Slow down to speed up.
Calan Breckon is a Certified Personal Development Coach, writer, educator and host of the podcast “Discovering Your Truth Talks: Awesome Conversations with Inspiring People.” His main specialties are teaching gay men easy and manageable steps for dropping the shame, how to build more emotionally fulfilling connections, and how to cultivate radical self-love and acceptance.
In his coaching program, Calan uses his Discovering Your Truth Alignment Method, which consists of 10 sessions, to help clients create subtle but powerful shifts in their lives and teaches them how to balance and align their inner and outer worlds so that they can start living the lives they were born to live.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
Oh gosh! Well, if we go way back to the beginning I bought the website domain in June 2011 and it all started with the idea of creating a daily blog of inspirational posts. For 30 days I did a challenge for myself to write and post every single day! I had already been around the self-improvement world for a few years by that point and I wanted to finally start making some moves. Over the years things just grew and evolved into what it is today, which is the base camp for my coaching practice and podcast.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I’m a big believer in slowing down to speed up. I like to focus on manageable steps that add up to a finished product in the end. I usually organize myself with a week to week mentality and sprinkle all my tasks throughout the week. I find it really useful to use a “to-do” list app to plan everything out and then tick them off as I go. I’ll usually only put one or two major things on any given day and then add a few easy or “must do’s” around that one or two major things.
An example day would be a coaching client somewhere between 10am-4pm as 1 major item and then maybe had to edit a podcast episode as the other major item. Between those two things, I can fill in with grocery shopping, yoga, gym, personal development work for myself, etc.
I find things get done faster when we don’t overwhelm ourselves with too many items on our daily to-do lists and spread them across the week/month instead.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I love organization and planning. So usually what I’ll do is when I have an idea come to me I’ll jot it down and then let it marinate a bit. I’ll let my mind wander in curiosity on the topic for a while and if it persists then I’ll start doing research, listening to podcasts, maybe doing a brain dump writeup to just get it all on paper and then go from there. I really like to take my time with things to make sure I’m not rushing anything out there. I’d rather take a beat to make sure everything is going in the right direction and then pivot if I need to instead of stumbling all over the place and hoping for the best.
Like with my podcast, I planned that out for a few weeks before I even made any movement. I researched the market, ways to do it, hosting platforms, pros and cons, show ideas, guests, all of it! Then once I felt I had enough info to really move forward I started making recordings and producing shows but still planned ahead and released 5 at once when I launched. I also made sure I had at least 4 more ready to go as back up in case a guest backed out or I was too busy one week to get it done. It’s another case where slowing down and really planning ahead helps to avoid headaches in the future.
What’s one trend that excites you?
That podcast listeners are growing at an exponential rate and showing no signs of slowing down!
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
This might not be the answer people are expecting, but I think one of my greatest habits is creating time for myself. As an entrepreneur, we can get sucked into the “work, work, work” mentality easily and can think that we’re not doing enough. I make it a point to be part of social groups and create plans with friends so that I don’t let myself get sucked down that rabbit hole. By giving myself that space I also allow for mental breaks that quite often result in me having breakthrough ideas simply because I gave myself space away from what I was doing and it helps me look at whatever it is more objectively.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I’m not sure this is really advice, but I would lean more towards reassuring him that life is going to be awesome and to just keep being his authentic self. Things will come and go, people will come and go, but he will enjoy the ride (most of the time) and eventually, he’ll learn to love the journey.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
That the world is perfect just the way it is and that everything is happening for a reason, even the “bad stuff.”
I personally believe that we are spiritual beings having a human experience and that everything that goes on around us is happening FOR us to experience. Even the “bad things” have lessons to teach us and help us grow. We may not want to learn the lessons, we may not think we’re ready for them, but they’re there waiting for us whenever we choose to pay attention.
You can’t understand and know the light unless the dark is there to show you the difference between the two.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Get feedback. Learn. Grow.
If we get stuck in thinking we are the be-all, end-all, we will go nowhere very fast. We have to be willing to hear people out and take what they say in, process it and then decide what we want to do with that information. Sometimes it will be crap, but we have to be willing to at least hear it out because you never know what nuggets of gold are hiding in their feedback.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Plan out a social media strategy for your most preferred platform and stick to it, don’t give up just because you haven’t gotten traction as fast as you’d hoped for. It can take weeks, months, even YEARS to get anywhere but the only way to really fail is to give up too soon.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I wouldn’t say I’ve had any major failures thus far but I’ve definitely had a LOT of learning lessons along the way. One of them was not planning ahead or planning enough, which I’ve now fixed thank goodness.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Figure out a way to create a membership site built into your business so you can have recurring revenue coming in every month instead of freaking out that you won’t be able to pay your bills month to month. If you don’t know where to start I HIGHLY suggest checking out Amy Porterfield’s podcast “Online Marketing Made Easy.” (you’re welcome in advance because I know you will be blown away by all her great info!)
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I guess I would have to say the blazer that I got a little while ago. I needed a new one for business meetings, business events, etc, so I found one on sale that I fell in love with and just went for it. I’ve since gotten loads of compliments on it and it makes me feel good when I wear it.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
SquareSpace. It’s where I host my website and also my podcast. I’d be lost without it <3 It’s so easy to use and makes my life a breeze.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Just one!?!? Oh gosh…ok.
Dare to Lead by Brene Brown
Mindset by Carol Dweck
Atomic Habits by James Clear
Sorry, I couldn’t just pick one! They’re all amazing for anyone looking to dig in and create real, long-lasting change in their lives. I also just LOVE Brene Brown <3
What is your favorite quote?
“You might not be able to change the world in one day, but in one day you can change someone’s world.” – Me
- Slow down to speed up
- to-do lists are a must-have
- PLAN PLAN PLAN
- Ask for help and get feedback
- Brene Brown is awesome <3
Podcast on iTunes:
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.