270 How to Plan for Change and Success – Lisa Crilley Mallis

What You Will Hear in Lisa Crilley Mallis' Story from Full Time Teacher to Entrepreneur:

  • How Much Planning is Enough to Start Your Own Biz? 
  • How to Get Over Overwhelm for New Entrepreneurs
  • What Talents Will People Pay You for
  • How to Plan for Change When You Know it's Coming
  • Not Fulfilled at Current Job, But What’s Next? 
  • Side Hustling to Her Own Business
  • New Entrepreneur and Not Having All the Pieces Together Yet?
  • Learning What You Good at and Start a Business 

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More about our featured guest Lisa Crilley Mallis

Lisa Crilley Mallis, time strategy visionary, believes you deserve to live the life of your dreams feeling in-control and fulfilled. The crazy, “I’m so busy” feeling does not need to be reality. Each day can be productive, rewarding, and fun! She lives in Chagrin Falls, Ohio with her husband Lou, and his dog, Neuton. She loves chocolate, the beach, and country music.

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Full Transcript

[00:02] Joel: Welcome to ReLaunch, your daily dose of fresh ideas, inspiring stories and practical solutions to help you build a business and a life that you love. And if you are a daily listener, welcome back to the show, thank you for tuning in. And thank you for joining in the before and the after show online conversations. And if you are new here, this is what you can expect: Unique insights, a-ha moments and actionable information from self-made successes that share their trials, tribulations and their come-from-behind victories. And before we introduce our guest today, I just wanna remind you that today's promotional partner is Audible and it is one of the best places that you can find your favorite audio book titles.

[00:54] Joel: And if you haven't checked them out yet, then this is the perfect time for you to take action and do that. And for new members, they have a wonderful, no strings attached 30 day trial membership, where you can try it out and see if it's for you. You can search through their thousands of titles, you can pick out your favorites and then you can even download an audio book for free, yours to keep, no matter what you choose to do. Just open your browser right there on your phone and go to joelboggess.com/audible. Again, joelboggess.com/audible, and sign up for their easy peasy, 30-day, no strings attached trial membership. And Pei, I am really looking forward to speaking to today's guest, you know why?

[01:47] Pei: Sure.

[01:47] Joel: Okay, I will. Well, because I, like many entrepreneurs, authors and podcasters, struggle with time management. And frankly, I struggle with how to maximize it, and how to be the most productive that I can. And today's guest is going to help us out, because she is a time strategy visionary. Lisa Crilley Mallis, she is our guest today and she is a master at cutting to the heart of overwhelm, and helping us to regain control of our schedules in our life. And she has a handy dandy book out called “30 Days to Success.” And of course we're gonna link that up in the blog article that accompanies this episode. We might get a chance to talk about it a little bit later on in today's show as well, but before that, welcome. Welcome, Lisa, to ReLaunch, good to have you on.

[02:47] Lisa Crilley Mallis: Thank you, I'm so excited to be here. I've listened to many, many episodes, so it's a thrill to be able to be on the other side of that.

[02:55] Joel: Oh, we really appreciate you listening to the shows. And if you're a listener, Lisa, then you definitely know how we roll on this show. This show is all about the relaunch. And while we've all experienced numerous launches and relaunches throughout our life, I generally ask our guests to zero in on the relaunch that has been the most significant for them, or that has been the most transformational. And then we just kind of unfold the story from there, and we'll do that with you here in just a few minutes, if that's okay, but first I like to start off the show with a quick piece of take-away gold. So let me ask you this, based on your experience, Lisa, what is the root cause of this emotion that we sometimes call “overwhelm”? And what is a simple remedy that we can use to curb it? Or to either stop it right there dead in its tracks? Let's start by that, what do you think?

[03:59] Lisa Crilley Mallis: What I've found the biggest cause of overwhelm is just that feeling that things are starting to get out of control. Too many things to do, not enough time, and so it starts to build up bigger and bigger in your mind and you get to the place where you just don't where to start. And many of my clients will say, “I'm so overwhelmed, I just need to go take a nap. And because it's just, I need to shut off my brain.” And so, the easiest way that I've found to move past that feeling of overwhelm is actually to give your brain a rest, get everything out of your brain. And so, some people call it a “brain dump.” Dump everything that's in there and get it all written down, so that you can see it. And then once it becomes visible and tangible, often it's not as overwhelming because you can start to make a plan of attack. But when it's all sitting there in your brain, it just keeps magnifying and growing larger and larger. So, for some people, they may talk that into an app on their phone, so that they have a place to… Just basically, it's a place to capture it. Maybe someone jots it down, typically, it's a mess when it comes out.

[05:02] Joel: Sure, yeah.

[05:03] Lisa Crilley Mallis: It is not nicely… Neat checklist, it's not… It's just, get it all out of there and then you can begin the sorting process. Some people when they do a brain dump, they'll put one idea on a different sticky note. And so, they can then start to move it around on whatever their working space may be and they just start to group things, like personal and business, or by different projects. Because typically, in our brains, we… “Pick up milk”, it's sitting right there next to the next idea for your… For a blog post, which is sitting next to something you need to do for a client, and it's all jumbled in there together. So, it's getting it out and then sorting it, whatever that process may look.

[05:42] Joel: Okay, this is a great anecdote that you started off today's show with because not only is this a practical solution, giving yourself a brain dump, but you've also kind of introduced the idea that, you know what? There can be different ways to do it. You might speak it into your phone and record it, you might put it on Post-it notes, you might just jot it down on a blank sheet of paper that's in front of you. I love how you're giving options instead of, “Here's a rule, this is how you do it,” kind of thing.

[06:17] Lisa Crilley Mallis: My way will only work probably for me. So Dr. Pei, your way will be different than yours, Joel, which will be different than mine. And so it's finding the solution that best fits for you. I mean all of our relaunch stories are different, as is our time management solution, it's what's unique to you that works for you.

[06:36] Joel: See, I love how this conversation is kind of unfolding, because one of the things that I remind people often, and I'm sure you do the same thing, Lisa, is that one rule book does not fit everyone. And as best as people's intentions are sometimes, where they try to just think, “Okay, well this worked for so and so, so this has got to work for me”, gosh, setting yourself up with that kind of an expectation can lead to a lot of frustration, if not disaster. But giving yourself options and being gentle enough with yourself to allow yourself that little but of play and experimentation, that could be a difference maker.

[07:19] Lisa Crilley Mallis: Absolutely.

[07:20] Joel: Indeed. Okay so backing up a little bit and talking about Lisa's relaunch. We've all experienced many of them, but which one do we need to zero in on for you today?

[07:32] Lisa Crilley Mallis: And you are so right, there are so many. [chuckle] My journey has been just that, a journey. But I'm gonna share with you. When I first started in my professional career, I was working in high school education as a teacher and an administrator and a math tutor, and I had been in that field for 15 years. Different schools, different jobs, but still in the field of high school education.

[07:57] Joel: Okay.

[07:58] Lisa Crilley Mallis: And I was good at what I did, I enjoyed what I did and my identity was definitely tied up into what I did. “Tell me about you,” always started with, “I'm an athletic director,” or, “I'm a teacher.” It always was there, it was never about me the person, but the job that I held. And I would switch, I would get a little bored and, [chuckle] I would start to feel like this isn't exactly what I want, and so I would just switch schools or switch job responsibilities. And knowing that it still wasn't exactly the right fit for me but not really knowing what the right fit was, and knowing now looking back, that there was some fear involved also of, “What else would I do? If I left my safe place of education, which I'm very good at and I enjoy doing, but I'm not feeling 100% fulfilled, what would I do? My undergrad degree is in math, my graduate degree was in educational administration, what job does that lead to?”

[09:08] Pei: And so I stayed and had a couple of different relaunches throughout that period, but basically kept coming back to education. And as I started to get more and more frustrated I thought, “You need to start doing something different.” And so I pulled back and started to work, still in education, but part time at 35 hours a week, and started to build a business on the side. And I wasn't really sure what I was doing. [chuckle] But I thought, “Well I'm gonna work for myself, that's what I wanna do, I know that's what I wanna do, I'm gonna work for myself.” And so I started to think, “Well what do I wanna do?” And started to build out a website and making a couple of contacts, and contacting legal for contracts and contacting an accountant. And started to get the structural pieces in place, but not exactly sure what it is that I wanted to do, but feeling like that's okay 'cause at least I was moving forward somewhere.

[10:08] Pei: So by the way, sorry to interrupt, Lisa.

[10:11] Lisa Crilley Mallis: No.

[10:11] Pei: When you set up that first website or whatever corporate structure, what was it? If you don't mind sharing.

[10:18] Lisa Crilley Mallis: No, I'll… No, great question. Thank you. [chuckle] I started to go down the road as a professional organizer. And so very much removed, at least on the surface, from what I was currently doing but I felt that there was a systematic approach to that. It seemed to be something I thought I would be good… And I was kind of all over the place. I wasn't thrilled with where I was, I didn't exactly know where I wanted to go. And so, I was taking a really long time going nowhere. I started to pick up some part time clients in the evenings, so I would work all day and then I would do, [chuckle] some work in the evening, and I was tired and crabby and probably could have stayed in that path for years.

[11:06] Lisa Crilley Mallis: Until one day, where I'm at lunch with a colleague and she was just a couple of years into teaching, and she was getting married and she laid out this plan of how she was gonna get married. During the summer, she was going to work part time in a family business, so she could start learning the ropes, so that after she was married and they decided to have a family, she would have everything she needed to move on. And I thought, “Here's this awesome woman who is 15-20 years younger than me, and has it all figured out, and has put into place the steps she needs to take. I could be looking back, five years in the future, back on this moment and still be where I'm at right now, working here, part-time, figuring out what I wanna do… ” And it was at that moment, I could remember it very clearly. [chuckle] I was like, “It has to stop. It has to change now.” And so that was one of my turning points but that was the most recent turning point as I was figuring out what I wanted to do was, “It's time. Move forward. Do something.”

[12:18] Joel: And that was the catalyst right there. That's when it moved from being a relaunch of choice, you're making a choice to do something differently, to it being a relaunch of necessity, all of a sudden, “You know what? I have to do something differently. Do something different, I have to experience myself differently and I have to allow other people to experience me differently as well.”

[12:42] Lisa Crilley Mallis: Absolutely. Because I could have continued to build a business for years part time because it was safe. I still had the identity of, “Oh, I work for school, part-time.” Like I had all those out. “Well, I'm still trying to figure out my way, finding my way.” And that was a point where I realized, “Well, you've been finding your way for a really long time.” But specifically, working part-time and building this business for five years. What are you doing? That was the piece. [chuckle]

[13:14] Pei: So, what kind of fear and doubt that came upon you when you said, “I'm turning this off and turn it full throttle”?

[13:24] Lisa Crilley Mallis: So, so much. Because, you're giving up the known for the unknown and then you're laying it out there and saying, “This is me now. This is my new identity. And especially, because I didn't have all the pieces figured out. And I am definitely a planner. And so, if I'm gonna move forward, I need to have a plan of where I'm moving to. And at this point, I had just said to myself, “You're moving forward.” I sat down with a budget, I sat down with my husband and I said, “Okay, this is what I'm going to do.” I gave them my notice and it was a school year so I had like five months. So I had a very good amount of time. But I put an end to it instead of going year to year to year, thinking, “Well, next year, I'll make a move.” It was, “Okay, In five months, you're making this jump.” And at that point, I thought, “Okay, what do you need to do to support you to continue to make that jump because the fear… ” We're talking about overwhelming at the top of the shelf.

[14:22] Joel: Right.

[14:23] Lisa Crilley Mallis: The fear was definitely overwhelming. And I needed a plan.

[14:26] Joel: Okay. So, let me ask you this. Now, how did you, from a practical standpoint, wade through the fear, the doubt, and maybe there was some even guilt in there as well? How did you wade through that?

[14:45] Lisa Crilley Mallis: The first thing I did was I figured out what was going to be like my bridge step. Because I have a couple of clients, but they certainly weren't enough to carry me through.

[14:55] Joel: Okay.

[14:55] Lisa Crilley Mallis: And when you say, “guilt.” Absolutely. Because in my mind it's like, “Oh, my gosh. We're gonna go from like a two-income family, to my husband is gonna carry the entire financial load while I get my feet under me.”

[15:06] Joel: Okay. So, talk a little bit about guilt and yeah, how you were able to find peace with that.

[15:18] Lisa Crilley Mallis: And it's still, I will say it's that still, like when you say “find peace”, I think that's a still an ongoing piece for me is finding peace in general with any of the choices that you make as an entrepreneur.

[15:30] Joel: Sure. Fair enough.

[15:31] Lisa Crilley Mallis: And at that point, it was the idea of, “I can find peace with this as long as it's short term.”

[15:39] Pei: Yeah.

[15:39] Lisa Crilley Mallis: “I can let go of that financial… ” I don't wanna say, “Burden.” ‘Cause it's not a burden. “But my part of what we are as a unit, I can let go of that as long as I can do for a defined point in time.”

[15:54] Joel: Okay.

[15:54] Lisa Crilley Mallis: And so I don't know if I, when I made that jump if I didn't have some sort of a plan for income in place, that I would have been able to find any peace or much peace at all.

[16:07] Joel: Okay.

[16:07] Pei: I agree. So, Lisa, earlier you mentioned, you started planning, you started looking at your budget and how much you need, how many clients at that moment you had. And I just want you to speak to our listeners here how much planning is enough here, and…

[16:26] Joel: Speak to listeners, speak to me!

[laughter]

[16:28] Pei: And me.

[16:32] Lisa Crilley Mallis: For me, the piece that I was able to do was I was able to sub-contract my services to the school that I was currently working at but do it as a business instead of as an employee. And so though I wasn't doing exactly the work that I thought I might wanna do with my business, 'cause at the time, it was professional organizing, which is not at all where I am right now, I was able though to fit a piece of that financial piece in. So, that gave me that initial sigh and breath because I was able to work two hours for more money because I was able to come in as a sub-contractor. And so, that when you say how much planning do you need? Once that piece fell into place, I had a little bit of relief and a little more peace, and then could move forward with the plan. Looking back, would I have done it differently? I probably would have a much more solid plan. But I've been working on finding that for five years and it has gotten me nowhere.

[17:32] Joel: Let me ask you…

[17:33] Lisa Crilley Mallis: So, I think there's that balance.

[17:34] Joel: Sure. Okay. Fair enough, Lisa. And I really appreciate you sharing that with us. Let me ask you this what are some of things that you learned or relearned about yourself: Your possibilities, your potential, and your value as you began to learn about yourself in many different ways?

[18:02] Lisa Crilley Mallis: One of the pieces that I definitely relearned from that whole process, was the fact that I had a skill set that I didn't necessarily own. I just assumed, because I was very good at time management, and because I was very good at taking big, huge, crazy things, and breaking them down, so that they were doable, and because I was very good at organizing thoughts and tasks, and those pieces, I just kind of assumed everyone was able to do that. And so I never owned that, that was my unique gift. And as people will say it's, “You're brilliant.” I never owned that up until this transition time. In fact, often I would apologize for it. I'd be in a meeting with people, and the meeting would be going all over the place, and I'd say, “Oh, excuse me. I'm sorry to interrupt, but what's our focus again?” And I would be apologizing, because I couldn't figure out where they were going, because they didn't know where they were going.

[chuckle]

[19:06] Lisa Crilley Mallis: And you resolve it in those meetings. And now, that's me. That's what I bring to the table. That's what I bring to clients, and to organizations, and to whatever. And so I own that piece now, which before that time, I didn't.

[19:25] Joel: Okay. So, what can we, from a practical standpoint, help people understand, right now, about, when it comes to owning your brilliance, because we all have that within us and like, just what you did, I think we all kind of apologize.

[19:44] Lisa Crilley Mallis: What helped me see it, was the fact that I at the… And it's definitely intervention.

[19:50] Joel: Sure.

[19:51] Lisa Crilley Mallis: There were a number of people around me who I respected, who came to me with the same message, “Will you help me with this? You're really good at it. Will you help me set up systems, because I have two VAs and an office assistant, and I never know what to have them do, so we all just sit around and talk?” Well, that's not a big use of your time. Or it's someone else, “Would you help me with this? I have so much on my plate. I don't even know what to start with first, 'cause you're really good at that.” And I needed someone to connect the dots for me, to say, “This is where I'm struggling, and I'm asking you for help, because you're good at it, not because you're my friend, not because I know you, but because this is a skill you have.”

[20:31] Lisa Crilley Mallis: And so I think if you're on that flip side, struggling with, “What's my brilliance? Oh my gosh, that lady, what is she talking about?” Ask the people around you, “What is it that you see that I do well?” Or, “What do you value in our friendship, our relationship or our working partnership?” or whatever that may be, and they will come right out, right away, and tell you what you're brilliant at, because everyone can see it, even if you can't.

[20:56] Pei: That is so true, and we actually spoke about this from a different angle, and I'm so glad you brought it up again, 'cause when we tried to figure our brand, what are we good at? What kind of business that lined up with our gifts? This is a very important piece, so let me go just slight deeper with you, Lisa, that finding people around us that give us that feedback, which is so key in our growth, in this area, in your particular case, where did you find those people who actually point out your natural talent?

[21:37] Lisa Crilley Mallis: Thank goodness, I didn't have to go searching for them, 'cause I don't know if I ever would have, then they came to me. So, some were friends of mine. Some were acquaintances that I kind of knew, but didn't really have a strong relationship with. Others were at the job that I was leaving, as I started to say to people, “Well I'm making the move. I'm starting my own business.” And they're like, ” Well, what are you doing?” And I'm like, “Well, professional organizing, time management,” in kind of gray and all over the place. “Oh my gosh! You will be so good at that, because you have XYZ skill.” Honestly, Dr. Pei, if I had to go out searching for them, I don't know if I would have. So that was such vulnerable and raw time for me, I think I would have been afraid to ask someone, and them be like, “I don't know what you're good at.” [chuckle]

[22:33] Pei: Wow! Well thank you again, and I just wanna add briefly, and before we talk about your book and your business, the Relaunch Fan Club and the listeners that, you know, a private Facebook, how they interact with each other, and pointed out the gifts of each other, it has been just… I'm loving the ladies in that group.

[23:04] Joel: They're discovering things about themselves that they didn't even know that they had. Because, like everyone, they're so involved with being themselves, they just don't understand fully what they have to offer to themselves and the world.

[23:20] Lisa Crilley Mallis: Right.

[23:21] Joel: Very good. Okay, Lisa Crilley Mallis, that's who we're talking with today, and I mentioned her journal-like book, right at the beginning of this show, “30 Days to Success,” but she also has another book out, which I haven't mentioned yet. It's called, “Your Time. Your Life.: The Busy Woman's Guide to Simplifying Your Day.” And as we come in for a landing a little bit here Lisa, if you could just give us some tips, some actionable guidelines that we can put to use today to be more productive in our day, to take action or I'm sorry… To take ownership of our genius and brilliance, and also ownership of our schedule, so I think that would be a great way to end up today's show.

[24:11] Lisa Crilley Mallis: Absolutely. And so, the piece that I wanna come back to is what you inadvertently said, it's, “Take action.” Absolutely the first step is take action. I'm a planner. Many people are planners. I could have planned myself into nothing for years, and I'm not saying there's not use for a plan, there absolutely is. So if you're sitting there wondering, “What to do next?” It's take a step forward, whatever that may be. One of the things that greatly helped me was that I did hire a business coach. Once I realized I didn't know what I was doing and I already made the leap, I went out and found someone to help, but it's definitely that idea of taking action.

[24:54] Lisa Crilley Mallis: Don't get so caught up in your daily task list or to-do list that you lose sight of what your big vision pictures are. We can to-do ourselves to death and not get any closer to our goal because we're so focused on the forest for the trees or whatever phrase you wanna use in that area. So it's a matter of, “Are your daily tasks aligning up to your big goal? And if they're not, how are you gonna start to make sure that they do?” And in my case, they really weren't. I was spending majority of my time working in a job I didn't love, thinking I'm gonna try to do something else but not really sure what. And I needed to move forward and figure out, “How do I start to connect those?”

[25:40] Joel: Fantastic. Great tips, great advice. Lisa Crilley Mallis is our guest today. Of course, we're going to have all of these social media hotspots and the go to places in the blog article that accompanies this episode. Really, really appreciate your time today. I'm so glad that we're able to make this show happen and we really appreciate your listening to the ReLaunch show. It means more to us probably than you'll ever know, that people are tuning into that show on a daily basis, so thank you for that.

[26:18] Lisa Crilley Mallis: My pleasure. Thank you for having it.

[laughter]

[26:22] Joel: Lisa, have a wonderful, wonderful rest of your day. And again, thank you for being here today. Bye, bye.

Connect with Lisa on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and her website.

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Joel Boggess

Keynote Speaker | Corporate Trainer | Award-winning podcaster I help teams ignite their courage, take bolder steps, and get greater results. Together, we create possibilities that bring empowerment, meaning, and financial impact.

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