Episode 1

Published on:

4th Jan 2024

Your Internal Algorithm (The Most Important One You Need To Understand)

As SEO professionals, we're all familiar with algorithms when it comes to search engines such as Google. However, what about your own personal algorithm? The one algorithm which is the most important one for you to understand, when it comes to your own personal growth and career development. Tune in to this week's episode as Tazmin and Sarah discuss this very topic.

About 'The SEO Mindset' Podcast

Build your inner confidence and thrive.

The SEO Mindset is a weekly podcast that will give you actionable tips, guidance and advice to help you not only build your inner confidence but to also thrive in your career.

Each week we will cover topics specific to careers in the SEO industry but also broader topics too including professional and personal development.

Your hosts are Life Coach Tazmin Suleman and SEO Manager Sarah McDowell, who between them have over 20 years of experience working in the industry.

Sign up to be a guest on the podcast here.

Get in touch

We'd love to hear from you. We have many ways that you can reach out to us to say hello, ask a question, or suggest a topic for us to discuss on a future episode.

Follow us on Twitter

Follow us on Instagram

Follow us on LinkedIn

Send us an email

Check out Tazmin's Website

Check out Sarah's Website

Click here to download your copy of our free 'Growth versus Fixed Mindset' ebook.

Click here to sign up for our newsletter to receive news and updates from the podcast eg latest episodes, events, competitions etc. We will never spam and you can unsubscribe at anytime.

Subscribe and never miss an episode: Listen to The SEO Mindset Podcast

Check out all episodes: The SEO Mindset Podcast website

Resources used for episode

Copyright 2024 Sarah & Tazmin

Mentioned in this episode:

Donate & Support The Podcast

If you enjoy the podcast and listening to our episodes, you can support the podcast by donating a coffee via Buy Me A Coffee for as little as £5. If you leave us a message we can also give you a shoutout. Link below:

Buy Me A Coffee


Sarah McDowell 0:06

ack with our first episode of:

Tazmin 2:01

So exciting. Season eight!

Sarah McDowell 2:06

Yes, first episode of:

Tazmin 2:13

No, it's brilliant. Brilliant stuff. Did you have a good break? Christmas and New Year?

Sarah McDowell 2:17

Yes. I had a wonderful festive break. And new year me and Tasha did a road trip. So we did a road trip of the of the UK. So we did the Lake District Scotland in Newcastle. So it was really good fun. It was really good to take some time out and have some fun, get on the road. And yeah, spend some time looking at scenery, doing some fun stuff. Meeting up with people. So yeah, how about yourself?

Tazmin 2:50

It was good. We went to my cousin who has bought a new house in Birmingham. And they hosted it so I didn't have to cook which was it's nice sometimes you know what, it's nice. And then the Dubai family came over. So we had the little ones who because they have to do it for such a short period of time. They have they see the novelty in wearing Wellington boots and coats and gloves. So that was that was good fun as well.

Sarah McDowell 3:24

I love how that's a novelty to them.

Tazmin 3:26

In the summer. Yeah, in the summer when it was raining. One of them did say It always rains. Why does it always rain? Why indeed.

Sarah McDowell 3:38

alk that you did last year in:

Tazmin 3:57

And it was a topic that was really a way Yeah, so really close to my heart, the topic of well, the title of the podcast is the most important algorithm you need to understand. And it's not the one associated with Google. So I'm just clearing the way right now. The backstory of this was way back when it was locked down. And everyone was working really hard. And it was tough. You know, those days were tough. I remember my manager saying to me, and he takes some time off and I'm thinking where am I gonna go? Why do I need to take time off? But the reality was, I was tired, I spent out and actually did need the week off. And I thought to myself, if I had full access to planes and everywhere, where would I like to go? I'd like to go to Kerala. What would I like to do in Kerala? I'd like to go to one of those yoga retreats where I was going to eat well and relax and reflect. So I imagined myself being there. I created like a little retreat programme. I was, you know, got even the coconut walls of the online shop. But it was the, it was the actual reflection programme that I created that I was talking about at Brighton, because I decided I was going to journal I was going to meditate. And I was going to sort out the nonsense that was going on in my head because I was tired, very negative thinking a lot, a lot of negative thinking at the time. And what it did was it it made me realise that the life that I was living wasn't the life I wanted. And I'd created a vision board during that week. And it was the steps that I took that changed my career from SEO to the coaching that I do now. And the fulfilment and the joy that I get. And I wanted to share it with the audience in Bryson. And being from an SEO background talking to SEO people, I thought, why not use the analogy of an algorithm? So this is how it works. The components, what are the components of the algorithm, you have inputs, you have processes? And then you have outputs? Would you say that's a fair summary of an algorithm? So?

Sarah McDowell 6:29

I mean, yes, make sense, make sense to be. And I just want to say at the beginning, when you introduce the episode topic, and you are like we're going to talk about algorithms, the most important algorithm is not Google. I bet some of our listeners, if they were drinking, whatever, they probably spat it out in shock, like, but yeah, joking aside, it is important. And yeah, I'd say, if I was to sum up an algorithm, yeah, it involves inputs, processes, and outputs, I would. That's the technical, inner workings of an algorithm, isn't it? Yeah.

Tazmin 7:11

And just so we make it super clear to the listeners, the most important algorithm in your life is that of you, you are the most important algorithm. So don't let Google tell you otherwise. Now, if somebody said, Oh, this algorithm isn't creating the right outputs, it's rubbish outputs. And you went to them say this, yeah, this isn't okay. And they'd say, Oh, yeah, you know, well, the inputs on okay. And the processing needs bit tweaking, it's a well, okay, do it then when you? And if they said, No, I'm not going to out? Yeah, you'd say, What do you mean, you're not going to sort it out? It sought out double, so sorted out. And that was a reflection that I had, that if I didn't like the outputs of my life, I needed to sort out the inputs, and, or the processes. And if I wasn't doing there, I was the responsible one, I was the one who needed to get my act together, not life or the world. But me.

Sarah McDowell 8:28

So you can if I'm following what you're saying, you can control your output by your input. So what you are doing internally there? Yeah, there is stuff that you can control.

Tazmin 8:43

Yeah. So I'm going to that that's roughly the journey that we're going to take in this podcast episode. That, you know, just to recap, you're the most important algorithm in your life. Your algorithm consists of inputs, processes, and outputs. And if you don't like the outputs, then the things that you can change are the inputs, or the processes, and we're going to go through each in turn. But that's the summary of what we're going to go through.

Sarah McDowell 9:16

You ready? Excited, right?

Tazmin 9:19

Excellent. So let's start with the inputs. The inputs are, quote, unquote, the fuel that you get from the external world. So that's something from the outside coming into you. And I'm going to talk about four mains main areas. So there's the physical fuel. This is your nutrition, your hydration, your movement, your sleep. They're largely to do with your physical health, and many of us neglect these. So if you're not happy with your outputs, and I don't just mean the way you look or you Your weight or your stamina. But if you're not happy with the way you are, then look at things like, you know, are you eating properly? Are you taking a break during work? Are you getting outside? regularly? Are you sleeping? Well? Are you? Are you mindful of when how many hours you're sleeping? Are you sitting down at a table and eating your meal with your family? Because especially with work from home, those those boundaries become more and more blurred, we will grab a cup of coffee, we will just have lunch while we sitting down and working. All of that has an impact to how you function as a human being. And sleep as well make sense? Do you have do you have a set bedtime? Because you know when when kids are little, and they rub their eyes, big endian? You know, oh, well, they're tired. You to have an internal clock. I have one you have one. Everyone has one. But we don't pay attention to it. Now if we don't pay attention to a child, they get cranky. Well, guess what? So do you so do I, but we might get cranky in a different way. So part of it is looking at your physical, the physical inputs, then the next area is your emotional inputs. So this is everything that you're reading, listening, watching. Is it mainly entertainment? Is it mainly educational? does it enhance you? When you are spending time consuming that emotional input? What's the return on investment you're getting? So if a lot of your time is spent on Netflix or on your phone or WhatsApp giving you a question, not telling you what you should do, or you shouldn't do, if a lot of your time is spent reading educational or self help books, ask yourself what's the return? am I actually doing anything about it? says love question to ask. The third area is your circle of friends and family? Are they energising you? Are they depleting you? They're also part of the inputs into your algorithm? Are they are the people that you can shine in front of? Or do you have to make yourself very small? Because that's going to impact how your algorithm works. The other question is, are you spending time with people where you feel that you are the smartest? Is that serving you? Or is it inflating your ego?

Sarah McDowell:

There's a saying isn't there? You shouldn't always you shouldn't be the smartest person in the room. Yeah, I mean, I may have fluff that saying up a little bit. And I might have not got it to like verbatim. But that's basically what it's saying there is like yeah, don't don't always aim to be the smartest because you're not gonna learn.


Yeah. And what's the other thing you have the some of the five people that you spend the most time with?

Sarah McDowell:

I feel like we're completely nailing sayings right now. But I have heard that one as well. Yeah.


So ask yourself, Who are the people around me? How is that serving the outputs of my algorithm? And then the fourth area and this is really a big bugbear of mine at the moment is your physical environment. Is it setting you up for success? Is the office clutter free? Is your fridge filled with nutritional food? Whatever you want to achieve? Is your environment helping you?

Against gonna take a swig of my tea if you can keep talking for a moment.

Sarah McDowell:

Are you okay? Are we are we a woman down? I mean, yeah, I love all those four key elements that we can be thinking about when we're thinking about what what are we? What's that input? And it's really helpful to have them summarised physical, emotional, emotional, circle that who's in your inner circle and your physical environment because 100% They're all going to have an impact on your output. And yeah, there's definitely things that you've got me thinking about as you You've been sharing that. Something that I've got more aware of is knowing people that I spend time with. And knowing the people where I get energy from that I'm energised when I'm spending time with them. And on the other side where you're not, and it's not necessarily a bad thing, if not everyone you're spending time with is energising you because people bring different things. If they're toxic, that's another kettle of fish, isn't it? I suppose it's just being aware of like, okay, your energy levels, I suppose, isn't it and everything, everything has an impact on your output and how what you're doing and how you are in the world or space.


I think for me, the two are the physical health, as you can tell. And my physical environment, the house has become very cluttered. I can't find the things I want to find. I go to cook a meal, or the spices fall over each other. And it's all bothered me a bit because gosh, nothing is flowing freely. It just feels like a chore. So this weekend is Declutter.

Sarah McDowell:

Do you know what I saw? When I was doing scrolling, as they call it? On Instagram, or whatever social media, there was lots of people decluttering ready for 2024. So and then there was a trend, so rather the so instead of having resolutions, sorry, you say, Okay, these are the things that are in this year. And these are the things that are out. So that was quite interesting to see. But just to add on to your point about nutrition. Something that me and TASH find is when we when we do a food shop, and we plan our meals, and we have structure, we're good at eating healthy, because we spent time putting together okay, this is a nutritious meal for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, the times where we kind of fall off the waggon, so to speak, is when we run out of food, or we haven't had chance to buy supplies or food in because we're both busy individuals. And before we know it, it's eight o'clock on a Tuesday. And it's like okay, we need food, there's nothing to cook. So I completely get it like you need to set yourself up for a win rather than setting yourself up for a failed ain't Yeah.


So those were the inputs, I think it's good time to have a bit of a break. And then after the break, I'm going to go through the processes. And then a little bit of a visualisation exercise about the outputs.

Sarah McDowell:

Oh, so come back, folks, come back.


Right, Sarah? Are you ready for the next parts, we're gonna go through the processes now.

Sarah McDowell:

I am and I'm very excited for a bit of visualisation later.


So, before we get to that we're going to talk about was what are the processes. So the processes are about how you internally function by and large, it's your mindset and the way you think. And to be able to figure out how you are processing information, how you are dealing with situations, you have to become really self aware of who you are and why you do what you do. And what this does is it gives you the ability then to change. Change in your life change in how you respond. And that's really essential for setting yourself up for success. So it's things like, how strong is your mindset? Do you take ownership? Are you optimistic? How do you see the world? How do you see others? What's the story? You're telling yourself? Are you telling yourself that, oh, I'm never going to get promoted? I'm never going to be able to be successful? Or is the story that you tell yourself? I always get the opportunities I'm seeking. I was making the most of it. Because that's going to impact the the outputs of your of your life. Other things are, you know, what do you believe about yourself? Do you believe that you have potential? Or do you believe that you will never be able to do the things that you want to do? How well do you manage your stress? That's another biggie because if you can stay calm in a crisis, the outputs of your life are going to be different.

Sarah McDowell:

Yeah. Because that's, that's such an uncontrollable. And we all have to deal with stress. Yeah. Do you know what I mean? stress happens all the time. So if we can nail stay in calm in a crisis, yeah, sorry, continue.


And you know, I'm going to just elaborate on that. So in order to be able to stay calm in a crisis, you have to be able to regulate your emotions. If you are not eating well, exercising, well sleeping, well, you're going to be more on edge, meaning they're going to be less able to be able to stay calm in a crisis. So they all are connected.

Sarah McDowell:

Up, that's a podcast episode itself. What else? What else? Is there?


Another biggie, do you have the resilience to pick yourself up when things go wrong? I mean, you know, things will go wrong, if you want to try something new. If you want to go for a new goal, just take it for granted. It's not going to go right the first time. How are you going to deal with that? Another key one is do you know what your values are? And is your life aligned to them? For me, I've learned that when I was fighting the value I had of being a homemaker, and not achieving the goals I wanted to achieve, that used to create this in a tussle. I've now accepted that a big part of my life and important part of my life, is looking after my home and my family. So now when I set goals, and make sure that it's aligned with that, that is, and part of why I have this business is so that I can work the hours I want to work. By and large. I do know that you know, it's it's eight o'clock at night, and we're recording a podcast. But that's what works for me. Are you spending time on things that matter? Or are you wasting time on things that don't matter? So all of these things, you know, your inner chatter, your story, your belief system, your value system, the baggage that you hold on to how you manage time, how you manage energy, all of this is so key to how you're working internally, and it will impact the outputs that you have in your life.

Sarah McDowell:

100% 100%


We've got any to add to that. I mean, there's hundreds that you could ask what is anything that's, that's coming up in your in your mind?

Sarah McDowell:

I mean, I think you covered a lot of the of the main ones and the big ones. And I'm sure our listeners, as you were given some examples, they could think of things that were relevant, relevant to them. But yeah, just to sort of echo like this, how you manage stress, making sure that you see potential in yourself and seeing situations in a positive light, maybe giving, being positive and telling a positive story about yourself. Thinking about your mindset. I mean, I've just echo that everything that you've said. And yeah, there's going to be so, so so much more. That yeah, that our listeners will probably be thinking and this and that. But other things is like your confidence, resilience, sort of thing. Yeah, all of these things matter. And I think they're all underpinned by self awareness. And I think we talk about self awareness a lot on this podcast. But the more that you know about yourself, the more that you know, okay, this is how I deal with these situations. This is how I am as a person, then you're going to be in a better position, aren't you?


Yeah. And if any of our listeners want in the show notes, I'll be putting a link to a free ebook that they can download about that. It'll help them through the journaling process and learning how to become self aware. But if you know, other things, like do you end up reacting to a situation and then think later, I wish I'd done something different. Because all the things that we've talked about here, everything you can change, none of it is set in stone. So if You feel that your negative Chatter is having an impact your outputs in the way you don't want them to be, or your belief system or your confidence. These are all things that you can change in yourself.

Sarah McDowell:

And you can also learn from experiences. So say for example, you find yourself in a situation. And with what you just said there about how you reacted, yeah. Any situation life is going to throw situations at you all the time. And if you can reflect and be like, oh, actually reflecting back on how I reacted in that situation. And I want to be different. I want to have a different mindset, or I want to be different next time. That's going to help you with this as well, isn't it? Absolutely.


And that reflection process journaling is so key to be able to do that. And I'm hoping to record an episode on journaling this this season.

Sarah McDowell:

Oh, this cross, you heard it here first. Right? Is it time for visualisation?


It is it is right. So this is how it's gonna go. We're gonna we're going on to the fourth part now, which is your outputs. So we've talked about the inputs, we've talked about the processes. Now we're going on to the outputs, and the outputs are everything that makes up your life. So visualise your life as you're you're in a hot air balloon. And your life is you know, your health, your relationships, your career, your social life, your character, your goals, your vision. And when we're young, and we're really full of energy. We're not afraid of anything I'll be life just feels very light. This hot air balloon is, you know, light and floaty. But when we get older, our responsibilities increase, but we also lose that sense of adventure and sense of self and we're more concerned about conforming rather than being us. We need that validation. So when you're in this hot air balloon, hot air balloons are what sandbags around the right now those sandbags are the things that are pulling you down each sandbag, imagine it has a word on it. What are the sandbags that are weighing you down? Is it fear of failure? Is it fear of being yourself? Is it lack of confidence? Is it your health? Is it your inner chatter? What are the sandbags? So that's one thing I want you to visualise. And then the fuel going into the hot air balloon. That's the things that you're excited about. You know, your confidence, your attitude, your dreams, your sense of purpose, gratitude, everything that is going to lift you know, while you're in that hot air balloon, are you on the ground? Because there's sandbags. Too heavy? Or are you floating up but struggling a bit? You know, you're trying to get off the ground with keep on coming back down again? Or are you feel like you're out there? Those sandbags have got no chance of holding you down? Where are you? Are you floating? You're sinking?

Sarah McDowell:

That's, that's such a lovely visualisation and a lovely way of putting together everything that we've spoken about. And I've just thought of another one is that maybe you have been soaring, and you're high, but something has happened and you're starting to sink. Yeah. So yeah, that's a great visualisation and a great analogy because you can apply it different times, can't you you can readjust.


Absolutely. And you can visualise a sandbag that is holding you down and you can cut it off. There's nothing stopping you cut it off now,

Sarah McDowell:

can I can I can I visualise my bags or something to pop? Because I think that would be quite the big deal. Yeah.


Could do be like they'd be like, there's water balloons.

Sarah McDowell:

Yeah. Oh, that might be fun as well. I don't know. I'm getting sidetracked.


But I think sometimes It can be, it's finding the tool that works for you. So if it's journaling and writing it all down, do that. If this helps, then fine. Do that, whatever it is, I think and sometimes have a combination, because it just, it's about gaining clarity. And this whole process is about gaining clarity. What are the outputs of your life that you are unhappy with? What do you need to change? Which bit of your inputs do you need to change? Which bit of your your processing? Do you need to change? I know that, like I said, before happen a coughing spot. One of the inputs is my physical environment, I'm not happy with the amount of clutter. What that does is it makes me feel a bit stressful, what that does is not as productive. So my outputs of not being as productive as I want to be mean to have to change something in my inputs.

Sarah McDowell:

Yeah, everything everything is in your control is in him. Because it can think it can feel at times that things get out of control. And there is no way to sort of get it back in when there is always we can just like any algorithm, you can change the output. And you can change the output itself as well. Currently, that's what we've just sort of said. But any output can be changed by input and processes. You just need to be aware. Yeah, right. And yeah, I feel like this is such a fast, strong episode of the SEO by site might the SEO mindset podcast come back on Tazmin.


And I think right now, especially with people setting goals, and I know people get put off with setting goals. It's for me, it's about living your life more intentionally, called them new intentions, call them your new wishes, call them whatever you want. But if there's something that you want in your life, or something that you want to change in your life, then you can start with this process. And it at least gives you some clarity on the way forward.

Sarah McDowell:

100%. 100%. Wow. I definitely feel more fulfilled after that episode has been so thank you so much. I'm sure our listeners feel the same. Thank you as well. And yeah, I and we'll be back and there'll be more from a spirit we we've just started, we've just scratched the surface between 24. This is our first episode. Expect more. We've got other great topics lined up, we've got cracking guests, haven't we, so it's going to be a good year.


It is.

Sarah McDowell:

And reminder, again, if you'd like to support me and Tasman if you'd like to support the SEO mindset podcast, there's lots of different ways that you could do that. But the ones that I'm going to share with you now are you can donate to we are on buy me a coffee, where you can give us a one off donation of five pound. If you would like to do that, you can find the link in the show notes. We'd also recommend subscribing to the podcast so that you get notified whenever new episodes are available. So then you never miss anything new that we post. And again, if you follow the link in our show notes, you'll be taken to a page where a click of a button, you can subscribe to our podcast on your preferred playing platform. So you don't even have to search for us. All you need to do is click a button. Select which one you prefer, whether that's Spotify, Apple, whatever it is not Google podcasts, because that's going away. And yeah, you'll be taken to our page and you can subscribe. So thank you, right, should we say goodbye? And until next time?


Goodbye and until next time, and don't forget to look in the show notes for lots of resources.

Sarah McDowell:

Yes, and I think you said you're going to add an ebook as well do it right. So make sure to do that. When wonderful. All right. Goodbye, everyone.

Show artwork for The SEO Mindset Podcast

About the Podcast

The SEO Mindset Podcast
Personal growth tips to help you to optimise your SEO career and not just the algorithms!
The SEO Mindset is a weekly podcast that gives you actionable, personal growth and development tips, guidance and advice, to help you to optimise your SEO career and not just the algorithms.

The podcast is dedicated to talking about important topics that aren't often spoken about in the industry such as imposter syndrome, burnout, anxiety, self awareness etc. Sarah and Tazmin, along with their special guests highlight important topics, share own experiences as well as giving actionable solutions. Basically we have open, honest and frank conversations to help others in the industry.

Each week we cover topics specific to careers in the SEO industry but also broader topics. We will help you to not only build your inner confidence but to also thrive in your career.

Your hosts are Mindset Coach Tazmin Suleman and SEO Manager Sarah McDowell, who between them have over 20 years experience working in the industry.
Support This Show

About your hosts

Sarah McDowell

Profile picture for Sarah McDowell
I've been in Digital Marketing and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) for around 10 years, currently working as the SEO Manager at Captivate (part of Global), the world's only growth-orientated podcast host. I am a self-confessed SEO nerd (I find the industry fascinated and love learning how search engines like Google work) and a bit of a podcast addict (with this being the fourth podcast I have hosted). I am also a speaker and trainer. I hope you enjoy this podcast!

Tazmin Suleman

Profile picture for Tazmin Suleman
I am a Life Coach, helping people grow and thrive, however my background has included careers in Development, Data Integrity and SEO. Through coaching, mentoring and teaching I help people build happier more fulfilling professional and personal lives by changing their mindset and habits. I teach courses on these topics and have incorporated a lot of the teachings in this podcast. I hope you find it useful.