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Episode 100 | Soundtracks: Fixing our Mind’s Messages

Feb 9

It is our 100th episode celebration here at Pro Organizer Studio–and we are bringing you an extra special message today. 

Working with organizers each day–we know that sometimes what we tell ourselves, the story about our capabilities and what we are and who we are–sometimes can stop our progress in our businesses. Today we are bringing you a conversation about the book “Soundtracks” by Jon Acuff, which is all about what those messages in our head are, and more importantly–what are some concrete ways we can fix those messages. 

Jon Acuff, the author of Soundtracks

If you are struggling with mindset, or negative self-talk–and PS, WE ALL DO THIS!–today is for you. 

This podcast is a conversation between Melissa Klug and Laura Brown of the Sisters of Industry podcast. Melissa and Laura have been coworkers in a past company and friends for many years–and are both AVID readers–so when they tell you a book is good–IT’S REALLY GOOD!!!

This is Melissa and Laura’s favorite picture together. This encapsulates how happy we are to see each other, always!



Soundtracks by Jon Acuff

Sisters of Industry podcast 

Information on the Inspired Organizer® program and community

Jon Acuff’s podcast (which is awesome!)


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Jen Obermeier: Hello everyone. The Pro Organizer Studio Podcast has reached an exciting milestone because today we are celebrating our hundredth episode. I can barely believe that with over 150,000 downloads in total, since its launch, the show is supporting professional organizers all over the world with behind the scenes, interviews, business advice, and stories that just don’t make sense unless you are a part of this crazy and exciting world of home organizing.

Today, Melissa and I want to say it’s thanks to you that we are able to keep bringing you valuable content when you ask we listen. And when it makes an impact, we keep notes. We’d love for you to leave a review for us on your podcast app. Join our private group for the podcast on Facebook, or just drop us an email to let us know what you’d like to hear more of.

Thanks for celebrating with us. Enjoy the show.

You’re listening to the Pro Organizer Studio Podcast with Melissa Klug and Jen Obermeier. Thank you so much for joining in our mission is to broaden the horizons of savvy business women in the organizing industry by instilling confidence and inspiring authenticity. You’ll gain new insight into strategies designed specifically for professional organizers.

So now let’s get started.

Melissa Klug: When Jen started this podcast in 2019, it was just an idea and a dream, just like when I started my organizing business just like our businesses, that dream has grown into an awesome community, a professional organizers all over the world. And it is a complete privilege that I have every single day to be able to get emails from organizers who say they found the podcast and have gotten ideas from it for their business, or that they decided to take a leap and start their own organizing business.

And I cannot tell you how honored I am to be a part of this amazing community. So thank you from the bottom of my heart for listening. I appreciate every single one. I specifically picked this episode for our 100th and it is one that I am extremely passionate about. If you listen to the podcast last week, you heard Jen talk about how entrepreneurship is a huge self-development experience.

And it’s so much more about mindset and breaking through limiting beliefs. There are many parts of a business that are functional, and those are obviously super important. So building a website, sales and marketing, networking, building a base of happy clients who refer you to their friends. So many other things, they are super important.

Parts of building an organizing business, those foundational functional things in your. But I will tell you your mindset about your business and about yourself and being able to move past limiting beliefs. Is the difference maker for entrepreneurs. This is the truly hard work for our organizing businesses.

I work with organizers every single day, amazing people who are doing wonderful things to help their clients, but who have beliefs or thoughts about themselves or their abilities that hold them back. It might hold them back from growth. It might hold them back from building a team, reaching out to an ideal client, networking with local businesses, any number of things.

And it is 100% in their head. I have seen absolutely awesome and talented organizers who put their businesses on hold because a voice is telling them something negative. And I always wonder what clients missed out on an amazing life transformation. Because this organizer had that voice and it was hard to get past.

I want to be super, super clear about something. Every single one of us have these mindset gaps and limiting beliefs. I do. We all do that organizer that you see on social media and you think, man, I can never be as good as she is. Look what she’s doing. She’s struggling with her own limiting beliefs.

You just don’t see. The difference maker is, can you acknowledge those beliefs and find a way to move past them instead of getting stuck and unable to move forward? Like the way I describe it as you’re in quicksand and you can’t go anywhere. Today’s episode is all about a book that I could not more highly recommend soundtracks by John Acuff.

This book is a massive game changer, and I would love for anyone listening to me right now to pick up a copy. It will be the best $20 business expenditure you can make this week. I had this virtual book club for soundtracks with one of my best friends in the world, Laura Brown, who also happens to be hands down one of the most gifted business minds I have worked with in over two decades of professional life. This was recorded for her podcast, Sisters of Industry, which I totally recommend for you to listen. And as you’ll be able to hear, we both talk very candidly about our own struggles with mindset and limiting.

Trust me, this is not a lecture about you should change this. No, no, no, no, no. It’s about the things that we struggle with so that you know, that we all have these feelings. And then the most important thing is we have realized from this book how we can get concrete instructions on how to change those voices.

Soundtracks. And as always, if you have something that you are struggling with, our email is open. If you have something that you’re struggling with and want to reach out privately, we answer all of our emails personally, and we would be absolutely happy to talk to you.

Or you can reach out to us on Instagram, DM, hope you are able to listen and get inspired by our conversation. Let’s get started.

Laura Brown: Melissa, let’s talk about soundtracks. We read this book by John Acuff in the last week or two, twice, twice. Why your case? Did you listen to it?

One of them said, 

Melissa Klug: yes, I did. I listened to it both times. Actually. 

Laura Brown: I knew you were listening at least the second time, and I thought of you, there’s a paragraph in the book, where he makes a funny joke . The grizzly sound guy, that’s doing the recording staring back at him and I’m like, oh, Melissa’s really laughing at this because she’s listening to the book.

Yes. So it’s ironic you listened to it. I think a little bit, Melissa and I are talking today about soundtracks, this fabulous John book that is all about how to overcome or at least address and change our thoughts. And change the soundtracks that go on in our mind. So I’m officially calling this meeting of overthinkers anonymous to order Melissa.

Melissa Klug: am happy to be here. I am an over-thinker and it’s nice to meet 

Laura Brown: you as am I. And I think let’s start right out of the gate. So this book for our listeners, what John Acuff has set out to do in this particular book that we’re all reading is help us understand that the things that we say to ourself over and over half.

And we have the opportunity to listen to a different soundtrack. And one of the things he starts with is actually mentioning some songs from his childhood and how actual soundtracks evoke very real feelings from us. So, Melissa, I have to ask you, is there a song or a soundtrack that just makes you go, whoa, I am back to 1987.

Melissa Klug: So easy. This is the easiest question I have ever been asked in my entire life, because it is pour some sugar on me by Def Leppard or the entire Def Leppard album hysteria, because I immediately go straight back to my eighth grade year, like the summer between seventh and eighth grade. And I was always at Jill’s house watching MTV back when MTV had videos.

And yeah. I mean, like, it is a time machine flashback to me. 

Laura Brown: It’s so funny how music does that. And I think it’s a great way that Acuff gives context to how things. That we see and hear are so very real and take us places. And we need to deal with how our thoughts take us to negative or positive places and start figuring out how to direct our thoughts in a way that they’re positive.

So he structures this book in this way, listeners that says retire your negative thoughts. Find something to replace them with and they get those items on repeat. So I think about this is the version of my kids and I think of the current generation, the children that Melissa and I are raising and the things that they put on repeat, which goes everywhere from Broadway to rap and anything in between, which is what’s fabulous about this particular generation of kids, but we all have these anthems that we play a few years ago.

It was fight song. It’s so embarrassing for me to say that. That song and it’s what you put on to get you in the mode. So what John Acuff wants us to do is retire the songs that depress the heck out of us, replace them with good ones and then find things to repeat. My only criticism of the book is directly related to music, and it’s the fact that he does wax poetically at one point about Yanni

And I just can’t handle any 

Melissa Klug: of that. No, I was not here for that particular part, but every book has to have something that you don’t agree with 

Laura Brown: and that’s part of the fun. And he acknowledged that he knew most of his, this nurse would be disgusted by that particular choice. So Melissa, when he starts out with talking about retiring thoughts, I really thought it was interesting that the first thing he said was, listen, you’re not going to make them go away, but you can’t crowd them out by.

Action. When those negative thoughts are those things that get you stuck start to come forward, have that list of things in front of you that you do to move you on that isn’t necessarily directly tied to your work and your personal success. But it’s just something to put your mind in a different place.

Do you have things like that? I don’t. I definitely. 

Melissa Klug: Oh, my gosh. Yes. And it can range from like, those, those soundtracks for me can be anything from like, oh my gosh, am I doing a good enough job raising my kids? Or is my business going to fail? Or, th the thing he references a lot about what about that thing I did in the eighth grade?

Or, I mean, yes, I. So many of those things, and it’s hard because I think this book made me realize how often I do have those thoughts. And, and that’s the hard part is like how much of my, productivity is being impacted by some of these things that are coming into my head. Unbidden and so thinking about them, and sometimes I’m not good at acknowledging them.

Like sometimes I really do that. Like I’m just going to stuff it down. And in fact, I think sometimes if you face it and face it head on, you’re better. 

Laura Brown: I actually liked that in the book he told us like, let’s fare it out, these negative thoughts and actually gave us a filter to put it through by asking three questions.

I think in order they were, is it true? Is it helpful? And number three. Is it kind? Yes. So actually to take these thoughts and put them through the paces and decide whether they deserve your brain space or at least the attention that you are taking the time to give them. And then 

he actually has studies and statistics that talk to us about how much more productive you are. If you can redirect these. If you can get the stuff that particularly isn’t true. And isn’t kind out of your head that stood out to me. Cause I thought absolutely. How often do I say things to myself? That aren’t kind.

The one example that resonated with me was I’m the world’s worst parent. I find myself all the time criticizing myself in parenting and very extreme terms. Well, be serious. Like you really have to have the data would say that is false. My newspaper today would suggest that there are people doing much, much worse at this, not to pick at them because I also need positive soundtracks to help them.

But you need to be very, very realistic with yourself about how much you lie to yourself on a regular basis about the things that you’re not capable. I 

Melissa Klug: loved that part. So, you know, when I was taking notes from the book, that was the first thing I wrote down is, is it kind because and I say this to friends sometimes, would you say that to someone else? So for instance, if you have something bad, you’re saying to yourself, Would you say that to your friend? No, of course you wouldn’t. Unless you’re like a really bad friend. So why are we so much meaner to ourselves and why do we say these unkind things to ourselves?

The person that we should, like more than anybody. 

Laura Brown: Which is absolutely what stuck out to me. Why would you say this? I say to my kids all the time, we don’t think that about you. Would you say that about me? And it’s unbelievable though. And I think that’s almost worthy of another filter in here.

He didn’t write it that way, but that is, is it kind and. To a friend is another way of stating that filter. That was so important to me. And this applies like it’s really easy. We’re not just talking about the, you know, the self-loathing on a personal level, but this applies professionally, right? Like I think about the fact that I have this lie that I tell myself all the time that says, I’m going to go no further. I have reached my peak and my potential and the peak in where I’m going to go in my organization. That kind of mantra, right? I say it all the time using different words. And this book helped me see that I’m lying to myself.

All I’ve done is put an artificial ceiling of myself. No one else has said that I’ve reached a peak. And if someone that I mentor or do leadership coaching comes to me. Voices thoughts like that? I would be unbelievably quick. Probably would cut them off mid sentence to say that’s crazy talk. Correct.

Absolute crazy talk. So why do I say that to me? 

Melissa Klug: Well, and that’s a great example too, of, that ceiling example of when he was talking about, like, I didn’t think that I could be a speaker, but I’ve created the soundtrack that I could be. And now he has this huge speaking career and that negative thinking probably impacts you more than your.

No in your career, because you are probably putting off some sort of unknown signals that, well, this is the highest I’m ever going to get. Well, guess what? You could be acting like you’re going to be the next CEO and maybe that’s that’s the new soundtrack you might get there. You might not, but at least put that out.


Laura Brown: that’s your goal, right? Well, and if you don’t say it out loud, you’re going to, self-regulate back to something differently. You have to be willing to say, even if the statement, because you do need to convince when you do and we’ll get to this in a minute. When you replace yourself with these positive soundtracks, they do need to be.

They still need to be true. So it might be, I am capable of another promotion and telling yourself I’ve been promoted eight times. Why wouldn’t I be again? Right. And starting to allow yourself to say things like that. And because maybe if you say to yourself, you know, I’m going to be CEO one day, maybe that’s too much of a stretch and it doesn’t feel accessible to you and you do find it laughable.

But to say, I’m going to take another step within the next five years. That could be the right thing for you, but you’ve got to at least be willing to say it and acknowledge it.

Melissa Klug: So my version of what you’re talking about is, I am an entrepreneur and I frequently say to myself like, well, man, I had an awesome month, but it’s probably all going to fall apart.

This is the last time it’s ever going to be a good month and I’m never going to get another client and no one is ever going to want to listen to me ever again, tell them how to build a business. Okay. All the time. And I do think that when you put, I, I’m not a woo person at all, but I do think that there is that whole subtle, like what energy are you putting out there?

 If I put out there, yap, it’s probably all going to fall apart tomorrow. Yeah. That is a subtle sign that goes out there that then can start to come true versus trying to be positive about, oh my gosh, look how many clients I got this month. I can’t wait to get double that next month.

Laura Brown: It can kind of give you permission to not take action, which is really a totally, because when talks about in this first part of retiring the sound. To me, there’s two really big things that come with it. It’s the first acknowledging that these soundtracks are these things you tell yourself they’re never going to fully go away.

So I do appreciate that. He made that point of saying, you’re not going to ever stop or erase these things from your mind. What you need to learn, how to do is treat it like a dial and turn the volume down on them and get the volume up on something. Now. Yes. 

Melissa Klug: I love the dial thing because it, it, and I love how he takes the theme through the whole book of, you know, really soundtracks and music and all that kind of stuff.

Just turn the volume down and acknowledge it, but not have it be the only thing that you can hear in your. Which was huge. That was like one of my favorite 

Laura Brown: parts of the book. Absolutely. I’m already picturing like that dial in my head. I found myself doing it today where I thought, okay, I’m not going to make that go away.

And I think one of the things I’ve done incorrectly in the past is I’ve assigned failure to myself on regulating my thoughts better because I totally, because I couldn’t make them go away. Like I’ve created my own. Soundtrack just in this, this was a light bulb for us a light bulb that this is a dial, not an on, off switch.

And it’s okay that they don’t completely go away. You can still get victory in the thought process, big light 

Melissa Klug: bulbs that like I let’s hammer on that point a little bit that it, cause I do that exact same thing. I am not a positive enough thinker because I can’t get rid of this thing that I’m saying to myself, so you’ve essentially made a double negative of like, I already have a negative thought and then I have a negative thought about the negative thought and it’s about me and my inability to do something.

So it’s like just negativity all 

Laura Brown: around. Right. So it’s not going to go away, but what he did start to talk about is how you crowd that soundtrack. By using action. And some of that action is getting the positive messages that you bring in. But to me, the other thing was part of getting them crowded out was taking action either against a more positive thought or goal, or honestly just doing that thing that helps clear your mind or.

You get you out of overthinking mode. So in the case of John a cuff, he mentioned that building Lego sets really helps him. And I chuckled as I read that because anyone who listens to our podcast knows we are Lego fiends, love it. That is one I use regularly.

I would be embarrassed to admit. To publicly, but here we are putting it out there in the world. I’m that person that sometimes if I have a really bad meeting at work or really frustrating situation with one of my kids, I am going to go to my dining room and start to do a bag of Legos against one of the sets we’re working on.

I mean, and sometimes quite honestly, I turned my camera off during a work meeting and I played with Legos at my desk to just keep myself. 

Melissa Klug: I can actually confirm that this happens because the other day I have text receipts where she was like, I’m in a tough meeting, a building Amelia Earhart’s plane.

She was, she sent us pictures and it 

Laura Brown: was great. You gotta keep it real with your people. So there you go to everybody listening to this, you have to, you have to keep it real that sometimes you have to do. To make the overthinking stop. It can look like taking a walk. It can be a lot of different things, but that kind of action, that kind of distraction numbing action is important, but then there’s also the, you have to take action towards more positive things too.

So like to your example, blister with the clients, right? You can tell yourself that, or you can say I’m going to double clients next week, and I’m going to email 20 people today with proposals and start getting to work on it. Yes. 

Melissa Klug: And that’s, that is a super important point instead of just being like, well, that’s it, it’s all over.

I could say, well, what am I going to go do about this to make that not true. I also want to go back to something that you said about the Legos.

Not because I just want to keep talking about Legos, 

Laura Brown: but it would be fine with me if you did. 

Melissa Klug: I know, listen, we could do a whole podcast about Legos, but the one thing that I wanted to talk about with that one is he does talk in the book a lot about too. Sometimes people are embarrassed to talk about the things that they do to turn down.

They’re negative thoughts. And so I do that exact same thing where I’m like, oh, I know this is weird. I know I’m not like an adult, but I love Lego’s, but we need to be proud of the things that we do to distract ourselves or to, to bring down those negative thoughts. Like, because we all do things and nobody’s judging someone else for what they choose to do.

So do your Lego’s and be. 

Laura Brown: Amen sister. 

 Just that part of the book is so valuable. If you, if you’re not a big reader and you only are going to come in and attack, just getting some of these thoughts around the dial and turning down your thoughts and how you use actions otherwise.

But let’s get into part two, replacing. We have this whole thing where we say, okay, we’re going to retire. The sounds. That are negative or not helpful, but now we need to replace them with positive ones. And this one really started to get me to an interesting spot because I’m not creative now, Melissa, you’re very creative.

I am not a creative person because I went into this thinking by the way, negative soundtrack, I’m not creative. I’m never going to think. 

Melissa Klug: I was just about to say, I was about to, just to catch you on 

Laura Brown: that, but you caught yourself. Yeah. Sorry. I took your. But he did right away. Go listen. The best first step you can take is to start to borrow soundtracks, be out there, listening for things that other people say and do that create positive soundtracks for you and start to keep that list and then remix them carrying the theme forward.

Right? Remix them into soundtracks that work for you. 

Melissa Klug: I just wanted to take a quick break from our conversation about soundtracks and make sure that you know, enrollment is open right now for our inspired organizer community. If you are growing an organizing business, if you have an established business, but you want to make sure that you have all of the pieces in place, or if you are dreaming about starting a business, Inspired organizer is the place for you.

We are so lucky to have an awesome community of organizers all over the world. You get education, you get daily coaching and mentorship inside of our private online group. We had a brand new student last week who had. First consultation and she wrote back and said, I had to update you after all the great tips you gave us. We closed our deal. We are doing her entire home from a to Z. She got an eight session package.

I swear when I began the course and saw the intro part, I saw all these testimonials from other organizers closing all of these clients. And I did not think that would be us in just two weeks. This is just one of the wonderful people that we have in our community. And it is the best place to be able to know that you can change these soundtracks in your head, that you don’t know how to be a business owner, and that you’re not sure how to run a business and make sure you can change those soundtracks into, I can have a successful business.

And here’s how I do it. Enrollment is open right now. We would absolutely love for you to join us. If you want to check the show notes, we will have a link. If you’re interested in joining, or you can email and we’ll get you all the details. Now let’s get back to the show.

Laura Brown: So I started writing down and I’m going to ask you Melissa, even just in reading the book and in the time I was reading it, noticing things around me, I probably wrote down about 10 positive soundtracks that I thought I could remix.

Did you have any that really stuck out?

Melissa Klug: So this is a part of the book that I’m actually going to go back and reread. Yes, that’s correct. A third time, because I think listening to it, you don’t get the stopping point sometimes of like that. Oh, I’m going to make that list. So I want to hear what you have and see what you put 

Laura Brown: together.

So a couple things, one of them was pivot. Don’t pay. Yes. I love that one, which I love. And I actually gave myself, you’re gonna be proud of me. I gave myself a little bit of kudos because that’s what I’m actually relatively good at. Okay. Here’s where we are. What are we going to do differently, but it’s still a really good mantra to get into your head.

Um, another one, um, I’ll feel awesome after. Yeah. So this one goes with the, I don’t feel like doing that, or this is really not going to be fun, but that whole concept, he used running as the example, and I’ve come a bit of a hack of a runner. And so I get that right. You do not wake up on Saturday mornings going score 12 mile run day, but you just go, I’m going to feel awesome after this run or at least a day after this run, curiosity, beats criticism. I love that one. Like instead of taking a criticism and just dwelling on the negative, ask questions, learn from it.

Get curious about it, which we’ve talked about in other episodes when it comes to feeding. 

Melissa Klug: And this is one that I struggle with. So when he was talking about this one in the book, this was one that I really did have to stop and have a hard conversation with myself because I am, so I am not a perfectionist, but I am someone that, I have a hard time with criticism because I feel like I have done something wrong and, and like, oh, I should’ve known that. And I should’ve done that differently. And I, oh, I like, I really criticize myself. And so this is one the other day I had someone that gave me feedback on something that she’s like, Hey, I know you told us to do this, but I’ve read that you should do this instead.

And for a minute, I will be honest with you. I read that email and I’m like, oh my gosh, I didn’t need this today. Like, I don’t need you telling me what to do and I don’t want, and I had to stop myself and be, yeah. She’s actually giving you really helpful feedback that is actually going to help someone else on their website.

And so let’s take that feedback. Let’s go research it, but that’s one that is going to be one of my personal hardest sell. To, to tone down. 

Laura Brown: I agree. And that’s one where the concept is really well in my head going to go back to it, but I need to think of another way to turn that into a positive soundtrack for me, because I’m a criticism dweller as well.

I still hear the offhanded criticism. Three months ago over all the other things that have happened between now and then that have been positive 

Melissa Klug: three months. I can take you back three 

Laura Brown: decades, girl. Oh, I can. 

Melissa Klug: That’s fair. Yeah. That, but that is legitimately something that I have struggled with my whole life.

And so that is going to be something that I take from this book and really actively try to flip that script because I do think it would be so immensely helpful. 

Laura Brown: So here’s another one, Melissa, that got me to another place that you and I share in life. So one of the other ones he kept coming back to, and I forget his source of this one because it was a borrowed soundtrack, but it was momentum is messy.

The concept that moving forward is going to be. Starts and stops is going to have a stakes. Things are going to not work that kind of failing forward concept, but momentum is messy and reminding yourself it’s okay. Not to be perfect every day. It made me think very quickly of a thing, Melissa and I, have worked with a nutritionist. And one of the things that she says all the time, Progress not perfection. And I think that’s, you know, we’ve seen it perfect as the enemy had done. There’s a lot of different ways to approach this one, but this whole concept of combating perfectionism and knowing that it’s okay to make mistakes was a huge one because I am the paralyzed by perfection girl.

Melissa Klug: I talk a lot with the clients that I coach. It is really, really hard to step out of that. If that’s your go-to mindset on things, it is very, very hard to let go of that.

And so that’s, that’s super hard work to have to get. 

Laura Brown: I thought of you and the work that you do, Melissa, as I was reading some of that, because here you are a champion for the entrepreneurs and one yourself, and that whole, like at some point you need to launch your business. The website might not be the websites at 90%.

We got to go guys or, you know, do we really need that extra flyer out or whatever the right. Correct. Ill-equipped to give the examples here, but I thought of that a lot. Cause I could only imagine in the world you live on how paralyzing that can be. And then I also reflected back to the book Donald Miller’s business mates.

 And one of the things that he pointed out in there, and I know you read it as well, is that a lot of things that we do wrong sometimes is we pretend we don’t know the answer, which is a cousin to that analysis paralysis. Like we know what to do. We know what’s next and we give ourselves, excuse me.

To stop. And maybe it’s because things aren’t perfect or we’ve made a small mistake along the way. So this whole soundtrack of momentum is messy. I’m really looking forward to making that part of the way I think about things and giving myself more permission or more latitude. Yeah. 

Melissa Klug: The quote that I always go back to, it actually was in a seminar that I went to.

 The person leading it said, and I believe that it’s attributed to Seth goat and the purple cow guy. But she said that the quote that stuck out for her was that if you aren’t. By your first logo, you move too slowly. And that’s just a tiny example, but you’ve got to make some sort of forward progress in whether it’s your business, your professional life, your personal life, whatever it is you’re working on because moving one step forward is always better than doing absolutely nothing.

Laura Brown: I like that a lot. So I really appreciate it. I hope that gives everybody a flavor for what we’re talking about here with these soundtracks that we need to replace in our mind. And one of the things that he said in particular is those soundtracks need to encourage us because that encouragement then to our previous point, pulls us back into action and gets us that messy momentum forward and is a really good thing that you can do, um, to make sure that you don’t allow yourself to just become stagnant and stuck in the overthinking or the negative.

One more thing in this replacement section that I thought was worth drawing out was the statement that he made that when you’re overthinking, are you focusing on the problem or on the solution? And I really liked that one. I was reflecting on that one the other day.

And I started doing something on a tick sheet at my desk while I was working in how much time was I spending in meetings or with other folks, like how much time are we spending? Talking about the problem. Just, well, how we get here?

What are we going to do? This is terrible. How much are we spending on that problem? And overthinking it as opposed to saying, we’ve got this problem, what are we going to go do about it? And I think that’s a really good way to flip your soundtracks too, is to really make sure that you’re, you’ve set your focus on solutions and not problems.

Melissa Klug: I will tell you, I have, I spent so much time on my laptop that I just get exhausted of it. Sometimes I have gone back to the old school and, you know, we both love paper, physical paper. I have gone back to using a notepad. And just making notes. I sometimes now just brainstorm and put notes out, physically writing on paper. And that has been a great thing for me on this action front, because it doesn’t involve my laptop and it helps me get those thoughts out and get those action plans out to try to move myself. There’s so 

Laura Brown: much power in the pen in actually totally things and getting them out of your brain.

And there’s so much power in that in so many different ways. I love that. Okay. So retire, replace, let’s spend some time on repeat because the power in this soundtrack thing, going back to the analogy with having the songs that play in your head and put you in a particular mood is that you need to have soundtracks that you repeat over and over and over.

So it’s it become a part of who and what you are in your. Force. So in this portion of his writing, John Aycock just got me to something that I loved and he called it Slingshot moments. And how are you taking advantage of the Slingshot moments in your daily life and what he means by that is the morning and the evening.

 How are you? Addressing your morning to Slingshot into your day and at night, how are you slingshotting into your dreams? Because that has so much power on your thought process through the day. And I feel like I have spent years hearing people say, you know, like you got to get up in the morning with a good and get your head screwed on for tone for the day, blah, blah, blah.

 Whatever I roll out of bed. And especially since COVID work from home mode, it’s like, oh, I’ve been out of bed 13 seconds. It’s time to get on a meeting. I have not been good about that, but I loved here. It wasn’t just about, you know, taking 15 minutes to meditate, which if that works for you, that’s fantastic.

But it was a very actionable sense of how are you going to set your thoughts as you enter the day? Not just gather your to do list and get calm. 

Melissa Klug: Well, and he talks about, I, this made me laugh. He is also a very funny writer, which I always appreciate when humorous makes them. But he talks about like, did you get up on the side of the bed that has a pit Vipers next to it?

And I’m like, oh my gosh, I totally do that. So that morning I’m not good at morning or evening routines. Really, it’s not my forte. And I do think that it impacts me from a, what I feel like I can accomplish during the day. And it really does set the tone for my day. And so I am actively going to try to work on some of these things.


Laura Brown: I might need an accountability partner, no pressure, but I might actually happily do that ability there because I did like, if I think back to I’m an action items, girl, if I think back to the action items from this book in general, for me, it was. Call out the lies remix a new soundtrack.

And then it was figured out how to Slingshot. I love the Slingshot cost because it’s so true. And I think what’s not worked for me over the years and the way that he really got my attention was it’s very action. It’s kind of aggressive if I’m honest, which I kind of like, right. How are you going to just Slingshot your day?

And he does specifically get into having an actual mantra that you go through with yourself in the morning and the evening. And again, data friends. It takes the time to show data and talk through studies that say how much more productive and successful you can be. If you take the time to use some sort of mantra that works for you, whether it’s.

A couple of these verbal soundtracks and a song that gets you going and gets you in the right mindset at morning and night, it makes you more productive. 

Melissa Klug: And this is one I will say I appreciated the data on this one because I will say this one is going to be a little harder for me because I’m not, like I said, I’m not a woo woo person.

And this felt a little woo to me. Amen. But the data that he had behind it made me go, okay. Maybe I need to give this a try, even though it’s going to feel deeply uncomfortable for me. And I always think of like the old SNL skit, Stuart 

Laura Brown: Smalley.

Melissa Klug: Um, and, and so I am going to have a harder time with this, but I am deeply committed to using some of these techniques. And so I am going to try it. This one’s got. 

Laura Brown: One more thing then too. And I agree so tough. One thing that I didn’t find to be tough, that I appreciate him pointing out was that often you need a symbol to go with these things as positive soundtracks.

Like what’s the symbol that you can, that you have around you that helps you kind of dial into these positive thoughts and this. Thinking energy. And it’s funny. One of the ones he mentioned was a seashell from the beach that helps you think about like that calm place. So there’s vacations you’d like to take.

And Melissa, you may not know this, but I actually have like a little bowl beside my. That has two things in it, seashells, and it has rocks from the trip you and I were on together with some of our fellow girl bosses from lake superior so that you can weep later. But I know it’s very touching, honestly, it’s in a little bowl with those on my nightstand.

And I actually wake up in the morning. I look at, you know, what the, the beach ones are more family and the rock ones are more my girlfriends, but it’s not. You know, I am getting up and I’m doing these things. And the reason I want to push forward is because honestly I’m working for my fun time with my friends and families and the chance to travel and go special places.

Like that’s what makes me go and motivates me to rethink how I’m making choices is. I want to be able to have frankly, the expendable income as well as the time of my life to prioritize those things. So what do I need to do to get on that path? 

Melissa Klug: And I love the symbol idea. First of all, I love that. And now I want some of those rocks for my own nightstand.

 I also had a friend one time who had a phrase that she used and she said, you can’t finish reading the book if you keep reading the previous chapter. And so I actually had a bracelet made that said it was from this company called my intent and it said next chapter. Um, and that was at a time in my life when I was like surfing.

Professionally and, and all sorts of things. And so I actually might get a new bracelet made that says soundtracks, because I do think it’s something that you need a physical reminder of like, okay, when you get in that mindset, how can I have a physical reminder to tell. Do it differently. I 

Laura Brown: love that one.

The other one mentioned was pictures, like in your office, there’s a reason in your office. You put pictures of people who support. No matter what kind of work you do and maybe your work doesn’t have you in an office in the traditional sense, maybe it is behind the steering wheel. And actually in my case, I used to travel a ton for work.

And I have pictures of my family on my visor that I can see, and they’re there, right? I’m coming home to them. I’m doing this for them, et cetera. Right. Those kinds of things are so important to keep us motivated and keep that soundtrack of what we’re doing and why we’re doing it on repeat. So I thought that was really powerful and 

Melissa Klug: fun.

And I think it’s another good reminder to be kind to ourselves that this is a journey and the people that you are looking at in those pictures don’t expect you to be perfect. And so you don’t have to expect that from yourself, but that you can hold yourself to a higher standard. 

Laura Brown: And I think it’s worth saying just finally, one of the very closing points in the book, and you can tell Melissa, I really appreciate this book. This is a multi times read book to kind of take it all in and it’s an easy read. It’s a fun flighty, humorous easy read. Um, but there’s a lot to get here and he did say at the end, just that remind.

For to find a soundtrack, make it a soundtrack, really work does require taking action. So these cannot all be post-it notes with positive thoughts that you have hanging on your bathroom mirror. And with all due respect, I post it, note things all over the place. So I’m not knocking that in principle, but you do need to actually take action.

So make sure as you build up these soundtracks in your life, you’re building actions to support them and make them become a greater truth in your life. And I think that’s just really inspiring to think of that. 

Melissa Klug: There were two particular notes that I took. And one of them is he, he said several times, turn your super problem into a super power.

And that, you know, if you can put all these thoughts in your head, like you have the ability to be able to turn this into something positive. But the note that I wrote below that was, this is not what I know. This phrase gets thrown out a lot toxic, positive. I really am big on talking about toxic positivity because it’s not just a like, oh, you could turn it around.

And it’s not just some thoughts, like you said, post-it noted to a mirror. It does involve doing some work to actually make those things happen. So it’s not just having a soundtrack of you’re the best person on the earth and you have everything good coming to you. Not those kinds of empty phrases, but they’re phrases that you are actually going to do the work to move.

Laura Brown: I love that very much. And I do think that’s so important. So Melissa, we’ve got a ton from this. 

Melissa Klug: Yes. I genuinely loved this book. And I also think that if you bookend this book, if you did like atomic habits and soundtracks together. 

Laura Brown: Yeah. 

Melissa Klug: Like these are two books that we both love. And I really, really believe that you can put these two together and really, really supercharge.

Laura Brown: Well, I agree with that. So one more time for everybody listening in case we have it, we just now convinced you and you haven’t been paying attention to the title. It is the surprising solution to overthinking soundtracks. Soundtracks is the main title. The author is John . If you are not following John ACOF on Instagram, you are not living your best life.

So go remedy. I 

Melissa Klug: am not living my best life and I’m doing it right this very second. 

Laura Brown: Thoroughly amusing on Instagram and he has two daughters and a lovely wife, and he, for me is one of those people that helps bring some levity to the seriousness of our lives, which I think most people that know me know that that’s kinda how I roll, but he does it in a much more refined way than I probably do, but just, you know, we’re doing serious work and raising our kids and in employing people.

Yeah. We’re also here to have fun and live a good life and he really doesn’t ice job and bring a balance. So I really enjoy him on Instagram thoroughly and would recommend following him if you aren’t already. And hopefully he’ll credit me for the follower that he just got out of. 

Melissa Klug: Yes, he, um, he has 130,000 followers, so I’m sure he really I’m right over the edge there.


Laura Brown: sure. I’m sure. Yeah, but I think, listen, he would tell you 130,000 followers, that’s up zero from a career. He essentially started over from corporate America 13 years ago. And he said, the number one thing he did is what he wrote in the soundtracks book. And it was changing the way he thought when he got up every morning.

Melissa Klug: I am ready. Very, very sincerely since I read this book because it was recommended to me by Laura. I have absolutely been putting these things into practice already, and I am going to reread the book again because I really feel so strongly I know that I can make change based on this book. And often I will read a book and I’ll be like, yeah, that was interesting by this is not one of those books for me.

This is one of it’s going to be one that really sticks. You can’t 

Laura Brown: get a better endorsement than that. Soundtracks, Atomic Habits, huge, huge life changers, and we hope that it was helpful for you to listen to this discussion. Melissa, this has been fun. 

Melissa Klug: Thank you.

I always love talking to you. I know I love virtual book club. It’s great. It is great.

Jen Obermeier: Thank you so much for listening into the pro organizer studio podcast. If you’d like to get our roadmap for success as a pro organizer, head straight to

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Photos of jen by ANGELA ZION