The key to productivity!
This week we caught up with Stacey! She is a busy full-time mom, Occupational Therapist, volunteers and is growing her own business with Moms Making Six Figures. You might be thinking “she must have endless amounts of energy!” Yep, we thought the same thing! However, Stacey has learned the key to productivity comes down to being planned and organized. Read on to learn her best tips!
What has been the hardest part of growing your business? What has been the easiest?
The hardest part of growing my business has been to schedule activity into an already busy life. I work full-time as an Occupational Therapist, my kids have multiple activities they’re involved in, we have a mini-farm, and I volunteer with two organizations. It’s been essential for me to be very organized, and have set goals for the day, week, and month. I’ve also had to really prioritize what is most important. I’m the mom that feels guilty if I’m not at every practice, if dinner is not home-cooked and healthy every night, if the house isn’t clean, etc. I’ve had to let go of a bit of that. The floor may not always be swept, or laundry might not be folded right away, and that’s okay. If I can prep meals for the week, plan for crockpot dinners on crazy nights, etc., it helps. It’s also taken buy-in from my family. I try to have all my overviews and set work time on our home calendar as well as my personal calendar. My husband learned to check the schedule for the week and has been amazing about getting kids to practices when I have an overview or other work scheduled.
The easiest part, surprisingly, has been staying committed! There are many days where I feel like I’m making more of a difference in people’s lives in my business than I do in my day-to-day job. Consistency pays off, and I think those results feed more consistency. The more I put myself out there and meet people, the more I see my work paying off in my life and in other peoples’ lives, the easier it gets to stay committed to my goals and set new and higher goals.
How do you successfully build your network from home?
One of the main ways I grow my network is to be intentional and aware when I am talking to people. As a mom, an Occupational Therapist and a volunteer, I have so many opportunities to learn about what is going on in people’s lives. I like to listen to people and people will open up if you are genuinely interested in them. There are times when I meet someone and five different ways I can help them jump out at me. Other times, it may be a year or more, or even never, before I contact them from a networking perspective.
Talking with people and helping them is what I do full-time, as an OT and as a mom, but I’m pretty introverted and my tendency has always been to guard my extra time – I’m the one you find with her nose in a book, not the social one. I’ve really tried to be more present, make more eye contact, and talk to people at kids’ activities, in Starbucks, wherever. The more I do this, the easier it gets. People are so interesting – get to know them!
I also try to be aware on social media. People will often let their needs be known – health issues, time crunches, personal stressors – and I try to follow up with a call or personal message. I think you must be sensitive when doing that, though. Sometimes it might be the right time to approach them with how you might be able to help them, but sometimes they just need a friend.
Being a full-time mom while running a business can mean there are distractions at just about every turn. What are your best tips for maximum productivity?
I work full-time in addition to being a full-time mom and growing my business, so there are extra distractions. I heard the saying “time management is about excuse management” on a training a few weeks ago, and it really resonated with me, because that’s how I keep myself on track. Early morning is my “organizing time.” I’m usually up at 5 a.m., and the kids are not supposed to get up until 6. This is my time to have my coffee, finish any patient charting, and review my Moms Making Six Figures goal for the day. I am a big list-maker. I have my contact list, but then I also have daily lists of who I want to contact and who I want to follow up with that day.
I live by my Day Runner – I must have my schedule written down in front of me, not just in the calendar in my phone! I keep my calendar with me and have all the non-negotiable times written down – soccer, 4-H meetings, school events, Boy Scout meetings, etc., so I know exactly what free time I have. I’ve also learned to schedule “my time” in my calendar. If I want some time with one of my horses or time to go on a hike, it goes in the calendar, so that it is just as important as any other activity. I do a lot of driving since I do home health therapy, and I keep my contact list with me to take advantage of any free minute I have. If I have a break between patients, or if I get to school pickup early, I’ll use that time to make calls. I also try to take advantage of my drive time to listen to drop box recordings of team calls or listen to podcast trainings.
It takes organization and planning to run a business and balance everything that moms balance! For anyone struggling with this, my biggest tip is to be aware of where your time goes. Yes, there will be some things that need to be sacrificed in the short-term but having a written calendar and an organized plan for the day, week, and month will help ensure that you are still able to be there for the important things for your family while maximizing the time you have for your business.