[0:00] Alignment. Resiliency. Making space for what matters. Reframing quitting, and you as the key ingredient in your life and business. These are just a few of the topics we dive into with today’s guest. Lisa Zawrotny of Positively Productive Systems. Once you’ve listened, come on over to today’s show notes and share your biggest takeaways, and connect with Lisa at www.YongPratt.com/307. 

Meet Lisa Zawrotny

Lisa Zawrotnyis all about simplification and efficiency, two qualities I adore! She’s a certified stress and management and productivity coach. She’s the founder of Positively Productive Systems, and is the host of the Positively Living Podcast.

[2:48] Lisa’s journey from caregiver to productivity and stress management coach

[5:55] “Resiliency can be increased when we find meaning in what we do.” – Lisa Zawrotny

[7:47] Value-based decluttering and personalized systems and habit design 

[9:53] Alignment and showing up as your awesome self 

[11:00] Lisa’s advice that for anyone seeking alignment, trying to figure out the pieces trying to get to their real selves

[15:01] “There are a ton of people out there who talk about productivity and organizing, but only one of them does it my way. Because it’s me and how I connect and what words I use.” – Lisa Zawrotny

[17:41] How Lisa creates content that matches her values and how she shares it with other people in a way that resonates


[19:24]  “If you’re an introvert, don’t try to run an extroverts’ business.” – Lisa Zawrotny

[22:38]  Using frameworks, customizations, and filters

[24:38]  Connect with Lisa

Website: www.PositivelyProductive.com

Instagram: @positively_lisa 

Read Full Transcript

Yong Pratt 0:00
Alignment. Resiliency. Making space for what matters. Reframing quitting, and you as the key ingredient in your life and business. These are just a few of the topics we dive into with today's guest. Lisa Zawrotny of Positively Productive Systems. Once you've listened, come on over to today's show notes and share your biggest takeaways, and connect with Lisa at www.YongPratt.com/307.

Have you ever felt like there was something missing in your business? Something holding you back from the success that you're seeking? If so, you are not alone. For nearly 20 years, that's exactly how I felt as a business owner. It wasn't until I discovered human design that it all became clear. And it turns out that I was the missing piece in my own business. Join me on this journey of discovering the real need and hear stories from other business owners building businesses around all of their awesomeness. I'm Yong Pratt, and it's time my friend to amplify your awesome.

Hey, everyone, welcome back to the Amplify Your Awesome™ Podcast. I am so excited to introduce you to today's guest because she's all about simplification and efficiency. And you all know how much I love those things in business in particular. Our guest today is Lisa Zawrotny. Now, Lisa has an amazing background. She's a certified stress and management and productivity coach. She's the founder of Positively Productive Systems, and is the host of the Positively Living Podcast. Lisa, it's been a long time coming. I'm so glad we're finally conducting and doing this interview. Thanks for being here.

Lisa Zawrotny 1:52
Oh, thank you for having me. You're right. It's been a long time coming. But the timing is so perfect. I'm so excited to talk to you about this topic in particular.

Yong Pratt 2:02
Yeah, such a good topic. Because I think sometimes in business in particular, it's so easy to start going down that road where you add more complication thinking it's going to actually make things easier. And at the end of the day, you kind of step back and say, What have I done? What do I built? It's so hard, and then you have to start over again.

Lisa Zawrotny 2:21
So true. And that's exactly what I help people declutter. So yeah, I with you all the way.

Yong Pratt 2:27
I love this. Decluttering is always at the top of my list. I feel like I'm doing a lot. So I may need to reach out and say, Okay, how do I fix these things because they keep coming up. So but that's a conversation for another time. Lisa, I would love to go back to before you started your business. What were you doing and how did you get into doing this work?

Lisa Zawrotny 2:48
How much time do we have? Really, I I talked about it in in like the simplest overarching way of saying I went from caregiver to coach. And I think that there are actually a lot of similarities. I've always been a nurturer and a guide for people. I always love to mentor people. And my M.O. tends to be when I figure something out, I want to share it with others. So let's head back to 2007. I was pregnant with my son, and we moved my mom in with us. And we found out we knew something was going on. And we found out that she had Alzheimer's. And I was a caregiver for her. I had my son and then my daughter. And it was nearly five years that I cared for her plus an infant and a toddler. And it was an incredibly overwhelming time. It's still hard for me to describe. Because on the one hand, I'm a positive person. I can see the blessings and the lessons and that's why I'm here today talking to you. And on the other hand, I want to acknowledge how difficult it was. And for those who are in survival mode who've been through it, or coming into it, you know, my heart goes out to you because I understand that overwhelm.

So I went through this time. I did the very best I could using all my resources and tools. My tendency to be organized. Lots of notebooks and things like that. And when she passed away, and I was facing the what's next, it's something you said before about how we love to add things on, right? And I thought, Oh, well, do I need to get a job now? Or what do I need to do? And something in me, it's like a voice inside me said, You need to stop and reflect and clear the way because there were papers piled up and bins and things that had been neglected because when you have to be in survival mode, you have to let go of non essentials and sometimes some essentials too. And I let go of so much. And then I had to deal with it. And I had to clear it out. And it was a big life lesson for me because then I realized, oh, all of this. Why did I have all of this? Why did it matter at the time it doesn't matter. Now, what matters is that I'm with my family. What matters is that we have this quality time together, what matters is I have a second chance at so many things. And I can get healthy again and I can make a difference. What can I do now? Well, I can clear a path. And that's what I did inside and out. And the more that I did this, the more I knew I had to help others do the same.

Yong Pratt 5:22
What an inspiring story. And I'm sure there are lots of listeners out there who are going through something similar. It may not be a family member that they're caring for, but where they've reached a point where it just, you're in survival mode, because you have so many balls in the air, and so much is happening. And it's so easy to lose track of what is truly important. I love that you stopped and reflected. And you were willing to say, okay, I've been through this, I've learned these things. And now I'm going to show others how to do this themselves. And what a gift that is, thank you.

Lisa Zawrotny 5:55
Thank you, you know, something I've reflected on recently is how our resiliency can be increased when we find meaning in what we do. And to me, being able to help others provides incredible meaning to all that I went through. And it allows me to appreciate it and even find gratitude for it. Because I know that all those trials and the darker times I can use now to help others maybe even catch it before then maybe even be more proactive. I was very reactive. And we all are I mean, that's a human human trait when we don't we don't know what we don't know. And so my hope is to share and to inspire and to encourage and to provide hope that you can get through it. And there are some things you can do to make it even better. And that's the case in both, you know, caregiving and in creating your own business. So we're, you know, any, I think, any creative quest, if you will.

Yong Pratt 7:07
Yeah, absolutely. And I love something that I read on your website. And we have this chat before we started recording this podcast about how so often as business owners, as moms, we go out there and try to seek out these answers these courses, these mentors, these things, these resources, these buckets, these tools, whenever we have we go outside of ourselves, to find solutions. And I want you to share what that because inevitably, there's always something missing in that piece. Something doesn't quite fit right with all the other things. And there's a missing piece that we're going to talk a lot about this season. Lisa, can you share because he said it so beautifully on your site? There is a missing piece? What is that missing piece?

Lisa Zawrotny 7:47
Right? When you feel like what is it I can't get organized? And I can't get these things under control? And I can't figure out what's going on? What is it that's happening? What am I missing? The answer is you. You're missing you and and the understanding it. Yeah, and it was so perfect, because that's exactly what you're talking about. And that is what I coach, I call it value-based decluttering. And then we do personalized systems and habit design because you need to get to know you. And I mean like the real you. Not that you you think you should be or that others think that you should be or saying that you are and the thing you're talking about with searching outward? Well, that's understandable. Because we look for information we have at our fingertips. It's incredible, what we can find the connections that we have, you know, the online groups, I mean, it's there's a lot of opportunity out there to connect and grow and learn. And I think it's incredible. But we need to be selective in what we choose and make sure we're always checking in with ourselves. And if we're not sure, we need to get to know ourselves better.

Yong Pratt 9:02
And I love that you use the term getting to know the real you and digging in and finding that because on this podcast, I'm going to be sharing the journey of discovering the real me because in business in particular, it took me over 20 years to get to a point where I finally feel like I'm the real me because I was trying to emulate others' successes and it was you know, it was okay. It didn't always give me the greatest results but it was already and I kept thinking must need to learn more. So the fact that on your website, that the missing piece, often that we so we just overlook because we're not really taught I think from young age to think about ourselves as our greatest resource. So I love that in your coaching and in your world, focusing on the real you is is that the core. I love that.

Lisa Zawrotny 9:53
Absolutely. And that brings in the authenticity that you're talking about and you know you talk about amplifying your awesome. Well, when you're not in alignment, when it doesn't feel right, and that will happen sometimes when we procrastinate, or we don't get something done or we don't complete a project, it's, we love to say that there's something wrong with me. Or we love to bring in the shame or think that we're just we're not efficient, or we didn't learn it properly. But sometimes it's because it's out of alignment with us. It doesn't feel right. We think we're supposed to so we're trying so very hard, but it doesn't feel right. And when it doesn't feel right, when something doesn't align, you can't show up awesome.

Yong Pratt 10:37
So true. And I want to dig into this word alignment, because I know it's tossed around in the online space in particular, but no one really talks about what that is. If there is someone listening, and they're thinking, yeah, there there's just is something missing. I'm just not sure what it is. What is some advice that you could give for someone seeking alignment, trying to figure out the pieces trying to get to their real selves?

Lisa Zawrotny 11:00
Well, along those lines, because when I say you need to get to know the real you, the first question might be well, how? So you know, one of the things that I do with clients, and I even have worksheets to help this is say, well, let's start. You know, having fun with these quizzes and taking a core values quiz. For example, when you understand some of your core values, and you start to look back, and connect the dots to times in your life when you showed up. And you were just, you know, when we use the phrase, things that make you light up, that's a great example. When you can highlight and pinpoint those moments where you just felt so completely you. When somebody maybe in a relationship with you, you felt so comfortable that you were totally you. What were you doing? How were you showing up? What were were you imparting knowledge and teaching? Or were you learning? Or were you, you know, what, what were you doing, and you can start to match up what we call core values. And it's really, that's the alignment part when what you're doing matches what you can feel inside, you're right, there's there's a bit of, you know, the buzzword thing going on, and sometimes it can feel a little woowoo. But it's more of checking in to make sure that your actions fit your beliefs. Right. And so integrity is a big one of mine. So if someone says to me, you need to be an affiliate, you know, for everything and, and be able to make income that way. I don't feel right about that. Because it's very important for me to show up for my clients to say what's best for you. And if I become an affiliate for something, then there's the chance that there's a conflict of interest there that I may be pushing a system or something that might not be right for them. And I don't, that doesn't fit for me. So that's a case of me having to make a choice in my business that feels right for me, based on my values.

Yong Pratt 12:54
Yeah, and I love that in in the conversations I've had for this new season. So many of the entrepreneurs I've talked to bring up this idea of values. And we've talked about how, sometimes, you know, we get so excited about building the thing, building the business, building the program, that we overlook the simplest things like the values, because they really are the pillars that hold up the rest of the business. And without them, yes, you can reach a certain level of success without them. If they're not there, at some point, there's going to be some big gaps. And that usually leads us into some challenges. And I know, personally, I have faced that several different times, because I wasn't clear on the values that I had. Because I was trying to base my value system off of other people's and what they valued and tried to make it fit with me. And again, the whole thing with me missing from my business, it was so true. So you're out there listening. We said that, you know, asking the questions about what is it that you love to do that lights you up, that's so easy for you the relationships you had. And you know, for me, one of the keys here is getting into that state of flow, where you start, and you sit down and you do something and before you know it, hours have passed, and it's felt like fun and play. And it didn't feel like work. When you get to a place like that. And it may take some time to discover. That's okay. We can get to that state. That's when your business starts to really be much more peaceful, much more joyful. And I'm gonna say this word and I know I get a lot of flack for this. But ease, ease, again, having things be easy because I think we're so ingrained to think, oh, business has to be hard. This has to be hard. You have to be have challenges in order to to achieve something big. It has to be really difficult. But I have found it to be exactly the opposite, that those things that are coming easy, that are joyful, that are fun. Those things in my business have produced the greatest results. What You, Lisa?

Lisa Zawrotny 15:01
Yeah, I agree 100% with this, so many things are coming to my mind as you describe this one is this idea that when it is easy in the sense that it, we approach it with ease that it feels natural, let's maybe we use that word, you know, whatever word you want to use, that that puts you in that state of flow, where you're like, this is just me being me, this is what I love to do. You show up with that energy. And it's that energy that attracts people. Yes, there are a ton of people out there who talk about productivity and organizing, but only one of them does it my way. Because it's me and how I connect and what words I use. And so it's that's that authenticity right there. And that ease. You find it when you match those two up. The other thing, I like to think I always talk in terms of decluttering. So you're using these values and what matters to you and what you love to do. And your personality is a combination of these things, as what I call filters to make the decision. Does this work? Or doesn't it and one thing that you pointed out, I think is so important is that we do try? Maybe there's something here like that sounds interesting. I kind of like that idea. Let me give it a go. But don't be afraid to say oh, no, that doesn't work. And even if someone's like, No, no, you need to stick with it. That's really what we're supposed to do it, I was so successful with it, just keep doing it. If you don't feel it, trust yourself, right? It's not quitting. See, I think we keep putting meaning on some of these choices and the trials and errors that we go through. And we talk about quitting and failure. And I think we need to let that go. It's figuring out what works and what doesn't, and it's filtering out. And in my case, as I say, decluttering.

Yong Pratt 16:47
I love that. And the idea of filtering is such an interesting one, because it's a very in my mind, it's very visual I can I can filter things through a certain lens or a certain get a certain viewpoint. And that really right now in this moment, clarifies some things for me, because I think, oh, if I look at it from that perspective, or that filter, does that make sense? Even the filter of does it resonate with my core values? I mean, even that filter alone, I think, for so many people listening, myself included, that is going to be really tremendously beneficial for them as they go out there and build these businesses. Now, when we talk about values and, and working with people and serving people and being out in the world in a big way. How are you creating content that matches your values and sharing it with other people in a way that resonates?

Lisa Zawrotny 17:41
Well, I think that segues beautifully into the sort of the other side of it, or the or an additional piece where we're talking about values and what matters. But then on the other side of what I coach is our personalities and how we like to show up. And I think part of that is exploring what works. I know right now that you and I are both podcasts, love the podcasts, right? And, right, but I can tell you also, that almost everyone told me you need to have a blog, you need to have a blog, you need to have a blog, I started a blog, and you could blow the dust off of it. Because I just wasn't, I wasn't touching the blog. Now I have a blog, that's actually my podcast episodes, that is the blog. So everybody wins, we got creative with it, you still cover your SEO, and you know, everything's good. But it's finding those things that resonate with you. And when you do that, and you do it repeatedly, and you create a habit out of it. Find your voice, you find your rhythm you find what resonates. And then I would say just keep taking notes, notes, notes, notes. Yes, that worked. Right. And you know, you're so you're trying things, you're making sure that they work for you. You're showing up in the way that feels natural. And then you're making notes as to what kind of responses you're getting. You're commenting in a Facebook group, and you're saying, well, I believe in data. And you know, someone goes all Yeah, okay. Like I talked about making space for what matters. People are like, yes, that's something that they can they can envision right now you're like, Oh, I'm not decluttering doesn't mean getting rid of things. It means making space for what matters. Oh, love that. Right. So it's that kind of thing. But I would say play with it. It's its exploration.

Yong Pratt 19:24
Yes. And I think again, society tells us, okay, you you go down a certain path, and you have to do it and see it till the end. And I know you said No, it's okay. If it doesn't work, you just go the next way. It was kind of like the lightbulb, right? How many times have you tried to make a light bulb that didn't work? And if he hadn't had done those, he wouldn't have gotten to the one that works. So don't be afraid to go out there and play and experiments. And I always feel kind of like Nancy Drew being a detective, or you know, being a scientist and doing an experiment. You know, I'll start off with a question. Well, I wonder what would happen if I did this or did this and what I'm hearing you saying is you're You're taking that playfulness, and then you're going to have conversations and connecting to another human, which I know it seems old school. But more and more, especially right now, people are creating that connection. So I love that you are creating content in the world by building beautiful connections with people.

Yeah, and that collaboration is so very strong. And I think, especially for women, business owners, and the beauty of that, and I love what you're talking about in terms of getting curious. And guess what, when you get curious, that doesn't leave room for the shame and the feelings of failure and stuff, because you're being curious, it takes the judgment out of it, which is beautiful. And then when you explore and you connect, and you have conversations, you can do it in whatever way makes you happy. One of the thoughts I had you were you were helping me reflect a bit on why does this work? And what am I looking for? And where am I going? And and what have I experienced and in being true to you one of the phrases that came to my mind, I want to be sure to share is, if you're an introvert, don't try to run an extroverts business.

So good. Yes, I think so many people overlook this one, because so much of what we see online is from extroverts. And I can bring in another layer of that, in learning my human design, there are five different types of design, you know, I'm a projector, which means, you know, I create stuff, but I'm not that person who is going, going going, always creating, always doing everything. Because if I do that, I reach exhaustion and burnout really quickly, I really need to be really smart about what I'm putting out really digging in and filtering down to my core values. And then when I do that, plus have these connections and collaborations with other people. Yes, there's just magic that happens when all those things align, and, and you can build this business that is based on you. And you alone, yes, you can learn from other people. But here's the thing, you have to take what serves you and leave the rest out. And I tell my students that all the time. Here's the way that I figured out how this works. I'm going to share this with you. But really take the parts that feel good that work for you. That makes sense. If you need to move them around cool. If you need to take things out or add things in, that's okay, too. But here is a framework that you can make yours, rather than, okay, just do this, this, this this, and you're going to build this kind of business, because I tried that for so long. And it was so frustrating to go down that pathway because it was no fun.

Lisa Zawrotny 22:38
I'm so glad you do that. I think the frameworks are so much stronger, because it does need to be customized and your students benefit far more from that I created a framework for decluttering in the same fashion because there are so many systems out there. And I'll use Marie Kondo as an example, and she says spark joy. Well, that's one filter. And it's great, because it's a starting point, there's nothing wrong with that you should try it and it may work for you. But here's the thing, if it works for you, that's splendid, and we celebrate it. But if it doesn't, then it's time to explore why. And that may be because it wasn't quite the right filter for you. And you need to you know, check back in with you and figure out different filters. So I have a framework that helps you figure out your filters. It's the same idea. And I think that's so much stronger, because you still get to fast track what you're doing. But you customize it to make it really effective.

Yong Pratt 23:33
So good. And I look, I'll have to reach out afterwards and ask you more about your framework, because I think that all of us need this framework. Because Yeah, figuring out the things that work for you diving into the reasons why they do work. Or maybe there's maybe there's some sort of block somewhere like, Oh, I didn't realize I felt like this about this thing. When it goes to the right filter, then things start to really make sense. So Lisa def, you're definitely somebody that we all need in our lives. Because when it comes to simplification, decluttering and having systems because systems I think are also one of those words people don't want to talk about they don't want to create them because they think it's going to he all encompassing take away creativity. That was me long ago. I'm a huge convert now, because I know how systems have have saved me so much time and my students so much time, but at least I want to make sure that people who are listening can absolutely reach out to you and find out where they can listen to the podcast, where is the best place for them to go to connect with you.

Lisa Zawrotny 24:38
I think my website positively productive.com you'll find my podcasts there you'll find ways to reach out maybe set up a connection call if you want to chat. And as a bonus, if you're hanging out on Instagram and you just want to have some fun with me. I'm at positively underscore Lisa so you can find me there.

Yong Pratt 24:55
And Lisa's Instagram feed is so much fun. I know that whenever I see it, it's going to bring a smile to my face, it's gonna make me laugh. It's gonna make me think about something. So definitely connect with her as well there, I will be sure to include your website in today's show notes so that people can connect directly with you. Because, yeah, it's all about being positive and being productive and doing all the work you're doing. You're serving the world in such a huge way. And I want to make sure people are connecting with you. And I want to give you a great big shout out and celebrate you and your podcast. I know you reached a huge milestone. Kudos to you. I'm so proud of you for going out there sharing your positivity with the world because right now in particular, the world needs more positivity. And the more people who can connect with you, I think the happier we are going to all them. So thank you so much.

Lisa Zawrotny 25:46
Thank you.

Yong Pratt 25:48
Next week, you'll hear part two of my interview with Tracy Brinkman. Make sure you're subscribed to the podcast so you can hear the full story of how Tracy went from hitting rock bottom of drugs and alcohol and the loss of his daughter to now being a dark horse entrepreneur. Until then, come on over and join me inside my Facebook community where I do weekly live trainings, sharing real world examples of showing up as your real self in your business using your awesome content. I'll link up the group directly in today's show notes at YongPratt.com/307.

Thanks for tuning in to the Amplify Your Awesome™ podcast. Be sure to hit that subscribe button so you don't miss any tips, tricks or secrets on building a business based around your awesome. Hey, and while you're there. Leave us a rating and review. Let us know what you think of the show. And until next time, my friends, go out there today and Amplify Your Awesome™

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