How To Command A Greater Income By Valuing Your Time | Cashflow Hacking Ep #24 Sarah Reiff Hekking
Sarah Reiff Hekking, CEO and founder of True Focus Coaching, Joins us on the podcast to discuss how proper time management can both increase your income, and free up your time to do the things that you love on a daily bases. As a Ph.D and experienced entrepreneur, Sarah is well versed in time management for entrepreneurs, and recognized nationwide for her innovative strategies and tactics to get the absolute most out of every day. Now, Sarah joins us on the podcast to share her time-honored secrets, and help you elevate your schedule to the next level.
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Welcome to the cash flow hacking podcast. We’re on a mission to help people increase their cash flow well. Well, the steady paycheck of a nine to five job may provide you a sense of security. It will never bring you true financial freedom and abundance. We will teach you the tips, tricks, and strategies behind increasing your cash flow. We connect with the experts who have defied conventional finance wisdom, who now earn more than they ever once thought possible. For those of you that are not yet at your full potential are underemployed, or simply looking to grow their cash flow, then this podcast is for you. Welcome to the Finance and Markets Cashflow Hacking Podcast, and now to your host, Casey Stubbs.
Casey Stubbs: 01:03
Hello, this is Casey Stubbs for the cash flow hacking podcast where you learn the tips, tricks, and strategies to increase your cashflow. And today we’re with Sarah Reiff Hecking, who is from truefocuscoaching.com. Thank you for being on the show today, Sarah.
Sarah Reiff Hekking: 01:22
Thanks so much for having me, Casey. It’s always a pleasure.
Casey Stubbs: 01:25
Excellent. Well, I’m really excited about today’s show because I think you’ve got some great information and tips that can help people defeat some of their obstacles that they’re having in their life. And I personally am excited just for some of the information that I’m going to be able to learn in today’s conversation.
Sarah Reiff Hekking: 01:45
I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.
Casey Stubbs: 01:47
So let’s go ahead and I’ll just start for the first first bit. Tell me a little bit about yourself and how did you get involved with True Focus Coaching?
Sarah Reiff Hekking: 01:58
So I came to being a coach from my interest, my lifelong interest and really helping people living healthier and happier lives. So way back when I, I am actually a clinical psychologist, so you can call me Dr. Sarah if you want, but you don’t have to and I got trained as a clinical psychologist. My background is in health psychology and behavioral medicine. So I’ve always really been interested in how do we help people live healthier and happier lives. And after doing NIH funded research and clinical practice for several years, I got really clear that what I love to do best is to help people go from good to great instead of not so good to okay. So I don’t do diagnosis and treatment anymore. And at that point, I left my research and clinical job and started True Focus Coaching and that was in 2005.
Sarah Reiff Hekking:02:58
And that was way when before coaching was so popular and a lot of my colleagues thought I was crazy, but I knew that it was really time for me to make a shift so that I was spending my time in ways that were more meaningful and important to me. And at that point I had a young son and you know, I was married and I really needed to create a life that was going to be both, You know, financially lucrative and also support me in doing the things that I wanted to do. And I knew that I really loved to help people get clear on where they wanted to go and customize it In a way that worked for them, so over the last, you know, 15 years almost now what I’ve done is gotten really clear that what I do best is help smart time challenged people, figure out how to really harness their moments so they can get where they want to go in their life and their business. Because you know, time’s a nonrenewable resource, Casey. Right? So if you want to make more money, you have to figure out how to harness your time and the impact of your moments.
Casey Stubbs: 04:15
Yeah and that’s actually pretty good and we’re talking about the cashflow hacking podcast, do you want to make more money but there’s also a reason why we want to make more money, right? It’s not so that we can work ourselves to death and just be chained to a desk or to whatever business it is we’re trying to start or whatever. Investment it is, we want to do it for a reason, right and I would think most of the people’s reason is so that they can spend time doing what they want to do. And I would also say that that just doesn’t magically happen. Even when you start making more money, you’re still not doing the things that you want to do because I’m in that situation now. I’m really fortunate and I get to do a lot of things that I do want to do. But I find that the more my business grows, the more success I have, the more difficult it is to actually manage my time.
Sarah Reiff Hekking: 05:02
Yeah. So I’m curious about that, Casey, because, and I love what you’ve said there. Early on in my coaching business, I got very clear that I wasn’t interested in helping people work themselves into the ground for the sake of making a lot of money. I’m really all about the work life blend that works for you and that allows you to, you know, bring in the money that you want to bring in, doing what you want to be doing there and then also figure out how to contain it so that you get to leave the office. You get to go have your evenings and weekends doing what you want to do, whether it’s time off with family and friends or if you have another passion that you also want to do. That really what fuels me, is helping people create that balance.
Casey Stubbs: 05:57
Okay, so there’s a lot of good questions that I can ask you here and I want to focus it kind of in two areas. I know that you’re focusing on the good to great. So that would be people that are already starting to get the hang of it and they have an idea of what they want to do. But I also want to kind of think of how do the people go from being totally stuck to maybe getting out of a bad situation financially and also with their time. So what would you say to someone who right now is not where they want to be and they’re stuck in a job, they’re not making enough money, they don’t have control of their time and they’re pretty much an all around difficult situation.
Sarah Reiff Hekking: 06:37
Yeah. So I think the first thing is to recognize, you know, what’s the gap between where you are now and where you want to go and get really clear about what that target is because if you don’t have a target about where you want to go about what the next step is for you, it’s really hard to steer the boat and get there. So it’s easy to have the kind of big dream. I want to do something different. I want to be making more money per hour, I want to or whatever it is or I don’t even want to be thinking about hourly wages. I want to be thinking about passive income. I want to be thinking about ways to make money while I’m sleeping. Well that’s, those are great targets, but you want to be super specific. So this is a really fancy term that I use “super specific”.
Casey Stubbs: 06:37
I like it.
Sarah Reiff Hekking: 07:24
Be Super specific about that target because you can’t change what you’re doing now to get where you want to go. You can’t steer that boat without having a clear target and then you can start to match up your minutes or at least some part of your day with that target and so that you can get there. Does that make sense?
Casey Stubbs: 07:43 It does. And it kind of your name, your business name kind of like rang in my head when you said super specific. I thought true focus coaching inc. Okay, so if we’re going to be super specific, we can have true focus.
Sarah Reiff Hekking: 07:56
Yes. Yes. It’s one of the really, the core pieces is getting really clear on your target. Be Super Specific, so if you’re in a job right now where you really feel like you know you’re done, you don’t want to have a day job anymore and you’re dreaming about that business that you are going to create or you have a passion project that you think might help create a nest egg for you that you really want to focus on outside of your day job, then get really clear about when you’re going to be doing that passion project. Make it non-negotiable, right? So if it’s one night a week, it’s two nights a week and Saturday mornings, whatever it is, block it out and then book yourself in that time just like it’s a job.
Casey Stubbs: 08:50
Okay, so I think really after talking to you that this just sounds so easy and I think what it, what I’m getting at is that it’s the concepts and ideas are simple, that perhaps the execution is what’s difficult, especially if you’re in a situation that things are going on and you can’t really get that clarity, right? and you can’t maybe take that step. So if you’re..how do you go from being all over the board to actually taking action and making things happen intentionally? How does that happen?
Sarah Reiff Hekking: 09:24
Yeah. So first of all, oftentimes if you’re that person that you’re, that stuck that end and no judgment here, right? One of the things that I talked to people about all the time is take the judgment off yourself and let’s just notice what’s happening, right? And I call it recognize what’s overwhelming you. Let’s just stop right there. Recognize what’s overwhelming you and start to notice is it, you know, there’s, I don’t ever feel like I can finish what I have to do at work and then I come home. I don’t ever feel like I can finish what I have to do it at home. And so how am I ever gonna like, you know, wedge and anytime at all in my passion business, right?
Casey Stubbs: 09:24
Sarah Reiff Hekking: 10:07
So first recognize that that whole thing is overwhelming to you. I really don’t know what to do. Right? And then you need to actually have conversations with people outside your head because you are too stuck in the picture. You’re inside the frame of the picture so you can’t even see how you might shift. So this is where you need to talk to colleagues and people that can really think outside of the box. Now you can’t talk to everybody about this stuff because some people are just going to tell you it’s not possible because they can’t see it either, right? So this is where you have to really pick the right kind of support for you. And it might be a professional coach, it might be a colleague, it might be somebody else who’s already run their business, it could be a life partner or a spouse, sometimes, yes, sometimes no. Right? So you have to find somebody who gets the vision and then can help you figure out how to engineer your environment. Right? Set yourself up for success. And it starts with really clear small steps.
Sarah Reiff Hekking: 11:24
So for instance, I had a client years ago who, you know, had a thriving day business and he had a little product that he knew could be the source of a nest egg for him. Right? The problem was he hated making that product. Yeah. But everybody said, John, that is, that product sells like hotcakes. If you made more of that, holy moly, right? So we started talking about how could he do that in a way that would actually work for him. And what he realized was that when he was thinking about doing that thing, making that product, it became like he would avoid it so much. Right? Talk about procrastination and overwhelm. I hate doing that thing. I don’t want to do it. You would avoid it. So he would do it all at once, just before a big deadline, right?
Sarah Reiff Hekking: 12:14
And hate every minute of it and then go to whatever, you know, like holiday fair or whatever he was going to sell it at and make a bunch of money, but he hated every minute of it. So we started to back up and say, what is overwhelming you? Well, what was overwhelming is that he hated being, you know, in the workshop, making this product 24/7. All right, so let’s back it up. How could you do it in smaller chunks in a way that’s gonna work for you and your life, right? So we were able to figure it out and then I was able to support him as he was testing out, did the process we put together actually work and when it didn’t work, then let’s tweak it. Okay. Because here’s the thing, you’re going to put a plan in place and you’re going to try it and then you need to keep coming back and seeing what’s working and what’s not working.
Sarah Reiff Hekking: 13:10
And this is really the crux of spending your moments in ways that are most meaningful and important to you. Having the clear target, right? I want, I have that passion project that I want to make me money. Yeah. And then when, where am I going to wedge it in? How do I start to create that wedge? What am I going to need to let go of that I’m doing now so that I can use some of that time in a way that’s gonna work better for me and help me get that passion project done. Bring the money in or at least see if it’s going to be the bring the money in that I wanted to bring in. Does that make sense? Casey?
Casey Stubbs: 13:48
That does make sense. That I think that’s really good because the small steps part I really hate ut because when it’s really overwhelming, it’s hard to take action. I think what happens is because of the emotion involved with the feeling that is connected with being overwhelmed is that emotion then takes over and then we feel like there’s nothing we can do and then basically we were just like, ahh, I’m overwhelmed, I can’t do it. And then that eliminates all action. It kind of hurts some clear thought. It helps. It hurts you from being specific and then it just things kind of go from there and the negative.
Sarah Reiff Hekking: 14:26
Yeah, absolutely. And I talk about this as the emotional piece of time management and this is what a lot of the time management gurus and books leave out, that there is an emotional piece of time management. That’s why you end up procrastinating. That’s why you ended up overwhelmed, right? So overwhelm isn’t an emotion and it might feel like freezing or avoidance or I can’t think straight. I don’t, I don’t know the next thing to do. Okay. So the first thing is start to recognize what is prompting that. Right? So if you think I have this passion project that I want to get done or if you’re working in your business, there’s that thing in my business, I know that I really want to get done, right? It works either way, whether it’s your day job or you’re moonlighting, then I want you to say, where is it?
Sarah Reiff Hekking: 15:18
Where specifically do I get stuck? Right? Recognize what’s overwhelming me. I don’t even know when I can do it in my day. Okay? So that’s the first thing. Let’s figure out when you could do it in your day or your week, and maybe you start with an hour a week, right? But start with something and a consistent routine. So overwhelm is an emotion, right? Sometimes it ends up feeling like anger, boredom, doing something altogether different than you intended to be doing. And Oh my gosh, it’s three hours later and I’m looking at cat videos on youtube.
Casey Stubbs: 16:01
I’m guilty of that. Not cat videos, but, sidetracked. Being sidetracked.
Sarah Reiff Hekking: 16:08
Right? being sidetracked. So notice that. Recognize where that starts. Recognize what triggers that and then ask yourself, what am I saying to myself? Because usually it’s a negative conversation that makes us feel worse. Right? So here’s what happens with the emotion. You get overwhelmed and then your freezer avoid, which is procrastination, right? You get even more overwhelmed. Your freezer avoid more and it creates this negative spiral, right? Which keeps you stuck. So the way to get out of that, Casey, is to start to notice, first of all, recognize what’s overwhelming you, notice what you’re saying to yourself, right? Because I guarantee you’re not saying, Oh Casey, this is easy to do.
Casey Stubbs: 16:56
Right. You’re saying, oh, this is impossible. I’m stuck. There’s nothing I can do. I wish things were different. I wish I had this.
Sarah Reiff Hekking: 17:03
Absolutely. So what I wanted to do is notice what that negative self talk is. Okay? I call it an interfere discussion and for, you know, the entrepreneurs and the people looking to make some extra money to, to break out of where they are. You got to really ask yourself, what is it that you’re saying to yourself that’s holding yourself back? So like, I can’t do it, I’m stupid, what’s wrong with me? And all like lots of really mean things that you wouldn’t say to anybody else saying it to yourself. So when that comes up, what I want you to do is get really clear about what’s a, what’s a positive conversation that you can have with yourself that’s consistent with productivity, right? So it might be..all right, what’s the one thing I’m going to do right now? I can do one thing for 20 minutes, right?
Sarah Reiff Hekking: 18:04
What? or it might be, what is the clear next step on this project? One small, clear next step. And it might be, let me go find the folder of materials that I was working on, right? So itty bitty steps that give you positive momentum. Does that make sense Casey?
Casey Stubbs: 18:26
It does and I’m really liking this and so I think that would be good. I think people can really, that are listening are going to be able to understand that you really know what you’re talking about and that you have a lot of good information for them because you’ve talked about how to identify what they need to fix and really be specific in what they want, you know, and then identify some clear action steps. I think those things are really important. You’ve also talked about the emotion side of getting things done and negative self talks. You’ve talked about some really good things I would like for our listeners to get to see you give some practical information in action on me because I have some problems. I have a lot of problems and I think most of them, I’ve already got a lot of great stuff so I’m already, I think I’m going to have to take some time and write some stuff down and, and do a couple action items just from this, from talking to you. But one of the specific things for me is, I am pretty good with at work. I’m really good at getting things done, right. So I’m, I identify these projects and I take them out, I’m telling people to do this, that and that. We’re making a lot of progress and it’s really good. The business is growing, things are happening, right? So that’s a good thing, but I do find that I’m supposed to get off of work at like 3:00 a lot of times I don’t get off until six, sometimes even later and my to do list is definitely not getting done. So, and then I was talking to you before the show a little bit about the vacation I’m taking to be taking nice long vacation, which I’m so thankful that I’m able to do it, but I’m going to be working while I’m on vacation. So what would you say to someone or what would you say to me to help me in that situation?
Sarah Reiff Hekking: 20:31
Okay, so first, let’s, let’s talk about the vacation. I’m working during my vacation, so I need to be really clear about what’s the definition of a vacation. So I would venture to say you’re not really taking a vacation. You’re traveling and working. Yeah and are there specific days that you’re taking off when you’re traveling?
Casey Stubbs: 20:52
Well, I’m going to be gone for almost a full month, so during that time I’ll be on work almost every day.
Sarah Reiff Hekking: 20:52
Okay. So you’re planning to..so you’re traveling and working?
Casey Stubbs: 21:06
Weekends, I’ll probably stay totally off the computer and off the phone. So weekends will be free.
Sarah Reiff Hekking: 21:14
Okay, so weekends you’re going to take off and then tell me about the evenings when. When do you want to stop working in your day? Like what’s the work parameter in your day?
Casey Stubbs: 21:25
Three o’clock. I like to get done around 3:00 is what I’ve been shooting for. Okay, so you want to finish at three. What time are you going to start?
Casey Stubbs: 21:34
I started around seven or eight.
Sarah Reiff Hekking: 21:40
Okay what I’m, these questions that I’m asking you are very deliberate because one of the things that we all need is what I call it, flexible template for your week. Okay. And this is, goes to setting up a routine that supports productivity. Productivity doesn’t just happen. You need to set up routines that support it. So for you, your flexible template for your week always starts with when you’re working and when you are not working. And Casey, what I want you to do is practice starting work at seven and stopping at three.
Casey Stubbs: 22:21
Okay, yeah. I actually need to do that now because I say seven to three, but in reality it’s more like six to six.
Sarah Reiff Hekking: 22:30
Okay. Let’s get clear. What are the hours that you want to be working this week? And maybe this week you’re going to practice six to three. Okay. And then what I want you to do is notice what happens, what is not getting done or what is what is pulling you back in after your intended stop time. Okay? And what I want you to do then is plan a time that you’re going to get those things done in the work day. So for instance, I am very optimistic about what I’m going to do in the evening at about 3:00 in the afternoon, right? I get an energy burst, I maybe take a little break and then I get really creative and I think, oh, I’m going to do this tonight and that tonight.
Sarah Reiff Hekking: 23:14
Well guess what? I’m a working mom so I have to balance all of this stuff. You know, you’re a working dad. Yeah. So and lots of people that we’re talking to, you know, you’re not just your, your business isn’t your life, right? There’s more to it. So what I do is at 3:00 when I’m really optimistic, right? I write down those things and I make a plan about when I’m going to get them done during the work day, during the week. Now if I’m energetic and I feel like sitting down and working on them in the evening and my family is all taken care of and we’re all kind of doing our own thing and it’s a good time for me to go in and do it. I might do it, but I don’t require it of myself. Okay. I make the plan that things are going to get done during the work day. Does that make sense?
Casey Stubbs: 24:09
It does and the key is though, I think if you’re identifying and measuring your time, I think if I feel like I have to work extra to get those extra things done, either I’ve got to find another way to get those done if I don’t have the time. So I’ve got to find another approach to accomplish the same task rather than have me be the one doing it.
Sarah Reiff Hekking: 24:30
Yes. And so for business owners and entrepreneurs and even those people that are saying, I have nobody I can delegate to. How will that happen? What I want you to do is ask yourself, first of all, there’s two things that I always have people do, and Casey, this I think will be really helpful for you. One, track your time for a couple of days, every half an hour, and write down what you’re doing. Okay? Now I’m going to warn you, it feels overwhelming because we’re not used to paying attention to what we’re doing that much. Okay? So just know it is, it’s an extra load and it’s gonna pay off because you’re going to notice what your time wasters in your time robbers are. Okay. You’re going to notice how much time you’re actually on Youtube or you’re surfing the net or you’re doing a social media posts that was supposed to be about work but isn’t, right or it goes down, you know, the trail of a click and pay or whatever it is you end up doing, right? That the ads or the videos that you’re watching, and then you can take a look at that and say, okay, what are the things that only I can do? What are the things that are total time wasters and time robbers that I shouldn’t be doing, right? And what are the things I could have somebody else do? So if you are consistently spending three extra hours doing stuff, then the question is how do you do that more efficiently in the work hours? Makes sense?
Casey Stubbs: 26:06
Yeah. And if I’m knowing what exactly only I can do, then I also need to figure out how can I get it so that someone else besides me knows how to do that.
Sarah Reiff Hekking: 26:16
Absolutely. So you want to train and here’s the thing, training somebody else. Lots of times people think, oh, you know, it’s so much easier to do myself, well, you need to do this basic metric. How much do you can you pay yourself or can you earn per hour, and then how much is it going to pay somebody? Are you going to pay somebody else to do that job? Any time that you can earn more per hour than you’re going to pay somebody to do that job, you need to do that.
Casey Stubbs: 26:16
Sarah Reiff Hekking: 26:51
The training can be a lot easier than you think it is. If as you’re training somebody, you have them write down what are the steps to the job. You have them write the manual.
Casey Stubbs: 27:04
Okay, so I got to take a little side note because of that mindset. I think it’s literally a mind block, that comment that you said, it’s a mind block because people that are really good at getting things done and then they’ll say, oh, I cannot delegate this because I know how to do this and I’m the only one that can do it, or it’s better to get. What’s that one thing that says you can’t do it, do it yourself or whatever. That’s like in my mind, that’s a limiting belief that hinders people. So how can you get over that if you think like that?
Sarah Reiff H.: 27:42
Well, first of all, you got to want to get over. There are some people that just don’t want to get over it. Okay? So you have to ask yourself, why do you care? Why would you want to hand off something that you think you can do better than somebody else? right? And you know this, this podcast is about money hacks, right? So if you really want to make money and build a business, then and you want passive income? Then part of that is allowing somebody else to do some of that, right? Again, it’s identifying that targets and then also you want to test it out that you’re giving the right person the responsibility and once you handed off, then you check in, right?
Casey Stubbs: 28:32
Yeah. Right. And you don’t just say, here you go, you got to check in and train and spend time with them and show them how to do it and work with them.
Sarah Reiff Hekking: 28:41
Absolutely. Absolutely. And so I have a good friend, kimberly Borgins who says inspect what you expect. Oh yeah. I love that saying so really, really important to take a look at when you’re, when you’re handing something off and also make it an easy way for people to check off and let you know that they’ve done it. So in my business we have a project management system that we use and it makes it really easy for me to assign tasks and then once people do them to just check it off, I know it’s done. We don’t have to have a big conversation but I can just scan it easily at the beginning or the end of the day and go, oh wow, that happened. That’s so good. I don’t have to worry about it anymore. And I know that it’s done.
Casey Stubbs: 29:26
Excellent. So Sarah, we’re getting towards the end, which I’m amazed because this was one of the fastest 30 minutes ever, but just to recap, I think some of the things you said are really powerful for people that are trying to break out to get to the next level, which is, you know, it’s not all about making money. This show is about making money, but if we can, you can apply some of these techniques you’ll make more money and you’ll live a better life and you’ll be able to do what you want to do which in my definition of success is just spending time doing what you want to do. So just I think the first thing that I really picked up on was being specific. I like to give people action steps. At the end of this show, I want them to have an action step. So they listened to it and they can leave and make a difference in their life after listening. And the first thing is be specific with what you want. Write it down and talk to somebody about it and then figure out how they can take steps towards that thing that they want.
Sarah Reiff Hekking: 30:34
And then the next thing is recognize what’s overwhelming you. So when you get stuck there, ask yourself, where do I get stuck?
Casey Stubbs: 30:43
Okay, excellent. Yeah, so that’s the second thing. Find out where you’re stuck and and then come up with a plan to get past it and just don’t give up on it.
Sarah Reiff Hekking: 30:55
Well get really clear, but let me be specific here. So they’re going to recognize what’s overwhelming them. Then they’re going to notice what that negative internal discussion is and they’re going to create a positive discussion that’s consistent with productivity.
Casey Stubbs: 31:08
Sarah Reiff Hekking: 31:10
Really, really important. And then they’re going to create clear action steps that are bite size action steps.
Casey Stubbs: 31:18
Okay, excellent. I’ve got one more step and then I’m going to have you share how to get contact with you. The last thing I thought was really good was measuring your time, writing it down, keeping track. But I recommend that you guys do that and now, Sarah, could you just tell us how to get in contact with you, where are you at and what do you have for our listeners?
Sarah Reiff Hekking: 31:41
Absolutely. So I have put together many of the steps that I talked about today in an ebook called “I Know What To Do. I’m Just Not Doing It”. Five steps to bust through procrastination and overwhelm and you can grab it at truefocustips.com. So that’s t r u e f o c u s tips t i p s.com, true focus tips.com. And what it, you’ll love it to Casey. It’s a little booklet, it outlines these steps, gives you a few more steps, there’s some worksheets spots in there and if you then want to follow up with me, it gives you a clear direction to do that also. So it’s a great give, it outlines all of the things we’re talking about today and more and it’s just a great little tool to have in your tool kit.
Casey Stubbs: 32:35
Excellent. Well thank you so much. I will definitely check that out and we’re going to all that information in the show notes below so everybody can get their action steps and get connected with you and get that gift. I recommend that you all check it out because obviously it can help you out if you’re trying to get to the next level. So thank you so much, Sarah, for being a guest today.
Sarah Reiff Hekking: 32:56
You are welcome. Thanks so much for having me, Casey.
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