I knew that I wanted to do something a little different, maybe even special for Episode 50 – and I wanted to make sure that it reflected what you wanted to hear.
I 100% recognize that I would NOT be recording Episode 50 without your support, so over on Instagram – are we Instagram friends by the way? If we’re not come find me – @annadkornick and let’s make it happen!
So anyway – over on Instagram, I asked what you’d be interested in hearing about for Episode 50 and several of you wanted to hear about what I’d learned from publishing 50 Episodes of It’s About Time.
Obviously – I’ve learned a TON from my guests.
For example, Back in Episode 43 – Work Life Performance Expert and ballroom dancer CC Sutton shared her philosophy of Work/Life HARMONY, which I loved. A few episodes ago in Episode 47, life coach Chantel Allen taught me the CALM method for managing anxiety and back in Episode 16, Kaitlin Fontenot walked me through the process of delegating and hiring a team in order to spend more time on what I do best.
But – even beyond the actionable takeaways shared by the 32 incredible women, all experts in their fields – I’ve learned a lot about myself, about consistency, perfection and yep – imposter syndrome along the way.
So today, I’m sharing 5 life lessons I’ve learned from publishing 50 episodes of It’s About Time.
In this episode, I’m really diving into the good, the bad, the ugly – and I even get a little bit sassy at the end. I’ve got some strong opinions about a certain subject, and I’m telling you exactly what I think. You’ll also hear me mention a lot of different books that have had an impact on me, and I’m revealing a part of my personality that I struggle with. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that when it comes to struggles and challenges, we’re very likely not alone. If I’m struggling with this, maybe you are too and we can connect about it.
It’s About Time debuted on December 2, 2019. I’ve mentioned this in a previous episode, but one of my most prized possessions is my One Line a Day journal. I sent my mom to Barnes & Noble to buy it a few days after Camilla was born.
So – after I found out I was pregnant with Camilla, I bought one of those What to Expect When You’re Expecting journals. That pregnancy journal was basically the line a day concept. It had a little bit of space for each day to capture how you’re feeling, any symptoms, etc.
I thought it would be smart and kinda fun to note any changes, or baby kicks or funny cravings so that I wouldn’t have to pull from my all over the place memory whenever I met with my doctor at appointments.
And after almost 9 months of keeping this journal, it definitely became a habit – so my One Line a Day journal has had a permanent spot on my nightstand ever since.
Seriously – if our house caught on fire, the three material possessions I’d run inside to save would probably be the live painting from our wedding reception, my childhood teddy bear and this little sentence a day journal.
Now that I’ve kept this journal for more than a year, I’ve loved looking at the 2019 entries and remembering what life felt like as a newborn mom navigating a new business.
On September 24th, 2019 I wrote, “Millie girl is 8 months old today! Started asking a lot of questions on instagram today about podcast v. youtube. I’m going to start a podcast.
The very next day on September 25th, I stepped down from my role as chairman for a nonprofit that meant a lot to me. Of course there was a lot that went into that decision to step down – a lot of deliberation, conversation, thought, prayers – but it was mostly unnecessary and unneeded stress. As I flip back through the pages, instead of my one line a day capturing happy moments, they contained frustration, disappointment, spinning wheels, wasted time and drama – all resulting from my role with that nonprofit.
When it comes to our happiness and fulfillment in life, we are in the driver’s seat. For the most part – we get to choose how we spend our time. And that means we get to decide whether we spend our time on work worth doing – (as Leslie Knope likes to say) or spend our time according to someone else’s expectation.
I choose to live a life that’s true to myself – and for me – that looked like walking away from something negative, and running full speed ahead toward something unknown and little scary – but with the potential to bloom into something truly amazing.
And you – listening right now? I want that for you, too – for you to have the courage to live a life true to yourself, with no regrets. Even when it feels daunting and scary.
After making that decision on September 24th: I’m going to start a podcast. I got to work. The next mention of the podcast wasn’t until October 30th. Just a note that I made a lot of progress that day. On November 1st, I put it out there into the world and shared the December 2nd launch date. No turning back now. Between November 1st and December 2nd, nearly every waking moment was dedicated to prepping for launch day. And when I woke up on December 2nd – I was ecstatic – and terrified.
Which brings me to the first of five things I want to share with you that I’ve learned in 50 episodes of It’s About Time.
The first being –
Sometimes you have to do it afraid before it gets easier.
Episode One was called How to Start: 6 Steps to Starting with Success. Step Number 6 was Start Before You’re Ready. And I 100% stand by that. When those first five episodes published on December 2, I didn’t even know how much I still had left to learn.
I’m still learning SO much now – and if I’d have waited until I knew it all – I would definitely NOT have a podcast right now.
My friend actually Jacob sent me an IG post this past week that said “You don’t wait til you’re an expert to do the thing… Doing the thing is how you become an expert.” Lemme say that one more time for the people in the back…
You don’t wait til you’re an expert to do the thing. Doing the thing is how you become an expert.
That applies to podcasting, that applies to my work as a time management coach, and that probably applies to something in YOUR life, too.
Full disclosure: I have a hard time with the word expert. Let me rephrase that – I have a hard time calling myself an expert. I have no problem calling others experts.
I consider myself to be a pretty confident person. I believe in myself, my abilities, and I believe that I can do just about anything I set my mind to. That’s the way I was raised – and when you start attending leadership seminars when you’re 12 – that would the Made for Excellence conference back in Fall of ‘97 – it becomes ingrained pretty early.
But that doesn’t mean that I’m immune to occasional bouts of imposter syndrome.
What does it even mean to achieve expert status? Is it having a book published? Having a podcast? Having a successful podcast? What does success even mean?
I don’t think there’s a Girl Scout style merit badge for being an expert, and I really don’t think there’s a committee of people walking around looking to bestow the title of expert on people. Although if that were a thing, I like to imagine that they knock on your door like the Publishers Clearing House, and except instead of balloons and a giant novelty check, they put a fancy gold medal around your neck that says expert and toast you with a glass of champagne while a string quartet plays in your front yard. Can we make that a thing? Because then it would be crystal clear when you’re allowed to call yourself an expert.
One of the women in Take Back Your Life, my 8 Week Group Coaching program shared a similar feeling – that in order to feel like she’d earned expert status – that she needs a certificate. Credentials, letters behind her name. Gosh this is the hard part of podcasting, I’d love to ask if you feel the same way. Give me an amen or type a “yes” in the chat box – but it’s just me here. So instead I just ask you to think about – what does expert status mean to you? How will you know if or when you’re an expert in your field? Do you want to become an expert? Is that important to you?
Right now, I’m in the final chapters of Brendon Burchard’s book, High Performance Habits. The entire book is dedicated to the 6 common habits of high performers based on Burchard’s extensive research. One thing he found after interviewing hundreds or high performers is that most of them don’t see themselves as being “at the top.”
Instead, they tend to feel almost perpetually new – like they always have more to learn. Reading that bit of research was a comforting feeling for me. I feel like everytime I learn something new, I realize just how much I don’t know.
But – with coaching, with podcasting, with anything in life – when you step out and DO something. When you take action – even if it’s scary, it starts to get easier with practice.
James Wedmore, host of Mind Your Business podcast often says, “Clarity comes from taking action.” Basically sometimes you just have to start doing stuff to figure it all out. And that 100% means making mistakes.
For example, back in Episode 6 I interviewed Blake Guichet, host of the Confessions of a Crappy Christian podcast. I knew that she had a large audience, and was starting to interview some pretty big names in her industry – so I was totally intimidated.
She was a real podcast host, and here I was this brand new baby podcaster still trying to figure out how my mic worked.
Not only did I get totally flustered and lose my train of thought while we recorded – I mean… I’m not joking. I wish I still had the audio that we had to cut out of the recording – I seriously had to stop and take deep breaths and tell myself… outloud, with Blake listening… you can do this.. You can do this…
I got through the interview – we had an amazing conversation… I was totally on cloud nine. Then, I realized that I forgot to plug in my microphone. Seriously. I just didn’t plug it in. Thankfully, my laptop mic picked up the sound, and my wonderful editor Jeanette Tapley, was able to salvage the interview and the sound – but seriously – mistake made, lesson learned.
Clarity from taking action.
And you better believe that I’ve never made the mistake of NOT plugging in my microphone ever again.
Plus – now that I’ve hosted more than more than 20 interviews – I’ve gotten incredibly comfortable with asking questions, and NOT interrupting, which was super hard for me in the beginning, and I’ve learned the right way to prepare myself before we hit record.
The second big lesson I learned early on was to
Do it my way.
But of course, that took figuring out what my way even was. And yes – that involved a LOT of trial and error and making mistakes. I don’t know about you – you know how quirky algorithms can be, but my Facebook and Instagram feeds are LOADED with ads from experts selling courses that promise to teach you how to Start a Podcast with a Massive Audience with these 3 Easy Steps! Or 10X your Podcast Audience in 10 Days! – Make 100K in 5 minutes with these entrepreneur secrets! It can get a little noisy and a little overwhelming. With so many experts out there, it can be hard to know what to listen to, who to trust, and who you should learn from.
Not to mention a lot of the claims just aren’t real. Ok – you made 100K in 5 minutes, but you also spent 60K on Facebook Ads, paying your team of contractors, renting office space, and who even knows what else.
If you’re familiar with Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies, I am a Questioner through and through – that means that if I don’t watch out – I can fall into analysis paralysis pretty easily, asking a never ending avalanche of questions on the search for the “right” or “best” way.
Knowing this about myself – I only allowed myself to take 1 podcasting course and stopped.
I followed the recommended steps, and got started. Just like the course said – I outlined my first episode, sat down in my closet with my hand me down mic, and hit the record button.
And it was a total disaster. I stumbled over my words over and over and over again. I lost my train of thought. I couldn’t remember what some of my outline even meant. It felt like a total mess, I felt like a huge failure. The anxiety welled up in my chest, and I thought to myself – how am I ever going to be able to do this? What am I even thinking that I can start a podcast? Who am I to even do this?
But I’d already put it out there into the world – I couldn’t just quit now.
So I stopped, and asked myself… Ok – what’s the root of the problem here. I’ve been a prepared public speaker, speaking to audiences of hundreds – even thousands on stage since I was 10. Although to be honest, my first speech when I was 10 was to a room of about 20.
What was I getting so wrong?
And then it dawned on me – I’d never, in my entire life given a speech with just an outline. Every single speech I’ve ever given has been written out. Word for word. Every sentence. Every paragraph. In fact, when I competed in high school speaking contests, one of the judges on the panel’s only job was to listen and check for word for word accuracy – and then dock points for mistakes.
Why on earth did I think that operating from an outline was going to be “my way” just because that’s what the podcast expert told me to do?
It took a total mess – to remember who I am, how I operate, and what My Way looks like. When I tell other podcasters that I fully script my episodes – most of them look at me like I’m crazy. I haven’t come across another podcast yet who does this – although I have to imagine they’re out there.
Whatever it is that you do – whether you’re a photographer, a social media manager, a realtor, virtual assistant or a baker. Learn what you need to learn, but figure out what your way is. Prepare yourself for the trial & error and the mistakes you’ll make along the way. And then once you find “your way” do it your way with no shame. Be who you are, own it and be proud.
Finding your way, and committing yourself to doing it your way takes guts, and it also takes intention.
Which is why the third thing I’ve learned is that in order to hit publish on this show every single week, I have to
Be more intentional than ever.
More intentional with how I spend my time, intentional with the content I consume, and intentional with my education.
When it comes to being intentional with my time – that probably doesn’t come as a surprise to you, because I am literally a time management coach. Helping others be more intentional with their time is what I do for a living.
But when I hit publish on December 2nd, I only had a handful of clients, definitely not the full roster that I have right now with projects in the works.
And now – in order to make sure that there’s a new episode ready for you each week, I have to plan in advance, and I absolutely cannot wait until the last minute.
I can’t wait for myself to be in the “right mood” to write, or for the lightning bolt of inspiration to strike.
If you know me well – you know that I dream of one day publishing a book about time management. One that’s actually easy to understand and implement while we’re raising toddlers, managing careers, caring for our aging parents, running businesses and making dinner. And in the last few months, I’ve been reading a lot about writing.
One of the biggest misconceptions about writers, about authors – is that they have this romantic life that involves hiding away in a charming bed and breakfast or a cabin in the woods – gathering inspiration and penning beautiful words when the moment feels right.
But in reality – being a writer, and I’ve learned – being a podcaster who scripts episodes – involves being hyper aware of deadlines, and doing what needs to be done – even when you don’t feel like it, or when that lightning bolt of inspiration is nowhere to be found.
That means using time management techniques like time blocking and task batching. First – batching tasks like outlining, writing and recording, as well as batching guest research, sending interview invitations, prepping for interviews and prepping promotional content. And second – blocking time out in my calendar for each of those activities throughout the month.
I’ve also created checklists and workflows for each of the parts of my podcast so I can work my way through each step without losing track of where I am or what comes next. If I get interrupted and have to walk away – I’m not scrambling to figure out where I was in the process because my workflow checklists live in Trello – my favorite project management tool.
And – just like I walked away from the Nonprofit Chairman role the day after I fully committed to starting the podcast – saying Yes to being consistent with podcast episodes, means saying No to other things.
Just like you – unless you have an attention span like a steel trap, and if that’s the case I’m going to need you to come on the show and tell us your secrets – but just like most of you listening, I can so easily get distracted by shiny things that can take me off course and take my attention away from the podcast. I’ll see a pretty website template and suddenly want to revamp my entire website. Or I’ll get sucked into one of those Facebook ads promising me that this new Pinterest strategy is going to double my audience size – and I’ll want to jump down that rabbit hole.
Speaking of Facebook ads – In addition to being intentional with my time, I’ve learned the importance of being intentional with what I consume – and by that I mean the content I take in on a regular basis.
CliftonStrengths – which used to be called StrengthsFinder – is a personality type assessment that basically uncovers your unique combination – or ranking of 34 different strengths. The strengths are all over the place, from ideation to achiever, from empathy to activator. The basic results share your top 5 or 10, and the full report ranks all 34.
Organizations often use this assessment to help their leadership teams learn how to work better together by understanding each others unique strengths and how the combination of their strengths work together to create results.
Out of all 34 strengths, my #1 strength is competition. According to my report, “People exceptionally talented in the Competition theme measure their progress against the performance of others. They strive to win first place and revel in contests.”
Ok cool, so my #1 strength is comparing myself to others? Well that’s… great?
And if you’re listening – and you’re a certified Strengths coach – send me a message. I’d love to have you on the show – not just to talk through my weird feelings about having competition as a #1 strength – but to share how helpful it can be to know and understand your unique combination of strengths.
So Knowing that about me – that I’m apparently super competitive – you can imagine how hard the comparison-itis can hit every single time I pick up my phone to casually scroll instagram.
And knowing this about myself – in order to be very intentional with the content I consume, I’ve spent a lot of time over the past few months gradually unfollowing and muting accounts that aren’t bringing positivity into my life.
I’ve deleted apps that were more time wasters than value adds.
I’ve added time limits to my phone for certain apps.
And I’ve generally tried to be mindful about what I’m allowing into my headspace, for my health & wellbeing, and to stay focused on what’s most important.
Being intentional with my education is an extension of being careful with the content I consume. Just like I mentioned earlier about my tendency to search for the best way, or the right way to do something – I’ve recognized that if you’re not, if I’m not intentional about what I choose to learn I can waste a lot of time, real fast.
Every day I’m bombarded with offers for free webinars teaching the latest business strategies – and I used to jump into them all the time when I was hungry for knowledge, until I learned how hit or miss they can be, and that many turn out to be total fluff. You can spend all of your free time in these free webinars if you don’t watch out. Let me be clear – some of them are fantastic and full of value, but some aren’t, and it’s hard to know what you’re gonna get until you show up.
And Sidenote: This is exactly why I teach actual actionable strategies whenever I give a free workshop – I’m a time management coach, and you better believe that I am not about to waste your time with fluff.
And if it’s not an offer for another free webinar, I’ve got emails in my inbox telling me about a new course that’s available. I’ve found that in entrepreneurial space – particularly with online business – you could literally spend all of your time in learning mode, instead of doing mode. Worse than that – I’ve noticed that many people buy tons and tons of online courses, and then let them collect dust because throwing money at a problem and buying into promises seemed liked a good idea at the time.
Did you know that studies have shown that reading about working out, or pinning workouts to a Pinterest board gives you almost the exact same feeling of satisfaction that you get from actually working out?
I don’t know if any studies have been done, but I have to imagine that buying an online course about organizing your house, for example, has got to be almost as satisfying in the moment as actually organizing your house. You type in your credit card, feel the rush of all the work that future you is going to do after taking the course, you already feel totally proud of yourself – and then you move on with life and nothing changes.
I know this – because I’ve been there. Again – don’t get me wrong, I 100% believe in the importance of investing in yourself, your business, your career, and your skills – but there’s a big difference between investing in yourself and throwing money at a problem. Like buying an expensive gym membership and never showing up.
Instead of buying all the courses, and taking all of them at once, I’ve become a lot more careful about only learning what I need to learn in this season. And in order to do that, I’ve had to identify what I need to know in this season, and what I want to learn next. I’ve found that it’s better to make major progress in one direction, instead of baby steps in 37 different directions. There’s a great illustration of this in the book Essentialism by Greg McKeown.
Finally – I have to be super careful with other time management and productivity content. I LOVE reading time management and productivity books. The next book in my stack is The Checklist Manifesto. But I have to be very careful, because I want to be inspired, but not too inspired.
Have you heard of Cryptomnesia?
Cryptomnesia is when you believe that you came up with something new and original, when in reality, you saw it somewhere else first but forgot about it. I learned about this because in the world of Standup Comedy – joke theft is a big deal. You won’t find me at any open mic nights doing bits, but I definitely don’t want to accidentally claim something as my own that I learned somewhere else. I always try my best to give credit where credit is due – that’s why you’ll hear me mention books like Laura Vanderkam’s 168 Hours and Cal Newport’s Deep Work – because I incorporate aspects of what they teach in my coaching and podcast episodes.
The last thing I want to mention here – I’m not saying that social media is bad. I’m not saying that reading books by leaders in your industry is bad, and I’m definitely not saying that online courses are bad – I’m actually finalizing a time management course of my own right now that I can’t wait to share with you. What I am sharing is that I’ve learned how important it is to be intentional with those things in order to bring my best self to the podcast, my work, my family and my wellbeing.
Back in Episode 2, I talked with Lauren Barbalich – a powerhouse of a woman who owns a successful event rental business, is a full time paralegal for the Louisiana Attorney General and a mom of three. More than anything, Lauren shared the importance of asking for help – something that I have struggled with in the past. So the fourth big lesson I’ve learned is
The importance of asking for help.
Before I recorded my first episode, I planned to handle every aspect of the show. From soup to nuts. Which is a funny saying that just means from start to finish. I designed the podcast show graphic you see in iTunes, I set up my hosting service, my recording service, designed my promo graphics and I learned how to edit audio.
And right after learning how to edit audio, I promptly hired a podcast editor. I am a huge advocate of outsourcing in your business in order to spend more time in your Genius Zone – but I also believe that it’s important to know enough about what you’re outsourcing to be dangerous. So – it was important to me to understand what the editing process looked like behind the scenes, and I actually edited Episode 1 and Episode 4 by myself.
There’s a principle mentioned in the book The E-Myth by Michael Gerber (and of course I’ll link it in the shownotes) called Management by Abdication. Basically it means you hand things off to someone else because you don’t understand them, and don’t really want to learn – but as a result – you have no idea whether or not the person you’ve hired is actually doing a good job.
Now this doesn’t make sense for everything you might want to delegate. I don’t plan to learn enough about plumbing to be dangerous before hiring a plumber if our toilet is broken. But when it comes to my business, I want to have an understanding of what I’m handing off before I delegate it so I can be an effective leader along the way.
Asking for help and hiring a podcast editor freed up hours of my time each week, adding up to so much time that was able to go toward other important work in my business.
If you’re a solo business owner, I encourage you to identify what could be delegated in your business, but also to be careful before delegating to a new hire. Remember that it’s your role to be the leader – not to give your new hire a job description and a to-do list, and then never check in with them or be there to course correct. And you can’t course correct if you don’t understand what’s going on.
If you’re leading a team at work or as a business owner, again – I encourage you to ask for help – identify what you can delegate, and do so in a way that empowers your team. Work with them to create systems and checklists, and build in regular accountability and feedback.
Another way that I’ve asked for help is by working with a podcast coach. When I launched back on December 2, 2019 – I learned everything I needed to in order to get the show in your earbuds, to promote it week after week, and to secure and schedule guests but once I got my process down and episodes were rolling – I didn’t really know what to do next. And I didn’t know what I didn’t know – so I got help.
Now – I’m working with podcast coach Kevin Chemidlin in a group accelerator program called Grow the Show alongside a small group of up and coming podcasters. Going back to being intentional with my education – this program is my primary educational focus right now. And by going all in, I’m saying no to other things, but I’m seeing the benefit of being committed and focused. Some people might think it’s crazy to admit that I’m working with a podcast coach, but why not? I’m here to be transparent – and when you want to really go all in and make a big change in an area of your life, career or business – work with a coach if you want radical accountability and to amazing results.
And finally the fifth lesson I’ve learned over and over again by recording these past 50 episodes is
To let go of perfection.
Perfectionism is crippling. It will hold you back from making big moves in your life. I often say that I’m on a mission to Ban Busy as a Badge of Honor, but if we’re on the subject of banning badges of honor – I’d like to add perfectionism to that list.
When did it become a good thing to tell people in a job interview that you’re a bit of a perfectionist.
This is going to sound a little sassy, but being a perfectionist does not make you better than anyone. Being a perfectionist does not make you the best at doing your job. Being a perfectionist does not make you the best at being a parent or friend or significant other.
If you tell me that you are a perfectionist – just like when you tell me how busy you are – I am not impressed. In fact, I kind of feel bad for you, because I know that you’re missing out on how great life can be when you let go of perfectionism.
Aiming for perfection is a waste of time. I mean – if you’re a brain surgeon, this doesn’t apply to you. Please, aim for perfection with your work. We’re counting on you.
But if you are a self-proclaimed perfectionist, I invite you to take a look at what exactly you mean when you use that word. How does it make you feel to aim for and insist on perfection? How does it affect your work? How does it affect how you spend your time?
Tolstoy said – If you look for perfection, you’ll never be content.
French Artist Eugene Delacroix said, “The artist who aims at perfection in everything, achieves it in nothing.”
Margaret Atwood, “If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word.”
Last one – Debra Messing, “When you’re passionate about something, you want it to be all it can be. But in the end game of life, I fundamentally believe the key to happiness is letting go of that idea of perfection.”
Look – I make mistakes all the time. And if I waited for perfection, or to feel ready, or to be an expert first – you wouldn’t be listening to Episode 50 of this podcast.
People want to see the real you, hear about the real you. Trade aiming for perfection with striving for excellence. Before you start on something that you KNOW you’ll want to tweak to perfection, decide in advance what success looks like – and let yourself stop when you get there.
Cut yourself some slack. What would you do – what would you create. What would you say, or how would you lead if you let go of perfection. I want to see it, and the world needs it. Stop letting it hold you back.
Now that I’ve reached the 50 episode milestone, you might be curious about what’s coming up next for me and for It’s About Time.
Hopefully, 50 more episodes, and 50 more after that. And so on and so on. I’m looking forward to celebrating the 1 year anniversary of the show in December, and I’m excited to continue hosting amazing guests for interviews, and sharing actionable strategies and stories about work life and balance in my solo shows.
You’ll also find me sharing time management strategies as a guest on other great podcasts, and I’ll be sure to let you know where else you can find me so you can tune in.
If you have a business that serves that hopes to connect with go-getters who want to focus on what matters most in work and life, you might be an ideal sponsor partner for It’s About Time. I’m looking forward to partnering with businesses, services, coaches and retail shops that are a great match.
And finally – if you’ve wanted to take what you’ve learned in episodes of It’s About Time to the next level, keep your eyes peeled to Instagram, make sure you’re subscribing to my email newsletter and listen closely to upcoming episodes to get the inside scoop on soon to be announced workshops, course launches and products! There’s some fun stuff in the works, and I can’t wait to share it with you.
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LINKS & RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard
Trello – my favorite project management tool.
CliftonStrengths – which used to be called StrengthsFinder
Essentialism by Greg McKeown
The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande
168 Hours by Laura Vanderkam
Deep Work by Cal Newport
The E-Myth by Michael Gerber
Join the It’s About Time Podcast Community!