110: How to organize and focus your mindset

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How to organize and focus your mindset

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In 2014, I created Compass Playbook and wrote the first Compass Playbook workbook, followed by the Compass Playbook Companion. I created Compass for the sole purpose of helping people shift their mindsets using creative problem solving so they could accomplish more of the things that were important to them in their work, relationships, health and finances. I am super interested in psychology, neuroscience, human behavior and creativity as well as learning how to improve the tactical skills I use every day as a creative marketer.

It’s funny, too, because it was as if my intention was to use creativity to help people reach their goals so they could sidestep the mindset and belief blocks that were stopping them, which, as you know, is at the root of everything that makes us successful or keeps us from success. And you know what? It worked. People started realizing that they were in charge of their possibility, and that all they had to do was get out of the way and allow their dreams to unfold. The reason it worked was because I was the first lab rat to discover it.

The creative mindset shifting techniques I have in Compass are the same techniques I used to reach my targets in my business (which are constantly moving, by the way), and also to find a wonderful, loving relationship that I thought I’d never be able to achieve after my husband Chuck died in 2004. And that too, was my mindset. I’d decided that I’d had the biggest, best love with Chuck and that no one else could replace, measure up or fulfill me the way he did. That mindset kept me alone and sad for nearly ten years, and it was all due to my mindset.

That is the power of mindset.

Season one of the Simplify & Multiply show is all about being organized and focused, which many of us solopreneurs have a daily struggle with. It makes us feel overwhelmed and like we’re not reaching our goals when we are not organized and not focused. We say things like, “I’m so busy, I can’t work on my business.” Or, “I have no time to write my book or shoot that video series.” We are full of excuses and justification of why we are not making progress. We blame it on the overused “there’s not enough time in the day” blanket statement because everyone can relate and no one challenges us. Where’s the possibility in that statement? No one wants to be called out because that means that THEY will be called out and no one wants to be called out on their stuff.

The truth is there IS enough time. Time is a variable when you’re doing what you love. The first thing you need to look at is what is your mindset around your work and getting things done? Let’s you and I have some truth telling here, and I’ll start with calling myself out. In my work, I am a producer. When I put my mind to it (there we go again with the “mind”—it permeates everything!) I can get so much accomplished. When I am tuned into my intuitive side, I can generate amazing creative, strategy, ideas and new perspectives. I can connect with a person, hear them talk about their work and be able to offer an insight that totally clarifies (and simplifies) their issue that’s keeping them stuck. So I know I can perform. I know I can get stuff done. Yet I catch myself complaining about not having enough time. Why do I often feel like I’m not getting things done in my own business that I want to get done like developing a new digital program or writing my next book?

Well, without getting into a deep neuropsychology discussion (like I could anyway, because I’m not a real neuroscientist, I just play one on TV), I’m going to take a stab at what I think about it. It’s quite simple, really. I’m lazy and I don’t want to do it. Yup. How’s that for in-your-face honesty? It’s like my coffee maker. I have a nice espresso machine, makes great espresso, grinds the beans and everything, and I usually have two black coffees every morning. It has indicator lights that tell me when to put in more beans, more water, or clean out the dredger drawer that’s maxed out on spent coffee grounds. It also has an indicator light that tells me when to descale it. It blinks red on and off and on and off the entire time the machine is turned on. It’s saying, “Hey, you, I need to be descaled.” I know it needs to be done, I know it’s a way for my espresso machine to have a longer life and work great, yet it still blinks on and off and on and off because I won’t descale it.

The reality is that descaling the coffee maker would take maybe about twenty to thirty minutes to do. So why don’t I do it? Why don’t we check the air in our tires? Why don’t we change our air conditioner filters every month? Why don’t we say hi to our neighbors more often? Why do we wait until the week before taxes are due to do our return? It’s human nature. It’s first world problems and the culture we live in right now. And it’s also our temperament, the way we were raised and blah blah blah, on and on.

Terry. Just clean the darn coffee maker. Get It Done.

The funny thing is after a task (like cleaning the coffee maker) is done, I feel great. So why am I deferring that great feeling of accomplishment? Is it because I’m lazy or just don’t want to deal with it? If I do it, the coffee maker will run better, it won’t be blinking at me, and I won’t have to worry about it for at least four or five months. But see, we don’t think of it that way. We don’t think of the result of how we’ll feel after we accomplish the task we’re not doing that we know we should do. What we’re focused on is the justification of why it’s not getting done, and that we don’t have the time, and that we have to do it. It’s on our list. It’s making us crazy. It’s one more thing to deal with.

This is a mindset.

That is why the Compass Playbook approach has been so successful, because it puts the person on the outcome side of the equation. It gives a different point of reference, so instead of focusing on the thing not getting done and the state of that situation, the focus shifts to the outcome, even if it’s imagined, it still gives a different point of reference. And this is the key to getting organized and focused with your mindset.

Now that you have a good idea about how mindset can help or hinder what you’re trying to accomplish in your business, let’s look at how you can organize and focus your mindset so you can knock out the things that you want to get done.

Simplify & Multiply


Here’s what we’re going to do. And if you’re listening to this show while you’re working out, going for a run or driving, just listen and later, hit up the show notes page for the actionables. Go to Simplifyandmultiply.com and grab episode ten of season one.

Okay. Use this framework to organize and focus your mindset on anything that’s not moving your business forward.

  1. Think of the thing in or around your business that you want to accomplish that you haven’t been able to get accomplished yet. For example, let’s say you want to update your website.

  2. Ask yourself why you want to do it. So for the website example, you want to update it because it’s looks dated, doesn’t capture leads or facilitate new business like you need it to, it’s not been updated content and design-wise for over a year, and there are things on it that you either don’t offer anymore or want to change.

  3. Ask yourself why you haven’t done it yet. You may say, I’m too busy, or you don’t have the know-how to do it yourself, or you don’t have the money to spend on outsourcing it to get it done, or you are unclear on how to do it so it benefits your business. Notice if your “judgement” voice shows up. It’s like you hear yourself scolding YOU for not getting it done. Do your answers to this question sound like excuses? Justifications? Just pay attention to what you’re answering here and the “story” you have going on in your head about it.

  4. Ask yourself this question, “What becomes available if I get this done?” To keep with the updated website example, theses are some of the things that you could answer: I would feel proud of my website and that I got that task completed. My website would not only look better, but it would perform better and be more in alignment with the marketing campaigns I’ve been wanting to do. It will make me and working with my business more appealing over my competitors. It will attract better quality clients and engagements because it’s more professional and reflective of who I am and what I offer today. I’ll be able to get more new clients and engagements and ultimately revenue from the updated site. I’ll also be able to do more with it and have in better integrated with social media and other digital products I want to start selling.

  5. And the final question is, “How will I feel once I get this done?” That’s where the money is, the emotion that you’ll experience. Spend time saving what those emotions will be. Relief, pride, accomplishment, eagerness for new business, happy, there are lots you could feel on the other side of completing that task.

You can think about these and answer them in your mind on a walk or a meditation, or you can write them in your journal or on a white board. Whatever floats your boat. This is a creative process and a mindset process. As you’re going through this exercise, you are actually organizing and focusing your mindset around what you think about a specific task or aspect of your business.

Here’s the clincher: after you complete this exercise, spend the most time reflecting and thinking about your answers to numbers 4 and 5. Feel free to journal about the details of each every day until you get it done. When you focus your mind on the outcome, or “future-pace” it you shift your mindset from one of “excuses” and “justifications” which keep you stuck, to a mindset of “possibility” and “opportunity,” and above all, the things you desire.

This is a very powerful exercise that will help you get done any task—big or small. Be aware of the “judgement” voice and don’t let that voice talk you out of getting to 4 and 5. Notice how you feel about your answers on number 3. Do your answers seem lazy? Silly? Unnecessary? Do they keep you stuck? If so, why do they keep you stuck? When you see them for what they are and laugh at how you’ve let them stop you from making progress, they will begin to lose power over you. And once you’ve organized and focused your mindset around getting stuff done, you will be unstoppable.

After you do this exercise, I’d like to know how it was for you. Also, you can let your fellow solopreneurs know what opened up for you in the Simplify & Multiply Peer Club or if you’re a bit shy, just direct message me on Facebook or email me at Terry@Better3.com. If you haven’t joined the Peer Club yet, go to SimplifyandMultiply.com and sign up.

I’ll be doing more episodes with content that will help you tackle the biggest challenges in your business, so make sure you’re subscribed to the Simplify & Multiply show on your favorite podcast channel, and thank you for subscribing.

Your Actionable for this Episode is:

1. What do you want to accomplish?
2. Why do you want to do it?
3. Why haven’t you done it yet?
4. What becomes available if you get it done?
5. How will you feel after you get it done?
— Terry Pappy

Terry Pappy

Terry Pappy