Notes for the Curious: Edition #53


You may have wondered what happened to your regularly scheduled Notes for the Curious in the last couple of weeks. I got flu. And while the Notes were written, they weren't scheduled and I was too sick to open my laptop and send them. Getting sick as a small business owner is no joke, this was a serious virus and it knocked me out flat. I couldn't work at all. 

Getting sick is probably the thing that we dread most, after all, we are the engine of our business. If we can't work, what happens? I was able to put that question to the test over the last couple of weeks. And this is what I discovered, all those systems that I keep telling you to set up and maintain? They kept working when I couldn't. My mailing list still grew, requests for work still came in, it didn't all grind to an immediate halt. I also took a proactive step and onboarded a VA into my business, by giving her access to my Asana HUB and my inbox she was able to clear the email backlog and keep on top of things for me with very little intervention from me. Everything kept working. It wasn't perfect, there are definitely some holes in my systems that I will need to close. But having had this experience, I am fairly happy with how everything held together. 

If you want to future-proof your business in case of sickness or other emergency, then don't forget I have a free planning template which you can download (no opt-in, just click and add to your Google Drive).

In the meantime, let's get on with the Notes...

1) Digital downsizing

Like many people I know, I read the Life Changing Magic of Tidying up by Marie Kondo, also known as the KonMari Method, when it first came out. I read it, I raised an eyebrow at parts of it, I half-heartedly implemented it some of it before realising I needed help and then I called in the professionals for guidance. Jenny Ning took it one step further than most of us. She was so inspired by the method that she quit her job and flew to Japan to work for Marie for free before becoming her North American representative. In this article Jenny talks about the struggles we face with digital clutter and how the KonMari method can be applied to help us cut down the noise and chaos. 

2) How Oprah became Oprah

Ask me how much I love Oprah, go on, ask me. I love Oprah. I really, for far too many reasons to list here. Which is why I was absolutely enthralled by this multi-part podcast from WBEZ91.5Chicago. It's long, don't try to listen to all the episodes in one go unless you have cleared your schedule for the day. It is worth it though if you can spread them out over a few days. It is a real deep dive into how Oprah rose from her disadvantaged childhood to a brand that is recognised around the world. It features interviews with staff, friends, colleagues and Oprah herself to give you a multi-faceted look behind the scenes. I found it fascinating and I also recognised many of the sentiments and experiences around building something that you had no idea would take off the way it did. 

3) Bouncing Back After Disappointment

Disappointment can be hard. In fact, fear of disappointment can often keep us paralysed, stuck where we are, not taking action for fear that we might be disappointed by the outcome. Ugh. Here are seven ways to fight back at disappointment and keep yourself moving forward. 

4) Does Trauma make us overwork?

I've been very open about my burnout in 2014. I think we have to be open, otherwise we make it seem shameful and taboo for others and they may not seek the help that they need in order to recover. I have learnt over the years that I have a personality type that puts me at risk for this type of behaviour and I am now much more mindful of the things which can pull me close to the edge. Which is why I was fascinated by this article which explores the link between trauma and the tendency to overwork

5) On boundaries

When it comes to boundaries, nobody does it better than Brene Brown. I recognise myself so much in this video because learning to set effective boundaries is hard, and it is also absolutely necessary. As I've often said, establishing and holding our own boundaries is not only the most essential thing we can do for ourselves but also the most compassionate thing we can do for those around us. 

Me, elsewhere...

After a crazy busy beginning of the year, I am taking the time to focus on working with clients for the coming months. The next round of the Change Maker in its new extended format will open soon for applicants. I have a new group programme in the works and I am opening up a limited number of 1:1 sessions. I know that I do my best work when I am working with business owners who have a big vision that they want to get into the world but who are struggling with what to focus on to make it happen or feeling overwhelmed by all the things. My superpower is the ability to cut through all the overwhelm and help you laser in on exactly the right actions to take in order to move you closer to your goal. 

  • If you want to get crystal clear on the legacy your business will be leaving for the world and how to achieve it...
  • If your big dreams are getting lost in a never-ending to-do list of all the things you could be doing or think you should be doing... 
  • If you want to make impact in the world without sacrificing your income or your lifestyle...

We should talk. 

Until the next Notes,


P.S. I've been writing again, this time about leadership. Do you want to be a tugboat or a lighthouse? Let me know.

Do you have a burning question that you think I can answer? I don't have all of the answers, but I'd love to see if I could help. Hit reply and send me your question.

Who am I and who do I help? I’m Emmy McCarthy and I help small business owners build and grow businesses that make impact and income with more ease and less stress.

Would you like me to speak on your podcast or present to your audience? I'd love to! Visit my speaking page to get in touch. 

Did a friend share this edition of the Notes for the Curious with you? Thank them from me, then make sure you sign up for your own copy. It will arrive in your inbox every two weeks.

Until the next Notes!