Perfectionism is a double-edged sword.
On one hand, it can drive us to excel and strive for excellence in our personal and professional lives.
On the other hand, it can lead to stress, anxiety, and a constant fear of failure.
Many entrepreneurs and individuals struggle with perfectionism, and it can be a significant obstacle to success.
In this episode, we delve deep into the world of perfectionism with our guest, Nicole Baker Holleman, a coach specializing in helping high achievers overcome this challenge.
Join us as we explore the struggles of simply showing up, the crucial role of setting boundaries, and practical strategies for breaking down goals to avoid falling into the perfectionist trap.
Tune in now to learn how to kick perfectionism to the curb with the wisdom of our guest, Nicole Baker Holleman, and start making real progress.
In this episode you’ll hear:
- How to break free from the pressure of perfectionism
- The importance of setting boundaries and being kind to yourself
- Practical strategies for finding uninterrupted time to focus on your work
Links & Resources:
Kwadwo [QUĀY.jo] Sampany-Kessie’s Links:
- Become a Facebook Ads Lead Gen Cheat Code Founding Member!
- Visit Kwadwo’s website for Facebook Ads help
- Say hi to Kwadwo on Instagram
- Subscribe to Kwadwo’s YouTube channel to learn with him as he learns about personal finance, financial freedom, foreign languages and enjoying life!
Nicole Baker Holleman’s Links:
00:00 – Introduction
02:21 – Growing up as a high achiever
07:24 – Being the best in the room
13:18 – Signs of perfectionism
17:32 – The different aspects of coaching calls
27:29 – Milestone goals
31:25 – The power of day theming
36:50 – Day-to-day operations in the business
40:57 – Managing work with multiple kids
44:48 – Connect with Nicole Baker Holleman
Please support the podcast by giving an honest Rating/Review for the show on iTunes!
Nicole Baker [00:00:00]:
When we are doing that constantly looking forward, looking forward, looking forward. Our brain is never in the present moment, which is where we find a enoughness, I am enough is always coming from the present moment. And that is the fuel of expansion. It’s the fuel of feeling like, oh, my God, I’m just overflow. But it’s also being in the present moment. It’s having that inner peace.
Kwadwo Sampany-Kessie [00:00:23]:
In this episode of The Art of Online Business podcast, I interview Nicole, who is a coach for perfectionists and helps high achievers. Could be you maybe not pointing any fingers ditch perfectionism. She helps you discover your little perfectionist pinocchio that is keeping you from unlocking the success that you know you should have in your business. Listen, guys, this is an awesome interview. She grew up with two parents who worked for Tony Robbins my gosh. But had a huge crash in her life where she needed her own dad to coach her, and that helped her on her way to where she is now. So you’re going to learn in this episode how to break down goals so your inner perfectionist doesn’t sabotage you, and even how to identify the subtle signs that show that you indeed have a perfectionist pinocchio who is slowing you down from achieving what you were meant to achieve. By the way, if my voice is completely new to you hi, my name is Quajo. I am the co host of The Art of Online Business, and I’ve coached with Rick over the past three years inside of his business. It is a pleasure hosting this episode for you, and I hope you get all the motivation and the strategy nuggets out of it that I intend for you to get. Let’s go. So before we hop into the fact that you are the queen of perfectionists, the grand, mighty, poobah perfectionist, Nicole no. But you really can speak a lot to the established course creator on this podcast and even help them through some things. But I want to know before I catch up with you, too, since we just met, like, a couple of weeks ago at this podcast event. What was it like growing up with two parents that worked for Tony Robbins, and how did that bring you to where you’re at now?
Nicole Baker [00:02:20]:
I always call it like it was a unicorn childhood, basically. So growing up, I would be attending all of the seminars. We’d be listening to the audio tapes, both my parents. My mom worked logistics for him, so she was running, like, the backstage and the, like, okay, go, camera two, or whatever, all this stuff, back when he was maybe lucky to have 500 people in the room. So this was, like, way back when he was first starting, and my dad was running the ropes courses. So back there was a I don’t think he runs this program anymore, but there was a program called Life Mastery, and it would be two weeks in Hawaii. And we would go and there would be these huge 50 foot telephone poles. And as part of the experience of the seminar, you’d be climbing the poles, you’d be jumping off and trying to grab a trapeze at the top. My dad was in charge of creating all of those polls and everything like that. He eventually became a coach under Tony’s program and then was rising to master level coach. So all of Tony’s high level people, he would be coaching them. So this was like growing up, I learned all of this information. I learned watching people having these moments of I’m not enough, and then going to I am enough to make it really broad, but having these just out of body, life changing experiences, and I grew up thinking that was very normal. It’s not. It’s not a normal situation in the slightest. But for me personally, I was high off of this stuff. I drank it in like, nobody’s business. But then when I was in middle school, even later, elementary school age, I started getting really pretty severely bullied to the point where I was being stuffed into bathrooms, I was being called names.
Kwadwo Sampany-Kessie [00:04:06]:
Nicole Baker [00:04:07]:
Literally, I would never for real? For real. And it was a horrific experience. I’m not going to sugarcoat it, but something in me snapped one day when I was shoved into a bathroom stall. I think I locked myself in there to keep people from coming in, and something in me snapped. And it was just like, if you are not what everyone else needs you to be, if you’re not perfect, then you’re going to continue getting hurt, and both physically and mentally. And so in me, that whole high achiever that was high off of this life of personal development just completely did a 180. I got really quiet. I stopped talking as much. I stopped being loud. I stopped being the person who people would come to. I mean, literally, I’d be in elementary school, and people would be like, I’m sad. And I’d be like, let’s talk about it. I’d be coaching them. Elementary school.
Kwadwo Sampany-Kessie [00:04:56]:
Let’s do the screen together.
Nicole Baker [00:04:58]:
Let’s scream. It was always in me, really, but it wasn’t until really college, I went to one of the best colleges for musical theater because that was my major at the time, and I was a mess and a half. And I mean, I’m talking like, daily panic attacks, not weekly daily panic attacks. I was drinking myself to blackout almost every single weekend. I was so overwhelmed by rehearsal, and I was just procrastinating like crazy. So finally my teacher sat me down, and he was like, you’re running yourself into the ground. You’re not going to be able to graduate. Like, you need to leave or perform a miracle point blank. And thank God he did that because it woke me up. And I called my dad, who was a life coach, who had already moved to master level life coach under Tony. And I was like, I need to learn how to implement everything that I’ve learned since childhood because I knew it all. I just never really implemented it. I never really had that moment where I needed to, right? And that man coached me for like, six months straight, no holds barred. And long story short is I ended up graduating cum laude if you’re in the Americas. So that was really cool. But it really taught me that this stuff is important. How you speak to yourself, how you we call it neurolinguistic programming. The way you speak to yourself is how you act, basically. And that runs everything we do. And so I kind of pretty quickly said goodbye to the performing world and switched into coaching because I always knew that that was something that I wanted to do. Hence the elementary school life coach, apparently. That I love it.
Kwadwo Sampany-Kessie [00:06:30]:
Wow. So I guess the definition of full circle. Let’s rewind a bit, though. Was that weird, having your dad be your life coach?
Nicole Baker [00:06:38]:
I thought it was going to be, but he’s really good. Here’s an example. For instance, I’ll call him, and not so much anymore, because now I have a lot of the tools in my back pocket. But when I was in my early 20s, I’d call him and I’d be like, I need dad. And I could almost hear him putting on the dad hat. And dad hat is, let me listen to you cry for a minute. Let me support you. Let me do whatever. And sometimes I’d call him and I’d be like, I need Coach Baker. And I could again hear him almost putting on a hat. And he’s like, Go, tell me what’s up. It was just like a very different dynamic, so I thought it was going to be weird. However, it ended up being like, I was talking to this sounds bad, but I don’t mean it in a bad way. I was talking to two different people. One was dad, one was Coach, and we were talking about things, know, my limiting beliefs, selling like I always needed to be the best in the room, which was very much a byproduct of growing up under the Tony Robbins culture and feeling like I needed to be that high achiever or bust. And I think that a lot of people feel that way, especially people who are course creators, who know entrepreneurs, and at a very high level of success doing so, we tend to feel like we need to be the best in the room. And if we’re not, then we got to step it up and we almost self flagellate or hate ourselves in order to get to the next level. And I was doing that pretty constantly, and he snapped me out of it.
Kwadwo Sampany-Kessie [00:08:07]:
Well, shoot. I feel like in a moment I need to ask you, how do you not do that now? But I can completely identify, like, as a course creator, an established course creator, it’s like you hit mid six figures, you’re mainly speaking or at high level masterminds, or even peer masterminds, and people look at you like you know your stuff and you got to be the expert. And maybe that does tend toward perfectionism.
Nicole Baker [00:08:35]:
It does. Can I actually speak on that for a second? Because a lot of people hear the word perfectionism and they think about, I have an immaculate house, everything is going my way. I’m super type A, I always have my ish together. And perfectionism is not. That that’s a branch of perfectionism that kind of like OCD type A type person educate me, but it is not the full spectrum. And this is like my mission in life is to be like, listen, high achievers, you are perfectionists. You just call it being busy. Let’s talk about it. But for high achievers, or people who want to be the best in every room, or who are always trying to push themselves to the next level, when they are influenced by perfectionism, it’s not always, but when they are influenced by perfectionism, they have this certain standard for themselves. Let’s say if I don’t have like 135% output today, then I failed. Or then I didn’t push hard enough, or then I didn’t utilize my work to the best of my abilities today. And that’s always from a place of I’m not enough. Or again, I didn’t do enough, I didn’t push hard enough. Always, always. The core root of that is I am not enough as is. I’m only enough when I’m pushing at my absolute maximum. And that’s where perfectionism comes in for high achievers.
Kwadwo Sampany-Kessie [00:09:48]:
Shoot. Okay. All right. I’m learning a lot new today. So what’s at stake? What’s at stake? Like, we’re here, we’re interviewing. What’s at stake if somebody does not recognize that they are, let’s say, suffering from perfectionism, or if they’re like, what’s at stake here?
Nicole Baker [00:10:06]:
I think the biggest thing, and I’m trying to think of a better way to say this, but I’m going to say it in the cheesy personal development way that it is inner peace. For example. I hear this so often, it’s like, I have so many goals. Maybe it’s, I want to make a million, I want to get a certain amount of subscribers, I want to get a certain amount of people into this group program or that group program. But it’s always, I need to do all of those things all at once. And there’s this inner urgency that comes out that so often we don’t even realize, especially when we’ve been gunning it at 100 mph for X amount of years, it becomes our norm. So this urgency or this, I need to always be pushing forward. I need to always be doing more. It always is leaving us constantly looking in future focused. Now, that’s not necessarily bad all of the time. But what this is telling our brain is if I’m only looking at the future, saying, okay, when I achieve X, then I’ll be happy. When I achieve Y, then I’ll finally be able to step back. When I achieve Z, then I’ll finally be able to hire on that help that I know I’m needing so I don’t have to be working 40 hours, days, whatever it is. That’s impossible. But high achievers, they somehow make it happen. I don’t know how and when we are doing that. Constantly looking forward, looking forward, looking forward. Our brain is never in the present moment, which is where we find a enoughness, I am enough is always coming from the present moment. And that is the fuel of expansion. It’s the fuel of feeling like, oh my God, I’m just overflow. I almost view it as, like, overflow, but it’s also being in the present moment. It’s having that inner peace, like I mentioned. So what’s at stake here is stop hating yourself so you can finally enjoy the life you’re freaking working so hard for. That’s what’s at stake.
Kwadwo Sampany-Kessie [00:11:53]:
Stop hating yourself so you can enjoy the life that you’re working so hard for. The listener so you said inner peace, and I’m thinking, have you seen Kung Fu Panda, too? Where he learns where he finds inner peace and he learns how to do that skadoosh move against, like, the bot.
Nicole Baker [00:12:12]:
I can’t say I have. Okay, well, and I’m a very nervous person, but that I can’t say I have.
Kwadwo Sampany-Kessie [00:12:19]:
So you, the listener, are going to have to go to the website theartofonlinebusiness.com and the link is in, and just watch the video. But Kung Fu Panda two. There’s my plug. And we are not sponsored by whoever creates that movie. I can’t remember if it’s Disney or Pixar. Maybe they’re the same.
Nicole Baker [00:12:37]:
I think it’s DreamWorks, DreamWorks, DreamWorks.
Kwadwo Sampany-Kessie [00:12:40]:
They could be the same little oh.
Nicole Baker [00:12:43]:
That’S going to totally bother me.
Kwadwo Sampany-Kessie [00:12:45]:
You’ll figure it out at the Podcast Movement Conference, and we’re going to come right back into what we were talking about in a moment. But at the Podcast Movement Conference where you and I met, I met this other girl who was a conspiracy theorist, and that was her podcast, and she’s absolutely crushing it. And so that made me think of her when I thought maybe all of the major networks are owned by the same person. I’m going to give her that idea back to the listener. And selfishly, I might ask for myself. I’m kind of wondering, am I a perfectionist? What are some of the checklists, maybe subtle signs? Because, I mean, we’re all well read, but what are some of the signs that would let me know that I am actually a perfectionist?
Nicole Baker [00:13:28]:
If you’re always looking at what you have yet to achieve, more so than you are achieving or you have achieved so far, that’s a sign of perfectionism again, it’s that future focus thinking. If you are ending your days only looking at what didn’t get done. Again, you’re going, notice the theme here? The theme is I’m focusing on lack rather than what I currently have. But if you’re only looking at what you have not done or like, for instance, if you have a to do list and you’re like, oh my God, I started it with five things on it and now there’s ten things on it, I’m a failure. I suck. Again. Going back to that, if you’re pushing yourself to 135% and you feel like if you didn’t achieve that, you beat yourself up and say, I should have pushed harder. I can do more. I can, whatever. Here’s a good one. If you suck at taking days off, because if you take days off, the whole business will implode or everyone will hate you. I hear this one pretty often is like, if I take a day off or a week off, it’s like, oh, my gosh. All of my customers all of my clients, whether they’re through a course or through a one on one or a more intimate program, they’re going to think I’m not a good coach. Or they’re going to think I’m not a good teacher. Are they going to think I don’t care about them. It’s this all or nothing mindset. I’m either all on 135%. I’m either gunning it, I’m either pushing as hard as I can. I’m either achieving all my goals or I suck. I’m a failure. I’m never going to amount to anything.
Kwadwo Sampany-Kessie [00:14:52]:
Okay, now I’m feeling like, shoot, do I not look at my checklist at the end of the day? So where’s the balance between daily evaluating how much of what I wanted to get done, I actually got done, and being too perfectionist about it?
Nicole Baker [00:15:10]:
First and foremost, and this is going to sound really cheesy, but I’m actually going to just go ahead and steal this right from Brene Brown because she’s amazing. When it comes to talking about perfectionism, when you have the mindset of me just showing up is already enough. Now, I hear a lot of high achievers when I say this to them, they go like, oh God. It’s like, oh, I don’t really know about that. And I ask them why. And I’m like, what makes you so uncomfortable hearing that? And they say, well, if I do that, if I have that mindset, I’m going to be mediocre. I’m going to be complacent. I’m not going to continue pushing myself as hard as I can because that’s my entire personality. So the line really is knowing that you at your core as you go through your day, whether it is successful or if f and failure day, you are still enough at your core. And that is something that I wish. Oh my God, I wish that there was like a 30 minutes to knowing I’m enough. Or like, you know how Tim Ferriss has the four hour work week, like 4 hours till knowing that I’m enough. But that unfortunately doesn’t exist. It is a very intensive process to go through that and rewrite some of those little mini beliefs and try new things and delegate and all that kind of stuff and know when to stop working. I think that’s a big thing. Boundaries around work is a huge thing for high achieving perfectionists. But the number one, the line that we’re all looking for is how do I enjoy myself? How do I enjoy my life? How do I love myself as is knowing that I can still want more right now. I had a very wild morning. I thought that something was going to take 30 minutes. It ended up taking almost 4 hours. That is very much online. Me, I’m kind of like the queen of productivity in my own land. I have done a lot of research on it. It fascinates me. But old me would have looked at this morning and have been like, you suck. You’ve thrown off your entire week. How dare you? You’re not good enough. How dare you teach on this stuff. I would have given myself a mental beat down. But me, now I look at that and I say, okay, took a little bit longer than I thought. I’m still a human being. That’s fine. I’m just going to move some stuff around in my week. I look at my week. If there’s some things that maybe this doesn’t need to happen this week and I could move some stuff over there, I adjust. And it’s having that grace with yourself to know that I can make adjustments is pretty huge.
Kwadwo Sampany-Kessie [00:17:32]:
Let’s talk about coaching calls, something that you and me are very familiar with. And I’m going to throw a problem at you. I’m sure the listener has experienced it too, where you have a strategy call and they always go over. And just to bring you into my mind for my business, like Facebook ads and funnel fixing consulting, I have strategy calls and they go they’re supposed to be 60 minutes or 90 minutes and they do go over maybe more often than I would like to admit. How do I know if that’s time management issue or if it is a subtle sign of I’m struggling with perfectionism? Perhaps I feel that I’m not enough so I need to give or maybe I just don’t feel that my service is valued right and I need to give extra to do enough. How do I dissect that? How would you dissect that?
Nicole Baker [00:18:24]:
I would ask a few questions and that is when you are done with these calls and you see that they went over, what’s the first thought that pops into your head?
Kwadwo Sampany-Kessie [00:18:33]:
Probably my wife is going to be upset that I’m not downstairs cooking like I should be after the so. But once the personal life family thought goes past my mind, next it’s, oh shoot, I’m not going to finish the rest of the day. I still need to summarize the notes and get those to my EA so she can get those out to the client. And pretty much the rest of my week is busy, and I’m not sure how I’m going to make it out of this.
Nicole Baker [00:19:01]:
So note that immediately. And this is for anyone who’s listening as well. And I want you guys to do this if you have this issue as well. The immediate thought is, oh, crap, I’m not enough for my wife. Oh, crap, I’m not enough for my VA right now, or I’m not on the perfect time that I thought I set for myself immediately. It’s lack, lack, lack, lack. What am I lacking? Look at all that I’m lacking. Look at all that I’m lacking in all the ways that I’m not measuring up. Now. Another way, and this is what I do, because I definitely go over. I have 30 minutes discovery calls, which shameless plug. If you’re experiencing perfectionism, they’re free. 30 minutes calls go to lifecoachbaker.com. Discoverycall, Wink, we will link that up. One of the things. But when I have these calls and maybe they go like 510 minutes over or something, I used to be like, oh God, maybe I didn’t respect their time or but whenever I ask people, I’m so sorry, I think we’re going over a few minutes. Is that all right? They’re like, oh, my God. Yes. Thank you so much. They’re overjoyed to be experiencing that extra few minutes because it’s a for free for them. I also do mega coaching on these calls, so I should probably mention that they’re not just, like, telling them about my services. It’s like, hey, let’s get you next steps. But it’s immediately from a place of service. It’s from let me go above and beyond for you. Now, if it is experience, if you’re thinking like, oh, this might be a time management thing, then what I would do is I’d do an audit of those calls. I would look at, okay, how long do I spend doing the small talk or the building rapport? How long do I spend doing that? How long do I spend telling them about my services? Do I over? Explain. Because I want to show them I have so much value to give. And it’s almost too much because that’s a huge thing of perfectionism. We call it people pleasing as well. But then there’s the close out. And how long does that take? Because sometimes in the close out, the client or the potential client is either they’re on board, they’re ready to, like, sign, seal, deliver, give me the invoice, give me the contract, let’s go. Sometimes they’re like, you know what? I need to think about some things, or I need to talk to my spouse, or whatever it is. And sometimes they’re like, Nah, I’m good. And being able to figure out, okay, which category does that client fall into and have a close out for each of them that’s snappy and quick and gets them to the next action as quickly as possible. So I would say look at the audit of those three sections of the call and see where are you over explaining, where are you taking too much time, so on and so forth.
Kwadwo Sampany-Kessie [00:21:28]:
I feel like perfectionism is something that pretty much would only affect the type A course creator or online coach. Who are the majority of people listening to this podcast? Would you say that’s accurate or does that also affect yes. Okay, it’s just type A. I would.
Nicole Baker [00:21:43]:
Say let me actually say yes and actually no. Let me go back on what I said. The majority yes. The people who are trying to do it all, who have the checklist, who have maybe the funnels, the perfect emails, all that kind of stuff, yes, it definitely can come from there. But I’ve actually talked to a lot of people who let’s say I’m someone who I have five courses, I have five more course ideas, but, oh, my God, they’re all overwhelming me so much that I’m going to stick to what I know and these ones that I am currently running. But I know I can do more. I know I can be bigger. I know I can play at a bigger level. So for those types of people, that actually is almost from a place of a procrastinating perfectionist, it’s I want to have these other five things in my life, but I have such high effing standards. I don’t know how to go after all of them at once because that tends to be a pattern of perfectionists and high achievers. I don’t know how to go after them all at once. Well, shoot. I’m just going to stick to what I know because I’m a big neuroscience person. I think knowing how our brain works is fundamental to the work that I do, and that is our brain is always on the let me keep Nicole safe. Let me keep Quajo safe. How do I do that? I stick with the things that I know will keep me alive until the next day. This goes way back when to when we were living in tribes. We were living in caves. We were facing off with saber toothed tigers on a regular basis. Our brain would always say, what’s going to keep this person alive today? What’s going to keep this person alive today? And let me do that. We now call that the comfort zone. So, for example, let’s say you have this idea for this. Maybe you want to do a summit version of your courses, and it’s going know, be live. It’ll be in person. It’s going to be a really big event, and you have such high standards for yourself. So it has to be perfect. It has to be like Tony Robbins, Jenna Kutcher level, you know, all this kind of stuff.
Kwadwo Sampany-Kessie [00:23:34]:
Nicole Baker [00:23:35]:
Kwadwo Sampany-Kessie [00:23:35]:
Nicole Baker [00:23:36]:
No pressure at all. Yeah, we’re great at not putting any pressure on ourselves as high achievers. Absolutely. But if I have that but it’s so far out of my comfort zone, my brain is going to put all the alarm bells up and say, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Stay with what’s comfortable. And what’s comfortable might be the courses that I’m currently running or making another course at the same level that I can reach similar customers instead of playing at this really big level that I know I’m capable of.
Kwadwo Sampany-Kessie [00:24:02]:
So. I mean, I have a course idea right now. The art of online business. We’re on this podcast, right, and I can see that people love the episodes where we’re talking about Facebook ads, and that is my business as a Facebook ads manager. But then I realized I have, what, 17 clients at any given time? And there’s how many people listening to this podcast? I mean, the stats say like 130 something thousand in the last month. I’m like, how can I help those people? How can I help that listener? Well, I probably can make a course that teaches them how to run the same kind of lead generation campaigns for their business because it’s ultra important that I run for my clients. But Nicole, it’s like every day, day to day operation. Things pop up, everything pops up. And that courses should have been made like, a month ago. And here we are. Actually, I am literally trying to figure out this Friday how to go to and. Well, this episode is being recorded on September 5. Just for context for you, the listener. But I’m trying to figure out how to go to an undisclosed location where I can get rid of the distractions that I tell myself I have so that I can make this course.
Nicole Baker [00:25:14]:
So one of the things that I do a lot is when I’m first talking to someone and they’re telling me about their goals and they’re frustrated that they haven’t made it happen yet, I ask them, is this goal on your mental to do list? Almost like if there was like a line item, make this course. I don’t know what the title or the working title of the course is, but make this course idea that I have. And when we have that on our mental to do list, or physical to do list, for that matter, that is way too big. So when our brain sits down to try to make or make time for it even, it’s like, whoa, that is way too big of an action item. So I look at this, actually as any goal that we’re wanting to achieve is what I call an Everest goal. It’s a level 100 goal. We’re here at level zero. We’re going to do easy math. I was not a math major. I studied music, for crying out loud. So if I’m here at level zero and I’m going to level 100, and that’s where my. Goal is, and let’s say this is a three to six month goal or even a one month goal or something like that, there’s steps one through 99 that need to happen. But when we only have level 100 as, okay, I just need to do that, we’re going to get overwhelmed or we’re going to procrastinate. By the way, that’s a huge sign of perfectionism, is procrastination. Just saying. I think we might as well just call this episode quite. But as we’re going through this, instead of saying, okay, maybe it’s Friday afternoons, I’m going to work on this new course that is overwhelmed city. Our brain sits down, and we have no idea what to do in the next hour until we really think about it or even the next 3 hours. However long of a chunk, you have blocked off for it. But if I look at steps one through 99, like, let’s say Quajo, you’re here right now, you’re at level zero. Again, we’re going to make it easy math. What is the first step that needs to happen in order for you to make this level 100 happen? First step. And it’s tiny, teeny tiny.
Kwadwo Sampany-Kessie [00:27:14]:
Oh, outline the course.
Nicole Baker [00:27:16]:
Great. How long would it take you to.
Kwadwo Sampany-Kessie [00:27:18]:
Outline this course if I did a brain dump into an Excel spreadsheet? Honestly, maybe 1520 minutes. I already have it inside of me. I just need to put it on paper.
Nicole Baker [00:27:29]:
Do you have 1520 minutes at some point in your week? This week?
Kwadwo Sampany-Kessie [00:27:33]:
Nicole Baker [00:27:33]:
Or next week?
Kwadwo Sampany-Kessie [00:27:35]:
Nicole Baker [00:27:36]:
Stop thinking. And this is not just for you. This is for everyone. Stop thinking only level 100 or bust. You got to chunk it down. Again, I didn’t mention this. I call these one through 99. I call them milestone goals. So we have Everest. We have milestone goals, which are the much smaller versions. And then if that milestone goal, like, let’s say, for instance, it’s have a first draft of the course written, then we need to chunk that down even further into what I call one sitting tasks. So it’s Everest goal into milestone goals into one sitting tasks. The one sitting tasks, much like they sound like, are tasks that we can do in one sitting. One of the things I see a lot of people do is on their calendars, let’s say they’ll have I work with a lot of people who design their own websites. I have a lot of very techy people in my space. They’ll say, like, work on website. And our brain is just like, I don’t know what that means. I don’t know how to do that in one sitting. But write first draft of About Me page that I know how to do in one sitting. We got to be more specific. And that’s what gets rid of the overwhelm, which, by the way, is a huge reason why we procrastinate is overwhelm. Okay, so it gets rid of the overwhelm. It allows us to get into action, but allows us to also and this is just like the little neuroscience nerd in me. If I see on my calendar, okay, outline, first draft of About Me page, edit, first draft, design, home page of website. If I see all these little tasks, my brain is going to start calculating, oh, look at how much I’ve done. To circle this back to what we were talking about many, many moons ago, aka 15 minutes ago. When we’re thinking about all the things we’re not achieving, all the things we’re not achieving, it’s because we’re only looking at level 100 or bust. But when we look at one through 99 and even the teeny tiny steps in each of those one through 99 steps, our brain starts to shift to look at how much I’ve done because it sees all the little, teeny tiny things.
Kwadwo Sampany-Kessie [00:29:32]:
So I got another question. I got plenty of questions, and there’s not going to be enough time for them on this episode. But I have another question that I think works for this episode too, which is actually a coverage to say, it works for me, it works for me. It’s all about me right now. But can you share what this looks like? Like somebody who you’ve helped a case study, if you will, who struggled with perfectionism and then kind of dramatically changed the course of their business or the types of things they were trying to develop in their business after they realized it was themselves, it was their, let’s call it their perfectionist self getting in their way. What does that look like for you? I’m super curious. I just love helping people and myself, and I want to know what that looked like for you, like helping somebody through that transformation.
Nicole Baker [00:30:24]:
So I have a client. She’s a big, big YouTube influencer. And when her and I first started working together, she is approaching retirement age. She’s really ready to step back and retire. But when we first started working together, she was doing almost everything herself. This woman has just shy of a million, if even just over a million people in her space. And she was doing everything herself. She was constantly saying, okay, I want to do this, I want to do that, I want to do this. And they were all actually like little mini courses and courses that she wanted to create for her community, and she had no idea how to find the time to do them. She really wanted to start taking days off and had no idea how to make that happen. She was accepting anything that came into her inbox sponsorship wise, even though she was at a level where she definitely did not need to be doing that anymore. Flash forward a year. Her and I have been working together for about that long. She now takes Fridays off. She and I have a plan for retirement for her like that. We are also looking at. Excuse me. She also now has what I call day theming, like a theme. Like, if I’m going to a party and the theme is dinosaurs, I don’t know. I don’t go to parties very often, clearly. That’s my kind of party right there. Dinosaur theme.
Kwadwo Sampany-Kessie [00:31:43]:
How about a white themed party where we all get elegant in white suits.
Nicole Baker [00:31:47]:
And dresses, like white tie? I love a theme where I can get dressed up. It’s again, the theater kid in me. She loves that. Okay, so what it means is basically, she was previously waking up Monday thinking of everything that she needed to do that week. All the courses she wanted to create, the YouTube videos, the social media posts, the blogging. And on Monday, she was like, oh, my God, I have so much to do. So what her and I worked together on is now each of her days have a theme. So, like, Mondays are social media and personal errands. Tuesdays are YouTube, wednesdays are personal projects, business projects. Thursdays are blogging and community management, and Fridays are off. And because of that, she now knows, okay, on this day, I wake up and I know I need to get camera ready because it’s a Tuesday and I’m on YouTube today. So that alone reduced so much of the stress. It reduced so much of the busy work that was not helping her. Another thing we worked on, and this is actually a perfect example, we were in a coaching call, and she was saying, I just feel so overwhelmed. I feel like I can’t get into flow state. That’s a huge thing I also work on with my clients. And she was just feeling really frustrated, and I asked her, I was like, would you mind pulling up whatever screen is open for you right now, and would you share it with me? We were on Zoom. So she shares her screen, and I kid you not, you know how you can see all the tabs open whenever you’re on a screen? Right now I feel like I’m about to call you out with the picture making right now, I’m about to call.
Kwadwo Sampany-Kessie [00:33:16]:
You and block you out. I’m not showing my screen. I don’t care. All right.
Nicole Baker [00:33:20]:
She had 37. I can’t remember the exact number, but it was like, an obscene amount of tabs open. And I asked her, I was like, how do you think that’s helping? And she’s like, It’s definitely not, because she’d be working on, let’s say, like, a YouTube Albine. Are you counting the amount of keep going. Oh, my God. So let’s say she’s working on a YouTube script, and then she looks up and she sees that she has a slack notification. Oh, great. Our brain gets a hit of Dopamine because, OOH, I have a so we’re, you know, not very intelligent when it comes to our brains and automatic behavior, especially provided by dopamine. So immediately we need to go over to that tab. Oh, great. My VA needs something for me. Oh, I know. This is in my email. Okay, I go to my email. Oh, my God, I have so many emails. Oh, my God, I need a message that sponsor. Oh, my gosh. I need to make sure I’m not conflicting my schedule, my calendar for posting. And it was like boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. And here’s the crazy thing. When we are in a state of flow, so when we’re in that state where everything’s flowing really easily, everything’s creative, it feels like it’s just effortless almost. And we even get one notification or slightly distracted, I’m talking like a text message comes through on your computer or your watch buzzes or WhatsApp beeps and you don’t check it. You just see that you have a notification. It takes you 23 and a half minutes on average to get back into flow state. Guess what? We in the 21st century do not have anymore patience for 23 and a half minutes. Five minutes will go by and be like, man, not feeling it anymore. You know what? I’ll put this off until tomorrow. And that happens all the time.
Kwadwo Sampany-Kessie [00:35:01]:
Nicole Baker [00:35:02]:
All the time.
Kwadwo Sampany-Kessie [00:35:03]:
Hold on. You’re saying if I hear not even if I look, if I hear WhatsApp.
Nicole Baker [00:35:09]:
Beep at me, if you hear and internally acknowledge it. I’m not talking like, you need to acknowledge it. Like picking it up if you hear it and you’re like, oh, I have.
Kwadwo Sampany-Kessie [00:35:17]:
A notification, but I won’t look at it.
Nicole Baker [00:35:18]:
You won’t look at it, but you still have oh, I have a notification your brain is taking because it was fully, fully focused.
Kwadwo Sampany-Kessie [00:35:26]:
Nicole Baker [00:35:27]:
And it is enough to move it away. So I’m a big believer in do not disturb. Big, big believer. Now, obviously, within reason, I have a husband, and if he’s needing me for whatever reason, I want him to be able to come through on my do Not Disturb. He knows, however, that when I’m in the zone during my days, unless the cat is on fire, we don’t even have a cat unless someone is on fire, unless it is a very important thing. Don’t text Nicole until the end of the day. And we have this mutually, by the way. It’s not just like me being like, stop texting me, husband, you suck. It’s a mutual understanding. But almost everyone else is on Do Not Disturb now because I have my day in blocks. Like if, for instance, I have a do not disturb time for I’m actually working on a mini course for this month. So if I have do not disturb time for working on my mini course, I would then at the end of that time, check my phone because I have Voxer communication with my clients so they have access to me at any given moment. So I would make sure that everything’s good in the hood over there and then. Great. Everyone’s good? Okay, I’m going to go back into another session. Do not disturb turns back on. So it’s like you have breaks during the day where you get up, you go get some water. You’re not just like a robot where you go flow state for 8 hours straight. You actually can’t even do that. Our brain doesn’t work that way, but you have to let yourself get into flow state.
Kwadwo Sampany-Kessie [00:36:50]:
Okay, so I’m thinking now the listener probably has a few questions. So we’re going to rapid fire this first of all, day theming sounds good, but what about all the day to day operations? In my business, I can’t just properly neglect those to one or two days of the week. What do you got to say about that?
Nicole Baker [00:37:09]:
The day themes are very broad. Very broad, spectral. So like for instance, this influencer client of mine, she every single day checks her email and does community management for YouTube comments and stuff like that because she responds to everything herself. She does that every day, but she has a section at the end of the day when she is not her most creative, her most focused. I call these prime hours. It’s not her prime hours. It is when towards the end of the day when she’s wrapping up. Okay, I’m going to check my email. Great, I’m going to check YouTube comments. Great, I’m going to do that. Done. So just because her day was YouTube, it doesn’t mean she only did YouTube that day. It instead means like, okay, this was definitely the theme of today, but there’s still going to be other things that we do. Like we can’t check our email once a day, once a week, as much as you can. Actually, I’m going to go back on that. You definitely can do that. I personally just don’t run my business that way. I do check my email once a day, however, and that means the rest of the day it is off. Because again, if I get a notification, if I get that email come through, I’m going to lose my flow state. And I don’t want that to happen. So the day themes are really just a broad spectrum theme, but you can have little individual things that are repetitive tasks, but just do them in a certain time. I would just say block time away for them rather than just like, oh, I’ll do this whenever because then we.
Kwadwo Sampany-Kessie [00:38:25]:
Can lose our blog. All right, before I ask the next question, it’s the moment of truth. I have finished counting the tabs and to my defense, I do have three monitors, so there’s not all these tabs. And I can still see some words in some tabs. Those of you who are listening, who can identify with me, if you’re watching the video, comment in the YouTube comment section. Like, how many tabs you have opened? Nicole, I counted, it is 53 tabs. You guys go to the website. This video, you have to see her face, right?
Nicole Baker [00:39:07]:
That’s a record. Quay Joe. That’s a record.
Kwadwo Sampany-Kessie [00:39:10]:
Wow, it is a good day. I can still read the first four letters in each tab, so it’s not as bad as it could be.
Nicole Baker [00:39:19]:
That’s optimistic. Interesting. Now, here’s my deal with monitors, because a lot of people do have a lot of monitors. I myself even have two monitors. They’re like, oh, my gosh. You just focus on one monitor. There’s one monitor that’s in the front of my vision. So the one that I’m staring at you on, I have one tab open on this monitor. That’s it. But then over on this side, I have my calendar open, and that’s just to make sure I’m kind of staying on schedule throughout my day. So that’s really all I have open. At any given moment, I have the thing that I’m focusing on and the calendar open, so I’m making sure that I’m staying on track. Now, for instance, let’s say I’m working on a podcast outline, and I need to use I do a lot of scientific backed up research and stuff in my podcast. So I want to go on Google Scholar and make sure I have the right article that I’m quoting or whatever it is. I go in, I have that, I see the link, I highlight the section, I bring it over to my tab, and then when I’m done with it, I close it out every single time, because if I don’t, I can be in the middle of writing my podcast and look up and say, oh, there’s that article. OOH, did I make sure I quoted it, or did I make sure I read all of it and always do, but did I check that other thing? It just immediately opens up all of these different things that can distract me versus the thing that was the task at hand.
Kwadwo Sampany-Kessie [00:40:40]:
Nicole Baker [00:40:41]:
So one tab as much as you can. One tab. Now, does that mean you can’t minimize tabs and put them off to the side? Of course you can. Like, I have some tabs minimized for something I want to go back to later, but it’s not in my direct line of sight.
Kwadwo Sampany-Kessie [00:40:53]:
Okay, well, enough confession from me. The next question that I’m sure at least 63 listeners are asking is, but I’m a mom, and how does this work with kids? Multiple kids trying their best to pull my brain in every direction, and I can’t even relate as a man. But I can say that the reason I even have only 53 tabs open and a semblance of a business is because my kids brain destructive activity is directed at my wife. And she deals with I just saw a meme. Not a meme. A little video on TikTok today. Completely random, but it was like this every time a kid said mom, then the mom got down and did a push up in the kitchen and it was like, how fit would moms be if they did a push up every time one of their kids was like, mom, that’s how my kids sound. Okay, so what does a mom do?
Nicole Baker [00:41:55]:
So I have a sister. She has two incredible kids. I love them so much. And she asks me this question pretty regularly. And you do have to get more creative. I’m not going to say that you’re going to be able to have an eight hour stretch workday and be totally fine if your kids are two and three. We’re realistic here. Here’s what I do see work really well when, for example, let’s say my kids are I don’t have kids, but my metaphorical kids are old enough where they understand, okay, mom’s working and she needs some quiet time right now. I’ve seen people have, you know, those little door hangers, like over the door hanger? It’s like a hotel deal.
Kwadwo Sampany-Kessie [00:42:37]:
Like, don’t clean my room door hanger?
Nicole Baker [00:42:40]:
Yes, exactly like that. But one side is red and the other side is green. When, let’s say, mom needs or dad or whoever the parent is needs a solid 45 minutes just to get this one one sitting task done. They really need some focus time. They can put that red on and have the kid know that, okay, when this is red, do not come in. And I’ve seen that work really well with a lot of my parent clients. Now, obviously, kids are kids. They’re going to burst in because they’re so excited they have something to share. Mom, I just took a poop and it’s amazing. Oh, my God. You need to come look at it when that happens. Grace, Grace, Grace, Grace, Grace, Grace. I’m not a mom, and I still get distracted sometimes. I’ve been studying productivity for five years, and I still get distracted. It’s just part of the human experience. So another thing I would say is have those boundaries. Like, maybe your partner is able to take the kids for 2 hours solo on a Wednesday afternoon, and during that time, make that your very clear. I’d make sure your one sitting tasks are so crystal clear, and that’s what you’re going to do during that time. You need to get creative and you need to schedule it. You need to ask for help. You need to put boundaries up. Like, you need to do things different rather than just like maybe it’ll happen during nap time, because then it won’t. We’ll scroll through our phones for 2 hours and be like, oh my God, where did nap time go? You have to be creative. You have to set yourself up for success. And it does take a lot of trial and error. I’m not going to sugarcoat it. It’s not easy, not at all. There’s a reason I’m not a mom yet. But when you get that rhythm, when you find that perfect cocktail of what works for you, hold on to it for dear life, because that’s what it is.
Kwadwo Sampany-Kessie [00:44:17]:
Okay. Moms are super happy now.
Nicole Baker [00:44:20]:
I love you, Moms. You’re amazing. Thank you for all you do.
Kwadwo Sampany-Kessie [00:44:23]:
I love you, wife. I couldn’t literally my kids if I didn’t have her. Wow. Just wow. My kids are inventing things. After they ask for mom, they didn’t even have something they needed. They just got her attention. And then it’s like they’re talking, but you can tell, like, there’s nothing that is just going nowhere. Okay, so where can because we need to finish this episode, where can somebody hear more from you, get help from you, and just help discover their let’s call it their hiding perfectionist. That’s kind of pinocchio. I like that from behind the scenes and keeping them from achieving all they should be achieving in their business.
Nicole Baker [00:45:06]:
I love the pinocchio perfectionism. I’m totally excuse me. The hiding perfectionism. That’s good. I’m taking that. I’m taking that. You’re listening to a podcast. I also have a podcast, so I am at Imperfect Success on any podcasting platform you are currently listening on. Most likely it’s on there as well. And I talk about perfectionism, high achieving productivity, goal setting, science, neuroscience, D, all of the above. But it’s never in, like, a very scholarly, scientific way. I really like to make it in a very approachable way because that’s how I like to learn as well. And then if you want a little more one on one support, like I said, I have those free 30 minutes calls, and you can go to Lifecoachbaker.com Discoverycall. And it’s really easy. Just sign up for a time on there.
Kwadwo Sampany-Kessie [00:45:52]:
Cool lifecoachbaker.com slash lifecoachbaker.com that will be in the show notes. And if you’ve made it this far in the podcast, we know that you’re in for a special treat. So I got a question for you, Nicole. Final question. Take me to a spot in your podcast and business development where it was hard, where it was a bit dark, where it was like, I am the grand mighty pooba perfectionist coach, but good Lord, I don’t know if I can make it like, another two weeks. Take me to that spot and take the listener to that spot and just kind of talk us through, like, what got you through.
Nicole Baker [00:46:38]:
I like to get vulnerable. I like to get raw. It’s part of my embracing imperfection journey. Last July. Not this past July, but the July prior.
Kwadwo Sampany-Kessie [00:46:46]:
So 2022, you guys, what Nicole just shared was amazing. And if you want to hear what she shared, go to theartofonlinebusiness.com motivation where you can hear from her, from the heart what was going on and how she got through it. Because this part of the podcast, it’s meant for me, really. It’s meant to help the past me who just needed to hear from successful online entrepreneurs. I needed enough motivation to get me to the next day to keep me going when it got super dark, and quite frankly, I may not have made it another week without hearing somebody else who went through it and an uplifting mini story from them to help me keep taking the strategic steps that I knew to take. So theartofonlinebusiness.com motivation if you want to hear more from her, she is the host of Imperfect Success, a podcast that teaches success driven perfectionists how to finally ditch perfectionism and still enjoy the high achiever lifestyle. I linked her pod cast up in the show notes. While you’re down there, if you would leave a review on Apple podcasts for me to let me know how you liked this episode, and if you want to share what you would like to hear more of, do that, and I would be happy, happy to read that. Until the next episode, take care, be blessed and goodbye.