Improve Your Workflow Episode 13 with Catherine Moolenschot

18 October, 2019

Catherine Moolenschot is an Australian author, ghostwriter and book writing mentor who helps professionals write their own books.

‘Improve Your Workflow’ is sponsored by Digital Pigeon. For an extra long, free trial, visit https://www.digitalpigeon.com/workflow/ and use the coupon code: WORKFLOW.

Learn more about Catherine Moolenschot:

Products / Software mentioned in the show:

Techniques being practised:

Icon/s mentioned in the show:

  • Hugh Jackman

Transcript of Improve Your Workflow podcast with Catherine Moolenschot

Voiceover:

Welcome to the Improve Your Workflow podcast, brought to you by Digital Pigeon.

Learn from other creative and media businesses about attracting more work, delivering projects efficiently, getting paid on time, and everything in between.

Paul Evans:

Hi there. And welcome to episode 13, of Improve Your Workflow. My name is Paul Evans and today I'm chatting with Catherine Moolenschot. Welcome to the show, Catherine.

Catherine Moolenschot:

Thanks so much for having me.

Paul Evans:

Awesome. All right. Could you tell the listeners what you do and who you do it for?

Catherine Moolenschot:

Totally. So, I ghostwrite books for CEOs and professionals, and I also write some books of my own as well. So for instance, earlier this year, my latest book, which was the biography of Jim Penman, who's the founder of Jim's mowing and the whole Jim's franchise, I wrote a biography on him and that was published earlier this year.

Paul Evans:

Very cool. Do you have any projects that you can share with us at the moment? Or are they confidential?

Catherine Moolenschot:

Probably not allowed to share them right now.

Paul Evans:

No worries.

Catherine Moolenschot:

Even when they come out, I'm not really allowed to share them because that is obviously the nature of ghostwriting is that I am the ghost, I'm the writer in the background making it all happen.

Paul Evans:

Fair enough. All right, so let's talk productivity. You're a writer. What would you say is the number one productivity hack or way of getting things done, I guess quickly or efficiently that you use?

Catherine Moolenschot:

I love this question because I'm overly obsessed with efficiency. Like the way that my boyfriend and I run our household, it's efficient to the max. We do our cooking for the whole week, every Sunday, we get it done in three hours. We just love efficiency and we look for it in our lives, our business and personal lives. So, I think about this a lot and I actually think the biggest thing that's helped me be more productive, is being really aware of my energy levels at different times of the day and working to that.

So, what I find is sometimes it's like... I'm lucky in that being a writer and ghostwriting these books, it takes a number of months to ghostwrite a book. So, it's not like all my work is always urgent and I'm always being bothered by things. So, rather than having a very reactive workflow, I'm always more of in control of my workflow and what I'm doing each day. And because of that control, I'm able to really plan things out to work with where my energy levels are.

And that means that I'll have a list of things to get done that day, and I won't have a set order that I have to do them in, and so when I'm ... typically in the morning, but sometimes I get winds in the afternoon or even in the evening when I can get the really hard tasks done. And when I get that wind, I really focus on the hard tasks. And when I have a lot of energy and I feel refreshed, I don't spend my time doing the little menial tasks like invoicing or just checking things or sending some audio I need transcribing to my transcribers. I do that when I'm at low energy and I'm feeling a bit tired.

So, I really make sure every moment that I'm really, really on, I'm optimising that for the most productivity possible. And then the moments when I'm not on, I'm still getting work done. But it's all those tasks that are easy to do.

Paul Evans:

Yeah. Okay. No, that makes heaps of sense. All right. So, a previous guest on our show, David Pagotto, mentioned Eat That Frog, and it sounds like it's a similar kind of methodology. Is that right?

Catherine Moolenschot:

Yeah. I think the difference, or my understanding of Eat That frog, is it's more about doing the hard tasks early in the morning.

Paul Evans:

Yeah. Okay. Yep.

Catherine Moolenschot:

So that's not true for me. So, sometimes I literally have had it before where at 9:30 p.m. on a Friday night, when normally I would expect myself to be very tired because I've had a very busy week, but I actually started relaxing at 6:00 p.m. because of said very busy week.

Paul Evans:

Gotcha.

Catherine Moolenschot:

And then by 9:30 p.m. I've got a second wind and I actually get another massive hour of work done. And so, I make the most of those moments.

Paul Evans:

Yeah. Gotcha. Gotcha. All right, so let's talk technology now. As a writer, I'm assuming there's not a huge amount of tech that you need for getting the job done, Microsoft Word or Google Docs or something like that. But, can you tell us a bit about what the tools are you do to get your job done, you use?

Catherine Moolenschot:

Yeah, absolutely. So, I have clients and I also do a bit of book writing, mentoring, which is when I help clients write their own books. And I have some clients who use Scrivener and absolutely love it. It's a really great writing tool for writing books. But I'm actually really old school and I write all my books in Word. I know it really, really well. I have all my favourite ways of using it, so that I can create that book structure and I just really, really love it. So, I actually prefer that. I also like the simplicity of it, I think.

Catherine Moolenschot:

But I also use Google Docs a lot. I use rev.com for some transcriptions. I use their AI service and then I pay someone to correct it because it's not that accurate. But it helps. And so yeah, those are the kind of tech tools that I use.

Paul Evans:

Yeah. Awesome. All right. We're just going to take them a few seconds now to hear from our sponsor.

Voiceover:

This episode is brought to you by Digital Pigeon. Digital Pigeon is the leading file sharing service for creative and media businesses that can't afford to miss deadlines. With a focus on moving large files from A to B quickly and reliably, Digital Pigeon is the tool you can count on where others fail to deliver. Try Digital pigeon out for free today at www.digitalpigeon.com/workflow/ for an extra-long 90-day trial. Now back to the show.

Paul Evans:

All right, Catherine. Usually, the question is if you could work with one brand that you don't already work with, who would that be? But I'm going to reframe it to, if you could write the book for one brand or for one person?

Catherine Moolenschot:

Yep.

Paul Evans:

Who would it be and why?

Paul Evans:

I think I would really love to write a book... I was just thinking about iconic Australians that sound amazing. I'd really love tried to book for Hugh Jackman because he's someone who has obviously been a very successful Australian and everything that I've ever heard about him has just said he's the nicest, most awesome, cool, laid back supportive man in the world.

Paul Evans:

I've heard that as well. Yep.

Catherine Moolenschot:

And I reckon working with him would just be such a joy and an honour. It would be really cool to get his story out there.

Paul Evans:

Does he not have a book already?

Catherine Moolenschot:

No, not that I could see.

Paul Evans:

Okay. All right. Hugh, if you're listening, Catherine's ready to write your book. So give her a yell. Okay. So, Catherine, Google can't be the answer to this question, but how do you go about solving problems that you don't know the answer to?

Catherine Moolenschot:

So, there are different personalities and different personalities go to different places to find answers to problems. So, there's some people who go to the what, and what people often do go to Google. There's other people who go to the how, they tend to also go to Google and then there's other people who go to the who. And I'm a who person. So when I have a problem, I actually mostly don't go to Google, which drives my boyfriend crazy because he doesn't understand that because to him that's the best place to get everything. I actually go ... well, I go to him most of the time because he's a business owner who is much more experienced than me. And if I have any business-related questions, he's the person I go to. He's ridiculously helpful.

Paul Evans:

And he checks Google?

Catherine Moolenschot:

No, he tends to just know the answer to my problems.

Paul Evans:

All right.

Catherine Moolenschot:

I'm very lucky. He's a great business mentor. But then obviously if it's like accounting or legal stuff, I go to my accountant or I go to my lawyer. But then sometimes it's other more interesting questions and there might be other experts or friends who I know who I'll reach out to and say, "Hey, I've just come across this. I know you've gone through something similar, X years ago. Would you give me a heads up?" So, I tend to go to people. That's where I get my information.

Paul Evans:

Yeah. Cool. So do you actively pursue growing your personal network, like attending events and things like that to meet people or is it really just for just the day to day experience that you meet those people?

Catherine Moolenschot:

Yeah. So, I used to go to events, but I wasn't finding, I guess, the kind of people that I was looking for at those events anymore. As my business grew and the problems grew, I found that a lot of the events, maybe I was going to the wrong events, but I found a lot of the events I was going to was people who were very much starting or thinking of starting and I really want to hang out with people who are running big businesses. They know what they're doing, they're really making big waves and doing great things. So events aren't really where I go anymore. I actually, luckily through the work I do, get to grow my network amazingly through my clients because they're really amazing, interesting individuals and I'm so lucky to get to work with them and get to know them as well as I do working on their books. So, that's probably the biggest way that I do, but any other opportunities that I ever have to make people who have achieved a lot and sound inspiring, I jump at it.

Paul Evans:

Yep, makes sense. I have that exact same experience when I was starting a business. Yeah. I used to go to meet-ups and things like that. You get busier and you find that most of the people are at these events are also in that same boat. They're just getting started.

Catherine Moolenschot:

Yep.

Paul Evans:

Yeah. For sure. All right, Catherine, finally, where can our listeners connect with you?

Catherine Moolenschot:

Yeah, totally. So they can connect with me at my website, but my name is an absolute pain. My websites, CatherineWoolenschot.com.au. But the easiest way to find me is to just Google, Jim's Book, which is the latest book that I wrote.

Paul Evans:

Yep.

Catherine Moolenschot:

It's just called Jim's Book. It's a biography of Jim Penman. If you Google that, my name will obviously come up as the author of that book and you can easily find me that way. And then also on LinkedIn as well.

Paul Evans:

Cool. We'll put LinkedIn in the show notes so everyone can find it, but thanks for being so much on the show.

Paul Evans:

Yeah. Thank you so much for having me.

Paul Evans:

Well, Catherine has so much energy there, doesn't she? My favorite takeaway from today's episode is, to be aware of your energy levels throughout the day and get the hard things done when you know you're at those peak levels. I think that's some really great advice and something I know I could be more attuned to. Thanks for listening and until next time, keep on delivering.

Voiceover:

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