Feel like a Busy Fool? Top tips to working smarter not harder

July 19, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

Feel like a Busy Fool?

 Top tips to working smarter not harder with Zoe Thompson from Build It Brilliant


Feel like a busy fool? What an awesome title for a blog, and I think I can hold my own hand up to this question. I've had the pleasure of knowing the lovely Zoe Thompson socially and to work with for many years, and I'm delighted that she's agreed to write a blog for us.  We recently had fun together during her Personal Branding Photoshoots creating on-brand images for her website and social media.  Generously sharing her top tips below, see how Zoe can help you to take control and stop feeling like a busy fool!  - Kate


Photo by Ephraim Mayrena on Unsplash



Do you feel like you’re rushing around doing lots of things but not getting anywhere?

Don’t worry, you’re not alone. I’ve worked as a solopreneur for the last 10yrs and as a supervisor supporting other solopreneurs in the helping professions for about 4yrs. As a result, I can confirm that feeling this way is very, very common.

So, in this article I’m going to share my top tips so you can stop feeling like a busy fool and finally, be able to find the space to breathe.


Your dreams can become a reality


Photo by Minkus on Unsplash



Imagine getting to the end of the day knowing you’ve done everything you need to. You close your laptop and even have time to grab a drink and sit enjoying the sun. Imagine what it would be like if your mind felt peaceful and you could have the time and space to take a breath and feel relaxed.

Unfortunately most solopreneurs don’t feel this way, instead their head is constantly in overdrive, they have a to-do list as long as their arm, which never gets done, and believe that they won’t be successful unless they have their nose at the grindstone 24/7. Sound familiar?

If so, I’m here to tell you that the former is absolutely possible, you don’t have to push yourself so hard all the time in order to achieve your dreams.

Okay so how do you make this happen........


Tip 1 - It’s not you, it’s your strategy

Most solopreneurs love what they do but spend little time working out their business strategy. They just start doing things and keep doing more things in the hope that eventually everything will work out. They end up with 24 systems doing different things, implementing 20 of their ideas at once (or procrastinating because they can’t choose which idea is best) and they end up spinning way too many plates.

To achieve the business, and life balance of your dreams you need an effective business strategy. The strategy outlines what you’re going to create and ensures you can achieve that in the hours you have available.

So many solopreneurs work way too hard because their strategy doesn’t allow them to earn the money they need to make. This was a mistake I made and learned from along the way.

About 4 years ago I was offering 1:1 services as a private therapist and I quickly realised there just weren’t enough hours in the week to market and serve enough people to earn what I needed to earn. Not to mention the huge emotional drain of this type of work which left me feeling exhausted. As you can see, it wasn’t me that was the issue, it was my strategy!!!

If you can relate, here are some questions to get you started with building an effective business strategy. If you spend some time understanding your answers to these questions it will help you to shape your business in a more achievable and sustainable way.


5 questions to get started on your business strategy

Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash



  • How many hours a week can you realistically spend on your business?
  • How much money per annum do you want to make?

It’s important that you design your business in a way that enables you to make the money you want in the hours you have available.


  • What is the market missing, what’s the thing you could provide which customers would love?

So often we overcomplicate things and can’t see the wood for the trees. Stepping back and gaining a new perspective can help with creative ideas.


  • What information are you constantly repeating to every client?
  • Which elements of your processes could you automate?

Online technology gives us the ability to share our expertise with so many more people. The answers to these two questions give you opportunities to simplify, market and grow your business.


I find so many people in the helping professions struggle with business strategy, so I created my 4 step Blueprint and turned it into a book called the Build It Brilliant Blueprint. In the book I take you step-by-step through the process of building an effective strategy and give you more in-depth exercises to help you decide on what’s right for you and your business. If by reading this article, you realise you need help with the strategy part of your business grab yourself a copy. It’s available on Amazon.


Tip 2 - Mindset is key

What you focus on truly grows but how many of us are struggling on alone, trying to be strong whilst riddled with inner clutter which keeps us trapped in our current reality. You can’t move forwards and change your outcomes with ease without working on clearing the inner clutter. Your mind is a powerful tool but without realising it you can cultivate the worst from it rather than the best. Limiting beliefs, fear, negative inner chatter, confidence and self- esteem struggles, all get in the way of achieving your dreams.

When you start from within amazing transformations happen without having to strive and hustle. Here are some things you can do to start the process of mental decluttering and feel more energised and settled.



Photo by Dee @ Copper and Wild on Unsplash



  • Have 10-15mins of mental detox every day (meditation, yoga, mindful walking etc).

Your brain needs time to process all the information you absorb from the world, if you have a busy mind, it’s usually a sign of a backlog in your mental processing department. 10-15mins a day can make all the difference. Choose something you like and make it happen every day.


  • Change your inner dialogue – we can be so cruel and harsh with ourselves

Spend a day noticing what you are saying to yourself and if you are appalled by it's cruel and harshness, it’s time to make a pact to change it. Start saying nice things, catch yourself being harsh and change it. You may be surprised by the difference it makes.


  • Bring fun back into your life

Laughter, fun and enjoyment lift our spirits and renew our energy. Often, we’re working so hard we become trapped in our thinking and feel exhausted. I’m a massive advocate of finding the fun. Sometimes the best thing you can do is put whatever you’re doing down and go do something fun. When was the last time you belly laughed until it hurt? Do something this week to make that happen.


If you feel like a busy fool, it’s okay, you’re definitely not alone. It’s time to step back from the day-to-day grind so you can start to see the wood for the trees. Start with your business strategy, you’re probably trying way too hard and there are ways you could work smarter not harder. Book a little time in your diary to review your mindset, you’re probably being way too harsh on yourself and are in need of an inner spring clean. The tips I’ve shared here will give you a head start and I’m sure you’ll be feeling more empowered and energised soon.

About Zoe


Zoe is passionate about helping those in the helping professions to grow their confidence in using online technology so they can reach a wider audience and build a brilliant business. Zoe has 10 years of experience building e-learning and since 2011 has built her own successful private therapy business.

Zoe set up her company with £750 and turned it into a full-time career, she built herself an office out of wooden pallets and she learned to ride a motorbike at 34 years old. Throughout her life Zoe has taken leaps of faith and learned what it’s like to feel the fear and do it anyway. Her can-do attitude, zest for life and authentic nature inspire others to do the same and her therapeutic skills enable her to nurture and support others through their journey.

If you would like help to take your business online, Zoe will help you to build exciting online solutions that your customers will love, enabling you to create a sustainable business you are proud of.


Want to know more?

YouTube - You can find even more of Zoe's knowledge shared in bite-sized videos on her YouTube Channel 

Facebook - Get regular updates with Zoe on Facebook @builditbrilliant

LinkedIn - Connect with Zoe through LinkedIn





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