On Being Consistent (Even When You're Not) - Christine Kane

You know the drill. It starts with, “OMG this is genius!” and ends in self-judgment over your failure to follow through … again. But if there’s anything I’ve learned in my career, both as a musician and a coach, it’s that no matter what it is, consistently doing anything brings consistent results.

Today’s episode is inspired by someone who, from a place of self-flagellation over dropping the ball with their own ideas, asked how I was able to stay consistent with this podcast.

Thing is, because I’ve created two businesses and had great levels of success, there’s a certain perception of me and how I function as an entrepreneur. So, today, first and foremost, I’ll pull back the curtains on my own challenging ADD brain. Then I’ll tag in a few considerations to take in before we jump into the topic of consistency.

We’ll discuss how we’ve all been affected by the collective change in the way the world works these days, and I’ll give you a peek into the way I work with Enneagram and the Kolbe A™ Index to keep myself and my clients on track with their goals.

Tune in to get a clearer understanding of ways you are (and aren’t) motivated or productive on your own, plus I’ll share 3 simple, straightforward strategies I use to stay focused and moving forward … even when it’s (occasionally) the last thing I want to do.

Episode Transcript

The energy of completion does more to serve your consistency levels than anything else.

Welcome to the Soul-Sourced™ Podcast, unconventional business advice for the highly creative, secretly sensitive and wildly ambitious entrepreneur. I’m your host, Christine Kane. Let’s do this.

Welcome everyone to the Soul-Sourced™ Business Podcast. This is episode number 49, and we’re going to talk about being consistent, being more consistent in your work, in your marketing and in the communication and content, whatever it is you call it that you put out there to your peeps, to your prospects and how to just generally be more consistent in your life and work. And this topic is brought to you by someone who asked me about this and was in a place of a bit of self-flagellation for not being consistent enough, sort of getting inspired and motivated, and then dropping the ball and having all these great ideas and they get off to a fiery beginning, and then they kind of die a slow death, or the inspiration is no longer there, or the motivation goes away or they’re just not feeling it. And the question was really geared around this podcast.

So she said, so I don’t understand how you keep things rolling. How do you keep it going? How do you get up for your podcast and, and keep that out there. So let’s first take a step back and talk about why consistency matters at all. Like who gives a shit? Like if you’re not consistent, if you’re somebody who flies by the seat of your pants, if you prefer to be more adaptable and flexible, why does this matter? So, to to many of us who have businesses to those people who are solo entrepreneurs, you’ve heard me say this a lot, but consistent marketing is what brings consistent results. And really when we look at anything in our lives, consistent, anything brings consistent results. You don’t just go work out once, you don’t go on one big, long walk and create strong cardio health. Um, there’s, there’s so many things that require our consistency and it’s the little things that we do that add up. And it’s, it’s the truth about anything. And if you’re somebody who does not do well with consistency, it really is worth starting to understand creating habits.

I wrote a blog post at one point called This Is Just What I Do. And it was a real popular post. A lot of people loved it, mostly because the idea behind getting consistent with anything is really taking the emotion out of it, not requiring inspiration and the feels and all of that kind of stuff that we seem to think it has to be there before we’ll do anything. In fact, our thoughts about what we’re about to do, tend to be the thing, things that deflate us the most. And so with that said, I am going to teach this in the following way. I’m going to start with one caveat, and then I’m going to go into two considerations, and then I’m going to go into three strategies and this is going to be pretty fast. All right?

So here we roll. The first is the one caveat and we’re going to start here, and that is because, I think sometimes people look at me and the fact that I’ve created two businesses and I’ve had great levels of success. And I have marketed consistently. And their image of me is that I sit back, I roll up my sleeves and very much like an engineer, I roll through my day. I set it up and I have these lists and I check them off. And my team is thrilled with me and I know exactly what to do. And I am a great manager, and that is all 100% illusion. It is not the case. I, I really have to work with this as well. So the truth is I’ve been able to be consistent in spite of myself, rather than then having some magic elixir that I am now prepared to offer you like pixie dust only if you listen to every last word that I say.

The good news here, though, is that you can do this and be exactly as you are, and sometimes being consistent comes with a little a bit of chaos, a little bit of delay, a little bit of procrastination. And I happen to think that’s fine, because at the end of the day, we’re running a business and we really, truly need to be more consistent in everything we do, if we want those consistent results. And by consistent results, that means that, and we all know this, when you are consistently putting your work out there, writing things, creating videos. And in this case, a podcast, people tend to place a lot more trust in your ability to lead them. And so they might not sign up for whatever it is you’re doing. Like all of our hope is that people are going to see what we have to put out there.

We’ve put our flyer out as a lot of people will say, we’ve announced our big thing, whatever it is, but if it’s been a year and a half since you wrote to your list, or it’s been even six months ago, they, they might open and be like, oh, okay, that’s cool. But it’s not something where they’ve developed any sense of trust in you. And this is why one of my five laws of money is that money likes consistency. And it’s because when we consistently put ourselves out there, there is a level of trust that gets built in the relationship with money and the relationship with your prospects and the relationship with everyone around you. And even if you, like me, are not naturally consistent, like that’s not your jam, there are ways that you can create a little bit more consistency in your work in life.

And that brings me to the two considerations. So that was our first, the caveat that we’re into the two considerations. Before we even begin to talk about this topic of consistency, the first consideration is something that is a, just a current energetic that I’m seeing across the board right now. Since we’ve had a year or more of COVID and quarantine and pandemic and highly charged emotional newsfeeds, I’ve seen In my clients, both in CK On Call, which is my high level, uh, all access to me, and also in my masterminds. And even in just random conversations I’m having with professionals and vendors in my own world. I’ve had so many people say to me behind the scenes, sometimes very secretly, sometimes with a lot of shame, sometimes with just deep questioning. I don’t know what’s going on right now, but I don’t know what I’m doing anymore. I don’t know who I am anymore. I don’t know what I want anymore. And if you’re having these kinds of thoughts, I think it’s a very deep place to go and it’s worth considering.

So what we tend to do is when we have these thoughts, is we try to avoid them, like, I don’t want to go there. I don’t know where this is going to end up. I don’t want to feel uncertain. And so what we tend to do is we beat ourselves up with things like the idea of being more consistent, and I just got to get better habits and I’ve just got to buckle down and go. I don’t think that’s always the answer. I think one of the considerations here is, is this really something you want to do? And I think that’s a fine consideration. And in fact, I think if you’re willing to go there, what you might find is that what opens up is deeper than what your brain tells you you should be doing, but I get that’s tender territory, it’s unknown territory, and it can be very scary. And that’s a whole other topic because it involves more silence. It involves opening up to uncertainty. It involves kind of setting the ego aside. And I think more and more people are doing it.

I know that’s the space I’ve been in a lot in the last year and a half, actually more than that, because there there’s been a lot of, of, uh, catalysts in my own world, personally, and, and, and professionally that have really made me look at how do I want to do this? Where do I want this to go? And it can be, it can bring up some real deep fears and real old stuff. But I think it’s worth considering rather than what our egos want to do, which is just go right to the easy answer of, I need to get more consistent, I need to work harder. I need to drive myself. And I don’t think that’s really the answer right now. There’s there is an evolution happening and it is worth looking at, and it’s something that I will continue to talk about here, but that’s, that’s a big thing. And that, that is something that I said to this person who asked this question because she was pushing herself to do some things that at the end of the day, she didn’t really want, it was just this, this should, of the internet that drives us to be someone and be bigger and be better and more, more and more. And she just didn’t have the, she didn’t have the deep intention around that.

The second consideration Is the, a lot of you’ve heard me talk about this, but it is a framework that we use here at Uplevel when we coach clients. Now, a lot of, you know, I use the Enneagram, but alongside the Enneagram, I use something called the Kolbe A index and Kolbe is spelled K O L B E. It is the last name of the woman who created the Kolbe’s, which is Kathy Kolbe. And in my worldview, for what it matters, is that Kathy Kolbe is doing more to ease shame on our planet than many people realize. And the Kolbe’s are, I’m just going to be very, very over generalized. The reason I have my clients do the Kolbe’s and the reason I coached by them, is because entrepreneurs tend to have a very different work style. I’m just going to call it work-style, instinctual style, than most of the rest of the world, which is truly a place of institutionalized systems, here’s how it has to roll.

And so people with a certain Kolbe type, and I will do, I will do a podcast on Kolbe’s I promise. I’ve been asked this more than anything else to speak to how I coach using Enneagram and Kolbe’s and how they work together. But just for now, understand that the Kolbe’s speak to four different things about how you work. One is your relationship to facts. One is your relationship to systems, one is your relationship to risk. And the last is your relationship to the physical. And so wherever you land on those spectrums, you may be somebody like in terms of fact, who needs to dive in and get every last little fact, or you might be someone who bottom lines it. In terms of systems, you may be someone who likes a good system and you wake up and you do the same thing every single day, which is what many of our, you know, our institutions and educational environments and the government.

That’s what we live by and run by. And it also helps when we’re talking about risk management and safety and, and schedules and stuff like that. You may be that person, but you also may be somebody who can wing it, like go, you improv and adapt every single time. And you don’t like a system. The next one is your relationship risk. You may be someone who likes some risk and you like to take chances and you like ideas, and you have a new idea every minute, you shit out ideas every day. It’s just constant. You can’t help but brainstorm and ideas are your friend. You love them. Or you’re somebody who wants to mitigate risk and take no risks and have no ideas and want everything to be the same. And then the very last one, and like I said, I’m overgeneralizing. These is all about your relationship to the physical. You may be someone who envisions things, or you may be someone who likes to get in there and actually implement and do things.

So with all that said, when it comes to consistency, one of the things that you have to realize is that a lot of people, the gurus out there, who love to write about habits and consistency and systems and management and management principles, they tend to be a certain Kolbe style. And those of us who are not that style, who are not systems people, but who are ideators, and, and improvers, and in the moment people, we tend to have a lot of shame about that. And so we try to contort our natural style and we tell ourselves, oh my God, I need to be more systematized. I need to have habits. And I need to, you know, we, it turns into a shame spiral.

And the reason I bring this up as a consideration is that self-awareness is going to be key if you’re trying to become more consistent. Because if you start in on the shame spiral around you being consistent, you end up doing more damage because you’re trying to be like, you know, Peter Drucker, or you’re trying to be a little more like Tim Ferriss, or you’re trying to be a little more like, you know, Atomic Habits, and, and I think it’s really worth, It’s not to say learning from people like that is a bad thing, where it gets to be a problem is where we, we have this age old habit in our lives, because we grew up in a family that lived by systems, or we were the black sheep, or we always got in trouble in school because we couldn’t stick to the program and the system, and all our teachers wrote all these critical things about us not being consistent.

We’ve learned a pattern of shame that it, now that has become interwoven into our daily rounds. And so whenever somebody says, I need to be more consistent, I need to have more habits, I may say, yeah, that’s great because you have a team and you have a business and you have a company. And those things really start to become more critical because now you’re leading a team or now you have a VA and you also have to honor your style. And there is no way you can shift your natural instinctual style.

Everyone who has ever come into our company and become a director of operations or the C.O.O and all the different positions I’ve ever hired, no matter what, if their Kolbe’s are, you know, they are high fact-finders and high systems people and whatever, they look at at me, the owner, the founder, the chief creative officer, and they, they secretly tell the team, well, we’re just going to have to change how Christine operates. No, you’re not. You aren’t going to be able to do that. And the people who have lasted on my team who have actually become really highly motivated and supportive people on my team are the ones who went through Kolbe training because they understand this is how I’m wired. This is how Christine is wired. And so that’s why I love to bring this up because you are naturally going to operate a certain way.

And for some of us being consistent and having habits and doing systems is something that can be really, really hard. It can serve us and we love structures, but we’re going to have to know that a lot of our path, a lot of our trajectory is going to be getting about getting back into alignment. Once we’ve gotten off track and doing it gently more than it is about becoming this engineer, automaton, robotic kind of person that we’ve always been told we should be. All right? So those are our two considerations. And now I’m going to give you the three strategies. And these are things that have worked for me hands down. They’re very simple, very boring. There’s no pixie dust involved whatsoever, which I know it sucks. I wish I could just say, yeah, you know, here it is, take this one pill, bathe in this one elixir and you’ll be fixed, but the big message is you’re fine, but there are some tricks that you can, you can implement.

All right. The first thing that I know always keeps me, you know, when, when someone says, how do you keep your podcast going? How do you not just collapse? Well, I’ve made a public commitment. This comes out every Sunday. And that’s, that’s just the way it is. The Soul-Sourced™ Business Podcast comes out every Sunday. All right? So once I’ve made that public commitment, I have, uh, I tend to get pretty duty bound. Now you may not have the duty bound thing going on. So maybe a public commitment doesn’t work. But typically when my clients say I have a newsletter, it goes out every Tuesday, I will, you know, I am doing, you know, to one of my clients has something called Career Club. I think it’s Career Club. My brain’s not working at the moment. And she promised to do a video, a zoom every week. And she, it started in COVID and it taught her how to be more consistent, where she hadn’t been consistent. And like, when you say here’s what we’re going to do, it’s going to happen every week. Or I don’t know if you guys remembered, when my book came out at the end of the year, last year, um, the audio did not come out. And I did a thing where I said, I’m going to read, I was going to do a Facebook live or a Facebook post, I’m going to read a section of my book to you every day until that comes out. And I think it was like 15 days or something like that, I forget what, but every day I had committed to do that. And once I say that, I tend to do it. And even if it had been 30, 40, 50 days, I would have done it simply because I made a public commitment to doing that.

And so that’s your first strategy. Where can you share publicly that you’re going to do this? And this is where I see a lot of people go like, oh my God, I don’t know if I can do that. Because what tends to happen is they know that there’s skin in the game now. If we sort of skate around the edges and kind of say, yeah, you know, I should do a, I should do a newsletter. Yeah. You know, I should really go to the gym or yeah, I should walk a little more. All of those things are these little things that kind of dance around in our brain. And they’re one of the many ideas that we have that are lovely. But we also know that once we put a stake in the ground and we say, this is what I’m going to do, we’re going to show up.

And that’s what really tests us. And I will say from my experience that it’s not easy. You know, when, whenever I do put a public commitment out there, whenever I do set a date, or when, and we’re going to get to that next, whenever I do that kind of thing, there is a part of me that just wants to hide. And in my book, I describe it as Wile E. Coyote. In my book, I described the scene of like, where, while that moment where Wile E. Coyote goes out and you see he’s, he’s run off the cliff. And there’s that pause where he looks at the camera and he realizes he’s no longer got ground beneath him. And then he plummets. That’s how I feel every time, because I know that once I commit, it’s going to have to happen. And that’s where all the self doubt comes in. And that’s where all the resistance comes up. And I don’t want to do this and wah. And then it was really like that part.

But that’s, that is the key. I mean, there’s, like I said, there is nothing better for me than public commitment and having a date and going, you know, for, for being on the road as a musician, I missed one, I canceled one show in my entire 15 year career of being a musician. And, um, that was it. You know, it’s just, that’s that tends to work. Now at the beginning, you may not have a lot of people on your list. You may not have a lot of people waiting and watching, but when you do something on social media or whatever, you tend to, to show up. And of course, if there may be a few people who watch your video, like after a while of me reading my daily videos, you know, the percentage of people who were interested, went down and that’s normal, but you make that commitment.

And then the gift of it, I will say is that you got to work through your little ego stuff and you, you show up anyway. And the, the gift of being consistent is that feels, what I call the feels, the ego, all of the voices, all of the things that say you should be better. You should have more people. You shouldn’t do this unless you have more people. Those are all just the, you know, the arena as Bernay Brown calls. It, it’s just, those are the P those are the voices of the arena. Just, consistency means you do it anyway, you show up anyway. And there’s like I said, there’s a gift to doing that and use, I think it actually brings you deeper into yourself and deeper into some really cool learnings. And that’s something that I really cherish about it because otherwise I never would have done it. I’m way too A.D.D.

The second strategy is, as I mentioned before, the deadline. So I often quote the little mantra that a lot of people say to my clients of, what is the best invention ever? And the answer is the best invention ever is the deadline, because without it, there would be no other inventions. And it’s very true. Once you put a deadline on it, once you say here’s when my retreat is going to be, once you have a date on it, once you say this is going to be done by then, and this is why masterminds work coaching works, because if you have, you know, when we have our quarterly retreats, and we have said to each other, here’s what I’m going to do by the next retreat. You have a deadline, there’s accountability and accountability is everything it’s similar to the public commitment, but the deadline is actually having a date. This is going to be done.

So I don’t think, I think for me, and this is where I, you know, that come back to that little caveat. When I set up my CDs as a, as a musician and I, I released seven CDs when I was a musician and I probably should have done more, and like I said, that’s where the caveat comes is I, I, wasn’t always a very consistent writer, but as soon as I booked my date, like, you know, Hey, um, I’d find a producer, we’d set up a time. We’d set up a date. And lot of the producers I worked with had pretty busy schedules. And so we had a set a few months out, guess what I did? I finally finished every last little song. I finally went in and I stopped futsing around with certain songs. And I got things done because there’s a deadline.

I’ve got to show up at a studio and actually have songs for this person. In fact, I have to send him demos of these songs prior to showing up at his studio. If I have a deadline and I know the team is waiting on me, then I will have it done, again, it’s just the pressure of somebody waiting on you. Somebody knowing this is going to happen, somebody paying you to do this thing. Somebody, whatever it might be, a client, you don’t blow off your clients. Do you? No. So if you want to treat your commitments in that same way as if there’s a client on the other end waiting for you.

The third and last strategy is to do what I call, lower your baseline. And what that means is that you’re really just lowering your expectations. And this comes down to more about habits. So for instance, the, if you have a, a need to be more consistent in terms of what you’re going to do for your writing or what you’re going to do for your marketing or your content or whatever work you have to do, instead of saying I have to do it two hours a day, and you’re, you never show up for two hours a day, cut it back to 45 minutes, cut it back to something you know you will do, especially with certain habits like training, working out, walking. We tend to put the bar above our head. We always are raising it. And, and when I’m on stage teaching this, I show the picture, like I, I put my hand right up and we have the bar just above, like right at our nose and we always keep raising it. And so we have to keep standing a little higher, a little higher.

And I always say lower that baseline a little bit because, getting it done, I think I did a podcast called the Energy of Completion. The energy of completion does more to serve your consistency levels than anything else. But if you’re always raising that bar just a little bit, just a little bit, just a little bit, and you’re always chasing it, and you’re never quite there, in your body, your entire cellular structure does not experience the energy of completion, then you are going to you’re, you’re just doing yourself a huge disservice. And so the, the lowering of the baseline means you get the feeling of getting it done. And ultimately, consistency is about momentum. And it’s what so many of us love the feeling of is just that feeling of momentum like, oh, completion every day, completion every day, as opposed to a to do list that never ends. A feeling of never getting a good dopamine snack, a feeling of always being not there quite there. So instead of maybe a newsletter that is three pages long, every single Tuesday, you, you lower that baseline. Maybe it’s a newsletter with a bite sized piece of information, you know, and, and you stop trying to be such a perfectionist in every last thing you do.

And the last point I’m going to make before we close out here, kind of hearkens back and I’m, I can’t believe I just used the word hearkens, but there you have it, apparently we’re back in the 18th century, but it hearkens back to something I said earlier in this, and that is that a lot more about consistency for those of us who are Quick Starts according to the Kolbe’s, is that it’s more about realigning, like you know, getting back into the game, which is why we have our retreats for our masterminds. It’s not about never falling off the wagon. It’s about what you do when you get back on the wagon, or some metaphor that works better than that. But the thing to understand is that, it’s really, I always say it’s about not just about deciding it’s about redeciding. It’s not just about intention, it’s about re intention. And so when you have something come up in your life that interrupts your consistency, like you were going along just fine and then you had a vacation. You were going along just fine and then you got sick. You were going along just fine and then your kid got sick, whatever it might be. And then you’re off track for two weeks or a week, or whatever. What we tend to do to ourselves is we put that bar right back where it was and we say, God, I was doing so good two weeks ago. I was so good, and now I’ve gained three pounds or whatever it might be, but it’s that shame spiral again, back to the shame thing.

And the way I coach clients in their marketing and in their efforts of their, their business is that once you get off track, when something has happened, that’s called life. What we do now is we realign, and where we go big time, there is that we lower the baseline even more. So for instance, this is a game I used to play when I came back from being on the road, instead of, you know, I would come back from the road, I would have like a three week road trip. I’d be all hopped up. My whole world would be about other people dictating where I went, I’d go to a radio station, do an interview. I’d go to go do a show. I’d get clapped at. I’d go to the hotel room and crash. I’d get up and the next day I had to travel to another radio station, go do another show.

When you’re in a life of reaction. And then you come back home and you’re now in the world of creation, and you say to yourself, all right, young lady, you’re going to write two hours a day, It’s not going to happen. And so I would lower the baseline and it would be day one, back from, actually day one I wouldn’t, day one is crashed day. It’s unpack day, it’s whatever day. But, then I would start with a half hour of writing. That was my baseline. And so when you’re coming back, if you want to do the realignment part of consistency, like re consistency, you’re, you’re going to lower that you’re going to start really small with that expectation.

When I take a break and I go back to the gym, it’s a half hour, it’s 15 minutes. It’s just showing up sometimes like, Hey, you showed up. Yeah, you did it! Click it off your, you know, your little to-do list, get the dopamine snack and move on. You did it. And that’s how we start building momentum. We, we, we get consistent by giving ourselves the space to have a life, and then realign, as opposed to people who seem to act like all they do is stay consistent in they’re perfect every time. And they set up these little imaginary goals for all of us. And not, those of us who are wired a certain way, simply can’t reach those goals. And so the key thing is really knowing yourself and how best you are going to be consistent. And I hope this helped, I hope this, uh, little rant on being consistent, helped and made you realize that, you know, doing these podcasts is not something I just, you know, crank out. And, uh, I take time with them. Sometimes it’s chaotic. Sometimes I’m very last minute, but that’s how I be consistent.

And speaking of this podcast, thank you so much for listening. I really appreciate it. If you got something out of this episode, would you do me a favor? Will you head over to wherever you listen to the podcast and leave a review, like a five-star review and write something for me? I would so appreciate that. We, this is how we grow. This is how we’re doing it. We’re doing it more organically. And I really love that. I love reading them and I’m really grateful for the reviews you guys have left. It, it, it makes my heart sing. And, um, thanks you all so much for listening and I will see you next week.