Episode #66: Decision Making & Prioritizing in Your Business

In today’s episode, we’re going to talk about making decisions and prioritizing in your business. We’ll wrap with an actionable tip for you to do this week!

Cassy Joy: You know; I’ve got five real hours to work. And to your point; if I only have 5 hours, then I better be spending those 5 hours in that, what Michael Hyatt calls, the desire zone. So he calls it the desire zone, and then the exact opposite is the drudgery zone. And for me, drudgery would be like, washing the dishes. I’m not good at it.

Diane Sanfilippo: Me too.

Cassy Joy: And I don’t enjoy it.

Welcome to Driven; a show about business, life, and wellness from two confident, curious women who are pulling back the curtain on what it’s like being an entrepreneur. Each week, join hosts Diane Sanfilippo and Cassy Joy Garcia talk about being your best, showing up for your dreams, and kicking self-doubt to the curb.

Diane is a business whisperer, best-selling author, and plant-hobbyist based in San Francisco. Cassy Joy is the founder of www.FedandFit.com, best-selling author, and casserole enthusiast. She calls San Antonio, Texas, home.

Cassy Joy: In today’s episode, we’re going to talk about making decisions and prioritizing in your business.


  1. What’s on my plate [1:04]
  2. Shop Talk: Making a decision and Cassy dilemma [23:01]
  3. Diane’s need to make a decision [46:15]
  4. Tip of The Week: Freedom Compass mapping [1:05:11]

1.  What’s on my plate [1:04]

Diane Sanfilippo: What’s on My Plate. In this segment, we talk about what’s happening in our businesses, and in our lives for the week. Cassy, what’s going on over there?

Cassy Joy: Well my first update, and full disclosure, we were looking at our show notes and Diane was like; oh, you already talked about that. My first update. Because she and I talked about it! But I don’t think I’ve updated y’all. So we did it. We cracked the code. I think the last episode is when I first talked about how we had this riddle to solve of; how do we provide tremendous value, foster tremendous community, all of these things in the context of a digital product/service that possibly could go forth in the format of a subscription in the future.

So we did it! We cracked the code. And I will have more details later. But I’m actually really excited about this. The first to know; you will find out on Black Friday. I’m pretty proud of this one. We’re going to do a site unseen offer. So you won’t know what it is come Black Friday, and I’m actually not going to discount the price. I have studied digital products for a very long time. And something that I’ve noticed of a common thread, and something that I really appreciate in terms of simplification is that the price is the price. And not to discount a digital product price.

So, what do we offer people on Black Friday? So what we’re going to do is I actually bought a whole bunch of baseball caps. And it will be an, if you jump in site unseen at, the price is the price, on Black Friday then I will send you these really cool, custom baseball caps. So.

Diane Sanfilippo: I love that. Love it. I will say, also, you are one of those people who has such an ability to be like; I’m not sure about this. And then a minute later, you have done all the additional work that you said you wanted. Not a minute, that’s discounting the time and the leg work. But within a couple of days, or a few hours. When you aren’t sure, you will dig, dig, dig, dig, dig; talk, talk, talk. You’ll get the people together. You’ll have the conversations. Because it was probably within; it wasn’t even 24 hours. I don’t think, that you were like; I’m noodling on this. Blah, blah, blah. Here’s what I’m thinking. And then you’re like; ok, I think we got it. {laughs} I was like; ok.

Cassy Joy: {laughing} We did. I pinged Diane after talking about it here, and I told her essentially where I was halfway through the project. The middle part of the place, so to speak, of this thinking process. Like; this is where I’m at. What do you think? Got some more data. And then it was. It was the next day. I was like; we did it. We cracked the code. I cannot wait to tell you about it. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: I feel like this is part of this conversation we’re going to have today about decision making and prioritizing, because as we’ve talked about on past episode with our Human Designs being so different, I’m so envious of that ability to think it through, talk it through, and then get to a decision. That doesn’t mean I never have that experience, but with really big decisions, it’s like I actually can’t do that most of the time. I’ll say; 8 or 9 times out of 10, I basically have to wait. I have to wait, and then it will hit me. And it will be in a moment where I’m like; ah. It’s this eureka, you know. I got it.

And it’s like; I just can’t put it on paper and write the ideas and brainstorm through it. And we were talking about how the grass is always greener with this whole decision-making process. Like; man, I wish I could do that process and get to the decision that feels right. And you were saying, I wish it would just come to me. {laughs} But, unfortunately, it just is what it is. We have to operate the way we operate. And that was just awesome, though. I was like; oh. I thought this might take, I don’t know, a few days to a week. {laughing} And you were like; I think we got it. I’m like; oh.

Cassy Joy: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok, cool. Good thing I responded right away then and didn’t think about it for a day. Note to self; if Cassy is thinking and wants input, she means within 30 seconds.

Cassy Joy: {laughing} It’s true. It’s how I; it’s almost an obsession for a short period of time. And then I’m over it. I think I talked to just about everybody that I really respect and trust. And of course, you were one of the very first people I sent a note to. I actually think I sent a note to you first thinking; give her a minute. She’ll look at Voxer when she’s ready to look at Voxer. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

Cassy Joy: And then I’ll go talk to Austin in the meantime. But yeah, so I am just; I think I have been waiting for this kind of a project for this company for a very long time. One of my goals for the company is to match in the year 2022 is when I had earmarked it. But we might be able to do it in 2021. Is to match what Fed and Fit earns on affiliate income through a product that we own. And I think that if we’re able to do this, and the whole spirit of this podcast is full disclosure. So I’ll tell y’all; if we have 500 people enroll in this thing then we’ll break even. Which sounds like a lot of people {laughs} and it is. Because I’m not short cutting any turns on this thing. I’m investing a lot into it. But if we have 2000 people enroll, then I’ll match what we earn in terms of affiliate income. And that’s just tremendous. So this just opens up so many possibilities for my team in terms of new hires; permanent new hires. And then also I have it on my heart; I just really want to handsomely reward the people who do work for me very well. I want them to have very well-paying jobs.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Cassy Joy: And I think they have well-paying jobs, but I just want to knock their little socks off. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

Cassy Joy: It makes that a possibility. So I’m excited about that. My other update I have is, on the book front. Which, again, won’t come out for almost a full year. September possibly in 2021. We are working on the subtitle.

Diane Sanfilippo: I like September.

Cassy Joy: Yeah. I do too. It feels right. It also gives me time; I was thinking about it, though. I mean, so much could happen. I could have another baby in that amount of time {laughing}. But we’re chatting with the editor. We’re at the point in the project where we’re coming up with the subtitle. And Diane has been through this a bunch of times. But I don’t know why do we agonize over the subtitle. It’s like; I think the amount of time I’ve spent thinking about the subtitle might exceed the title of the book and chapters in the book.

Diane Sanfilippo: It feels like it has to say all the things the title didn’t say. And at the same time, not sound like a ridiculous list of things.

Cassy Joy: Yes! {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: And at the same time, no one even knows or cares about what it is except for, like, listings on Amazon and maybe search optimization or just a quick, I don’t know.

Cassy Joy: Absolutely.

Diane Sanfilippo: People just don’t read the subtitle. It’s not stated out loud. It’s just not a thing. But it’s important.

Cassy Joy: It is. It feels like everything rides on it; and then also nothing is riding on it. {laughs} So it’s like this very strange.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Feel free to ping me on that one, too.

Cassy Joy: I definitely will. No, I will. Why didn’t I think of that already? I sent my editor back; he sent over one or two options and I sent him back; I was like, here are three different directions, and here are 5 subpoints to each of those three directions. {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh, my goodness. Well, don’t forget, too. Depending on what they’re going to do with the design of the cover, which looks like you have a note on that too. But sometimes there’s information that you want to tell people on the cover that doesn’t have to go in the subtitle. Like in a little bubble or whatever. And I think those are always helpful as well.

Cassy Joy: That’s true. That’s a really great point.

Diane Sanfilippo: Or it can visually separate part of that subtitle that might be listed.

Cassy Joy: We have; the numbers we’re toying with for example, is we have 60 series in the book. But 120 complete meals. So it’s like; how do we explain that concept in a little bubble. It might be the right play to do that.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. I think; well, we can talk about it an hour. But I think the thing that most people understand is best to put in a subtitle, but then a bubble can kind of do that; have that other conversation there when someone is actually holding the book and looking at it or looking more closely.

Cassy Joy: Yes, that makes sense. And then my very last update is; we have to rephotograph the darn cover again, Diane. It makes me want to poke my eyeballs out.

Diane Sanfilippo: Why? What happened?

Cassy Joy: Well, the first one. This is number three. The first one; I was very pregnant. And it was Olivia Pope style; like when she was pregnant in those seasons of Scandal.

Diane Sanfilippo: I don’t know what that means. {laughs}

Cassy Joy: ok. Anyone listening. If you watch Scandal, there are these {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Leave it to me to not get the pop culture references. My previous podcast cohost would have references from literally the 1950s, and I’m like; sorry Liz. I don’t know what you’re talking about. And now Cassy is like; actual current day references, and I’m like; I only know things from like the 80s and 90s. Because my knowledge stopped. {laughs} Anyway.

Cassy Joy: It’s such a good show, and so well done. The character in the show is Olivia Pope. And the actress is pregnant during the filming, but they didn’t make the character pregnant. So there’s this whole season of her just hiding behind lamp shades, or holding a purse in front of her belly. And that’s what the first photoshoot was like for the book cover.

So we got some great head shots out of it. And I was like; we’ll just keep these in case, god willing, I get pregnant again and then we can use them as head shots. {laughs}

The second round we did here in the kitchen studio. And they’re good, but because it’s a studio, not a home, they’re not quite as warm and lively, if that makes sense. It’s like I have this solid, marble backsplash behind me, whereas the first option that we had sent the editor, we took photos in this beautiful sunroom with this divided light. White framed windows, I’m holding a bowl. It looks like I’m entertaining; kind of a little bit more Gwyneth Paltrow, you know. {laughs} Yes.

Diane Sanfilippo: I know who she is.

Cassy Joy: It’s not like I can quite pull off the Gwyneth look, but that’s the direction it was going. So now we kind of need to meet in the middle. And it’s a bit tricky because the location where we shot the first round, that more homey one, has been sold. So we’re back to the drawing board and I’m trying to figure out if I have actual friends in town who have really beautiful homes that I could pop in.

Diane Sanfilippo: Whoo, I don’t envy this process. That’s challenging.

Cassy Joy: No. I’m ready for that to be O-V-E-R. But, it will be great. We’ll get the shot. And then I’ll forget all this angst involved, in the meantime. What do you have …

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. Well you want to also love the cover too.

Cassy Joy: Yes, I do. I do. I want to love it. I want my editor to love it. I want the photographer; I want everyone to be like; yep. I vote for that one. So we’ll get it right. {laughs} What do you have going on?

Diane Sanfilippo: Well. Today; I don’t know how controversial this topic may be. We were quickly chatting before the show. But today was my first day back at the gym. The actual gym. So Equinox reopened starting today. I believe San Francisco was allowing a 10% capacity for maybe a month, or 6 weeks or so. And that just wasn’t enough for them to open. And now they’re at this 25% capacity, so they have all kinds of regulations in place where there’s a touchless check in. It was actually pretty crazy. I made an appointment, what time I would go. As I walked in, the app just kind of turned green. It was like; we see you’re here.

Cassy Joy: Oh my gosh.

Diane Sanfilippo: Welcome. Which felt very futuristic. I was like; ok. I mean, I know they know where you are, but also that was weird.

Cassy Joy: Yes. Big brother.

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m walking in when it’s like; welcome Diane. Yeah. I mean, I don’t know. Whatever. I can be of two minds on that whole thing where I’m like; they all know all the things already. So, all y’all worried about privacy, I’m like, that is all an illusion. Privacy is an illusion. Anyway. Not really, but.

So temperature check on the way in. Put your face in this probably 2 feet away from this thing, and it’s like; temperature normal. Whatever. I was like; ok, great. And actually, there were two people at the check in desk. We were very distanced. They had masks on. You enter with a mask on and everything.

I almost; I was like, thank you for being here. It’s been like 7 months. I almost started to cry. I was like; this is kind of emotional. It was like; it’s such a huge part of our lives. You know? I’m not really in community with the gym there. I don’t go to classes. I very much keep to myself. But I wouldn’t say it’s like half of life. There’s personal life, and there’s work. But it just felt like this huge thing missing from my life for the last 7 months. And I have tried to do my thing at home. And it’s been super inconsistent. This just felt really grounding and really meaningful. And I was like; oh my gosh. I was just so grateful that they’re open, and grateful for the people who are there.

And it’s not lost on me that there is this really tricky, delicate balance of; we want to see the country move towards reopening; we also want to be deeply thoughtful and understanding about the risks involved. Also the risks for some people more than others. So I’m totally aware of all of that. The procedure was; like I said, super sanitary. There are no showers open right now. The locker room is not really open, either. Just the bathroom. Sinks are closed in between others to keep distancing.

And I think at most on the entire fitness floor that I was on, which was lifting with some cardio machines. I think at most I saw 10 or 12 of us there, which is definitely a quarter of the capacity. I mean, it looked like what I normally would have called a very quiet morning in the past. No where near full. Everyone was super spaced out.

And, I don’t know if there’s a mask mandate on the gym floor in San Francisco, because the literature was very explicit about when you’re coming in and in the locker room and there were signs in the locker room. There were not signs on the fitness floor at all, but everyone kept their mask on. I think basically just moving it to take a drink of water. So it felt extremely safe. Everyone was to clean things before and after.

I mean, that’s not what this show is about, but this is a huge part of my life that I feel like I’m taking back. And so it was really important for me for my mental health as well as my physical health to, as soon as they were open again go back in. And I do also feel like, you know, I understand that it is a privilege to be able to put myself in that situation and feel safe. And I’m definitely not saying it’s for everyone. You know; if you’re immune compromised and you’re concerned, that is a valid point. We do not need to stand only on one side of this. This is a nuanced discussion.

But, whatever. I’m really happy that I went. I feel really good about it. I have a lot of other thoughts and feelings about it, just personally and fitness wise and all of that that I won’t get into on the show. But it was a really positive thing for me, and I’m hoping that things maintain where they’re at and hopefully move in a better direction with everything that’s going on. We’ll see what happens.

Cassy Joy: I’m so glad.

Diane Sanfilippo: But that was really big. And it’s just a block away from the shop. Which is just so huge, you know, to be able to do that and then come in here. So speaking of the shop, one of our neighbors, like two doors down or something, I think is sort of like a wine bar type place. I didn’t even really notice it before, the last few months of coming into the shop and getting things going here. But they are now building a parklet on the street, which is what most of the restaurants here are doing. I don’t know if they’re doing this around the country. I obviously haven’t seen much. But what most of the restaurants are doing here is; if there is one, two, three, four. However many parking space adjacent to their retail location, they’re allowed to build a parklet, where they can set up tables, and distance them, and it’s outside, and there are barriers, or whatever.

Upside; how great for them. It’s going to be adorable. Downside, there are two parking spaces in front of my shop that will no longer be available. {laughs} But, you know. That’s just me being like; oh, bummer. Those two great clutch parking spots. You know; this is an urban area. We don’t have just drive up to everything and park right in front. That’s a big suburban thing I kind of miss, being able to like; I will drive there, I will park, and I will go inside. Without the agony of; where will I park and how long will it take me.

Cassy Joy: Yes. Well, I’m the brat living in suburbia right now because I’ve got; our office building is out here also. And when I pull up I’m like; all of the spots by the door are taken. Now I’m going to have to walk 50 feet in this frigid 39-degree breeze.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing} I know. It’s just; and you know. Parking is pretty easy. And I will say; people have asked a lot. Like; oh, can you walk. Yes. I walked this morning. It’s about a 25-minute walk from my house. And it does; especially going to the gym first, it’s basically a warmup. I mean, I get to the gym and my body temperature is definitely cranking. Not like a fever or anything. But I’m almost starting to sweat just walking to the gym. So that’s nice.

But here at the shop, shelves arrived. So for those of you following along on the Instagram journey, we had some temporary rolling shelves that had arrived probably a couple of weeks ago, and those are ones that I ordered just knowing that I might want to; I don’t know, play around with some things. Put them in the back and see what I want to do. But these other shelves that are going to be the main fixture of each wall, where they are mounted to the wall. Those were on a super long backorder, which was kind of stressful. I was like; ok, those shelves can arrive now, please. {laughs} That’s kind of; I really was waiting for that.

They’re called flex, like flex shelving, from Crate and Barrel. I really love them. One shelf arrived damaged, so I do need to get in touch with them. But they’re really cool. They look great. I feel like they’re just exactly what I needed for the space. So we’ve got one set of them installed. We’ll install the other set that goes onto the wall with the mural. The mural is done now, which is great.

And then, yeah. I’m just at a point where now I’m starting to make some quantity lists to bring inventory in of my own products, and then I’ll be looking at what and how I’ll be ordering of other products. But I’m kind of taking a slow roll on that. I just don’t know exactly what kind of store traffic capacity I want to allow. Obviously, there are limits to that just for the county and the state, with COVID. But I also don’t know what I want to commit to in terms of literally opening the door and letting people in. {laughing} It’s a little like; hmm, I don’t know if I’m ready just yet.

So we may end up doing something where it’s like; order online and just select local pickup to start out. Since I have that nice Dutch door, I can just; halfway open it.

Cassy Joy: There you go.

Diane Sanfilippo: But I think people want to come in and check it out. So, I know people are really excited to come in and see the shop. So that will be really fun. But yeah, this has been a really fun journey. And it feels like it’s super real. And now I’m like; oh, yep. We’re opening a store! This is a thing that we’re doing.

Cassy Joy: It’s so exciting. I cannot wait, when I can. I cannot wait to come and visit it.

Diane Sanfilippo: I can’t wait for you to come visit. It will be great. So yeah. That’s it for me.

2.  Shop Talk: Making a decision and Cassy dilemma [23:01]

Cassy Joy: Shop Talk. In this segment, we’re going to talk about making decisions and prioritizing in your business. Ok. So. I’ll preface this conversation; how this all started. And oh; I’m going to do the thing that my mom does. I’m going to tell you a whole long story that seems like it has nothing to do with the actual conversation {laughing}. But I feel like it’s relevant.

So we are listening to; at Fed and Fit, we’re doing these, I want to get into a habit of doing a quarterly or at least twice annual PDP, professional development plan with my team members. Where we really jump into analyzing; we’ve talked about this before, but the tasks that are falling on everyone’s sheets and also mapping their desires. The things that they find they are passionate about. And, making sure that, because I’m of the belief that a well-rounded team you will have people who enjoy tasks that others don’t, and we can essentially assign; make assignments from that perspective.

I’m of the belief that you can enjoy your job. And be well compensated for it. And it just works really well for everybody. So we are reading the book, to help kickstart this conversation, Free to Focus by Michael Hyatt. And I’ve had it on my bookshelf for a while. And he has an activity called the Freedom Compass in it, where you map the things you’re proficient at and things that you are passionate about into one of four quadrants. Whether you are both passionate and proficient, that falls into your desire zone. So on and so forth.

So I’m reading; our assignment is, by the end of this month. So I’m cramming, essentially. Because I waited until the end of the month. Is to read this book and to do this Free to Focus spreadsheet. And I got to this point where I’m looking at; especially with this new project that we have coming out. And with having a baby; another baby. And as home obligations start to increase, my bandwidth for work is narrowing, of what I can do. And it brings up the really tough conversation of; what do I fill those small, finite hours with? And what makes the most sense? Because they’re all good. And I enjoy all of them, otherwise I wouldn’t have agreed to them in the first place, right? And I see benefit to all of them. But how do you start making decisions about what stays and what doesn’t stay on the list.

And the topic of the Driven Podcast came up for me. So I brought it up to Diane on Voxer, which is where she and I ping back and forth. That’s where I pinged her about {laughs} my business idea. And she talked about earlier when it comes to decision making, Diane; I don’t mean to put words in your mouth. But what she says is she can make a gut decision very quickly. And she really; am I saying this correctly?

Diane Sanfilippo: Well, it’s not that I can make it quickly always when I think I’ll make it. That’s the downside. If you asked me now; make the decision. I’m like; I will make it when it’s made.

Cassy Joy: Yes. I get that.

Diane Sanfilippo: Sometimes that seems like procrastination, but it’s not. It’s just; I don’t have the decision yet. And I cannot think my way there, and I cannot ask other people. But it will come to me. {laughs}

Cassy Joy: I get that.

Diane Sanfilippo: It will be. The decision will be made. {laughs}

Cassy Joy: It’s kind of like Big Magic. And I think we’ve talked about it before. I don’t think you had jumped into that, Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, Big Magic, is like; ideas and decisions. They come to you. They have their own identity.

Diane Sanfilippo: And I think when people, like me, or like Elizabeth in that sense, write a book. I don’t think we realize we’re actually not speaking to everyone. We’re trying to tell everyone to do it this way. But actually everybody doesn’t operate that way. But it seems alluring.

Cassy Joy: It does.

Diane Sanfilippo: And it seems like what you’d want. But it’s actually really frustrating. Anyway.

Cassy Joy: I get that. And I identify with elements of that. But a big element of how I make decisions; and Diane knows me really well now. You’re one of my closest friends. I was like; I am a verbal external processor, number one. And I also really need input. And it’s not like I can look to anybody else to help me make a decision. But it’s like; I want to get the people who I trust the most and who I respect the most to weigh in on their thoughts and it turns into this big old soup pot of ideas and I like to stir it up, collectively see it for what it is, and then from there I can make a decision and feel really confident about it.

But y’all are catching me right in the middle; we were like, what are we going to talk about today? And I was like, well, we could have this conversation. You know. And it’s kind of raw, and gritty. And this is real time decision making for this business. But I’m like; where does my commitment to Driven fall in line with these other things we have going on. So that’s where we are. Is that an adequate intro?

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. And I think what you said about wanting to do it just isn’t the only factor. And I think that that’s a real thing for each of us in different ways. For me, in the way I make decisions, my gut would be like; this is a no. This is a no, and it doesn’t really matter any other context. It would just be; it’s a pull to no.

And that doesn’t mean that when I’m not sure it always goes to no. because I have something that I’m working on that’s been in our periphery for a long time that I don’t feel 100% passionate about. So I can dip into that in a second; what I have a thing to make a decision about. I didn’t tell you about this before we started recording {laughs}.

Cassy Joy: Oh, I can’t wait.

Diane Sanfilippo: But I have this thing. And it’s been stewing, and we haven’t done something with it, because I don’t have the decision. I have a lot of information, and it’s coming in. And I can see what’s going on, and it’s valuable, and it’s there. But for me, when I don’t have the decision, I’m just like; I’ll just still keep plugging away until that decision comes. Because until it’s there, it’s not there.

But what I’m trying to say is; in this moment in time, because I’m not writing a book. Because I don’t have children, the amount of time I have; those pockets of time that I can decide what I’m going to do with them, I have more of those. And also, the way that I have organized my business because of the way my energy flows as a Manifestor, and as somebody who will light the fire, ignite the whole thing. Be like; this is what we’re doing. And then I pass the ball and let the team run the drill, because I am not that person. I do have a lot of “free time” because that is the only way I can operate.

I have to basically have a mostly clear calendar, and I will get more done than anybody understands how it’s getting done. Because that’s what allows me to get things done, is that I have that freedom to be like; it’s this thing. It’s this thing, it’s this thing.

And again, that’s not to say there aren’t things on the calendar and we don’t schedule calls and all of that. But for the most part, and many days a week, I am largely unscheduled because that’s what really works for me. So it is really interesting to look at, how do we operate? How do we prioritize? How do we make these decisions?

I love the mapping of the proficiency and the passion. This is something where; didn’t you work at Lululemon at one point.

Cassy Joy: I did.

Diane Sanfilippo: Have we talked about that? {laughs}

Cassy Joy: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: So funny. So back working at Lululemon, I remember they did a very similar mapping, they called it Hedgehog, where it was a Venn diagram of three circles. It was; what are you best in the world at. Which to me is this proficiency piece. And what are you super passionate about. So direct map there. And then the third piece for that Venn diagram was; what can drive an economic engine, or what can actually make you money? Because if you’re proficient and passionate, that might be a hobby. That might not actually make you money. Right?

So it’s a really similar approach. And I love that. I’m with you on the way that we look at our teams. That’s one of the big things that we do with our annual kind of retreat. And you can do it more often. I have found in the last several years that annual does work out for us. Because it gives people enough time to kind of let the dust settle with whatever it was we were doing and get it right with whatever the plan was and not too hastily say; I’m not good at that. Well, no one is good at things day one, except the small pocket of things we’re just talented at. Skills take time to develop.

But we have absolutely been doing that same exact thing. And just yesterday, I had conversation with specifically two of my team members about; what is their future with the company. What do they want for themselves? What do they feel really good at? What do I think they’re good at? And then where do I see opportunity to bring people in more junior, potentially under them, because for years, I was like; I don’t know if there’s a career path with the company right now. Like, I just didn’t know what it would be. I could never promise; oh, you’ll move up. I’m like; up to where? There is no; we’re just here, we’re doing our thing. Right?  And now it’s like; well, here’s what I’m seeing because the business has really changed and evolved over the last few years. So, totally with you.

And then we do have to do that kind of for ourselves now and then, too. Where it’s like; what am I doing with my time, and how do I feel about that? I think the thing you and I were talking about before the show is, this what is it for? That’s a really hard one because something like this podcast, we don’t have a real tangible; like, here’s the reason we’re doing it, other than it was something wanted to do.

And for me, in this time and place, I can keep doing it because I don’t have as limited of time. Ultimately. So then that’s where the decision; how it’s going to be prioritized and how you’ll want to decide what you do with your time and your focus. That is the challenge. You know?

Cassy Joy: It is. I was joking with my team before I came in here to record; I was like, y’all wouldn’t happen to have a crystal ball in one of your bags, would you? {laughs} And they were like, no. I was like; if I’m actually being honest with myself, I probably wouldn’t spend a crystal ball use on this {laughing}. I’d probably ask it how many children am I going to have. That’s what I’d love to know {laughs}.

Diane Sanfilippo: Is a crystal ball limited in answers? I didn’t know that was a thing?

Cassy Joy: Is it like a genie? {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: I was thinking it was more like a magic 8 ball.

Cassy Joy: Oh, well if that’s the case I would definitely use it. But yeah, it is. And there’s no right answer on where to go with something like this. I’m trying to lean in. And this is a testament to how much I think. So y’all know. And y’all probably got the sense of this if you’ve been listening for any period of time, just how much trust. And appreciation there is between Diane and myself. The fact that we can talk so openly about something like that. Knowing that it greatly impacts the other person, and being very respectful in that process. This is a testament to a true respectful working relationship, but also a friendship.

But yeah, I’m not quite sure exactly what to do. I know that this time can be used. When I started the conversation with Diane, I was like; my number one priority, what I’m feeling right now in this pressing sense of urgency is, my responsibility is to my team, because I’ve promised these people full time positions. Right? And I have a rainy day fund. And that’s a part of it. And that’s a part of the weight of that responsibility. I won’t hire somebody until I have 12 months to cover their salary, in case the internet goes away. Right? And income stops. I want to be able to shelter folks for that amount of time.

So, that’s my responsibility, is to then grow this team. Create more great jobs for great people. Pay them really well, like I said before. And if that is the priority at my job, though there is definitely a way that Driven can complement that effort, it may not be the most direct one. So it’s like; I wind up making decisions with this giant pro/con list, spiderweb, of this points to that and this points to that. And it’s like; not until I step away do I see it for what it is.

Diane Sanfilippo: And. Agree 100% on the way that we kind of respect viewpoints and each other’s businesses. And what I just made a note about is that we have totally aligned and shared values in the whole financial security of what we’re building when we hire people. The commitment that we make to those people. And how important that is to; I think that’s one of the most under talked about parts of entrepreneurship, when you hire people. In past episodes, I don’t want to say we’re flippant about it, but we’re almost like; yes. You have to hire people to help you.

But that is a huge responsibility. And it is the big girl pants, or whatever you want to call it, of growing a business. I mean, I almost think; yes, it’s a business if you don’t have anyone else in it. So I’m not discounting the solo-preneur. The true one-person operation. But as soon as someone else is looking to you for that paycheck, it’s a whole different ballgame. Ad when it’s many people; I just don’t think a lot of people understand the responsibility and the weight of that. So for you to have a decision that it’s not just about you. It is feeding into all those other things.

I think that’s one of the reasons why I’m not ever going to be flippant about you making that decision. Because I’m very much like; well, I can talk you in or out of it. Either way. And as much, to me, I’m like; I’m in a place where I have the time and space and I really enjoy these conversations. And I was saying to Cassy before the show; for me I don’t really do mastermind groups. I don’t like or trust that many other people to talk about business topics with. And Cassy and I can come to sit down here with what we think we’re going to get to, and inevitable 10 or 20% of the conversation; it’s new ideas. It’s something we hadn’t considered.

And for me, there’s a huge amount of value in that, and having not only just a touch point of my friend that; we would talk about a lot of these things anyway. But for sure, I’m going to say at least maybe 30 to 50% of things that we talked about, would we have talked about offline without scheduling the time for it? If we’re lucky. Because I know what happens when we don’t have it scheduled. We really don’t have the conversations.

So, my point of view on this is; the value of these conversations, where we have to schedule it and it happens. For me, I think that value is completely unforeseen and exponential to the time cost. But I 100%, at the same time, because I can hold two beliefs at the same time. Trust and believe that if you feel like you don’t know how to get your time focused to build the thing that you’re building with the financial stability and security; not to say that it’s not now. But growing to the place you want it to be. Let’s just say; it’s two hours a week roughly. But it’s a little more than that with just thinking.

Cassy Joy: Yep.

Diane Sanfilippo: And what it pulls you from doing otherwise. That’s the cost that we have to decide on and weigh. And almost commit to using that time in a way that actually does do the thing that you say you want to do. And this isn’t a challenge, it’s just kind of that conversation. And whether that means more time with family, or more time building the business, or whatever that time is going to be. It’s like; if we’re going to take it away from something that does probably have a ripple effect that we can’t see right now. And I’m the same way; where it’s like; if I’m going to say no to this. I do this; if I’m not going to work out today, I better do something good with this time.

Cassy Joy: Yes.

Diane Sanfilippo: Because if I broke that promise to myself, I better not just piss it all away. You know what I mean? That’s kind of the moment that I have when I make that tough decision. Anyway. I don’t know. That’s kind of where I land with it in the moment.

I think people don’t understand how much time and energy does go into a show like this. And it’s a tough one. So, I don’t know. More thoughts on that?

Cassy Joy: Yeah. And what I told Diane, too. I’m trying to remember to recap here for them. Something that also brought it up for me. I expressed this to you earlier. I’m becoming more self-aware as the years go by. And what I’m learning about myself is I actually; I think I’m actually a very private person. And my fuse, so to speak. I like sharing. And I’m happy to share everything. It’s not that I’m a secretive person. But my tendency is just to be home and not share a whole lot about my life. But I have a business that showcases my life.

So, I would; there’s essentially a fuse. If I use that as a metaphor, of how much energy I have to share peeks behind the curtain. And I told Diane; I’m spending a good portion of that fuse on our show. Which I love doing. Right? But what happens is, the energy cost there is I don’t have it to spend in other areas. Of my business.

So for example, Fed and Fit social media. Which is fleeting, right? We know this. It could be here today and gone tomorrow. Who knows. It’s not like I’m banking on that. But I have found that I have not had a whole lot to give to that group. And so that’s a part of this wishy-washy feeling melting pot of elements that go into making a decision like this.

I don’t want to not do this show anymore. And also, I want to explore what else I can provide for my business with these, like you’re saying, two to three hours. And it is. It does take up a whole lot more room and mental energy than I think what meets the eye.

Diane Sanfilippo: I think for me, also, having done. So you had four solid years of Fed and Fit podcast. We did the Balanced Bites podcast for 8 years; 400 episodes. I feel like probably almost from the beginning, I felt this exact tension the whole time. So I think; it’s tough. It’s tough to know. The weird thing is; the hindsight on that show, 8 years of that show is, that show ended up creating a depth of an audience and a connection that; I am not the most popular, famous, whatever of whatever group I’m in on social media. But other than a couple of people, I’ve sold more books than most people.

And I look back and I’m like; that relationship that Liz and I developed over that time with those people listening to us for an hour every single week. I will never undervalue the connection that we have with a listener. Because I know how I feel about the people that I listen to. And so for me, that’s where I end up. Even if I have the tension. Right now, my time doesn’t feel as stressed to sit down and come do this. But there have times where it has. And for sure with Balanced Bites podcast over the years. I mean, it was tough. It was really tough to make it happen for so many reasons.

But I think I, as a business owner who feels really shaky about social media as the medium going froward, beyond the next 1 to 5 years. That’s where I end up; I would rather put my eggs in a basket that builds deeper connections and I feel strongly about what that means for my business than the other. So that’s where even though it’s not a time thing, it still is. I could be spending my time doing other things.

So, I’m not trying to build a case. I probably could have gone into the field of law if I wanted to. I do find that very fascinating. Anyway, I do want to say…

Cassy Joy: You would make a great lawyer.

Diane Sanfilippo: It’s too much studying.

Cassy Joy: Maybe in another life. {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: I can’t sit still that long. But I can talk. Maybe in another life. But that whole energy fuse, or the privacy fuse, just running down. I mean, that is a thing. That is real. I don’t know if I have the exact same feeling on that particular thing. But you just hit a limit of sharing sometimes. Even just; I don’t know. That exposure level.

3. Diane’s need to make a decision [46:15]

Diane Sanfilippo: So the thing that I have actually been sort of stewing on for probably more than a year is; what do we do with the 21-Day Sugar Detox. It’s a program that is extremely successful. When I received what I will call a paltry; is that the word? Paltry.

Cassy Joy: Do you want me to Google it? {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Sure. A small royalties check for the 5 titles; there’s more that I receive royalties for that are small, small, small percentages. But my 5 main titles; Practical Paleo, Keto Quick Start, and three titles under 21-Day Sugar Detox. The book that had twice the earnings of the next two or three top earners, that all kind of had the same, was the 21-Day Sugar Detox daily guide. So that’s really interesting.

Cassy Joy: Interesting.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, really interesting to me. And this is to say; books over the last 6 months. So the way that royalty payments come out, for those who aren’t in that world. At least through our publisher that we jointly had for your past two books and all of my past books. There’s not a current book, for anyone who thinks I’m saying something, I’m not.

From January through June, anything that was distributed in that time, we’re getting paid in October. And then from July through December, we will get paid in April. So we received a check in October, so this month. I mean, it was a very small check for me compared to anything else in the past. And also that’s jut the nature of the beast in terms of; you don’t have a new title out, things are going to decline.

But it was a really sharp stark drop off. But, again, that was kind of the shining star of that pool. So looking at that line of my business, this is a really interesting thing. Because we have time, energy, and resources that go into it. And it doesn’t necessarily return a ton as the bottom line of that business. But, what does it do for everything else that I can’t really see in the numbers?

So that’s an interesting thing. In the early part of this year, Holly, who was our program manager for that program; last year she suffered a concussion and that just was really tough. She and I had a lot of very hard conversations. Ultimately it was just the right thing for her to step away from work. I mean, it was super painful to have to come to that decision, but best for her health and for her family. So we don’t currently have someone who is in charge of running that program in and of itself. We have our graphic designer, and we have our social media coordinator, and all of that going consistently. But in terms of me showing up for it, slim to none. {laughs} Of my time.

I don’t have the passion for it right now. I have a passion for the fact that there are a lot of people actively in that program every single month. And that the group we have in Facebook is super supportive. A very positive place. The energy and the vibe of the people there is great. We don’t let people get into veering off into some negative diet culture. Yes, it’s a 21-day food program. But we keep people really focused on the fact that; hey, you’re just trying to make some changes in these three weeks. It’s like; if you mess up one day you’re not kicked out of the club. It’s just a really positive place.

So I have a lot of very positive feelings about it, and what it contributes to the business overall, and just to people. I mean, watching a type 2 diabetic not have high blood sugar anymore. There’s just nothing more rewarding as a nutritionist, right?

Cassy Joy: It’s amazing.

Diane Sanfilippo: Than to see those numbers change. But what do I do with it? You know? Because it’s just like; it’s obviously not a top of the list of priorities. So there’s that. And does that mean it has to have the plug pulled? Or do I just, to our earlier conversation, do I just reimagine it in a way? So that it is still there, and it’s still something. Which is kind of what we’ve been trying to do, but we just not put a name to what that reimagined approach is.

Cassy Joy: Yeah. Oh, that is a tough pickle. I mean, if you were to just nurture; let me just preface. I know nothing I say is going to make Diane’s mind up on this {laughs}. But I can’t help. I wonder if one way you could take this; if you were to just continue to nurture and provide just support, basic support to the current group. That might be a way to answer the mail, and also maybe buy yourself some time.

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s what we’ve been doing now essentially for probably the last 8 months or so, at least.

Cassy Joy: Got it.

Diane Sanfilippo: And I don’t know that there needs to be another answer beyond that. You know? We don’t just drop support for it. But is that the decision? Or does it get a person? Do we let it grow? Anyway. I’m just saying, that’s part of what’s going on.

Cassy Joy: Yeah, that’s hard. Yes. because it’s like this thing that’s doing really well. And, from a pure business perspective, it makes sense to pour gas on that flame.

Diane Sanfilippo: It does. But, I obviously don’t have…

Cassy Joy: This is not {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Cassy Joy: This is not a numbers game.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. And for you, it’s like; the passion can be there, but if we don’t know or the numbers or your time is limited, all these factors. I think this whole Free to Focus thing; the proficiency passion; where’s the time factor in there? {laughs} Because I feel like that one, you know?

Cassy Joy: Seriously. Yeah. And that’s what it boils down to. If I’m being really; and I know that some of my team members listen to this show. Like, I really only have 5 good hours to work a day. 25 hours a week is what I work. And those hours that I’m not here, I’m at home holding a baby. If I’m being really honest, two to three of those hours at home, I’m also on Voxer providing coaching to my team. And talking to Diane about other things. {laughs}

But I’ve got 5 real hours to work. And to your point; if I only have 5 hours, then I better be spending those 5 hours in that, what Michael Hyatt, calls the desire zone. So he calls it the desire zone, and the exact opposite is the drudgery zone. And for me, drudgery would be like washing the dishes. I’m not good at it.

Diane Sanfilippo: Me too.

Cassy Joy: And I don’t enjoy it.

Diane Sanfilippo: Me. Too. {laughs}

Cassy Joy: {laughing} That’s the easiest thing to delegate. And lo and behold, to the example I was giving earlier; Lauren Moore, who works here; I think she actually genuinely enjoys washing dishes. And so that’s perfect. That’s something that falls in my drudgery zone matches up with her desire zone.

But this, what you and I have together, is not something that I ever could or would delegate.

Diane Sanfilippo: And it’s not drudgery, but that doesn’t mean there’s still not a conflict about whether or not the potential for those hours in the direction of growing your business.

Cassy Joy: Yes.

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s what I think is the real challenge. And this is the thing; it is really hard for every business owner to answer. Would I be exponentially growing this thing or feeling better or freer with spending time with family? Would this trade off; will it work? Will it give me the result I thought it would? And ultimately we can’t see the future so we never know. And I think that’s actually the challenge.

You know, when I talk through it right now, and when I even think about with 21-Day Sugar Detox, and I talk through the time commitment of just saying; well, if I’m not that passionate about it. Or; I’m not that passionate about that. You’re passionate about this, but it’s also hard to have passion to 100% when the time feels strained. So that’s totally fair.

Cassy Joy: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: To me, if I’m trying to make a logical decision about it, then that means; if I’m trying to make a logical decision about something that feels like it’s taking too much time, I just make it take less time. I really; to me, that is a logical way to approach something. If it takes less time or I do it less frequently, it gets less of my mental energy and I don’t have to remember it’s on the map every week. Or whatever.

So, that’s where I know we were talking earlier; oh, do we reimagine it? And not being sure if that’s the answer. But I almost wonder if it requires testing reimagining to see how that feels, and then be like; ok, this actually feels way better. Or; no, it doesn’t. And that’s almost a way to know. That’s me, though. That’s my Human Design, where I’m like; no one can tell me what’s going to be right. I have to do it and feel it out for myself.

But I also know the flipside of that. That sometimes between 0 and 100 still feels like 100. I know that is still sometimes a thing. But I don’t know. That’s a tough one.

Cassy Joy: And that’s kind of; I think that’s how I’m wired. Is between 0 and 100 still feels like 100. Back when I had Bishop, Diane was a really good friend to me in that period because I think I was about to have Bee, and I had planned on storing up interviews for the show. Banking a few; recording a few. So that y’all had those, so the whole weight of my maternity leave wasn’t on Diane’s shoulders.

And also how I’m wired is I carry all of my commitments with me all the time. And I remember, in that period, I was like; Diane. I can’t get these recordings done. I have to back out of the show. And she was like; give yourself some grace. She’s like; I can do these interviews. I can do that. But it’s like; that’s what I tend to default to. Anytime; what you just said was so perfectly put. Between 0 and 100 still feels like 100. I think when it’s on my plate, that responsibility to you and to our readers, or listeners, pardon. My brain goes to that very urgent frame of mind on a very constant basis.

So, I don’t know. And you know what else is interesting, though? Is as much as I’m toying with this decision and back and forth and weighing all the odds and talking from all corners of all sides. As soon as I do make the decision, I have peace with it. You know? It’s interesting. It’s like; I’m happy to jump off the cliff and build the parachute on the way down. But it’s like; after I make the decision, I’m completely at peace with whatever it was and I move forward. It’s that getting up to jumping off the cliff that I spend a lot of time debating.

Diane Sanfilippo: That makes sense.

Cassy Joy: Does it? {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: But I don’t know; I think that jumping off a cliff in this case would be to say no. Because you’re already on the cliff, you’re already there. You know what I mean?

Cassy Joy: Yes.

Diane Sanfilippo: It’s not; oh, do we do it or not? It’s; do I not do it.

Cassy Joy: Right.

Diane Sanfilippo: To me; when there’s so much deep questioning, it always feels like it’s a no. But that’s because that’s also how I operate. And you’re like; I do not always operate that way. So my instinct is; well, if someone is really toiling.

But then again; I’ve been toiling over what to do about the 21-Day Sugar Detox. It’s still there. It’s still on my mind. It’s still something that takes resources, although it doesn’t take my time, the way this does for you. But it’s something that I just; I don’t have a decision so it stays as a yes in whatever way.

Cassy Joy: Yes. I get that.

Diane Sanfilippo: Because the no will be strong enough for me. That’s how, you know.

Cassy Joy: When you know.

Diane Sanfilippo: But if your no’s are not that strong, because the yes’s are always like; everything is a yes. I’ve witnessed this.

Cassy Joy: Yes. Totally! {laughs} I’m very excited. I’m very excitable. Yeah. Well. I guess I’m going to keep adding more flavors to this pot. And I wanted to bring y’all along for the ride on this conversation. Because this is a podcast about business and especially how we make decision in business. I think it’s valuable to share these kinds of trains of thought in real time.

And also to acknowledge that if I do decide; whether we continue with the show is, we reimagine the show, or something happens, whether that’s me stepping away or both of us stepping away. And I would never make that decision; Diane would make that decision on her own, I guess, is what I’m trying to say. If I decide to step away, we’d have a conversation about that. How I could best support.

But I want y’all to know that I don’t take this responsibility lightly. This; me cohosting this show. And people showing up every week to listen to our ramblings and musings and things like that. And I know it’s been helpful, because y’all have tagged us in posts and things like that. I really appreciate the reviews. I’m not trying to make this sound like a goodbye. It’s not intended to be that. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: What I want to say as my; what I think my last thought on this is for today. Is; because I always, like I said, I always have that instinct where it’s like; if you’re feeling like you’re not sure, then don’t do it. But also, you’re like; that’s not always my way. My other challenge to you, as your challenger friend. And as someone who is like; you know, maybe neither of us can see what this is going to be. And my challenge would be to see if something that’s reimagined could feel like less than 100 in an energetic way, not in a passion way. Just in a time and pressure way. Because it’s me and you. You know what I mean?

Because we have each other to lean on, and because I see and respect the value in that and the need for that. And I think maybe when you’re the boss, it’s hard to make it like that. Where you’re not still 100. But maybe because it’s not just you, it’s me too. That I can say; I’ll stay at whatever percentage, because it’s more important to me that we have something than nothing. But I don’t need you to feel 100. And that’s actually not where we were when we started this.

Cassy Joy: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: It was like; we need to both really be in it. And I can respect the ebb and flow and the demands on your time that are very different or feel very different. I don’t want to; sometimes I undervalue the demands on my time. {laughs} Or pretend like they don’t exist, but they exist.

But I think that is a distinct possibility that we could challenge that notion that there is no between the 1 and 100. And you can still show up 100% when you show up without it being the same as it has been. If that makes sense.

Cassy Joy: It does. I like that.

Diane Sanfilippo: I think that’s a possibility. I do think that’s an option.

Cassy Joy: That lights me up a little bit. I can see some possibility there. And I think you’re right. I think co-sharing the responsibility is what makes that possible. Because like you’re saying; in Fed and Fit world where I am the boss, I own everything 100%. Even though I might not touch them as often as my team members.

Diane Sanfilippo: And, I will say too; logistically. If things need to shift from your team to my team to make that work, that’s the place I was in for 8 years with the Balanced Bites podcast. It does not bother me to do that. And I would say that, selfishly, if doing that makes it so that you can show up without the stress, then I think that’s worth it. So I think that’s a possibility. And again, if releasing the time pressure on your team is a thing, also. It might not be. You might be like; that actually doesn’t factor in; then whatever. But, I think it’s worth considering that and not dismissing different potentials because of the options when you actually have someone else to lean on who is like; no, I can actually take the anxiety responsibility {laughs}. You know; there’s one of those.

Cassy Joy: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: Or at least for however long until that might change. You know? Nothing is certain.

Cassy Joy: Yes. Another great experiment. I love it. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Well, we got somewhere with this conversation. We’re not sure where. But we really wanted to bring you all along. Because this was the reason we started the show. To have these conversations, and to pull back the curtain and share these kinds of thought processes and these dilemmas, and just what it means to be an entrepreneur. This whole conversation could apply to anything you’re doing in your business that you’re doing alone or that you have a bit of a partnership on or whatever it may be. And I think that’s super valuable.

4. Tip of The Week: Freedom Compass mapping [1:05:11]

Diane Sanfilippo: Tip of The Week! In this segment, we give you one tip that you can take action on this week to move your business or life forward. Cassy, give us a tip.

Cassy Joy: Alrighty. So the tip this week is; if some of this desire zone mapping resonates with you, then I would encourage you to lean into it. Maybe look up Free to Focus by Michael Hyatt. It’s a relatively short audiobook, if you’re an audiobook consumer. I want to say it’s around 4-ish hours, or you could buy the real thing.

And then do the activity that he walks you through. Fill out that Freedom Compass. And see if you can map out things that you’re proficient in, things that you’re passionate about, and then what he also describes as your development zone. Things that you may not be entirely proficient in, but you’re passionate about and you want to work on it or vice versa.

Because you can develop both proficiency and passion. So lean into that. It might help for you to get a bit of a bird’s eye view on all the things on your plate. So that you can start moving more towards spending as much of your time as possible in that what he calls the desire zone.

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s it for Driven this week. If you liked this episode, be sure to subscribe in Apple podcast, on Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Follow us on Instagram @TheDrivenPodcast. Cassy is @CassyJoyGarcia as well as @FedandFit and I am @DianeSanfilippo as well as @BalancedBites.

Tune in next week for another brand new episode.