Episode 9

Decluttering Demons: The Sequel

In this follow-up to episode 4, Betsy, Molly, and Kathy keep their promises to check in about how they’re doing in their efforts to declutter and how each is faring with her own decluttering demons. 

Molly Kathy Betsy

About this Episode

In this follow-up to episode 4, Betsy, Molly, and Kathy keep their promises to check in about how they’re doing in their efforts to declutter and how each is faring with her own decluttering demons. 

People... Products... Places

In this episode, we mention the following:


Molly McBeath  0:12  
Hello and welcome to Yes But However, a podcast about marketing, business, and real life. This episode is the last in our first season. This final episode follows up on how all three of us are doing on our business decluttering. Betsy updates us on how she’s keeping on top of all of the different pieces of software she uses; I bare my soul about how thinking about business decluttering led me to a difficult realization about where I’m spending time that I shouldn’t be spending; and Kathy shares her struggle to stay on top of the figurative and literal towers of backups she keeps to protect client assets. I want to note that we recorded these follow ups in two different sessions so the sound quality will change and it’s not the most natural transition. My apologies. But it’s all in keeping with the Yes But However tradition of better done than perfect.


Molly McBeath  1:00
We promised a follow up on, from our decluttering discussion. So Betsy, you were going to talk about…I’ve already forgotten.


Betsy Muse  1:17  
Right. I was going, I’d mentioned that I plan quarterly and that I was going to finish my planning that very weekend and was going to report back on whether I was able to successfully declutter my business or incorporate that into my quarterly planning. And I did actually make progress. The problem is, the queen of tools here immediately turned around and re-cluttered. And I really didn’t re-clutter. One of the things that I realized I needed to do is streamline and, my processes are pretty streamlined. But as a solo entrepreneur, I have purchased quite a few SAS products and they all have a place in my business. But as more products come out I buy the better product, or the product that has more bells and whistles that means I can let go of other products, and just recently have purchased three that really, while they feel bloated a little bit, I think it will work better because they mean that I can stop using other products. And so you know, it eventually will be streamlined but both of y’all know that implementing new things like project management tools…these aren’t quick and easy processes. So I’ve purchased them. I have not implemented them because I have not had time.


Kathleen Fealy  3:09  
Do you want to share what they are? 


Betsy Muse  3:10  
One is a project management software, Nifty PM, and it’s so far it looks like it’s going to be exactly what I’m looking for. And I was able to import everything I have in Asana and Trello. And so that saved me time not having to set things back up. But I couldn’t import things that I have in Project.co and that’s the summit, which is really um, that’s an intense project, has a lot of tasks to it and that would have been nice to be able to import that. And then another, well now I can’t remember. One is Social Animal, which is a BuzzSumo alternative, so it’s not replacing anything but it is just something that takes a while to get used to using and implementing in my content planning. And for the life of me I can’t remember the other one. It is business management software. I bought it and it was a lifetime deal on AppSumo, y’all laugh at me when I buy these things, but it’s the one thing that it would replace FreshBooks, it would replace Adobe, it would replace a lot of, would replace, you know, Google Docs. It would replace a lot of things that I use daily but there’s this part of me that feels like “hm, I think getting used to using it and learning how to use it might actually take longer than I want to dedicate to it.” And so that’s the one you know, with AppSumo you’ve got 60 days and they, no questions asked, give a refund. So I do have time to try it out and see if it works. But I’m not going to report back again. This is the report back. But I do think that I’m going to keep that review quarterly.


Molly McBeath  5:14
(unintelligible) How did that feel to incorporate that into the quarterly review? 


Betsy Muse  5:18
It felt good. I mean it just felt like, almost like a spring cleaning. And to do that every quarter and I feel like I’m not going to get stuck in bad habits or you know, trying to make a piece of software work, trying to make a SAS product work that really isn’t doing its job. And it just gives me an assigned time to review that to see if there are alternatives. I like that.


Betsy Muse  5:55
So Molly, you were going to report back.


Molly McBeath  6:05  
Yeah, I have to report back and it’s, I feel a little awkward about it. It feels like it’s a little…this could be controversial.


Betsy Muse  6:12


Molly McBeath  6:13
So be gentle with me. That’s what I’m saying, all right? So it was something I, I’m glad that it’s been a few weeks now since we had that earlier conversation and I needed that time. I couldn’t have done this in just a week. I couldn’t have done it in a week because it was just such a big realization for me. And it’s a little painful. So I’m not even sure that I’m, it’s not, I’m not settled in it yet. But what occurred to me is that I’m, as you two know, I’ve pivoted my business, which is not it’s not really pivoting. It’s, I niched my business into the clean energy industry, about a year before the pandemic started. So I mean, I’ve worked in a small time before that, but then I really, I just said I loved it and this is what I wanted to spend all my time on because I do, I really love it. I would happily you know, I was reading about heat pump water heaters this morning over breakfast and it was great. I loved it. It’s fascinating, but with the pandemic in the economic recession, and the election coming up, this is a really hard time to drive new business. And I finally realized you know what, I think I need to double down on all the stuff that I’ve been doing for the last 20 years, and you know, continue to put out my feelers and put myself out into the industry that I’m most interested in. But I think that I need to pull back on how much time I’m spending on that. And so that, I don’t know, that’s the conclusion I came to. It’s kind of a painful one but then I tell myself, well, I’m not giving up on it. It’s just this is an un…well let’s not, let’s not use that word. This is an unusual time, let’s say that. I was going to go to the “un-p” word, but no one wants to hear that anymore. We’re all sick of that word. I think it’ll probably be the right choice for now and then I’ll see how it develops. I just, I’m not niching so hard as I was, I guess.


Betsy Muse  8:33  
Right. I know that a lot of your clients, the work that you get is a tight turnaround. Do you think you’ll be in – I always, I always got the sense that that was part of the problem.


Molly McBeath  8:46  
That is true.


Betsy Muse  8:49  
I’m just wondering if there was a way that you could, as you broaden your field of view into other areas, if there was a way to set things up to create this expectation of longer deadlines.


Molly McBeath  9:12  
I think so. Mostly, I’m probably just going to leave more holes in my schedule than I used to, I think.


Betsy Muse  9:18
Makes sense.


Molly McBeath  9:19
And that probably gives me enough space to have things kind of slosh around from various dates where I used to run things really back to back and it was more about making money. And now I’m more focused on having the right kind of client experience both for them and for me, than on just what the dollar amount is. I value my sleep more than I used to, I value my health more than I used to.


Betsy Muse  9:58  
I don’t see this as a step back at all because I think a lot of us are having to do things during these times–


Molly McBeath  10:01
These *clears throat* times.


Betsy Muse  10:03
I know. To make sure we’re covering our butts and you know, just to make sure that, that our business stays afloat. So I don’t–


Molly McBeath  10:18  
It’s both the business staying afloat and the fact that it makes me unhappy to not have work coming in. I have some work coming in, but not at the level that makes me comfortable. Like I’m a person who likes to be busy. I do better work when I have multiple projects and I juggle them. If I only have one project to do then I’m not very happy because it’s, my brain likes breaks. I’ll work kind of really hard for three hours and then I want to work on something completely different for another three hours. And that’s, that’s just the way I am, I’ve always been like that, and so this way I can have more projects, be a little bit more comfortable and still, you know, more slowly move in the direction that I ultimately want to go in. And maybe that’ll be fine. I don’t intend to stop but I’m going to pull back and, and recognize all the other areas in which I have a lot of experience rather than pushing myself into something new all the time.


Kathleen Fealy  11:27  
Yeah, I agree with Betsy. I don’t see it as a, as anything that’s like a backslide or anything at all. You still have that niche that you go for. I don’t see this backsliding as much as the… We’re all multitaskers, so you’re just you’re just taking on different projects of different types that are being offered and not getting bogged down with the concept that if you’re chosen market isn’t as…


Betsy Muse  11:57


Kathleen Fealy 11:58
Active, yeah.


Molly McBeath  12:01


Kathleen Fealy  12:02
Prolific. So what I was gonna say is, is just the fact that your current market or niche is not as prolific as it normally is, not as active, so you’re just shifting a little better. I hate that word pivoting because everybody’s pivoting right now. But it’s not you’re, you’re just taking on different projects and you know, everybody multitasks at different times, and I don’t think, I mean, you are a very…you chose to niche very specifically. So all you’re doing is sort of broadening out the topic of work. It’s not like you’re going from being a writer to like your growth side to become a landscaper. I mean, not that there’s anything wrong with landscaping, but it’s two totally different things. So, you know.


Betsy Muse  12:55
And I also – I’m sorry.


Kathleen Fealy  12:57
No, go ahead, please.


Betsy Muse  12:58
We need little flags. Now, the thing is, is Kathy is right and the other thing is that, you know, you still have reset how you work.


Molly McBeath  13:16
That’s true.


Betsy Muse  13:17
That was part of the problem is that people would see you work and it was just you were pushing yourself so hard.


Molly McBeath  13:29  
I was so burned out last like November, I was so burned out. 


Betsy Muse  13:33
Yeah, I remember that.


Kathleen Fealy  13:33
And January too.


Betsy Muse  13:34
You still reset that, you’ve still reset that. So I think it’s a positive. I think it’s a positive. 


Molly McBeath  13:45  
Thank you, thank you. Yeah, I think it is going to be a positive in that I’m already feeling once I came to this realization of, of how my mindset was just not working with my energy. You know, to be kind of woo woo about it. But it wasn’t and I was just sort of like, “oh my God, I am pushing boulders up hills every single day and I am exhausted,” and then “why am I doing this? It doesn’t have to be this hard.” You know, I am not doing a huge shift and there are definitely ways that I can still run my business in a way that feels like it’s my business and things that I want to do, projects that I enjoy, clients that I enjoy. And yeah, it doesn’t have to take so much out of me that you know, when I get to the end of the workday, I just look at my family and say, “don’t ask anything of me, I’m too tired,” you know, and that’s, you know, I don’t want to live like that especially with a teenager in the house. I need my energy. Anyway, so that is where, where I am and maybe we are going to have to follow up on that one in, you know, another month and see how that’s going and if I’m finally feeling less burned out. I mean, doing this podcast has been really helpful for feeling less burned out because it was such a different project, that has been really nourishing for a lot of what was burned out in me. I just had to do something that was really fun and really different for a while.


Molly McBeath  15:24
Betsy and I have both done our own follow ups on how we were thinking about things after we talked about decluttering our businesses, but we haven’t followed up with Kathy, so…


Kathleen Fealy  15:39  
I would say that what I have found with decluttering is that I am a failure.


Molly McBeath  15:45
A decluttering failure.


Kathleen Fealy  15:46
A decluttering failure.


Molly McBeath  15:47
There’s no such thing.


Kathleen Fealy  15:48
Um, the more I tried to declutter, the worse it got. And the more that I got busier with different projects and then tried to declutter, the worse it got. It’s literally like the concept of when you go to clean out your closet, you end up having to either take everything out or whatever, and it looks like a total chaos disaster for the longest time. My problem is I don’t know when it’s not going to look like that. And my biggest issue right now is digital files. And I am a paranoid individual who likes backups of backups, because something’s going to break somewhere or some service is going to get malware in some place and I’m going to lose something so I will have a backup of a backup of a backup. And I have more external hard drives than I care to ever admit to and just got a new one, one was 16 terabytes and then three five terabyte ones to try to get organized. And Betsy is now holding up her version of her new terabytes. She got, oh, she got five terabytes too. Seems to be a popular number right now. But, um, so, my decluttering. The only thing I will say is that I am now making more of an effort at the end of the day to try to at least put my files into buckets is what I’m calling them. Like, I will have my client file and I will at least get everything that has to do with that client thrown into that initial bucket. And if I can be more organized, I will have, I have usually in that bucket I have an admin, an asset, a content which goes inside the asset in photos/images, and then a tech file. So my three main files are admin, asset, and tech and inside the asset is always image and content. So I’m trying to toss them in there daily, not always working. And the truth is, I’m working on multiple computers. So sometimes I throw things onto my desktop, and that gets organized on the desktop but on the laptop, and then I’m taking external hard drives and plugging them into each directory to get everything together. So again, I have failed in the decluttering of my life. I will say that our podcast does, however, allow everybody to realize that you don’t have to be good at it. You don’t have to be efficient. Oh, it’s a work in progress. 


Betsy Muse  18:39  
This has been Yes But However. I’m Betsy Muse with my co-hosts Kathy Fealy and Molly McBeath. This episode was written, edited, and produced by the three of us. Our theme music is Tourist in Punta Cana, which is available through Audio Hero. The show’s website, where we post show notes, transcripts, and more information about us, can be found at yesbuthoweverpodcast.com. You can contact us through the website or email us at talkers@yesbuthoweverpodcast.com. Thanks for listening.


Molly McBeath  19:18  
Now it’s time for the disclaimer. The information, opinions, and recommendations presented in Yes But However are for general information only. Any reliance on the information provided in this podcast is done for your own risk. No part of this podcast should be considered professional advice. Thanks and have a great day.

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This show's sponsors

This episode is sponsored by our businesses – McBeath Communications, KF Multimedia, and Rocket Fuel Strategy. We are quite literally putting our “money” where our mouths are!

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