Why You've Got To Check Out Today's Episode:

  • Learn how to create the game plan for your business and your life and help you stick to it.
  • Learn how to tackle change.




[00:00:00] Kathi Burns:
Hi there. I'm board certified professional organizer Kathi Burns. I'm really glad you're here. This podcast is designed for busy entrepreneurs just like you, who wanna take better control of your business and move forward with less stress and more success. If this is your first time listening, then thanks for coming.

The Organized Energized Podcast is produced for your enjoyment and show notes are found at thepodcast.organizedandenergized.com. Come back often and feel free to add this podcast to your favorite RSS feed or iTunes. You can also follow me on Twitter at Organized Energy and Facebook. All links are in the show notes.

Now, let's get into the show.

Hi everyone. I'm back, and today I'm speaking with Judy Whalen. What we're gonna talk about is how to create the game plan for your business and your life and help you stick to it. And the reason I'm talking about that today is Judy is a strategic growth expert and she's the founder and CEO of the Center for Strategic Change. She's had this consulting agency in business since 1992. Judy specializes in strategy market research and communicating strategic change to key stakeholders so her clients can think and act in ways and enable them to be more innovative, more effective, and competitive. Her clients include leaders of healthcare and educational organizations, service businesses, foundations, government agencies, so on and so forth.

Judy and her team design and facilitate strategic thinking sessions, complex strategic planning projects. They do market research studies. They do non-profit mergers and acquisitions and provide board of directors governance training. So we're gonna talk today about how to create the game plan for your business and your life, and stick to it. So let's get going and let's meet Judy. Hi everyone. I'm back and I'm with Judy Whelan and she is the founder of Center for Strategic Change. Today we're gonna talk about change, how you can tackle it, how you can go about it with ease and flow, and I'm excited. So thanks Judy, for being on the show. I'm stoked to talk about you about change.

[00:02:15] Judy Whalen:
Kathi, thank you so much for having me. I'm just excited to be here with you.

[00:02:19] Kathi Burns:
Absolutely. So you've been a change agent for quite some time. So tell me a little bit about the backstory of how you got into all this.

[00:02:27] Judy Whalen:
Okay. The backstory, first of all, I'll let your listeners know that I've now been in business 30 years, so when they hear the backstory , they'll know that there's also the front story. So you asked about the backstory. I started my business after I had been laid off. And for any of your listeners out there who have gone through that experience, or anyone who's maybe sitting on the edge of that experience, it's the change that made the entire difference in the rest of my life. Now, I'm not gonna say that it's easy going through it because there's all kinds of things that you sift and winnow through, but for me it was the, I'm gonna just say the kick in the butt. It made me take the step that I was hesitating totake. And sometimes we need those big pushes that show up in ways that we aren't really comfortable with to make us actually take the step that we've been thinking about taking or even haven't yet thought about. And when you have that, I'm gonna say that open space to think about all kinds of things, instead of just going to the job, going to the job, you then open your mind and are open to all kinds of possibilities.

So it was the kick in the butt that I needed. And prior to starting my business, I was in association manage. And I just wanna share this with your listeners because if they're not familiar with association management, it is a true hidden employment field for all kinds of different expertise, especially if you happen to be writers or event planners or people who wanna get into leadership to lead organizations. It's a really hidden employment field. So I was in association management and came out of that into my own business. And the one common thread between what I had done prior to my business and what I'm doing now is I had always one, in one way, shape or form worked with people who were leading an organization. Now, I wasn't always necessarily the leader in charge in the beginning, in the end I had, I was an executive director state national associations, but it gave me the opportunity to observe and participate to some extent in how these people ran these organizations. There's the big financial piece of course, and then there's the public relation piece and the membership recruitment and all of that.

So it gave me an opportunity to see how all of that functioned, before I took the step, okay, yep, I'm gonna go do it. So that's a little tiny bit of my backstory. The common thread is I had always worked with leaders. So when I started my business, the one thing I thought is I've always served boards of directors in one way or another. As an employee, I had been a member on a board of directors and I've worked for them. So I thought that's the piece I know was serve boards of directors. And the piece that absolutely fascinated me prior to starting my business was the whole role that facilitation plays when you're working with a group of people. And one of the functions I was able to do was I was able to participate in this huge strategic planning project with my other peers from other states. And we brought in a facilitator and I participated in the exercises she had, but I sat there and I kept watching her thinking, This woman is really good at what she does, and I really like how she does it. And all of a sudden this message kept going through my head. Someday I'm going to do that.

[00:05:55] Kathi Burns:
From the blue outta the blue, right?

[00:05:58] Judy Whalen:
Yes. For your listeners, when you hear these messages that just happen to land in your subconscious, your brain, wherever it comes from, and wherever it lands, just pay attention, let it be. What moved me down a path that I probably may not have gone down otherwise. I had the opportunity to see the power of people thinking together and what they could make happen because of that, and it just is, it's fascinating to this day, it's still fascinating. When I work with my clients in strategic planning, I always tell them, you know this, there's this process. Yes, we go through this process, but there's all these synergies that start to happen around this process that almost become bigger than the actual strategic plan. It's just, it is truly amazing what happens when people think together. That's the backstory.

[00:06:51] Kathi Burns:
That's a great backstory. And I like that you were, you had been considering maybe jumping anyhow, right? Then you just got the kick in the butt to do it. And I think a lot of women right now are in the similar phase where they're thinking, should I do it? Should I not? Should I do it? Should I not? Now I'm here to say, everybody just jump, just do it. Especially if you have that, that, that small little whisper in your ear that, time is now. And I love the fact that you grabbed the bull by the horns on things that you really loved. Like you love watching this lady do her craft. And you're thinking yourself I can do that too that's a good thing.

[00:07:25] Judy Whalen:
And when you mentioned should I go or should I stay? There's this kind of push and pull in the beginning when you're starting to think about it. And I can still distinctly remember after I had started my business plan. At least I had my business plan on paper. I was looking for my new clients and I kept thinking I had one foot in that camp, but mentally I kept thinking, oh, maybe I should just go get a job. And quite frankly, that held me back if I had just cut the thought process there and just said okay, I'm starting this business. I'm not looking back, there's nothing to go back to so just go for it. It would've happened probably six months.

[00:08:02] Kathi Burns:
Yeah, I'm with you on that. When I started AddSpace, I had a year to reinvent. So I had no ties and no conferences. In fact, I just had, a year to this space as you, you'd said that earlier. Having this space to think about where you're gonna go. I think that's so very important to have this space and the time to be able to just deliberate and to create, because I don't think if you don't have space, you can't create anyhow, in my opinion. So I absolutely love that. Okay, so flash forward talk to me about one of your favorite clients stories, then you launched, you got your clients. Tell me about one of your, give me a story about a client and what happened.

[00:08:40] Judy Whalen:
Okay, I'll give you a story. This is about, this now is actually two clients. It started as one client, and I'll just tell you, they are a group of physicians who provide a specialty service that helps people who have chronic pain. And they had hired me to do strategic planning. They're a foundation, so people donate to them, and then this group of doctors go over to international underserved countries and they help, they, they use their specialty to help people who are underserved as well as providing services in whatever offices they are in their own world. So we started that. This was so fun for me because first of all, these people have this really special. I think that's probably the best part of my bus business is I get to work with clients that have really special, important things that they wanna do in the world. And it doesn't matter whether a business or they're a nonprofit or even a government agency, they have this mission of doing something that's going to do something better for the world.

So this group of physicians, we did strategic planning and it was a pretty long comprehensive project cuz it was interview all of the board members. We had various committees that they worked on and they had recently lost their founding president and so they were in transition. And this is like the second project I did with an organization that was in transition because of a passing of a leader. And so it's a matter of getting leaders to step into new roles, solidifying their roles. And as we went through the project, and plus they're from all over the world and they're just such good people to interact with. They think good. We got to the end of the strategic thinking phase and they decided that one of their goals, cause I keep them to know more than five goals. Three is ideal, cuz you've got a lot of work to do on those three.

[00:10:27] Kathi Burns:
Yeah, I like the three.

[00:10:28] Judy Whalen:
One of their goals was they decided that their specialty has become so needed in this world that it was now time to create what I'm gonna call their, if your listeners don't understand that there's a true 501 C 6 category that's a federal IRS designation and it's a designation for professional organizations. They decided it was time to create that because now they are as enough critical mass, let's just say an interest in this specialty that they felt it was time to be able to have a true, full-blown association. And so that led us to a full year of governance study. Could this really happen? How would they make it happen? How would they finance the study? How would they get this thing off the ground? And I was so lucky to be able to guide them through the process cuz board governance is one of my areas of expertise. So I still remember it distinctly. It was November 2019 the board of the foundation said yes let's go ahead. The interim board, which is a planning board for this new entity, said, yes, we, we'll, go ahead. The new entity got off the ground December of 2019. , they were in existence January 20th, 2020. They're in existence. We got all their legal papers filed. I found them an association management firm in March 2020.

The pandemic hit and here is my brand new international association, of regenerative therapies. Just, oh my goodness, how can they make it through this? They're barely off the ground. Fortunately, the association management firm. Had other associations also, and they all were going through the same thing, and they were able to pull off their conference, which was in October. They made it through, they made it through the first year, had more attendees at the conference than they would've had. They continued to have in person, made it through their second year, and they are off and running. And providing training for other physicians in the specialty of prolotherapy so they can address chronic pain without pharmaceuticals. And now they, now, because the pandemic is, let's just say hopefully subsided, they're able to go back to the countries that they've served the underserved in this year. So that's one of the, that's one of the big examples of what I,

[00:12:50] Kathi Burns:
That's a great, that's a great thing. Yeah. Did you say it's cryotherapy?

[00:12:54] Judy Whalen:
It's prolotherapy. P R O L O.

[00:12:57] Kathi Burns:
Oh, prolotherapy. Okay. I haven't heard of that one.

[00:13:00] Judy Whalen:
I don't wanna get into it cause I'm not the actual expert in that field. I have seen it demonstrated. and it does relieve chronic pain without pharmaceuticals.

[00:13:11] Kathi Burns:
That's fantastic.

[00:13:12] Judy Whalen:
Yes. There's so many people who suffered from chronic pain.

[00:13:15] Kathi Burns:
Absolutely, for sure. Oh, that's a really good story. The fact that they made it through and probably cuz he had a strong basis of what they were doing and you had put them on with the right association who had the right contacts and all that.

[00:13:27] Judy Whalen:
It's that ability to connect people, to help them think carefully about where they're going and what they really wanna accomplish.

[00:13:36] Kathi Burns:
I love it. Now you've been in business for quite some time now. What would you think would be, what's the one lesson that you've learned as a female entrepreneur in this world that you would that you would wanna talk about to the audience?

[00:13:48] Judy Whalen:
Okay. Okay. So I've been in business 30 years. The one lesson that I would love to share with anyone, starting out, anybody who is in year 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 29, whatever is believe in yourself. If somebody had told me that when I was first starting, I'm not sure I would've been able to totally do it. But I know those words would've resonated in my head and it would've been like the other words that resonated in my head to make me take the leap and it would've moved me through the path faster and more confidence. And there's ways to go about developing that confidence in yourself. And it's not just the way you present yourself, it's the confidence in, am I making the right decision in my business? Is this the right, not just even starting a business, but once you're in your business, you have all these decisions that come along that you need to make. And some of them are bigger than others. Some of the small decisions you can make like this. But other decisions come along and it's now should I make that, is that gonna take me down the right path? Another big one for me is this the right client for me? because it really makes a difference who I collaborate with and who I share my expertise with to help them go where they wanna go. So that's gotta be good fit for me as well as for them. Believe in yourself, take the time to do the inner work and find the resources. Like it's all about our mindset. There's so many pressures and so many things external to us that impact us in a negative way, and we let those messages in and it's don't let the messages in. Once you get to the point where you can say, no, I'm not letting that in anymore. That's good as success starts to really happen.

[00:15:35] Kathi Burns:
Yeah, I agree totally. And in order to believe in yourself, you have to be able to hear yourself. And I know you and I are very much in sync with that, that you've gotta be able to go within and listen to what yourself is saying to you, and make it louder than the people that are talking like your earballs, right?

[00:15:50] Judy Whalen:
Yes, that's what I was gonna say is sometimes you need that quiet time, we just turn everything off. No phone, no. Sometimes music can help us, to me, like symphonic music not stimulating type stuff. But also there's a lot of resources on the power of your subconscious. And once I figured that out and once I started reading about the power of your subconscious mind and I started connecting with people who have similar beliefs, that is a true turning point, is you've gotta surround yourself with people who, first of all believe in you and support you and are on their journey, but probably a few steps ahead of you.

[00:16:32] Kathi Burns:
I totally agree. And those and I think it's easier to find the people that you resonate with. Like it's an easier yes to find those people you resonate with than to listen to your thoughts. Do I resonate with my own thoughts? So having those people, and if you resonate with them, oftentimes I feel that, being surrounded by those who love you, they believe in you more than you can believe in yourself. And that's super duper critical to have those people that believe in you even more than you, and then you can do the same and believe in them. I was talking to someone the other day about that. It's oh yeah, I can see her totally doing that. That's so easy for me to see, but see me doing what I was, ah, yeah. It's not as I'm with you on the camaraderie and having the people with you that, that totally believe in you, and that I do believe you can trust your instinct on the people pretty quickly.

[00:17:18] Judy Whalen:
Yes. Eventually you get to a point where your gut instincts are your guiding light. I can tell. It took me a while to learn that, because we all come through what we all come through, but I'm gonna just say an educational system that kinda squelches you listening to your internal guide and to your, what I call my gut instinct, because it has its set of norms. But once you have the freedom to step out that and to begin to have your own life experiences and you get to test the waters of. It's working for you and what's not. You begin to get the signals. You'll know. I can tell right away now if something's not a right fit for me, I can feel my stomach tightening up. Now I've learned, okay, there's the signal.

[00:18:01] Kathi Burns:
Yeah. That's great. And I know when we met at a conference, we were just like that. Oh, I love you, you're so cool, and that's why you're on the podcast. Because we immediately resonated with each other. And I would support you in any way that I can and I know it would be the similar thing. So yeah. Girls out there, if you're listening, find those people that you're simpatico with it. So very important especially as a woman entrepreneur, we need the support and we need the confidence boosting of someone saying, yes, you can do it. You can do it.

[00:18:28] Judy Whalen:
And for your listeners, like in my case, none of nobody in my family had ever owned a business. Everybody was employees. Yes. And to my parents' credit, they said, okay, you're gonna go to school, you're gonna get an education. My dad was, adamant I was gonna get an education. So if anything ever happened, I could take care of myself. You gotta give them that amount of credit and respect. But nobody was an entrepreneur, so I didn't have any real role models that I could be, say, oh yeah, this is what, every Wednesday night you sit down and you do your invoicing and your bills or whatever, so I didn't have that model. So for anybody who's out there that's listening, that's in that same boat, there's all kinds of places and opportunities to find guidance. Your chambers of commerce are a good resource. Universities have programs specifically for people who wanna start a business. There's all kinds. And then you just look around on the internet and there's all kinds of entrepreneurs on the internet and organizations that you can tap into to find out what are the basics you need and how do you bridge that? It's that transition of going from what I'm gonna call kind of the security of a job, even though there's no security in having a job anymore. To where you are totally responsible for making your own income. And your own work fulfillment. There's a lot there. You gotta get really clear on what is it that gives you fulfillment. And then where are those people that can offer you the projects or the income that you need, and then you gotta go find them.

[00:19:56] Kathi Burns:
That's the thing, the marketing. Step one, find what you're passionate about and that you have the skillset to do. What I find is that, I call it the God gift. Whatever you can do naturally is really what you probably love to do anyhow. Just becomes easy to you and that's, that can be a guiding light towards your way. Now, if you had to tell your 18 year old self anything, What would you tell her, Judy? Right now?

[00:20:19] Judy Whalen:
Looking back, I would tell my 18 year old self who came out of a very rigid structured home environment, educational environment, religious environment, to believe in myself and just go do it. But I, you know what I now realize coming out of whatever I came out of equipped me to just go do it. But I didn't know that and I didn't believe it. And so you gotta dip your toe and let yourself be tested because it's amazing what you can rise up to the occasion and do. Like I think back to when I was in college, cuz people will laugh at this one I put off taking public speaking. We all had to take a speech class. Okay. I put it off till I was a senior. I could not graduate until I took it. I had to do it. I finally took it and it was like, oh my gosh, this wasn't as bad as everybody says it is. And it actually was a little bit of fun. And then I look at what I'm doing now, where I'm standing in front of groups, facilitating people who have, I'm gonna just say a whole lot more education than I've ever attained, but helping them just think, and asking question. That's the one thing I've learned is you can, if you ask really good questions, you can get a lot of information and get people to think about certain whatever it is that you're working on. And I've learned to ask questions and basically if somebody says, how do you facilitate? I said, I just ask questions. Yes, I have a game plan and there's a process, but the whole thing is based on asking questions because they are, they've got the knowledge base. I just guide 'them through a process.

[00:21:58] Kathi Burns:
Yeah, I love that. Now if you have a big win, which I'm sure you've had several in your career this is my year for celebration. How do you celebrate ?

[00:22:09] Judy Whalen:
Okay. I'm thinking back to the clients with the big wins and how I celebrate. Okay. First I take them out for lunch or dinner and we celebrate. We have a good time talking about, oh, remember how awful we felt about, how was this gonna be so difficult, and was this gonna work and blah, blah, blah. And then look where we are and let them, I just let them channel their thoughts and we sit there and laugh and giggle and smile and have a good time. Then after I've done that with a client, come home and the next day, assuming I don't have another client activity, I try not to right when I finish a project, I try not to book another really stressful client event right the next day. Cuz what I have found is when I'm out facilitating, I really need time to let my brain clear afterwards. And so whether it's the next day or maybe a day later, I come home and celebrate by taking the day off. I don't turn my computer on. If it's nice weather, I may be outside. I might go dig in the garden or I might be out with the dogs, but I don't turn my computer on. I don't even walk into my office. And sometimes, depending upon the depth and the difficulty of the project, I might take two days. Because I have found I can't function effectively until I let myself, Have my quiet time cuz that's how I regenerate. Quiet time is how I regenerate. Some people there's a, an assessment, a cognifile assessment I use with my clients and it will tell us whether we're singular folks or whether we're plural and a bunch of other, it tells me all kinds of other things, but I happen to be a singular, so when I need to recharge, I don't need to be around people. I like to just be by myself. Other people who happen to be the plural have a plural characteristic. They would recharge by going shopping with a group of friends or going out and partying or something. But I happen to be that person who likes my quiet space.

[00:24:04] Kathi Burns:
Putting your hands in the dirt. Oh, that's a wonderful thing. Do you think that people change from singulars to plurals throughout their life, or do they pretty much stay the same?

[00:24:13] Judy Whalen:
I think they pretty much stay the same because the assessment I use is based on their innateness, which is based on the sciences of the mind. So signs of the mind doesn't really change. What I do find is sometimes they think they might be a plural when once they really, once we can help them understand, as you go through life, you pick up all these learned behaviors, okay? . But those are learned behaviors that sit on top of your innateness. And once we can peel back the learned behaviors and they can begin to understand their innate capabilities and their unique, what we call the core genius, then they may finally realize, yes, they might be a singular, never be a plural.

[00:24:52] Kathi Burns:
Ah, they haven't been getting what they thought they needed the whole time. They might be running around depleted cuz I know a belief is only a thing you've been thinking, over and over. Could be not even a right, a correct belief about themselves. Yeah. That's interesting. I know that you are very organized because you facilitate change. Tell me about an organizing tactic that you use in your business to keep yourself going. Or it could be a program, it could be an app, it could be a habit.

[00:25:19] Judy Whalen:
Okay, so this, now this may also sound funny to your clients, but in my business there are certain facets of my business where I just can't make a mistake. There's a lot of facets where I can make a mistake, but I can't make a mistake if I have an appointment with clients this podcast. I can't miss that. There are, zoom has made a bit of a difference where I have a little bit more breathing space, but when I'm facilitating groups of people face-to-face and they've got members coming from all over the world who have flown in, I can't miss that because I forgot the date. So the one tip I used, and this is gonna sound duplicative, is dates initially go on my Google calendar, partly because people are sending emails and confirmations are made by emails. So that goes on my Google calendar, but every single day I sit down with my paper calendar before the end of the day and I've given up on, I've given up on planners. I am now back to a plain old notebook. I've tried every single planner out there. Nothing evidently works like my brain works, so I'm, I am now back to just using a notebook that I can take with me. I have to, I do have to say, the other planners help me figure out how. I wanna just put things on my notebook though.

And at the top of my page, every day goes, The times. Who do I have meetings with? Okay. So that forces me to look at my Google calendar the day before and I write it into my paper. And for your listeners, there is a true scientific, there's research that proves that your brain, there's a neuro Yeah. Not only neurolinguistic, but there's a tactile that if you use pen to paper it impacts your brain more than if I were typing it digitally. So I've got it digitally on my Google calendar, so that's with me all the time, on my phone. But it also gets written by hand in my notebook and it has made a difference. It makes me start to think about what are we talking about in that meeting? Why, first of all, why is it on my calendar? And what do I wanna accomplish out of that? Which doesn't happen if I just put it digitally on my calendar. So that's my one little personal organizing. Keep myself from missing something that I've committed to.

[00:27:48] Kathi Burns:
Yeah. That's fantastic. And you touched on something that I talk about all the time in time management. Go to a meeting knowing what you wanna accomplish out of it. Don't just show up at a meeting because it's on an agenda, like what are you going to get from this meeting yourself? What is, and I think this is when I work with a lot of corporate employees, they have to go to these meetings. It's you need to walk in with your own agenda. Even if it's only to talk to Brad, cuz you only see him in this meeting and get something from Brad, make sure that's your agenda for going into that meeting. And that way you're not just having a meeting to have a meeting's sake, I love that you said that.

[00:28:21] Judy Whalen:
And it's especially important when you're not in the I'm gonna say in the leadership role of the meeting where you're there as a member that's been invited, yes. But then, you've just got the agenda. So there, there are any number of years. When I first started out, especially when I would go to I was on a foundation board for a university and I would go and it's okay, these agendas I prepared in advance. We just get 'em. And finally it dawned on me, okay, now these people come to this meeting, they're all from different states, if they're coming to this meeting, why don't I pick one person each time that I wanna meet and get to know? So that would be my own personal agenda. It took me a while to figure that out. Once you start moving into different leadership roles and you're in charge of either bringing ideas to the agenda prep or preparing the whole agenda then it puts a little different light on what you wanna get out of it. But when you're first, when you're not in that role, You gotta go with your own agenda. Not necessarily to disrupt the meeting.

[00:29:20] Kathi Burns:
But otherwise, why go? But even if you have to go, there's no reason to make it a missed opportunity because there's always opportunity. And anytime that you meet with more than one. Two people, even just one. I love that. I don't think there's anything wrong with pen to paper. I think pen to paper is a really good thing. I have a similar thing where I have my little notebook and you know what I, the thing about the notebook, it has to be a really great notebook. Mine's like a leatherette, so it feels good. And I still have my check marks, on things that I wanna do today along with my Google calendar. Because for me writing, I'm a definitely a tactile learner. Writing really solidifies it for me.

[00:29:56] Judy Whalen:
And this year I'm trying the new note, the notebook that's new to me, which is the erasable, you write with a certain type of ink. And I'm using it just for my year long planning. Not for my day-to-day stuff. But for my yearlong planning, cuz it's where I'm, when I'm doing the initial thought process, I need to write any race till I get it the way I want it. So I'm just trying it to see if that will work for me, cuz at least I can still write.

[00:30:22] Kathi Burns:
Yeah, absolutely. And I love the fact that you said, you used the, all the old planners that we've used in the past have definitely helped us formulate how we want to organize our thoughts now. I was a Daytimer girl forever, and it's a really good thing. Back in the day before there was Google Calendar, it was an important kind of thing you needed to have is a planner pad, but God forbid we use it.

[00:30:43] Judy Whalen:
Then I used a planner and it's still being, it's real popular yet today where you can design your own pages the way you want 'em. And they'll print. And I tried that and I thought I can just do this now in a notebook. Now that I know how I want this to set up, I can just, And I, yeah, I'm much faster with a pen and paper.

[00:30:59] Kathi Burns:
And bullet journals. I think that's why it's so hot right now is people are playing well with bullet journals. Similar thing. I have one client who lives for her bullet journal. I have zillions of other clients who've started it and then just left it by the way side. So you know, to each his own the whole thing. I think that's important for anyone out there listening is just find the way that works for you. I feel there's no one way to get organized. The best way to get organized is one that you understand that you're gonna stick to. As long as you have something that makes sense and you stick to it, it's perfect. Or it could be made to be perfect, cuz you'll figure out the ways that you need to tweak it.

[00:31:34] Judy Whalen:
Okay, so I have to show you this. You asked about change and you asked about , oh, you showed me your book. Okay. So I have, I am a journal junkie. I don't, and it's not that I, it's not that I journal as a junkie, consistently. It's that what I write in has to have the right feel and has to have something that is special because what I put in it is special. And so I have I have different notebooks. This is one way I keep organized because online you have, let's just say for online training, there's all different types of training I'll do. So I'll have a different notebook for each one of those training courses that I might be in. But the notebooks have to be special. They're not just run of the mill type. They have to be special so that when I'm working in it, it reinforces to me, oh, you're doing something in this special notebook. This must be really important for you. It's just these little psychological tricks that keep me motivated.

[00:32:31] Kathi Burns:
They're very important. They're very important, the way that your notebook feels, the colors. I do a similar thing where I have, my client notebooks are different and my training notebooks are different. Now I'm going more and more into Google Drive, but they're, I still really to have the notebook might have a few things in it from training. I'm trying to put everything more in drive so that you know it's there forever and I don't have to carry around a bunch of paper, but.

[00:32:55] Judy Whalen:
Right. There are certain things I'm putting into Google Drive that I might need to access if I'm not right at my desk. But I still am paper to pencil with my client files as I'm working through the planning, as we're working through whatever my notes are still paper, the documents I produce that they need to access. Yes. A Google Drive or anything that I know might need, we might need to actually reuse again with them, is Google Drive, but there's something about me being able to put my own thoughts on paper that helps me think about what might come next.

[00:33:29] Kathi Burns:
I agree. I agree. And the collaboration of Google Drive is also good. I love going in and editing with someone else. The documenting. You can see where their cursor is and it's a collaborative process as well. So yeah, all of these tools are so very important and I think we're so blessed to be in the age of the electronic. The electronic age that we can do that kind of stuff together, but still keep our little pin and paper in our pretty little notebook. Very important.

[00:33:54] Judy Whalen:
And for those of us who came through this whole, I'm gonna say business environment, before we had digital that's where my grounding was. And there's certain things about your grounding that you just, it's really hard to let go of. Plus it makes, it helps me think better. But here's you'll laugh at this little tip. Okay. So all my client files are either in Google Drive, Some are in one note and then in folders, and I've got different, I use different color folders based upon the color of their logo. That's how I keep things organized in my brain so that when I go to my file drawer, I can immediately find who I'm looking for.

[00:34:27] Kathi Burns:
I never thought about the logo color thing. That's a good idea. Okay. A dip out there girls. Listen to that.

[00:34:33] Judy Whalen:
Your logo. Okay, now here's the tip that everybody might just think. Okay, so we're in the, I still consider us in the transition age from paper to digital. So the paper files and client files are just handled right away, and they go into either digital Google Drive or they go into their colored folder in my file drawer. The stuff though that you still get that comes into your office, like I still get paper stuff. Yeah, I get stuff that I'll find on the internet and at the moment it's oh yes, I need to print this and I'll read it, but I don't wanna throw it away. I have a plastic file tub, you know those ones that you can buy at the supply store that you would put files and hanging files in. Okay. The kind of things that I don't exactly know what I'm doing with, but I don't, I'm not ready to throw 'em away yet. Go into my plastic box and when the box is full, if I haven't gone back to something that's in there. Then I can recycle that. There have been times when I've gone back in and I've dug through stuff like, oh yeah, remember I saw that somewhere. Where did I put that? And at least it's there and it's good for safekeeping for whatever period of time it stays there.

[00:35:47] Kathi Burns:
Okay, you know what you're following. Organizing 1 0 1 rule. You need to confined amount of space for the randomness. So the fact that if your tub gets full, then it's time to make effort on it, that's great. Cuz you have to have that container to remind you that you need to take some action. Good job on that.

[00:36:05] Judy Whalen:
The other thing I found is I would angst about, okay, what am I doing with this piece of paper? I wanna keep it, but I don't know. I really don't wanna spend time making a label and putting it in a file folder and filling up a file drawer. And so it was eating up time. What are we gonna do with this? And so now it's just, okay, you go there and I know where you are. And if I need you, I'll dig through.

[00:36:25] Kathi Burns:
I'd rather that than make a file that's gonna go into your drawer and never see a light of day. Today, 80% of the files that we put in our cabinet never come back out again. So having that kind of what you've done is you've done a set point and a stop point before it's gonna go into Netherland and never be seen or heard from again, and where you can actually touch it again and then make a decision. Good job, Judy.

[00:36:46] Judy Whalen:
And I think it was a little bit, And just say, look, because I move my, change my office around, move two of my lateral files to the storeroom, which now still have to be dealt with but the two that are up here are, okay. Now I only have this amount of space. What goes in here is client stuff and my own business files. And you get more selective when you don't have as much.

[00:37:09] Kathi Burns:
Yes you do. Yes, you do. That's what it's all about. keep that contained, confined amount of space for your, for each thing. Okay. We're running down to the end of the hour or the end of the half hour. So tell me about any kind of resource that you have for the audience that might help them move forward with their business.

[00:37:27] Judy Whalen:
Okay, so I have, it's called a Guide to Strategic, if I can say it, A Guide to Strategic Planning, and it includes a series of articles on, reasons why smart companies use strategic planning streetwise tips, it delves into strategic thinking. So that's available and I have a second gift that I would just love to give them if that's possible.

[00:37:49] Kathi Burns:
Oh, sure. Absolutely.

[00:37:50] Judy Whalen:
Because we talk so much about mindset, And believing in yourself. I have this lovely e-book and it's just, it's so wonderful and it's so easy to use. It's called Develop a Positive Mindset in Five Minutes a Day, and it's, I wrote these 30 tips so that each day you can just look at it and take one tip, practice it throughout the day, and eventually it just all starts to come to get there. And it's illustrated it's colorful. It's not anything that's hard to get through. It's just one tip a.

[00:38:21] Kathi Burns:
I love it. Yeah. So that's very gracious. I think people are gonna devour that and make sure that you download both, because I think, strategic planning, you have to do it even if you're a solopreneur.

[00:38:31] Judy Whalen:
Oh, absolutely. Actually, quite frankly, if you're a solopreneur, it's probably more important than if you happen to be a large corporation. Large corporations have all these, I don't wanna say resources, not necessarily built in, but at least available to them. As solopreneurs, we are the business and we need to be really clear on where are we going? What's that vision of where you wanna be? Let's say in three to five years. Okay. And then pick three goals or pick one goal. I have had clients who are organizations pick one goal and that was their primary focus for whatever timeframe they had set. And it makes such a. Yeah, that's difference.

[00:39:11] Kathi Burns:
Laser focus. But if you don't have goals, you have no focus anyhow, yeah. Aw, this has been awesome. I love having you on this show and I just love hanging out with you anyhow.

[00:39:21] Judy Whalen:
I am just so grateful to have had this opportunity to chat with you on your show, cuz this has been just great fun.

[00:39:27] Kathi Burns:
Absolutely. Okay, everybody download. I'm gonna download that book instantly. It's, it, you can never have too many thought positive thoughts. That's for darn sure, the more the merrier. So let's head on a positive note and say thank you very much, Judy. I so appreciate your time and gang thanks for listening again . I don't know if you heard this, but actually by the time this is aired, we hit downloads 2000 mark. Thank you very much for listening and for allowing me to have amazing guests on the show, just like Judy. And we're signing off for today. Thanks, Judy.

[00:39:59] Judy Whalen:
Oh, thank you. It's been great fun and it's took me down memory lane too from where I started, so thank you.

[00:40:07] Kathi Burns:
Love it. Okay guys, we'll see you next week.

Hey, thanks for listening to this podcast. I hope you enjoyed this episode, and if you want to hear more, feel free to subscribe on the platform of your choice. Also, if you feel so inclined, I would truly appreciate a good rating from you to me. Have a stellar day.

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