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Ditch Your Day Job

Lesson 22 of 24

How to Put Together and Action Plan

Michelle Ward

Ditch Your Day Job

Michelle Ward

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Lesson Info

22. How to Put Together and Action Plan

Lesson Info

How to Put Together and Action Plan

all right, We're putting it all together. And before we wrap up for today, I need to make sure that everything that we have smoking about turns into a tangible action plan. That's what we've been working towards. And that really starts by jotting down what stops you from getting from point A to point B. We want to identify your roadblocks, your usual usual roadblocks. Now, in order to build them into your action plan, right. So I want to hear what normally stops you from getting from point A to point B, and then we're gonna deal with how you could counteracted later. But throw it out at me, Liz, what's your biggest roadblock? That usually stops you from getting from point A to point B. I feel overwhelmed with choices and a kind of overcomplicate things. So I get overwhelmed and like, Well, I don't know which combination of websites. I've gotta have a website, a blawg on online shop. And how do I How can I What's the simplest way to get started? Or But I just there's so many different p...

latforms you can choose from, and it just it I freeze. I just stop. I'm laughing because the two examples that I use in the workbook are overwhelming over complication. That's exactly my roadblocks. Also, it really overwhelmed. And I freeze, right? Like what is it called? Like analysis? Paralysis? Serving right and overcomplicate is like It's my usual default of working with things like, OK, I have this goal and let's make 25 steps to get there when it could probably happen in five. But I can't see those five. I could only see those 25. So I am with you in that boat, and we're gonna want to hear in the chat room to what stops you guys. I have a feeling a lot of we're gonna have a lot of these in common. But Heather, What? What's what stops you from reaching your goal? Um, two things that are sort of related. One is that life happens on and things come up that are urgent. And, you know, people say, Ah, this is I need help or whatever. And sometimes it's hard to say, you know, can I say no to them without feeling like a completely left them out in the cold, huh? Or is this something that really is a is a priority for me and setting boundaries for my own time and non always running after other people's problems. Just something that I easily do as my default setting boundaries is a good I like this not sitting down geezer. It seems like also allowing them to be broken when someone you know needs your help. Exactly. Um, we're broke, and thing is very similar to that, but it's just a distraction. So, for example, when I'm looking for something on the internet, I'll end up with, you know, 30 tabs open on my browser because I'm like, Oh, I could look at this. Oh, I could look at that. Oh, this is school. And later I want to read about that and look at this person on and so easy. So yes. So you see, So way have a lot here, right? Kinda better. Eso won. That's coming in is that resonates with a lot of people. Confidence that stopped me or lack there of confidence and confidence in so many things. Products say name everything okay. So right confidence that you're just not You don't have what you need. You're not gonna get there anything else coming through in the chats. That's like a big big one. That's kind of overlapping for people. I'll add it. I'll add it to this chart. Otherwise, we have plenty to work with. Way Dio dio, um, procrastination and specifically said procrastination from being overwhelmed on. Now this is a paralysis, right? So, like we're overwhelmed. And so therefore we procrastinate because we don't know what to do next. I want to add one, which I hear all the time, and I think it's so just It's like our default setting as creative people, I think, is perfection of them. Um, I hear that one a lot. Uh, and I think it's funny because we have the stereotype of artists that were these, like, really flaky people that don't care about our work. And I find nothing but the opposite on normally that we stop ourselves from putting our work out there getting our stuff done because we're waiting for it to be perfect, right? So this is great. Overwhelm procrastination over complication confidence. Life happens, things that are unplanned and urgent, not setting boundaries or breaking boundaries, distractions and perfectionism. Let's go to the right side of the chart how to counteract this. Right? So I'll start this because over complication, I have a really good personal solution for it. I go talk to my husband, I go ask Luke because Luke is the opposite of me. And he is able to simplify everything right off the bat. So I know when I'm over complicating something, I'm topping him on the shoulder. They were making it too complicated again. Please help me and look at what I'm doing. And he'll just say, What did you two? How does this even make sense to, you know, congregate it? Here's how you streamline it, right? So So remember the people that are in your life that are easily accessible to you that could help you. This is a big theme running through the class today and yesterday, asking for help, not doing everything yourself. So don't try to take on the burden of all of this yourself. Ask for help. So we'd love to hear. And the shot how you guys counter act these particular things. But let's start first. Liz, you mentioned overwhelm. Is there something that you've done in the past where you felt overwhelmed that allowed you to work through it. Um hmm. That's a difficult one. What would you do now? That's okay. Is there something that comes to mind when you feel overwhelmed? Now, like you have your plan, you've done this work. You have more of a plan in place. I think what I need to do is just pick one and go with it. I can always change it, Leader. Just pick one on. I'm gonna add to Since I have personal experience with this brain dump a brain don't when you feel overwhelmed. I know for me a lot of times I'll have things in my head on get stressed out that I have to do 10 things right now. And when I just write them down on paper and a list I could recognize what's what I really don't need to do now or today And the 10 things that were in my head, I only need to worry about two of them, and that immediately is like, Oh, I know these air, the urgent things. I need to do these air, the need and the now which we talked about before. Right here they are the other things, like worry about another time. So I like that. Just pick one. The only wrong thing you could do is to not do anything at all. So just pick one and you've made the right decision and bring them. I love that. Uh, which one? A life happens. I'm gonna throw that back at you, Heather. Unplanned with some things on plans and urgent being being so wise. Now, in day two of picture day job, what would you say? What would you dio in order to counteract it? So that sort of stuff doesn't constantly take you away from your work. It's hard. It is hard. This one for in particular when someone's asking us for help. Uh, recently, I've been really trying Teoh make almost like questions to say when I'm asked something. Is it is it something that will make a difference to either of us in a year or whatever? Is it something that is critical like that? Um, or is it something that is, you know, like a life or death kind of, you know, like, isn't really something like they don't give the emergency room okay? Yes. You stopping and do something or you know, I I'm still trying struggling to get that down, but something that I can say OK, when I'm making a decision on the spur of the moment rather than just going with my instinct and what I normally would dio say, Okay, wait, does it match up with these priorities? And then if it does, then I can answer, you know? Okay, great. I can help you. I love this. I wrote down as kind of summarize this decision matrix or a decision filter. Right. And I do this a lot with, um requests that I get to, you know, do certain things for people. Read my book, be part of my podcasts, right? A block from a blah, blah, blah. I used to say Yes, I say, save us all the time and it was a great way to build my business, but it's too overwhelming. And it's hard for me as an extremely extroverted person who wants to help all the people to say no. But a couple of years ago, I created what I called my yes circle, and I wrote the questions out as toe like in order to say yes, this needs to be on topic with where I want my business to go. It needs to be someone that I mix genuinely excited to talk. Teoh. It needs to be, you know, X, Y and Z, this is what it needs to get a Yes. And if it doesn't hit those points, I'm going to say no. So I'm hearing something similar. Free it from you. And I think really, the main point is you're not jumping anymore. You are stopping and saying we'll give. Give me a minute. Let me, you know, Let me let me get back, Teoh. And you're checking back in with yourself and you're taking it through decisions. Does this? Is this going to matter in a year? Is this Ah, a crisis is you know what day is? It could affect the other person in a dramatic way. Like whatever you kind of need. Um And then if not learning how to say no, is one of the things we talked about early yesterday. Unlike things that you're gonna need to accept to have your creative business just getting comfortable with saying no, we're saying not now or you're saying like thank you, but I can't write. That's really part. So I like this the decision matrix. And like, um not not a yes, right away. I think it's just another point. Yes, right away. Hey, let me think about it. Let me get back to you. Gotta practice that, um in the chat. Are we hearing from people about what stops them and how they can counteracted in terms of these points? Absolutely. And we've moved on to the counter, aka Great, So bundle. Wade had said I love simple to do lists. I like crossing out what I accomplish. So just that I I I like that too. Just that act of like crossing things out, huh? Maybe that's procrastination. I think so. Too simple to dio, right? They're even aps for that. I do. And I think, and I think I know when it was mentioned, someone said procrastinate, Procrastination from overwhelmed. These things air like, very connected right. They work for overwhelmed. They work for procrastination, simple to dio and crossing off big. I know people who have like a um they call it like a to done list where they write down the task that they completed that day. And that's also a confidence booster, right? Like done. Is it called a to done list? I don't know, but I like that. So writing down what you've accomplished and keeping tabs on it because it's so easy unless we have a really big milestone, which just doesn't happen that often unless, you know, are the first time our Etsy shop goes up or our website is finally live or we get our new business cards in our hands. Like moments like that don't happen very often. And so it's hard sometimes to see that we're making progress. And then it's hard to stay motivated. So having a two done less where five minutes before you go to bed at night or brush your teeth or whatever, it takes even less time than that. What did I do today? Oh, I wrote that one block post. I sent that scary email to the person that I want an informational interview with who I've never met before. I signed up for that meet up group. These small things make a really big difference in building up her confidence and getting us where we need to go baby steps build the strongest foundation. I will say that over and over and over again. Uh, it's so true, so true. It's so true when we discount it so much we look for, like, these enormous chunks of times, a fall from the sky that we're gonna be free to do our work. And it's not happening in 2015. I'm so I don't know a single person. I don't care if, like you're single and you know I don't have any of like, you know, you're not married, have a family or single or you have six kids and you, it doesn't matter. Nobody has the time anymore. It doesn't matter what your situation is. Uh, let's go to not setting boundaries or broken boundaries. I feel like I feel like these play into each other also right, so being more aware of what you're saying yes to to begin with helps you counter act and not setting boundaries. What else comes to mind in terms off counter acting, not setting the boundaries or broken boundaries? I think it's going through going through the hypothetical in the beginning, if you can write and getting it on paper. So, for example, with my clients, My God, it's so great you guys because I give them. I call it the persnickety particulars and they get that when they sign up to work with me. And it has my policies and procedures on the one thing that I'm really hard about is my rescheduling policy in my cancellation policy. And if you don't give me 24 hours notice, I will not reschedule your session. I will not refund your session. You lose the session or if you don't show up within 15 minutes of our appointment time, I hang up, the sessions lost, you don't get your money back. And the fact that I send that to my clients when they first sign up and I have them sign it, hopefully they read it. I hope they read it and understand. It has saved me a lot of anxiety because when it comes time to tell my client to say, hi, Michelle, I know we're meaning in two hours, but I can't make it. Could we meet another time this week? It's hard for me to say no, because it's kind of not my personality, but I say like, No, I'm really sorry. Per my particulars that you signed. I can't do anything less than hours notice. And honestly, my time is how I make money with my business. And so if I'm not giving you the session and I could have given someone else's session and so you know, I hope that you I understand. So either show up in two hours or you you lose it. And I've I've avoided, I think, many difficult conversations that way. So I think, like be upfront. And this is hard to when you're first starting your business because you don't you don't know sometimes what the snafus are. But just keep learning from your experiences with your clients. And as you get those begrudging lessons, sometimes you have to learn them the hard way, then build them into your process, right? So be up front and build into your process. And that way everyone's gonna be on the same page and you're able to be like I told I told you what this is. You agreed to it here. Here it is. It's a much easier conversation than, uh, you know, I probably would have been OK. That's no problem. That's OK. It's all right. It's not good distractions How do we counter act distractions? I'm going to say Pomodoro, which we mentioned in the last segment studying that timer and only taking a break after 25 minutes for 3 to 5 minutes. If you use the Pomodoro that's on Pomodoro technique dot com. That's not the right site. But maybe, uh, just we just look up Pomodoro. I totally just had a brain fart. Uh, then you could also say, Don't go to Facebook. Don't go to Gmail. Don't go to Twitter while I'm in a Pomodoro. So using the power of the Internet and applications and beauty, others and platforms that another one is called Focus. And I think there's another one called, like an tot, an anti distraction or something like that. If you look these up, you'll find them and see what works best for you. And I think Pomodoro technique technique, right? Is that what I said? I think that's what you said, but that's what thank you. Just it just felt wrong. Coming out of my mouth was like, Is that right? I literally just talked about that. So I like using using these sorts of tools, right? Distractions? What what else to counter this. Somebody said this. I think it was Abby Lynn who said it in the chat rooms. And then a lot of people were saying, Yes, I'm going to use that. And maybe it's what you talked about. But was the concept of, um but sorry, I was trying to fight it. Okay, here we go. You have your list, your priorities. And then when something interrupts your day, you can ask yourself if this is more important than what I had planned to dio When these distractions come up Stop. Is this more important than what I had planned to do? I love this on, and I have something to add to this that I feel very strongly about. Uh, turn off the frickin notifications on your phone. For the love of all that's holy. You do not need to know when you get an email, you do not too. You need to know when someone like your instagram picture you do not need to know. When you get a Facebook message, turn off notifications and it allows. It allows you to be very intentional when it is a home. As I right off the page when it is time to go on social media and it's, you know, it's a blessing and a curse to use social media for your business, right? I remember one time I was visiting my mother in law with my husband and I was like, I need to go work for an hour. Just let me slip into the other room and I was on Facebook, but I was in, like, my community site or I was working on a program or something and I heard my husband say, Well, know Michelle's on Facebook but she's working. Eso eso. Sometimes it gets a little tricky, right? Because you have tow work by being on these social media sites that are really distracting. But but by me, not having the only thing that notifies me on my phone is like my alarm and any text messages that I get. And I have this great app called balance, which allows you to just put in like the habits you kind of want to build and keep track of. So I say, like run. I want to run three times a week, and I'm able to check it off. I want Teoh drink six glasses of water every day. I'm able to kind of check it off, eh? So I let balance kind of nudge me and they'll say, Like you should think about drink some water soon on. That's a really great way to just, like, keep it simple and keep those reminders kind of coming to, but everything else. You don't need it that way. When it's Facebook time Instagram time, You'd be really surprised you could go through your entire email inbox in one Pomodoro. I'm telling you, you can and like, get to inbox zero were close to it. You could do the same thing with your social media. 1 25 minute block Every day is gonna get you what you need. That's huge. Perfectionism is the last one left. How do we counteract perfectionism? This is what I have to add. And I'd be curious to hear what what everyone else thinks of. I always ask my clients, Do you know when you've crossed that line into perfectionism territory like do you? Do you Are you aware that you're just now procrastinating on pushing this thing out because it's not perfect? I've never had someone say no like everyone is aware of when we've crossed that line. So I'm going to write, Watch the line. Uh and I think, remember, too, that perfectionism is the enemy of done. So it's better to get it out there, and it's good enough rather than wait for it to be perfect. So really, make sure that you, you know, fill this out for yourself in the workbook, Page 57 or in your notes, this is just really good for you to know, right? We're not building this into your snap necessarily. But you need to keep your eye on this stuff because, you know, this is what stops you personally. So before we dive into everyone's personalized snap safety net action plan, I want to go over the most important components of an action plan. What makes something actionable, right? I've said it before. I'm gonna say it again. Baby steps build the strongest foundation. We can't look to find the time we have to make the time right. That's a very important component of the action plan. Otherwise you're never gonna work on it. And really, 15 minutes a day turns into 7.5 hours a month that is not chump change. So don't discount the little pockets of time that you have. If you only have minutes, you could probably look at your snap and realize there's something you could do that will just move you forward more than you were yesterday in that 15 minute window. Create deadlines or else I am ashamed to say I didn't create a deadline for my effective escape from my day job. I was just I was I knew the pieces, but I wasn't from the beginning. Like here. My pieces. Here's when I want to give my notice. And if I did that, I probably could've shaved off six plus months from my my sentence. Bribes, bribes or not, just for babies and for Gangsters. Bribes are for everybody. It's built in motivation. If you step the rewards in advance and don't automatically think that the rewards have to be anything expensive, that's what I hear a lot of people. But, uh, you don't have to, you know. You don't have to have a parade in your honor. Go three hurt down. You could like, take a bubble bath. That, to me, is a really big reward something I don't get to do. Or you could go to your favorite coffee shop and get your favorite drink That, you know, is just kind of a street for you that you missed. Like we're gonna go through this. What are your bribes? What are the rewards that you could use for yourself? Calendar And whatever you use for your calendar, use that for your snap. Don't reinvent the wheel, do what works for you. But put your snap time in your calendar in advance. Right? I have clients. Sometimes that do this weekly. That kind of And I do this too. I have a Sunday meeting Sunday schedule meeting with myself. Where I look at the week I go over the week that just happened and I write down what really stood out that week when I was excited about what happened in my business, in my personal life, like very quickly. And then I looked towards the week ahead, and I see because I use that robust project management system teamwork dot com I I'm so type a about this kind of stuff. But when I have something, do I have the main goal and I break it down into steps, and I attacks deadlines with everything. But that could mean that sometimes I'll look at my week ahead and I'll see I have, like, 40 tasks on Tuesday that I didn't realize when I was making it. So I look and say I can to 42 House on Tuesday could probably do five. And so I kind of rework things and move things around so, you know, have that weekly scheduling date with yourself. Or just know that, like every Tuesday night and Sunday afternoon is your snap time, unless you have to move it for some reason. But hopefully that should be pretty rare. We talked about time management stuff and again, anyone that wants to invent a catchall system for creative to manage their time. Please, Dio, you'll have my undying appreciation and probably lots of money. But until then, you have to experiment with what works for you, and you'll notice that once you're a man or woman of the world in a full time entrepreneur and no one is giving you like a hey, you have to show up at your desk at nine o'clock and you can't leave till sex all of a sudden you could create your own work hours. I know for me, I schedule my coaching sessions during the hours that, like, I have the least chance of being kind of brain dead, right? So I know for me like I'm not coaching in the morning because that's a bad time for me. So I don't care that the rest of the world starts working at nine. I'm not doing sessions until 11 on, and sometimes I work at night when the rest of the work world doesn't or the weekends. And so just experiment with what works for you. And when you notice that something's consistent, build that into your schedule.

Class Description

You don’t have to commit your life to a soul-sucking day job. In fact, you can drum up the job of your dreams if you have the right mindset and an action plan to back it up. In Ditch Your Day Job, career coach Michelle Ward will show you what it takes to go from bored-at-work to satisfied and self-employed.

There was a time when Michelle was wasting her days working in finance. She was miserable at work and needed a change. Over the course of two years she cooked up her escape plan and has been perfecting her approach by helping others for the last five years. In this class, she’ll show you how to prepare to leave your day job for a career you love. 

You’ll learn how to:

  • Create a simple plan for getting your business started
  • Establish an emergency fund
  • Identify your existing sources of help and support

Michelle will take the mystery out of starting your own small business and help you zero in on the details that will make it happen. You’ll develop a savings plan that will give you a good buffer before making the leap and get tips on exactly what it takes to make your new endeavor profitable.

If you are done with counting down the minutes at your day job and want to launch your own creative business, Michelle is ready to give you all the inspiration and insights you need to set yourself up with a life and job you love.

As a bonus when you purchase this class, you'll get:

  •  1 Year Membership Free to Bidsketch
  • 2 Free Hours on Breather, to apply towards booking one of their beautifully designed workspaces.


a Creativelive Student

Fantastic course! I highly recommend it. Michelle is a wonderful teacher: energetic, passionate, funny, and encouraging. Kenna is also a great facilitator; the most natural and genuine host I've seen so far on Creative Live! Great job both of you. And a well-deserved shout-out to the in-class participants, who were engaged and candid about their own situations. Best of luck to both of you with ditching your day jobs. This class has given me the structure and several practical tools to facilitate my own transition to creative entrepreneurship and out of a soul-sucking job. Michelle shared many supportive messages that made me look more confidently at my "uniquity" and its value in the creative marketplace; as a result, I am now eager to take the action towards building my art business. I will use my S.N.A.P. to comfortably and confidently get to where I want to be, so that I don't snap at my day job in the process ;-)

Becky Pennington Arce

This course is truly AMAZING! I've been in hyper - forward motion since the first day! Thank you Michelle! This course was honestly different then any other! It gave actionable items, where to find support, and tons of yummy resources (which if very time consuming and somewhat impossible when you have a DAY JOB!) My Day Job is actually "ditching" me but by having a plan (which Michelle gives step by step details how to do), I'm totally comfortable and even EXCITED to be DITCHED! Several items that she shared I've already been able to implement into my creative business plan AND my personal life! Double whammy! I ended up buying the course to make sure I didn't miss anything! Super excited to continue and wish everyone luck on their own creative journey! ~Enjoy!

Heather Young

I was one of the fortunate studio members of this class. Wow! So much great information, step by step instructions, enthusiastic encouragement and fun! Michelle takes you through the baby steps needed to form a solid foundation to get ready to ditch your day job and do it with a plan, a safety net and a support network. A common sense guide to doing something uncommon and (to some) seemingly nonsensical. The videos will teach, inspire and encourage, the workbook will make it real for your own situation and the resources that are provided will be invaluable as you prepare to ditch your day job. You will be so glad you purchased this class!