hoard, hustle, avoid


lisa fabrega

A few weeks after the pandemic first broke out in March, a freaked out colleague asked me “how are you so centered? Aren’t you worried about the ‘unknowns’ coming in the next few months?” Don’t worry, this isn’t a self-congratulatory vanity show. Keep reading, this is about YOU.

See, her business took a few hits when the pandemic started. Her in-person event had to be rescheduled and she lost money. Some clients, in a fear reaction, dropped out of her signature program, which made her revenue dip even more. And things “easy” to sell pre-pandemic, no longer are.

As a result, she went into:

Hoarding mode. Money she’d planned on investing in herself and her leadership suddenly got re-routed towards “pivoting, new marketing plans and increased Facebook ad spend.” Cause you gotta hustle and get new clients in NOW….right

Hustle mode. Within only a week of the outbreak being announced on worldwide media, she sprang into marketing new workshops and pivoting her messaging. She also offered TONS of free content to her audience and discounted some of her paid offerings, which was adding to her team’s workload. 

But something CRUCIAL was being overlooked and was dangerously in her blind spot

Did you know research shows our brains are wired to be more impulsive when we’re under stress or worried about future stress?

That means you become more reactive, see false patterns in the “unknown” future and end up reaching premature conclusions about what “might happen”. You then make decisions which ultimately limit your life and career/business, instead of making decisions from a centered place where you can eventually see MORE options.

If you haven’t been investing in growing your capacity or you’ve been too busy “pivoting” and only focusing on learning new strategies….ASSUME you’re unknowingly making impulsive decisions right now. Yes, even months after this pandemic began. 

Because the only thing that allows you to remain centered and make SOLID, aligned business/career/life decisions in the middle of a crisis is capacity. Period.

I’ve seen so many respected business owners making rash decisions during this time which are only creating worse problems now or in the long run for their businesses. 

Many have sought my advice when they laid off half their team in a reactive COVID-driven move and are now struggling to keep up and burning the remaining team out. Or made a rash move to sell a cheaper, pandemic-related offering which has now created expensive-to-fix problems because they didn’t have the Structural Capacity to sustain that offering. Or people got used to paying cheap prices for their work and now don’t want to pay more for any other programs in their normal price range (a Money Capacity issue). 

Getting yourself into this situation is what I teach in Capacity Work™ as “the victim cycle.”

When you’re blind to the full picture of how stress affects you, you reach for “quick fixes” like diverting funds to more marketing/ad spend, hoarding money or straight up avoidance. Instead of dealing with the deeper issue: your capacity.

The irony is building capacity–the LAST place we tend to look– is what DOES get you of the victim, quick-fix cycle. My colleague was in a “quick-fix cycle.” Quick-fixes never actually solve the problem, so you have to find another quick fix. And another one. And the cycle of you blindly and continuously victimizing your own business/career/life continues.

Which leads me back to my colleague… what WAS wrong? In the last few years, she’s had lots of press and opportunities for speaking. Lots of engagement on social media. Business growing.

And while she LOVES serving her community, she’s started to have some weird health things pop up. She realized through our conversations she’s hitting a capacity limit. Her body’s putting up a STOP sign. Something in her way of being and doing business is no longer in alignment with who she’s growing into. 

Yet, here she was STILL hoarding and redirecting any extra money towards more marketing, instead of investing it in the deeper work she’d planned to invest her money in. Repeating the SAME behavior is what put her here to begin with. 

This is how you know you’re in a quick fix cycle. She responded, from stress, to a short term problem, with a temporary solution, so she had short-lived results. 

When George Floyd was murdered, she had to do another “pivot” and was scrambling again, because she hadn’t built her capacity. So she’d been running her business from her privileged place of being an oblivious white woman and had not been weaving important racial and social justice issues into her company’s value system in the years prior. Y’all saw how many people scrambled during that time because they had been performing allyship not actually doing the work. A couple of them just performed more allyship through social media but have ceased to post anything beyond a black square.

If you had to scramble to do a hard pivot with your “brand” when George Floyd was murdered, you’ve not been paying attention. And that’s a major capacity issue.

Before the pandemic, it was another thing which stopped you from working on your capacity. Before that, another crisis. And yet, here you are once again, possibly doing the SAME thing you always do. Trying to solve a problem needing DEEPER work with the usual, quick fix tactics you always use.

I thought you’d already established this is no longer working for you?”

This might be triggering you, but you know I care enough to give it to you straight and I’m not one to spiritually bypass crises. A lot of people are hurting on many levels. It HAS had an impact on our world. Racism, systemic inequality and structural issues which lead to murder of Black and Indigenous people and to pandemics have BEEN having a profound impact on our world, for years. We’ve finally reached a boiling point.

Were you happy with how you showed up when the boiling points happened? Be honest.

This year has SLOWED US THE EFF DOWN long enough to take a deep, long, hard look in the mirror at all the ways our low-capacity areas have been contributing to the crisis eruptions we are seeing this year. Given us time to do some deeper reflection about who we want to be, what we’re contributing to and a chance to reimagine some of the ways we’re choosing to do our work in the world.

If you’re a business owner, 2020 has already revealed the low-capacity spots in you and your business/career already. It’s a good thing. But you’re WAY off base if you think you can keep addressing those low-capacity spots like you did in 2019. While you may have been able to get away with your “tried and true” quick fixes last year, this sh$t’s not gonna fly now. 

If you’re saying things to yourself like “2020 is a wash”, you’re experiencing a capacity issue of epic proportions. Cause when we are capacity-driven leaders, we know times of crisis are an opportunity for epic growth on every level.

If you want to come out of 2020 thriving and feeling solid about the way you showed up this year, you’re going to FINALLY do the CAPACITY work you’ve needed. 

Instead of quick-fixing you’re going to use this opportunity to go deep and fundamentally fix the flaws in the way you’ve been addressing capacity issues in your life and work. To UPLEVEL FOR REAL and get the capacity you need to be the GREATEST leader you can be–emotionally, financially, and practically.

I’m here if you’re ready to explore BEYOND either/or limited thinking and EXPAND your capacity to HOLD, handle and receive MORE.

If that’s you, you’re ready for the Capacity in Crisis workshop on August 21st.

90 minutes of pandemic overhaul for only $99. 

You’re going to learn the FOUR KEY PILLARS you need to have in place to soar, grow and lead powerfully through any crisis. 

But please, don’t come if you’re determined to keep doing the same thing over and over again. Cause this workshop? It’s NOT that.

DO come if you’re ready to expand your capacity so you can hold, handle and receive the next level of your growth, success and impact as a leader.