Ep 28 – Leanne Shelton: My secrets revealed – How I get sh*t done

Jul 20, 2020

How to start taking action in your life – today!

Do you feel that life is something that just happens to you – without any sense of control?

Do you have a long list of dreams and aspirations – but feel they’re completely beyond your reach?

And do you feel a sense of pain when you see others living the type of life you want to live?




In recent weeks, I’ve chatted with Jane, Steven, and Julie about setting business, financial, and personal goals.

But the thing is – you can’t just set some goals and establish new processes – and then pray to the heavens that the new habits will stick.

There’s also a high level of mindset involved.

In today’s episode of Marketing and Me, I’m talking about how I personally get sh*t done. Now, I’m not a big swearer, but I wanted to use that word for this episode – because I feel people take it more seriously than if I was to just say ‘stuff’. Although, to keep my comfort levels up here, I’ll just say ‘stuff’ from now on.

Anyway, the reason I chose this topic is because I’ve had people comment on my achievements in the past and ask how I did it. Or they’d say the words ‘You seem to be soo busy!’

I don’t actually like the word ‘busy’. I feel like it’s a glorified term given way too much power these days. So I try to avoid using it.

Because for me, yes, I am getting stuff done – like running a monthly Meet Up, establishing and running this podcast, hosting webinars and online courses, and setting up a membership group.

But all of it has been done on my terms and within my determined hours.

I still have quality time with my family and friends.
And still have plenty of downtime just for me.

So today, I’m going to share with you some of my secrets. Because I’m really loving my life at the moment – and know the best is yet to come.

Are you ready to hear my secrets? Then let’s jump into the episode!

So yes, Leanne, what are your secrets?

Okay, well here’s Secret #1 – I’m organised.

Now, I say ‘organised’ here, not ‘tidy’ – because I’m definitely not that!

But I do like having structure to my day and knowing exactly what my week looks like. I’ve mentioned this in previous episodes, but I use Google calendar to plan my business and personal life.

In my calendar set-up, I use different colours for different areas – like events, podcasting, business marketing and admin, client work, and family-related activities. I’ve recently added another colour for money mindset affirmations – but I’ll talk more about that shortly.

I usually have a week planned out in advance – and like to look at the colours to ensure there’s a nice balance.


Secret #2 – I aim to optimise the time spent on work-related stuff

So I work roughly 9:30am or 10am to 5pm or 5:30pm, five days a week. And I avoid working at nights and weekends as much as possible.

That 5th day is only a recent addition – as I was working 3.5 to 4 days before that.

Ultimately, I decided that my errand, extracurricular, and stress-filled run-around day with Miss 3 wasn’t the day ‘off’ with her I’d originally planned. I’d just end up watching the clock all day and snapping at her.

I realised I’d be much better off spending real quality time with her over the weekend, along with her sister and their Daddy, and using my Mondays to get more work done.

This was a post-Covid decision – when all of that run-around stuff stopped. I realised that my Mondays were unnecessarily stressful and then I was always playing catch up on Tuesdays. And with my Meet Up and Business Chamber ‘My Board’ gatherings always being on a Tuesday – I’d often be left with half a day to actually get stuff done.

So I realised I’m better off working 5 days a week (and take the occasional day off to be with her – which I can do as a business owner) so I can be more focused in my business, which can ultimately lead to more work, which leads to more money, which leads to more opportunities for holidays.

And during those holidays I can spend a week or more of pure quality, family time.

I half-expected to feel that Mummy guilt. But surprisingly I’m actually feeling really happy with the decision. And Miss 3 is happy to go to preschool for an additional day.


Secret #3 – I’m an early riser

The main reason is to wake up before the kids do.

Because when I wake first – it’s on my terms. I’m not immediately on the backfoot and responding to the demands of others.

Lately, I’ve been setting my alarm for 5:45am – to give me time to wake myself up a bit (and yes, this involves a bit of mindless social media scrolling) and then going downstairs to my home office to meditate for 10 to 15 minutes.

I use the Insight Timer app. Just the free version. And I highly recommend it!

And lately, I’ve been journalling afterwards for 5 to 1- minutes.

Then, I prepare the girls’ lunchboxes and breakfast. And then go wake them up.

At this point, I’m already feeling a great sense of achievement for the day – and it’s usually no later than 7:15am. It puts me in a great mindset for the day ahead.

So I recommend waking earlier than the kids if you can (even if that means going to bed much earlier!) – so you can take back control of your day as well. And build that positive mindset from the get go.


Secret #4 – I maintain a business mindset

In other words, I treat my business like a ‘real’ business – not a hobby.

So I don’t work while my kids are around. I know they’re way too distracting (and Covid proved that!).

They love me to bits and I LOVE that – but I can’t remain focused on my tasks when they come in and out.

As I mentioned, my youngest goes to preschool 3 days a week – well, it’s a childcare centre, but we call it preschool – and then she’s babysat by her grandparents on the other 2 days. I’m soo thankful this arrangement works – and benefits everyone involved.
My eldest is also happy to go to after school care on the preschool days – so we’ve only got one pick up to do. It definitely helps that the preschool and school are across the road from each other!

But yes – this is what we do, even though I work from my home office. And I don’t have people popping over to socialise or contractors popping over. If my hubby wants that stuff done, he must ensure he’s home for it. Or there needs to be minimal disruption on my part.

I also run any necessary errands, like grocery shops, first thing in the morning – and ensure I’m at my desk by 9:30am or 10am at the latest. I don’t hang out the washing or do the dishes during my workday. Unless I choose to spend my lunch break doing it!

And yes, I take lunch breaks. Where I either go for a walk or watch one of MY shows on Netflix.

And I don’t have unnecessary coffee meetings. Not that I’ve done that much lately. A brief phone call or discovery call should do the job in most instances. Unless there’s great potential for a collaboration of some sort.

Ultimately, throughout my day I’m always asking if I’m making the best use of my time. Am I popping onto social media a bit too much? Are there money-making activities I should be doing instead?


Secret #5 – I’m in touch with my spiritual side and embrace the woo-woo

I discovered Rhonda Byrne’s ‘The Secret’ about 12 years ago – and I’ve been a positive thinker ever since. Beforehand, I was naturally negative with a self-esteem that was often on the lower end of the scale. I often felt like the victim in life.

But when I learnt about the ‘Law of Attraction’ it was a complete game-changer for me. Yes, it’s a bit of woo-woo but after trying some visualisation and manifestation techniques, some really cool opportunities and money popped up for me. So you can choose to be a non-believer – but it’s actually a proven science!

Anyway, I’m not saying I don’t have any low points anymore and never feel sad. But I simply allow myself a short period of time to mope – but then, in the words sung by Anna Kendrick in the movie ‘Trolls’ – I will get back up again!

Whenever negativity arises, I repeat positive affirmations in my mind or out aloud – until they take over and I start believing them.

And then I look for silver linings.

Like in recent times, when Covid-19 hit I had a full line up of marketing workshops to run on behalf of City of Parramatta. I’d already been struggling to maintain momentum in my business after losing a few retainers at the same time, so the sudden changes and uncertainty felt like a massive blow.

But I was determined to push through and make it work.
So I asked if I could turn the face to face workshops into webinars and an online course – and my request was approved.

Suddenly, I had the opportunity to access a much broader audience and connect with way more people than if I’d run in person workshops. And it was at no cost for them to participate. But I was paid.

So I felt I was making a real difference to others – and having my costs covered by a third party.

It was a great arrangement and I’m so glad I asked.


Secret #6 – I’m not afraid to ask

One of my key beliefs is ‘If you don’t ask, you don’t get.’ I’m pretty in tune with my intuition – so if I feel inspired to ask someone for something or take a particular action, I just do it. Worst case scenario, they say ‘no’ and I move on, right?

So I originally got in touch with the council November last year after receiving an email about their free workshops. I responded asking about presenters in 2020 and later had a phone call with Kylie – and the rest is history. I’m so thankful I took that initiative!

I just want to add that connecting on the phone played a big part. Too many business owners hide behind their computer screens these days – rather than picking up the phone. And I think it’s even harder for millennials.

Although I hated it at the time, my previous experience in telesales has proved to be very beneficial in that regard.

If you can connect with someone on the phone, you’re kilometres ahead of someone else who’s only sent a bunch of emails.

So take a big breath (or two or three) and pick up the phone!


Because that’s Secret #7 – I use the phone whenever possible.

Secret #8 – I meditate almost daily

Now – I mentioned meditation before. While it was once very woo-woo and hippy-ish, I’m hearing about more and more successful entrepreneurs who make it an essential part of their day.

How can you expect new and exciting ideas to pop into your mind – if your brain is always so cluttered with constant thought and worry?

So I really enjoy giving myself the quiet downtime to focus on my breathing. And allow the inspiration in!


Secret #9 – I create opportunities to read

Over the past few years, I’ve set myself an annual reading goal – and this year I’m aiming for 40 books. This would have once seemed impossible – and I would have blamed the lack of time on the kids.

But, if I find a really good book – I can devour that book within a couple of days! Borrowing a 7 day rapid reads book from the local library also creates a sense of urgency.

It’s interesting how you just find the time for the things you put your mind to.

I read a mix of thriller novels and self-development books. I try to have one of each on the go at the same time. I read over breakfast, sometimes dinner (especially if ABC Kids is on the TV), before bed, and on weekends.

I’m getting better at allowing myself to just sit and read for hours – guilt free.


Secret #10 – I make self-development a priority

I’m constantly reflecting on my life and who I am. I assess what’s working and not working – and I’m always wondering if there are ways I could improve.

Apart from reading, I also listen to a series of podcasts to inspire me. My three current favourites are Screw the 9 to 5’ with Josh and Jill Stanton‘Own your hustle’ with Ruby Lee, and ‘SheMentors’ with Ali Adey.

The people who run these podcasts are achieving great things – and doing awesome stuff that I strive to do in my business as well. I figure if they can do it, why can’t I?

And I’m excited to be investing my time and money into a 6 month mastermind with Ruby Lee from September – where I’ll be surrounded by 14 other passionate and determined business owners like me.

I really thrive off that type of energy!

And that’s probably why I enjoy networking so much – especially at the Sydney Hills Business Chamber. So Secret #11 is I network regularly.

I love surrounding myself with inspirational and motivated business owners. They help me see what’s possible for the future.

On the other end of the stick, I love inspiring others as well. And creating a safe space to connect with others.

That’s where my monthly Meet Up group comes in. I run it on a voluntary basis, with no intentions to charge – unless we become too big for the little cafe we borrow.

I really enjoy watching others light up with new learnings or new connections. It fills me with so much joy.

So Secret #12 is I enjoy helping others

And that’s also why I love doing my free 30 minute Discovery Calls. And giving as much value as possible during that time – rather than teasing people with advice and asking them to pay to find out more. If they really want to continue working with me, they know where to find me.

You know that whole karma thing? Well, I think it plays a big part too. If you give back to the community and show people you care, the universe rewards you with love in return.

And, of course, I also run this podcast, and that’s a big time and money investment for me – and I’m not being paid to do it. But I’ve been receiving such beautiful feedback lately – so thank you!

On that note, I’d like to start doing shoutouts on the show for those who leave me reviews.

Today, my shout out goes to Artemiss Keyhani from ArtemissK who says

“Aside from being a great writer, Leanne is also a great speaker and interviewer… I have enjoyed listening to her podcast because she connects at the human level and allows her guests to share their experiences and expertise in an empowering way that also serves the listener with practical ideas and new ideas to consider.”

Thank you so much Artemiss!

Now, if you’re like me and can never work out where to leave a review, I have a solution!

Just go to ratethispodcast.com/marketingandme and leave me a review.


And finally, Secret #13 (my favourite number) is I aim to remain top of mind.

Apart from seeing people at networking events and via my training sessions, I also ensure I’m being visible across social media and email.

I post across LinkedIn and Facebook (and occasionally Instagram) multiple times a week – and I’m not afraid of the odd video. I probably need to do more videos to be honest!

I aim to provide lots of value and share my highs and lows. I want people to see the real Leanne and connect with me.
I also send out monthly e-newsletters – as a minimum – to keep people up-to-date with my world. And I have a very low unsubscribe rate, so I must be doing something right!

On that note, we’ve come to the end of today’s episode.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my 13 secrets for getting stuff done.

To repeat them again –
Secret #1 – I’m organised.
Secret #2 – I aim to optimise the time spent on work-related stuff
Secret #3 – I’m an early riser
Secret #4 – I maintain a business mindset
Secret #5 – I’m in touch with my spiritual side and embrace the woo-woo
Secret #6 – I’m not afraid to ask
Secret #7 – I use the phone whenever possible.
Secret #8 – I meditate almost daily
Secret #9 – I create opportunities to read
Secret #10 – I make self-development a priority
Secret #11 – I network regularly.
Secret #12 – I enjoy helping others
Secret #13 – I aim to remain top of mind.

I hope some of my secrets have inspired you in some shape or form. And if I have, please reach out to me either via LinkedIn or via a review and let me know!



Similar podcasts:

Ep 6 – Jennifer Hill: How to amaze the f**k out of yourself

Ep 150 – Leanne Shelton: Using accountability to get stuff done