Building a Nourishing and Sustainable Business with “She Builds” author Jadah Sellner

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Here’s the transcript:


Welcome to another episode of The Widest Net Podcast. I am your host, Pamela Slim, and I am joined by my guest and friend, Jadah Sellner. Jadah is a best selling author, business coach and international keynote speaker, a TEDx presenter, a poet, and host of the Lead with Love podcast. She’s the author of SHE BUILDS: The Anti-Hustle Guide to Grow Your Business and Nourish Your Life. She’s also the co-author of the bestselling book Simple Green Smoothies, where over 1 million people have embraced the simple and healthy habit.        


That’s kind of amazing. As the founder of Jadah Sellner Media, Inc. and She Builds Collective, she helps women build their businesses and their lives in a way that works for them with love. She’s been featured in Forbes. O, the Oprah magazine and the Wall Street Journal.        


When Jada’s not speaking on stage, you can catch her dancing to Beyonce in her living room or sipping on a chai tea latte by a cozy fireplace. She lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband, daughter and dog, Beasley. Welcome to the podcast. I’m so excited for us to have this conversation, Pam. Me too.        


I was reflecting. I was like, I think I remember you back in the Green Smoothie days when we first crossed paths, probably in Portland, I think. World Domination Summit with the whole Jonathan Fields crew. Yeah, I remember that time well. I love that and I love how the way the world works.        


It’s fun, I think, for those of us that have been in the online world and the coaching world for a long time, I love to see the growth and evolution and expansion and deepening of the work that you’ve done. So it’s really exciting to talk about it today because we really haven’t had a chance to do that. It’s been a while since we’ve caught up, so I’m looking forward to digging in. Yeah. And as you said that, I was thinking of our mutual friend Jennifer Kem, who says, I’m not a spring chicken, I’m a seasoned chicken.        


I’m just like, that’s what we are. Yes, I love that. And I did see you in person in the Bay Area at Jen’s wonderful birthday celebration. I’m still thinking about that and reflecting on it. It was such a beautiful time together and it’s one of the things I love.        


I’m 56. I’ll be 57 this year. It’s so neat sometimes with people like you. I’ve known a long time people like Jen, I’ve known more tangentially over Facebook to begin to lean in and build new friendships and get to know people in a deeper way. It was so wonderful to see the way that she operated and see the way that she put together that event that was basically just a big party for herself where she invited everybody.        


It was incredible. It was just a beautiful experience. I keep thinking about it and I keep kind of reflecting on it in terms of that generosity. Yes. And that’s one of her core values.        


So I love that so much, and she’s such a close and dear friend of mine. And to see that come together and the community and the gathering and the yes. And I loved that core word that she shared around just communion, coming back into ritual and connection and so beautiful. Before we started recording, you were just telling me that, speaking of Jen, you just came back from Italy, where the two of you led a writing retreat. Just give us some of the highlights from that.        


Like, how did that idea start and what did you do? How did it all roll out? Yeah, so what I’m noticing right now in this season, as we’re kind of moving out of the stagnant, cozy cocoon, is being able to create just experiences where we’re in person again. And Jen and I, she had just signed her book deal. I’ve done two multiple six figure book deals.        


And so we talked about wanting to share some of the behind the scenes strategies of what it takes to get a big book deal. And also all this, it’s so nuanced, you know, that of all the many books that you’ve had. And so we just decided Jen sent me an email of the location of, like, let’s do it in Florence. And I was just like, yes. I’ve never been to Florence, Italy.        


And it felt so easy and so expansive. We had over ten women there who were ready to write their first book or their next book. A couple of people were seasoned authors, but really wanted to learn the behind the scenes of that. And we did dancing, we did celebrating, really kind of creating this embodied experience of talking about book deals and platform and publishing and proposals, but also creating it as a very creative, connected experience. And then, obviously, I was on the hunt for gelato the whole way through.        


And I think what was so beautiful about that experience, one was co leading a retreat together. There’s a lift, there’s an ease of kind of bouncing and holding the space together. We had set days where it’s like, all right, you’re doing the presentation and the slides and the next day and also carrying the lift of the marketing and the enrollment. And so it was just a very beautiful, easy, like, we will do this again. And that’s a question I always ask myself at the end of something.        


Did that energize me or did that drain me? And everyone was so inspired by being in a different location, getting on the plane. The effort that it takes to get on the plane and get on the other side of the pond, that’s where the inspiration, all the ideas were just unlocking. Not a new client, a client of six years of mine was there, and she was just kind of in this stuck space, and then everything unlocked for her being in Italy. And so we’re doing a VIP day soon to kind of strategize all the ideas that were downloaded just from that experience.        


And not just for the book. It was like for her whole business and life and creative expression. So I love the transformation of in person activations. It reminds me so much of retreats that I’ve done in the past. I did Lift Off with Charlie Gilkey, who I know is also a shared friend of ours for three years.        


We did it twice a year. And then I did lead a writing retreat for three years with my friend Betsy Rapoport. And that one we did in Sedona, which happens to be close by where I live here in Arizona. But it’s just reminding me and it is a theme. When we begin to dig into your book and some of the core ideas where you do mention about having connection and community and mastermind, it is really interesting to note that how powerful it can be.        


I agree with you. To be doing things in person for something like a book or for something that’s a deeper , maybe a business design, I really think there is something to just getting out of your day to day. You can feel different. Just the different experiences that you have in a new environment will really lead to new insights that you probably wouldn’t have at home. But I love that you’re underlining what it feels like to really be co leading a retreat.        


The last few times that I’ve done it, I’ve done it. My husband is extremely supportive and he’s played a very important role in holding Space, but it’s been a little bit different than actually co leading different sections. So just reminds me how powerful that yeah. Yes. Oh, I love that.        


Is Betsy improv? Betsy? No. Betsy Rapoport, who is a longtime editor, she worked for many of the New York publishers and she’s done a lot of editing projects. So she brought the kind of New York publishing industry gravitas of editing over a thousand books.        


And I brought some of the experience of being a writer and also business coach. And like you, we just have so many stories of book ideas that were born at that time. Just different ways in which the physical environment in Sedona that happens to be really a beautiful, powerful environment helps people to see things and really have breakthroughs. So I love that you’re coming from that energy. And I’m fresh back from Europe myself, so I feel very cosmopolitan at the moment, just reawakened.        


We are new women. We are refreshed and energized and inspired. So in some ways, thinking of the opposite of that. In the book, you write a lot about some of the insidious elements of what we refer to as hustle culture. Bring us into that.        


As you were writing your book and really exploring what that is. What is it? We kind of throw that term around a lot. But what is hustle culture and why do we get so sucked into it? Yeah, so how I define hustle culture is this external pressure that is coming from outside of us, that is making us feel like we are not doing enough, we’re not making enough, we are not enough.        


There’s this lack, this sense of scarcity that comes up and we’re in this cycle of fear of forcing exhaustion, avoidance and rigidity, which I call the cycle of fear inside my book that we’re trying to move away from how we’re showing up in our work. And so many of our hours are contributed to how we work and how we show up in our lives and how that impacts how we show up in the relationships of ourselves and with the people that we love. And so for me it’s interesting because we’re talking about the book retreat and I have been on that cycle of hustle culture and also hustle is not bad. We have seasons where we may have to push or get something to the finish line, but it’s the sustainable practice of being aware. Is this an external pressure?        


Am I doing this? Or is it a deadline that I made up for myself and I’m over exerting myself and then leading to chronic illnesses or disrupted relationships or ignoring our bodies, our signals, all of those things. And so we have to be aware of that dance. And then there’s seasons where we need to pivot when we need to pause. And so it’s being able to kind of navigate that dance.        


And when I was writing Simple Green Smoothies, which that book came out in 2015, I was a walking paradox. I was writing about living your best healthy life and all of this drink, your green smoothies, your spinach and your kale. And I remember to make the deadline that had been imposed from our publisher. I was up for over 24 hours. I remember I was still in my yoga pants.        


I was laying on the floor with the manuscript laid out. It was like our last chance to make any changes. And it’s 08:00 in the morning and I see my husband George and my daughter Zoe walking out the door to go to school. And I had not gone to sleep. I had just been working on the book, exhausted, kind of making the deadline.        


And I just knew that burnout could not be the option anymore. And so as I was writing She Builds. I needed to live and embody anti hustle. Like I needed to actually write my book in a different way. And so instead of burning myself out in writing this book, I asked for time.        


I had conversations, like really paying attention to my own boundaries and energy. I did solo writing retreats in hotels. I soaked in the hot tub, drank grain juice. I just allowed more spaciousness around. Even though there’s the crunchy deadlines to really honor myself in the process of writing the book.        


And even in marketing the book, I’m doing it so differently of not this like two week push, got to get to New York Times bestseller. I’m like I am a slow cooker as I’m putting this book out into the world. This 18 month marketing timeline of like, I am going to continue to build conversations and community and experiences around this book versus everything has to happen in two weeks or else. And then that the book doesn’t matter if it doesn’t get this external validation. And so I just wanted to share that kind of parallel of how I have been in hustle culture, even in writing a book about health and wellness and knowing that I had to do it in a different way.        


Yeah, it’s so powerful and insidious is like any kind of societal structure that does become so internalized. I noticed this. I know for you and I being business coaches, I notice it for myself and I notice it for clients where we know sometimes there are real things to pay attention to. For example, where you do get a traditional deal with a publisher who may be paying a large advance for you to do the book or you might have a business partner where you’re wanting to be producing certain kinds of results. There are real pressures sometimes in business.        


Right. In terms of expectations that you have for how you’re delivering things, I’m curious for your understanding. You just shared some of the personal understanding of how you might notice where unhelpful components seep in, where essentially you’re just really living. It’s like you’re drinking from the well of fear as opposed to being aware of the desire for goals that you have. I think you and I probably work with many people who are ambitious, who have goals, who are excited about producing big things. So how do you really understand the balance between like you were demonstrating in your example, really being conscious about enjoying the process, taking your time, being sustainable when creating something and having an awareness that you need to have clients, you need to finish a book.        


How do you see that in your own personal life and with your client work? Yeah, so something that I really try to live by is to, like I say, don’t put a timeline on your dreams, put a timeline on your action. And when we create some spaciousness around the result or the outcome or the end game and let that be more fluid and flexible of the arrival date or destination. And then it’s like what are the actions that I have capacity for in this season of my life? And I know for you, you are so strategic in how we navigate our time and projects and steps.        


And so I definitely do strategic quarterly planning process, but actually paying attention to what are the commitments in my personal life, not just in my professional life, because for me, I’m having to do with my clients is throttle the ambition. Throttle it. We just got to slow it down. Let’s really see when we look at how much time and space, what’s the season of your life? You know, for us as mothers, we have summer feels a lot different in our businesses.        


We’re kind of up, and we’re traveling, and we’re moving around. We’re tending to our kids and their schedules and those pieces. And so really noticing the seasonality of my business and the seasonality of my life, like, when do I get really big upticks of clients? When are people usually enrolling and kind of creating some guardrails and boundaries, even in my personal life, of like, hey, family, this is a season of focus for me in the business right now. Or I had to do that with the book, where there was a moment where I kind of had to increase the throttle on the book, but letting my family in on that process.        


And then in summers, I slow down in my business of kind of a lot of the creative output and marketing and launching, and I’m just kind of delivering and sustaining in a very easy way so that I can be more flexible and fluid with the changing schedule of my family’s needs when they’re out of school. And so that’s a way that I kind of navigate. The piece is really paying attention to the seasonality of your whole ecosystem, in your business, in your life, in your work, and then also in your body, too. Those pieces really matter. And anytime when I know I have a big output, a big project, I need to lean in and ask for support.        


So that might be my husband. Can you cook more meals? Can we get a meal delivery sent? Oh, you’re in a busy season, too. None of us really have time to cook real meals, and it’s either pizza or something else, right?        


So kind of paying attention and checking in, and that’s a ritual that my husband and I have is a weekly couples meeting where we do a lunch date together, and we’re looking at the totality of our whole life, what’s happening in our businesses. He’s an entrepreneur, too. What’s happening in our personal lives, what’s happening in Zoe’s life, and kind of integrate our capacity of what are we committed to and what do we have space to add? Because I have a wish list. He doesn’t.        


I have, like, a honeydew list of, like, here are the things that I want you to do, here are the things that projects that I want us to work on. And it’s like when we look at our calendars, maybe we can get one or two things I can squeeze in from that list. I can’t get everything from that list done in the next week or even the next 90 days. I appreciate that, and I appreciate putting a lens on planning and conversation as a key part of it. Because I think that’s one thing when I know I’ve been caught up before or where I see clients, caught up in the feeling of just the never ending crush of things, it’s often because you haven’t taken the time to notice what are those patterns in your business.        


Sometimes it’s like, gosh, what’s going on? Why don’t I have any client referrals? And then you might look back over the last number of years and you’re like, nobody ever comes in the month of June, so why am I sitting here fretting? Why don’t I just relax by the pool as opposed to something else? And I love also taking more the holistic perspective.        


My husband’s an entrepreneur too. He does a lot of travel in the summer. He does a lot of work with indigenous youth. And so sometimes we are like, passing in the night. My daughter and I went on the trip.        


We came home, we were literally home. He picked us up at the airport. We saw each other for an hour before we went to sleep, and then he took off that morning to go somewhere else. So that is one thing that I appreciate in what you’re sharing, that in order to be responsive, to be more sustainable, it does require you to stop just looking at what’s ahead immediately. Right.        


What’s on that to do list and to look backwards at patterns, to look forward to what’s going on. That makes a lot of sense. Yeah. And also, I think in that practice of having that self awareness is rituals and practices to know what’s working for you. So something that I noticed being the ships passing through the night, my husband and I were trying to connect unplugged and we were just kind of missing each other.        


It’s like, this should be really cool that we’re talking, but for whatever reason, we’re just like, something’s off. And I realized in that moment that I am a social introvert. So my energy drains when I’m doing a lot of show up, a lot of service, a lot of output, a lot of traveling. And I just had nothing left for him. And so I realized I was like, I actually need to get back into my own body right now.        


I need to call all of my energy back to center. So I went to soak at a hot tub for 2 hours by myself, just realizing. And then I took a couple of days to just kind of be in a weekend of just watching shows, no plans, no commitments. And my husband had a hard time kind of watching me navigate that. But I had to keep advocating for like, this is pleasurable for me.        


I am replenishing. I’m restoring. And then by Monday, I was like, let’s play, let’s connect. And so just being aware of not just our business needs, our relational needs, our personal needs, but also ourselves. Like, what does our body, our soul need to replenish to be back into the day to day of our lives and our work too?        


Yeah, I appreciate that so much. Well, a lot of the approach and the perspective you really have built into your method. I am very obsessed with models and methods in professional service businesses. I feel like the next few years for me are all about productized services and really understanding models. In your book, you have the four essential principles of the acronym Love L-O-V-E which are lead, optimize, visualize and expand.        


Bring us into a little bit that method. Where did it come from? How do you use it in helping the entrepreneurs that you work with to have sustainable businesses? Yeah, I geek out on frameworks too, and I’m like, I think one day I’m going to have to hire you, Pam, for the product. I just know I’m always referring a lot of my clients to you because you geek out on frameworks and certifications and systemizing and all those pieces.        


And I’ll first share how I came up with it. Obviously, I didn’t start with the framework. I started with an incubator with my clients where I was working with 15 to 20 women business owners at a time for three years and testing, exercises, ideas of how to get into that reflection process, how to navigate their time, their boundaries, their energy, marketing, growth, revenue, all of these pieces. Business is so holistic and so complex, and I like to simplify things so that it doesn’t feel so overwhelming. And so I really built out the framework over the time of really testing things that worked really well for me inside my companies and then starting to test them with clients and seeing the results that they were getting from the process and then really kind of collecting the greatest hits of like, what’s the album?        


What are the songs that are on repeat? That whether I’m working with a client one on one or in a group, or I’m delivering in a keynote that these land and they also get people clarity and results on the other side. So I really kind of developed the content first in community in collaboration with people, getting live and in real time feedback, and then adjusting worksheets and exercises and all of those pieces and then gathering the greatest hits, kind of throwing them into this manuscript, messy Google Doc and really finding my way with the table of contents. And the framework of these are the core principles that we build business from and not building from hustle culture, but building from LOVE. And so kind of finding a home for those strategies within each of those core principles of lead, optimize, visualize and expand.        


I appreciate that it is really helpful to see how it is that you approach it. I consider it so much as well, the same kind of development often in doing work with individuals, I do a lot of in person intensives with my colleague La’Vista Jones, who’s often here with me. And we crack up afterwards because sometimes I’m like, where the heck did that tool come from? Just out of nowhere, somebody asks a question or we’re working on something and all of a sudden it spontaneously comes. But I love from a process development perspective, as you said, where you begin to notice the things that are really resonating.        


And I call it the lean in, as opposed to the lean back and tilt head, you know, the lean back and tilt the head. When you’re in love with some metaphor or some tool you have that nobody understands except yourself, versus something that you notice the more you’re working with others, it helps them. It kind of cuts through and then looking for that order. And of course there’s the beautiful metaphor there’s, wrapping it in an acronym that means something and makes sense. Did you find in practice when you began to see that shape of the way that those individual principles then fell underneath each of those categories?        


Which does make it easier, I think, for people to understand the way in the flow of the book and so forth. Do you find in the application of those principles? Do you actually teach in the order of LOVE? Is it mixed up for you? It’s a little bit of an inside soccer kind of question.        


I love that question so much because right, with a book, there’s kind of an order for the reader and there were parts where I would kind of battle with my editor of like, wait, no, but this would happen in this order. And it’s just I think the reader journey is different than when you’re working with a client. And so the order definitely goes in different pieces based on where they are at in their business. And I even use this framework as an enrollment strategy too. So when I’m doing enrollment calls, I actually pull out the page with the framework and kind of the bullet points beneath here are the different exercises.        


And based on what we just talked about on this call, I realize optimize is the section that we’re really going to focus on in these 1st 90 days and obviously we’re going to be working together for longer than that. But this is where we’ll focus, is kind of building the dream team, creating those systems and really then I might see like oh, and also self care and expand, right. So I’m kind of finding what are the first pieces that I know they’re going to need to get the lift from getting out of exhaustion, overwhelm and burnout and into a space of like, okay, I can breathe, and start making decisions again. So I’m also using it as an assessment of how to serve and kind of diagnose what we should do first. The same way like a functional nutritionist, right?        


It’s kind of like I have all of these tools and protocols and processes, but based on the symptoms that you’re experiencing, I’m noticing, let’s work on this, this and this first and then we’ll have clarity on where to go next. Are these pieces working? Are they creating relief?        


To answer your question, no, it’s not in order. It’s really self diagnosis, especially if I’m working with someone one on one. And then from a group perspective and how I did it when I was incubating the concepts and the strategies is I did go in a certain order. And they were all helpful too. And sometimes they were learning the strategy, but it’s like, oh, that’s not my focus in this quarter right now.        


But now I know it, and I’ll revisit it when it’s my time. Right. Because when you’re doing one to many, you’re going to have to guide them through an intentional kind of chronological order, even if that’s not the thing that maybe they need the most right in this moment. They can always kind of reach those resources and things. Would you say you do something?        


I’m curious for you with your frameworks. And how that goes very much similar and it’s always part of the nuanced learning, I think that I’ve done in different ways in which I use it. So for example, in the widest net method, it is one of those things that it is built. You have to first define what is that bigger mission that you’re on and what are your values and who’s your audience that one really does build on the other in order to then understand how you can begin to see what is the ecosystem that shares that same mission with you. Right, for example, but in terms of the implementation on a one on one side, for example, I may work with somebody who has done lots of work and reflection on their mission and their values and they will literally in the first homework between sessions, they’ll just complete all the exercises.        


And then I might have somebody else who never really has thought about it that way and needs to work in deeper. In a group setting where I’ve done a retreat around the method, I have noticed the tension and it’s more actually inside me of realizing, I think probably your method and mine are examples of like meta methods. You mentioned a three year time frame and I can sit back going, god damn, it’s been three and a half days. Like, why isn’t everybody have everything figured out? And then I’m like, oh, because actually it’s probably a two year process for somebody to deeply understand.        


So I think about it for those who are probably most folks listening, who are other professional service providers, people who are thinking about the way to use these frameworks, there is something I think so powerful of helping to give a name, a framework, an understanding. For your clients to be saying like, oh, I can tell stuff is flaring up in my Lead area. Right. Or OOH, I’d feel like a lack of things in the expand area so they can have a way to understand it. But we are not machines.        


We are coming from different perspectives. So that’s part of the nuance of designing learning experiences or coaching experiences that really do meet the need of where they are and not being so in love with our method of like, no, Jadah, you cannot. You can’t move forward because I need you to spend six weeks in this area where you are so ready to be done with it, where it’s not even relevant for you. And that rigidity, in how we show up in our businesses, how we show up as leaders.        


That’s on the fear cycle of us being in the rigidity of like I said, this is the plan, this is the deadline. This is the way I gotta keep going. And then we go into forcing where we’re pushing, and then when we push, then we go into exhaustion where we’re so tired. And when we’re tired, then we go into avoidance and we don’t want to do anything on our to do list. And we’re just like, I’m just going to stay watching all the Netflix.        


And so that’s the cycle, seeing where we tend to lean into part of the fear cycle. For me, avoidance is really like, freeze. I’m in freeze. Like, trauma response, overwhelm too much. And so noticing in that fear cycle, where do you live?        


And so that’s kind of part of me segwaying into the methodology is really diagnosing. Here are some of the symptoms that might be popping up for you. Forcing, exhaustion, avoidance, rigidity. And then in order for us to move away from fear and to build with love, here’s the process to guide you through that. Yeah, that’s really helpful.        


And I know it’s really helpful for your clients. When you think of if we’re to look at the high level and as we’ve been talking about, maybe it’s for folks you’ve been working with for a long time who really embrace the method, maybe just taking one piece at a time to understand, like kind of paint the picture for us. If we are an entrepreneur that is really embodying the practices and the habits in the Lead area, what are we doing? What are we actually doing day to day? Yeah.        


So one of the key pieces in Lead and Lead is really about leading from the inside out. So defining your enough number, really looking at the numbers in your business and the numbers to sustain your personal life. And actually, one of my clients that’s been with me for over six years that was at the Retreat, we literally were just going into that practice to revisit that number again. And another piece in Lead, defining your enough number and not an external unicorn company number. But truly look at your business and your bank expenses, like all of that really doing the math and the calculations of what is enough for you.        


And that takes the pressure off the hustle culture of us needing to I need a million dollar business in order to be successful. And it’s like sometimes it might be you need $120,000 business and that is enough. And when we know that number, it’s also easy for us again to throttle our ambition and take our foot off the pedal and be in a season of grief or of tending to a teen who’s dealing with mental health or our own chronic illness or really, when we know that enough number, then it’s like, okay, I’m at baseline. I’m good. I don’t need to be in growth and go go mode.        


And so really defining that enough number. Another piece in Lead that I think is so important, especially for this season right now, is us creating our future vision. And this is such an important practice because what happens is with social media and with our peers and our industry is we start seeing all these wins, these highlights, these celebrations, like, oh, wait, I should be doing that. Oh, squirrel, I should do this. Or we start stacking all of these things that actually don’t pull us closer to where we’re trying to move towards.        


And I think through the pandemic we’ve been disoriented and also it’s been hard to dream because so much uncertainty has been in our lives. But I think this is a really now that our nervous systems are getting tended to, things are starting to kind of slow down or get back to a rhythm of, I don’t know, there’s a rhythm that’s coming back to our lives where it’s like, oh, I know what to expect around the corner. This is a great time to actually vision about your next level vision. What am I wanting to create next? What is being called?        


How do I want to serve? How do I want to contribute? How do I want to show up in my relationships and grounding ourselves in our own internal vision that becomes our compass within how we show up in our businesses too. And then we’re not taking on all these strategies that don’t move us closer to where we’re trying to go. So to me, I think that piece is so important, and I’m noticing a lot of my clients who have been at it for a while and have already accomplished the thing, and then they just move the carrot stick a little bit further ahead.        


And it’s not even their carrot stick that they want is such an important practice for us to come back to. Really asking ourselves, what is it that I want to create next in this season of my life? And starting to look into a few years ahead of planting some seeds. Yeah, that’s so helpful. And then the optimize, what is happening?        


I know I can get lost in wanting to have every part of my business perfectly optimized. It will never happen. I don’t have enough money in the world to hire everybody to do it. So what does it look like to sustainably optimize the systems and structures of your business? Yes.        


And this piece around optimize, it’s interesting because when we think optimize and it has a masculine connotation to it right, of like scale system, and I look at as like optimizing our energy, optimizing how we’re spending our time, too. So this is a really important time for us to track. This is actually I’d probably say I’m focusing on optimize right now with a lot of new clients is they are just overworking. They’re working nights, they’re working weekends. And so where we start and optimize is really tracking and auditing how you’re spending your time and then doing a retrospective, what’s working, what’s not working about your schedule right now, what might we do differently?        


And then what we create is a weekly workflow plan. And so we start to theme out the days of like, okay, Mondays are for this Tuesdays are for this Wednesdays. So getting more intentional on where we’re focusing our time. And a lot of adults right now are getting diagnosed with ADHD. And so it’s just like that to do list.        


If it’s too long or you’re seeing too many things at one time, it just feels overwhelming and you go into that freeze response. So that piece and then another piece that’s important is the energy audit within the optimized section. It’s like, what parts of these activities actually give me energy, what drains my energy and really paying attention. So we’re kind of optimizing time and energy first and then we can start looking at the systems and the structures within, how we’re building our team to get the support to create some lift and not do it all yourself and wear all the hats and do all the things and hold on to everything. And I think a lot of founders recently had to be a little bit grippy and get back into the day to day of their business due to what has been happening globally and just having to kind of be in the space with their team where maybe they had built it in a way, but now they kind of have to build trust and leadership within the team again.        


Too. You can figure this out. I don’t have to figure every single thing out because there’s not just physical burnout. There’s also mental burnout right where our brains are just like thinking, decision making, all of those pieces that can really create a lot of fatigue and even apathy in the way that we show up in our work. Yeah, 100%.        


That’s really powerful. I like that. The combination of looking at the energy and then looking at the systems. What about visualize? So visualize is really what we were talking about, bringing in that quarterly planning process and being able to create space to dream and ideate, and collect all of those ideas.        


And I think for a lot of visionary entrepreneurs, business owners, founders, if they don’t have this structure and consistent system of having space to dream, they will download it and offload it on their team and overwhelm them. And so we actually need a very intentional ritual and practice of doing the quarterly planning process where you can dream and then start to look at your capacity and what do I actually have the time and energy to do with the team and resources that I have available. So I am always doing this practice. The visualize is actually what are the actions that I need to take to make the vision come to life? And so this is all about taking action and project planning and what’s the process?


So I like to unpack the execution process in where we’re doing planning. So we’re in the phase of actually just thinking brainstorming, making decisions about dates and then we move into the producing phase. But what happens is a lot of times people will skip the planning part and go right into like, I just got to make it happen, who, what, blah, blah. So giving yourself one to two weeks to actually intentionally plan and have the conversations like you mentioned earlier, and then we can start to actually produce and take action and bring things into form. And then we move into the promote phase, and that’s when we’re putting it out into the world.        


Or maybe we’re publishing something internally with our team. And so that is a process that I like to unpack with my clients. In the visualized section is how do we take visionary action on our dreams and our visions and our ideas. It’s so helpful. I know I feel so lucky right now and blessed to have an amazing team.        


I feel like just every moment of every day I want to do what I can to be supporting them and encouraging them. And I realize patterns in the past of me being a very quick thinking, sometimes haphazard creative leader where if it’s just me, I can create things really quickly, like have an idea the next day, have a class out there being sold and that can really not be helpful for my team. Or as now we’re working together, we really get in the rhythm. It is more about what obstacles do I need to remove for them? And then really a powerful question that I am always asking myself is what do they want me to do?        


What do they need me to do versus thinking? Sometimes I think where we often do of like, what do I want my team to do for me to make my life better. And the more I think about it, what would make my team happy? It is me getting out of messing around with the inside of client projects where they are so much more organized and clear on boundaries than I am where I am in my zone of business development. So that we have more of the flow of steady projects and in not overwhelming and changing all the time, of really creating a plan, sticking to it.        


So that’s really wonderful, I think, to be thinking about that, going back to your lead. It’s interesting. I always look at the bouncing back and forth, we can understand ourselves and when you do have a business at the stage where you do have a team, there is a different kind of requirement. And I have a point of view that there’s a part of the hustle culture, part of the patriarchal culture, kind of the white supremacy culture can be where my team is there to serve my needs right.        


And just a real, like bowling them over as opposed to there’s an amazing group of people who I want to support to do the best work of their lives and to be sharing with our clients the amazing work that they’re doing. So it just made me go there when I’m thinking about just what’s really present for me right now with my team. And even with the Visualized section, I love guiding my clients with their team through this process too. So then their team starts to contribute ideas. They start to celebrate their wins within the business and also creating some planning.        


So I have my clients who now lead their teams through this process and it’s so helpful for them to have this. And it’s like, oh, actually, no, we don’t have room for that. We don’t have room for that in Q Four. We’ve got to move that to Q One. And just having a little bit more transparency about capacity across the whole board, not just your capacity, but also your team’s capacity too, I think is so important.        


And this is something that I do every quarter. Inside She Builds Collective is the quarterly planning process and the retrospective and being able to reflect what’s working, what’s not working, what might we do differently. And then I will have those kind of key exercises and different pieces from the other framework in our in person workshops that we do together. That’s wonderful well, and we’re winking at Jen Kem knowing that she’s writing or, I don’t know, finishing Polishing Unicorn teams, which I am so excited about. I can’t stand it.        


So a book all about a very specific way to build teams. So I’m looking forward to that in the future. And then finally, I guess, expand. So the E in the Love acronym and the method, what are we doing day to day when we’re really embodying expand? Yeah, this is when we are deepening our roots, when we have the solid foundation and we’ve gone through lead, optimize, visualize.        


This is truly about sustainability. It’s like, I like what I’m building and I want to keep growing with this. And so this is where we’re starting to double down on our self care practices and making that a part of a business strategy and not just nice to have and having more intentionality on that for also your team, those practices of burnout is not an option. And then we’re also kind of like I said, throttling, our ambition is really there’s a chapter called Embrace Your Pace. And so really acknowledging the pace of your life and your business and really claiming what season are you in so that you can move.        


There’s some seasons where it’s like we’re accelerating, we’re moving, we’re growing, we’re growing our team, we’re growing revenue. And then there’s seasons where we’re just like we just need to sustain and maintain. We don’t need growth. Or sometimes we’re scaling back where we’re pivoting or moving in a different direction. So this is more of a decision making framework.        


How do we make this sustainable so that we don’t burn ourselves out and then burn down everything that we’ve built in the process? Because that’s the problem that I’m seeing, is that people are just wanting to quit. There’s quiet quitting in the corporate space, but then there’s also quitting these companies that are built with so much love, so much intention, wanting to serve, but making sure we’re not over responsible, over delivering, where we’re so exhausted and we just don’t want the business anymore. So I want people to stay in the game and I want them to build it in a way where they’re like, I love my business, I want to show up. And so I think there’s an opportunity for repairing our relationship with our businesses the same way that we might do in a partnership or a marriage where it’s like something’s not working.        


And now I have resentment and I don’t even want to show up for the relationship or I don’t want to show up for the business. So what’s the repair work that we can do where you actually do want to come into work the way that the energy that you had of like, I just want to support my team and clear the obstacles. It’s like that’s possible to get into that space if you haven’t been in it before or maybe you lost it. And so there’s just some repair work in how we’re operating and showing up in our businesses in that season to really deepen our roots into what we’re building so that we can grow from a place of love. I love that.        


Well, I am so glad that you wrote this book and there’s so many beautiful stories and tools and wisdom in it. And so I can’t wait for folks to get the chance to explore it. Where is the place where they can connect with you? Yeah. So if you follow me at Jadah Sellner on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, all of those pieces, and then I would love to offer a free gift to your listeners.        


I know I talked about the vision piece, so I have a whole little video series and workshop with questions for the future vision prompts that really dive into the contribution you want to make, your relationships, your business. So if you go to slash vision and then put in the code WIDESTNET, they’ll get it for free. Normally we charge for it, but we’ll gift it to your listeners to actually just go do a little go to a coffee shop or go to a hotel, getaway and just really connect to your next level vision of what’s being called for you to create in this next season of your life, which I think will be so beautiful. And if you’re a podcast listener, you might be an audible listener. So if you go to audible, She Builds.        


I recorded it my own voice in San Francisco, which was a lot of fun. And then you can find all the work that I’m doing in the world at That’s wonderful. Well, thanks for your generosity in that. And we will make sure to link to it in the show notes.        


I’m going to do it because we’re halfway through the year and I’d love to do that. I’d love to do planning, and so it’ll be really fun. I’ll share it with my team and we will let you know how it goes. But it’s so wonderful to see you. I appreciate you sharing time with us here.        


And for those of you who have listened so far, you can find all of the notes on our show notes at I always want to mention my 31 Marketplace production team, La’Vista Jones, Tanika Lothery, Jose Arboleda, and our award winning narrator for intro and outro Andia Winslow. Until next time, be sure to subscribe to the show and enjoy building work that matters at scale. Bye.

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