Ep 102: How to Take Action On What You Learn (so you don't stay stuck!)

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I love learning and growing! It is a big part of the conversations I have here on the show. One of the biggest things I think we all struggle with is taking action on what we learn and actually following through on it. There is power in taking action on the things we are reading, learning, and hearing. If you find yourself learning things but struggling to take action on what you are learning, I got you friend! This episode is for you and I am going to help you figure out how to take action!  

 
 

In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • The power behind taking action to the things you are learning.

  • Why online courses aren’t just a trend, but more effective than reading a book.

  • Steps you can take to follow through on making a change.

  • The importance of accountability when taking action.

Mentioned in this Episode:


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Unburdened is one of my online course programs that focuses on simplicity and minimalism minimalism for your life, your calendar, your schedule, and your daily structure.

Unburdened is everything for the overwhelmed mom who knows that she needs a life overhaul but is too overwhelmed to start and doesn’t know how to do that.

Unburdened is open for enrollment! Don’t miss out on this amazing course! Normally it is $160 but it is cut down to $99 and it's going away for a good long while. And I want to see you in there before the doors close. So take action and sign up now!


who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's amazing courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.

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Hey, sweet friend! Okay, we're going to jump right in to today's episode because I have a goal for you today. I want you to walk away from this episode really, really amped up about taking action on something.

I've been thinking about this episode a lot and I've had a lot of different thoughts and a lot of different post-it notes around my house about this episode. When I come up with a new episode idea or I feel something on my heart to share, I let it sit there for a while. I don't just jump on the mic and start talking cause then my episodes would be terrible. I give it some space. I let it shift around in my brain, in my heart a little bit. I pray about it. I think about it. I leave it alone a little bit and things just kind of pop up in me about it. And I know when it's time to hit record on this issue.

I've had a lot of really great post-it notes about this episode. Maybe not everybody's going to feel that way about it because I don't think any episode accomplishes that, that every single person is like, “This is amazing!” But I know that there is a good solid chunk of you out there that are struggling with taking action and feeling really defeated and feeling stuck.

And you know, when I say “you are an action-taking, problem-solving woman” which is one of my catch phrases that I love to say because it's the truth and you can be that at any point that you decide, I think sometimes when I say that some of you are like, “I want to be, but I'm not,” and you can change that.

We're going to talk about that today because this is something that I have gone through in my own personal life that I used to not be an action-taker. I used to really stay stuck. I used to struggle with that. It’s something that I've worked through in my own process and I'll talk about that more in a few minutes.

I think the things we can teach best and the things that we can make the most impact with are the things that we've learned in our personal lives. And this is one of those things for me.

First, I want to say that I'm all about learning and growing and that's where this episode is coming from. We talk about that a lot here on the show in different ways. That's why we have Allie Reads October, where every October (now it's on the podcast because that's the main form of content) we focus on different authors and books that have shaped me this year. That is coming from a place of how did I learn and grow? What affected and impacted me as a person this year? That's learning and growing.

If you go back and scroll through the past episodes, pretty much all of them have a theme of how can we learn and grow in this area? And I think that's the key to living a purposeful life. Not only just showing up where you are and showing up well, but creating a life that you can show up well in where you're not constantly distracted by your phone, clutter, an overstuffed schedule, and all these other things that get in the way of your purpose. But also like Maya Angelou said, “know better, do better.” That you're living like that. That you learn something new and you go and take action on it.

You're growing. You're not just taking in information. You're not just getting inspired by a quote, a podcast episode, a book, or a lesson that you learned somewhere and then just letting that sit there. That you're taking action on it. That you do something with it.

I think this is one of the biggest things that we all struggle with because I get tons of messages about this issue. Taking action on what you learn. And another step further - following through on that.

So, we're going to dive into being an action-taker and being someone who follows through on your goals and the things that you learn.

I think it’s something that I have personally gotten really good at and I'm excited to share that process with you all.

We're going to get really specific into what exactly do I do and how can you actually take action? How do you actually implement something that you've learned? What does that look like? What's the step? What's the process? Not just like, “Hey, you need to take what you learn and run with it.” I don't want to give you an empty, motivational speaker talk, but actually how do you do that? What does the process look like for me? What have I found that works and how can you do that?

Before we do all of that, I think it's important to talk about a couple of other things first. And one of those things is that I want to say any format of learning can work for most people. There's always different circumstances. There's always exceptions. If you have a learning disability and you know one way of learning doesn't work for you, even then we shouldn't use those things as an excuse to not learn. To not grow. To not partake in self-improvement, in bettering yourself. In “knowing better, doing better.”

But in most circumstances, any format of learning will work for most people. Whether that's listening to a speaker, listening to a podcast, reading a book, reading a magazine article or watching a video on YouTube of how to do something. Usually any formative learning can work for most people. I think that books can be life changing if we let them, but a lot of you might notice that you're constantly buying and reading books and then not taking action on what you learned from them.

This is a multifaceted issue, but I think that if you were to decide to take action, you could.

This is what I love about online learning and this new trend of online courses. This is why I've gone down this path in my business and I want to just dive into this for a second because I think that online learning is powerful.

I think that it is the new way. I think that it's the new way for a reason. The Internet has been around for a really long time and online courses are just now really coming about. And I think that that has nothing to do with, “oh well, everything's online now.” Everything's been online for a really long time.

Why are online courses kind of the new trend now? I think that the reason is because of the power and the science behind that type of learning and how effective it is. I think that online courses are something that a lot of people think are new and weird, unnecessary, overpriced. This kind of thought process just kills me because you're missing the power of online learning in general. I just want to shine a light on it for a second because this is why I do what I do.

This is why I haven't…until just now I'm starting to work on my book proposal and getting a book deal and all that. But this is why I've gone this route because this is powerful and life changing. The Internet is incredible. It's such a gift if you'll use it that way. There's so much power and science behind online courses and their effectiveness.

I think firstly it's because you get to do this on your own terms when you have a course. And how amazing is that for us Moms? We're constantly getting interrupted. You can press pause. You’re taking in information in a way that works. You can press pause, then jump right back into it anytime that you need, which is different than books. Sometimes you forget what you read. Have you ever read a page of something and then not even realize what happened on that page?

But with courses it's really interactive and it's really amazing. If you're buying from a reputable person in the industry of interest and you're not buying a course from a random weirdo (because now that it's more popular there are definitely people who are very unqualified creating and selling online courses, but that's the same for books and magazines and anything else) but the courses are basically like going to college online for the topic that you need help with.

Studies show that we retain things better in 10 to 25-minute chunks. And that's how the lessons in my courses are (at least as often as possible) in that amount, so that you’re retaining this and you can actually go and do something with what you just learned and you can run with it.

If you are one of the people that has felt like you’re reading books and then you kind of do nothing about it, maybe you need a different format. Maybe you just need to ‘suck it up buttercup’ and be an action taker and outline a plan to follow through on something, which we'll cover in a second.

Maybe a different format would work for you. Maybe you need to take it a step further. Studies are showing that more action is taken when you enroll in an online course than when you read a book, and that's, like what I was mentioning, the whole reason that I have this business model.

I've had multiple book deal offers for years. I think a lot of people think that, oh, I don't have that. I'm not big enough for that yet, so I'm just making courses. No. I've had multiple books deal offers, but once I discovered courses, I didn't want to go that route until I had set up the messages that I felt needed to get out into the world in course form. Because I'm in charge of that content. I'm in charge of saying, “This is what this girl needs to learn next in order for her to have a lighter motherhood, a more simplified home that is set up for memories and not constant maintenance.”

And now in my career I'm ready to reach the masses with my messaging and books do that better than courses in terms of reaching people because people read books more than anything else and it's probably going to be that way for a really long time. But I'm still hoping that that leads to people getting into the courses and making real change happen.

I think a book is more like a guide that you can read to understand why you need to change something or know something. But a course, being more interactive, is more like having a coach in your ear guiding you through the actual change process and showing you the way. You're having the teacher be right there with you audibly. You're hearing their voice and they are explaining the core things they know, on whatever topic, to you directly.

And that sensory experience of listening to a voice, seeing on a video what needs to be shown to you, a visual example, that's invaluable. That's huge. I know that courses run higher on the price scale, like most courses are $800 -1,000+. Mine are in the $100 range because I purposely price them as low as humanly possible for your guys' sake. But the investment is bigger. It's bigger than a book and there's more at stake. And what happens is people show the heck up when they invest in a course. They've got skin in the game. And I think there's something really big to be said for that.

So maybe you need to revisit the format of learning. Maybe you need to show up better. Maybe you need to put your money where your mouth is. Maybe you need to put some skin in the game and find a way to show up better to actually have something at stake. More than a $10 book or whatever is. To show up and own what you need to work on.

Show up, buy the thing that's going to give you the keys to make those changes and then have enough at stake to where you’ve got to take action. You made room in your budget for this investment. You've got to show up and take action. It's not a book you order on Amazon Prime for $8.97. It's something that you really had to talk to your husband about. You had to create space in your budget. You had to invest in and show up in that way and that increases your actionability so much more.

The only people who invest in courses (that I see) and then don't really take action are the ones that when we do the survey they make over $250,000 a year. Their money is not an issue for them, so it wasn't really enough of a stake for them.

But typically, you're showing up in a different way. You're showing up with your money, which makes the world go round, which feeds your family, which is everything. You can take action on anything if you really wanted to, but I do think there's something to be said for setting ourselves up for success from the very beginning, in terms of changing up the format, changing up the investment we're making, changing up what we've been doing in terms of what we're actually buying and where our time and money and investment is going.

If you’ve bought a billion books, get a course, do something different, go on different path. Your action is different from the get-go. You're doing something new and that is going to increase your likelihood of success.

That was just a note that I wanted to say. I think that it's really important to shine a light on the purpose that goes into what I'm doing for you guys. It's not just a random choice that there's online courses and that the book is just now happening. It's been very deliberate. Very thought and prayed through. Very intentional. I will always believe in the power of an online course over a book.


Hey, sweet friend! In case you haven't already heard I’ve been talking about Unburdened a lot in my world lately because the doors are open and it's going away and I want you to hear about it before it does.

Unburdened is one of my online course programs. It's the second one that I created. Basically, the first one is minimalism, simplicity and intentional living for your home and your physical space. This one, Unburdened, is that for your life, your calendar, your schedule, your day’s structure.

How do you structure your days and make sure you get the important things done, but not be tied down to a rigid schedule because not everyone wants that. And that freaks some of us out. Me included.

Unburdened is everything for the overwhelmed mom who knows that she needs a life overhaul but is too overwhelmed to start and doesn't know how to do that. Unburdened lightens your load by taking you through a four-step framework that I have refined over the last three years.

Step 1: Set boundaries for your phone and tech, for yourself and for others, to make space in your life for what really matters.

Step 2: Take ownership of your time. Clear the calendar clutter. Create your ideal day. Set up daily and weekly rhythms, so the important stuff gets done on autopilot and you're not having to constantly make sure you're thinking of it and remembering everything.

Step 3: Implement a plan for doable self-care because you cannot give your family water if your well is dry.

And finally, Step 4: Get purposeful in your day-to-day life. Because how we spend our days is how we spend our lives.

If you're into this and you're like, “Oh my gosh! I need that,” guys, the door’s open!

Unburdened is normally $160 but it's cut down to $99 and it's going away for a good long while.

The doors are open. They close really soon.

Go to alliecasazza.com/unburdenedlife. Alliecasazza.com/unburdenedlife. Get all the details to get all the info and enroll. I want to see you in there before the doors close.


Let's discuss how to follow through on making a change, no matter what format. Let's talk about how to follow through in making that change.

First, I think we need to just say a little bit of a disclaimer here. You need to know when to change your mind about something versus when you're giving up or losing motivation.

There's an episode that I did (I don't remember what number it is, but I'll link to it in the show notes for you guys) that is literally called “It's Okay To Change Your Mind” and it's one of the most popular episodes of The Purpose Show, because I think people need that freedom from performing for the sake of others. Maybe not every personality type will relate to this, but I know that I do, and a lot of you guys do because that episode is so popular.

I think we say we're going to do something…say we're gonna pursue something or make a change or do something in our lives…and then it doesn't fit. Maybe you realize, “This is not something that I want to do. This is not something that's good for me. This is not something that I have space for right now and I want to change my mind.” But you feel bad. You feel guilty. You feel like a failure. You feel embarrassed to tell people, “Actually, we're not homeschooling anymore.” It feels like this sheepish, bow-out from success. Like “yeah, I failed at that.” Why? You can change your mind.

Maybe you thought you were going to go somewhere and you just didn't. It just wasn't where you were supposed to land. And you figured that out by walking forward, praying and just looking for what the next best thing was for you and you realized on the way there that that wasn't it and you turned around and made a different choice. Who cares?

I think there's a difference between not following through, giving up and losing motivation where you need to push through and reach your goals versus this wasn't right for you after all and you need to just change your mind. And that's okay.

Having said that, I think the next thing to do is to look at the thing you’re trying to do. The thing you're trying to change. The thing you're trying to get better at. Whether it's creating more structured days and figuring out your life as a whole. Whether it's making a shift in something you're doing, like the way you school your kids, the way you discipline, the way you're going to grow your family, whatever it is. If you're going to move or not. If you're going to lose weight and get healthy. Whatever it is. Why do you want to make the change you're setting out to make?

If it's coming from a place of performing for someone else in any way, not only will it probably not stick, but it's not how you want to be living your life and it's not worth your time and effort at all. Growth and change should be coming from your own inner desire to know better, do better. To show up for yourself and your family. To leave a better legacy behind. To follow a pull that God has put on your heart. Not to finally prove something to your parents. Not to finally get approval from someone else. Not to impress a friend that you feel ‘less than’ around. Not to make someone else happier with you.

So why do you want to make the change that you're setting out to make? Write it down. Get a tangible feel of why you want to do this and why you want to change this thing in your life.

The next step is visualize what your life will look like with this new change in place. This is huge. Don't skip this. It requires sitting down and getting quiet, which is hard sometimes, but you need to make this happen. This is why I have you guys do this so often and I even have had livestreams dedicated to walking you through the process of pausing and visualizing you having something that you want to get to because visualization is huge.

God created us as living energetic, flowing beings with minds that are super powerful because we're made in His image. Your brain is incredible and it can work for you or against you, and whether you realize it or not, that's your choice. There is so much power in picturing your future self benefiting from making an important change that you've been thinking about.

Visualizing it makes you grasp onto it temporarily. You want it enough to put in the effort despite how busy your life already is because you imagined what it would feel like to have that change happen. And you've lived out a day or two mentally visualizing you being finished with this change and it makes you want it so much more.

Or you might realize it made you detach from it a little bit and you don't think that that's right for you

Either way you're getting on the right track from visualizing and using your brain power for you, not against you. And if you visualize the change, you can feel reasons for it rather than just think about them.

Let's use getting healthy as an example. Let's say that you're not feeling well. You're having hormonal issues. Maybe you're overweight. You're just not feeling good. You know that a health change needs to happen. And remember, it shouldn't be about your body and how you look, (go back and listen to Episode 2, I believe it is. I'll link to that in show notes as well about losing weight by loving your body) but you know that healthwise something needs to shift, and you visualize how it would feel to walk into a room confident, knowing you are your curvy, beautiful, healthy self. Your hormones are balanced, which means that your skin is cleared up, your moods are even, you're feeling better. Your cycle is normal. Your sex drive is healthy and higher and you feel better in your relationship. You are treating people differently because you feel differently.

How would it feel to live a day in the life of yourself having already accomplished this change that you want to make? What does it feel like? What does it look like to actually live a day after you're done? That's what you visualize and it'll help you feel those reasons for change rather than just think about them and think, “I just want that because I want to be in a smaller size jean and I want to feel better.” So much more powerful to visualize.

Next, how are you going to make this change happen? And you're going to use the power of reverse engineering. You're going to reverse engineer. How are you going to make this happen? Reverse engineering starts with the end goal being met and then you work backwards. So you say, “This is the goal that I want to meet. This is the thing I want to make happen.” What are the steps that would need to happen for that to be met, for you to get to that place. You will reverse engineer it.

Reverse engineering is so much better than starting from ground one and being like, “Okay, this is where I'm at right now. How do I get over there? But rather backwards - I'm already here. I accomplished this goal. How did I get there? What are the steps that needed to happen for me to get to this place?” This gets your brain in gear and helps you more effectively figure it out. So, figuring out how are you going to make this change happen and reverse engineering that process. I can't get too much more detailed into this because I don't know what your goal is or what your thing is, but that's what I do.

The next step for me after visualizing and getting really tangible and excited about where I want to go and what I want to change is to think about how am I going to make this happen? What are the steps that need to be taken, the things that need to happen for me to get to that finish line? I start with the finish line and I work backwards, reverse engineering my steps in my process so I know exactly what needs to happen.

Then I can take those things and put them on deadlines and goals. And I can think like, “Okay, I want to have Step 2 done by April 19th or whatever it is.

Next, when are you going to make this happen? Now that you’ve reverse engineered and you know the steps it’s going to take for you to get somewhere new, when are you going to make that happen? And I think it's important to say - Calendar This! Put it on your calendar! This matters! We decide we're going to have coffee with a friend and we put that on our calendar, but we decide we want to change who we are and make a big goal happen and we don't put it on our calendar? That doesn't make any sense.

Break it down. Put it on your calendar. Put deadlines on your calendar. Put reminders in your calendar. We allow our phones to beep and go off for so many stupid things that are really distracting us from our actual life, but then we don't make this technology work for us by setting it up to beep when we need it to beep. You need this to beep to remind you to change your life and do something purposeful. Use it for your advantage. When are you going to make this happen? Put it on your calendar.

The next thing about this is accountability. Guys, accountability is king! You are changing the way you're living. You're going down a different path. You've been living a certain way, being a certain way, looking, feeling, acting, living - whatever it is - a certain way for however long. It could be a few months and you want to break this habit.

It could be you've never done anything different. You've always lived this way. And now you want to change it? If you're listening to this, you're likely a mother. You have a lot going on. You need accountability for that.

I think there's something really powerful in having a very close relationship, like a friendship-based relationship with your husband. Brian and I have talked about that a lot and that's how we operate. But I do think there's something to be said for it not being your spouse being the only person that you tell. As much as I do that with Brian and Brian knows basically every thought that I have and everything that I'm working on, but I think it's important to tell somebody else.

Tell a friend and ask her to check in with you. Let her know how serious you are about making this change and make sure she knows the importance of checking in on you. Get serious about it. Maybe you guys have a thing where every Friday morning you jump on a Facetime call, or you text each other and you have an alert in your calendar about that too and she has one in her phone.

Get serious about accountability. There is something so powerful about accountability. It doesn't matter if this is one of the things that's a big deal for you to show up for something. If you'll do things without accountability, that's great. But it's still helpful. When somebody else knows you're more likely to do the thing.

Those are the core pillars of me being an action-taking, problem-solving woman. I ask myself, “Why do I want to make this change that I'm setting out to make? Where is this coming from? Is it coming from my desire to be the best version of myself? To know better and do better? To leave a stronger legacy? Or is this coming from a place of performing for somebody else? To impress somebody else? To get approval that I've always needed? Because that can't come from there. It's not going to stick and it’s not how I want to live my life.”

Next, visualizing what a day in my life will look like after I'm done implementing this change.

Next, how am I going to make this change happen? Reverse engineering the steps that it'll take.

Next, when am I going to make this happen? How often am I going to work on going to the next step? Putting it on my calendar like it matters.

Next, accountability. Setting up accountability. Talking to my husband. Talking to a friend. Asking her to check in. Setting a time. Every Thursday evening we're going to text each other and check in. Putting that on my calendar and acting like it matters.

These are the steps, the pillars, the core things that get me to take action. Try it. Write it down. See how you do with these steps and actually doing them.

And guys, I just want to say, you know, every single thing that I do for you is on purpose. If I make a mistake, I come out about it and I apologize and I say, “You know what? I said this, but actually I thought about it a lot and I don't think it was right. I'm going to redact that and here's what I actually think. Or here's what I meant if I miscommunicated something.”

Every single thing that I do for you guys, I'm doing for a purpose. I've thought about it. I have let it sit for a while. I know that it's the best possible thing I could do for you guys - not for me, for you guys - because my business is built on this idea of serving and showing up for people in a helpful way. I believe that money follows that. That is why I've got courses. That's why I have online trainings. That's why I have an online academy full of digital downloads, video courses, audible courses, different types of digital training because it is a place where I have a say. There is not an editor telling me, “No, this isn't really what we want. We want you to change this.” It is what I know in the depths of my heart will change your life for the better. It's the best of the best.

Free will only get you so far. At some point you have to decide that you're worth investing in and you've got to show up for yourself. That's what my online academy is for. That's why I create courses because it is the best, the very best way that I can serve you and encourage you to make a change and that you can show up for yourself and get the most out of it. The most likely for you to succeed is in these online courses.

I just you to know this is not just like a business where it's like, “Oh, I made this. I want to project this money. I want to make sure that we make this money for this.” No. Everything is built on serving you the best way possible. That is why I have emailed back for three and a half years, “No thank you. I am not doing a book right now. Thank you for your book deal offer.” That is why.

And you need to understand that there's a lot of teachers out there that will claim that they care about you, and you know a lot of them do, but I want you to know, I want you to hear it straight from my lips on this podcast that that is why I'm here doing what I do.

I truly believe ‘show up and serve.’ Give the best that you can. Encouraging you guys to put some skin in the game and invest in yourselves because that's where true change can happen. When you've got something at stake. When you've put your money where your mouth is.

And then I show up for you and make sure that I give you what I know can change your life. And then by showing up and serving in that way, the money that I need for my business, to run things, to pay people will follow that. And I've had that model for years and it's worked and I'm not veering from that - ever.

So, I just want you guys to know there's a reason behind everything. When you show up for yourself and you invest and you say, “Yes! I want Allie to coach me in this course. I want her in my head. I want her walking me through these changes that I need to make in my motherhood to help me show up better.” Then it happens.

I want to encourage you, if you want to make a change, if you want to be a person that follows through, if you want to be an action-taking, problem-solving woman, you can be.

You just have to decide and show up and do the work.


This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.

Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.  

I am always rooting for you, friend!

See ya next time!

Hey mama! Just a quick note, this post may contain affiliate links.

BONUS: How to Stop Multitasking & Practice Mindfulness Day-to-Day

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Multitasking may feel like you are getting a lot done, but when you really think about it, are you? Because, truthfully, we can’t show up in multiple places at once. We can’t show up for a workout, plan our calendar, and think about dinner at the same time. Maybe we can, but are we doing it well? Probably not. Multitasking can create this inner noise and feeling of things getting done in a rushed or hurried way. We need to show up well and be fully present in life instead of just letting it pass us by. This is something I am totally learning right now and I am excited to share the journey with you!

 
 

In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • Why multitasking creates inner noise and causes feelings of being rushed.

  • The value of showing up to one thing, not multiple things.

  • How to set up a rhythm for all the things that need to be done so you can avoid multitasking.

  • Action steps you can take to practice mindfulness during your day.

Mentioned in this Episode:


Unburdened_Pinterest(1).png

Unburdened is one of my online course programs that focuses on simplicity and minimalism minimalism for your life, your calendar, your schedule, and your daily structure.

Unburdened is everything for the overwhelmed mom who knows that she needs a life overhaul but is too overwhelmed to start and doesn’t know how to do that.

Unburdened is open for enrollment! Don’t miss out on this amazing course! Normally it is $160 but it is cut down to $99 and it's going away for a good long while. And I want to see you in there before the doors close. So take action and sign up now!


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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.


Hi, beautiful friend! Oh my gosh, I feel like I just need to take a moment right now and take a deep breath. Feel free to join me if that's how you're feeling right now. I am about to record this episode with you and I just had to start over, which I never have to do. I really never have to stop and do another take when I start recording an episode. I pretty much just hit record and talk realness with you. There's not a lot of editing that goes into my words, just putting in the intro, the music and stuff.

But I had to stop and restart this episode two or three times because I was in this mentally rushed state. I quickly helped Brian get the kids, the boys, ready for baseball, get the other two kids ready to go with him so that I could have the house to myself for an hour to record this episode and get a little bit of writing done.

I just was rushing around getting everyone's shoes together, helping everyone get out of the house. I grabbed a snack. I grabbed a coffee. I’m trying to hurry up and finish the coffee cause I'm tired today and I need it, so I'm quickly drinking the coffee. I'm responding to a text message from someone on my team and troubleshooting a problem all while sitting in my desk chair, barely breathing and about to quickly hit record on this episode. And it's like, “No! What is this episode about?”

It goes to show that this is something that always needs to be worked on. This isn't about me coming on here, sitting in front of my microphone and preaching at you how I've learned to be amazing at things and you can too. Barf!

It's about us sharing what we're learning, sharing inspiration, encouraging each other, rooting for each other, which is something that sadly women don't do a whole lot. Coming together and trying to know better and do better one day at a time. And soak life up instead of passing it by.

I just had to take a second, restart this episode a couple of times, take a deep breath and invite God to come and sit with me so that I can practice what I'm about to talk about.

It's something that I have been learning more and more every day and really, really feeling like this episode is just where I am at lately. And so, just being truthful with that before we dive in.

Having said all of that and giving you that honest disclaimer, I've got an iced coffee here with me. Can you hear it? We're just going to sit together, take a beat, and we're going to have coffee and talk about multitasking and the importance of mindfulness in your day-to-day life and what I have been learning lately about this. Not what I have been doing perfectly, not what I've gotten down and I just have to tell you how to do it, but what I have been thinking about lately. What I've been noticing. What I’ve been working on in myself.

I've got a phone background that reminds me to take one thing at a time and be mindful. It's something that I think about in the morning when I wake up and at night when I look ahead at my day and look at my calendar and see what's going on in the next day, thinking how can I take each thing one at a time and really show up there where I'm going to be and not be doing a bunch of other things mentally at the same time.

So, let's talk about this.

This episode was really born out of, like I said, just what I've been learning, what I've been thinking about lately in my own personal real life. I love those episodes because I feel like even though it's one-sided, obviously you're not here with me, it feels like you are. It feels like we're just having a conversation and it's my turn to share. Do ever have a friend like that where you go out to coffee and she has her time to share what's been going on with her? You talk about that together for a little bit and you pour into her and then it's kind of like, well what's going on with you? What have you been learning? And then it's your turn to share. It kind of feels like that. Like it's my turn to share with you what I have been thinking about and that's what this is to me. That's where I'm at with this stuff.

This conversation actually started in one of my therapy sessions. I've shared a little before that I go to a therapist once every-other-week and it's just like self-care. It's just so good. Sometimes we have a lot to talk about and other times I don't really know why I'm going except that it's good for me. I believe in the power of taking care of yourself. I believe in therapy - if you have a good therapist - I believe in that. I've seen so much good come out of it. I'm so against those stereotypes of if somebody goes to therapy they’re really in the thick of a hard time, or they're really going through something or they're struggling with something, or they must be super depressed or on meds or something. I think that every single one of us could benefit from having a really, really good therapist. I've got a really good therapist and she's just a gem.

We were having a conversation and talking about this, and so this episode came out of a conversation with her and what I have seen in my own life lately. We were talking back and forth. We're both working moms and seeing in her life how she’s seen multitasking rob her of productivity and sweet moments and me sharing in my own life.

So, we had this conversation and I just really started to become aware of when do I find myself multitasking? Is it something that seems involuntary? Do I naturally tend to multitask because it's something that I choose to try to do in order to get more done?

How is this showing up?

After I had that conversation with Ann (Ann is my therapist) I started to be really aware and I noticed that it was both. I would find myself looking at my giant to-do list and thinking, “Okay, I can get this done while I go to this place. I can get that done while Brian drives our family to this thing. Then I can get this done while I'm going to the bathroom. I could think about this and make a decision about that while I take a shower.” I would ‘plan’ to multitask and I would also involuntarily fall into multitasking. Sitting in a moment, sitting in at one task and being present and showing up in just that task was really hard for me.

I started to get unsettled about that. I don’t like that. I want to live a little bit of a slower life. I like having a full life. I enjoy having a lot going on. I always have, it's just my preference in life. When I was having babies. I liked a very, very simple slow life for sure. But when I'm not in a specific season like that…this thing is a little bit harder…like for me having babies and really tiny toddlers, it's harder for me than having older kids. I know a lot of people feel the opposite, but for me, that was just my truth.

Normally when I'm in a season that’s not super difficult or anything for me, I like being busy. I like having a full schedule. I like having a lot going on. I really thrive in that. That doesn't mean that I have to multitask. It doesn't mean that I have to cram things in where they don't belong.

One example that I noticed this in was in my workouts. A few months ago, I hit a wall. I was making healthy choices, exercising and eating well but was just having hormonal issues. And a part of that was hitting a wall with weight loss. I had a goal to lose weight and just feel better. I just wasn't feeling good and I wasn't seeing the effects of my workout.

So, I decided, “You know, if this is my peak, if I'm going to have to kill myself physically in my workouts to lose more weight, I don't want to do that. I want to feel good. I want to do workouts that I enjoy, that work up a sweat, are good and difficult for me, and challenging for me, but don't make me hate getting up in the morning to exercise.” So, what I'm going to do is I'm going to level up and hire a personal trainer. Somebody who knows her stuff. And I'm going to really show up there and tell her what I'm struggling with, show up and work out and take care of my body. And if I lose the rest of the weight that I want to lose, great. If I don't, okay, well we'll figure that out. Cross that bridge when we come to it.

So, I took this step in my life and I started to go to this trainer and I found that after the the ‘honeymoon phase’ of exercising with her and having this trainer wore off, I started to just get irritated that I had made this choice. I started to feel like, oh great, now I have to get up early, go and do this and I don't want to. I have so many other things to do this morning.

You guys know that I'm usually a pretty early riser and so I would think, “I want to get up at five in the morning and I want to get my work done. I want to get this stuff out of the way. I have so many better things to do than work out. I'm over it. I'm not even there anymore. I don't even care anymore. This is so dumb.” But because of my personality type, how I show up and perform with accountability, I didn't want to feel like a quitter. I knew that I couldn't just back out because Carrie, my trainer, would ask me about it and check in with me. I knew that I needed to do this and I couldn't just back out and stop it. I could, but it's not how I wanted to live. You know?

You know what I'm talking about? You know when you feel like, “oh dang it, why did I have to get my ish together? Now you have to go to the stupid thing that's good for me and I don't even care anymore. I'm over it.” You know? Like that ‘honeymoon phase’ of “I'm going to get this together. I'm going to really level up. I'm going to really improve this part of my life.” And then you're just like, “Nevermind. I'm over it. I hate this.” That's kind of where I was at.

But I started to show up like that. I would drag myself out of bed and get ready for my workout. I would be multitasking on the drive to my workout. I would be voice texting and sending voice emails while I drove. Starting my work day. I would get to the workout and mentally be somewhere else. I would be planning my day, thinking about what I was going to do when I got home. I wasn't really showing up in my workouts and I was having little to no results.

And I started to think, “This is dumb. It’s money to have a personal trainer. It's time. It's a lot of effort. It sucks.” You guys, working out is probably one of my least favorite things to do ever. I'm not a person who enjoys exercise. But I am a person who thrives on accountability. So, it works for me, but not if I don't show up.

And so, after I was having this mindfulness conversation, this multitasking conversation with Ann, at therapy, I was like, “Okay, I wonder what would happen if I just showed up at my workout? Let's test this. Let's see.”

I did a little research and I encourage you to do the same, but science is pretty clear. Multitasking doesn't work. We are disheveled and scattered and we don't really do anything very well when we're doing things multiple things at the same time. There's even been studies that show that multitasking mentally makes you not have results in things that you're trying to do.

I wanted to see if this was true with my workouts. I decided for a couple of weeks I'm not going to work in any way, even mentally on the drives to my early morning workouts. I'm going to listen to worship music and just be in the moment, pray over my day, or sit in stillness and listen to the music. Get woke up and be thinking about my workout.

And when I get there I'm going to turn my phone off, put it in my bag. I would go to get a water break in between my workouts and tap on my phone screen to see if any of my emails had been responded to. Guys, I was just not there. I don't like working out. I was totally unpresent. I would check the time, like how many more minutes do I have to be here? I was just mentally not there. I was physically there because I had to be and that was it.

And so, I stopped that. I turned my phone off. I put it away. When it's time to stop the workout, the workout will be over and that's it. It was just me, my trainer, my water bottle, and me fully being there. I would focus on every movement, every squat, every bicep curl, every punch on the kickboxing bag, everything.

I would show up for it and I would notice I was way more sore. I was doing better. I was doing more. It felt like the things I was showing up and doing were actually having an effect on me. I noticed that I mentally felt so good when I would leave my workouts and it started to reawaken my excitement about why I did this whole thing in the first place. Why I got a trainer and decided to show up in this area of my life in the first place. It reinvigorated that fire in me and I would leave my workouts super amped up for the day. I would be so excited. I would have more energy. I felt mentally clear. That's the only word I can think of to describe it. I felt clear headed and focused.


Hey sweet friend, in case you haven't already heard, I've been talking about Unburdened a lot in my world lately because the doors are open and it's going away and I want you to hear about it before it does.

Unburdened is one of my online course programs. It's the second one that I created. The first one is minimalism and simplicity and intentional living for your home and your physical space. This one, Unburdened, is that for your life, your calendar, your schedule, your day structure. How do you structure your days and make sure you get the important things done, but not be tied down to a rigid schedule? Because not everyone wants that and that freaks some of us out, me included. Unburdened is everything for the overwhelmed mom who knows that she needs a life overhaul but is too overwhelmed to start and doesn’t know how to do that.

Unburdened lightens your load by taking you through a four-step framework that I have refined over the last three years.

Step 1: set boundaries for your phone and tech, for yourself and for others, to make space in your life for what really matters.

Step 2: take ownership of your time. Clear the calendar clutter. Create your ideal day. Set up daily and weekly rhythms so the important stuff gets done on autopilot and you're not having to constantly make sure you're thinking of it and remembering everything.

Step 3: implement a plan for doable self-care because you cannot give your family water if your well is dry.

And finally, step 4: get purposeful in your day-to-day life. Because how we spend our days is how we spend our lives.

If you're into this and you're like, “Oh my gosh, I need that,” guy's, the door's open!

Unburdened is normally $160. It's cut down to $99 and it's going away for a good long while.

So, the doors are open! They close really soon!  Go to alliecasazza.com/unburdenedlife.

Get all the details to get all the info and enroll.

I want to see you in there before the doors close.


I stopped needing to catch a little bit of a nap midday. I have said a lot of the time I'll wake up early and I'll just catch a little catnap in the middle of the day. I stopped needing that. I stopped needing that afternoon cup of coffee. Sometimes I would have it because it's a joy to me but I didn't need it. I didn't feel like, Ugg! I need coffee! Will you go get me one babe or can you put the coffee pot on for me? I really need coffee so I can finish doing this with the kids or whatever it was. I felt awake in my life.

Then I tried it with work. I’m always tempted to check my email while I'm in a meeting because it still looks like I'm looking at the screen when I'm in a meeting in a zoom room. I would check my email, multitask, respond to text messages, catch up on my phone, catch up on my email, catch up on Instagram comments. You know, I would do two things at once. I decided I'm not going to do that. When I'm writing, I am writing. My phone is off. I am focused.

When I'm in a meeting, I'm looking at that person. I'm looking in their eyes like we're in real time, like I do when I'm really with somebody, because I don't do that it in real life. I love showing up and using my body language and my facial expressions to make people feel valued, so I started to do that in my work. And of course, I felt like I knew exactly what was going on. I never got caught off guard in a conversation like I wasn't paying attention. My work started to be more productive. I would spend less time doing things and get more done because I wasn't allowing distractions and I wasn't distracting myself.

I have my life set up pretty well for not being too distracting. My phone doesn't really make noise or light up for really anything except phone calls or texts from Brian. My text message alerts are off. All of my apps are off. I only have Instagram on my phone. All the alerts for that are off. I have to open the app to see what's going on.

I realized that I was allowing myself to get distracted. I would pick up my phone and open it and look at stuff. I would open Instagram and decide to respond to comments in the middle of a writing session instead of focusing in and plowing through. “No, I'm writing until 11:30 and it's only 11:01. Why am I picking up my phone, letting myself take a break and get distracted?”  It's not good for the way that our brains work.

I stopped doing those things and my work improved. I was spending less time doing work, getting more done and the work was really good quality work. The writing was better. I was writing more powerful subject lines for the emails that I send to you guys. They were getting opened more because they were more enticing and exciting and I was focusing on that.

My Instagram started to blow up. I was just showing up better when I was writing the message I want to give you guys in my captions. They were captivating. They were getting more engagement. Everywhere that I showed up was increased just because I stopped multitasking and started focusing in on being mindful and present in each task.

Then I started doing it, (which I should have started here, but I didn't cause you know, I'm a human being, whatever) I started doing this in my motherhood. Putting my phone away out of sight, and sitting down on the floor.

Do you know how hard this is? Have you guys tried this? Sitting on the floor with your kids? I mean, real talk, you immediately start to think, “There's a billion things I could be getting done right now. I'd rather be doing a lot of things but this,” and that's just real talk. I'm sorry. I think a lot of us would agree.

Maybe some of you are like, “I would never feel that. Oh my gosh, I'm so shocked by this!” Unsubscribe. That's fine. You do you, it's okay. It was fun while it lasted. Maybe not, I don't know.

But I think most of us would get that and be like, “Yeah, that is how I feel. And I feel a little guilty about that.” Just throw that away, girl. Most of us feel that way. I feel that way. It's fine.

The last thing on this frigging earth I want to do with a giant task list, with a house to run, with a business to run, with social media that’s constantly blowing up, is sit on the floor and talk about Ninjas. That's the last thing I want to do. But I started to just try. And you know what? The world can wait. This moment is fleeting. These babies are growing up so fast, so dang fast. I'm just going to sit for a minute. And you know what happens when you sit on the floor? Your kids flock to you.

I sat on the floor and I took a deep breath and I made myself just be there and it was great. I was on the floor for a couple minutes and the kids came up, Emmett sat on my lap, snuggled me and started talking to me. The kids flocked over to where I was and started taking turns talking to me. It made me see how rarely I pause, sit and be mindful with them and that's not what I want.

I don't want it to be a rarity. It taught me a lesson and so now I try (key word…try). I am trying to make this a nightly thing, at least once at night when we're getting ready for bed or after we get ready for bed, to just sit on the ground. Maybe I have a cup of tea or a glass of wine or whatever, but at the end of the day just sit and be. Sit on the floor, be available, let Emmett sit in my lap and just take a deep breath and listen to my kids talk to me about their day.

This has basically replaced story time which was getting pushed out anyway. Let's just face it. I always say we have story time at bedtime but it would often be like, “no story time tonight. Go to bed.” I'm just being real with you guys.

I make myself do it. I don't want to do it. I rarely want to do that, but I'm making myself do it. And once I am sitting and I'm hearing about their day, even if I'm exhausted, it feels so good to be present and not be multitasking.

I'm learning that multitasking, it feels like you're getting a lot done. It feels like, “oh, I'm a woman. I can multitask.” Like you're getting a ton done and you’re making the most out of every moment, but actually you're making the worst out of every moment.

Multitasking totally creates this inner noise and this feeling of constantly being rushed and hurried. Because the truth is we can't show up at 2-5 places at once. We can't show up for a workout and mentally be at our desk two hours from now thinking about what we're going to be working on, or what we're going to make for dinner. You don’t get things done well.

You're doing these things, but they're not getting done well. Yeah, they're getting done. I'm not saying that multitasking is impossible. I'm just saying it's not effective and it's not the way that any of us truly want to live.

I'm learning to practice mindfulness in day-to-day tasks. It's so hard to do that, especially when you're a mom, but it is possible to slow down. It is possible to do it.

I'm going to give you guys a few action steps that I put in my phone for myself that I'm really working on doing and I'm inviting you to join me.

The first action step is bookend your day with stillness. And if you can't bookend your day, do what I'm doing and do it once a day, whether it's in the morning in the beginning of your day, or at the end of your day. Put some stillness in your day and be intentional about that.

Decide. Put an alert on your phone that goes off like, hey, it's time for some stillness and just sit on the ground. Be with your family.

I like to be with my family in the stillness because it connects me to them and reminds me that these people are here and they love me and I love them and I want to have memories with them. I want them to remember me sitting with them and talking to them. I care about what's going on in my kids’ day.

If I don't intentionally pause and ask about it, I'm never going to know and I'm going to miss out on a lot.

Bookend your day with stillness if possible. If not, pick one of the bookends, the beginning or the end of your day, and just create some stillness intentionally.

Next, find yourself multitasking? Stop. Just stop. I do it all the time.

You guys remember when I did my 30-days-no-yelling challenge with myself? This was years ago when we still lived in the Midwest and those of you who have been around a while might remember that. It was like that.  I had to put a rubberband around my wrist and snap myself whenever I started to yell. It wasn't a matter of like, oh, I stopped yelling and it's hard to remember to not yell. I would yell and I would have to stop myself. For a long time, out of those 30 days, it was almost impossible to not yell. I would start yelling and then stop, and then that turned into no longer yelling, and this is the same way.

I find myself multitasking almost constantly. It's a mental multitasking. That's what's killing me. You have to decide, “stop multitasking,” when you catch yourself doing it.

If you're doing something, don't let yourself, “okay, I'm going to respond to this text and down this cup of tea. I'm going to quickly respond to that email while the water's warming up so that I can do the dishes, and then I'm gonna do the dishes and I'm going to run and do this.” Just stop.

Are you going to do the dishes right now? Then do the dishes right now.

Side note: Let's say you're doing the dishes and you usually have some prayer time while you're doing the dishes. That's great. I'm not saying that. That's productive. You're good.

I'm saying that rushed, hurried feeling that you have to be doing everything at once. That you feel like you've got to respond to that email. Answer that phone call. Wash the dishes. Have the laundry going. Get the kids ready for baseball. All at the same time.

No. Pause. Stop multitasking. Be Present.

What needs to be done right now? Do you need a break? Do you need to drink a cup of coffee and take a breath? Do that. The dishes can wait a second.

Do you need to get the kids ready for baseball and get them fed? Okay. Help them find their baseball gear. Make some quick sandwiches. Just show up in that, in getting ready to get out the door. The dishes can wait there too.

Do you see what I'm saying?

The multitasking that makes you feel rushed, pushed, hurried and creates that inner noise, that inner loudness, that stress you feel in your gut. Stop that multitasking.

The next step that I'm working on is leaving room in my schedule for showing up fully in the thing that I'm at. So, not scheduling something immediately after something else. Giving myself some more white space. I used to be really good at this a couple of years ago and things just got so full of good things with the business growth, career success, the kids getting older and having different activities and sports and things they were into, and it just got so much, you know? I am trying to be good at this again.

Leave room in your schedule that allows you to show up fully in the thing that you're going to.

If you're going to have lunch with a friend, try to create a day that allows you to show up for your friend at lunch that you're not checking your phone, freaking out, and realizing that you have to go to a meeting after and you don't have notes ready for that meeting. Now you'll have to be thinking about what you're going to say at the meeting while your friend’s trying to talk to you about her marriage.

How can you show up fully for the thing that you are at?

Like I did with my workouts. How can I show up fully for where I'm going to be so that I'm really there? I'm showing up. I'm getting the most out of it. I'm being intentional with that thing.

This way we're not wasting time and money, right? We're not wasting anything. We're showing up fully where we say we're going to be at.

The other thing is just turn off your phone. Your phone begs you to multitask. I am seeing that so much.

I would encourage you, step one, get your phone settings set up the way I always talk about. This is the way that I have my phone set up. There's a free download that walks you through setting your phone up better.

That's step one, but sometimes you have to take it a step further and just turn the dang thing off and put it away. Put it in a drawer. Just get it out. It doesn't need to be a part of every moment of your day. This is something that I dive really deep into in my course Unburdened, which side note, is open right now for enrollment and it's going away for months.

But this is why we kind of start there when we get to the part about your schedule and you're structuring your days because the phone steals so much of your time.

And for some of us, the phone is our job. Like for me, the phone is my job. So, my screen time…on the iphone you can see your screen time…it's way higher than most of you, I bet. Because it's part of my job and that's okay. I'm good with that.

But I know when I'm getting something done and I'm enjoying the freedom of working when I'm on the go and not having to be tied to a desk versus when I'm allowing something to steal mindfulness from me, steal moments for me, when I'm allowing it to take over. And you know that too. You can feel it.

That's why this is something that we touch on major and dive deep into an Unburdened because it matters.

You've got to get your phone in its place. That's a huge part of mindfulness.

And the other thing, the other action step for you guys, and for me, is when things need to be done, like they have to be done for things to run smoothly, set them into a rhythm so you don't have to worry about it, and you don't have to constantly think about it. It's not pulling brain calories from you because you only get so many per day.

You don't even feel the need to multitask because the things that must get done - like the laundry so your family has clean underwear to wear, the dishes so your family has clean dishes to eat off of, the meal prep so your family has food to eat - those things that must get done for a successful smooth day are set into rhythms. They’re automated to different parts of your day that work for you, so you don't have to think about it.

It is just a part of your day. You quickly get it done and the rest of your day is open to your appointments, stuff on your calendar, the people in your life, whatever is going on in your specific day. Does that make sense?

Speaking of Unburdened, this is the core, the chunk of what this course does. Most people know me for teaching simplicity and minimalism in your home, Unburdened does that for your life, for your schedule, your calendar. To create a non-multitasking life. To create a mindful, focused life. Focused on the people. Focused on what matters to you so that you're not running around like crazy. You're not trying to find a pair of clean underwear while you're 30 minutes late to preschool drop-off. Because you've got the things that must get done set into simplified rhythms in your mornings and your evenings and your day is freed up for work or for whatever it is you fill your day with.

So, join me in just being better at not multitasking.

Let's work together to practice mindfulness in our day-to-day lives. And to show up fully wherever it is that you are.


This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.

Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.  

I am always rooting for you, friend!

See ya next time!

Hey mama! Just a quick note, this post may contain affiliate links.

Ep 101: Stop Over-Complicating Decision Making

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We all do it. We all over-complicate decision making because sometimes it is easier to not make a decision than to take action on a decision. But unmade decisions carry unnecessary weight and unwanted stress that shouldn’t have to carry. Some decisions cannot be made right away and need time, but whenever they can be made right away, just do it. Just get it done. Do what you have to do to come to a decision as quickly as possible - then you won’t have to carry that load any more! On the flip side, if you have a big decision to make, I hope you find this episode helpful as I share how I process making decisions (and avoid over-complicating them!)

 
 

In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • The weight unmade decisions carry.

  • Understanding the difference between decisions you can make now and decisions you have to process through before you can take action.

  • Various ways she processes through decisions.

  • The power of taking action even while you wait to make a decision (and what that actually looks like!)

Mentioned in this Episode:


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The Hassle to Harmony video series is open for enrollment right now! This is a FREEBIE I have been working on just for you! If you feel like your days are full of hassle, like the things that need to get done are not getting done, and that is causing you a lot of stress and chaos, I want to help you find harmony. This 5 day video series will help you structure your life, calendar, and daily rhythms and routines.

We are going to talk about boundaries for your phone and other people so that you are focused on what matters and not letting obligations, phone sounds, and beeps, buzes, and alerts constantly pull your attention from where it needs to be day to day. We are going to talk about rhythms and routines. We are going to talk about owning your time and shifting your mindset. We are going to talk about living with intent.

This is a LIVE thing so if you are listening to this episode when it first came out, hear me … this is happening right now! It is a totally free, 5 day video series. So it takes place over 5 days, 1 video each day. The videos are short and pointed! This series is designed by me to help you focus, prioritize, and clear the surface of your life. Don’t miss out of this FREE video series! Enrollment is open now!


who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's amazing courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.

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Hey friend! I want to quickly tell you about a free 5 day video series that I have been working super hard on creating just for you for the past couple of months. It is finally ready and free enrollment is open! This video series is called Hassle to Harmony and that is exactly what it is going to take you from and to. Basically, each day there is one short video that is going to redirect your perspective and get you refocused.

So, Day 1 is called “Quiet the Noise” and we talk all about your phone settings and setting yourself up to not be constantly distracted from what is right in front of you. Day 2 and Day 3 are about rhythms; Day 2 is for daily rhythms and routines, Day 3 is for weekly rhythms and routines. Day 4 is all about owning your time and shifting your mindset out of victim mode when it comes to time and how much time we have. Day 5 is all about how to live with intent, because you don’t get to where you want to go by accident, only on purpose. I really want you in here! It is going to be so good!

This is not something that is going to be open for forever, this is a live freebie sort of thing. Enrollment is open now and it is free! The videos will go live on April 8th and only be available for a few days. So after Day 5 is over, they will be gone and off the internet. This is something you will want to partake in while we are going through it together. To get this free video series go to Hassle to Harmony. I can’t wait for you to see this!


Hey beauties! Welcome back to The Purpose Show, or welcome if this is your first time listening! I'm so excited because today we've got another stop-over-complicating pep talk episode. I love these!

We've been doing them for a little while. There are several if you wanted to go back and find them. Basically, what this is…I guess it’s like a personal philosophy that I have in my own life. I try to simplify everything that I can. It stems from minimalism, my story, and my own personal motherhood of how my life was before and then how I came to figure out that my problem and why I was struggling with depression, overwhelm, I was yelling at my kids and snapping at my husband, nagging, and just not the person that I wanted to be in any of my close relationships because everything was overstuffed and over complicated.

As I purged that physical clutter, it taught me something philosophical about the internal stuff too. I found that we overcomplicate things so much of the time from healthy eating, housework, marriage, relationships, and things like making decisions.

So, the stop-over-complicating series is just kind of an ongoing thing that I do when inspiration strikes.

I was going through my Instagram messages, as I do sometimes, and looking for the types of things that make episodes that you guys need, and this came up a lot. Then I had a conversation with a friend over lunch that lined up with this and I was just like, “It's happening. This is showing up in my path over and over again. We're going to do a stop-over-complicating episode about making decisions.”

First, what you need to know is that unmade decisions weigh you down. When you know that something needs to be decided, you've got to decide something that you're going to do, big/small/whatever, unmade decisions wear you down. It's like a mental clutter. It affects us. It makes us feel stressed.

Some decisions, I realize, cannot be made right away and need time, but whenever they can be made right away, just do it. Just get it done. Do what you have to do to come to a decision as quickly as possible.

For example, today I was going about my day. I've got my schedule. I've got my to-do list. I'm just getting stuff done. And something small came up. My COO got in touch with me and she was like, “Hey, I just need you to look over the two emails that I sent you. Could you do that?” And I said, “Sure.” I started to add it to my to-do list and I stopped myself and thought, “This is adding length to my to-do list. I'm sitting at my computer right now and I'm not in the middle of anything. I could just check them right now.” So, I checked them right away and got it done. Then the decision was made. Everything was out of the way and my to-do list didn't get any longer. It only took me a couple minutes.

Try to avoid adding things to your to-do list and just get it done whenever possible. Don't interrupt important work, but whenever possible, just get it out of the way. Because when things linger and they're not finished, unmade decisions are lingering, it weighs us down and it causes stress. It literally causes your cortisol to rise.

We need to get decisions off of our plate whenever we can. So, call whoever is involved and talk through it real quick, go for a walk and pray about it, ask God to show up and He totally will, for those smaller decisions like are we going to do this trip? Are we going to send that email? Are we going to have dinner with your parents? Whatever it is, just get it off your plate whenever you can.

But sometimes decisions are bigger and you need more time, or some other circumstances outside of the dry decision need to fall into place for you to know what to do.

I want to share with you guys my mental process on making decisions. The reason is I get asked a lot how we seem to make so many really big decisions so often, and so confidently.

First of all, I want to say that that is just the outsider's view on the inside. On the inside obviously I'm not live streaming on Instagram me and Brian fretting over a decision or arguing because we think we should do something different than the other person thinks. You're not seeing all of that. But I will say that our life is really full and really intense.

There's a lot of things that are a byproduct of our business and the fact that we're seen that bring up a lot of big decisions. We've made a lot of big decisions. We've made them very publicly and we've even gone back on them very publicly. Both of those are decisions…like making the initial decision and then making the decision to not move forward anymore with the original decision, to change our minds. We do make those decisions very confidently because of the process in making decisions that we have in place.

I'm going to just share my personal decision making process.

First of all, I'm an external processor, so I need to talk things out. I will grab my husband and we will go for a walk around the block and just talk through something. I will literally just go up to him and say, “Hey, I really need to talk something out.”

Ashley, she's on my team. She runs the podcast and my schedule. She and her husband were hanging out with me and Brian in Nashville and I saw her doing the same thing. And I know she has the same personality type as I do, or the same number on the Enneagram, and I know that she's also an external processor, which is one of the reasons that we work so great together because we can talk things out and come to decisions very quickly and effectively.

I saw her do the same thing to her husband, Billy. She said, “Hey babe, will you pause real quick? I need to talk something out with you.” She said a few sentences and came to her own decision without Billy really even doing anything. And that's exactly how it works for me.

Brian is an internal processor. We talked about this in our marriage episode. I don't remember which episode it was, but I'll find it and link to it for you guys in the show notes. We talked about our difference in personalities and how it can cause conflict, but how we work through it and make it work for us instead of against us.

One of the things that is a part of that is the fact that he processes internally, so it'll seem like he's not listening because he's just quiet and still because he's thinking, and I have to talk it out.

When I need to make a decision, I've got to talk it out. So, if I need to call Hayley (that's the COO that I mentioned earlier) and talk something out with her for a business decision, or if I need to go for a walk with Brian, if I need to just pace downstairs while Brian sits and does nothing and just talk it out, but there's gotta be another person there and I've got to be talking it out to that person.

Even if they just sit and do nothing and they don't contribute to the conversation, I've got to talk it out. It's weird. I wish I could change it because it's unfortunate when I am running a business. I wish I could just sit and think about something and come to a decision, but I can't. I have to process it out loud. There has got to be another living body there.

So that is one of the things that I do. There's no shame in that if you're resonating with that and you're like, “Oh, I think I'm an external processor.” To learn to talk it out, get your people in your corner and talk it out. Offer to take your mom to lunch and just talk it out with her or get the kids in the car and go for a little drive and just talk things out with your husband.

Figure out a way for you to be able to do that because as you talk it out you work through the problems. 95% of the time you come to your own conclusion without the other person even doing anything, or doing much of anything. You just needed to start your brain flow. The way that external processors start their brain flow and get it flowing is by talking it out.


Hey girl! Ok, I am interrupting what I was talking about because I want to tell you about this one more time. I feel like when you are listening to a podcast, they are talking about stuff and most people have ads and sponsorships from other companies and stuff like that. But this is important and I don’t want you to tune it out!

The Hassle to Harmony video series is open for enrollment right now! This is a LIVE thing so if you are listening to this episode when it first came out, hear me … this is happening right now! It is a totally free, 5 day video series. So it takes place over 5 days, 1 video each day. The videos are short and pointed! This series is designed by me to help you focus, prioritize, and clear the surface of your life.

I help a lot of women in my course, Your Uncluttered Home, clear the surfaces in their homes, declutter, and implement minimalism but this is for your life, calendar, and structure of your days. I am going to help you set up a few rhythms that are going to help you function really well. It is called Hassle to Harmony for that very reason: because if your days are feeling really hassled, the things that need to get done are not getting done, there is a lot of stress and chaos.

We can help harmonize that, and sync it up to where it needs to be.

We are going to talk about boundaries for your phone and other people so that you are focused on what matters and not letting obligations, phone sounds, and beeps, buzes, and alerts constantly pull your attention from where it needs to be day to day. We are going to talk about rhythms and routines. We are going to talk about owning your time and shifting your mindset. We are going to talk about living with intent. This is legit stuff! We are dealing with big issues here! I really want you in there.

Again, this is something that is happening LIVE. So you can’t listen to this episode in the future and go back and get this. It is happening live right now! The opening for free enrollment is right now - again, totally free! You can go to Hassle to Harmony and sign up for free! You will get 1 video for each. After Day 5, these videos are going to be removed. So you want to not only sign up live, take part in the videos, open those emails, watch the videos when they come to you so that you can take in this content while it is here. Once again, that link to sign up for FREE is Hassle to Harmony.


Another idea, especially for those who might be more internal processors, is to journal through it or do a pros/cons lists. Something with pen to paper. There's power in that. Just start journaling. Just start writing. Open up your journal and just write, “I'm in the middle of making a decision about whether or not to take this job” or “I'm in the middle of making a decision about how to handle this disciplinary issue with this child.” Whatever it is, just start writing.

It doesn’t have to make sense. It doesn’t need to be pretty or perfect. Just start writing a sentence. When your pen starts to flow, your brain starts to flow and you will have no more issues journaling through this problem. And pros/cons lists…old school, but it’s amazing. They work. Try it.

I also want to talk about another part of my mental process of making decisions is just sleeping on it.

Studies show that our subconscious actually works things out for us while we sleep, and that's an amazing, amazing gift that our bodies and our brains give us. So, give your decisions some time to air out. Give it some space and watch what happens while you sleep.

So many times I will go to bed not really knowing what to do about something, just kind of sifting it around in my brain a little bit. I'll talk it out with Brian and go through the evening like that, and not really come to anything exactly. But I'll go to sleep and I'll wake up and I'll know what to do.

This also happens when I need an idea for something, like a business idea or a way to communicate something to the kids for homeschooling, and I just can't really figure it out. I'll go to sleep and just ask myself, “What could I do to teach them this important topic in an effective way? What's going to work for my kids?” And I go to sleep with that, and wake up in the morning and have the answer. Try it. Sleep on it. See what happens.

Another piece of the process for me is imagining the details of each choice, each option. Take a second and imagine that I chose option A and walk down that path of my life with that choice. Visualize the details.

Let's say that you're trying to decide if you're going to homeschool or send your kids to school. That's a big decision. So, imagine the details. Imagine yourself homeschooling your kids. Imagine the hard days, the frustrations, what conversations might be had, how you might feel, how they might feel. How will your child's personality show up as a homeschooled kid? How will your personality show up as a homeschooling parent?

Imagine the days. Imagine them being there when you wake up. What would you guys do in the morning? What time of day would you start school? Imagine, feel yourself walking through your life (not your life, cause that's overwhelming) but a couple of days as this decision has been made, we are homeschooling. Let yourself feel what it feels like to live in that decision.

Then option B, sending them to school. Imagine the details of getting them a backpack. Packing them up each day, having to wake them up early. Imagine the pros and the cons of each choice. The con of homeschooling...it's hard having your kids there all the time. Imagine yourself doing that.

But that's also a pro. How does it feel to enjoy every moment with them?

Sending them to school…con…they don't get to rest in the morning until they're ready to wake up. They've got to get up super early and jump on it and get ready for school. Pro…you have time in your day where you are a little bit separate so it makes being together all that much sweeter.

Let yourself live out each option. Imagine yourself living in it. Sometimes you get a gut feeling…one feels really great even though it's a little scary and feels hard and you're not sure but still you know that it's right.

That's mostly my process for making decisions. I hope that was helpful.

Just going over it before I move on…talking it out because I'm an external processor. Journaling through it or making a pros/cons list. This is helpful for internal processors. Sleeping on it. Giving decisions time and space and just seeing what happens in the morning. Imagining the details of each choice option. See how I feel living in each decision in my head.

I also want to talk about something that I see happening all the time. I think it's important. Obviously, it's important for me that I pray about my decisions. That's something that I do for pretty much everything, like ridiculously small things and huge things.

But I think it's also really important to walk forward while you pray and think about what to do. Don't just stand still until you know everything for every step of the way.

One example is for when we were buying a house. We didn't really know what we were supposed to do, where we were supposed to live. A house came up in front of us and we just walked forward and moved forward with buying it. We had just started to like, “Okay, we're going to pray about this, we’re going to move forward feeling pretty good about this. We are just going to move forward until the door closes.”

There's power in doing something while you wait until you know what you should do. And there's power in that type of faith in action because lots of people wait to “hear from God” before they do anything. But God so often shows us what He wants for us by opening and closing doors as we walk up to them. So, praying, “God, show us. If you don't want this house for us, let it not work out. Just give us a hard ‘no,’ give us peace about walking away and canceling this deal. Don't let it work out in some way.” And God did that for us with the house.

And He'll do that for you with whatever your decision is.

One quick thing to note…sometimes living this way makes you look silly. It makes you look fickle. It makes you look like you don't have your ‘you know what’ together. You know, like, “Oh, we're moving across the country.” Actually, no we're not, but who cares?

This is your life. The one and only. Live boldly. Walk forward. Prayerfully move on. Stop feeling bad about changing your mind.

Also go listen to episode 17. It's called, “it's okay to change your mind.” It's amazing and powerful. It's another pep talk and I think you might need it if you're listening to this one and vibing with what I'm saying.

I just think there's something to be said about not sitting still and waiting for God to tell you, “This is exactly what I want you to do. This is exactly how it's going to feel. This is exactly what's going to happen.” So often that’s not how He works.

So, pray and move forward. Start walking. Start going towards something that you feel good about. Ask God to align your heart with His. Ask Him to align what you're doing with His will, but move forward as you walk and pray and seek out what is right.

Sure, you might look silly and people might think, “Hey, I thought you were taking that job,” or “I thought you were going to homeschool,” or “I thought you were moving.” And you're going to be like, “No, that ended up not working out.”

Who cares? It's okay to change your mind and it's okay to just walk forward.

Stop over-complicating decision making. It's stressing you out. It's not worth it.


This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.

Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.  

I am always rooting for you, friend!

See ya next time!

Hey mama! Just a quick note, this post may contain affiliate links.

Ep 100: What Living An Abundant Life Means to Us (+ How to Do it!) with Brian Casazza

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Can you believe it? 100 episodes! I am sending a big thank you with digital confetti to each of you for listening to The Purpose Show each week. It is because of you guys that I do this - because I believe in living with purpose, intentionality and in abundance for you!

For the 100th episode of this show, I really wanted to get back to the root of why The Purpose Show exists - to live an abundant life. I want to dive deeper into what living abundantly actually means to Brian and I and what it looks like day-to-day for our family. The Purpose Show is built on John 10:10, which is our family verse, life verse, and business verse. It is all about the abundant life! It is a life that is void of needless excess and void of fluff. You can have this life too!

 
 

In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • Why they do not pursue the “American Dream”

  • The power of living simpler so you can focus on the things that actually matter in your life.

  • How they are focusing on their health in the context of abundant living (and not in the get fit for the beach kind of way).

  • Ways they choose to focus on abundant living in the day-to-day so they can be ready for whatever comes their way.

Mentioned in this Episode:


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The Hassle to Harmony video series is open for enrollment right now! This is a FREEBIE I have been working on just for you! If you feel like your days are full of hassle, like the things that need to get done are not getting done, and that is causing you a lot of stress and chaos, I want to help you find harmony. This 5 day video series will help you structure your life, calendar, and daily rhythms and routines.

We are going to talk about boundaries for your phone and other people so that you are focused on what matters and not letting obligations, phone sounds, and beeps, buzes, and alerts constantly pull your attention from where it needs to be day to day. We are going to talk about rhythms and routines. We are going to talk about owning your time and shifting your mindset. We are going to talk about living with intent.

This is a LIVE thing so if you are listening to this episode when it first came out, hear me … this is happening right now! It is a totally free, 5 day video series. So it takes place over 5 days, 1 video each day. The videos are short and pointed! This series is designed by me to help you focus, prioritize, and clear the surface of your life. Don’t miss out of this FREE video series! Enrollment is open now!


who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's amazing courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.

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Hey friend! I want to quickly tell you about a free 5 day video series that I have been working super hard on creating just for you for the past couple of months. It is finally ready and free enrollment is open! This video series is called Hassle to Harmony and that is exactly what it is going to take you from and to. Basically, each day there is one short video that is going to redirect your perspective and get you refocused.

So, Day 1 is called “Quiet the Noise” and we talk all about your phone settings and setting yourself up to not be constantly distracted from what is right in front of you. Day 2 and Day 3 are about rhythms; Day 2 is for daily rhythms and routines, Day 3 is for weekly rhythms and routines. Day 4 is all about owning your time and shifting your mindset out of victim mode when it comes to time and how much time we have. Day 5 is all about how to live with intent, because you don’t get to where you want to go by accident, only on purpose. I really want you in here! It is going to be so good!

This is not something that is going to be open for forever, this is a live freebie sort of thing. Enrollment is open now and it is free! The videos will go live on April 8th and only be available for a few days. So after Day 5 is over, they will be gone and off the internet. This is something you will want to partake in while we are going through it together. To get this free video series go to Hassle to Harmony . I can’t wait for you to see this!


Hey guys! Welcome back to The Purpose Show or a welcome here if this is your first time listening. Honestly, if it is the first episode you've ever listened to, what a good one to choose. This is our 100th episode.

I want to start this episode off by saying that my husband is here with me. And this podcast, our life, our business, the way we raise our kids, everything that we live and breathe and do is all built on John 10:10, which is a verse that talks about how Jesus came not only to give us life, but that we would live that life abundantly and well.

For the 100th episode of this show, I really wanted to get back to that root and dive deeper into what living abundantly actually means to Brian and I, what it looks like day-to-day. I felt it was fitting for him to be here with me for this one.

ALLIE: Thanks for being here, babe.

BRIAN: No problem.

ALLIE: Okay. So, we want to say that abundant life is something that I think gets misconstrued a lot. People have different opinions and thoughts about what that is and there's lots of different translations to that scripture even. It's not about having the scripture translated perfectly accurately. If you're a theologian and you're like, “that's not what this verse is saying,” that's fine.

But there's something powerful in taking a scriptural truth and  doing amazing things with it. Letting it transform you. Thinking on it. Living with it in your heart and seeing what comes out of it. And that's what Brian and I have done with John 10:10.

It's really like our family verse, our life verse, our business verse. And we want to say that the abundant life is not something that we claim to have mastered or perfected by any means. But it is something that we're always talking about. We're always coming back to it. Working towards, praying about. It’s a forever project.  

BRIAN: I want to spend the rest of my life knowing until the day I die that I'm living an abundant life. I don't stop doing something one day or retire and then never do anything again. Even if I'm old, and I can't even move because I'm old, I'll find a way to live an abundant life with what I can do.

ALLIE: Right. And that is a relative term and it changes from season to season. One thing we really want to say too, that we talked about before we hit record, was that abundant life is not about creating a fluffy, easy life that's good for us. It's about creating a simplified atmosphere that gives you room to focus on serving other people, showing up well everywhere you're called to, and living out your God-given purpose.

BRIAN: I’ve got to say for a long time we were living in survival mode (financially and otherwise) so there were a lot of these things that I just could not even think about because I was trying so hard just to basically survive. So, by simplifying like you're saying and changing our life this way, I'm able to live more abundantly than I would have, you know?

ALLIE:  Absolutely. I think it's about creating a life that's void of just needless excessiveness. It's void of excess and it's actually void of fluff.

A lot of times I've gotten messages from people that just don't understand what I'm saying and what I mean. And they misunderstand me to be saying that we're looking to create a fluffy, easy life. I think especially in our society, a lot of people, unfortunately a lot of Christians, are doing that. They don't want to step into a storm on purpose because they're afraid. They don't want to step into the foster care system, outreach, ministry, helping other people, reaching out to a neighbor who's in need, because they're afraid. They don't know if it will mess up their family. It'll mess up their perfect little bubble world.

And I don't mean that out of judgment, but honestly out of truthfulness of the thoughts that have crossed my own mind before we've stepped out into a storm.

Abundant life is not about creating a fluffy, perfect, easy life. It's actually a life that's void of that. It's void of fluff and excess so that we're spending our minutes on our purpose, not on things that distract from it and we're able to show up and step into those storms and step into our calling. I hope that's making sense. Anything to add to that part?

BRIAN: When I think about it, I’m living for a purpose. God made me…I want to serve Him and worship Him and do things this way. That's why I feel I was created.

So, to spend my life trying to make things easier for myself forever…setting myself up for crazy retirement, or just buying things that only make me happy, and focus on things just for myself and maybe my family or whatever…I just don't feel I'm called to live that way.

ALLIE: The whole point of this episode and what you're saying right now is that it's not about setting up a fluffy, easy life for ourselves and making sure we're secure without looking outside of our bubble and looking at other people. Our purpose, whether you believe in God or not, I think we can all agree that no matter what religion or background you're from, that it's important to look outside of ourselves and be generous and help others.

This is one big reason that you and I have talked so often about how we don't pursue ‘the American dream’ and we're not teaching our kids to pursue that either.

When Brian and I are saying that…‘the American dream’ is the old standard of you do good in school, you go to a good college, you get a good job, you work hard, you collect student debt (because you went to a good college,) you buy a house. If you rent, you're doing it wrong. Just buy a house, invest in property. That’s just what you do. You save all your money for your retirement and when you live this way, when you do those steps, people are getting in debt just because they want to check things off the list.

BRIAN: I feel like you're just skipping so much of your life to set up your life to be better later that you've missed all this time and possibly all of these opportunities that God could have used you in so many ways, yet you were living with your head down just working and being gone all the time.

And honestly, I was doing that for a little bit. I mean we were barely making it. I was gone all day. I was working so much that I missed kid opportunities I made. I missed my family stuff. There were so many opportunities that I wasn't able to meet with people or have relationships.

ALLIE: There was no white space for living.

BRIAN: I was burning my days. I know a lot of people that do that…older people, my family or friends that have done that…and now they're retired and they are so much older and there's so much that they can't do now because they're older. I don't want to live that way.

ALLIE: I think the biggest thing for anybody who's listening that's like, “Oh my gosh! That's where I'm at,” we had that realization as well when we were in that place. We couldn't take any time off because we had to make ends meet and we were trying so hard and working so hard, burning our candles at both ends to provide for our family.

Brian was working so much and I was at home with the babies just struggling. And it's not that there's anything wrong with being there, but maybe this episode could open up your eyes to the reality of the life you're living, and just realize that that's not sustainable. That’s not a way to live a sustainable, joyful, abundant life, where you are focused on your relationships. Where you can really, truly connect with people and be available for bigger work.

Maybe create a 3-year plan to advance in the company you work for or get a different job or start your own business. Get out of that barely making it, bottlenecking place in life.

BRIAN: We talked about this from when we were first married, I always saw our life being abundant and used in a certain way and that ‘American dream’ kind of way of life I just felt like didn't fit with what our purpose or our calling was. And it can look so much different for so many other people, but I felt like this kind of situation wasn't for me.

I feel like so many things to pursuing to have an abundant life, all these things can help you so much…the simplifying…

ALLIE: Going against the flow, letting go of what everyone else thinks is ‘normal.’

And you're going to get flack for that.

Going back to the ‘American dream,’ the whole cycle of you go to college, you get a good job, you work hard, you buy a house, renting is bad, you save all your money for your retirement. You're basically saving up and storing all your possessions and money for this later period of life when you're not really able to live now. We understand that saving money for when you're physically unable to work in the future...sure.

BRIAN: Yeah, we’re not saying “don’t do that,” but don't spend your whole life only working for that time and never doing anything else now because you're trying so hard to make that point better. It's like, why can't I do that? Why can't I do that now? Why can't I set myself up to live more freely.

Way back I prayed that I just didn't have to struggle so hard or that I just wouldn't be in this place so much so that I was just in a place where things were good enough to where I didn't have to think about it so much that I could focus on blessing other people, spending time with other people. You know, I love doing things for other people, having people over at our house, and I can't do that if I'm not freed up in that sense.

ALLIE: Yes, and if you're acting out of scarcity. If you're working all the time and money is scarce and it's to be saved for later…it's missed opportunities to give and to help and to show up for people.

BRIAN: And on that point, I also do feel that abundant life, living that way, the not being scarce about it, also has a lot to do with trusting in God, having faith, have giving hearts that we want to give and trust that God is going to bless us and the ends will meet.

ALLIE: Again, not confusing this for not preparing for later at all. It's not that. We actually talk quite a bit about the future and we have things saved and we're preparing and we're doing all that, but it's just that that isn't supposed to be our only focus.

I think it's important not to let preparing for later take away from right now. Live your purpose now. Set your life up so that you can live focused on what your purpose is, not worrying or stressing about small things like money. And this doesn't mean that you have to be wealthy. You know, we showed up and we lived on purpose when we were broke as a joke. We’ll share a story about that in a few minutes. It's not about that.

Live your life in a way where you know you're where you're supposed to be. You know that you’re showing up and living on purpose where you're at, and you're not letting small things like worries about the future just suck up your brain, your mental energy, your emotional health and you're just not even able to live today.

That's where we were for a long time and that is a place that you absolutely can get out of without any physical circumstances changing, just by creating a 3-year plan to change your circumstances, having that hope, giving that to God, just praying about it and asking Him to help you get there.

BRIAN: I feel like a lot of the hard times…in me…God used those to work on me, change my heart, and have me see things in a certain way that I would have never seen or done if I didn't go through those things. I feel like God uses hard things for that purpose, you know?

But I also feel like why wouldn't God want me to live an abundant life now and be able to share, bless people, and do so much for Him now? Why wouldn't He, you know?

ALLIE: Right, exactly.

It's a fine line. You talk about having an abundance in finances and people think that you're preaching the ‘Prosperity Gospel’ and that you're saying that wealth is God and that's not it at all. Some people just will never have that. They don't really care for it. It's not a part of their purpose. It's not a part of their calling.

But if you’re strapped so much that you can't even breathe, you can't even think clearly, you can't even enjoy your family, enjoy the present…that is not God's will for you. It’s just not. It's not abundant life. It's not peace and He is a God of peace.

So for us, we were in that really stuck place. We were in a place where, you guys, we had cars repossessed. We lost homes. We had to move not by our choice but because we had to get out. We had embarrassing things happen. If you haven't listened to episode six of that whole story, I’ll link to it in the show notes for you guys.

But one of the reasons that we even started to pursue what we have today, this business, this powerhouse of an online empire that has been built not by us, but by the Lord, this is His business, not ours, but we knew that we were stuck. We knew we were in a place where we could not help, give and contribute in the way that we felt God calling us to give, help and contribute because our finances took up every bit of our energy, every bit of our thought. And we were stuck.

And that's why we worked so hard. We studied. We prayed. We googled. We talked. We stayed up late and dreamt together about how to run a business in a way that was passive revenue because that's what was really important to us.

And so we learned. We found a way. We asked God, “Does this align with Your will for us?” And it sure did. And He led us here to where now we work hard and we learned how to run our business well so that we're not stressing about how to make ends meet every day.

Our mental and emotional energy is focused on serving and showing up for other people, using our financial, mental, emotional, and physical resources to be Jesus for people who need him.

That is what's so incredible about our story, and about for us, online business, and passive revenue. Passive revenue is such an annoying term.

It is not exchanging time for money. That’s what we’re saying. That's what's given us the financial freedom, freedom to use our resources - money, time and otherwise - to live on purpose.

My point in all of this is, you know, four years ago we were stuck. We were trying to stretch one bowl of cereal into four for our kids. We didn't know how we were going to make dinner that night. We didn't know how we were going to make rent. And now we employ 12+ people and families are leaving their 9-5’s and coming to work for us. We're together and we're running this company.

And that is because we asked God to use us. We asked Him to show us how can we live more on purpose, how can we get out of this place? Not because we want money and things but because we want to have a home that is nice and we can invite people in for dinner, minister, have Bible studies here. Talk to people, open our home for people. Can you help us get to a place where we can help better?

BRIAN: Or even like where we were at one point. There are people that are in those places that need help, and I always wanted to be someone to help because I've been through that and it's so hard. I remember that. I wanted one day to be able to help someone in that place who needs it.

ALLIE: Now I feel like our energy and our prayers used to go to, “please help us figure out how to get $20 so we can finish paying this bill or get dinner.” It sounds super sad, but that's where we were at. Now it's more, “Hey, you know, God, as I'm finishing up at the grocery store, if there's somebody who needs help with their groceries, make sure I get in line behind them so I can help them.” What a powerful shift. That could not have happened without this shift from scarcity survival mode into a more abundant life.

For us specifically, yes, that involved a money shift, but that's not everybody's story.

BRIAN: No. And I feel like going through a lot of those hard lessons and the path that He had us on going through all that stuff really helped me see money in a different way, and learning how to be a good steward of God's money. I feel like that's a whole separate other thing. But that was huge as far as God using me, using me with His money and the way that we should live our life.

That goes together with living on purpose, living abundantly. That's just what I wanted for my life and for our family. And we both wanted that so bad. And I can say that God's using us in that way now and it just feels like this is where I'm supposed to be. I could say that I'm living my purpose, you know? I feel with the way that we're living is the purpose and the place that God has us.

ALLIE: For sure. And none of this would have happened if we hadn't made ourselves available and said, “We're willing to do crazy things. We just need help. And we want to be in a different place where we're not having to just focus on ourselves and focus on how to make ends meet for ourselves. But our brains can be freed from that, so that we can use that mental energy to help others and do bigger things than figuring out how to pay bills.”

I want to shift gears a little bit and just talk with you about how from day 1, way before the business happened, way before we even had Emmett, our youngest, that minimalism ties into this story so perfectly and how if you're not bogged down with overspending, cleaning all the time, and the overwhelm in your day is kept at bay, you know, what you can control of it, that helps you live a purposeful life focused on what matters, even if you don't have wealth per se.

This is where our story in terms of John 10:10 and abundant life really started was that verse was preached from the pulpit one Sunday. I was like, “Abundant life? I don't even want to get out of bed in the morning. I'm exhausted. I barely made it to church today because I didn't have enough money for gas. What a joke.” God showed up for me there and said, “I have something for you in this if you'll listen.” It’s so crazy, I cry.

This is so important, you guys. Not everyone has money to make themselves okay and financially help others. That’s not what we're saying. But if your home, your spending, and your lifestyle is simple and just less, it's streamlined, you'll have more mental and emotional space, and freedom to be more available to show up for people and help others in being Jesus to them. And you can use minimalism to be intentional about your spending and your stuff and get out of survival mode without a financial shift.

BRIAN: Going back to that ‘American dream’ thing, you're stuck in this place where you're constantly working, saving for the next trip or the next thing, and every day working and paying bills, and you're not doing anything else but just surviving, existing. I feel like God has a purpose for everyone. He didn't mean for us to just go to work and just make enough to live, pay the bills, eat and never do anything else.

I feel like a lot of us grow up that way and we go through our life that way. I feel like God has so much more for everyone and these things helped us see that, find that and be able to do that.

ALLIE: Yeah, absolutely. Without getting super specific, we have somebody in our family that we love very much that is struggling right now because he did that whole routine…go to school, get a good job, get married, have kids, save for retirement…and you know, he's struggling. He's struggling with depression and weight gain, this bogged-down lifestyle because he feels listless and lifeless, just pointless. Like what was it all for? His marriage has collapsed, his family is torn apart. And it's like, what was it all for?

He spent so much time, energy and focus saving for this time in his life that the relationship has failed and he didn't show up for the people in his life. It's a tragedy and that is anything but the American dream.

No, the American dream is what is God's dream. For us to live. Focus on what matters. Showing up for people. Going out on a limb, loving others well, listening for His voice, telling us, “Hey, that person over there needs a little love. Go say ‘hi,’ go buy them dinner, invite them over. Host this thing.” Showing up for people.

BRIAN: I would hate to spend all my time just making money and be saving everything and never doing anything because I'm working so hard to save for later that I were to die and then I never even got to that point. Then my life wasn't used.

ALLIE: The point you were saving for never came.

BRIAN: Yeah, cause that can even happen.

ALLIE: And again, it's a balancing act. “Don’t save,” we're not saying that. We love learning about balancing our money well and it is something that we've struggled with, coming from such a scarce place, but we're always reading, learning, talking to financial advisors. It's something that you need to do, but not putting all of your eggs in that basket.

Going back to minimalism, you can use minimalism and being intentional about your stuff and your spending to get out of survival mode and change your financial reality.

I think it's important to focus on how you might be able to do that because how are you going to live your purpose if you're constantly worried about maintaining your house or paying that bill?


Hey girl! Ok, I am interrupting what I was talking about because I want to tell you about this one more time. I feel like when you are listening to a podcast, they are talking about stuff and most people have ads and sponsorships from other companies and stuff like that. But this is important and I don’t want you to tune it out!

The Hassle to Harmony video series is open for enrollment right now! This is a LIVE thing so if you are listening to this episode when it first came out, hear me … this is happening right now! It is a totally free, 5 day video series. So it takes place over 5 days, 1 video each day. The videos are short and pointed! This series is designed by me to help you focus, prioritize, and clear the surface of your life.

I help a lot of women in my course, Your Uncluttered Home, clear the surfaces in their homes, declutter, and implement minimalism but this is for your life, calendar, and structure of your days. I am going to help you set up a few rhythms that are going to help you function really well. It is called Hassle to Harmony for that very reason: because if your days are feeling really hassled, the things that need to get done are not getting done, there is a lot of stress and chaos.

We can help harmonize that, and sync it up to where it needs to be.

We are going to talk about boundaries for your phone and other people so that you are focused on what matters and not letting obligations, phone sounds, and beeps, buzes, and alerts constantly pull your attention from where it needs to be day to day. We are going to talk about rhythms and routines. We are going to talk about owning your time and shifting your mindset. We are going to talk about living with intent. This is legit stuff! We are dealing with big issues here! I really want you in there.

Again, this is something that is happening LIVE. So you can’t listen to this episode in the future and go back and get this. It is happening live right now! The opening for free enrollment is right now - again, totally free! You can go to Hassle to Harmony and sign up for free! You will get 1 video for each. After Day 5, these videos are going to be removed. So you want to not only sign up live, take part in the videos, open those emails, watch the videos when they come to you so that you can take in this content while it is here. Once again, that link to sign up for FREE is Hassle to Harmony .


ALLIE: If you live simpler, you can focus on what actually matters. And that's what this is all about. And that's my problem with a lot of other ‘minimalist teachers’ is while they mention that this is what it's really about, what they're actually doing is giving you a list of rules on how to be a good minimalist, and how many items they have is a goal for you to try to attain. And it's just all BS. It's baseless and lifeless.

It's about getting out of survival mode. We were so stuck in survival mode in our life years ago before minimalism, before the business, before all of this, that we couldn't even…I remember somebody said to me once, “Hey, this is going on in my life. Could you pray for me?” I remember being so annoyed, like you just asked me to pray for you in this small problem. You don't even know that I'm afraid to go home because I'm afraid there's going to be an eviction notice on my door. I'm not okay. I feel like I can't talk to anybody. I'm really scared and really stressed. It's taking up all my mental energy and you're asking me to pray for this small, ridiculous-to-me problem. I couldn't even pray for people and be a good friend. I couldn't show up for people at all because we were constantly having to figure out how to get enough gas money to get Brian to work and how to eat dinner that night.

The point is not putting yourself in that position so that you're living on purpose. Again, this word ‘purpose’ is showing up a lot, but you're never going to be able to do that if you're stuck in survival mode, constantly thinking, “How am I going to survive today?” You just can't show up in that place.

Let’s shift gears a little bit and talk a little bit more about a specific part of that American dream we’ve been talking about. I want to address this because it's so funny to me. We move a lot. Up until recently, we've enjoyed moving a lot. We've moved to different states. We moved to different houses. We like to live ‘tiny’, so we've literally lived in a camper for a year almost. It was a 27-foot camper with no slide outs. It was so small. It was like a hallway, and it was awesome and terrible at the same time. We've lived in tiny houses, larger houses.

Every time we have moved, especially this last house, I think, because it was more of what we wanted, and we were like, you know, we plan on settling here for a while. But I think people saw it and they were like, “Oh, did you buy or rent?” People were asking, the questions were flooding in. And it was funny to me because these people were strangers to me, like their followers, I don't know them in real life. And it's like, why does it matter? What? Who Cares? It was asked in a way...you know when you can tell the undertone is if somebody's asking you something? You're not just asking cause it's like, “Oh, I was just wanting to know?” It means something to you. It defines me in some way to you if I buy or rent.

We have never been worried about buying a house. It's been very recently, in the last few months, something that we've talked about like, “Hmm, I think that we might…” We have different, various reasons that are just between us that we're like, “Okay, I think that this makes sense now.

But before that, not just because we used to be super poor, but even when after the business was successful, we never even had a desire to buy a house. I wanted to dive into that a little bit because I think it's this big misconception that buying a house is the end-all, be-all and people are going into crazy debt to get ownership of property and it's not for any other reason a lot of the time than to reach this ‘status symbol’ and it's insane because it's breaking people.

Let's just talk a little bit about why we haven't been worried about buying a house, what we love about renting and the simplicity thing.

BRIAN: It's funny how, first of all, God used us and had us go through all these things and had us go in different places like to Arkansas and traveling and whatever. Honestly, we wouldn't have been able to do those things as easily if we had owned the house we lived in before.

ALLIE: He’s called us to pick up and go so many times, and not in a way where it's like we're doing something wrong or inconveniencing anybody, breaking leases, but just like, oh, we rent and we can do this, so let's talk to the landlord and work it out and let's go. We've moved. We've taken opportunities.

Living in the camper was really cool because it taught us the beauty in nonpermanent living. I think it's a stability thing and people, especially certain personality types, they crave that stability and it equals success to them. But for us, we've just never felt that way. And living in the camper was so cool because one of my best friends went through a really difficult time and we were able to pick up, get the camper ready and drive across the country to Florida and stay with them for a month.

BRIAN: Well the funny thing too is we really had to cut back. We could only have what we absolutely needed. What can I not live without, pretty much. And we lived for a good while with four kids with hardly anything and realized you can do that. You can live great without all of this stuff. You know, it works. And it was kind of fun to not have to have all that stuff for a chunk of time.

ALLIE: It put everything underneath a certain light of simple really is the best way. And we lived a very minimalist life before that. I remember after we did the camper, that's when we came back and we lived in an apartment while we looked for a house. Then we found this house and when we were moving in it was like, okay, everything goes under a different light. Do we need this? Everything we bought, the furniture we bought, we thought, okay, wait, what's like the most intentional piece of furniture? We had learned so much. We had seen the beauty in being temporary and how we could show up for people when we weren't tied down. It was such a beautiful time.

But it was funny because we came out of that and then all of a sudden everybody was like, “Oh, you have to buy a house. Congrats on your business going so well. When are you going to buy a house? When are you going to settle down? When are you gonna buy a house?”

And it's so funny because who cares if we rent our whole lives? There's loads of benefits to renting. We won't get into all of those now, but there's so many even financial benefits to renting and not owning a house. It's not the end-all, be-all. If it makes sense for you, great. But oh my gosh guys, there's nothing wrong with owning a house, but what's the motive? If you're going for a status or to impress a parent or something, hold up and question it because there's so much beauty in not being tied down in that way.

We’ve learned so much about that. It's a ridiculous status symbol that people want to attain.

I’ve felt that pull too. I felt like a ‘little bit less than’ in certain conversations with certain successful people that have asked, “Oh, did you buy that house?” And I want to lie and be like, “Yup.” Because it's a success symbol. But I'm always like, “You know what? No, we didn't. We didn't. We waited because we wanted to rent a house again and we wanted to rent that house.” And now we may buy soon and we're talking about that with different reasons and plans. And it makes sense for us now, so we're looking at that. But I just think it's funny that it's all part of the ‘American dream’ and this ‘scam’ I feel like we've all bought into, that's just empty for a lot of people. Not everyone, but a lot of people because it's under the wrong motives.

ALLIE: Okay. Let's shift gears a little bit and talk about abundant life when it comes to physical health because you and I have both been really honest and open on the podcast about…or I have, I have an episode about my emotional eating and weight issues, body issues.

BRIAN: Yeah, I have that stuff too.

ALLIE: Yeah, that's a big part of your personal testimony and your story.

But I want to talk about why we've focused so much in the last year or so on our health and how it has nothing to do with how we look. This is where you shine.

BRIAN: Sure, well I feel like part of this purpose and part of this abundant life is me being able to do anything that I possibly can and do it at my best. At one point I felt like physically I know I can be better than this. I wasn't at my best. I want God to be able to use me in any way that He can ask because I'm able. I want to be able.

I know God will use you in so many ways, no matter what, because there's people that don't have legs or have disabilities or certain things physically to where they're not like everyone else in that way.

But I know that this is something I did to myself and I have really had an addiction. And it was causing me to be not my best, not as physical and strong as I could be. And you know, I honestly want to be able to do things with my kids and not have physical limitations because of my bad habits and my weight.

ALLIE: Yeah. I want to interject real quick and say something about that physical limitations. This is again talking about things that you do to yourself. For me and a brief thing about my story with this, it's like we both felt so sick all the time from eating junk and it came from being broke. Eating convenience food that was cheap.

BRIAN: I used food as a way to cope. Eating because it felt good and that's what I could do when things were so stressful and so crazy.

ALLIE:  Food became like this pacifier. And for me, even after we could afford better food, I just used it to cope and I emotionally ate and I became addicted to food. The problem with a food addiction is that it's unlike basically every other addiction where you can't just cut it off cold turkey and stop smoking and stop drinking, stop going to bars, stop looking at pornography. You have to eat multiple times a day and your addiction is put in front of you multiple times a day and you have a choice to make. And it's so hard to overcome that.

But for me, I did this to myself, like you said, and my physical limitations were that I was eating junk food and I was getting stomach issues from that. Then my stomach ruled my life. It got so bad that I would get sick. Anytime I ate, I would have diarrhea or feel like I was going to throw up and get stomach cramps, feel like I swallowed a brick and then that gave me anxiety. And again, I got anxiety around eating.

I didn't want to leave the house. I was just feeling sick and nervous and anxious all the time.

So then when my business did take off, I was turning down speaking engagements because I was afraid. I was afraid to leave. I was afraid to get sick. I made myself sick all the time. I had adrenal fatigue. I had leaky gut syndrome, which is super awful to live with. God showed me that I was giving my life over to my food and that the enemy was using that to hold me back from His purpose for me.

BRIAN: Subconsciously.

ALLIE: Yeah. I didn't even realize how serious it was. We want to have the energy we need to do the things that we're called to do. And that can be done a lot easier when we're not purposely handicapping ourselves. When we feel good enough to actually get up and go out and do God's work. “You do it.” We have a calling and we need to show up for that.

For me, a big lesson I learned is that abundant life looks like showing up in the area of health and making choices. Of course, we'll have pizza and beer every once in a while. We'll go out. We're normal people. But in general, checking myself, putting my food under the light of what is good here? What's the motive?

Same with the American dream and the financial thing. What's the motive behind me eating this? Am I binge eating? Am I pacifying my emotions in some way?

Abundant life often looks like showing up well in each area. Even in what you're putting in your mouth, what you're putting in your body, what you're eating and how you're exercising, how you're moving. If we can fuel ourselves and do something to make what we have to do easier, feeling energized and feeling good then I think we have a responsibility to do it and I think abundant life has a lot to do with that.

So. Okay. Talk about a little bit about…we don't have to talk specifically about Crossfit, that's just what has inspired you, but just talk about like in Crossfit, not even Crossfit, forget that…even in the exercise industry it's all about the ‘beach body’ and this ‘six-pack’ and the ‘tight butt’ and all of these surface things that are really just a side note benefit to that.

We were just talking yesterday about if we were told, “Oh, you have a thyroid issue. You have this health issue. You're never going to lose a pound again.” We would still show up, work out, show up for that because of how it makes us feel.

So, I just wanted you to talk a little about what you've come to terms with, about why you exercise, and why you've learned to grow in that area when you used to be like, “I'm never going to exercise. Who cares?” Like, you know, how you came to this place.

BRIAN: I honestly had some situations where there were things that I physically couldn't do that were normal life things. Lifting things. Moving things. Being able to stretch for this or do this, reach for this or do that, or I wasn't strong enough to do certain things and I hated that. I just hated that.

I knew I could be better than this. God physically made one’s body to be able to do things. And I kind of messed that up for myself. I found that Crossfit gave me…I just really, I really do it. I do it because all of these things are all functional movements and they're all things that I'm working out to do because I'm doing this for my life. I want to be able to move, be strong, protect my family, take care of my kids, and do things for them. I don't want to be limited in what I can do physically.

ALLIE: We've talked a lot about how we have a lot going on and it requires a lot of energy frankly. Four kids that are all young, homeschooling, running the business, running errands, running our house. All we do all day is ‘talk it out’ and make decisions and put out fires. Our life is crazy. Exercising, no matter what form it is…we simply won't have what it takes if we don't take good care of ourselves.

I feel like that kind of forced us into exercise because neither of us were exercisers before or people that were passionate about that at all. And now it's like I can't show up well, I don't have the energy, if I don’t fuel my body.

BRIAN: Yeah, because we have four kids and we are busy and doing all these things. I want to be able to wake up and do anything, any task that comes up in my day and have the energy to live this and do this abundant life. I don't want to have this opportunity to have an abundant life, but I'm sick or exhausted. I was sick at one point from the way I was eating. I don't want to be sick and not be able to live that abundant life.

I feel like all of these things go together.

ALLIE: Absolutely. And showing up for what God tells you to do.

BRIAN: God can have me do so many different things. And you know, what if, I don't know, He asked me to travel through the desert and save girls from sex trafficking and I couldn't even walk on a hiking trail or through the desert for more than a mile, you know?

ALLIE: If you're 350 pounds and you're worried about paying your electric bill, you can't focus on that. You want to show up for what God's calling you to do.

BRIAN: Right. I don't want to physically limit my life or the things that God can use me for.

ALLIE: Yeah, exactly. It's not that like, “Oh, I'm just going to be ready for anything. And your psycho making sure that you have no responsibilities, no stress, no extra baggage physically or financially and you're just waiting.

But if you can do something to make yourself more available to grow the kingdom and live on purpose, why wouldn't you?

And just like you said, what if God called you to that? What if He literally was like, “I want you to travel through this region and rescue girls from sex trafficking.” That's amazing. And like you said, if you're overweight, tired, addicted to sugar, out of shape and worried about how you're going to make an extra 20 bucks to pay your bill, you are not going to be able to do that.

It's about getting that perspective and putting yourself in a position of readiness. And I think that's amazing. What a cool perspective. I love that about you so much. You have taken that on. You apply that in every area. It's so amazing and inspiring to me that you see the world in that way. I want to be like you in that way, that you're ready. It's still a journey. You still struggle with your weight and we're still working through this and it's a long journey, but you're doing it because you want to be the most ready, the most helpful and the most available for what matters.

BRIAN: Exactly. Because you know, at one point I remember I had the motive of wanting to do this just so that I can make it to the Crossfit games or be the best Crossfit athlete. I want to be the best at everything that I do. I want to do that and live my life that way, but that's not what I'm going to make my only focus on with health. I want to be ready for any circumstance in my life. If I can be ready with my health, I want to do that. I'm pursuing that and trying to be better every day. And that's why I love Crossfit.

ALLIE: That’s the abundant life when it comes to the area of health. Yeah, I love that.

Okay, so to wrap this episode up, I wanted to go over a couple of things that God has called us to and put in our paths ever since we made ourselves ready and able and that has nothing to do with the success of the business and that has nothing to do with money. It had to do with our hearts being ready.

The message that I want you guys to take from this is what can you do to set yourself up to live a more abundant life? If you're not right now, can you come up with a 3-year plan? Can you bring it to God and ask Him to help you come up with that? Can you put your life under that light of John 10:10 and ask God, what can I do differently here and get ready and able? How can I get ready?

BRIAN: If you're willing, God will use you.

ALLIE: Yes! He does not just use the rich and fit. That's not what we're saying. He'll use the broke, the poor, the chubby.

BRIAN: It’s not, “You only have to get to this point, and then God can use you.” This was just our story. This is the stuff that with the way that I am, the way that you are, I had to go through this stuff to learn these lessons, to be set up in this place where I could be abundant in the way that God wanted to use me, and it can look so different for so many people.

It doesn't have to look just like this. It doesn't have to be until you’ve made millions and millions and millions of dollars and then you’re in a ready position.

ALLIE: We were used way before this. When we were at our brokest, we offered to adopt a friend's baby. We opened up our home and let her stay with us. We gave money we didn't have to people. We also hoarded money and acted out of scarcity and made huge mistakes.

But when we have shown up for God, when we were broke, when we were struggling with obesity and food addiction, when we were doing really well and thriving financially…at all the different seasons, when we've shown up, God has shown up and used us. He just needs you to be ready and willing.

If you put your life under the light of John 10:10 and look at it in terms of abundant life, how much more can you do when you're focused on using your money, your energy, your time to be ready to take action on God's Kingdom building, and you have a lot more of both of those things?

So, I think what we are trying to say and what the point of this is, is that it's not about how much more usable you are if you're loaded or you're fit, but about how much more usable you are if your heart is open and you're ready and willing.

By being ready and willing, God shows up and pours His resources out on you and that leads to great change, powerful Kingdom work and abundant life and that's what it's all about.


This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.

Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.  

I am always rooting for you, friend!

See ya next time!

Hey mama! Just a quick note, this post may contain affiliate links.

Ep 099: Ask Allie Anything About Business Part 2

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It’s part two of the “Ask Allie Anything About Business” episode and I am so excited to continue chatting all things business with you guys! I absolutely love talking about this. I'm very passionate about business and I think it's so important for people, especially women and mothers, to find a way to create revenue and income based on what they're passionate about. If you want to have something aside from your role as a mother and a wife, and that's a desire that you have, I think it's absolutely possible for you to create that without leaving the house, if that's what you want! I love helping people with that. It's what I did and it's what I help people do on the side. So let’s dive into part 2 of this Q&A!

 
 

In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • How she started creating online courses and how she makes revenue from them.

  • Ways she monetizes her blog without using ads.

  • The right way to build a brand before building a huge audience.

  • Whether an LLC is important and if you should have one for your business.

  • The best ways to promote your brand on social media.

Mentioned in this Episode:


Where are my business-minded mama's at? I have something for you that I'm super excited to be sharing. If you've ever wanted the behind-the-scenes and inside scoop on how I grew my business from a tiny hobby blog with zero income to a multiple-seven-figure-per-year corporation, I have so, so much to tell you!

I've compiled all my favorite resources, books, courses and advice. A brain dump of everything that helped teach me what I know now and get me to where I am today (other than a lot of blood, sweat and tears and some serious hustle and late nights.) I've put it all together for you guys and it's in the Blog To Business Guide.


who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's amazing courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.

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Hi, beautiful! I'm so glad you're here with me today and I'm really excited to jump into another discussion about business. These “ask me anything” episodes are basically a rapid-fire Q & A style episode where I read questions that have been pre-submitted usually on social media, sometimes via email, from my listeners and they want to know about different topics, so we segment that off into genres and by topic.

We recently did one about business and we had so many great questions that we just couldn't fit it all into one episode. I really like keeping my episodes somewhere around the 30/45-minute mark and not going over that whenever possible because my listeners are mostly moms and we're busy. We've got a lot going on and it's very difficult to create more time than that to listen and I know the likelihood of you coming back and finishing an episode is not good. I try to help you out in any way I can, so we split it up into two parts. Today I'm jumping into the second part of the last time we opened up space to have you guys submit questions about business.

I absolutely love talking about this. I'm very, very passionate about business, not just what I do, but about business in general. I think it's so important for people, especially women and mothers, to find a way to create revenue and income based on what they're passionate about, if they have something like that. If you want to have something aside from your role as a mother and a wife, and that's a desire that you have, I think it's absolutely possible for you to create that without leaving the house, if that's what you want. I love helping people with that. It's what I did and it's what I help people do on the side.

I'm always happy to bring that here to The Purpose Show even though it's not really a business podcast, it's more of a lifestyle podcast. So, let's dive in.

The last time we did an “ask me anything about business” episode, we left off with questions that were about balancing work and family. We also talked a lot about the startup process of my business and a lot of really good top tips and advice that I have from my experience to pass on to people who are just starting out. Then we went into balancing work and family.

Today I want to dive more into courses and paid content, running the business, delegating to other people, things like that.

Before I dive into that real quick, I just want to say that for anyone listening who isn't aware, there are a few different ways you could start an online business. I dive really deep into that in the previous episode where we talked about business. I can link to that in the show notes. If you'd like to go back and listen, I think that'd be a great place for you to start, especially since I did mainly cover the startup process. If that's where you're at and you're interested in how do you even make money from a blog, that's a really great place to start.

I want to say that the choice that I made was not to do affiliate links and Amazon affiliate stuff and linking up products on my blog as a way to make money. Firstly, because it takes so much to even make something that's impactful and mainly because I really didn't want to send people away from my blog.

One of the first questions that we got today for this episode is asking me about that, so I'll dive into more detail about that. But I just wanted to preface this episode with the way that I choose to share my message and my passion and to create revenue from that is by creating online courses and online programs.

I have from the small things like paid PDFs that are really detailed workbooks that women can work through on their own sort of DIY style to create less excess in their homes and their schedules all the way up to the big giant courses. I have intentionally priced my courses really low. Most courses in the online business community are $1,000+ and it's like the more information that’s in there, the bigger the course is, the more impactful the course is, the higher price it is.

I've decided to settle on around the $300 mark. My course right now (at the time that I'm recording this) is $297 and I get told all the time - every time I join a business mastermind, anytime I talk with another powerful influencer - that my prices are way too low and I need to raise them. I have raised them by little nudges here and there as I've added value to the course and improved on it. But I've chosen to have lower price online products because I want women to be able to get into them and not have to be millionaires to afford them.

That's the background of my business setup and how I have money coming in from a blog-based business. Okay, let’s dive in.

How did you create your course exactly? I'm wanting to create a course about parenting and I want to know what the timeline, planning and execution looked like.

This is a very loaded question, but I will do the best that I can. First of all, anytime I'm creating any new course, or really any new online product of any kind, I do what I call a ‘brain dump.’ It's not the most feminine word in the world, but that's what it is. I literally get everything out of my brain and onto a Google doc. Open up that fresh page in your computer and just title it, “parenting course,” and let your brain get it all out. It's almost like your brain is congested with ideas and you need to just get it all out on paper. So, I start there.

It doesn't have to be pretty. I usually use a bullet-point, outline style. I'll do Bullet #1 ‘introduction to this parenting style.’ And then a subpoint might be, ‘why I don't think spanking works’ or whatever it is that you're going to say. Go through it and get it all out.

I don't overanalyze the order it's in. I don't overanalyze how deep would this lesson even go, what are all the sub points that I would say. I just get what's in my brain and what's flowing out as I'm writing out onto the paper until I feel, “Okay, this course is done.” Then I go back through and I reread it and usually more stuff will come out as I'm rereading the points that I wrote down. When I feel like, “Oh my gosh, this is good. This is a course. It's all out and it's all done.” That's really good.

In terms of the timeline, usually about 90 days is what it takes. If you were to really focus and get it, like really focus in and get it done, you would probably need about 90 days. I have done a course in less. I've done a course in two weeks and I've done a course in over a year. I've done a course in three months, six months, pretty much everything. And the thing is, is that it doesn't have to be perfect. Just get it going. Get it to where it's finished for now and put out into the world. Price it low at first so that you feel comfortable and confident with people getting in there and giving you feedback. Let them know, “You guys are my first round of students and I'd love to give you this awesome discount, have you tell me what you think, give me feedback” and use that to your advantage.

After the brain dump, that's kind of starting the 90-day timeline. 90 days is what in the industry people say, and I agree, is typically a good amount of time to bust out a decent course from idea and brain dumping all the way to launching it out into the world.

After I get everything out of my brain onto the paper, then it's time to think it through in terms of organization. I like to do this with post-it notes. When I was making all my courses I had these two big whiteboards on my wall that were side by side. I would get different post-it notes out in all different colors. I wrote on the whiteboards “section 1, section 2, section 3, section 4” of my course. Each course has a different amount of number of sections or modules. Sometimes I call them modules, but it’s basically just breaking it up. If it was a book it would be the chapters, or maybe the sections of the book, or the acts of a play and there's different ‘takes.’ Does that make sense? You're breaking down into big sections and subsections for the lessons.

I would write that out and then I'd use the post-its to write the lessons on. So, I would take the brain-dump Google Doc and I would say, “Module #1.” And I would go through that Google Doc with all of the ideas that I had put onto that paper and say, “what seems foundational goes here” because obviously section #1 is going to be the foundation of what you're teaching.

For example, in Your Uncluttered Home, which is my biggest course all about minimalism and getting that all the way through your house and making it work for you, that’s the big one for me. So, in that one I have the foundation module is module #1 or section #1.

Basically, it starts with first of all, here's how to access your course, and how to use this platform that I use for my courses, which is Teachable. (By the way, Teachable is the best. You should use them.) Then I say, okay, first of all, what is minimalism? First of all, what's the deal with all these other philosophies of perfectionistic minimalism and legalistic minimalism and why it’s not going to work for you. Cause you're a mom. How to make this work for you. How to make it real. I'm setting it up. How to deal with tough emotions that come up when you're decluttering. How to deal with if your husband's not on board with this. What do you do if your kids are pushing back? What do you do if your relatives are being really difficult and pushing back and you feel really unsupported?

What do you do with tech stuff that you want to get rid of? Should you sell or donate your items? What do you do with what you're donating? What do you do with what you're selling? How do you sell it? How do you not end up holding onto everything because you're not making money off of it? All of these foundational things that need to be addressed before we can start to purge. Go through your content and “what is foundational.”

Then you get into the ‘heart’ of your course, which for me is the actual decluttering. So, do the next section ‘the heart of what you teach.’ Anything else after that is going to be what does maintenance mode look like for what you teach, if that applies. What are the bonuses? What are the extra things, “Oh! Also, before you go you need to know this.”

For me module #3…after the decluttering module, the heart of the course, the next module is maintenance mode. Intentional shopping and being mindful while you shop. Stopping the flow of excess and needless items into your home so you don't undo all your work. How do you handle your kids' birthday parties and holidays from here on out? You don't want to overdo it and undo all your work, but you also want to celebrate. How do you even do that? How do you store and organize certain difficult things like your kids’ art supplies? All of that ‘maintenance mode’ stuff.

Then module #4 is bonuses and extra things that help them take action. PDFs and workbooks, checklists, worksheets. 15-minute challenges if you just want to declutter something and you only have 15 minutes. Things like that. Things that are helpful to the course but are not the heart of the course.

And that's pretty much it. I would organize and put every single lesson title that I had wrote into my brain dump doc. I would write each lesson on a post-it note and organize it on the whiteboard underneath which module I thought they fit best in. Then because they're on post-it notes, you can move them around really easily. That really helped me to get visual.

In executing it, I decided that some of my lessons would be video when it's necessary to show something, but the rest of them would be audio so that people could listen podcast-style on-the-go, and these moms that were taking my courses could access it from anywhere - on mobile, on a tablet, on a computer, at work, wherever.

I started to outline the lessons and hit the main topic points of what I needed to say in the course in order to cover all the bases for that particular lesson, then I would hit record and just go for it, record my lessons and save them all to a folder on my computer. Then when I was ready, I uploaded them all to Teachable to the course and organized them

That was about 3 ½ years ago. Now Your Uncluttered Home has been refined, fine-tuned, changed, tweaked, and rebranded. All the lessons have been re-recorded and things added. My teaching style has evolved and gotten so much better since then. It's all new. But you know, a handful of my students got that course for $39 one day a long time ago. They're still in there. They've never paid a penny more and they get all the updates and all of that stuff.

I would encourage you to not be overwhelmed. Do what I did. Just start. And take care of your students. If you take care of your students, they're going to love you. And they've bought almost every other course that I have. Most of them have bought all the other courses that I offer because they know that I overdeliver and everything that I do is worth eight times what they paid and that I'm going to take good care of them and always make sure they get every bonus, every coaching call, anything that I ever ad for free moving forward. Once I have them, I love on them and I'm committed to them and they know that.

So, I think it's important not to get too overwhelmed with the creation of the course and remember to focus more on delivering good value and then taking care of your students moving forward.

Okay. Next question.

I was so inspired when I've heard you talk about why you don't do ads on your blog because you didn't want to send people away from your website and you didn't want to be paid to do that. Would you talk more about how you finally decided to monetize your blog and how you decided what your gifts were?

Yes. I'm really passionate about that. There's nothing wrong with people who do affiliate links. There’s nothing slimy or weird or wrong about that. Some people, the way they do it, there is absolutely something wrong with that. It's dishonest and they've never even used the product and they're just linking to their affiliate link so that they can make money and they don't even know if it's any good.

I mentioned in the last business Q & A episode that people will do that with expensive items. They know that the click is going to deliver a decent amount of a percentage paid to them. So even though they've never used it or even heard anything about this product, they'll simply link to it, write a blog post about it and totally make it up out of nowhere, just so they can get that SEO and land on the Google pages and get affiliate money from it. And it's just really slimy.

But not everybody who does affiliate links is like that. So, it's not that that's the wrong way to blog, it's just that I had a personal conviction I guess, that that's just not what I wanted. I had worked really, really hard to grow the little following that I had back then. I really loved everyone that was in my audience. I really loved writing. I really felt called to share my message, my journey, my lifestyle and encourage other moms. And I wanted to begin to make money from that, but I really didn't want to get paid to click people away from my website. My whole point was keeping them on there.

I also didn't feel good about talking about motherhood and then having a Huggies ad pop up in people's faces and get them to click away from my site. It just didn't vibe with what I wanted my blog to feel like. That was the first decision that led to that.

Then after that, I started to be aware of what I was really good at. I talked about a lot of different things on my blog back in the day. I started to survey my audience and also notice what I really enjoyed talking about and what I seemed to be really lit up about and what was my passion. And they ended up being the same things.

I felt happiest when I was talking about simplifying, clutter, my journey, and my story that I've shared so many times about how I was so overwhelmed, depressed and really struggling as a mom, and then simply by removing the clutter in my home, everything just got better. It was a kind of domino effect that leaked its way into every other area of my life. And people wanted that for me.

The other blog posts on the other topics as wonderful as those posts were and as helpful as they were, they just weren't getting clicked. They weren't getting read. People could feel the passion in me when I talked about the other stuff. So, I moved over into that direction and leaned into that. I leaned into what I was good at, what I felt good about, what people seemed to like and I became one of the top people in that niche. I think it's important to, like I said, lean into that.

What are your gifts? What are you passionate about? Most of the really good businesses that I look up to the people who started them and I admire how they run things, they all started from someone's story. They all started with someone’s difficult time and mine is no different. My blog, my business and everything that we've built today with this online company…it started from my hardship. It started from one of the hardest times of my life. I think that's really beautiful and it continuously fuels my passion for what I do.

Figure that out for yourself. Maybe it won't be such a dramatic story, but maybe you just really enjoy something. Maybe you already know what your gift is and you already know what people would benefit from when it comes to what you're putting out into the world.

Decide that that's what you're going to use to monetize your blog, your podcast, your website or whatever it is, and just start there.

How do you start monetizing your blog without sounding like all ad-centered blog sites?

What I'm going to say is that if you don't want to sound like all the ad-centered blog websites, you're going to have to probably not do affiliate links because I think no matter what people’s ears are tuned in to that sponsored Instagram post, that sponsored blog post, that affiliate link. I think if you really don't want to sound like that and it bothers you, create something new, create your own stuff.

When you're monetizing your business, your blog, your podcast, whatever it is with your own stuff, it's easy to sound ad-centered. I think the difference that I've learned is it comes down to being authentic. My lifestyle sells my products and I don't have to sound ads-y or sales-y. It's just facts.

The way that we live is in me and comes out of me. It flows out of me. I'm excited about it. People can see it. They see something different about the way my kids are with each other, with me and Brian. They see something different about us. They see something different about our house.

I'm very open and honest and I show how we live. I'm not really afraid to do that because I have nothing to hide. I think that authenticity shows up. People realize how cluttered and overwhelmed they're living and they want this life and I'm telling them that they can have it. “Here's the steps you can take and if you want further help you can get this course. That's why I made it.” It's easy. I don't have to sound sales-y. Even when I'm pitching the course on a webinar, interview or something it's very easy. It's just a natural flow because I'm not forcing anyone to buy something or telling them, “I am getting paid for this. You should go and click this link.”

It's not ad-centered and it doesn't sound like that because I'm just talking about my story, talking about what works and what I've seen work in hundreds of thousands of lives all across the globe in almost every single country. That's a lot to be said. I've seen it over and over again. They see it over and over again in my Facebook group, on my Facebook page, on Instagram, in testimonials, on my website, talking to their friends who have heard of me and have my courses. It's spreading because it works. When you have something authentic, you don't have to be all ad-centered and sound sales-y and annoying. It just is what it is.

You can tell them the points of your course. You can explain what's in it. You can talk about the features. You can talk about the bonuses that you're offering, the discount that you have and all that stuff and still not sound sales-y and ad-centered because they don't have to take it if they don't want to. It's up to them. If they want the lifestyle shift, then it's there. But if they don't want to spend the money for that and that's not their priority then that's fine. It doesn't matter.

I think it can sound really ads-y and sales-y when you're promoting a product that somebody else made, that you're getting paid affiliate money to promote. I don't really think there's much you can do to get around that. I've definitely seen some bloggers and Instagrammers do a better job of doing sponsored posts, but once you scroll through and you see that “here's this discount coupon code…” You know that feeling. You've all been there. I don't know if there's really a way around that unless you decide to start your own brand, which isn't for everybody. It's a big decision to make.


Where are my business-minded mama's at? I have something for you that I'm super excited to be sharing. If you've ever wanted the behind-the-scenes and inside scoop on how I grew my business from a tiny hobby blog with zero income to a multiple-seven-figure-per-year corporation, I have so, so much to tell you!

I've compiled all my favorite resources, books, courses and advice. A brain dump of everything that helped teach me what I know now and get me to where I am today (other than a lot of blood, sweat and tears and some serious hustle and late nights.) I've put it all together for you guys and it's in the Blog To Business Guide.

Maybe you already have a blog or a platform and you want to grow it into a business. Or you don't have anything yet but you're wanting to get more information. You know you have some ideas but you want some resources. You wish you knew what are the best books to give my time to? What are the best courses? What are the best investments I can make in time or money to learn about growing a successful business?

I've given you all of my opinions in the Blog To Business Guide and you can go get it right now by heading to alliecasazza.com/blogtobiz.


Okay, here's a good question. If you're really in need of income, can you build a product to sell before you build an audience as long as you know who your niche is? Unfortunately, I can't audience-build and product-build at the same time consistently with how much time I can spare and we really need additional income asap. This is a good question. So, this is what I did.

I had a little blog with barely an audience. I don't know the exact number, but it was really, really tiny, under 100. It was so tiny. Nobody knew I was there. It was so, so small. I created an ebook and I made a few sales from that. Honestly, the ebook was a total fail, but it made something. It brought in a couple hundred extra dollars; you know, it was supposed to make thousands, but that's okay. It brought something in.

I created little PDFs that were helpful about managing your time better, decluttering, things like that. Easy things that don't require you to have video/camera equipment and a microphone, just PDFs and stuff. You can sell those for $9 and put them on Pinterest. That doesn't cost anything. Pin your own pins. Ask your friends and family to try it out and see if they like it. And if they like it, ask them to repin it and help you out in that way if that feels right to you. I actually never did that. I just always felt weird about it. But if you have supportive friends and family, then you absolutely can do that. Also, even if you have 10 people watching you and looking at your blog, that's 10 people you could sell to.

So yeah, you absolutely can build a product, build small price products or one big price product before you build an audience. Just understand that the sales are not going to really roll in. There might be a couple trickling here and there, but what you could do is just get that product built and you could have it ready to sell on your website, make couple of trickle sales here and there and then go and work on building your audience after that. And then the product will already be there.

This is what I did. I started with the ebook and some PDFs. I had a lot of free stuff though. You have to give value to your audience. You can't just as Donald Miller says when he's teaching his StoryBrand philosophy, “You cannot meet somebody and then propose marriage to them. You have to date them and get to know them and let them get to know you and build that trust.” They call it the “no-like trust factor.”

Doing free things that help people is an amazing feeling. So much of my stuff is free. There's so much helpful stuff on my site and around for free. I mean this whole podcast is free. I don't do sponsorships. There's so many things like that.

But then if they really want to get “married” and they really want this lifestyle, they really want to go “all in” and they really want my expertise and to literally have me guide them through this process for them, then that's what the courses are for. Because this is a business. Even if it wasn't there was no way I could do all of that for nothing. Who has that time?

You can build the product and then when you get bigger, the product will already be there. And that's what's happened. That's what happened to me. I created my course with almost no audience and just had it ready. Then I got to work on my audience building and I wrote guest posts for other people. I hustled really hard.

I worked really hard spreading my message. I wrote awesome blog posts that got shared. The more powerful they were, the more they got shared. I worked really hard on becoming a good writer. I would partner with other people, other influencers, and they would share me on their pages and it grew a little bit at a time.

Then one day I wrote a blog post that went viral and when that virality happened, my product was already there. My course was already there so people were buying. If you've listened to episode six of our business story, that's where the $20,000 overnight came in because we had gone viral and the product already existed.

By the way, virality is not an accident. It can absolutely be intentionally done and planned. That's how mine happened. I intentionally planned to go viral. I knew I would; it was just a matter of timing. I just want to encourage you guys in that. I think a lot of people think that if virality is luck and it's absolutely not.

Anyway, what I was going to say was even before the virality, when I was just writing guest posts and slowly growing my email list and my blog by little bits at a time, 5, 10 people here and there on my email list, my course was already there and some people would buy it. Sales would trickle in. I had an email funnel set up. The sales were coming in, but they were very sparse.

That is how you can bring in income right away. It might be very small, but you can absolutely start with a product. You just need to be aware that you're probably going to have a lot of fine-tuning to do once your audience does grow. Be very open and willing to serving your audience, asking them what they do and don't like about it so that you can make it better and better and better.

These next couple questions are underneath the topic of delegating and not having to do all the work yourself. Let's talk about that for a little bit.

How did you know when it was time to hire someone to help you?

My story with this is a little bit unique. Basically, I didn't have anyone. I couldn't afford anyone. I did every single thing myself. I'd never outsourced a single thing. I learned how to build a website. I learned coding. I learned how to create opt-ins and PDFs. I learned every single thing I know from the Google search bar and I had to do it by myself. This is why I always say I basically didn't sleep and I was up super early and up late and just working my butt off figuring all this out because I couldn't afford to hire anyone to help me.

As soon as I would make money, we needed it for bills. We needed it for food. We needed it for stuff. So, I couldn't hire somebody.

Once the viral article happened and everything happened that way, we got a bunch of emails (it was like 700 emails in my inbox within that week) because the article that I wrote not only went viral, but it was trending over the first Presidential debate between Hillary and Trump of 2016. It was trending over that debate on Twitter and Facebook, so it was big.

It was a really big deal. People were freaking out about it. Some positive and some negative. If you've read the article, I'm not really sure how you could feel negatively about that. But I think I've learned, people can feel negatively about anything.

It had gone so big that I had 700 emails in my inbox and I was really overwhelmed. I basically fell on the floor in a little ball and cried because I didn't know what to do and how to handle all this.

So, I went into a Facebook group that I had been aware of that I was a part of and hadn't really used, and I posted, “Help!” I said how many emails are in my inbox and what had happened and I just really needed help. And one lady reached out to me. She was so sweet. She gave me her phone number. I didn't even look at the other comments. My eyes just zoned in on her name and I called her. She was so helpful, understanding and sweet. She congratulated me and said, “This is a good thing, not a bad thing. We don't need to talk about hiring. Let me just help you. Let me just spend a couple hours going through these emails for you and you can just pay me for that. We don't even need to work together in the future if you're not ready to hire anyone.” I was crying and I said, “Thank you so much,” and I hung up.

She did a great job. She answered every email in a few hours and she did a great job. Her customer service skills were amazing. I read through some of her sent emails and even the rude people ones were so nice. Her name was Kena and she was my first hire and my Virtual Assistant. She still works for me to this day and I adore her.

I knew it was time for someone to help me because I was in a ball on the floor crying. So, if you’re in a ball on the floor crying and you have some amount of funds to pay somebody, do it.

VA’s can be as low as $15 an hour and they're usually like up to $30 an hour. If somebody’s charging more than that, it's probably too high for just basic VA work (VA is Virtual Assistant.)

Kena started out at $20 an hour for me and I thought in my head, “Okay, well if I just need her to do like two hours a week…okay.” I could afford that a month because I knew we had a good amount of money coming in. And I knew it would be okay. I was still terrified that I would somehow go broke, but I just did it because I knew I couldn't handle the emails.

That's how I knew. You have to find that balance between your funds and your feelings. If you are drowning and you cannot hire anyone because you're super broke and you're just starting out and you're overwhelmed, you're going to have to push through that like I did.

And there's times for that. But if you're in a ball on the floor crying and you definitely could spare $15 an hour for a few hours month or $20 an hour for a few hours a month, then you should definitely get a VA.

And I think that a VA is a great place to start and that is a great first hire. You can always Google how to do graphics or download templates, and hire a graphic designer later. Hire a photographer later. I learned how to take great pictures with my iPhone and I got great editing software that was free, and apps to make my photos look Instagrammy, beautiful, and amazing. You can learn all that stuff.

But a VA is someone who's going to give you your time back and that time is what you can pour into revenue producing tasks. I think the VA is the first person you should hire. Somebody to take over emails, customer service, basic tasks that are not revenue-producing or are time consuming and that don't need to be done by you.

Give them a cap. Say, “I really don't want you to go over 10 hours a month, so can you keep me posted on how much work is this taking? How many hours is this work taking? Do you need more hours? Is it not taking as much?” Figure all that out with her, but it's okay to give them a cap.

Okay. Next question. Please talk to us about your team. Who is virtual, who is in person? How did you find them? Does everyone work exclusively for you or do some of your team members juggle multiple jobs? What did you outsource first, second, third? Okay. That's a lot of questions.

So, let's just have a discussion about teams. My team is mostly virtual. They live in other states. We had one contractor who lived near me, but she's no longer with us. So, I think my CFO and accountant live in San Diego, but I'm not in San Diego. I'm in Temecula Valley, so it's like an hour away. So, we're not really in the same city. But if we ever do need to meet in person, we do. And that's always fun.

We have just me in California. We have somebody in Arizona. We have South Carolina, North Carolina, Missouri. We have people sprinkled everywhere and it's really cool.

This is why we use a platform called Zoom to meet on Fridays all together. We meet on Friday mornings for about 30 to 45 minutes to just get on the same page. People can ask their questions. They know that they're going to get me and Hayley there.

Hayley’s my COO. She handles all of the implementing of my ideas and running the actual business. So everyone's virtual.

And then how did I find them? Everyone has a different story and I won't get into every single person's. I already told you Kena. I think that it's really important to follow your gut and to pray about hiring people. I think that having hires that you wish you hadn't done, people you wish you hadn't hired is just a part of having a business. And without making those mistakes, you will not grow that tough entrepreneurial skin and you will not learn wisdom to make good decisions in the future. I don't think it's avoidable to never make a mistake and never wish you had done something different.

The experiences that I've had where somebody has hurt me or my company, or done something wrong and needed to be fired for doing something incredibly dishonest, or not showing up and doing their job and not being apologetic about that, or whatever the circumstance was, it's always been a good lesson and taught me a lot moving forward and made me better for it.

I don't think that we should, as entrepreneurs, be trying to avoid pain or trying to avoid ever making a mistake. Obviously, we don't want to purposely make mistakes, but I just don't think we should have this attachment to making mistakes and missteps and thinking, “Oh wow, I really wish I wouldn't have hired that person. I think I'm a failure.” But instead saying, “Well, I wish that hadn't happened, but let's go over what I learned from it and what I want to take into the next hire moving forward.”

That’s just like life, but somehow it seems really personal in entrepreneurship and it's hard not to get really upset when somebody does something wrong or wrongs you or your money that you worked really hard for, or your company that you're very attached to. It's difficult.

Most people work exclusively for me. Most of them didn't start out that way. Actually, none of them did. I'm thinking…yeah, none of them started out that way. But almost everyone has become where they have to just take me on exclusively and let go of their other clients because the company is just constantly growing. We're always moving forward. We're always working on new things, and everything is always growing bigger and bigger and the workload just becomes so much that they have to make a choice.

And I'm super thankful that they always choose me to come on exclusively because they love what we do, they love the mission that we're on, they love helping other women lighten their loads and just live better lives. It's a really cool mission and I definitely credit that, not me, to why people always choose me instead of keeping their other clients and coming exclusively with me. And it's a really neat experience to be able to do that for somebody, to be able to simplify their role and their workload and say, “Go ahead and let go of everyone else. I'm going to take you on. Let's settle on this retainer that makes you feel awesome and excited to show up for work and simplify your workload so you can just focus on me.”

For example, with Hayley, she started out as sort of just like a business manager position a couple of years ago. It was back when we were touring the country in the camper with the kids and I called her just really overwhelmed. She was referred to me by good friends of mine. She used to work for pastors, she used to help pastors run the backend of all their stuff and their churches. I asked her to come on and she said yes. It just developed into this relationship of CEO and COO and we work beautifully together. We have opposite personalities, opposite strengths and weaknesses. It is a perfect match.

I think that was just a God thing because the way she even was brought to my attention was totally the Lord. There's just no other explanation for it. That developed into what it is today to where she hires and fires and runs everything.

And I say, “Hey, I have an idea and I want this set up by next week.” And she makes it happen. She delegates. She assigns things to people. She does some things herself. She's running the business, checking in on finances, checking in on the backend of things, statistics, making sure everyone's happy in their role, managing the business and regular operations.

Let it flow, let it develop into what it needs to as you grow.

The main thing when it comes to my team is that I am focused on revenue producing ideas. I'm dreaming all the time. I'm always writing down ideas. I'm always bringing Hayley new ideas and I don't do that work anymore. I just dream things up. Cast a vision for what I want. I show up. I'm the face of things, but the backend things like scheduling emails, scheduling launch dates, things like that, it's all backend work that's done by my team. At this point we run like a really well-oiled machine, which is awesome.

I mean that to be encouraging to anyone starting out. You're going to get there if you push through and you keep going. You're going to get there.

But there was one point that lasted a very long time where I was doing all of that stuff myself. I made every image. I had to Google how to do everything. I was a graphic designer. I was a business manager. I was the CEO. I was the Operations Manager. I was the Chief Financial Officer, and I was terrible at that part of it. I was everything. I was the team manager for my one or two staff at the time. And before that, I didn't even have them. I answered my own emails. I saw every negative word said about me and to me, and every positive one. No CEO should be doing that. Remove yourself from the negative. Remove yourself from the feedback. Ask your team to bring you the positive things and remove yourself from the negative. It's so important.

Delegate social media. Get out of there. You don't need to be in the muck and mire of what you're doing. Just show up. Be your best self. Keep your mindset protected. Don't let yourself be stuck in that negative mess. It's going to mess you up and make you afraid to go live and show up for your audience, serve them and be there for the good ones who need you. So, yeah, that's my advice.

Okay. Let's get into a couple more questions and then we'll wrap up cause this episode's getting long.

How important is it to have an LLC, or something similar, when starting a blog that will possibly generate income? And can one business name cover the big picture and also the products you sell?

Okay, it is very important to have an LLC. We started out as an LLC and then we quickly realized we needed to change that and become an S-corp because of the amount of contractors, the amount of revenue, the size of the business and the way that everything is functioning.

We have an amazing CPA and Financial Adviser that we can go to and she recommended it. She was like, “You're just beyond that. We need to go into a S-corp.” So, we did but we started out as an LLC.

Pretty much as soon as you're generating income, you want to have an LLC. I'll be honest and say that is not what I did for the first year of our business. We filed it as a Sole Proprietor. We made this money and then we formed the LLC and moved forward from there.

But if you can afford…it's a small fee to start an LLC in whatever state you're in…if you can do that, then just do it right away so that any money that comes in, it's going to be a lot easier for you at tax time.

And yes, one business name can cover the big stuff, the products, the blog, the podcasts, everything. Every single thing that we do is covered underneath The Purpose Group, Incorporated. That's the name of our company, our S-corp. So, The Purpose Show podcast, the blog, the website, the courses, the PDFs, the way we pay our contractors, everything is underneath The Purpose Group, Incorporated.

What's the best way to promote blog posts to gain followers? Do you recommend pinning your own posts on Pinterest? Hashtagging the mess out of them on Instagram?

Yes. Both of those things are good.

I would suggest that you create your brand. Who are you as a person? (The answer to this is usually “yes”) but is your blog reflection of you, who you are, your story and your lifestyle?

Then ask yourself, “What fits you?” Create your brand. Don't post those really lame pictures with words over them of what your blog post title is to your Instagram and say, “New blog post: Have you ever felt like this? Click the link in my profile to read it,” and then Hashtag all the things. Don't do that.

Get good at taking beautiful photos. Don't be overly obvious. Just take great photos. Post the actual beautiful picture. It's going to get people to stop their scroll and look at that.

Then hit a pain point for people. Talk about what your blog post is about. If you have a blog post about, you know, let's go back to the parenting idea that somebody gave us the beginning of this episode. If you have a blog post about your experience with yelling at your kids, ask a pain point question, “Do you ever feel awful that you just yelled at your three-year-old?  Or “You just yelled at your child? I've so been there.” Share a little bit about your story and then say, “This is what I learned and I want to help you. There's a new blog post up.” Then use relative hashtags and do it that way. Don't be overly obvious, lame, or just get the post up for the heck of it.

Be creative. Let yourself shine. Be different. Create things that are beautiful. Every image. Every webpage. Everything should be beautiful and fit your brand, make you happy and make people think like, “Wow, this is legit.” You can make things look way more legit than they are. I did that for a long time.

And then Pinterest is great. Pin your own blog posts in Pinterest for sure. I still do that. I've delegated Pinterest to my team, but that's still a tactic that is very effective. Go and check my stuff out and try to figure out the back end of how I have things set up. That's what I did to other influencers that I admired and I wanted to be where they were. I would just kind of go and creep. I would look at their Pinterest accounts and see how they had their board set up. I would look at their Instagram and study what has the most likes, what are people really liking from them. I would go and figure out where are the holes in other people in their teaching.

That's where I developed my whole thing about how minimalism shouldn't be legalistic or perfectionistic. It should set you free, not be rules that you follow because that's what I saw from other influencers. Once I saw this minimalism thing was a trend and it was like, “Hey, wait a minute. I've already been doing this for four years (at that time.) I don't want this to be a trend without me. I am one of the ones that figured this out. I'm doing this.” That's how I figured out how to make it my own.

Go. Stalk. Save my emails. Go sign up for my email funnel and save those emails. It's okay to stalk people and figure out what's working and then make it your own. Don't copy it, but figure out, “Okay, if she's this successful and she's doing this, then I could do this, but change the messaging to fit what I do.”

Don't copy work. Never, ever copy anyone's work, but you can see the general layout of how they have things set up. Be encouraged and inspired by that and go copy that and then make your own words, your own stuff and your own business.

Okay. Last question for this episode. What did you need to start your business? Any particular equipment or anything?

There's a quote that I love and my gosh, I cannot remember who said it, but it's “all you need is a pencil and a dream” or is it “a pencil and a dream can take you further than you realize.” It's something like that. I was about to tell you how impactful that was for me, but obviously I can't do it if I can't remember the phrasing, but I think about that quote or the essence of that quote all the time.

And I thought about it even more when I was starting my business because it came across my path at that time of my life and it just really encouraged me because all I had was a crappy old Toshiba laptop that I got from a creep on Craigslist that barely worked. It was super slow and I didn't have anything else. The charger had duct tape all over it. It had to be in a certain position with a paper weight underneath it to hold it in a certain position so it would actually charge my computer. You know, we had nothing and it was really hard and all that. That's all I had was that old laptop. Everything that you see today was started with just that old crappy laptop.

You don't need a fancy microphone. I recorded the first round of my course with my apple headphones that came with my phone. You can get Skullcandy headphones for $7.99 and record your stuff with that. You don't need anything fancy. It doesn't have to be perfect. Please never look at everything that I have going on or everything that somebody else who's super successful, and way ahead of where you are right now has going on, and think, “Okay wait, I need that microphone. I need that. I need that desk. I need to have an office like that. I need to have that computer.” No, you don't. You don't need anything.

You just need a computer of some kind, your dream, your passion and to have the discipline to get up hella early, stay up super late, work on the weekends or figure it out. Whatever it is going to be for you and your schedule. If you really want this, it is going to take a lot of grit and that's why 1% of entrepreneurs actually become successful business owners because it is dang hard. So, don't get all caught up in the equipment and all that.

If you guys want to know what I use to help you, if you're looking to start a podcast and all that, then I can absolutely tell you I love Apple computers. I just think hands down, they're the best there is. I absolutely love them. I love their service. I love their company. I'm obsessed with Steve Jobs and the way that he used to present new apple products at the reveals. I've studied that. I've read articles about that. I've implemented some of that philosophy into my own business. I love him and his ethics and the way that he ran his business. Maybe not as a person but as a businessman. I love Apple products.

I have a Blue Yeti microphone. It's not expensive. It's less than $100. You can get it at Best Buy. I'm using it right now and it's not fancy. It's not the best there is. It's not, you know, super crazy. It just gets the job done and that's all I care about. That's pretty much it.

I have a photographer who comes and takes photos that need to be able to blow up really big and be on the website and not be pixelated. But other than that, I take my own photos for Instagram and stuff. I use my phone. I have Brian or the kids take them. I've kept things really simple cause you guys know that’s what I'm all about.

I just want you to know it doesn't have to be crazy. It doesn't have to be fancy. It just doesn't…like that quote that I can't remember… “All you need is a pencil and a dream.”

I love you guys! Good luck! Submit more business questions and we'll do more episodes like this. Have a great day!


This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.

Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.  

I am always rooting for you, friend!

See ya next time!

Hey mama! Just a quick note, this post may contain affiliate links.

Ep 098: Parent-Child Disconnect After PPD: My Story

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Postpartum Depression is real. It happens to so many women and isn’t talked about enough. PPD is part of my story and it deeply impacted my relationship with Bella, my first born. But we have come a long way and because of that, I think it is time I share our journey and how we got to the healthy place we are today. And I want to give you freedom, if you are struggling with this too. You don’t have to be the victim forever. PPD is only your story if you let the pen keep writing that way. If you don’t want that anymore, write a different story. Make the choice. I did and it saved my relationship with my daughter!

 
 

In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • Her story with Postpartum Depression and what it looked like in her day to day life.

  • How PPD can impact the memories you make with your kid(s).

  • Things she did to redeem her relationship with her daughter, and how you can apply them to your own situation.

Mentioned in this Episode:


Well, motherhood is hard.  I am not going to lie to you about that. While it is servitude and giving to your family from yourself, it doesn’t have to be something that we are waiting to be over.  Something that we are counting down the minutes till naptime, or bedtime, or waiting for the next day to start. If you are wanting to sort through the clutter in your mind, your heart, your home calendar, your health, routines, and relationships, I created Unburdened just for you!

It is a guide that will help you go from drowning in the sea of stress and overwhelm, to owning your time and living the best version of your motherhood. So you can live abundantly while intentionally focusing on those who matter most.

Unburdened is the overwhelmed beginner’s guide to a simpler motherhood.


who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's amazing courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.

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Hey, sweet friend! Welcome to The Purpose Show! I am sharing today something that is really heavy and a part of my story. I've definitely talked a little about PPD and my experience with postpartum depression and depression in the past, but I've never really gone into this deep of a dive publicly about my struggle, the story of me and my daughter Bella, what PPD did to us, what the enemy tried to do to us, and everything that we've gone through.

This always happens when I'm thinking about sharing something hard or I know eventually I will, but when the time comes that topic kind of finds its way in front of me over and over and over again. To me it's God's way of, almost in a humorous way, showing me it's time. It's an unavoidable amount of signs that He gives me.

This has been happening lately with talk about depression and misunderstandings about depression, especially postpartum depression, which is what PPD is. If you've never heard that acronym, that's what PPD stands for.

I want to open up and share this side of my story, especially because lately I've been so overwhelmingly grateful for where Bella and I are today. She's 10 now. She just turned 10 and I've been noticing so many things that have been healed almost without me realizing it. It's really, really a testament to how God works and what happens when you decide that your story is not going to be the way it's been going and you're going to change it. What I'm going to share is really raw and I know that it's really easy to judge if you've never experienced postpartum depression, especially at the level that I had it.

And it's not that one level is more of a badge of honor than another level of PPD. PPD sucks. It's just that the way that mine went really robbed me of a lot of time, a lot of memory and a lot of relational connection with my daughter. At the level that it was at, it took a lot from me. And so, to see what I've gained back is amazing.

If you never understood PPD it's so easy to judge, even if you're not meaning to. Or if you follow me and you like me, it's easy to still judge a little bit, even if it's subconscious. So just keep in mind that I'm a person and I have feelings. This is my experience and it was a panic and I've only done the best that I can do every step of the way.

And this is my story. This is my experience.

I'm sharing because I know for a fact that there's somebody out there who's listening to my voice right now who's had parent/child disconnect after depression, especially PPD. And they feel awful about it. They've probably Googled it a few different ways, trying to find some sense to make out of this situation. They are lost and confused. They're worried and they feel terrible. They feel guilty. They feel like they're a broken mom.

I'm doing this episode to tell you that you're not broken. You went through something really difficult and you can change the way your story is being written and that doesn’t have to be it. The aftereffects of postpartum depression don't have to be a period at the end of the sentence for your relationship with your child. And that's the main message that I want you to get. That’s why I'm starting this out by saying that.

First of all, let's just get a disclaimer out of the way. Postpartum depression is real. PPD, so is PPA, postpartum anxiety, and postpartum psychosis. These are real things. Just because you've never experienced it doesn't mean it's made-up, fake, or any less awful than those of us who have walked that road say it is.

This is one of those things that gets debated all the time. I really don't understand why there's even any debate because the side of the debate that saying that this is “made-up” has never gone through it. It's angers me. Like those of us who have struggled are asking for that or want a pity party or wished it upon ourselves to struggle so hard in an otherwise really sweet season of life.

Having said that, I just want to start by sharing how PPD started for me. Bella was my first born. We weren't really sure if we could have kids. I have PCOS, it's an ovary syndrome that typically comes with infertility issues. When Brian and I were newly married we thought like, “Oh well I guess we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.” But we really weren't concerned with starting a family. I got pregnant very surprisingly about eight months into our marriage and I just was shocked.

So, I'm going through the pregnancy and we're young. We're poor, broke, just trying to figure life out and get to know each other as a married couple. Our first year of marriage was beyond rocky. And then towards the end of my pregnancy I started to just feel weird and different. For me, postpartum depression actually began at the tail end of my pregnancy.

It doesn't really matter what caused it. You can have PPD without logical reasoning and reasons behind it, but our circumstances in life at that time definitely didn't help. We couldn't afford to stay in our little apartment. I had just gotten Bella's nursery all decorated. My mom and dad helped me out and took me to the baby store to get some stuff. We thrifted a lot and I got her nursery all ready to go. Then we found out that Brian was getting laid off from his job at the time and we had to leave. And so, we moved in with my parents and that whole situation just kind of sealed the deal. It really sent me into a difficult time, which was really poorly timed for how I was struggling emotionally and mentally already.

Without knowing it, PPD was creeping in and then this happened and it just made it worse.

My birth with Bella was very, very, very traumatic. It ended in an emergency C-section. It was so awful. I had a panic attack while they had me strapped down on the operation table. I was strapped in and I couldn't move. I was telling them that I could feel the pokes where they were going to do the C-section. They were asking me if I could feel it and I said, “Yes, I feel it.” They kept giving me more anesthesia and more and more. And I kept saying, “I still feel it.” And they said, “Well, you're going to feel that we're doing something but you shouldn't feel pain.” And so I said, “Okay, I don't think I feel pain.” And they needed to get her out. So, they did the surgery and I completely felt the first slice.

It's a feeling that I have all the time in nightmares and it wakes me up in the middle of the night often, because it was so searing of a pain. It was so awful. I just felt out of control and that's when I started to have a panic attack. They couldn't calm me down. They had to put me out because I was freaking out. When I woke up, I didn't know where my baby was. I didn’t know where my husband was. I was next to some lady making notes on a chart next to me, and she told me that my baby was born, that she was healthy and fine and that my husband was giving her a bath. I just remember immediately feeling robbed of something, actually, a lot of things.

I finally got to Bella and I held her and I just remember I felt something, but I didn't feel what I imagined I would feel. I remember noticing my emotions don't fit this circumstance. What's wrong with my emotions? I remember having that thought.

We had a lot of trouble breastfeeding, lots of lactation consultants coming in and out of my room. It was just an excruciating healing time after my first C-section. It was so painful. I felt like I couldn't hold my baby and my cut hurt so bad. I had a lot of issues with the staples. Chronic, constant problems all the way through the healing process.

And postpartum depression - it felt like it took advantage of me in that difficult time of healing. Like it saw an opportunity and it just took over. That's how it felt.

We were living at my parent’s house. We had our own little room, but I felt like I didn't want to be there. I wanted to be a family in my own house and I couldn't understand why this was happening, why Brian had gotten laid off. It didn't make any sense. How was all of this happening?

The postpartum depression got so bad so quickly. Eventually when it really took over and it got to be the worst, it felt like I was out of control of my own self. It felt really scary, really dark, super lonely.

I had detachment from Bella and her cries. I definitely had a few normal days of talking to her, videotaping her when she was cooing and feeling like a little bit of a normal mom. But those days were way outnumbered by the hard days.

For me postpartum looked day-to-day, like watching TV, not being able to get out of my bed, physically not being able to get out of the bed, so much so that I would just hold in urine because I felt like I couldn't even get up and go to the bathroom. It just was debilitating.

It looked like just going through the motions, not being myself, ho-humming my way through events and things that I needed to be at, family birthday parties and things like that. It looked like just throwing myself into other things to avoid my motherhood issues.

I actually ended up studying for the California real estate exam and passing on the first try. I threw myself into that because I couldn't bear what I was dealing with in my relationship with my new daughter.

I was so ashamed of my struggle. I didn't know what was wrong with me. I couldn't fix it. I would lie in bed and pray for help. I felt like nobody was listening. It took a really, really long time for anyone to say, “I think there may be something wrong.” That really hurt me that my family and my husband didn’t realize and help.

There was one incident, Bella was around six months old because I was feeding her baby food. Bella was is in her little feeding seat on top of the dining table and I was standing there feeding her baby food peaches. I was standing there and she was cooing and spitting. You know how they spit the food back out at you and all, that phase. Instead of being happy, silly, talking to her, wiping her mouth, trying to feed her and enjoying the moment, I was really angry with her that she was fidgeting and spitting out her food. That’s the thing right there, what I just said, that isn't even my personality. That's not like me at all. I was just not myself. I was like a Zombie or a robot or something.

I had lost my personality. It was like my soul got sucked out and I was just my body, my anger, my sadness and that's it.

I was feeding her peaches and getting really frustrated. My mom was folding laundry on the couch right across the room from me. And Brian was there too, looking for jobs on the computer. I remember I got so fed up, I said something to Bella like, “Oh my gosh, come on! Just eat!”

I was getting more and more frustrated and my mom came over, took the peaches and spoon from me, trying to be helpful, and said, “Here you go. Just take a break. I'll feed her.” And I grabbed the peaches back from her, slammed it down on the table. They exploded, flew up and peaches got on the ceiling, on the table, on the walls and everywhere. And I yelled, “Don't you think I know how to take care of my own baby? Do you think I'm a terrible mother? Obviously, you do.” I started freaking out, again, just not like myself at all.

And that was the moment where I for sure realized something was wrong. And that night Brian and my mom came into the room where I was lying in bed, and gently suggested that I might need to go to the doctor and get some help. I was already so angry at them for not seeing my issues and helping me, especially Brian. I was so hurt that he didn't notice and think “I need to help her.”

And you know, obviously he did notice, but he was as freaked out as I was. We were new parents. We were 21. He had no idea what to do. It's not his fault, but at that time I was so angry. I was angry, but at the same time I didn't really know what was wrong with me myself, or how to articulate to anybody how I was feeling.

My brain wasn't functioning healthfully. I wasn't my direct self that I normally am. I just sort of sat there and withstood my own personal living nightmare.

It caused resentment and a wall to go up between Brian and I early on in our marriage and it was an issue that stuck that we had to spend a lot of time working on later after I was healthy.

My PPD was so bad for so long (it lasted a little more than a year) that I actually lost memory from Bella’s first year of life. So, what will happen is I'll look back and I will see myself in photos with her, but I don't recall being there at all. I can't really picture her as a baby like I can the boys.

I have one memory of Christmas morning that year (Bella would have been about 10 months old). I had refused to go on medication because there's substance abuse that runs in my family and I was really afraid. I was uneducated about how antidepressants can help. I was scared and again, my brain wasn’t functioning correctly. I didn't have the brain capacity to make that decision wisely for myself. I still wasn't on medicine and I was still just really sick and really struggling.

That Christmas during the depression, Brian gave me one of the seasons of “Friends” on DVD because I had really enjoyed watching that show. I had never seen it before. I was watching them on TBS during the day and it was making me laugh. It was one of the only things that made me laugh and he got me the next season of “Friends” on DVD. I remember opening it and expelling so much energy to try to have a normal reaction to this present, but it was so forced and I could tell and everyone in the room could tell. I could tell that they could tell that it was so forced.

All I wanted in that moment was to just be normal again and it was such a bad feeling. I'll never forget that. That is my most prominent memory of my daughter's entire first year of life.


Do you feel like you are barely getting through your days friend?  Does motherhood feel more like a hurricane of chaos that you are just surviving rather than the awesome, joy-filled season that you want it to be?

Well, motherhood is hard.  I am not going to lie to you about that. While it is servitude and giving to your family from yourself, it doesn’t have to be something that we are waiting to be over.  Something that we are counting down the minutes till naptime, or bedtime, or waiting for the next day to start. If you are wanting to sort through the clutter in your mind, your heart, your home calendar, your health, routines, and relationships, I created Unburdened just for you!

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Unburdened is the overwhelmed beginner’s guide to a simpler motherhood.

In Unburdened, I will walk you through how to stop over-complicating, procrastinating, and just start making positive changes now. How to declutter, just a little bit – not super deep into it, because you can’t handle that when you are this overwhelmed – but a surface declutter that will get you real results in your house so you can clean up less.

How to declutter toxic relationships in your life and set some good boundaries. How to simplify cleaning, get healthy and feel better – finally!

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I really poured my heart into this little course. I created it for the mom who is really wanting to simplify, declutter, and pursue a life of less, but she is so burdened and overwhelmed with the mess of life. It’s not just her house. She wants to simplify at the surface of all the different things in her life so she can focus on her family more. So then she can focus more on really, truly purging her entire house.

If this sounds like you, I encourage you to check it out. You are probably the person I created it for. I want you in there. I want you to have it. I want to help you.

Check it out.  bit.ly/getunburdened.


I saw my family giving each other concerned glances after I opened the present and kind of communicating to each other about me with just their eyes, you know? I just felt so helpless. I was trying so hard to be normal and I couldn't. I was so tired of fighting and so tired of trying.

So basically, as soon as Bella was born, my relationship with her was under attack and it was strained. She was my first baby, but I was pretty sure you're supposed to feel something when your baby cries and I just didn't. And I know that this is the part where some of you are going to have a lot of judgment and that's okay. But that's not the mother that I am. That’s not natural motherhood. Something was off. Something was broken. I could feel it.

I had really hoped that things would be okay, despite my struggle, but I couldn't control the fact that I felt so little connection to my daughter. We just kind of carried on like that. And I tried. I would go to her because I felt it's my obligation to go to her…I'm the mom.

But Brian did a lot of stuff because he was there. He was laid off for a while, a really large chunk of the first year of her life. It was just really, really dark. It was really hard.

At Bella’s first birthday, I had finally gotten on medication about a month before that and I was feeling a little better. As the months went on, I got healed and weaned off my medicine and I stayed okay. And it was good. It served its purpose.

I still felt a disconnect to Bella, not even just a disconnect, but this “tension,” this push-back toward connecting with her. Something in me would fight back anytime I tried to form a deeper connection with my daughter. This was something that I thought about and tried to figure out basically 24/7 because it concerned me. I knew it was wrong. I knew that medicine couldn't fix that and I didn't know what to do about it.

Take this with a grain of salt if this isn't your thing, but I firmly believe that this was a spiritual attack. Mother/daughter relationship issues go way back on my side of the family. There's been legitimate abandonment. My mom was literally dropped off and abandoned by her birth mom. There's verbal abuse, emotional neglect, and other problems in my maternal lineage as far back as my mom and I know of. I believe in generational curses and spiritual warfare. I've seen so much, way too much, to not see that as the truth, especially when it comes to family relationships.

I believe that is a really big part of what happened with me and Bella and that there was a war raging for our relationship.

I want to say that moving forward from that things got better. Bella and I today are incredibly close. I'll get into that more in a few minutes, but I want to give freedom to anybody struggling with this too. And I also want to discuss what I did to make this relationship that we have now happen.

I have never heard anybody talk about this. Why is nobody talking about this? So, I want to do that today.

If you are listening to this and you're feeling that “freedom relief” feeling that somebody's talking to your situation…a situation that is dark, terrifying, heavy, embarrassing, horrifying, and awful…I'm so happy that you're here and I know it's not an accident.

Please know that if you're listening to this and that's you, my gosh, God loves you and He brought you here. Okay?

Secondly, this is not your fault. You are not a bad mother. You are not a broken person who is inept. You're not unable to raise your child. You are not the wrong choice. You are not a mistake. Your child is not a mistake and you can get through this. You can.

There is another side; however far away it feels, however dark it feels, there is another side and you can get there. I want you to have that hope.

I know, even as I'm saying this to you, 10 years out, it's so emotional because it so dark and I've been there. I've stood where you're standing and my gosh, it's so awful. It's just like a black hole and there's nothing. You can't see anything.

When a mother doesn't feel anything when her baby cries, something is damaged. I just want you to know it's not weakness to need to get medicine. It's not weakness to need to get healing. You're not making the wrong choice. You need help.

This example is given a lot, but I'm going to give it again anyway in case you haven't heard it. If you get diagnosed with diabetes you're a diabetic and you need insulin, are you going to feel weak for that and not take it? No, of course not. You're sick and your body needs something. You're going to take the insulin. Depression, especially postpartum depression when it gets this heavy...I do believe that there's a “blues period” for a lot of women, and you'll have to kinda just weigh it out. But for me, and if you're at that level, when it gets bad and you're not okay, it's not going away. It's not lifting. Something is off in your brain. Go and get that insulin. Go get the medicine. You need help. That's what it’s there for.

Outside of that, I want to discuss what I did to make mine and Bella's relationship stronger. After I came out of the PPD, I was maybe about a year out of the postpartum depression tunnel, when I realized our relationship is still strained. She’s so little but I know she feels that, I know she feels the pushback and I don't want to feel it. I don't want to sit and have time with my daughter and feel a resistance to closeness to her.

Over the course of years, what I did to fix things and repair things, I basically just decided that the dark wasn't going to continue to rob me anymore. This was not going to be the story of Bella and I. It just wasn't. It had been so far, but it wasn't going to be anymore

I didn't know what to do. I couldn't find books about this parent/child connection issue. I didn't know what was going to work. I didn't know where to start. But I just started. I started by deciding the dark isn't going to win anymore. I'm not going to be robbed any more, and I'm going to figure this out.

I also got real about what was going on. How exactly did I feel when Bella tried to get close to me? Or came and sat on my lap? Or I tried to get close to her? Where was the pushback and resistance really coming from? What's the source? I would feel it…I didn't know this at the time, but I was going into a little bit of a meditative state, honing into my internal self and feeling that feeling all the way.

Have you guys heard about that technique? Don't push your feelings away. Feel it more. Lean in to that feeling and ask yourself, “Where is this coming from? Why am I feeling this?” Sometimes I would hear nothing. Other times I would “feel” an answer and I would feel like, “Okay, when she touches me I just feel irritated.” That sounds awful, but things like that. Just being honest. Not pushing because it's so awful to be a mother and to feel those feelings and it’s even more awful to admit that you feel those feelings, that you're having those thoughts. But get real about it. Don't suppress it, ignore it and pretend it's not there. Lean into it. Feel it all the way because answers come out of that.

I also prayerfully walked forward trying to figure things out. I talked to God about all of this as I walked through it and I realized that He can handle our realness. Don't be afraid to let Him in on it. He already knows what you're struggling with. I used to feel like I didn't want to tell Him how I was feeling, I felt so bad about it. Here He gave me this gift. I was supposed to struggle with infertility and here's a baby, a toddler girl in front of me, and I didn't want to spend time with her, or I had a resistance to closeness with her.

But I let Him in on it. I was honest and I talked to him about it as I walked this road. I asked that He would show me what I needed to see to heal. And He did. He would show me little things like, “just go over and hold your daughter's hand. Why don't you sit and watch that movie with her instead of cleaning right now?” Things like that. He showed up in the mess and helped me walk the path one moment at a time.

As Bella got older, 6 or 7-years-old and up, I started to find things in common with her and I would take part in those things with her intentionally, even when I didn't feel like it.

For example, today we go and we get manicures together every two weeks religiously. It's our thing. It's our time away from all the boys at our house. We talk on the drive. We listen to whatever music she wants. I go into the coffee shop and I get a coffee and she gets a hot chocolate. We go get our nails done. We just kind of relax and enjoy the time. We pick our colors together and then we spend a little bit of time out together after that. And it's our regular thing every two weeks.

Ever since I was trying to intentionally heal from this parent/child disconnect, we've had things like that and it's changed as she's gotten older. When she was really little, she didn't want to go get manicures so it was different. Maybe it was playing horses with her. Maybe it was reading her stories, whatever. But I found things in common and intentionally took part in those things with her.

Another big thing that I did was I let her talk and I made sure that I actively listened to her. We have developed this thing where we take drives together. Anytime that I've needed to have an important conversation with Bella, I'll take her for a drive. It's come from when she was little and her brothers were toddlers and babies. We would get everyone in their car seats, get in the car and we would talk and the boys would fall asleep in their car seats and it formed this tradition.

When a kid is talking to you, they're usually talking about something that you don't really care about. But the thing is if you don't listen to your kids when they talk about the things that don't really matter when they're little, they're going to see that you don't listen to them and they're not going to talk to you about the things that really do matter when they get older.

So, I listened to her talk about her toys and the show that she's watching on Netflix. Now I listen to her talk about dragons (she's really into dragons) and unicorns, the story that she's writing, whatever movie that she just watched on Netflix. I listened to her talk about those things and now she'll talk to me about the hard things, the awkward things. And we have this super close relationship that I think a lot of parents who didn't struggle with parent/child disconnect don't have with their kids.

We struggled with it so much that it almost was the demise of our relationship before Bella was even old enough to realize. We have that closeness. As she's gotten older, things have gotten easier and better because I've worked so hard at this for so many years.

I want to give you that hope.

Do something. Do something. If you're struggling with postpartum depression, check in with yourself. Is this something that you need to just kind of let run for a little bit? Has it been a while and you're not getting better and you know what you need to do? Go get medicine.

Are you out of the PPD or PPA or postpartum psychosis period and you're just dealing with a parent/child disconnect? That doesn't have to be your story. You can write a new story.

Today Bella and I are so close. We have such a good relationship. I can tell her, “Sweetie, mommy really just needs a little bit of alone time right now, let’s spend time together tomorrow.” And her feelings won’t get hurt. I can share with her anything that I need to share with her. I can talk to her. She can talk to me about anything.

She's 10, so we recently had “the talk” and it went wonderfully. She felt so secure and at ease to ask me questions and it was beautiful. It was a beautiful time for us. We have talks all the time. We have our regular manicures that we get together. She wants to spend time with me and I want to spend time with her. Our relationship is so close. I can't believe that this is the relationship that we have after what we've been through.

The lesson that I have learned here is that you don't have to be the victim forever. That is only your story if you let the pen keep writing that way. If you don't want that anymore, write a different story. Make the choice.

I hope that this has given somebody out there so much hope. I hope it helps.

I don't care about the judgment that's definitely going to come from sharing this.

I just know that there's somebody out here listening that has this right now and has been super scared and worried about what it means and I just hope that this episode brought you a lot of hope and a big light to just bring you some peace.


This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.

Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.  

I am always rooting for you, friend!

See ya next time!

Hey mama! Just a quick note, this post may contain affiliate links.

Ep 097: Ask Allie Anything About Business Part 1

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One of my favorite things is helping other women get creative and create money, revenue and a successful business out of something they love to do - especially when they can run it from their sofa! If you are ready to start your own business, work from home, and create income from your blog or podcast or whatever, this episode is for you! I’ve got a big list of questions you guys asked and I am REALLY excited to dive into them! PS - part 2 of this business Q&A will be out soon!

 
 

In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • Her tips for getting started and the best ways to fight discouragement.

  • How to balance work and family life.

  • Ways to generate income for your blog.

  • The importance of delegating work and when you know it is time you start bringing on a team.

  • What you need to get started.

Mentioned in this Episode:


Where are my business-minded mama's at? I have something for you that I'm super excited to be sharing. If you've ever wanted the behind-the-scenes and inside scoop on how I grew my business from a tiny hobby blog with zero income to a multiple-seven-figure-per-year corporation, I have so, so much to tell you!

I've compiled all my favorite resources, books, courses and advice. A brain dump of everything that helped teach me what I know now and get me to where I am today (other than a lot of blood, sweat and tears and some serious hustle and late nights.) I've put it all together for you guys and it's in the Blog To Business Guide.


who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's amazing courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.

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Hey guys! Welcome! All right, we are doing an “ask anything” episode. I love these.

Usually on Instagram (sometimes we involve Facebook, sometimes we'll send an email out and get some questions from there) but what we do is we send out a topic with a question box where people see a topic – family, minimalism, business - and they can submit any question that they have on that topic for me.

A while back we did one centered around business and I think next time we do it, I'm going to be more specific because this is such a beast of a topic. It's really huge, it's really important and is a huge passion of mine. I absolutely love helping other women get creative, get passionate and create money, revenue and a successful business out of what they care about and what their passion is, and absolutely from their living room sofa not needing to go out and be away from their kids if that's not what they want.

Some of you mommas absolutely want that. You need the break and thrive doing your thing outside of the house. And that's great. But not everybody wants that.

So, for those of you who are starting your own businesses, have a dream to work from home and want to create income from your blog or your podcast or whatever it is, I'm your girl. I love helping with that. And although this podcast is not a business podcast, this is something that we can talk about every once in a while.

If you guys have the questions and they're rolling in enough, we'll talk about anything on here because this show is a lifestyle show for moms. It's not one and done. It's not just about one thing.

So, okay, I've got a big list of questions here and what I'm going to do…I'm just really relaxed here, just doing this live. Well, this is recorded, but you know what I'm saying. This isn't super preplanned or anything. I've got a list of questions here in Trello and I am going to go through, skim through and pick out the ones that seem like they'd be the most helpful and we'll just go through it this way.

So, ask me anything about business. Here we go.

Here's some questions that are about the starting process of a business.

What was the hardest part of starting your business? Uh, being broke. If you guys have not listened to episode six of The Purpose Show you might want to go back and do that.

It's basically the story of our business. The story of how we came to run this together, Brian & I. He used to work for a really big company. He worked a ton of hours. He was gone all the time and we were really broke all the time. We lived that way for years. And so not having the financial resources to start out in an easier way, I think starting a business is incredibly grueling no matter what. But also, not having funds for things like a new laptop, a microphone, even some decent headphones. I desperately wanted noise canceling headphones just so that I could get some work done in the evenings when Brian would come home from work and he'd be doing bedtime with the kids. I could hear everything. We lived in the Midwest at the time and it would be icy and cold and, being from SoCal, I just didn't want to brace that and go out and find a coffee shop. Or they'd all be really full and it became too difficult to even find a spot to work in town, you know? It was easier to stay home.

But I could hear everything and it was hard to focus. My laptop was really crappy. I got it off of Craigslist from this creepy guy and it just wouldn't work. The fan was super loud on it. It was old. It was slow.

I was constantly worried about how we were going to make it. How are we going to pay bills? We were behind on our car. We were behind on our rent. So just that stress, that heavy financial burden was the hardest part of starting for me.

But I think also (and this might be more relatable to everyone else) working so hard to create really good content that's going to help people and feeling like nobody is seeing it. That's really frustrating. It takes a lot of time and energy and you're constantly creating this stuff - these blog posts, these podcasts episodes - whatever it is for you. For me (at the time I didn't have the podcast) it was a blog-based business.

I had been blogging for, gosh, I don't know, five years, but had just recently decided, “You know what? I'm going to turn this into a business. We're done with this hand-to-mouth lifestyle. And I'm going to make this something big.” And I told Brian, “I'm going to get to a point where people know my name. This is big. They know my message. And this is going to be a global phenomenon. Just watch.”

And it's really cool because I said that when we were trying to stretch one cereal bowl into four and in the middle of the Midwest, away from all of our friends and family, and really struggling.

And it's hard because you see that picture and you're busting out all of this content to help people, but it does feel sometimes like nobody is even seeing it.

And I think my advice on that…I don't want to just tell you what the hardest part was and then move on. What I would say to anybody in that place who's really relating to that (you know, what I'm saying) I would say you need to realize the power of the few people who are watching. Even if they're not reading every blog post, even if they're not opening up every email, they are there.

Somebody is there. Somebody really likes what you have to say. Even if there's one person. Even if there's 3. If there's 50. If there's a few hundred, you know, but it's just not massive, don't look at what I have now and think. “Man, I just wish…”

It's not helpful. It's not constructive. And you have to realize that I was talking about this same stuff that I'm talking about now, but nobody was there. It was just 10 people, and then it grew to 50 people, and then it grew to 300 people. I thought that was a big deal some days. But then other days I'd get frustrated because I'd see other people having way more than me and I let that frustrate me.

But the thing is that you will never, ever have those tens of thousands or millions of people if you don't start with the 10. If you don't serve those 10 well, show up for them, consistently get in their inbox and create content that's helpful for them, inspiring for them, that's true to who you are so they can connect with you…those are the people who are going to spread you to their friends, their neighbors, their families, share you on social media and talk about you at mom's group.

Those are the people that grew me to the millions now, but it doesn't start that way for most people.

What is the very first step you would take if you had to do it all over again? This is an amazing question. I would start my email list earlier. I blogged for a long time with really no email list. I had an RSS feed and stuff like that, but you have to have an email list.

I recommend Convertkit. That's what I use for my email list. I love them and I like their pricing. It moves up as your list size grows so you're not paying $500 a month right out the gate. It's like $49 a month to start. And then as you grow more followers and more email subscribers, then the price goes up accordingly. Once you hit 500 it goes up a little bit and once you hit 5,000 it goes up a little bit. Your email list is where your money is going to come in.

I don't like to rely on social media and algorithms for my success. I love Instagram and I do use it. I don't really play the algorithm games. I just kind of show there and do my thing. I'm not super rule following and picky on there about when's the perfect time to post this photo. I'm just there. I'm sharing. And once people realize it, they stay and they like the content, and I'm not worried about the algorithms.

But the thing is, is that so many people put all their eggs in one basket, or they just rely so heavily on social media to carry their businesses. And the problem with that is that certain platforms expire. They die out.

Look at Periscope. Periscope was the newest, the latest, the hottest livestreaming platform. It was super popular. It grew. It broke records with how much it grew and how quickly it grew. It was such a success. And then it died because of Facebook Live. Facebook is probably not going anywhere, but that still doesn't mean that you should put all your eggs in that basket because their algorithm is constantly changing. It's like a mind game over there.

I don't want my business success or failure to be in the hands of someone else. Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest…there are other companies running them.

But when you focus on your email list, you put the power in your own hands. Everybody checks their email. No one's gonna miss that. Maybe they'll choose to not open it, but everyone checks their email, so when you get in their inbox, that's powerful. That is where you can make sales, you can connect, you can share your passion in a very deep way. And it's very personal. You're writing like a friend to these people. I always write my emails like they're to a friend because I feel that way about you guys first of all. And secondly, because I want to connect with you because if I can't connect with you, you're not going to hear my message. And my message is important. It's going to change your life if you'll hear it. I know that.

I wish that I would have realized that sooner. I did start my email list pretty early on when I switched my blog to my business, but I just wished that I would've had an email list growing while I was blogging for five years. I did not have any email list and that really sucked. Starting from zero there, you know, it's hard.

How did you start making a steady income from your blog? There are a few different options when it comes to creating income from your blog. The most common way is affiliates. I'm not a huge fan of affiliate marketing. And by this I mean like Amazon affiliate links, talking about other products and trying to get the clicks to make money. It just doesn't vibe with me. I don't like to be paid to tell people what products from Amazon to buy. I don't really do any of that. I do have an Amazon affiliate account because obviously at my level there's millions of people watching what I do. So, if I do happen to find a really great jacket or a great pair of shoes that I absolutely love and I want to share it of my own volition, I will. And I do believe I should be compensated from that. So, every once in a while I'll use an affiliate link like that.

But some people use Amazon affiliate links…they find things that are high priced so that each click gets them more money and they will not even buy the product. They'll just promote it. They make stuff up straight out of the air and then use an Amazon affiliate link to try to get money. And that just doesn't work for me. Like I said, it doesn't vibe with me. It feels dishonest and slimy and I just didn't want to do that.

Also, I’m not a huge fan of getting people to click away from my site. I'm not here to have a blog that makes me money. I'm here to spread my message. So, if you're there to just have a blog that makes you money and to bring an income, there's nothing wrong with that. Your approach is just going to be different and you might want to look into affiliate links and things like that and creating money from things other people have done.

My courses have affiliate programs and a lot of moms sign up for the affiliate program and make money from telling people about my courses that have changed their lives already and then they make the money back that they spent on the course and then some. They bring in hundreds every month. It just depends on how they're sharing it.

There is nothing wrong with affiliate programs. I think they're very powerful. But for me, my message is my passion and it's important that I get that out into the world. And I knew there was a way for me to create a very steady and powerful income by doing that, so I went the route of courses and online programs.

Basically, it's almost impossible to get everything out that you want to say for free on a blog or a podcast if you're a busy mom. But if you put everything in one vault, in one area, and you organize it, you put it in order, you can see that you've covered every single topic, every single base, then you can package it up and sell it. And that's basically what an online course is.

It's for the people who want all the information. They’re done with whatever the problem is that your course solves and they want the solution. They're willing to pay for it and they want all of it. They don't want to just get inspired and listen to a podcast or read a blog. They want to be coached to solving this problem that your course solves.

And so, I created my course because my audience was asking me for one. It was slow going at first, of course, but eventually through growth, guest blogging on other people's blogs, getting podcast interviews, doing things like that, I spread the word enough. I was doing webinars and no one was coming. I just kept doing them and eventually people came.

Eventually the income went from a few hundred dollars a month to a few thousand. Now we have an incorporation, we have an S-corp. We have this big incorporation that employs all these people and makes multiple seven figures every year, from a low-priced course. Most courses are in the thousands. My highest one is less than $300. That's just unheard of. But I want to tell you, now it is heard of and you can do that as well.

I started from nothing, you guys. There was nothing special about my story. There was nothing special about me. I was a normal girl, very overwhelmed. Very afraid of fame, very afraid of being seen. Very private. But I had a burning passion to spread my message and I had a burning passion to create revenue for my family so that my husband could get out of his crappy job and we could step into this lifestyle that we had only dreamed of.

It seemed impossible. Honestly, so many people that I really appreciated and respected told me that it was impossible. Nobody took me seriously. And you know, honestly, still some people don't. They'll say things like “you're lucky” or “wow, you went viral and you are so lucky this happened for you.” Like, “oh, it's so lucky that you get to take Instagram pictures and make a bunch of money.” And it's very demeaning.

It is a lot of hard work and it absolutely is not for everyone. I think it's something like 1% of entrepreneurs actually keep going more than a year and have successful businesses. If you want to be in that 1%, you've got to do the work and it takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears. I mean that quite literally. It's a lot of hustle, a lot of focus, a lot of being willing to learn and being willing to change your mind and be flexible.

So that is the first step that I would do if I could do it all over again. I would start that email list early. Making steady income came from the courses. I know that was a lot, but I hope that answers those two questions.


Where are my business-minded mama's at? I have something for you that I'm super excited to be sharing. If you've ever wanted the behind-the-scenes and inside scoop on how I grew my business from a tiny hobby blog with zero income to a multiple-seven-figure-per-year corporation, I have so, so much to tell you!

I've compiled all my favorite resources, books, courses and advice. A brain dump of everything that helped teach me what I know now and get me to where I am today (other than a lot of blood, sweat and tears and some serious hustle and late nights.) I've put it all together for you guys and it's in the Blog To Business Guide.

Maybe you already have a blog or a platform and you want to grow it into a business. Or you don't have anything yet but you're wanting to get more information. You know you have some ideas but you want some resources. You wish you knew what are the best books to give my time to? What are the best courses? What are the best investments I can make in time or money to learn about growing a successful business?

I've given you all of my opinions in the Blog To Business Guide and you can go get it right now by heading to alliecasazza.com/blogtobiz.


How do you keep the courage to turn your ideas into a business when you see others in the same field succeeding, especially in the mom niche? Well, first of all, I think that it doesn't matter if anyone else is doing something. You have your own personality and your own voice and that's why it's so important to be yourself. It's really easy when the camera starts to roll to switch and get into a different tone of talking, get into this different mode. I still find myself doing it sometimes. To some extent it's just normal. But I think it's important to remain true to yourself.

And that's hard, you know? Things like the words that I'll say or the way I'll phrase something…I'm a really blunt person. “I love Jesus but I cuss a little,” sometimes things like that are hard because you see the judgmental comments and people saying, “I can’t believe that you would phrase that that way. That was so harsh.” Well it's not harsh; I'm just being sarcastic, but I guess you don't like sarcasm and I can't really control that.

So, things like that, the constant running opinions of other people can sometimes make it just a little difficult to not turn on your fake camera face and voice. But typically, you've got to just get over it and you have to create the courage. It's not like, “Oh, how do you keep the courage to do this?” You have to make the choice to be courageous and realize you have your own personality, you have your own voice, you have your own way of saying and doing things and that is what's going to connect you to your audience. If you're not connecting with someone, they're just not your audience. It doesn't matter. You don't want them, they're not your audience. They are someone else's audience.

There's been a lot of frustration for me in my business journey with the minimalism becoming a trend after I had been teaching it, feeling like I was talking to a wall for so long and not growing a following and that was really frustrating. Then minimalism became this trend and all of these other people started doing it and they had very quick success while I'm in the background trying so hard.

A lot of the time people will talk to me, “Oh, you were smart. You jumped on board after this became a trend and you got on it.” “No. I've been doing this for much longer…” But it's fine.

I think keeping your head down and focusing on what you're going for, being yourself and letting your personality shine.

You know, a lot of people try to put me up against and compare me to Marie Kondo and I'll never play that game. There's a lot of differences in the way we teach, a lot of differences in our personalities and that's good. She's very sweet. She's very gentle. She has a totally different way of teaching things. Some things are just not my style; I just won’t do that. And some things I just disagree with. As a mom, that’s not going to work for us, for us overwhelmed, busy moms. So that's good.

I can be really empathetic. I'll often cry with people who are struggling. I take on the emotions of other people. And so, I can be sweet in that way, but I'm typically more blunt. I have a lot of humor that I infuse in things with the way I describe situations and try to make people feel lighter about what they're struggling with. I just have a different, “no nonsense, no BS” approach to clutter. Some people like that and some people don't.

It's good that you're different. It's good that you're doing the same thing as someone else because that means that your niche needs that message. You actually don't want to start a business about something that no one is doing and you can't find anything about. There's a reason for that.

So just stick true to who you are and be persistently you. No matter how big it gets, you need to be consistently you. Let yourself shine. If you're blunt and sarcastic, let that be a part of what you do. If you're really sweet and empathetic, let that be a part of it. If you're a mix of all four of those things like me, then let that be what shines.

People connect to people. They don't connect to business ideas.

What's your number one tip for a mom trying to grow a hobby blog read by mostly family and friends into something bigger that brings in more money?  So, I would go back to the earlier questions I answered. Get yourself an email list. You can use MailChimp. You can use Convertkit. Whatever floats your boat; you could use something else. But get an email list set up.

And you need to create a free opt-in. A free opt-in is a pdf, a checklist of some kind that goes hand-in-hand with what you're sharing, what you're teaching. So, for example, my most popular free opt-in is the Clear The Clutter Starter Kit. It used to be called the Minimalism Starter Kit. That's been around for years. That has about 100,000 downloads to it. So,100,000 people have downloaded that in just three years, which is amazing. That is a free opt-in. In exchange for their email address, I give somebody something helpful for free. That’s what a free opt-in is. You can do a video series. You could do one video. You could do a pdf checklist, an ebook, something like that. You could do an email challenge. You're giving them something valuable for free. They just have to give you their email address. So, you grow your email list like that. That's my number one tip for you.

How do you narrow multiple interests into the one people most connect with? Test it out. Talk passionately about what your interests are and you will probably find not only is your audience responding more to one than the others, but you’re connecting more to one than the others. Probably the same one your audience is connecting with because they are going to connect with your passion. So just start.

I used to talk about all kinds of things. Marriage, faith, parenting, postpartum depression, minimalism, house stuff. As I evolved as a minimalist and as a mom dealing with overwhelm, I became extra passionate about the house part. I came across far too many women who didn't enjoy being at home. They avoided being at home. They felt really depressed when they were at home. They felt very overwhelmed by their homes. I used to be like that. I got out of it and I created a beautiful space that I loved being in, even though we were super broke. I got really good at budgeting, decorating on a budget, minimalism, just simplifying.

It changed my life and that passion showed through. As I became more passionate about that, my audience began to not read the other things. They wouldn't even get clicked. The emails wouldn't get opened. The blog post wouldn’t get read. It wasn't happening. And so, I just naturally scooted over into this specific topic. But of course, you guys who have listened to different podcast episodes, you see you can still have it all. You can still talk about other things.

My podcast is my outlet for discussing life and encouraging people on all topics. We have all kinds of different guests - health guests, marriage guests, sex guests, personal growth guests. I talk about all different things - living well and full, being a strong woman, the enneagram and personality types. We celebrate together. We have fun episodes. We have serious episodes. I cry. I laugh. We are relaxed and some are more strategic. It's all the things. So, don't think that you have to pick one thing.

But at the same time, what am I most known for? Minimalism, home stuff, simplified living. That goes into home, calendar, and life.

I hope that makes sense. You'll figure it out. Just start to talk and start to share. Don't be afraid to survey your audience. Ask them what they think you're best at. But don't do it too soon. Make sure it's been a while of you sharing your multiple interests. See what you connect to sharing most. What do you love sharing about so much that you would do it all day long for free? For me that was minimalism.

Talking about faith and dealing with all the rude and difficult feedback from that…it just drained me. Not in a way where I was ashamed of God, or ashamed of my walk with Him, but I wasn't drawn to it. I actually struggled with that one specifically for a really long time. A lot of people still will tell me, “You need to talk about Jesus more. You don't share your faith enough. I'm offended by that.” And it's like, “Well then you go share your faith.”

Because I can tell you right now, I'm eight years into blogging and I know for a fact that going way deep into that and sharing openly, making that my niche, is not my calling. Just because you believe something doesn't mean it's your “calling” to talk about it exclusively. So, don't let anyone tell you that or try to change your mind about something that you feel strongly is what you're supposed to be talking about.

I know that what I'm talking about now, what I'm most known for - helping women create spaces that they love, helping them simplify so they can focus on what matters - I was born to do this and you should feel that way about what you do with your business, your blog, your podcast or whatever it is.

How many hours is a good amount to dedicate to starting your business without it taking over all your time? I think I'm going to flip your question around and instead say, where are the blocks of time you can fit it in?

Going back to an example from my personal life, when I started this business (it was in January of 2016) and started really learning and focusing on turning my blog into a business, that's when Brian would leave for work around 7:40 in the morning and he would come back after dinner. I got up at 4:00 a.m. for a year and I worked for a few hours before he went to work and that's when I got the bulk of my stuff done. About halfway through the day I would need to take a power nap, so I would turn on Netflix for the kids and snuggle with Emmett. Emmett was a baby and I would nurse him to a nap and we would nap together for half an hour in the middle of the day. Then I would often work again at night before I went to bed and let Brian cook dinner, if he was home in time, or if he wasn't, I would handle dinner and then he would come in and do bath and bedtime and all of that. I wouldn't do that every night because I wanted to have that family time at night. But a few nights a week I would also work at night.

Some days I would end up working 7 hours a day and other days it would be 3 or 4 hours. It's not about how many hours is the magic number, it's about where are the blocks of time that you can fit it in. When I started to look at that and I saw that there were none, I had to make a choice. Am I in this or not? That's when I made the choice to get up at an ungodly hour every morning for a year. And it was so worth it. Those are the kinds of decisions that separate the ones who succeed from the ones who don't.

Okay. Let's switch gears a little bit and go into the questions that are more about balance with work and family.

How do you protect your kids’ privacy and security while still sharing about them? This is a very good question.

I've done a lot of research on this. I would encourage anyone…I was going to say anyone who's looking to be a public figure or a lifestyle person…but I wasn't looking for that. I didn't realize that would happen based on what I do. I always say that I'm so glad I didn't know that this public figure role would happen with what I did with my blog and my business. Because if I had known with my personality and how much I value privacy, I probably wouldn't have done it. It's really hard. That's the hardest part of all of this for me. I'm so much better now. Even talking about it now. I'm like, is it really the hardest part anymore though? Cause I'm really over it. I really don't care. People make up stuff about me all the time and I just don't care.

Sometimes people will figure out things or piece things together that I’ve said from the past that are true and try to use it against me and I don't care. I know that I said that. I know that that happened. I know that that's who I used to be. It doesn't matter. But before this year it was really hard for me.

Once I saw that this was happening, and it was spiraling out of control and people were really obsessively watching our family and looking at us, I started to do some really heavy research on kids’ privacy and safety. There's so much out there, please go look it up for yourself.

Basically there are some rules: Never show the front of your house. Never show the license plate on your car or of a car that is always near where you are (like the license plates on the cars that are in my neighborhood). Things like that. Because people are crazy, much crazier than you probably are, and they will look you up and they will find you. Trust me. I won't get into the details, but we've had some really weird stuff happen and it's disturbing. People are very, very strange, especially when you're connecting with people and you're sharing your heart and you're helping them. Some people get obsessive and strange.

Also be very careful with the types of photos of your kids that you post if you choose to post them at all. I even have some friends who are not influencers and they just live this way. And I have some other influencer friends who don't share anything about their kids. They are not a part of their role. They're not a part of their business, they’re not a part of their image and it does just the way that it is.

For me, I actually really don't like that as much as I love privacy. I wanted to make sure that people were able to see how this is lived out, that they can see our family. I use Instagram Story almost like a vlog most days. Some days I'm not so good at it, but most days I do. I like that and the kids like it too. They'll say, “Mom, can you show this on your Instagram Stories?” We're all involved; we're all in it together. And I like that. I don't mind having my kids a part of what I do and I think it's important.

But be careful - the weirdest, most random photos that you would never think have anything wrong with them will end up snagged from your blog and put on a pedophile site. And I'm not even kidding. You have to watch. You have to be careful. Do it yourself, or if you can't, have somebody be in charge of just watching where blog traffic is coming from. If you ever see a spike on something, follow the trail. Make sure that it's from a reputable site, from a mommy blogger sharing you or something and it’s not from a bunch of creeps looking at your photos. Things like bathing suits, short shorts…just be careful, be respectful, but respect your kids' privacy too.

There's a lot of things…maybe I'm telling a story about a difficult day we had with one of our kids. I won't say who it is unless I've talked to them and I'm like, “Hey, I think this would really be helpful for other moms. I'm going to tell this story but I'm going to leave your name out. Okay? Is that alright with you?” And sometimes they'll say, “Oh, you can say my name mom. I want them to know how old I am.” They get it. They want to help you guys. And sometimes they're like, “Yeah, okay.”

And I won't say which kid it is because I don't want to embarrass or shame my kids and a lot of “public-figure” parents are not aware of this sadly. You have to think, “How can I respect my kids in this way? They don't have a say. So where is their privacy here?”

There was one situation about three years ago when we got offered a reality TV show. And as we met with the producers, we talked with them, we started to see what they were envisioning, I quickly found out that they originally reached out and said they wanted it to be about my business and what I do for women. And then they very quickly switched gears and decided that we were fascinating because we lived in the camper (we were touring the US at the time) and they were like, “Oh my gosh, this is amazing. No, we want to do a reality show about your family and your kids.” And I said, “I'm not okay with that.”

They really pushed and they really wanted it to be that way and it wasn't right for me. It's not that reality TV families are doing anything wrong, but in my gut it didn't feel right. It didn't feel right at that time, and it still doesn't feel right now to have a reality show about our family. It just doesn't feel right to me. You have to follow that. I always say you were chosen out of every mother, whoever lived in any era to be the parent, the mother to your kids. There's a reason for that.

This is why I think that it's ridiculous when moms judge each other for their choices. “Oh, you let your kids watch Spongebob? I would never do that.” And it's like, “Okay, well there's probably some reason that one of your kids just wouldn't do well watching Spongebob then don't do that, but don't hate on us who are like, ‘Oh, Spongebob is hilarious and it's fine.’” You know? I just think it's ridiculous. Same with this sort of thing in my gut. I just knew this isn't right. I would love to do a show about my business. And I don't mind if my kids are in it every once in a while, but I don't want a reality show about our family. It just didn't feel right. And they wouldn't budge, so we didn't do a deal.

You have to gauge with your gut what is important to you, what feels right to you. Pray about it. Think about it. Meditate on it. Process it. It's okay to say, “Let me think about it,” to an opportunity and take a walk. Talk it out with your spouse. Let it sift around in your brain for a weekend. This is your family and this is your life. And once something is out, it's out. People will always try to dig up stuff on you and try to say stuff about you. That's inevitable and it really doesn't matter. It's empty. People are just nosy and who cares? But it is your job to protect your kids’ privacy and security. Be careful. Research. Know the facts and then follow your gut for all the things that seemed kind of fluid and gray.

How do you schedule or protect time with your family and then time for your blog business and then time to be off and away, et cetera, when the Internet really never sleeps? Great question.

I'm really big on batching. I've talked about this a lot in the past and we can link to blog posts and episodes that have been about this in the show notes, but basically there's certain days – guys, take this with a grain of salt because whenever I say something like “I usually take Thursdays off for family day” and then on a Thursday I'll show on Instagram Stories that I'm writing or getting some work done and people will be like, “I thought it was family day.” And it's like, “Good Lord, I don't have a cemented, rigid, schedule with two armed guards next to it that are going to shoot me up if I break my rules.

It's very fluid and what I do, it comes and goes in waves very, very much. So, some seasons it’s so busy and we'll be a little bit more flexible. Maybe I'll work an hour on a morning that I'm normally off, maybe I won't. It's fluid. But typically, my weekends are really protected. We have a lot of family time on the weekends. Then on Mondays it's pretty much really slow going and open-ended. That's a day where we go grocery shopping, we get our stuff done for the week, we prepare for the coming week, a little bit on Sunday night too. We have a family day. We have Legoland passes so that might be a day we go to Legoland.

Also Thursdays are a “nothing” day. If I want to, and I feel like I have the energy, I will sometimes catch up. We use Asana for running tasks for the business. If I have a bunch of unfinished tasks in Asana, I'll maybe spend an hour or so going through them and knocking them out. Approving blog posts, writing up emails for the week or whatever, things like that. But typically, it's a really slow, quiet, at-home day.

And then Tuesday, Wednesday and Fridays are very much go, go, go when it comes to the business. I section off my time during the week like that.

Then we make sure we schedule a week or so off really regularly. We take a lot of trips. We do a lot of travel. Pretty much every month at least I am traveling, but usually I bring my family with me because that's the main reason we homeschool is so we can travel, do fun things together, and have that freedom and flexibility in our schedule to do what we want.

For example, I'm recording this right now and it's February. I finished (well almost finished) my book proposal last week. This week it's all about the podcast and recording episodes, doing all of that. And then next week it's all about work wrap up, so I am wrapping up some plans for an upcoming product launch and doing a couple of interviews for other people's podcasts and press, finalizing a couple of really big projects that are being planned. And then the last week of the month is our team retreat in Nashville. So I'll be gone for nine days at the end of the month. So that's usually how it goes. Pretty much every month, there's a week of travel in there somewhere. Sometimes it’s for work, sometimes it's for fun, sometimes it's for both.

I block out my week to where there's balanced work time, rest time, family time. And then also my mom's like, “Well, we're due for a family vacation. Let's take a trip. Let's go up to San Diego for five days and just rest.” “I'm speaking over here on the east coast this week. Let’s add five days to that trip and just make a family event out of it.” How am I feeling? What's my gut telling me? What do I feel like I need? If I feel burnout coming, we'll plan an extra time of rest. I will cancel a launch, cancel something. I'm never afraid to cancel, never afraid to say, “Nevermind, this isn't gonna work for me. I'm too exhausted.” That's how I find that balance.

I wish we could get into the next section. We're going to need to do a Part II on this because there are so many good questions about courses, paid content, delegating and oh, so good. We're going to do another Part II.

Guys, thank you for these questions. I really appreciate when you guys help write episodes like this because I feel like they're so good. And these are always the ones that you guys love the most because you basically wrote them and you decided what the topic was going to be.

Okay. I love you guys. I will talk to you next time.

If you're starting a business, please just be encouraged. Please be encouraged. Go and download my Blog To Business Guide. It is loaded with literally just names and links to my favorite resources that helped me start my business - the influencers, the leaders, the websites, the content, the courses, the freebies that helped form who I am as a business woman today are all linked in there. It's super, super helpful.

Go get that in the show notes. Let that be your starting point.


This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.

Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.  

I am always rooting for you, friend!

See ya next time!

Hey mama! Just a quick note, this post may contain affiliate links.

Ep 096: Real Women Are Strong Women

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Sometimes we shame ourselves, but a lot of the time it's other people who shame us. From breastfed to formula fed, working from home or at a 9 to 5 office job, having a clean home or a messy home, your birth plan, how you school your kids, and so much more. Shame comes in all directions and most of us feel like we never do anything right because we are being shamed all the time. But we have to stop this! No one is going to come in and help us with this. We have to be on each other's side. We have to shut this down. We have to stop judging each other. All we have is each other and we have to stop turning against each other. Who is with me?? Let’s do this together.

 
 

In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • Specific ways we shame one another, especially as women.

  • The importance of surrounding yourself with people who support you, not tear you down.

  • What you can do to help fight against shaming.

  • How powerful “not knowing” can be.  

Mentioned in this Episode:


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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.

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Hey, beautiful! Welcome! I'm really glad that you're here! We're going to dive right in to a very important discussion about real women, strong women and mom-shaming.

Sometimes we shame ourselves, but a lot of the time it's other people who shame us. Other people that we love and respect who shame us. This can be a heavy episode, but while focusing on the heavy things, it's also going to be an incredibly lightening episode.

I'm just excited to dive in.

Right before I recorded this, I was sitting at my desk just looking at my notes on the things that I want to cover today and just feeling really honored that I even get to have a platform that I know people listen to, to talk about this on. This is the kind of stuff that just lights me up and makes me feel like everything that it took to build this platform is worth it. If I can shine a light on these things and help bring truth and life to you guys in these areas, then it was all worth it.

I want to discuss the things that are often viewed and treated as failures for women. And I want to point out before I go down this list that I'm going to read to you guys...there's a list that I have here of things that women in my actual audience responded to when I asked them, “What are some things that are a part of your motherhood that you have felt shamed and judged for?” That's all I asked. I didn't give them any other preface to it. I just asked, “Off the top of your head, what are the things in your motherhood that you have felt shamed and judged for,” and they were able to submit their answers.

There wasn't a long space for answers. It was very short. It had to be just really short. I did that on purpose so that they could, “what’s on the top of your head, what's the main point of it” and not give the backstory.

And these responses are incredibly disheartening.

I want to point out the irony of the opposites on this list. Okay? I'm going to read them to you:

Having C-sections. Formula feeding. I get disapproving looks in public and even comments. Mistakes in parenting. Working and not being a stay-at-home mom. Being a stay-at-home mom and not working. Being too young to become a mother when I was 21 and we felt ready. Homeschooling my kids.

Having a clean home. Having a messy home. Extended breastfeeding. Prioritizing our marriage and leaving the kids with a sitter once a week. Not having an out-of-home date night away from the kids because I didn't want to leave them with anyone. Having a home birth. Choosing to be a single mom and not stick it out in an abusive marriage.

Having a large family and overpopulating the earth. My child's meltdowns due to special needs that are not obvious to the casual observer. Co-sleeping with my baby. Losing the baby weight right away without trying. I got so much hate for that.

Being organized and put together. Overscheduling my kids and extra activities. Not having my kids in enough extra activities. Educating myself like crazy and choosing not to vaccinate my kids. Researching a ton and choosing to vaccinate my kids.

Planning to have a natural childbirth but opting for an epidural during labor. I am treated like I was weak.

Feeding my family nonorganic foods. Changing my mind. Having childcare so I can work.

On this one she wrote quote from my mother-in-law: “I don't know why you bother having kids if you're just going to have someone else raise them.”

When these were coming in on my phone, I was reading them live. I left my phone open and let them pour in. For about an hour, I just sat there journaling some thoughts that I had for this episode and some things that I wanted to say, and then I would periodically look at my phone and see what responses had come in.

I got so emotional and just started to cry. My mom was actually over and we talked about it. It just poured out of us. How ridiculous this is. How sad this is.

And the irony of the opposite answers, these opposite responses. Having an outside date night with my husband so we can prioritize our marriage; not having an outside of the house date night away from the kids because I'm not ready to leave them. Homeschooling; sending my kids to school. Like these are opposite - vaccinating; not vaccinating. These are opposite responses.

Some moms feel really judged that their house is clean; some feel judged that their house is messy. “I'm shaming you because your house is clean and it brings out something in me that I feel inadequate about, so I'm going to make you feel bad about it.” “Oh, your house is messy. Why can't you get it together?” You know, it's these opposites? So ironic!

And the fact is what this shows me is that this is ludicrous. We can't win no matter what we do there is someone who is unhappy about our choice. Why do they even care, first of all? And that person lets you know exactly what they think in a very judgmental, shaming way.

I was having a conversation with my friend Kendra, some of you guys know her. She runs motherlikeaboss. We were talking about passive aggressive comments that lead to mom-shaming.

It sounds something like this. Someone asks you something and you answer them and say whatever it is that you and your family do. Like let's say it's not vaccinating, or not feeding your kids every single thing that's organic, whatever it is. And the person will respond with something like, “Wow! I would never do that. But I guess I'm just different.” Something like that. So passive aggressive that it leaves you standing there with your mouth open. Like, “I feel like crap. And what do I even say here?”

There was a study that was done recently that I read about in an article that revealed that most mom-shaming comments come from family members. That is so sad.

And in that same study it showed that 42% of the women who received critical remarks said that it made them feel unsure about their parenting judgment that they'd previously felt really good about after a lot of thought.

So, basically these women are raising people - that's scary in itself. They're doing the best they can. They're thinking it through, probably talking it out with their spouse, researching and they land on a decision: “This feels good to me. For me and my kids, this feels right.” And then they get shamed and judged verbally and it leaves them feeling unsure about a decision they had previously felt really good about.

Here's the thing, those people are not the parents of your kids. I say this all the time and it is worth saying again here: You, sweet mama, you, were chosen out of every single woman who has ever lived in any era of time to be the mother of your child or your children.

It doesn't matter if you have bio kids, if your kids are adopted, if you are a stepmom, it doesn't matter. You were chosen. In some way, shape or form, you were intentionally chosen to be their mom.

It is on you how they're raised. What decisions you make. What kind of food they eat. What kind of school they go to. What kind of stuff you put into their body, vaccine or otherwise. How many siblings they have or don't have. How many babysitters are in their lives or not. How many date nights you and your husband have or not. It's up to you. It is up to you, not them.

So first of all, I just have to say that. Just remember it is on us. And when all is said and done, how our kids turn out - honestly, it's kind of a toss-up. I really am not a fan of when people blame the parents for everything. It's not, you know what I mean? That’s not the case.

Kids are their own people. They're going to grow up with their own brains. They're getting influence from other people in other areas and they're going to do their own thing. They're going to turn into adults. But for now, as we're raising them, it's our responsibility and our choice how their childhood is. How they grow up. The things they eat, see, do, and get signed up for. Where they sleep and how we handle their meltdowns. All of that.

And you know what's really sad is that one. That one that said, “My child's meltdowns that are due to special needs, which are not obvious to the casual observer.” I can just see this poor woman in Target trying to check out and her child having a massive meltdown that just looks like ‘what a brat’ and it's special needs and you can't tell from the outside, not that that should even matter. And strangers leering at her and shooting her looks like ‘get it together’ when she is trying. Even the fact that she's out at Target with her child who she's gone through so much with is a win and people are shooting her down.

We as women have to stop this. We have to stop. No one is going to come in and help us with this. We have to be on each other's side. We have to shut this down. We have to stop judging each other, leering at each other, speaking ill of each other and gossiping about each other. It's poison. All we have is each other and we have to stop turning against each other.

Having said that, I get super emotional about this, obviously. Having said that, I want to go over some things. These are some things I've had come up in conversations with friends, some things that I've learned, you know, by myself and some things that just came to me as I was journaling through this episode while reading these responses from women in my audience to what they felt shamed about.


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I want to go over some things that you can do about this. Unfortunately, it's a real problem. It's probably not going to go away anytime soon unfortunately. So on top of being a part of the change and not being a part of the problem, and cutting gossip straight up out of your life, stop talking about other people no matter what you think they did or didn't do.

Guys, I know it's hard. I know it's hard. I had somebody who is very dear to me and worked for me, steal from me, and we're in the same circle. We’ve got friends in common. I will not speak badly about her and her character. I won't. I can say the facts, say what happened, this is what we did about it, and that relationship is over. It's very sad, but I'm not going to pull the whole defamation of character thing. Even if it's true, it doesn't matter. You've got to draw a line.

It's awkward. I've had to say, “I'm not going to gossip about this.” We've got to do that because the line has to be drawn somewhere. That's an example of someone actually doing something terrible.

When one mom is doing parenthood one way and you don't like it, what gives you the right to shoot her a look, put her down or talk badly about her to somebody else because it's different than what you would do? Who cares? It's her child.

So, first of all, we’ve got to go there and stop that. We've got to stop it.

For the moms who are dealing with this kind of thing, who are feeling this way of feeling these reactions from people in your life about the choices that you're making, here's what we can do about it.

Number one, expect to be judged. A motherhood without judgment is unfortunately highly unlikely. Learn to expect it so that when it does happen, you're not so caught off guard. I'm really sad to even be having to give this point in this podcast episode. But I do think that it's worth saying. Just expect it so it's not so, “I'm shocked by this. I'm shocked that someone's unhappy about this.”

Take it from me. A part of my job is to just inevitably get people's opinions about me - how I look, how I talk. You know, I'm a Christian and sometimes I think there's just no other word to describe things than with a curse word and I don't really care. And that's just how I am. People say things about that all the time. If that's your problem then don't do it. Just don't do it.

Don't tell me how to talk.

Don't tell me that I need to dress different because it's not flattering to my shape.

Don't tell me that I go on too many (I've been told this) I go on too many date nights. What about my kids? First of all, I homeschool them and I work from home. I get plenty of my kids. And that's why we have so many date nights. Not that it's any of your freaking business.

So, I get it. It's part of my job. The con of what I do, who I am, what I've built with this audience, is just getting needless remarks, from people that I will never even meet, about exactly what they think about me and my lifestyle.

So, let me take this lesson that I've learned and give it to you who may not be in the same public situation and say, it doesn't matter what you say or do. You're going to be judged and people are going to be unhappy. So be yourself. Follow your gut. Pray about it. See how you feel. Make your decisions for your kids yourself and expect that you're going to be judged.

I promise you, you're going to feel so much better and you're not going to be so caught off guard. You're not going to be hurt. You're not going to be bothered about it all day. It's not going to ruin your day, or even your hour, because you're going to know ‘we're doing this and I'm going to be judged for it.’

Let's go back to the date night example. Brian and I have talked about this so many times and have landed here. We have a lot of date nights. We have basically a weekly meeting about business and homeschooling because there's a lot going on and we're in charge of a lot of things and we need to go over that together. And then we have a date night every week.

And you know what? Sometimes it's just too much and we just need it and we'll go out again. My brother, he works for us and he watches the kids. He's so good with them and I adore him. He comes over like, “Yeah, okay, I'll come over and watch the kids again.” We get so much flack for that.

And you know what? These people are the people who have other problems. It's not about us, it's about them. Maybe they're feeling guilty that they don't prioritize their marriage or sad that their spouse doesn't want to spend time with them. Whatever it is, whatever it's coming from, it's coming from somewhere negative in them, not negative about us. Who cares?

And I only show parts of how much time we spend alone together. If I actually opened up and showed everything (which I don't even want to do because I don't like even having my phone) then what else would people say? Who cares? Leave us alone. It doesn't matter.

Remove yourself from the situation. Let it go. Do what is going to work for you. You know, these are the same people who would be extremely judgmental if our marriage ended and we got a divorce because we didn't prioritize ourselves enough for what our lifestyle needed. So, no matter what you do, they're not going to be happy with you.

And why are you trying to make them happy anyway? Take it from me. Live your life. Do what feels good to you. Do what feels right for you and your family. Talk to your spouse (if you have one). Decide for yourself (if you're a single mom). Decide what's going to work for you and do it expecting that somebody is going to be unhappy about it and remembering that it doesn't freaking matter.

And when all is said and done, if nothing else, remember that your BFF Allie is getting judged a heck of a lot harder than you are. Maybe that will help you feel a little bit better.

Going back to what do we do about this? I think number two has to be realize that, like I said before, that this so often has nothing to do with you as a mom and everything to do with them as a person. For example, maybe your mom makes a comment only to insert herself in your child's life and your parenting so that she feels more involved. That's about her feeling like she doesn't matter. It's not about you being a bad mother. So remember, almost always comments have nothing to do with you and everything to do with them. And that's a really powerful piece of knowledge to remember when you're struggling with something that somebody has said or the way they looked at you and made you feel.

Next thing is ask yourself if this person is just a know-it-all who's talking just to hear themselves talk and to seem smart about something that they're actually really insecure about, or maybe they're making up for something else in their life that they feel ashamed of. A lot of people bring others down to avoid the shame they feel about themselves.

So again, this goes back to #2. It's about them and not you. It brings it into a new light. It can help to feel sad for somebody who's being mean to you and judging you for something if you see it that way. That basically they're just really insecure. They're feeling shamed by themselves so they are putting that shame out on you instead to make themselves feel better.

Next, I think you need to limit your time with the shamers. If they're in your life, if they’re family - as that study showed that most people who feel shamed from somebody, the shame is coming from family members - set some boundaries. Get away from them. Don't spend time with them. Don't say ‘yes’ to that dinner party if you know you're going to leave feeling dogged for your momming. Don't do that.

Read the book Boundaries. Like now. I'll link to it in shownotes. It's amazing and a classic and a life changer.

Limit your time with them. Set boundaries. Step away. Get away from them. Don't make them a part of your life more than they need to be.

Also find your people and surround yourself with the people in the outlets that lift you up and get you. If you're a single mom, find a single mom’s group to hang out with, breastfeeding groups, formula feeding groups, friends who love and accept you, even if you're doing things differently.

Even podcasts and following certain public figures online who make you feel good, inspired, and encouraged can be super helpful if you don't have an in-person circle.

So basically, what is the venue you're feeling really judged and shamed for? Find people who agree with you.

I never want to be closed-minded and only hanging out with people who agree with me about everything, especially in faith and Christianity, that's a dangerous thing to do because people are very closed-minded. They're very judgmental. Honestly, I say this all the time and I'll say it again, Christians can really suck and they can be really embarrassing. So much so that I often don't even like to label myself that because it's embarrassing. They're full of hate and they just are embarrassing.

And so, you know, find people that agree with you.

You know, again, we don't want to be closed-minded and just only hang out with people who are like us and avoid all conflict, but if you're feeling really shamed about something, go and find somebody who gets you. If you're feeling really bad that breastfeeding didn't work out for you, or you just didn't want to do it, you're formula feeding your baby and you feel super dogged about that, go and find a formula feeding group. Be encouraged there. Make a friend. Let yourself be immersed in people who are doing what you're doing and that'll help you so much.

Also, I think you need to know that some days you're going to have guilt and you're going to struggle with a feeling that you've messed up, with or without the shaming, and that's a normal part of being a parent. So here are some things you can do. Maybe you could jot these down. I purposely left this at the end of the episode so you could easily go back and find it. Jot these things down and work through them when you feel guilty or like you've messed up or you're struggling with guilt and shame in yourself about your parenting.

First, evaluate your feelings. Are they authentic? Is this an authentic thing? I feel really guilty because I yelled at my son when he dropped cereal on the floor. That's authentic. You don't want to do that. That's not the kind of parent you want to be. What can we do about that? Evaluate how you're feeling. Where is it coming from?

Also ask yourself is this fear based? Are you feeling really guilty about formula feeding your baby or breastfeeding your baby because you feel like they're not getting enough nutrients and the doctor told you that they're not. But he seems totally healthy and happy. He’s sleeping great. He's happy and he seems to be doing well. That's fear based.

Are you worried about formula feeding because somebody made you feel really guilty about that and the formula is going to cause cancer? That's fear-based.

Are these things authentic? Are they coming from a place of fear?

What do you feel is right for your family in your gut? That's the next question. What do you feel is right for your family in your gut?

Also, never be afraid of research. Research and see for yourself what you think is right.

And also, guys, it is okay to not know everything. It's okay. You're a mom; you're not God. And you're not meant to know every single thing about every single thing. It's okay that you fed your kids something without realizing fully what was in it. It's okay.

It is okay to not know everything. Give yourself some dang grace. Mothers need the most grace out of everybody and receive the least.

What I hope this episode does for you is that I hope it sets you free. I hope you feel set free. And for all you mamas who responded to what you feel shamed and judged for with C-sections, formula feeding and all those things, please know that I get it. I still get it. I so understand, especially with the C-section thing, and that might be another episode.

I totally get it. And I get judged daily for the way I live my life. So, remember your BFF Allie is getting it way worse than you are and I understand, if nothing else, I understand and we can have camaraderie in that.

Remember that you're amazing. You're doing a fantastic job. You're doing what you feel is right and that's your job. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks and just remember that you're doing great!


This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.

Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.  

I am always rooting for you, friend!

See ya next time!

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