Three simple secrets that make all the difference

One of my biggest complaints about being in business for myself is the feeling of overwhelm. It’s not uncommon for me to wake up in the middle of the night thinking about my business.

Just the other night I found myself wide-awake at 2:00 am. I just lay there thinking about my large To Do List.

This got me feeling stuck. Confused. Ashamed.

My old friend “Overwhelm” kicked in – once again.

Fortunately, things looked different the next morning as I rolled over and saw the sun bouncing off the trees outside my window.

At my core I know that most of the overwhelm I experience is made up in my mind.

And I also know I’m not alone. For fun, I did a quick internet search on small business overwhelm and learned that MOST entrepreneurs experience this.

What I know for sure is that it doesn’t matter if you have it all figured out. The vast majority of us don’t. What’s important, though, is to remain in the game when overwhelm creeps in.

The following three tips help me remain focused and on task. And I share them with you in hopes that they will serve.

Flip Chart and Post-It.
These days there are endless online resources for calendars, tracking tools, etc. For me, I prefer to go “old school.”

I track my thoughts and tasks on large flipchart paper. As soon as I do this, it starts to make them real. When I get an idea, or create a specific task, I first write it on a Post-It and then attach it to a flipchart sheet. The end result is a large sheet of paper with a crazy amount of Post-Its attached. It’s a parking lot of sorts, and it helps keep me organized. When a task is completed, I simply remove the Post-It.

I’m such a random personality-type that this method really works for me. My ideas are parked on the sheet so they won’t be forgotten, and I simply scan the Post-Its and focus on whichever one jumps out at me next.

Shake it up.
When things get really bad, I step away from my desk and shake up my environment a bit – and go for a jog. This works wonders for me. And it’s when I tend to think the most clearly, and when most of my creative ideas occur. I make it a habit to jog with my phone so I can record my thoughts as they come to me. Now I’m not suggesting that you take up jogging, but I do suggest that you shake up your environment.

Remember your allies.
You have allies all around you. Lean into them and ask for help. You can’t do it alone. At times, it seems like it takes a village to keep me going (LOL): my business coach, my partner, and my therapist. Get the support you need. For me, it’s quite freeing to know that I can lean into a small group of intimate allies when needed.

You are worthy of a life even greater than you can imagine. Dare to dream it. Dare to live it. Dare to Play Your Bigger Game.

What works for you when you get stressed or overwhelmed? I‘d love to know.


1 Comment

  • Dean Regan Reply

    THE BIG TWO: There are two things that keep me on track: (1) getting rid of the junk and (2) prioritizing. I’m an expert at unsubscribing from all sorts of email lists (extra emails are a huge “time waster” that really weighs me down).

    FULL DISCLOSURE: Take this blog post — it could be a huge time waister! We can blog all day long if we like; reaching out and responding. When given the opportunity to blog this lovely Sunday morning, my personal purpose was clear: How will writing this blog support my sense of well being and priority? My answer was that (1) I need to strengthen my own beliefs and writing them also does that for me, (2) Rick engages me like very few other people do and I love engaging with PLAYING YOUR BIGGER GAME and PRODUCE U and (3) a number of my “tribe” are also engaged in the Thought Leadership Space and I staying connected to them is a HUGE VALUE. (Hi, Tribe!)

    RECOGNIZE IT AND MAKE IT WORK FOR YOU: Overwhelm has become my friend lately. I have a huge project (I call it the Downtown LA Project) that is taking a great deal of time and energy, but also providing a great deal of financial resource. It takes long hours and though smack dab in the “Leadership Space,” is a huge (in many cases unwelcome) challenge. Our household has grown by two lovely people in the last six months; a blessing in all important ways — and a logistical challenge. And then there is my heart-spaced, love my Leadership entrepreneurial business LIVING IN CONCERT WITH LIFE! ( These three aspects keep me with plenty of evidence to claim “overwhelm.”

    YOUR THOUGHTS EITHER LIFT YOU UP OR F$*@ YOU UP. Whenever I feel overwhelm, I first RECOGNIZE IT. And I recommit that overwhelm is not a value of mine. EASE AND FLOW are values of mine. WHEN I CHANGE THAT ONE SINGLE THOUGHT, my experience changes. I’m becoming an expert at recognizing that each little thought contributes to the whole. I keep my thoughts flowing in the direction of SUCCESS, WELLNESS, LOVE, KINDNESS and FUN. (If you want to know how, you can go to

    GET RID OF THE GARBAGE: Our electronic culture is everywhere. I only engage when I have a strong sense of being able to contribute to my wellness or that of my family or receive something. The electronic junk mail (and snail mail) get UNSUBSCRIBED, DELETED. There is not one catalog that comes to my house, because I don’t purchase from catalogs.

    DEAL QUICKLY WITH THE MAIL: Every day my email and snail mail is gone through and dealt with. When it contributes to a large project it is assigned there.

    MINIMIZE THE TEXTS: I only accept texts from (1) my family, (2) reminders from vendors and (3) emergency information from clients.

    VOICEMAIL: Though I still use voicemail, most is personal. Professional information comes through email.

    NATURAL PRIORITIES AND DETERMINED PRIORITIES: My most driven priority is my family. This is where my energy goes first and foremost. All of my other projects filter up to engaging and serving my family. Though this is very important to me, it also gets in the way of other less heart-felt priorities (updating my wonderful website; maintaining my business priorities).

    I stay “on top of” my PRIORITIES by naming them:


    ENGAGING MY VALUES (The big three: Love, Prosperity and Creativity; supported by Order, Faith, Connection, Ease and Flow)



    When I am focused on the above, it always brings a sense of ease to the “projects at hand.” It points out to me — over and over again — that I am AT CHOICE with my life. I HAVE THE POWER TO BRING ALL GOOD THINGS INTO MY LIFE through my CHOICES. So do we all.

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