I distinctly remember Sunday, November 26th, 2017. While I don’t get the “Sunday Scaries” anymore, dreading the oncoming week, this particular Sunday I was fretting over something else.
The next day, I was scheduled to be a part of a four-person Mastermind call, organized by Sara Christensen of Kickass Masterminds. On the call, I was to tell the group about a problem or roadblock I was having in my business and ask them for help.
I had decided to ask the group how I could possibly take the month of October 2018 off entirely. See, I’m getting married on October 6th this year so I’d like to take October off to enjoy the wedding and a long honeymoon.
It felt, at the time, like a massive issue I’d have to pick apart and figure out this year. I mean, I’m a Coach, working one-on-one with clients on a bi-weekly basis. How do I take an entire four weeks off when my clients rely on me to be on a call with them at least two times a month and respond to their emails at least weekly?
At the same time, I was beating myself up about not being able to figure this problem out. The phrase, “I should know how to do this,” kept running through my head as if the needle was stuck on a broken record of my Ego’s voice.
As I pined away at the problem with “Ishouldknowhowtodothis… Ishouldknowhowtodothis,” getting louder and louder in the recesses of my brain, I began forcing myself to come up with a solution.
By the end of this mentally draining day, I thought I had it – I was going to hire an associate Coach to take care of my clients while I was gone! Yes! Of course1 I’d find someone who was just like me, train them, pay them really well, and everyone would be happy.
I went into Monday’s call with the Mastermind Group thinking I had figured out the solution already, so I’d just tell them my idea of hiring an associate Coach and see if they had any tips on how to find someone like this. I figured I could figure that out too, but I might as well ask the group, since I had to ask them something.
See? I knew how to do this. It was going to be fine.
And then I got on the call.
I was on the hot seat.
I told the group I was planning to take a month off and to make sure my clients were taken care of, I’d hire an associate Coach. The sort-of-question was, “So, where do I start with hiring this person?” In the back of my head thinking, “Ishouldknowhowtodothis Ishouldknowhowtodothis… I’ll just ask the question, get some feedback, then dig in deeper to find the real answer after the call…”
And then I got knocked off my high horse. Real quick.
The three other entrepreneurs on the call challenged the entire idea of an associate Coach. And over the course of about 15 minutes, they completely opened my eyes to other, simpler, more expansive ways to take a month off without overcomplicating things by hiring someone new.
They essentially pulled off my self-imposed blinders and made me look around. They helped me realize that I could simply prepare my one-on-one clients for my sabbatical month by giving them enough guidance the month prior to thrive on their own for a few weeks. Sure, there’s a little upfront effort to get them ready for this, but nothing like what would be required to hire and train a brand new Coach.
They also helped me realize how encouraging this would be to my clients. Not only would they be given the opportunity to do things a bit more independently, which could be empowering, but it could also give them permission to take time off from their business without overcomplicating things.
Ahhh *deep sigh*
You know I’m in the business of giving my clients permission to do things that feel right to them. And to hear this mastermind group turn the tables and give me permission like this? It. Was. Incredible.
You can listen to the entire call yourself, right here, on Sara’s podcast, The Entrepreneur Mastermind Show.
When I hung up from this Mastermind call, I remember sitting in my office chair for a solid ten minutes, just reeling.
I thought about all the time I spent (wasted) the day prior forcing myself to come up with a solution because “I should know how to do this,” when I could’ve just humbled myself and asked the original question – “How can I take a month off next year?”
See, our egos don’t really enjoy the act of humbling oneself. And when that ego goes unchecked, it can tell us things like, “I should know how to do this.” “I don’t need help. I can figure this out on my own.” “If anyone has the answer, it’s me.”
And while sometimes this voice can be empowering, at other times, like the one I just described, it can seriously derail us from uncomplicated, expansive growth in our business.
Because, I’ll admit, I should NOT know how to take a month off in my business! I’ve never taken more than a few days off and even then, I’m checking emails and adjusting my call schedule so no need goes unmet.
I can think of so many other times my ego’s “Ishouldknowhowtodothis” line tried to stop me in my tracks too.
I call myself a writer and have to write a sales page for my new Deep Dive session. Ishouldknowhowtodothis Ishouldknowhowtodothis. And I admit, I’m not a copywriter. So, I decided to work with a copywriter to write the Deep Dive session sales page and OH MY GOODNESS what a relief.
I’m good at math and need to get my finances in order. Ishouldhowhowtodothis Ishouldknowhowtodothis. And I admit, I don’t know much about managing business finances. So, I decided to work with a Money Coach at the end of last year and together, we did more than I could’ve ever done on my own.
I have a Kinesiology/Fitness Studies degree and want to get a bit leaner for my wedding. Ishouldknowhowtodothis Ishouldknowhowtodothis. And I admit, I’ve never been able to crack the code for what works for my own body. So… I’ll also admit – I’m still stuck on this one. I haven’t partnered with someone to help me through this yet, but after writing this blog post, I see how my ego has seriously held me back in this area.
See, we’re all a work-in-progress when it comes to dealing with our egos, telling us we should know how to do this on our own.
So the next time that line pops up in your brain – Ishouldknowhowtodothis – check yourself. Check to see if you really, truly “should know.”
If you, in fact, have all the tools to figure out the issue at hand, let the ego voice empower you.
And if you don’t, in fact, have all the tools to figure it out on your own, humble yourself and ask for help. Find someone who is an expert on the question you’re facing, give yourself permission to not know the answer, and ask for help if you want to find the simplified, expansive solution.