decision making

3 business lessons I learned from making sandwiches | Madison, WI business coaching

It’s rainy and cold. What do you make for dinner?

Tomato soup and grilled cheese-it’s a classic! And that’s just what I did a few weeks ago. An easy meal, perfect for a chilly gray day. Until I burned the life out of the grilled cheese. facepalm. But, as soon as I flipped those charred sammies, I knew exactly what I was supposed learn-like a big thunk on my forehead from God.

I’m getting really stinkin’ good at learning lessons in my everyday activities-so good, in fact, that I will often call Stephen while drive just two miles away to the store to share something I learned! I’ve been keeping a little list of those lessons-here’s the first one:

3 business lessons I learned from making grilled cheese sandwiches

Don’t overthink things

A grilled cheese is one of the simplest food items you can make. Seriously, bread, cheese, butter. But the last time I made a grilled cheese, the outside was dark and the cheese wasn’t super melty, so I decided to look up a recipe.

(I doubted myself)

Then I decided to zhouzh up the sandwich with a yummy spread.

(I wanted to create the best possible product)

All I could think was “Oh, I hope Stephen’s super impressed with my gourmet grilled cheese!” I spent so much time concerned about his opinion of these dumb sandwiches that I overthought every step. How to butter the bread. How to get them that perfect golden-brown. How to get the cheese gooey.

(I was frantically attached to an outcome)

As I ooooooverthought each step, I got the opposite result from what I wanted. A charred sandwich that no one wanted.

Sometimes, the more we try to make something perfect for someone, the more prone we are to make mistakes. We overcomplicate things. We get stuck in a vortex of adding…and never actually finishing. And we overthink an otherwise simple job.

How to fix an overthinking problem

How can you take action on something you know you’ve been overthinking? What do you just need to put out into the world that you’re currently overthinking and you know it?

Hit publish.

Hit record.

Click send.

And stop overthinking it.

Make the best product you can without overthinking it.

Learn to focus

I was so busy stirring soup, refreshing my phone screen, reading the recipe, adding ingredients, and checking temps that, without thinking, I added olive oil to my pan (mistake #1). I then let the oil overheat (mistake #2). When I laid down the already buttered bread, the smoking oil burned the bread on contact.

You see, there’s a looooot of our brain that runs on auto pilot to conserve energy. I mean, our brains burn somewhere around 80% of our total daily calories, so that smart lil thing wants to put itself on cruise every chance it can.

In my case, I had wayyyy too many things happening at once. I maxed out my thinking capacity, and parts of my brain started conserving energy by running on autopilot. What do I normally do when I take out my skillet? I add oil. I didn’t even have to think-I just did it, even though it wasn’t what I needed for this job.

Here’s the thing-There are SO many times in our businesses that we’re trying to do WAY too many things at once and, in the process, we over complicate simple jobs. We overthink things that should be easy, and we don’t get things done because we keep thinking of something to fix or reword.

You’ll know when to flip-taking action intuitively

The last lesson came after I remade the dang sandwiches. I tuned out distractions, stopped caring about what Stephen thought about my sandwiches, and just started making them.

In fact, I stayed focused while they toasted in the pan. I didn’t scroll on my phone. I just stood there. I wanted to give my intuition the chance to nudge me and it did! All of a sudden, I had a feeling that it was time to flip the sandwiches. I lifted the corners and they were perfect!

And in that moment, I realized that a lot of business is like that. When you get quiet, focus, and listen to your intuition, you’ll know exactly when it’s time to take action, release a new product, launch a course, unroll a new service.

So, how can you find a way to get quiet in your life and business so you can listen to your intuition?




How To Become A More Decisive Person| 5 Techniques to Help You Stop Overthinking Everything

Let's face it, if you're running a business, you make a lot of decisions. And because you have so many daily decisions to make, it can be really debilitating to feel stuck!

At the beginning of this year, I noticed that, as I began choosing to take risks in our business, diversify, and try new things, I was faced with decisions that had higher stakes. And as I began taking on bigger decisions, I started becoming paralyzed with simple everyday decisions.

Raise your hand if you've ever deliberated wayyyyy too long on something small like whether you should have a breakfast burrito or a cinnamon roll. Red or white? Pants or no pants? Sometimes it feels like we have to make so many decisions that when the big ones come, we've got nothing left.

Here's how to stop overthinking EVERY. SINGLE. DECISION.. And...for the record. It's always "no pants."

5 techniques to help you become more decisive

Remember that "done is better than perfect"

If you have a habit of over analyzing, there's a chance you have gifts people need and are praying for but don't get to be blessed by. You probably have a cue of work that needs to see the light of day but you're just one step away from it being "perfect." 

If this is you, you're your own worst enemy. There are millions of people who could use your unique gifts. Just choose to do instead of perfect (Sheryl Sandber). Remember, done IS better than perfect. You can always iterate. But getting things perfect is a lie holding you immobile. It's time to break free and start running toward your gifts. People need you.

Remove unnecessary daily decisions from your life 

Things like choosing your meals, picking outfits, shoes, and determining your schedule create huge decision fatigue. Never do these things in the morning if you're struggling with indecisiveness. Instead, plan your meals and outfits at the beginning of a week or the night before. Automate the behaviors that don't matter so you are not starting your day expending decision energy on personal things.

Practice rapidfire decision making

Get a long list of either/or questions (this list is great). Set a timer for 30-60 seconds and have someone ask you as many of them as possible. Your goal is to spit out answers without overthinking. If you're really experiencing a block, you may feel like choosing between chocolate or vanilla is a life-altering decision reflecting on  your personal brand. Stop it. Turn off your thoughts, and just pick one. And note that you need to figure out how to deal with your block.

Take 10 minutes off your grocery shopping time

Seriously-the next time you do your grocery list, plan for about 10-15 minutes less than you know you need. For instance. I can do about 2 weeks of shopping in 45 minutes. I create a list for that, and then give myself 30 minutes to get the shopping done.

If you’re working on decisiveness, you’ll be amazed at how many times you hear voices in your mind creating indecision. “Do I get jasmine or basmati rice?” “a bag of apples or pick each one?” “cheddar or barbecue chips?” Your mind will start panicking and make each choice an epic decision, so know your list and route, and get things into that cart that are supposed to be there.

Eliminate “Maybe” from your vocabulary

When asked to make a decision, “maybe,” or “I’m not sure,” need to go bye-bye. Instead, your answers are “yes,” “no,” or “give me one minute to check and confirm.” And don’t be afraid to say no. It can be deeply powerful.

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.” ~Warren Buffet, famed investor

My dear friend, I hope this empowers you to invest your precious energy into the things that are worthy of it. You are doing great things and serving others generously. Don't let your mind hold you back from the important things you are doing. 

Want more help being a decisive person? Sign up for my email list here, get the cheat sheet "How to be a more decisive person" and you're in for some behind the scenes content only available to my subscribers. Join the fun here!

THE SUCCESSFUL CREATIVE (1).png