Burned Out to Biz Boss

Let it be easy (the wu-wei of business)

March 15, 2021 Stacie Mitchell Episode 15
Burned Out to Biz Boss
Let it be easy (the wu-wei of business)
Chapters
Burned Out to Biz Boss
Let it be easy (the wu-wei of business)
Mar 15, 2021 Episode 15
Stacie Mitchell

What if business could be easy? What if we can “go with the flow” and still have success? In today’s episode, Stacie talks about the idea of the wu-wei of business, how we tend to overcomplicate, and how it serves us better to keep things simple and easy.

Interested in learning more about wu-wei and Taosim? Listen to the podcast What’s This Tao All About?

Resource: Wu Wei: The Taoist Principle of Action in Non-Action by Elizabeth Reninger

Join the Burned Out to Biz Boss Community to attend the free upcoming Masterclass on How to Get Clients, happening March 29th at 5 pm Eastern.

Show Notes Transcript

What if business could be easy? What if we can “go with the flow” and still have success? In today’s episode, Stacie talks about the idea of the wu-wei of business, how we tend to overcomplicate, and how it serves us better to keep things simple and easy.

Interested in learning more about wu-wei and Taosim? Listen to the podcast What’s This Tao All About?

Resource: Wu Wei: The Taoist Principle of Action in Non-Action by Elizabeth Reninger

Join the Burned Out to Biz Boss Community to attend the free upcoming Masterclass on How to Get Clients, happening March 29th at 5 pm Eastern.

Hello and welcome back to another episode of the Burned Out to Biz Boss podcast! 

Before we get started, I want to mention that I’ll be hosting a free Masterclass in my Facebook group on March 29th on How to Get Clients. I’ll be covering all the strategies that I know that work to help you get clients. This is about more than just social media, so if you’ve ever wondered about the how, this is just for you. You can join the group by going to staciemitchell.com/group.

Now, back to it: I’m so excited to talk about something really important to my business and to my coaching philosophy: the idea of letting it be easy.

Unfortunately, I find that most humans really don’t know how to let things be easy. We get sucked into thinking things need to be hard in order for them to work. When in reality, we could make our lives so much better if we didn’t overcomplicate and stress over everything all the time.

I see this in my clients all the time. They’ll have an idea, and then keep adding to it until it’s a list of a hundred to-do items that feels insurmountable to accomplish. 

Instead of saying, “How can I make this easy?” I think they’re asking themselves a different kind of question like, “How can I make this perfect?” or “How can I make sure this WORKS?” or they tell themselves, “I have to do this the RIGHT way…” usually meaning how someone else did it or taught them how to do it.

I have several examples for this:

A client I’m working with recently told me she doesn’t enjoy sending emails to her list but she really wants to do it. And she realized she was trying to make her emails these massive, value-filled newsletters. When she just decided to keep the emails simple moving forward, she finally started to enjoy it more AND she got better open rates on her emails. It was a win-win. She let it be easy.

If you look at my own business. I launched a group program twice in 2020 and did really well. I didn’t follow a launch plan. I didn’t have a strategy. I just posted about it a lot, talked about it a lot, and it was successful. I let it be easy.

When I launched my new 1:1 program this year, which you can hear all about in the last episode if you haven’t listened by the way, I was in a business program just for launching. There was a massive to-do list to follow, with exactly what I needed to do and when. I felt overwhelmed and a bit confused and lost.

And while I think the program was valuable and I learned a lot, I also learned that I really don’t like making things so hard for myself. There’s really no need for it! But I see it over and over and over again: we overcomplicate everything.

We tell ourselves we have to create perfect graphics, with perfect captions, with just the right hashtags, that fit into specific content buckets, that help move our potential clients through the customer journey...blah, blah, blah...until we’ve made something that should take us an hour a week into a full-on, full time job for ourselves.

Content creation is a perfect example for this. I’ve always enjoyed creating content for my audience. I just have ideas and put them out into the world. But most coaches will tell you that your content needs to follow a formula, that you need to be posting in certain ways to get clients to sign up with you, that you need to have a strategic plan. 

And I say no. Because for most of us, it’s not worth the time and effort to create this type of plan. It’s just too complicated. And we can have success and still let it be easy and uncomplicated. We don’t need to follow a bunch of arbitrary rules that some “expert” made up. We can do what works for us, what’s easy for us.

And this brings me to the idea of the “wu-wei of business.”And because I doubt most of you are married to someone studying Taoism like me, the definition of wu-wei is “effortless action.” It’s this idea of going with the flow. Many times I think of my favorite fitness instructor Ellen Barrett saying, “Move just like water…” meaning, let it be easy and flowy, don’t force it to happen. 

Taoist Expert Elizabeth Reninger describes wu-wei as “the cultivation of a state of being in which our actions are quite effortlessly in alignment with the ebb and flow of the elemental cycles of the natural world. It is a kind of ‘going with the flow’ that is characterized by great ease and awareness, in which—without even trying—we’re able to respond perfectly to whatever situations arise.”

Now I know: You’re probably thinking, “But how can you build a business without even trying?” It’s a paradox. Everyone knows building a business is hard work. But if I had to be really honest with you, that’s both true and untrue. 

The truth for me has been that when I let things be easy, and I trust my intuition, and don’t overthink or over plan everything, things just work out. And because it doesn’t feel so dang hard, I still have energy to tweak and course correct if something doesn’t work out exactly as I’d planned.

What I usually see happen though is so much overplanning and forcing goes into something that when it doesn’t go exactly as planned, you’re way too tired and frustrated to pivot. You put all your energy into it, and there are no reserves left over.

To me, the “wu-wei of business” is to keep things easy. To ask the question: “What is the easiest path?” Whether you’re trying to be more consistent in what you do for your business each week, or you’re launching a new program, or you’re trying to get more clients, it’s important to ask yourself: “How can I let this be easy?”

A great example: Many times, we see our potential clients as being people we haven’t met yet, someone that’s not in our audience already, someone we need to get in front of somehow. For some reason, we forget to think about the people already in our orbit. 

We think we need to be growing our audience, or making new connections, or getting in front of more people, but it could also just be as easy as making an offer to the audience you already have. Or reaching out to your network and letting them know what you do. Or emailing that warm lead that almost worked with you a few months ago, but the timing just wasn’t right.

Instead of reaching for the lowest hanging apple on the tree that’s right in front of us, we’re off trying to find a ladder to drag it back to climb up for a different apple altogether.

We overcomplicate, we don’t let it be easy.

By the way, I do this all the time too. I am constantly having to ask myself the same questions so I can keep things simple. 

A perfect example is my upcoming masterclass on How to Get Clients. As I was brainstorming, I had it in my head that I needed to create a special opt-in page to get emails. I knew I must do that. 

But when I started to think about how I could let it be easy, I realized I could just send people to the Facebook group. I didn’t need to write and design a new landing page. It wasn’t necessary to the end goal. It was just more work to do, without much gain.

So I let it go. And I let it be easy.

And the same thing is happening now as I’m about to launch my new group program. I sat down and I kept thinking of all the things I should do, and then questioned it: Do I really need to do all of those things? What actually needs to happen? How can I make it easy?

How can I allow the wu-wei and swim downstream?

In full transparency, I’ve had this awakening where I can see that so many of us, myself included, think something is wrong when it’s easy. When it’s easy, we feel UN-easy. We get anxious because we think we’re not working hard enough or we’re not busy enough. We feel unsettled by it.

There’s this sense that we want things to feel hard because we have this belief that we should have to work hard to get what we want. 

Even when I think of this podcast, I’ll think to myself, “Every episode needs to be at least 20 minutes.” And then, I’ll catch myself and go, “Wait...who made that a rule?” What if a 10 minute episode is actually perfect for the topic? What if I let it be easy instead of forcing it to fit a rule I made up.

Things don’t have to feel hard to have impact. In fact, if it feels really hard, it may mean that the timing is wrong, that the strategy is wrong, or that you just need to pause.

You’ve probably heard me talk about this before, but many times, I’ll say to follow your own energy. I enjoy creating in the morning. It pours out of me. It’s easy. Creating in the afternoons feels like drudgery. It just doesn’t come so easily. 

But so many times, we force ourselves through the drudgery instead of choosing the easy option. We get in our own way by being impatient or by thinking we somehow know better than our own energy.

We forget that we can just as easily embrace ease. That nothing is wrong if we follow the easy path. That we can choose to make it easier on ourselves instead of forcing something to happen.

I encourage you this week to look at everything on your to-do list and ask yourself: How can I let this be easy? 

I’ll end with a quote from Alan Watts: “Life is most skillfully lived when one sails a boat rather than rowing it. It’s more intelligent to sail than to row…“The man who puts up a sail is using magic, he lets nature do it for him, with the intelligence to use a sail, now that is the most highly skilled art of all, that is Taoism in perfection!” 

Now ask yourself: Where can you learn to sail instead of row in your own life and business? How can you let it be easy?

And listen...I wasn’t planning to mention this here, but I feel like it’s too perfect not to go ahead and spill the beans this week.  I've launched a new mastermind that really is all about keeping your business easy and uncomplicated, just for entrepreneurs building a business in part time hours. Right now, only my email list has heard about this, so you’re getting it hot off the press!

If you want the details on Simple Success Collective, go check out staciemitchell.com/collective. It’s a 6 month mastermind focused on growing without a ton of complex, overwhelming content and strategy, and there are limited spots to keep the group small and impactful. Make sure you apply soon if you want to snag a spot and get the early bird bonus! Again, you can check it out by visiting staciemitchell.com/collective. I hope to see your application soon!

And if it’s not the right time for you, I hope to see you over in my free Facebook community, which you can join by going to staciemitchell.com/group See you there!