Episode #105: Signs You’re Tangling Yourself Up With Your Business (& How To Not Take Things Personally)

Are you entangling your self-worth with your business? Why is it happening and what can you do about it? In this episode I’ll talk about how we sometimes create unhelpful stories about what’s happening in our business, how this gets in the way of our momentum, and what to do instead.

Listen to the Episode:

Ruth Poundwhite 0:00
Are you in tangling your self worth with your business? Why is it happening? And what can you do about it? In this episode, I’ll talk about how we might be creating unhelpful stories about what’s happening in our business, how this gets in the way of our momentum and what to do. Instead. 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. Let’s dive in. Hi, and welcome back to the quietly ambitious podcast. We’ve had a bit of a break over the last few weeks purely because I am in radical prioritisation mode. And unfortunately, the podcast had to be paused a little bit. But we’re back again and hopefully for a few more weeks. And today, I want to sit down and talk to you about taking things personally in your business. Because this came up in a conversation recently, and I realised that I think that this has been a really key part of my business journey. And importantly, what has allowed me to build up momentum, not taking things personally in my business. And if you have any thoughts about this, if it sparks anything, anything for you, then feel free to send me a DM on Instagram at Ruth Poundwhite. So what I want to start by talking about is that it’s the thing about running a business is that it’s really easy to feel like you and your business are the same thing. So what I see a lot with the clients I work with, for example is they put something out there on social media, it doesn’t get the engagement or the feedback or the comments. And they take it personally they think it means something about them. Or they put an offer out there it was really aligned, they put their heart and soul into working on it. And they didn’t get the signups that they wanted to get. And even though the offer was totally aligned, the fact that it didn’t get the signups that they wanted it to get means they mean something about them, they’re not good enough, that offer isn’t good enough. It’s not resonating. Right. And the thing with the thing that I have to keep coming back to in my business journey is that I am not the same thing as my business. And I think when we start making decisions from a place of looking for a certain business result to validate us as a person, that’s where things can get very, very tricky. Because essentially, what you’re putting out there, the future of your business, what you decide to do all comes back to whether other people validate your idea. And I think that a key part of being entrepreneur, and growing a business is having a vision that is bigger than the current reality of what is happening in this moment. So you might be thinking, hang on Ruth, you do actually need people to validate what you do, because you need to make money off your business, right. And that is true. You want to be putting stuff out there. You want people to resonate with it, and you want to get something in return. Like we’re not doing this for free, you are doing this as a business and being a business requires you to have customers sales to make money. But there really, honestly is a difference between building that long term business, that long term profitable business that makes the sales but has the customers that makes the money versus making decisions on a daily basis based on the engagement you’re getting on social media based on how many replies you get to a certain email, based on the click through rate, you get an email based on one person’s negative comment on your post, right?

There is an absolute difference. And it can be very subtle, it can be very hard to see. But there really is a difference. So the difference in building a business strategically looking to find the path that creates the sustainable income is being willing to look at things from a detached point of view. So basically, what happens when we put something out there, it doesn’t get the response that we were looking for. And as a result, we question ourselves that is not us looking at ourselves from a detached strategic sorry, that is not us looking at our business from a detached strategic point of view, that is looking at our business as totally entangled with who we are we in totally entangled ourselves with our business. And it is really when you’re in that place of entangling everything about who you are your worth as a human your value as a human how good enough you are or not. When you’re entangling that with your business, it makes it really hard to pick apart the things that you have control of and to separate them from the things that you don’t have control of. Right. And when I talk about strategically looking at stuff from a detached place, let’s give an example. So let’s say that you are running a free masterclass and the free masterclass is designed to help you grow your audience get a bit of buzz before you launch a paid product. So when you’re putting your masterclass out there you think about okay, what do I run when I run the masterclass on what am I going to talk about? How am I going to communicate the topic of the masterclass with my people? What am I going to write on my landing page for people to see before they decide whether or not to sign up to the masterclass. So, we put our free masterclass out there. And what happens is people are clicking through to visit the page, but only a handful of them are signing up. So let’s say maybe 10% of them are signing up. You’ve got a choice in that moment to ask yourself, Okay, I need only one in every 10 People who are visiting this page are signing up for my free masterclass, like bearing in mind, this is not a paid thing. This is a free thing. So you’d expect the conversion rate to be higher. You could go down the rabbit hole of oh my god, I’m just not good enough. Is everything I do? Like, Am I doomed to be a failure? All this is just the same old story is everything. I’m doing just rubbish. And by the way, have some compassion for yourself, if you do have those thoughts, because we do all have these thoughts from time to time, the difference is how quickly you can pull yourself out of them. How like the work you can do on what’s underlying these beliefs. And also, the awareness that you have the right and hopefully minimising the, what’s the word the regularity with which they happen? So that’s one option, you can question everything, you can go into deep despair about who you are, obviously, I might be exaggerating, or maybe I’m not exaggerating, or the other choices. Okay, so I’ve put out this masterclass. I’ve written on the line of a guru, and now I’ve written stuff on the landing page, it’s only getting a 10% conversion rate. What about this situation? Can I potentially tweak and look at a little differently. So if that is the case, you might decide to change the headline on the landing page, simple thing doesn’t mean anything about you that you used a different headline, and now you’re changing it, you’re just changing it, you’re just testing it, you’re just tweaking it, then give it some time, see if that affects the conversion rate of the free signups. Or maybe you decide to give it a different name. Maybe you decide to format the landing page. So it’s a lot clearer in terms of the design and that the email opt in form is, you know, high up on the page, little tiny strategic tweaks, would you say that making strategic tweaks to a landing page means anything about how good or not good you are as a person. Because I would certainly say absolutely not. Now, the reason I bring up this example is because at the time of recording this, I’m planning on doing a free five day course. And I put together my own landing page for this free five day course. And when I first put the landing page out there, the conversion rate was a lot lower than what I have come to expect. So my aim for a landing page conversion rate. And I know I’m getting a bit techie with the language. But that basically means the percentage of visitors on the page who actually sign up for the free thing, my expected conversion rate, I aim for at least 40%. And this was quite a lot lower than that. And what I witnessed in myself was that I really went down a whole rabbit hole, have totally questioning everything about the whole thing like, Oh my God, my messaging is just totally wrong. Maybe I just don’t know what I’m doing. Maybe just just talk about something completely different. The thing is, I

caught myself going down this rabbit hole, which can very quickly spiral into I don’t know anything, and I’m totally stuck and paralysed right. And I’m not going to do anything. I caught this thought process. And I thought to myself Hang on a moment. This doesn’t mean everything I’m doing is wrong. It doesn’t mean that my whole free course isn’t aligned. It simply means I get to problem solve. And I get to in a detached way, knowing it means nothing about me look at the different aspects of this landing page that I might be able to improve. And I did that. And I improved the conversion rate of the landing page. So the moral of the story here is basically not just that. Now, the moral of the story is basically that getting entangled, like getting your self worth as a human totally tangled up in the results of your business can quickly take you down a spiral that is absolutely not productive and helpful at all. Give yourself some compassion if you go down this spiral because like I said, we all do from time to time, but recognise that the the area of growth here, and the invitation for you to lean into is to take yourself out of it and ask yourself, Okay, what can I actually put into place strategically here. And in different situations, what you’ll find is that sometimes there are clear things that you can test each strategically like, you know, the headline, the name of the challenge, things like that, the landing page, whatever, sometimes you’ll find that it’s not so clear cut. So sometimes you’re in a launch, you’ve done all the work ahead of time, you’ve put your thing out there, but you’re not seeing any evidence that anyone wants to sign up yet, you’ve still got time left in the launch, but you’re freaking out, like launches, or is bring up the fears and the feelings. So what you can do in that time, instead of going down the route of all the different stories of this isn’t resonating with people, people don’t like me, people don’t like my offer. People don’t want to pay money for this, my people don’t see the value in this kind of thing. Instead of going down all of those different rabbit holes, you get to ask yourself, What can I control in this situation? And what is a case of me trusting and waiting out? And what you can control in the situation is the strategic stuff like okay, I’ll send another email, okay, I’ll follow up these people who haven’t replied to me yet. And where you can lean into trusting and waiting out is where you get to work on the mindset stuff. So digging into what really, am i Believing in this moment? What am I really believing in this moment? I’m believing that my offer isn’t good enough. Okay.

Well, what’s that telling you believe? I believe that I don’t know how to market effectively. Okay, well, what’s that telling you believe, like, keep digging into the layers, get to the core, kind of underlying belief, I’m believing I’m not good enough. And then get some coaching, do some journaling, do some exercises and ask yourself, what do I need to put into place? To? Like, how do I actually want to feel instead, what thoughts or feelings is accessible for me to feel in this moment, instead of feeling not good enough, I can feel like I’m doing my best, for example. Because if you went straight to I’m completely amazing and doing everything right, you might, you know, your mind is probably going to reject that. So something that’s kind of accessible to you, like I am doing my best. And then asking yourself, and this is where it comes into the practical. Like, it goes from just being a thought to actually being a practical thing. Asking yourself, if I trusted if I really trusted that I was doing my best, what actions would I be taking in this launch right now. Because often the idea that we’re not good enough, and that everything we do as a failure will stop us from showing up in the way that we really, truly want to show up to do justice to whatever it is that we’re doing in our business anyway. So I hope that that example has kind of highlighted, where actually getting entangled with our business is happening, like the first step is literally being aware that it’s a thing in the first place, separating ourselves from our business. And also seeing how practically speaking, that separation can actually make a difference in how you act, which can then make a difference in what your results will be in your business. This is the stuff that I work my clients through all the time, like I said, it comes up for all of us, we all need support with untangling this stuff, especially when we’re in a launch. So don’t beat yourself up for doing it. But do allow yourself with the new awareness that you have to ask yourself, what could be different? How do I wish to feel instead? What is accessible for me to feel in this moment? And how do I act in alignment with that new desired feeling. The other thing I want to say about taking things personally and getting tangled up with our businesses is that we all have a negativity bias. So this is basically like some old, you know, way that we’ve evolved to keep ourselves safe is that we notice and remember the negative stuff more than we noticed the positive stuff. So what I’ve given as examples so far are things when it doesn’t seem to be going the way we want. But what I witnessed happening is that people get tangled up in it all and take things personally even when things are going well. And when this will happen is when for example someone’s running a programme, it’s going really well they’re feeling really great about it and then they get one piece of feedback, suggesting they could have done something differently or done something better, like one person’s not fully happy. And firstly what will happen often is that you’re reading it in a way that wasn’t intended anyway, like someone’s saying, I loved the programme but this part of it could have been better is not the same as them saying this programme is rubbish and I just wish I had never joined but some of us like will take it in that way. And like what else I want to say about that is also just remembering that you have this negativity bias. It is so much easier to notice evidence of it not working or evidence that we are not good enough than it is to notice and remember the evidence that it is working to evidence that we are doing a great job. This is why I am so like In my programmes in my group programme, and one to one, I asked my clients to celebrate stuff all the time. This is why, because when we’re, as entrepreneurs constantly stretching our comfort zone, constantly trying new things, our brains are constantly looking for ways to keep us safe. And they are constant. And our brains are constantly looking for the risks and planning for the risks. So in celebrating, you’re helping to rewrite the evidence that your brain has, and to help rewire that part that doesn’t feel safe. I hope that this is all making sense. So bottom line of this episode is, you will find that things work a lot better in your business, when you can work on the stories that are coming up about you as a person, as a result of things that happen in your business. It will help you to build momentum in your business, when you work. When you deconstruct those stories, and ask yourself what’s really true, it will help you with the momentum of your business when you can.

When you learn to celebrate, when you learn to look at the positive stuff, when you keep coming back to rewriting the evidence. And by the way, this is a constant practice, it’s obviously not once done, and you’re just good forever. And it’s really, really normal to tangle your personality and yourself up with your business. But always coming back to the idea that you and your business are separate things. You get to look at your business in a detached way and ask what do I have control over? What can I tweak or try or improve in this situation? And what do I have to let go of and lean into trust? And what belief do I need to work on in order to lean into that trust? So for me, it’s often been super helpful. When things have come up that you don’t have a solid, you don’t have a concrete answer, whether it means anything good or bad, to also practice inventing stories towards the good side. So for example, I send out an email newsletter. And in that newsletter, I asked people to hit reply, if they’ve got any thoughts about whatever topic and nobody hits reply. What in that situation? Could that mean? I could make it mean that people absolutely don’t resonate with what I’m saying in my newsletter at all. Or, and by the way, that is a made up story. Or I could choose a different made up story, that people are resonating, they’re just shy, or they’re just busy. And I can remember that actually, personally, I probably wouldn’t really reply to emails like that very much, even if I really love reading someone’s emails. So do you see where I’m getting at that there is sometimes a choice in what to believe. Now, obviously, the third option is not to make it mean anything, but humans like to make meaning out of things, you know, it’s, it’s part of the way we are made. So if you’re gonna make a meaning out of something, just remember that there’s always a choice for what you’re making it mean as well, or there’s often a choice for what you’re making it mean. So, yeah, the bottom line of the story is try not to take things personally, if you are taking it personally ask What else could be true. And yeah, deconstruct what’s going on for you separate your business from yourself. And remember that you get to make tweaks strategically, it doesn’t necessarily whatever’s happening doesn’t necessarily mean something about all of your business or all of yourself. And just know that momentum is the absolute key. And these beliefs that you have, the more you can work on noticing them, the more you can work on deconstructing them, the more that will play out in the practical actions you take in your business, the faster you will build your momentum over time. But as always have compassion and love for yourself if you are taking it personally, because you are only human. And building a business puts all of this stuff to the test all the time, which is why, you know, I massively believe in coaching and being supported. It’s very helpful for when these things come up. So yeah, I hope that was helpful. Let me know if it sparked anything for you. Go away and do some journaling on this. Like what are you making a certain thing mean right now What could it mean instead? Where can you tweak in your business? Where can you work on your belief instead? And how can you act in alignment with the belief that you want to have go do some journaling on it, and just notice the evidence of how it helps you move forward and how it helps you build up some momentum and keep coming back. Keep coming back to this practice. Keep choosing it again and again and again, because I promise it will really help in the speed it takes in your business to get things going in the effort it takes and in your happiness, which is the most important thing. 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!



SUBSCRIBE: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Acast & more

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!)

“you are not the same thing as your business”

Show Notes

Are you entangling your self-worth with your business? Why is it happening and what can you do about it? In this episode I’ll talk about how we sometimes create unhelpful stories about what’s happening in our business, how this gets in the way of our momentum, and what to do instead.

“there’s a choice for what you’re making this mean 

Some of the things I talked about:

  • How we entangle our ideas about ourself with our business
  • How to detach and gain momentum when that happens
  • The negativity bias & the importance of celebration
  • The benefit of inventing positive meanings in different situations
  • A series of questions you can use as a journal prompt to move through this

Links from the episode:

Other episodes you might like:

Quietly Ambitious

If you enjoyed the podcast and want to share on social media – thank you! Can you use the hashtag #QuietlyAmbitious so that we can continue the conversation on social media, and so that I can find you? I’d love to see what resonated with you after each episode!

Ask Me Anything!

I’m also planning to make Q&A episodes a semi-regular part of the show, so if you have any questions make sure you’re in my private Facebook group, as I’ll be calling on you to send those questions my way.

Where to Find the Podcast…

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!)