Unlock the secret to working smarter, not harder. Certified Business and Life Coach Carol Williams reveals how women entrepreneurs can simplify to succeed. Carol explains how she became an “accidental” entrepreneur and introduces her Productivity Success Cake Framework, which emphasizes the importance of building a strong foundation in health and environment, before focusing on time management strategies.
“When it’s fun, it gets done. If you feel like you’re in your bliss, you’re going to want to do it. You’re going to do it. You’re going to invite your friends to do it with you, it’s going to get done, and we’re going to look behind you, go, oh, my gosh, I did that.” – Carol Williams
Carol Williams is a solo business owner, certified business & life coach, and single mom. With a background in design and project management, she combines her passion for psychology and experience to help scattered entrepreneurs live the lives they dream about. Carol is the founder of Unscatter Me, where she offers coaching and training programs to help entrepreneurs prioritize and pivot in their businesses.
Key takeaways for this episode:
- Time management issues often stem from a lack of focus on foundational aspects of life, such as health and environment.
- The productivity success cake framework emphasizes the importance of building a strong foundation before implementing time management strategies.
- Procrastination and avoidance are often rooted in perfectionism and fear of failure.
- Following your bliss and finding joy in tasks can lead to greater productivity and fulfillment.
- It’s important to make decisions aligned with your purpose and to regularly reassess and course correct.
Related Live. Love. Engage. episodes you may enjoy:
Connect with Carol here
Join Carol’s Wisdom Warriors group here
Join the Soulful Women’s Network here
Send me a message here
☕ Support the podcast here
❤ Love this episode? Leave us a review and rating here
Gloria Grace Rand: Namaste. I am Gloria Grace, the light messenger. And I am so excited because today we’re going to be talking a lot about, number one, how to stop working so hard for so little money. We’re going to talk about time management. And if these are issues that have vexed you in the past, you’re going to want to stick around and listen or watch if you’re watching this, either on social media or you’re watching on the replay on YouTube. But I’m going to be bringing on an awesome woman right now, and I’m going to bring her on and I’m going to introduce her as I bring her on. So her name is Carol Williams and she is a solo business owner, certified business life coach, and single mom who knows what it’s like to prioritize and pivot while building a life she loves.
Gloria Grace Rand: And after working in the design professions for 18 years, she struck out on her own in 2009, combining her passion for psychology and project management experience. And she helps scattered entrepreneurs so they can live their lives and have the business they dream about, which I think is something that we all want. Definitely. I know I do. So welcome, Carol, officially to live, love, engage.
Carol Williams: I am absolutely thrilled to be here.
Gloria Grace Rand: Well, I’m thrilled to have you because I know that I’ve gotten better, I think, with time management, but there’s still times when I could use some help. So I’m curious to have you get into that. But I want to start a little bit because I love to ask our guests a little bit about their background. And so I mentioned that we’re working in design. So what made you decide to kind of go out on your own and launch?
Carol Williams: Yeah. So, Gloria, as I talk, please interrupt me because I’m not known for a short, succinct answer. If I were to give a short and succinct answer, it was quite simple. And that is, I was laid off. I was in the design professions. I had worked at the job I was working at in nine for about 13 years out of the 18 years. And design and construction are tied together. And anybody who’s been around the block for a little while will know that in nine we had a great recession. And when you don’t have construction, you really don’t need a project manager. So that’s why I said, well, God, do something else.
Gloria Grace Rand: I know that feeling well because I was, in 2009 myself was when I actually launched my business doing SEO copywriting because I was working part time for the television station I used to work full time for. And I was in the middle of training or studying about this anyway, and they said, well, we don’t really need you anymore. Writing the calendar, the monthly calendar. I’m like, okay, I guess that’s a sign I’m meant to dive in.
Carol Williams: Sometimes we have to do that.
Gloria Grace Rand: So how did you get started? What was that experience like for you of launching your own business?
Carol Williams: Yeah. Well, let’s see. I definitely did not plan on this. I guess I’m one of those accidental entrepreneurs, which I’m glad to hear that you and I share that. That’s even one more thing besides spirituality and just general coolness that we share. So I was like, at first, obviously, I tried to get another job, even though I probably knew it was unlikely. Once I said, that’s it, I’m going to be an entrepreneur.
Carol Williams: And I did it really out of necessity. I just took one step at a time, I’ll be honest with you. I started out as a professional organizer and right away put an ad in the paper and got a local tv person to do a little show on me. I got a website. I did all the things and I did them quickly. And I’d like to share that. I did them so quickly. Well, first of all, because I don’t have a lot of energy, which is kind of cool, but there’s actually, for every gift and every strength, there’s a corresponding lesser strength or weakness. Right. And that actually just going to touch a little bit on my main topic. Stop working so hard for so little money.
Carol Williams: Had I not been in that kind of a hurry up, a rush, and if I’m completely open and honest, huge fear. We were living in this, and I know the pandemic, there was a lot of fear as well. Of course, in that moment, it felt for me and my former husband like the whole world was caving in on us. So that was, I had, like a one year old and a six year old, and I kind of knew it, but it really became obvious. A toxic husband, and the fear was just palpable.
Carol Williams: So that’s why I was in this big, fat rush. I had a do over. I would have slowed down because that big rush actually wound up having me redo things. And that rush continued for years in different ways, which I’m happy to answer questions about. But as I said in the beginning, I’m not that succinct all the time. That was how I got started.
Gloria Grace Rand: Well, and that, I think, leads into my next question, and you’re sort of hinting at it, is then what kind of lessons did you learn along the way. You mentioned already about the need that you should have slowed down. So was there something in particular, maybe, that even then deals with either time management or, as you say, working so hard for so little money? What did you learn?
Carol Williams: What did I learn? I learned that with my first coach, which was, I started my business in 2009, right. I think April 1 was the official start date of it. And within three weeks or something, I had a website, like, a rough business plan, and I hired a coach. And she said, oh, my gosh. Nobody’s this far ahead. You’re so far ahead. I said, how do I make some money? How do I make some money? And she goes, well, you need to not need the money. And I said, what the heck do you mean, not need the money? I did not understand. We were, like, doing one of these. And now I know.
Carol Williams: Now I know. So if I were to do it over, I’d actually listen to the people that I hire. You can’t be in this needy space. So that’s a lesson for those of you who are, like, getting after they’re working. You’re working really hard, and you don’t seem to be making the money. The answer might be counterintuitive, and that is slow down. Maybe listen to some of the light language that Gloria does at the end of every one of these and really breathe into some of the messages, because it’s all there for us.
Carol Williams: We just have to listen. Listen to the Angels around us, listen to the angels that live within us. I believe the divine lives within us and then allow ourselves to take one step at a time and be open to failure, because failure will absolutely happen. In fact, Sarah Blakely. Right. You know Sarah Blakely, the woman who did the Spanx. Right. Did you know the story how she sat around the table with her father, and they always said, like, at the end of every day, what did you fail at? That was the question. Her father said, what did you fail at today? And they had to give an answer.
Gloria Grace Rand: I like that. Yeah. We have such a. I don’t want to say bias, but like, this feeling that failure is. Oh, well, that. It’s, like, shameful. That’s what I’m trying to think, that it’s a shame thing to fail. But it’s how we learn. We have to be able 100% do that. Yeah. So why doth you actually. Here, let me rephrase that. Why do entrepreneurs have trouble with time management?
Carol Williams: Right. Well, I believe people often will have time management issues when it’s really, they think they do because the world is saying, oh, you need to be a better time manager so that you can be more efficient, so that you can get more done, so that you can make more money, so you can be happier. And we’re buying in to that. And most of the time, that’s actually really not true. So when we slow down, go back to the slow down and realize that our answers are all within.
Carol Williams: And if the answers that aren’t within that, the universe will present us with the answers, and we just have to be open to them. That’s really what we’re going to be doing. And because most people that I encounter aren’t really ready for that message, what I did was, you’ll see behind me my overall decide. Discern, discover, practice. Celebrate. When you get into the one I’m covering, discover. There’s an outline that I made, and it’s a framework. It’s the productivity success cake. And so this is getting around to answering your question regarding time management in a way that perhaps the more practical people that are listening to this can understand better.
Carol Williams: Most of the people that I serve are very visual. So if you’re listening to this, I invite you to go to my website and track it down on scatterme.com because you can get a free download. But for those of you who are watching this, I want to show you something you see before you. A cake, a productivity success cake. I created this, and you’ll see that there are layers, and within that, you’ll see that there’s a productivity layer, and there’s one piece in there called time and tasks. That’s time management. Right.
Carol Williams: So people will come with, oh, my gosh, I just want to manage my time better, right? And they think that’s their problem. What I do, the first thing we do is we do a little quiz. By the way, there’s a free quiz on my site. You don’t need to contact me. Just do the download, and you can do your own quiz. Totally cool with me. And hopefully you’ll be able to learn something through that. And we do that, and we go through the evaluation.
Carol Williams: And what we realize is that most of the time, the base layers, the health layer, the environment layer, those layers are layers we don’t score very high on and until. And unless those layers are good enough. Right. If we’re building a house, we want to make sure we do it kind of one step at a time, one brick at a time. We have a strong foundation and all the rest of it, then, and only then do you want to be going into your productivity layer. So the strategies, like, oh, I tried to do, I don’t know, time blocking. I tried to use a timer. I tried to this or that or the other thing, and they’re falling. It’s most likely because your cake, it’s like swiss cheese. Like there are landmines, right. That you didn’t realize they were there.
Carol Williams: And I’ll just say real quick a little bit about the whole thing, since I have this up above the productivity layer, we’re not done. We have sharpen the saw, rinse and repeat. Right? And then finally we have the candles. We want to have some fun, for goodness sake. Let’s have some fun, right? Yes. Let’s blow out the candles and celebrate.
Gloria Grace Rand: Absolutely.
Carol Williams: Finally, I’ll say one more thing, if that’s all right. When I had that up a moment ago, you saw the frosting, and the frosting is your why. And when I created that and I ran this for a couple of years in group coachings, what I realized was there still needed to be more. So I created a step before that. So again, that’s behind me. That’s the discover, right? That’s the cake. Complete productivity success, cake assessment and all the rest of it before that, mirrored here, before that discern, that’s your deep purpose.
Carol Williams: And people say, oh, I know what my purpose is. Well, maybe you do. What I found over and over and over and over again, when people don’t skip over that, say, oh, I got that. When they really dive deep, they sometimes don’t even need to get to the discover step because they are so clear to the bottom of their core, to the core of their being. They know why they’re here. They know why they’re on this earth, and they are so clear about it that they don’t have to go against the grain of, oh, if I just get up earlier and if I just exercise a little bit more.
Carol Williams: No, because you know it, and you wake up and you’re like, let’s do this thing, and we can get rid of all this ickiness of all this. It’s got to be perfect time management. Now, that doesn’t mean that there are not strategies. There are, and those are very valuable. They’re most valuable when they can come on the heels of a strong foundation of knowing your purpose so well that you can say it in your sleep and everybody in the world knows it. And then, of course, all those other things I talked about. That was a long answer.
Gloria Grace Rand: I love it. Very good. And I love the analogy of having that cake and the strong foundation, because that’s true. You really do need to have that. And we do gloss over that sometimes. I am learning about you and everything. I noticed that you talk about something called blisscipline, and that’s not d for discipline, but b bliss. So what is that? I’m intrigued.
Carol Williams: Sure. Well, yeah. What I love about my work is that I don’t know it all. And a couple of years ago, I had somebody going through the steps that are behind me and the group courses and individual learnings, and she coined the phrase. Her name is Robin. She’s a photographer. She said, you know, I don’t like discipline. Most of my people are women. Not all guys tend to like discipline. Women tend to think, oh, my God, really? One more thing.
Carol Williams: We like to have fun, but there’s some guilt sometimes associated. So this word that Robin brought forward, discipline, what that really means is that when we follow our bliss, it becomes easier to instill the habits and remove the shoulds. Does that make sense?
Gloria Grace Rand: Yeah, definitely.
Carol Williams: Another way to say it is when it’s fun, it gets done. If you feel like you’re in your bliss, you’re going to want to do it. You’re going to do it. You’re going to invite your friends to do it with you, it’s going to get done, and we’re going to look behind you, go, oh, my gosh, I did that.
Gloria Grace Rand: Yeah. And I think that, which kind of leads me into my next question, because I did promo this and I want to be able to have you address it. And I may ask it this way, is when we’re not following our bliss. I think that’s when perhaps we might start getting into this habit of procrastinating. What do you feel about that? And how can we not do that? As much as I’m so grateful that everybody is watching on Facebook and commenting, I’m having wonderful comments right now. They love the idea of blissipline.
Carol Williams: I love it.
Gloria Grace Rand: But you also don’t want to spend hours and hours on and when you should be doing some of the other things in your business.
Carol Williams: 100%. Yeah. I think the question is that when does procrastination come in and how do I handle it? Is that the question? Yes, definitely. Yeah. Okay, great. So first of all, everybody procrastinates at one time or another, so give yourself that. Like, it’s okay. Procrastination and avoidance are both mechanisms that the brain employs so that we don’t do things that feel bad because we don’t want to. Like, our sympathetic Nervous system wants to stay out of danger. And there’s some piece of our brains that say, ooh, that’s not good.
Carol Williams: That feels icky, stay away from it. So just be okay. Number one, with avoiding and or procrastinating once in a while. If it becomes recurrent, like, I’ll use an example. You’re a self employed person. You want to do a regular newsletter, but for some reason, you’re just not doing it. Like, you might go in fits and starts, it’s time to unteal. So rather than avoiding or berating yourself for procrastinating, which is what many people do, they have the invisible hammer, right?
Carol Williams: Ask yourself, hang on, get curious. Like, what’s going on? Is it, this happens a lot. Perfectionism. Procrastination and perfectionism are actually almost like, they are almost like husband and wife. So when we believe that it has to be perfect, we’re not going to do it until it is perfect. And the truth is, it’s never perfect. And it’s always perfect. Right? Go back to the original thing I said, which is we have to fail in order to get better.
Carol Williams: But when we grow up with, maybe it’s not unconditional love, maybe some people are listening here that have had less than perfect childhoods and or early adulthoods. There’s no shame in that. There’s a lot of difficulties in life. And my heart goes out to you and I hear you and I feel you, and I’ve had my own. So it’s okay if you’re not perfect. You’re still lovable, you’re still capable, and you still deserve a voice, and you still deserve to take up space.
Carol Williams: And when there’s going to be a typo, there might be a typo in your newsletter. Or maybe you don’t say the exact thing. Or maybe people don’t reply the way you want them to reply. You putting your work out into the world is worth something. And that particular piece of cake is down here, and it’s light, your light. So what you’re doing, instead of letting the procrastination, I’m just using that one example. Please give me more examples. Especially if people are typing them in. I want to know what they are.
Carol Williams: But say if that was your thing, like, oh, my gosh, it has to be perfect. Oh, my gosh. Just remember, it is more important to light your light and bless people with your message imperfectly than it is to procrastinate and hide.
Gloria Grace Rand: Oh, yeah, absolutely. And I know I’ve had that in the past where sometimes I was trying to send out an email every day, and I just got to where it was too much pressure. So instead, when I would wake up in the morning and maybe all of a sudden I would be inspired, I’m like, oh, let me go write this now. So much better when you are in that state of inspiration instead of trying to force yourself. Because I know for me, too, it’s like if I have to be forcing myself, it’s not going to happen. So it’s much better off to just take a break, go for a walk or something for a few minutes.
Carol Williams: Yeah, I love that.
Gloria Grace Rand: And get yourself back into it.
Carol Williams: Embracing our flow as, you know, as somebody who used to do SEO and writing copy and all that stuff, when you’re in the flow, you’re in it. You can do your batch copy, right? So do that. Yay. I love that. Great point.
Gloria Grace Rand: I’m going to ask you a question.
Carol Williams: Sure.
Gloria Grace Rand: About all of this, because I like to sometimes play devil’s advocate or something. Is that really why should our listeners do what you’re suggesting? What is going to be the true outcome of that?
Carol Williams: Sure. I’m so grateful that you asked that. That’s another reason why we procrastinate and why we often will jump from thing to thing is, here’s what we say. We say, oh, I get bored just doing one thing. I’m bored. You know what it really is? We actually don’t believe in our heart that what we’re doing will get us the outcome that we want. And so we’re continuing to switch and multitask and do lots of things and cover it up.
Carol Williams: So your question was, why should somebody do the things I’m suggesting? Well, I’ll be devil’s advocate, or I’ll play with that one. I’ll hex you right back and say, well, you sure as heck shouldn’t if you love the way you are right now. I mean, there’s no reason whatsoever to change anything, actually. And what I would recommend is that you go to the very beginning. You go to decide, because until and unless you decide with all of the fibers of your being to do something differently, I can guarantee not. Maybe it’ll happen, maybe it will. I can guarantee that any of this, in step two, step three, or any other steps, actually, it’ll fail. It’ll be a waste of your time, it’ll be a waste of your money, because you haven’t decided beyond a shadow of a doubt that you want to do something differently. And so what I would recommend, instead of jumping to these quick fixes or any of that.
Carol Williams: That what you do is you make big decisions. And if you want help with making those big decisions, I have a guide right on the front of my website, right. And it’s called unscatter your entrepreneurial life. And it’s like ten pages, and I’ll walk you through really deep decision processes. It won’t cost you a dime. I’m not watching over your shoulder, and you can do it yourself. And the reason I started that was because a few years ago, I went through a coach training myself, and it was such a powerful process of really diving deep. It was these things that I thought I wanted to do.
Carol Williams: And then through this process, I realized that I actually didn’t want to do them, and I was able to let them go. And that was amazingly freeing because then I could open myself up to what I really wanted, and that was a game changer for me. So with his permission, I have used some of that coaches, and it’s written right in my guide that coach’s exercises, because that was a life changer and a game changer. So I agree with you. You shouldn’t do any of this until you know what it is you want.
Gloria Grace Rand: I love that. Really good. What’s a commonly held belief about time management, or maybe even just being an entrepreneur in particular, that you passionately disagree with?
Carol Williams: That there’s a road. The road. What we think is, you’ve probably seen this on Facebook, right? We think the road is like, you start here, you go here. Even this. This is all nice. And know it’s not nice and neat, it’s a mess, right? It goes up and down and twists and turns and all that stuff. So the concept of having everything all nice and neat and laid out and we start here and we end up here, and this is how we make our million dollars.
Carol Williams: There are templates, but there’s a lot of snakes. So, like, shoots and ladders, right? It’s like you go along and then poop. You step on a chute, and all of a sudden you’re down to the bottom of the thing. And that’s just the way it is. So what I would recommend is instead of being scattershot and trying to do all these different things and, oh, I can manage my time like this, if I just do this one thing that this guru says, everything’s going to be better, what I would recommend is that you really go deep.
Carol Williams: You really say, all right, do I really want to do this? And why that’s, again, why your why is so incredibly important and how will I structure my life such that there’s the time management, such that I can go back periodically and test out what did I say I would do on January 2 and what’s actually happening on April 2? And that’s what I do in my discover your greatness through the productivity success cake course we have.
Carol Williams: Like, I’ll call them loose plans. They can be as tight as you want. But mostly I like loose plans because truth is, life will always get in the way. Not maybe it’ll get in the way. It’ll always get in the way. It’s just the degree of what’s going to happen. Right? Yes. We can never time manage. You and I talk in the green room about, like, I have a snow and ice storm today, and maybe I should decide not to go to this appointment that literally I’ve been on the docket for, for three months for my son.
Carol Williams: I get to decide that. So when we take this perfect time management or this perfect idea of life away and we say we’ve got a framework, we’ll check in, we can make decisions, we’ll pivot, we’ll change, and then we’ll course correct. That’s what we do. And that’s why I love being an entrepreneur because I get to decide, not somebody else.
Gloria Grace Rand: That’s right.
Carol Williams: I get to decide.
Gloria Grace Rand: And I want to just also follow up on one point, too, when you said about following, oh, if I just do like what the guru says to do, everything’s going to work out. And we forget, though, is that we are not that person. And whatever system they have may work great for them, but you’re unique. You have your own set of personalities. You have your own set of life skills, your own set of limiting beliefs and things, whatever that comes into play.
Gloria Grace Rand: So you’re going to have to discern. And that’s, again, when you’re talking about really go within and see, is this something I can use? Maybe you can use part of it, but don’t put all your faith in it being the be all and end all of it, because you’re you, and you’re going to have to figure out what works best for you.
Carol Williams: I totally agree. What I love about what you just said is you’re you, but you can’t see yourself the way other people can see you. So basically there’s three legs to the stool, in my opinion. This is a good success formula, but it’s not formulaic. Right? It’s having a coach or a mentor, somebody that you say, ooh, I could be that person maybe someday or something. Right? And then a system, some kind of basic system, not too straight jackety, but some basic system and a community.
Carol Williams: And what I found through the group coachings that I’ve done in my community is that community is a game changer, absolute game changer. So coach, system and community. And when you have all those and you lean in and you get messy and you aren’t afraid of messing up… Absolutely. Your success is going to go from like this because you’ve got all the magic formula.
Gloria Grace Rand: Absolutely. So good. We’re almost out of time, but I want to ask you, this is one of my favorite questions that I love to ask my guests is what are you curious about?
Carol Williams: I’m curious about how tiny of a step that you can take, those of you watching for your biggest dream that you don’t even believe is possible. So how small of a step can you take this week towards that? That is what I’m curious about.
Gloria Grace Rand: Very good. Awesome. Well, I want to thank you so much for being here and just let our listeners and viewers again know how they can get in touch with you and get all the wonderful resources that you’ve been talking about today.
Carol Williams: Sure. Absolutely. Go to unscatterme.com. That’s where everything is. And I noticed that you do these pretty timely. Right. So what I’ll offer is if you go to that and you go to Wisdom warriors, it’s a free monthly group I have on February 5. If this is getting released before then, which I expect it would be, we’re going to go back on what we said we were going to do at the beginning of January and check in.
Carol Williams: And it’s a free coaching and training I offer. So sign up, be a wisdom warrior. Come on, February 5, twelve to one eastern and it’s free. And you get to ask me anything, you get to pick my brain live. So I’ll just add that in.
Gloria Grace Rand: Very good. Well, I’ll make sure I connect with you after and get all that information. I will put it in the show notes. So especially for those who are listening to this, they’ll be able to go back in and get that information and be able to connect with you. So again, thank you so much for being with us today. I really appreciate it.
Carol Williams: Thank you.
Gloria Grace Rand: And I want to also thank all of you for watching and listening. And I’m so grateful for you. And if you did like this episode and got some value out of it, be sure to, like, comment and share with your friends on social media for one thing. And if you’re listening to this on your favorite podcast platform. I would appreciate a rating and a review there as well, and make sure you’re subscribed on YouTube.
Gloria Grace Rand: You can do that at GloriaGraceRand and I have that in the show notes too, so don’t worry about it. So until next time, I think we’re going to end it there. So thank you again for being with us, and I hope that you will continue to go out today and every day and live fully, love deeply, and engage authentically.