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She Calls Her Shots Podcast

Ep. 127: Creating Your Business Strategy (Without the Pressure)

January 5, 2024

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If hearing the words “business plan” makes you want to barf, you’re not alone 😅 I’m right here with you, and I’m bringing some great news… there’s a refreshing alternative to creating your business plan that doesn’t feel so still, formal and impersonal.  In this episode, I’m peeling back the layers around the pressures that we put on ourselves as business owners. This business plan isn’t created from rigidity and control — it grows from allowing ourselves to be the intuitive, heart-felt business owners that we strive to be everyday. It’s a plan that allows room for inspiration, creativity and heart-based decisions. 

Our brains love to overcomplicate things when it comes to building a successful business. We often feel that if something feels too “easy” or comes to us naturally, that it can’t be the “best” strategy. We feel like we have to EARN our place in the world and that it has to feel like an uphill battle, or else our success doesn’t “count”. We often overlook the power of being present and the role it plays in allowing us to let our intuition shine. 

I can’t wait for you to dive into today’s episode and learn how to create your business plan from a place of EASE, JOY and CONTENT (read: true presence and the joy that it brings).

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Hey there and welcome to the she Calls Her Shots podcast. Every week, we chat through different business building topics that will help you gain clarity around your goals, find inspiration in your journey and also help you create a life and a business that you love. My name is Krista and I’m a wedding and brand photographer and you’re a go-to no fluff business coach. In these episodes we talk through both the tactical strategies, habits and the mindset work that will help you take those really big leaps, and we always focus on the real talk and the behind the scenes of what it takes to create a sustainable and a thriving business, because, let’s be honest, the work isn’t always glamorous, but it’s always worth it. So, girlfriend, let’s make some moves and start calling our own shots. Hello and welcome back to this episode of the she Calls Her Shots podcast. In today’s episode, we’re going to talk through something really fun and that’s how we can create our business plan with a lot less pressure.

If you’ve been listening to the podcast for the last maybe the last few episodes this has been something that’s been very top of mind for me. I have been working a lot on internally, on just realizing and noticing my own sense of pressure and how pressure has really been something that’s been a driving force for me and my business for so long that I really just kind of normalized feeling a lot of pressure a lot of the time. And when it finally kind of came front and center to me how much pressure I was putting on myself, it was kind of a big shock. I just don’t think that I realized how much pressure I was putting on myself and I think that’s so common. If you’re listening into this podcast, you are like someone who has really big dreams, really big goals, and you likely feel like you hold yourself to a pretty high standard. You want to make sure that the things that you’re putting out are helpful to people, are going to make a difference, are going to support you and your family and all the things. And what happens is we end up doing that for so long that we put this immense amount of pressure on ourselves. And now every single thing that we do, especially as creatives sometimes the creative parts of us try to come out. They try to come forward. They try to let us just explore and have fun and do things from a really for lack of a better word a really creative space and the pressure that we have starts to put this kind of chokehold and constraints on the creativity. We try and control so much of it that our creativity really doesn’t have a place to live anymore. And so in this episode today, we’re really going to just have a conversation around that and talk through.

I have a story that I’m going to share, which is really kind of fun, but this has been a season for me that has felt pretty challenging, as I’ve had to recognize and come really face to face with the pressure that I put on myself. It has one been very humbling to get really honest and real with myself. When I start feeling myself putting on the pressure, I have to get like really honest and ask myself is this actually conducive to me creating good work, or is this me just trying to control things that are out of my control? And so this has been a really challenging season for me, but also one that’s just been so filled with so much beautiful growth, because I’m doing this work and I’m really just getting honest and doing this reflection with myself and figuring out how to make these things that felt not so good, reframing it into something that feels more expansive. If you listened to my last episode. You have a little idea of what I talked through with that as well with my clients, but it’s been a season of that for me, as well as reframing into something that feels more expansive, something that lets me, as a creative, feel more creative, and that’s exactly what I want to talk about today when thinking about creating our business plan. I don’t know about you, but when I hear that word business plan, it makes me want to like barf in my mouth, because I’m just like you. Business plan Like A, that sounds like I need to sit down on my computer and create like a 25 page word doc that’s like single spaced and eight size, eight font, and it has to be filled with all of these things that probably just will either not resonate with me or they might resonate with me, and not only that. I’m going to spend probably days working on this and then look at it twice and then never look in again, like when I think of a business plan. That’s what I think of, and none of those are creative, conducive, expansive thoughts. And so what I’ve started to have to do is realize that business structure for all of us, right, it looks so different, and I know this. We know this right. Like not all of our business structures are going to. Businesses are going to be structured in the same way, but it’s the same thing with our business plan.

For some clients, for some people, for some Enneagram types, having a business plan that we can check off, having things that we can actually look at and analyze and work through right For certain types that actually works really well. That is very that actually helps them be more creative. Having something that feels structured, that they can look at and it feels thought through and analyzed and everything’s on kind of in one spot. For other types, it can feel really good and productive to create the business plan and they like checking things off, but almost to a detriment. For some Enneagram types, the creation of the thing feels really good but then they get so lost in the trying to just check things off and doing the work that they find themselves all of a sudden kind of feeling lost in all of it. They almost got lost in the to-dos that now all of a sudden it’s like what was the goal for doing all of this? Like what’s the bigger picture? What’s the journey behind this? Why am I doing this? And then we have types like me who it feels really good to put the structure in place.

And then the second I try to implement the structure. I just completely freeze, I like boycott the structure. I try to do it. I feel really overwhelmed and I have just had to come to terms with the fact that it’s just not something that really helps me. As an intuitive, body gut based person my eights, nines and ones we are very intuitive, gut body based, talking about the Enneagram eight, nines and ones.

I’m a very intuitive person and I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that, even though my one wing that loves structure and loves to do things the right way sometimes craves a little bit of structure, I’ve had to learn how to ebb and flow with what structure looks like in my life, because there have definitely been scenes that I have tried to over structure things and feel overwhelmed and then not do anything and there have been times where I have had no structure and just kind of flown by the seat of my pants, if you will. And while it feels really wonderful to me as a human, I also don’t feel like I am very productive because I have no structure right. So I know what it feels like to be on both ends of that, and so I’ve really had to work to figure out where is the middle ground here. Where can I add some structure but not feel overly structured? And I just want to share that this is going to be something that I will have to continue to explore the rest of my life, just because I find something that works for me.

Now. I know myself well enough that I’m so happy that this works in this season and I’m probably going to need a different type of structure next season and a different type of support because, let’s be honest, in each season we’re different people, we have different needs, we have different things are important to us in different seasons, and so getting really Okay with the fact that things are going to change, like the only thing that is inevitable is change, like we’re always going to have different needs, and so this has been something I’ve really had to learn to sit with. This just felt a little bit uncomfortable if I being honest, because again the deep down Part of me that wants to keep cycling through my old pattern says well, I should just create more structure, right, because that’s that’s what feels safe. I’m going to put that in air quotes creating more structure, feel safe because my brain thinks that then I have a plan. The thing is is that when my brain thinks that I have a plan, my body and my heart and my intuition knows plans very rarely come to fruition the way that we think they’re going to like how often does the plan actually work out the way that we think we think it’s going to work out? So I’ve had to really come to terms with the fact that my plan doesn’t actually mean anything. So sitting in this like middle ground so it’s a little uncomfortable and I want to share this quick story with you because I once a month I make it a priority to go and get a massage. That’s just something that has been so beneficial for not just my like physical body and health, but it just like the mental, the mental health aspect of it, like I just enjoy it so much. That’s a form of self care that I will probably do until I’m not able to do it anymore.

I’ve been in times where I’ve gone to get a massage and because I’m allowing myself to kind of unplug and take a break. Like you know, sometimes I get some creative ideas, but Because I’ve done so much work in this season on a day to day basis, to let myself really sit in the uncomfortableness of this ebbing and flowing of like, when I find myself wanting structure, like really questioning it and asking myself is that actually the right thing for me to do? Right, like when I’ve, because I force myself to be so present and aware of myself and how I’m feeling and how I’m being. It’s just created Kind of a different level for me. I’m kind of in a different mental space than I’ve ever been before. And this is the beautiful work behind the work that I do with my clients, because it allows you to enter spaces that you’ve never really been in and that feels Like so expansive, it just feels so good because you’re so aware of your being and how you feel. And so I’ve been in this space.

I went for my massage and, I kid you not, in the first 30 minutes I had so many ideas swimming in my head for things that I wanted to do and implement in my business that 30 minutes into it she asked me to flip over. You know, you start on your stomach and then they ask you to flip over and I Was repeating them. I had eight or nine or ten, I don’t remember different things All in my brain at the same time, and because I was so nervous about forgetting them, I kept saying the words over and over and over again. It was almost like I was trying to memorize something for a test is what it felt like, and so it was hilarious to me that here I am in this relaxing massage, where I started off very relaxed, but then, because I was so relaxed and disconnected from the stress and the pressure that I’ve been putting on myself, the ideas and the downloads just came like flowing, and and for anyone who’s into human design, I am a manifestor, and so idea generation for me is Not new. Like that, this is a very common thing. I’m used to getting ideas, but not at this Like rate.

Like this was in almost an overwhelming amount amount of things, and so 30 minutes, and I had to ask her if she could grab me my phone, which felt so weird because I never have my phone out during massage. But I was repeating these same things in my head because I was so nervous that I had 45 minutes left. Like I’m gonna forget all of this that I’ve, you know, been thinking, and so I asked her for my phone. She handed me my phone, I pulled up my notes app and I just jotted down that, the words I had been repeating in my head. I put them all in my notes app so that I could revisit it.

And it was just this idea that felt so funny to me that the amount that I paid for this massage this you know out 90 minute massage little did I know that I was going to walk away from this with like 20 to 30 X, like lead generation ideas or like ways to To create more impact in my business, right things that I can actually go in and implement, to Like actively give more to my clients, to create new offers, to work with new clients. Like I had all these ideas. I had no idea that that 90 minutes was going to hold any of that, and this is kind of the beauty and the joy behind being a creative business owner, because we can have the best intentions, to sit down and plan and work right. I’m actually reflecting back to the work Retreat that I did a couple of weeks ago, where I had the intention going into it thinking that I would go to this work retreat and I would just accomplish so many things, and it’s not really what happened. If you, if you watch my stories or if you listen to that podcast episode, I share a little bit about this, where I had a lot of mental downloads and I had a lot of ideas come to my brain, but but it wasn’t the type of like work retreat that I’m used to.

I wasn’t as Quote-unquote productive as I had hoped to be, and as business owners, it’s it’s like that. So much of the time, right, we can have the intention to have an afternoon to sit down and get work done or think creatively or create a business plan or whatever it is, and For whatever reason, it just might not. That might it be the time when, when that’s gonna flow to you. And little did I know that this relaxing massage for 90 minutes was going to be the place where the majority of my business ideas were gonna be coming through for what I want to work on in the beginning of 2024. I had no way of planning that and I had no way.

I didn’t expect that, like I wasn’t thinking Ahead of time, like, oh, this is gonna be a great time for me to relax and unplug and then also get a million great business ideas, like I genuinely was just looking forward to being able to relax and enjoy, and so I share that with you, because I Want to just like open up this conversation around how we can create a plan for our business, but with a whole lot less pressure and coming from a place of Unplugging, of letting ourselves completely detached from the outcome, of Letting ourselves be okay with the plan that we think that we’re going to go with might not work out at all how we expect it’s going to, and so the thing here that I want to normalize is the fact that not every day is going to be your most like, best, most productive day, and they’re not supposed to be Like we’re not supposed to have super productive days every single day. Our bodies weren’t built like that. Like that’s not how our seasons of life work. That’s not how our bodies work. Like we’re just cyclical beings. We have times of rest, we have times of energy, we have times of creativity, but even during a 24-hour period, those cycles are going to go through us, like we’re going to experience them in a 24-hour basis, and so and I know we know that like we know that in our heads, but do we actually know that? Do we actually give ourselves grace when we don’t feel creative, or are we shaming ourselves because we feel like we need to be a certain way?

In this moment, and for myself and for so many of the clients I work with, a lot of the time we’re leading with shame. We’re leading with a lot of these feelings, the feelings of pressure, right of how we think that we’re supposed to be in this moment. And so the real question I want to ask here is on these days, in these moments when the way that you thought you were going to be isn’t quite how you’re being right, the days when you think it’s going to be a really productive, filled day and your energy’s not there matching it, or the day that you sit down to be really creative and you’re just drawing blanks and you’ve got nothing. How are you being on those days? What are the feelings that are swirling through your head and kind of going through your body and getting really honest about? Like, am I letting myself show up right now in the way that I deeply need to show up, or am I putting constraints on how I think I should be showing up? Am I telling myself and shaming myself into needing to be a certain way and just normalizing the idea that what if the most productive thing that you could do for yourself in those moments when the creativity just isn’t there or your energy levels are just drained or you’re just you know you should feel grateful and happy and optimistic about the opportunities of the future, but you’re just not feeling it. You’re just not feeling as much gratitude or joy or happiness. How about, instead of shaming or guilting or any of those feelings, how about, instead of flooding our emotions with that, what if the most productive thing we could do is like take a nap or go for a walk or take our dogs to the park or take our kids to the park or just put on a movie and just let ourselves veg out to something? I think the thing that I really want to normalize here is that it is so okay for there to be things built into your business strategy Again, I’m putting air quotes into your business plan, your business strategy, that have nothing to do with your business. It’s okay for that and honestly, obviously, my story about the massage this isn’t a normal occurrence for me, so it’s not like I’m going into my massages expecting this to happen, but when we can allow ourselves to be so present and in tune with our needs, we allow ourselves and open ourselves up to actually experiencing the full goodness of, like, pure presence.

And so many of us walk around, myself included, and we’re just distracted, right, we’re distracted by other people, by Netflix, by our dogs, by social media, by our phones, by email notifications, like there’s just a million distractions all the time. And it has become the norm for us to feel a little disconnected from ourselves, from our feelings, from our emotions, from our thoughts, like sometimes we can just turn on autopilot without even realizing it. And so, as we are kind of reflecting, I’m gonna keep this episode short, because we’re like we’re going into the new year. It’s just after Christmas. If you celebrate Like we’re going into the new year, it’s almost New Year’s Eve.

As we head into this New Year’s Eve and into 2024, I wanna ask you are you giving yourself space to just be, like, truly, truly, just be? And if you’re like Krista, yes, I will do that, but also I wanna dream into 2024, I hear you. And what I’m also going to encourage you to do is reflect on this last year or, if that feels too big, reflect on the last three months. How have you felt in these last three months. Right, like, what are the feelings that you felt? Are these the same feelings that you want to bring into 2024? It might be. You might be like you know what these last three months, actually, I have been very aware of my needs and myself Amazing, bring that into the new year. But you could hear that and say, ooh, yeah, you know what I have not been feeling, how I wanna feel in 2024. And so I wanna encourage you just as much. You’re visioning into the goals and the big things that you wanna accomplish in the bigger dreams. I wanna bring this back to you as a person and your feelings and your emotions, the things you’re telling yourself and how you’re feeling on a day-to-day basis, and just giving yourself space and permission to not only dream into the future but also feel true, deep presence for where you are right now and being really in tune with your feelings and allowing yourself to choose if these are the feelings that we want to continue having as we dream into the new year. So all of that to say thank you so much for being here. I can’t believe we’re at the end of 2023.

It has been such an incredible year for the podcast. I have loved getting to connect so much with so many of you. I know you’re listening and I see the downloads coming in and I do get some DMs from you, and so just wanna thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of your journey this year and I cannot wait to see what’s in store for us in 2024 as we head into the new year.

And again, just so incredibly grateful for you for the connections that I’ve been able to make through the podcast and just for your support as the podcast has continued to grow. So, wishing you all a wonderful and safe New Year’s Eve and into January 2024. And I will see you in the next episode. One last thing before you go I’d absolutely love it if you left a review on Apple Podcast, or if you’ve already left a review, I’d love for you to share this episode with your business bestie. I love getting to shout out my listeners on the show, and the more listeners that we have, the more that I can help others create a thriving and sustainable business too. Thank you so much again for being a part of this community and I can’t wait to hear your takeaways from today’s episode.

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