Episode #101: How I Do It All (& the Power of Imperfect Experimentation)

In the past 3 years I have worked with over 1000 students within over 15 courses. I’ve run several different group programmes and worked with many beautiful clients 1:1. From the outside I know it sounds like a lot, so in this episode I’ll break down how I do (alongside parenting, fatigue and lots of procrastination and overthinking!)

Listen to the Episode:

Ruth Poundwhite 0:00
In the past three years, I have worked with over 1000 students within over 15 courses, I have run several different group programmes and I have worked with many beautiful one to one clients. From the outside. I know that it sounds like a lot. So in this episode, I’ll break down how I do it all alongside parenting, fatigue, and a lot of procrastination and overthinking. You’re listening to quietly ambitious with conversations about how it really feels to build a business that honours your whole self unapologetically. And that includes who you are, how you feel, what you really desire, the impact that you want to create, and importantly, the money you want to make. I’m your host, Ruth Poundwhite. And my superpower is supporting sensitive and ambitious humans to make more money by fully expressing and owning all of who they are. And let’s dive in. Hi, and welcome back to another solo episode of The quietly ambitious podcast. Now the sound is gonna be a bit different today. And that is because I’m sat on the beach while I’m recording this and it feels really lovely. I don’t know if you can hear the sound of the waves. But it is just so relaxing. It’s January, but the sun is shining, the sea is flat, it isn’t windy at all. And it actually feels really comfortable sitting outside. So I am making the absolute most of feeling good in the weather in January in the UK. So recently, you will have heard and if you haven’t heard it yet, Episode 100, where I asked my friend Danielle Brooker, to interview me for this as a way to celebrate the 100th episode of the podcast. And what that turned into was a really, like a really lovely reflection of the last three years since I started the podcast, but also since starting this business. And what we both realised when we were recording that episode is that there was so much more to be said, than what could fit into an hour’s interview. And one of the things that came up was like putting together a timeline of everything I’ve done everything I’ve put out there in the last three years. And that is something that I’m going to attach to the show notes. It’s not something that I’m going to list out, actually, I will a little bit but not in like full and totally chronological order, probably. But yeah, it’s gonna be in the show notes. But the one thing that really came to mind when considering everything I’ve done in three years is that actually, it’s a lot. And I know that I talk a lot about not, not burning yourself out or not hustling. And at the same time, I’ve also where I actually create quite a lot of stuff. So this episode is really going to go into how that works, how that works in a way that honours my body, how that sometimes doesn’t work in a way that honours my body. And hopefully basically answering the question of how do I do it all? Because I have had people ask me that question. And it even came up very recently with a client. So how do I get it all done. So looking back over the last three years, just as a reminder, when I first started this business supporting other business owners, and at first I called it mentoring, and now it’s definitely, definitely call it a mixture of coaching, mentoring courses, strategy, feelings, mindset, all of the things. But when I first started this, I was running another business at the same time. So that was both a benefit. And something that made it a little bit more challenging. The The good thing about that was that I had money coming in. And the good thing was I had obviously a lot of experience. running my own business. The challenge was just more like the mental capacity of running the two things side by side, which you’ll hear me talk about in that episode 100.

Ruth Poundwhite 4:21
So, when I first started, I gave myself absolute permission to figure things out as I went. And although this might not seem like the kind of answer you would expect in an episode about how I do it all, it actually probably is the fundamental thing that I would tell you. So I gave my self permission to figure it all out as I went. And I was willing to experiment imperfectly. So imperfect experimentation is something that comes up in a lot of my programmes that comes up with a lot of my clients. And it’s a mindset that, by the way, does not always come easily to me. I realise it may sound like it does, because it is what I do and what I embody. But it doesn’t mean it’s always comfortable. It really isn’t. But if you can get into a frame of mind where you just decide, okay, I want to do this thing, or I want to release this new thing, or I want to set up this new offer, or I want to start talking to people in this way. I want to start working with people in this way. But there’s so much to think about this so much do I don’t know if I’m doing it right. I don’t know if I should do it this way, you know, when you can get into the mindset, okay, of okay, I’m just going to pick a lane, I’m going to try it. And I’ll see what happens. That is what by far, will help you build momentum the quickest way possible. And I do think it’s very helpful to build momentum as quickly as possible, because then you get to leverage that momentum in other ways, which I am going to talk about as we go on in this conversation. But yeah, the mindset for me has always been, I’ll do it, I’ll try it, I’ll do it imperfectly. And I’ll see what happens. And I will learn from it. And whatever happens, whether it goes really well whether make loads of money from a thing, or whether nobody is interested, or they make no money for a thing, or whether I make money from a thing, but it’s really stressful, or whether I make a little bit of money from a thing, but it’s really easy. All of that is valuable information. And all of that will be built on the next time I do another thing. So that basically underlies everything that I have created in this business. So when I started in this business, I started putting content out there, I started showing up and building my audience and being visible without actually having an offer to sell. And this is totally not strategic advice. But it was really helpful to be out there to be having conversations, to be talking to people to be experimenting with my words. And that is what made the offers come I feel like I did not put that in a very eloquent way. But hopefully not I mean, so the first thing I ever created was an email marketing course my email marketing course cultivate that I think I put out there in the autumn of 2018, around the time that I started this podcast. And how I chose that offer was because I had built up a six figure business with a really quite small email list in my previous business, and I thought it makes sense to teach what I know to teach what I do. And I definitely saw that this was something that a lot of people kind of struggled with, especially sensitive people, they’re like, Ah, I don’t want to like annoy people with my emails, or it’s like really complicated to set up. And I saw from just from having those conversations, I saw that that need. And that connection was something that I had a lot of experience with, kind of came together. So I thought that absolutely makes sense for you to make a course about this. That course didn’t sell. And it’s not because it wasn’t sellable. It is partly because I freaked out. And partly because well, mainly because I freaked out and didn’t stay the course. But also just because I still growing my audience and still learning how to talk about it, right. So I don’t know where I’m going with this, I sign up, I sort of got a bit deep talking about this one thing that I created. But basically what I’m saying is, I created that and I kept going. And I think that that was really important for the momentum of everything that I created. And over time I created I think really soon after that I created my course clarify which again was based on something that I did, regularly my business like having these business meetings with myself, and looking at the values of my business, looking at how I wanted to feel looking at what I wanted to create, and I put that out there and that did sell and that was my first kind of offering that was my first like money making, I guess, in this business. And

Ruth Poundwhite 9:00
I could go through a list all the things I’ve created all the offers I’ve put out there because after that was coaching after that was, you know, I was getting my first one to one clients. Then I did a few kind of live workshops that then turned into courses. Then I did a group programme, which initially was called Rise, which then quite a while later became what is now rest and rise. I could go on to list all the details of all the things I do because now at this point, I have several courses. I have several kind of self study courses, I have several programmes that I can run live. I have my group coaching and have my one to one. But ultimately, I think the key message here is that it all happened one thing at a time. And each thing at the time happened because it made sense. In not into like I was like Uber strategic about anything. It made sense in the sense that I knew about a thing, and I decided that it was felt good to put out that thing. Now, I would say that I, I do spend a lot of time tuning into how I feel. So thinking about okay, what would feel exciting for me to create at this point? So at certain points in my business, I’ve definitely come from a place of I need to make this goal happen. How do I make a thing seller thing to make that happen? It’s not that I don’t have goals. It’s not that I don’t want to hit money goals, but it’s that I trust that I can hit those goals by creating the thing that’s most exciting to me right now. And the reason I mentioned this is because I think that that goes a long way to allowing you to create more and get more done in less time, basically collapsing time. Knowing that I’m excited about creating a programme collapses, the time it takes for me to create it. And that is one way in which I get more done. So I’d sell a lot based on what feels good at any given time. My programme quite ambition, for example, is something that came together very easily. And again, I talked about this in Episode 100, very easy to write, very easy to create, very easy to sell. And I ended up launching that several times within a few months of each other, just because it felt good, just because it felt easy. So there is absolute value in doing that. And I also want to say, you know, it’s been three years, and I have several courses out there at this point, but it’s all cumulative. It they have all built on each other, I have learned something each time. And there are programmes that I have relaunched. And when, trust me when I say that creating a programme, the first time is the hardest time. I mean, it kind of is kind of obvious, but a lot of people who I work with think that they constantly have to be creating something new. And I know that, you know, I am creating new things. But I’m also relaunching old things not old, but you know, I mean, and that is so much easier, it’s so much easier to show up and launch something that you’ve already created, there is so much less work that goes into it. And that is also how on the outside, it might seem like you know, I’m selling, launching things all the time. But on that from the inside, you know, I’m doing stuff that I’ve done before. I’m not reinventing the wheel every time, I’m not re recording all the lessons every time. I’m putting stuff out there, that I’ve already created. And that makes it a lot easier. But yeah, also following my intuition as to what would feel good to sell or get to deliver at any given time. The other thing I want to say is that I there’s probably so much I could say in this episode, and probably so much I’m going to forget to say. But I want to make it clear that especially since having a child Mike capacity and time became so different as as everyone experiences when they have a child. But also in the last couple of years, I’ve been really experiencing this fatigue, and it definitely flares at different times. And sometimes it’s not as bad. But it’s really changed the way I have to work. And sometimes it has been very frustrating for me because it’s I’m all about working less right and working smarter, and making it easier. But sometimes I have no choice, right? I absolutely have no choice because my body cannot take it when I push it too much. And that has been really hard

Ruth Poundwhite 13:20
to face at times. But also ultimately it has been another like constant reminder of the fact that I get to make it easier if I really set my mind on it. And one thing that I’ve been reminded of lately is the fact that I definitely have like this fatigue really affects me physically, but it also really affects me mentally, which means I have limited kind of focusing capacity, I cannot focus on too many things in a given day. And I cannot focus on any one thing for that long. And what I’ve really realised is that I have to redefine what I think it means to be productive. I can struggle to focus for quite a long time and get nothing like I know from the outside, it may seem like I get so much done because I do create a lot of programmes and offers and content. But believe me, when I say I waste a lot of time, I absolutely waste a lot of time. Part of me just is really good at wasting time anyway. And that’s just like my natural way of being. And the other part of it is this fatigue stuff and like the mental energy that gets drained. And what I’ve learned about productivity is that if I if I can really allow myself to flow and follow the flow, what happens in one hour can just be so magic. So like so much and so productive, I guess that it kind of makes up for all the time that I spend not doing anything and the time I spend not doing anything I’ve had to recognise that is part of my process. I could probably do a whole other Episode about my thoughts on productivity and like redefining that for ourselves. And I think that you know what, if you work in a regular job, you just work for hours, but you’re not totally productive during those hours, right. And I think as business owners, the challenge is then changing the way we see it, right, you don’t have to clock in and clock off at certain times. The challenge, or I should say, the invitation, the positive invitation, the opportunity becomes knowing when to just not even bother. And I think that’s the dark, like, that’s the thing that I’m trying to figure out. Still, sometimes I know when not to bother. But sometimes I try and bother, and I keep bothering. And it really would have been better if I didn’t bother. But anyway, what I’m trying to say is, I know that even if I get one hour of pure flow in a day, that is the magic, that is where the magic happens. That is where my best stuff comes from. So cultivating that is really, really important. And then the final thing I really want to say on this subject is that I am supported, you know, I don’t do this all on my own. I mean, in some ways, I’ve never done it on my own, like ever since I started this business, my husband, like did more of the childcare than I did. And that was massive. That was really massive. And it’s kind of hard to talk about, because I know that we all are in different situations. And I know that some of us want to choose it and can’t and I know that some of us wouldn’t choose that. But the fact is that his support was really appreciated and absolutely needed, like I couldn’t do what I do without him. The other thing is, and like I hinted at at the beginning was I leveraged the money I was earning in my other business, I leveraged the money I earn in this business really early on, and I continue to leverage it to hire support. And at the moment, I’m not I don’t have like a massive team or anything like that I have my VA who just like 20 hours a month for me, that is really, really beneficial. And I definitely hired her before I was ready. And that’s definitely a theme that I see come up with a lot of people who need to hire you kind of need to hire before you’re ready in order to expand what’s possible, because there’s only so much you can do as one person. It’s not even just a question of time, but it’s a question of your capacity and where you want to focus. I also hire tonnes of mindset and coaching support in my business. And this for me has been really, really key. And I know that this, again, is something that came up in Episode 100, when Danielle was asking me what my key lessons were. And some of the things that I was able to make happen. And what came to me when I was reflecting on that is that some of the big bold moves that I have made in my business, I would not have been able to do without the support of, you know, coaching, the programmes I was in. And I have invested a lot of money and a lot of time in coaching programmes and I’m absolutely like,

Ruth Poundwhite 17:42
I’m you know, support is non negotiable for me in my business. And I think that that was one of the benefits of coming into this business. Having had you know, a decade experience of running an online business prior to that is because I know what it’s like in the early days of business, I know what a kind of mind games can come up and that rollercoaster I know how difficult it is when you’re when you’re at the earlier stage putting a lot in and not getting a lot back. So I felt more comfortable. And that’s not to say it doesn’t doesn’t feel uncomfortable spending that money or scary to invest the money. But I do think it was a benefit knowing that this is the stage of business that I most need support with. So I’m going to be supported. And you know what, as the business has grown, and I definitely don’t see myself as you know, being in that early stage anymore. The coaching and support is just, it’s still absolutely non negotiable for me. And there’s times when I think a lot of the time things like procrastination come from a place of fear. You know, I don’t blame people for procrastinating. There’s obviously something that we’re trying to protect ourselves from, right? There’s something that we’re afraid of, if we do this work, we’re not going to do it right, we’re going to fail, we’re going to be rejected, we’re going to be disappointed, whatever that is. And being supported and having a coach is like a shortcut. I’m not saying it’s like a magic bullet and you still got to do the work still got to feel the feelings but it can be a shortcut in and getting yourself out of those feelings. So yeah, definitely leveraging the money that I made investing that in the business investing that in support both practically and kind of mindset wise. So I hope that this has gone way, some way to explaining how I get everything done in my business. I guess the final thing that I need to say is that sometimes I do not maintain the balance I am absolutely I teach what I need to learn when it comes to this whole rest thing when it comes to working less when it comes to working smarter because I am someone who tends towards being a workaholic, believe it or not, I love working and I will use working as a way to avoid whatever it is that I want to avoid in my life or feelings or whatever. So please know that I don’t always have the balance please know that there are times when I absolutely do push myself too hard and then I you know I have like a flare up of my fatigue as a result and I sometimes beat myself up over that. Not that I like if I’m being compassionate to myself that absolutely do not deserve to be beaten up over that but sometimes I do And that is part of it as well just like learning what my limits are learning what’s good for me having support system like my beautiful mastermind sisters, like they are the people who know more than anyone how much I can push myself and how much I need to be reminded to rest again and again and again and again. So that’s what I’ll remind. That’s why I will remind you, that’s why I remind like, literally today in my breast and rice group, I was asking one of the clients how her energy is and where she is in her cycle, like, it’s something that we need other people to remind us of sometimes. So I just wanted to add that at the end there, I’m not perfect. I do push myself too hard sometimes. But at the end of the day, just remember that someone’s output may seem like they’re constantly working on their magic, and doing all the things but I think the reason it seems like that is because whatever we’re doing, always feels slower to us than what we’re seeing other people doing. So I created this stuff, one step at a time, I created all these courses, like one course at a time, you know, I built my email list up like one subscriber at a time, and it started at zero, just like it does with everyone else. But you’re seeing a level like, like a body of work that I’ve built up now. And it looks amazing. And it looks like a lot. But I’ve built it up over time, I’ve learned to follow the flow and the intuition. I’ve learned to listen to myself, I should actually say I’m learning to listen to myself, I’m learning, I’m always learning. And I’m supported and that and the more money I own in my business, the more I get to pay for more support, so therefore, the quicker it grows. So it’s kind of frustrating that when you’re at the earliest stages, you have less money to invest, you actually can produce stuff more slowly, because you don’t have all the support. The more money you get to invest, the quicker it grows. So yeah, I hope that that was helpful. I hope that it gave some insight into the way I work. And certainly I know that there’s more to expand on here. But just remember, whatever you’re seeing someone else do always seems quicker and easier than when you’re on the inside and seeing whatever it is that you do. So just remember as much as we want it to happen all at once all now. The small steps that you’re taking are building up, they’re absolutely building out and just have that mindset of imperfect experimentation. Trust me when I say that will collapse how long it takes you to create the empire that you are wanting to create right now.

Ruth Poundwhite 22:19
Thank you so much for listening to another episode of quietly ambitious. If you have a moment to rate and review know that it really does make a difference. And if you’d like to carry on the conversation, then you can connect with me on Instagram at Ruth Poundwhite Join me in the Facebook group or my personal favourite. Sign up to my newsletter letters to quietly ambitious humans. Just go to Ruth poundwhite.com forward slash newsletter to subscribe and keep doing what you’re doing because your work really does matter.

Note: at this time transcripts are automated and unedited, which means errors may occur. But we hope you find them helpful!



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“I trust that I can meet my money goals by creating the thing that feels most exciting to me right now”

Show Notes

In the past 3 years I have worked with over 1000 students within over 15 courses. I’ve run several different group programmes and worked with many beautiful clients 1:1. From the outside I know it sounds like a lot, so in this episode I’ll break down how I do (alongside parenting, fatigue and lots of procrastination and overthinking!)

“I’ve had to recognise the time I spend NOT doing anything as part of my process” 

Some of the things I talked about:

  • How I create so many offers in my business
  • How I make up for low energy/ wasting a lot of time
  • The power of momentum and the compound effect of creating imperfectly, one step at a time
  • How I’m supported and how I leverage my income to create more

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Thanks so much for listening!

When you subscribe to updates you get access to 3 bonus episodes of the podcast – exclusively for email subscribers – that dive behind the scenes of my business (I talk about failures, money, community & more!)