Bri Seeley of The Unapologetic Entrepreneur: “Say ‘No’ more often”

Say ‘No’ more often. There was a point in my business where I said yes to every interview, partnership, summit and collaboration that came my way. Most of them took valuable time, energy and resources from me while providing zero benefit or impact. I began saying no to 95% of requests which came my way, […]

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Say ‘No’ more often. There was a point in my business where I said yes to every interview, partnership, summit and collaboration that came my way. Most of them took valuable time, energy and resources from me while providing zero benefit or impact. I began saying no to 95% of requests which came my way, and focused on the 5% of requests that would provide me with an equal exchange of value for my output of time, energy and resources.

As a part of my series about “How to Slow Down To Do More” I had the pleasure to interview Bri Seeley.

After struggling through her first eight years of entrepreneurship, Bri pivoted from her award winning fashion brand into entrepreneur coaching. During her years in fashion, Bri was able to achieve some remarkable milestones but she was never able to create the money and time freedom she desired as an Entrepreneur. Within her first year of her coaching business, she went from being unable to pay her rent to creating over 6-figures in revenue.

Over the last six years as an Entrepreneur Coach, Bri has taught thousands of entrepreneurs how to create long-term, sustainable success… on their terms!

She knows that one-size never fits all, so her approach is customized and tailor made to each client. Bri works with established and emerging businesses using her extensive knowledge to increase their impact, monetize their vision, laser-focus their actions, streamline their systems and boost their profits.

Bri was awarded a Silver Stevie Award in 2020 for Coach of the Year — Business and a Bronze Stevie Award in 2020 for Woman of the Year — Business Services. She is a member of the Forbes Coaches Council, the author of the best-selling Permission to Leap, the top Entrepreneur Coach on Google and has been seen on The TODAY Show, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Yahoo! and more.

Thank you so much for doing this interview with us! Can you tell us the “backstory” about what brought you to this specific career path?

I’ve been an entrepreneur formally for 15 years, but also grew up with an entrepreneurial mom who instilled a business mindset and acumen into me from a very young age.

My first eight years of entrepreneurship was as a Fashion Designer and owner of my own fashion label. What I came to realize as my fashion business grew and grew was that I was spinning myself into burnout. I didn’t have the ability to slow down in my business because there weren’t enough hours in the day for me to be everything in that business. I didn’t have a team and I definitely operated from the mindset of “nothing I ever do is enough to create the vision I have.”

By 2015 I could no longer operate under the stress and the pressure. I needed to slow down. In a spring solstice meditation, I was given the guidance to close my fashion business and step into the next chapter of my entrepreneurial journey. Two weeks later, I decided to combine my eight years of entrepreneurial experience with my eight years of counseling experience from my day job to become an Entrepreneur Coach.

I’m about to celebrate my six year anniversary as an Entrepreneur Coach. This business has continually allowed me to slow down, heal my adrenals, let go of the addiction to work and unapologetically be myself. This business has taught me to say {and teach} “F*ck the hustle” and truly embrace inspired action as the language of entrepreneurship.

According to a 2006 Pew Research Report report, 26% of women and 21% of men feel that they are “always rushed”. Has it always been this way? Can you give a few reasons regarding what you think causes this prevalent feeling of being rushed?

The pace at which humans live right now is not normal. The hustle we have become addicted to is something which has grown over time. It has not always been this way. Centuries ago, humans placed less importance on how much we accomplished and more importance on enjoying life.

Being rushed, staying perpetually busy and feeling the constant need to do more all stem from “not enoughness.” We have been taught to tie our worth to our output which means that in order to increase our value in the world, we must do more and more and more. We attempt to fill the gaping void of “not enoughness” by doing more and committing to more in the hopes that we’ll finally feel good enough.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work this way. Feeling valuable and worthy aren’t experiences which can be filled from doing more, being busy and filling our plates with more than we can handle. The only way to create this experience for yourself is to slow down.

Based on your experience or research can you explain why being rushed can harm our productivity, health, and happiness?

When you live and work from a space where nothing you ever do is enough and you are constantly in the “hustle,” it absolutely harms every aspect of our lives.

It harms our productivity because it spreads our focus thin. Rather than putting our energy into the important things, we put our energy into everything and dilute our potency. Think about it in terms of the energy of the sun. When the sun’s energy is spread out over half of the planet, it doesn’t create much of an impact because the energy is spread out over a large surface area. However, when you take a magnifying glass and concentrate the energy of the sun into a single beam, it starts a fire. When our focus is diffused over doing more, rather than doing the right things, our actions can’t create an impact and we live a life that is lacking depth.

It harms our health because it leads us to burnout. As mentioned above, operating from a place of doing more increases your stress levels and wreaks havoc on your body and mind. Overworking will lead to adrenal fatigue and an addiction to the chemical cocktail stemming from the hustle. I know women who have been hospitalized and had to close their businesses because of overwork leading to burnout. They became forced to slow down in order to regain their health.

It harms our happiness because we feel like failures constantly. Every action you take, every meeting you have, every little gain you have is inadequate. Your mindset becomes one overrun by lack and deficiency, rather than abundance and success. When we perpetually view ourselves and our actions as failures, we can’t be happy.

On the flip side, can you give examples of how we can do more, and how our lives would improve if we could slow down?

I don’t believe in doing more. Slowing down, to me, is marked by doing fewer, more important things.

The business world in particular touts the mentality that we should all have long to-do lists that we accomplish everyday, and that we’re not “productive” unless we’re overloading ourselves with massive amounts of tasks. This approach is actually the antithesis of productivity and impact because it’s not realistic. Every person who I speak to who attempts this approach finds themselves feeling like failures and shaming themselves at the end of every night. You can’t create success by setting yourself up to fail.

The way I operate my business and teach others to operate theirs is through inspired action. When you are directing your actions towards things which scare you, move the needle significantly and outsource the small daily tasks, you can create more while slowing down.

The way to create more momentum in your life and business is not through the amount of tasks you take on, but rather the quality of tasks you take on. By focusing on one to two bold, inspired actions per day, you can create more movement than by spreading your focus out over 100 meaningless tasks.

We all live in a world with many deadlines and incessant demands for our time and attention. That inevitably makes us feel rushed. Can you share with our readers 6 strategies that you use to “slow down to do more”? Can you please give a story or example for each?

  1. Say ‘No’ more often. There was a point in my business where I said yes to every interview, partnership, summit and collaboration that came my way. Most of them took valuable time, energy and resources from me while providing zero benefit or impact. I began saying no to 95% of requests which came my way, and focused on the 5% of requests that would provide me with an equal exchange of value for my output of time, energy and resources.
  2. Keep my focus on my long-term vision. Every action I take is filtered through my long-term vision. This practice helps me to ensure that every step I’m taking is in alignment with the bigger vision I’m creating, and helps me avoid doing unnecessary tasks.
  3. Choose 1–2 bold, inspired actions each day. Rather than diffusing my focus over a large amount of actions, I choose to focus on the actions which will make the biggest impact in my business.
  4. Limit my quarterly goals. Again, trying to do everything will leave you effectively doing nothing. Slow down and concentrate your energy on the most important goals to ensure you meet them.
  5. Daily meditation. Meditation helps me let go of the unnecessary elements of life and gives me a clear mental, emotional and energetic canvas upon which I build my day. It helps me to slow down and evaluate life so I can respond, rather than react, to what’s in front of me.
  6. Prioritize self-care. At the end of the day, I am my most important priority. My mental, emotional and physical health are non-negotiable priorities because without them I can’t be my best self in the world. When I put my self-care at the top of my list each day, it helps me to do the other five strategies above and stay operating at my best because I have big things to create in the world!

How do you define “mindfulness”? Can you give an example or story?

For me, mindfulness is staying present in the moment. A lot of overwork and busy-ness stems from our energy being in the future, rather than the present. When I find myself experiencing anxiety, stress or overwork, it’s because I’m projecting into potential future realities rather than being with what’s in front of me in this moment. In those moments, I use meditation or breathing exercises or grounding to slow myself down and bring myself back into the present moment.

Can you give examples of how people can integrate mindfulness into their everyday lives?

My top tip for purposefully incorporating mindfulness into your day is to develop a morning practice. Morning practices will help you set your intentions for the day ahead in regards to your focus, your mindset, your energy and your goals. It is a slowing down practice that will dramatically help you to eliminate the distractions in your life, fill your enoughness cup and create more momentum in your life.

Do you have any mindfulness tools that you find most helpful at work?

I use the Pomodoro method for working each day. For those unfamiliar with the method, it consists of setting an intention for your work session, working for 35–45 minutes, then taking a 5–10 minute break. It does several key things for me:

  1. It helps me choose one thing to focus on at a time,
  2. It eliminates distractions because I don’t divert my focus away from the one thing I’ve chosen, and
  3. It includes time to slow down and self-care.

I find that when I utilize this time management tool, I am more effective with my time and I feel better at the end of the workday. My clients also confirm this sentiment. I host twice monthly virtual coworking sessions for the members of ‘The Unapologetic Entrepreneur’ posse. The members continually show up for these sessions because they know the power of this workflow tool.

What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources that inspire you to use mindfulness tools or practices?

The book which changed my life to incorporate more mindfulness into my everyday is ‘The Miracle Morning.’ My mornings used to be rushed and frantic because I didn’t have any purpose or mindfulness in them. I would wake up and immediately jump into my to-do list for the day without regard to my energy, mindset or presence. This approach pulled me further and further away from my long-term vision and led me down the path of burnout.

‘The Miracle Morning’ showed me there was another way to start my day that would lead me to more alignment, more ease and more purpose. I began my morning practice six years ago and it’s change not only my life, but also my business.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

You are not just a drop in the ocean, you’re the entire ocean in one drop. — Rumi

Entrepreneurship can feel like a very lonely journey. Much of what I’ve talked about above also stems from feeling the weight of success on one’s shoulders and feeling like there’s no support. This has been not just true for my clients, but also for me at the beginnings of my business. When you’re a Solopreneur, it’s easy to see yourself as a drop in the ocean, feel the entire responsibility of your business on your shoulders and to “should” yourself into being busy and doing more. But when we can step back and remember that we’re always supported, we have the power of the Universe inside of us and there is no hurry or pressure to succeed — we can slow down and allow our successes to come to us.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

There has been a lot of talk over the last few decades about breaking the glass ceiling, and yet we’re still over 250 years away from parity. I’m spearheading a movement to actually achieve parity, rather than just speculate about it.

Women will break the glass ceiling by leaving the corporate workforce and becoming entrepreneurs. It’s time for us to create our own system and make money on our terms.

While one might wonder how this would bring good to all humans on earth, the truth is that when women make money, we funnel 90% of it back into our families and our communities. Whereas men only redistribute 30–40% back into those same places.

It’s time for women to create a new model for the world’s wealth, to close the gender gap and to create a more equitable economy. This will be my legacy.

Thank you so much for these insights! This was so inspiring!

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