S1 EP 2: How to Be the CEO in Your Business (Even as a 1-Person Show)

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This week on The DollarSprout Podcast, we’re joined by Leadership Coach Raina Willick.

Raina helps freelancers and entrepreneurs create a work-life balance and schedule they love without sacrificing their most important goals.

She’s a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC), an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) of the International Coaching Federation, and a Fellow of the Institute of Coaching McLean, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School.

Raina uses the neuroscience-based Positive Intelligence framework to help her clients make lasting changes by building mental fitness, purposeful productivity, fulfilling focus, and a happy entrepreneurial life.

Links and resources:


Key Takeaways

Huge thanks to Raina for being on the show. Our conversation gave me a lot to think about. Below are my key takeaways as well as some action items you can start implementing today.

Key takeaway #1: Step into the role of CEO in your business.

Even if you’re a 1-person company, and even if you never intend for that to change.

I know this might sound very corporate and “big-business-y”, but being the CEO of your business really just means looking at things strategically and making intentional decisions based on what you want the company to go. It’s about looking at the big picture: What’s working, what’s not working, what lessons you’ve learned and how you’ll implement them going forward.

Raina recommends having a “CEO day” at least once a month if you’re just getting started or early on in your business. You can always ramp up to every other week or once a week. But the idea is to put time on your calendar to take a step back, reflect on what’s going well and what you want to do differently.

Key takeaway #2: Create your business vision and values. These are the guideposts that make decisions way easier.

I know my values and I have a vision for my business now, but I could have avoided so many bad decisions if I had done this sooner. I would’ve not taken on certain clients because they didn’t align with my values, I would’ve structured my business in a different way to honor my value of freedom. So do yourself a favor, learn from my mistakes, and sit down and write out your business vision and values.

Raina has a great free exercise to help you with the vision. I actually downloaded it myself, and holy cow, it delivers. It’s an entire workbook of questions and exercises to really help you flesh it out. You can download it in the show notes.

And on our call, Raina walked through an exercise to help you come up with your values. She recommended doing it with a partner, but if you don’t have a partner, just grab a pen and piece of paper.

  • Step 1: Think of two peak experiences in your life. Things that were so significant and good that when you close your eyes, you feel like you’re there. Write out what happened. Who were you with? What did you do? What did it feel like? What were the sensations – smell, touch, sight, sounds? Include as much detail as possible.
  • Step 2: Name two pet peeves. Things that really upset you or make you angry. If you can think of any examples or stories, write them out, again, with as much detail as possible.
  • Step 3: Make a list of the values from those two exercises. From Step 1, look for words that resonate with you in your story, and from Step 2, think of the opposite things from what you listed that make you angry or upset.
  • Step 4: Once you have a solid list, combine any words that mean kind of the same thing for you and start to pare down your list. You want to get to 3-5 core values of words that resonate and connect with you, so that when you look at your list, it evokes some sort of emotion.

Raina also said that you can make up your own words or values, which I love. So feel free to get creative with this.

Key takeaway #3: Self-trust is key to success.

Learning to trust yourself allows you to make decisions – in both business and life in general – from a place of confidence rather than from fear or because it’s what you see everyone else doing.

Raina mentioned two ways you can start to develop more self-trust.

  1. The first is by making a list of your wins. You can create a giant list like Raina mentioned of 100 personal wins. I also think this could be a great addition if you already have a journaling practice or gratitude practice, to add in a daily “personal wins” practice. But the idea, however you implement it, is to make a list of your past successes with the purpose of building confidence in yourself, your abilities, and your decision-making.
  2. The second tool is to develop a stillness practice. Raina specifically talks about an exercise that she learned from studying Positive Intelligence Mental Fitness. For two minutes, focus on one sensation – sight, smell, touch, or hearing. If you choose hearing, for example, try to listen for and name all the sounds around you. The furthest, the closest, and everything in between. If your mind starts to wander, bring it back to whatever sensation you’re focusing on. You can use this tool if you’re in a heightened emotional state to bring yourself back down, or just as a daily mindfulness practice.

You can learn more about Positive Intelligence Mental Fitness in the book Positive Intelligence, written by Shirzad Chamine, or at PositiveIntelligence.com. The website has a couple of assessments you can take. I love a good personality or strengths assessment, so I took them both.

One is to identify your Saboteurs or the way you self-sabotage. I got a 10/10 for Pleaser (as in people pleaser) and a 10/10 for Avoider. Accurate. And there’s another assessment where you can measure your PQ, which is your positive mental muscles vs. your negative mental muscles. According to the website, your PQ is “the measure of your mental fitness [or] how often your mind is serving you versus sabotaging you.”

Episode Transcript (click to expand)

Note: This transcript was automatically generated and may include typos.

Introduction

[00:00:16] Megan: Hey there. Thanks so much for being here and listening to the show. Today’s episode is with Raina. Willick a leadership coach who helps entrepreneurs design their work, create a schedule they love and step into their role as a leader in their. Even if they’re a one person show you’ve probably heard before it that having a vision and values for your business is an important thing, but Reyna makes a compelling case for why they’re important and includes some practical applications and examples from some of her own coaching clients.

And she also walks through some exercises that you can use to come up with values that actually feel like you. We also talk about practices. You can use to cultivate more trust in yourself so that you can make decisions in your business and really in your life from a place of confidence, rather than one of fear or because it’s what everyone else is doing.

I hope you enjoy this episode. Please welcome Raina Willick everybody.

Interview with Raina Willick

[00:01:23] Megan: Hi, Raina, welcome to the dollar sprout podcast.

Glad to have you on the show.

[00:01:29] Raina: Oh, thank you. Me too.

[00:01:30] Megan: Yeah. Um, so you have built a successful online business as a leadership coach, which I never really heard of. I’ve heard of a lot of like online business coaches. So can you talk a little bit about what you do as a leadership coach and also how you got into this line of work?

[00:01:50] Raina: Yes. So to the answer, to the first question about what leadership coaching is, very often in the corporate world, you’ll hear that when people are leading teams of people or managing right that you know, they, the company provides them leadership, coaching. Um, my certification and training is in leadership coaching and what I’ve noticed with entrepreneurs is we go out on our own and we’re super focused on just like building the work doing the work, you know, faking the revenue, figuring it out, Right. Um, there’s a million. things. Um, but then you get to a spot where some of that is starting, to smooth out. You figured out what you’re doing. you you know, you’re starting to get to a routine, but having those elements of leadership around knowing yourself and what kind of leader you are for your own company, you’re now the CEO. even if it’s of a company of one, and that requires different skills than probably you’ve ever used before in your life. And so you know, being able to do long-term strategic planning and think about what’s most important to you, your values, your Vision as a business owner, what you want over the longterm. Like those are all parts of being a leader in your own business, um, which we don’t always think about when we just make that leap. and we’re just trying to figure out how to pay rent, honestly, but there’s a point at which we get to. You know, those are needed and they’re going to get you to the next, level in your business. So those are the areas that I focus on, um, as a leadership coach.

 I spent 17 years as a critical care nurse, which some of you have also known me in the past as a focus coach. So, you know, we all evolve, know that that’s normal, if you are in that evolving stage. And being a critical care nurse will absolutely teach you to prioritize quickly and in, you know, serious situations.

So I had that. And then, I took a pause for a couple of years to stay home with my daughter had a ton of fun doing that, and then came back into work then doing online community management for entrepreneurs. Like I would help them with their online memberships and organized masterminds for entrepreneurs and things like that.

I was freelance. So I was doing a lot of group facilitation and, I

ended up taking a leadership coaching course that I just thought

would help me be better in the community.

management work I was doing and the group facilitation work. And I got there and realized, wow, I

found my. This is what I was really meant to do.

And it was just, it felt so

easy and clients started coming to me pretty quickly afterwards. And so I

pursued finishing.

um, you know, upleveling my education in that department and, you know, refining what I wanted to talk about. And I love working with entrepreneurs and people who are starting businesses because they think about.

They just think about things different and you know,

there’s big dreams And, visions and excitement and energy

around.

that. And I love working with that. Um, so finding a way that you can have work you love and a schedule you love is what I want for everyone of your listeners. Cause if we can

get those two things right. Pretty good life. And then eventually I finished up freelancing and as I leaned more and more into coaching, and now it’s

the only thing that I do and I love it.

[00:05:05] Megan: Yeah, that’s awesome. You mentioned being the CEO of your own business, even if you’re a one employee company. I want to talk about that concept for a second. Does that apply if you’re just starting out in your business and, you know, Just getting into your business, you have to wear a ton of different hats.

So if you’re in those early stages in just starting out and really building your business and revenue, how does this apply and how can you step into the role of CEO early on? Or is this something that you just have to wait until your business is up and running and then kind of switch gears and put on your CEO hat?

How does that work?

[00:05:47] Raina: Yeah, that’s a super good question. And I liked that you ask it because in the beginning there feels like there’s just so much to do. You’re just trying to get all the work done and it’s easy to feel like there’s just. It’s time for that. A lot of people have heard the idea of working in your business versus on your business. I think that’s from that book, the classic book, the E-Myth. And my answer to that is that it’s actually easier if you start to do it earlier on that it’s even more essential because if you can Take, even if it’s just a little time every week. So right now, like I have one morning a week that is just my CEO time.

And I

think about like, long-term what I’m doing. It’s usually like my professional development time too, but if you can even take, you know,

[00:06:36] Megan: say

[00:06:36] Raina: Gosh, just depending on where you are and what kind of business you’re developing and work you’re doing, you know, if you can take some time once a month and just put it on your calendar to think about what’s giving you the best results, what do you want?

Long-term out of this? What have you learned over the things that, especially if you’re in the beginning stages, you will go through a spaghetti stage. You know, that like you’re just throwing spaghetti against the wall and figuring out what sticks that’s totally normal. Do not get discouraged by. The only way that we’re going to get out of the spaghetti stage is like taking the time to

kind of reflect on that.

Like, what is working, what am I enjoying? What is making the most money? Stepping back and looking At that and how does this plug into what I want this to be inside years? That’s very different for many of us, if it’s a side hustle or a long-term exit plan from your job. Even though it might be the hardest in the beginning. As we’re talking about this, it’s probably the most essential right. To get you where you want to go.

[00:07:29] Megan: I personally have such a hard time doing that. It is difficult to like step back and look

at the bigger picture. I’m not necessarily a bigger picture person. I get stuck in the

details sometimes. So you mentioned having a day, like once a week or one. A month to just reflect on your bigger picture and your, and your goals. How do you know,

What to focus on in your business when you’re just starting out? How do you even know

what that big picture should

look like?

[00:07:59] Raina: This is one of those things where. You know, you think that is an easy question to say, well, what do you really want? Well, anyone who’s ever tried to order dinner and answer that question knows that it’s not as easy as it sounds, let alone what I want in five years. I don’t know what I want for dinner.

So these are really, these are times

when your long-term. I almost hate saying this because it’s going to bring to mind corporate speak, but hear me out. Having a vision and knowing your values, those are going to be like guiding principles that you can shape all the details around.

So what I mean by first the vision and you know, if you’re struggling with what I mean by this, I actually, this is what my opt-in is about because it is so hard and it’s a place to start. Just thinking about what do you want your life to look like?

Like Just start

there. Um, Most of us think like oh gosh, what do we want revenue to be, and it needs to be this, and it needs to be this. But

if we really think about. What you want your whole life to look like in five years? Like where do you want to live? Is it the place that you’re in now? Is it someplace else?

Do you want to just

stay a solopreneur and be expensive and boutique, or would you love to end up having

people who help you with like,

all the things and you just do

Coaching, like,

maybe eventually you would think about,

I’m using you as an example here, but like as your financial coaching business grows,

maybe you might think about you’d love to have people who write your content for

you or help you with that. So you can just focus on

coaching and do your social media. Other people are like, It sounds like a nightmare, to me.

Thinking about having to manage

contractors or employees. So answering, like

my vision often will walk you through answering some of those things and just

painting the picture of what you want your life to look like. Maybe it’s

just.

working when your kids are in school. Maybe it’s taking the summers off. Thinking about that first. I know it’s exciting, right? Yeah, and it sounds crazy. People talk to me, they’re like, no way I could never do that. How could that

even happen?

But every single idea started somewhere.

Every person who takes the summer off had the idea at some point, like how could I do this thing? But most of the time we shut ourselves down before we ever get there. Right.

 It’s not even a possible. So just starting there, with what would

be, what would an amazing,

life look like in five years?

Okay. So there’s that. And then, knowing your values, and I’m not talking about like, you know, we have all been given a piece of paper at some

point and told like circle things

and that’s your

values,

which never works. I

do some exercises with my clients to

walk them through figuring out. Really the ones that are deeply, part of who they are, like our

values are almost like we’re like fish, swimming and water. They’ve always been there. They’ve always been a part of us. We don’t even notice them, but they’re the things that make life feel fulfilling. No matter how it’s

going, even through the ups and downs.

 Really really abstract things. And the

way I teach clients to use them is so that you can actually use them to make concrete decisions. They’re not just a poster on the wall. And that is where, I think to answer your question before it comes in to like figuring out where to focus when there’s all this.

So one of my clients, they are a content creator and they were just feeling kind of burnt out with their blogging. And even though it was going pretty well, it

was like in their second year.

And you know, they weren’t making a ton of money yet. And just kind of like at this impasse thinking. They also had a great design eye. Um, so they were thinking about doing some freelance graphic design work. And maybe I want to pivot to this cause I’m feeling really like blah, and out of my energy around this whole blog thing.

So we did their values and we realized one of them was connection. One of them was creativity. And she had been writing a lot of posts for that were very SEO driven, affiliates kind of things. And so it was sucking the joy out of it for her because it wasn’t honoring her values of connection and creative.

Once we saw that, you know, it became obvious, like, okay, we gotta like figure out where to bring that back into your

business and how can this, what does this look like? So she actually experimented a little bit, knowing that

that creativity was one of

the things missing. She took a few graphic design jobs, but another one

of her, values was around freedom to address.

They homeschool their kids

so that they have this time, to be able to like hit the slopes if There was a good snow. And it’s a day that, her husband was off. So there’s this ability that

was super important to who they were and especially this season of their

life and what they wanted to do with their family and their kids.

Well, we realized, okay, so taking client work

is clashing with that value. It’s getting you further away because you have deadlines and design days and things that you

needed to show up for. You couldn’t be as like spontaneous. Doing the adventures they wanted to do. So then we started to look at, okay, so how do you bring those things into how you can grow your business, but in a way that’s building.

So we started to look at brand partnerships. She loved building relationships with other people that, um, you know, things she believed in. So those were honoring her values around connection. And then they started a podcast because she realized, oh my gosh, I can be creative with the podcast.

And like, I have this connection. With guests and it wasn’t a big deal to schedule around their other stuff and have some flexibility. So , as she started to lean into that, then it helped her realize like, oh, I can let go the graphic design stuff. I’m not going to do that anymore because.

It was getting me further away from these things that I value that create fulfilling work and life. And so now I’m happy to report as she’s felt less torn in different

directions and like really

started to lean into the thing that was making her happiest, which ironically is usually what we’re best at.

And usually what we can eventually get paid the most for,

because we’re working in our zone of genius.

She’s currently in negotiations for

like their first five figure contracts, which is super

exciting. and it grew

out of, her knowing deeply

what her values were and letting those be the

filter to guide decisions. So yes, that is like the practical application.

[00:14:23] Megan: when you say knowing what your values are, like I’ve done values exercises that I’ve found online And it always feels a little hollow. I look at my list of my five to 10 things that I quote unquote deeply value, but I don’t feel much of a connection to that list.

So how do you, how do you come up with your values? Do you have any good tips or exercises? That you’d be willing to tell our listeners.

[00:14:53] Raina: Yes, absolutely. This is something that I usually do one-on-one with clients. But I think if you’ve had a. I think you could make it work. So here’s how I usually do it. And so first of all, the rules with this are so you’ll need a partner. Someone who you trust to be, open and honest with, because this whole values thing w ends up the whole reason that a lot of times those exercises don’t work out is because, all of our cultural conditioning and should start to creep up.

You know, like I’m a mother. So obviously one of my values should, if anyone’s just listening to this, I’m using quotation marks, B family, right? It feels like, but I was like, I’ll just be honest. It’s not, for me personally, But what is the value is connection? Because it’s super important to me. Like, just because you’re related to me and on my family tree, I don’t feel the same poll that some people genuinely do, but I feel a deeper poll to certain people in my family, who I feel really deeply connected to. And that has been something that actually released me from just because someone’s related to me, doesn’t mean I have to do all the things they might want me to do.

So that’s an example of like being, just kind of being able to be open and honest with yourself to get to that place where you feel more connected.

So that’s like, let me just lay that out as the very first tenant of this, or it probably won’t work. And and none of that is intentional. It’s just something we all do, right. It is.

All right. So the way I do this with clients is, so if you need help, I mean, I kind of naturally have a rotating Rolodex of values in my head. But if you want some reference just for like some words to use, Brenae brown has a fabulous one on her website that you can download, that has gives you some words and feel free to make some of them. I have a client, one of her values is bad. Like that is important to her.

[00:16:49] Megan: I love.

[00:16:49] Raina: Isn’t it awesome. like and show up as a bad ass in anything that. she’s

like bringing herself to do.

And so that’s how she

weeds out. Is this preventing me? My bad-assery then it needs to go.

So what you do is first you, the first it’s really about like storytelling to pull things out of. So the first story you want to tell your partner is two stories about a peak experience. And what that means is an experience in your life that is so significant and good that when you close your eyes, you can still like you can, you are there.

It’s so real still. And so you can really recall it deeply, what comes to mind for you? When I say that?

[00:17:35] Megan: I think for me being a kid and being at the beach. I love leisure time. I’m somebody who really, I know that one of my core values is probably like, I don’t know if freedom would be the right word, but like, I love my freedom. My time, freedom, my leisure time. So just being at the beach on summer vacation with my family and finding a Nick of the house with a good book and just cozying up with a blanket, listening to the waves and feeling the most at peace, in the quiet with my little book.

And that’s such an introvert thing to say. I know, but Does that count? Does that

[00:18:18] Raina: 100000% you did that. So perfectly, you didn’t even know. I didn’t want to interrupt you and ask you about.

But so as you were talking about that, I captured a few words that are possible values. So in some of them, like I said, can just, be things that you made up, but they’re things that mean something deeply to you.

I’m aware of time, but if we were having a coaching session, I would ask you even more about like, describe it to me. Who else was there with you? What did you love about it?

 As much detail as you can get and what I was writing down, as you were talking, I was like, tranquility fun, learning, relaxation, cozy freedom. And so

as like,

[00:19:03] Megan: yeah.

[00:19:04] Raina: yeah, like there, there

is.

[00:19:05] Megan: Sounds about right.

[00:19:07] Raina: Yeah. And so what, as, you know, one person tells the story, the other person, like I just did kind of capture some of those

words that are like, they’re bubbling up. And then.

Repeat them back to you. Like I just did. and you just capture

the ones that are like, oh yeah, I like that one.

Oh yeah, that feels good. And so we started to build a list. Usually you do like do that twice because different peak experiences are different. Right? Like a lot of people will have one peak experience that might involve other people like their wedding or having a baby or, and don’t feel like it has to be those big events.

I’ve had people talk about. One of my clients talked about when his dad actually had to lay off people at their company when he was a kid and he was there and he saw it, but he admired the way his dad handled it so much.

And we pulled out some things that were like deeply important to him around being the kind of leader that he saw then.

So one person captures those reason back and you just start to build your list. The next thing you do, the exact same thing with is, the things that piss you off.

[00:20:15] Megan: Oh, okay.

[00:20:17] Raina: this is how you see I’m sure. Sometimes we don’t even know something super important to us until someone steps on it.

[00:20:23] Megan: Oh, yeah,

[00:20:26] Raina: What is, if

I can ask,

can I ask

you this question? Okay.

a pet.

[00:20:32] Megan: yeah. I was just trying to

think. What’s a pet. peeve. I would say one of my pet peeves is people being rude for no reason. For example, to a server at a restaurant or, a cashier at the grocery store for really no reason. I mean, you know, that that person is probably dealing with stuff and has their own things going on, but Like I would say that’s it. People being rude for no reason is a really big pet peeve of mine. That’s something that really bothers me.

[00:21:06] Raina: Okay , so what we’re looking for with this one is. What is the opposite of all the things that as you were saying that are things that bother you about this? I was thinking, okay, what would be the opposite value of this? Meaning the thing that you really value that when people act this way, they’re stepping on. So I had empathy, compassion, kindness, respect, all of those things are being violated in those situations. So they’re probably something that you hold as deeply.

[00:21:36] Megan: Yeah. Everything in both of those exercises for me, I feel like are pretty on

[00:21:42] Raina: Yeah. Okay, good. That’s the hope that is the point of this, right? There’s connection there.

And it’s a great way to find those things that sometimes we don’t even realize because they’re buried under, thinking, oh, this is something that bothers

  1. And really it’s like that the reverse is true. So there’s something that we think is important. So then the last one is you choose

two people in your.

Who you love and or respect could be one or could be both. I had a client recently talk about her. She said, Well, I don’t love her, but I respect her. And it was, her childhood ballet teacher. And so she talked about it, but I asked her what was it about her that inspired that respect in you?

And, after she talked about that for awhile, we realized one of the things was, Peace and order are really important to her. And that you know, you can imagine a Russian ballet teacher.

So you do two of those, and then at that point you’ve got a lot of things.

So we’ve got 10 things already on your list. And if we had done all six of those, we’d have probably 20 you’ll start to see

themes. You’ll start to see things emerged.

this is when it gets hard, get a new sheet of paper.

This is important.

 Pick the 10 that you just kind of that jump out at you. Like just circle the 10, on your big list that jumps out at you and write those 10 on a separate piece of paper, then you’re going to look

at those and see are any of these kind of the same thing to me.

Someone had both love and compassion and they said, you know I think really compassion actually encompasses. What it is, that’s really important to me about this. So I’m going to actually scratch off love. This is the hard part, cause you’re like, oh, these are good. and especially if they’re really connected to you. but when everything’s important, nothing’s important. So first you just figure out do any of these kind of mean the same thing to me And that’s a pretty easy elimination. Right. And then you want to get it down to three to five. And when you look at this list, it should, I have had clients who cry when they see this list, because it’s so, connected to who they are deep inside. And it really reflects truly who they are And who they want to be.

So then you’ve got your list of values and you can use those to make every decision easier forever. Because if it’s a difficult conversation, I ask clients, what of your values? Can you honor in this? Who do you want to be?

I had a client recently who she had a VA and another country and, she just didn’t need our services anymore.

And. One of her deep values was security. And she was really struggling to have the conversation and let her go because she felt like she was responsible for this person’s security because she was her own only person employing her. It was like a hard conversation.

And, we talked about, that was the reason it was really hard.

And how could she honor that value and

know, you have to make hard business decisions sometimes, right? You can’t just keep people on your payroll because you like them, unfortunately. But we talked about what did that look like? And she said, I don’t have to, she’s a contractor, but I could give her six weeks of severance pay to give her some time to find another employer.

And I would feel great about that and feel like I honor that value for her too, in a way that feels good. And it just made the conversation So much easier.

So that’s how knowing those things about yourself can make difficult things easier and also be a guiding light for, getting closer to life that makes us happy.

Which isn’t that really the hope. That’s what we’re all trying for.

[00:25:13] Megan: So it sounds like, those are two great things to do very beginning before you even start your business, or if you’re already in your business and you’re just now hearing this, then stop, go make your vision and you have an exercise that walks through the vision.

process.

[00:25:30] Raina: Yes. And even.

[00:25:31] Megan: So we’ll link to that in the

[00:25:32] Raina: Yeah. And even what to do when it’s not feeling like it’s coming very easily, because I know that can happen too. So there’s, I didn’t want anyone to get stuck. So I kind of put, it’s like a, choose your own adventure. If it comes easy to go to this page, if it doesn’t go to this page, and I walk you through both those scenarios.

And I think it’s also, when people ask me about focused, when you know that there is a core thing that you’re honoring, And that’s the reason that you’re making a pivot or changing something, then it feels more, it feels less like I’m making this decision because I heard that clubhouse is the new hot thing. Versus if you’re like, wait that being on that platform, lets me honor who I am and what I want to do and my value around X and the vision for where I’m going, then it doesn’t feel like you’re just getting shiny object syndrome.

[00:26:20] Megan: I feel like this would also be helpful for something that you mentioned before we recorded this which is trusting in yourself. I.

I have such a hard time with that personally, sometimes trusting in myself to make the right decisions, because it’s so easy when you’re starting a business to look at this person and that person and see what they’re doing and to think, oh, well, that’s what I should be doing.

Having a vision and values sounds like it could be really helpful for that. Are there other practices that people can implement to just have more trust in their own decisions and not necessarily just follow someone else because it’s what you quote unquote, should do for an online business.

[00:27:04] Raina: Oh my gosh. Yes. This is like near and dear to my heart because I think it’s really hard when you’re starting, because you want to learn, right? You want to learn best practices and there’s 100% a place for that. But usually people get to a certain point with like, they’ve taken the courses, they’ve read the things and listen to the podcast and, there’s enough information. They have enough information and then we have to step into this uncomfortable. Like, okay, I’m going to do this thing, right?

The look on your face or now.

[00:27:37] Megan: The scary part.

[00:27:39] Raina: Yeah, And so, trusting yourself, I think is one of the it’s it’s so easy to lose our focus to say like oh wait, I’m just going to do this one more course before I do this thing, because, I don’t want to start my YouTube channel wrong. we just don’t trust that

like, okay, I’ve, I’ve done enough. And now the next step and it’s okay, someone else is doing this differently. This is my business and I get to make the rules.

 Most of my clients, like you guys listening, you’re smart, you’re ambitious. You’ve already been successful in other things in your life. You wouldn’t have gotten to the point you are in life without these amazing skills. And so thinking back on those, there’s an author.

Oh, I feel bad. I can’t remember who it is so I can give him credit, but just know this isn’t my idea. It’s the a hundred wins list. So making a list of past successes that you can refer to, to bolster, like I have good decisions in the past. I have been successful when it’s hard.

So that’s one, like just looking back on the things you’ve already accomplished. And then the second one is a stillness practice, which can look like a lot of different things. Yeah, You’re nodding. Is this, what, what was that? Not.

[00:28:52] Megan: Yeah, it’s just, it’s a hard thing. It’s something that, I’ve been thinking a lot about recently, in O and we can talk about this here in a second with positive intelligence. Mental fitness theory.

But this is something that, I think almost everybody has a hard time sitting still with their emotions And with their thoughts. And I’ve just been thinking about, how I could implement a more consistent stillness practice in my own life to sit with my emotions and feel my emotions rather than doom scrolling through tick tock.

So it just it resonates, it hits home with me personally right

[00:29:32] Raina: Yeah, it’s totally a real thing. And I mean, we are not in a culture that really encourages or supports that. So it’s not surprising that it’s difficult. And it is that the dividends are amazing.

As soon as practice gives you just a little time to hear the small voice inside, like it’s there for all.

Um, usually we’re running so hard that we can ignore it or it’s just too quiet to hear, but it’s there, we all have it. And the more you kind of tune into it, the louder get will get in the easier it will get to here. I sometimes will, when I’m feeling really like that wrapped up and distraught about, um, like I’m rewriting my offers Right.

now for 2022.

I’d had one package. I just wanted to keep it simple. It’s like a one way to work with me six months. One-on-one but I’m realizing I want to serve there’s people that, that isn’t serving quite where they’re at. And so I’ve been thinking about it and I was just like, you know, you who doesn’t get angsty when they’re like redoing their offers.

And so just getting quiet and kind of listening to inside. What do I really want here? What is, what sounds like the most fun, whereas the most ease and the answers kind of bubble up if you’re like have the quiet to listen, but because that is difficult and it’s a practice and it takes time, I’ve found a ton of success with positive intelligence theory that you mentioned.

The mental fitness, he calls them the founder calls in PQ reps. So you what you do with those, is instead of just trying to sit in stillness, you actually are tuning in to just pick one sensation for today.

If you pick hearing, try to hear the furthest off sounds, you can hear, then try to hear the closest sound.

It might be your own breathing.

And just set your phone for two minutes. so you don’t have to worry about, has it been two minutes? Did I go over?

Touch like rubbed two fingers together in a way that your pinks home, which attention that you can feel the little

ridges, or even closing your eyes and just running your hands over your face really slowly.

And just every time your mind goes to something else, just bring it back to that sensation. And I found that that is a little easier because you’re focusing on something that’s happening to you versus like clear your mind. Watch your breathing.

Which you might get there, but there’s steps. The theory is by a Shemi I feel bad.

I always mispronounce his name first. Shahzad semi he has a book on doing those practices where we tune in we’re rewiring some of our neurological responses. So when our reptilian brain is really stimulated, like something has just happened, we are feeling anxious or frustrated or worried.

Continuing to those physical sensations for two minutes, it actually will switch the pathway in our brain back to our pre-con prefrontal cortex, where we’re more wise. We make decisions as the person we actually want to be instead of just reacting.

So that you have greater mental fitness and resilience when you’re faced with challenges, anxieties, frustrate. Kind of amazing that we can do that.

[00:32:48] Megan: That sounds way more accessible. I think to me, focusing on a physical sensation than just sitting still with your thoughts. So that’s very helpful. Another thing that I’ve started to do, I’m not consistent with it right now, but something that I’ve done recently that has helped me become more aware of my thoughts and also helped me start my day with less anxiety.

Cause I’m a morning procrastinator, you know? I have my leisurely mornings. And then the next thing you know, it’s like 10 30 and I haven’t done anything. Something that’s helped me is doing morning pages. Have you heard of morning pages or tried it

[00:33:26] Raina: Yes. I love morning pages. Yeah. That’s why don’t you talk about, so I think that’s a fabulous way to like, dump.

[00:33:35] Megan: Yeah. So, for anyone listening who doesn’t know morning pages, I cannot remember the author that came up with the idea, but again, not my idea. I’ll link to resources for it in the show notes, but you wake up and first thing in the morning, you just brain dump three pages, eight and a half by 11 inch full sheets of paper, three pages stream of consciousness.

You just write about whatever comes to mind and. For me the first couple of days, I think that I did it maybe the first week I did, it was just very surface level stuff. And then after the first week I started to have a really good ideas, like business ideas that I would just be like, I don’t know where this came from, but, you know, Right in this down.

 Yeah, and it was like, it unlocked, it was like I had a bunch of surface level thoughts that were just waiting to get out. And once they were all gone, I unlocked the deeper inner knowledge that you were kind of talking about earlier that we all have the inner voice, that is so wise that we often can’t access because we’re just consuming too much content or, we just don’t give it a chance to speak.

I love your exercise. I feel like that’s very accessible. And I’m going to try that one in addition to morning pages, cause sometimes morning pages, it just takes too long. It’s like, it takes me like 45 minutes and sometimes I wake up and I’m like, I don’t have the time for this,

[00:35:08] Raina: Yeah, we may need different things different days, but that sounds amazing and powerful and like another fabulous way to tune into that inner trusting and knowing. Some people call it intuition, which sounds a little woo to some people, but you know what it really is. They did a study with critical care nurses, which of course I looked at because I was one and there after it, wasn’t the same for new graduates, but experienced critical care nurses could. Accurately predict when someone was going to, we call it coding, unfortunately like stop, you know, breathing or their heart stopped. And they would often say, I don’t know how I knew. They just looked bad. And so people would say like, oh, it’s their intuition as a nurse. Well, what it really is, was just like years of all of our experience and all the things we’ve ever done and all the knowledge we’ve ever collected that is somewhere inside us stored. And it kind of bubbles up sometimes as like just sort of a knowing, like, I think this is the right thing to do, even if maybe someone else is telling you it’s yeah, I don’t know.

Or it’s not the traditional stuff. That intuition is just all the stuff we’ve been gathering our whole lives, that our brain may not necessarily know how to put in a little box, but it’s in there.

Slow-Round Questions

[00:36:27] Megan: Moving on to slow round questions. I called this the slow round because I don’t know if you know who Mike Birbiglia is, but he is my favorite comedian and he does something similar on his podcast where he has, instead of like rapid fire questions there it’s a slow round.

So, they can be, they can be longer, more thoughtful answers. Whatever you have, you’re not rushed.

So first question, what is one of the best or most worthwhile investments that you’ve ever made in your business? It could be an investment of money of time and energy or anything.

[00:37:03] Raina: This, it feels like, what do you call it? A client conflict of interest since I’m a coach, but it really was getting personal, help at the right time. And.

[00:37:14] Megan: Yeah.

[00:37:14] Raina: And, you know, it was one of those moments where I wasn’t really sure what I wanted my next move to be in my business. It was when I had been freelancing for a while.

I was trying a few other things and something didn’t feel like it was clicking. There was just something missing and I was feeling kind of like, I wasn’t really sure what it was. And so I hired a coach, and it was. It was the best thing I could’ve done at that moment.

And the work was kind of hard, in a way, like, just being honest, because I hadn’t asked myself those questions, the ones that I talked about earlier in the podcast about, well, what are you, what am I really trying to create here? What do I really want? What’s important to me. And you know, it was, so it was a little soul searching, but it was the pivotal.

Things helped me figure out one getting past my own comfort zone, which was super freaking scary because I had always worked in other people’s businesses, as a freelancer, not on my own. And I was totally terrified. Because yeah, and, you know, I knew all the things I needed to know at that point.

I had the skills I needed to have. But it was making that leap to the next moment and getting personalized help at that the right time. I think before that it wouldn’t have been as helpful. Was, it was really pivotal, even though it was kind of a scary investment too, at the same time, because you’re like, I don’t even know what I’m doing.

What if I’m just flushing this money down the toilet, but it was, it was the stepping stone to figuring out my next move. So it was, it was a big thing.

[00:38:47] Megan: Nice. Second slow round question. When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused or you’ve lost your focus temporarily? What do you do?

[00:39:01] Raina: So one is immediately take a break and go for a walk, do some yoga. I do something that’s a total pattern interrupt, like bake cookies with my kid. And it feels a little counterintuitive because usually you’re frustrated because you’re trying to get something done or you’re feeling unfocused and you’re just trying to push through. So honestly kind of the first thing I do is rest for a little bit, and then I can like take a deep breath and come back to it.

 And I also sometimes. Check in with myself about what is it that’s distracting me. And sometimes that will also tell you, tell me that I need something else in this moment.

Like sometimes you’re just tired sometimes it’s just, depending on if you’re an extrovert or introvert, you might need like time away from people or time with people. Sometimes it’s just checking in for what you need. I had a week, a few weeks ago where I had.

A ton of meetings and a ton of it was just super busy. And by the end of the week, I needed to work on writing my articles and I just couldn’t do it. And it was because I realized I’m an introvert who just happens to talk a lot. And I was, totally depleted, like I can’t function. And so I don’t usually work weekends, but I just rested that day.

And then I wrote on the next day, because I was like, oh, okay. I just need time alone. My family didn’t even talk to me for a few hours.

[00:40:23] Megan: get that introvert to introvert. I get that.

[00:40:26] Raina: Yeah. So giving yourself what you need in the moment, I think is sometimes the best way to actually come back to focusing on what you need.

[00:40:34] Megan: Last slow round question in the last five years, what new belief, behavior or habit has most improved your life and or business?

[00:40:44] Raina: Oh, I like this one because many of my clients tell me it’s the biggest thing, they walk away when we’re done coaching with it’s your business and you get to make up the rules. You don’t have to wait for permission. And I think for a long time, especially myself, I, while I still have a nursing license, I’m a registered nurse and I’ve had clients who are physicians, physical therapists, you know, other.

Clearly, like, I just hung out with the medical field for awhile, but you come from this profession that is genuinely like really regulated. They tell you what you can and cannot do. And then when you start your own business and become an entrepreneur and you can like, no, one’s going to give you that stamp.

You can do whatever you want. Just realizing like, oh, I don’t have to wait for anyone’s permission. I can just make this up. And then I also felt like, well, I have to be everything to everyone. Especially starting out when I moved from freelancing to coaching, like, oh, I have to, I’m going to have to have an open availability of my schedule.

Well, that, wasn’t what I wanted and it didn’t actually feel good and it didn’t let me set up a working for them. So now I see clients on Wednesdays and Thursdays. I had a coach at the time and he was. Just put that on your schedule. You see clients on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and if you get people emailing you saying they can’t find a time, it’s not working for them.

Your business will tell you it’s not working and you need to do something else. I’ve had that happen one time, not once. And you know, I have the schedule that I wanted and if I hadn’t tried it, if I hadn’t given myself permission to like, These are the days I want to work. So that’s what I’m gonna do then, I’d still be waiting for the schedule I wanted.

So, yeah, it’s just like knowing that you don’t have to wait for anyone’s permission, you can just do it.

[00:42:25] Megan: That’s so funny that you say that because, I did an interview. I had a conversation with Pete McPherson recently, and we, he said something very similar where as an entrepreneur, you get to make the rules and that’s really uncomfortable if you’re not used to making the rules. So it’s, it’s funny that

[00:42:44] Raina: Yup.

[00:42:44] Megan: it up.

But it’s so true.

[00:42:47] Raina: Well. And like, let’s be honest, owning your own business is not. I mean, it’s, it’s fulfilling and you can create the work you love and the life you want, but it’s also hard. And if you’re not going to be able to utilize those things, like making up your own rules, I think it might actually be easier to have a job in some ways.

So you might as well get the benefit out of it.

[00:43:11] Megan: Thank you so much for being here today, Reyna, I really appreciate this conversation. where can listeners find out more about you?

[00:43:19] Raina: Yes. So, my website is Raina willick.com. Which I know is a super weird name, but it’s like rain with an eye on the end of it. And then, w I L L I C K. So Raina willick.com sign up for my email list. That’s usually where I put any new offers or things that I’m doing. Um, Uh, news. Well, everyone tells you, you shouldn’t use that word newsletter because no one wants a newsletter, but that’s what it is anyway.

But, and I talk about these same things. Like how do you develop a business and a schedule that you love? And usually I just focus on both internal and external things that you’ve got to figure out to get to that point. I’m also on LinkedIn and Instagram now, and then. when I feel like, so you can find me all those places.

[00:44:05] Megan: Okay. Awesome. We will link to your website and to your freebie on how to create a vision for your business in the shownotes.

[00:44:13] Raina: Awesome. Thank you, Megan.

Key Takeaways

[00:44:15] Megan: Huge. Thanks to Raina for being on the show. Our conversation gave me a lot to think about, so I want to share some of my key takeaways and some thoughts and reflections with you as well as some action items that you can start to implement today.

Key Takeaway #1

[00:44:31] Megan: key takeaway, number one.

 step into the role of CEO in your business, even if you’re a one person company, and even if you never intend for that to change.

[00:44:43] Raina: What I’ve noticed with entrepreneurs is we go out on our own and we’re super focused on just like building the work doing the work, you know, faking the revenue, figuring it out, Right. Um, there’s a million. things. But then you get to a spot where some of that is starting, to smooth out. You figured out what you’re doing. You’re starting to get to a routine, but having those elements of leadership around knowing yourself and what kind of leader you are for your own company, you’re now the CEO. even if it’s of a company of one, and that requires different skills than probably you’ve ever used before in your life.

[00:45:18] Megan: I know this might sound very corporate and big businessy, but being the CEO of your business really just means looking at things strategically and making intentional decisions based on what you want the company to do and where you want it to go. It’s about looking at the big picture what’s working.

What’s not working what lessons you’ve learned and how you’ll implement them going. Raina recommends having a CEO day, at least once a month, if you’re just getting started or you’re early on in your business, you can always ramp up to every other week or once a week or whatever works for you. But the idea is to put time on your calendar, to take a step back, reflect on what’s going well and what you want to do differently.

Key Takeaway #2

[00:46:08] Megan: Key takeaway number two. Create your business, vision and values. These are the guideposts that make decisions way easier.

How do you know,

What to focus on in your business when you’re just starting out? How do you even know

what that big picture should

look like?

[00:46:29] Raina: This is one of those things where. You know, you think that is an easy question to say, well, what do you really want? Well, anyone who’s ever tried to order dinner and answer that question knows that it’s not as easy as it sounds, let alone what I want in five years. I don’t know what I want for dinner.

So these are really, these are times

when your long-term. I almost hate saying this because it’s going to bring to mind corporate speak, but hear me out. Having a vision and knowing your values, those are going to be like guiding principles that you can shape all the details around.

So what I mean by first the vision and you know, if you’re struggling with what I mean by this, I actually, this is what my opt-in is about because it is so hard and it’s a place to start. Just thinking about what do you want your life to look like?

 Just start there.

[00:47:20] Megan: I know my values and I have a vision for my business now, but I could have avoided so many bad decisions. If I had done this sooner, I would have not taken on certain coaching clients because they didn’t align with my values.

I would have structured my business in an entirely different way to honor my value of freedom. So do yourself a favor, learn from my mistakes and sit down and write out your business, vision and values. Raina has a great free exercise to help you with the vision, actually downloaded it myself and holy cow, it delivers it is an entire workbook of questions and exercises to really help you flesh it all out.

And you can download it at the link in the show notes. On our call, Raina walked through an exercise to help you come up with your values. She recommended doing it with a partner, but if you don’t have a partner. Grab a pen and a piece of paper and turn it into a journaling exercise. Step.

Number one is think of two peak experiences in your life. Things that were so significant and good that when you close your eyes, you feel like you’re there. Write out what happened. Who were you with? What did you do? What did it feel like? And what were the sensations, the smells, what did you touch the sights?

The sounds include as much detail as possible about these experiences. Step number two, named two pet peeves. These are things that really upset you or make you angry. If you can think of any examples or stories from your life, then write them out again with as much detail as possible. Step number three is make a list of the values from those two exercises from step one.

Look, for words that resonate with you in your story, and from step to think of the opposite things from what you listed out that are your pet peeves, things that upset. And then step number four, once you have a solid list combined, any words that kind of mean the same thing for you and start to pair down your list.

You want to get three to five core values of words that really resonate and connect with you so that when you look at your list, it evokes some sort of emotion. Raina said that when. She does this exercise with clients. She has clients that cry just looking at this list because it is so connected to what they really want from their life.

So you don’t have to cry, but you should feel like these words and these values are really deeply connected. Reyna also said that you can make up your own words or values, which I love. So feel free to get creative with this exercise.

Key Takeaway #3

[00:50:16] Megan: Key takeaway number three, learning to trust yourself allows you to make decisions in both business and life in general, from a place of confidence, rather than from fear or because it’s what you see everyone else doing.

[00:50:33] Raina: Trusting yourself, I think is one of the it’s it’s so easy to lose our focus to say like oh wait, I’m just going to do this one more course before I do this thing, because, I don’t want to start my YouTube channel wrong. we just don’t trust that

like, okay, I’ve, I’ve done enough. And it’s okay, someone else is doing this differently. This is my business and I get to make the rules.

[00:50:52] Megan: Raina mentioned two ways that you can start to develop more. Self-trust the first is by making a list of your wins. You can create a giant list like Raina mentioned of your 100 personal wins. I also think this could be a great addition. If you already have a journaling practice or a gratitude practice that you do every day to add in a daily personal wins practice.

But the idea, however you implement it is to make a list of your past successes with the purpose of building confidence in yourself, your abilities and your decision-making.

The second tool is to develop a stillness practice.

The idea here is that when you’re able to be still, you can start to hear your own thoughts and tune into your inner wisdom and your intuition.

Which is something that oftentimes we can’t even hear because we’re spending so much time consuming other content or staying busy. So we don’t even hear that voice inside of our heads. That’s trying to tell us what we should do and we’re looking for answers externally. So the idea of the stillness practice is to be able to focus on your own thoughts and hear what you have to say.

Raina specifically talks about an exercise that she learned from studying positive intelligence, meant mental fitness.

For two minutes, focus on one sensation. This can be sight, smell, touch hearing. If you choose hearing, for example, then tried to listen for, and to name all of the sounds around. The furthest, the closest everything in between. And then if your mind starts to wonder, bring it back to whatever sensation you’re focusing on, and you can use this as a tool.

If you’re in a heightened, emotional state to bring you back down to a level of calm, or you can use it just as a daily mindfulness practice and you can learn more about positive intelligence, meant mental fitness in the book, positive intelligence written by. Um, Shahzad Shermain, I’m not sure if I’m pronouncing that correctly, but, um, you can also go to positive intelligence.com.

The website has a couple of assessments that you can take, and I love a good personality or strengths assessment. So I took them both. One is to identify your saboteurs or the way that you self-sabotage. I got a 10 out of 10 for people pleaser and a 10 out of 10 for avoider. Accurate. Um, and there’s another assessment where you can measure your PQ, which is your positive mental muscles versus your negative mental muscles.

According to the website, your PQ is the measure of your mental fitness or how often your mind is serving you versus sabotaging you. I thought this was really interesting. So go check it out. Get the book. If you’re interested in learning more about positive intelligence, mental fitness. So there you have it.

Those are my key takeaways and some action items for you.

Outro

[00:54:00] Megan: If you enjoyed this episode, don’t forget to follow and whatever app you’re listening on. And if you really enjoyed the show, please leave a review. Those help us get the show seen and in front of more people so that I can keep my job and keep producing these episodes for you.

Thank you for listening and for your support. Hope you enjoyed this episode and I will see you in the next.