I just finished writing my book after months of insanely hard work. I sent it off to my publisher and it feels amazing to be done with it, and now I can officially call myself an author. So today, I want to share with you guys some of the ups and downs of how I got it done, even with everything else that’s been going on.
If you have a major goal, how can you set yourself up for success and actually get it done? To accomplish any kind of goal or project, you need an environment where you can focus. And I’m going to show you exactly how to do that despite the fact that you’re busy and the world is crazy.
Tune in this week to discover how to create an environment, wherever you are, that allows you to focus your undivided attention on achieving your next big goal. I’m sharing how damaging even minor distractions can be, and what you can do to keep your energy high when things get really tough.
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And also, protect your peace. Protect your precious attention and brain power. Fiercely block distractions. I turn off all notifications. My phone is on silent almost 24/7, even when I’m not working on a big project. I do not have notifications going off all the time.
I have all of those notifications on every social media channel turned off so I never get pinged. I will see it when I check it, and otherwise I don’t want to know about it. And I don’t want any timers or noises or anything distracting me and pulling me away from what I want to be focusing on, okay. So, really protect your attention and brainpower.
Welcome to the Hello Seven Podcast. I'm your host, Rachel Rodgers, wife, mother of four children, a lover of Beyoncé, coffee drinker, and afro-wearer, and I just happen to be the CEO of a seven-figure business. I am on a mission to help every woman I meet become a millionaire. If you want to make more money, you are in the right place. Let's get it going.
Today, I want to talk to you about how to write a book or accomplish any big goal, even when you have four children, a jam-packed schedule, a global pandemic, and 1000 other things pulling at your attention.
I am so delighted to have just finished writing my first book. I sent it in to my publisher. It was crazy to have the entire manuscript done and to just look at all of those words I had written. It took me several months to get it done. And it was just like, wow, I can officially call myself an author now because this book is done.
So, that was a really amazing feeling and it felt like such an incredible accomplishment, something that I had wanted to do probably since I was a kid. So, it felt really good and I celebrated with some champagne and having fun with my husband and my kids. And I probably bought myself something nice too.
So, today in this episode, I want to share a little bit about my book journey with you. And I have plans to really unpack the whole journey in the future, so stay tuned for future podcast episodes where I’ll talk about everything from choosing the title to negotiating for a six-figure book deal, to all of the decisions and the lessons learned along the way as I went through this book journey.
So, I will unpack that in the future, but for today, I want to talk to you about one of the number one things that I learned from this experience. And that is, in order to accomplish a major goal, whether it’s earning $10,000 in 10 days or launching a new product or writing a book or buying a big house, you need time and you need energy and you need an environment where you can actually focus.
Let me repeat that for the folks in the back. To accomplish a major goal, any kind of goal, you need time and energy and you need an environment where you can actually focus. You need an environment where you can close the door, step away from email, turn off your phone, play your favorite music, and get into the zone, okay, a distraction-free space with no interruptions. That is what enables you to really get big things done.
And you’ll notice, in order to create that, in order to have that kind of focus, you’ve got to commit. You have to commit to creating this kind of environment for yourself where you can really be successful and make a ton of progress on your big goal or project.
So, how do you create an environment where you can focus for long uninterrupted stretches of time without being distracted? This is not easy these days, especially when you’ve got pets and your children are home and learning virtually. You’ve got housemates, you’ve got employees, you’ve got clients, you’ve got customers, you’ve got group texts blowing up your phone. You have 100 social media notifications every day and all the things.
It is not easy, but it is absolutely possible. We live in a world that doesn’t make it easy to focus. You need to be fierce and determined and fight to create the environment that you need. This involves setting firm boundaries and saying no a whole lot more. More than is comfortable. And doing things you’ve never done before.
That’s what I had to do in order to write my book. So, today, I’m going to discuss what I did, how I set myself up for success, and how you can do the same thing. And I really want to emphasize that even if you have no interest in writing a book, this episode pertains to you because whether you are working on a podcast or a book or a big financial goal, the same principles apply You need time and energy and an environment where you can focus on the task at hand. So, let’s talk about how to create this.
So, here are a few things that I want to share with you about my book journey and how I actually got this book done. So, one of the first things I did was thrash around. So, this was last December when I really got started writing my book and I thrashed around a lot.
I’d open my laptop and do nothing. I’d work on an outline and be like, “No, this is trash.” I wrote the first version of an intro that I knew was terrible but I just wanted to get in the flow of writing something. And I spent most of December thrashing. And then I decided, you know what, this ain’t going to work. I’m not going to make any progress thrashing around in the nooks and crannies and late at night and crack of dawn in the morning. That’s not going to work.
And so, I decided to book myself a little retreat. So, I got with a friend who happens to be an amazing writing coach and I booked a writing retreat in Hawaii. One week away from home. And so, I plunked down some cash, I booked an expensive-ass flight, I blocked off my schedule and I decided to go to Hawaii in February.
And I did. I flew to Hawaii and I was so nervous about it. I was nervous about walking away from my business when things were really busy. I was nervous about being so far away from my kids for a whole week. I was nervous that I wouldn’t make any progress and then I’d feel really bad for spending time away and not getting anything done. And I went anyway.
So, even though I was nervous, even though I wasn’t sure if it would work, I did it. I spent the money. I booked the flight. And I went to Hawaii for a week. And I got half of the book done that week.
Every single day, I would write for like half a day in the morning, go do something fun in the afternoon, and then get back to writing in the evening. And sometimes, the cadence of the day would change, but the retreat was amazing because my food was taken care of, coffee was delivered every day. I had a beautiful space to work from. And I was able to focus because my kids and my pets and my clients and everything under the sun wasn’t there with me.
And so, I knew that my mission is to spend this week getting as much of this book done as possible. And I got half of the book done and I was really proud. I really wanted to get the whole book done in a week and I kind of knew going in that that was an unrealistic goal. But I tried it. And I got half done. Which is amazing.
So, I was super-proud of myself and I came home with half the book done. Which is great, right, because as soon as I came home from Hawaii, then suddenly we had a pandemic and it was madness. So, thank god that I took that time to really get so much of the book done before the world turned into chaos.
So, once I got back at home though, I still needed to keep that same energy, right? I needed to write the other half of the book. And it wasn’t going to write itself. And I still had a deadline, even though there was a pandemic and even though my kids were now going to school via Zoom at home and even though there was all kinds of stress and chaos in the world, I still had to get this book done. I still have a writing deadline. I’ve been paid to write this book, so I’ve got to deliver.
So, once I was back at home, I scheduled regular appointments with this same writing coach. So, the same writing coach that I worked with in Hawaii for a week, I decided to hire her. And what I told her was I’m hiring you to babysit me once a week.
So, every Wednesday, I had blocked Wednesdays on my calendar and she and I would get together and we would discuss what I was going to write that day and I would get to writing and she would sort of babysit me on Zoom. And it was awesome.
And so, that pre-scheduled time was there. And even when I didn’t feel like writing, which I will tell you, almost all of our sessions I didn’t feel like writing. But because she was there and because the time was already scheduled, I didn’t want to flake on her. So, I just did it and I just showed up and I got it done. And that helped me to stay on track to keep making progress to get this book done.
And so, time went on and I made a lot of progress and I was at that phase where 80% of the book was done, but I needed to get that last 20% done and then I needed to edit the entire book as well. And so, like, finishing is tough. Have you guys ever experienced that? Where you make so much progress on a project or towards a goal and then you just kind of peter out before the finish line? Well, I didn’t want to do that.
And I couldn’t do that because, again, I had already been paid and I was looking forward to my next check. So, I needed to get that manuscript done. And so, towards the end – I was finishing this book in the middle of the Black Lives Matter protests and right after George Floyd’s murder and, you know, that was not an easy time to focus.
And because of that, there were several weeks where I made no progress on the book. And so, I decided to do the same thing I had done in Hawaii. I booked time away and I got a lot of stuff done.
Now, I couldn’t fly to Hawaii in the middle of a pandemic. But I could certainly go down the street, get a local hotel, and book that for a week. And so, that’s what I did.
So, I booked a hotel for – it wasn’t even a whole week. I think it was like five days, to give me more time to focus and get this project done. And at the end of that time was my book deadline. So, there was no messing around. I had to deliver and get it done.
So, I booked those nights at the hotel. I had that extra time to focus. And I was able to write those last few chapters, edit the whole manuscript. And that Friday, I sent it off. And it felt so amazing to email it and to just look so proudly at the 82,000 words I had written over the last few months.
So, part of that, part of what happened over those months as I was working on writing my book is that I had important conversations with my husband and my kids and I asked them, “Please don’t interrupt me during writing time. Please give me this time so I can focus.”
In my business, I delegated even more than usual. I had my Hello Seven coaches handle a podcast episode so I didn’t have to record every week. I hired someone to help out with writing newsletters and I just started offloading more of my duties in the business so that I could take on this big creative project.
And then I also wrote down five reasons why – this was something that my writing coach recommended. And she said, “When it gets hard, you’re going to need this.” So, I wrote down five reasons why I really want to write this book. During slumpy moments, I would return to that list and read it back to myself over and over again, to keep the fire and motivation burning strong and to remind myself of why I committed to this big project.
And, you know, of course, I did a couple of other things to keep my energy up as I worked towards the book finish line. I rode my Peloton, just to energize myself. I ordered pizza some nights, you know. I had coffee. I would play Baroque music because it really does help your brain to focus and it was so key.
So, I have a couple of different Baroque playlists and I would play them and just fill my office, or wherever I was working form, with Baroque music and drink my coffee and write, write, write, write, write. I would take dance party breaks, you know, like in between writing sessions if I wanted to keep going for the day and not just write for a couple of hours, but like take a break and go back to it and write for a few more hours. I would stop and put on some Beyoncé or some other music that I really wanted to hear and dance around and just create some fun energy and some joy and just energize myself.
Because a lot of times, we think we either have energy or we don’t. But that’s actually not the case. You can actually manufacture energy. And one of the ways that you can do it is just with breathing exercises too. So, these were all things that I did to keep my energy up in order to finish my book.
So, to recap everything that I mentioned here so far, if you have a major goal, how can you set yourself up for success and actually get it done? My number one tip is get out of town. Go away. Book an Airbnb, book a hotel. And if that’s not feasible, do your best to create hotel vibes in your bedroom or your home office or wherever you live and work.
Get some candles, make sure you’ve got fabulous coffee. Play some music. Lock your door so no one can get in and disturb you. Put some headphones on so you don’t hear what’s going on in the rest of the house. Do whatever you can to create that hotel or, like, coffee house vibe that gives you that ability to focus on the project at hand.
The other thing I would do is get a coach or some kind of structure to keep you on track. Accountability is key. I knew myself. I know that I’m just rebellious enough that I would, like, mess around and be really close to my deadline and not have anything to show for it. And so, I hired a coach to help me and to coach me along the way.
And that was crucial to my success and I’m so grateful to her because I had someone to bounce ideas off of. I had someone to hold my hand through it all. And I had someone to go through this experience with and to text when I was like, “I really don’t feel like writing today,” you know. And she would send me pep-talks and she would send me playlists and she would really help me and boost me up so that I could keep going.
I would also ask for things that you’ve never asked for before. Ask your husband to handle dinner for seven nights in a row. Ask for more or new kinds of support. Ask the people that you live with to have your back, to leave you alone, to turn the TV down, to take out the garbage and walk the dog so you don’t have to think about it.
Ask for the help that you need and ask for more help than you even think that you need because you will need it. You will need to eliminate some of your responsibilities so that you can really focus. And so, protect your peace. Protect your precious attention and brain power.
Fiercely block distractions. I turn off all notifications. My phone is on silent almost 24/7, even when I’m not working on a big project. I do not have notifications going off all the time. I have all of those notifications on every social media channel turned off. So, I never get pinged. I will see it when I check it and, otherwise, I don’t want to know about it. And I don’t want any timers or noises or anything distracting me and pulling me away from what I want to be focusing on.
So, really protect your attention and brain power. Texts, emails, meetings, social media, even if someone pulls you away for just five minutes, it’s really not five minutes. It’s more like 35 minutes in lost time and creative flow. Once you are in flow and in the zone, you really want to avoid having anyone pull you out of it.
Okay, now, studies show that most people lose hours of time every day due to unnecessary and preventable interruptions. Please stop this. Research shows that an average of 2.1 hours are lost daily as a result of distractions. The average time spent on a task before we get distracted is 11 minutes. 11 minutes, you guys. When is the last time that you did a task and you were able to focus on it for more than 11 minutes?
That’s incredibly important and it’s insane that we are working in 11-minute blocks of time. Let me tell you, you’re going to need a lot of 11-minute blocks of time to get your project done. The amount of time it takes to return to a task after a disruption is 25 minutes on average.
So, this is why you’ve really got to protect yourself from being constantly disrupted by distractions. One study from the University of California Irvine found that it takes an average of 23 minutes to refocus and get back into a good deep flow after being interrupted at work.
So, if you’re being interrupted numerous times a day, that’s 23 minutes every time. It really, really adds up and steals so much of your valuable productive time and energy.
So, the moral of the story is, you’ve got to make million-dollar decisions, decisions that protect your time, your energy, your brain power, and peace if you want to accomplish something big, like making $100,000 or writing a book. Because million-dollar decisions enable you to focus. And that’s the precious magic you need in order to get things done.
We are about to move into the fall season that promises to be busier and more distracting than ever. We have an election where we all hope that Trump is gone, right? We have the pandemic. We have the school year beginning again. And this time, it’s mostly virtual and for some it’s in person. And no matter what, it’s going to be a wild ride.
So, now more than ever, it is crucial that you learn how to focus and how to clear distractions, streamline, and simplify your business and your life. Your wealth depends on it and so does your sanity.
So, here is my recommendation. I’ve got something for you. Come to the Million Dollar Focus Retreat in September. This is happening September 22nd through the 24th and this retreat is happening online. So, you can join safely from anywhere in the world. But it is only available to members of We Should All Be Millionaires: The Club.
This is a retreat where you will subtract, edit, simplify, and feel 10,000 pounds lighter, like Marie Kondo decluttered your brain. And you will learn exactly what you should be focusing on because if your business is just starting out, you’re going to have a different area of focus than those who are bringing in $250,000 a year.
So, we are going to walk you through exactly where your focus should be in the exact stage of business you are in. You will have so much clarity and context for where you are at in your business right now. And the more you focus, the more money you will make.
This retreat is not for the general public. It is exclusively for our club members. So, if you want to join We Should All Be Millionaires: The Club, go ahead and join now. Definitely be sure to join as soon as possible because we are going to cut off registration soon. So, you don’t want to miss the focus retreat. It’s happening in September, again, September 22nd through the 24th.
Block the dates on your calendar and let’s do this. To learn more about The Club and all of the amazing things you gain when you join, go to helloseven.co/club, sign up at helloseven.co/club and we’ll see you at the Million Dollar Focus Retreat.
And oh my god, it’s going to feel so good to focus. Your brain and your bank account are both going to be so freaking happy. I will see you there.
Are you ready for a revolution? Then download my free guide called Million Dollar Behavior. In it, you will learn the 10 behavior shifts you need to make to build wealth, claim power, and have an impact. I’ve earned how to play the game of success by my own rules, and in this guide, I’m going to lay out the million-dollar behavior required for you to define your own success and chase after your goals on your terms. Get this free guide now at helloseven.co/guide.