Why Clarity is Your Key to Success

LG_blog_post_graphics_v14

Taking time off usually gives me clarity, as if often does for my clients. Clarity can give a big breakthrough in your thinking and planning. I teach many different aspects of success but gaining clarity in your business and life priorities can be life changing.

A Real Life Case Clarity Study

Recently, I had a coaching call with one of my clients whom I hadn’t spoken to in two weeks because of the holidays. It turned out to be a lesson in how to gain clarity.

When we stick to our regular routine of making steady progress and evaluating our steps, we don’t often take the time to step back and look at the entire picture. However, when the routine gets interrupted, say by a holiday break, often something shifts in our thinking and that’s exactly what I noticed with this client.

Shortly after we began our conversation, I noticed a difference with her. As a coach, I’m trained to notice these things and I could tell that her energy was different.

I said to her, “You know, we’ve talked about goal setting and I notice that you’ve lost a bit of motivation.”

My client agreed, admitting that she didn’t feel as motivated as she did before. She admitted that she was struggling with that because she was ready to grow her business and do whatever it takes to get to the next level. However even as she spoke those words, I could tell she really didn’t believe them. She was trying to motivate herself but she wasn’t winning the battle.

I asked her: “What is sapping your motivation? You’ve been doing so well with your goals that have been set. Your client base is good. You’ve been meeting some financial goals.” Any outside observer would say that she is running a successful business but she just wasn’t feeling it.

At first glance, she thought it might be her inner drive for perfection, which was leaving her feeling that she wasn’t doing enough. While I agreed that this characteristic in her could possibly be part of the reason she was feeling a bit derailed, I didn’t think this was the entire reason for her lack of motivation to advance to the next level in her business.

After further discussion, another thought occurred to her. She recalled that she has some very big long-term goals that involved big life changes. During our talk, she recalled how very committed she was to reaching these major goals in the next couple of years.

I helped her drill down in her thinking and feelings by asking: “If you continue on this path of achieving more clients and growing your business, what will that mean to your long-term personal goals?”

As we peeled back the layers, we realized that the goals she had been setting and meeting were going to result in her business growing larger. Although this would bring her more income, it would also require more infrastructure – more staff, a larger office, and increased overhead costs.

When she looked at this squarely, she decided that it would be a huge amount of work, which was not worth the effort to her at this time. What she really wanted was to use her current business success to enable her to make the larger life changes that she wants down the road. Pouring a huge amount of time, money and effort into taking her business to the next level now was really not going to get her closer to the long-term personal goals she has set originally.

The crux of the problem was that the immediate goals she was setting for herself were not aligned with her longer-term goals, which she hoped to achieve in the next couple of years. Although her immediate goals seemed fine on the surface and she was capable of growing her business using them, they were starting to bump up against priorities for her personal life. She realized that her personal goals were going to take a lot of focus and energy, which she didn’t want to divert toward growing her business at this time.

This realization and understanding gave her the clarity she needed to make the right business decisions and renew the sense of purpose and direction that is often lost when we get off track.

She learned that she had not been checking in with her longer-term goals when she was making shorter-term plans. It’s not that she had forgotten her personal long-term goals; they were always with her. But she had not compared her smaller incremental plans, leading to more business success, with the long-term personal goals to see if they lined up well.

To remedy her situation, we brought the personal goals into focus and made short-term business goals that lined up nicely with them.

By the end of the call, she was happy, relieved and fired up! As you can imagine, she felt that a great weight was finally lifted. She knew exactly what to do each day to work out the life she wanted for herself. That’s what clarity does for a person.

The Moral of the Story

What this client was going through is not unusual. I have often seen that over time short-term goals seem to be in sharp focus while long-term goals seem to get out of focus.

When my client realized that this had happened to her, she understood why she could not muster the motivation to expand her business at this time. This gold nugget of clarity saved her from compromising some of her personal life goals. The relief in her voice was refreshing and her energy was renewed. She now knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that her time, money and effort needed to be focused on her personal life’s priorities.

Goals shift and evolve over time—or they just get buried under the pile of daily work. It’s key that we schedule the time to review our goals, both short-term and long, to decide if they are complimentary or contrary to each other. This, of course, holds true for comparing personal goals and business goals as well.

Need help gaining some clarity? I can help! Contact me today to schedule a discovery session to find out if coaching is right for you. Let’s align those long- and short-term goals to get you what you really want out of life.

 

Continue Reading

How to Align Your Time with Your Priorities

LG_blog_post_graphics_v13

I know how it goes: things get busy and a little chaotic and then we just go on autopilot. We know we should be looking at our time and how we spend it, and make sure we’re doing what matters.  We know that. But, if you’re like me, when things get busy, it’s easy to lose sight of the prize. Whether it’s as a mom and things start to slide (you know, laundry) or in your business. For me, with business, this looks like getting really caught up in something: website tweaks, a new pitch, an offer for my mailing list. It could be something totally worthwhile, but it gets all consuming and comes at the expense of other things—ahem, my actual priorities.

It’s BECAUSE I’m so busy and frenetic that these rabbit holes are so appealing: I want something to focus on. I’m exhausted and need to narrow in on something. I know I’m not the only person who experiences this, one of my clients had this exact situation this week. When this happens, we have to take a step back and ask: why do I feel this way?

Dealing with and acknowledging priority shifts

For this particular client, the “aha” moment came when she realized there had been a massive shift in one of her top priorities. We had been working on growing her business, and she had been rolling. Hitting milestones, working hard, achieving her goals. Until this shift. Then things started to slide. She wasn’t getting things done, she wasn’t excited. This is because she had, without realizing it, changed her priorities. Rather than focusing on really aggressively expanding and working in her business, she wanted to step back and put some focus on her family. That’s a pretty big switch!

If we don’t regularly check in with our priorities, we can stay busy and not even realize the shift enough to change the way we spend our time. Guess what? You are allowed to change your priorities, but only you are keeping track of them. No one else is going to be able to adjust your schedule based on these priorities changing.

How to know if you’re not aligning time with priorities

Like me, like my client (in this example and many, many others), you’ll want to take a look at your priorities if you feel overwhelmed, stressed, and like you aren’t making progress. If you achieve the goals or milestones you set out for yourself and STILL feel stuck, something is disconnected. It’s time for a reevaluation of priorities and your time. It can work either way: you’re not spending your time in ways that support your priorities OR your priorities have changed and the things you USED to do to honor those priorities are for the wrong priorities.

Either way, you’ll feel frazzled, frustrated, and ready to throw in the towel.

So, take the time regularly to check in with yourself. Ask yourself how you’re feeling about your time. Are you doing the things that support your priorities? Are they the right priorities? Have you experienced a big change personally or professionally that could shift your priorities? Are you just clueless, frustrated, and don’t even know where to start? Let me help you! This is what I do as a coach. I help you find and stick to your priorities. Contact me today for a free discovery session and we’ll see if we’re a good fit.

Continue Reading

How Much Time You Should Spend on Your Competition

lg_blog_post_graphics_v11

I want to talk to you about your competition. This is a topic that comes up now and then with my clients, especially when working with business owners who have innovative ideas. They often feel like they don’t have direct competition, which makes it hard for them to judge if they’re on the right track.

I also have clients who spend too much time focusing on competitors. This habit can be disempowering; causing entrepreneurs to think their competition is better along with a practice of cutting themselves down and minimizing their accomplishments. So, what’s a mompreneur to do when it comes to competition? Here are some tips to help you find a sweet spot that will help you stay competitive and sane.

Use Competition as a Benchmark For Growth

Looking at your competition is something you want to do, this is especially true if you want to know if you’re on the right track with growing your business. When I started my business, I felt like I had no clue about a lot of things. I had so many questions about how many clients I should have, what I should charge, the number of hours I should work each week, how much my expenses should be, how I should market, and what services I should offer.

These types of questions are why it’s important to stay close to your competition. By understanding your competitor’s model, you can create metrics for your business that will help you measure a reasonable amount of spending and growth.

Study Your Competition To Get Great Ideas

You can learn about different ways to offer your services and products to your target demographic by studying what your creative competition is doing. By paying attention to what other business and life coaches were doing, I learned about a variety of offerings that I implemented into my business such as membership groups,Facebook groups, retreats, and getaways.

Contact Your Competition Directly

It might seem daunting and even crazy to contact your competition, but there may be people you already know in similar industries who are willing to sit down and speak with you. I know a lot of moms in various entrepreneurial groups that I’ve been a part of who are ready to talk about this kind of stuff.

Find a buddy in your marketing or networking support groups. If you don’t have any of those, then you should probably consider joining one. This is a useful practice for entrepreneurs who want to bring something new to the marketplace and can’t find a direct competitor to use as a benchmark.

If you want to know if you’re on the right track, you can network with people in similar industries that are not in direct competition to get an understanding of their business models. If you are a business coach or life coach, you could talk to a personal trainer or business consultant. If you are in retail, you can connect with someone who owns a brick and mortar store that sales something different from what you offer.

By talking to competitors you can get a guide of what seems reasonable, but you will still have to figure out what works best for your business.

Consider Who You’re Comparing Yourself To

When measuring yourself against your competition, it’s important to consider what stage your business is in. You don’t want to waste time comparing yourself to a large multi-level corporation if you’re a solopreneur. Also, consider the amount of time your competition has been in business.

While it’s ok to study companies in a different stage from yours to get ideas or to determine if you’re on the right track for growth, don’t get paralyzed with self-doubt from comparing your endeavors to theirs.

Get A Coach

When I first started my business, I sought advice from coaches. If you’ve never run a business before, a coach is important because they can point out different aspects of your business you may not have considered. I found doing this helped me figure things out instead of flying by the seat of my pants. As a coach, I can help you figure out how to beat your competition.

Understand That The Bus Goes Where You Steer It

You have an influence on how things go in your business. If you find yourself becoming obsessive about every move your competition makes and all it’s doing is making you feel sad, or like you’re not doing well, it’s time to stop. It’s disempowering and causes you to lose focus on your goals and the success you have already achieved. It’s not efficient, productive, and doesn’t yield great results.

Sorting through what your competition is doing and how that needs to compare to what you’re doing is an important thing to figure out. But also realize if it makes you feel bad, sad, and like you’re not getting anywhere. It might mean you’re getting too obsessed with stuff that’s not going to help you.

But if focusing on your competition makes you feel creative, inspired, and you are learning something new, then that is healthy competition.

Want to find out more about your competition and how it can help you thrive? Ready to kick off 2017 on the right foot? Contact me today for your free discovery session!

Continue Reading

How to Know if You Should Pivot Your Business

lg_blog_post_graphics_v10

As both mothers and entrepreneurs, we are all familiar with the ever-changing life stages that we go through in our lives, families, and businesses. These stages are often defined by our children, their ages, our businesses, careers, our ages, and other circumstances. And, of course, these all very much have a tendency to impact one another.

When to pivot

So, how exactly do you determine when to pivot? Consider if you or your business have needs or goals that are not being met for any reason. Have you noticed a steady decline in new clients or your profit margin? Remember that your entire reason for having established goals and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) in the first place was to be capable of tracking and measuring them. Then consider possibly why you are not achieving them. This is the signal that it is time to pivot. You just need to determine what to pivot for your business specifically. Some of the most common and effective can be:

  • Changing your target audience: Sometimes after many years of working with a certain demographic, you naturally gravitate toward another. This isn’t something to pull away from, but rather something to embrace. It is very important to be super clear about who you are specifically marketing to as to not waste time or resources marketing to whom you have always marketed to instead of who you should be.
  • Changing your niche: Have you found that your products or services seem to hold a lot more value to another niche or category than you originally intended?
  • Changing your business name: Does your business name still reflect your primary products or service offerings or have those changed since your businesses establishment? Does your business name still serve you and your zone of genius or does it unintentionally wind up minimizing you and putting you in a box where you don’t necessarily belong? Though changing your business name or branding can feel like a scary jump, especially for established companies, remember that your clients who already value you will follow you, but new clients can be more aligned with your current value.

There may even come a time that you decide you are truly interested in selling your business entirely and making a much, much bigger pivot. Maybe you want to start another company that you feel will allow you to be more intentional about your gifts and your long term life goals. The need to pivot is certainly not always out of desperation or a big event in your life. Having to make a change or pivot is not something to be afraid of or avoid altogether, it is simply being a responsible mompreneur and staying ahead of the curve!

Thinking about a big change? Not sure where to start? This is where I can help you as a coach. Contact me today for a free discovery session and let’s find out if coaching is right for you!

Continue Reading

How to Know it’s Time to Hire Help

lg_blog_post_graphics_v8

It’s starting to feel a lot like fall outside! This time of year can often feel overwhelming for us as mompreneurs. As much as many of us look forward to the beginning of the school year to get back into some routine, there also tends to be a lot more going on as well. Keeping up with kids, homework, and extracurricular activities can have us going in all directions and have a serious impact on our businesses.

Not long ago, I got the opportunity to moderate on a peer-to-peer conversation panel for mompreneurs. We gathered together and discussed many topics of the challenges surrounding being a mother and a business owner. One of the most robust topics ended up discussing how to know when it’s time to hire help for your business.

It can be hard to know when is the right time to take the plunge and spend money on more help or resources. At the end of the day, you need to take the time to look at the amount of money you are bringing in versus your expenses and factor in that, as of now, you are stuck being the one who does it all. That’s not to say that it isn’t highly respectable to be willing to do all of the hard work and “bootstrapping” on your own—because I think that’s something that all entrepreneurs have deep down. However, it is also known that moms have a notoriously limited amount of time. Maintaining that you are the only one who does all the aspects of your business is simply not sustainable if you are looking for real business growth. And though it can be hard, it’s important to push yourself to do what you need to do to nurture and grow your business in a way that also supports you and your family.

The fear of hiring outside help can often be boiled down to both a pride and control issue. When you have managed to reach this level of success doing it all on your own, why bring anyone else in? How are you going to trust that they will be capable and will care as much and do as well in your business as you? Unfortunately, there always comes to be a natural make or break point. Maintaining that you are the only one doing all aspects of your business will eventually become too expensive and too difficult and will stand in the way of your business growth.

Things to consider when looking to hire outside help:

  • Do you want the business to grow?
  • Which is more important to your current situation: less stress or more money / more profits?
  • Do you need a better quality of life? Have you been pushing off things like family, friends or other obligations to consistently give your business your full attention?
  • How will hiring this person serve my priorities personally as well as a my long-term goals professionally?

Hiring can be a difficult decision to make but ultimately even though it costs money, it also will save/make you money in the future. Having another capable set of hands in your business will enable you to do and handle more than you could before. Also, don’t wait until your business is at a breaking point or a downhill slope to consider hiring help. Be sure to factor in training time and consider your options before your business is in a crisis.

Will hiring help in your business help to serve your greatest goals and top priorities or will it interfere with that? I can help you figure it out, that’s what coaches are for. If you find yourself stuck or ready to make a big decision (like hiring), a coach can help you not only decide IF, but make a plan for HOW. Contact me today for a free Discovery Session and find out if coaching with me is right for you!

Continue Reading

How to Know What and When to Delegate

lg_blog_post_graphics_v7

Have you also noticed that as an entrepreneur and a mother we easily get caught up in doing the same things over and over? We often let our old responsibilities become so engrained in our minds as what “needs to get done” that we just get into a routine to accomplish them.

Unfortunately, over time it can become more evident that you are outgrowing some of those responsibilities or chores. Some of the things you have always done become a waste of time and resources that can easily be delegated to others. Delegation is a skill set that a hear a lot my clients say they don’t think they can efficiently do. They have a fear of losing the control of their work quality and having to trust someone else to do something that they can do and do it as well as they would have.

Many of my clients have told me in the past that they simply don’t believe a leadership comes naturally to them. And, though this is a very understandable concern, it’s also one that proves consistently to be a non-issue. Of course, there are coaches out there (like me) that can and will happily help you to feel confident to grow into a leadership role.

You Already Know How to Lead

But what most of my clients fail to recognize or give themselves proper credit for is that as a mother, you are already a leader! You already successfully delegate things that need to get done to your spouse, your family, and your children. Chores that need done around the house like yard work, laundry, dinner planning and preparation are (hopefully) passed out evenly amongst the others around the house. As a mom, it probably just makes no sense to do everything on your own while everyone else sits watching TV. As as true as this is for your home, it is absolutely just as true for your business.

In order to reach the next level of productivity in your business you really need to consider reaching out and asking for the help you need. Once you determine what you need someone to do, it is also critical to ensure that you organize yourself and your needs so the help you do hire can be as effective as possible for you.

The beauty of having someone who wants to help you is you can rely on them to really step up and step in, just taking some of the easier tasks off your plate that are time consuming. And, as a bonus, just think about how much time delegation will actually give you to spend with your children (or friends, or sleeping).

Baby Steps to Delegation

And remember you don’t have to think on a enormous scale here, either. Think about simply hiring a part-time, capable virtual assistant. VAs can help with so much because of the blessing of new technology. Simple tasks that you spend considerable time on or busy work (think social media, bookkeeping, marketing or even just simple sales follow up for your webinars and program participants). In the long run, it takes so much less money to pay someone who is proficient and professional, particularly if you calculate how much time you spend on the tasks plus your hourly rate.

The fall season is a great time to take a step back and start considering some business areas where you can use some help. You still have time to get organized to implement and hire that out in 2017 and take some of your own time back! Not sure where to start? I can help you! Contact me today for your free Discovery Session.

Continue Reading

Do You Need a Coach?

business coaching

Being a coach, it is an unfortunate belief that I am always going to push the importance of a coach and that it is always a great idea to hire one. But, you all know I’m more about upfront honesty than a hard sell! I want anyone hiring a coach to be doing it at the right time and for the right reasons. Sometimes it is just not the right choice or the right time. I have had a couple women come to me about hiring me for coaching and, believe it or not, I have actually helped them realize that maybe it’s not the right thing for them right now. I have done this because I care about their success and their investment and maybe they just weren’t quite there yet.

Coaching Takes Work on Your Part

For example, coaching requires a lot of work, commitment, and inspires change in many facets of your life and business. So, if your absolute priority right now is the need to keep things the same, then it is probably not an investment that you are really ready to make. There is nothing wrong with needing some stability, sometimes we all need that in life. Maybe you have gone through some major changes and upheaval recently and you just need some time for recovery. Coaching requires you being able to look forward into the future and for you to make changes, and sometimes if you are in a fragile or delicate place then it may not be right for you and could even do more harm than good, in some situations. Healing may need to happen before you can make the progressive changes that coaching brings. Therapy is always a great option for help during your healing time.

Coaching is NOT a Blueprint

Additionally, maybe you are just looking for a best practice, a blueprint, or a tried and true path to a certain achievement or goal. There are some coaches out there that market themselves like that. They lay claim to having a blueprint and a path of how they achieved something and that you will do it that way too—you will achieve precisely the same results. Those coaches are really a bit of a hybrid. What they are actually selling is more of a product than a full coaching experience. They really fit more into the realm of a business consultant than a true coach. A coach will ask you a bunch of how and why questions about what you are looking to accomplish. How will it fit into your plan? How will it mesh with your priorities and your lifestyle? These are questions you will need to answer for yourself and your coach.

Coaching Helps You Find Your Version of Success

The time to hire a coach is when you are really ready to make adjustments and changes for the sake of progress. When you find yourself saying “I’ve tried this and that” or “I’ve GOT to make the changes or decisions and I know what I need to do, but I don’t know how.” A coach will help you to determine what is really best for yourself, your business, and your family on a one-on-one basis.

It’s very easy to get sucked into every different version of success, but which one is the best for you, your business and your lifestyle right now? Some people can spend $10,000 on a program that requires 60 hours per week of work to achieve the results, but they just had a new baby. That simply isn’t realistic and is going to require you to push yourself far too much and you may still not achieve the results because there are simply different needs for mompreneurs. A coach will help you to develop the goals that you need to fit with the stage of life that you’re in.

Coaching Means Support and Accountability

My core belief is that people need to decipher what their priorities are, then have support to create goals that align with those priorities. The last piece of the puzzle is having someone to help them stay accountable to those goals. I believe the most crucial time to hire a coach is when you have a major lifestyle change. Things like having a new baby, quitting a part-time job or getting a job, retiring, adding on employees or expanding your business are times when you could use the clarity and assistance that a coach can really provide.

In the end, it is not always right to hire a coach and that’s perfectly fine. It is always important to do what is best for you, your business, and your family. Feel free to connect with me and we can do a free 20 minute strategy call and I will help you determine if it’s your time for coaching!

Continue Reading

Top Three Tips for Summer Success as a Mompreneur

summer success

When it is cold and windy outside, we all find ourselves daydreaming of the warmth and freedom of the summertime, don’t we? Unfortunately, then the summer actually comes around and some of us have mixed feelings about its arrival. Suddenly as wonderful as the warm weather is, we also realize that this means the school year is over and our schedules majorly shift. It’s also not uncommon to go into a programmed “relaxation mode” in the summer. That is wonderful, but with kids home all the time and no routine, how do we do that?!

The summer is a great time to enjoy quality time with family vacations, having the kids home and (sometimes) just some peace and quiet to yourself. A lot of my clients choose to “power down” over the summer time just slow down and not be working as much or as hard as through the rest of the year. This can easily be confused as a lack of motivation and then they start feeling feeling like they’re not accomplishing enough. It is totally normal to struggle with this paradigm shift. So, how can we be strategic with juggling the summertime and being a mompreneur?

This is often my number 1 request for advice from those I am coaching – how to make it through the summer. Summertime is both a blessing and curse – because we get to enjoy our freedom, but we also tend to give up our routine. The lack of structure and routine (especially for bored kids) adds to the stress and chaos of everyday life. When kids get bored they will usually start misbehaving or bugging you because they are in need of stimulation. When the routine changes (or stops altogether) everybody gets on a different body clock or rhythm and it’s easy to fall out of sync. Your little kids are up and ready to play at 5 or 6am while yourself and your teenagers find yourself staying up later than usual.

Trouble easily starts from a lack of clear expectations. Kids are used to a routine during the school year. They are told everyday at school what they will be doing and what to expect during the course of each day. How can you combat all the chaos?

So, I have three tips for you to survive the summer:

  1. Developing a family calendar
  2. Having a family meet daily
  3. Encouraging input and collaboration

Developing a calendar seems like a no-brainer but is also something that a lot of us fail to execute. Moms and dads are always running around knowing who needs to be where, with what, at what time but often the kids are not privy to this information ahead of time. Maybe Mom and Dad have the cell phone calendars linked, but where does this leave the little ones? Kids ages 3 and up can start learning about what to expect and what is coming up on their family calendar. Helping them have clear expectations will help your home run so much smoothly. I love having a big visual calendar and filling in all the events that we know are going to take place. It is important to have your kids contribute to the calendar as well. Let the little ones who are too young to read draw or use stickers to know what is coming. Get your calendar out of your head and get it into a public place for all to see and understand.

Having a family meeting can help everyone be on the same page. No, it doesn’t have to be rigid and formal. Just chat about each week and each day in the morning while Mom is pouring her coffee and the kids are eating their cereal. Look at the calendar and talk about what’s coming up, add anything new things and give a brief overview. Once again, helping to set those expectations. I’m telling you, the best summers we have ever had are when we start each day with a family meeting.

Don’t just get your family members to participate, but get their input and encourage them to really collaborate together on your calendar. Don’t try to simply set a schedule and expect everyone to follow it AND be happy about it. Get your kids and family members to contribute and give back their opinions and feelings about how they would like things to go and help build those expectations. You will be so very happy you did (and they will probably cooperate better, too)!

If you put these into place, you can enjoy a smoother, more relaxing summer. Good luck!

Continue Reading

Be More Productive with Hit Lists

LG_blog_post_graphics_v3

This summer has been a busy one for me. I am coaching more people than ever this summer, spending ample time enjoying my kids, and yet I don’t feel stressed. Summertime is lovely, but also brings with it major schedule changes and priority adjustments. This can easily make us feel like we never get quite as much done as we would like or as we feel like we should.

I won’t lie, it was a lot harder to get things done when my kids were younger. I still struggle at times to feel like I am really using my time productively. But I’m going to share with you one of my favorite tips to help you be productive—specifically when you weren’t expecting to have any time.

It’s time to make yourself some hit lists.

What are hit lists?

A hit list is a list of things that you do on a routine basis. Sometimes, it’s the kind of stuff that we forget to do when we have a more chaotic schedule than usual (like summertime). If you will implement and use boundaries, hit lists, structures, expectations, and routines, you can get more stuff done. This will let you enjoy getting things done without feeling fragile and stressed. The purpose of a hit list is to give you a visual list of of things you can do when you have spare time that you didn’t expect to have. The neighbor has called and invited your kids over to swim? Great! Now you have 2 free hours, but what the heck do you do?

What goes on hit lists?

When you are compiling your hit lists, I find it most beneficial to break it into categories as well as time frames. Create a hit list for work and another one for your household responsibilities. Consider breaking your work hit list down into categories such as administration, marketing, managing warm leads or customer loyalty, and breaking your household list into individual rooms or outdoor work. You can list things such as going through and purging old clothes that no longer fit, cleaning windows or pulling weeds.

After you have some categories down – consider breaking it down even further into chunks of time. That way when you find yourself with a spare 15 minutes you can go to a hit lists and say “What can I do that will be productive in just 15 minutes? Oh! I could do this 15 minute task under marketing, like respond to all notifications on social media! That won’t take long at all!” What about something in the sales category? You could reach out to a warm lead that you haven’t spoken to in awhile. These hit lists will help you when you have unexpected extra time and you will know that you are using your time productively.

If you are visual person—print out your hit lists with vivid colors and post them somewhere you will see them regularly. Or consider using your phone. I use a notetaking app on my iPhone for my hit lists because my phone is always with me and I never know when I will want to refer to them!

So take some time in the next day or two to put together a couple of basic hit lists. Then when you find a spare minute (waiting for kids at swim lessons, a post-swim surprise nap), you’ll have a list to go to and not waste time trying to figure out what to do. Happy productivity!

Continue Reading

How to Avoid Burning Out as a Mompreneur

self care

Today is a topic that we as mompreneurs don’t often prioritize like we know that we should: self-care.

This post is dedicated to those of us out there who people always ask “How do you get it all done?” Those of us who set goals for our families and businesses then consistently surpass them. We have it all together. We are overachieving and exceeding expectations in every area of our lives. It is also dedicated to those of us who want to be that mom, but just aren’t quite there yet. Of course, I’m being a little tongue in cheek here.

I am one of those mompreneurs who is often asked how I do it all. I have a lot to manage, admittedly, but I also prioritize myself and my self-care routine to make sure I am able to keep up with my commitments. When you are seen as successful in juggling all these things, you feel accomplished. But what falls by the wayside and causes the breakdowns is lack of self-care.

We have so much to balance and keep track of that we are too busy taking care of everyone and everything else that sometimes we forget about ourselves. All that energy that you are spending taking care of others has to come from somewhere. And, let me tell you, it comes out of your personal bank of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health. It is draining you—even if you sometimes don’t feel it.

When you start to feel the effects of your balancing act and are getting exhausted, it’s time to check in with yourself. Examine your self-care routine, because the only way to achieve or do more is by making sure that self-care doesn’t get compromised. I hear it already, you’re saying “I don’t have the time.” I get it. I really, really do. I get how much is on your plate due to your commitments and that it feels like there is no room left for self-care. But, I’m going to respectfully push back against you on this. I have the utmost respect for your commitments, but you are on the path to burnout if you are always last on your list of things to accomplish.

13043330_10209171527986290_2279547127658563526_n
Running with friends is my favorite self-care.

Establishing a self-care routine doesn’t mean that you have to find a way to block out an entire day for yourself once a week. Self-care can be very different for different people. Some people need a 60 minute weekly back massage. Others just want to have a standing appointment once a month to get their hair done and a mani/pedi. And then, some others like me, want to prioritize our exercise habits like running. Take the time and make the effort to put yourself on your calendar like any other appointment. Give yourself the opportunity to handle your self-care. You will refill your tank and stop draining all of the energy out every day caring for your family, business, house, and everything else you manage. They drain you. The only person who can refill that tank is you.

It is your job to make sure that you take care of yourself. It doesn’t have to be major, but even small things planned ahead in a routine will make a noticeable difference. Just getting yourself on a calendar as a priority can make you feel better—and do it consistently. Don’t let a breakdown or exhaustion happen before you prioritize taking care of yourself. Make it work for you. If you have a crazy load on certain days, then schedule that self-care on a day that you know you can really relax for a minute and care for you. Even just reading a book or taking a bath. Get something on your schedule to take care of you. I promise you will be better for it.

Continue Reading