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Ep. 35: How to grow your biz by doing less with Alicia Byers

Today’s episode is all about how to grow your biz with Alicia Byers! Alicia is a business coach who helps entrepreneurs create the right business plans and strategies to help them stay well-rested and avoid the hustle. She hosts  the well-rested entrepreneur podcast and regularly secures clients on Instagram without having the pressure of a huge following and without being on the app all the time – two things we love to advocate here at authenticonlinemarketing.com! Today you’ll hear how she runs her business, home life, and homestead while building in the rest we all so desperately need, but often don’t know how to build time for. This gal is funny, spunky, and smart, and you are going to come away with three solid ways to build in more time for rest, as well as learn how she uses Instagram strategically with her business.  It’s brilliant.  And now, listen in!

*This episode contains either affiliate links or links to my products. Should you choose to purchase, the show will go on! Woo hoo!

Click below for show notes!

https://authenticonlinemarketing.com/grow-your-biz/

Click below to follow Alicia on IG!

https://www.instagram.com/coachaliciabyers/?hl=en

Alicia, I am so glad to have you on the podcast. Thanks for taking the time to meet with us. 

A: Thank you so much for having me, you know, I love a good discussion 

I am pumped. I’m ready for it. 

R: All right, let’s go. Alicia, you’re a wife, a mom, a rookie homesteader, and a business owner, and that’s a lot of plates to spin! In this day and age, the hustle mantra of “you can do it all” is prevalent and yet your own mantra of rest over hustle goes against all of this.

When did you first become passionate about rest? 

A: I had this thought, “What I am doing [the hustle] is going to take me so far away from the things I value.” That’s the moment that things really shifted. I’m a very achievement oriented person, a very goal minded person.

It’s a gift, but it’s also a kryptonite. That’s the thing that drives me to work a lot. It’s the thing that says “there’s still more potential– reach your potential!” And so, for me, this idea of resting meant I’m not meeting my potential. So I had this moment where things were wild.

I didn’t recognize myself. If you had asked me, what are you doing for fun? I don’t think I could’ve answered. Truthfully, I don’t even know what fun looks like anymore. I started to experience the symptoms of burnout– not recognizing myself; losing my identity. I became very consumed with coaching, being a mom, being a wife, working all the time, when I lost my sense of self and who God has created me to be, and the things He put in my heart that I desire and want.

That’s when things shifted into understanding, I don’t want to live like this and I won’t live like this anymore. It has been a struggle ever since, but having that moment, it doesn’t make it better or easier. It just reminds me that it’s so important that I keep striving for this anti-hustle living!

R: Wow. You have to fight for it– that’s something that I have learned through my own business. Building running it, is that I could literally do this 24/7, because I love it so much. Yet that is not healthy for anyone. 

Do you think it’s possible grow your biz effectively and pursue rest at the same time?

A: I do. I think it takes a lot of self-discipline because as a business owner or even a stay-at-home mom, a working mom, anything– there’s this constant awareness of everything that you could be doing. While I know that it’s possible to pursue rest and growth at the same time, I’m prioritizing showing up as my best version of myself and doing things in excellence.

 Those are things that are important to me. I’m going to prioritize rest, and I’m going to show up in a way that honors rest that I know is important. That is good. It’s not less than it’s not terrible or subpar work. It’s really good work when it honors rest. I did have to do some work on mentally reframing that doing less work was healthy and wonderful and a great job because originally it felt like slack. 

It’s easy with all those hats to think, okay, since I took this hat off, if I can just put the business hat on for the next eight hours without breaks, I’ll get a whole bunch of stuff done.

Yet I find that my stamina and my brain don’t even work well that way. 

R: It’s hard to kind of steam roll through our day. And I do think hustle culture has taught us head down, give all that you have, dump it all out. There’s really no balance. I say that lightly because I think we have to have tons of rest. 

A: We might have to have seasons of tons of work. When we hear balance, it’s kind of like both are subpar, like 50% rest, 50% work. But I really think we have to prioritize rest a hundred percent. And when we do that, when we rest well, we get clarity on everything else. So even sitting down to work for eight hours, I’m a big fan of just saying, I’ll use the time I give myself.

If I give myself eight hours for a project, I will take just those eight hours.

Think back to grade school or college, maybe you’ve waited till the ninth hour and you pumped out a paper that’s like eight pages long in three hours. A lot of us give ourselves so much time to get something done when really I just give myself two hours.

That does help me a little bit with rest– kind of looking at why would I give myself eight hours to do this? I could probably do it in way less. 

R: Exactly. Just give yourself a time limit and then stick to it and honor it. So you are on Instagram as well, tell us your handle.

A: It’s @coachAliciabyers

R: So you have built a platform there that is working well for you drawing business for you. You’ve shared with me before how that works very well.  What would you say to someone who is building their business and their Instagram to draw clients?

Is it possible to grow your biz without hustling and posting every day?

A: Yes. One thing I would say is absolutely work with Ruthie through this because she’s the expert. A lot of the things I have implemented have come from being in her mentorship group, but also sitting underneath her training.

For me, one of the most powerful things I’ve learned from her is to show up as myself, with a plan. If I show up and I’m just scrolling on through, not much changes. I have used Instagram very strategically as a huge part of my business model. If you are an entrepreneur, I would say, absolutely do this every week.

The last couple quarters I focused on thinking, can I add value to anywhere between five and 15 people every week? So when I show up to Instagram, my thought process is how can I add value to someone’s life intentionally? So that is really how I’d use Instagram. It actually has come back triple fold in positive ways to my business, whether it be my email list or having a meaningful conversation with someone or converting it over a simple DM to email.

Now we have a sale. When I show up to Instagram, I’m not thinking, can I get a follower? I’m thinking, can I add value to somebody’s life that might be encouraging them? It might be supporting their business. Secondly, it might be buying something they sell. Third, it might be saying, “thank you for sharing my content.” 

When I show up to Instagram, it’s strategic and I kind of fine tune those goals for me to fit my business goals. I show up to add value to people’s life. When I do that, I walk away and I feel like, wow, that was really time well spent. 

R: That is so opposite of our own mentality that we need to just push our own content and keep pushing and keep pushing. And I love the way you put that show up to add value to others. That’s awesome. I love it. 

If all I do is show up and encourage someone intentionally, it’s worth it to me, I’m not going to go on a rant here for our time sake. It’s not just pushing a Reel out there that’s while that might encourage someone for me.

It’s that part too, of somebody who shares it going and saying thank you for that. That makes a big difference. What you do matters. What’s the add value? The add value for me is not pushing the content. It’s really the individual aspect– that I can connect with someone on a human level. So when I push stuff out there, it’s not just to say, oh, I did a Reel today.

R: That’s something I say a lot, the more you give, the more you get on Instagram. A lot of times newer Instagrammers do not realize that this is a foundational concept, but it is called social media for a reason.

You did mention you were a part of our Insider mentorship for the last year and we loved having you there. One thing that I always say is community grows opportunity. Have you seen collaborating with others on Instagram as a good way to use Instagram while balancing your time?

A: Yes, because for me, what the inside of the group does is it gives clarity in a place that’s very unclear and very saturated. So, I might get on Instagram and follow a couple people who are telling me five different things on how to grow my Instagram account or convert. 

When I’m in one place seeing and experiencing Instagram with a community, it helps me get clarity.

I felt pulled in a thousand different strategic directions. I also felt that within the community, there was a lot of honoring of the time that I was willing to spend on Instagram. That’s a big deal for me because there are a lot of platforms that do push showing up all day or engaging a lot. Whereas in the insider group, it really was very strategic to what I wanted to see happen using the time I wanted to invest. So that’s what I appreciated about it the most. Jst being able to hear other people’s ideas or see what worked was also very helpful. That worked, let me try that. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but it gave me that clarity.

So I wasn’t lost when I opened the platform to what should I be doing? Where I feel like I’m in a creative slump. There was a lot of clarity through that group. 

Yes. A lot of brainstorming going on and input on things like, what do you think I should do about my bio? How do you think my feed comes across to you? 

Then we can take away from that. And use a lot of those ideas ourselves. Then when you are a part of a group that is working together you learn to respect each other and you want to share each other’s content and just really support each other. So I feel like it’s just a beautiful thing to be able to be a part of a community that is, like-minded in their faith and just supportive.

R: If you could give me your top three rest or anti-hustle tips or boundary tips to grow your biz, what would they be? 

A: Narrowing it down is quite hard. One of them that’s been game changing for me is really moving through this space of not seeing everything as black and white.

What I mean by that is if I show up in a day, I might have a thousand things I want to get done that day. And if I fall short of that, my human reaction is “what a waste of a day.” It’s really that black and white. So I like to say, find the gray.  It’s not that the day stunk because I didn’t get everything done.

It’s that it was this gray space. I got some done. Then there was some that was left on the table. But if you go to this black and white space, it’s really hard mentally to find any kind of motivation. Most of us live every day in the gray.

Try this simple exercise

We draw this box and inside the box is the role as the entrepreneur or whatever role they play, and at the top of the box is their best day in their role. So for us as an entrepreneur, it might be showing up on Instagram, creating new content, responding to inquiries, maybe selling something that’s a really good day.

Then at the bottom of the box, we have this opportunity to write our minimums. For a day in the life. So it might just be for me, seeing all clients that day, that’s my bare minimum is to see my clients. Well, both things in the box are really healthy things. But a lot of times we start assuming that the top of the box is our standard.

The top of the box is actually the bottom of the box. That becomes our baseline standard for an ideal perfect day. So we start living with this idea that that ideal day is what we expect from ourself. For most of us, it happens maybe two work days of all of them. So if every day or 90% of our days we spend feeling like we’ve fallen short, that’s really hard. But if we kind of understand, oh, today was a great day, how great there’s still opportunity for tomorrow.

“That helps me navigate this rest space of knowing that ending at an appropriate work time is awesome. It’s not a failure.

R: I love that it’s not a failure. It’s great. It’s awesome. So finding the gray, another one is a very strategic and easy one to implement, which is going to be setting appropriate work hours.

A lot of us say, well, I’m not going to work past four or five o’clock. Then we do every day. That’s where the boundaries come in, to be a person of integrity. You would never set a client appointment and just stiff them and not even show up.

You wouldn’t do that. If you are willing to have integrity with others, you must have integrity with yourself first! If you set work hours, here’s an easy hack, I verbalize when I’m done for the day. I might put it on Instagram at four o’clock I’m checking in cause I’m done for the day. I’m going to update you on what I’m cooking for dinner.

Check in at four o’clock or I tell my husband, I’m not working past four today, or I tell my kids when the clock is 4 0 0  I’m going to come out. We’re going to write. So you can start building in some accountability that way, if you’re struggling with integrity with yourself, and I know that might sound harsh, but integrity with yourself, loop it in.

That way, you have integrity with others. You’re now doing what you said you were going to do to your spouse, to your children, maybe to Instagram followers, whatever it takes, putting those work hours in, in practice. 

R: It’s great to be accountable to several people. I am the worst task master, I wouldn’t treat my employee, which is my daughter, the way I treat myself.

I think I’m supposed to do all these things when I really do get a sense of freedom when I just say I’m only going to do these three things today in this amount of time, it just is such a freeing experience. 

A: I want to be sure that there are some really tangible things you can do when we have this overwhelm in our head about everything we have to do. It is so hard to rest or close the computer because it’s looming. So a very quick strategy that helps me rest more is seeing rest as the goal.

Resting is the goal. If I have a goal of rest, there has to be a line in the sand where I choose it.

A very simple strategy is write down everything you feel that you must do, or you have to do then right beside it, just do a little hash mark. How long is it going to take you to do each thing for me when I tally the time, a lot of times it’s really not that much time.

I might say, all right, today I have six hours of work to do. That would be like insane amounts like outside of clients. But I say I could do two of that today. Two of that tomorrow in to the next day. I feel so much better about taking tonight off because I know it might be an extra hour tomorrow.

I have five hours tomorrow to work on the business and I only need one. You feel great, but when you kind of have all these assumptions out there, Things get more challenging. So if you can just write things out and then take the time it takes to write it down, you’ll probably see similar things to what I see or my clients see.

I actually have the time and to make me feel better, I just put it on the calendar. So I know it’s safe. I’m going to do it. It’s there so I can walk away and take this rest time and I can choose to not be guilty because that happens a lot. 

R: I think that is probably one of the best things that I am learning to do myself is to estimate time.

Then I just set aside that time. 

I have to say this too, here’s my strategy for those of you who run meetings, then you work three hours after the meetings, just catching up on what you told those people, you would get them.

That happens a lot and it steals rest. I’m only saying this because it steals rest every day. Start wrapping up your meetings. 10 minutes earlier. If I’m talking to someone and I know I’m going to send them something or we need to make a next appointment I tell them at the beginning, “Hey, we’re going to end 10 minutes early.”

I’m going to email you in real time. So I recap what we just talked about in an email to them on this. Since I do virtual meetings, I pop in the attachments. We make the next calendar appointment and I sent, so when I end my day, if it’s a meeting day, I do not have all these things that I owe people that I’m carrying around in my brain. So if you’re running meetings tighten your meetings. Use the backend to write out the recap, send anything you need to send that way at the end of the day.

You don’t feel this obligation of integrity? Well, I said I would get them this, or just start telling them if you refuse to do that, tell them you’ll get it to them in the next 72 hours.

So you’re going to have to start kind of throwing some shifts in there to see some different results. 

I think that a lot of times we do feel like we are obligated when there is a simple solution. Like you just gave us to wrapping it up and helping people managing expectations.

A: All of this to say over committing things, over-delivering things over spending time with potential clients, prospects, even existing clients, even social media will steal your rest.

It’s very hard to have clarity. And so when you’re making business decisions and you’re not, you don’t have clarity, you’re probably not making the best decision. And so the aim of rest is to get away. Step back, have clarity on your life in business, and also be filled. Be refueled, have activities that you enjoy that make you happy.

R: What a great note to end on. How can listeners connect with you online? 

A: You can follow me on Instagram @coachAlishaByers. You can also connect with me on my podcast. It’s the well rested entrepreneur. You can find it on apple podcasts or Stitcher.

Alicia Byers is a business coach who helps entrepreneurs create the right business plans and strategies to help them stay well-rested and avoid the hustle.

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