Business Tip – skills need to be learnt

‘But it’s so hard for me to tell people what I do and what it costs’. I hear this a lot from people starting in business. And I want to say ‘OF COURSE IT IS!!’.
In my experience that’s hard for most people. Me. Other art therapists starting out. Most of the coaches I trained with. Artists. New graphic designers. Basically most humans find it hard to say ‘hey do you want to buy my thing?’ or ‘yes I can help you, at my hourly rate’ – at least when they start out in business.
And I should know – I spent two whole decades of my working life as an employee. You do the work and you get paid. You don’t have to every day say ‘oh do you want me to go get that paper off the photocopier? That will be five bucks thanks. You want me to write this report? Ok well my hourly rate is X.’
Most of us just negotiate our salary ONCE – when we accept the position, and maybe make a pitch for a pay rise or bonus at performance review time. And even if we sell things as an employee (this project, this widget, this package) it’s not US that we are selling, or its us with a whole organisation and brand behind us.

So here’s what I have to share: of course it’s hard, you’ve never done it before, it’s unfamiliar, feels risky and you don’t know how to do it. THAT’S EXACTLY LIKE ANY IMPORTANT SKILL YOU HAVEN’T LEARNT YET.

If you wanted to learn piano you would go and get lessons, not beat yourself up because you haven’t magically woken up this morning being able to play Bach. You would work with someone who knows how to play and you would get them to show you how. You would adjust your expectations and be prepared to learn some foundational skills and practice them and build on them. You would expect to go back again and again to your classes and share what’s hard and get tips on how to make things easier.

Business skills are just the same.

Just because you don’t know how to do something yet doesn’t make you defective or somehow uniquely flawed.

It means you need to learn. You need to find someone you trust and feel safe with, who is patient and knows more than you do and is willing to teach what they know. Ideally someone who will watch and listen and teach you just what you don’t already know yet, and build on what you DO know. You need to practice. You need find a way to be forgiving and to be ok with your fumbling and bumbling and making mistakes. You need to be ok with the off notes and playing ‘beginners tunes’ and still wishing you could play something more complex. You need to celebrate the little wins and remember that last week you couldn’t even play a note.

What’s one business skill on your to-learn list? 

Not every day is sunny

I have thought of giving up more than once, probably more than 30 (million) times on my ‘entrepreneurial journey’. The last time was briefly just last month. When I feel like that here are some variations of is what might go through my head to trigger or compound the thought – one of these is usually really loud when I fall into feeling hopeless:

  • ‘I’ve taken on way too much, I’ll never get it all done, this feels awful, run away!’
  • ‘I obviously have deep mindset issues that are holding me back, I’ll never get rid of them, there’s no point trying’.
  • ‘It’s not fair, look at them, they’re doing so well and I’m not’
  • ‘Oh my gosh I’ve squandered all my talents and experience and managed to make nothing out of it’
  • ‘I am overwhelmed by all the courses and coaches and training and I don’t trust that any of them will actually help me, I feel overwhelmed by all I need to learn and resistant to get started’.

Had any of those? Or similar ones? Yes me too.

I’m sick of ‘successful’ people who sell a carefully constructed two dimensional version of ‘success’ – some fantasy land where self doubt is entirely banished, every day is sparkles and rainbows and life looks like an instagrammed smoothie. I’m sick of it because in many cases it is just a calculating move to sell more things (I want what she’s having!) but worse than that, because it contributes to an expectation that this is how life ‘should’ feel (or look).

This expectation is suffocating.

I mean, seriously, it’s the human condition people. There will be laughter and tears, snot and baby poo, death, illness, dirt under the fingers. There will be wrinkles. There will be crumbs. There will be things that become tattered and frayed and some days we will feel a bit like that too. There will be ugly crying and hard things. No matter how gorgeous your bronzed bod looks twisting in its white one piece swimsuit at the beach at dawn one day (if you are lucky enough to live that long) you will get old and wrinkly. Lots more stuff than your snapchat filter can rub away.

Some days you might feel lazy, or grumpy, or catty, or incompetant, or just plain old scared. Yup. That’s going to happen. You might not like what comes out of your mouth or the thoughts you’re having. You might wonder ‘who is this angry b*tch who’s taken up residence in my head?’

Personally when I feel like giving up I need to stamp my feet and howl and write in my journal and cry real tears. I need to make big cranky art. I need to feel despair, real despair, and I need to cradle it like a precious thing. I need to complain to a friend or a coach or a mentor, someone kind who will listen while the storm rolls itself through.

I need to be petty and voice my crotchety annoyances. I need to imagine stepping away, imagine a big fat NO to all my projects.

And then gently I return to hope.

(And when I’m back to hope everything feels possible, doable, sparkly and fun.)

And despite all this, in and amongst it, I can still get things done.

If you wait until that perfect day when you are the thin, groomed, sunny, effortless, confident, multitasking, knowledgeable, wholly in your power version of you before you do anything you may never move.

Maybe we are actually birthing that version of ourselves, all of us, in every day that we cradle ourselves with kindness and allow the feelings out. Maybe the imperfect actions and acting without knowing all of what we are doing is what shapes and creates us.

If you want to work with someone who can help you get started on your dream project NOW – with all your wonderful flaws and quirks and inexperience and bad moods and self doubt, then look me up. We might just get along like a house on fire. And I promise I’ll forgive you your flaws if you forgive me mine.

I got to my dream, now what?

Sometimes we engage with a dream so deeply, that it guides us for months or even years. We make a change, we commit to some healing, or we set off on an adventure.

And then. Then we get there.

Maybe course is over now, or the draft is written or the trip is finished. Maybe the house is bought or the business launched or the big move made.

And then – what next?

We might have grown and tapped into deep reserves to get here – overcoming adversity, finding our courage, practicing perseverance. And in arriving we enjoy a rest, some peace.

But then, we get the itch. What is the next stage?

What does the next chapter look like?

Maybe we need some quiet space to hear the stirrings of our hearts.

Maybe from here we notice that we can see the view and ourselves a little more clearly than from where we started out.

We know that the culmination of the next dream wont be the end point either, just a new point, where the view is a little different, the tools in our toolkit a bit better honed, and our own character is a letter better known, worn and accepted.

 Have you ever felt yourself in a lull between dreams? What did it feel like? how did you make space for the new dream to emerge?

What to do when you have too many ideas

Recently I was feeling a bit overwhelmed with business ideas. There were just too many! Different services, different people I might work with, different resources I could share.

It felt a bit overwhelming and if I’m honest a bit like a traffic jam in my mind. So many ideas that together they couldn’t get through and sat side by side stuck in gridlock, honking their horns at me. I felt cranky and like I wasn’t getting anywhere. I felt even cross with myself and the ideas – why are you coming to me and just sitting here and not convincing me to take action?

Eventually a few things fell into place and now I finally feel as if the traffic lights have turned green, they are merging into one lane, and I know what order they will pull off in.

Here are five things that helped me, and might help you (especially if you are a big picture creative or busy scanner), when you have too many ideas:

 

  1. Write them down somewhere where you can find them

If you are anything like me you might have notebooks for everything. Lists, ideas, journaling, affirmations, drawings, outpourings of the heart, business ideas, the works. However those half pages lost in various notebooks you will rarely reread is not super helpful. It can add to the feeling that you are frittering away your ideas and that nothing is building. It’s easy to feel lost when your ideas are actually lost in a notebook.

Some things I have found helps for finding the ideas again is:

  • Using dedicated notebooks for different things and different notebook sizes or colours so I can find the right one quickly (my gratitude and celebration journal is bright yellow, my dream and wishes journal is hot pink, my regular daily journals are black)
  • Having a ‘scanner daybook’ as recommended by Barbara Sher for capturing those thoughts on big wild inventions, projects or life ideas (mine is a huge weighty tome with the very best paper and cover that I could afford at the time)
  • If you do keep your ideas in the one notebook or journal all mushed up, you might like to try what I have started doing, which is writing ‘IDEA:’ as a large header in capitals before I write or draw out business ideas. That way when you run your eye down the last few pages or few weeks of pages you can easily spot the bits that were to do with ideas, and you wont have to read all of your emotional outpourings, other lists etc.
  • Go digital and use a program like Evernote so you can access your notebooks from your mobile device as well as your work or home computer (I’ve just started using it, I’ll let you know how I go).
  • You could also create private Pinterest boards for yourself and save photos or articles that relate to your project or idea

OK… so that is all about how to write them down and where, but maybe you are a visual person and finding the connection between ideas is important rather than just a list, which brings us to the next suggestion: map them.

 

  1. Map them

I find drawing out or mind-mapping parts of the ideas really helps. For example are three of your ideas related to one core topic and the other three are on a different topic? Are there flows of information, materials or learning that would take place between these projects if they were happening side by side? Do some of your ideas support others, and of you were to do them first would help support subsequent projects? Pulling out these different ideas (that you may have written down in various locations at different times) and putting them together into a diagram can help you visualize connections, and make sense of what might at times feel like unconnected ideas. I find this ‘sense making’ helps bring a feeling of order and calm, even amongst the sometimes chaotic feeling barrage of ideas.

 

  1. Feel into them

Ideas can be persistent in our minds but when you pay attention to each one they can ‘feel’ different. In a recent podcast with Lisa Murray on the Recovering Perfectionist, she called it ‘following the energy’. I like to call it ‘feeling into them’. The way it works for me is when I visualize the idea it can either feel light, charged up, and unobstructed, or it can feel heavy, cloudy and like it is sitting behind a pane of glass some distance away. When it feels cloudy I often have my mind being indignant and saying things like ‘but it’s a very good idea! It makes sense’ – kind of defending it if you like. That tells me that my conscious mind likes the idea, but that another part of me isn’t so sure.

The way I think about it is this: our conscious minds are not the sum total of our wisdom. I believe our subconscious is the vast databank that integrates more information – contextual, historical, emotional, futures focused – than our day to day conscious minds can handle. I think that it can give us valuable additional info to what our conscious mind can, but that it doesn’t ‘speak’ in a linear, language based, logical way. So when I get that heavy or obstructed feeling about an idea I am learning to trust that it might be that there is a good reason that it might not be the right time, or that the idea might not yet be in a form that will work best in the world, and that I need to give it some more time to mature.

 

  1. Give them time – but not too much time

As long as you are not forgetting your ideas then thinking them over for a while before you start is a very reasonable proposition. For me, for big complex ideas, a few months of mulling it over feels about right. If it is a small idea that feels 100% doable right now the lag between thought and action can be quite brief (hours or days). If you leave it too long (years) you may be in danger of putting it in the ‘too hard basket’ and making the idea seem like an idealized fantasy far removed from your everyday life. That’s not to say that the whole idea needs to be implemented and completed in those timelines, but that you commit to it and start taking some kind of action. It may be that it gets harder and harder to take action. The exact nature of these timelines is probably different for everyone, but it might be worth considering the right amount of time you plan to give your ideas to mature before you get started.

 

  1. Expand your time horizon for implementation

Barbara Sher talks so beautifully about the way that scanners have a skewed sense of time, and often forget that they have a tomorrow and a next year to do things, not just a today. With these recent ideas I was having I kind of forgot that maybe my timeline was bigger than just the next few months. I realize now that maybe they will unfold over 5 years, and that is OK. It takes the pressure off and reminds me that I can start on them all now, but the preparations for some might run in parallel with the launch of others.

As Elizabeth Gilbert* says, “Ideas are driven by a single impulse: to be made manifest.” So don’t let a traffic jam stop you from bringing some of those ideas into the world.

Do you have lots of ideas too? how do you manage them so they feel like an asset rather than a burden? Did anything resonate from my list above? Please let me know!

 

*Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

It doesn’t have to be perfect but you do need to start

I started my business with a small amount of savings that had to be my actual pay (think coffee money) and cover all business costs until the business started providing for itself. My partner took on the heavy lifting of household finances and I was free to work on my business. That first year I needed every cent to pay for room hire, art materials, insurance, coaching and all the other bare basic start up costs for an art therapist.

At the start it felt like EVERYTHING cost money, money I didn’t have.

I wanted to start getting clients, but I didn’t have business cards or brochures, and I didn’t have fancy professional photos, or a logo or designer so how would I get started?

Bottom line – I just did.

A few hours with a graphics software and some photos I’d taken myself, a small black and white print I’d made a few months earlier and I had a logo and brochure designed. Less than $200 with a cheap online printer and a week later I had my first actual ‘collateral’* for my business.

(It wasn’t easy. Well tbh making it once I started was actually easy but GETTING STARTED was excruciating. I procrastinated like anything for months before I finally jumped right in.)

So then the brochures arrived.

I wish I could tell you I was highly systematic and confident in handing those bad boys out. But I wasn’t. I gave some to friends and asked if they could put them in their favourite cafes (because I was too shy). Within a few weeks had my first paying client (that was like magic – I couldn’t believe it actually worked! I almost fell off my chair when she called asking about an appointment).

“Winners take Imperfect Action while others are perfecting their plans.” – Kevin Nations

The moral of the story is that even if you are a cheapass, oh I mean frugal, oh I mean skint, first business owner or stepping out into a brand new creative project you need to START. NOW. With what you have. Without putting yourself into financial ruin.

You can work on the packaging as you go, you can rebrand later when you are making a profit. Sure your materials might not win any awards for prettiest graphics, but here is what I know for sure**: if you don’t put yourself out there and tell the world you are open for business you will not have a business.

  • Having 100 business cards out in the world, even if you think the graphics are less than superb, will build your business faster than a very good intention to one day have the perfect business card designed and made.
  • A business Facebook page that you use once a week and are still figuring out how to use has more chance of helping clients find you than the strongly held wish that someone else would come and save you from all things social media.
  • Five posters up in cafes will get more attention for your workshop than 100 in your bottom desk draw.
  • A simple web page even if it’s just ONE page with your name, one paragraph about what you do, photo and contact details is better than no online presence at all while you secretly hope you will one day wake up as a confident web designer and all your problems will be solved.

Now I’m not talking about skimping on the core stuff, the things that create your service and provide a reliable experience for customers. Your training. Your insurance. Your legals and professional memberships. Your supervision. Anything where there is a set quality expected by your customers or law. But there are certainly other areas of your business where ‘some’ is better than ‘none’. In my experience these include marketing, an online presence, getting the equipment you need to do your job, providing yourself with mentoring or coaching support, putting time aside for self care.

In these areas I encourage you to embrace the idea that it absolutely doesn’t have to be perfect, but you do need to get started. 

 

*Fancy marketing terms for branded things you use with clients like business cards, brochures, posters, ebooks, stuff like that

** Don’t you love this phrase?! My friend Karen Gunton uses this all the time. When you’re stuck or confused she suggests you ask “What do I know for sure?” and list those things.


Does this resonate? Have you started something with imperfect perfect action? What is one thing you might get started on NOW even if it’s not perfect?

 

 

 

 

Courage, self criticism and stretching ourselves

I want to reflect on my recent experience of having a podcast interview, and share these with you in case they help you to ‘step up’ and get out of your comfort zone.

Recently I was guest on the Recovering Perfectionist podcast and spoke with Claire Barton about being a scanner and not being tied to just one career, hobby or focus in our lives. I love Claire’s work, I’ve enjoyed working with her, and she is a great source of info on business systems. To be honest I’m a bit of a fan, I find her down to earth and warm manner really delightful.

We had a great chat and then earlier this week it was published both as an iTunes audio podcast and also as a YouTube video, so I listened again to remind myself of what we covered.

Just like any creative endeavour there can be mixed feelings about the ‘end product’. For example I notice that the sound is a bit iffy my end at the start of the interview (internet connectivity issues). I don’t look right into the camera because I’m looking at her face on my screen, so I look a bit shy and distracted, always looking slightly away. As I watch I cringe a bit about random things to do with how I move my hands so much, or that I’m wearing foundation when I normally don’t so my skin looks strange to me.

These are fairly normal ‘oh no look I did a bad job’ kinds of observations that come up from fear of making a fool of ourselves, fear of appearing incompetent, fear of being rejected or ridiculed. As a recovering perfectionist myself I have an eagle eye for my own flaws and am great at spotting them.

However, as I watch I am also pleasantly reminded of the genuine connection we shared that day and the interesting topics we discussed. I am pleased when the audio sorts itself out and works again. I like my earrings. I feel proud of myself for stretching my experience and saying yes to a recorded video, when in the past my interviews for radio or online have all been just audio.

So on this day of being aware of something new and of myself, being in the public domain, I gently hold these mixed feelings. I know that I have learnt things by doing this, the sky didn’t fall in, and the world is still turning. I know that I will feel more confident the next one I do. I am aware and pleased that the inner voice of celebration and encouragement is louder than the inner voice of criticism. I know that these mixed feelings about our creative endeavours are part of the ride, and I’m glad I continue to get outside my comfort zones so I have fresh reminders of how that feels, and can walk alongside my clients who are doing it too.

I encourage my clients to start before they know every single little thing, as it’s in the doing that we actually learn. I am on the same path of exploration as they are, as we all are, and today I celebrate our small and big acts of courage.

scanner podcast

Links
iTunes Podcast – bit.ly/TheRecoveringPerfectionist
Podcast episode – Episode #30 – https://www.clairebarton.com.au/podcast-feed/30
YouTube video episode –https://youtu.be/e1-nNslnkBo

 

Reader question: help! I can’t slow down.

Q. I run my own business and find I just always want to be working on it. Even when I stop and try to spend time with my family I have ideas and think ‘I could be doing just one more thing’. It’s like in addicted to productivity and can’t stop. It probably doesn’t help that I have a few businesses on the go and true is a lot to do. Have you ever experienced this? What do you do?

 

A. One thing I learnt about a few years ago as part of my art therapy studies that I hadn’t realised before is that the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight response activated) doesn’t turn itself off automatically. There are lots of things that trigger it to fire up (eg. Sitting at a computer raises cortisol levels over time, rushing around, stories about what we find stressful, sense of urgency etc), and so unless we actively do things to ‘swap over’ to our parasympathetic nervous system (rest and recover) it just stays switched on!

Combine that with the feel good hit we get when we tick tasks off the list and the sense of virtue from being productive, ‘getting ahead’ etc and it’s easy to understand why working on our biz can be very alluring and hard to stop indeed! Slowing down can feel boring at first, while we are still ‘wired’. To help to move into the rest state, try a progressive muscle relaxation (squeeze and release all your muscles down the body), a hot shower, a slow -eyes wide open looking around as you walk – walk around the block, or something that focuses the mind on the here and now but feels calming (maybe do something with your hands). Stretching, yawning, releasing through tapping or journalling, these are all great too. This will help the stress hormones lower and it will be easier then to change pace.
Longer term you might find it helpful to look at your stories too (this is not always easy or comfortable and can be usefully explored with a counsellor, therapist, coach or healer). Put on your detective hat and see what stories are underneath your actions. Do you believe that down time is wasted time? Are you telling yourself that you can’t afford down time until you hit X income target? Maybe you think resting is lazy and morally bad, and that someone will come and tell you off if you stop working. Maybe you feel like you’re not a good person and only by staying active you prove you are ok and loveable. Or maybe you’re terrified the business will ‘fail’ and you’ll have to go back to that cleaning/ office/ executive /whatever job you don’t want to do anymore. And so when you stop working the ‘bad feelings’ come, and the quickest way you know to avoid them is to keep working.

Sometimes deep under those ‘bad feelings’ is pain. That pain needs to be heard and felt and honoured. That clears the decks ready for us to have a bit more choice and voice in making our own decisions.

Can you introduce some new stories about self care, quiet time, being present for your family etc? Eg ‘rest is when I recharge’, ‘I deserve time to rest and play’, ‘self care is at the heart of my life’, or ‘slow is when my ideas grow’? Play with something that works for you.

We show each other our selves

Some days it feels like it all comes together, like the professional ‘mask’ is aligning quite beautifully with my souls work. I LOVE how my coaching clients keep appearing and teaching more about who I want to work with. They teach me what it is I have to offer, and what it is I want to express. Sometimes I still feel like I’m ‘too much’ and that all my interests and experiences don’t fit together or make any sense…. but even just today I see a new way my experiences dovetail to offer unique support for a certain type of client.

My experiences that saw me facing the world feeling alone and anxious, my perfectionist tendencies that saw me push through challenging ‘head’ work for 15 years and suffer wave after wave of burnout, my transformation and reinvention as an art therapist and coach embracing ‘heart’ work, and now my learning as I go of running a business. I see that ALL the darkness, all the suffering contributes to the empathy I have for my clients who have experienced trauma or burnout. I see that ALL my drive and runs on the board in my old world of work means I can meet my driven, high achieving clients with insight and compassion. I see that ALL my zany hobbies and wild passions for learning and making things mean I can meet people with multiple interests with lived experience of how to give our passions time, how to celebrate our wins, and how to celebrate our multiple facets.

I see that my art therapy work helps me hold the space without fear when things go ‘deep’, and that my coaching work helps us keep looking forward and making sure dreams for the future sit at the centre of our work together.

So despite the pressure to find a niche and specialise in just one kind of client that abounds in this field, I feel more like I am a constellation of knowledge and skills and gifts that can meet clients who also have a constellation of life experience, knowledge and skills and gifts, and maybe we meet somewhere in the middle, or some of our parts mirror each others’ enough to have a useful exchange.

First year of business – Systems overload

So many freaking systems.

That’s what I remember from my first year of business.

So many decisions about software and so many process that I realised I didn’t have, and so many records to keep.

Imagine the most horrified emoji face you can muster. Yes, that’s how it felt.

After all, I just wanted complete freedom and flexibility and creative potential, regular income, great coffee and inspiring collaborators and no paperwork whatsoever. Is that so much to ask??

Apparently here in the real actual world, yes.

So what did I do?

To start with every time I found yet another system or process that I didn’t have that it seemed everyone else had I died a little bit on the inside. ‘Seriously?? More things to do??” I wailed in my inside waily place. Mostly I wrote them down somewhere and lost the list and found it again with pangs of guilt weeks later. I would have these moments of elevated hope, when talking with someone who actually had and uses these systems – hope that I would do the follow up work and that I would somehow become a new person who was excited about tidy completely efficient systems. But this would usually wear off within a few hours and I would return to my usual lumpish disinterest in such detailed admin things. Once I learnt about them I could see their benefit and how they would help me. Sometimes the concept of it all excited me. But hand on my heart the doing or setting up of them never ever excited me. Each time it would sink to the bottom of the to-do list like a marble in a fish tank.

I prefer to fly by the seat of my pants, random and messy.

Part of the avoidance came from not knowing. It’s super hard working in a vast wasteland of unknowns and risk. Not knowing the territory it can be tempting to to venture out. What? I have to get out of my comfortable chair and walk though the potential for confusion and regret?

But what I learnt over time is that it settles down. At first I honestly thought there were ONE MEEEELLION scheduling systems for me to choose from. Eventually it felt like just 3. Eventually I just chose one and when that one felt not quite right I chose another one.

Same as an invoicing and book keeping set up – I just ended up choosing one because my coach had worked with it. And it will do for now until I move onto the one that costs more but I plan to master soon.

So know this.

A) If you don’t super love this stuff you are not alone.

B) Overwhelm is a self-perpetuating panicky thing that really you could better do without.  If you are learning something new and drowning in options try not to compound it by shrieking things at yourself like ‘Oh my gosh everyone else knows what they are doing! I must be a complete loser! When will I just make a decision! I have to make a decision! I can’t make a decision!’. Find some way to take the pressure. Unless the wheels are falling off today from not having it, give yourself permission to not think about it for 3 months. Maybe you have too much other stuff going on and not enough information to make a good decision just yet.

C) You don’t have to be using every cool app and all the best most efficient software to also be offering something of value to the world. I have worked with some AMAZING coaches and empathetic, generous, insightful healers who use less tech than me. Did I get any less from the session just because there was something old skool in their bookings system or they aren’t all over social media? Not at all.

D) So what if you’re messy. I am: I really really am. I often wish I wasn’t (because I dream of being somehow more slick and stylish and having vast tundra-like surfaces and spaces with lots of artful throw rugs) but plenty of time I barely even notice because I am just a happy little fish swimming in creative mess. YOU CAN STILL RUN A BUSINESS if you are messy. YOU CAN STILL OFFER VALUE if you are messy. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO have a bare desk, or shiny laundry, or straightened thighs or skinny hair or posh to-do-list like the woman you read about in the Sunday paper to make a go of things. You really don’t. Books have been written in tracksuit pants and policies drafted with baby food in hair. You can have chipped and shitty nail polish and still be strong and awesome. You can not know what the heck to do about X or Y this week and still know a lot about Z.

E) You’ll make a decision when you need to. When it becomes more of a pain in your butt to have no system, or the time you are spending doing something manually starts to do you head in – you will change!

F) Decisions don’t always happen how we think they should. Sure I know all about ‘proper’ decision making. I could bore you senseless with talk of cost-benefit analysis and multi-criteria analysis and deliberative valuation. I could! But I wont! because we’re friends and friends don’t let friends do MCA. Just joking. What I would say is this: we are not robots and we rarely make decisions the way we actually think we do. So it might be that after WEEKS of telling yourself you ‘should’ read all the fine print on three different online options for doing something very fancy and necessary in your business, and that you ‘should’ then find three different people who have used each one and interview them and make a table listing all the… whatevers… what you ACTUALLY do is wake up one morning and absent mindedly watch a you tube video about one of them while eating a piece of toast and then think ‘oh that doesn’t sound so bad’ and then download it while you sip your tea and watch a youtube video about a turtle that is friends with a kitten and then kind of sort of make an account and give your credit card details. AND THAT’S OK. If you start using it and it was better than before and it cuts all the anxiety and you can always stop and use another thing later – BLOODY BRILLIANT.

So that’s my wise words on overwhelm from tech choices. Basically just: ‘yes, you might have it, don’t worry I did too. It kind of goes away if you ignore to long enough. And maybe you kinda know the answer already.’

(Don’t worry, that’s not how I do MCA’s.)