Clear this common email habit before it festers into unhappiness

As you may know, last year I took a break from daily interactions with my business and went on an almost-sabbatical to rethink my book. One of the many gifts in stepping back was that when I returned to the daily details of running my business (only a few times a month), I could much more clearly feel and understand how I had gotten so burned out.

One insight smacked me over the head during a marathon attempt to whittle down my email backlog.

As you may do, I follow quite a few experts in my industry. I follow healing and meditation experts, wellness experts, speaking experts, spiritual experts, entrepreneurial experts, marketing communications experts, and more. And as I do myself, these experts often offer free seminars, free instructional videos, or free downloads to get you to take another look at them. We all know these marketing freebies are designed to test your interest in a class or coaching opportunity they are offering, but many of the freebies contain good information. (And others of course are rawther trite, inspiring facepalms the world over.)

There I sat, fresh from my calming sabbatical, attacking my emails. For those containing interesting freebies, I opened up the audio or video or free report in a new tab. Soon I had two dozen tabs open, and hours of videos and audios to listen to, as well as reports to read. (And this is after bypassing many.)

The difference this time was that I could clearly feel the emotions of the situation washed over me.  It was not pleasant.

The inner feeling went like this: *worry worry worry*  When am I going to GET to these articles and videos? I can skim an article but videos take a HUGE chunk of time. *stomach twisting into knots*  If someone is giving me advice, I must have a problem. Omg, looking at all these freebies, I have two dozen very serious problems. When am I going to solve these disasters?  *fluster fluster*

The reason I had opened them all and not listened to a single one became clear. (Don’t let me shock you.) I did not want to.

Ugh. Who would? I thought my business was peachy keen and doing fine until I saw in my email that I need to have a list of 5,000 people, and an extensive product funnel, and be making six figures, and and and…


I went for a walk. Away from my email, I could still viscerally feel the tension writhing within me. Before I opened my email, I didn’t think my business had any problems. I know what I have to do next (rewrite the book) and after that (offer a class), and beyond that, I simply was not worried. Nothing felt broken.

In the past, I have unsubscribed to marketers who seemed annoying, sleazy, or overly persistent. It was nice to whittle the baddies out. This time, I went back to my computer and unsubscribed to everyone but a few clients and friends, for whom I created an email “rule” to drop their future emails into a folder (not my in-box).

If I do not look in that folder in the next month, they are getting unsubscribed, too.

Two Solutions

1. Rule It. If you are not ready to give these emails up, create an email rule where they all get dumped into a single folder, such as my favorite: “To Read When I Have Time.” This way, you will not see them and be burdened by their implication that you are not whole. If you find you are not seeking them out to discover what problem you have, well then, don’t.

2. Unsubscribe from them all. If you find yourself longing for one down the road, seek it out and resubscribe. I dare you.

The Question of Marketing

This experience made me think a great deal about the marketing messages I am sending out, too. Few of us have as many problems as we think we have, or as many as we, in our insecurity, worry that we have or allow others to CONVINCE us we have.

There is nothing wrong with you. If you are seeking support for growth, seek it when you need it. Start with inexpensive sources, like a google search or free books at the library. When you listen to your inner voice and feel who you are without opening your email first, you will find you do not need that information IV that comes through your email inbox.

Thank you, experts. I will look for you when I need you.

And not until.

© 2013 Daria Boissonnas  All Rights Reserved