How does consistency make your coaching business easy? Listen in to learn about the neuroscience behind why consistency is THE way to build a business using less of your time and energy using the science of habit building and routine.
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Hidden Brain podcast: Creatures of Habit
Fresh Air on NPR: Habits: How They Form And How To Break Them
What's the biggest secret behind a successful life. Coach consistency. Welcome to the consistent coach podcast. I'm your host, Stacy Mitchell and I help coaches simplify their businesses and their marketing so they can easily stay consistent, get clients and grow their income. Using the power of routine habit, building a neuroplasticity because you don't need to do and be all the things to be successful. You just need to be consistent. Hello. Hello, and welcome back to a new episode of the consistent coach podcast. This one is going to be a doozy. In fact, I am standing today. I'm standing while I record, because I realized that this might be a little longer. We'll see. I have a lot of notes today. I always try to be as concise as possible, but we're talking about neuroscience. We're talking about consistency and how all of this makes your business easy. And I know people say that all the time. I hear it in a lot of promises, but I really, really try in all of my content and all of my coaching in everything to make coaching businesses simpler, easier, and to take less of your energy because you're a coach and coaching requires some energy too , right? I want all of that energy to go to your coaching sessions. We're going to make the marketing side of it easy. And we'll talk about how in a minute, but I'm just going to go ahead and say, I love coaches, but some coaches are just not the best marketers. And that's why I decided to share my normally pay training that I created for my mastermind for free. I've had some raised eyebrows by the way, from people that are like, what are you doing? Cause you could sell this. And I know that I could, and maybe someday I will, but this is my training, my process for creating your own signature coaching program. This is with a focus on helping you charge more well also creating a program that works for you and your life and provides that transformation to your clients. This process helps you create a more compelling program for your clients while also growing your authority in your niche. So if you want it for free, you can snag it at https://bit.ly/freeTCC. I'll also link to it in the show notes in case you're like me and you just want to click. All right? So let's get into the neuroscience of consistency and how it makes your business easy. First, I want to mention a couple of resources that really helped me illustrate some points here today. One is the hidden brains podcast pick . I said that weird, the hidden brain podcast, episode, creatures of habit with psychology psychologist, Wendy wood, and the other being an author interview, Charles Duhigg on his book, the power of habit on NPR called habits, how they form and how they break both of which I will link to in the show notes. So I have been working out. This is kind of a story, an example, I've been working out almost daily since I was in high school. And this really goes back to, I'll be really honest. I'm not loving my body then, but it became a habit. It became ingrained in me early. And it's something I squeeze in almost every day. And here's why it is a habit. It feels very weird to me not to work out. It feels like I don't know I'm going to use like a reference, probably none of you know, but there's this scene in pretty in pink where she's like, I have this girlfriend and she checks her purse and she checks her kids and she's like, I've forgotten something. And that's how it feels. And she's referencing, like she didn't go to the prom and that's what she's missing in her life. And anyway, that's what it feels like. Like I'm missing something like what happened if I don't work out one day, that's what it feels like. It's like brushing my teeth. It's like washing my face. It feels super weird not to do it. And second, I let it be really easy for me. I don't force myself to do workouts that I hate. I have found workouts that I really enjoy doing. And even if I can only do 15 minutes, I let that be enough. I don't feel guilty about it because it's only 15 minutes. I don't feel guilty about it. Even if it's just 10 minutes of stretching because that's important because I hold a really powerful belief that something is always better than nothing. And I expect that this belief is really the underpinning of the consistent coach when you get right down to it. Because when we let overthinking and perfectionism and not, enoughness get in the way of the higher good, like staying consistent by choosing to do less and believing it's enough, we actually get nowhere because we stopped taking the tiny actions that allow us to grow because we don't believe it's enough. And thus, we do nothing at all, which is of course, counteractive to all of our dreams and all of our goals. And it's this mindset truly that allowed me to go from $107 in January 20, 20 to five and six K months at the end of 2020, it was by doing the same few things every single week. And letting it be enough if you've listened, you probably know what these things are, but I'm just going to list them out very quickly. So you get an understanding. I did three Instagram posts. I did one email a week and I did three Facebook group posts with questions, which literally took me about 10 to 15 minutes to prepare. And I spent about 10 to 15 minutes every other day or so answering questions, Facebook groups. That's what I did. That was my approach. I believed that it was enough enough, and that belief kept me showing up every week, even when it felt like nothing what's happening. And that's really it in regards to the marketing. Now I'm leaving out something that's really important. And I just want to make sure that it's clear because this is something I help my clients with. I was also working up my mindset and on strengthening my business foundations. And that means my messaging and my offers, making sure those were really consistent, but I made the rest of my marketing strategies or my non-negotiables habitual. It was like brushing my teeth. These are the things I do over and over and over sort of rinse and repeat if you will. And when I was still working full time , which was all of 2020, I'd spend one and a half to two hours on Saturday mornings creating the Instagram posts , creating the weekly email, creating the Facebook group post . So I did not have to think about them during the workweek because many times I had clients during the workweek. So I had to balance that. So I did my marketing on Saturdays. Got it done, and then moved on. And if we're being really honest, I, in a sense put blinders on about all the other strategies that could be doing because of that time. Of course I had other goals. I wanted to grow my email list and I wanted to do this. And at one point I had a podcast and I had to let that go for awhile because it was too much. Um , I had other goals, but I put the blinders on and I told myself, these are the things I'm going to focus on. These are the things I'm going to do consistently. Period. I am not signing up for any other courses. I am not , uh, looking into other strategies. I am committed to doing these things over and over again until I become good at them, right? So I want to actually use a quote from the hidden brain podcast. Uh , and it is the creatures of habit podcast that I mentioned at the top of it episode to sort of talk about why this is important. Okay. "It turns out that when you build a habit, it's like putting on a set of unconscious mental blinders. Once in place, the blinders protect you from temptations and distractions. The more you ignore those temptations, the stronger the blinders become to put this. Another way habits are self-reinforcing. They can be difficult to start, but once in place, they have a life of their own because they stop being conscious and become automatic and unconscious. In fact, once you have developed a habit, you will stick to it. Even if the alternative is objectively easier" - which is really interesting. It's really interesting because sometimes I think we get into the habit of looking for the right solution, the right path. Yeah . Shiny object. That's going to make our business explode . That doesn't exist. Right. But what I ended up doing was putting the blinders on from allowing myself to do that because that's what I was doing. By the way before I started making good money, I was searching. I'm searching for the thing that was going to catapult me to success overnight. When what I really needed to do was put my blinders on and just do the work and show up consistently. And I sorry for all of the few out there that are like, oh my feelings. Cause it was me. I'm sure I'm hurting feelings, but you put the blinders on and you believe that you've that what you've committed to will work. You believe that over time, the few things that you've chosen to do will work. And I just want to get into some of the statistics. Again, this is from the hidden brain podcast, which I will link to. So Wendy would came on to talk about , um, habits. She's a psychologist that studies habits, habit forming how it all happens. And why this is important is because the consistent coach in many ways is focusing on routine and habit building in your business. And the reason for that is it makes sense . Everything easier if you commit to doing less and you do it over time, it makes everything easier. And let me explain why 43%, this is from an actual research study of everyday actions are done repeatedly almost every day, way in the same context. And I want you to think about this because how can you use this? Yes. To make your business easy. I'll give you an example. So something for me that I do every day is get on Instagram stories. And it's super easy for me because it's a habit. I do it almost every day . So it's done repeatedly. So getting on Instagram stories as part of my everyday action, it's easy. I don't think about it at all to be really honest. Um, the second thing it really came to mind in this episode was making it frictionless. Yes . So what that means is taking away barriers. So making it easy for you to keep doing the behavior. This is part of habit building. And the example that they gave him, the episode was Uber. So Uber, you know, Uber, Uber driver might be like, Ugh , you know what I'm done after this, this drop-off like, I'm going to go home. I'm just not really feeling it. Right. But Uber was smart enough to assign the next drive, to sign the next person before the driver can decide they're done. So basically as they're dropping the person off, boom, they immediately get the next assignment that keeps people doing the behavior. Another really good example is Netflix. So it autoplays that next episode for you. You don't even have to make a decision to watch more. It just automatically does it. So thinking about this, how can you make it frictionless to do the behavior? And I'll use examples from clients that I've worked with many, many, many times this comes up over and over and over again, emails, writing emails. I don't know what it is about writing emails, that people that just have like a mental block, they just can't do it consistently. What I have found, actually I say, I don't know what it is. I actually do. Think I know what it is. What I have found is that people create these really interesting rules around what their emails need to be. Like. I need to have something to share something new, to share a podcast or a blog post or whatever I need to be selling something. No, you don't. All you need is a story. All you need is to write to your people. It could be anything you could show up and write about anything on your emails. And this is what really helps my clients start to be consistent in the actions that they want to be consistent in . There are no rules. You can make it anything you want it to be. You're removing the friction. You're making it frictionless. You're not forcing yourself into a box. You're not forcing yourself into this really specific script. You're not forcing yourself to write an Instagram post that has, oh, can a call to action and have this and whatever. You're making it easy, removing obstacles. So think about that with anything that you're really struggling to be consistent in. How can you remove those obstacles for yourself? Another example, I don't, I remember this as a very small child. Some of you are probably too young to remember this, but you've used to be able, at least in the United States to buy cigarettes from vending machines, which what thinking about that now seems really interesting, but it's true. And even though in the 1970s, they started to realize these are really bad for your health. And they started to really market about how bad they were, the sales didn't go down. So the government really started to intervene and they made it harder for people to buy them. They put them behind the counter, you had to have an ID. Uh , they , they taxed for them. So they basically created friction to, to , uh, keep people from buying cigarettes. So it's interesting that while your brain, your beliefs, your thoughts can believe something. If there's friction there , um, or if there's not friction there, it's easy for you to continue that behavior. If there is friction there it'll stop the behavior. These are just things to think about. This is the actual research that's been done on habit forming, and really, and truly, I want you to think about the importance of keeping things easy and keeping things simple, especially in the beginning of your business, when you're just getting sort of the marketing underneath you and you're figuring it out, like just do it like don't overthink things, remove the friction. I also just want to mention something that came up in the NPR interview, which was that neuroscientists have traced the part of the brain that forms habits to the basal ganglia. That also plays a key role in emotions and patterns and spotting patterns and creating memories while decisions like making a decision is in a completely different part of the brain, the prefrontal cortex. But it's interesting because once a habit is formed, as soon as a habit is formed, it becomes automatic. The decision part of your brain gets to use less energy. And the quote specifically in this article is that it goes into sort of a sleep mode. Like it doesn't use so much energy anymore. Um, and I'm just going to quote from the article or from the interview. This is Duhigg speaking, but quote, in fact, the brain starts working less and less. The brain can almost completely shut down. And this is a real advantage because it means you have all of this mental activity, you can devote to something else. And I know some of you were like, whoa, but think about driving. Driving is a really excellent example. When you first learned how to drive, it felt hard. Like you're supposed to check your mirrors and how close are you following someone? And how close are they following you? And how early do you need to break ? And just all the things right? And now if you've been driving for awhile , you don't really even need to think about all those things. They just come very naturally to you. And I know that some of you are going to sort of balk at this, but the same can be true for marketing your business in many ways. It doesn't all get to be that easy by the way, but just go with me. We'll talk about that because kind of the importance of being able to do this and really get into a consistent mindset, consistent framework, doing things consistently is that it gives you back the mental energy because that brain kind of gets to go to sleep of doing other things in your business. So that can be the evaluation piece. It can be , uh, and really let's actually spend a little time there. The evaluation piece is going back and seeing what's actually working out of all these consistent actions. So taking a pause, looking at the bigger picture, looking at the , uh, let's just pretend the Instagram insights of what is working, what posts are really resonating. And then applying that back to your consistent actions. It gives you the mental energy to do that because doing the activity, the marketing strategy does not take so much energy anymore. That makes sense. So here's the a few key things I want to encourage you to start thinking about when it comes to being consistent in your business, based on the neuroscience of what works to help you be consistent and how it makes it easier. Okay. So first stop switching strategies. Every single time you switch a strategy, you make it harder for yourself because your brain can't go to sleep. Your brain has to be there to make decisions and make sure it's going well and make sure you know what you're doing. And wait, what about this? And what about that? And even just a small, as I know, this is like a very small thing, but I think this is important. At one point in time, everybody was telling me, you need to switch to convert kit for your email. And this was when I was still working full-time and I decided to do it. So I switched everything over. It's a pain in the butt to be quite honest. And I did not know how to use convert kit. I was working full time. I had clients that was doing this. I was doing that. And I was like, ah , this is way too hard for me. I switched back and I know some of you will be like, wait, but all that energy just switch. But for me, it was taking off in a way, the ability to just quickly write an email to quickly set up an autoresponder series, to quickly create a landing page to quickly do the things that I needed to do in my email system. I could not do that anymore. And that's what I mean. Stop switching strategies, stop switching platforms. This is especially true. If you're not able to stay consistent in your marketing yet, learn the things you have. And then maybe in the future, you can switch because you'll have the mental energy for staying consistent. All right , next, use the power of cues . So we're , you are going to be doing your non-negotiables make it the same every time. Uh , it could be the time that you do it the day that you do it, it can be the space. You do it in your desk. It could be having a special coffee or tea that you make. Every time you do it, it can be going to a special place like a coffee shop, whatever it is that can cue you into the work you've committed to doing this works. This is habit. Cue is part of being able to take the action you need to be doing. For me, it can be as simple as closing my door and putting my phone on airplane mode. That is my cue to focus and create my content. Sort of like I am. Now it could be a song that you listened to every single time before you start the work that is yours, the consistent work, but start thinking of how you compare what needs to be done with a certain cue , preferably something enjoyable, especially if it's a new habit, because it works. It's neuroscience, your brain loves cues. Other thing that your brain loves rewards. I actually think doing my non-negotiables on Saturday morning was fantastic for me because it was sort of like Saturday morning was my cue . I knew as soon as I got back from playing with the dog, like I need to do this work, but then it was done and it felt so freaking good to be like, okay, it's done the rest of my weekend. I can do whatever I want. It was awesome. I have a great coach friend who uses a sticker chart. So every single time she does something, she gets a sticker and that works amazing for her. So that's another thing you can think about. I have bought myself books, necklaces, massages, all sorts of things. And I know it depends on like where you're at, but all sorts of things to reward myself and to celebrate my consistency and for showing up in my business. And I think this really right now, I've overlooked something key and crucial as we're talking, what is your deeper belief about your business? Is it that you need to find the right, the quote right away, and then everything's going to take off. Is it that you just need to be clear about what you want? You just need clarity and then you'll show up consistently is that you need a step-by-step guide to certain success like you want certainty, and then you'll do the work. I really want you to question yourself. These thoughts are really sneaky because all of that is just your thoughts. I have to say when I started to believe differently that there is not one right way of creating a successful coaching business, that there's no formula that requires being consistent enough to know what's working for me, that it requires failing. I realized I just need to do the thing. I just need to decide what my things are, do these things and stop over thinking it all. I take quick action, because I know that I can get the results, right? I know that I can get the data quickly. I know there's not a right way to do anything. It's important. And I chose to believe that clarity comes from taking action, not from waiting for a divine answer to fall into my lap so that I can then take action because the decision to wait is a decision. And it's keeping you from doing what you need to do to actually figure it out. And when I finally stopped looking for the answer outside of myself and looked within, I could see that I just needed to try to evaluate and tweak to become successful. And I just want to say that doesn't mean I didn't need a coach or, you know, strategy or things like that, but that's not really that way. Wasn't really it. Right? I needed the coach to show me my brain's default patterns. And to help me with many of the things I help my clients with, let's be real. Our brains are tricky creatures. It's incredibly hard to spot our own thoughts as just thoughts versus actual fact , but all of this to say, taking action and knowing that you can figure things out on your own really allows you to believe in yourself as an entrepreneur, more than any other shiny object strategy or whatever you think you may need to figure it out. I also want to say that you may need to challenge your own thoughts about yourself. There are people out there who believe I just don't do well with routines because the thing is, I bet you actually do. When you start to look at the evidence, it's just routines, you didn't intentionally choose to create, like, I don't know, staying up until 3:00 AM watching true crime, documentaries or something, but that doesn't mean you don't have a routine. It's just one you didn't choose. Or maybe it's, but I need spontaneity to be creative, which is totally fine. By the way, I love using my intuition and spontaneity spontaneity to be creative, but you can still use consistency to be creative and get better creatively over time. And that's sort of the best part. And you can train yourself, always be looking for examples and for stories that relate back to my, to your client's problems, that's consistency. Like just training yourself to look for it, which I think comes with practice and the bottom line and all of this. When you choose to do less and you choose to do those things consistently, it gets easier and easier over time. It becomes like brushing your teeth or driving your car or washing your face or whatever it is you do every day. It takes less of your brain space and you get better at it because it's practice every time you do it, you get better. And because you're doing less, you can more easily see what's working. It all takes less of your energy over time, which means you then have the ability to either work less and get better results. Or if you want, you can add another habit or another strategy into your business over time, again, using the same process. But what I see coaches doing so often is constantly switching their marketing. One week, they've chosen Facebook, Facebook ads, groups, whatever next are doing SEO. The next are focusing on Instagram or creating a sales funnel. They're working on a micro offer and they never give anything enough time to become easy, to actually know what works and to create trust in their potential clients. Because when you're not consistent in your marketing, your clients are confused and this is why consistency makes your business easier. If you'll let it, if you love this podcast, I would love, love, love. If you would take a screenshot and tag me in your Instagram story at Stacy Mitchell, and if you really love it and me head over to iTunes and leave me a quick review, it takes just a couple of minutes, but it makes such a difference to know you're out there. Listening. Have a great week. If you love this podcast hop on over to iTunes and give it a rating and review. I read every review and love hearing from my listeners until next time, get clear, get consistent, get clients.