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143. Making "Impossible" Goals Possible with Sunny Spaces Organizing CEO, Erika Maddamma

Updated: Mar 7

Sincerely, Future You - Life Coach Jessica McKinley Uyeno

Have you ever set an impossible goal? Learn how Happster Erika Maddamma, CEO of Sunny Spaces Organizing accomplished her “impossible" goal. We dive into the Failure Collection worksheet, goal-setting, money affirmations and the tools she used to make the “impossible”, possible.


[00:04:25] Meet CEO of Sunny Spaces Organizing, Erika Maddamma

[00:07:07] Failure Collection: build your business with success by failing

[00:11:15] Making impossible goals possible

​​[00:22:35] From endless to do’s to a TBS list

[00:27:51] An inside peek at Erika’s Happster worksheet

[00:40:59] How Erika plans her business operations for the month in hours

[00:43:51] Accountability and money affirmations

[00:54:14] Erika’s words of wisdom

Connect with Erika & Sunny Spaces:

Resources Mentioned:

Affirmation video:

Not Yo' Mama's New Year's Resolution: 8th Annual Letter to Yourself Workshop:

Instagram: @whatshappyningwjess

Watch on YouTube:

Full Transcript:

Erika Maddamma 0:00

So my goals are always financially driven like I said before, so my like impossible goal for the month will be I think it's been 15k in sales, which is was 100% impossible before starting this and you know, in my head of course, and July, which was four months into coaching, I had my first 15k month I couldn't add it again. So I've accomplished it, which is so crazy to think like before, my goal was like, Ooh, 10k I don't know feels hard. Now I'm like, yeah, 15 is fine. Let's go for 20 You know, it just has changed my whole like Outlook on the my business and what's possible.

Jessica McKinley 0:38

Welcome to Sincerely future you a podcast that helps ambitious women like you make decisions today with the future you in mind. Hello, Happsters. Welcome. We have a special guests here today, a Happster herself, Erika. And before I officially introduce her, I wanted to tell you why I have her on the show. When I first started this podcast, it was just never meant to be an interview podcast. It wasn't something that I felt was relevant. I have people in my inbox if you listen to this, actually. And you're like listening to get info on how you can pitch me for someone random to be on the show, you could just save yourself the time. The only people that I have on the show are Happsters, because I want to give you guys an inside look on what it's like when someone comes in comes into coaching starts using the tools that I talked about here on the show and show you how they have evolved to make the tools their own and to really get results in a such a powerful way. And so every once in a while comes along a Happsters that blows my mind, using a tool in a way that's even better than I had intended, intended when I created it. And that's why I needed to have Erika on the show. Erika is a professional organizer. I'm going to have her introduce herself a little more in detail in a second. But she is the owner and founder of sunny spaces, which is a professional organizing company, amongst other things, very exciting new things coming up. But when Erika came to me, she really just wanted to grow in a faster way that didn't cause her to lose her life and her time behind the scenes. She's also a mom, like me, and she really wanted to make sure that she knew she was destined for great and big things. But she wanted to make sure that the life was holistic that the life that I preach to all of you guys, my clients, they are seeking a big life. And what that means oftentimes is not just money at the expense of time, or lots of time and passion in what you do. But at the expense of you know, having the money that affords you the lifestyle that you want. And having a big life in our terms means having both lots of time, lots of money, and also lots of calm and peace as a CEO lots of self trust, as you go through so that you don't feel like you have to be second guessing yourself. And Erika is doing such a good job of that. She is currently in her second round of happening sessions. And she will also be in the March 2023 class. So for those of you who are who are getting ready to be a part of that as well, you will get to meet her. But I wanted to have her on to talk about her use of a worksheet that we do monthly called failure collection. And it is the way that we set up our goals and it is the way that we assess how we are going to schedule and what is going to be the important things that are going on our calendar. And so before I dive in and ask her all the questions that said, I know you guys are dying to know. Let us introduce Erika, why don't you tell us a little bit about you and who you are and your journey in coaching so far.

Erika Maddamma 4:25

Awesome. Well, thanks Jess for having me on here. I'm super excited. I'm Erika Madonna. I own sunny spaces organizing. owning this business has been my dreams and I don't even know I was little. I was the crazy kid who would pull out everything in her closet on a Saturday morning and reorganize it because it's fun. So I just kind of knew I always wanted to be an entrepreneur, I wanted to make my own hours I wanted to be flexible and have time for my future kids when you know when that happens. And so now I'm like living this life that I dreamt up as a child which is so cool. Um from Connecticut, but I live in Pittsburgh. Now that's where my business is based out of. So we serve the Greater Pittsburgh area, I have a team of seven people, seven organizers and an admin. So I'm just so proud of the journey that I've had and the team that I've built and the amount of people that we're able to serve in this area on a daily basis. I've been getting coached for the last almost four years, I got started getting coaching when my son was born, and I was having this identity crisis of like, I'm a really good worker, I'm an A student, I, you know, want the gold star, but I also want to be a good mom. And I was really just struggling with the balance and sending him to daycare, and then coming home and only having a couple hours with him at night. So I worked with a different coach who really helped me figure out like my journey into motherhood, and actually ultimately led me to quitting my job and starting this business. And then recommended just so I could continue my coaching journey, but with more of a business focus. So I've been with just since March of this year, and it's been a crazy ride. It's amazing. What can be accomplished in I don't even know, six months, nine months.

Jessica McKinley 6:02

Right? Eight months of actual, like application and learning of the tools. Eight months, it feels like we've been working together for years, actually, when you just said that. I was like, it's only eight months.

Erika Maddamma 6:14

Yeah. Yeah, for sure. So I'm excited to talk about the tools today. And just all the things that, you know, I always say like, my coach has done this for me. And they come back and say, Well, you've done the work. But you know, the team that we've we've been able to have together and just being in the room with all the other amazing women who just have similar goals and similar struggles and being able to have a place for that is just so crucial. It's my favorite part of the week.

Jessica McKinley 6:39

Yeah, I love to hear that. And I really was just thinking it as well with the holiday that we just as we're recording this, we're just coming off of the Thanksgiving holiday. And it feels like it's been longer even though really, we didn't take a week off or anything because our calls are on Wednesdays. So it didn't interfere. But I'm just like, I'm so excited to be chatting with you guys again on Wednesday. It is now Monday. I'm like it's been five days I miss y'all. But yes, so okay, let's talk about failure collection. Okay. So, as I mentioned, the goals that we are going after are big goals, we set impossible goals at the beginning of each round of happening sessions. And we figure out okay, in the next six months, and or if you want to set a goal for the next year and work towards six months of it, you can do that. But I think it's really important to be both zoomed out and zoomed in on your business so that you're not just working the vision and quote unquote, manifesting, like I love hate that word. Because I think that sometimes, you know, people that who know how to do it really well still understand that there is action involved. But I do think that it's important for you to understand, zoomed in as well. What are we doing in the day to day to make sure that we are shifting our habits and shifting our actions towards building the ultimate goal that we want. And at the same time, the flip side, I see too many people just getting sucked into the busy and just doing whatever seems urgent or just doing kind of busy work without really understanding is this the action are these the actions that are going to get me closer to the life that I want and not just the goal. So I created a worksheet. Two worksheets, actually one is called failure collection worksheet that everyone does monthly, and one is called collection reflection. So in the failure collection worksheet, I do have an episode where I talk about failure collection and the process a little in depth. But we're going to talk about it here too, within the context of Erica skull. And we set up what are four mini goals that you have that are stretch goals for yourself that are very measurable, that will help you get closer towards both your impossible goal and the shift that you want to make in your life at that point, whether it's a little bit more time, whether it's more, whether it's stronger delegation, we're going to have Erica give some examples. And then at the end of the month, you do a collection reflection where you look at all four of those goals. You look at what the actual result was that you achieved, whether you collected a fail or whether you exceeded your expectation for that goal. And I usually say most often, like a three out of four of them. You should be collecting a fail on and that is like you're doing it right. And if you're collecting more if you're actually hitting more of those goals, most likely you're just not setting a high Enough goal is stretching enough goal? And then most importantly, what did you learn? And what was what we call the strategic byproduct of going after this goal and not hitting it? What actually did you come to know did you come to learn that you're going to take with you going forward into next month's scalar collection. But I have been watching Erica submit her worksheet month after month. And I've been like, very impressed with the level of detail and the level of thoughtfulness and the level of application that she takes her goals and then applies in order to turn that intention into that intention into action, really. So can you tell us a little bit about that journey for you? And what it was like in the beginning, when you first looked at this worksheet, and you were like, Okay, I have this big goal. What kind of goal are you working towards right now? And what was it like in the beginning?

Erika Maddamma 11:11

Yeah, so I think my thought in the beginning was just like, I don't know, like, I don't know what I have to do to get to this goal. So my initial goal, in our first round of happening sessions, which really kind of was to carry us through the year was net sales of $108,000. And you're like, that's a specific number, like, Why does it feel impossible, and I was like, You're right, let's bump it to 150. So that definitely felt like a stretch. And then I would sit there with this blank worksheet, and I'd be like, I don't know, like, I don't know what I do to generate sales, you know, those are just like all of these thoughts of doubt, and uncertainty kind of creeping in and not really knowing where to start. And that worksheet would take me like an hour, I would like start it, and then I'd have to like leave and come back to it to be able to finish. And now I just feel like because I've practiced it for I guess now eight, eight months over and over again, my goal hasn't really changed. It's always a financial, you know, number. But now we've also added an element of increasing what I'm paying myself. So it's kind of that's fun, and also super measurable. Did I pay myself or did I not like, where are we at? Yeah. But now it just takes like note, I mean, I could probably bring it out in about a half an hour of just like, What am I going to do to take the action? And what are like the many steps in between to really get me there. So it's super clear for myself.

Jessica McKinley 12:23

I love the very first thing you said, which is like, at first I brain looked at it and just said, I don't know. So one of the things that we talked about and happening sessions all the time is, I don't know is not an option. And I think that people don't realize how often in their businesses, they just fill in the blank with I don't know. And then they excel, their brain accepts that as an answer. And then they allow themselves to go and work on all the things that they do know. And then they stop there. And what I encourage people to do and what the worksheets do, like every worksheet is, is nice, and it's helpful. But I will say that the worksheets have to be coupled with coaching, in order for you to get like I could hand all of you guys, I could put this worksheet up as a freebie. And there's a reason I don't. And it's not because I'm trying to like, hoard some like secret magic thing? No, it's because I know that the worksheet is useless without coupling it with coaching, because you're going to have these thoughts that pop up, it's designed to bring up all your shit. As I say it's designed to have all of your, all of your limiting beliefs, all of your doubts, all of your uncertainty, all of your thoughts that you don't know what you're doing as a CEO, and you're not really qualified. And you know that you can never be this future version of yourself, which we're always striving to less than the gap between you and future you. And so that is going to come up and it did for Erica and it's going to be like I don't know, but the more you practice, circumventing and just going around that I don't know, the more the closer you get to self trust, the closer you get to realizing oh, okay, actually, most of this is just about experimenting, and learning, figuring out what works and what doesn't work and what I want to do going forward. And also part of it is realizing that you do know, a lot of things that your brain is going to tell you you don't know in the beginning. So yes, it used to take you a long time. I know everyone says that about scheduling as well. In the beginning, sometimes it takes hours to schedule out, like two days and then it can be like Okay, I just need 15 minutes now just schedule out my day and I have it and it's done. So understand that if you're a hipster that's kind of like new or you're getting ready and you've always taken a really long On time to schedule and or to, you know, organize your goals and your time, that's normal. And that's natural and like we're here to provide the container to get you to where it's just not as hard anymore. So okay, it was hard now you've practiced it now you're really getting efficient at it. Tell us about last round, what your experience was of doing this over and over again, and what you actually created in just the six months of the first round.

Erika Maddamma 15:33

Yeah, so my goals are always financially driven, like I said before, so my, like, impossible goal for the month will be I think it's been 15k in sales, which is was 100% impossible. Before starting this and you know, in my head, of course, and July, which was four months into coaching, I had my first 15k month I've since added again, so I've accomplished it, which is so crazy to think like before, my goal was like, Ooh, 10k I don't know, feels hard. Now I'm like, yeah, 15, that's fine. Let's, let's go for 20. You know, it just has changed my whole like Outlook on the, my business and what's possible.

Jessica McKinley 16:09

First of all, I'm just, I love the numbers I always recommend, and I think a lot of people are like, Well, should it be financial, I care about more than just money. It's like, of course, Erica cares about more than just having a business that makes a lot of money. But I What's so nice about a financial goal is that it's measurable, is that it's going to force you to get uncomfortable to say like, okay, am I doing enough? Am I hitting it? Why is it working or isn't working, and it doesn't allow you to be vague and get sucked into, like the drama of like, it's pretty good. Or, you know, I'm not sure if it's working now, you should know, it's very clear. So that that is helpful. But what else came up for you because as I'm remembering in our first round to, like, you see the results, and you're like, oh, my gosh, I'm doing it, but when you're in it, it doesn't feel like easy and or like it's just naturally happening. I mean, we've talked about your your tendencies to feel like you've gotten to a place where money just rolls in. And that is great. But as you're stretching towards different different parts of the goals, what came up for you along the way of the six months of things that you felt like, weren't doing enough? Or, you know, what wasn't working that we wanted to clean up along the way?

Erika Maddamma 17:34

Yeah, I think there's always something and there's always something that we're working on as much as like I was believing money is flowing, then I had this like horrible month. And I was like, oh my god, I should just close my business like nothing like the the clients all dried up. And it was just like all this drama around, you know what the results were. But when I looked back on that month, it's like, well, actually, I was on vacation, there was Labor Day, the kids were sick, I didn't actually work a lot. So like, of course, that's what the results were. So being able to do this helps you kind of pick out and see like, the why when you're doing the reflection part of it, kind of understanding what's going on. I'm trying to think of like a specific example of like a month. Of course, blinking.

Jessica McKinley 18:15

I know that one month that you were talking about where you were like, the numbers aren't where they're supposed to be, etc, etc. And I think that a lot of people really go through that a lot where we have our highest month. And then the month afterwards, our brain is kind of like, what is the standard? Who am I what you know, and you go through a bit of an identity crisis, and sometimes it takes your brain, I always say that your your brain is always going to be lagging behind a little bit your results because you have to almost pretend to be an access your future self before you get there. And then your results start to catch up. And then you're like, wait, wait, no, but I'm this person. I'm not Am I really this future version of me. And for some people, it's it takes like, a couple of weeks to ship through. And for some people, it just takes us a month, two months to really accept that we're not the person that we were when we set this goal. And that kind of is the point but it's so normal. And I watched a little bit that following month you have some sort of identity crisis of it was a fluke. I did a whole episode called result waist where we create a result and then we try and pretend like it wasn't us that created it and we didn't do it. We don't know how we did it or it was a fluke or something like that. Or I was like oh no, you know how to do it now. Now you know exactly what you had to overcome what you had to believe what you had to feel what you had to do. And now you You just do it all over again, it doesn't even matter if you have a bad month doesn't take away what you now know. But so what are the things, we said, when you're pursuing a money goal, it's really helpful because it gives you a framework for other things to come up. What else came up for you, that wasn't money related as you were starting to pursue these things that you started to put into your failure collection.

Erika Maddamma 20:23

Yeah, and I just want to be clear, too. So every part of this impossible goal is like your big goal. And then we do these four minis underneath it. And so my four minis aren't always like, make offers, I don't even post like, there are other things you'd like on my list for December is to hire a new assistant, which is going to give me back more time. And it will help the business but it's not necessarily like getting me to the goal. But it's all part of the process I got

Jessica McKinley 20:48

It is going to help you get to the goal, but just not in the, you know, our brain offers equal money made. But it's like hiring an assistant also equals more time, more clarity, more space in our brain, which equals money made. It all equals money made, right when we're working towards ourselves.

Erika Maddamma 21:06

Yeah, yeah. So every month I have these different, you know, whether it's social media, whether it is making offers, whether it's something for my team, but I always, always, always have something that's for me. So some kind of self care goal, a time goal, something about my kids and being more present with them. For December, I have just enjoying the holidays, like creating space to enjoy the magic of this season. You know, Christmas is around the corner. And it's just I want to have time to do all the lineup shows and all you know, just all of the things. And the biggest thing I think that this has helped me with is just my schedule. Also just like having that clarity of like, what am I actually working on? And what are those goals and let's just get that in the calendar and make it obvious. That's been a big transformation too, for me and thinking

Jessica McKinley 21:48

And about it just like it leaves 30 days in advance. And I know even for you because you've been doing this so consistently, when you're setting your goal for November, you're probably thinking, Okay, what things do I want to put down for November? And what things can wait to December for December? And what things are going to cue me up? What things do I want to do in November to cue me up to be way more prepared for the things that I'm going to work on in December? Have you had to? Like, can you tell us about your experience with constraint because I know that there's a lot of tendency when people come in here to want to work on all of the things all at once. And there's a reason I only allow you guys to do four mini goals. And at first, like you said, the first month you did that that probably felt like a lot of goals. And then as your brain starts to flow, it starts to feel like not enough like you want to be working on more things. Can you tell us about that?

Erika Maddamma 22:43

Yeah, definitely. So Jess recommends we use a TBS list to be scheduled not a to do list. Sure, there's a podcast episode on that. But I keep one running in my calendar. So I have a couple things on my calendar every week that are just reoccurring appointments, and one is this to be scheduled list. So when I just feel like inspired by something, I'm like, Oh, that's a great idea. We should definitely do Facebook challenges, but like, I'm not going to work on that this week, that's going to derail all of my goals. So I throw it on the TBS list, it's always there every Monday. So if I have time in my schedule, I can put it on if not, it waits till the following week. So that's really helped just like give my brain a place to dump all of the ideas, but not derail from whatever I was trying to work on in that month. And I also put every month every Monday morning is like my goals for the month are always listed there. So on Monday, I just like open it up. And I'm like, Oh, that's right. That's what I'm working on this week. And it helps me stay super focused on like, you know, this this week is hire an assistant to create my action plan for next year celebrate last year success. Like I have them all they're like top of mind. So when I start to either buffer and do something I you know, that's less productive, or I find myself working on something that's for the future helps me just kind of pull back and refocus what's been super helpful in that regard.

Jessica McKinley 23:56

I love that. I mean, again, this is why I wanted to have Erica on the podcast, after we also have a Facebook group that we implemented this round of happening sessions. And one of the things that's been really fun has been me seeing behind the scenes, how people are doing things, and then sharing within the group, what someone is doing that might help other people use the tools in a better way. And Erica has inspired all of us and we're all now going to have a bonus call which is going to be tomorrow. If you're listening to this, we've already done it. So don't worry upstairs. But we are going to have a bonus call where we're setting up our failure collection together. And Erica is going to kind of answer some questions. And I'm going to help also hold the space to help people navigate the way that they're setting it up and are you doing it in a way that is like, like Erica said like buffering, which we say is a way to avoid experiencing negative emotion or you're trying to set yourself up to feel better about Your business instead of doing the thing that actually is going to make you feel more uncomfortable, and doesn't feel that great, and really is the the now focused. So I love that you said that you just take that and you put it on your calendar and that your TBS list is a part of your calendar. That's so genius. I don't do that I have it in my notes section of my phone, and I'm always kind of looking at it. But I like the idea of like the way that I do it. And this is why I haven't answered over and over again, I haven't released scheduling as a course is because I do think that combining scheduling with coaching allows people to find the way that works the best for them. Instead of me trying to one size fits all tell you guys exactly how to do it. The how I do it is I have my TBS lifts going and when I have space that something frees up or if my day implodes like my daughter currently has, is sick. We're not sure whether it's RSV or what's going on. She, I was like, Okay, well today, I had to cancel some calls, scrapped some things. So I am going to have some time, but it's not going to be scheduled time I can resort to my TBS list to be scheduled lists and look and see, okay, is there something that can take 15 minutes, I have 45 minutes, what on here? Can I do in 45 minutes, what would be the earliest priority, and it helps me to not be overwhelmed by Okay, I have a couple of hour freeze hours of free time after days of tending to a sick baby. I don't want to get so overwhelmed that I don't even know where to start. And I spend all of that time trying to figure out what to work on first, and then all of a sudden, I have no time again. And that's what people tell me was their life before coming in and having a more structure to their scheduling and to think the way they think about time. So like you said, you, you have become more and more holistic with your goals. They're not always just one to one, how am I going to get more clients? Can you actually share your screen. So we also have a YouTube channel. So you can go and you can see how awesome Erica and I look. And also you can see this little worksheet we're gonna give an example of, of what it looks like and what actually questions Erica is answering for herself. So that you can see. So this example is the impossible goal is framing the whole thing. So maybe Erica, why don't you kind of run us through it. Give us give us for those of you that are listening just on audio?

Erika Maddamma 27:50

Yeah, for sure. So the first question that you fill in is the same every time and it's what's your impossible goal. And so my monthly goal in this round of happening sessions is to pay is to generate $15,000 in net sales while paying myself a salary of $4,000, which is a big increase for me and feels very impossible at this point. I'm just going to walk through like one of my first mini goals to hire a new assistant. I had one things transitioned and I have tried to do this job myself. And I've realized like, I just cannot be the only one that's doing these things. So while that feels like a really big task, what I do is then kind of really break it down into what is my exact option action plan. So I need to like make sure I have clarity on what the job descriptions are and what their responsibilities are. And I'm going to present that to my old assistant so she can poke holes in it, and we can tweak it and do all those things. And I'm doing that actually this Wednesday, so I have like a firm date in there by 1130 Love. So

Jessica McKinley 28:46

there's many deadlines throughout the way towards her action plan of the ultimate hire new assistant by the end of the month. There's many deadlines broken down leading up to that. So we like to reverse engineer all of our goals for 30 days is like the end goal. And then it's like, well what needs to happen before that can happen and what needs to happen before that can happen. So she's done that here broken that down. Okay, what else

Erika Maddamma 29:12

I want to post tell people about it that about the candidates interview, decide and have my own back. That's something that just has taught me it's like, there's no wrong decision. But it could be ultimately the wrong hire, I won't know but I have to like my decision for picking them in the first place. So just kind of put that in there for myself. So that's the action plan. And then I always also do a thought, a thought plan. So I say things to myself like I'm an incredible boss and people are lucky to work for me that the right person is out there. There's so many amazing and capable people out there. This is going to explode my business. So just those are things I also put in my calendar every Monday so I can just like look at that and be like That's right. I am a badass boss. Let's go and just kind of regains my focus. Hell yeah. And then I also do a feeling plan. So what do I need to feel in order to find this person, I need to feel in control that I'm a masterful CEO and determined to do this.

Jessica McKinley 30:08

I love it. I know that in the beginning, you know, Erica is very you can, you can unshare your screen so you can see your pretty face again, Erica is very detail oriented and her brain can go to all the actions, what do I do, what do I do. And so we said, okay, let's make sure within the breakdown of this, you don't just have an action plan. Because if you're taking that action, from the belief that, for example, you're never going to be able to find an assistant that's as good as the one that you've had before. Or you're never going to be able to hire someone that is going to do it the way that you do it. Or that, you know, you don't know what you're doing. If that is your foundational belief, and you're taking all of your action from there, I can assure you that you're not going to get the result that you want. So it's very important for you guys to make sure understanding that your thoughts, create your feelings, your feelings, drive your actions, and then those actions that are only created from those foundational thoughts that are serving you that are connected with the future you and the person that you want to become, those will start to yield you the results that you're looking for. And so since then, of course, well, I say something to Erica once and she takes it and she makes its own and runs with it. And so those thoughts are just spot on. That's exactly what I the types of thoughts that I put in my my fuel when I am hiring someone new and or just like looking to implement something new. I think that was a really great example. And then you mentioned to another goal, that seems less business focused, but give me one, would you say enjoying the holidays? So tell us how you break something down like that?

Erika Maddamma 31:55

Oh, gosh, I don't even know what I did. I think so. But that goal. And I said every month they have something that's just for me, which I like kind of give myself three business focuses, which is plenty. And then something for me. So usually it's about working out. I've had a baby a year ago. And I'm like still not on the bandwagon. I feel like sometimes with that, I'm like, Alright, let's just be clear on what I want to do. But this was I just really wanted to focus like this is the most magical time of the year. It's my birthday. It's my son's birthday. It's my husband's birthday. It's just like all the fun and all this celebration. So I wanted to create impossible goals that felt like I was stretching myself but also left time and space to just enjoy and sit and watch a Netflix video and sip hot chocolate and not feel guilty that I'm not getting something done. So I was strategic and all of my mini goals of not making them too overzealous that I didn't feel like I had that space. Let me just see what I wrote for myself with enjoying the holidays. I said purposely scheduled lots of space for luxurious holiday activities, which I've done like I've gone on my calendar and scheduled bought tickets. remind myself daily to slow down and appreciate the magic of the season. And then thoughts and feelings are just like magical, warm, cozy belief. It's the most wonderful time of the year I'm soaking up every minute through the lens of my children. I think that's a that's a fun one just like the belief in Santa and everything only lasts for so long. So like I have to embrace these years.

Jessica McKinley 33:18

I love it. And I just want every I wanted you to say this. And I wanted to I know even last month, her one of her focuses was on giving. So when we talk about money in happening sessions, we talk about it through the lens of six areas engaging with money. So that's earning spending, saving, investing, having and giving. And I remember Erica just being like, I really want to feel like I'm capable of giving more but it was feeling like even though the money's rolling in giving was always feeling like something that was tight, which is so common. And I actually went through that for years where I'd started to feel like okay, the money's here, the money's here for spending the money is here maybe first saving even which took a little while. But then giving always kind of feels like it takes the back burner. And I know that that's isn't isn't true, because I know you as a generous person, you probably already were giving in ways that you weren't crediting yourself, but you wanted to do it in the same masterful way that you were starting to get a handle on in all of the other areas of of engaging with money. So tell us what you did and how you focus on that last month.

Erika Maddamma 34:34

Yeah, so it's kind of an it was an overlap goal. So my goal in November was to donate four carloads of toys to a local charity that I found that parents can actually go and shop for their kids. It's gently used items. So again, I'm an organizer. I'm cleaning out play rooms and basements all of the time. So instead of taking these toys to Goodwill, I was taking them to my own garage. My husband loves me for this and categorizing them, but You know, age and type. And then December 12 Is their drop off day. So I will take whatever I can fit in my car, my assistant two assistants are coming with me. So we'll load everything into all three of our cars, bring it down, donate, and then we're donating our time as well to help the staff there, organize their toys, and get everything ready to be shopped that weekend. So it feels really good in a lot of ways. It helps people declutter their homes and kind of know, you know, people don't want to let go of stuff. And then if they know it's going to a place where their toys are going to get used, they're more likely to let go of it. So it's helping my clients. And then it's helping these families that you know, can't afford to give their gifts, their their kids these wonderful gifts for Christmas. So it just, it feels really great. It feels such like, you know, it's part of the magic of the season. So it's definitely going to become an annual thing for us. And one of the problems I had was that we got so busy in our schedule, I couldn't even promote it to the full extent that I wanted to, because we just literally didn't have the time to clean out people's toy rooms. Right. Great problem.

Jessica McKinley 35:59

And I really want to commend you, because I know that when this was coming up for you, a lot of it was rooted in there was one right way to give and that was financially. And it was like directly coming from your profit margin it needed to be that needs to be worked in. And I was like, I just don't see that as being the solution right now. I mean, I think that your margins are in a healthy place, I don't think we need to take from like, how can we use where you're at and get creative, so that you can give in a way that get has equal, if not better impact without decreasing what you pay yourself. And that was one of her goals for this whole round was to get more consistent with giving herself a salary that matches the revenue that she was bringing in and the the number of clients that her business was taking on. I think our brain can easily default to what's the easiest solution. And here you had to do much deeper thinking you had to do to get more creative to feel uncomfortable to remind yourself that it's it is the focus and constraint right now to pay yourself and how can I do that and given a big way, and you found such a magical solution that I know, and inspired a lot of us and happening sessions to do something really similar. I know I'm partnering personally with a Happster for March class that is really, really locally connected with with charities around the season. And we're we're donating, you know, toys and clothes and all of that there. And so I don't think you can even put a a number on the impact that you had by doing this work in one mini goal of your November it impacted not just the families that you're serving, but the ripple effect to inspire other people and happening sessions to want to make this a part of their business model as well. So thank you for your creativity and for taking the time to do it. I really, I just I I can't credit you enough. Now collection reflection, so she started to hit her financial goals. It was like, Okay, great. I exceeded like I think you're already you're already over 108k Which was your very first thing right years that over and you are tracking towards me catch me up, right? Are you are you at your 150 yet?

Erika Maddamma 38:39

Um, no, I'm little bit I'm pretty much at the 108 which also just feels cool, because that was a, I think I did 74 Something last year, my goal was 75. So I was like, okay, it still felt like a big stretch. And last year was the year I built my team I was pregnant. So I like knew I needed help. So this is kind of the first full year of having this team in place. And it's like, just feels like the sky's the limit. So I'm like, not unsure I'm not going to hit the 150. And that's totally like, I'm totally fine with collecting that failure because of all of this structures that have happened and proving to myself that these 15k months were possible, like they were you had said to be at one time, it was always possible. You just had to believe it like, Okay, I believe it like

Jessica McKinley 39:17

It's so good. And that is the point, right? I think a lot of us don't even realize like when we set these goals for ourselves. I know my goal for this year was 250k it I didn't set that goal because I was just high in the sky. Okay, like, it wasn't random. It felt like the appropriate amount of stretch. But I also knew that the point of it wasn't collecting $250,000 Because that doesn't change you. What changes you is figuring out how to stretch yourself to believe that you're someone that can create $250,000 worth of value in the world. And I believe that and In a way that feels good to you in a way that allows you the time to appreciate the magic of the season or to donate your time and give back with your team or to, you know, if you've had goals where you've been focusing on working out or meditating or doing affirmations, or, you know, having a kinder, more compassionate, more loving relationship with your members of your family, and I just think it's so beautiful that all of these things, fuel you being a masterful CEO. That is what I mean, when I say being a masterful CEO is not just someone who knows how to like run a budget, while those numbers are important, and you have learned massively. We didn't even mention that how you've gotten so good at your numbers, but, uh, let's talk about what you do. Now. You've you've done this worksheet, what do you do? What else have you done? Taking the tools and the resources you have and and happenying sessions to set yourself up so that you kind of can not think so hard for the rest of the month? You all you're thinking in that beginning set time and you've set everything up? How do you set it up?

Erika Maddamma 41:13

Okay, is this the reflection or for the month,

Jessica McKinley 41:16

For the month before we get to the reflection? Yeah,

Erika Maddamma 41:19

So I like love my process. This does take me some time. But then I'm literally like, I'll spend an hour to two hours depending on how complicated the you know how complex

Jessica McKinley 41:29

I'm telling it. Like, that's really not that long for how much venue yourself for the whole month, okay, go ahead.

Erika Maddamma 41:35

Whole month. And my whole team is set up for the whole month. So I do my mini goals. And then sometimes even in my mini goal, I'll be like, Okay, this is a Michelle tasks, one of my assistants, this is a big task, whatever. So I kind of know, but I want to make sure that it's really clear for them. And then they each have trackers and I break it down by week for them. So I'll put their goals in for each week for the entire month that all stem to this bigger mini goal that I've set. I put in my you know, reoccurring Monday morning goals are always on site. And then when there's tasks that you know, so it said my hire my assistant task, right. So by 1130, I had to have all of these things ready to go for Michelle, that is on the as a calendar.

Jessica McKinley 42:16


Erika Maddamma 42:17

Appointment. Yeah, reminder appointment, and outlook. It's a certain color. So I know like anything that's color is really not negotiable. Timing can move, but it has to get done in this week, maybe this day. And I put those all throughout the entire month, like break down my mini goals by each week. So it's attainable and reachable. And then every week before when I do my scheduling, it's like, I'm not making up every week like what should I do? I don't know. Huh? Hmm. Like, oh, this seems like a good idea. It's like, no, it's already in there. I might tweak the timing or just, you know, the pockets of it. But it's already there. It's already done. So my scheduling every week takes me like 15 minutes, maybe a half an hour if things get complicated with just moving stuff around, but it's like kind of already a done deal on the 30th or whatever it kind of going into the new month. And I love it. And my team loves it. Because they're super clear on what they have to work on what the weeks are, if they want to pull something up, or you know, asked me to push something back, they have that visibility, they know what's going on in their life if they need to make adjustments, but it's all clear. And there's no confusion on like, what am I doing? What am I working on?

Jessica McKinley 43:22

And what's the priority? And, and so also tell me like what have you done when there's something that's a little less tangible? So for example, let's say it's not, it's not a task that your assistant needs to do, or it's not something that necessarily has a deadline, but it's something you want to just create a habit of like when you were doing the morning like money, money, affirmations, what did you do? And how did you set that up? So you're accountable to yourself?

Erika Maddamma 43:50

Yeah, so I think I think it was last month my goal was to do six of these money meditations. There's a specific YouTube one that I love to do. And I swear to God at work. So you talked about like, manifesting before, I swear, I do this 10 minute YouTube thing and recite these affirmations and then someone's like, oh, sign up for a six year package. Here's my deposit. I'm like, Okay. I'm sure that work went into having that happen, but it's just so cool. And it just reaffirms your beliefs and everything. So just has a lot of great trackers in our coach accountable kind of platform that we use, so it'll text me, whatever I set it up to be the meditations. I do weekly. It's like, Okay, how many times did I do it in this week? So I know by the end of the month, like oh, I only done five I better do one more today then like get it in, or I'm way ahead of my goal. This feels so great. I usually have a lot of thoughts about like getting neutral about money. I wanted to comment on this before you had said like making the 250k doesn't make you who you are. So I had my 15k month in July and I was like on top of the world for a day and then I think I paid all my bills and all my people and I was just like what we should I have no money. Like how can you have a 15k month and then think you have no money so it doesn't make you who you are. And I want to continue to work on like, the money doesn't mean anything about me or my team or the work we've done, like, just making it just be a fact. So that is always a work in progress. For me, it's not super tangible, but I can use certain tools, like you need a budget, we use a lot. And I've just talked about it on this podcast a lot, to just kind of see and feel like I have more control over it. And just remind myself, like, what are the thoughts I want to be practicing and keep practicing them until eventually they become just normal?

Jessica McKinley 45:31

So good. And I always say like happening sessions, we have 50%, like strategy and tools and structure, which I think I attract a certain type of person that really craves that, and likes that. And I like that as well. And it also, it helps me help you because I can see what the truth is. Whereas like, some people will be like, oh, yeah, it's really, things are going pretty well, they're going pretty good. And then we get to the month, and they're like, I'm basically at the same place in my business. I was in the beginning of the month. And I'm like, How is that possible? And if you're not tracking it, there's no way for me to know whether you are just like, bright side filtering it like positive spin cycling it or vice versa, where some people will come in and be like, everything's falling apart doomsday in their brain. They're like in the drama, but I'm like, I'm looking at their trackers and their metrics. And I'm like, Are you aware? Like I know, someone recently is, in our group, she'll know who she is. She just recently welcomed a baby. And so she's in that like postpartum, like sleep deprived, like crazy stage. And I was like, are you aware that you are currently exceeding your goal, she's like, the only one in the group that is like, ahead of her impossible goal financially while she's on maternity leave. And she was like, No, I was not because similarly, she just came back from time off and had to like pay out all of these bills. And because of that her thoughts were like, I don't have a lot of money. And we can get very black and white, when we're entrepreneurs working solopreneurs, especially working on our own, and we just can make one thing mean, there's lots of money or there's little money, money is neutral. It's just kind of all around us like Erica was talking about. And so it's important, I think, to have those trackers, but especially for the intangibles, isn't just about money, when you want to shift into a new habit, how you keep that up? I love the tool, the portal that we have, because like I said, it makes it really easy. It'll text you, it'll be like, yes or no, did you do this meditation, if you haven't done it, you can pick up, I'm just gonna do it this afternoon, and put it on and you can check yes. And then you go in and it sets up a graph for you on like, I'm in the green, it means I'm kind of doing what I said I was going to do or I'm in the red, it means that I'm not doing it, why then we can have a look at it. What else is coming up then know what we need to get coached on? Right? So I don't love it to be just, I think that there's some times where I'll just be like, Okay, guys, what do you want to be coached on? And if we don't have that structure, in the back end, it can be very easy to just be like, I'm not sure I'm not really sure why I am where I am. And so I think that you do a really good job of blending both of keeping your goals at the forefront and keeping an idea that like, I'm always working towards something, and it's okay, if my numbers like are always going to increase the more that I experiment and the more I'm willing to get uncomfortable. So it's been so fun working with you. Can you tell us right before we we sign off, I wanted to know if you what you have learned in the reflection process and kind of what that looks like for you when you're doing a collection reflection.

Erika Maddamma 49:06

Yeah, so sometimes it's like, yep, check the box. I did do this, which he mentioned before, maybe I didn't make it as stretchy enough goal, and that's okay. But I think what I love about it is like the awareness of I just realized recently that I avoid doing anything in person. I avoid networking meetings, I avoid dropping in on people, I just don't want to bother anybody. And I didn't notice that until like after a couple of months. I would like not hit these mini goals and I'm like, Well what task is it that like I wasn't doing and so like, oh, okay, well, that's cool. Like Good to know. I didn't realize I was doing that and I think just holistically it gives you more clarity because there's been months even recently I'm like, I just don't feel like I do anything in my business like I don't know the money just comes like I just don't do anything. But I can look back at like these past months and be like oh yeah, I did do that i did i just love having like this record of you know whether or not I hit my goal is totally irrelevant. Like what was I working toward? And where am I now? Because that many goals in July that I didn't hit. I've superseded in December now, like without even kind of noticing. So just like having that like track record to be able to reflect back on holistically as well.

Jessica McKinley 50:13

I love it so much. Yeah, that's kind of exactly what I hoped for. I mean, I think that when I designed the worksheet, the collection reflection was just for those 30 days for people to understand and for me to understand to help them to like what is the actual because it's one thing for me to see what your goals are and to like ask about them. But I did it more so for me to understand and and for you to like be accountable to yourself. But the way that you have done it and have made it a habit has brought a whole new meaning to the worksheet, which like you said to it's like, just having a record of your year of your of the way that you've been showing up so that if you ever have a question of why, if I if I am not hitting a goal, or if I'm not showing up in the way that I want to be showing up, I can see exactly why what's what's not working, what I'm thinking what I'm avoiding, so that I know where to go. And I think that so many of the people that are wanting to join happening sessions, but really just seem to not be able to make it happen every or they're too scared to jump in comes from their lack of trust in really knowing why they do or don't hit a goal. And there's no room for that. Like there's no loopholes that are allowed for you to not know why so that we know why so that you can just decide, okay, am I okay with the why like for. For me last year, when I didn't hit my financial goal, I was so okay with it, because I knew that I was showing up to every single thing. And then when I didn't show up for the end of the years, because I was extremely sick and nauseous from pregnancy. And I was like, my focus needs to be on my health and my family and on delivering clients in the results and onboarding them in a way that feels good to me. And isn't at the expense of myself. So you'll know whether, okay, did I not hit a goal because I failed via escape? So right like, am I failing? Because I escaped feeling or showing up to something? Or am I failing because I went all in and I fell on my face. And that's like the most amazing epic type of failure that you can. Yeah, so I think you've had so many epic fails this, this year that have ultimately led you to hit almost every single goal that you set out to achieve whether it was in the 30 day frame, or like took 90 days to do, essentially, you're you're moving at The Perfect Pace for you. So thank you for giving an insight. I know hipsters especially are gonna be psyched for this episode. If you're listening, and you're like, oh my god, that just sounds so lovely, to have a little bit more structure to have a little bit more. Just have an idea of where I'm going or what has led me to this point and why you need to get inside the room you are held. It's a container. It's a space where it's not going to be perfect. And it is going to be hard at first when you're trying these new things. That's the nature of it. Right, Erica? It was hard for Erica and there's things she's working on right now that are still hard for her right like those that self talk of things being enough and out out, like unlearning those those behaviors and those thought patterns. It's hard for her right now. But in six months from now, it's not going to be as hard I know that for a fact because she knows that okay, that's what I want to work on right now. I'm going to attack it from air, land and sea I'm gonna attack it from action feeling and thought. So I so appreciate you coming is there anything you want to leave the future hamsters or current hamsters with is in your experience or if you just have something that you want a word of wisdom that

Erika Maddamma 54:14

Wisdom I mean, I think I've always been a goal setter. I have planners from years ago where I like always had a goal but I've never had the action thought or feeling plan to go with it. So they kind of were empty goals and this you know, between that just having more clarity, and then the coaching that comes along with it. Like I think I'm more amazed at what I can accomplish that I didn't think was possible for like one human to do in a 30 day period. And now I go into a month being like, Oh my God, there's so much time like what can i What can I do this month and it just feels luxurious and it feels I definitely have feel a feeling like I'm in control because I am and I've never really used the term CEO until starting with coaching with Jess and They're like, I just kind of felt like an employee of my own business. And then I had to make some decisions. Now I'm definitely like bird's eye view and control, making decisions for the future directing a team. And I just love where I'm at. And sure, there's always more work to be done. But the accomplishments in the last eight months or so are just just amazing to have this realization of what's really possible. So if you're on the fence, you should jump onto our side. It's really nice over here.

Jessica McKinley 55:26

I like this. I know grass is greener, but it really seems to be fun over here, maybe our grass some green grass, but it's fun grass. So good. For sure. You again. And yeah, for for those of you who are listening, and you are just like, What can I do today, I want you to mark off the last week of December, we are going to be having a totally free webinar, make sure that you are on the webinar, that is letter from your future self. We write this letter every year. I've been doing this since 2015. Since before happening, sessions even was a thing. And I do it every year, you don't have to own a business. In order to be a part of this webinar. It's just a really great way for you to learn how to connect with your future self and to set a goal. And it will couple really well with if you are planning to get in the room and happening sessions. But even if not, share it with your friends come on this webinar. It's a really fun way to close out the year and to start a new one. So hopefully, we will see you there. Thank you, Erica again. And we'll see you tomorrow to set some goals, right.

Erika Maddamma 56:42

Sounds perfect.

Jessica McKinley 56:44

All right Happsters, I have something that you are going to want to be a part of. And that is on December 30, my most popular webinar that I do every year, which is letter from your future self. This is something that I've been doing since 2015. And every year, I have an increased following of people that are telling me how excited they are for December 31, so that they can open their letter from their future selves. That is how I help you set up 2023. It's a very unique way, and emotional way of connecting with your future self that is going to tell you how proud they are of all of your accomplishments, but not just that of the person that you had to become and what you had to overcome. In that whole year. Every single year, I blow my mind with what's possible. And this is a taste of how you can to start to connect to that future self that you're in the process of becoming. This is not just for business owners. So if you're just a fan girl of this podcast, and you don't even own a business, you can still come to this webinar, it is on December 30 at 1pm. Eastern Standard Time. And you can register for the webinar for free in the link in the show notes or you can go to my link in my bio on Instagram or if you're on my email list which if you aren't go and get on the email list. You can get you'll get all that information to register in your email as well. Like I said, Do not miss this. It is 1pm December 30. It will set you up emotionally and logistically for the best year yet. Let's go see you there.

Jessica McKinley 58:38

Hey Happsters, if you want to learn more about today's topic, head over to what's forward [slash] podcast. That's what's happening. W h a t s h a p p y n i n g [dot] com forward [slash] podcasts. If you're a business owner and you're resonating with what we talked about here, what are you even doing? Come hang out with me over where the party's at on Instagram [@} what's happyning w jess. Again that's happy. H a p p y i n g and book a discovery call to see if coaching is your next best step.

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