the resistance.

I mean, I’m getting back into my gym routine and my workout routine. I just started CrossFit and I knew the whole time I was avoiding it that I was in resistance. And I kept saying oh, well, you know what? Tomorrow I will just get up and I will go for a walk. Except it was really easy for my resistance to win and for me to wake up that next morning and be like I don’t really feel like it. And I have all these really great reasons why I need to go do something else instead, maybe I need to go to the office or Colin’s home, so I’m going to spend time with him. Or hey, Charles and I are going to go to breakfast, or my mom needs something. I’m excellent at creating really, really, really useful ways to procrastinate. We’ll go with useful, useful works there. You know what I mean, right?

So I got a trainer and guess what? I work out with him three days a week, one on one, because I can’t not show up for that. There’s someone waiting for me and I’ve invested in having someone waiting for me. And so I don’t want that to go to waste. I need to get my butt into the gym and do that. And it’s been incredible already. But had I not said there’s resistance here, how am I going to navigate around that? Oh, I’m going to get support, I wouldn’t have.

And so the same is true for our business and our marketing specifically. There’s a lot of resistance that can come up. I want to talk about the three ways I see resistance show up most frequently and kind of how we sidestep that, how we support clients through that, how I navigate that because guess what? I have all the same resistance. So let’s dig into that.

Number one, the biggest resistance is I don’t want to be annoying.

I did a whole episode about this, I think it was earlier this year on why for a little while it was my goal to annoy you. It’s still a little bit my goal to annoy you because what we think is going to be annoying is almost never actually annoying. In fact, here’s the secret. No one, not even the people who love you most in the world are paying as close attention to what you’re doing as you are. You are the most tuned in to the details of your day to day showing up and that’s just, it’s just the way it is. So often it’s easy for us to think, oh, oh, they’re going to see every post I make, every podcast I release, every email I send, it’s going to go right to them and they’re going to think, oh my gosh, this girl is crazy annoying. But you’re not, and they’re not.

So what I want you to do is I want you to take a beat when you think am I going to bother someone and instead say is this going to serve whoever sees it? Because that’s the decision we should be making before posting. Not is this going to bother someone, but instead is this going to serve someone? And if the answer to that question is yes, it’s going to serve even just one person if they see it, post it, send it, share it, release it, whatever the thing, launch it, whatever the thing is.

I want you to get really comfortable with the idea that someone might be annoyed because who cares? Who cares if someone is annoyed? I have never in eight years of business had anyone respond to me sending emails and saying you send too many emails. This includes during launch weeks where I’m sending emails almost daily for a program or a course or something I’m selling. This includes final cart days on our live events or courses or Backstage where I send two or three or occasionally four emails in one day.

And here’s the deal. If people do unsubscribe and they’re like too many emails, I’m out, they weren’t going to buy anything for me anyways, so I don’t actually care. And this really came from having to build this habit in myself. This came from, and I talked about this in the episode and I’ll link to it in the show notes, I can’t even remember what year it was. I want to say 2014 or 2015. I said my goal for the year, you know like some people have words for the year or phrases for the year, my goal for the year was to annoy everyone on the internet, all of them.

I ran a ton of ads that year. I sent a ton of emails. I think we switched from one email to two emails a week. So we sent an email out with every new episode, instead of one episode for the week, sharing both episodes. We sent a sales email twice a month that was no value, not a pitch squished and some story value content. No, just hey, here, buy the thing. Twice a month my goal was to annoy people. And my list grew exponentially and I made the most money I had made to date in my business. I had the best perfect fit clients. It was incredible, but it came because I let go of the idea that I was going to annoy anyone. I let go of the resistance around the possibility that I might bother someone with my visibility and I just committed to being visible.

And really phrasing it that way where it was my goal to annoy was so much more empowering than the idea of it’s my goal to get visible. Because what the hell does that even mean? I don’t understand that as a sentence. I’m going to get visible. I’m not currently invisible. You can all see me. Contrary to how I occasionally feel on the 405 you can all see me. I’m a real live human. I mean not right now because this is an audio podcast. But generally speaking you can see me, I am visible. I’m not an invisible person. So what does it mean to get visible? No, I want to annoy people. And guess what? That’s still my goal. No longer is it sort of written up on my whiteboard in my office because I’ve grown out of caring if I annoy everybody, but still, I’m committed to being a nuisance to you lovingly.

So if that’s some of the resistance you’re running into, I want you to set that as a goal. I want you to look that resistance in the face and say you know what? Yeah, challenge accepted. Let’s be annoying. See what happens. And if you want to dig deeper on this topic, definitely go check out that podcast episode where I talk about being annoying because I am still committed to annoying you.

Number two, it will stifle my creativity.

The number two type of resistance we see, and again, I’ve talked about this in an episode before, but so often, I’m being very conscientious with my phrases. So often the feedback I get around planning is that it’s going to stifle creativity. If I have a plan, I’m going to be stuck in this box of my plan and I won’t be able to find my flow, work in flow, produce from a place of inspiration, which is all just nonsense, utter, total complete nonsense.

Because here’s my question. If you were like oh my God, yeah, that’s me, I want you to tell me the last time you were consistently creative, consistently creative. Meaning each week, which is when most people tell me they want to produce content once a week, blog, post, podcast, video, whatever, when is the last time you were consistently creative? And let’s say you know what? I have. For the last eight weeks I have been 100%, consistently creative every week. Now how much of that creativity was executed without anxiety? Meaning you got the idea, you produced the idea, you released the idea.

Now, the one that I get the easiest is podcasters. Because yeah, I can absolutely tap into creativity once a week and just be like I’m going to speak my truth today and I’m going to know what it is and I’m just going to share my story as I feel called do. Oh but wait, my neighbor’s landscapers are here. Oh, but wait, my kids are home from school. Oh, but wait, my partner is home and noisy as hell. Oh, but wait, our neighbors are renovating. Oh, but wait, there is a, I don’t know, fireworks festival next door, whatever it is. There is almost always, and this is some sort of like weird Murphy’s Law for podcaster situation. Generally in this situation you end up with noise.

For example, I pushed recording this episode at the last minute. Full transparency. It’s been a little crazy. Summer. Like oh, I’ll do it. I’ll do it Wednesday. In my offices, one of the offices just around the corner from mine is currently being renovated. They started yesterday. So here I am Thursday morning, the day this episode will be released, recording it. And I had a plan. I knew what I was going to say. This was written on the editorial calendar. Can you imagine the stress had I also not known what I was going to say?

I am a big proponent of if we can do something to sidestep potential anxiety or stress before we even get there, let’s do it. It doesn’t mean you have to produce the episode or blog posts or social posts that you planned for the day. It doesn’t mean it can’t be changed.

Here’s another transparent look behind the curtain. The last two episodes were not what was on my editorial calendar. They were inspired by conversations I had with my coach and with my mastermind community, and I was like I just, I want to talk about something different. And then these conversations came up and I was like oh my gosh, I want to talk about that on the podcast. And so I did. So I moved the two things that I had for last week and the week prior to later in the calendar. You’ll hear those episodes in September. I just moved them. And the episodes that were planned for September got moved into Q4. Easy breezy. Not a big deal, but I had someplace to land. I had something to sub in had I not felt particularly inspired.

I sat down knowing exactly what I was going to say today. I’m able to produce this episode really last minute, like literally. It’s actually after the last minute because right now you should already have it as I’m recording it and you don’t yet. You’ll have it in about an hour and a half. That’s not a big deal. I’m not stressed. I’m not worried. I’m not concerned. You know why? Because I already knew what I was going to say. I already had it planned. I already had the structure and system of what production looks like built out. I know what the next steps are. I know how this goes. I have the plan so I can work the plan. It really is that simple.

And so I want you to look at where is it more complicated for you because you’re waiting for inspiration, because you’re not building in a support of your creativity, of your inspiration? Where’s that not serving you? Because I bet it’s easier for you to come up with than you’d like to admit right now.

This is why we build a plan. This is why I love Backstage Live. This is why I love VIP days. It’s why I love one on one calls with clients, because this is so often something we can work through really, really quickly.

Number three, I tried it and it didn’t work.

All right, number three, I tried it and it didn’t work. This usually stems from trying on somebody else’s plan. I think this is really, and it’s funny because I’ve talked about this in a podcast episode recently. This is really stemming people using courses to execute blueprints instead of utilizing courses or mentorship or whatever to build their own plan. This is why in Hit the Mic Backstage, our membership community, we have an entire course around building your strategy. We build a year strategy. We build monthly strategies, quarterly strategies, daily strategies, all of it, weekly strategies. We’ve gotten trainings for each of those. And they’re not me saying, here, you just do X, Y, and Z. We’re not mad lib style filling in a blueprint here and you execute it. That will never work as well as you would like it to. It may work a little, but you have to make it your own. You have to build out your strategy, the one that works for your audience.

This is why, and I have totally soapboxed about this before and I will soapbox about it again, but those Pinterest images that we see so often, or I’ve been seeing of a ton from “social media experts” posting them on Instagram, the best times to post. Well, I call BS. You want to know why? Because so often those best times to post are not aligned with what my data shows me is the most engaged time for my audience. Most often when I go okay, you know what, I was going to test this, we’ll run these for a couple of weeks, I find that it’s crap. I get terrible engagement. However, when I follow my data and I look at my numbers, I think about my audience, I think about my style, holy moly, it works.

So if you feel like well, I’ve created a plan before and it didn’t work, I want you to look at did you create your plan or did you follow somebody else’s blueprint? Did you follow somebody else’s freebie? Which is an episode we have coming out in September. So stay tuned for that about freebies.

I want you to look at what’s going to work for you and then keep working it. Because here’s the other side of this I’ve tried it and it didn’t work. For how long did you try it? The reality is the business we have right now is from the marketing we did three to six months ago. All marketing, even if not especially social media marketing, is a long game. It’s about building relationships. It’s about treating people like people. It’s about connecting with them again and again and again and again. It’s about 247 gazillion touch points. I think the rule is actually seven, but I feel like maybe it’s 200 gazillion.

If you gave up too soon then you can’t tell me it didn’t work. If you didn’t tweak and continue testing, you can’t tell me it didn’t work. My marketing has never failed. Not once, not in eight years, not one time. You know why? Because I always get something. I either get results or I get data and that data is how I make sure the next time I get even better results. And so there is no not working. There is no loss, if you build your system and you work your system consistently.

So I want you to step back and step out of this while I tried and it didn’t work and look at how long did I try? Did I make tweaks? Did I make changes? And then most importantly, whose plan was I working? Was I working a plan from a freebie? Was I working a plan from a training or a course where I just swipe, filed everything and copy and pasted somebody else’s strategy? Or did I customize it for my audience based on my numbers and my knowledge of who my people are? Because guess what, you probably know a lot more than you give yourself credit for.

That is what we have to be doing and that’s why my strategy freebie, the 30 Day Social Media Plan, is not a copy and paste fill in the blank situation. It’s an audio training and a worksheet that you work through and build your 30 day strategy. That’s why Backstage Live is not about content. It is not about me teaching you what a good strategy is. It’s about us building your strategy to gather in a room. It is why when I build out strategy courses for Backstage, it’s not oh, and here’s your strategy doc. It’s here’s how we build it. Now build yours. That’s what I want to be seeing and that’s what I want you to be doing.

It’s funny because so often one of the reasons not to attend Backstage Live that I hear from people is well, I know what I need to do. I just need the accountability to do it. That’s what Backstage is. That’s what Backstage Live is for because we’re going to actually build it together. We’re going to be in the room building it together. I’m not going to talk at you for the day. I’m going to talk with you for a little while. And then I’m going to leave you to work, rinse and repeat throughout the day. There is no better accountability because there’s no not doing it. It’s what we’re doing.

And so I want you to spend some time building your plan, reviewing what you’re doing right now and making sure it’s not somebody else’s blueprint, but it’s your strategy. And if it’s not, join us for Backstage Live September 12th. Tickets are available right now. We’ll be sending out a really cool workbook. You’re going to work through this process with me and with everybody else in the room and we’re going to leave with your very own custom strategy that you can work and you can test.

If you have any questions from you about Backstage Live or building a strategy or really just anything, come on over to Instagram and let me know. I love getting to talk to you. Thank you for listening. Thank you for sharing this episode and I will see you again next week and hopefully on September 12th for Hit the Mic Backstage Live. See you soon.

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