Emma-Louise Parkes is a 23 year corporate survivor turned 6-figure business and mindset coach for ambitious introverts, empaths, and HSPs. Before entering the online business space, she spent 17 years in one of the world’s most stressful, male-focused, and extroverted fields: air traffic control. Alongside her time behind the radar keeping the busy skies above London safe, she also became an instructor for new recruits – fueling her love of coaching.
Today, Emma-Louise is an internationally recognised certified online business consultant and NLP master practitioner with accreditations in EFT/TFT. She’s also the host of the award winning podcast, The Ambitious Introvert®. Having built her six-figure brand in under three years without previous business experience, Emma-Louise is proof that when you take aligned action, you can scale your business with ease and speed.
Where You Can Find Emma-Louise
Facebook Profile: https://www.facebook.com/emmalouise.parkes.58
Facebook Page: @emmalouparkescoach
Facebook Group: The Ambitious Introvert® Network
Podcast: The Ambitious Introvert® Podcast
🌹 Rose's Resources
[FREE] UpLevel Your Business Mindset Hypnosis
#11 - Why we need to regulate our nervous system to allow incremental growth with Emma-Louise Parkes
[00:00:00] Rose: Hey, it's Rose and welcome to another episode of The Sensitive CEO Show. And today's episode, it's my absolute pleasure to introduce you to Emma Louise Parkes; I've known Emma Louise for many months. I think, maybe a year. And although we've never met in person, only on Zoom, I feel that I know Emma Louise very well, so it's my pleasure to introduce you to here today, and I would love to welcome you here, Emma Louise.
[00:00:34] Emma-Louise: Thank you so much. I was thinking the same. I've known you very well and forever, and it's probably been less than a year.
[00:00:41] Rose: Yeah. So I would love for you to introduce yourself to everyone listening for those who don't know you. I'm sure a lot of people know you because we do have a very similar audience, but for those who don't know you, can you share who you are and what you do?
[00:01:01] Emma-Louise: Absolutely. So I'm Emma Louise Parkes, a business and mindset coach, and I work with mainly ambitious introverts, highly sensitive people and empaths.
And I attract many clients who are, I like to say, energetically sensitive. So whether that's because of their nervous system, they're human design type. They're an introvert, for whatever reason, and I help them to build sustainable and profitable businesses by managing their energy rather than following the cookie cutter formulas that we see so often online, which seem to deplete that part of the population very much as it did me at the start of my business journey.
[00:01:42] Rose: Brilliant. And I'm the same. I know. It depletes me as well, so I think, yeah, we've got that in common, and I'm sure many people do. I know that one of your big things is consistency. I'd love you to share how you use consistency in your business and how it helps your nervous system.
[00:02:03] Emma-Louise: Absolutely, and I think. I will say the first thing: consistency gets a bad rap for several reasons. So many people started their entrepreneurship journey because they don’t want a nine to five anymore and want freedom and flexibility. So when we hear consistency, it feels like a bind.
It feels like something that can be like tie us down, or it sounds boring. Like so many of my clients have gone like Oh, corporate and. I think we have that association with it, but when we think of doing something consistently, we get it mixed up with doing it constantly. So if I say to clients, Oh, you need to consistently tell your audience about your offers to ensure that you're selling them.
They think it's constantly; they go, Oh, I don't want to sell all the time. And I was like, Well, it didn't say all the time. I said consistently. So I think those two things give it a little bit of a bad rep, but the reason it's so important. Well, two reasons. First of all, energetically, we want that structure in our business.
We need that foundation where things are happening at certain times, and they keep happening because that's how we create the compound effect, and that's how we build up our success. So in my own business, that looks like the podcast is released every Monday. That happens like I have SOPs in place. I have a team in place there's, there's no, no negotiation with that.
A newsletter goes out on Friday, rounding up my week. There's no negotiation with that on Tuesday. There's a welcome post in the Facebook group. Like there are all of these small things, but they happen. And as you know, Rose, you've been in my audience for a while. They happen every week. Yeah. And that has enabled me to grow my audience, serve my audience, and create that compound effect where people get to know, like, and trust me without too much effort on my part because.
It's just part of the process now. It's just part of the system, and it means that I can be flexible. On top of that, I can be creative. If I suddenly feel fired up and want to write an email on a Tuesday, I can do that. But if I don't, it's fine because the podcast still went out on Monday, and the next email's going out on Friday.
So, Consistency gives a base of consistency and provides us with that place to be creative and playful in our business. But more importantly, what it does is it helps to regulate our nervous system because each time we stop and start and we, you know, don't do anything for a few weeks, and then we have to start again.
The amount of effort. And it takes us to get going is exhausting, especially as highly sensitive. And we go through the whole, you know, brain chatter of, Oh, I stopped, I failed. I didn't do very well. I'm useless. I need to start again. It's so hard. I'm going to be tired. Like, you know, we tell us all, Well, I used to tell myself anyway, all of these things, and then we start again.
It's like pushing that boulder up the hill, getting the momentum going, and it's exhausting. And then when we stop again, we have to keep going through that, and it's so bad for the nervous system. Whereas that kind of baseline consistency, that low level of these, is what I just do. Every week, every day, every month, whatever the cadence is on them, another system gets used to them.
And that's when our new normal. There are no spikes. There are no adrenaline spikes. When a podcast episode is released, mm, I think it just happens, right? So it enables me to feel safe in my business, and I know that the company is operating regardless of whether I want to take a day off. I'm busy with client calls and don't get around to posting on social media.
It doesn't matter because those foundations are still there.
[00:05:45] Rose: It sounds so easeful when you put it that way, and it just sounds like having peace of mind in your business knowing that you've got these processes and these systems that do run in the background even though there are certain things that you need to do, but having, having those routines and habits, I guess, is all part of it as well, isn't it?
[00:06:05] Emma-Louise: Absolutely. And then the great thing with our own business and we have access to so much technology and to be able to bring team members on, is that we don't have to be sat there doing those things. I'm not sitting there on Monday when the podcast episode is released. You know, it's prescheduled quite often I've recorded it—even a couple of months in advance when I batch record when I feel inspired to record. So again, these things are happening, but I'm not having that rigidity or that, you know, I need to sit at my desk at nine o'clock on Monday morning. But regardless of that, the business still ticks over.
[00:06:40] Rose: Yeah. So you mentioned SOPs before, and for those who are listening and don't know what SOPs are, can you explain a little bit, please?
[00:06:51] Emma-Louise: Yeah. So by that, I mean standard operating procedures. And when we first start a business, maybe we're freelancers or solo preneurs, and we don't tend to think that much about these things because it's just us, right?
And we're like the one woman band or the one man band doing everything. But as we grow, when we want to think about hiring a team or maybe automating things, it's essential to have these procedures written down. So basically, anyone on my team could do my Friday newsletter because we have a document that is so granular describing precisely what happens.
It's like, this is where you can find it; I write the newsletter, obviously, but you know, it lives in a specific folder. So the first part of that operating procedure is to go to this folder. And find this week's newsletter. And then the next part of it is logging into activecampaign.com, and you know, here are the details to log in.
And then it's so granular of exactly how, which type of form do we use, Which font do we employ in the newsletter? Which colour? And that might sound like, whoa, you know, extreme. But what it means is that I could hire anyone. I can use technology, anyone that can use the internet and they can go and do that, and it will continue with or without me.
So that has just built up from what I was doing myself week after week until the business grew to the point that I decided to take on support. But having those operating procedures in anything for me removes the overwhelm. Like I have them for client onboarding, for client offboarding, for you know, podcast guests to make sure that they get thank you email to make sure that they get sent the marketing materials, you know when their episodes are released.
So we have these procedures for everything. Again, it feels easeful. You go through a bit of time creating them that you feel like, ugh? But once they're done, everything just feels more manageable.
[00:08:51] Rose: Yeah. And I guess if a team member was to leave, rather than you feeling a bit stressed that you are going to have to take over their job, you've got it all documented, which I love.
[00:09:02] Emma-Louise: Exactly, Exactly that.
[00:09:03] Rose: And when do you recommend people start to create their SOPs?
[00:09:08] Emma-Louise: Yesterday, Yeah, like absolutely do anything you do in your business. From today, I would encourage you to listen to anything you do not have to do yourself and document it down.
Just write it in a Google Doc, or if it's something more involved, you can use loom.com and you. Do a screen video of you talking through it to say, Hey, this is what I do. I click here; I put this here. You know, we post this, we schedule this, and then you've got it if you need to outsource if you, Sorry.
[00:09:50] Rose: Sorry, my cat just jumped up. For anyone listening, we're giggling because my cat just jumped in front of the computer.
[00:10:00] Emma-Louise: It was the way she walked under the mic!
Just start doing anything that you don't have to do. So for me, as a coach, I have to coach. Like, that's my zone of Genius. That's why my business exists so that I can get on calls with clients. That's not something I'm going to outsource. I also record my podcast. I also record training materials for my programs.
All those things are me; someone else can do pretty much everything else in my business. Even though for the longest time at the start, I didn't believe that. I was like, No one's going to be able to schedule this newsletter. Perfect. Or no one's going to post my Facebook posts with the right, you know, they're not going to get the italics right or all of this.
But that's a lie; people do it way better than I can.
[00:10:46] Rose: And as you say, it's your, your zone of genius is the coaching. And I'm not saying you're not good at posting on Facebook, but your zone of genius and where, you, should be spending your time and your business is the coaching and the podcasts. Makes so much sense.
So I know that you talk a lot about the nervous system, Emma, Louise. Can you share how or why you think the success of your business is so linked to your nervous system and energy?
[00:11:18] Emma-Louise: It's so linked to our body, and something that the online business space does very well is talking a lot about mindset, which is incredibly important.
I'm a mindset coach. I totally sign off on that. But what I have seen over and over again is clients who spend an hour a day writing in their journal or, you know, making a nice vision board. But if you say to them, Oh, right, someone's booking a call to sign up as a client, they go into freeze.
Because of the panic in their nervous system, things come up like; I can't change that. And what if I don't do a good job? And what if they complain about me or, Yeah. On all these things, all of these fears that we, you know, haven't at the start of business. Come up, and they cause us to just go into a complete freeze.
And that's where we get exhausted, and that's where we burn out. So I always say you can have the fanciest website, you can have the best-looking marketing, and you can be doing all of the mindset hacks. But if your nervous system is not primed for success, if your nervous system is constantly in the fight, flight, or freeze, and your nervous system is not allowing you to act, enjoy the business and relax, and it's a, in this hypervigilant state where everything in the company feels like a threat that's not sustainable. . ,
[00:12:36] Rose: That's so true. And I, yeah, I love that because it's such an essential part of us being sensitive to look after our nervous system.
And because this is the Sensitive CEO Show, how would you link sensitivity to success?
[00:12:56] Emma-Louise: Oh, I love that. So, I believe that our ability as sensitives to notice everything. I read a quote the other day that said the average person might walk into a room and notice 50 bits of information, and a highly sensitive person will see 500.
You know, it has its pros and cons because that can be exhausting. And I'm sure you have the same thing, and you understand entirely; you can get completely overstimulated. But what that means if you're working in a capacity with a client, or say as a designer or a copywriter, and you have that ability to notice those slight, imperceptible, nuanced energy shifts or those little details.
You know, 80% of the population would just glance across and never even take in. I think that awareness, that sensitivity, that being able to feel and empathise and just notice things, that to me, having that awareness is what makes us primed for success.
[00:14:00] Rose: And something else you talk about is incremental growth.
Where do you recommend your clients start when, say, if they're just starting a new business and they, you know, they start from nothing, but they want to earn a certain amount at the end of the year? How would you define incremental growth in that sense?
[00:14:21] Emma-Louise: So what can often happen is that, let's just say, that exact situation.
Someone came to me in January; they’re brand new and have a revenue target for the end of the year. Of course, there are things we can do. We can reverse engineer that target based on, you know, their product suite and what they've got available to sell. How many clients would they need to onboard during 12 months to make that goal?
All of that is great, but I always get them to focus on the first client, the first project, selling the first product, whatever it is, because when you have sold the first, you can celebrate and be proud of yourself. And then you do the next, and then you do the next.
And what so many people do is they come on, and they go, Oh, I need ten clients. And that just feels overwhelming. What if you never signed a client and don't have that confidence in your ability because you don't have the evidence because you haven't done it yet, and you feel like you’ve got to do it?
Ten times over that can be enough as highly sensitive and introverts to make us just go; this is too much like the nervous system just goes. No, but when you focus on the one. And you've done one, then you do two, and then you do three. And then, in no time, you'll have 10.
[00:15:36] Rose: . . I heard a quote the other day it said what you appreciate, appreciates. So I guess having that success and, sorry, the celebration of having that first client, you appreciate that so, You understand that, and it grows, and I just, I love that. I love that saying; it seems to blend in well with what you are saying.
[00:15:57] Emma-Louise: I love that quote. And it's so, so true. And we are conditioned in society and especially as women, for those of us, you know, listening to that are female, to always be doing more and striving higher. And it's never good enough. And I've seen so many clients, and they do not celebrate. They hit goals that they would've thought were unattainable even three months ago.
And then they reach it, and they go, Okay, what's next? And they don't take any time to pause and celebrate, or they go, Oh yeah, I did hit it, but, and somehow downplay it and, and talk it, talk it down. It's the most significant mindset shift we've been taught. Maybe it's terrible to be proud, or we don't want to be showing off, or you know, Oh, you first I'm one client, but you didn't sign two so.
That's that. So that's why I like making those goals granular and micro, like focusing on the one client, getting the one client, celebrating the win, and then moving on.
[00:16:53] Rose: . Something I love to do with my clients is getting them to keep a success journal. So every time something, you know, they sign a client, or they have an excellent call with someone, they write it down and whenever they're feeling in a, in a funk, which, we all get there sometimes, and they can go back and read all these successes, and they can put their client testimonials in there, and it's such an nice exercise to do. I think that's so good for your mindset.
[00:17:24] Emma-Louise: So good and then good for the nervous system because our thoughts create our emotions, which affect our nervous system.
So that's where I think the mindset has a huge part in this, but it has to be linked to the body. It can't just be this vacant kind of; I will make a hundred thousand dollars by December and write it out a hundred times, and then it will happen. We have to feel safe in that. And exactly like you said, by looking back at the previous success and seeing the evidence and feeling into that energy.
That's precisely how we can prime ourselves for success.
[00:17:59] Rose: How do you link the mindset to your body? What are some tips you can share with people listening today?
[00:18:06] Emma-Louise: So I would encourage you to think when you are doing if you're doing mindset work if you're doing affirmations if you're doing journaling, you know, if you're creating a vision board or writing out a, a list of desires, any of those things.
Are you connecting it to your body, or are you just going through the motions? Cause what I've seen quite a lot with clients is they're like, But I'm doing my mindset work. But it's almost like, like writing out, you know, like Bart Simpson on the Intro to The Simpsons, and he is writing out the lines on the chalkboard.
I always think of that because, It's like, and just right now, the same thing repeatedly. And, and there's, there's no emotion to it. And you know, I had a client, and I always use this example because it's so great, and she doesn't mind me sharing it, but she was, you know, doing affirmations, and she's like, Nothing, you know, nothing's changing.
I do not see any results. And I was like, okay, so this girl's from New Jersey, she was very New Jersey and I said, tell me your affirmations. And she got her channel, and she's like, I am a channel of divine abundance and flow. And I, and I was like, Do you talk like that? She's like, No, If there's that language, you, And I said If you just went to like your checking account now and there are a million dollars in there, what, what would your reaction be?
And she lit up, and she's moving, and she's like, I'm rich bitch. And like, then that is your affirmation. Because her energy completely shifted. Because she connected. She connected with what she was saying. So, That's what I would invite anyone listening to do. Are you making a connection, or are you just going through the motions?
And if you're going through the motions, how can you connect it? Can you remember a time that you felt abundant, or you felt ease, or you felt like you'd succeeded, you know, whatever the thing is that we want to cultivate more of? When was a time that you felt like that? Can you remember it for a few seconds?
How can you tie it in when you're journaling? Can you close your eyes and feel what that new home will feel like or what that next level of revenue will be? So rather than just, you know, the surface level gets that nervous system activated in those emotions because that's highly sensitive.
That's our greatest gift.
[00:20:21] Rose: Yeah. And it's like you're using all of the senses by, by using all of that and something I love doing and recommend my clients do as well is. When you are saying affirmations or thinking affirmations, do it while you're exercising because you are getting your body into it. It gets you moving, gets your energy flowing, and that's, yeah, just writing it out with no emotion is just not going to achieve a lot, Is it?
[00:20:49] Emma-Louise: No, absolutely not. And I, I think that's so true. They always say that, you know, emotion is energy in motion. So that makes, makes so much sense. And when I go on my morning walk, Yeah. You know, this Rose because you follow me, but I don't take a phone. I don't listen to a podcast I don't like; I take the dog and myself, and that's it.
And that's actually, part of my mindset is just letting my mind wander and allowing myself to dream and come up with ideas and not being constrained by, you know, I do other attitude and energetic practices. Still, that one feels delicious because there’s freedom and movement, and I always have my best ideas during that time.
[00:21:33] Rose: How do you remember them? Because I'm, I'm very similar when I walk, but I have my phone with me because I. I don't know if I've got a shortened memory, but sometimes I don't always remember everything, so I note it. I use a couple of apps on the phone because I'm worried that I'll get home and I'll totally forget what I was thinking.
So how do you remember things?
[00:21:56] Emma-Louise: So I've got a little bit of an unorthodox approach to this in that if I get home and I've forgotten it, I figure it wasn't worth remembering. Because I have many ideas like on every walk I'll probably have two or three arguments, but the ones that drop in and are like, Oh, they'll come back.
This is important. Then that's not going anywhere that that's solidified. So it's that trust, and that's something as an entrepreneur, I've had to learn because I used to think I had to act on every idea. . Which was also exhausting. But sometimes, I can have ideas, and I also have an emotional wave in human design.
I'm an emotional generator, so I often have to sit with things for two or three days anyway, and 99% of things after that time, I'm like, No, I'm not interested.
[00:22:45] Rose: Yeah. That's excellent advice. I love that. . Well, we are about to wrap up, and as you know, I always ask my guests a final question. When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, what do you do?
[00:23:01] Emma-Louise: So, funnily enough, we touched on this, but I do what we would call an RPA to change my state. So that can be, Jumping up and down for 30 seconds to get my energy moving. If I'm inside, it can be going outdoors and breathing fresh air. It could be drinking a pint of water; it could be EFT.
It's anything that changes my physiology for a short period to get me into a different energy frame. And you know, I got this from Tim Ferris, who, you know, Rose and I are a big fan of; we’ve discussed Tim before. He had this quote in a book, and you know what? A quote sticks with you.
And he's like, Sometimes you think you need to change your whole life, but you just need a handful of macadamia nuts in a cold shower.
[00:23:54] Rose: I love that. I haven't heard that quote. I love it. And I love macadamia nuts.
[00:23:57] Emma-Louise: I. Yes, me too. And cold showers. So I always return to that because it's so true, and it's like, maybe I just haven't eaten enough healthy fat, or maybe I'm just a bit dehydrated today.
Or maybe my energy's a bit stagnant because I've been sitting at the desk for two hours, and I just need to do some, you know, star jumps or take a shower. So, and that can be different things for, for other people. You know, changing my state, I could lie in my bedroom in the dark if I've been out and around many people.
That's also. I am changing my state. So whenever I feel overwhelmed or stagnant or any kind of feeling that is not conducive to me being successful, I'm like, What can I do? There's always something we can do instantly to change our energy.
[00:24:40] Rose: Well, my goodness, so much excellent advice in this episode, Emma Louise. Before I let you go, can you share where people can find you? And I'll be popping all the links in the show notes, but if you can, just share with the audience where they can find you.
[00:24:55] Emma-Louise: So probably the most accessible place to find me is Instagram, where I'm at, Ambitious introvert. I also have a Facebook group called the Ambitious Introvert Network, which is very friendly.
We allow promo any day of the week. People are just very nice in there. It's got a lovely vibe. So, I would love to see you there. And, of course, as you mentioned, I have a podcast, the Ambitious Introvert Podcast, released every Monday, as we know.
[00:25:23] Rose: Brilliant. Well, thank you so much, Emma-Louise, it's been lovely to talk with you today.
[00:25:28] Emma-Louise: Thank you so much for having me.