17: How to Organize Your Digital Workspace and Increase ProductivityJul 12, 2022
In my interview with Kathy Walterhouse, from The Professional Rule Breaker Podcast, I share what it takes to banish business clutter and implement systems that allow you to increase productivity and profitability.
Resources and Links
Get free access to my Bookmark Folder System tutorial at banishbusinessclutter.com/get-organized-online.
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Lydia: Have you ever thought about how many microseconds you lose each and every day from clutter? Physical clutter, digital clutter, and mental clutter zaps us of our time, energy, and motivation. In today's episode, you'll hear some tips and strategies on creating streamlined systems in your business that increase clarity and productivity.
This episode is an excerpt from an interview I did with Kathy Walterhouse from theprofessionalrulebreaker.com. Ironically, Kathy and I connected because of my bookmark folder system. Like so many others, her browser had a million tabs open and after watching my eight-minute tutorial on how to create a system for your bookmarks, she reached out to me to tell me what a life changing tip that was.
She then invited me to be a presenter in the Entrepreneur Success Summit. And that's where we had the opportunity to dig deeper into how to create systems in your business. These systems not only save you millions of microseconds, but the systems and the mindset that will move you forward is what we chatted about in this interview.
Kathy Walterhouse is a powerhouse, and she helps entrepreneurs accelerate their purpose and expand their profit. So be sure to check out her podcast, The Professional Rule Breaker. I was honored that she featured my presentation on her podcast and thought my listeners would benefit from listening as well.
So, I hope you enjoy this episode. And by the way, if you'd love to get access to my free bookmark folder system, click here.
Kathy: Well, today, I have an amazing expert that I think everyone should get in contact with. She is the founder of Banish Business Clutter, the creator of the Launch Perspective podcast, and she helps entrepreneurs organize their digital systems, simplify overwhelming tech, and build profitable businesses. So welcome, Lydia Martin.
Lydia: Thank you, Kathy. So excited to be here.
Kathy: I am so happy that you're here because I don't know anyone. I don't know, quite frankly, anyone. But I was going to also say, I don't know any entrepreneurs that don't have some sort of issue either with tech or business clutter and trying to make their business profitable.
Lydia: Absolutely. I absolutely struggled with that myself for so long and that is why I decided to get focused on some things, because it was a personal struggle. I did not come out of the womb an organized person.
Kathy: Oh no. Okay.
Kathy: So, let me ask you this out of the get go. So, what do you see is the biggest mistakes that entrepreneurs do, like, with their systems? Is it because they're disorganized? I mean, tell me what you see.
Lydia: It really does come down to systems. You know, we're all busy. I call it being in survival mode. Right. Many of us are building businesses alongside life.
Lydia: We're busy moms. We're raising families. And so, we rarely take the time to think through our systems, because we're just surviving. Right. I call it the stash and dash.
Kathy: Oh my gosh. That's perfect. That's a great analogy.
Lydia: Right. We're trying to keep up. And so instead of, like, thinking through a system that's going to make us more efficient, we're just constantly moving things and putting things in new places and never really thinking through our plan and the place of where things should live and the flow of how things should live. So, I think it just impacts us. Eventually it catches up with us.
Kathy: Oh my goodness. Yes.
Lydia: For sure.
Kathy: So, how do you start that then? How do you, I mean, really should you start always trying to be organized? Which is kind of hard because most of us are already in the business. And so, then what are you going to do?
Lydia: Right. I know. And I find that really people don't even think about often. We don't know sometimes. We're not self-aware sometimes on how much clutter and confusion affects us every moment of the day. And when I think of clutter, I think of that quote by Peter Walsh. And he says, "Clutter is not just the stuff on your floor, but it's anything that's keeping you from living the life you desire."
Lydia: And that is what my passion is. It's to help people get uncluttered. Right. To gain clarity, because if you have that clarity, it changes your mindset, your feelings, like walking into your office and being motivated instead of feeling exhausted, frustrated, all those things. It makes a massive difference. So where do you start? I always tell people, I try to keep it as simple as simple can be, because the last thing we need is something difficult. Right. And it really comes down to figuring out what is frustrating me, what is keeping me from moving forward, and just deciding on how I'm going to make changes from this point forward. So many people look at past clutter, whether it's piles of paper or their digital desktop. And they're like, I can't get started because I have so much to do. And I never encourage people to go back, but to think from today forward.
Lydia: One or two simple things that you can change in order to make a difference from this point.
Lydia: That I think is key.
Kathy: Yes. Yes. Yes. I know. I'll tell the story of how I found you. I happened to see, I think, a photograph of you somewhere that you had.
Lydia: With my sign.
Kathy: Yes. I have fifty tabs open or something in my brain.
Lydia: Yes. I have it sitting over here. It says my brain has too many tabs open.
Kathy: That's what it is. That's what it is. And yes. And the very first thing that I did with you was you have a way to bookmark. You have a bookmarking system, which is very efficient because I found, and I probably emailed you, that I had at least, seemed like, fifty tabs open on my Mac. And I was like, okay, this can't be. I have to think of a bigger, a better way. And I had bookmarked them, I thought efficiently, but not as efficiently as you show how to do it.
Lydia: Well, that's a perfect example. So, things that trip us up throughout the day or frustrate us like finding what we need online quickly. I mean, that is something every business owner needs. I call it saving microseconds and those microseconds add up. So, if you are constantly keeping fifty tabs open. I've seen as many, I had one gal say she had over four hundred tabs open.
Kathy: At one time?
Lydia: On her browser because she was so afraid of losing something that she would just always keep starting a new tab. And so, I realized a system I had created out of desperation myself was my bookmark folder system. It's not just bookmarks, but it's creating folders where you actually organize your bookmarks into a dropdown list.
Lydia: And that tip alone has been downloaded by thousands of people.
Kathy: Oh my gosh. I am sure.
Lydia: It's life changing. And it's a perfect example of how a system, one small change, can make this massive difference. And you can get that on my website at banishbusinessclutter.com because I know everyone's going to be like, how do I set up my bookmark folders?
Kathy: Oh my gosh. Yes. Yes, yes, yes, yes. Actually, we'll make sure that that link is also there as well too.
Lydia: People will wonder how they ever lived without it. But that's a great reminder of why it's so valuable to think through your systems because making small changes can just make you so much more efficient and you feel unstoppable instead of paralyzed. Right.
Lydia: How many of us feel paralyzed by having to reset passwords a million times a day, or trying to find files? And, you know, just knowing how you're dealing with your systems. It makes such a difference in your day to day. Such a difference.
Kathy: Absolutely. Well, you talked about being paralyzed and I think I saw a quote that you had said that indecisiveness is the enemy of business. So, tell me why.
Lydia: Yes. I launched my business in March of 2020, and it was after dreaming about launching this business for over five years. And I think a lot of people hold back from launching things because they overthink, over plan, over research, over talk about it, and they never actually do the thing they want to do because they're stuck in the decisions. What type of business am I going to launch? What's my first course going to be? How am I going to launch it? How am I going to find the people? What tech am I going to use? And all of these options, they start to paralyze us because we feel so nervous about making the wrong decision that we do not make any decision.
Kathy: Right. And then if you make, if you don't make a decision, you're going to stay in the same place that you have been forever.
Lydia: That's why I say indecisiveness is the enemy. Decide and do.
Lydia: Because it's only motion that can lead to momentum.
Lydia: If you never move forward, nothing ever happens, and you have to claim the mantra to take massive imperfect action.
Lydia: You have to be okay. And really take hold of that concept and perspective that I'm not going to know what I want to deliver, what my audience wants, to the course, until I actually launch it. You learn while launching. I always say an entrepreneur is someone who builds the train as it's going down the track.
Kathy: Oh, my gosh. Absolutely. That's a great analogy. Like you're adding another car onto the track in many cases.
Lydia: Yes. You cannot wait. So many people waiting. They're like, well, I can't do anything until I have this perfect thing. And perfectionism held me back for over two decades. And I decided when I launched this business, I was not letting perfectionism. I always say I'm a recovering perfectionist.
Kathy: I have to say, though, the things that I've seen you do are pretty close to being perfect. So, you know.
Lydia: Well, I always say there's a difference between doing things with excellence and then not launching something until it's perfect. You have to, the reason why things may look that way is because I launched them imperfectly first.
Lydia: I just knew I would learn as I went, I could tweak as I go, I could change my mind as I learned. And when you have that mindset, it takes away the fear.
Kathy: Absolutely. And it's okay to fail. If you are not failing, you are not trying.
Lydia: Yes. They think it's the opposite of success. No, you have to go through that in order to know what's going to work for you.
Lydia: You have to embrace it. If it doesn't work, you should be excited and be like, whew. Okay, well now I know that doesn't work. What do I want to do different?
Kathy: Right. And what did I learn from that? Exactly. So, Sarah Blakely, you know, who's the founder of Spanx. Her dad used to say to her every day when she came home from school, what have you failed at today? Because he wanted her to be trying and her brother to be trying every day and it was okay to fail. And she said that that was the mentality, her mentality you know, of failing every day.
Lydia: So smart.
Kathy: It is what really propelled her into being successful, you know, and founding Spanx. So, yes.
Lydia: I love that. I always say, think about what you would say to your kids, you know, when they're learning how to walk or when they're learning how to play soccer. And if they mess up, you don't say to them, well, forget it. This is not for you.
Kathy: That’s true.
Lydia: I know, but yet that's what people say to themselves as adults. This didn't work. This must not be for me.
Lydia: No, you have to keep going. You'll never know. And I'm just so thankful, you know. It's all a journey and it's all a process, but I'm just so thankful that I've been able to embrace launching before it's perfect. I just launched a podcast. That was an experience and a journey. In fact, I joke in my second episode that when I did the first episode, it was like twenty takes. Because you are so, like, conscious, anytime you launch something new. And now I'm like hit record. I don't care what happens. Just go.
Kathy: Absolutely. Absolutely. Well, I'll tell you a little trick that you can do because I did the same thing. So, my very first episode, it was just me. Every episode, since then I've had a guest. It makes it so much easier.
Lydia: I love it. I love it.
Kathy: Yes, and plus it's a different perspective every time. So absolutely.
Kathy: So, I want to shift focus a little bit to offers because you're really good with offers. So, what type of offers first off, let's just go back. So, what type of offers can an entrepreneur do that you've seen be successful?
Lydia: So, this is such a great question, because I have a free guide that I just recently created, and I talk about it on the podcast. And it's the Three Things You Need to Launch and Scale Your Online Business. And if I were to ask everyone that question, a lot of people start off saying, well, you need leads. And you do need leads. We all need leads. They're the lifeline of our business. But if I had started my business saying, okay, I can't sell anything or share an offer until I have at least XYZ number on my email list, I would have wasted precious time.
Kathy: Absolutely. Yes.
Lydia: You have to have offers. You should start with an offer. And so, I knew my first offer was going to be a course, but even while I was launching that with a challenge, I had an offer of a coaching session. I wasn't selling these massive coaching packages. I just was like: struggling with tech, want to learn how to use Evernote, or Canva, or Ecamm? Book me for a coaching session. That was an offer. And I sold those instantly while I was building my first launch. And then I had this challenge where I sold my first course, before it was even built.
Lydia: So, I just want to share that because so many people think an offer is something that you spend twelve months developing and it's this, like, picture perfect thing with twelve modules. You can create paid workshops and as an offer and deliver that live on Saturday.
Kathy: That’s right.
Lydia: You can do coaching programs. You can do paid challenges in boot camps. You can do Done-For-You services, digital products. We started off just offering coaching sessions and my first course. And I delivered that over five or six weeks after I sold it to ninety-five people.
Lydia: And that was how it all started. And from there, I just listened to my audience. And anytime I see a thread of a struggle, I'm like I could do a paid workshop on that. I could create a minicourse on that. I could create a digital download that helps people with that. And before, you know, it, you end up having offers of various price points. You know, and your value ladder, I guess people call it. But the point is, is I just have always focused on what I hear my audience needing and creating the offer that meets that need. That's it.
Kathy: That's so great. And in addition to that, so as you are doing this, like as you're coaching over something like that. You can create the course because you know exactly what they need rather than what you think they need.
Lydia: So important, Kathy.
Lydia: I mean so important. Those coaching sessions truly showed me where people struggled in their digital world. I didn't know people struggled with passwords and bookmarks and files. That's always just been something I've loved. Right. And so, by hearing that I knew what I was going to put in my Digital Clutter Cure course. Right. So, it's so important to listen. If I had made the course I thought people wanted, I wouldn't have met a need. I would've only given what I thought they knew, what I thought they needed. And this is why coaching, this is why going live and showing up with your audience, and hearing them in the comments, asking engaging questions in your Facebook group. All of these things help feed the content you should be sharing. It's awesome.
Kathy: No, absolutely. I mean, I think a lot of people get stuck. Exactly with what you said. They want to have everything done beforehand. They want it to be perfect. And then they put it out there as an offer and it gets crickets because.
Lydia: Yes. No launch plan.
Kathy: They didn't. Yes. No launch plan. They didn't listen to their audience. They didn't know what their audience wanted. So, yes.
Lydia: Well, and that is the three things in the guide. I talk about how every business owner needs an offer, they need a launch, and they need leads. And the launch is that second piece, that marketing plan. Because you can't just create it. It's not like you build it, they will come. Like you have to have a launch strategy.
Kathy: As much as we wish.
Lydia: Right. I think people are shocked by that. They're like I put up my first course up on my website. I'm like, if that works for you, that's amazing. Because I am like. And to me a launch is a designated set time where you're creating awareness, excitement, urgency, all on that thing. Whether it's through webinars, challenges, you know, video series. There's lots of different ways to do a launch, but you have to have that designated set time and launching honestly is what has helped build my list.
Lydia: So, it brings in leads because you're hosting a free challenge or you're hosting a free webinar. And before you know it, you have people. Your audience is coming into your world, wanting to learn this thing from you. And then it just naturally leads to your offer. So, offers, launches, leads. Those are really the three things.
Kathy: Absolutely. And even what about this? Because I get a lot of questions about pricing. How do I price? And I'm like, you know, I can give guidance on that. But let's say you put a price out there and it's either too high or too low. Just do it. And then you learn from it. And then next time you can raise your price, lower your price. But I do think what I'm finding is that people undervalue what it is that they're offering, because it's so simple for them. Like for you, you know, you knew how to do the bookmarks. You know how to do the launching now and everything else. But somebody else doesn't know how to do that.
Lydia: Right. They don't. And you know, pricing was hard for me in the beginning because I was used to giving away what I knew for free.
Lydia: So here I am going, what will people even pay for this? Like, I didn't really have a model out there. Because one of the things I struggled with for seventeen years was paper clutter.
Lydia: In my first business, I built a direct sales business. I had a twenty-year career in direct sales, and I was raising my kid, raising my family. I had three kids and you could never see my desk. Never. Because this was of course pre, you know, internet. I mean, we had internet, but it was dial up. So, everything was paper. Right.
Kathy: Yes, yes, yes.
Lydia: Paper receipts, paper catalogs, paper everything.
Kathy: Everything. Mm-hmm.
Lydia: I just could never get caught up. And then in 2013, I was introduced to Evernote.
Lydia: And first, I didn't get it. It sat on my computer for six months and then I phoned a friend, and I was like, please tell me why everyone's so excited about this. I don't get it. And she starts telling me about the different things it would do. And this light bulb went off and I was like, ah, I could create an online system for paper. Because I had been introduced to a scanner. It was the best Christmas present my husband has ever bought me was my scanner. A Fujitsu ScanSnap scanner, which scans directly to Evernote.
Lydia: And over the next few years, by 2016, I became a certified Evernote consultant. We're now called certified experts. Okay. Evernote experts. And from my journey of going from paper chaos to an online system, I went from piles of paper all over my house to one bin of paper. It's my to-scan pile. So, I now teach this Sort-Scan-Shred method to my students. And the first time I launched this course, like you, I knew I could change the price later.
Lydia: So, I used pricing as a way to create urgency. And I basically, at the end of this five-day challenge that I'd launched, I said, I'm going to be selling this course. It's called The Digital Clutter Cure. You will get one module a week. And I said, because I want to thank you for being the first students in my course, this is the only time I am going to offer this program for $97.
Lydia: And so you use pricing.
Kathy: For urgency. Absolutely.
Lydia: I knew it was going to be worth so much more. That course is now $597.
Lydia: Okay. But I did launch it the very first time for $97. And then the next launch was, like, $247. And then it was $497. Now it's $597 with two additional tiers. And the top tier is $2,997.
Lydia: And that includes one-on-one coaching sessions with the program.
Lydia: So, you can build to whatever you need it to be. And I have learned so much along the way on the value of what I bring. Because you're right, you start sharing and people go this is life changing. And you don't charge by your time. You charge by the transformation.
Lydia: That’s the value.
Kathy: That's key. Charge by the transformation.
Kathy: Exactly. Exactly. So, the bigger the transformation, the bigger the price.
Kathy: So, that is probably, I would say, the best advice you can ever give about pricing.
Lydia: It is so true. Yes.
Lydia: This is life changing stuff right here.
Kathy: Absolutely. Absolutely.
Lydia: And people pay for things that are not life changing all the time.
Lydia: Why would they not pay for what you are offering?
Lydia: You know what I am saying?
Kathy: Absolutely. Absolutely.
Kathy: I'm probably going to end up taking that course. Just so you know. I try to keep everything super organized, but I think I could probably use that as well.
Lydia: Well, I always say, you know, we all have things that come naturally to us. And then we all have things that when I get stuck, I know I either need to learn a new thing or I need to find an expert who knows that thing.
Kathy: Yes, absolutely.
Lydia: Because if I have an expert that can just tell me the tool, what to do, the steps, the process. That's going to save me a lot of time in learning.
Lydia: So, this is when I hire a coach. This is when I take a, you know, more in depth type program. Or if I'm like, I just need to learn how to do such and such with Facebook ads. I can decide, am I hiring it out or am I learning it myself? Right. And that can happen in anything. Anytime we get stuck. But you have to make a choice there. Don't stay stuck. Get the help you need and go.
Lydia: You must have that motion.
Kathy: I'm so happy Lydia, that you were here to share your wealth of knowledge.
Lydia: Well, thank you so much for having me. I'm so glad we connected through the bookmarks.
Lydia: It's been awesome getting to follow you. Wow. I love how you show up and serve and help so many.
Kathy: Oh, thank you so much. I should have taken a picture of my screen with all my bookmarks open when I sent you that email.
Lydia: I have a lot of great before and after photos from people. It's great.
Kathy: Yes, yes. But again, thank you so much, for being here and really being a service to everyone that is listening. You truly are a gem.
Lydia: Thank you so much for having me, Kathy.
Kathy: Oh, gosh. It's been my pleasure.
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