In episode 260, we talk with Loren Runion, from the Align and Expand podcast, about how we have to continuously get out of our comfort zone to grow our blog.
We cover information about important affirmations to be honest with yourself about, such as “I show up, even when it’s scary”, push yourself to learn a new skill and why you need to consider removing things from your life that go hand in hand with stretching yourself.
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Bio Sweet Rustic Bakes is a real food and wellness food blog in the gluten free niche. Loren is also a freelance food photographer and Podcast host of Mind Over Blog podcast for food bloggers. Her podcast is dedicated to up-leveling the mindset of food bloggers helping them create success from the inside out.
- After awhile, all jobs become routine and you forget about what you’re doing in some of it – it becomes automatic and unconscious. We have to assess those routines so we can change it up to reach new goals.
- If you’re looking for more traction, traffic or followers, it’s time to get out of your comfort zone, get uncomfortable and try something new.
- There’s not one roadmap that works for everyone. So you really have to be open to trying new things to figure out what works with you and not do something just because it worked for someone else.
- Always be a student and learning from those around you, even if they’re newer to the blogging world. Be sure to be in a growth mindset.
- Be willing to push yourself to get uncomfortable – try adding a new platform to reach people or creating a series or making videos where you’re front and center.
- Know and be clear about what your why. Make specific goals so you know what to work towards while getting uncomfortable.
- If you believe you don’t have time to change, get into a feeling of discomfort to avoid these limiting beliefs because what you’re saying no to is your goals.
- Your thoughts create your reality. If you want more time, you need to give yourself permission to work on something to get closer towards a goal.
- Tell yourself, I can do uncomfortable things. Show up for yourself, even when you don’t know what you’re doing.
- Do one tiny thing a day that scares you or pushes you to grow – it can be in your personal or business world.
- Work habits need to move you towards accomplishing a goal. Consider a new routine, batching or trying a new resource to help you.
Comfort Zone Series
If you’re just joining us on our Comfort Zone series with Megan and Loren Runion, here’s the previous episode 256, talking about the important subject of money to check out!
Click for full text.
260 Comfort zone
Megan Porta: Hey food bloggers. What is up today? I hope you’re having a great day. Welcome to Eat Blog Talk. I am your host, Megan Porta, and you are listening to episode number 260 with my friend Loren, from the Align and Expand podcast. We decided to do this series together about getting out of your comfort zone and the benefits of doing so in different areas of your life and your business.
So, first of all, I hope you have listened to parts one and two. If you haven’t gone do that; they’re in both of our archives. I really hope you enjoy this episode. Inside of this one, we are going to talk specifically about getting outside your comfort zone in the realm of getting blog traction, and learning new skills that will help you in your business. It is such a great conversation and I am just going to let you get right to it. So enjoy and have a wonderful day.
Hey, Loren. I’m super excited to chat more about comfort zones. This is going to be a fun chat about blog traction and new skills. So this is episode three of four that we’re doing together.
Loren Runion: Yes. I’m very excited to continue our conversation.
Megan Porta: Yeah, the first two were amazing. So if you guys have not listened to the first two in the series, definitely go back and do that. We just give a general overview of what we’re even talking about, with going past your comfort zone. Then in the second one, we talk about one of my favorite things to talk about, which is money. That one’s really fun and full of good stuff. Go do that and then come back and listen here. We’re going to dig into ways to extend past your comfort zone so that you can get more blog traction and acquire new skills. Just a reminder that the ultimate objective here is to grow because discomfort equals growth as much as we probably don’t want to hear that, it is the truth.
Loren Runion: Absolutely. Yeah. Getting comfortable being uncomfortable.
Megan Porta: So yeah, I guess we can just start Loren, by having a conversation about this. So in relation to blog traction, I know that a lot of my audience is going to be interested in this side of it and your audience might not necessarily be interested in the blog side, but this can really apply to any business I think, because we’re going to talk about acquiring new skills too. So what are some ways you think that we can bounce out of our comfort zones in relation to this topic. So just in general, getting traction with our businesses and finding whatever it is that we’re looking for, whether it’s numbers or growth or extending ourselves onto new platforms, et cetera.
Loren Runion: I think it’s really important to remember that as we talked about in our first two episodes, that comfort zones are really when we are comfortable, obviously. It’s just this space that we live in. We go about it, very automatic and very unconsciously. If you think about it, even if you’re not thinking about blogging or whatever you’re doing at the moment for your business, if you think about other jobs that you’ve had in the past, you really, after six or so months, get into the routine of things where you don’t have to think about it.
For example, I’m a registered nurse. When I was in nursing school and I was learning how to do a skill, it would take me so long. Open a sterile package and then 15 years in, I didn’t have to think about that. Your brain goes into autopilot. So you do get into these comfort zones, even when it comes to how you perform in your work. The reason you may want to come out of your comfort zone, is again, if you’re starting to yearn for more. If there’s something that you’re wanting out of your blog or your business or whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish, if there’s something you want more, you’re going to have to get out of your comfort zone.
Megan Porta: I like that frame, just framing it like that. Are you yearning for more? Because I think a lot of us can answer that as a big, huge, yes. Especially when it comes to getting traction with our businesses. I hear so much frustration in the food blogging industry with that. Why aren’t I gaining traction? Why don’t I have more followers? So I think a lot of people are going to say yes to that question. So how do we start doing that with just getting traction with our businesses? How do we answer the yes, I want more. Then start to dig into it.
Loren Runion: As you were saying that, one of the things that really came off in my head is that not only do we have to get comfortable getting out of our comfort zones, I think that within the blogging sphere, we have to get comfortable getting out of the comfort zone of other bloggers. Because the reality is, what worked three years ago, five years ago, 10 years ago in blogging, it doesn’t work today. It’s a very different scene. So we have to get comfortable experimenting and trying other things within blogging. If you’re not seeing traction, I think a lot of the times we fall into this path where, okay, I’m going to get this amount of traffic in this amount of time, and I’m going to do it by posting this amount of times a month. You think that’s the framework that needs to be there based on basically the comfort zone of others. You have to maybe take a step back and realize that blogging may be a little bit more of a trial and error thing right now where you’re hearing people creating success in other ways, other than just posting three times a week or three times a month or whatever it is. You’re hearing people get success with trying things like Google stories or through Facebook. It’s really a whole different ball game where not one roadmap works for everyone. So you really have to be open, trying new things.
Megan Porta: What worked then and when I say that, like before five years ago, isn’t necessarily working now. This is one of the reasons why I love getting groups of people together who are on all parts of the spectrum as far as experience. Because of that, there can be a brand new blogger who’s been doing it for a year and they dug into web stories and they’re crushing it. Or it could be another platform that an older blogger doesn’t know about. I feel like so many people look for ways that they can connect with the more experienced bloggers. But I don’t think that’s a good strategy right now. Not saying that the experienced bloggers don’t bring something to the table, because obviously they do. But I think there’s so much value in creating circles of all experience levels in order to gain that traction. That can be uncomfortable too, because as a more experienced blogger myself, I have to understand that I am learning more from people who have been blogging for one to four years, then what I have in my own database. So that’s uncomfortable. That’s a huge ask of people I think who have more experience. It’s like a humbling thing. You’ve got to step down a little bit and in order to grow, you have to be willing to let all the information into your brain.
Loren Runion: Yeah, I think that’s a really good point. It really brings you back to other jobs that I’ve been in again. When you work in a hospital, if anybody’s ever worked in a hospital, eating your young, those people who are the senior at the top of the thing, and if they’ve been doing it forever, they eat their young. I’m not saying that’s what happens in the blogger world, but that’s what came to mind. I thought it was that it would be so humbling for someone that has been doing it. I’ve been a nurse for 20 years, and I have to learn something from a nurse that’s only been there for a year. So I think that’s a really awesome point to point out that, even if you’ve been doing it for a long time, it’s almost like a reverse comfort zone. Even though you have success from other things, you could expand your comfort zone from the success you already have and have exponential success from learning from people who are in the space right now, starting out.
Megan Porta: Because there are so many parts of blogging alone. Really, you could insert any business there because I feel like being an entrepreneur is so multifaceted and complicated. So really you could insert anything, but there are so many pieces of it and they’re constantly merging. Yeah, there are going to be people who latch on to certain parts because we can’t do it all. We just have to accept this and get uncomfortable with going into circles, knowing that just because I’ve been a blogger for 11 years, that means nothing. I can learn so much from people. So setting down our pride and stepping into a conference or a group or a forum or anywhere. Just knowing that you have as much to learn as anyone I think is like one of the most uncomfortable things we can do.
Loren Runion: Yeah. As you said that I have caught myself doing that even blogging for two years, I’ve caught myself doing that recently, where somebody may be sharing something and I’m like, I already know that. When you say, I already know that, you’re cutting off the chance to learn something new. There’s always a chance to learn something new and it’s not a good mindset to be in. It’s not a growth mindset. It’s not going to allow you to expand. I’ve even caught myself doing that recently. I have had to try and re-frame that.
Megan Porta: I think we all do because we’ll nail a part of it and we’ll be like, yes, I get this. But what we don’t understand is that things are always evolving. Even just taking web stories, for example. Let’s say I dig into web stories and I really understand it. Then a month later, someone’s telling me how to do a web story and I’m not aware of some new part of it that was just released. Things are always changing. I never pretend to know. I’ve done that in the past too, oh yeah. I’ve been blogging for a really long time. I know that, but I don’t. I try to enter every conversation now with the spirit of I know nothing. What do you have to teach me because so many times that has happened to me too, where I’m like, oops, I have stuff to learn too. I shouldn’t enter a conversation just assuming that I know things just because I’ve been doing this a long time.
Loren Runion: That’s a good point. Just having the mentality of, unless you’re excelling at it, you probably can’t say that. For me, I can be like, yeah, I know web stories. I do feel like I know everything I’m supposed to do and everything everybody says, but yet I’ve never had a web story take off so something. So in my head I’m like, yeah, I know, I’m doing that, but something’s still missing. Something’s still not connecting and still being open to that, even though you feel like you know everything. But unless you’re honestly seeing the results, cause I hear that a lot. People that I work with or that talk to me about their limiting beliefs or things that are holding them back. I know what to do. The reality is if you know what to do or, if you know it, then it would be happening. So maybe there’s just a little tiny piece missing that just would connect everything together.
Megan Porta: So discomfort, I think in this realm, is just setting down all of your notions that you have about everything, and just allowing information in and allowing yourself to be wrong and not assuming that you are right, or that you have all the answers. I think that what we’re coming to is number one for getting uncomfortable with getting blog traction is just setting your pride aside. Okay. I also wanted to get your thoughts on putting ourselves out there. By creating new content maybe, like content that goes beyond our comfort zone. The thing that came to my mind was a video. I know a lot of people are really hesitant to create a video because they have to put their faces in front of it sometimes and their voices. So what are some other things that people can do to just put themselves out there more?
Loren Runion: Yeah, I definitely had video on there, but I actually look at that in two pieces. I think that for someone to decide how they should put themselves out there more, they first need to decide what they’re trying to grow in their business. What is it? What’s your goal that you’re trying to create this year or this quarter? What piece of that puzzle do you think you need to get you there to that goal, and then maybe decide which challenge you’re going to take on. Maybe that’s a video for you and video meaning that you’re going to show up on a reel and show your face, or you’re going to talk to your audience. You’re getting onto stories and showing your face. But also video for me, video is becoming such a huge piece of the actual blogging part where, videoing your recipes. That seems extremely intimidating to me. Something I still haven’t ventured into. So even that could be a new skill that you’re venturing into and having to start from a beginner because you may be a really excellent photographer or working for me, I work as a freelance photographer, but video, I know that I would start at the very bottom.
Megan Porta: I think a lot of people are in line with that because it is hard to do video. First of all, it’s not something that’s super intuitive to a lot of us. So even if you’re not putting your face on video, it’s still a challenge. Just putting your work out into the world, period, I think is really daunting. I remember the first two videos that I recorded and edited. I felt intimidated just setting it free. I was worried that people were going to judge it. It wasn’t good enough and all of those things that we have, those kinds of imposter thoughts that we have. So it is really scary. Video is a scary thing, and that is a common theme that I hear throughout, not just the food blogging world. Overall, entrepreneurial. A lot of people say that.
Loren Runion: Really, even just learning a new social platform, that can be just as intimidating. Especially because I still don’t even know Facebook and that’s not even a new one. So then we have all these other ones that are coming out and to think you could come into it with a comfort zone mentality of, oh, why do I need to learn another social platform? What’s that going to do for my business? You could have that kind of thought process or you can go into it and think, okay, I’m going to try something new because I’m wanting different results. I’m going to try and start using this platform and I’m open to learning everything that there is to know about it.
Megan Porta: I liked what you said before, Loren, about knowing what your goals are, because I think without that, none of this really matters. Because you could dive into all of it and just be like Loren and Megan told me that I need to extend past my comfort zone. So I’m going to dive into video, but none of this really matters unless you know what your goals are.
Loren Runion: I completely agree with that. Clarity is going to create a lot of room for you to grow and really create traction on what it is that you’re wanting to create with your blog instead of aimlessly just throwing stuff at the wall and hoping that it sticks and works.
Megan Porta: Yeah. So I always say figure out your why, know your why, be really in tune with it, feel that emotion, and then get really clear. Like you said, clarity is going to really help you focus. Then one other thought I had, as you were talking about social platforms, was that another way to get uncomfortable with just any platform overall is to start writing more about either yourself or writing in a different way. Because we all get used to writing in a certain way, and that gets really comfortable. So maybe extending yourself and putting something personal up. Maybe if that’s all you do is write about personal stuff, doing the opposite and writing a tutorial or something. So just looking at what you do, what’s ingrained and trying, just experimenting with the opposite.
Loren Runion: That’s a really good idea. Something that you said along the lines of stepping out and taking on more things, I think one of the things that you do really well as I watched from the sidelines is that you show up in a lot of different places. One of the things with comfort zones that we talked about earlier is that when we are in our comfort zones, we are in the comfort zones based on our current mindset and our belief framework that we have. So if we have this mindset and belief framework that we don’t have enough time already, you’re going to. I already feel like you don’t have enough time to step into another social platform. So being really aware of the comfort zone that you’ve created, around the habits that you have and the thoughts that you have around how you feel about your time with your business. Because if you don’t feel like you have time in your business already, even learning or thinking about venturing into another social platform would automatically make you feel super overwhelmed, but it could stem from the mindset and belief framework that you already have around your habits that have been in place for awhile.
Megan Porta: This topic is so dear to my heart. I know. I used to do this all the time. I’d say that exact thing that you’re saying – I don’t have time to fill in the blank. Now in retrospect I’m like, that actually meant that I’m not prioritizing filling in the blank. So if we can reframe it like that, if there’s something that you should be doing, that’s uncomfortable, you’re probably going to label it like that. I don’t have time for it. I’ll do it next quarter. So just to look at that, put it in your hand and hold it and look at it and figure out what that means. Are you doing it really because you don’t have time for it or you’re not prioritizing it because it’s really uncomfortable. So maybe that’s where we start with all of this. What is the real issue? Do you not have time for these things or do you just not want to do them?
Sponsor: Before you reply Loren, I just want to take a really quick break here so that we can talk about a few things going on at Eat Blog Talk, and then we will dive right back into our conversation.
First, I would just love to put this request out there. If you are willing to go to apple podcasts, I’m assuming that a lot of you listen to this podcast through that podcast player. Or whatever podcast player you listen through. Go to the podcast player of your choice and find Eat Blog Talk. I’m sure you’re probably already there. So if you’re not driving, go ahead and do that. Scroll down to the bottom where you will see places where you can rate and review this podcast. If you would do that, I would be so grateful. Thank you to those of you who have done it. I really appreciate your kind words. Doing this simple act adds so much value to this podcast. Other people come and they look at those reviews and they take those words in. So I really appreciate you doing this.
One more quick thing, and we can dive back into the episode. As of the time I’m recording this, there are a couple spots left in the Eat Blog Talk mastermind program. I am closing this group down at the end of the year. So December 31st, 2021, will be the last day that you can apply to get inside this group. We likely will open up another mastermind group in the future, but there are no set plans for that, currently. I want to fill this group and get the value rolling even more than it already is. It’s so powerful inside. So if you’re interested, go to eatblogtalk.com, fill out an application, and get on the waitlist. I hope you’re a great fit. I hope to see you inside. Thank you. Now we can get back to the episode.
Loren Runion: What kind of habits do you have and what kind of dedication do you have or are you allowing yourself to have, for the goal that you’re going after? I think a lot of the time, I say it a lot, that your thoughts create reality. Time is actually not linear. While we perceive it as linear because we use clocks, it’s actually not a linear thing. We have all the time in the world that we need. It’s about what you’re saying, making it a priority and changing the thoughts around that. When I realized that I was doing that all the time, saying that in my head, oh, I don’t have time to make this happen. When I stopped saying that, I stopped feeling that way. Now occasionally when things ramp up or projects are a little bit bigger than what I’m used to, I will start to feel it and then I catch myself and then I let go of that thought. When you let go of that thought, that feeling, and that reality also goes away because you are not creating that with your thoughts.
Megan Porta: Oh, that’s so deep. I love that. I think that there’s so much power in what you just said. Something to touch on that you said earlier when you were like, you show up, that is something I’ve written, scripted into my mind. I didn’t even have this, my notes or anything, but something that I do, I set for my own life, is that I do uncomfortable things. I tell myself that. If I’m facing a situation like speaking; speaking does not come naturally to me. If I am really scared leading up to it, I say that to myself. I say, Megan, you do uncomfortable things. You show up, even when it’s scary. You do it because you need to. So if we write those scripts, whatever they are into our heads, like you’re saying, they just become ingrained. They’re habits and there’s no other option. I know I show up and I know I do things that are scary and hard, because I know I should do them. So just rewriting those things that we need to in order to make sure we’re showing up.
Loren Runion: That’s so powerful. I love that you do that because it would’ve been probably so easy for you to just say I’m not good at speaking. I can’t do that. I hear it a lot. Or I hear, I’m an introvert. I can’t show up on Instagram. Or people assume from when I talk to people assume that the people who do show up and speak, aren’t scared to do it. Or that it’s not hard for them. But when in reality, it is. This was something that I wanted to say and I think it’s perfect timing. You have to do something that scares you. Even if it’s just one tiny thing a day that scares you, coming on to your story and being like, Hey, I’m Loren. The tiniest piece, ask yourself what is it that scares me and what can I do today that scares me and that I can do; one tiny step. This was a powerful question that I actually asked myself. I’m divorce and I went through a divorce, I don’t know, it’s probably seven or eight years ago, ish. When I was on my own, I remember being in my apartment. I had a board that said, do one thing that scares you. I wrote down every day what I was going to do that scared me. One of them was like, I think it was wearing something that I normally wear. It was something as silly as that. Then one of them was, I’m going to go to a new CrossFit gym. I hadn’t been to a CrossFit gym forever. I’m going to go to a new CrossFit gym and I did, and I met my husband.
Megan Porta: No way! I just got chills on my whole body. That is so cool. I don’t think the outfit thing is weird at all, because I have these outfits that I’ve purchased. At the time of purchase, I was like, oh, someday I’ll look really cute in this and I’ll be confident enough to wear it. They’ve just sat there. There has to come a time when I’m like, just wear the outfit. Why are you not wearing it? So that is a great one. I might actually implement that. Wearing certain clothes that make you feel confident can really boost your self esteem and do good things for your posture and your attitude and all of that. So I love that example. I think it’s a great one.
Loren Runion: Speaking of clothes, this is totally flowing with our conversation, but off topic, if your comfort zone, especially if you work at home, because I have been working at home for a very long time. When I used to do it as a nurse, I literally would not even bother brushing my teeth or washing my face. I would stay in my pajamas all day long because I didn’t have to see anyone. You honestly feel gross. I would do that for three days in a row. Once I started shifting my habits and I didn’t necessarily create this amazing morning routine where I light candles. I don’t have time for that because I’m a mom and I have three kids, but I do have a morning routine where I shower. Who’s the version of me that has the success and the day in life that I have, do I shower or do I not shower? Maybe your comfort zone is, Hey, I’m going to shower every day. I’m going to brush my hair every day and I’m going to put on nicer yoga pants. That will absolutely help shift you out of your comfort zone, especially if your comfort zone is to not do that stuff in the morning.
Megan Porta: Especially if one of your goals is to maybe do Instagram stories or reels and put your face on camera. You’re more likely to do it if you’re looking decent. If you haven’t showered in three days, it’s highly unlikely that you’re going to want to get on Instagram stories, probably. So that’s another reason to just look and feel good. You don’t have to go buy new clothes and get all spruced up every day. But I totally agree with you, Loren, just feeling good and taking care of yourself can transform your attitude and the way you show up. If you have a zoom call and your hair’s dirty, you just know it. You’re hiding certain parts. But if you are showered and you feel good and freshly dressed, then it just comes through.
Loren Runion: One of the things that I wanted to mention earlier around habits is, maybe you’ve gotten into a comfort zone of how you do your day or how you create your content. Maybe you don’t ever get dressed up and maybe you don’t ever put yourself on camera, but maybe there’s every Monday, you’re going to get dressed up and you don’t have to put on makeup, but whatever it is that makes you feel good so that you can show up on camera comfortably, and then you do a bunch of batching content. Then that’s totally out of your comfort zone. Maybe you don’t ever batch, but this would be a really good way to combine everything. I’m going to practice getting dressed every day. I’m going to get on camera once a week and I’m going to batch a bunch of content. I’m going to just show up once and then you can do it and then post it later. Just taking one day at a time.
Megan Porta: Yes. I love that point. Since you brought up batching, this is something I wrote down earlier as you were talking. I love batching. I think there’s so much power in batching and I do it like a maniac. I probably do it to an extreme. So you don’t have to do that, but I do always encourage people to try it. I hear so often people say, I don’t do batching, it doesn’t work for me. I just encourage people to explore that. Why are you saying that? Is it because you truly have an attention issue or something along those lines, then I get it. No argument at all. But if it’s just because it’s uncomfortable, then I encourage you to try it, dive into it. If you typically create, I don’t know, let’s say you make two recipes at a time and then you photograph those, if you’re a food blogger, try it four. Double it and see what happens and push through that discomfort because it is not easy to do that. A day of all making food and photographing, your kitchen’s an absolute mess. It’s a lot of work. You’re sweating. But when you’re done with it, you’ve got so much work done. So I always like to encourage people to just push through that madness and just try it.
Loren Runion: I think that when it comes to batching or any type of routine, when you’ve decided you’re going to go out of your normal routine because maybe it’s not working for you and you want something different. That you can create your own system of batching. It doesn’t have to be like everyone does it. I would recommend that you try different types of batching. I think that it’s really important to just think in terms of doing the same type of task. So my batching might look really different from your batching. I tried this whole batching system where I did everything in a week and while it was amazing and I got a lot done, because of my human design, if you’re not familiar with your human design, it literally burnt me out. I have never been able to do it again. I didn’t even know that was going to happen. So I encourage people to find a batching system that works for them or a way to do it. Because you could just have a day where you’re doing photographs and a day where you’re cooking. A day when you’re writing is a day where you do all of your Canva. Instead of writing blog posts, go to Canva, create stuff. Edit my photos. Instead of doing all of that in one day where you’re not in a routine of following, you want to do the same routine because it’s easier for your neural pathways for you to just do the same type of thing. So if writing’s on the same day, you can do writing all on the same day. But my point is to honor your energy as well, because we all have different energy types. Maybe the type of batching that you didn’t feel good because you didn’t honor your energy and you didn’t try to play around with it and find one that did work. If what you’re doing right now isn’t working, then there’s no harm in trying a different way.
Megan Porta: Not every design has to be repeated. What you were just saying. My design of batching, it might not look like yours and we definitely don’t want to get to the point where we’re burning out. That is not what I was saying at all. I just feel like we need to maybe push ourselves a little to see how far out of our comfort zone we can go without getting to that point of being like, oh my gosh, I’m never doing that again.
Loren Runion: I agree with that. As an example, I do a lot of my shooting and stuff on the weekends because my youngest is two. So I do a lot of my stuff on the weekends when my husband’s home and can help take care of him. My older two don’t need that much hands-on stuff. I used to be able to shoot six recipes in one day. I would have friends be like, how do you do that? I’d say, I don’t know. I just do. I got very used to doing it, but then when they slowed down, something happened and I slowed down. It’s been hard for me to ramp back up to that six. So you have to realize that it’s a ramp up period. It’s not going to feel comfortable, just doing from two to four, isn’t going to feel comfortable. But if you continue to do it, just like going to the gym, the first time you pick up a 20 pound dumbbell to do curls, it’s not going to feel good. But the more you do it, the easier it feels.
Megan Porta: Yeah. It’s a stamina thing. You have to increase your stamina. So if you make 10 recipes in a day, and then you go back to making five, it’s going to feel like a breeze, right? So maybe you slowly select the two pound weights first and then the five pounds weights and then the seven and a half pounds. So don’t go right to the 20 pound weights, but work up to it. Then if it feels good, if you’re not burning out, try to stick around there so that you don’t lose all of that stamina. But yes, I totally hear what you’re saying on all of that, Loren. I watched one of your Instagram stories, I believe. I was fist pumping, yes, Loren! This is so good and this relates to what we’re talking about. It’s just that concept of looking at our analytics or maybe not just analytics, but just our growth and being dissatisfied. Then just like wishing it were better. Then just being discouraged that it’s not. I did this for a really long time in my blogging journey. I would get so frustrated and just stare at those numbers. Okay, you’re going to increase. Come on, you can do it. I just want to point out what you did, which is you’ve got to actually take action and do uncomfortable things. So maybe actually dig into those analytics and figure out what isn’t working and what is working. Make a plan and set a calendar and create recipes and do the things. So I would love to chat with you and just get your thoughts about that.
Loren Runion: I think that people need to take a different action. If you’re looking at your analytics and you’re like the numbers aren’t budging, why aren’t they going up? That means you need to do something different. Because if you continue to do the same thing that you’re doing, and you’re not seeing results, that means it’s not working. It’s time to switch it up. So try something different. The whole concept of taking action or the law of action, is not that the action that you’re taking is going to be the one that moves the needle forward, or is the one that makes your traffic go from 50 visits a day to a hundred. It may not be that one thing that you did to take action, but it’s going to build up. You’re going to get to the place that you’re supposed to be at, that will eventually lead you to the path that’s going to make your analytics go to where you want it to be. I’m not sure if you saw an IGTV on analytics detox, where I take people through five days. It may have been what you’ve seen. I’m not sure where.
Megan Porta: I don’t think I saw that, but I want to watch that.
Loren Runion: So it’s a five day thing and because you know how addictive they can be. You know how unhelpful actually moving the needle forward in your business. It is helpful to look at every once in a while, you can dedicate a certain amount of time to see what’s working, what’s not working. Where are you getting traffic from? But what analytics is not for is for you to look at every day. Because when you’re looking at it every day, I guarantee you’re not changing what you’re doing every day to try and move that needle forward. So I have an analytics detox there. Things that you can do for five days straight, instead of focusing on the numbers. People love it, the people that have done it, they really like it.
Megan Porta: That is such a great idea. Oh gosh, this is a message that I’ve been talking about for a long time too, because I personally saw the difference it made in my life because I was that person who was sitting on my couch for hours staring at a number. Then one day I was like, what in the world am I doing? This is so ridiculous. I could have taken all of those hours and actually done something productive. I was just so mad at myself. So then I stopped. I just cold turkey, set it down. I didn’t look at my analytics after that for a month. It was super hard, but it felt so good. I started filling my time with things that were actually productive. I think this is a message we need to hear. There is good in looking at the analytics but not all the time everyday without any change. So allow yourself an hour a week, if that’s what you feel you need or would be helpful. But to start weaning, if you are one of those people who’s just asking, what are the numbers? What does it say today? What’s it say now?
Loren Runion: I say only an hour a week if you’re actually doing something with it. So if you were to look at it as a company, if you were looking at a really large company like Google, they don’t look at their analytics every day and base changes on it every day. They would take a month’s worth of data and be like, okay, this is what we did this month. Here’s the data that we see from the stuff that we did. Actually go in and learn how to use analytics, because there’s so many things that you can do in there besides just see how many people came to your blog. You know what I mean? So use it for good, when you spend the time there for an hour. Not using it, speaking from experience going on there and being disappointed about what’s there because it’s really easy to do that. So unless you’re going in there and you’re like, okay, this is what I’m going to do when I go into Google analytics. This is the data I want to see. I want to see this because this is what I’m going to do differently based on what I see. That’s when it’s helpful. It’s honestly not helpful to go in there and just be like, oh my traffic’s tanked. Whatever thought processes happen. The people that have done this detox and when I did this detox, I can’t remember when I posted this. It was probably back in July or before then. I haven’t gone back to the way that I was since then. It’s been very freeing and it allowed me to create space to not have these negative feelings, because it was almost like this addictive dopamine hit, when you would go. It was good. It’s just like Instagram you get that hit and you’re like, oh yeah, I did something. It’s a small win. Then you go back in and there’s nobody on your blog at the current moment. It takes it away and then you want it again. It’s a cycle. But when you create the space to replace that energy and time with something good, that’s when you start moving the needle forward. Just like you said, staring at the numbers, that’s not going to do anything. But there’s a lot of other things that you can be doing in the amount of time that you’re probably spending clicking on your analytics.
Megan Porta: Where can people find that? Do you still have that? You said you had it on IGTV?
Loren Runion: Yeah. There’s a series. IGTV changed the way it looks when you go into your profile grid. If you just go to @Loren.runion and then click into where people’s IGTV and where their videos are, there’s a series that’s called Google Analytics Detox.
Megan Porta: Oh, I think that if you’re listening and this is an issue for you, try it. Just go look at Loren’s videos and try it. Don’t you feel like this is something that bloggers really resist? I’ve heard people say things like, oh, I can never. It’s just like out of the question oh, I could never stay away from Google analytics for a week. People are so resistant.
Loren Runion: It should be a weekly or a monthly thing. That’s what I hear from the people who are not addicted as from a blogging standpoint, but from people who help, not just food bloggers, but any bloggers or anyone who would need to go into their analytics. They do not say to check it every week or every month. Because if you can tell me what you’re doing differently in your business, based on what, then maybe I agree with you checking it. But if you aren’t doing anything based on the data that you’re seeing, then there is absolutely zero reason for you to go in and check your analytics that often.
Megan Porta: Amen to that. I completely agree. What else do you think Loren, are there other ways along the lines of blog traction and just acquiring new skills that people can get out of their comfort zone? I feel like we’ve covered a lot.
Loren Runion: We have covered a lot. I think that the main thing you could do is to sit down and ask yourself, are you reaching your goals? Am I reaching the goals that I have with my blog? If you’re not reaching your goals, then it’s time to sit down and see what areas that you’re probably reaching in some ways. Or maybe you need to assess if you’re reaching your goals slowly and you’re not celebrating the little milestones. But are you reaching your goals? If you’re not, then there’s probably a comfort zone that you need to step out of. As I was talking, just one other thing that came to me that you may have this comfort around, is the amount of time that you think that it’s going to take for your blog to succeed. Are you willing to get out of your comfort zone of how long this may take? How long your dream may take, because maybe it’s going to take a year. Maybe it’s going to take three years. But if this is what is meant for you, then you need to get uncomfortable. Or get comfortable being uncomfortable, with how long this may take.
Megan Porta: Just dropping the preconceived notions that you might have. Because I do agree. I think that everyone has an idea about how long they think it should take them to quote, be successful. Then when that doesn’t happen, there’s massive frustration. Honestly, some panic. Just dropping that and being willing to extend your time or shorten it or whatever it is that would make you uncomfortable. Almost put yourself in that scenario. If you have an idea in your mind that it’s going to take you two years to do whatever, X with your business. So in your mind, just think about, okay, what if it actually took me seven years? How do you feel about that? Just trying to sit with that and get comfortable with that idea.
Loren Runion: Yeah. I like that.
Megan Porta: That is not comfortable for me because we’re like, wait, I wanted two years. So I get it. I totally get it. Because we do this to make money and to get our freedoms and get all those things that we’d get into it for. So when we have to sit with a time that makes us really jittery. I totally get it. That’s probably the most uncomfortable thing that we’ve talked about today, to be honest. We’ve talked about a lot, so thanks for joining me Loren. This was so fun. I always love talking to you. I think this is a really important piece of the series that we’re doing. Love it. In the next episode, we’re going to talk about people, which is maybe a close second after money for me. I don’t know. What are your thoughts? What has been your favorite and what’s your favorite topic of all of these to talk about?
Loren Runion: The money and then I didn’t think you kept saying that people were your favorite. Then the more I thought about it, I’m like, this is really important. I have never thought about how important it is that you take an active role in the people in your life and the comfort zones. I love our first episode, but the money and then the people and this one turned out amazing. So you know what? They’re all amazing.
Megan Porta: Yes. Yes. I agree. So stay tuned for the people episode. That one’s going to be really great too. Yeah, we’ll see you in the next one.
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