Amy McBride - Business Savvy Mama Podcast

Amy McBride – 5 Questions with a Mom Entrepreneur

Meet personal stylist Amy McBride…

Amy is a fellow Columbus resident and mom entrepreneur I connected with via Instagram. She is the as a CPA by day and stylist by choice, Amy is the definition of balancing left and right brain.

With Closet Confidence, Amy helps busy women find their confidence and simplify their lives via their closets. She has always loved fashion and it became a confidence tool as she navigated a corporate finance career and motherhood. Now Amy works with other women (and men!) to create wardrobes that empower them to confidently focus on the things they are most passionate about. She offers both in-person and virtual services including closet edits, personal shopping, and personal styling.  Amy believes that confidence starts from within and a confident closet is a vessel to allowing your best self to show from the inside out.  That’s why her work starts with who her client is as a person and creates a wardrobe that serves her…her body and her life.

Amy lives with her husband, son, and daughter who are the best of friends…most of the time! Like any mom, she thinks they are just the funniest humans alive. They love getting outside (especially these days) and exploring the local metro parks. There is always music playing in their home and you can often find them having spontaneous dance parties. The kids are more into our music than kid songs with favorites including Grateful Dead, Beatles, the Band, and Johnny Cash. We also have a 3-year-old rescue pup named Mickey who they thought was a good idea to adopt a month before their daughter was born. He’s probably the most difficult child! 🤣

Check out more “5 Questions with a Mom Entreprenuer” weekly chats here…

You can listen to my conversation with Amy McBride at the link above. Or get an overview below.

1. What do you do in your business and why did you choose it? 

I help people find their confidence and simplify their lives via their closet. I believe confidence comes within and our clothing is a tool to allowing our best selves shine from the inside out. Since an early age I have loved fashion and it became a confidence tool as I navigated a corporate finance career. When my kids were 1 and 2 I finally jumped into this business idea that I had been thinking about for years. If I was going to be working and away from my kids it had to be doing something that I loved and felt impactful. Crazy time to start a (side) business? Yes. But worth it. Absolutely. I run Closet Confidence on the side while working a job in corporate finance full time.

2. What is your greatest strength when it comes to running your business? 

I think passion is so important in running your own business. There is nothing more motivating than the passion behind your why, not money, not success. And running a business is hard so you need that passion to keep you going. Specific to my business I think my greatest strength has been combining all of these aspects of myself and my experiences. My analytical business sensibility, combined with creativity and love of unique and beautiful things, and finally the way I connect with people. I think everyone deserves to feel special. I have really enjoyed being a part of each of my client’s journey to uncover how uniquely special and talented he or she really is.

3. What is the area of entrepreneurship where you could grow the most? 

I think it’s expanding my impact. While I love working with clients one on one and love it, I have often thought about expanding into working with more people. Like in a group setting or in the social media space. I know I need to think bigger if I want to grow.

4. If you were to start your business over today, what piece of advice or lesson learned would you emphasize to yourself? 

Who cares what people think? I spent a lot of time worrying about what people thought about my business. Will people get what I am doing? Would my corporate colleagues think of me differently? What if people don’t like my style? Ultimately I want to serve my customers and audience in the best and most authentic way possible. I have learned that I won’t be for everyone, but that is okay.

5. What is your best advice for balancing business and home life or creating intentional family time? 

Oh man, this is a hard one and a work in progress for me. I think the most elusive commodity in the life of a working mom is time! Early on I felt like if I wasn’t at my full time job, I should be working on my business. It burned me out and kept me from being present for that family time.

Now I set aside nights and weekends that are family only. I also think it’s important to prioritize time with your partner. I’ve also learned to leverage the times that I am most productive and creative. For me that’s the morning, so if I want to get a lot of work done I’ll get up super early before the family wakes. I think finding that balance and intentionality of time takes trial and error to figure out what really works for your family dynamic. I’ve also found that as much as it helps to schedule and block time our family needs some flexibility in that schedule.

Where can we find you online and social media?

Closet Confidence Website

Instagram

Facebook

LinkedIn


Grab my free mini-course “10 Tips for Working While Kids are Home” here!

Your Priority Recipe - Business Savvy Mama

If Life Gets In the Way Plan - Business Savvy Mama Podcast

What’s Your “If Life Gets In the Way” Plan?

Do you have a plan “if life gets in the way”?

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My sister recently broke her leg falling off a ladder. The injury brought life in her busy family with four kids to a screeching halt. And it got me thinking…whether it’s the upcoming holidays or a family emergency, do you have a plan for your business “if life gets in the way”?

I think as business owners, we often think “I can’t take time off for the holidays”. Or “keeping my fingers crossed my kids don’t get sick”. But the fact is you can take time off. And you don’t have to fear stepping away from your business in case of emergency. All it takes is what I’m calling an “if life gets in the way” plan.

Creating this plan helps you identify what actually MUST be done if there is an emergency. Or if you’d like to take time off. It solves the problem of feeling stressed before you go on vacation because you know what to focus on. And after because there is less playing catch up. It helps you identify tasks to delegate if your kid gets sick. Or you need to take time away to help your sister with her 4 kids when she’s shattered her tibia.

Can you take some time to identify those priority tasks that will keep you afloat or that are absolutely necessary? Then you can create a plan in case of emergency. Or in case of vacation. Or in case of the holidays.

If you haven’t previously identified your priorities, you may have just ignored your work if an emergency arose. This could lead to stress of playing catch up when you return to it. Or you might stress yourself out getting all your ducks in a row before a vacation. And then you miss the first few days of relaxation trying to un-wind what you wound up the week before.

Right now, you might be looking at the holiday season and think “there’s no way I can take any time off”. Or “I’m afraid if I pull back I will lose momentum”. When it comes to thinking about someone in your family getting sick or injured, do you think “I’ll just cross that bridge when I come to it”? But the holidays are stressful enough. Living during a pandemic is stressful enough. Don’t add to your stress levels when you could prevent that stress with a little extra planning now.

Creating your “if life gets in the way” plan helps you stay present during your vacation. And lessen the stress when emergencies arise. And who wouldn’t want to enjoy vacations more? Or lessen the stress in case of emergency?

As you create this plan, you will start to see where you need to focus your time and energy. Whether you are prepping for time off or simply your regular workweek.

And you’ll be able to be that friend or family member who can swoop in to help at a moment’s notice. Along with staying more present during the time off with your family. You’ve create the piece of mind that what is necessary is complete so you can sit back and enjoy. Or help.

3 Steps to Create Your “If Life Gets In the Way” Plan

If this sounds like something you’d like to incorporate ASAP, I’ve got 3 super simple steps to make creating you “if life gets in the way” plan.

  1. What MUST Completeted? – First, you must determine your priorities. I know, broken record, right? But this is why it is so absolutely crucial that you figure out what must be done on your daily and weekly to-do list in order to keep your business afloat, continue to serve and grow your community, and move you toward your goals. If you aren’t sure what your priority tasks might be, pick up my FREE Priority Recipe here.
  2. Eliminate the Unnecessary – Once you’re determined the priority tasks, identify what can go in case of emergency or if you are taking time off. We all have “fluff” on our to-do list. Or tasks that are great but not necessary. Those are the tasks we can let go of when we need the time off. You can always add them back in later. Or maybe you’ll find you didn’t need them anyway.
  3. Delegate What You Finish – After we’ve decided what we must do and what we can eliminate, figure out if there are tasks you can delegate. Delegating could mean hiring someone to post on social media. Or scheduling your posts for that week. (Delegating to technology is still delegating). Depending on how much time you need or want to take off, there may not necessarily be a ton of tasks that need your hand. But if it is something to complete and it doesn’t require your specific expertise, pass it off to a VA, team member, or an automated system.

Ready to start creating your “if life gets in the way” plan of action? Be sure to grab Your Priority Recipe to set your priority tasks. Then eliminate anything that isn’t absolutely necessary during the time you need off. And figure out the tasks to delegate that don’t need your specific expertise. I want you to feel comfortable taking time off whether for pleasure or emergencies. If you’re struggling to figure out your plan, drop a comment below. Or reach out to me via DM on Instagram or Facebook. Just search for Business Savvy Mama.


Grab my free mini-course “10 Tips for Working While Kids are Home” here!

Your Priority Recipe - Business Savvy Mama
Jen McRae - 5 Questions with a Mom Entrepreneur

Jen McRae – 5 Questions with a Mom Entrepreneur

Meet artist and jewelry design Jen McRae…

Subscribe & Listen on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts

I met Jen through the Small Business Moms Facebook group. She is absolutely delightful and I love her blend of creative energy and business sense.

Jen McRae found McRae Design where she creates accessories to wear as tiny works of original work art in her studio in North Carolina. Each piece is one of kind and thoughtfully crafted just for you to shine! Jen’s work can be found online and is featured in over 15 galleries and boutiques in North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin, and more coming soon. And was just named one of top 40 North Carolina gifts to give by NC Tripping.

Jen is a mom of two boys, 11 and 14 and three crazy pups!

Check out more “5 Questions with a Mom Entreprenuer” weekly chats here…

You can listen to my conversation with Jen McRae at the link above. Or get an overview below.

1. What do you do in your business and why did you choose it? 

I create hand painted jewelry. It started as an accident. I was an artist and teacher who had a great idea!

2. What is your greatest strength when it comes to running your business? 

Creativity, creative thought and brainstorming, positivity.

Jen McRae - McRae Design - 5 Questions with a Mom Entrepreneur

3. What is the area of entrepreneurship where you could grow the most? 

Email marketing, growing in new areas.

4. If you were to start your business over today, what piece of advice or lesson learned would you emphasize to yourself? 

To start sooner and jump in faster.

5. What is your best advice for balancing business and home life or creating intentional family time? 

Bring your kids along. Let them help you in your business and learn about it. Also time management, making sure to take vacation and really leave work behind.

Where can we find you on online or on social media?

Website

Facebook

Instagram


Grab my free mini-course “10 Tips for Working While Kids are Home” here!

Your Priority Recipe - Business Savvy Mama

Avoid Work at Home Burnout - Business Savvy Mama Podcast

How to Avoid Work at Home Burnout

Anyone else feel on the edge of work at home burnout the last couple weeks???

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Last week, I had a trifecta of crazy. I was readjusting after going out of town for the weekend. My son needed help prepping for his 3rd grade test after not having a real teacher since March. And then this little election we had here in the United States. 😬

Let’s just say I was on the stress struggle bus. But luckily, and thanks to the help of fantastic coaches helping me create systems to deal with life when it feels overwhelming, I made it through. And I want to help you identify and conquer your overwhelm too.

That is why today I’m sharing strategies to identify when you are heading towards maximum capacity so you can identify your stress and stop burnout before it starts.

If you can learn the signals your mind and body start to send when you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or burned out, you can create solutions in advance to help. Bonus points if you share those solutions with your spouse, friend, coach or other support so they can also identify when you’re heading for trouble and lend their help.

If you’re anything like me, my previous max capacity cycle runs something like a car with a wobbly wheel….At first, the car just shakes a bit, I might not even notice it all the time. But instead of stopping to fix it (which would be pretty easy at this point), I just keep pushing. And as the shaking gets worse, I continue to say “if I can just get to this destination” or “if I can just drive this far I’ll fix it then”. So I push forward, maybe even driving faster, trying to out drive the eventual damage. And then BAM! Blown tire. Or the wheel falls off. Or some other bad tire-related problem with your car. I didn’t listen when the triggers started and look where that got me.

When you start to identify your triggers or know what your mind and body need to recover, you create a plan of action for those times when you know you’re going to be stretched to your limits.

Work at Home Burnout and Your Brain

You might be thinking “burnout is just part of the process” or “how can working less actually help me”. Sounds crazy, right? But hear me out…That stress you think is normal is damaging your brain.

As you near your burnout, your body produces excess amounts of the hormone cortisol. This affects the part of the brain that creates new brain cells and keeps them healthy. And that excess cortisol can affect decision making, working memory and control of impulsive behavior. Hello, stress eating, anyone??? And while stress is making it harder to think, make decisions, or control your urge to raid the peanut butter cups in your kid’s Halloween basket, it is also reducing the levels of the brain chemicals dopamine and serotonin which maker you feel happier. No wonder stress is so stressful!!!

But there is hope…By recognizing the signs of burnout before it’s too late, you can create a plan that will stop that flow of cortisol, save your dopamine levels, and help you continue to problem solve with the best of them.

Incorporating stress relievers on a regular basis can not only stave off the major meltdowns, but it can help you in your day to day functions. You’ll feel better and less on edge when you incorporate some form of self-care into your daily routine like exercising, meditating, or reading for yourself. You’ll notice more of an even keel rather than major swings in mood, productivity, and stress levels.

And let’s face it…everyone is better when mom is better. Your family benefits because you can be present with them without stressing over little things. Your clients appreciate your clear, focused efforts.

Signs of Work at Home Burnout

Let’s start by identifying some of the basic signs or triggers of burnout. And you may hear this list and think, “well, that just sounds like mom life to me.” And that is because mom life IS incredibly stressful. We are regularly on the verge of burnout with all the balls we are trying to juggle. That is why it is so important to recognize the signs and start to develop solutions before the burnout starts. So, signs of burnout include feeling:

  1. Forgetful
  2. Short Tempered
  3. Tired
  4. Unmotivated

Like I said. Pretty much every mom on the planet just said. Um, so I’m heading for burnout then. But we have spent so long ignoring the signs or saying “that’s just motherhood” that we have normalized the damaging stress. But the good news is, now that we know how it might look or feel, we can brainstorm ways to stop work at home burnout before it starts…

How to Stop Work at Home Burnout Before It Starts

  1. Prioritize – Moms notoriously like to do it all. In fact, it can feel like a competition at times. But if you truly want to prevent those damaging burnout episodes, you need to practice prioritizing. Start to evaluate the activities and tasks you have and whether they fit your values or fall into the truly “urgent” or “important” category. If you aren’t sure which tasks are truly priorities, check out my episode “How to Choose Your Priority Tasks”.
  2. Create Boundaries – Again, moms are notorious “yes” women. We love to help and make people happy. We feel the need to ask how high when I clients say “jump now”. Setting effective boundaries around when we work, what our schedule capacity is, and learning to say “no” when there just isn’t time helps us create boundaries to protect our stress levels. Need more tips on setting boundaries? Check out my episode “Why You Need to Set Work Boundaries”.
  3. Recognize Your Triggers – What do you do when you are approaching burnout? Or does it seem to come at certain times during the year? The holidays for example…so many activities, wanting to do all the things but it is also the end of the year for your business and you need to plan for the following year or for Q1. And you need to wrap up Q4 of 2020. I am literally feeling stressed just thinking about it. When you can learn to recognize that overwhelming feeling, you can start to problem solve in advance how to prevent it. Do you need to cut back on unnecessary holiday activities? Or need to hire help for end of the year wrap up in your business? Do you need to take a full day off from all things digital once a week to focus on your family and refill your cup? Recognize your triggers and problem solve how you’ll fight them in advance.
  4. Schedule Non-Negotiable Time for What Makes You Happy – This is super important for all those moms who put the needs of literally everyone else first. It goes hand in hand with the boundaries thing. You deserve time to take care of you, do something that makes you happy. It doesn’t have to be alone time. I can totally be family time. Or a date night. Make time for the activities that make you happy. Get it on the schedule. Make it non-negotiable. Do not let outside commitments keep you from your happy place.
  5. Incorporate Self-Care Tiny Tasks into Every Day – Over the years, I feel like self-care has become the realm of spa days or massages. And those are totally and completely self-care activities. And if you can incorporate them into your regular routine, by all means, mama, do so! But there are also small acts of self-care you can do in your home that cost virtually nothing and take no time at all. For ideas, click here to check out my “10 Free, 10-Minute Self Care Ideas for Moms”. Find a tiny pocket of time just for you as often as you can to help keep your cup topped off. And stave off that burnout dragon.

You cannot fill from an empty cup, mama. If you want to avoid max capacity, pre-plan how you will deal when you feel stress coming. Brainstorm a list of what triggers your stressful feelings then pre-plan a solution for how you will recognize and release them. For instance, if you say “I feel stressed when I have a work deadline the weekend after my kid’s basketball tournament”. The solution may be to finish or complete a large percentage of the project before the weekend. Or to delegate some of the tasks so all you have to do is assemble and edit come Monday.

Maybe you’re saying “I feel stressful during the holidays because we are running around so much and never get a chance to sit and enjoy.” The solution maybe you will limit functions to one per week. Or maybe push some celebrations into January when everyone’s social calendars have cleared a bit.

There is a solution. I promise.

And if you are struggling to see it, I’m here to help. Feel free to drop a comment below or reach out in the DMs on social media @businesssavvymama. This is a huge issue for us mom entrepreneurs. I know it personally. I’ve lived it many a time. And I am passionate about helping other mom entrepreneurs see the way through.


Grab my free mini-course “10 Tips for Working While Kids are Home” here!

Your Priority Recipe - Business Savvy Mama

Nicole Simonin - Business Savvy Mama Podcast

Nicole Simonin – 5 Questions with a Mom Entrepreneur

Meet Health and Fitness Coach Nicole Simonin of Shape it Up…

Subscribe & Listen on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts

Nicole and I met 3 years ago during a crazy YouTube VEDA (Video Every Day in August) challenge. That crazy ride bonded us. And we’ve stayed connected ever since. 🤪

Since 2006, Nicole has been helping women lose weight for the last time. She is an ACE Personal Trainer, ACE Health Coach, host of Shape It Up Over 40 podcast, founder of Shape It Up, LLC, author of “The No Fuss, No Mess Shape It Up Cookbook”, licensed Physical Therapist Assistant and former professional ballet dancer. Nicole has been featured in Rachel Ray in Season, Bicycling Magazine, Real Simple, MSN and recently at the TEDx Cape May event.

Nicole is the mom to a teenage son and daughter and a dog named Trixie. Her incredibly busy life includes lots of soccer, basketball, school, and fencing.

Check out more “5 Questions with a Mom Entreprenuer” weekly chats here…

You can listen to my conversation with Nicole Simonin at the link above. Or get an overview below.

1. What do you do in your business and why did you choose it?

I’m a Health and Fitness Coach – I’ve always found how the human body works to be fascinating. Really interested in fitness, nutrition and mindset. Initially I choose it bc it was a way for me to interact with adults as my kids grew up and I love helping women feel comfortable in their own skin.

2. What is your greatest strength when it comes to running your business? 

I am very creative and I like to like huge leaps….if it doesn’t scare me then I am doing something wrong.

Nicole Simonin - Shape It Up - 5 Questions with a Mom Entprereneur

3. What is the area of entrepreneurship where you could grow the most? 

I think overall I have my biz skill down. Now it’s time to add gasoline to the fire and level up.

4. If you were to start your business over today, what piece of advice or lesson learned would you emphasize to yourself? 

Find a great coach and jump in

5. What is your best advice for balancing business and home life or creating intentional family time? 

A calendar. Schedule in free time. Block out my days and do a task in the time I have given it.

Where can we find you on social media?

Shape It Up Website

Apple Podcast Link

LinkedIn

Facebook

Instagram

YouTube – Shape It Up with Nicole

Pinterest

Twitter


Grab my free mini-course “10 Tips for Working While Kids are Home” here!

Your Priority Recipe - Business Savvy Mama

Kass Fogle - 5 Questions with a Mom Entrepreneur

Kass Fogle – 5 Questions with a Mom Entrepreneur

Meet Business Operations Strategy Consultant Kass Fogle…

Subscribe & Listen on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts

I met Kass through the amazing Small Business Moms community (which if you aren’t a part of it, you should be!) She juggles a lot with her kids, 9-5 job in HR, and her business. Oh, and she writes books too!

Kass Fogle is the CEO of Vim & Vigor Business Operations Consulting and podcast host of The One Burning Question Microcast.  As a consultant, she helps small businesses build strategic plans that help increase revenue and reduce stress. She also provides consultation in project management and human resources, along with keynote speaking on a variety of business and leadership topics.

Along with being the breadwinner since before her kids were born, Kass has relocated, been the resounding football mom, and managed lots of heartaches. Now her kids are 20 and 17 and the issues are different. She’s been married 20+ years.

Check out more “5 Questions with a Mom Entreprenuer” weekly chats here…

You can listen to my conversation with Kass Fogel at the link above. Or get an overview below.

1. What do you do in your business and why did you choose it? 

My mission: We partner with solo- and expert-preneurs to build a strategic plan, and identify the goals and projects necessary to increase revenue, promote growth, create efficiencies, and improve visibility, so business owners and leaders can focus on the creative, technical, and visionary side of their business. I chose this because I needed to do something drastically different. Big. Better for me without being egotistical and selfish. I went through Pat Flynn’s Smart from Scratch program and felt like I’d come home.

2. What is your greatest strength when it comes to running your business? 

Clarity. Planning. Organization. Nailing the back office operations for small business owners.

Kass Fogle - 5 Questions with a Mom Entrepreneur
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3. What is the area entrepreneurship where you could grow the most? 

From a development standpoint, financial. I will hire this out all day long.

4. If you were to start your business over today, what piece of advice or lesson learned would you emphasize to yourself? 

I do not have to invest and learn all things in one week. We’ve created such a sense of urgency in our society that we feel we will miss out on millions of dollars if we don’t launch RIGHT NOW.

5. What is your best advice for balancing business and home life or creating intentional family time? 

Set your boundaries and stick to them. Your battle plans have to include those you spend time with. You can only operate on caffeine and vigor for so long. Have a plan and execute it with emotional intelligence.

Where can we find you online?

Vim & Vigor Business Operations Consulting 

The One Burning Question Microcast

Instagram

Facebook


Your Priority Recipe - Business Savvy Mama

Multi-task or uni-task - Business Savvy Mama

To Multi-Task or Uni-Task? Which Works Better?

Do you multi-task or uni-task?

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Did you know the word “multi-task” didn’t even exist before 1965? That’s because it was developed to describe the functions of a computer, originally meaning “the use of a single CPU for the simultaneous processing of two or more jobs.” We are built to uni-task.

Over the years, as the value of overworking to prove your worth caught on with employers, the word multi-task became a badge of honor. Only, our brains are not set up to run like a CPU. In fact, studies have shown too much multi-tasking can lead to a decrease in gray matter in the brain affecting memory, attention span, and even leading to anxiety or depression.

But since society pushes and values multi-tasking, we forgot how to focus and uni-task. The truth is what we call “multi-tasking” is not actually doing more than one task at a time. It is switching from task to task. And every time we switch, we lose a little productive time, focus, and extra energy.

Experiments published in 2001, Joshua Rubinstein, PhD, Jeffrey Evans, PhD, and David Meyer, PhD, found that even brief mental blocks created by shifting between tasks can cost as much as 40 percent of someone’s productive time. And there is a lot of research supporting the idea that task switching not only increases the amount of time a task takes AND decreases the quality of work output.

But how in the world do we to complete our to-do list with uni-tasking when multi-tasking is what we know. Today I’m going to dive into how to uni-task and give some examples where multi-tasking could be used… but heads up, it’s not going to be when you’re working.

Uni-tasking or focusing on finishing one task at a time before moving on to the next. It allows you to finish a task or project quicker and typically with less error and higher quality of work.

If you can limit your distractions, schedule focused time to work in a quiet space, and tell those around you of the time and space you need, you too can successfully uni-task.

And this may feel super weird because for so long multi-tasking has been a shiny gold star. Something we brag about doing. Or expected of us as employees, team members, and parents.

And you might be freaking out a little thinking “wait, there is no way I can tackle everything on my to-do list without multi-tasking.” But remember…what you think is getting more done while task switching is actually causing you to lose time in between each switch. And those seconds and minutes add up. And the time it may take you to finish all those tasks may total more minutes or hours than it would if you knocked them out one by one.

As you re-train your brain to focus on just one task at a time, you’ll notice the time it takes you to complete tasks will be less. And the quality of your work output will increase.

On a daily basis, you will feel less anxiety from task switching. And a sense of accomplishment that the task is off your to-do list. You won’t need to bump it to tomorrow because it isn’t complete or you need to make corrections.

And taking less time to complete tasks and having less anxiety with your work makes for a happier home life. And more present mommy after work is done.

How to Uni-task instead of Multi-tasking

Ready to jump onboard the uni-tasking train??? Here’s how to start…

First, schedule specific times to work when you can focus on your priority tasks. This could be waking up early like I do to get my focused work in before my kids wake up. Or it could be when you have a spouse or sitter available to entertain your kids while you work. It could be an hour before the kids wake up and an hour after they go to bed. Just schedule that time when it can be quiet and you can focus.

Next, speaking of quiet and focus, try to limit as many distractions as you can. Turn off your phone notifications. Shut down your email. Turn off the TV. Shut the door. Whatever you have to do to get into a focused zone. Distractions also come in the way of clutter on your desk. Clear your work area so the pile of papers to file or unopened mail don’t pull your focus.

Finally, know the priority tasks you will work on during your focused work time. You can take time the night before to jot down a to-do list. Or have a printable list of ongoing tasks you do on the same days every week.

Give a listen to last week’s episode about the Pomodoro Technique to help you work in short, focused bursts. I have roughly 2 hours every my focused work…Which is (4) 25-minute Pomodoros with a 5-minute break between each. It is kind of amazing how much work you can do when you hunker down for 25 focused minutes.

Oh, and before I forget. There are certain circumstances when multi-tasking is less likely to affect your productivity. Save it for things like listening to a podcast while cooking dinner. Or watching TV while folding laundry. Listening to a book on tape while running. I’ll even do something like posting on social media while I’m waiting for my kids to finish their work. I use my focused time in the morning to write a great caption. Then all I have to do is copy/paste/post. Which is much less focused work while I’ve got my teaching hat on.

To start developing your uni-tasking skills, block out specific focused work time in your schedule tomorrow. It might be 30 minutes. It might be 4 hours (lucky you!) Regardless of the amount of time you have on your schedule, make sure you can work uninterrupted by family or co-workers. Turn off or put away any distractions that could pull your focus. And have a plan for the priority tasks you’d like to complete during your focused work time.

Christen Schneider - 5 Questions with a Mom Entrepreneur

Christen Schneider – 5 Questions with a Mom Entrepreneur

Meet Digital Marketing Specialist Christen Schneider…

Subscribe & Listen on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts

I met my fellow Ohio based mom entrepreneurs this past January at the I Heart My Life conference in San Diego. I love that I went 2, 200 miles to meet a new business buddy that lives 2 hours away and grew up just miles from where I live now. Gotta love fate. 🤣

Christen helps coaches and creative businesses like you finally get the email marketing and sales funnel you want, to reach clients you love, all in the time you actually have. She believes that if you tell the right stories to the right people at the right time, you can have a huge impact.  It’s all about knowing how to tap into how our brains learn. She was a teacher in a past job life, and it’s her purpose to show as many good business owners, leaders, and change-makers as possible how to teach people to care and build a movement that sticks.

Christen lives near Cleveland, Ohio with her three sons, a husband who she sees all day long (and still think it’s awesome 🙂 ), and a ridiculously stubborn but cute beagle. Her boys like all things space, coloring, building, games, dinosaurs, and super heroes. They also spend a lot of time outside.

Check out more “5 Questions with a Mom Entreprenuer” weekly chats here…

You can listen to my conversation with Christen Schneider at the link above. Or get an overview below.

1. What do you do in your business and why did you choose it?

I help creative and service-based businesses get the email marketing and sales funnels they want to reach clients they love, all in the time they actually have. I actually fell in love with marketing and all the writing and tech that goes with it on accident. When I started my original business in 2012, I was a wedding dress designer! I collected a crew of other indie designers around me, ran a show in NYC for 4 years, opened a bridal store for non-traditional brides, and in the course of all of that, found myself teaching other business owners how to do their marketing too. I’m a past teacher and I have always loved tech and writing, so this is the perfect spot for me! I officially closed all wedding related businesses 2 years ago and I’ve loved it.

2. What is your greatest strength when it comes to running your business?

I am never at a loss for ideas to try or potential solutions. I also can explain those to other people very well!

Christen Schneider - 5 Questions with a Mom Entrepreneur

3. What is the area of entrepreneurship where you could grow the most? 

Systems. Not the techie kinds, those I get. But the daily get-things-done-consistently-and-logically kind of systems that let you be a CEO instead of a scattered creative.

4. If you were to start your business over today, what piece of advice or lesson learned would you emphasize to yourself?

Track your financials. Also, if you pivot, let your former audience decide for themselves if they want to follow you or stop. Your pivot might involve more of your former audience than you think it does.

5. What is your best advice for balancing business and home life or creating intentional family time?

I sort my stuff into “need quiet” and “can get done in the living room”. That makes a huge difference in maximizing my work time without holing up for 9 hours a day. Also, it’s ok to set your own version of balance and productivity. My family likes to chill together in the morning, so I typically start my work around 10 instead of super early. It works for us!

Where can we find you on social media? 

Coffee Break Marketing

ChristenSchneider.com

Facebook

Instagram

LinkedIn


Grab my free mini-course “10 Tips for Working While Kids are Home” here!

Ashton Brackett - 5 Questions with a Mom Entrepreneur

Ashton Brackett – 5 Questions with a Mom Entrepreneur

Meet mom multi-preneur Ashton Brackett…

Subscribe & Listen on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts

I’m blown away by the ambition and focus of today’s guest for “5 Questions with a Mom Entrepreneur.” At just 25, she’s a mom to 2 and works on 3 entrepreneurial ventures from home. I’m tired just thinking about it. 😂

Ashton works from home as the Director of Marketing and Sales at Milrich Virtual Professionals and owns TJ Elite Contracting with her husband. She recently started Homegrown Momma to create a community for moms to cover all things motherhood. 

Ashton lives just outside St. Louis, Missouri. Her family is the definition of “on-the-go”. She and her 2 toddler boys often travel with her husband who plays competitive softball all over the US. When she is not working or traveling, she can be found surviving on coffee, in the gym, or going on daily outings with her boys. The love the local splash pad, story time, petting zoo, to a trampoline park

Check out more “5 Questions with a Mom Entreprenuer” weekly chats here…

You can listen to my conversation with Ashton at the link above. Or get an overview below.

1. What do you do in your business and why did you choose it?

For Milrich, I am the Director of Sales and Marketing. My role is to get the word out about how we help businesses. We assign virtual assistants of all specialties to large and small corporations.

I am a co-owner of TJ Elite with my husband. We do flooring installation services all throughout Missouri. My husband handles the man power while I do all things marketing, book keeping, and handling operations.

I chose to work in both roles as I have the flexibility working from home to spend time with my family. With our frequent traveling, I can work from anywhere. So this gives me a sense of responsibility outside of mom life, while also allowing me to put my degrees to use.

2. What is your greatest strength when it comes to running your business?

Productivity and time management. In all of my roles my greatest attribute is that I have developed a true sense for keeping organized and ensuring all tasks be completed on time, at a high quality level.

Ashton Brackett - 5 Questions with a Mom Entrepreneur

3. What is the area entrepreneurship where you could grow the most?

Delegating. We all know that true leaders have an innate ability to delegate mundane tasks. But unfortunately I suffer from the “I can do all” or “superwoman” syndrome.

4. If you were to start your business over today, what piece of advice or lesson learned would you emphasize to yourself?

Give yourself time. You don’t have to be the best, and you don’t have to get there tomorrow, just breathe.

5. What is your best advice for balancing business and home life or creating intentional family time?

Time blocking. I am a huge advocate for the pomodoro method. So I create time blocks of when certain tasks will be done.

Where can we find you online?

Website Homegrown Momma

Facebook Homegrown Momma

Instagram Homegrown Momma

Milrich Virtual Professionals

TJ Elite Contracting


Grab my free mini-course “10 Tips for Working While Kids are Home” here!

Jenelle Augustin - 5 Questions with a Mom Entrepreneur - Business Savvy Mama Podcast

Jenelle Augustin – 5 Questions with a Mom Entrepreneur

Meet eCommenerce entrepreneur and founder of Start Your Boutique Jenelle Augustin…

Subscribe & Listen on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts

I met Jenelle through the I Heart My Life Mastermind which we are both members. And let me tell you…Jenelle is an inspiring force. This girl puts the capital “A” in Action.

Jenelle Augustin is an eCommerce entrepreneur, business development coach, and founder of Start Your Boutique for the mom who wants to FINALLY start the online boutique of her dreams so she can work from home & make an income doing what she loves.

Jenelle lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband of 6 years and 3 year-old son. Along with spending time with her family, she is a lover of the color pink, learning more about faith and God’s grace, Shark Tank, and making money while she sleeps.

Check out more “5 Questions with a Mom Entreprenuer” weekly chats here…

You can listen to my conversation with Jenelle at the link above. Or get an overview below.

1. What do you do in your business and why did you choose it?

I help women start their online boutiques. I realized that newbies were making it waaay too difficult on themselves. My signature group coaching program Online Boutique Success provides a step by step system to confidently starting their dream business and getting customers so that they can be their own boss and have more time with the ones they love.

2. What is your greatest strength when it comes to running your business?

Able to pivot quickly. Always trying something out… not in the shiny object syndrome way but if it’s something that aligns with my goals I can implement quickly to see if it will work for me.

3. What is the area entrepreneurship where you could grow the most?

Being more analytical. I’m just learning to look at the data and figure out what it all means.

4. If you were to start your business over today, what piece of advice or lesson learned would you emphasize to yourself?

I’d tell myself to be clear on who I want to serve and to create only ONE funnel to start out instead of driving myself crazy trying to do everything.

5. What is your best advice for balancing business and home life or creating intentional family time?

Prioritize your to-do list. What is the most important thing that needs to get done to make you feel proud of yourself and like your day was productive. Do that… then relax and enjoy your family. It might often mean you’re working on/planning things further out in advance so you are not pulling overnighters. It might definitely mean hiring a VA to help with things that are necessary but small tasks that will help you save time.

Where can we find you online?

Website

Instagram

Pinterest

Facebook


Grab my free mini-course “10 Tips for Working While Kids are Home” here!