Helping content marketers more confidently navigate the world of brand storytelling.
April 6, 2021

Too Busy? Think About This, episode 23

Too Busy? Think About This, episode 23

What are you doing to advance your skills & stay competitive? Why feeling “too busy” isn’t doing you any favors, and a helpful way to quickly help your brand storytelling strategy work.



I know you’re busy. And maybe the days feel like you run from meeting to meeting, Zoom call to Zoom call, kid to kid; barely having time to think. You’re squeezing in lunch and a walk. You’re busy with your family and you’re thinking, “Holy crap. There is not enough time in the day to get it all done.”

That’s what we talk about in episode 23 of the Marketing With Empathy podcast– how we invest our time wisely to advance ourselves in a way that gives us better results faster AND gives us more sanity and empowerment along the way.



Last year, in the midst of COVID-19 uncertainty, I invested more than $6,000 in myself. That’s a lot of money. And definitely the MOST money I’ve ever dished out of my personal pockets for career development coaching.  But, because there’s only so much time in a day, there’s only so much I can research and dive into myself. I knew I wanted to have a facet of my Kindred Speak consulting biz include online courses to help teach other content marketers how to DIY their own winning brand storytelling strategies. But, the obvious challenge for me was that I had NO clue how to build or launch an online course. Zilch. No idea.


And, I was a new entrepreneur—so I was looking for a community of other like-minded, driven folks to connect with and learn from too. So, I researched to find the coaches and programs that aligned with me.  I needed to find coaches who knew more than me, so I could condense decades into days. I didn’t want to spend 20 years learning what took these experts 20 years to learn. I don’t have time for that!  I looked for ways to advance my skill faster. to advance things that I didn’t know faster.



So, before COVID hit, I had already invested in an online course called Knowledge Broker Blueprint (KBB) by Dean Graziozi and Tony Robbins, in a coaching group with Jenna Kutcher.  This amazing group kicked it all off for me and opened my eyes to the world of online coaches and courses and masterminds and masterclasses.


I poured all my free time into doing the KBB program.  I stopped scrolling on social at night before bed. When I was washing dishes, I had my earbuds in and was listening to their teachings. When I went for a walk, it’s what I listened to. Any time we were in the car, I told my kids they were going to class w/me and they listened and learned along with me.  I kinda wonder if I’m creating future entrepreneurs in my own kids because they’ve been listening and hearing all about it from me along the way. Heck—when I went grocery shopping I put my earbuds in and listened to their teachings.  I FOUND the time—it was there. And by finding these micro moments of time each and every day, I was able to complete a very robust program on time.  I just had to identify my priority and then hold myself accountable w/a timeline of what needed to be done by when, and do it! 



The KBB course then sprouted into other areas I realized I wanted coaching on across social, email, launching courses, etc—including this very podcast you’re listening to RIGHT NOW. Yup. I took Jenna Kutcher’s The Podcast Lab course to learn how to create my own podcast. Marketing With Empathy would NOT have launched in 2020 if I hadn’t taken that course. I completed in one wknd, and by the following Monday, announced to my Instagram followers that I was starting a podcast! Because Jenna helped demystify everything about podcasting for me, and she outlined it in such a simple way that I knew I could do this.  I learned from a woman who has more than 40 million downloads on her podcast. I learned from her mistakes, I heard what she likes and recommends, and was able to learn it all in a WEEKEND! How crazy is that?!?!?!?!



That’s the power of investing in yourself to advance your brand storytelling prowess in WAY less time. So, all the courses and tools I invested in last year for my career and my business, are investments that will continue to generate ROI way above and beyond that $6,000 investment.


So what’s the point? Did I have time? I am a very busy mama as well, but here’s the deal. We make time for the things that we want to. We make time for watching movies and whatever it is that you get enjoyment from. You make time to scroll on social. to go get your groceries. You make time to hang out with your family and your kids. You make time to take a shower. These are all really important things. You make time to eat. You make time to work, and wash the dishes.


And so, really, the deal is that you need to take the time to assess your career. What areas are you strong in vs. areas you’d benefit from learning more about? And, then WHO is an expert in that area that you can tap into, to shorten that learning curve to see results faster?



Everything cost something. You can trade time or you can trade money to speed up the time. And for me, I really value my time. I mean, there’s only 24 hours in a day that we all have. Eight of those I’m sleeping. And that leaves about 16 hours that we’re awake. For me, I want to make sure I’m really present for my family when I’m awake. I want to make sure I can be there to pick my kids up after school, help them with their homework, and go for a leisurely walk around the neighborhood holding their super soft, warm hands in mine. I don’t want to keep saying to them “no, mommy’s busy. I can’t right now.” Or have them see me running myself ragged as I pursue my dreams. I want to be a strong example of good that I’m living out in front of my kids. 


I want to make sure I’m feeling creatively inspired; that my work is valued; I want to make sure I’m using my strengths to advance and keep pushing myself; and feel invigorated by what I’m doing in my role. That I’m financially secure so I can donate money to fund as many child trafficking rescue missions as possible.


So to ensure I can do all of that—that I can succeed to give back– I will hands down spend money to wisely learn something faster from someone else who’s already done it than spending WAY too much time trying to DIY it, and struggling and probably not doing it as well as I could because I don’t know the mistakes others have already made that I should avoid. Why would I learn through trial and error if I could learn from someone else who’s already made those errors and can help me avoid their same mistakes?



And here’s the deal. I’ve really learned that you need to learn from others and you need to ask for help, especially as parents, especially as moms. Good lord, we try to do it all. We wear a lot of things on our shoulders. And we have a lot of things on our shoulders as parents, for any of you who are listening who are parents. And you are juggling a lot and that’s great, and that’s the beauty of it all, but it doesn’t all have to be hard and it doesn’t all have to be a struggle.


I learned and I fumbled through it and realized, you know what, if I can ask for help and I can be vulnerable, saying, “I don’t know exactly how to do this. I want to expand in this area.” Or, “I don’t feel like I’ve mastered this. Can I work with someone else who knows this better than me? Can I take this online course from someone that could help me figure it out faster? And I can bring those skills back into my business and share to advance and elevate our work quicker.” Who’s going to say no to that?



And so I ask you, what would you do if I handed you $1,000?  What is the first skill that pops into your head that want to get better at? What is it? Think about that.



There’s an exercise I learned from my KBB called Needle Movers. In it you look at what things are causing the biggest breakthroughs in your business or personal life.


  1. What are the biggest needle movers or breakthroughs you’ve have in the last 90-120 days in your business or personal life? What’s Driven you forward? Changed your business? Drove more income? Given you freedom? 

  2. Write down 3 major positive impacts that needle move has made? (revenue, complexity, impact, time)

  3. Write down how you can add fuel to that needle mover to scale it even more

  4. Write down the #1 thing that adding fuel to that needle mover could accomplish for you in the next 12 months. What would your life look like in 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, 5 years from now if you can advance even further in this area?


So I really want to help all of you content marketers and brand storytelling strategists listening to this right now, nodding, “Yep. I know. I don’t have a lot of time, but I do want to learn more in this _____<fill in the blank>_____area.”



I want to help you. And as a big part of my business and why I am creating the work that I do, is because I want to help you reduce confusion and overwhelm. I want you to feel less frazzled, and I want you to ultimately feel empowered and excited and energized so that you can be doing great work without feeling any guilt or feeling like you’re spending time away from your family as a result.


Which is why I’m so excited to announce my Brand Storytelling Blueprint® mini-course is launching April 2021. I want to turn my decades of experience into days for you.  This course is for you if you want to grow brand storytelling in your org, but need help framing your strategy like an editorial director.


In an ideal world, you and your team create an amazing brand storytelling strategy that’s focused, prioritized and aligned on across your team and with decision makers.  Gone are the days where you felt pulled in multiple directions without enough time to actually think creatively about the things that matter most.


Your work is valued because it supports broader business goals and you’re helping make a difference. You feel empowered to push back against ideas that don’t align with your strategy, and even more confident in your creative abilities.



  • Maybe you have too many messages and your brand storytelling plan lacks prioritization. You feel pulled in multiple directions at work and it’s stressing you out.

  • Or, you have a plan but wish you knew how to organize it to a) better engage your audience and b) demonstrate your strategic prowess. How do other Editorial Directors do it?

  • And, you’ve gotten to a point where you don’t know what to do next. You keep advancing in your career (or want to advance more), but you don’t have a lot of people around you to learn from right now.

  • You’re so busy at work that you need to find ways to feel more sane. To ensure your brain isn’t fried at the end of the day so you have time to truly be present with your family.


Using my signature FED Method of focus+empathy+data, combined with my experience being on the corporate side driving big results, this mini-course helps you set the foundation for your brand storytelling strategy. Like the foundation of a house, this blueprint is the first thing every storytelling strategy needs to be rooted in strategy, and primed for future growth.



Either way, I encourage you to identify one area you really want to advance in, and find the right coaches and online classes to help you get there faster.  The knowledge industry is booming. There are so many amazing people out there ready to help you level-up.



To help you better organize your strategy, I’m handing over the same brand storytelling blueprint I’ve used to help organize plans that generate $$$ millions in revenue for brands.  The same blueprint that lays the foundation for you/your team to build smarter content that drives better audience engagement.


This mini-course gives you a detailed, plug-and-play, PowerPoint template with step-by-step prompts on each slide to help you quickly and easily organize a brand storytelling editorial blueprint for your company. I also walk you through tips for each slide through pre-recorded video modules to help you achieve that blissful prioritization, focus and alignment across your org.  


In about a month, you can create your own blueprint.  LEARN MORE



Sarah Panus is a brand storytelling marketing strategist, podcast host, Minnesota mom, and owner of Kindred Speak, LLC, a remote consultancy that helps corporations attract upper-funnel leads that drive bottom-funnel results through storytelling. Her mission is to add value to the world by humanizing brand+consumer connections. Her online courses teach content professionals inside corporations how to think like Editorial Directors to drive stronger results while enjoying their jobs more. She’s spent the last 20 years helping brands including Sleep Number, Starbucks, Nestle Waters, Christos Bridal, Game Crazy, Cone Inc, and others, speak a kindred language with their audiences, driving brand advocacy and millions in revenue and brand engagements. Learn more at