Guest Post: Burning Out is Not an Option

The bright lights lured me here to make a name for myself. I wanted to make it big and what better place than New York City. I did what most people do when starting a new career; I went the safe route and joined a big health and fitness club.

Joe

 

While I enjoyed the comforts of working for a company, I have always had the desire to start my own business. With that dream I took the leap and I started my own personal training business. I left the comfort of the big brother and went out on my own. It was cool, it was exhilarating, and it was scary!

It was great at first, the money was piling in, I was my own boss, and I was making a name for myself.  The more money I made the more work I took on and before I knew it I was exhausted. Soon after I started I was completely burnt out. Trying to do so much was killing me, or to be less dramatic it was aging me. I started to look like a vampire with bags under my eyes. I had to fix this. How could I be helping people better their lives while neglecting my own? I was making people happy and healthy but I was looking and feeling like crap!

The solution was to take care of myself first so I can take care of others. What did I do? I didn’t have time to go to the Himalayas and hang with Buddhist monks, however, I made the time to sit quietly, plan, relax, breathe and have fun.

Here is my routine to success (or sanity) 

  • Start the day with YOU

Scarfing down breakfast while responding to emails and rushing out of the house is so unproductive. Instead, wake up a little earlier and give yourself time to jumpstart the day. During this time don’t allow emails, texts, social media, or any other distractions. This time is solely about you and your thoughts.

  • Write it out and give gratitude

While sipping my coffee I write down all my thoughts and worries. This might seem daunting but writing down your worries actually makes them seem more manageable. This process is a great form of release and most times it helps you come up with a solution. After I am done I write a short gratitude entry. This includes everything I am happy or grateful for. Seriously folks, this really changes your attitude. This is so therapeutic and has changed my life forever.  When you try this you will be forever grateful. (see what I did there?)

  • Plan, plan and plan again

Planning everything in a business is a must. After your morning notes take time to look at your schedule for the day. Fail to plan and plan to fail kind of thing. This will help resolve conflicts and organize your day. I do this with my personal life and business since they always overlap. I plan my free time. This might sound silly but if I have learned anything from being a workaholic it is that you have to PLAN TO HAVE FUN.

  • Take the day off

There will be days that your body or mind just needs a break. Listen to your body. You’re a business owner and you will always have work to do, its inevitable. Your task list isn’t going anywhere but there are times when you are running on empty and need to recharge. When I am feeling like I am getting run down I clear my day. I rather sleep and rest a day then be sick for an entire week. Take the time for yourself when you need it.

  • Practice what you preach

We like telling our clients to get their rest, stay hydrated, eat healthy, sleep 8 hours a night, and exercise regularly but it is astonishing how many health practitioners don’t take their own advice. My health and wellness is my priority and it should be yours. My energy and focus have been amazing since I make sure my meals are healthy, my sleep is adequate and I am moving and recovering daily. Practice what you preach.

  • Hard Stop—“Work Hours” 

This is something I have been culminating over the years. I have an end of the workday hard stop. Usually it’s at 7pm and sometimes 9pm if there is a particular time sensitive project I am working on. I stop, put my phone away and just unwind. I have employees, customers, friends, and colleagues that all know that I do not respond to emails or phone calls after 7 pm. Once you set those boundaries your quality of life will improve dramatically. Put your mobile device in the other room, turn off alerts, and unplug from the matrix. Spend time with a loved one, even if that loved one is you. If you respect your time so will everyone else.

These are some of the tools and practices that have given me sanity through the craziest of times. We are entrepreneurs, employers, leaders, and coaches. We need to take action in our own lives so we can lead by example. Learn to take care of your health and well-being so everything else can follow. Give yourself as much as you do to your business and clients.

 

 

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Joe Barbagallo is the owner of Joe Barbagallo Fitness training systems; a New York City based coaching service that focuses on fat loss, performance, and strength. His clients include professional athletes, actors, models, and mixed martial artists. Joe also is the co-owner of the film production company Planet Nerd Rage Productions. He is currently in production working with his comic book idol Larry Hama of GI Joe shooting their latest film “Ghost Source Zero!”

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10 Free Tools For Your Pilates Biz

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Let’s face it. Being a one person show and running all the parts of your business is tough and pretty overwhelming. If you’re just starting out you may not have the budget for hiring help, but that doesn’t mean you don’t still need it. Below is my list of 10 free, that’s right completely gratis, online tools to help you run the production that is your business smoothly just like a baby’s bottom: 

1-Hootsuite

Hootsuite is a social media dashboard meant to manage and measure your social networks. Link your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ accounts, schedule posts, and review analytics all in one place. I’ve been using it for a couple years now, it has completely streamlined my social media posting. Who needs a social media team when you have Hootsuite! Click this link and get 30 day trial of the pro version for free!

2-Basecamp

If you have multiple projects and team members that work remotely, Basecamp is your new BFF. Use it as a communication tool that will save your in-box, organize files all in one spot, create to-do lists for yourself and your team (to insure that no one is doing the same thing twice), and utilize their calendar to plan out the trajectory of your ideas. I’ve used both the free and paid version of this project management software and found it invaluable for keeping all the moving pieces of my business organized.

3- Google

This one is just a no brainer. Google is a startups most useful tool. They’ll hook you up with the ability to create documents, save them in a storage drive, whip up spreadsheets, chat via video on their hangouts, save you the cost of a research assistant with the their search engine, chat it up with G-chat, wrangle your schedule with their calendar, and of course- Gmail. This whole enchilada could cost you hundreds of dollars. Google’s giving it away free, don’t miss out.

 4-Appointlet

As if basic Google services weren’t enough, Appointlet, an online appointment-scheduling app, takes your Google calendar to the next level. Clients can confirm, decline, cancel, or reschedule their sessions all on their own. You can even add it to your website to make it easier for them to find and schedule with you. The free version is good, but for $10 more a month you can use it with PayPall to collect payment as well. Hello more free time and less scheduling missteps plus a waaay more cost-effective option than the beast that is MindBody when you’re starting out.

 5-Spotify

There’s nothing worse than sitting down to work in a crowded coffee shop only to have to sit through someone’s grotesque story of how they ate a bad oyster and was up puking all night. Yuck! Suddenly you’ve completely lost the stomach for getting anything done. Turn on Spotify, plug in your headphones, and tune out the world. I also use the paid version to float some chill tunes in the studio sans commercials. I prefer Spotify to Pandora because you can make your own playlists, download whole albums, and listen even when you’re offline (with the paid version).

 6-LinkedIn

You might be wondering why LinkedIn is on this list? Well, while Facebook, Twitter, and the Insta are great for building relationships with potential clients, what about the relationships you need with your peers? LinkedIn is a fantastic free resource for Pilates teachers or business owners that need advice on anything from how to deal with a difficult client to how to find the best insurance rate for your needs.

 7-Dropbox

Ever try to send an email with an attachment or a picture only to tear your hair out when it keeps getting returned over and over again? Or maybe you’ve wanted to share a extra large file or keep all your docs in one place for you and your team to view. Dropbox is perfect for all of that. Get 2 GB for free which is probably more than you’ll ever need.

 8-SCORE

SCORE is a nonprofit association, supported by the Small Business Administration, dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow, and achieve their goals through education and mentorship. Visit their office or find a volunteer mentor right on their site for answers to your questions, or take advantage of their free templates and tools. They have everything from business plan forms, to financial templates, and more.

 9-Square

Square, a payment processing application for iPhones or iPads, offers a wallet app for mobile transactions and a register app for a virtual cash register. With Square you can track sales, tax, top purchasing clients, and more. You only pay when you sell and there’s no fee to sign up. Bring your business into the 21st century and start taking credit cards for those big packages. In my experience once I started taking cards my sales went up almost 50%.

 10-NutshellMail

For all of you who are feeling overwhelmed trying to keep up with your social media feeds help is on the way! NutshellMail, owned by Constant Contact, sends you email snapshots of your chosen social networking accounts. Get free updates from your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Yelp, MySpace, YouTube, Foursquare, and Citysearch as often as you wish. Easy breezy.

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Ask Lindsay- Not Getting Techy With It

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“I think I was born in the wrong decade. I am the opposite of tech savvy and I freeze at any tech problem, whether it’s accounting, scheduling, or setup. Help!”

 ~Technically Challenged in NYC

 

I picked this question, not because I too loathe anything technical (I’m actually freakishly good at this stuff!), but because I know I am an anomaly. While the rest of you cringe and fidget at the mere thought of getting technical, I have some simple and effective tips to bring you into this day and age.

 Tip #1 

Know what you’re good at. Maybe you’re a wiz at marketing or get excited at the prospect of balancing your books. That’s your wheelhouse, and exactly where you should be hanging out. As a business owner, you want to spend your time wisely (remember that time is money). Doing things that you like to do AND that you are good at will keep your spirits up and be the best use of your boss juice. We have an unrealistic need to be good at all things (ahem, perfectionism), which leads me to #2…

Tip #2

Know what you’re NOT good at. If you hate doing something, if it takes you hours (even days) to put a dent in a task, if you’re hair is getting patchy from you pulling it out….HIRE SOMEONE TO DO IT! I know what it’s like to be a one woman show, I did it for SO long, and it can be challenging to hand things over to someone else. The thing is, you’re NOT being productive and helping build your business when you are spending all this time trying to put a square peg in a round hole. YOU are a square peg, my dear and you are never going to fit in that round person’s hole….(maybe a little graphic but you get the picture). If you’re worried about the money it’ll take to hire out, get creative. Maybe you have a relative that can help you out at a discount? Maybe you can barter? Pilates for website design? Babysitting for accounting help? Start asking and you’ll be surprised what help will come to your aid.

 Tip #3

Know what you can learn to be decent at. There are those things that are impossible to learn, those things that are easy to learn, and then there are those things that can be taught. Find an expert who specializes in teaching people, not just doing it themselves. For example make sure you build your website on a platform you can update on your own and learn how to do it. You might not be able to do the heavy lifting but at least you can do the basic day-to-day stuff. Have you always been good with numbers but you don’t quite understand the accounting software you’re using? Have your accountant or bookkeeper sit down and walk you through it. Still strapped for cash but eager to learn? There’s always the world’s best free research assistant…Google. You can learn almost anything with a Google search and Youtube video. If it’s something you think you can tackle try your hand at learning it.

My mentor and biz-nass guru Marie Forleo always says, “Everything is figure-out-able”. You’re smart, you’re an entrepreneur, you’re a bad-ass. Go out there and conquer the tough stuff by doing what’s right for you. I promise you’ll be happier for it.

Got a burning biz-nass question? Leave it in the comments below I’ll give you the A to your Q!

Not quite sure if you’re ready to get your coaching on? Enter your deets here and let’s stay in touch!

 

Proactive vs Reactive

Believe me, I know how it feels. A new year rolls around and while you’re supposed to be full of hope and promise, instead you’re full of dread. Your to-do list is swallowing you whole, you have no idea how to make your dreams and goals a reality, and you can’t remember not feeling overwhelmed running your business. In the past weeks, I’ve been sharing what I’ve learned from one of the most productive and successful business women I know. This system has changed my business and my life. Being in control of your efficiency is THE key to having the life and business of your dreams. It’s time to step up your game. Check out this video where I break down my process:


As promised below are is the step by step process I use to make my magic, including links to my templates and PDF worksheets:

Step One. Create a Painted Picture.

Step Two. Define your goals and plug them into your year

Step Three. Create Task Lists. (Here’s mine to help you get an idea of what I do;)

Step Four. Schedule them immediately!

Finally, I challenge you to do at least ONE of these steps in the next week. Leave your insights, comments, and questions below. I want to hear from you!

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My Kick-Ass Yearly Planning Tool

 

set-goals-like-the-pros-just-in-time-for-new--L-MKilrmHopefully by now you’ve completed my Painted Picture exercise from the last newsletter. If you haven’t go here to get the deets. You’re probably saying to yourself, “So, now I have the picture in mind, how the heck do I make it a reality?” The next step is what separates the women from the girls (or men from the boys). Traditional goal setting has  you writing resolutions, goals, or dreams but gives no direction on how to actually make them a reality. The problem isn’t with your ability to dream or plan, your problem is with the follow through. Never fear, Lindsay’s here! I have the plan to resolve your resolutions! No longer will you feel overwhelmed by the enormity of your tasks, or the scope of the life you want to live. This is THE system I use, and the one that will change your life and business for the better.

Using the calendar chart I’ve created, plug in any trips, family, commitments, or vacations you know you are taking next year. If you’re a paper kinda gal, write in pencil, (trust me you’ll want to make changes) Next, take a look at your ten goals you narrowed down in the Painted Picture exercise. Here’s the hard part- place each of the goals into the months you’d like them to be achieved by. Suddenly your year doesn’t look so open does it? Thought you could visit Grandma, get the kids into that exclusive day camp, and go back and get your masters degree…all in the month of June? Think again. This is where you have to get really honest with yourself and maybe even give yourself a smack-down. You want your new year to be productive NOT destructive. One of the problems with planning and productivity is that we (as in you AND me) tend to do the following: over estimate the amount of things we want to get done and underestimate how much time everything actually takes.

I have good and bad news. The bad news is by looking at your year, you’ll realize that you won’t be able to do as much as you’d like, and have to pare down. The good news is by trimming your list, you’ll actually accomplish what you set out to…and like a rock star!  Play around with this calendar for a bit. See what you can comfortably do in a month without tearing your hair out. The third and final step in this process will be to actually map out EVERY step in each goal, but don’t worry I’ll help you with that. For now, take a breath and start to envision the best year your business has ever known!

 

The Secret To Having THE Life and Business You Want

What is the picture of your future? Have you projected where you want to be in 6 months, a year, or even three years? Does the thought of this make you puke a little??? Let me put it this way- would you hike an unknown trail without a flash light? Hell no! So why are you trying to run your business while you’re in the dark? The key to being more productive, accomplished, successful, and affluent is creating the blueprint of your dreams. Once you have your plan you’ll know what projects to put your precious time into and can strategically plan out the steps to create the life and business you really want. Here’s how:

Sit down, either with your favorite journal or in front of your computer. Lean out into the future three years. Why three years? Well, mostly because one year will fly by before you can blink a mascara-ed eye, and five years will seem like an eternity and you won’t be realistic.

Get Clear. Be very specific with what you want and cover all areas of your biz and your life: Revenue, profit, staff, how many hours a week you want work, where you will live/work, what you want the state of your body to be, how you want your relationships to work, personal finances, etc.

Don’t get hung up on the details. This is a living document which means it will change and grow. Just get a first draft down on paper and then edit yourself later. As you start to identify your passions and wants you’ll find somethings won’t make the list.

Next, using the picture of where you wanna be, take up another sheet of your journal. Open a new doc. Brainstorm all the things you want to accomplish just this year. Make sure your list has both professional and personal goals. I want to be 10,000 richer. I want to have 50 new clients. I want to have twins. You get the idea.

Now, take a black sharpie and circle 10 things you really want to do. Voila! Here’s your goals! Clarity is power. You have the power to be you want to be.

“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.” -Napoleon Hill

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Want more tips and help getting clear on where you’re going in life and in business? Join us live and in person, Friday January 17th 1-3pm at FORM Pilates USQ. First celebrity Pilates instructor, Lynda Lippin will be spilling the beans on how to get high profile clients and work abroad. Next, I’ll guide you through my process of getting more done and answer your most burning biz-nass questions. Get more info and reserve your spot today here!

 

How Multi-tasking Slows You Down

Look, I know how it is. You have a busy schedule, maybe a child (or two), an important job, or maybe your own business. The point is you have responsibilities and your to-do list is a mile long. In your best effort to stay ahead of the curve, you feel like you HAVE TO do it all, and do it all right now!!! You don’t even know how you became a multi-tasking demon or maybe you’re in denial that you are one at all? Have no fear, Lindsay’s here. Let’s s l o w down and find a present state of being that allows you to actually get things done and keep your sanity to boot.

 

  • Get real The first step in any good recovery program is to get free from denial. Yes, you heard me right, “denial my dear is NOT just a river in Egypt.” It is where you are if you think juggling ten (or even two) balls at once is productive. Once you’ve come clean, you have to sit with it and start to build your in-the-present power. Start paying attention to how you pile on your tasks. Stop, take a breath, and pick just one. Try not to get frustrated when in minutes time you find yourself piling it on again. Stop. Take a breath. Choose one task. Repeat as necessary. You build up your multi-task muscle so now it’s time to develop your strength in a different way.*extra credit for sitting and meditating

  • Bundle that shiznit I recently read an alarming statistic that says if we check out email every five minutes it’s a total of 24,000 times a year! Just put down the iPhone. Practice bundling your tasks like email, phone calls, paying bills. etc. You will save so much time AND energy focusing on one task for a predetermined time. If you’re a recovering email addict like myself, you’ll most likely go through some withdrawals. I recommend scheduling specific times to check the email, maybe once an hour (if you’re really a user;) and then slowly increase the space until you are only checking it two or three times a day! You will find that you suddenly have time to do the dishes, get a workout in, heck- write that book. You can thank me later…

 

 

 

 

  • Streamline your to-dos If you’re like me, my to-do list can overwhelm even the most organized time management ninjas. I deal with it two ways:
    • If I’m overwhelmed, I use my biz goddess of a mentor, Marie Forleo’s brilliant overwhelm exercise. Sit for 10 min and brain dump. Write down everything in your brain that you have to do, are stressed about, etc without editing. Then, take 5 min to cross off anything that you have no control over. Worried about your kid finding friends at school? Cross that off. Will your new client like you and want to continue? Criss cross. Finally, take what you have left and schedule the steps you will need to accomplish to complete said task. Remember: If it’s not scheduled it’s not real.
    • Be okay with accomplishing only 3 tasks a day. Wellness warrior, Kris Carr, says “I can only metabolize 3 tasks a day.” For the multi-tasking master this may seem like child’s play but it works. By narrowing it down to 3 do-able tasks you feel successful, not overwhelmed. Then if you have more time, you can always add on more. Follow this step with a simple affirmation: “I have done the perfect amount today”. Booyah. Productivity mojo.

Now it’s your turn. How do you keep your sanity and get more done? Pick a strategy, try it out, and leave your findings below. I want to hear from you!

AND if you want more productivity tips and top-notch business advice from someone who’s been there, >sign up for a FREE 30 min biz consult. Let’s start the business of your dreams!

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