Do you listen to your gut?
Ep 68: When (and how) to trust your intuition in business (with Helen Pamely)
Fun fact: I’ve worked with three separate copywriting clients that offer “donor-derived microbiome therapeutics” (AKA poop transplants 💩). One of my longest-standing clients creates kits to help metabolomics researchers study the microbiome. It’s fascinating and I love that this has somehow become my niche-within-a-niche.
So when I hear the phrase, “listen to your gut”, my mind immediately goes to the second brain, located somewhere behind the belly button.
The gut-brain connection is well-established: the gut has hundreds of millions of neurons that exchange messages with the brain to regulate all sorts of bodily functions, including appetite, immune response, and even our emotions.
When you get butterflies on seeing that dream client’s name pop into your inbox – that’s your gut releasing adrenaline in response to a subconscious thought about an exciting new opportunity.
Ditto for that sinking feeling when a new client says they’ll need to run your work by their 15-year-old second cousin twice removed before paying your invoice. Your brain picks up on the red flag and triggers the fight or flight response in your gut, which makes sure you take action.
Listening to your gut is as much physiological as it is metaphorical.
But when it comes to business, how do we actually use our gut instincts to help us make better decisions?
As a recovering people-pleaser and perfectionist (IYKYK), I’ve always found it difficult to tune in to my intuition. I don’t know what it’s saying. In most tricky situations, I do whatever I think is the Right Thing.
If you’ve listened to 15 Minute Freelancer for a while, you’ll know I like frameworks and strategies and lists of pros and cons. I’m a left-brainer.
That’s not to say I don’t have spidey senses for projects that look like a giant question mark on paper but I just *know* will be rewarding. And I think I’m pretty good at spotting red flags by now.
But I could definitely use a few pointers on how to listen to my intuition – hence asking city lawyer turned wellness coach Helen Pamely for her expert insights on the subject.
As Helen says in this episode, tuning into our intuition isn’t antithetical to using logic. It’s simply deepening our awareness of our wider experience and knowledge, built up over years, and using that as a guide.
If you’ve been experiencing that gnawing feeling that something’s not quite right in your business or with a particular client, or you just want to consider why and how to take a more intuitive approach to freelancing, this episode is for you.
Today’s episode: 68. When (and how) to trust your intuition with Helen Pamely
In this episode, Helen Pamely helps us figure out how to tune in to our intuition and why it can be such a powerful guide in business. We cover:
What is "intuition" and how do we know what it's telling us?
Is intuition something you're born with or can it be learned?
How do we tell the difference between gut instinct about red flags and a fear that's holding us back?
How to explain intuitive decisions to clients who may be looking for concrete data.
Listen here »
🧠 Insight: This episode made me consider how many of my decisions in life have been based on doing the “right” or expected thing, and that whenever something feels sticky or awkward, it’s probably because I’m doing something that’s out of alignment with what I really want. Figuring out what my gut is telling me is definitely a practice!
➡️ 15 Minute Action: Near the end of this conversation, Helen talked about how as an expert, you’re being paid for your judgement. That includes your experience, expertise and intuition about the right way to approach a problem.
So for this week’s 15-minute action, I invite you to consider if your project rates reflect this aspect of your expertise. Your clients aren’t just buying your time and effort, they’re buying your expertise – and your intuition.
Alright, that’s us for today. Would love to know if this episode resonated with you. Do you follow your gut instincts when making business decisions?
Until next time, happy freelancing!
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Really interesting topic. And great point about being paid for our expertise & experience, which of course includes our intuition and judgement 💡