Episode 128: Family First Part 1: Sick of Living in Reactionary Mode? Try This!

September 26, 2022


Like there’s really no space for creation, innovation or possibility seeking, let alone fun and enjoyment? What you really want to do is dream of what’s next, create for hours on end without interruption as you give birth to the next genius idea that puts you on the map as a sought after visionary and leader in your space, and then clocking out both physically and mentally after a fulfilling day’s work to seamlessly transition into rocking it at home with your family? 

Today’s episode kicks off our three-part series that is essentially designed to help take you from a totally frazzled and overwhelmed to a laser-focused entrepreneur who knows, with the utmost confidence and clarity, what you’re called to next. 

The result of this work over these next few weeks is going to help you become that family-first entrepreneur that you feel called to be, the person who is craving massive success in their  business without sacrificing what matters most.


[3:37] It Shouldn’t Be This Way

Do you feel like despite your deep desire (because I know you have it) to float up out of the weeds of your life, it just doesn’t seem to happen? No matter how hard you work, how much you get done, how many things you launch, how many clients you bring on, how much you hire, there’s still an element of the hamster wheel? 

You’ve tried outsourcing the things. You’ve listened to the podcast on time management, you’ve read the books, you’ve tried taking on less, but here you are still reacting and it feels like crap? And right now you’re wondering, how much longer do you have to sustain like this? Or maybe you’re waking up to the fact that it’s not supposed to be like this, because you’ve become so accustomed to living this way that you thought that this was just the life of a busy entrepreneur? 

As someone who’s walked through this many times, I’m here to remind you that it doesn’t have to be this way. If you’re called to a life of possibility where you really heed that call to your mission in business and to your purpose with your family, you won’t find that life in a reactionary state. It will forever feel like it is just out of your reach.

So, how do you elevate out of the chaos and into something better? How do you successfully lead as a family-first entrepreneur, who has somehow found a way to just rock it in business and at home? Well, take out a notebook and let’s work through this together!

The good news is that we have a free gift for you: a tool that we developed first and foremost for ourselves as a team when we went into some of our visionary retreats so that we could get really specific and super clear on where to put our energy and focus. Then we started using it for our really high-level clients, and now we want to gift it to you. So, make sure that you go and get your hands on it at

[7:06] Leaders Don’t Play in the Sandbox of Reactionary Thinking 

You want to be a leader in your industry, you want to crush it in business, you want to see your profits on the rise, you want to have energy around the work you do? Leaders don’t play in the sandbox of reactionary thinking. Up until now, that’s probably been your modus operandi, a piece of your identity which has forged ways of thinking and therefore forged habits that you lean into and ways of operating that might just feel like bad luck. But the truth is that no matter how much you have on your plate, you get to choose how you do this.

Recently, I’ve been navigating some health stuff and I had an appointment with a doctor who I respect immensely. He’s one of the most brilliant men I’ve ever met. At the appointment he was asking me different questions, trying to get all the data from me. and we got to the question of what I’m eating. So I’m proudly telling him the list of things that I’m eating, because I eat really freaking well. And he says: Liz, you are not what you eat, you are what you digest. The point he was getting at is that I can eat all the things that are great for me, but if my body is not operating properly and can’t process it properly, then my body’s not receiving the nutrients from the food. And sometimes that’s the state of reactionary thinking you’re in. You’re fighting so hard, but not seeing the progress because you are not actually able to process all the things that you’re doing; you don’t have the systems in place to support it, you don’t have the team in place to keep it going and you are not in your sweet spot, doing the things you actually should be doing. 

So, if you want to be a leader, if you want to progress in your business, if you want to see the next level of growth – stop being a reactionary thinker.

[15:50]  Changing the Routines and the Rhythms

The second thing is that you need to be willing to do your homework, to change your actual routines and rhythms, both in business and as a family. Your habits need to mirror the feelings and outcomes you want to create. 

So, start with the end in mind. What do you want? What do you crave? If you look at your life, are you living in congruence with that craving? Are you actually working towards it? Are you making it happen? 

Oftentimes, when we’re shifting our routines, and we’re shifting our rhythms and our habits, we might feel the urgency of certain tasks because we like to see the little red notifications go away in our life. But if it doesn’t serve the outcomes and the order of operations that are going to lead to the end result that we want most, we will continually be distracted by the tasks and never step into our true calling, never really get to experience the glory of what we’re trying to build. Make sure that your calendar reflects the proactive nature of you. So even if you know you have to get in your inbox and answer those emails, and you have to deal with the customer service stuff that comes through and you absolutely have to show up for the meetings that you have with prospects and clients, do those things permeate your whole day? Or are they concentrated to a specific chosen period of time that allows the space for another period of time where you are in a proactive state planning and being a visionary?

[20:00]  Having the Discipline 

The next thing, after changing the routines and the rhythms, is having the discipline to stick with it.

There is a chemical release in your brain when you check something off a list. So much so that I know people who add things they’ve already done to the lists just to be able to check them off. But proactive leaders have the discipline to not start with the low hanging fruit that allows them to check the box quickly and effectively; instead they first choose the mission-critical tasks that require their leadership and presence, the things that matter most. Things like eating a meal around the table with their family, that trumps an early evening webinar that they signed up for.

There’s a discipline around this and the little shifts in the rhythm and the discipline are going to start to elevate you up out of the weeds. Yes, sometimes you’ll have to descend back down into them and deal with the things on your plate, but you don’t live there. Even if right now, the rhythm has to be that it’s one hour every day, that’s okay. It’s better than seven straight hours of reactionary. You continue to chip away at it and ultimately, you want to get close to that 80-20, where 80% of your time is in the proactive space. 

If this sounds good, but you feel like you need some structure, go download the Frazzled to Focused Workbook at because that’s where we go deep on what we’re talking about over these three weeks.

[23:40]  Glass Balls vs Plastic Balls 

The final thing to acknowledge and think about is what balls are getting dropped in your business and at home, and then determining which of those balls are made of glass. 

Your children are made of glass, your marriage is made of glass, your health is made of glass. You don’t want to drop those balls. Your inbox is made of plastic, it can get dropped once in a while.

The key is to learn to prioritize and to focus first on what matters most, not just what screams the loudest. Glass balls are things that always come first and those are the ones that you pay the most attention to. They get your attention first and other stuff fills in around it. 

Getting clarity around these things is the first step of getting out of reactionary mode and clearing your plate of the things that don’t belong there or don’t deserve the front burner in your life. This creates the space for the things that will finally take you to your next level and  just doing this will put you leaps and bounds ahead because this is stuff that a lot of people are unaware of. 

I hope today’s episode is the first step to you getting a really concrete roadmap with ultimate clarity that will take you out of the overwhelm and give you that clarity you’ve been craving. 

And if this episode spoke to you, make sure to subscribe and leave us a review! Come connect with me on Instagram at @elizhartke! If there’s a topic, a question or a guest you want to hear on the show, just reach out and share that. We do this for you so the more you tell us, the more we can serve.


  • Go from Frazzled to Focused and get your concrete roadmap that will take you out of the overwhelm and into ultimate clarity!
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