Dec 14, 2020

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Organization for the Creative Brain


Text reads "how to finally feel focused" over a blue background. A hand reaches out holding a pair of black glasses

“we’re scared to suck at the beginning”

Oh boy, you’re in for a treat today! I’ve got a very special guest who is near and dear to my heart, Amy Mitchell. Amy has not only revolutionized my business, she’s created systems that actually work for my creative brain.

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Oh boy, you’re in for a treat today! I’ve got a very special guest who is near and dear to my heart, Amy Mitchell. Amy has not only revolutionized my business, she’s created systems that actually work for my creative brain. 

I’m so honored that she’s joined me for this episode to share with you that it is possible to get organized in your biz, even if you’re an Anxious Creative like myself. 

So, let’s dive in shall we?

Craving Systems

Amy and I met about a year ago and started chatting through DMs over on the ‘gram. We only started working together about 3 or 4 months ago. 

I had this craving for systems and structure in my business but my brain had no clue how to make the systems. I knew that organization was necessary for me to scale my business, but it was low on my priority list. 

After a few months of feeling scattered, I sent Amy a voice memo and asked her if she wanted to do a deep dive of my business. She was totally on board and we instantly clicked. 

Amy has been such a huge asset to help put systems into place. It was difficult for me to let go of some of the control (hello fellow control freak), but finding a way for me to get my thoughts out of my head was so helpful. 

Creatives often want to grow their businesses, but they don’t know how to and want to have too much control. Amy compares this to the chicken and the egg – you need the systems to bring someone on board to help you, but you need the help like, yesterday, to create the systems. 

For me, I struggle a lot with time management and knowing what to prioritize. I know that this is true for a lot of creatives. We like to bite off more than we can chew. 

The To-Do List

I love checking something off my to-do list. It feels so good to know that I’ve completed a task (even if it wasn’t hard or challenging) there’s something satisfying about the completion. 

I hate having incomplete tasks on my to-do list at the end of the day. It makes me feel like a failure. 

A lot of us have expectations around our to-do list and then we feel guilty and ashamed at the end of the day when we didn’t get to it all. Even though, we initially set ourselves up for failure, we still experience disappointment when we fail. 

There’s almost a comfort in feeling like a failure.

 We self-sabotage so that we can continue to believe that we’re not made for more. 

Amy explains “procrasta-planning” and “procrasta-learning”, where you spend all your time and effort planning and learning, but never actually doing the hard thing that’s going to move you closer to your goals. 

I always say: “I’m addicted to learning but allergic to implementing.”

‘Cause let’s be honest, it’s easier to stay safe and comfortable. And it’s scary to be a beginner and to be new at something and to NOT be an expert at something the first time you try it. 

Creatives really love to learn and that’s such a wonderful thing! The trick is learning to balance the love of learning with your love of taking action and recognizing when you’re keeping yourself small.

Being productive isn’t necessarily producing things, Amy mentions how naps can be really productive. You don’t have to do things the cookie-cutter way, you’re allowed to embrace what works for you. 

Amy has helped me create systems that let me thrive and be more productive. 

Project Management

I worked in a salon for most of my career, it’s only been this last year that I’ve really transitioned more to my online business. Work in the salon is very linear: client comes in, you chat with your client about what they want, you color/cut, you wash and dry, you style and then you checkout. 

My brain likes linear work. Moving from step 1 to step 2 and so on makes sense to me. I also really like to batch things, work all creatively on one thing. We’ve recently started doing more batch work in my biz and I gotta be honest, it’s not always easy for me to only work on one step of the process at a time. 

Amy has helped me take control of when I’m going to do a certain type of task instead of just responding and reacting to things coming at me. 

Using Asana as our Project Management software has revolutionized our productivity. 

Amy explains a concept from David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” book where he talks about open loops in our brain. If our brain has an open loop, it’ll stay focused on that until we address it or until it knows that it’s been taken care of. 

Asana is a task and project management software that allows you to take all of your open loops and put them in one place with a due date and a reminder. It becomes a container for every action that you need to take that’s not happening right now. 

As hairstylists or beauty professionals there are a lot of things you’re doing to grow your biz, a lot of things you’re doing in your life that are happening outside of when you’ve got someone in your hair. 

Asana can be a place to house those goals, dreams, systems and processes. 

Every single thing that Amy has to manage in her life is in Asana with a due date and Asana does the heavy lifting to remind her about them. She jokes that if Asana were to shut down she would probably need to quit her business ‘cause there’s no way she would remember everything that’s in there. She even has a “home board” for herself and her boyfriend for their household chores. How precious is that?

Asana can be a place for business related things, marketing plans, testimonials that you get from clients – it really becomes a one-stop digital destination that houses all the stuff as well as any actions you need to take. This allows your brain to not have all those open loops or tabs open that you have to try to remember. 

When your head’s not spinning about all the things you need to be doing you get to focus on the creativity and the action steps. 

Now if you’re anything like me the thought of getting organized and putting everything into Asana sounds terrifying, overwhelming and frankly a little bit too much. I totally get it. Amy actually has a free mini training that goes over step by step what you need to do to get yourself organized in asana. 

This system has really helped me to move forward and I know that my million dollar ideas are in the right place (not a post it note tossed onto my desk) and I can trust that my team will help me make it happen. 

One of the biggest barriers for creative business owners is getting to the next stage of their business and really hitting that scale button. You have all these hopes and dreams and you think “there’s no way I can add more to my plate”, but Asana actually helps take things OFF your plate. 

Thanks to Asana and the systems that Amy has created for me I’m able to get more done, delegate easier and I forget less things. She truly has changed the way I work. 

I had such a blast chatting with Amy. I can’t believe we haven’t met in real life yet! We truly complement each other and I’m so thankful that she’s part of my biz and my life. 

She really knows how to help my brain stay on track and has totally changed the way I run my business. She’s taken so much anxiety and stress off my plate with the systems in place. If you love Amy as much as I do you definitely have to send her a DM over on Instagram. 

Until next time, friend!

Wanna really get your biz on track? Check out Rock Your Business, your stress-free guide to earning 6 figures

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I am just a small-town, Canadian gal from the prairies who teaches thousands of creatives around the globe how to earn 6-figures stress-free!

Hey, I’m Dawn!

“Rock Your Business” Course Creator, Host of “The Anxious Creative” Podcast. Named by Salon Magazine as Canada’s #1 women of influence.

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