Often, doing more than you know you can handle can lead to burnout and negative results for your business. Today, Anthony Frischknecht interviews Kat Nieh—a certified mindset coach, award-winning author, and NLP Practitioner—about the struggles many workaholics face. Sharing tidbits from her book, Dear Workaholics, Kat lets us in on her own journey and how she learned how to embrace being a workaholic and, at the same time, find a way to channel it properly into her passion and become more productive and fulfilled. She talks about how you can take a step back, delegate tasks better, and letting go of the people-pleasing personality and, instead, figuring yourself out to authentically and uniquely help someone.
Listen to the podcast here:
Kat Nieh: Dear Workaholics, Why Do You Work So Hard?
I have Kat Nieh with me and she has a new book out called Dear Workaholics. I’m excited that she’s here to share her new ideas she’s been working on for years and now she’s put pen to paper and typewriter to notebook. She’s figured out how to help some of us out there that struggle with working constantly. Kat, thanks for joining us.
Thank you so much for inviting me on your show. I’m excited to be here and share my message with everyone.
Kat, tell us about your new book and why you decided that you wanted to put all your thoughts down and where your ideas came from.
My book is called Dear Workaholics and these are my personal messages to the workaholics out there. I’m an absolute workaholic to my core but I realized I was burned out. I realized there has had to be more to life than this. That’s why I left my corporate job. I took the time to work on myself completely. This book became a distillation of learning what I need to do to embrace my workaholic side but also find a way to channel it properly into my passion and to be more productive and fulfilled.
That’s good that you said more productive because as an entrepreneur, when you’re tasked with many different things that have to happen, I find that people tend to be more busy than productive.
We get caught up in the busyness of stuff, all the little things we have to do the nonstop and our to-do list that has thousands of items on it that we constantly continue building. We check it off and another one pops up. It’s like Whac-A-Mole. You are trying to figure out how to get all this stuff and wanting it done. It’s taking a step back from that and deciding what is more important to you.
When you say taking a step back, how do you take a step back? A lot of these guys and ladies out there that are building their cannabis businesses, they’ve got regulations to deal with, got their phones ringing and they’ve got 100 emails a day. This is burning through their time constantly. How do you take a step back without feeling you’re losing control of what’s going on?
That’s why you have to take a step back because if you don’t take the step back, you’re going to constantly get in that chaos. You get stuck in that nonstop churning. You have to make the choice to stop, take a step back and evaluate your life and what you’re doing. There are things that you are doing that you probably shouldn’t be doing at all. You should be delegating that out to someone else. You have a talent. You are a genius and you need to focus on what makes you happy and what is your gift. Do what is going to move your business forward, then the little tasks that anyone else could do, you can delegate to someone else.You must find people who you trust to be able to pass on tasks that you don't need to be doing yourself. Click To Tweet
We, entrepreneurs, tend to have to control everything. I do know what you mean by having to delegate. Do you have some simple things you can share with the audience on how you would delegate stuff? Somebody that’s reading this that has a few minutes to break down this podcast is like, “What little tips could I have that may help me be able to delegate better?”
This goes back to stopping and taking a step back because it’s not dealing with the symptoms or concept of all the things that happened to you. You have to deal with the cause. The cause of it is, “What are your intentions? What are your goals? What are your values and what are your actual desires?” You have to tie all those three together to find out where you’re leveraging your time properly. If you don’t have that clearly figured out, what your values are, what is important to you and what makes you happy, you’re going to constantly be turning down nonstop that chaos you’re talking about. You are constantly on the go and figuring out. You’re dealing with all the symptoms, all the things you have to do versus things that you should be focusing on that is going to move your business forward.
There are people out there that say, “Step back.” Is it possible to step back? If they took a day out of their life in a month and say, “I need to figure out some priorities,” is that possible to spend an afternoon? What do you see or what would you recommend for somebody that’s like, “I know I need to do that. How much time should I schedule for doing something like this?”
The thing is yes, you do need to take the day off, the afternoon off, a few hours off. You need that break in order to help you clear mind. If you’re constantly in the zone of working nonstop, turning and doing all the tasks, you’re not taking the step to evaluate. You need to take a breather because when you take that time off is when you get more clarity and you get more ideas. You’re giving yourself and your mind that break to be more productive. Yes, taking a step back is important and also when you come back to it, your to-do list look differently. This is a tip you’re asking me earlier. Don’t look at it as a to-do list, it’s a choose to-do list.
When you look at the things you have on your list, just start breaking everything out. Break all the things you have to do and look at it each item. Is this something that you could do yourself? Is it something that you could delegate to someone else to do? Is it something that you feel isn’t necessary that your time shouldn’t be spent on it at all or you just move it to a later time? You defer it to a later time because you want to do it at the exact moment. In addition to that, you also have to attach time to that to-do items. Oftentimes, we write things to do and we don’t figure out how long it takes us to do it. When you’re adding time to it, if this is going to take me fifteen minutes to do, you can put that into your calendar and have more clarity on how long that thing will take.
I’ve assessed some new goals and started that time management. What I was reading is time blocking and I’ve started using that. It’s amazing how much more productive I was. I spent an afternoon digging through the ideas and I’ll fine tune it every now and then and I’ll be fine tuning it as I go along. I didn’t realize how much time I was wasting until I start taking a little bit of that idea and expanding it on my calendar itself.
You have to stop and evaluate before you can keep on moving. That’s what you did. You stopped, looked at your time, found a new tool for you to manage your time better and then you applied it. That helped you be more productive.
It’s tough to do that because I felt like, and I don’t know how you did, if I take time out, then there’s things that I’m missing, things that I’m not doing. I’ve talked about this several times, but regulations are challenging to find the right meaning when the states start publishing all this stuff. You always feel you’re missing something because you’re having to fish for it. I’ve found that when I was doing that, I was missing other things and now I got to separate some time out of my day to potentially be more productive. That’s what you do.Taking time off is when you get more clarity and more ideas, giving your mind that break to be more productive. Click To Tweet
That’s the thing you have to realize is you can’t do everything yourself. It’s impossible. If you look at successful people, they have a company and a team behind them. It’s not one individual running the entire company doing everything they need to do. That’s part of why you have to delegate someone else. You have to find the people that you trust and to be able to pass on tasks that you don’t need to be doing yourself to someone else to do. You free up more time to figure out what can you do to move your business forward.
This is a question for you about your book. You had to go through the thought process of, “How do I break this down and make this easy for people to understand and go through?” What were some of the trials and tribulations you had with figuring out how to share this properly with people and give them a good sense that these are the steps you can take to make your life better?
It goes back to looking at what you want to do and what makes you happy. I realized that what makes me happy is to be able to share what I’ve learned. I’ve learned so much through all the courses, all the coaches and my own life experiences. I realized I want to share this with others. I had to realize I had to get over myself. I had to stop thinking about what other people would think. If I wrote this, what would someone else say? That relates to business too. We’re always worried about what other people are thinking about us, our competitors and our clients.
I realized that instead of trying to work hard to try to please everyone, which you’re not going to do anyways, share yourself vulnerably and openly and focus on what you do best. Your audience and your clients will come to you because you’re drawing in the proper people based on how you’re sharing yourself. That was one of the biggest things I learned by writing my book, getting over myself, getting over all that worries and doubt, needing approval from other people and focusing on how I could share my message to help someone.
There are many people out there that think of writing a book, but nobody ever does it. Can you tell me what you learned about yourself in the process that was unique to something that you hadn’t done before?
The first thing was being vulnerable. That was the biggest thing for me, sharing my experiences by talking about it, writing about it and realizing that, “People do want to listen. They do want to hear my stories.” By sharing that, it gave me more courage to continue writing. I started with a blog first before I did the book and the blog turned into the book in a sense. It’s being authentic, being vulnerable and that was one of my biggest lessons and realize I have a lot of knowledge. We all have so much knowledge based on what we’ve learned, what we’ve experienced in our life and everyone has their own perspective.
We all have our way of seeing the world and people are curious about that. They want to find out, “Based on your experience, how could that help me?” or, “What can I do based on what you’ve written?” Other people inspire each other. For people who are thinking about writing books or if there’s a project you want to do, there’s a business you want to start or whatever it is, you have to go for it and tune into your passion. Tune int o what drives you and let that feel you versus worrying about what other people are thinking. You have to do you. You have to be yourself.
Fortunately, all the cannabis people out there, a lot of them have become immune to what people think because they have to, because they’re in the cannabis business. That’s a good thing. You guys already have a step ahead. The other thing is focusing on what you’re good at is hard for many entrepreneurs because they want to control everything and releasing of the grasps to everything is freeing and can allow you to build your business, work on your business instead of in your business.Your gifts drive you forward because they are what make you special and unique. Click To Tweet
I want to challenge you to think about what you think you should be doing, because if you’re like, “This is the one I want to do.” We’ve also been conditioned by other people, what other people are saying, what other influences think we should be doing and how we should be doing it. They’re telling us how we need to be doing things in a certain way versus tuning in how I want to do it. You definitely want to learn from the experts. You want to learn from people who’ve done it before so you could apply that to yourself.
That’s the thing, you need apply what they’ve learned to yourself and you need to listen to yourself to see, “Does this resonate with me? Is this what I want to do? Is this what I believe in?” If it doesn’t, let it go. If it does, let’s dive deeper into it. That’s how you let your passion and what you’re good at, where your gifts are drive you forward because that’s what makes you special. That’s what makes you unique. By doing that, tapping into that, you are aligning your business, whatever you’re doing to more of who you are and that is going to move you forward versus trying to be like everyone else.
I want to have you expand on that a little bit because Kat has hit a great point. The fact that there’s many people trying to either start a business in cannabis by either growing, extracting, creating a product to sell, there are many ideas out there but what fits your personality? It’s not necessarily what’s the hot thing. That relates to many other businesses but it’s not just, “What’s the hot thing?” What fits you and your personality? You have to spend some time on those. That’s how I’m picking it up from you. Is that correct Kat?
Absolutely, you have to figure out what you bring to the table. That’s what makes you unique. If you’re following what everyone else does, you’re like everyone else. You’re a carbon copy of them. You’re homogenizing the business in a sense or doing something that everyone else is doing. That doesn’t get you forward. That doesn’t make you successful because you don’t stand out from your competitors. You have to leverage what makes you special, what ideas that you have, what your experiences have been to move you forward and that’s how you become successful in your own way.
There’s no blueprint for the perfect way to do it.
I look at it all as templates. They are templates for what other people have done and look beyond your industry as well. Look about what other industries have been doing and learn from what they’ve learned and apply it to what you’re doing here. To be honest, everything has pretty much similar problems all across the board. It’s how you’re finding the right way to approach that problem. That answer might not be right in front of you. It might be something from a different industry that inspires you that can make it work for you. It’s all a template, but you have to build it according to what works for you.
As business owners, we make it harder than it should be a lot of the times because we’re trying many different avenues. That’s why I like your approach of understanding what you bring to the table and how you can create a product that nobody’s ever seen before or create a company that nobody’s ever been involved in. When I’m looking at huge companies, I see what their inner workings are and I try to take little pieces of that and add it into what I’m trying to do. There’s no reason to always reinvent the wheel either. People make it a lot more challenging than it has to be.
Back to your book, I know that this is something that many entrepreneurs struggle with. I appreciate you putting something out there that people can access at this point and take advantage of. I’ll ask you one more quick question. Now that you know what you know and you’ve spent your experiences, if you were to go back and start a new company, whether you’re starting one now or in the future, what would be the three things that you would say before you even go to spend a dollar on any type of advertisement or leasing a building or anything? What would you tell them?
The first one is go back to your desires and it’s not the, “I wish this could be a nice thing.” This is a burning desire. This is something that drives you. You need to have that drive, something that makes you get you up in the morning or get you through challenges no matter what it is. As an entrepreneur, you are going to face challenges and you are going to face failures. That’s part of what we deal with and it’s how you get through it. It’s not giving up; it’s continuing moving forward. It’s believing and having that faith that, “I have the answer. I’ll figure it out. It might not be right now. I haven’t maybe tried a lot of different things but I’ll definitely get there.” It’s having that desire to feel you’re important because if you don’t have that, no matter what you’re going to do, you’re going to give up.
You’ve summed it up there. That was great. Kat, I appreciate you spending the time with us and congratulations on your book, Dear Workaholics. Thank you for sharing that with the world. I want to wish you continued success as you go through over the year and beyond. Thank you so much.
Thank you so much for having me on your show. I appreciate being here.
About Kat Nieh
Kat Nieh is certified mindset coach, NLP Master Practitioner, world traveler, award-winning author, and social influencer who is determined to live an impactful and expansive life. Before that, she was an art director in the San Francisco tech and gaming industry. In 2018, Kat left her job to create a life of adventure and learning as she traveled to all 7 continents in 12 months. Now she is empowering millennial workaholics to step outside their comfort zone and live a life they truly love through coaching, books, blog, and podcast.