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But I hate systems!

Visibility Issue

One of the critical components to consistent visibility in business is the creation of systems.

The systems you establish support you in being visible without feeling like you’re on a content creation treadmill you can never get off.

The systems you set up might look like batching content or scheduling your social media posts. They could relate to advertising and tracking your ad spend. They could look like developing a template for the types of posts you share, or developing a rhythm with your sharing. (For example, knowing what your audience likes to hear most from you, you might set up a system whereby every other day, that kind of post is in the hopper ready to go out to your community. In between times, you might then give yourself the freedom to share whatever takes your fancy that day.)

There really is no downside to setting up systems in your business. However, many many women I speak with seem very resistant to setting up systems.

Let’s explore what to do about that…

Recommended Action

If you’ve been telling yourself it’s time to set up more systems inside your business but you still haven’t prioritised it, here are a few steps you can take today.

STEP 1: Get clear on what your systematising.

Often people hear systems and think they’re being asked to get less personal with their community. That they’re going to lose their personal touch or uniqueness.

So let’s get clear up-front; you’re not systematising connection or relationships. You’re systematising the presence of your brand in the market. That means you’re making sure that your brand is visible on a regular basis to the people who want and need your work.

Here are some questions to ask so you can get you started:

  1. What takes up a great deal of my time when it comes to social media and/or content marketing?
  2. What don’t I like doing?
  3. What decision can I make now (about my brand, my content marketing approach, my podcast show for example) that can save me revisiting this issue each week or month?
  4. What software is available to help reduce the amount of time I spend on my time-consuming tasks?

Once you’ve answered these questions you’ll have a clear sense on where to focus your attention. Systems don’t have to be overwhelming. Just take one aspect of your business at a time and consider how the process you’re currently using could be improved or upgraded.

STEP 2: Reframe what a system is.

Often my Women Speaking Up students will tell me that they don’t feel like their brain really thinks in terms of systems and so they’re not sure where to begin when setting one up.

Before you decide that’s you and step away from a consideration of business systems altogether, think about something you do understand. It might be nature and the seasons, your creative process, the way a well-constructed piece of music has been put together, your menstrual cycle, the way you approach your grocery shopping and cooking meals each day, the way your favourite mystery novel lays out clues without giving too much away right until the big reveal, the way you organise your wardrobe, the story arch of your favourite tv show, the process you teach your students in your pilates, yoga, fitness class.

Human beings are literally surrounded by systems all the time. Systems don’t have to look like a factory to be effective. You can draw inspiration for your system from any aspect of life. (I personally recommend nature. The most efficient systems on the planet are the ones taking place in the natural world.)

Once you’ve taken time to reflect on a system you’re interested in and understand, consider how you might apply it to your visibility efforts inside your business. How can you take inspiration from the story arch of your favourite show and allow it to inform the way you prepare and give speeches? How can you take your approach to weekly shopping and let it inspire you when it comes to developing a process for preparing and publishing YouTube videos? Or, what can your approach to teaching a yoga class, teach you about developing a system for showing up on socials?

Questions to ponder: 

  1. What insights does the system you’re exploring give you?
  2. What changes can you make to your own approach to better replicate a system that you understand and are inspired by?

These questions will open your mind to new ways of thinking about systems, they’ll make the whole process more enjoyable for you, and they’ll give you a starting point that might not otherwise be available to you.

STEP 3: Rest into being supported.

Another issue I’ve uncovered through working with our Women Speaking Up students is that an aversion to systems is often connected to not feeling comfortable with, or able to receive, support.

When you create a system you set up a support structure for yourself.

So the question to consider is this; how much support am I willing to receive?

There are many reasons why women particularly, don’t feel like we can rest into a system, or we don’t feel like we can rest into receiving support. These reasons are connected to:

  • feeling safe to rest into masculine energies and approaches
  • socialisation into masculine ways of doing and being which say that receiving is ‘weak’, that you should be able to ‘do it all yourself’
  • the patriarchal mindset which undermines a woman’s sense of her own value and deems her unworthy of receiving
  • gendered socialisation which discourages girls from STEM (making too many girls and women feel like numbers and systems ‘aren’t for them’ or that they just aren’t good at them)
  • your history of feeling supported by societal systems such as government, economic, and political systems.

If you’d like to hear me speak about this in more detail, check out this video here.

Additional Resources

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