Stress-Free Small Business.
Stress-Free Small Business Ownership with Joan Sotkin. Joan is an entrepreneur, coach, speaker, author and podcaster, and Henry Lopez discuss the topic of stress as it related to small business ownership. What are the sources of stress? What are the effects on us physically and emotionally? Joan explains that there is nothing wrong with us that needs fixing, we have just developed bad habit. She explains how to begin to change old habits and develop new healthy habits that help us reduce or eliminate much of the bad stress in our lives. Joan also explains the importance of setting Feeling Goals in addition to our usual business and financial goals.
Joan Sotkin has been a guest on our show previously, sharing her unique mindset insights, tips and techniques for small business owners, solo-preneurs and entrepreneurs. You can find all of our previous episode on our Archives page, or use the links below to listen to Joan’s previous episodes.
Rough Draft Transcript of this episode (Note: Please excuse any typos as this transcript was created by an automated service):
Stress-Free Small Business Ownership with Joan Sotkin.
Welcome to the How of Business with Henry Lopez and David begin the podcast that helps you start, run and grow your small business. And now here are your hosts. Welcome to this episode of the How of Business. I am joined today by my friend and one of my coaches and mentors, Joan Sotkin. Joan, welcome back to the show. Hi. Great to be here. Yeah. I’m excited to have you. I’m excited to talk about this, you guys, you help me with this topic. So often, which we’re, we’re going to chat about how do we get to a point where we have a stress free business, and maybe in life as well, but certainly associated with business as a small business owner, myself, as Joan is and has been, are all of the stresses that I think we’ve almost come to a point these days where we feel like that’s just the way it has to be, but it’s not quite so and so Joan has some very great insights and experience and she’s done a lot of research and worked with a lot
And it’s all about eliminating that overwhelm, then that comes from stress. I recently did an episode on the topic of overwhelm, and stress. It’s not that the way I look at it, and we’ll get into it in the conversation is not the stresses and certainly all together a bad thing is how you let it affect you in life. That’s what we have to be very careful with. If you want to receive more information about the How of Business including links to the show notes page for this episode, as well as an exciting week of exciting announcement about a webinar that Joan and I are doing. I’m going to give you more information about that here in a moment. But there’s a free webinar we’re doing on this topic of stress-free business. To get all of that the easiest way to do that you can go to the website at the How of Business.com. So for those of you who don’t know, Joan, she’s been on the show a couple of different times. And so I, I act like everybody knows her because I know her so well. But let me tell you a little bit about her. And then we’ll get into the conversation. So, again, she’s been twice on my show, I’ve had the privilege of being on her podcast, but she’s on the she’s an expert on this topic of managing stress and other mindset issues that we all deal with. But in particular, she knows how to apply it to business owners, and particularly to successful people who are dealing with these kinds of challenges. So I’m fortunate, like I said, to call her friend, and she’s one of my mentors and coaches, we chat like on a monthly basis, and we share ideas and we help each other. She helps me more than I help her, but it’s been a great relationship. She’s an entrepreneur, a coach, a speaker and author, a podcaster. She helps entrepreneurs and small business
As owners and practitioners or solo practitioners use their inner resources along with her practical techniques to experience freedom from struggle personally, professionally, and financially and she has a lot of experiences that she draws on to help you through that. It’s very, it’s very no nonsense as I like to say. She’s authored several books, including build your money, muscles, nine simple exercises for improving your relationship with money, and the search for connection, a spiritual journey to physical, emotional and financial health. And like I said, She’s the host of her own podcast, the prosperity place podcast, she lives now in Santa Fe, New Mexico, beautiful setting the fate of Mexico. And so once again, Joan Sotkin Welcome back to the show.
Hi, and the podcast is the prosperity show. The prosperity show not prosperity, place podcasts that prosperity show
Thank you. Sorry about that great show. I’ve been like I said, I’ve been on it, I think a couple of times now.
Alright, so let’s get into it. But before I do that, actually, I want to get into the details about the webinar that you and I are doing. And so let me tell everybody about that. And we’ll chat a little bit about this topic. What we’re going to do today is touch on it. But there’s only so much we can get into in a podcast. This webinar gives you an opportunity to spend some more time with us, and with Joan on this topic. And so we’ll be conducting a free it’s free, but you have to register a free joint webinar on this topic of stress free business building will cover more detail on the subject. And again, provide you the opportunity to ask questions, so you’ll be able to interact and ask questions if you want to. So that’s an opportunity to really interact and get your specific question answered on this topic, the webinars free, but you do have to register we have some limited spots. So do that soon. I’m going to share with you here in a moment how to do that. during the webinar.
And the sources of stress, which we’re going to talk a little bit about now here in this episode, the dangers associated with prolonged exposure to that kind of bad stress, and how to control or maybe even eliminate most of that bad stress that’s related often to running a small business. So join us for this 60 minute session. And the way to do so as you can either go to the website, the How of Business calm and get information there. And I will reply with the link and see the easy way. If you’re on your phone or your mobile right now to do it right now. You’ll have the link and then it’s an easy registration. We just need your name and an email. And we’ll invite you to the upcoming webinars so be sure to take advantage of that. Alright, I’ve done enough talking I want to turn it over to Joan and get started on this topic of stress. And let’s start maybe john with where what are some of the sources of stress especially for entrepreneurs.
Okay, so let’s get something straight First, the business is not causing stress, the business is being the business. And you’ve developed it in a way that if you need to feel stress, you will. Yeah, stress, stress response is a habit. you’ve trained your brain to have certain responses to certain familiar stimuli. And you’ve translated that into your business. So if you constantly say to yourself, oh, I gotta do this, and I got to do that and I’m behind schedule and, and you’re just pushing, pushing, pushing. That’s not the business. That’s you. And I’ve come to believe and I live this way. Now, that whatever gets done gets done. And if I rush to get things done, nine times out of 10, I’m going to waste time because by not only allowing myself to breed and take time in between activities. I’m not giving my system, the time to say what it really wants. I’m a big believer in listening to your inner voice. And I teach people how to do this. And the idea is if you believe that I know it, all of you have gotten the message. Not everybody has followed through on the message. But if you’re in a state of fear and stress, chances are you’re getting too many messages. Because you’re tuned to that, that rapid but now sometimes you like that there is a certain thing that entrepreneurial entrepreneurs have, where they kind of like the push, but if you push too hard, you’re going to make yourself sick and the idea is to find the balance between being just kind of in this balance flow state and, and the place where you’re feeling.
Push to do something, push gently to do something. If you’re using the word shut a lot, you’re in the wrong place. I say that should muster dirty words and he may have to go wash your mouth out with soap.
So, so many things that come into mind and you and I have talked about this many times. But going to the point about being stressed and having to do so much. I think we almost were that sometimes as business owners as a badge of honor, that if we’re not busy, then somehow we’re not doing what we’re supposed to be doing. We’re not being good business owners, right. Okay. So let me make it clear, that doing nothing is doing something. So you cannot be doing nothing.
Good point. And you also need thinking time and processing time. If you’re always doing, then you’re avoiding looking at what’s going on inside. And that’s often the clue to what you have to do. And I’m a big believer. Now people talk a lot about emotional intelligence. Well, everybody has emotions, whether you want them or not.
Oh, I don’t have emotions. No, not only do we have emotions, they are present in every decision you make. So that if you’re coming from a place of worry, and, and this hurry thing, you’re not going to make good decisions. So what I’m asking you to do is to learn how to make better decisions. Not just get rid of stress, because you can’t just stop being stressed right? You have to do something else instead. Yeah. When you when you’re talking about, you know, it’s okay that I’m getting everything done. I forget how you put it exactly. I’ve been trying to apply that more and more in that, again, we A lot of us as business owners tend to be that type A where we’re defined what the heck that is. And it’s been put upon us, right, where I’ve got to get everything done in a week related to my business. And the reality is what I’m starting to find here over the last couple years, is that if I prioritize correctly, and identify those most important things, the things that I don’t get too often, nine times out of 10 weren’t necessary for me to pay attention to any or not to be were necessary for me to do anyway. In other words, it was noise or something I could have delegate or didn’t need to get done. Right. So when you look at your to do list, and you’ve got 20 things on your to do list, he’s got too many things on your face. Yeah. And you say okay, what do I have to do today, the
Right. And I like the idea of at the beginning of the day, saying, what’s the most important thing that I get done? Yeah, I know that by Wednesday, I have to complete a podcast episode. I know there’s certain things I know that I really have to get done. I want to do more courses, I want to do more videos, but I am not going to rush to do them. It’s almost as if for entrepreneurs. If I don’t do this, no one’s going to love me. Yeah, I have to do this. So they’ll love me and buy my stuff. But really what people get from you is the energy that you put out. And if you’re uptight and contracted and stressed, people are going to feel that you’re gonna be talking my own minute and you ever, that’s not what people need today. Yo, people need a calming influence. And you can’t be that if you’re not there. So what I’m talking about is getting yourself into a place where
You’re not pushing yourself so hard that you’re in this constant state of adrenal rush. Yeah. Which is, you know, there’s a book the stress of life by Hans LEAU got a Nobel Prize for this for his work on stress. And in the book he says if you when you use up your adrenal energy you die. So you want to save yours.
And that’s, that’s a topic you’re going to get into more detail on on the webinar to kind of explain that physiology of it if that’s the right term. In other words, there’s a lot to it that really has been studied and you’ve studied in turn on how that affects us and how it can be a bad thing for us. The other thing you’re touching on with it, which I want you to get your opinion on as well because you’ve helped me with is that that striving for perfectionism that a lot of us as small business owners have right I suffer from it.
This is such a fallacy that you have to be perfect, right? I find the more willing I am to be not perfect. And to admit what I’m going through, the better people like that. I mean, what is perfect, perfect is just something you have decided in your mind. That’s not the truth. It’s just your perception of what you think people want. Yeah, it’s arbitrary. And a lot of times there’s influenced by these exterior, you know, images or ideals that are just completely unrealistic on top of everything else. My favorite example This seems not to relate, but it does. Do you ever look at pharmaceutical ads on TV? Everybody in the ads are thin, beautiful. Yeah. Well dressed, joyous relationship? Yes. Oh, yes. Yes, he gave it to me. That then gorgeous and in relationship, our risk factor.
So, to me, what gets you in a stress free space? is being okay with who you are and where you are today, which is an easy statement to make, but can take years to get there. Because we haven’t been taught how to do that. We’ve taught to strive be better do this, but follow that. No, you’re perfect. Just the way you are today. What a concept. And one of the ways I started out with the healing was to look in the mirror and say, and look in my eyes and say, Joan, I unconditionally love and accept you just the way you are. Tears for days, you know, I was giving myself what I always wanted. And really, what do you want from your business? People have all these goals. I want to make a million dollars a year $100,000 a year. What are your feeling goals? People forget to say, this is how I want to feel okay? Because just as you have to have an action plan, right or reaching your business goals and your life goals, you need to plan for reaching your feeling goals. Because at the end, that’s really what you want is you want to feel good about yourself, and the business that you’ve built. And it sounds kind of woo-woo. But the better you feel about yourself, the better your business is going to work. Yeah, and I think that’s why we most of us avoid that as we feel like Well, that’s not you know, that’s not business that’s not numbers and dollars, right.
And then we wonder why we’re so stressed out and the business is giving us a heart attack of literally not figuratively, right?
How Give me an example. I mean, I know how to set financial goals. I know how to set business goals. I don’t know that I’m great at setting feeling goals. What does those look like? Only because you haven’t done it before? Of course, yeah. Okay. So, my goal I had I had a couple of feeling goals, one of which was to never let my money determine how I feel.
Yeah, I don’t know. I wanted to say unrealistic about it seems like wow, you know, it’s completely different way of thinking of things because they’re stressed it to me that comes from not having that money. But I think
that you think you need and yet if you look at your money, you have more than enough. Yes. And it’s amazing how many people
I think they need more, even when they have more than enough. Yeah. I mean, I work with a lot of high end clients, and they’ve made their money, they’re successful. And they somehow feel it’s still not enough. Not enough. Yeah, well, here’s the secret. It’s never about money, whatever you’re feeling about your money, our feelings that you developed early in childhood that you’re bringing to your money. And it’s not like you need therapy. You just have to recognize what you’re feeling. And I’m not asking you to have a vocabulary, you’re feeling vocabulary. Do you feel contracted or expanded? And if you’re, if you feel contracted, can you allow yourself to expand that I have ways of teaching people how to do that. And what happens is, I don’t know a whole lot of people who had perfect childhoods.
So when you were small child, you responded to the things around you in a particular way. So if you had any kind of abuse or neglect, if a parent left or died, there, there’s so many different things that can bring that trauma up for you. And you had a response. And that response could have been any one of a number of things, but it put you in a contracted space that had a whole bunch of feelings around it, feeling not good enough, less than ashamed of who you are. All these things started when you were tiny little, and you learn those feelings from your parents as well. So it’s complicated. So you don’t have to be able to go to therapy. And I mean, if you want to tell the story over and over again, fine, but it’s not necessary. You just have to say when you’re looking at your money,
You and you notice yourself saying to yourself, Oh, I should have more money than that everybody else has more money than I do. Why can’t I make as much money as Joe Schmo? And, you know, that has nothing to do with the money, right? The money is just sitting there. It’s numbers sitting in in a row. It’s about the approval that I think I’m going to finally get if I get to that arbitrary externally set measure of more, you’re trying to reach the state of enough. Okay, okay. I’ve not being ashamed of yellow. Yeah. So it once you start recognizing that you’re having money feelings, what you do is you say to yourself, what am I feeling? And you just have to get in touch with the kinesthetic experience in your body. What am I feeling when have I felt that before? And you’re going to remember stories when mommy did this and daddy did that. And you remember how you felt? And and that’s actually releasing the feeling because emotions by their nature want to be expressed. And then you say, what would I rather be feeling in this moment? So let’s say you’ve been through another disappointment. Okay? So and you realize that you have this disappointment, habit, whatever, you know, I’m disappointed. I haven’t got enough money, I’m disappointed but things didn’t work out. What would you rather be feeling at that moment? I’d rather be feeling proud of myself and satisfied. Well, do you know how to feel that? So once you practice that feeling, and you can actually say, Okay, today, I’m going to practice feeling proud of myself. Yeah, I don’t want to have to hold myself. How do I have to think about myself to be proud of myself? What do I have to do? And the next time you look at your money, and you feel contracted, you just take a breath.
And you start feeling proud of yourself. Yeah. And then you’re telling your brain This is all brain science. You’re telling your brain. This is what I rather feel. Yeah. And it’s about recreating those creating new habits, right? new neural pathways in your brain. It’s very, it’s a little geeky, but it works. Yeah, yeah, I’ve shared this with you before. One of the ways that I’ve tried to apply this is when I started my frozen yogurt business back in 2011. I kind of said to myself in for this business, I’m going to enjoy it and my words, the journey, the process, our goal was to you know, have we had all the financial measures we wanted to franchise it have 200 units, all of those things. Yep. But I was going to enjoy the fact that we created this thing, that it was an expression of our creativity that we were proud of, you know everything from the color selection to the customer service and feeling good about what I do.
To have a lot of so called negative self-talk. And so every time I decided to end that, so every time I would hear myself saying, you know what you should do and you should have done this and all that stuff. I would just stop, take a breath, and say thank you for sharing, but we don’t talk that way. And so you turn to that into a third person and you that you, you put back in her place, right, it’s somewhat skewed, so I but it works.
We do have multiple personalities within each other.
You know, and to be serious on that. You talked about having routines and morning routines, what I try to do in the morning, if I wake up, sometimes I’ve had bad dreams or whatever and I’m in a funk. I’ll say, we’re going to have a great day today. This is going to be a good day. We’re going to do good things today. your expectations. Yeah, and I’m snapping myself out of that. Sometimes I wake up and you know, whatever for whatever reason. I have very vivid dreams. So that’s part of it. And often their conflicts or whatever. So I sometimes have to make sure have to check myself because otherwise I would bring that into my day. That feeling of negativity or whatever it might be for whatever the sources, it doesn’t matter to your point. I try to tell myself, no, we’re going to have a great day today. That’s a great idea. Because it’s our expectations that lead us where we’re going. Yeah. And the thing is, our brains are wired to protect us from Saber Tooth tigers in the woods, right? And we behave as if we’re still afraid of saber-toothed tiger, right? So you have to train your brain. And that thing called the amygdala, which hates uncertainty. And one thing that entrepreneurs always have is uncertainty. We live with it right? You have to learn how to put your amygdala in its place. Yeah. All right.
As we start to wrap it up, let’s touch a little bit then on changing habits and we’re going to get into a lot more detail on this in the webinar, but touch on that for a moment. Well, I outlined it, it’s what am I feeling? What if I felt that before? What would I rather be feeling? And do I know how to feel? So that’s the approach to changing a habit. But yeah, yes. Okay. So that what am I working on now?
Surprise folks, it doesn’t end there’s always another level course. Okay, so I when I was talking to someone the other day, I realized that I have a habit of always pushing myself to the end, particularly financially, how far can I push this? Well, I’m old enough. Now. I shouldn’t be doing that. So I have to find a way of not only recognizing what triggers that have it, but what I can do to change what’s going on inside. So I’m in that process right now. And the first step is to develop awareness. Is my behavior that I’m doing now going to lead me to the edge? Am I managing my cash flow differently from the way I did it before? managing cash flow is an important skill, they have to have it in life and in business. What financial decisions can I make that are different from what I made before? For me, it means putting more in a life happens account or savings account, and to not take a chance. You know, I used to be really proud of the chances I would take. I have my pilot’s license. I’ve done things that most people who are brought up in my era don’t do Right, right. It’s time to change by the time I’m at it.
And so you have its first you have to recognize what you’re doing. You have to have, I think it’s good to have a goal of what I want the new habit to be right. And here’s the important part. I trust that once I set the intention to do something, I’m going to get some inner direction, how to get there. And I have to make sure to follow that inner direction. I see. Yeah, that takes courage. Yeah, no doubt. All right, great. Um, let me start to wrap it up. Let me talk again about the webinar that we want to invite everybody to, it’s free again, but you do have to register. And I’m going to give you the link in a moment or the way to get registered, but we’re going to go into this topic in much more detail. We’re going to elaborate John’s going to share a lot of the research that she’s done a lot, a lot more of experiences and stories and examples.
She’s done this with a lot of her clients, not to mention herself. And she’s been helping me with this for the last year or so that we’ve been that I’ve had her as a mentor. So if you’re struggling with stress, like almost all of us are in our small business, if any of what we chatted about resonates with you, which I’d be surprised if it doesn’t. If it’s if it’s you think that that’s the only way that business works is that that means you have to be stressed out all the time. There is an answer, there is an alternative. And by the way, it’s going to make you sick if it hasn’t already. So you have to you have to for your sake, for your sanity, for your happiness, and for those around you, your family and friends and others that depend on you and rely on you. It’s good for everybody. And it’s what we really want out of being a business owner is those feeling goals or as I say that what does it do for me from my lifestyle perspective, and you’re going to hate it and you’re going to get to a point where you’re coming completely burned out if not sick, if you don’t do something about managing the stress, so we’re going to chat about it in more detail give you more techniques on how to reduce the stress. And part of what Jonah’s explaining is, first of all about understanding it, what the sources are, how it works, not just mentally, but physically. And then you can begin to apply some changes. And, as john explained, develop new habits. So we’re going to get into all of that details. So all I need you to do if you’re interested is to text the word BIZ to 31996. And I’ll send you a link with the information, you can review the information and if you still decide is for you, you can register or of course, you can always go to our website, the How of Business com or Jones website. I’m going to have her give us her website here in a moment. So join us for this free, stress free building webinar coming soon.
And so Joan let’s wrap it up by a key takeaway for me I’ll start with the key takeaway from this conversation is this whole concept of feeling goals we all as business owner should have, and probably know how, or have set financial goals, business goals, and like you said, those are important. But we think the feeling goals are fluffy. And you know, that’s for other people. That’s not part of business. But that’s, that’s one of my key takeaways. What do you want everybody to take away from this conversation? The one thing I’d really like you to remember is, there’s nothing wrong with you that needs fixing. You’ve never done anything wrong. You just have habits that may not be working for you. And so the idea is to figure out what the habits are, so you can make different decisions and have a better outcome. Love it, but short to the point and that’s, that’s
That’s the summary of all over everything that we talked about as you’ve been helping me over the last year with this shift in mindset, if you will. We’re Where do you want us to go online to learn more about everything that you’ve got going on? prosperity, place calm, prosperity, place calm. We’ll have a link to that on the show notes page as well, if you didn’t get a chance to write that down, or if you don’t remember it, Joan, thanks again for being back on the show chatting with us. I’m excited about the webinar we’ve got coming. So thanks again for your time and your insights. My pleasure. Absolutely. Thanks again. This is Henry Lopez. My guest again has been Joan Assad. Can we release new episodes of the How of Business on Mondays and you can find us all over the place Apple podcast, Google podcast, Spotify, and at our website, the how business calm.