How to Run a Business With Purpose

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Despite all the challenges that come with running a business, it's an incredibly rewarding experience when done with purpose. Have you thought about it lately? When you started your business there was a reason, a purpose, a bigger picture.

I’m so excited to share today’s guest, Tanya Dalton, Founder & CEO of Tanya Dalton and inkWELL Press. She will be sharing all about what it means to live on purpose and how you can get to and get past the root cause of limiting beliefs.


  • What it means to live On Purpose
  • What is “Cathedral Thinking?”
  • How perfectionism leads to feeling stuck


How listeners can spin a negative situation into a positive one

Why aligning what you LOVE to do with what is most valuable to your client is the key to growing your business (not fear-based tactics!)

How listeners can get to the root cause of their limiting beliefs


Tanya Dalton is a transformational speaker, best-selling author, and nationally recognized productivity expert. She helps female executives and entrepreneurs step into purposeful leadership.

In addition to having her first book, The Joy of Missing Out, being named one of the Top 10 Business Books of the year by Fortune Magazine, Tanya’s podcast, The Intentional Advantage has received millions of downloads from listeners around the world. She is also a featured expert on several networks including NBC and Fox and is a VIP contributor for Tanya has been featured in some of the world’s leading publications including Forbes, Inc, Fast Company, and Real Simple. She has been awarded the elite Enterprising Women Award and has been named the Female Entrepreneur to Watch for the state of North Carolina.

Tanya is also the founder of inkWELL Press Productivity Co. a multi-million dollar company providing tools that work as a catalyst in helping women do less while achieving maximum success.

Her highly anticipated second book, On Purpose: The Busy Woman’s Guide to an Extraordinary Life of Meaning and Success, launched last fall through HarperCollins Publishing. 


I'm back for another episode of business unveiled. And today we're going to talk a lot about purpose. And what is your purpose? We have an expert here that has a amazing book. She's a speaker. She really is like, she knows how to GSD y'all like I can't wait. So let's just jump in. Tanya, welcome to the show today. How are you?

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I'm great. I'm great. I'm excited about our conversation today.
I'm so happy that you're here. For people that don't know you yet. Can you share a little bit about how have you gotten into the space that you're in today? What's brought you here? Yeah,
that's a great question. Because it's full of lots of twists and turns, I like to say that I'm not at all where I expect it to be.
Which is the truth because, you know, I kind of started off as a teacher, and then I was a stay at home mom. And I thought that's what I was going to do. That was going to be my big thing, I guess. And my whole world changed on a hot summer day in Dallas, Texas, back in 2008. So quite a while back, I had two small kids playing at my feet. And I had a husband, well, he's still my husband, but he was traveling a lot. He was traveling and leaving our home in Dallas, Texas, he would buy a ticket called the around the world ticket. And he would literally circle the globe. And he would come back the other side. He was doing marketing for Fortune 500 companies at the time, he had his MBA. So he's doing all this traveling sounds really glamorous, he was gone a lot. So we had this strategy back then where we would talk in the morning, and in the evening, one of us would be waking up the other one, you know, finishing out the day. And the phone rang on the wall because it was 2008. So back in the olden days, and I answered the phone. And it's him and we're chatting about all I'm telling him all the things that kids are doing. My kids were really little at the time. So Kate was saying new words, and Jack was doing all these fun things. And he got really, really quiet. He got really, really quiet. And I said, are you okay? And he said, I'm missing everything. I'm missing the moments I missing the milestones I missing being there with you and the kids and seeing all this and being a part of all of this. And I was like no, no, no, we love when you come home, it's okay. But it really tugged on him. And I hadn't realized until then that it did. And so that night is I hung up my phone, I stood in my bright yellow kitchen and I made it made a big, bold decision for myself, I decided I was going to grow my business to absorb my husband's MBA income, allowing him to quit corporate America and come work alongside of me. Now, that was a really big bold statement. You know why? I had zero business experience zero, I had never even taken a business course in college, my company that I've started and I'll use company in quotation marks, I started with $50. I was selling to friends, maybe friends of friends, but that might be a stretch, no website, nothing. But I sat down that night. And I created a whole like system of how I was going to make this work because I had two small kids and a husband who traveled for three or four weeks at a time. But I had this vision, I had this bigger purpose behind me, right. And so I sat down and I mapped out how I was going to make it work. And within about a year, my husband was able to leave corporate America behind. And he's been working alongside of me as my cmo since 2009. So I left corporate America. I mean, and this is the thing that I think is really incredible. It allowed us to have the freedoms that a lot of us get into business for the lifestyle, freedom, the time freedom, the financial freedom, the location, freedom. So we ended up moving to Asheville, North Carolina, because we own our own business. You know, he works for me so we can live anywhere. Why wait till we retire? We moved to Asheville in about 2013. And in 2014, I looked at him and I said I love you. I love working with you. I don't love what we're doing. I don't love. I'm not truly passionate about what we do. It was this side hobby thing that I was doing and I grew it and it was great because it allowed us Did you know to do the things that we had done so far, but he was like, What do you want to do? And I was like, I Oh, no, I have no idea. What if there is nothing out there? What if this is it, right? But I sat down and I really started mapping out like, what were the things that truly were truly important to me, what was it I was truly passionate about. And I found that there were three things I was really passionate about, really passionate about empowering women, women in particular, I was doing a lot of small business consulting, helping other women grow and scale their businesses the way that I had. I love teaching. I used to be a teacher, once a teacher always a teacher. Yeah. And then I love productivity, because that's what allowed me to really grow my business because I was only able to work like two days a week, I think that first year, right? And yet I was able to scale it to absorb as MBA income. So I have these three very unrelated things, productivity, empowering women and teaching, right? So Inkwell Press was the thread that connected those I created Inkwell Press, as a company that provided productivity tools and training, specifically for women to really help them grow because I wanted them to step into their extraordinary life just like I had. So close it my first business opened up Inkwell Press scaled that to seven figures in less than 18 months, with just me, my husband and one part time employee, wow, that took off, we ended up being in you know, brick and mortar stores as well as online, which enabled me to open up my podcast. So I started my podcast, which were now several million downloads in on the podcast. And then I had publishers reaching out to me asking me if I would write books for them. And so that's how I ended up writing the joy of missing out. And then most recently, on purpose, the busy Woman's Guide to an extraordinary life of meaning and success. So, so many places that I never even anticipated being able to go, here I am today. And I think that's the beauty of just stepping into it completely fully, and having that vision of where you want to go.
So some someone's doing something, like, I mean, we know you just it's a feeling right, like, if it's not, if you're not happy doing it anymore, I mean, the exact same thing happened to me exactly like it was a hobby, and then doing over 200 a year, it was just, it was so much and you know, then life happens. And then you start assessing your time. And, but also too, it's like you've you grow, you know, in all these different areas. And so it's like, right thinking what you built upon, and then what can you do next, but it's the the people and that don't have, especially the women who don't have the they don't think that they have the tools to step out of something that they don't enjoy anymore to go do something else, because it's freaking scary. So how, for anyone listening or watching, like, what would you tell them? Well, I would tell them to go read your book, which we'll put the links to their to do that. But it's like, just from listening to this podcast, like what is something that you can tell them that now that you're over the hump like you took the jump, you took the risk of like building something and doing it if you do it once? Like, usually you can do it again. And if it's not, you have to fall on your face get up and you know, keep going. Don't be stupid about it. But is there something that you can tell us about? Like, what does it really mean to be like, on purpose? And like, how do you get there mentally?
Yeah, well, I think first of all, I think we all have this backpack that we wear on our back, right? And all along, we go through life and are gathering up lessons learned, experiences, failures, where we pull out what's the best parts of those right failures, traumas, we have all these things that we're putting in his backpack, and we forget that it's there, because it's on our back, right. And so sometimes we have to take that backpack off, we have to take it off our shoulders, we have to plop it in front of us unzip it, and unpack everything that's there. Because when you start going back through and you look at the breadcrumbs of your life, there's a lot in your backpack, that thing is heavy. Yeah. And so you start to realize and recognize, wow, I have so much more knowledge, I have so much more expertise than I ever give myself credit for. Because it's on your back, right and we just don't see it. And for me when I made that decision to close up the first business, startup, something brand new, I had no idea what that was gonna look like, I had to take my backpack off. I had to take it out. And I started looking at all the things all the junk that was there, right and I started gathering it together and seeing themes and patterns of helping women and loving the way that that feels and the light bulb moments and teaching and all of these and that's when I started to realize, oh, this is what I want and And the truth is I scaled Inkwell Press to seven figures in 18 months with just two and a half employees. I couldn't have done that on my first business, because I didn't have the knowledge. But everything I learned in that first business, I mean, at first misses took me a couple years to get to six figures, right. But I learned so much. They're all that went into that backpack. So when it was time to pick that backpack off, it was full of so much knowledge. And then you're like, oh, I can totally do this. And I think we undervalue especially as women, how many things are in that backpack? How we are experts in so many different areas. And it really is that intentionality of choosing to take it off and taking a good look at it. I like to say living on purpose isn't about changing who you are, it's rising up and becoming the best version of you. It's looking out on the horizon, seeing this big, bright, beautiful future that you dream about. And then doing things each day, little teeny tiny steps even, to get you closer to that future. That's what living on purpose is about. It's not about doing all the things it's doing the things that really matter. That's what's going to get you to that to that place that you want it that you dream about.
I love that I'm like over here typing notes. Like it's so like that. I love that because it's not you're exactly right. It's not about changing. It's just taking the things out of the backpack. And you're right, like a lot of people, they don't take the backpack off and unzip it and pack it. And
yeah, well, because it's a mess. It's kind of like, you know, when we were 13 years old, and your mom told you to clean your room, you just shoved it underneath the bed, you got to pull it out. And there's some trash in there. There's some junk, right? There's some things we don't like. But the truth is, there's great things in there that we can use as springboards that we can say, oh, I can build upon this. But the truth is even more powerful are the ugly things, the junk, the things that you don't like the things you don't want to repeat the things that you regret. When we know what we don't want to repeat, it's so much easier to know what we do want. Like, if I said to your listeners, right now, I want you to list out, I want you to list out 20 things that you want, what are 2020 things that you want to do? Or what are 20 things that you think are really important? You'd be like, oh, gosh, I don't know, that's so much. How about five? How about 10, right. But if I said, I want you to write down 20 things you never want to do, again, 20 things you would never want to repeat 20 Things that you regret, you'd be like only 20, can I write down, maybe 150. So knowing what you don't like is so much more powerful than knowing what you do. Because we can push against that when we push against regret, it turns into resilience and resilience is amazing. Resilience is so much of what's in our backpack, and we forget that it's there.
It's so true. And you're right, like we're in the middle of building a production studio. And so, you know, lots of meetings and with like, an owner's rep and a builder and all this stuff. And I'm like, I can tell you what I don't like and I can tell you what I don't want, but there's no plans that I can go by that is the way that I want this to be. It's I mean, we custom build floor plans for other people all day long. I'm gonna custom do something, you know, for my family and my company. So it's just it's so interesting, because they are not used to working with people like me. I don't think because people bring them Pinterest boards, they're like, this is exactly what I want. It happens to me all the time. You know, people are like, Yeah, I love. And if you think a little bit differently of like, what I don't want it is it you're sorry, it's so much easier to do it. So I know that you talk a lot about and you've done a lot of research on like just the brain and how it worked. Like I'm also fascinated by it. Can you share with us a little bit about what you talk about the research in this in the book, just high level? Yeah, absolutely.
Well, I love talking about how your brain works. Because I feel like first of all, it's like understanding your own operating system. You're like, oh, that's why I do that. Or oh, I'm totally normal, or Oh, other people feel this way. I think it's so fascinating. And I think when you understand how your brain works, it's so empowering because then you can change it or you can lean on it harder or whatever it is you need to do. One of the most interesting brain research facts that I found when I was writing the book, is that our brain when it thinks about ourselves, we have a really hard time investing in our future and it's all in how our brain works. Our our brain is wired for survival today. So in fact, when researchers took participants into an FMRI machine, an MRI machine, what it does is lights up different parts of your brain that are active when you think about different areas, right? So they would have people talk about themselves today. And a certain area of their brain would light up like a Christmas tree. And they say, Okay, talk about yourself in the future. Now the future could be five years down the road, it could be five weeks from now, it could be five minutes from now, what's interesting is a different area of the brain lights up, not the same area that lights up when you talk about yourself today. So that's interesting. But what's most fascinating is this, when they had those very same participants talk about Natalie Portman, and Matt Damon, the same area of their brain with light up when they spoke about themselves in the future. So in other words, when your brain thinks about you, in the future, whether the future is 10 years down the road, 10 months down the road, 10 days, it thinks of you as a stranger, as someone who looks like you and talks like you, and as zoom name is you, but it's not you. Which is why it's so much easier for our brain to say, You know what sounds good today, the cookie, not the carrot, I don't have to worry about the 10 pounds that lady down the road, she has to worry about it. And that's not me. This is why we have a hard time, you know, saving for our 401k and we splurge on the shoes instead, our brain is wired for us to live today, and not to worry about the future. So when we understand that we can go oh, this is why I haven't follow through on my goals. This is why I have a hard time getting up in the morning to go running. Because I'm I'm thinking about who I am today, who's the person who wants to lay in bed, not the person who wants to cross the finish line and the marathon, right? Yep. So when we start to recognize that, we can say, oh, I need to connect who I am in the future with who I am today. And it's really simple to do. There's lots of little ways you can do this, you can take, let's say, let's go at the marathon example. You could take a picture of somebody crossing the finish line, and superimpose your face on it. Right doesn't have to look good. Yeah, just put a picture of you. And then you look at that in the morning. And it's like, oh, that's me, that's me in the future. In fact, if you look at an age progressed image of yourself, when you are doing your investment planning, you are more likely to save, I think it's like 50% more for your retirement than if you just do it as today. And there's so many ways you can do h progressed images on you know, there's all kinds of apps and things like that, but really connecting you today with you in the future. That's how we start to really make those connections. Not fascinating. It's like it is oh, this is why I haven't done this well before. And it's okay, this is how your brain works. Now we know now we can move forward. So empowering.
It's so funny, you say that because the other day, there was a new filter on Tiktok. So I like you know, Preston, I'm like, Hey, we need to do a video with this. And it was like an aging filter of like, what? 50 years? And I was like, oh, no, hell no. Filter. Like, okay, I need some Botox, and I need this better, you know, but I'm gonna
forge on that night cream.
Right. But it's so important, like ProAct that's a whole nother podcast of being proactive with like your skin and shit. But we'll talk yesterday. It is so true. Like when you I did a lot of stuff with VR when when Oculus and Facebook like when they first put it out with with a company to build an app for floor plans. And it was fascinating because I went through all these different studies through bariatric surgery through like a lot of football players or football teams. Use VR so that they can put them on. And then we started to implement it with patients so that they would could see themselves actually becoming more healthy and see themselves becoming thinner. And it's like they had to lose weight before they could actually get the bariatric surgery to lose weight. I mean, it's yes, insane. So and then also like their eating habits. And so it's just, that's why they say like, when you have a goal, put it up in front, you know, put the picture of you have what I mean, I did it during the pandemic, it's like, you know, a bunch of people gained a bunch of weight and it was like, a Saturday night a lot more than I usually do. And I'm like, okay, the world's happening back up, I gotta get the weight off to fit in my clothes and just feel better. So I've gotten treadmill desk, you know, and I'm like, I'm just gonna walk and work and you can walk it off. But there has to be a goal and I knew 10,000 steps today. That would then turn into 12,015 1000. But if you don't have a very specific goal in front of you, to where it's actually attainable, you're not going to do it. You're just right, not
well, and the truth is like what you're saying there is a perfect example of when we're talking about procedural thinking. We talked about Cedral thinking and I want to know about that. Yeah, so cathedral thinking is based off this idea that in you know, the 1100s 1200s Oh, Way back when, long before I started my business, which feels like the olden days, but even further back, the city architects and the planners and the builders, the artisans, they had these visions of building these big beautiful cathedrals, right? Like we see the Duomo in Florence or Notre Dame, these buildings have stood for 1000s of years, they've stood forever. But they took hundreds of years to build. Yeah, so it was really creating a legacy for the city architects and these builders and these artisans, it wasn't to be done for them in their lifetime, but to stretch beyond them, right to live past them. So cathedral thinking is looking out into the future looking like 1020 years down the road. Where do I want to be? What do I want my life to look like? What do I dream of, for myself? So for you, with the pandemic, wait, it's really when you look at your funeral, it's, you know, being healthy and being active, let's say into your, into your geriatric years, right. And so that takes you being healthy today. It's connecting the goals that we create for ourselves today with that big, bright, beautiful future. And I think that's one of the big mistakes people make with their goals is they set a goal and it's kind of arbitrary. It's like, Huh, well, what should my goal be for my business? I should make this much revenue. You know why? Because that lady over there is doing it. So I should do it too. Or I should do this marketing strategy, because this is what she's doing over here. And she's killing it. Instead of thinking, what's the cathedral? Where is it I want to go, if we have that cathedral, what we can do is we can start backing it up, and I walk you through this in the book, if that's your potential of where you want to go 10 years, 20 years down the road? What is it that I can do, you know, possibly in the next three to five years, let's back it up three to five years, if that's what's possible, in three to five years, what's practical, in 12 to 18 months? All right, if that's what's practical, in 12, to 18 months, what do I want to prioritize in the next three months, the next six months, the next nine months, those those are the landmarks there, those are your goals, because those goals will get you to that big, bright, beautiful future, that cathedral that you're working towards. So it's all about setting the right goals for you for your version of success for your version of what the future should look like for you, right. And so that's how we connect our actions today, with that future that we dream about. And that drives motivation, it drives our excitement for wanting to get up and get out of bed and do the thing, right, I want to be healthy when I'm 90. Therefore, I'm going to exercise today, therefore, I'm going to eat healthy today, it's not about losing 10 pounds, it's about creating a healthy lifestyle. For myself, it's so much bigger than the 10 pounds. And I think if we start to connect what we do today, with and this includes not just in our personal lives, but in our businesses, especially where do we want to go, it helps us filter out all the extra noise of what everybody else is doing. And we align with what matters most to us. And that's what being on purpose is about.
You say it's so perfectly, like, you're lying here, yes, preach it, sister, I love it. But it it is and in working with people, you know, in different stages of their like, lifecycle, you know, their business is what we call it. And people are not connected there. It's like they're so worried, not that I was ever worried about, oh, I need to you know, lose 10 pounds 20 to 30 pounds for it, but then you don't feel good, you know? And so but it is it is that healthy lifestyle of understanding what's going to work for you. And we do a lot with clients in the Health and Beauty space, and what works for some people. And I've edited 1000s of videos and people who love keto and adore keto. And it's changed their life. And that's amazing. But I know that I also tried it and it didn't really work. And so in terms not not it work in terms of getting weight off. It didn't work with like lipids and cholesterol and family history, which maybe
even joy of eating because there have some joy in eating right doing things that truly align with you. If keto is what works for you, let's say for example, if we're talking diets here, and that type of of eating works for you amazing, but for some people are like Oh, no. Okay, let's figure out what does, right. Let's figure out the things that do work for you. I think that's what we do is we look around, our measuring stick for success is based off what everybody else is doing. And instead of choosing ourselves and what we truly want in our lives to determine what success looks like, we look around and we're like, well she's doing this so I should do this or I should be doing these things. If you're using the word should. That's a red flag. Right? If you're doing what everybody else is doing. You're You're not really making waves, especially in your business, you're not going to stand out. In a crowded marketplace, there's a lot of people doing the same thing you are, I don't care what industry you're in, whether you're products or services or whatever, there's a lot of people in your space, because there's a lot of people in all the spaces, so do what aligns with you. And you'll attract the people who are attracted to that messaging. I mean, honestly, that's one of the big things for me is, I truly aligned my message with my actions. And a perfect example of that is I made the decision to go off social media. January first, I am no longer on social media, which some people are like, that's crazy. You're an author, you're a speaker, you you know, you run a business, all these things, how can you do that? Honestly, when I started looking around, I started, I started my business so I could break the rules of how things are done. And I started following somebody else's rules. I started following an algorithm. And when I dove into my business, and I really looked at where does my soulmate client find me? I like to call it a soulmate client instead of just your ideal avatar. Because there these are, these are the women that I love working with. And they love working with me, right? were meant for each other. My soulmate clients, were not really finding me on social media. So I was spinning this giant amount of time, energy, and let's be honest, money. Yeah, pumping it into social media. And the revenue is generating was like, wow, why? Yeah, no, that's not what I want. I want small effort, big impact, right. So when I realized, I'm spending so much time focusing in on what I'm posting on Instagram, worrying about the captions, worrying about these things going in there. And it wasn't really driving revenue, it was just a vanity metric. It looked really good that I had a good number of followers. I stopped doing that. And the truth is, since I stopped doing that, my email open rate has increased 25%. Wow, I'll take email traffic over social media traffic, because people now love my newsletter, because you know what I did, I took that time that I was spending on social media, I poured it instead into my newsletter. And I poured it into my podcast, right? And so now people are like, I can't wait to get your emails, it feels like I'm having an email, you know, conversation with a friend, and they're responding to them. And it's creating conversation. So much better for me. Now, your business, maybe a business that does get a lot from social media? Again, it's not about what I do. It's about what aligns for you, what brings you joy? And what brings you the revenue? Right, both of those things.
Yeah. And a lot and I do people that are listening and watching, I do want to make it clear, though, that you had other businesses, you know, before, and you've done a lot, and you know, that you look at your analytics, you know, what's working, you know, what's not working, you just didn't roll over one day and be like, I don't want a social media anymore. You know, it's like, you know, it was dove in on purpose to know, like, what's working, what's not working. And
it's running a business with intention. When you look at your Hendrix and your strategic with the vision that you have. You don't just say, You know what sounds good. We should just go on social media and just do it. Yeah. I mean, when you see that big chasm, you're thinking you want to get across, you don't just jump, you like, look around, you go, is there a bridge nearby, because we're a place where it's closed, right, start start really thinking about it and diving into it, then you make the decision. It's not a rat, you we don't make rash decisions in business. That's a recipe for not succeeding, quite frankly, though.
Because I can just hear people now coming back to me, they're like, I was listening to your podcast, and blah, blah, blah, blah. And it's like, well, you've been in business for two years, your new business, you still don't have an established pipeline, you don't have established word of mouth. And I've probably, I don't think it's a good idea to just go off of social media. But again, it depends on where the lifecycle is. And a lot of it is brand awareness. And to get things out there, you're already an expert, you have two books. And but if you want a book, or if you want to be a professional speaker and get paid for it, at least in my experience, that's the biggest way from social media that we would get speaking gigs is because people would see us. And you know, we they DM, we can tell when we track it. But you're exactly right, just because everybody else is doing it. If it's not working, stop doing it. Or there might be a different way to do it. Well, and
let's let's be honest, this is part of the when I started diving into it, when I think about it, my very first business, I scaled and absorbed my husband's MBA income as you heard zero social media because no one was using social media then, in 2008, social media has only been around for the last 10 years or so. For hundreds, let's say 1000s of years people have been running businesses without social media. So can you really Start using Word of Mouth start really doubling down on your referrals. That's free marketing, right there your referrals really bumping that up. Can you start, you know, calling people, especially as a business to business person, what was my first business I was selling wholesale, I would go, I would call the different photography studios that I was working with. And I would stop by, and I would, I would create relationships. So there's lots of ways to get outside of the box. Because right now, I truly believe that being on social media is a limiting belief that most business owners have that we have to be on social media, that you're not able to make it if you're not on social media. And the truth is, I know women who run eight and nine figure businesses who don't have any social media at all. So it's not indicative of how much money you're gonna make. It's, it depends on your industry. And it depends on again, how much joy it's bringing you if you get a lot of fulfillment out of it. And it's driving revenue, great, do it. But if you take a look and you're like, you know what, most of our traffic comes from referrals, take that time, spend it on building out that referral program of yours, right, or build out the word of mouth, find other vehicles for it, build up your your email list, all kinds of ways you can do it really think outside of the box, do what really fires you up gets you excited, and is aligned with that big, bright, beautiful cathedral that you're dreaming about.
And you don't overcommit when you know where things are coming from. And like where your relationships lie, at least, that's what I've noticed, like just about myself. So talk to us about because I'm a perfectionist, I'm well aware of it. But as I have more life experience and get a little bit older, I realized that like oh my god, like we get in our own way, like so much and sometimes it's just I'm being like stupid about it, like no one else is gonna notice except me and you just have to let it go. But I know a lot of people feel stuck. Like because they're a perfectionist. Can you talk to us about getting unstuck if you're a perfectionist? Listen, Oh,
I like to call myself a recovering perfectionist because it's never fully gone, right? Like it rears its ugly head every now and then you're like, oh, I can tell I'm nitpicking this. I'm like reworking this font 17 times when nobody else is going to notice or I'm rewrite and rethinking. I like to say that perfectionism is just a mask that procrastination wears, it becomes an excuse for us to procrastinate. There are and I talked about this in the book, there are two kinds of perfectionists there are strivers and idealists. Idealists are the people who don't ever start because they over romanticize the idea. They have this big vision of oh, it's going to look like this and it has to be absolutely perfect. And so they are afraid to start. Then we have our strivers, our drivers are people who will continue they set the bar so high, they're never going to achieve it right? So they're nitpicking the fonts, they're nitpicking the little tiny details that nobody else is going to notice. And what ends up happening is we procrastinate. So we have perfectionism that leads to procrastination, which leads, therefore to paralysis to feeling stuck. And the truth is this. We believe the opposite of stuck is unstuck. Like, there's this magical moment where the clouds part and the rainbows shoot out of the sky. And oh, we are unstuck. It's amazing. But the truth is, the opposite of stuck is action, taking one small tiny action, making a movement towards whatever it is you dream about. That's what gets you unstuck. Because once you take that first small step, and truly, a lot of times it is a tiny step, like so small, it seems insignificant. But that tiny step leads to a little bit of a bigger step, which leads to a second step, which leads to a third step, which leads to running and all of a sudden you're off and going. And I think that's really how we get the momentum going. You don't have to wait for someone to get you unstuck. You unstuck yourself by taking action. And it really is, you know, we get caught up in this idea that it's this running leap that we have to make it's this giant steps that matter when truly one small step in front of the other will get you exactly where you want to go with more intention. And more piece, which is really what we want.
You just have to get started, like Yeah, start somewhere, like start somewhere. So
start tiny. Yeah,
I mean, when one day at a time, like even when I was trying to just like get back on track with like, what what am I going to eat what's going to make me feel good and not be allergic to a bunch of shit. My coach was like one meal at a time. not even like one day at a town, you know, he's like, one hour at a time, when I started time blocking, it's like, every hour meant something and it was color coded to something. And so I think if you find the meaning behind why you want, like what that outcome is, so many people think about the pain and the pain and the pain, and I'm never gonna get through this. But if you think of the outcome, that's what putting pictures up is so visual, for people who are so visual, and a lot of creatives are, but let's talk about goals. Because every I was just telling you before we started recording, every day, I talk to somebody when I'm coaching, and they lay out their goals, and you know, like, personal professional work on your business, in your business, you know, what does that look like? And oftentimes, people come up with way too much shit, they're never going to achieve it. It's, it's just, it's not you, I'm like, This is great. But you're never going to be able to do this. And it's not a SMART goal. A lot of people don't know what smart goals are. And I'm like, what has to be specific and measurable and on table and talk about, you know, all these things. But you've redefined SMART goals into impact goals. So, share with us what what that means. Yeah,
well, here's the truth. Goals are not the goal. Goals are the vehicle to get you to the life you want. Right? When we dream about that future. The goals are what allow you to get to that cathedral, right? That big, bright, beautiful future we dream about. So let's set goals that really feel like they are aligned, and they feel good. So smart goals are something that I taught for years and years and years. They've been around since the 1980s. And I love SMART goals, because it's so easy. You know, each letter stands for a word, and it's easy to create a framework. The problem was, is when I was teaching it, I was always having to kind of twist it and turn it a little bit to make it a little more modern, right for who we are today. So the impact framework is really a riff on the SMART goal. So each letter just like with smart goals stands for a word. So the first one is inspirational, AI an impact, inspirational it needs to be, it needs to be, you know, something that you're excited about needs to be something that you're like, Okay, I can I can do this, I'm excited about it, right, we need to be motivated by it, it needs to be m measurable, we want to make sure that we're able to see the progress. A lot of times if we're just kind of set a goal, and it's not measurable at all, what ends up happening is we don't know, you know how it's going and we lose track, we need to have those breadcrumbs. So for example, with, you know, eating healthier, we could set a measurable goal of instead of 10 pounds, because I feel like that's really focusing on the scale, we want to focus on the eating healthy, right? That you want to eat healthy, three times a week, three times a week. So measuring the frequency, how often am I doing this activity that's going to help me. So that's a way to make it measurable. So inspirational, measurable, and then the P is purpose driven, needs to be connected to that big purpose that we have, right? Because it's not about losing the 10 pounds. It's really about having that healthy, active lifestyle well into our geriatric years, or whatever it is, you're dreaming of. Right? So inspirational, measurable, purpose driven, and then adaptable. So life needs flexibility, it really needs flexibility in our life. So for example, with the eating healthy three times a week, if you're eating healthy, zero times a week, three can seem a little bit daunting. So we could say, I'm going to eat healthy an average of three times a week. So let's say you have a big week where there's a big presentation or something coming up for a client, and it's just kind of a you know, it's a mess. So you're not really, really eating healthy at all, what happens is, if you only eat healthy once that week, you're like, Oh, I'm the worst, I feel that my goal. That's it, I'm done. And we just jump off the horse, right. But if you say an average of three times a week, what happens is you're like, Okay, I only did it once this week. So next week, I'm going to shoot for four, or I'm going to shoot for five. So it gives you that flexibility that life needs. So we want to make sure that our goals are adaptable. So they work for how our life works. Our life needs that flexibility to really run well. And then it needs to be challenging. That's our C. So it needs to be adaptable, and yet still challenging. If you're eating healthy, zero days a week, going to three days. That's that's pretty challenging, right? That's going to be a big difference for you. It's going to require changing some of your habits and doing some of those things. And then our last letter is T timed, needs to have a deadline. Now I know with something like healthy eating, you're like, why would I do a deadline? Don't I want to eat healthy forever? Well, yes, you do. Which you want to have a deadline where you stop and you check in and you either celebrate and say amazing i for the past three months of eating healthy for three days a week and average three times a week. That's amazing. I did so well. Now I'm gonna bump up my goal and I'm gonna change it to an average of four days a week, or I'm gonna bump it up to five right? Or you go Gosh, three times. A week was really hard, I need to adjust that goal. And I'm going to shoot for two times a week, for the next quarter, or for the next 30 days, or whatever it is. Right? It gives you a chance to really check in, reassess, readjust, and really make it work for you. So inspirational, measurable, purpose driven, adaptable, but challenging, and then tight. So you can see how it works well with that SMART framework, but it's just an update.
And it will, and it's so much better. Like I love that you said the word measure frequency, because a lot of times again, with business, we're always about the numbers and the revenue and the ROI, like numbers, numbers, numbers, but it's like, you can think about it differently. So it doesn't seem like you can't reach that goal. And it's I love I love what you said, it's it's so perfect. What's the one thing because that you and I are both like, Oh, we love productivity. I don't like wasting my time, like at all right? Yeah. But is there like one thing that you're like, I have to do this in order to stay productive? Like, what would it be? Yeah,
I don't use it to do list, which I think most people are like, Oh, I use a priority list instead. And that's something that I go into in my first book, The Joy of missing out. A priority list is a to do list with intention. a to do list is really long, it's haphazard, it's not organized, versus a priority list, which is short, it's actionable. It's achievable. And it's structured. So you start at the top, and you work your way down. So we have different categories in the priority list. And you start at the top and you work your way down. Instead with a to do list, our brain naturally goes for whatever is the easiest thing to check off. You know, that's true, because we write things down after we've done them just so we can check them off. Right? Our brain loves it. dopamine hit we're a little dopamine junkies, I get it because I've done it before. But what we want to do is we want to instead of having a to do list that takes us everywhere, but where we want to go. Just streamline it takes the same amount of time. It's just with a little bit of intentionality behind it, prioritizing it.
So as to take it a step further. I tell people don't have a to do list either you put it on your calendar. And what's interesting about what you said is typically people are going to put the what's a priority to them on their calendar? Yes, first. If you don't like some people, they're like, I don't really keep it get like my mom, my mom, my sister, you know, some of my family like I don't really need to give calendar. I'm like you think that but then how do you GSD during the day, like how do you write things done? I
wonder why you're not getting things done? You wonder why you're showing up late or why you're forgetting things. That's why we're alert. Write it down. Yes,
yes. Like you have to. So that is it's so true. Like make priorities, put them on your calendar, and quit putting post it notes everywhere around your house, because that's how shit falls through the cracks. Yes, it is. It is for sure. I'll do it. I could talk. You're off all day long about this. This was so awesome. Where can people connect with you? And then get your book?
Yeah, so the book is available anywhere books are sold, you can go to Barnes and Of course Amazon where all books are. Best place to connect with me is Tanya You can find links to the books there. You can also find links to my podcast or whatever player you're listening to this podcast on right now. You can do a search for the intentional advantage, you'll find my podcasts there, give that a follow. I have different episodes where we go out we talk about intentional living using productivity to really scale and grow. And we even talk about things like how we use metrics sometimes as false gods, right, and we're following the wrong metrics. So lots of fun things there. So intentional advantage is the name of my podcast, which you can also go to Tanya
I love it. And we'll put all the links in the shownotes and everybody that's listening and watching today. Thank you so much for your time. And thank you for sharing more and more and more like on productivity and just how the brain is wired. It's so fascinating. This was amazing. Have a great day. Bye. That's it for this week's episode of business unveiled. Now that you have all the tools that you need to conquer the world and GSD get shit done. Would you share this with your friends and fellow business leaders? One thing that would really really help us and help new listeners is for you to rate the show and leave a comment and Apple podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you tune in and listen to business unveiled. You can check out the show notes at a Angela and link up with us on social media so you can share your biggest insights. And I want to know your aha moments. Until next week, remember the profitable shifts and structures you're creating in your business, help you be more present in your life. So get out there and GSD


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