Sue Rasmussen – Book Journeys Author Interview Transcript – Feb. 2, 2017

Book Journeys Author Interview – Feb. 2, 2017

 

Jenn McRobbie with Sue Rasmussen, author of My Desk Is Driving Me Crazy: End Overwhelm, Do Less and Accomplish More and Unclutter Your Spirit.

 

”I really believe that there’s a book that’s tapping you on the shoulder.” ~Sue Rasmussen

 

Jenn:

Hello, everyone! It is February second and you’re joining us for another Book Journeys Radio, where we speak to accomplished authors who’ve gone from just having an idea for a book to a finished book and out making a difference in the world. Today’s author is Sue Rasmussen, and I’m super excited to introduce her to you because she  is a clutter coach, and I’m gonna let you – let her tell you what that bit’s about, but Sue is a two-time author with us, her first book is called My Desk Is Driving Me Crazy, and it’s already out and available on Amazon. So, while you’re listening to the show, pop on over to Amazon and search for that and download it, but her second book, Unclutter Your Spirit, we are releasing next week, on February ninth, so be on the lookout for that as well. Sue, welcome to the show.

 

Sue:

Thank you so much, Jenn, I’m really excited to be here.

 

Jenn:

Thank you so much for joining me, I’m sure you’re – in the throes of preparing for next week’s launch, so I appreciate you taking time out for the show.

 

Sue:

Thanks, that’s really exciting to get ready for the next launch and … everybody on the red carpet and … it’s very exciting.

 

Jenn:

Yes, it’s definitely – … we definitely added a lot ot the production level, and so, it is really …. So, the first thing I – … we ask guests on the show is if they can tell our listeners a little bit about their book and who their book is for. And since you’ve got two books, you can … handle that question however it’s easiest for you to answer.

 

Sue:

Sure, and …. Both books are really for a similar reader, the … –

 

Jenn:

Oh, good.

 

Sue:

– is – yes, they’re – they’re for similar readers, My Desk Is Driving Me Crazy is written for – primarily for a woman entrepreneur who is finding herself overwhelmed with everything that comes at her during a typical day, e-mails, paper, to-do’s, all the different decisions that she has to make as an entrepreneur, and so she gets – … it’s just very easy to get distracted, so she – she ends up stepping back and wondering, even though she’s busy all day long, “Am I actually doing the important things that I need to get done?” So, that’s really the – the reader for this first book.

 

Jenn:

I could relate to that! I could relate to that.

 

Sue:

Yes, …. Yup. and the second book is – it’s really for a very – again, it’s a very similar reader, and it’s a – it’s a woman entrepreneur who has already done a lot of personal and professional and spiritual development, so she’s read a lot of books, a lot of self-help, she’s really focused on being her very best self, and she’s having this little inkling, because she’s heard that clutter has an impact on her business and on her life –

 

Jenn:

Right!

 

Sue:

– and so, she’s – … she’s looking at how does – how does that really impact me on a deeper level, other than just, “Hey, I’m gonna clean up some stuff”? So, it’s for somebody who’s a little bit more advanced, or a lot advanced, and really wants to see, how does my – how does the stuff in my home and in my office have an impact on who I am being in my connection with – I call that my – … my connection to your inner wisdom, or your authentic self. So, she’s really looking at that and she’s – she’s looking at, “How do I – how do I release or clear out anything that might be getting in the way of me being my very best self, or living my best life? And how does it affect my business?”

 

Jenn:

Wow. That’s such a big … topic, how – how did you fill that in one book?

 

Sue:

Well, … it’s interesting, because I … written the book – I – I … the book, because ….

 

Jenn:

Of course!

 

Sue:

But really, the – … the thing that I focus on … in the book is a coupla things. One, to reassure people that it makes a really big difference, it’s something as – as straightforward sounding as clutter or …, makes a really big difference in … decisions that you make about your life, and the – how you approach every day, what you believe about yourself. And so, I focus on that four most important aspects of clearing clutter from that standpoint … –

 

Jenn:

Right!

 

Sue:

– and reassure people that it – that it – it really makes a difference, and that you can do it. Because people … – go ahead!

 

Jenn:

I like that – no, … – you’re so right, I just like that idea because I always – this this leads from a personal standpoint, … I approach clutter from a place …, “Oh, my gosh! I can’t find something!” And … it’s something that I have to address … right now, at this moment, because I need to find something I’m looking for, but what I hear you saying is that that has longer and deeper impacts than on – than what is exactly happening at this moment.

 

Sue:

Exactly. And … for me, this is … a piece of it that – … that I tell people over and over again is that, most people think clutter is a problem to be solved, … “Oh, I’m so disorganized,” or “I’m so lazy that I didn’t get the sandals,” or – … it’s a problem, and I look at it … – I look at it in a very different way. I look at it as a blessing, and I call it the “treasure map,” or “a treasure map to your inner good sense of you use what bugs you” about your environment, the things that you can’t find or the things that feel like piles of paper, or the – … the closet that you don’t want anybody open the door. The – that … holds some very strong clues about where you’re misaligned with who you really are, and so, I look at it as – I always get super excited when somebody says, “Augh, I can’t stand my closet!” and I’m … “Oh, yay! There’s a breakthrough here! There’s a magical breakthrough right through here, waiting to happen.”

 

Jenn:

Right!

 

Sue:

Instead of … you’re disorganized, because, to me, it’s not at all, it’s … really amazing opportunity that somebody tends they have to, if they choose to.

 

Jenn:

Yes. That makes so much sense. And – and it takes a lot of the pressure off!

 

Sue:

Oh, it does, because people beat themselves up a lot about their stuff. They’re embarrassed about it, they don’t want anybody to – … “Don’t open the drawers,” or “…” or even – even if they’re not really … – they don’t consider themselves musty, but they still have pockets of it, there’s a big shame and what people think and there’s a lot wrapped up in it. And my job is to take that all away and say, “Look – look at this differently, let’s re-frame it, and look at what is this, … – what’s holding that stuff in place? What’s – what’s underneath it?” And that’s where … – I look at it … that’s the magic of the opportunity here, and then, next week, let’s really look at what’s underneath that thing, clear in a physical second! Really easy.

 

Jenn:

Right! Now, that makes – that makes so much more sense to me than – … I literally, this morning, too, was tearing apart my office because I couldn’t find something that – that my husband needed, and of course, that led down the rabbit hole of me having to … go through all of the papers that I’ve been piling and doing all these things, and I love the idea of investigating … instead of freaking out in the moment, but investigating why I prefer to keep things in piles than in neat, organized files. That resonates with me, and it makes a lot of sense.

 

Sue:

Yes. … and it’s really – to me, it’s a fun process, and I – people always – they … laugh, because they’ll tell me and … all this stuff, and I’m always excited, “Oh, this is so great! We’re gonna get right at it!” And I’m the only person that I know gets excited about me telling them.

 

Jenn:

Yes!

 

Sue:

But … because – I know, … – it’s really is, a … of a breakthrough, right there, waiting to happen. And you get your stuff cleared up.

 

Jenn:

… Right! … there’s a double benefit, right?

 

Sue:

 

Jenn:

Are you naturally organized? Is this how you came about, becoming the clutter coach?

 

Sue:

… it’s interesting, because, yeah, I’ve been organized since I was a kid, … thi – literally going, biking around, I was rearranging my closet, rearranging the furniture in the house, but I wasn’t focused on what to keep and what to let go of until I got divorced. And … before, … it was all organized, it was all me, but fine, but I had a lot of stuff, and when I got divorced, when I was about forty, I was lost and I was terrified about what my life was gonna look like, and I had no idea how this – … I really looked at – … I don’t even know who I was. I – I had this life that I had built …, surrounded by beautiful stuff and built our dream house and all that, but I looked at it all and I said, “I don’t even know, really, who I am.” Because … how my expectations or how I thought I was expected to live marriage, but I had no idea if it is my life. And so, … having any other idea to do, I decided that I was gonna start going through my stuff and decided what to keep and what to let go of based on, “Who do I wanna be now?” now that I have this blank slate, that empty canvas that I can create on fresh, … –

 

Jenn:

Right! Of course.

 

Sue:

– deciding what to keep and what to let go of, because the stuff represents how my life is, and it was hard, I had no idea how to do it. I really didn’t, because I – nobody was talking about it that way, so I started doing it, and I had a very tough time letting go of things and why – what it meant about me and what it meant about success and life and who I was supposed to be, and that’s how it started. So, it was – organize, well, I had down. That wasn’t a problem, that was easy, but letting go, which, to me, … clutter is, “Are you keeping something or are you letting it go?”

 

Jenn:

Yes.

 

Sue:

And – most of us are … surrounded by stuff that no longer reflects and supports who you really are, no longer really serves us. We keep it around because we think it means something, but it actually doesn’t.

 

Jenn:

Right.

 

Sue:

… – it’s so hard to let go of things, especially things that we … think are either tied up in our identity or who we … feel, whatever. Or even …

 

Jenn:

… call it nostalgia, right? … call it nostalgia, it’s so hard to let go of something for that.

 

Sue:

And that – or – or things … very expensive, or “If I let it go, … need it someday,” there’s a whole bunch of stuff wrapped up in it.

 

Jenn:

Oh, I’m sure, I’m sure you hear that – well, you heard it from your own head, but you probably hear it from all your clients, too, right?

 

Sue:

All the time, exactly the same messages, and that’s what the treasure hunt is really about is, what are the messages that we truly think are true, that … we believe are them, but they actually aren’t true for us.

 

Jenn:

Wow.

 

Sue:

Because most of the same things that surround us are based on fear or guilt or whatever.

 

Jenn:

Right!

 

Sue:

… if we can start shifting or reframing … to lead, those stories that we have about life, then stuff is just stuff at that point. Right now, we – we think it’s something much more than that.

 

Jenn:

Right.

 

Sue:

So – so, clutter clearing, to me, is – … again, it’s much more than just, “Let’s clean up our space,” it’s, “Let’s actually decide who we are,” consciously, emotionally, what brings us joy, who we wanna be.

 

Jenn:

Wow. So, how long have you been helping people with their clutter?

 

Sue:

I’ve been – I’ve been a coach for … 1998, and I went through … some evolution as a coach, I started off as a career coach, and then I was a marketing coach because a lot of my career coaching clients started their own businesses, but what I found was, I always … crept in, that I would always ask something, … “Well, what’s getting in your way of you … doing the things you really wanna do?” or “What – what’s distracting you?” And I noticed that I al – almost … weaving that back in, but I tell you, I was listed – clutter coaching for a very long time.

 

Jenn:

 

Sue:

… yeah, and … I almost … had little tantrums about it, because I always wanted to help out this, and in my mind, I was … “Yeah, but it’s – … it’s just my opinion, I – I think it’s important, but nobody else’d be interested in it,” if I had all this – I had already decided in my own head about helping people with their clutter, so that was a big deal for me, to – to … with them and le – and let that go. So, listen to the very – … very simple, graceful process, I could have got to it kicking and screaming.

 

Jenn:

How do you go from that, then, to writing a book about it? … that’s – that’s really … coming out with your inner clutter coach, isn’t it?

 

Sue:

Well – … and I actually did work with – … I have worked with people for a number of years on it, so it’s – … not like this book is just, boom, here it is, all of a sudden, … – and this … book, Unclutter Your Spirit, was actually a very challenging book for me to write. The first book, it was so easy to write, the second book? Because it was tapping into the core – … it’s tapping into the core of who I think I’m here to be, I think I’m really her to be a clutter coach.

 

Jenn:

Right! Right!

 

Sue:

But I – … I started writing three other books first. And this was the fourth, in – in the little, teeny, tiny time we have to write a book, I finally admitted to myself, “… there’s a book that wants to be written,” and I just have to get out of the way and write it, even though my head just – “No, don’t write that one!” So –

 

Jenn:

Wow!

 

Sue:

…. But now that I’ve written it, I am ecstatic about the book. It – … I had to wrestle to write it, I had to really connect with my guidance to write it and get out of my own way, and now that I’ve written it, it is – it is exactly what I wanted to write. Exactly. ….

 

Jenn:

Uh. That makes me so happy to hear! …. I love that. Well – … but because of that, ‘cause you started with all these other … books that you might write, in the meantime, did that make it hard to settle on this topic, or was it …

 

Sue:

Well, …no, it was interesting about this is, I started three other books, about halfway through them, it felt like – I actually felt like I was having roadblocks all over the place, and those are my … thing is weird, … that working and I talked with Angela, my publisher, my publishing coach, talked to her about it and – and I said, “… isn’t …, it’s not coming together,” so she and I sat down and we really looked at, if I set aside everything that my head had thought the book should be, what’s the book that wanted to be written?

 

Jenn:

Right.

 

Sue:

And – and when she asked me that, it came right out of my mouth, and I just … this is it. And so … – but I had to get to that point, and I think that’s why it means – that the book means so much to me, because I – yeah, it just means so much to me, and now that it’s written, it’s – it’s almost … “Well, of course I would write that book,” it’s so obvious and of course it would be written in …, the book four, … it was …, “Wow, this book is so complicated and so hard and so -” So, it’s been a really amazing process, for me to write this book, … a very supportive process for me, and I’m delighted that – I don’t actually – delighted that it – that it meant the way that it did, even though it didn’t feel easy, but it – think it made it happen that way.

 

Jenn:

Well, I think so, and I – and you end up learning so much more about yourself, and even your topic, when you have to … fight for it. Right?

 

Sue:

Yes! Yes. Yes. Yeah. Yes.

 

Jenn:

You … and it – it sounds terrible, to put it that way, but ….

 

Sue:

Sort of, it works. ….

 

Jenn:

When the first one seemed to flow out of you, … from the experience, and the second one, you had to fight for it, that – that’s a good thing.

 

Sue:

Oh, yeah, it’s … – it really feels precious to me, it feels like – and it feels so aligned about who I am because to write – I had very little time left to write it. By the time I had  written three other half books, and then I had this, I had very little time left – I had two weeks left to do the whole thing.

 

Jenn:

Oh, my goodness.

 

Sue:

And so, I – yeah. So, I really had to literally just take my hands off the wheel, and every day, I sat down and used Angela’s … About Visualization process, … the Creativity Temple Process, which … up, and I just sat every day, and I did the visualization and I wrote down whatever came out of it, and I used that to write the book. And I just said, “I am completely retaking my hands off … trying to direct this.” Because I’m – I realized it’s not me to direct – it’s not mine to direct, it’s – because I’ve tried that and that’s not working, so –

 

Jenn:

Right.

 

Sue:

And I just – everyday, I’m … “I have no idea what I’m gonna write today.” I have no idea where this is gonna go, and … –

 

Jenn:

Incredible …!

 

Sue:

I know! …. And it worked. The process really worked.

 

Jenn:

Wow. I’m intrigued with this idea, because I think, like a lot of female entrepreneurs – well, maybe entrepreneurs in general … I can be a bit of a control freak.

 

Sue:

Oh, me, too, …. Right?

 

Jenn:

And I am … Yeah, and controlling them and making sure they go exactly the way you want and – and all that, and – and the idea of release making things easier? … blows my mind.

 

Sue:

Me, too. And the beauty of it is, to write this book, I had to let go of – because clutter, to me – … I talk about this in the book, but physical clutter is only the first layer of clutter, so I describe the clutter pyramid, and physical clutter is the base of the pyramid because it’s the visible, tangible representation of clutter. But then, moving up the pyramid, you’ve got … virtual clutter, which is computer clutter and social media and all that … stuff, so it’s not really physical but it – it’s definitely clutter, and then you move up to things like mind clutter, emotions, then spirit – spirit clutter at the top, and that’s what I was wrestling with.

 

Jenn:

Wow.

 

Sue:

… my internal clutter and thoughts and beliefs about what – what kind of book do – should I write versus what kind of book wants to be there. And for me, it was – I had to basically be willing to let go of any preconceived ideas and thoughts about what I could make this book be like, and then, when I did that, everything aligned. So, it was … me taking a Master’s course in what the book is about to be able to ….

 

Jenn:

Right! … it makes complete sense and is making me a thousand times more excited than I already was, to download this book on February 9 and start reading it! Because it – it’s going to be – … this really – I feel it’s gonna be this really fascinating look into what it is to … become what you’re writing about. You became your future book while you were writing, and I feel … “Wow, I’m gonna get to observe that process.” I’m – I’m so glad we talked before I got a chance to read your book, because I might not have gotten it out of there!

 

Sue:

Yes. Well, they do share – in the book, I do share some of – I at least shared one of the stories about the process of writing the book, and – and how, to me, it represented not only mind clutter but also physical clutter, … because even as I was writing the book, I had all these notes all over, and I was doing the Book Backward process, which is one of the techniques that we used to write the book, which is phenomenal, and I was getting myself all confused about that, and I even had to let some of that stuff go. … I would have to say, “… all of my notes,” because when I check with myself, … my body says, “Let go of all the notes,” which, of course, completely freaked me out. So –

 

Jenn:

Oh, yeah, it gave me heart palpitations, and it’s not my book.

 

Sue:

Exac – well, believe me, I – I was … “No. No! You don’t get it! I need all those things.” So, I –

 

Jenn:

Really? ….

 

Sue:

– …and as I described in the book, me … through the process of writing the book, and it was – yeah, when you’re doing something like that, it – to me, it’s a – a huge act of trust when you ask your inner guidance about something and it tells you an answer that you don’t really want to hear, and then you … anyway. Right? So ….

 

Jenn:

Right. Yes. … that alone – yeah, that alone is a lesson, …. it’s not even just talking about clutter or whatever but learning to trust that inner voice of yours when it tells you something, one way or the other, that is a huge lesson.

 

Sue:

Well – and it’s huge, and how I teach people how to go through their stuff is … to check in with their inner wisdom, rather than their mind, about whether to keep something or let something go, because you’re very often going to get a different answer.

 

Jenn:

Of course.

 

Sue:

So, … right into ho – yeah, how do you – and tr – again, trusting that is the thing that – that’s where I do most of my coaching. Almost ninety-five percent of my coaching is that decision point of, “Yeah! But I can’t get rid of it because!” Right? ….

 

Jenn:

Right! …. Do people need to work with you in person, in – or is this something that you can do virtually?

 

Sue:

I never work with people in person. Ever.

 

Jenn:

Oh! Really.

 

Sue:

So, … – yeah, people think, oh, I’m gonna come in and then I’ll help you organize your closets and stuff. Nope! I don’t. I only work over the phone, I – … so, I teach people how to go over their stuff, and I’m … a virtual … – being with you while you are learning how to do it. So, again, most of the work that I do with people is this stuff that – that comes up that feels hard. So, I can teach the “how to” very quickly, that will – … how do you go through your stuff? That’s very quick. But I – where I really – my work is … the challenge of testing yourself, the challenge of how do you – how do you go about it in a way that supports who you are, so that’s the biggest thing … as a result, they’re gonna get a cleared up space, so they absolutely ….

 

Jenn:

Right!

 

Sue:

But what I’m really doing is helping people know how to connect with themselves, ask themselves the right questions, and then trust their answers. So, ….

 

Jenn:

… I know how to get in touch with you when I’m ready to do this, … confide to for these sessions, because … this is fantastic.

 

Sue:

Yes. The – the easiest way – because here’s the thing. I really – when I talk with somebody before working with them, I wanna make sure that it’s a very good fit for me, certainly, to make sure that I can help somebody, because I’m not for everybody, and I tell people that right up front, and I wanna make sure that it’s a fit for them, where are they at, …. So, the easiest way to get started is for us to have a conversation. And in the conversation I will ask the person a number of questions, I’ll look for what’s really going on, what’s holding the pattern in place and how can I help? And then, from that point, … we’ll just decide together what the next step is. And it might be working together, it might be doing something completely different, so they – … –

 

Jenn:

Right.

 

Sue:

– somebody wants to have a conversation with me, so they can just … check it out, see what the next step is, is to go to my website, and it’s suerasmussen.com/strategy-session, and if you go on the site there’s a link to the – under “Services” or “Programs,” so . . . .

 

Jenn:

Fantastic. … I cannot believe that we’re nearing the end of our time, and I feel like I could … pick your brain for the next … fifty years on this.

 

Sue:

And I could talk about it …, I love talking about this. ….

 

Jenn:

… Oh, I’m so glad, but the last thing I always like to leave … for the show is, if there’s someone listening who feels like they have a book inside of them, but they just haven’t been able to – to put pen to paper or to take action. What advice would you give to that person to get them started, to push them in the direction to getting that book along?

 

Sue:

Well – such a great question, because … you just heard my story of this book.

 

Jenn:

Right!

 

Sue:

… it’s so worth … – it’s so worth doing, ‘cause if you have this idea that there’s a book that wants to be written – I can tell you there is a book that wants to be written. You’re gonna have no idea exactly how it’s gonna come out, or you think you’re a terrible writer, or you think, “I can’t possibly finish a book,” you absolutely can. And … the process that I went through … – that I’ve gone through twice now, with my publisher, has been phenomenal because, to me, to have somebody be able to support me, especially in the moments where – … I’m all over the map here, and have … bring me back and have … enough structure to support me, that’s what was the most helpful. So, if there’s – I really believe that there’s a book that’s knocking on your – tapping you on the shoulder, you’re here to write a book, and you – … don’t not write it. You must write it. ….

 

Jenn:

You must write it. Oh!

 

Sue:

You must write it. ….

 

Jenn:

We ….

 

Sue:

If you have a book inside of you, you must write it, the world is waiting for it.

 

Jenn:

Whoa. Sue, thank you so much for joining me on the show –

 

Sue:

Thank you!

 

Jenn:

– you’ve been a – a wealth of knowledge, I’ve had a great time chatting with you.

 

Sue:

Thank you! So have I.

 

Jenn:

Great. Well, if anyone listening is looking for Sue, you can find her on her website, suerasmussen.com, but more importantly, go onto Amazon, you can download an e-copy of her book, My Desk Is Driving Me Crazy, or pre-order the print copies, they’re coming out in May, or check your calendar for February ninth and go on to Amazon again and then download Unclutter Your Spirit, Sue’s new book, it will be free on that day, so you’re gonna get all of that wealth of information for free, and I cannot wait to hear how Unclutter Your Spirit changes your world like it sounds like it changed Sue’s. Thanks so much, and join me again next week for another episode of Book Journeys Radio

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