#010 - Embracing discomfort

How to beat procrastination and get out of our own way

BFFs is a bi-weekly email for Asia’s female founders around resources on growing a business, cultivating friendships, and funding opportunities. Brought to you by Chief Best Friends, a podcast helping women succeed in work and business through meaningful friendships.

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When I was preparing to launch Chief Best Friends in early 2019, I needed to email potential podcast guests to come on the show. I had spent a few weeks putting together a spreadsheet with profiles of female co-founders and when I had enough I thought I could start reaching out to them.

Except…I decided the website needed more sprucing. I rearranged my Asana boards. I wrote and rewrote copy. I did more research. I created more templates. I played around with colour palettes.

When I thought I had nothing else to do, I cleaned my room, fluffed the pillows, and changed my bed sheets.

In short, I did everything else but reach out to my list of potential guests.

I realise that I was putting it off because I was afraid of the rejection. The idea of reaching out to all these successful women kicked my inner critic into high gear. I was thinking that no one would say yes. I had no credentials, no experience in broadcasting or radio. I was a nobody in the podcasting world.

I also knew that I prepped for all of this. I knew the potential objections and doubts which motivated the early creation of the website. I needed it to convey that I was serious and that this project is worthwhile.

Eventually, I decided that I should put myself out of my misery. I was sitting on my heels for a scenario that I’m not even sure is going to happen. I thought that if they did reject me, at least that’s something I could work with. I could find more profiles to reach out to or at the very least, understand how I can update my pitch for more success.

I definitely was not going anywhere by not doing anything.

Of course, as soon as the replies came in, I realise that I should have done it sooner.

As founders, entrepreneurs, side-hustlers, we know procrastination all too well. It looks like over planning, over researching, overthinking, over our dead bodies.

Most of the time, it’s not the lack of knowing what the next steps are but the stories we tell ourselves that stop us dead on our tracks.

If you’re feeling stuck and think you’ve procrastinated long enough and want to get out of your head and out of your own way, then I highly recommend joining Georgina’s free workshop on this very topic.

It goes without saying, don’t sit on this too long.

— Niki


Business

  • Why you’re never too old. It’s those ridiculous lists, you know the one—30 under 30—that makes us think once we’re past the prime we’re not going to ever be successful anymore. There’s research that shows the average age of successful founders is 45. It’s true that with age comes experience. I also think that most will have success on their second or third (or even fourth) try. Lesson: keep going and learn from your mistakes.

  • Want to grow your cash reserves but don’t want to pitch a VC? I got you. More like Amanda got you. She shares other ways to increase your runway without ever having to involve an investor.

Friendship

  • Is it really lonely at the top? Wow, there’s a study where 70 percent said friendship at work is the most important element to a happy work life, and 58 percent said they would turn down a higher-paying job if it meant not getting along with co-workers. And yet, we know that being the boss can sometimes make it hard for us to make friends with employees. Which is why I recommend having a chief best friend. 😝

  • How to start a business with your best friend. One of the biggest worries about doing so is that it could ruin your friendship. Rightly so. It’s a big step and it forces friends to go into the uneasy territory about money and earning and everything else. We’re so used to thinking that friendship is always easy and carefree and we tend to stick to easy topics. Still, starting a business with your best friend can be rewarding and could even make your friendship stronger. It’s totally possible to do so.

Funds

  • ICYMI: Female Founders Mentor Hours returns for the third time. Make sure you register by 25th November.

  • What philanthropy has to do with investing. One of the things I’m learning these days is moving away from either/or thinking towards more and/and thinking. Which is why I am behind the idea that philanthropy and investing can co-exist. If more women start investing in other women, we create a better ecosystem.

  • Pay yourself first. I have a sticky note on my laptop with this formula written on it: Revenue - Profit = Expenses. It’s from the book Profit First by Mike Michalowicz about making sure you pay yourself first and use the remainder for your business expenses. It’s a very simple change and something that will help you not take on debt while building your business.

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On The Podcast

Say hello to Kintsugi! I know I’m not supposed to play favourites but this interview with Grace and Rima is one of mine. Kintsugi's technology uses voice biomarkers to measure and predict well-being. In short, it’s talk therapy software for mental health, powered by our voice. Once you understand where their name comes from, you’ll love their work even more. 🎧 Listen to their episode.

Also available on SpotifyApple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts, Stitcher, and many others.


✨Shine Board ✨

Wish I had confetti in my pocket so we can throw them out as we read through this list.

  • 👟 My good friend Ollie was recently promoted at Nike.

  • 🏠 After a few duds, my friend Kelly finally found the perfect apartment and moving in early December.

  • 💃🏻 Despite a whirlwind few months, I finally found a job and a great boss and am starting next week.

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📲 Something to celebrate? Tweet me your wins @nikipaniki

👉 Got tips, news, content, data to share? Email tips@chiefbestfriends.com.

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