June 25, 2016

How to Leverage Your Zone of Genius & Let Go of the Rest

Zone of Genius

Last spring, I was in the midst of getting everything ready for my annual Summer Self-Love Celebration when things suddenly went south.

As usual, I had taken on every ounce of planning for the event completely alone. It was just me, my 20+ partners, my 200 guests, and every detail in between. At the same time, I had just signed a contract with a major skin care brand and would soon be the face of their new product. So my workload effectively tripled overnight.

Up until this point, I had never seen myself as a person who needed help. I rationalized I would have to be making half a million dollars per year (which I’m not) or be much further along in my career before I ever had an assistant let alone a real support team.

Many of you reading this may know how that is. Because if you’re an entrepreneur, chances are you’re also scrappy as hell. I got really used to figuring out how to get everything at a discount and even for free. But last summer I hit my limit with the workload and had a straight up melt down.

Of all my events, this one was financially the biggest success that I’d ever had. I had so many brands wanting to partner with me that I literally had to start turning people away (an amazing problem to have!). But I mentally and emotionally could not handle doing the contracts, the invoicing, the social media implementation, the stuffing 200 gift bags on top of hosting the entire event and having to fill the room with guests.

I had never experienced such an extreme level of overwhelm, and I assumed something was wrong with me. Why couldn’t I handle all of this or stretch myself even more?

That’s where my friends gave me a total reality check. One by one, my besties Ali, Michelle, and Geada had a talk with me. And lovingly let me know that I was straight up insane. That I was growing faster than I could keep up with and I wasn’t creating the support I needed in order to grow my business without trauma.

At this point you may be wondering what this story has to do with “zone of genius.” Well, it was through this total meltdown that I was able to really acknowledge that my zone of genius is being the container for my events–holding space for all of the beautiful brands that sign on as sponsors, connecting with each person that shows up, and even regularly connecting with my online audience to make them feel part of it all.

Sure, I can do all of the other things, and I can work myself to the bone in the process. But is that really the best use of my energy? Absolutely not. Since then, I’ve hired an assistant Michele who has completely expanded the amount of work I can produce and hold because she takes care of me so well. Last February, I had my very first event production manager and that event was by far the biggest success thus far.

So if you’re wondering how to know when it’s time to delegate and focus on your zone of genius, I’m here to help. I’ve compiled my top 3 ways to help you start living from your zone of genius more and more each day.

  1. Get clear on expansion vs. constriction: Danielle LaPorte talks about this a lot in her book the Desire Map. We want to get you closer and closer to a feeling of expansion when working vs. restriction or contraction. She speaks about this so beautifully but the gist is we all have those moments throughout the day where we’re having a convo or working on a project and we feel something physically shift in our body and our being. The first step is to notice these shifts. Take out a notebook and write 2 columns. In one, write the word expansive. In the other, write the word constriction. Throughout your day, I want you to start jotting down what you feel when you’re doing anything throughout your day. Just start to notice.
  2. Start a delegation list. This doesn’t have to just be for work items. I actually have found that delegating personal tasks has greatly alleviated my work-related pressure. For example, I stopped going to the grocery store and I now only order Fresh direct because I felt like the energy of the store was stressing me out. Or sometimes I have a cleaning lady to help me clean up the apartment once a month. These small shifts have helped me have more mental space to focus on my work. And then where my actual work is concerned, I stop trying to tell myself I had to figure it out on my own. Not only did I hire my assistant, event producer, and bookkeeper (because my brain was spinning trying to handle income streams and tax prep) but I also hired my incredible editor Blair. And got rid of years of trying to write a blog post and newsletter. And owning that I’m better at dictating than writing. So allow yourself to start small and of course get your finances in check so that you don’t break the bank. But even if you start with one thing, what’s something you could take off your plate today to start making space for the things you really love.
  3. Don’t forget to schedule in fun. With all of this delegating and letting go of things you don’t want, it can be just as easy to find yourself back in old patterns again. With filling your pockets of time with more and more work. One thing I realized when I started to free up some of my time, was that I had earned the right to schedule in fun. Think of it as if you’re taking a vitamin. As an entrepreneur you need personal time and fun in order to grow and keep your mind in a healthy, creative place.

So if you find yourself feeling extra stretched, overwhelmed, or having a meltdown like I did, know that there is a way to focus more on things you love, and less on the things that make you feel drained.

Now I’d love to hear from you. Can you relate to this post? I’d love to hear your story in the comments below.

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