143 Positive Productivity: Entrepreneur Kim Sutton On How to Succeed Without Losing Yourself Along The Way
Kim Sutton owns a growing marketing agency, hosts a popular podcast and somehow keeps it all together as a mom to five kids, eight cats and a dog. In the wake of Kate Spade’s tragic suicide, Kim shares openly about her own struggles with depression and how she came back from the brink to help others boost their positive productivity by sleeping more and doing less.
Melinda Wittstock: Kim, welcome to Wings.
Kim Sutton: Thank you so much for having me Melinda. I’m so honored to be here.
Melinda Wittstock: Well I am so excited to talk to you because productivity is something that everybody needs to figure out and we all have different strategies I guess for getting there. What mad you interested in becoming the sort of productivity maven I guess if you will? You’re an expert in it.
Kim Sutton: Well I think a lot of people including the person that I was and still struggle with being to be quite honest, we think that being productive means that we tackle everything on our list, and that we hit all the top goals and that we never have setbacks. And that was really hard for me because I would have 20, 30, 40 items on my to do list for every single day and I would feel I got nothing done even when I got two or three done. So I felt like I was always chasing my tail.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. We set ourselves up for failure in a way when we do that. It kind of forces us into this pattern of thinking that we’re not enough.
Kim Sutton: Oh, absolutely. Yeah. So I was working … or I was sleeping two to three hours a night, ’cause I was trying to tackle all those items, and I’m a mom of five. So some of those items were go to the grocery, cook dinner, be mom chauffer, take care of all the clients, do my podcasts … Well no, my podcast wasn’t even started yet, but it was in the works. I knew it was coming but I was putting all my time out for other people and then I forgot about myself. So I just wasn’t sleeping and then it all crashed down and I was about ready to just give up and I realized hold on, something needs to change, and you know that expression, light shines on marble head or something like that. It shone very brightly. Is that the right way to say it, Melinda?
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah.
Kim Sutton: It shined?
Melinda Wittstock: It shined? Yeah, I guess it … I don’t know. Yeah, wow.
Kim Sutton: Yeah. I know.
Melinda Wittstock: You have to go back to school for that one.
Kim Sutton: Well I’m speaking typo today. So … Listeners, I would love to know the right word that I should’ve said right there. But I realized I am not the only one that’s struggling like this and all … It just hit me, this is what I’m supposed to be helping other people with. Positive Productivity is not about perfection. It just means doing the best that we can every single day.
Melinda Wittstock: Why is it that we women have such a perfectionism gene? It’s like a disease. There should be an AA for perfectionists.
Kim Sutton: Oh, I’m thinking about my moms here. My moms both worked, but I think about the shows that they watched as little girls. Both my moms … my mom and my stepmom, they grew up in the 40s. So I can think of the shows, I can’t necessarily name them right now, but picture perfect. Momma always has on her apron that’s perfectly tied and she’s got a perfect dinner on the table, the house is always perfectly clean. And it still what they were attempting to do, not always very successfully because now they were out in the workplace, but they … I have two sisters and we weren’t taught to be perfect, but we were taught how to keep a home and I’m teaching my boys how to keep a home now.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh, that’s awesome.
Kim Sutton: Yeah. I have two little girls. They’re not ready to do dishes, but they can take out the trash and the boys can do the dishes. Let’s just … And the girls can go to T-ball and get all dirty just like the boys. So I think we just need to put the wrinkles back into what we were being taught, what society was being taught in the 40s and 50s.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. We so acculturated, yeah, to be all things to all people. But I also think there’s an aspect of perfectionism, underlying it that’s fear. It’s kind of fear dressed up pretty. And-
Kim Sutton: What would people think of us if we didn’t have on concealer and they saw just how tired we actually are?
Melinda Wittstock: Right. And so it’s interesting, I’ve had so many conversations over the last couple of days in the wake of Kate Spade’s suicide. Now here’s a woman who was one of … certainly my sheros. There weren’t and there aren’t a lot of female role models in entrepreneurship, so she was one of the early trailblazers, and from the outside looking in on her life, she looks … looked perfect. Everything kind of in place, two billion valuation, fame, everything. Like right? And yet, it was so shocking to people and you wonder to what extent … And also by the way, the fact that she was apparently afraid to reach out to ask for help, ’cause she thought it would hurt her brand.
Kim Sutton: Oh, my gosh. Melinda, I have to be totally honest. This is the first I’ve heard of this. I’ve been staying off news and social media. So I’m just blown away.
Melinda Wittstock: I mean it’s so sad because I look at the entrepreneurial journey, these like ups and downs that we have along the way. Either you get really used to it and embrace it and it’s kind of a positive thing, like you start to kind of accept yourself in those downs, because it does oscillate-
Kim Sutton: Yeah.
Melinda Wittstock: A lot, especially if you’re taking risks. Like if you’re really willing to get outside of your comfort zone, you’re going to have those times where things are tough, and often that’s where the growth happens. But I don’t know her situation, right?
Kim Sutton: Right.
Melinda Wittstock: So I can’t really … I’m not talking specifically about her, but I think this desire … My thesis in a way I guess from all of this is this desire to be all things to all people, to be perfect, to do all this kind of stuff. It leaves you feeling like you’re not enough, and how can women really kind of get out of that and really accept ourselves flaws and all.
Kim Sutton: What I found when I started opening up was that I was not alone and people really appreciated the fact that I was sharing. I mean there was a night in July of 2016 when I was trying to figure out if my bed sheets were strong enough to hold me onto the fan or if the fan was strong enough to support the bed sheets if I hung myself. And I just laid there and prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed and if you’ve never been through a pivotal like this, and I’m talking to the listeners here. Like miracles do happen, whether or not you’re spiritual, miracles do happen and I had mine that night, and I realized what I needed to do. But the next day I opened to some very close friends who had no idea what I was going through and the response I got was, “Wow. I’m going through that too. Let’s help each other.”
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. See that’s the thing, nobody says it and particularly in entrepreneur circles, and thank you actually for … I’m sorry. I’m just going to pick up there. And thank you for sharing that, it’s very brave and it’s so wonderful that you do, because it gives other people permission to share in the way that Kate Spade felt she could not.
Kim Sutton: I’m just thinking about how many … and it’s not just her, it’s anyone of us. When we share something like that, we could be helping so many people that we don’t even know. I mean if she had opened up, I don’t think it would’ve hurt her brand at all.
Melinda Wittstock: No.
Kim Sutton: I would’ve … I already wanted to buy a bag, but I would’ve … If … Let’s just say if she had attached one to a charity, a mental health charity that could help people recover or maybe an organization that helps us start sleeping and getting the self care back into our life, there would’ve … I can see lines out the door to get this special bag.
Melinda Wittstock: Exactly. This is the really interesting thing that’s happening in our society. The more authentic we are with our … and transparent I guess about our vulnerability, the more and deeper we connect with people, be they friends, team members or customers. And you’re so right about that, that in actual fact the businesses and we see this in the data, the businesses that have this higher or elevated mission on top of the authenticity of the founders crush it. Like they do better, their businesses grow faster and it’s because consumers really expect much more of a genuine connection. They want to buy from people that they know and that they like and that they trust and I think that you become more trustworthy when you’re trustworthy with yourself, when there’s that alignment I think.
Kim Sutton: Look at Arianna Huffington. I mean starting Thrive Global and talking about the importance of sleep and self-care and well being, and she has built a huge tribe off of that, which is completely different from Huffington Post, completely.
Melinda Wittstock: Right. Right. And it’s a personal passion of hers so obviously … Like so many entrepreneurial advances come from a problem that we have ourselves. Like that is actually the kernel, that little acorn that’s going to grow powerfully because we’re solving a problem that is unique or special to us. So many things come from like a lack say that you have in your childhood or a challenge you have right, whether it’s lack of sleep and solving that or a mental issue or anything really. Like entrepreneurs are problem solvers, right? And they’re probably-
Kim Sutton: Oh, yeah. We are.
Melinda Wittstock: The inspiration … Yeah, the inspiration for the problem comes from us. So being in touch with that problem and really embracing and using it to help other people, we end up helping ourselves.
Kim Sutton: I think I asked this actually when you were on my podcast. But what do you think of the word hustle?
Melinda Wittstock: Hustle. Yeah. You know what’s really interesting? I used to be … I used to really embrace that, like 80s, 90s, like ’cause I really bought into that whole protestant work ethic. Right? Like the puritan culture that the United States was founded on. Right? That like you could only really succeed if you worked hard, like there was some sense of self sacrifice in all of that and we’ve all been acculturated to that. Now I do not like that word at all and it’s taken me a while to change my life around. I mean I think you do have to take massive action, but the difference is taking inspired action.
Kim Sutton: Yes.
Melinda Wittstock: Not just acting for acting sake, like really being in touch with what are the highest value, most leveragable things that you can do in any given day that’s going to advance your business or your life whatever the most. I like what you say, like do just three, but like what are those things that are really going to have the maximum leverage for you if you do those. They’re the ones that count the most and really be in touch with what that inspiration is. So I’ve found in my life and thank you for asking me this question. You turned the table. This is what happens when two podcasters interview each other. Right?
Kim Sutton: Oh, absolutely. I’ve called people out on my show. I’m like, “Wait. Are you flipping the table on me now?”
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, right.
Kim Sutton: “Am I being interviewed on my show?”
Melinda Wittstock: I know. I know. This is so funny. I mean I do this … I was on a podcast yesterday and it was the same thing. I ended up asking … I was the guest, but I was like asking questions. It’s so funny. But anyway, I digress. I have learned though in my life that the less I work with like sort of air quotes around work, the more I get done.
Kim Sutton: Yeah. I see that too. I noticed around my house. I love my husband dearly, so listeners don’t think that I’m bashing my husband at all, but I do the same thing to him. I have a honey do list and it’s like 18,000 items long and nothing, nothing gets done.
Melinda Wittstock: Right.
Kim Sutton: Or I’ll send him to the grocery store with a four-item list and he comes home with 18,000 things. Okay. So it just doesn’t work. But I was waiting I think it was three summers ago for him to mow the lawn, but he also works a full time job … more than full time job and when he gets home he’s just exhausted and he has a back injury. So that’s like the last thing he wants to do, because it’s just going to put him in pain for his days off. And finally I realized and I do have a reason for sharing this, that I could just hire a lawn service. Pay $30.00 a week, get the lawn mowed and he doesn’t … he’ll come home from work and have a mowed lawn and he doesn’t have to think about it.
Kim Sutton: So then I started looking at my own business, like what should I not be doing or even grocery shopping. I could just go online, order my groceries and have him pick them up or I’m actually in the process of hiring a personal local assistant right now, have that person just go pick them up. And I don’t even need to set foot in the store and I don’t need my husband to spend $200.00 more than he’s supposed to. But there’s so many places in our life that if we just delegated, first off we wouldn’t have to do those activities that we don’t like. Well some of them, there’s always going to be some that we just have to do I think, but we also free ourselves up for those times of self care.
Melinda Wittstock: I think this is so important. I mean we talk about this exact topic on the podcast. It comes up again and again, because when we talk about what stands in the way of women in particular creating scalable businesses, it’s always this. It’s always trying to do everything ourselves and so too much of like a lot of work but spread too thin, too diffuse, not necessarily focusing on again the highest leverage things. Like … So by that like figuring out I guess what’s the thing that you love to do, what makes your heart sing, what are you doing in your business where you have really a sense of joy, and like really doubling down on the stuff that’s fun, on that you love to do. Because there’s someone else somewhere in the world, probably near you whose heart sings at the stuff that you hate doing and will do it for less money than what it would cost you to do it. I mean I think … Do you think that we do this as women? I mean do you do this? I’ve caught myself doing this before, where I think that I’m free, but I’m not. Like I have … a very high hourly rate if I’m growing my business. So to not put my time say in the equation of what it actually costs to do something-
Kim Sutton: Yeah.
Melinda Wittstock: Is a really wrong way to look at a business, but I see so many women doing that.
Kim Sutton: Well I just had a big aha last week on that note. I was … Before I started my business, in my previous career I was an interior architect and I was making what worked out to be about $20.00 an hour. But I knew I was billed out at $120.00, but I never thought about all the overhead. I mean the owner of the company and this was in Manhattan, he was going out, he was the one that was schmoozing with … and I mean that in the best way, with prospective clients. He was out there at the networking events, he was doing this and that, plus we had the overhead at the office and the benefits and everything. So there was a lot of costs over just my pay and we need consider that when we’re building our team too and step up our confidence. Because if we’re getting paid and I’m just going to use a round number here, a $100.00 an hour for the services that we’re providing, we can’t afford to pay our $90.00 an hour. Because the $10.00 an hour that’s left over isn’t enough to account for all the time that we’re not actually billing out, but are out there growing the business.
Kim Sutton: And our team members have the work flowing to them, so we should have some type of money flowing to us and I did that to myself. I came back to work after having my twins. I went out and I was only $50.00 an hour at that point, I’m not $50.00 an hour any more. I’ve had a major dose of confidence hit me in the last couple of years, but I put out a lot of proposals at $50.00 and got a ton of work because I was undervaluing myself greatly. And then I needed to hire people who could do the work and they charged me $40.00, $45.00 an hour.
Melinda Wittstock: No margin. I mean-
Kim Sutton: No margin. I put myself way into the red by building my company like that.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. We … The pricing thing is so interesting, how when we undervalue ourselves just internally, that becomes an external thing too. It shows up in our … either in our pricing, our pricing is too low or we over deliver. Like we promise too much for the price.
Kim Sutton: Yeah.
Melinda Wittstock: How do you recommend … Like given what you went through on that, how do you recommend that women get the pricing of their goods or services right? How do you know what’s the right price?
Kim Sutton: I would say that when you get the immediate yes, no questions, then you can take it up a bit and just keep on doing that. And maybe that’s not the right answer, but that’s what I did. There are other people in my industry who are charging 250 to 350 and I was charging 50 an hour. I mean there’s no question why I was getting so much work when they could go for that or go for mine.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah.
Kim Sutton: Yeah. But it’s not necessarily about the price, it’s about the value that you’re offering. So you need to look at the big picture. If you do this for your client, what is the end result going to be for them?
Melinda Wittstock: Right. So that’s like value based pricing and sometimes I think that we think if we’re lacking in confidence some way in ourselves or what we’re offering right, we think or we can get tempted into thinking at least subconsciously, that the person who’s buying or the company that’s buying our services is somehow doing us a favor. They’re not, you’re doing them a favor. You’re creating value for them. So like how much value … I got in the habit of really asking questions in the sale that established what that value was. Like that went along … somewhere on the lines like this, “Like so if we were able to do this for you, what would it mean for you?” And keep adding … asking on and on and on till like we sometimes could get to real numbers, “So … Oh, I see. So it would boost your profits by 50%. Really? Okay. So what would that mean to you? What would that mean to your business? What would you be able to do as a result of us doing this for you?” And when you can start to actually with that kind of Socratic questions or open ended questions, really establish what the value is of what you’re providing and that can provide like a really good idea of what your pricing should be.
Kim Sutton: Do you that struggle ever goes away though?
Melinda Wittstock: I don’t know. I have it … Honestly, it comes and goes for me and it reasserts itself. It’s kind of like the universe is saying, “Are you sure you’re healed on this one?”
Kim Sutton: Right.
Melinda Wittstock: “Let me test you one more time. Let me just …” Right? And it comes up whenever I do something new-
Kim Sutton: Yeah.
Melinda Wittstock: That I haven’t done before. And I’ve just gotten … I mean I’m getting better at it now where I’m just like trying not to get attached say to the price of something. For instance, I did not so long ago a big virtual summit. I brought together 55 amazing female entrepreneurs. All of them seven, eight and nine figure businesses and they were all paying it forward in this like immensely generous way [inaudible 00:28:46], an incredible thing. So it was like over a week and it was like, “Let’s see. Well if people bought that, how much would it be?” And you get all kinds of advice from people and you thought, “Well what was the value if someone actually went through this? It’s like getting an MBA. What should the pricing be?” And so what we did is we … In this case, it was like an online product. So we just simply tested the pricing, it’s like AB tested. And it was interesting because there was … there were people who where … We had like an early bird kind of rates and then … right? We tested it around and it kind of landed right at the right place. But you don’t know what the value is until you test it in the marketplace, so just trying not to attach it to your own sense of self worth is helpful.
Melinda Wittstock: But yeah, it comes up for me. But the … Actually but the secret way that it comes up for me, is actually in terms of what I’m doing in my business. I’m just getting very … I’m staying very disciplined about doing the things that only I can do and getting other people to do the rest, ’cause if I’m not doing that, I’m actually stealing from my business. I’m like … That sounds like an extreme way to say it, but what I mean is if your hourly rate in creating new IP, intellectual property for your business or creating a whole new channel sales or like … I don’t know. Right? What’s that? A thousand dollars an hour, five thousand dollars an hour, 10 thousand dollars an hour. I mean think of it in terms of the value of growing your business, how much valuation you’re going to put on your business and how you’re going to scale as opposed to me doing the laundry or me shopping or like those domestic things. Or me fixing a broken link on my website-
Kim Sutton: Right.
Melinda Wittstock: Or me doing entries into QuickBooks. I mean that’s crazy. I should not be doing that because my hourly rate is a thousand to five thousand or 10 thousand or whatever in growing my business. So that’s like a really … a different way of thinking about it and when you get that into your head, it’s kind of … I think it’s easier maybe. I don’t know.
Kim Sutton: I’m so glad you brought that up. I was actually at the store with my 15 just a couple of weeks ago and I said, “I just need to put time in my calendar every week to get the list in and just order it online.” And he said, “But mom, that will cost $5.00 every time you do it.” And I … My kids … We don’t hide finances around our house. We figure they have to learn because if we hide it from them, then they’re not going to learn. And I said, “Jacob, you know what my hourly rate is. So how long did this grocery trip just cost or just take?” And he said, “About an hour.” And I said, “So my hourly rate is?” And he filled in the blank and I said, “So would it have been better for us to pay the $5.00 so I could be home doing another hour or is it better for us to spend our time here?” He says, “Oh. I get you.”
Melinda Wittstock: That’s lovely. I love how you teach your kids. I think for female entrepreneurs who have kids where it’s a constant juggling act, rather than a work life balance, it’s like work life integration. Tell me a little bit more about how you involve them, ’cause you’ve got like a few, right?
Kim Sutton: I’ve got a few more than a few. Yeah, so-
Melinda Wittstock: A few more than a few. So like seriously … Like first of all, what are the … How many kids do you have? Like what are their age ranges? And you got the pets and got all this sort of stuff going on. How do you do that and how do you incorporate them into your entrepreneurial journey?
Kim Sutton: Yeah. So on that note, I want to thank and apologize to the listeners. Actually not apologize, but thank you for your patients if you’ve heard dogs and cats and all that in the background. I thought I had them all contained, but … So I … My husband and I had a his … we have a his, hers and ours. We have a total of seven. The ones that are here on a regular basis with us are our three, who are three year old twins and a four year old. And then my two boys who are 12 and 15 and they split their time with their dad. But I do a lot of talking to the older boys especially because they sometimes assume that because I’m at home here at my desk that it’s not a real job. And that they can just goof off and they can have fights right in the middle of office when I’m on a client call or when I’m on a podcast. And I just have to teach them, “No. This is my job and you would not be able to get away with this if I dropped you in your dad’s office and you did this right in the middle of the cubicles. It just wouldn’t happen.”
Kim Sutton: So there needs to that respect there, but they’ve gotten a big learning about … or education about the value of time and money and even with their chores. I’ve used it as a lesson of my clients hire me to do this and when that expectation is met, they’re happy and they don’t know that I don’t … They think I get paid after I do the work, that’s not quite the truth. But I tell them, “You do your chores and then you get rewards and this is how it’s going to be for the rest of your life. You have things that you need to do so that you can do what you want to do, and we all have to remember that.” It still hasn’t sunk into their heads still, so there are still those days. But even with the boys, one of them … one had to learn how to cook. I think he actually got tired of eating my burnt food.
Kim Sutton: So my husband who actually is amazing in the kitchen taught him how to cook and they both know how to do laundry and other stuff. And I’m not saying … teaching them how to take on the traditional woman role, but I am teaching them how to do what they need to do so that if … when … I should say when. I don’t want to have to take my kid to court to get them out of the house, that they know how to do what they need to do, but they also know how to look at the value of everything that they purchase. Do we need it now? It’s a shiny object syndrome, because that’s something I’ve also gone through, especially at this age. The kids are … or their friends are getting this and that and this and that. Like really? Is this something that they’re even going to be paying attention to in the next month? Or is … Like is this going to be a waste of $50.00? So just take a couple of days and see if they’re still talking about it and then maybe we’ll discuss an arrangement.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. I think that’s so interesting. It’s like I found that with my kids too. I have two, but really teaching them the value, giving them sort of an education in financial freedom on one hand right, like that kind of entrepreneurial … like how money works. They don’t get that in school, like no school teaches that, which I think is crazy, but also it’s the mindset. So they see me in sort of all the ups and downs and they see me handle change, they see handle like when the … everything. Like in any given day, right? You can have so many like awesome moments and disappointments, things beyond your control, all those kind of ups and downs. So they see … and I guess I’m hoping they’re kind of learning resilience by osmosis, but I try and include them in that as much, like be as transparent as possible without like worrying them. But just getting them used to idea that … I mean our world is … God, there’s so much change going on right now when you think of the massive speed up in technological change and like so many things. Plus, so many big problems to go solve that I think these younger generations … right? Like they need to be entrepreneurial to go solve them. And gosh, like if they don’t, man I mean who will ’cause we kind of blew it.
Kim Sutton: Right.
Melinda Wittstock: Right?
Kim Sutton: Right. Well they’ve also learned it’s not going to help anything if we just stay in bed and don’t work on our problems. I mean they’ve seen me be really depressed, but I still got myself out of bed and did something. Maybe it was just got a cup of coffee and read a book, but that … Speaking of books, that’s also been huge around here. I wish I could get them to read more, but the other … a couple of weeks ago, I was having an issue with again, the 15 year old. I feel like I’m picking on him right now, but his attitude was sort of bad. Actually not sort of bad, it was just bad. So he got grounded actually, he was neglecting his homework and I told him, “I want you to read this book.” And I gave him ‘Think Better, Look Better’ by Joel Osteen. And I said, “I want you to read it and then we’ll talk about you getting your privileges back.”
Kim Sutton: So he read it and he got quite a bit out of it, but his attitude was still bad. So I actually handed him ‘Awaken the Giant Within’ by Tony Robbins.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh. Wonderful.
Kim Sutton: But I told him, “Before you read this …” I said, “We’re going to watch ‘I Am Not Your Guru’.” And we just sat there. I don’t remember the last time I’ve watched anything with him because we don’t watch a lot of TV around here. But we watched it and he was just so captivated by it, but that’s also lacking in schools. Where’s the personal development? Where’s the mindset, because I don’t … I’ve never had anything and I know they’re not having it. I mean they don’t even get taught cursive past third grade anymore.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. This is a problem. I mean I think there’s so many things that can be done. I had Natalie Ledwell of Mind Movies on the podcast recently. She’s doing some amazing, amazing things, like this massive moonshot to really change the curriculum for kids from age five to 18, by teaching them things like law of attraction and like mindset and visualization, and a lot of these things so that they don’t have … They’re not dragged down by so many of the limiting beliefs and stuff that we’ve all accumulated that we have to let go of and heal from and all of this kind of thing. So I think there’s so much space for real entrepreneurial endeavor, working with kids in whatever way. And I love to see that and I love what you’re doing Kim, with incorporating them and how you’re doing that. It’s really inspiring and a great lesson for everyone listening ’cause I mean there’s so many women who go into entrepreneurship because they’re seeking flexibility in their lives because they have kids. Right? And … And … And so how not to get into that overwhelm of, “Oh, my God. I’ve got to do it all.” But how to kind of create your own life in the sense that it is purpose built to help you and your family, that everybody’s kind of bought in and everybody’s sharing the visions, kind of part of the … kind of family team if you will in that entrepreneurial endeavor.
Kim Sutton: Absolutely.
Melinda Wittstock: And it’s really, really nice to see. So you know what? I realized we’re sort of skirting productivity. We sort of started talking about it, but like … So let’s get into some really kind of specific, kind of advice tips for productivity. Like what are your go to things for like making yourself more productive-
Kim Sutton: Product … I know that it can be a tricky word.
Melinda Wittstock: Thank you.
Kim Sutton: Yeah. Have you ever looked at the word ‘the’ and wondered if you were spelling it right? Like even though it’s my brand, Positive Productivity, there are days that I’ll be saying productivity and I’m like, “Did I just say that right?” So the first thing I have to definitely recommend is time blocking and I’m going to give just a quick example with my podcast. I had podcast episodes like this … the recording with guests all throughout my week when I started. I would have three on Monday, just … You get the point. But I realized I don’t have any time to get work done and now I block out Tuesday and Wednesday. Those are my recording days. If I get anything else done in those two days, awesome, but now I have the rest of my week free for … I mean being here with you today is an example and then the rest of my day is free for client work and client meetings. And if you don’t do that, then you’re constantly going to be multitasking and you’re going to be cutting down your efficiency right away.
Kim Sutton: The next thing is knowing what your immediate tasks are and I don’t mean goals, I don’t mean projects. But you have to break down your goals and projects into the tasks and know what your top three are for this given moment and tackle them one at a time. Please stop putting the whole name of the project on your task list because you’re not going to get that done today, but you are going to get a task done.
Melinda Wittstock: Yes.
Kim Sutton: And beyond that, I have a great tool called [focuser 00:42:24] that actually takes my task list and schedules it into my calendar. So now I have not only time blocks, but I have it right in there, when am I going to do what task. So I gamify it, I have to say I’m chasing [focuser 00:42:40] some days, just trying to keep up with what it says I should be doing at any given moment.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. That’s right. I think that’s really important actually. I’ve learned too that if it’s not in my calendar, it doesn’t happen. So getting very, very clear about that. The other thing I’ve done is I’ve changed task lists to intentions.
Kim Sutton: Oh.
Melinda Wittstock: So instead of writing all my to dos, I prioritize at the beginning of the week in terms of like a … at the beginning of everyday like, “What would make today awesome?” Like what … Like if it happened today … Like what do I really want to have happen today? What would be the most important things and like that. And then I sort of intend them as if they’ve already happened and I feel gratitude for it already happening. So I’ve like totally … This is a recent thing for me. It’s game changing. When I do that, it’s like … it’s not a task list anymore. It’s like I’m liberated from this list. Oh, my God. And I mean I still fall into, “Like oh, my God. I got to do this. I got to do that.” I got to do that in order to be able to make these intentions come through, but that’s a game changer for me and that’s actually made me more productive.
Melinda Wittstock: But yeah, the other thing too is all the invisible stuff in your schedule. Right? Like for a long time I used to put all this stuff on the schedule, like work things, but I neglected to put in things like driving the kids or like preparing dinner or I don’t know. All the stuff that you’ve got to do in your day, it wasn’t in the calendar. So no wonder I wasn’t getting everything done because I didn’t have as many work hours available as I thought I had.
Kim Sutton: This is sort of embarrassing to admit, but I even have time blocked out in my calendar to get showered.
Melinda Wittstock: Right. Exactly.
Kim Sutton: Because or else I’ll find myself at 5:15, 5:30, I will not deny that I stretch it to the last minute when I go to get the kids from daycare. But I find myself just dirty because I didn’t take that time out for myself.
Melinda Wittstock: Right.
Kim Sutton: So I love that. Thank you.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. Gosh, it’s so true. This is all such amazing advice. I feel like I could talk to you for hours and of course everybody … I mean you got to check out Kim’s podcast, if you haven’t. Tell me a little about your podcast and I know I came on it. It was awesome to talk to you. I think we did that last year-
Kim Sutton: We did.
Melinda Wittstock: And it was super cool. And so how can people find your podcast?
Kim Sutton: The easiest way is to go to my site, thekimsutton.com and you’ll see right there in the header, the podcast tab. And it’s Positive Productivity, you can find it on all the major platforms but I alternate between solo episodes where I just share what’s going on around here, little tidbits of advice that I’ve pulled in from say the example of my kid at the grocery store. And then the other episodes are with guests where we talk about the struggles that they’ve overcome and how they are making something great today.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. Absolutely. Oh, my goodness. That’s wonderful. And people can … You also do a lot of consulting work in a lot of stuff. You do marketing [inaudible 00:45:49] … You do a whole bunch of things and so give us all a rundown of all the different ways that people can work with you and then how they can find you and work with you there.
Kim Sutton: I am doing a ton of marketing automation and specifically I’m doing strategy work right now, because if you don’t have your funnels set up, you need to fix that right away. So just … If you don’t even know what a funnel is, please come over to my site and ask and … Right? And also I’m … I do launch management for six, seven and eight figure business coaches and I absolutely love it. I just make sure that the launch goes off without a hitch or without a major one I should say. We have to embrace the imperfections and that’s what I’ve learned a lot with working with the people who are further along in their business. The tech glitches will happen, the websites will go down when get tons more traffic than you were planning on, but it’s how you handle it-
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, that’s a-
Kim Sutton: That’s going to determine where you go.
Melinda Wittstock: That’s a happy problem. Right?
Kim Sutton: Yeah. Absolutely.
Melinda Wittstock: Awesome. And so do you have any special offer or gift for our listeners today?
Kim Sutton: I do. I would love to offer the listeners a free seven day version of the Positive Productivity planner, where I do focus on both personal and professional growth. And you can pick that up at thekimsutton.com/7dp.
Melinda Wittstock: Wonderful. Well Kim, I enjoyed our conversation so much. Thank you for putting on your wings and taking flight.
Kim Sutton: Thank you so much for having me.