What can you remove?

addition subtraction symbols sketch KLR

When I find myself a bit overwhelmed, a bit “oh my word where do I start first”, my tendency is to do more things. Do as much as possible so I can tick things off my endless (and ever-increasing) list so I feel a bit of relief. 

All that achieves is a very small amount of temporary relief, followed by more overwhelm. 

Because when I complete one task on my list, like creating the draft content for a new sales asset, I send it off feeling great about myself…..and then I get replies, and feedback, and suddenly my list has expanded once again. 

I was talking with my accountant recently about this seemingly endless list and some days not even knowing where to start first. 

“Well, when that happens,” he said, “instead of doing more, often the best thing to do is to ask yourself what you can remove. It’s a matter of subtraction, not addition.”

Naturally I immediately felt the truth of it…and at the same time thought, “but I don’t even know what to remove”. And that’s because removing things takes energy and brain space, too. 

You need a clear mind to say yes, this thing is important but it is not urgent. Or maybe it’s not even important: it’s simply the next thing on your list. You need perspective.

Everyone will have suggestions and their own perspective to share. “What about removing this?” “If it were me, I’d stop that.” 

The toughest part for me is considering removing anything on my list with a longer-term impact. Whilst it’s tempting to cut things out which aren’t immediately urgent, and don’t need dealt with straight away, I do also want to consider the bigger picture. 

For example, these emails I send out weekly: sure, I could cut those out. But at the same time, I love writing them, and it fills my cup a bit to take an hour to stop and look around and meditate on the past week a bit. These Creative Headspace emails are also a smaller part of the bigger picture of being an author and a writer, and future books I’m writing and will be sharing later this year. 

For me, it usually comes down to one question: “Am I doing this solely because I feel obliged to?”

I’ve cut out a few things already this week. All of them were things I felt obligated to, felt like I owed it to people because I’d said I would do it, or because I started it back when I had lots of energy and didn’t have the multiple fires which all popped up in the past few weeks. 

Even when you’re fighting fires, you still need to stop for a minute in between the fighting and breathe. Step away from the smoke. Drink some water. Clear your head. Then go back in and beat those fires back. (After that you can deal with restoring the ground and preventing future fires.) 

You usually know what it is you can remove. You’ve been avoiding it – because you feel obliged, because it’s actually enjoyable, because you started it and hate to leave things undone. 

But what if this was someone else? Knowing what you know about what they have on and what fires are going right now, what would you recommend they remove? 

Step out of yourself for a moment and look at it practically rather than with obligation (or habit). 

Given all that, what can you subtract? What is one thing you can remove? 

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Instant change can shock or surprise you. 

You don’t know what to do with it, so you can default to fear. Or confusion. Or reverting to the way you did things before. 

One of my coaching clients is working on changing his approach with the business owners he talks to.

“Up til now I’ve been very me and company centric,” he told me. “And it’s time for that to change.” 

It’s always been accounting, bookkeeping, numbers focused. Nothing about motivations or emotions. 

He read the Accountant Marketer and is now working through each of the sections with me so he can apply them to his firm. 

But even slight changes like asking new prospects, “So, what motivated you to start this business?” is an adjustment. 

But we make changes because we want some kind of change to happen. 

This firm owner wants to get more of the kind of clients he loves working with: and that means opening up with prospects. 

Asking deeper questions. Listening. 

This change will have an impact on the firm’s numbers. On their operations. On the conversations they have as a team. 

We talked about sending out emails to existing clients to offer a conversation about strategy and big picture and motivations, but after testing it with a few clients, he got no takers. 

They’re not used to this. It’s too big, too dramatic. 

So instead he will adjust gradually, in stages. 

In the next client meet, ask one small question. 

How were things in the business this week? Anything which is particularly tough for you right now? 

Something to start that level of conversation going. 

They may not answer it. They may not feel comfortable with that: and that’s okay. But the very tiny changes will be easier to accept than something dramatic. 

Instead of going 0 to 100, can you stage it? 


then 50-50…

then 80-20…

…and then when you’re ready, 100-0. 

#theaccountantmarketer #change #stages #justkeepgoing #onestepatatime #progress 

➡️This is from my “creative headspace” notes which go out every Friday. These remind you to change your perspective. Pause. Look around. Breathe. To be on the list, follow the link in bio.💪✨
100 consecutive days of video: DONE!!! 

I’ve stuck to my challenge. I haven’t missed a single day. And now I get to start the reflections. 

I’ve made a real effort not to over-reflect early: but to focus on getting the challenge done. Then I can look back and see what I’ve learned, how it’s impacted me and my business, and what I’ll take from it for future videos. 

Here are just a few of my initial learnings: 

1. Plan the video. The earlier in the day I shoot it or consider what it will be, the easier and smoother everything goes 

2. Capture little bits of video throughout the day (or days) to be used with a theme later. One second, ten second, one minute videos came in really handy when I did a compilation video - of walking, or water, or travels, or working. 

3. Being “on” every day - being present on social media and not missing a single day for 100 days - is bloody hard. I am really looking forward to being able to not open instagram if I don’t want to. And I’ll look forward to falling asleep at 11pm without the gasp of “did I do my video today???” 

4. I’m really grateful. For all I’ve learned and seen and heard and experienced and shared: and for how it will impact my future videos. 

Thank you for being with me on the journey. ❤️

#100dayvideochallenge #100days #justkeepgoing #doneanddusted #finish #challengecompleted #nailedit #video #progress #learnings #businessowner 

Day 100/100 Video Challenge
There’s something about water I find so soothing and invigorating at the same time. 

#100dayvideochallenge #100days #water #sea #isleofmull #refreshing

Day 99/100 Video Challenge