This Where Are They Now? episode is a perfect example of why I love this format. My returning guest, Hel Reynolds of Comms Creatives, has made absolutely amazing progress since we last spoke!
Back in episode 1174, Hel was having trouble prioritizing her business opportunities. Squirrel syndrome is something I'm all too familiar with, so I shared a number of my most powerful time-management strategies with her.
Hel has since implemented the 20 percent itch rule and structured her week so that she puts in impactful work at key times. The results in her business have been incredible.
But while Hel's current scheduling approach is rife with tips we can all leverage, she's still struggling to rein in her weekends and take time off. New levels, new devils!
In this session, Hel and I explore new tactics to help her disconnect from work and return feeling restored. I discuss my own experience and the tools that have proved to be game-changers for me.
You might be one of the many entrepreneurs dealing with this same challenge, so join us to learn more about time management tactics that can take your brand to the next level!
Subscribe to my weekly newsletter, Unstuck, to get tips, tools, and my best advice for creating a thriving online business.
AP 1259: Where Are They Now? Hel Reynolds
Pat Flynn: What's up everybody? Pat Flynn here and welcome to episode 1259 of AskPat 2.0. And we're on this amazing run of Where Are They Now? episodes, bringing people back who've been on the show before to see how things are going. And today we're talking with Hel Reynolds, who has an agency over at CommsCreatives.com.
The last time she was on the show she was a little overwhelmed, like many of us are, of just having too many ideas and too many things to potentially focus on. And of course, that then removes energy from anything to get to where we want it to go, because we're just so excited about all the things, right?
Squirrel syndrome, bright light syndrome, whatever, whatever you wanna call it. This is very common. So I was very curious to see what had happened since, and today we speak with Hel to see how she's doing, and she runs this business with her sister and we get a really, really good update. So let's see how she did and if she in fact, stayed in her lane, if you will.
So here she is from Comms Creatives, Hel Reynolds.
Pat Flynn: Hel, welcome back to AskPat 2.0. It's good to see you and hear you again. Thanks for taking the time.
Hel Reynolds: Oh, it's my pleasure. I feel like I spend more time with your podcast than I do with my friends . It's my favorite.
Pat Flynn: Well, maybe your friend should start podcast too, then they'll get more of your time. But anyway, no, thank you so much for doing this because this format of episode is like my favorite. I get to see and hear how a person who's been on the show before took that advice or maybe didn't take that advice and kind of where they're at now. And if you wanted to remind people, or even for those who are listening who didn't listen to your first episode, which was 1174, so quite a bit of ways ago. Do you remember kind of where you were at at that point and what the struggles and challenges were the last time you were on the show?
Hel Reynolds: Yeah. I think it was probably a couple of months after the first lockdown here in the uk, so just when the pandemic had started.
And we are a business that does online social media training for people who work in corporates really, and PR and communications professionals. I think I was really excited about the possibilities. For us, it was actually not bad in that we didn't have to sell the benefits of online training at that point because it was the only training that was available.
So in some ways the business had carried on and, and I was really excited. And what we talked about on that last episode was actually that excitement in me to run a business. I run it with my sister. But almost to have so many great ideas and so much excitement about what I wanted to do in the business. The possibilities were endless and you helped me to kind of not contain it, but kind of find a way to prioritize things and get it under control and make it manageable so I could still enjoy things and try out new things without feeling overwhelmed by the possibility.
Pat Flynn: Yeah. This is, I mean, I remember mentioning on that episode in the intro, This was gonna be a very relatable episode, and it was because that's a struggle that a lot of entrepreneurs have, especially in those beginning phases. I mean, you had established your business for a while and even then still had a ton of ideas and a lot of excitement.
And the problem is if you bring that excitement over here and try that, but then you, you wanna go over here and then over here and over here, then like nothing gets done. And that's what I wanted to make sure we, like you said, it's not like providing constraints or even parameters. It's like let's just get laser focused with a few things to start.
And I'm curious like where did you go from there? Did you actually laser focus on a few things or just try everything and see what stuck? Like tell me kind of what happened since that episode.
Hel Reynolds: Well, lots of, lots of the above. Okay. The thing that's been most useful I think was you were talking about carving out some time. And I think in my memory you said something along the lines of you could either do it kind of one day a week, 20% of your time you spend on these projects, and that can kind of be like an hour a day or it can be a, a one day that you put aside. And I thought that was a really clever way for me to actually, I've got the, the power to control my own diary.
So actually working with my sister to organize my weeks a little bit more. I don't think I had enough structure in there. Now I have Fridays as my creative day. I love it. I, I mean, I love it. It just, it helps me do more in the week because I know that I'm not denying myself some of those things that I want to do, but I focus on what I have decided I need to do on those four days in the week.
And I love Fridays now. The way that it works since then, you know, I've been trying to think of it as at the beginning I was trying to think, right, well that's the days I work on this project and until I get to the end of it. And I did creep off a little bit and it did end up with me kind of going, oh, this week I'm just gonna do a few cartoons and next week I'll end up working on a different project.
But it still reined me in and allowed me to make some real progress. So I'm really happy with that as a tactic actually. Even Mondays is my meetings day cuz I was finding it hard to focus on writing after I've been in a meeting. So even that has got more organized so that I have meetings on this day, I do more focus work on another day.
My creative day for just playing is on a Friday and I love that.
Pat Flynn: That's so fantastic and makes me so happy to hear that. I don't know if you heard, but I'm writing a new book and that is kind of that management of time, that focus of energy is really what it's about. So this is a perfect example of what happens when you know you, you are doing the same things just in a different order and allowing your energy to go to where it would be best for that day or for that moment.
And I love, I mean, that example of just you knowing that about yourself, that writing after meetings, just, is a struggle. So why even attempt to do that? Let's move things around so that you don't. So Mondays are your meetings day. Is it like literally meetings all day long or are you taking breaks like, let's go actually through your week because I think you've mastered it and it's allowing you to grow and, and, and have this energy and then you have Friday to look forward to. Right? It's like, oh, I can't wait to get to that day where I can be creative, but like, tell me about your Monday and maybe we can just go through the week to get a little bit more of a, of a granular understanding of how that is structured.
Hel Reynolds: Well, I mean, I'll start off by saying I am an extremely disorganized person.
Thankfully I don't manage my own diary because I forget things. And it turns out actually in the time since we last spoke, and I'm sure lots of your, your readers will have done the, the whole pandemic diagnosis of adhd. It turns out like, you know, I, I am naturally more inclined to be a bit more disorganized.
So the week is, I love this structure in order. So, Monday I will say to Leslie if, if I'm gonna have meetings, book them on a Monday so they're not back to back meetings every time. You know, most, most of those meetings will be sales calls. So someone say, and I wanna do some training, will it be right for me?
And for me, I love to be able to have a good chat and dig into their problems. Really get into it, but it takes a lot of energy and I'm just, I'm tired afterwards. So Mondays will be those meetings. And in between, if I haven't got a lot on, then I will make some meetings. You know, I'm not naturally inclined to be particularly sociable cuz I just wanna get on with things.
So I try to make Mondays where if there's not much going in there, then I will reach out to someone and, and have a meeting, and have a chat then.
Pat Flynn: Does the Monday meetings with like your clients and potential clients help cuz I would imagine this, I mean that's, I I love this because of, of what I'm about to say here, it, you get a direct in on who it is you're serving. Like right to start out the week, it almost like reminds you of, oh, this is who I'm doing this for. This is the kind of person that, you know, I'm building my business for. Do do you find to get, like, even though it, it is draining to take those calls and, you know, do sales calls and stuff. Do you also find that there is some energy that comes from that based on who it is you're serving and then that carries through the rest of the week, you think?
Hel Reynolds: Yeah, and I feel it's important to me because my energy on a Monday is really good. So that's the good time for me to have the thing that takes a lot of energy.
And I find, you know, what I really like is when I'm talking to the people that we are working with, clients and potential clients. Monday isn't always their favorite day because they're in hard jobs. They're not just running their own business and having a laugh like I am. So I like to have that conversation with them of like, how are you?
How was your weekend? And kind of bring that energy to them so that they're starting their week in a positive way. I think this is the thing I've discovered in the last two years as well about what I'm really passionate about is making people love their jobs. Again, it's a creative job, so remembering why they got into it in the first place.
So if I meet them on a Monday when I'm at my peak and I've had a good rest on the weekend, then I feel like that's the best time to talk to them as well. Whereas I might be flagging a little bit later on in the week.
Pat Flynn: I love it. Really smart with that. So what, what, what happens on Tuesday and Wednesday then?
Hel Reynolds: Tuesdays tend to be days where we deliver training. Again, that's more of an energy intensive thing cuz it's a lot of talking to camera. And Tuesdays and Wednesdays are de delivery the more operational side of things. And Thursday tends to be more kind of business development. So working on like even things like getting the newsletter out.
The things that I think bring in business, I suppose, which I love that on a Thursday, I think is my favorite because you can very quickly see a response back from your audience. And then Friday is random day, random day. Which I'll know what I'm gonna do probably before I start on, on Friday, but it's, you know.
Pat Flynn: So what are your latest Fridays been entailing, like what, what is your random, like, lately, what, what's it been about?
Hel Reynolds: Well, during the summer, all Fridays have been all hands on deck for how are we gonna make this membership that we've got the best possible thing.
Pat Flynn: This is new, a membership?
Hel Reynolds: Yeah, so we had a membership and I felt like it was something that we want to grow, something that we can offer more of.
So it's turned from all access to all of our training to access to all of our training and you also get professional development sessions, like things about public speaking, then how to present to your boss. And then there'll be other things like creative stress relievers. So you know, it's booking these kind of things in and getting, we have this amazing illustrator from Disney who came in and she owns lama farm now.
So then we do a little bit of doodling in our lunch hour, doodling the lama with her guidance. And for me it was like, I wanna make the thing that I wish, that I, I could have had when I was in the job that my clients are in. With that, what we were using, we were using Thinkific to hold all our courses and it wasn't really serving the purpose.
So I've been working on the creative kind of structure for this new membership website and that's been really fun.
Pat Flynn: Nice. I love it. And then that has an obvious like end date or date that that can be finished. And then you can add something else in there on a, on a Friday to look forward to, which is, which is really exciting.
How do you stay away from the work on the weekends, especially with, like a job that's going well and you're running your own business. There's potentially notifications that are coming in from other team members and stuff. You told me how you stay focused during the week. How do you, how do you remain unplugged during the weekend?
Hel Reynolds: Oh, I, I think this is where I might need your help. I love it. My problem is I love it and maybe I love it to the detriment.
Pat Flynn: That is, that is a blessing for sure. A blessing could also be a curse, right? In in many ways. I mean, So long as you are enjoying it and you're loving it and it's not affecting other parts of your life, then just you might as well keep going and doing the, doing the thing you're doing.
The one thing that has been helpful for me, I've, I've shared this on podcasts recently, is that I have found something that is my own, that is away from all the business stuff. Fishing. Fishing is what I've discovered or rediscovered recently. I used to fish a lot when I was a kid. And it's my thing that I can look forward to on the weekend to escape and to just be in nature, to not be tied to any devices other than my fish finder and just kind of enjoy nature and, and be one with myself again.
And, and to use that as something to look forward to, to use that as a reward. And also like just to breathe a little bit. So that I can get more excited the next week when I come back to something. So I don't know if you have something like that, but this is something that I have seen a lot of entrepreneurs, especially longtime entrepreneurs talk about recently, which is just rediscovering a hobby or or finding something that is yours that is just for you that you know, and I don't share that.
One of the first times I went fishing, I was at a lake and I took on my phone. Cause I was like, I gotta share this on social media. Like, let me snap a selfie. And I was like, well why, why, why am I doing that? Can I just do this for me? So I've, I've put the phone away and I've just been fishing and, and been one with nature and it's just been so reinvigorating.
And then my work and creative efforts have become that much better I feel. As a result on the other end of that. So, you know, not to say, working on the weekends is, is bad, but perhaps you don't have your fullest energy because you aren't spending time doing something for yourself to step away and then come back into work with, so I don't know how.
How's your response to that? Maybe you do have something. I don't know. I'm just curious.
Hel Reynolds: Yeah, I mean, you're dead right. I think I need that. I mean, even my mum's voiced a concern that like is there anything in your life other than work? I think I do need something like that. Since the pandemic, because I'm immunosuppressed, I've really kind of isolated from the world because I was extra vulnerable from being out, and I think I need to find something. You know? I do need to find my thing that does, I think, like you say, I think it will actually help with my creativity to just have something else that takes my brain away from work.
But I'm not sure what that is yet. I think I have to dig deep and find out what I love doing.
Pat Flynn: It'll take some exploration, you know, it's like who knows? You take a class one day and you like it. Maybe you don't try something else the next weekend. I mean, my wife April, has discovered crochet recently, and that's just like filling her up with so much joy.
For me, it's fishing, and for other entrepreneurs it's, it's random. I mean, one person's like wood carving now and they've never done that before, but found a love for it and it just helps them escape. So that would be maybe my next and only recommendation from here, cuz I love what you're doing. I love the structure and the way that you've been able to channel your energy properly. And that that's really what the key is, especially for an excited entrepreneur, is to not like, get rid of that energy, but just channel it properly. And you've, you've done an amazing job, so I appreciate you giving us the structure of your week. And I think that's, this is gonna be really inspirational, especially cuz by the time this episode comes out, I believe this will be early, early in the new year, 2023.
So maybe a great reminder for everybody to, to, to figure that out. And you're not gonna get it right away. I mean, how long did it take you to find your stride?
Hel Reynolds: Oh, it took a few months and I still kind of occasionally veer off and have to be led back into that. We just make sure that we get back on track.
Pat Flynn: And then is it just you and your sister working together or do you have other team members involved now?
Hel Reynolds: Yeah, we've got other team members now, so lots of freelancers and they're all around the country, so it's kind of, that's one of the things that I wanna develop as well over the next year really, is just working out how to work with them more closely and give them more guidance.
We've got two lovely guys that do our TikTok for us. They're so creative and brilliant that I wanna be able to work with them even more. And that's cool. Focus a little bit more on giving them attention and yeah, it's, there's, there's loads of exciting things, but I think you're right that possibly that I've reined it in in the week, but not so much on the weekend.
Pat Flynn: Do those TikTok people, they create TikToks for your clients, or are they creating 'em for your business?
Hel Reynolds: They're doing them for us because our business is all around social media training. They have helped us develop our TikTok course for people that work for brands, and they also do them with us. So we've had a couple of viral posts and I love learning a new platform, and I love the fact that it's just a lot more, well, it's wild on there.
So they've really helped us to kinda do, from both me and Leslie, my sister, we've, we've enjoyed trying this new space out.
Pat Flynn: That's great. What's the TikTok channel in case people are curious?
Hel Reynolds: Oh yes, please come and find us on @CommsCreatives. You'll see Jack in a hot tub on his laptop. Lots of stupid stuff going on there, but hopefully it's useful and helpful as well.
Pat Flynn: I love it. Well, hey, thank you so much. I appreciate you coming on and giving us the update. Where should people go to find you and your work? I mean, we talked about TikTok, but what's the website and your anywhere else you want people to go?
Hel Reynolds: Oh, lovely. If you can come to CommsCreatives.com, that would be wonderful.
We've got a weekly newsletter with lots of inspiration, but you can sign up to there. We're everywhere at Comms Creatives, and I'm everywhere at Hal Reynolds, so whether it's LinkedIn or TikTok or whatever. We're social media trainers. We've gotta be in all the spaces.
Pat Flynn: Thank you, Hel. Appreciate you and best of luck to you and your team and, and well done.
Congratulations on everything.
Hel Reynolds: Oh, coming from you. I feel I'm blushing. Thank you so much. I'm such a fan. So thank you so much.
Pat Flynn: Cheers. Thank you.
All right. I hope you enjoyed that catch up with Hel. Again, you can find her at CommsCreatives.com. And just again, great lessons learned here. And this is why I love these episodes, cuz you get to actually hear people get the advice and then actually implement it.
And then many times, you know, new things arrive and new things pop up. And as we often talk about, when you get to the next level, there are new devils, right? New levels, new devils, mo' money, mo' problems, however you wanna talk about it. And it's interesting because we love to bring people back again and again and again, and it almost becomes like timestamps in their journey.
So I'm just really excited to catch up again in the future. But for right now, CommsCreatives.com, if you wanna check that out and check 'em out on social media. And I look forward to serving you in the next episode. Thank you again. I appreciate you and I'll see you in the next one.
Thanks for listening to AskPat at AskPat.com. I'm your host, Pat Flynn. Our senior producer is David Grabowski. Our series producer is Paul Grigoras, and our executive producer is Matt Gartland. Sound editing by Duncan Brown. AskPat is a production of SPI Media. We'll catch you in the next session.