Just Because You Can Doesn't Mean You Should - Christine Kane

Here’s the ultimate paradox.

In order to uplevel to a new place of income and success, you will one day have to take a really really really really big leap of faith.  In fact, what I’m about to suggest might be the most intense challenge you’ll ever have to endure.

Is it finding an angel investor?


Is it getting PR?


Is it learning how to close the sale?


It is STOPPING yourself from cleaning your house, managing your unsubscribes, answering your customer service emails, editing your recordings, uploading your videos, mowing your lawn, running to Office Max, standing in line at the post office, answering your phone, changing your toner, figuring out QuickBooks, writing the checks, fulfilling the orders, designing your blog, writing code on your website, searching for a customer’s lost log-in, sending your eZine, altering your clothing, buying office supplies, picking up stamps, and learning code…

…so that you can do MORE of what you’re brilliant at.

Yes, I know you’re smart.  We all know you’re smart.  And we all know you CAN do all of these things.

But that doesn’t mean you should.

There are a few things – yes, the very things that make you come alive – that you were brought here to do.  Start doing them.

Then, take the biggest risk of all…

Stop doing the stuff that’s NOT them.

  • Maria

    Dear Christine – I was thinking on a strategic engagement level about your advice. When it comes to upskilling, levelling customer engagement focus and upgrading income levels to compensate positively for forward looking opportunities there’s nothing more important than to STOP doing the things that are NOT them. Thank you so much for the positive inflows into my mental schema. Going forward I’m hoping to reduce negative information input levels and achieve reverse compensation with positive and GROWTH ORIENTED messaging and your posts help me achieve that goal. Love and hugs, Maria

  • Karen

    Help. I am a singer. I am good at singing. I am afraid of exploring classical music even though my voice wants to do that.

    I’ve wanted to sing for years and I’ve been slogging in corporate nightmare. My body is starting to hate me for not living my truth. I am definitely afraid of all of the things like insurance, money, etc. But I feel like it’s more dangerous to not be me.

    In corporate I am being told I am too sensitive, but I don’t want to change me to stay here– at the same time I am afraid of losing benefits and money which is imposed on me by the way I grew up. I can work really hard, I just need help with how to conquer this irrational fear. I’ve been paid to sing before. Then I was in an accident and felt like I lost my mojo……

    Your work is brilliant….

  • Saskia

    Christine said: “…It is STOPPING yourself from cleaning your house, managing your unsubscribes, answering your customer service emails, …”

    OMG, I’m starting to see the light! I haven’t done any artwork since April 2010. I can’t remember when I last had a day off or even when I just had some plain good old fun.

    The universe (or probably me) is piling ever more on my plate (big house to renovate, big garden, husband and demanding kid, dogs, cats, soon sheep and chickens, a website, five blogs, a fantasy novel in the making, inspired pastel art to create, an education revolution to spark off, enlightenment to attain, LOL!) in the hope that at one point I will finally understand that I *can’t* continue to do it all, but guess what, I’ve *never* understood so far and just kept extending my working hours (18+ per day now). And I’m still not getting even half the things on my tasklist done every day! I thought the solution was working harder, more efficiently and sleep less (I’m down to 5 hours) , and I’ve done all that. I’m a positive efficiency machine! BUT…

    I’m living a nightmare… Now facing burn-out and demotivation and all the ugly stuff that’s related I realize what I *really* need to do is quite the opposite of working harder: I need to sit still and ask myself some serious questions: where my true genius and my passion lies, for starters. And then I need to get rid of everything that is not that…

    Off to the sofa to think about this, and thank you so much for this article!

  • Paula

    Whoa… this post is poetic! I can’t tell you how amazing it is to have someone articulate what my sage inner wisdom has been telling me for a while now! Thanks!

  • Lisa Wilder

    YES! So true.

    As entrepreneurs we tend to start out doing it all, but at some point, we all hit a wall. Sadly, I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve spoken to an entrepreneur who hit that wall and was on the verge of giving up. Or how many times I’ve heard someone sigh and say, “I guess you really can’t have it all.”

    The reality is that we CAN have it all…we just can’t DO it all.

    The first step, as you’ve so beautifully stated Christine, is to recognize that just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should be doing it.

    The second step (and often the one entrepreneurs really have a hard time with) is to begin actually letting go of some of the things you can (but shouldn’t) be doing.

    For those that have a really hard time letting go of control with the biz stuff, a great place to start is by hiring someone to clean the house. Somehow it’s easier to let go of needing the toilet to be cleaned in a particular way than it is to let go of control of how your newsletter is formatted. ; )

    Thankfully…it doesn’t take long to acclimate and this is one of those things where once you take the leap…you’ll wonder how you ever managed without help, or why you ever thought you should.

  • Kay

    What I find so great about hiring out anything is finding someone who loves their ‘hired out’ job….for example, the person who cleans for me intermittently…loves to clean and make order and align my art objects and she is an environmentalist… I leave cash on the counter with a wish list and she enjoys completing it and more…. when she finishes she takes what she has earned time/energy wise and leaves happy. When I return, I am happy. I try to find support help by first finding someone who loves that kind of work and usually things fall nicely into place.

  • Vicki

    Great post Christine,
    There are so many things I would love to hand to someone else, accounting being the biggest pain in my backside, web development, etc. My concern is though, what does that leave me? I am not sure what I am ‘brilliant’ at. I know I am pretty good at what I do, but cashflow is my biggest problem and things are great when the money is coming in but a struggle when its not. My cashflow is so irregular that I fear I could not keep it constant enough to pay anyone else.

    Maybe its a case of taking the leap and the net will appear, I wish I could guarantee that my brilliance would shine enough to pay the bills though.

  • Sue

    Perfect reminder. Thank you! (And I’ve been giving away or hiring away many things on that list and I feel SO much lighter. Like I can move forward without weights on my feet!!)

  • Marie

    Well, I already don’t clean house, so I’m on the right track!***

    ***and I don’t hire anyone, and don’t care. One of my great strengths is focus on what motivates me, and the corresponding great weakness is zero recognition of the things that do not motivate me (cleaning, decorating, following fashion, latest trends in TV etc.). I’ll garden because it is relaxing and I have a lot of idea development when I’m working outside, but the work is strictly functional and not aesthetic.

  • Sarah

    Hello Christine and everyone,
    Enjoyed this post, like all your othes, Christine – many thanks! This topic is the thing I find most difficult in all the world. I did once hire a cleaning agency but found it didn’t really help – a couple of hours after she’d been, our house was as wrecked as before! And one cleaner we had implied that the house was too dirty to clean (every woman’s greatest fear.. please send sympathy!!!). I much prefer doing it myself then I don’t have to worry about finding embarrassing things here & there. I am still trying to figure out what I can get someone else to do for me. I know this is really important because I have many creative passions that are forever on the “back burner”. At least I did get my website finished recently. I found this fun and satisfying, and it doesn’t take much maintenance…it’s all the childcare, household and administrative stuff that’s the problem for me. Your post has really reminded me to keep on searching for solutions, Christine. Thanks again.

  • Vicky

    So true! I know this isn’t in quite the same zone as hiring assistants to improve the smooth running of a business… but like the lady said about laundry, sometimes there are great, cost effective services out there just waiting to be utilised by anyone! One of the smartest things my partner and I learned to do about a year ago was…..get our grocery shopping delivered!! So obvious but the regular trip to the supermarket is a strangely tough habit to brake. Now, our resident chef/food planner internet shops from the sofa inside half an hour. The next day….it arrives…sometimes free delivery! Either way, no more getting in the car on a cold winter’s day, no petrol expenses, 1 hour round trips + shopping time, trudging round the supermarket, grumpy disagreements in the aisles about which detergent is more “eco”… The only time we go shopping now is to a local farm shop or little producer – which is always a pleasure, never a chore! 🙂

  • Biz

    This is one of those things that I just take my hand across my forehead and say “WHEW” – good thing I don’t need to work on THAT concept anymore!

    What a blessing is the lesson you taught me a few months ago to let go of the things that are not your genius work. Since then I have hired a VA, a systems coach, a housekeeper, and I am on the lookout for a personal assistant and an accountant. What is truly amazing is how much this DOESN’T cost me – by being freed up to work on my genius stuff, I have made more than enough to cover those costs AND still make money – what a concept!

    Thanks Christine!

    • Christine Kane

      Wow! What a beautiful testimony, Biz! I’m so honored to be working with you in the Gold mastermind! You are just upleveling everyday!

  • stella

    Christine – I love this!! <3 so so true. It's kinda (absolutely!) scary and terrifying to make that leap out there and shine your own light, but it's so worth it. Thanks for the reminder xo

  • Kimberly Graham

    Christine, would you please remove those hidden cameras from my office and house now? 😉

  • Julie

    Christine, your wonderful post came at the perfect time, just when I’ve capitalized on an hiatus from normal everyday life. Now that unexpected company has returned home, I’ve been intent on sticking with my new non-routine days; instilling them, instead, with what truly moves me. But I’ve been feeling guilty! (I’m my own worst enemy.) Sometimes we just need a quick push to get us going (thank you, visiting mother-in-law) and a perfectly timed reminder that we needn’t struggle so much (thank you, Christine Kane), and just the right bit of perspective to give us the incentive to keep going (thank you, Glenn).

  • Amy

    The photo you used in your post is exactly how I feel most days at work. We are encouraged to multi-task to the max, and it drives me nuts. I am able to do it, but I hate it. I feel like I can’t concentrate on developing the skills that I’m really good at, because I have to focus SO MUCH on the details of unimportant things. I need to remind myself that I have all the power in the world to CHOOSE what I’m doing with my life….. One step at a time I suppose. Thanks for your courage, it inspires the less courageous like me. 🙂

    • Christine Kane

      Yes, Amy – i hear you. I think the reason so many companies like to complain about the economy is because they are too lazy to look at their own internal habits (like expecting their employees to never be present to what they’re best at!)

      Are you coming to my call next Wednesday night? I highly recommend it so that YOU can create the level of consciousness that changes your own environment. Sounds like you’d LOVE what I’m going to teach. http://www.uplevelseminars.com to sign up!

  • Anna Barlowe

    Well, I’m a fan of balance in all things.

    I mean, I live in a zoo with two rabbits (one of them with aspirations of world domination), two mice, a bird, and a trained monkey (my boyfriend), and if I did not run a cleaning check on my apartment every two hours or so, I am quite certain that some new form of civilization would immediately arise and threaten the fate of mankind. Seriously.

    Not that that wouldn’t be fun to watch, but still.

    So I do the boring stuff first (but very efficiently) to get it off my mind, and then I can go sit by the fire and write my weird blog or make jewelry or whatever. Those tedious things distract my fabulous brilliantness (snort) if they don’t get done first. It’s the OCD in me.

    But I think it’s important to set one or two creative goals for every day that must get done, and make sure that they DO get done. That usually works in the long run.

  • Glenn

    I realized this the past couple of years, My apple computers, ipad and iphone apps make it very easy for me to do a lot of things like , constant contact, radio shows, blogs, streaming video, facebook, podcasts, foursquare, linkedin, websites and well, you get the idea. I was doing most of these things…….. until I was working with one of my clients who is the international sales manager for an obviously big company. When I told him all of things I COULD do he said all that matters is how your clients want to interact with you. WOW!

    So I expanded the old school concepts we were also doing like hand written thank you notes when clients signed contracts, gifts to clients when we completed contracts (all of which we call gratitude marketing) phone calls instead of emails, no technology days (set down the ipad and walk away and no one will get hurt 🙂 all of which resulted in more referrals, more time to ride my bike (pedal bike) more time for my wife and I.

    We all look for the next thing that will change our lives…..rules for success are like gravity, they never change, we simply must do them continuously otherwise the one time I went to the gym in 1987 would have covered me for the rest of my life 🙂

    • Julie

      That bit of humor in your last line really drives home the message. THANK YOU for that! 🙂

    • Christine Kane

      Awesome Glenn.

      And I totally agree with your mentor in that situation. I upleveled myself as a coach (in terms of value I provide to my high-level clients) once I recognized that my genius work (the only stuff I should be doing) is teaching, advising, coaching – and my fave, writing!

      People think this is decadence – but what it does is that it uplevels everyone around you because you are vibrating a SUCH a higher level. You don’t make this happen all at once – but you keep removing anything that isn’t your highest work to do.

  • Nicole

    I was thinking about this the other day, only it had nothing to do with upleveling a business. I was thinking about how I hate doing laundry, plus I live in a building that doesn’t have an elevator and I don’t have access to my own washer and dryer. There’s a dry cleaning and laundry service in my neighborhood that picks up and drops off. The amount of money I would spend doing my own laundry, buying the detergent and fabric softener, etc., it roughly around the same amount for this company to do all of that for me. So, I made the decision to have this service to what they do best and it allows me to focus on what I really want to focus on.

    I’ve also thought about taking a class to learn how to create a website for my business…but I know people whose jobs are to develop websites for people. There are plenty of people out there who can provide a service for us, and it’ll leave you with more than enough time to do what you love to do. But I do agree that letting someone else do it when we sometimes live the mantra of “if you want someone done right, you have to do it yourself” can be difficult.

    • Christine Kane

      Nicole – I disagree with you about one key thing –

      that your decision to not do your laundry and your recognition of the ROI of sending it out was NOT about upleveling your business. It is ABSOLUTELY about upleveling your business! This was (and still is) one of the biggest pieces for me about growing into the seven figures in my biz. And the decision to let go of things like laundry and grocery shopping, etc – were integral to my success.

      (And I wrote this blog post because i was recently interviewed by a successful entrepreneur who was still doing her own audio editing – which, I believe, was one of the things keeping her at the same income level!)

  • athena

    Hi Christine~~~
    What if you don’t really know what you are brilliant at?
    I do hire out for a lot of tasks. I do know the things I am really great at but don’t love doing.
    It would be easy for me to drop all of those to focus on my brilliance in my businesses, if I knew..

    • Christine Kane

      This is worth exploring, Athena. I think you probably DO know what you’re brilliant at – because it’s what you LOVE doing and what gives you energy. Many times, when we can’t find that thing we’re brilliant at, it’s because we’re so freakin’ tired from doing anything BUT that thing. Take some time and sit with this.

      • athena

        good point, yes, I am so ‘freakin’ tired’. I am sitting with it 🙂

  • inge

    amen to that.
    I always try to live by ‘you are not whát you do, you are why.’ =)

  • Maggie

    Hi Christine!

    Love the post as always…reminded me of the quote I use for my email signature…

    “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
    — Howard Thurman

    Love & Hugs to the Tribe,

  • Christie {Nourishing Circle}

    This is really interesting timing for me – as I am sure it will be for many others. I’m considering hiring two different people to do two different things that I have been handling on my own. I know that both are valuable to my business – I’ve seen the proof. But I am having a hard time making that leap. I know it would be worth but just doing it is proving to be a huge challenge.

    • Christine Kane

      Hi Christie – From someone who has experienced this exact same space that you describe – and I can tell you that it will generate more income for you. Let go and do it.