How to Prep Your Business for the Post-Pandemic World

How to Prep Your Business for the Post-Pandemic World


Does the coronavirus pandemic have you afraid to make new offers online? Does selling your services as an online entrepreneur suddenly feel different? Scarier? I’ve heard a few variations of this fear in the past few weeks. Maybe you’re telling yourself: “Nobody is buying,” “I can’t raise my prices NOW,” “I’ll make my offer again when things go back to normal.”

Are these familiar?

Here’s the truth as I see it: Yes, some people are watching their budgets more closely right now because of economic instability.

But it’s NOT true that no one is spending any extra money right now.

In the last month, I bought two fitness programs, a social media content scheduler, and a course on Instagram.

I had 3 new potential clients reach out to me last week.

Things are happening right now in online business. Are things normal? Obviously not. But has all life (and online business) ground to a halt? Also no.

If business is slower than usual for you right now, let me offer a few suggestions so you can have some inspiring wins, even if you’re feeling sluggish.

Tip #1: Prep your business to return better than ever

This is a great time to concentrate your energy on your internal systems. How can your business run better when life goes back to a (little more) normal? What systems can you set up now so that when your workload increases, your work feels better and easier than before?

Take 2 or 3 of your routine business tasks. For each one, write down:

  1. One to two sentences about the purpose of this task. (For example, “Combine all of my business receipts into a folder so I can easily send them to my bookkeeper at the end of the month.”)

  2. The materials you need in order to complete the task (Dropbox, links to a specific website, etc.)

  3. The step-by-step process to finish the task. There’s a couple of ways to do this. The most straightforward is to go through the process and write down the steps as you work.

And guess what? Now you have a documented process.

Benefit #1:

As you write down steps, you’ll be forcing yourself to think through your process. Are there unnecessary steps in it? Are there steps you do out of habit or because they used to be required, but they’re not anymore?

Benefit #2:

Congratulations, you’ve just written a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) that you can hand off to a Virtual Assistant.

Tip #2: Acknowledge your wins and address the future

Write down a few recent wins. Even if it’s “I buttoned my jeans and they still (mostly) fit!”

Then, identify one thing that’s working well for you in your life or business (that’s a “Keep Doing”), one thing that’s not working (Stop Doing), and one thing you’d like to try (Start Doing). And honestly, right now? Maybe you can even make that “Start Doing” one optional.

Tip #3: Do some market research

This is the PERFECT time to massage your messaging. Get a sounding board (or a group of them who fall into your “ideal client” category.) Show them a piece of your messaging that isn’t getting results. Maybe it’s your FB ad copy or a sales page. Get their feedback. What resonates? What gets them excited?

Bonus points for setting up a call with a small group and giving each other feedback on one piece of marketing.

Which one of these are you excited to try? Leave a comment below and let me know.

How to Get Your Creativity Back When Work-Life Balance Seems Impossible

How to Get Your Creativity Back When Work-Life Balance Seems Impossible



First, think about a time in your life when you felt WAY too busy. Maybe you had toddlers running around. Maybe your business was starting to take off and you couldn’t quite keep up with your clients’ needs. Maybe you just said “yes” to too many things. Remember how that felt. Were you tense? Was your sleep interrupted? Were you more on-edge than usual? How creative were you during this period?

Now, think back to a period of your life when you felt like your time was balanced. How was your outlook then? Do you remember feeling more hopeful? More creative?

What happens when you go from being overworked to finding balance? You regain the mental energy and emotional capacity to be creative again. To dig deep in your work. To think about something beyond just surviving the week. That sounds so nice, right?

And apparently (if you’re me), you also find yourself with a block of time over a holiday weekend that you use to plan out the next year-and-a-half of your business. Because you suddenly want to. Because you have the energy to. And because you happen to be the kind of person who enjoys planning (or maybe that’s just me.)

ScreenShot2020 04 07at7.47.21PM

A little more than a year ago, I was working 3 jobs (alongside all my other parenting and volunteering responsibilities). I was drained. I was stressed. And I had NO energy for creativity, for planning, or for any of those big projects that require a lot of mental energy. If that is the space you’re in right now, I understand because I’ve been there.

Now I’m working ONE job on my terms. I have a roster of clients who I LOVE. And I have space in my brain again for something beyond just surviving the week.

Believe me when I say that doing what you need to do in order to get back to a sustainable work load is SO WORTH IT.

Maybe that “thing” you need to do to regain your creative spark right now is to get help in your business. If you’re overwhelmed and you have a million thoughts all competing for space in your brain, how much better would it feel to work with a professional project planner who can take all of those thoughts and organize them into a clear, actionable plan? Someone who can look at your actual available work time and help you craft a schedule that allows you to get everything done in a way that feels freeing and full of ease? If that’s the thing you need right now to get that creative sparkle back in your life, I’ve got you covered. Just contact me here and let’s get started.

4 Ways to Shift Your Work Mindset From Avoidance to Ease

4 Ways to Shift Your Work Mindset From Avoidance to Ease

If there’s one thing that unites every client I’ve ever worked with (no exaggeration), it’s the fact that we all come to a point in our plans when we hit A WALL. There’s some task that has to get done, but you just… don’t. Maybe you feel like you CAN’T or you JUST DON’T WANNA. I’m talking about avoiding work you don’t want to do, and procrastinating that work.

There are always reasons (or excuses) for not doing The Thing, but when we start playing The Avoiding Game, it brings up a lot of guilt. I’ve seen this with clients. I know they’ve hit a wall AND they feel guilty about it when they start avoiding me. They stop returning emails and letting me know their progress. It’s because they’re not as far along as they like and it can be hard to own up to that to someone else.


BUT. Just like we can give ourselves all the reasons to keep avoiding a task, there are JUST as many paths to actually finish those tasks in a way that feels authentic and ease-y. Sometimes it just takes another person to help you see what those different paths are. That’s one of my favorite things to do with clients—to take that big roadblock that feels overwhelming and figure out the way around or through it. You know that incredible feeling of relief you have when you FINALLY get the Big Thing done that you’ve been avoiding? Like you just want to celebrate? Yeah, that’s what we’re going for.

When you hit that wall and start procrastinating on a task, there’s one question I want you to ask yourself. “Do I have to do this thing now?”


OK, I know, that sounds overly simplistic. Let’s break it down.

We’re going to ask that same question in 4 different ways.


1. Do I HAVE to do this thing now?

Is this task actually necessary? It may sound dumb on the surface, but think about it. Sometimes we can get so in the weeds with a project, that if we were to step back and look at the bigger picture, we’d realize we don’t ACTUALLY have to do The Thing. It’s a “can’t see the forest for the trees” scenario. Try stepping back and looking at the big picture. This is a great time to enlist a friend, accountability partner, business coach, or colleague (especially if they’re already familiar with your big picture project). Someone on the outside can often see the big picture more easily and can help reevaluate how the task fits in.

If the answer to “Do I have to do this thing now” is “No”, then GREAT. You can mark that thing off your list, Buddy, and feel so much better for it. But if the answer is “Yes”, move on to question number two.



Do you have to be the one to do it, or can someone else do it? If, yes, someone else can do it, then hire help. Especially if it’s a task that you have to do repeatedly. If you’re always going to be avoiding it, then that feels pretty miserable to have it always on your plate. (And if you’re not sure if there’s someone else who can do that kind of thing, check out my free download, “83 Tasks You Can Hand Off to a VA.” Even if your specific task isn’t on the list, it can be a great idea generator.)

If you still feel like you have to be the one to do it, then ask yourself: Are you putting it off because you don’t know how to do it? Or because you hate it? And if the answer to either of those questions is “yes”, then circle back to the idea of hiring help. Hiring help doesn’t *have* to mean outsourcing. If it’s something you don’t know HOW to do, maybe you can just bring on someone briefly for a tutorial, or someone who can write up a quick instruction document for you, for future quick reference. And if it’s something you HATE doing, then maybe bringing on help looks like doing a one-time strategy session to problem solve the task and other ways through it.



How urgent is it? Can it be rescheduled for a better time? Are there other things that need to be done first? Be careful here. If you’re rescheduling because deep down you want to dodge the task altogether, then you won’t feel any differently about the task the next time it comes around on your calendar. Then, when it does come up again, if you start this avoidance cycle again, your project is going to get pretty far behind (which feels crappy). So be honest with yourself about your reasons for rescheduling the task. 

Are you waiting for a more convenient time? One of the most common reasons I see clients have roadblocks is that the task feels big, overwhelming, or unmanageable. And when that’s the case, your best bet is to break that task down into smaller steps. What are all the different *little* steps involved with getting The Thing done? You can keep breaking each task into smaller and smaller steps until you hit that moment of, “wait a minute. I can do that.”

Let’s say the task you’re avoiding is to make a workbook for your e-course. What are the steps involved with that? Let’s see, you’ve got to write content, create graphics, and decide how to deliver the course. But that may still feel too big, so let’s break down the first of those. To write content, maybe first you need to decide the steps you’re taking your clients through, then come up with an outline of bullet points for each section, then write a section at a time. Does that feel more do-able?



Or, put another way, Do I have to do this thing in this way? Is there a way you could reach the same objective with a method that feels ease-ier? Using our example above, maybe it’s the writing part that you avoid. Can you record a video instead? Make an infographic? Use that creative, multipassionate brain to try to think of a way you can use doing something you love to get to the same end point.

Finally, how else could you make it more appealing? Consider making the task feel more luxurious. Take yourself out on a little work date. Go to your favorite cafe to work and order that honey lavender latte and scone that you save for special occasions, then get down to work. Take yourself out for a pedicure as soon as it’s done. Give yourself something to look forward to make The Thing feel more like a joy and less like a slog.


Let me know what you think! Do you have any favorite ideas above? Is there one you’re going to try now to finally get The Thing done? Comment below and let me know OR join the conversation in the Efficient/Creative Entrepreneurs Facebook group! There is a live video about this very thing posted in the group, so click the link, join the group, and put your thoughts in the comments!

When Is “DIY”-ing Your Business More Expensive Than Hiring Help?

When Is “DIY”-ing Your Business More Expensive Than Hiring Help?

Diy Your Biz

If you’ve been with me for a while, then you probably know that I’m kind of a super nerd when it comes to time-tracking. But if you’re not a super nerd like me, let me break down this common scenario for you.

If you have even 2 clients, you’re spending at least 5 hours a week on admin and marketing tasks.

Let’s say your hourly price breaks down to around $100 per hour. If you’ve been in business a while, it’s likely higher than that, but we’ll go with this nice, round number for now.

So that means, if you’re doing 5 hours a week on tasks that someone else can be doing, then that’s $500 you’re leaving on the table. Every. Week.

That’s $2000 a month.

And that’s a low estimate!

I was talking about this issue with my mentor Mel Pharr and she told me, “I have the perfect example of this and I want you to use it.”

Years ago (when she was still DIYing her biz), she spent 12 weeks making her own website and writing, formatting, and scheduling her newsletters.

Time spent? 132 hours.

Revenue generated? $0. Plus, she was overwhelmed, frustrated by tech issues, and had no energy left for the parts of her business she actually loved. But at least she had a website?

After that, she shifted so that she would be concentrating her time on CLIENT-ATTRACTING WORK over the next 12 weeks: Direct outreach, creating webinar content, and offering assessments to potential clients.

Time spent? 76 hours.

Revenue generated? $28,882.


Plus, she was fulfilled and energized by the work she was doing, and confident that she finally had built the sustainable business she desired.

If that’s not the perfect example of what can happen when you STOP saying yes to doing all the things and START saying yes to running a real, sustainable business, I don’t know what is.

And I can’t speak for other support people out there, but I can speak for what happens when you work with me.

When you say yes: You know that your biggest needs are being met because we’ve dug deep in our strategy session to dial-in to your goals, your strengths, and what really drives and energizes you.

When you say yes: Those 5, 10, 15 hours you were spending every week on admin and marketing? Boom. Now you’re spending that time making an impact with your clients AND attracting new ones.

When you say yes: If attracting more clients isn’t your jam, you could also spend those hours going hiking, playing with your dog, or having cocktails with your girls. It’s your time again.

When you say yes: Your systems are seamless, your clients get a professional experience, and you didn’t have to spend hours and sacrifice untold energy to create it!

I’m booking calls now for spring and summer spots for my most comprehensive client package, Set Up to Scale Up. If you’re ready (or just curious) about what it could mean for your business to finally have real business support, book a free, no-obligation consultation now.

5 Things You’re Doing Everyday That Make You Feel Overwhelmed (and What You Can Do to Regain Control)

5 Things You’re Doing Everyday That Make You Feel Overwhelmed (and What You Can Do to Regain Control)


I’m not really into generalizations, but I don’t think it’s much of a hot take to say that we live in a culture (and we’re part of an online business market) that deals with a lot of feelings of being overwhelmed. 

It’s a common complaint from my solopreneur clients, fellow parents, and most people I hear from in the online business owner world. I know it’s something I face on the regular. You probably do, too, yes?

Part of it is definitely beyond our control (thank you, 24-hour news cycle!) But there are still ways we can regain some calm in our physical spaces, our time, and our chattering monkey minds to lessen the overwhelm we deal with every day. Ready to take back control? Me, too.

Overwhelming Habit 1: Notifications

At the beginning of the year, I switched from an Apple phone to an Android. When I had my iPhone, I had pretty much all of my phone notifications switched off and only allowed the really important ones (phone calls, text messages, and reminders).

But when I moved over to Android, even though I would say “Don’t allow notifications,” I still seemed to be getting notifications from a lot of my apps. Really weird ones that I don’t care about. 

Like the fact that some product went on sale at Amazon.

I’m continuing to fine-tune my settings all the time (seriously, Android), but I noticed that I feel physically tense every time I get a notification. Is it something I actually need to pay attention to? Can I ignore it? Well, I guess I’d better check it just to know!

And then once the phone is in my hand, it’s like I think, “Welp, might as well check Instagram.” Ugh. 

Notifications may not be a huge deal in the scheme of things, but it’s distracting enough to impact your day, especially if you get multiple notifications throughout the day. I’m definitely not the first person to advise this, but seriously: turn off almost all of your phone notifications. You do NOT need to know the moment every email comes in or someone responds to your Facebook comment.

That almost-insatiable need that we feel to respond immediately to requests doesn’t just rob our productivity, it also contributes to that feeling of being overwhelmed. 

When you give a person or thing permission to interrupt you, you’re relinquishing control of your time. You’re basically handing over control in a box with a big red bow. Who is benefiting from this gift? Be discerning with who and what is allowed the gift of your limited time and attention. 

Overwhelming Habit 2: Task-Switching (aka Multi-Tasking)

Task-switching is kind of woven throughout all of these habits, but I thought it deserved a mention of its own.

By now, you may have heard people say that “There’s no such thing as multi-tasking.” And while I think that argument is at least partially semantic, it’s a helpful reminder that switching gears from one focus to another is not a seamless process.

It takes time and mental energy to switch focus, so in order to take back a little more control, reduce task-switching as much as possible.

Here’s what this might look like in practice. 

I block out my time for the week every Sunday or Monday. But, for some reason, it took me a while to figure out why I wasn’t actually getting 3 hours of work done when I blocked out that time.

The reason? Task-switching. When I stopped doing one job and started doing another, I had to go back and review notes, open new browser tabs, stop and restart my timer app, and so on. We’re not machines. And I wasn’t accounting for that transition time in my schedule, which meant that I always felt a little behind.

Now I make sure to add a little bit of a buffer between my time blocks to account for task-switching time AND get a more accurate sense of how much I can get done in a day.

One popular way to reduce task-switching is with “batching.” In other words, do similar activities in the same block of time (and mark it out on your schedule in advance.)

This may look a little different for everyone, depending on your tasks. 

I like to batch my client work together as much as possible. So I’ll do all of my work for client A and client B on Monday, for instance. Then Client C Wednesday, and so on. 

But for you, it might make more sense to batch similar types of tasks together. Content brainstorming might all go together, for instance, and you might set aside time to come up with all of your ideas for social media, blogs, and videos all in one day. But then you might save the writing for a separate time when you can just focus on writing itself.

It will probably take a little bit of trial and error to find the right combinations for you, but you’ll feel the difference in your mental energy when you’ve found a good flow.

Are you someone who pushes back at this idea? Are you afraid that reducing your multi-tasking will make you bored more easily? I’d love to know if you’ve tried this before and what your experiences were (positive or negative!) Write back and let me know.

Overwhelming Habit 3: Writing Scrap Notes

Ooh, ok, I can feel a little bit of push-back on this one (maybe that’s all coming from me because I tend to take a lot of scrap notes).

Here’s the thing. It’s not bad or wrong to jot down a quick note on a scrap of paper (especially if you finish with it soon and then throw it away). But if we’re being honest, it’s also not the best habit if we’re trying to reduce mental clutter and overwhelm.

I once took a time-management course that talked about the concept of “gathering spots” and this idea was kinda revolutionary for me. The nutshell version is this: every place (physical OR virtual) where you store information is a place that you then have to keep track of.

So to feel less overwhelmed, reduce the number of places where you allow information to be gathered. This includes every email inbox, every place you store papers, files, digital notes, etc. According to this training, the average number of gathering spots for a person is 30-40. But the ideal number of gathering spots is 6. 

When I did this exercise a few years ago, at the time I counted 72 gathering spots. Thanks, ADHD!

And do I have 6 gathering places now? No, I definitely still have more than that, but I’m mindful about keeping my information in one spot as much as possible. A lot of people like Evernote for this because you can store information in a lot of different ways, share it, etc. I personally use GoodNotes instead because their Apple pencil integration was far superior to Evernote for me (and I love writing notes by hand).

I even integrate my bullet journal into GoodNotes! This was kind of a big deal for me, guys. I love my BuJo and I don’t want to give it up. But I also know that I prefer to store info digitally as much as possible. 

I set up GoodNotes to house each category that used to be in my BuJo (except for my monthly and weekly trackers, which I still keep in my BuJo because I don’t store them digitally.) 

Then I took a photo of each page of my BuJo and uploaded it to the correct category. The awesome thing about this method is that I can toggle back and forth. I can take digital handwritten notes, typed notes, integrate photos, pdfs, etc. Whatever I need in the moment, I can put in GoodNotes AND keep everything organized AND in one spot. Talk about reducing overwhelm.

Overwhelming Habit 4: Social Media

I told you guys up front this wasn’t all hot takes, but don’t click that next button just yet! 

Is it surprising to anyone that social media contributes to our feelings of overwhelm? I’m guessing not. Regardless, I hope to share some helpful reminders (or maybe an option you’ve never thought about) for dealing with social media overwhelm.

Whether it’s comparison-itis, Aunt Gretchen’s politics, or that one friend that posts every scary climate change article in existence, there’s no shortage of ways that social media can stress us out.

And while it may not be feasible for us to reduce our social media consumption as much as we fantasize about doing, there are ways to get back some control over it.

  1. Use the “unfollow” feature. Liberally. Seriously, if Aunt Gretchen’s posts stress you out, unfollow them. This doesn’t mean unfriending her (and then incurring her wrath about it at Thanksgiving), it just means managing your settings so that you don’t see what she posts. Out of sight, out of mind.

  2. Use an app to block certain keywords from appearing in your feed. I used an app for a while called Social Fixer that worked pretty well to block out election-related posts. But there are more out there. Here’s a post that lists a few to try out (it’s not a brand new post so caveat emptor).

  3. Give your phone a home (other than your pocket). This is one that I’d really like to do more often. When you’re at home, consider housing your phone on a shelf or desk; somewhere where you’re not tempted to reach for it at every opportunity.

Overwhelming Habit 5: Putting Out Fires

This goes back to habits 1 and 2 (notifications and task-switching), but, again, it needed a special mention. 

When you’re the boss, it can be easy to wind up spending your whole day putting out fires: those little tasks that pop up that feel like they demand immediate attention. And when you spend all day putting out fires, you might be getting a lot of work done, but it’s reactionary work. It is not business-building work.

That may be fine from time-to-time, but you will feel the pain if you let your business building work fall to the wayside. 

To avoid building a habit of putting out fires, I suggest developing a system for incoming requests. It might look something like this:

  1. Schedule your inbox check-in times in advance (allowing enough time in this block to send quick responses).

  2. At your inbox check-in time, go through and process your new emails. 

  3. If a response will take you less than 3 minutes, go ahead and do it. 

  4. If responding/resolving will take more than 3 minutes, then don’t respond immediately. Instead, decide three things: what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, and where the email’s home is.

Here’s how this might look in practice. I set up filters on my inbox that automatically label emails by their category (each client, mastermind groups, etc.) So already, my emails are going to their appropriate “homes” for easy reference (even though they’re still coming to my inbox).

When I check my email, if it’s something that needs to be done later, I add a label: “Kate To Do”. I colored that label red so that it stands out to me when I’m glancing through my inbox. 

So at a pre-scheduled time each day/week I go through the “Kate To Do” items and resolve them (and remember to remove the “To Do” label when they’re done.)

You could even break down your “To Do” labels by when the items needs to be done, if you want, like “To Do Monday”, “To Do Tuesday,” etc. Careful not to overdo it with the labels, though. At some point if they become hard to remember or manage, they will cause their own sense of overwhelm!

What Is a Back Wall (and Why Do You Need One?)

What Is a Back Wall (and Why Do You Need One?)


When my husband was in graduate school for English, he had a professor named Chris Bachelder who, among other things, introduced him to the concept of the “back wall”. This is one of those ideas that has now weaseled its way into our relationship short-hand, so it’s a concept I think about a lot.

In writing (movies, TV, or literature), the idea of the “back wall” is that the reader or audience should always know what the characters are working toward. In other words, you should have some idea where the story is headed and it should be clear that the audience will know when the character has gotten there.

This isn’t always the main plot point, either. Rather, it’s the most immediate problem or question that needs to be resolved. So good stories will generally have multiple back walls. And when one is reached, another one will be there to replace it, just further away.


My family went down to Nashville for a month to stay with my (incredibly generous and patient) parents. While we were there, my mom had given each of us a to-do list to help her prep for a big party they were hosting.

My (beautiful, wonderful) mother is… singular in the way she approaches delegation.

When I ask her what she needs me to do, it will often turn into a much longer conversation that sounds something like, “Well, we need A, B, and C, but when the cleaners come, that means that B is then going to need D and E, but we won’t know until later, and it will just be easier if I do A, and I think your dad said he might take care of C.”

Which means I’m usually left sputtering in my head, “So… what do you need me to DO?”

“I need a back wall,” I told Cory as he and I were working through our respective to-do lists. “I need to know exactly what she needs and what the end point is, otherwise I feel like everything she needed is only half-done because I’m not clear on what she’s asking me to do.

In other words, we needed clear direction and we needed to know when the work would be done.

This is not only a super helpful reminder for any of you who delegate work to VAs or other assistants, but it’s also helpful in your daily to-do lists. Does your day, week, or quarter have clear direction? Are your goals specific? Do you know when you’ll have reached them?


Cory recently told me that the way he works through to-do lists is that he will keep adding items to his list as he works through it. And what this means is that by the time he finishes the 10 items he expected to get done, when he looks at his list, there are 25 more items on it.

It exhausts him and makes him feel like he will never get done. He never gets that feeling of accomplishment, of a job well done. That little shot of dopamine that tells your brain, “Hey, good work!”

He needs a back wall.

Deciding your back wall for the day can be as simple as deciding your top three (or 5… or 1, even) priorities for the day, then knowing that if you finish those and that’s all you can handle for the day, you can stop. Or you can set a new back wall and keep moving.

I recently sat in on a webinar led by one of my favorite business coaches and humans, Michelle Ward (The When I Grow Up Coach). She reminded us in the webinar of that handy little “45-minute timer” tip.

Decide that you’re going to work on something for just 45 minutes. It’s a short enough time that it feels manageable, but a long enough time to actually accomplish some work.

Not only is that so true, but it’s also a great example of instituting a back wall. The end of that 45 minutes is your back wall, and when you get there, you get to choose whether or not to set a new back wall. AND when you get there, give yourself a pat on the back and acknowledge what you accomplished!

So what’s your back wall for the day? Hit “reply” and let me know