Episode 050 // Q+A
Fifty episodes of laughs, inappropriate swears and a lot of the cold, hard truth around entrepreneurship. Fifty! How has that happened?! We’re so excited about what’s to come and we honestly can’t thank you enough for getting us here.
In a bid to practise what we preach and put inclusivity and accessibility at the forefront, we’re now going to publish transcripts for solo episodes on here (and hopefully, eventually, guest episodes). There’s room for everyone at the table.
Hello! Welcome to episode 50 of the One Girl Band podcast. I’m Lola Hoad, and I’m a creative coach, writer and speaker based in Brighton, UK. I’m the founder of One Girl Band, a collective for female entrepreneurs + creatives to have a space to support, empower and connect with one another. This podcast is meant as a little pep talk for female creative entrepreneurs who are craving that bit of motivation needed to get through this journey of self employment, as well as chats with real life one girl band’s that get to the heart of what we do. So grab a cuppa and get ready to be one step closer to living the life that you deserve and desire.
As it’s the 50th episode today, which is pretty staggering to me to be honest, I thought it would be a good time to finally do a little Q+A episode. I asked on Instagram for questions about absolutely anything, business, productivity, mental health, feminism, my shoe size- anything at all, and lots of you got back with some great Q’s so thank you for that. I’ve tried to narrow them down and choose ones that I reckon the majority of you will relate to, to show that we really are all in the same boat. But first, I just wanted to direct you to the OGB website to check out our new look- we thought it was time to have a refresh. Head to onegirlband.co.uk to go have a look!
@gracegordonldn asks ‘as an independent business owner, who/what do you use to discuss new ideas?’
Go check out her brand, by the way, the most gorgeous bags I’ve ever seen and Grace is one of the kindest people I’ve ever met.
This is one of the many reasons why I started One Girl Band; when it was just me in my quiet and mouldy flat day after day, with no one to talk to apart from the postman, there was no one to bounce ideas off of or talk through my next steps with a certain project or even just to check my spelling and grammar on a blog post (don’t go find them, I’m sure they’re littered with oddly placed commas and some dodgy spelling of ‘entrepreneur’). Of course, I usually waited until 5.35pm on the dot when my partner stumbled in from work and threw as many ideas at him as possible but I was craving guidance and connection from people who got it.
It wasn’t until I started the OGB meet ups that I could finally talk to those people, the ones who understood the challenges and upheavals that come along with having your own business and appreciated the warmth and magic of having someone listen to your ideas and plans. So my obvious answer to your question would be to find a community/collective/group who you feel you can share ideas with and ruminate on plans together. Finding your community and your people is so important in this zig-zaggy journey to keep your sanity and business on route. However, I’m more than aware that sometimes it’s not possible to ‘find your tribe’- which I hate by the way, let’s not appropriate that anymore- it’s not easy to find a face-to-face community when you live in the middle of nowhere or struggle with social anxiety so bad that meet ups and networking events bring you out in hives. My answer to that would be the internet. The joy of the internet and how we can connect with people who don’t live anywhere near us but are in the same boat as us. Join Facebook groups for creatives and build relationships on there, share ideas and help others with their challenges- because it’s a two way street remember. Connect with people via social media and maybe start a remote working group- you could Skype every Monday morning (or once a month, more realistically) and have a meeting about what you’re working on this week/month and what ideas you have that you need a second pair of eyes on. We’re now inundated with options to connect and create with others (some would say too many options but that’s another question for another day) so get creative- how can you find your people if your people aren’t directly near you? And on one final practical note- notebooks are my best friend when it comes to thinking through ideas and plans. I’ll keep one next to my bed so I can scribble down the midnight thoughts that like to pop up and then I’ll look over them in the morning. Remember, just because it goes down on paper doesn’t mean you HAVE to do it! Scribble, freewrite, free think whatever, just note your ideas down and then put the notebook away for you to come back to later and decide what idea to follow through on.
@webbandfarrer asks ‘how do you tell the difference between your inner critic, Barbara and your gut instinct?’
I liiiiike this question- good memory there, by the way- in one of the first episodes, I think it was episode 1, I mentioned that I’ve named my inner critic in an attempt to humanise her and make her easier to shut the heck up. Go back and listen if you want to know more.
Ok so, the first thing to say is we more than one internal voice. These two voices have many labels – you might know the ego as your inner critic, your mean girl, your fear voice, your mind. Your ego acts out of fear – fear of the unknown, fear of being unsafe, fear of being uncomfortable.
The intuition is the opposite- it can’t really be explained or comprehended but it’s that gut feeling, a hunch, an inexplicable knowing or desire.
We often confuse the two when we're headed for the most important decisions of our lives. Intuition rarely speaks up for the minor decisions of life, whereas fear can throw a fit whenever we are required to try something new and different. Intuition emerges for the larger decisions of life, when reason does not seem to provide conclusive answers. But fear simply says “no” to all that may potentially harm us, however remote and far-fetched the possibility.
I think the only way you can tell the difference between fear (because that’s what your inner critic thoughts are- it’s fear communicating with you) and your intuition is with practice of awareness. And as a PSA, it’s about to get a little woo woo here but bear with me.
I know that when I’m deep in conversation with Barbara, I feel small, anxious, restricted. I’m stressed, tired and probably overwhelmed. But when I’m in an intuitive headspace, I feel calm and comfortable and in flow. Can you see the difference in those energies?
Start to feel this distinction out for yourself – when a thought or feeling comes up, do you feel energised and awake? Do you have a sense of just knowing? If you are – you’re being guided by the voice of your intuition.
If you feel tired and weak, caught up in a constant putting-out-fires mode, your ego is running the show.
The cool thing is, these two voices are constantly chirping up and wanting to be heard which means you get plenty of opportunities every single day to feel into the different energies of your ego and your intuition.
When you feel your ego coming through, step back and be an observer. Watching your thoughts with curiosity (not judgment) is such an interesting and empowering experience that allows you step away from expectations, comparisons, anxiety, and negative self-talk. This takes practice because we’re conditioned and used to feeling shame and pain around that language but take the opportunity to just listen rather than act on it.
The more you bring your awareness to these two voices and their differing vibes, the better you’ll get at telling the difference between the two. And remember, you are not your thoughts. Good or bad, you are not them.
@notesjewellery asks ‘how do you overcome feelings of guilt when taking time out of your business? I struggle with it’
This is probably my most asked question. As an advocate for working smarter not harder and preaching constantly about how busy doesn’t equal success, I guess the first thought people have is how do I not feel guilty for taking time out and not working 14 hour days? Firstly, I definitely do feel guilt at times, guilt that I’m not doing enough, not progressing enough, not being enough. It doesn’t happen as much as it used to, but there’s definitely still inklings every so often of equating quiet time with failure. That guilt is just case in point really. It shows how deeply we’ve been conditioned to feel that working less means we’re not serious enough. That if we don’t don the ‘conventional’ 9-5 hours or plus, we’re lazy or unproductive. How if we’re not constantly glued to our laptops or phone the business isn’t doing too good. Taking a moment to realise that the guilt we feel is due to the archaic conditioning of conventional work ethic helps you to realise that it’s not you, it’s the system.
Overcoming those feelings comes with daily practice but the one thing that pulls me out of the negative-self talk spiral every time is remembering that this is my business, my life, my workweek, and I am allowed and worthy of having control over it all. Societal conditioning doesn’t deserve a word in how I run my stuff or how I fill my day. Other people’s opinions or feelings on working smarter, not harder don’t help to grow or progress my business- if anything, they hinder it. My number priority with any of this is my wellbeing. If I’m feeling stressed or overwhelmed or exhausted and close to burn out, I’m not living the life I want to live, and if I can do things like take a step back or work 4 hours a day as opposed to 12, I’m going to do that. My sales might not be as high as if I worked myself to my bone, but I’d take joy and health over stress and burnout any day. That usually shuts the ego and guilt up.
How much real work do you get done in a day? Taking away the minutes of getting up to make a cup of tea, have lunch, answer the phone, check Instagram, your emails etc etc. Your office hours might be 9-5 but you’re probably doing consistent, in flow work for 3-4 hours and the rest is just filler. All filler, no killer. Telling myself that I only have 4 hours to sit at my desk and do work today means I don’t fuck about (or at least as much as I used to, there’s always time for vine compilations and cup of tea making) and makes me more likely to get the things done that I need to do in those hours. It also means I prioritise better, saying no to things that don’t align with my version of success or why and only focusing on things that are going to bring growth or progress in some way.
That’s it for the questions, I’ll definitely do another Q+A episode soon as they were so many more I wanted to include but before I go, I wanted to take a soppy moment and thank you, as always, from the bottom of my heart for the love and support this little podcast gets. It’s without a doubt my favourite thing to create, from writing out ideas for episodes, to chatting with the amazing guests we get to spending hours in my little den editing out ums and ahs, and the messages you lot send me are like little lifejackets, helping me bob along and keep afloat.
And that’s it for episode 50. If you want to know more about One Girl Band, and the work we do for female entrepreneurs and creatives plus info on our events and coworking space, then do have a look at onegirlband.co.uk. If you’re interested in working together through coaching, you can head to lolahoad.co.uk to find out more about my packages and what I offer. I’m so excited to be back, we’ve got some ace guests coming up as well as some brilliant topics that you, the audience, have asked for (which you can do whenever by the way, just email!). As always, I’m cheering you on and I’ll see you next week. Have a good one.