This episode is dedicated to another repeated question we received in our community survey: How do you manage your time? Or one of my favorites, “Can it be DONE??? Mother and businesswoman???”
Yes, it can be done! At the time of this recording, I have a newborn baby at home, a 6-year-old in school, and am a military spouse – and, of course, I run Brilliant Business Moms. It does take some finessing, and you have to be creative. I’m hopeful that this episode will spark some ideas for you.
I do want to mention that I got several questions on specific life circumstances, like:
- How can I have a full-time job and build a business on the side?
- How can I build a business while I homeschool full-time?
Since I have never been in either of those situations while growing my business, I do not want to pretend I have any expertise answering that particular question. I have time management tools and tips that work for me, but it would be glossing over your specific situation to pretend like I can speak directly to your circumstances. (And one day we will bring ladies on the show who have more expertise in those areas.)
Alright, let’s get to it. How is it that I’m doing everything I’m doing? How do I even get sleep!?
The #1 Thing You Have To Know
You guys don’t realize I’m doing a lot less than it appears!
Remember my fabulous team? It’s thanks to Ellen, Carlee, and Victoria that I appear to be doing much more than I am! These three ladies work quite a few hours every week and they have all sorts of expertise. They can write posts about Pinterest, webinars, Facebook ads, or a new tech tool – just like I would. They write a lot of our weekly emails. (Have you noticed that our emails are now signed ‘The Brilliant Business Moms Team’?) They regularly answer our Facebook group questions and pass along the more complicated ones to me. They post on social media.
I never want you to think it’s me writing, when it’s actually not me! We’ve decided to use a collective voice when we write much of our content. That ‘team’ language frees me up to do things only I can do: podcast episodes, course creating, group coaching calls, developing and designing new products. (We’re excited for the new planning and time management products we’ll be releasing over the next few years!)
My hand in the business is very much taking part in our big-picture strategy and growth for Brilliant Business Moms.
For example, in this community survey we’ve been talking about, I made sure every question was what we needed it to be. I’m driving our content plans and creation of future products. The main role I have is painting the big picture, planning growth, moving forward, and identifying how best to serve our audience.
I know a lot of you may not be at the point of being able to hire a team. But I really think if you just hire a few hours a week you’ll be amazed at how much more quickly you can grow. Have a growth mindset with all your decisions. For me, I’m not willing to work even 40 hours a week because I want more time with my baby. My paycheck isn’t as big as you assume it is. Because it’s worth it to hire out a few tasks to have that peace of mind, invest in the lives of other women, and have quality time with my family.
How My Work Life Looks With A Newborn
Levi was born in April 2017, and for the first 6 weeks after I didn’t do anything in the business. I was very hands off. I thought I would be off a lot longer than that, but with the slower pace of life I had a lot more time to think and the ideas just came rushing in! (Raise your hand if you can relate!)
Some things are not possible without childcare!
Levi is not in any sort of daycare. He’s primarily home with me. Just this week, I hired a babysitter for Levi, a high school neighbor. She watches him a few hours at a time, a few days a week for me, so I can do tasks that wouldn’t be accomplished otherwise. Tasks such as: conducting podcast interviews, recording tutorial videos, and hosting my live coaching calls for FB Brilliance students.
Especially when I know my students have spent good money for my courses, I don’t want their time with me to be interrupted by a baby.
Leverage one-handed technology.
I’m nursing my son Levi. So, when I’m feeding him, I often have my phone with me. The fact that I can answer emails while feeding Levi or on-the-go is great! I love being a mom in the 21st century!
I also use the Google Keep app to save notes for myself or my team. Just hit the mic button and do a voice recording.
Using the phone as my office, in 5 min increments.
Okay, but what if I was still a solopreneur? Having any sort of life balance with a newborn would be tricky. It certainly is a time to work in the margins. Literally, sometimes, 5 mins increments. If you’ve got a new baby in the house, you probably won’t have those clean start and stop times without childcare help.
I work all over the place now, and I don’t have a neat little office setup. Things are way more fluid. My phone is my new office! Google Keep and Wunderlist are my go-to apps for getting things done.
And remember, I’m the lady who makes and sells planners! I do love time blocking and having hard stops and starts. But when you’ve got a new baby, give yourself lots of grace. Do what you can.
Okay, but what if I REALLY need to work!?
When I need to get some hardcore computer work done, I’ll often have Levi on my lap. I maybe can get 15 mins of really good work in, or more if I’m lucky.
If your kids are still around age 3 or age 4, you could really leverage their naptime to get work done.
If your kids are older than 4 (like my little guy Holden, who’s 6) still facilitate quiet playtime! You’ll be amazed at how your children’s creativity can blossom during those moments.
Balance it all? Give it up.
Here’s a big secret.
You don’t have to do it all. (Promise!)
You can give up those things that don’t provide value to your business or your customers. Especially if you’re feeling crunched for time, only do those tasks that will support your goal.
For example, our Brilliant Business Moms community has told us time and again that you prefer the podcast much more than blog posts. So we do try to make sure at the bare minimum a podcast goes out each week – everything else is icing.
The same is true of social media. We’ve scaled back in a lot of ways there! And just a tip, if you’re listening to me scale back social media and thinking, “But! But! Social media is the only way I’m making sales!” Focus on building your email list. If you’re afraid about tanking your sales potential by focusing on your email list, I promise you’ll be surprised if you focus more on email!
And if you’re wondering how to increase your sales by building an email list, we’ve got a free resource for you. 20 Optin Offers Your Subscribers Will Love.
Focus on big, high impact things. And I’m telling you, your email list should certainly be one of them!
Throw the routines, and find the time.
I used to have really solid daily routines, but they’ve gone completely out the window with a new baby in the house. Levi doesn’t have a great routine, yet, and I’m finding myself working bit by bit during some pretty crazy hours.
Some mornings when he wakes up around 4:30am, I will just stay up after and get some solid work accomplished. Now, I do NOT do that every day! I may do this every other day, at the most. But it’s a great way to fit work in with a new baby.
If you’re SUPER struggling to fit work time in, I almost wonder if you’re not super excited about your business anymore. That may be more of your problem than not having time. (And if that’s the case, go back and listen to our episode ‘Do You Ever Feel Like Giving Up’.)
Most of the time, I work 2 hours a day in teeny snippets. But I love the business so much that losing a bit of sleep here and there, or giving up a Saturday morning, isn’t a huge deal. Again, if you feel like you’re forcing it, maybe your heart isn’t in it. I think it is easy to find time to work when you’re passionate about what you do.
And also, I say no to a LOT of things. I don’t go on other people’s podcasts, I don’t do joint webinars, I’m not part of group programs or masterminds. I don’t add extra things to my calendar. Even though I’ve seen tons of mastermind-type groups lately I’d love to join! I just say ‘No’.
What I have been saying yes to are courses and training programs. If you have unexpected down time, or a slow time in business, maybe you can commit to a training program to watch and take time to learn, while growing your business. (I watch my classes while I feed Levi!) Maybe you’re not getting lots of interviews, and that’s okay.
It's time to relieve my babysitter, so this episode will have to come to a close! This is work / life balance, friends. I hope you took away some helpful pieces of information.