Ep #138: How to Avoid Burnout and Declutter Your Life with Kricia Palmer

How to Avoid Burnout and Declutter Your Life with Kricia Palmer

Are you feeling stuck in your business? Are you feeling burnt out and unsure how to work through it? If this sounds familiar, this week’s episode is for you! Today’s guest knows all about trying to balance a career, being a mom, and keeping a clutter-free home, and she joins me to talk about her own experiences with burnout which led her to grow a multi-faceted business.

Kricia Palmer is a medical doctor, life coach, and interior designer who uniquely combines her expertise to serve other women physicians who are overwhelmed in their lives. She’s here today to talk about her journey to growing a successful business, and what she’s learned along the way.

Tune in this week as we talk about the journey of creating a business and providing value for customers, and how to use your life experience in a way to serve others. We discuss the importance of mindset in creating a business and why it can often take a while to realize that the path you’re on is the one you’re supposed to be on. Get ready for this great episode!

If you want help in creating financial freedom and building a business that’s fun and thriving, get on over to the Design You Coaching Program! We only enroll a few times a year, so be sure to sign up for the waiting list ASAP to be notified when we next open our doors!

If you want to keep this conversation going, you have to join my free Design You Podcast community on Facebook. We have great conversations over there about the podcast episodes and our podcast guests are in there too! So head on over and I’ll see you there! 

What You'll Learn From This Episode

  • Why burnout comes from thoughts, not circumstances.
  • The importance of failing in business.
  • Why burnout is such a problem for creatives.
  • The importance of mindset in business.
  • How to deal with overwhelm.
  • Why perfectionism has no place in business.

Featured On The Show

Full Episode Transcript

Tobi: You are listening to The Design You Podcast with Tobi Fairley, episode number 138.

Female Announcer: Welcome to The Design You Podcast, a show where interior designers and creatives learn to say no to busy and say yes to more health, wealth, and joy. Here’s your host, Tobi Fairley.

Tobi: Hi, friends. It’s almost Thanksgiving. Can y’all believe this year is finally coming to an end? This year that seemed like five years in some ways? But we’re almost there and we’re also getting into the time that at least we get to be grateful for so much that has happened this year. I know we all can count a lot of blessings, too, even though it’s felt hard, right?

So, today I’m talking with my friend, Kricia Palmer. She’s one of my close personal friends. She also used to work for me in my interior design business and now she has an incredible business that we’re going to tell you about today. We’re in this conversation going to talk about burnout, we’re going to talk about the journey of creating a business, a brand, a niche, all the things that really start to look the way you dream they would. Where you really start to monetize and create value for customers and it starts paying off. We’re talking about all of that today.

Kricia is a medical doctor, she has an interior design degree, she has a life coaching certification. She’s bringing it all together in a really unique way thanks to her bravery and courage and thanks to the Design You coaching program and working with me some in some one-on-one ways. Kricia has been part of our program, she has had a lot of success as she tells you in the episode with our framework in Design You of how to create a digital business and digital offerings.

The exciting news is she just told me a couple of weeks ago she is now making more in her digital online business than she made as a doctor. So, definitely an episode you’re going to want to hear. If you’ve been stuck, if you haven’t been hitting the dollar figures you want in your business. If you have felt burnout, if you have felt fear. Kricia’s also an introvert so if you feel like the world is favoring us extroverts and that introverts can’t be as successful at any of this stuff then this is the episode for you. Enjoy my conversation with Kricia Palmer.

Hey, Kricia, welcome to The Design You Podcast. I am super excited you’re here today.

Kricia: Hey, Tobi. I’m super excited to be here, too.

Tobi: Okay, so a few things for people to know. We’re friends in real-life. You used to work with me in the design business and we’ll get into that. We’re trying to be better friends.

Kricia: I know.

Tobi: And you’re so much better than me because you’re like, “Can we have lunch? Can we go to dinner?” So, thank you for being a good friend. But today we’re going to get into more of your journey with your business and just – we’re going to talk a lot about burnout and all kinds of things.

So, before we get there why don’t you give people sort of an idea of your story, who you are, what you do so we can set the tone for that.

Kricia: Okay, yeah, so I’m a physician. I’m an MD physician in pediatric allergy and immunology, and I practiced for several years at Arkansas Children’s Hospital and at the same time had my two little boys who were at the time when I was practicing I had one that was 3 and then my other son was 1 and it was a really challenging time for me.

I was just trying to balance working and being a new mom and my oldest at the time had some special needs that really required a lot from me. So, I went through a really difficult time and made the difficult decision to leave practice and to stay at home with my kids.

Tobi: And to throw in there on top of that, your husband is also a doctor, an ER doc, and he was gone a lot.

Kricia: Right.

Tobi: So, you were trying to not only balance your career and being a mom, but in a lot of ways you kind of were doing it by yourself because of his hours, right?

Kricia: Exactly. Yeah, so he was relatively new faculty so he got all the night shifts and he was wonderful and helped out a ton when he was there, but just our schedules were completely opposite. So, I in a lot of ways during that time I kind of felt like I was alone and trying to balance all this.

When I made the decision to stay at home that was really the right decision for me at that time, but I also was kind of going through a lot of questioning and whether I was even happy in medicine to begin with. But anyway, I stayed at home and while I was at home I went back, I had always had this passion for interior design. I didn’t really realize it early on, like early in college when I could’ve picked that as a career option. But didn’t really come into that until late and so I decided, “You know, I’m going to go back and take some classes.”

I ended up back and taking some undergrad classes like one class a semester and eventually got my interior degree after seven years because I went so slowly because my priority was my kids. But I did get my interior design degree and that’s when you and I connected when I started doing my internship with you and then stayed on with you for a while.

This is like, my kids are teenagers now, and so I kind of came to this point where I was like, “Okay, what do I do? Do I go back and practice medicine? Or do I use my passion for design?” And also incidentally I have my life coach certification and had discovered life coaching which really made me realize a lot of things that I hadn’t realized that was going on back when I felt like I was really unhappy early on in medicine.

Anyway, it’s kind of a convoluted story, but I ended up deciding to use my experience as a physician, my life coach certification, and my interior design degree to actually serve other women physicians. Now, I have my own business where I help, I coach women physicians on how to let go of clutter and how to design really inspiring, beautiful, clutter-resistant homes so they can just feel more peace, get more rest, and be more focused.

Tobi: I love it so much. We’ll talk about in a little bit about the whole journey of selecting your niche and your ideal client because it sounds so beautiful and so tied with a bow now, but what people don’t know is there’s a lot of gnashing of teeth and suffering that potentially happens through that process to get to the point where you are today, right?

Kricia: Absolutely.

Tobi: So, we’ll get into that, but before we go there I want to start with the conversation about burnout and being happy where we are. I think it’s so relevant right now with what’s going on in the world. There’s so many things going on in the world and I think that especially for creatives burnout can be such a problem.

I want to talk about that and talk about your journey because you felt burned out in medicine, but then you came over to design arena and even though you were kind of still new and excited about it you started seeing even with my burnout and my frustrations you got a bird’s eye view into the fact that it’s really kind of just the same thing over here. Like, I thought the grass was greener, but it’s the exact same thing over here if you aren’t designing a life that is really mindful of the things that bring you burnout, cause burnout, which you and I know is our thinking.

Let’s talk about that. Talk a little bit about what was happening when you felt burnout as a doctor because you now know it, you see it differently through your life coaching lens.

Kricia: Very differently.

Tobi: Then, let’s see what you’re doing now to make sure you don’t just bring that exact scenario into your new situation because you could totally do the same thing if you’re not careful, right?

Kricia: Exactly, yeah, absolutely. So, during that time I was convinced the job details or my job responsibilities or the pressure that I felt balancing work and home was the problem. The problem wasn’t me it was either I was working part-time but doing a full-time job, it was work hours, it was workload, it was expectations. All of those things were the problem.

Tobi: Which turns into a, as you and I know now, story, a narrative, a whole lot of drama in our head and we 100% believe all of those thoughts to be true, right?

Kricia: Absolutely. That was my truth at that time. That was the story that I was telling myself and my answer to that – although I will say that if I had to go back and make that decision again there were other factors that came into play and that big factor was my kids and my child that needed extra support at home. So, I think I would’ve made that same decision again but now after having been certified as a life coach and going through a lot of my own coaching work that decision would have come from a different place.

Because now I realize that it wasn’t all of those external things that were causing me to feel burned out and frustrated and overwhelmed, it was actually just how I was thinking about those things.

Tobi: Speak to that a little bit more. You were thinking about then is it almost like you were the victim and the job was the villain?

Kricia: Absolutely.

Tobi: The people in the job were the villain so when we pit ourselves against a person or a thing it doesn’t ever turn out in a positive way really, does it?

Kricia: Right and I was convinced that all those things needed to change in order for me to be happy.

Tobi: Yeah. Okay, so talk about that a little bit because I think that most people feel that way and this is where we could give them a little insight into the life coach training you and I do. They may have heard me talk about the model and some things on my previous shows, but just to kind of not go even too deep in that. Just helping people understand that happy or sad or burnout or anything else doesn’t come from the circumstances in our lives.

Kricia: Right, yeah, so all of those things were my circumstances. I had a job at a hospital, I worked three days a week, some clinical time, some research time, some admin time. I had two kids, all of those were just my circumstances.

I was convinced that those things were causing me to feel overwhelmed and frustrated, but what was really causing me to feel overwhelmed and frustrated was all of these thoughts and the story that I was telling myself that, “I can’t do this. I’m not good enough. This is too much. It’s so hard. This is so hard. I can’t find balance.” All those things that we tell ourselves and it was those thoughts that were really causing my overwhelm and frustration.

Tobi: Yeah, and I think that’s so important because people think it’s the work or it’s the schedule that causes burnout and it’s never the schedule. The way that I got perspective on this was understanding there are times when we’re so in flow and in the groove and we’re working more than ever but it’s energizing us, right?

Kricia: Right.

Tobi: Like when we get a hobby or we get a new job or we change the circumstance and magically in the beginning there’s that honeymoon phase or whatever and you’re just working day and night, but it’s your life’s blood and it energizes you. Then, there’s other times when we’re working maybe even not that much but we’re so burned out and so exhausted which is what I think is happening to people right now during COVID and with what’s happening in the world because a lot of us if we really look at our hours we’re working a lot less.

We’re sitting around and laying around a lot more, but we’re all just exhausted and sleepy and fatigued and anxious and all the stuff. Those are the things that are leading to burnout.

Kricia: Absolutely, because I think back to that time and of course there are lots of women physicians that go through and are going through what I experienced at that time, but then I would look at some of my colleagues who were just thriving and loving every minute of it and our circumstances were exactly the same. The only difference is how we were thinking about it.

Tobi: Yes, because they were thinking, “I’m made for this. This is so exciting. I can’t wait to get up and go to work. My kids are better because I do this work,” whatever their thoughts might have been they were not the same thoughts that were driving you to fill the overwhelm or sadness or depression or any of that stuff.

Kricia: Right, exactly.

Tobi: Yeah, so interesting. There’s another thing you said earlier that I wanted to circle back to because it’s definitely something that has been a narrative in my own life and you said, “I didn’t really know interior design was an option from the beginning.” Same for me. I got an accounting degree first and then when back and got a design degree and my MBA, but I wonder if hidden in there is some level of proving and achieving because even when I hear you a couple of things come to mind.

One, I’m like, “Oh thank goodness she went the medical school route because that’s why you have such a beautiful business and niche now instead of just being a general interior designer.” But I also had the second thought of, “I don’t know that she would have been happy or felt like she fulfilled her potential had she gone into interior in the beginning.”

Of course, that’s just my thought because that’s not true at all. You can totally be fulfilled with that, but that little nagging, “We need to be the best. We need to do the most challenging or impressive or whatever thing.” I fell victim to that same proving and I want you to speak about that and if that plays a role in your path.

Kricia: That played a huge role in my decision to go to medical school. Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely an empath and I have always of course, it sounds cliché, but wanted to help people. But just being 18 and being very naïve and trying to decide what you want to do I was really overwhelmed with that need to prove myself.

My personality is such that I’m always up for a challenge. Part of it was just like, “Okay, what’s the hardest thing or most challenging thing right now that I could choose?” That was to become a physician, so that’s what I did.

Tobi: Yeah, and I think that we’re fed that message from society, our parents, especially our generation. Maybe hopefully not as much now of get a respectable job, do something that’s going to make money, make it worth your while and especially some of us who feel like we don’t necessarily fit the mold of a traditional marriage or housewife or whatever that we were the first generation that our moms were even pushing us going, “You can be something more than I was. Design your own life.”

I think that message might have landed not exactly the right way for us, maybe. I’m glad my journey looks like it does. I’m sure you are, too, especially now with the business you’ve built, but yeah, I think that’s so interesting. Do you know when and what changed about your thinking that allowed you to start to be okay with the reality of what was going to make you happy? Parking the proving and going, “I don’t even really care anymore. I don’t care what people think about me. I don’t care if people think I wasted my time in medical school.” What was that thing that allowed you to start leaning into what your heart’s desire was which was maybe different than the proving piece?

Kricia: Right, yeah, I struggled with that for several years. So, initially the decision to stay at home with my kids that was made and then to go back and pursue interior design I had a lot of guilt over that. I had spent so much time in residency and then in fellowship and practicing and it was all very rewarding, but then to follow what I knew was right for me I felt very guilty. I actually, for the first several years while I was going back and getting my design degree I didn’t tell anybody. My colleagues that I had worked with, people would be like, “What are you doing?” I sort of hid it because I was like, “What are they going to think? They’re going to think I’m crazy.”

I was a practicing physician and now I’m doing interior design. I was very self-conscious about that and I don’t know time passed and eventually I realized I just have to be who I am and I’m happy and I’m glad I made this decision. So, I didn’t really tell, start telling people or advertising it, but I wasn’t hiding it anymore. That transition, for me, was gradual.

Then, it wasn’t until I discovered life coaching and started in being certified a life coach and really doing a lot of self-coaching that I realized, this is how things were supposed to be for me. Now, I feel like I’m able to use my experience with patients, my experience of being a physician and then my interior design and coaching experience to really serve in a way where I feel like I’m best utlilized and that is to serve other physicians who may be going through what I went through at that time.

I can actually help them after they’re feeling stressed out and pulled in all different directions like I was so at least when they come home they can have a home that fully supports them that they feel nurtured by instead of coming home to a home that stresses them out more.

Tobi: I love that so much and that was my favorite thing – it has been, we’re still working together, but that’s been my favorite thing about working with you in Design You and working with you on – we did some private strategy days together is the bringing it all together and I think you’re exactly right and it’s so funny. When we’re going through it we have no idea there’s an opportunity to bring out the stuff together in our life.

Like you said, it was exactly your path you were supposed to be on. The same for me. When people look at my life and they’re like, “Oh my gosh, you were so smart. Like, how did you know to get an accounting degree and then a design degree and then an MBA?” I’m like, “I didn’t.” I wish I could pretend like, “Oh, this was the plan all along.” Then get life coaching training, I did health coach certification, I was just listening, like you, and leaning into what the tug was internally. “This interests you,” or, “Let’s learn more about this,” or, “Let’s go deeper in this place.”

It has created such a unique business for me like it has you and when you do that there is really no competition at all because we’re creating – I always call it like our designer DNA or our business DNA, it’s the compilation of all of those choices we’ve made leading up to this amazing opportunity to serve people at a level that uses all those skills.

I see people throw stuff out all the time. They’re like, “Oh, I’m an interior designer, but I used to be a nurse,” or, “I used to be a lawyer,” or I used to be a whatever and I’m like, “Bring that into this whole conversation.” I know some people are like, “Oh, well I don’t have any of that.” You don’t have to, but I’m just saying you have things. You have interests or hobbies or something about your personal life story or something that is so important to bring to this kind of culmination of who you are.

Let’s talk about that. Let’s talk about moving into that niche. Let’s talk a little bit about – or a lot if we want to, about your struggle because now it’s so clear who you’re supposed to working with.

Kricia: Finally.

Tobi: Yeah, but it wasn’t clear for a while, right?

Kricia: It was not.

Tobi: It took a year or two to get that really dialed in.

Kricia: It did. I knew I wanted to design and do interior design. I was going through life coaching training and I was like, “How does all this come together? How do I use really who I am and my experience even bringing in the fact that I was a practicing physician and what do I do with all this?”

So, there was a lot of confusion there in the beginning and you helped me, in particular, with these strategy sessions, really hone in on that and focus on that. Even after we had that first strategy session it’s like you pick a niche and you go with it, so initially I was going to do interior design and do some fitness and nutrition focus for women physicians and I started down that path and then got scared.

My mind started telling me this story again, like this is not going to work. I just need to go more broad. I need to just do regular interior design. I remember coming to you and saying, “Hey, I’ve decided to kind of switch gears. This is what I’m going to do.” Thankfully, you said, “Kricia – “ I remember the email because you sent it to me, you’re like, “You are not going to like what I have to say.”

Tobi: I was sitting right here where I am right now, in this chair, and I remember typing it, too. I remember.

Kricia: You were like, very gently kind of said, “Look, this is – your brain’s just telling you all these thoughts again. You’re just telling yourself the story because really going down any path is business is uncomfortable when you start growing and figuring out what works and what doesn’t.”

Tobi: Yes.

Kricia: At the time I still had this vision that I was going to come up with this idea and this plan and I was going to perfect it and then I was going to put it out into the world and that everybody was going to just come to me.

Tobi: Flock, flock to you, yes? Isn’t that what we think? We’re like, “Let me get it all perfect beforehand without even asking anybody if it’s really what they need, without testing anything” because we’re trying to avoid failure, right?

Kricia: Exactly.

Tobi: We’re like, “If we just pour enough of us into it we will get it so right because we believe in our own personal power,” and then when we take it to the world it will just be like –

Kricia: It will just come.

Tobi: Yes, like a beacon to all the people that need.

Kricia: Yeah, and I used to look at all these people who were successful, had these successful businesses in whatever area it’s in and I thought that was kind of in my mind what they did. They just had it. They created this amazing thing and then they were able to serve all of these people when in reality that is not how it happens at all.

Tobi: No, not at all, and I do remember sending you that email because I basically, thankfully, you remember it pleasantly because I was like, “I’m pretty straightforward.” But I remember saying, “You’re not going to like this but I think if you leave, if you abandon helping women physicians niche it’s going to be the biggest mistake you’ve ever made.”

I remember writing it and I was like, “Is this going to land with her?” But I knew, I just knew – because we can’t see it when we’re doing it. We’re in the weeds and I could see from more of that 40,000-foot view, that outside view and I was like, “Don’t abandon – “ I was saying to you, “How many people in the world can combine a medical degree which gives you so much credibility right off the bat, it just does. It’s just the perception of doctors, with the interior design thing and now even the life coach thing.” I’m like, “That is unheard of.”

I just was like, “You want to jump back in the fishbowl with the millions of fish instead of staying over here on this little island by yourself?” Because it feels scary to be forging a new path, right?

Kricia: Yeah, no, it’s been scary and I realize that I don’t have to get it perfect and put it out into the world. It’s a step-by-step process and you see what works and you see what doesn’t and through – really it’s been the past several years I’ve finally been able to really connect with my audience. I’ve developed so many new friendships and strong women physicians that actually love interior design and love working on their homes and they are absolutely amazing. I’ve really been able to get to know them and what they want and what they need. That’s how I’ve ended up developing with your help this niche of serving other women physicians and helping them with their homes and with clutter.

Tobi: I love it so much and I was thinking about that earlier when you were saying, when you were talking about the part of your story where you were keeping it quiet that you were going to design school which I get. Sometimes that’s the right decision for us. Things happen when we’re ready for them to happen and I get that. But the other thing I was thinking that’s so fascinating because I know you now, I know your audience now based on the work we’ve done together, and it’s exactly the opposite of what you thought.

Of course, I’m sure there’s some group of people that are like, “I can’t believe she threw her medical career away,” and who cares? That’s irrelevant, but there’s so many more women who are constantly looking for their own creative escape from their job whether it’s being a doctor or anything else that is hard.

So, overwhelmingly the response was so positive and I think so many people even saying, “I wish I had the guts to be like Kricia. I wish I had the guts to follow my heart or my dream,” and they don’t. Don’t you think that that’s been more of the response that –

Kricia: Yeah, I was worried that people were going to think poorly of me and be like, “Why would you do this? Why would you make this decision?” But I would say with the exception of maybe two isolated incidents, these women have been so supportive. Everybody I’ve talked to has been, “Good for you for doing – following your dream and doing what you know is right for you.”

That’s just been an amazing part of the journey is seeing that all those thoughts that I had initially that were telling me, “I feel guilty. People are going to think I’m crazy,” weren’t even true.

Tobi: Right. Well, and I think what’s so interesting and let’s talk about this, let’s talk about your ideal client because we developed this together and you develop this working in Design You once you knew what your niche was, but I think the fascinating thing is we forget that it’s not about us.

Kricia: Right.

Tobi: When we’re in that place of fear and worry we’re like, “What are they going to think about me?” When you really get into serving other people they’re not thinking about you at all because they’re so overwhelmed with their own problems. So, they’re not judging you. If anything, they’re looking to you for inspiration, but what really is the key to a thriving business is starting to notice what their problems are, their pains are, and being the solution to that which is what I think you’re doing so well for these women because you have perspective on every part of it.

You have perspective on the struggles, the burnout, the challenge, the overwhelm. You know exactly what it’s like. How many people – interior designers can say, “I know what it’s like to be a physician?” And you know from what your role was, you know from the role your husband had, you have tons of other friends who are in other parts of medicine. You have a bird’s eye view of when they’re telling you and describing their pain to you, you know what that feels like, right?

Kricia: Right.

Tobi: And you can help address it. Then, you also know what you were dealing with at home when you were in that. You’re like clutter and disorganization and overwhelm and not being able to find the kids’ shoes and trying to get their homework done and where did we put that permission slip I’m supposed to sign and all the stuff that’s happening in the background. You also had a complete awareness of what that felt like as well.

Kricia: Yes, absolutely, and that’s helped me so much really develop relationships with my clients. Because that was me, exactly, and so I totally understand what it’s like to be in that and it’s definitely helped me through this journey.

Tobi: Yeah, I like that and a lot of times – it’s not always, it doesn’t have to be the case, but I tell people all the time, I believe it’s so much easier when your niche is you or it’s you 5 years ago or 3 years ago or 10 years ago because when we’re asking those questions of what is my ideal client thinking, worried about, afraid of? We know the answer because we are her, right?

Kricia: Right, exactly. Yeah, I mean, it’s so easy for me to go – even though it’s been a while, I mean it seems like it was yesterday when I was in residency, and fellowship, and then practice it just comes back. I just remember that very well and how it was.

Tobi: I love that. It’s so good. Okay, so now let’s talk about what you did with all of this because you’re like, “I took all of my life experience I turned it into this business, I figured out who my people were, I figured out what I wanted to do for them which is help them create homes and curb the clutter and all that that support them.” So, talk about what you did next because you’ve now created a business that has consulting, that has interior design one-on-one, that has courses, and you’re making a lot of money.

You recently had a launch of a course that you created on the fly and the initial launch week you hit $30,000 or multiple five-figures. You told me recently you’re making more money now than when you were a practicing physician and you’re on track to make even more next year. So, talk about that. Because it’s one thing to figure out who, but then a lot of people get stuck again there. They get stuck in the overwhelm of, “I don’t know how to make a course. I don’t think interior design or any other creative business works in an online space. Why would these people want to buy this from me?” Or whatever, those stories.

What was that experience like for you? And then, how did you start to get over the hump and just start creating content and courses for people?

Kricia: So, I will say this, it was step-by-step and being in Design You, I mean I had no idea how to do online digital marketing. I had no idea. I had no entrepreneurial experience at all. And so Design You gave me the framework, the overall bird’s eye view and the steps like what you need to do. There’s still a lot that I had to go figure out on my own. So, sometimes I think initially it was tempting for me to go in and not get overwhelmed because there’s like so many steps and I’d be worrying about this step. Facebook Ads that I was nowhere near ready to even start thinking about. So, there’s no reason for me to learn how to do that yet, so the way I got over that overwhelm is I would just ask myself, “What do I need to learn how to do next? Just what’s the next step?”

So, I took it one step at a time. I started with just brainstorming and writing and creating content. Then, I started really trying to develop my social media presence and my audience. Then I would go to the next step. I decided to create my own private Facebook group for women physicians where I post, just give them interior design content. So, now I’m just now like a year and a half, two years later starting Facebook Ads. I’ve never even run a Facebook Ad.

But it’s easy to get caught up in all that and consuming content about how to do all that, but if I had focused, say like for example, on how to do Facebook Ads at the very beginning that probably wouldn’t have been the best use of my time at that point. I knew enough and I learned enough to move forward and now that’s what I’m learning and able to move forward again. So, it’s really just been a step-by-step process.

Tobi: Yeah, I think that’s so good. One thing to note for everybody listening, too, it’s so fun when your ideas are validated and when you started that Facebook group you were still in the “I don’t know if this is the exact right niche for me but let’s give it a whirl.” Then, I remember you texted me or messaging me in Design You or something about that and saying, “Oh my gosh, I open this thing and in like a week I have 1,000 people in there. In a few months I have 2,000 or 3,000 women physicians in this group.”

I’m looking at my own Facebook group and I’m like, I have 600 or whatever. It’s so validating to see that for you this was such a homerun that you were hitting your audience. But it’s in, I think, like you just said, doing a step and either it working or not working. Some are not going to work.

Kricia: Right, I had one that didn’t work.

Tobi: Yeah, and you can speak to that, too. I’d love for you to because I want to talk about failure, but some will work some don’t. The ones that do give us that little shot in the arm sort of to keep going, the ones that don’t are the gnashing of teeth and suffering, but if we keep doing what you’re saying and we manage our mind and we just say, “Okay, well, I can panic about all of this forever and get stuck or I can just say, ‘What’s one next step I know how to do?’ or I know how to get information on how to do.”

I think that’s so smart because you’re right. Successful businesses are not two or three gigantic ideas, it’s consistently taking tiny step after tiny step day after day after day until you look back 1 or 3 or 10 or 20 years later and you see the path of what you’ve built, right?

Kricia: Right, absolutely. Part of my business is offering a monthly membership and you and I just recently – I spoke with you and I’m restructuring that because the first time I launched that I had all these ideas. I had put it out there and it didn’t really do well. So, I remember I was really – and this was just a few months ago. I was crushed and I remember sitting at my kitchen island and for the first time through the whole process I had had some confusion and self-doubt along the way, but for the first time I was like, “Maybe I should just quit.” That thought came to my brain and I was like, “Wait a minute.”

I do not – I am not quitter, and so I was like, “What are you thinking? This is insane, this is just data.” Because I know I’ve heard you say this many times, I’ve heard a few other people say this, like if you put something out there and it totally flops, you don’t – which really just means you don’t get the result that you expected.

Tobi: Right, and to be clear, an arbitrary result that you picked out of the air. Not one based on any kind of other data.

Kricia: I just decided – right –

Tobi: I just decided I want it to be 20 people or 50 people and when I get 3 then I can punch myself in the face with that because I didn’t get 20, right?

Kricia: Right, it’s all so arbitrary and I was like, “This is data, let me look and see like why didn’t this work. What can I change? What do I need to do?” That’s at the point where I’m at now where I’ve restructured and I’m about to put it back out, but it’s interesting. If I had quit at that point and just said, “That’s it. This is not going to work,” I would have never launched what I launched next which was my course that enrolled 100 people and made $30,000.

Tobi: In a week or two.

Kricia: Yes. That was quick.

Tobi: You just were like, “I think I’ll just make a course.” In fact, you did something that’s so beautiful. We had a guest speaker in Design You yesterday for our insider’s level, the people who buy for a year or have been in for a year. Her whole job is what she calls herself the passive income queen. Her name is Lisa Johnson. I’ve had her on the podcast before and so part of what she was talking about was how she typically sells every course before she creates it.

That’s exactly what you did here and it’s so smart. You’re like, “I’m going to just go out and try and test.” And people are like, “How could you do that?” Really you just make an outline of what you think you’re going to teach and you make a sales page or some kind of information where they can buy it in a shopping cart and you just put it out there and see if people want it which is so smart because then – the old version you talked about, “I thought I would make this perfect course and then launch it.”

Well, this is so much smarter because you were like, “Does anybody want this?” And you had 100 people buy it and so then you’ve just been rolling out a module a week and you just create it and then roll it out, and you’re making it as you go. That was so great because when you and I met recently you even tweaked a couple of things mid-stream and you still have the space to do that, right?

Kricia: Yeah. It’s so opposite from when I look at how I’ve changed and how my mindset has changed over the past few years it’s so opposite. Like I said, that old view that I had to create something that was perfect and put it out into the world and I got to this point, like you said, with a lot of coaching and a lot of help from you where I saw a need, I was like “I think this is something that they’re going to like.”

I literally just on a piece of paper made an outline, 12 modules, this is the topic. No other content created other than that, put it out there, and it was just like that is exactly what they wanted. So, I thought, “Well, they’ve bought it, now I’ve got to create it.” It’s been wonderful. I roll out one module every week and like you said even after we met it was perfect timing because I was able to go in in my last six modules and tweak those a little bit according to what you and I had talked about. It totally worked out perfectly and, in fact, I’m going to launch it again in January.

Tobi: What I love about this approach is it’s so – well, for one thing you can’t quit. When you have 100 people who have already paid you their money you can’t quit. Whereas if you were doing it beforehand it’s so easy for the self-doubt to creep after you’ve – you sit down and you’re like, “I can’t even write one module. I might as well quit.”

Kricia: Right.

Tobi: Or you get halfway through and you’re like, “I’m so exhausted and I’m questioning myself all the time and who knows if anybody’s going to like this?” What I love about the way you did it is you already know they’re going to like it because not only did they say they wanted it, they put their money where their mouth is and you have their money sitting in your bank account.

Kricia: Right, so that course is going to be created and it’s amazing. It just shows you how we get in our heads. I did this so often, got in my head, and it would’ve taken me probably two or three times the amount of time to write that course just because of all of that, all the self-doubt, the procrastination, but when it comes down and people have paid for it, like that course is going to be created and it was easy. It wasn’t hard.

Tobi: Right. When we do it that way, there’s no room for perfectionism because you know I’ve got to have the next module out by next Thursday, so even if I wanted to be a perfectionist I can’t on this round. I can always come back later and tweak it, I rerecord it before we launch again if I need to, but what I find is when we have that non-perfectionist approach we end up not even rerecording a lot of it later because we just decide it was good.

We already pre-decided it was going to be good because we’re like, “Well, we got to put it out. They’re waiting on it.” That’s such a healthier mindset to create from as opposed to that ridiculous standard that we are trying to achieve when we’re in a silo and we haven’t sold it yet and we’re there with all of our thoughts.

I even remember you doing that because you were starting another course earlier and you kept telling me, “I’m really going to write it. I really have to buckle down.” I know you made some modules and you made some videos and you did some little mini courses, but I remember when you were doing it seemed like it was taking you way longer to do that.

Kricia: Right, I was in perfectionist mode. I was just still in this mode of getting it absolutely perfect and then putting it out there.

Tobi: So good. Well, this is so exciting. Is there anything else that you want people to know? I think I’d like to hear a little bit from you around your mindset of showing up on video and on social because you’re an introvert and even though you’re not afraid of public speaking and you love to teach and study, wasn’t there still a little bit of a barrier to that, too, to starting to show up?

Kricia: Yeah.

Tobi: But you moved through it fast because I remember you telling me at one point, “I feel kind of embarrassed or I feel kind of weird.” But when you decided, you jumped right in and I literally heard you say, “I’m scared or I’m afraid or I’m not good at it.” And then the next week I can tell you had a mindset shift because you were showing up every single day on Facebook and Instagram just talking to people and videos and it was a remarkable thing to see. What was that like?

Kricia: I think it just goes back to wanting that fear of judgment – other people, like when you put yourself out there on video you always open yourself up like what are people going to think? So, I was so focused on that instead of being focused on, “I’m just going to show up as an imperfect me and try to provide value for people and try to connect with people and try to relate to people.” What they think is up to them.

Tobi: Right.

Kricia: So, that was the biggest mind shift. That and just making myself do it even though even now I get nervous before Facebook Live or like an interview within my private Facebook group just continuing to take action even if you’re scared and the more I do it the easier it becomes. I mean, for this podcast today, Tobi, if this had been a year ago I would have been so nervous. I was still a little nervous and uptight right beforehand, but it’s so much easier the more you do it the more it just becomes more natural.

Tobi: Yeah, I agree. The other thing about it is I think what I’ve learned is that what we were doing wrong before is believing we shouldn’t be nervous. I think the shift now is to be like, “Well, of course, you’re going to be – “ I mean, your emotions are working perfectly. When you’re about to have a conversation and you really want to do a good job and you want the other person to be pleased and you want people to get value, of course you’re thinking thoughts that are going to create those little butterflies in your stomach, but it doesn’t mean they’re supposed to go away.

It’s just embracing that of – yeah, this is how it feels when I’m putting myself out there. This is how it feels when I’m going on a stage or a podcast or a video or whatever. So, yeah, I think what you’re saying is true, that it gets easier, but it’s almost like it’s just that we stop resisting that we’re not supposed to feel nervous, right?

Kricia: Yeah, because this morning I was feeling – I almost went to that place. I was feeling, just a little nervous. Kind of just getting ready for it and I almost thought, “Why are you still feeling nervous?” But then I was like, “I think it’s pretty normal before you’re going on a podcast or being interviewed in any situation. I’m a human, that’s a totally normal thing to feel and it’s okay.” So, part of that, just releasing the judgment of myself that just adds another layer of discomfort.

Tobi: Yeah, because as we both have learned through life coaching, the thoughts are going to come, the feelings are going to be there, but the suffering is optional. So, the suffering usually comes more from that judging ourselves, kind of mean girl thinking, not from the – the circumstance itself, okay, I’m going to go on, I’m nervous, I feel the butterflies in my stomach. It’s doable. We don’t die.

What creates the suffering is all the other. Like you said, “I shouldn’t be, or why am I? I must not be that good. I must be failing. This is so stupid, Kricia. Why are you still nervous?” Instead of just going, “Of course I’m nervous and I’m amazing and I’m wonderful and I can still be good and be nervous at the same time.”

Kricia: Absolutely.

Tobi: Yeah, so good. Well, thank you so much for this conversation. I know people are going to get so much out of it. We covered, gosh, so much ground that’s really, really important. But if people are listening and they want to connect with you whether they’re physicians or not. If they are physicians and they’re like, “I want to work with her,” or they’re like, “I just want to go see what this amazing woman has created for inspiration,” where should they find you? How do they see what you’re up to?

Kricia: They can find me, I’m at housecallsforphysicians.com, and then if you are a woman physician, an MD, or a DO you can go to my private Facebook group called House Calls For Physicians if you just search for that in Facebook it’ll come up and you can join my private Facebook group. You can also find me on Instagram –

Tobi: I was going to say, if they just want to see you and get to know you and watch what you’re doing from afar, anybody, how do they find you on Instagram?

Kricia: So, Instagram is @KriciaPalmerMD.

Tobi: And it’s K-R-I-C-I-A Palmer MD.

Kricia: Right, yes. Tricia with a K.

Tobi: Okay, perfect. Awesome. You’ve only said that a couple of times in your life, right?

Kricia: Yeah, yeah, right.

Tobi: Well, thank you so much. This was so fun and of course, you know, I’m just so happy for you and seeing what you’re doing is so amazing and inspiring, so bravo and big hugs to you.

Kricia: Thank you, Tobi. It’s been great.

Tobi: Okay, friends, here’s the thing I’m grateful for you. It’s almost Thanksgiving and I’m grateful for you. I’m grateful for Kricia showing up and being so transparent today, I’m grateful for you, I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with amazing, strong women like her, like myself, and like so many of the people I work with in Design You.

If you think you want to work with us in the program, head over and get on my waitlist because you’re going to want to know the minute that Design You opens. So, we are only opening a couple of times a year now, but I do have a little special something coming up for you in just a few days and if you’re not on my waitlist you won’t get to know about it. So, head over to tobifairley.com/designyou, get on our waitlist so you for sure know all about our special surprises and offers and you also will be the first to know when we open the doors to Design You, so you can start building a business and a life that you really love, too. Okay, so big hugs to you. So grateful for you and I will be back next week even though it’s Thanksgiving with a solo episode, just me sharing some thoughts and ideas.

So, if you’re in the US, after you’ve filled your tummy if you’re hopefully still getting to do that this year with turkey or whatever your day looks like I hope you’ll think about joining me and if you’re not in the US, heck, it’s just a normal week for you, right? You can listen to me like always, so I’ll be here same time next week and I’ll see you really soon. Bye for now.

Thank you so much for listening to The Design You Podcast. If you are ready to dig deep and do the important work we talk about here on the podcast of transforming your mindset and creating a scalable online business model there has never been a more important time than right now.

So, join me and the incredible creative entrepreneurs in my Design You Coaching Program today. You can get all the details at tobifairley.com.

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Hi! I'm Tobi

I help creative women (and a few really progressive dudes) design profit-generating, soul-fulfilling businesses that let them own their schedule, upgrade their life and feel more alive than ever!

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