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The Boss Mom Podcast - Business Strategy - Work / Life Balance - -Digital Marketing - Content Strategy

Welcome to the Boss Mom Podcast, where mompreneurs and women in all stages of raising their business and family come to get tools, tips and support to help make their Boss Mom world just a little bit easier. With host Dana Malstaff
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The Boss Mom Podcast - Business Strategy - Work / Life Balance - -Digital Marketing - Content Strategy
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Now displaying: 2017
May 9, 2017

Let's be honest - we all started businesses to make money, right? Sure, we have gifts and passions and hopefully a drive behind why we do what we do other than pure financial gain. But at the end of the day, our businesses wouldn't be businesses if there wasn't revenue being generated.

The challenge is that actually getting to the point of generating revenue can be a really big challenge, especially when you're just starting out.

We've been there, friends, which is why NJ and I are hopping into this episode to discuss how exactly we each started making money in our businesses and how things have changed and evolved since then.

Listen + subscribe on iTunes // Stitcher

 

NJ's Journey to Making Money

NJ started a blog in 2009 and bootstrapped from the beginning, learning how to do #allthethings herself, from website design to graphic imagery creation to social media and beyond.

As a blogger her primary source of income came in the form of sponsored posts she wrote and marketed. But as her blog grew and she continued to develop her skills, she decided she wanted more consistent control over her income.

She knew her skills were valuable (because people kept asking for them!) so she leveraged what she had and offered her virtual assistant services to other bloggers and business owners.

She kept it simple, putting a page up on her website to outline her services, and got out there and started telling people about what she was doing.

It wasn't long before she met Dana and a few other high profile people who she started providing services for. This helped her quickly gain her confidence and she continued to develop her skills as a VA.

She has since outgrown that title as the scope of her knowledge, skills and experience have grown, and she now offers digital marketing consulting in addition to continuing to run her blog.

NJ’s motto has always been to "move fast and break things" - or in other words, don't wait for things to be perfect before putting them out into the world. Dive in, get messy and make things happen.

Dana's Journey to Making Money

When Dana first left corporate America she jumped into business as a Mindful Communication Coach since it tied together beautifully with what she had been doing in her career.

She did some consulting and speaking and made some money, but was consistently spending more money that she was making that first year.

At some point she learned the concept of zeroing in on your gift and doing what was easy to you, but difficult for other people.

She recognized that she had a gift for content strategy and creating courses, so without a website, logo, or much of anything else, she jumped into taking on content strategy coaching clients to see if it worked.

She also leveraged outside platforms like Udemy and Skillshare to create her own simple courses, which ignited a big shift in how and where she was making money.

As she continued on, the rest of her business growth all had to do with leveraging relationships and opportunities that came her way.

In addition to content strategy and creating courses, she also wrote social media content for clients for a time and continued building her network of relationships.

When she was pregnant with her second baby, she had the idea to write the Boss Mom book, and decided to part ways with all the clients she was working "for" in favor of shifting into CEO mode to ignite and grow what is now the Boss Mom movement.

She talks about how when she changed how she thought about her business, it changed the trajectory of her business.

In just a year and a half she has gone from making somewhere around $5K per month to making nearly $30K per month, and she has goals to make the Boss Mom brand a million dollar company within the year.

Final Takeaways

Don't discount where you start, because everyone has to start somewhere (just like us!)

If you're intentional about leveraging relationships and opportunities, thinks can build and grow quickly.

Business growth is all about leveraging the things you're good at, the relationships you have, recognizing what works and being really decisive as you take things one step at a time.

Referenced in the Show:

(Just FYI, some of these links may be affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase using the links I may receive some love in return!)

Sponsor Spotlight: Tailwind

Tailwind is the complete Pinterest and Instagram marketing toolkit for bloggers and small businesses that allows you to schedule posts, discover content, monitor conversations, amplify your reach, and measure results - all with one tool!

It’s easy to use, incredibly powerful, helps you master your schedule and track your key performance indicators.

To learn more and try Tailwind out for yourself, visit www.boss-mom.com/tailwind

Connect with Dana & NJ

We love hearing from you!

If you’ve got a question about today’s episode or want to leave us some inbox love, you can email us at hello@boss-mom.com. Or, you can always find Dana hanging out in her happy place, the Boss Mom Facebook Community. 

We would also LOVE it if you’d leave a podcast rating or review for us on iTunes! We know it can be kind of tricky to figure out, so here are a few step-by-step instructions on how to leave an iTunes rating or review for a podcast from your iPhone or iPad.

  1. Launch Apple’s Podcast app.
  2. Tap the Search tab.
  3. Enter the name of the podcast you want to rate or review.
  4. Tap the blue Search key at the bottom right.
  5. Tap the album art for the podcast.
  6. Tap the Reviews tab.
  7. Tap Write a Review at the bottom.
  8. Enter your iTunes password to login.
  9. Tap the Stars to leave a rating.
  10. Enter title text and content to leave a review.
  11. Tap Send.
May 5, 2017

Let's talk project management, baby! As business owners, managing projects is a huge part of running our businesses (and lives!) each day.

Everything we do involves managing our time, whether we are actively aware of doing it or not. When we are proactive about managing our time and our projects, we can be so much more effective and keep ourselves on track.

In this episode I'm going to break down how we here at Boss Mom approach project management and share several examples and bits of insights I hope will help making project planning and management a little less daunting for you.

Listen + subscribe on iTunes // Stitcher

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Why Project Planning & Management is Necessary 

Ok, so for starters let's get one thing out on the table - starting new projects is HARD. Sure it might be exciting to sit down with a new idea that you're looking forward to seeing come to life....but the actual planning and execution can be totally overwhelming.

Questions like, "Where do I begin? What do I need to do? What comes next?" start swirling around in your head and before you know it you're camped in front of your computer scrolling through funny cat videos on YouTube and half a bag of M&Ms has mysteriously vanished. (Ok....maybe that's me)

To avoid these kinds of scenarios, you need a plan of attack to map out your project - a framework to make the project seem less daunting and overwhelming.

Start by Asking the Right Questions 

If you want to start running projects effectively and understanding what needs to happen next in your business, you've got to begin by asking the right questions.

You can't just dive in and start making decisions willy-nilly. You need to first sit down and figure out a few things, and that begins with asking yourself some questions.

Word of advice: be logical! Good questions are based out of logic, so take the time to slow down, dig deep and logically figure out what questions you need to answer to begin moving forward.

Everything you need is in the questions you ask - brilliance and clarity comes in the questions!

Determine What Decisions You Need to Make 

I always advocate for starting a new project with a clear understanding and outline of all (or as many of) the decisions you'll need to make over the course of the project. 

The reason I like to start here (knowing what the decisions are, not actually making them yet) is so I can delay the decision-making until the right time in the process so I don't get overwhelmed with trying to make decisions out of order, without all the information I need to make them well.

You will waste tons of time and energy trying to make decisions out of order and spending time on things that aren't the highest priority.

I call this "decision hopping" which will keep you ineffective and kill your confidence because of not having everything you need to make the decisions you're trying to make in the wrong order.

Understanding Your Milestone & Prerequisites

It's important when planning your decision making to understand what your milestones and prerequisites are.

Milestones are the places you need to hit throughout the course of your project to stay on track.

Prerequisites are the things you need to know before you can decide on other things.

You need to know and understand both in order to map out what decisions need to be made when, and in what order.

Once you've done that, you can break things down further, determine how much time each decision or task will take and attach time constraints around those things.

This will lead you to being able to figure out when you need to make those decisions and complete those tasks.

My Favorite Tool for Project Management

If you've been following Boss Mom for any length of time, you've probably heard me sing love songs to my beloved project management and workflow tool, Trello.

(I actually love it so much I created an entire free training course on it - check it out here!)

Trello is amazing for project management because you want the project plans and processes you come up with to be duplicatable, scalable, and follow a fluid workflow that other people can collaborate on as necessary.

Trello enables you to do exactly that with beautiful ease and visual appeal.

Be Sure to Celebrate the Milestones

I'm a big believer in purposefully factoring in time to acknowledge and celebrate when milestones are reached as you move forward and accomplish things in your business and in each individual project you do.

So I encourage you to identify what your milestones are going to be and figure out ways to pause throughout the process to celebrate your progress - it will only help continue propelling you forward!

Referenced in the Show:

(Just FYI, some of these links may be affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase using the links I may receive some love in return!)

Connect with Dana

We love hearing from you!

If you’ve got a question about today’s episode or want to leave us some inbox love, you can email us at hello@boss-mom.com. Or, you can always find Dana hanging out in her happy place, the Boss Mom Facebook Community. 

We would also LOVE it if you’d leave a podcast rating or review for us on iTunes! We know it can be kind of tricky to figure out, so here are a few step-by-step instructions on how to leave an iTunes rating or review for a podcast from your iPhone or iPad.

  1. Launch Apple’s Podcast app.
  2. Tap the Search tab.
  3. Enter the name of the podcast you want to rate or review.
  4. Tap the blue Search key at the bottom right.
  5. Tap the album art for the podcast.
  6. Tap the Reviews tab.
  7. Tap Write a Review at the bottom.
  8. Enter your iTunes password to login.
  9. Tap the Stars to leave a rating.
  10. Enter title text and content to leave a review.
  11. Tap Send.
May 4, 2017

Sometimes you come across those people in life who completely blow your mind....and Julie Stoian is one of those people. Julie is a full-time digital marketing consultant and tech coach, web designer and blogger, trainer and teacher, making her mark on the Internet with several blogs and websites.

An award winning lifestyle blogger as well, she was chosen as Anderson Cooper's blogger of the day in 2012 and appeared on Anderson Live several times, as well as BBC World Have Your Say.

She's been interviewed in the New York Times and Washington Post regarding social media, and runs several successful groups and workshops for entrepreneurs who need help with online tech and strategy. Off the Internet, she is a mom of four (what?!) a musician, foodie, and theater buff.

This woman's story is crazy you guys, and I can't wait for you to hear all about her journey and what she's built because I guarantee you'll be inspired, you'll learn a ton and fall in love with her just like I did. So, let's jump in!

Listen + subscribe on iTunes // Stitcher

 

Julie's Boss Mom Journey

Julie's boss mom journey begins with her being young, married and having three babies back-to-back. She stayed home with her kids, taught piano, started a blog that became popular, ended up opening a social media management and design business and life was good....until it wasn't anymore.

One day Julie found herself in an unfortunate situation where she was getting divorced, newly pregnant (with someone else) and needing to figure out how to pick herself up and push forward through all of it.

She married her baby daddy, amicably divorced her ex-husband and the rest is history.

From 2014-2016 she did "the hustle," getting a part-time job and building her marketing and sales funnel business up all while being pregnant, getting divorced and raising her three kids. (C-R-A-Z-Y!)

As a result of all her hard work and determination to show up and do what needed done, her marketing business exploded and now she's moved into doing more mentorship and coaching for other women who want to do service based businesses like she had.

(Oh, and ps - she's now happily married to her post-divorce baby daddy and amicably split from her ex-husband, for those that want to know!)

What to Do to Make Building a Business Work

Obviously there's a lot that goes into making a business work, and everyone has a unique perspective. For Julie, it was all about just getting in there and doing what needed to be done. 

She recognized that in order to bring home the bacon she needed to not get hung up worrying about all the things that often keep business owners stuck (logos, proposals, contracts, etc).

“I was under such a tremendous amount of stress to provide for my kids I was literally like, “Go find people with problems and fix them. Like, that’s all I need to do. And then charge money to fix them. I didn’t care about niche, and I didn’t care about official contracts, I just found people with problems and I made friendships and I built relationships and I fixed their problems and then they paid me and then they liked and then they told more people about me.” (9:59)

She also dedicated herself to increasing her skillset and learning as many new things as she could to make herself more valuable.

Navigating Transitions in Business

Julie got her start as a writer and designer, which are two critical skills you need to effectively build sales funnels and do marketing.

When she realized those skills work well together she started offering marketing services to her clients (which she still does to this day!)

One day one of her clients came to her because she wanted to launch a VA training course and knew all about the business development side, but couldn't offer as much expertise with on the skillset side as Julie. They decided to go in on the venture 50/50 and it ended up doing really well because people were hungry for it.

After Julie had her first high-level success earning a client six figures in two weeks with a launch and funnel she'd built, she was officially "on the map" and she started working less with service clients and doing more mentoring and coaching, which is what she primarily does now.

Why Do You Need a Funnel?

Because the space is so crowded, the internet is so crowded, that if you don’t have a funnel the likelihood of your success is minimal at best.

“You have got to put blinders on your leads and the only way to do that is with a sales funnel. A sales funnel is far more important than a website in this moment of the internet, because if someone’s finding you on Instagram and they click on your Instagram bio and they go to your website they’ve got 500 choices. If you put the entrance of your funnel as your Instagram bio, all of a sudden there’s only one thing they can do and that is give you their email address and that is exactly what you need because from there you can show them exactly what they need to do to become your customer.” (25:37)

The blinders are because there are so many shiny objects, if you don’t direct your leads where they need to go they won’t get there as easily.

“The idea is everyone should be building a brand and a system and a funnel that attracts your ideal customer and repels everybody else.” (27:34)

Referenced in the Show:

(Just FYI, some of these links may be affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase using the links I may receive some love in return!)

 

Sponsor Spotlight: Trello

Have you been introduced you to what I call my “work wife” yet? If not, let me make the introduction. Meet Trello– the magical unicorn of amazingness that allows me to run my life, business and team with ease without completely and totally losing my mind (what’s left of it anyway).

I believe every person with a life, home and business needs an awesome (and free!) place to manage their projects, schedules, homes and teams and keep everything important in their lives in one central spot that can be revisited time and time again while giving access to anyone else that needs it.

I love and believe in Trello so much that I created a super amazing, in-depth (free!) training that gives you a behind-the-scenes look into how exactly I use Trello to keep everything working like a well-oiled machine. Check it out here. I promise your life will never be the same.

Connect with Dana & Julie

We love hearing from you!

If you’ve got a question about today’s episode or want to leave us some inbox love, you can email us at hello@boss-mom.com. Or, you can always find Dana hanging out in her happy place, the Boss Mom Facebook Community. 

We would also LOVE it if you’d leave a podcast rating or review for us on iTunes! We know it can be kind of tricky to figure out, so here are a few step-by-step instructions on how to leave an iTunes rating or review for a podcast from your iPhone or iPad.

  1. Launch Apple’s Podcast app.
  2. Tap the Search tab.
  3. Enter the name of the podcast you want to rate or review.
  4. Tap the blue Search key at the bottom right.
  5. Tap the album art for the podcast.
  6. Tap the Reviews tab.
  7. Tap Write a Review at the bottom.
  8. Enter your iTunes password to login.
  9. Tap the Stars to leave a rating.
  10. Enter title text and content to leave a review.
  11. Tap Send.
May 2, 2017

Ok ladies, we have officially reached our 200th episode and wanted to have a little fun as we celebrate this milestone and thank you all for tuning in each week!

In this episode NJ and I are getting a little silly with a game of "Never Have I Ever".....which you'll quickly see doesn't follow the rules at all.

You're sure to hear things you've never heard before, and we tried to sprinkle in some really valuable little tidbits to hopefully encourage or speak to you wherever you're at (because you're never the only one who has been where you're at!

Listen + subscribe on iTunes // Stitcher

 

Referenced in the Show:

(Just FYI, some of these links may be affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase using the links I may receive some love in return!)

Sponsor Spotlight: Trello

Have you been introduced you to what I call my “work wife” yet? If not, let me make the introduction. Meet Trello – the magical unicorn of amazingness that allows me to run my life, business and team with ease without completely and totally losing my mind (what’s left of it anyway).

I believe every person with a life, home and business needs an awesome (and free!) place to manage their projects, schedules, homes and teams and keep everything important in their lives in one central spot that can be revisited time and time again while giving access to anyone else that needs it.

I love and believe in Trello so much that I created a super amazing, in-depth (free!) training that gives you a behind-the-scenes look into how exactly I use Trello to keep everything working like a well-oiled machine. Check it out here. I promise your life will never be the same.

Connect with Dana & NJ

We love hearing from you!

If you’ve got a question about today’s episode or want to leave us some inbox love, you can email us at hello@boss-mom.com. Or, you can always find Dana hanging out in her happy place, the Boss Mom Facebook Community. 

We would also LOVE it if you’d leave a podcast rating or review for us on iTunes! We know it can be kind of tricky to figure out, so here are a few step-by-step instructions on how to leave an iTunes rating or review for a podcast from your iPhone or iPad.

  1. Launch Apple’s Podcast app.
  2. Tap the Search tab.
  3. Enter the name of the podcast you want to rate or review.
  4. Tap the blue Search key at the bottom right.
  5. Tap the album art for the podcast.
  6. Tap the Reviews tab.
  7. Tap Write a Review at the bottom.
  8. Enter your iTunes password to login.
  9. Tap the Stars to leave a rating.
  10. Enter title text and content to leave a review.
  11. Tap Send.
Apr 29, 2017

So, let's talk about how to be a good boss. This is a question I get asked a lot, since we've grown a pretty great team here at Boss Mom.

I'm by no means a perfect boss (I have to remind myself regularly that no one is!) but there are some things that I've learned will definitely help you be a better boss when you get to the point of hiring and leading team members in your business.

What I always seem to hear is that people are afraid of hiring people. And, I get it....the prospect of things not working out as planned, and hiring people actually making our lives harder instead of easier is a scary one!

There's a million questions that often run through our heads when we think of hiring a team.....

How do I know what to give them to do?

How do I make sure they stay on top of doing their job?

How do I make sure hiring someone is actually worth it to me?

What will I do if it doesn't work out?

All of this, and so much more, is what we're going to dive in and address in this episode, so click play and enjoy.

Listen + subscribe on iTunes // Stitcher

 

Being a good boss isn’t all about things being easy.....but it does get easier over time. I think that, just like in relationships, we have to past this idea that we'll find the perfect person, fall in love with them the second we meet them, that everything's going to be perfect and we'll just "get" each other.

The reality is that things don't usually work out like that. Good relationships take time to bud and bloom, and it's the same with hiring in our businesses.

1. Don’t expect perfection

You can’t live in a fantasy world where everything is rainbows and roses thinking all of a sudden someone is just going to present themselves to you and they’re going to be perfect and wonderful and never do anything wrong, and you’ll never do anything wrong, and they’re going to always know what they’re supposed to do and life is going to be perfect.

We have to realize that life and business and working with people takes a little work. The key is having some really good processes in place for when things don't work out. 

I think we spend a lot of time trying to create great processes for making things work, and we forget to create a good process for handling the times when things don’t work, which results in massive time waste.

2. Only hire your ideal client

You want to strive to only work with people that really love what you do, what you stand for, and how everything works in your business.

If they aren’t passionate about your business then how are they going to be passionate about their job?

Even if they’re only working a few hours per week, how are they going to be committed fully if they don’t care about what you’re doing?

3. Ask your team to help you define roles and processes

The best way to let a team member own their role in your business is to let them own their role! Explain what ultimately needs to happen, but then ask them to write out their true job description, what they want to do, how they can best go about executing their role, and where they want to go within your business.

The key to being a good boss is the same key to growing a thriving community - people just want to feel like they are valued and heard, cared about and for.

You don’t have to have all the answers. Allow them the space to create and innovate, and you can fill in the blanks.

It’s often easier to edit what you don’t like or doesn’t work than for you to start from scratch yourself. We often don’t know what we want or don’t want until we see it.

Also, for technical processes you can record a video of yourself walking through the process you need your team member to take over, then you can share it, review it together to make sure their aren’t any gaps in their understanding of their role or where they are wanting to go in your business.

4. Communicate like a crazy person

If something isn’t working - TELL THEM. If you’ve hired someone that gets really upset when you ask for tweaks and adjustments, you need to either reset expectations or that person isn’t going to work.

Most people are going to be totally on board with tweaking and adjusting so they can learn you and your brand better and get more efficient at their job.

Communication is key. Keep each other updated and let each other know what’s going on.

5. Assess often

You only want people doing things in your business that they absolutely love. Regularly check in to make sure they’re happy and fulfilled where they’re at and how they’d like to serve within your team.

Referenced in the Show:

(Just FYI, some of these links may be affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase using the links I may receive some love in return!)

Connect with Dana

We love hearing from you!

If you’ve got a question about today’s episode or want to leave us some inbox love, you can email us at hello@boss-mom.com. Or, you can always find Dana hanging out in her happy place, the Boss Mom Facebook Community. 

We would also LOVE it if you’d leave a podcast rating or review for us on iTunes! We know it can be kind of tricky to figure out, so here are a few step-by-step instructions on how to leave an iTunes rating or review for a podcast from your iPhone or iPad.

  1. Launch Apple’s Podcast app.
  2. Tap the Search tab.
  3. Enter the name of the podcast you want to rate or review.
  4. Tap the blue Search key at the bottom right.
  5. Tap the album art for the podcast.
  6. Tap the Reviews tab.
  7. Tap Write a Review at the bottom.
  8. Enter your iTunes password to login.
  9. Tap the Stars to leave a rating.
  10. Enter title text and content to leave a review.
  11. Tap Send.
Apr 27, 2017

Ok ladies, you are in for a real treat because this conversation I had with Tonya Dalton, the Founder and CEO of inkWELL Press, was seriously amazing.

Tonya started her first business as a SAHM in 2009 and by 2011, her husband was able to leave corporate America to work alongside her.

Late in 2014 she decided to follow her true passion - inkWELL Press which has grown at a rapid pace thanks to their commitment to quality and fiercely loyal fans. 

I knew pretty much instantaneously that Tonya was my soul sister. The way she thinks is so in line with the way I think and we had an absolute blast, not just talking about planners and building businesses, but ultimately about productivity. We talked about how to be effective and efficient, about changing things when you’re not happy, and so many other things that so many of us boss moms go through.

She is an absolute joy and treasure, I know you’re going to fall madly in love with her (because how couldn’t you?!) So I’m not going to deprive you of her awesomeness any further. Lets hop in and hang out with Tonya.

Listen + subscribe on iTunes // Stitcher

     

Tonya's Boss Mom Journey

Several years ago Tonya was one of those moms that thought she would just start a little side business that would be fun for her. Her husband was working in marketing at large Fortune 500 companies, traveling the world and gone for 3-4 weeks at a time. 

One night while he was traveling and they were talking on the phone Tonya mentioned a new phrase their young daughter had said that day, and her husband got really quiet then said, “I’m missing everything.”

This broke Tonya's heart, and in that moment her life changed. She decided she was going to turn her little side business into a full-time gig and make it so that she and her husband could be home working on that business together.

She sat down, got out a notebook and wrote down everything she could think of to build her business and boost her productivity, since she was obviously still a mom with 2 kids to raise with a husband who traveled a lot.

Tonya mapped out a business plan and got to work! Within a year her husband quit his corporate job and came to work with her. The business had grown enough to sustain their life, pay the bills and they loved working together.....and as they worked alongside each other, the business grew even more.

Like so many before her though, she got to a point a few years in where she realized she was losing her enthusiasm for what she was doing because that little side business wasn't born out of her passions - it was always just intended to be something fun.

After sharing her heart with her husband from a place of honesty and transparency, he was totally on board with sitting down and coming up with an alternative plan. They decided to close down that first business, even though it was successful, so Tonya could really follow her passion and purpose.

What she learned was that she was really passionate about three things: teaching, organization and productivity, and empowering women. She had to figure out what to create that would pull together all 3 of those passions, and from that Inkwell Press was born.

After closing that first business they took a big risk to build their new business, living with no income for 7 months, and today she says it was all worth it. Now she gets to work with her husband on a business they absolutely love and wake up every day fulfilled in walking out her purpose.

The Power of Planning

One of the biggest things Tonya says helped her build her business was having an organized mind and doing the planning....figuring out her "roadmap" if you will.

She shared a great analogy about how you can get into the car and have the idea that you're going to drive across the country, but if you don't have a map or GPS you don't ultimately know where you'll end up!

So Tonya focused intently on creating a map for herself, that way as she continued to move forward she knew what the next steps were going to be and she could anticipate things.

When you know where you're going and have a map for how to get there, even when you need to make inevitable adjustments (hello detours and construction work!) you are still able to veer back onto the right path because you know your end destination.

The other thing that has really helped her as she has built her business is being able to hone in on how to best spend her time.

“Productivity isn’t about getting more things done in a day, it’s about focusing in on the things you really want to focus in on, the things that are important to you, and finding these pockets of time by getting rid of the other stuff.” (11:33)

True productivity is about focusing on that one thing that really matters that will move the needle forward the most for you in the direction of your goals.

On Busy, Hustle and Balance

At this point in the conversation we start talking a little bit of trash about some common jargon many people use today, and explore how using these words can hold us back.

The first word up: busy. Tonya says she is not a fan and tries not to use the word because at the end of the day, busy doesn't always mean productive or happy. It just means busy. One of her big platforms is to stop the glorification of busy, and trade it in for productivity.

She says busy just means you’re scattering yourself in all different directions. Productive means you’re going in the direction that you want to go in and doing the right things to get there.

Think how often you ask people how they are and they reply “busy.” Busy isn’t a state of being, it’s a verb. It’s filling up your time with a lot of things.

Then we shifted into discussing the world "hustle" which Tonya says segues right into busy because it's about always moving and always doing.

“It’s okay to stop moving and have white space our lives because the white space is where we grow and that’s really where we can dedicate the time to where we need to go.” (14:22)

Lastly (and we SO have the same belief about this) Tonya thinks the idea of balance in life and work is total bogus. She says there are 3 areas that make up our life: personal, home and work, and it's all about finding harmony in these areas.

Tonya believes that using the idea of "balance" makes it sound like each area needs to be even - which isn’t feasible, realistic or healthy! To really move towards a big goal in any direction there has to be imbalance.

You have to spend more time on something if you’re really wanting it to grow. So the key is to find how you can get all 3 areas of your life to work together to create harmony, which will add to your happiness with life.

The Challenge of Decision-Making

A really common struggle today is that people want to do all the things, really well, and right now. When we don't have a clear focus, we won't have a clear understanding of what we need to say yes to or what we need to say no to. All of this leads to us to being indecisive, or making poor choices when we do finally decide.

“Everyone thinks you need to add in order to grow, and it’s really the opposite. You need to cut in order to grow.” (19:30)

She suggests figuring out the one thing you want to focus on, your key product or offering, and building around that once you feel like it’s gotten established. That, she says, is how growth happens.

From a marketing perspective, focusing in this way will also allow you to know exactly what you’re going to tell people about. And your focused message can be tailored and adjusted so it's applicable depending on your audience.

If your products and offerings are all based off your core mission, it really allows you to grow at a steady pace.

Tonya says that all of her products at inkWELL Press go through a rigorous questioning process to make sure it aligns with their overarching mission. If it doesn’t fulfill their mission, they don’t offer it (even if people are asking for it!)

Growing Pains & Season of Change

When Tonya first started inkWELL Press organization was the thing she thought was her cornerstone and what she wanted to focus in on. Eventually she started to realize as she was growing and moving forward that her focus really needed to be about productivity.

She believes that if you’re really organized it won't necessarily translate into productivity because a lot of people use organization as a way to procrastinate.

“If you’re productive, organization naturally follows.” (22:58)

So she changed her focus from organization to productivity and agrees with my philosophy that you find clarity by doing. You find it as you work, if you're open to seeing it and grabbing hold of it.

It’s really about knowing where you want to go and where you want to spend your time, in the ways that matter most to you.

Productivity is very personal and needs to be customized and tailored to you, Tonya says. It requires clarity, cutting through the clutter and focusing on the things that are important to you.

We also discuss the importance of having a business plan that can act as your decision-support to help you figure out your purpose, gift, the future you want to create, the environment you want to live in, what will you say yes and no to, etc.

People often avoid answering these questions because it feels uncomfortable, but Tonya is a believer in growth coming from outside our comfort zones.

"The first step of any process, whether it’s developing a business plan or doing your goal setting is reflection.”  (25:49)

And she says reflection isn't always easy - it can be tough work! You have to be willing to peel back the layers, get honest and vulnerable - with yourself and others.

It might feel like there are parts of you that you don’t want to explore or talk about, but those are the parts that you’re really going to grow from and that make you beautiful in who you’ve become.

You all know I love brainstorming, and often say "If brainstorming isn't uncomfortable then you’re just making a list.” (26:38)

But do you just want to just make a list or do you want to come up with actual answers, content, things, ideas that are really going to make a difference?

“Until you get lost, you can’t explore.” (27:27)

Making inkWELL Press Great

Over the years inkWELL Press has experienced a ton of growth and Tonya is sharing some behind the scenes insights into how she approaches her business.

"I really believe there can be a happy marriage between form and function, but I do believe that function comes first.” (35:52)

Tonya starts every new project by sketching out the layout and elements she thinks are important. She intentionally puts things in her planners that she feels are vital for productivity (goal setting, habit trackers, focus points, etc.

She also works completely in tandem with her husband on every single page! She says the most important thing is that each of their products is created to be functional and customizable so it will work for you.

By approaching their creation process with the end in mind - helping people get organized and be productive, they've been able to give people what they need and want and grow a thriving business with integrity.

To Tonya it's all about making her customers feel successful at the end of the day....and making her products pretty is a fun bonus.

She wants every product she creates to be something people will be excited to pull out every day so it becomes a ritual or habit. She believes if you start doing your planning on a regular basis you will see a difference in your life!

Referenced in the Show:

(Just FYI, some of these links may be affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase using the links I may receive some love in return!)

Sponsor Spotlight: Trello

Have you been introduced you to what I call my “work wife” yet? If not, let me make the introduction. Meet Trello – the magical unicorn of amazingness that allows me to run my life, business and team with ease without completely and totally losing my mind (what’s left of it anyway).

I believe every person with a life, home and business needs an awesome (and free!) place to manage their projects, schedules, homes and teams and keep everything important in their lives in one central spot that can be revisited time and time again while giving access to anyone else that needs it.

I love and believe in Trello so much that I created a super amazing, in-depth (free!) training that gives you a behind-the-scenes look into how exactly I use Trello to keep everything working like a well-oiled machine. Check it out here. I promise your life will never be the same.

Connect with Dana & Tonya

We love hearing from you!

If you’ve got a question about today’s episode or want to leave us some inbox love, you can email us at hello@boss-mom.com. Or, you can always find Dana hanging out in her happy place, the Boss Mom Facebook Community. 

We would also LOVE it if you’d leave a podcast rating or review for us on iTunes! We know it can be kind of tricky to figure out, so here are a few step-by-step instructions on how to leave an iTunes rating or review for a podcast from your iPhone or iPad.

  1. Launch Apple’s Podcast app.
  2. Tap the Search tab.
  3. Enter the name of the podcast you want to rate or review.
  4. Tap the blue Search key at the bottom right.
  5. Tap the album art for the podcast.
  6. Tap the Reviews tab.
  7. Tap Write a Review at the bottom.
  8. Enter your iTunes password to login.
  9. Tap the Stars to leave a rating.
  10. Enter title text and content to leave a review.
  11. Tap Send.
Apr 25, 2017

One of the biggest things that can often trip business owners up, especially those who are just starting out or who are thinking about started something new, is uncertainty surrounding how qualified they are to do whatever it is they are thinking about doing.

How can we know if we are expert enough? What are the criteria we should use to decide if we're really ready to start the next thing? Do we have actually enough experience and clout and value?

All of these are really common questions, which is why NJ and I are going to dive into cracking this nut so you can build confidence and move forward with decisive clarity when these kinds of questions pop into your head.

Listen + subscribe on iTunes // Stitcher

Here's the deal: every entrepreneur at some point or another will most likely experience doubt surrounding whether or not they are qualified to be doing what they're doing.

It is one of the most limiting mindset beliefs one can hold as an entrepreneur, and will hold you back from being successful because it keeps you from being decisive.

If you’re scared that you don’t have enough value, then you’re not going to ask and you’re not going to make decisions, therefore things just aren't going to happen. When we allow this to happen, our lack of success isn't ultimately because we weren't expert enough....it's because we allowed ourselves to be indecisive and not do anything.

So bottom line: don't let your mindset keep you from DOING!

How to Know if You're Expert Enough

There are two things we often get worried about:

1) We question our expertise thinking we need to learn everything there is to know about something before acknowledging the value of what we have to give

2) We are scared to do things because we don't yet know how to do them

With regard to the first point, you have to decide for yourself how much learning and experience and expertise is enough to do what needs done? And you also need to recognize that ongoing education and refining of your expertise should always happen.

With regard to the second point, we can't let ourselves get stuck in a catch 22 of never doing something because we're afraid since we haven't done it before, which leads to us never starting, and continuing the cycle of never doing anything. You'll never be an expert in an area until you've actually done it!

If you want to be perceived as the expert that you really are about something, you need to own the belief that you know more about something than someone else, therefore you're able to speak about it with intelligence and authority. If you can do that, you've got something!

The Power of Positioning

Part of establishing yourself as an expert is learning how to position yourself as an expert. This involves strategic visibility and positioning of your knowledge.

You need to figure out where people are on the spectrum of your knowledge, and as long as there are people behind you on that spectrum you'll always have something to teach.

However, from the perspective of the life cycle of your ideal client, you want to position yourself so that you can be their expert for as long as possible. So start teaching several levels behind you if possible.

The Power of Influence

Something that's important when establishing yourself as an expert in a certain area is having a person with greater expertise than you in your close sphere of influence, like a coach or a mentor. Their knowledge will seep down to you which you’ll be able to take, own and trickle down to your people.

Having other people who are just one or two steps ahead of you, or even right where you are but with different experience and perspective, is also important. These can be your biz besties, accountability partners, mastermind members, etc.

Having people in your life like this can help you sift through your thoughts, ideas, concerns and fears to determine which may be valid and which aren't. These people will add value to your life and business by helping you build confidence.

Things to Remember

The bottom line is this: you need to know there is room for you at the table. Don't fall into the trap of comparing where you're at with where someone else is in a different point of their journey.

Start with what you've got and build from there. If you do that, and are decisive about it along the way, success won't be far off.

Referenced in the Show:

(Just FYI, some of these links may be affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase using the links I may receive some love in return!)

Sponsor Spotlight: Thinkific

You all know just how much I love online courses and think that anyone with knowledge or expertise in an area should take that knowledge and turn it into a resource to share with others.

That’s why I’m SO pumped to share Thinkific with you, the online course platform that I use and love for all Boss Mom courses.

Thinkific is dedicated to helping businesses grow through online education, and helping you easily create, market and sell online courses. This easy to use, all-inclusive resource will change your life – seriously.

Go check out boss-mom.com/thinkific to learn more and try Thinkific FREE for 1 month.

Connect with Dana & NJ

We love hearing from you!

If you’ve got a question about today’s episode or want to leave us some inbox love, you can email us at hello@boss-mom.com. Or, you can always find Dana hanging out in her happy place, the Boss Mom Facebook Community. 

We would also LOVE it if you’d leave a podcast rating or review for us on iTunes! We know it can be kind of tricky to figure out, so here are a few step-by-step instructions on how to leave an iTunes rating or review for a podcast from your iPhone or iPad.

  1. Launch Apple’s Podcast app.
  2. Tap the Search tab.
  3. Enter the name of the podcast you want to rate or review.
  4. Tap the blue Search key at the bottom right.
  5. Tap the album art for the podcast.
  6. Tap the Reviews tab.
  7. Tap Write a Review at the bottom.
  8. Enter your iTunes password to login.
  9. Tap the Stars to leave a rating.
  10. Enter title text and content to leave a review.
  11. Tap Send.
Apr 21, 2017

I want to talk to you today about questions....beautiful, amazing, glorious questions. The questions we ask of both ourselves and other people can literally change the way we think, experience, perceive, act, connect and engage. But.....are we asking the right ones?

Recently I attended the first part of a certification training I'm going through this year in appreciative inquiry called Leading with Experiential Appreciative Facilitation. This training is run by the amazing Jon Berghoff and the Flourishing Leadership Institute, based on the amazing work of Dr. David Cooperrider and has literally rocked my entire world (seriously, click the play button on this episode because you'll hear me get truly giddy!)

Listen + subscribe on iTunes // Stitcher

Ok, as I mentioned, I've become completely obsessed with diving into appreciative inquiry, so you're going to be seeing a lot more of it infused into everything I do....especially in the Boss Mom Retreat happening later this year in NC ;)

Appreciative inquiry is truly an introduction into how to have better questions when designing group spaces, summits, retreats, meetings, etc.

What AI does is it flips the way we talk about things from being focused on addressing the failures, challenges, and things we need to fix to focusing on recognizing, maximizing and leveraging the strengths.

What I've learned is that if we only focus on the problems, challenges or obstacles and finding a fix for those, we will only ever help get people back to a neutral point, where they don't feel broken anymore. But what if we could take them beyond that point??

A quote that has been completely rocking my world lately is this:

“The task of leadership is to create an alignment of strengths, making the system’s weaknesses irrelevant.” - Peter Drucker

Leading for the future is all about strengths. If we focus on our strengths, on our aspirations, on where we want to go, and what we’ve just done to get ourselves to where we are so far, what would the world look like? What would our businesses and lives look like? Can you picture it?

So how can we do that? Well, we need to reframe the way we think about the questions we ask.

Oftentimes we will default to asking the questions that are easy, the ones everyone is always asking. But might it mean so much more if we actually stopped to really think about the questions we're asking, how they'll land and what kind of feedback or response they might produce?

I'd challenge you to start asking yourself the following questions anytime you are posing a question to someone:

  • Am I asking questions because I really care and wanting to know or understand more?
  • Am I asking this question because I think I should ask it?
  • Am I asking the questions that really need to be asked?

We’ve gotta start digging deeper into the words we use. Are we speaking to people from their strengths? Are we helping people to see their future, what they want, what their dream will be?

When we do this, it opens up this beautiful positive emotional attractor component of your brain that gets people thinking bigger, broader, and in a way that gets them past that neutral point and into this amazing space where they truly believe anything is possible.

Which is totally where we want our kids to be, right? It starts with the questions we ask.

Now, let’s get tactical to figure out how to actually go about knowing the right questions to ask and how to approach asking questions in our lives and businesses.

1. Determine where you are already asking questions in your business.

Are you asking questions in surveys, calls to action, Facebook groups, intake forms, coursework, sales calls, webinars, Facebook ads, etc?

2. Assess the kinds of questions you're asking.

Are you questions framed from the positive or the negative? Are you addressing someone's challenges, obstacles, problems or weaknesses? Our questions are meant to illicit response, and if you phrase them right, you'll get the kind of feedback that's really valuable.

Here's a great personal example to get your wheels turning.

I still have an email in my nurture sequence that I need to go back and change because I ask “What is your biggest challenge?” and rarely get responses. I'm convinced that's because it's vague and it’s framed from the negative perspective.

Now all of a sudden the reader is thinking about their biggest challenge. Maybe they don’t even know what their biggest challenge is, but now I’ve just got them thinking about 10 things that aren’t going right for them.

Maybe I can go and help them now, but holy moly - I don’t want to be the one that puts them in that negative space!

Instead I’d love to ask a question like, “What moment can you remember of having a business and having a baby where you felt like you came alive? That you were really doing what you were meant to do and showing your children, even if they didn't understand it, that what you were doing was important?”

I want women thinking about what they’re doing right more than what they’re doing wrong. I want our weaknesses to be irrelevant!

I want us to be getting support from each other, and thinking so much about what we’re doing right and how to do more of that that it overshadows our weaknesses so they are irrelevant. I want to live in a world where that happens.

3. Change your questions.

You have the power to change your approach to the questions you're asking! Figure out how you can make the switch from trying to fix problems and put out fires to how you can leverage and maximize people’s strengths.

Referenced in the Show:

(Just FYI, some of these links may be affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase using the links I may receive some love in return!)

Sponsor Spotlight: Boss Mom Retreat

It's coming ladies. Do you have your ticket yet?? If not, and you're still on the fence, let me tell you just a little bit about the amazingness that will be happening in Charlotte, North Carolina later this year....

Think two days filled to the brim with amazing community, tons of time to gain clarity and work ON your business alongside tons of other badass boss moms, yummy food and drinks, a gorgeous event space, and.....YES, there will be a karaoke dance party. (Do I have you excited now?!)

We are already 1/3 of the way to being sold out, so don't wait too long....grab your ticket today at boss-mom.com/retreat.

Connect with Dana

We love hearing from you!

If you’ve got a question about today’s episode or want to leave us some inbox love, you can email us at hello@boss-mom.com. Or, you can always find Dana hanging out in her happy place, the Boss Mom Facebook Community. 

We would also LOVE it if you’d leave a podcast rating or review for us on iTunes! We know it can be kind of tricky to figure out, so here are a few step-by-step instructions on how to leave an iTunes rating or review for a podcast from your iPhone or iPad.

  1. Launch Apple’s Podcast app.
  2. Tap the Search tab.
  3. Enter the name of the podcast you want to rate or review.
  4. Tap the blue Search key at the bottom right.
  5. Tap the album art for the podcast.
  6. Tap the Reviews tab.
  7. Tap Write a Review at the bottom.
  8. Enter your iTunes password to login.
  9. Tap the Stars to leave a rating.
  10. Enter title text and content to leave a review.
  11. Tap Send.
Apr 20, 2017

As moms and entrepreneurs it can be a real challenge to prioritize our health and self care. But as you know, everything begins to fall apart when we don't!

Shivani Gupta is a mother, entrepreneur, educator and healer with a huge passion for helping learn how to take better care of themselves through a holistic, Ayurvedic approach to health and wellness.

As the founder of Fusionary Formulas, a line of supplements that bridges the gap between Ayurvedic and modern medicine, Shivani remains committed to bettering the lives of others, which you will see is totally evident throughout our discussion in this episode.

If you want to be a healthy person, if you care about what you put into your body, your immunity, your energy, how you feel, and how you can show up to be a better you mother, wife. entrepreneur, etc then you're going to love this one.

Listen + subscribe on iTunes // Stitcher

 

Shivani's Boss Mom Journey

Ever since Shivani was a child she's been obsessed with health. Her father was a health nut, so he always showed up at people’s homes with green juice and vitamins and said, “Here you go, this is how you’re going to fix the cold or sickness you have going on.”

Shivani believes she inherited that from him, because she'll show up on the doorstep of anyone she hears complain about feeling sick with ziplock bags of herbs and spices and whatever else she thinks they should be doing.

She also always knew she wanted to be a business owner because her parents were really fantastic entrepreneurs, and so over the years she has had several businesses.

One was an organic cotton children’s clothing line that was carried in Whole Foods. Then she started a green blog called “Greenista”, and after that a marketing company that helped small businesses with marketing a branding.

Finally an opportunity came her way to launch a supplement company in Ayurveda and, she happened to be working on her PhD in Ayurveda at the time, so it was the perfect fit and time. She decided to pair her skillset - finding complex things and simplifying them into a very usable way - with her passion for health and wellness, and launched Fusionary Formulas to educate people in health, wellness, Ayurveda, and these "super spicesandh herbs" that they can use in their daily lives.

What is Ayurveda?

Shivani explains that Ayurveda is an ancient system of medicine from India that’s over 5,000 years old. Ayurveda actually means "science of life."

It heavily emphasizes the mind-body connection and focuses not just on treating illness and disease, but actually preventing them.

As Shivani learned more about it she thought, “If people just understood what Ayurveda had to offer and how powerful it was for preventing disease and preventing issues, they would be on board with this.”

Where Does Someone Begin with Ayurveda?

Shivani explains that Ayurveda encompasses many different modalities.

  • There’s the nutrition component that covers food combinations and what to eat or not eat.
  • There’s a detoxification ritual that teaches you how to detox and cleanse the body once a year to prevent disease
  • There’s this concept of doshas which is all about uncovering your individual body constitution, which helps you best support your unique body type
  • There’s also an herbs and spices component and learning all about what they can do for your overall health (turmeric, cardamom, paprika, cumin, and fennel are a few examples) 

Shivani has chosen to focus on what she calls the "best three" areas to make it as simple and easy to integrate into our fast-paced, non-intuitive, Western way of living.

The three areas are: super spices and herbs, daily self care rituals and learning to adjust your lifestyle to what your body demands so instead of being so stressed out all the time and allowing stress to impact the body negatively, you’re better supported.

"I feel like as moms we are high stress, high speed, high volume, trying to get through life and do everything. I just want to prevent stuff from coming down the road because I chose to be high paced in my 30s and 40s."

Why Variety & Seasonal Eating is Important

I had my mind totally blown when Shivani let me know that we actually aren't supposed to eat the same foods all year round. She speaks heavily to the importance of ensuring a broad variety in your diet and making sure to eat things that are in season to best support your body's systems.

She also shares a story about a woman she once met who had chronic hives and was eating healthy, so couldn't figure out what was causing her issue. It turns out she was eating things that were exacerbating her unique body constitution AND out of season, causing her body to react negatively to the "health" food she was consuming!

Practicing What You Preach & Prioritizing Self Care

Something I loved hearing in this conversation was how Shivani described her own personal journey with health, which can be a lot trickier and harder than just being passionate about learning and teaching it.

She describes where she was at just last year - going 100 miles per hour working on a huge event for her company, trying to be supermom keeping up with all her kids activities, being a good wife and trying to feed everyone healthfully (since she was totally obsessed!)

After the event she looked at photos of herself and thought, "That is not me! I don’t know who that is, but that is not me!” She was in disbelief that she'd allowed herself to get to that point, and knew she couldn't go on calling it "baby weight" forever.

She decided to take her own advice and really put self care first. And she says that once she did that, everything started to change! She made her personal workouts top priority, above anything else (including her children's activities!)

Her brain moved faster, which meant she moved faster, all of which benefited her business and life in tremendous ways. Everything started to click into place.

For those of you who are interested in what exactly she did to drop 8 dress sizes in just 8 months, she mentions using three Fusionary Formulas supplements every single day: Elite Athlete, Weight Loss Formula and Turmeric Gold.

The coolest part, she says, is now that she's proven to herself how powerful embracing this lifestyle is, she is even more fueled with passion to share her message.

She also mentions that one reason she believes she's been successful in the personal health department is by establishing "laws" for herself....for example, she never eats sour cream. Since that's a law for her, she doesn't ever break it.

The Difference Between Intuition & Bad Habits

Another unique point in our conversation came when I asked if Shivani thought that maybe we sometimes crave things our bodies actually need.

She completely agreed that our bodies were made to flourish when we rely on our innate intuition. But, the problem she says, is that people have gotten very far off from their intuitive selves.

Thinking you’ve had a bad day and need a glass of wine or plate of nachos isn’t intuition - it's being ruled by bad habits and using food as a crutch for dealing with stress.

This led to us both agreeing that, as parents and entrepreneurs, we often use crutches even more than the average person, and to make ourselves feel better about our poor diet and lifestyle choices (daily wine and coffee habits anyone??) we've collectively made it an acceptable thing.

Obviously there needs to be room for grace and acknowledgment of certain seasons of life (the newborn days, for example) but eventually we all have to take personal responsibility and choose better.

We need to learn how to replace our bad habits, replace our crutches with things that are actually good and actually work.

What Makes Fusionary Formulas Better than Others (& Why You Need Supplements)

Shivani is both modest and humble about her supplement line, but equally enthusiastic about how amazing it is.

She begins by explaining that the supplement industry is far less regulated than one would think, and people can often get away with doing or saying whatever they way....which means it's critically important to understand what you've investing in and putting in your body!

Shivani uses a factory right here in the US, which is owned by a physician, and has chosen really high quality herbs that come from only medical grade suppliers. This ensures you can feel totally confident in the product you're investing in.

She also has a really well-rounded approach to supplement use, which is nice for people like me who don't really use them ever.

Her thought is that proactive health means finding the perfect combination of exercise, nutrition and supplements that will support your body. Supplements are supposed to work alongside everything else to give you what you need.

How to Get Back to Calm When You Feel Overwhelmed

Overwhelm is an inevitable place we sometimes reach as boss moms, which is why I loved hearing Shivani share what her approach to overwhelm is in her life.

She has learned that when she starts to feel overwhelmed, she begins to shut down. So, she quickly starts making adjustments, taking things off her list, relying on outside help and giving herself downtime. 

She'll also give her immune system a boost by increasing her supplement intake, staying extra hydrated and getting enough rest.

Referenced in the Show:

(Just FYI, some of these links may be affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase using the links I may receive some love in return!)

Connect with Dana & Shivani

We love hearing from you!

If you’ve got a question about today’s episode or want to leave us some inbox love, you can email us at hello@boss-mom.com. Or, you can always find Dana hanging out in her happy place, the Boss Mom Facebook Community. 

We would also LOVE it if you’d leave a podcast rating or review for us on iTunes! We know it can be kind of tricky to figure out, so here are a few step-by-step instructions on how to leave an iTunes rating or review for a podcast from your iPhone or iPad.

  1. Launch Apple’s Podcast app.
  2. Tap the Search tab.
  3. Enter the name of the podcast you want to rate or review.
  4. Tap the blue Search key at the bottom right.
  5. Tap the album art for the podcast.
  6. Tap the Reviews tab.
  7. Tap Write a Review at the bottom.
  8. Enter your iTunes password to login.
  9. Tap the Stars to leave a rating.
  10. Enter title text and content to leave a review.
  11. Tap Send.
Apr 20, 2017

I get asked pretty often about how exactly to go about effectively launching something the right way. In case you haven't noticed, launching (like sales funnels) is kind of a big deal these days.

If you have an online business and create something that you want to sell successfully online, having an effective launching strategy and plan is a must.

But where should you begin? In this episode NJ and I are diving in to discuss what launching means, what purpose it serves and some best practices for ensuring you set yourself up for success during your next launch.

Listen + subscribe on iTunes // Stitcher

Someone asked me recently to talk about how to execute a soft launch, and the way they described it was "the kind of launch nobody knows about." I'll be honest, this confused me.

When we're talking about launching, it's important to understand that you want people to know about your launch - it's kind of the whole point!

Now, this person could have been talking about a beta launch or a pre-launch that was geared toward only a small segment of people, which is a different scenario than a full, big launch.

But the bottom line is this - you NEED people to know about your launch in order for it to be successful, otherwise you're wasting your time and leaving money on the table.

Oftentimes I think we lie to ourselves when it comes to launching. The idea of doing a big launch is scary! It takes guts, a ton of work and probably some monetary investment (after all, usually it takes money to make money.)

When we let fear drive our business decisions, we'll tell ourselves lies about doing a "soft launch" instead of a big one to test things out and make sure they work.

But the truth is, if you want to make money in your business, you have to push past that fear, do the work, and make a launch happen. It WILL be a lot of work. But if done correctly (or even just mostly correctly) you'll hands down make more money than keeping your launch a secret.

If you are going to do a "soft launch" (to a beta group or small segment of people without much buzz) it has to be part of a strategy to build up to a big launch.

The #1 Key to a Successful Launch

We are going to let you in on a big secret (that you probably already know!) If you want to launch something you have to plan for it!

An effective launch will have a lot of moving parts that need to be executed in a particular order. The creation part of whatever your offering is....that's the easy part. 

Figuring out how to effectively market and sell your offering to the right people in the right way.....that's the challenge, and it's a challenge you want to prepare for well!

Pro Tip: When you have a good understanding of what you're good at, what you're not, what you enjoy and what you don't, you can make better decisions about hiring or bartering for help so you're not left spinning your wheels, wasting time and money to execute your launch.

You Need a Funnel to Launch

Ok, I will forewarn you....at this point in the episode things start to get a little crazy as we try to describe just why we love a good funnel so much (so you'll most definitely want to listen and not just read these notes!)

But here's our central point in summary: the point of a launch is to bring awareness to what you're doing while infusing some excitement, scarcity and intrigue, and a funnel is how you do just that.

You can have a funnel without a launch, but you can't have a solid launch without a good funnel in place.

Pro Tip: Don't ever throw money at Facebook ads if you don't have your funnel set up!

What Goes into a Launch

There are lots of moving pieces and projects that go into a launch, but here are the few keys that you want to make sure to cover.

  1. Know who you're launching to: you want to make sure you know exactly who your ideal client is so you can be engaging with them and understand how to speak their language
  2. Plan and create a killer sales funnel: to do this you need to work backwards from your offering to create a journey that you'll lead your ideal client down so their nurtured and primed to convert into a paying customer
  3. Map out your timeline: to make sure you have enough time to carry out your launch well, we recommend allowing a minimum of 3-4 month to plan and execute

Referenced in the Show:

(Just FYI, some of these links may be affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase using the links I may receive some love in return!)

Sponsor Spotlight: Trello

Have you been introduced you to what I call my "work wife" yet? If not, let me make the introduction. Meet Trello - the magical unicorn of amazingness that allows me to run my life, business and team with ease without completely and totally losing my mind (what's left of it anyway).

I believe every person with a life, home and business needs an awesome (and free!) place to manage their projects, schedules, homes and teams and keep everything important in their lives in one central spot that can be revisited time and time again while giving access to anyone else that needs it.

I love and believe in Trello so much that I created a super amazing, in-depth (free!) training that gives you a behind-the-scenes look into how exactly I use Trello to keep everything working like a well-oiled machine. Check it out here. I promise your life will never be the same.

Connect with Dana & NJ

We love hearing from you!

If you’ve got a question about today’s episode or want to leave us some inbox love, you can email us at hello@boss-mom.com. Or, you can always find Dana hanging out in her happy place, the Boss Mom Facebook Community. 

We would also LOVE it if you’d leave a podcast rating or review for us on iTunes! We know it can be kind of tricky to figure out, so here are a few step-by-step instructions on how to leave an iTunes rating or review for a podcast from your iPhone or iPad.

  1. Launch Apple’s Podcast app.
  2. Tap the Search tab.
  3. Enter the name of the podcast you want to rate or review.
  4. Tap the blue Search key at the bottom right.
  5. Tap the album art for the podcast.
  6. Tap the Reviews tab.
  7. Tap Write a Review at the bottom.
  8. Enter your iTunes password to login.
  9. Tap the Stars to leave a rating.
  10. Enter title text and content to leave a review.
  11. Tap Send.
Apr 14, 2017

So today we're doing something a little different for this Nurture Your Business segment. I've invited my real life and business best friend, Dawn Marrs (who is a total sales funnel QUEEN) to join us for a conversation all about the purpose and psychology behind sales funnels and you do NOT want to miss it!! (Disclaimer: there may have been a couple glasses bottles of wine involved in this one.....)

Listen + subscribe on iTunes // Stitcher

In case you haven't noticed, sales funnels are kind of all the rage right now. I think they've become so popular because 1) everyone is yearning for passive income and 2) everyone recognizes the importance of community and nurturing people in business, and creating a sales funnel helps bring people into and through your business in a way that makes sense.

The struggle is that sales funnels can be pretty darn overwhelming. Many people never successfully create a funnel because they get so intimidated by the action creation process. Then they miss out on the opportunity to have a system working passively in the background, bringing in money 24/7 while they're sleeping or at the beach.

Questions like, "What should my opt-in be? What should I say on my thank you page? What's my first email going to say? What tool do I use to deliver my opt-in? How do I upsell? How do I get their credit card info? What happens after they pay me? What happens if they cancel?" can keep our brains totally stuck spinning round, and round, and round....

And the truth is - the strategy, psychology and tech behind sales funnels CAN be overwhelming. But there are things you can do to make it less overwhelming - and once you've done it, you're golden.

1. Know where you're taking people

Bottom line, if you don't know where you want people to go, then how the heck are you going to get them there? You have to know what outcome you're offering people and where you want them to end up in order to effectively lead them there. Knowing your end destination is half the battle.

2. Understand that there is nothing new under the sun

Sales funnels are all very similar. We all, to some degree, follow the same path and psychology when it comes to  selling and creating a sales journey. Don't let feeling like there are tons of other people doing exactly what you're doing stop you from bringing YOU to the table.

3. Find the gaps and fill them

An effective sales funnel is all about finding gaps and filling them. Once you know where you're leading people, you can break it down to give them a perfect entry point (your opt-in). You want them to say, "Yes! This is exactly what I needed....but I wish it was easier." To which your response is to fill that gap.

It's all about anticipating needs, giving enough to fill one gap, and being ready to fill subsequent gaps until you've lead them fully through the extent to which you can serve them. Make people's lives easier and better, and they'll keep coming back for more!

It can be time consuming and mentally draining to figure out how to piece it all together at first. But when you combine a killer strategy with a killer system, magic happens (in the form of more money in your pocket!)

4. Learn from doing

So many people try to start out their businesses with a sales funnel in place already....but that often isn't completely realistic. If you're just starting out, it can be really difficult to know what your people need because you haven't gotten familiar enough with them yet.

The funnel can’t come first because you first have to get out in the world and DO in order to see what gaps there are and fill them. The clarity is in the doing. 

If your focus is consistently serving people and making an impact in their lives, get in there and DO it, which will lead to you fully grasping what the gaps are between where they are now and where they want to be. Find what's missing so you can step in and serve!

5. Master your content flow

Aside from identifying the gaps that need filled and building an actual system for your funnel, there is one more crucial component to sales funnel success.

The real mastery is in the content you create and how it flows from one piece to the next. Go back to what it is that your people need, break down your solutions as far as you can, map out how you can pour more into your offerings, then create content for each stage in your journey to lead them to a well-thought out, well-built funnel, effectively turning them from bystander, into raving fan, into grateful customer (how was that for a run-on sentence?!)

Ps....you don't have to do it alone!

No part of building your business has to be all by your lonesome! Come visit us in the Boss Moms Facebook group or in Dawn's Sales & Marketing Automation Facebook group and let us know where you're at with this.

Have you started your own funnel?

Where do you feel like you are in the process?

What questions do you have?

We will gladly support you through this process every step of the way.

Connect with Dana & Dawn

We love hearing from you!

If you’ve got a question about today’s episode or want to leave us some inbox love, you can email us at hello@boss-mom.com. Or, you can always find Dana hanging out in her happy place, the Boss Mom Facebook Community. 

We would also LOVE it if you’d leave a podcast rating or review for us on iTunes! We know it can be kind of tricky to figure out, so here are a few step-by-step instructions on how to leave an iTunes rating or review for a podcast from your iPhone or iPad.

  1. Launch Apple’s Podcast app.
  2. Tap the Search tab.
  3. Enter the name of the podcast you want to rate or review.
  4. Tap the blue Search key at the bottom right.
  5. Tap the album art for the podcast.
  6. Tap the Reviews tab.
  7. Tap Write a Review at the bottom.
  8. Enter your iTunes password to login.
  9. Tap the Stars to leave a rating.
  10. Enter title text and content to leave a review.
  11. Tap Send.
Apr 14, 2017

Raise your hand if you've ever felt like an imposter in your own life or business? Raise two hands if you've let those feelings keep you from stepping into the fullness of what you believe you were made to do? Yeah....you're not alone.

I work with amazing and incredible women every day who have so much to give, but who struggle to move past their own internal limitations and believe that what they have to offer is truly needed and valuable.

That's why I'm SO pumped to share this amazing conversation I had recently with none other than Tanya Geisler, a phenomenal Toronto-based leadership coach, TEDx speaker and writer who has taught thousands of leaders how to step into their starring roles and own their authority in their lives, their work, and in their life's work.

Specifically, Tanya explores the “Impostor Complex” (IC): a person’s inherent suspicion that their success is somehow undeserved and that they will eventually be exposed as a fluke or a fraud. The IC is chronic and impacts us all—particularly high-functioning achievers. The fear and doubt inherent in the IC confines us to a muted version of our best lives and keeps us from realizing our ideal selves.

And with that, let's dive right in....

Listen + subscribe on iTunes // Stitcher

Tanya's Boss Mom Journey

Before becoming a mama, Tanya had a successful career in advertising. After her mom died the same year her daughter was born, she abruptly realized just how short life was and over the next few years more deeply recognized it may be time to make changes to live her most authentic life.

She went back to work full time after her daughter turned one, but hated being apart from her so much. She often thought back on her mom's favorite mantra, "Don't postpone joy."

And so, she made a series of tough choices to leave her corporate career and start her own business. Though she describes experiencing countless trials, tribulations and calibrations, the reward was that she got to spend more time with her family and build a business that bring her an immense amount of joy.

How She Decided What to Do

When I asked Tanya how she decided what she was going to do after leaving her corporate job, and how what she started out doing has morphed into what it is now, she answered: I cried, sat on my hands and called in a bunch of people to help figure it out! (Sound familiar at all?!)

She'd never even heard of coaching until a friend of hers began doing it, and at that point she realized that she had a unique "thing" that she did for herself....and people kept coming to her for it.

As soon as she checked it ou and stepped into her coaching training, she recognized that this was what she'd been doing her whole life, and this was how she was going to step into her life's work. She could finally see herself the way others saw her, which propelled her forward in her life and work.

TEDx Talk: Imposter to Authority

A few years ago Tanya was invited to speak on owning your authority by TEDxWomen, dissecting the space in between what you see and what is real with regard to yourself.

She talks about encountering woman after woman who were skilled at internalizing failure, but incapable of internalizing success in the same way, which was keeping them stuck and never moving into the fullness of their potential.

"We’re never going to not experience bouts of fear, we’re never going to not experience bouts of the imposter complex when we are doing things that are deeply meaningful to us." (16:26)

What imposter complex is and what it's not

So what exactly is the difference between imposter complex that unjustly keeps us from going forward, and really, validly recognizing when maybe we aren't yet totally qualified to step into something and need more time, training, experience, etc?

Tanya shares that there are 12 lies of the imposter complex that you need to identify and call out in order to recognize how they may be holding you back.

But here's the reality, she says: there is always room for improvement, so you can't let that disqualify you from doing things. She also says that, typically, the people who are struggling with IC are driven by values of mastery, integrity and excellence....which true frauds are not.

Lie #4 of imposter complex will also convince you that you have nothing useful, valid or original to say. When we believe this, we stay silent and lie low.

What we have to remember is that there is nothing new under the sun. What people need, what people want, is what YOU have. You are what is different about what you do.

You also need to remember that, if you’re focused on expansion, evolving and moving forward, fear is a pretty good litmus test for how meaningful this next step is for you. If the step you’re looking at doesn’t rattle your imposter complex, it’s probably not what you were looking to step into.

Referenced in the Show:

(Just FYI, some of these links may be affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase using the links I may receive some love in return!)

Connect with Dana + Tanya

We love hearing from you!

If you’ve got a question about today’s episode or want to leave us some inbox love, you can email us at hello@boss-mom.com. Or, you can always find Dana hanging out in her happy place, the Boss Mom Facebook Community. 

We would also LOVE it if you’d leave a podcast rating or review for us on iTunes! We know it can be kind of tricky to figure out, so here are a few step-by-step instructions on how to leave an iTunes rating or review for a podcast from your iPhone or iPad.

  1. Launch Apple’s Podcast app.
  2. Tap the Search tab.
  3. Enter the name of the podcast you want to rate or review.
  4. Tap the blue Search key at the bottom right.
  5. Tap the album art for the podcast.
  6. Tap the Reviews tab.
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  9. Tap the Stars to leave a rating.
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Apr 11, 2017

In the ever changing world of business we've seen lots of trends come and go. More recently a movement of mostly female entrepreneurs has emerged describing themselves as being "heart centered" - and we totally love the phrase

However, it seems like many people struggle with thinking that being heart centered and profitable in business are mutually exclusive. In this episode, NJ and I are digging into what it really means to be heart centered, and how you can do so without selling yourself or your business short.

Listen + subscribe on iTunes // Stitcher

Let's unpack what exactly heart centered IS about.....

The golden rule & paying it forward

In the beginning of our conversation NJ talks about how the way that she loves to infuse her heart into her business is by mentoring other women who are just starting out in a similar space that she did. She says it's to her to be generous with her knowledge in that way because she views it as "paying it forward" since someone invested in her freely when she was just starting.

To her, it's not a sacrifice to mentor these women, but a gift she enjoys giving that she knows makes a direct impact. This is how she feels most led to give of herself, and when it comes to her actual work - she never does it for free, because she has to earn a living!

When considering being "heart centered" you also want to remember that people and their knowledge and skills and passions are valuable, just like you and yours are, and it's important to treat others the way you want to be treated. (That means always being ready to pay people!)

Being generous is ways that actually make an impact

It can be easy for us to think that in order to be good people or business owners we need to give things away, when in reality, what makes us heart centered isn't simply the act of giving....but rather, being mindful of what and how we are giving.

Consider the actual impact of what you're thinking of giving someone. Will it really help them? Or could it possibly hinder their progress in their own life journey? Is it actually going to meet a need for them in a way that will move them forward?

There’s a reason why every single successful entrepreneur talks about how the journey is the important part, not necessarily the finish lines. Make sure that, in your attempts to be generous and "heart centered" you're not robbing someone else of their opportunity to get scrappy on behalf of their dreams and growth.

Being honest with yourself & others

Another part of being heart centered is being honest about where you’re at all the time - with both yourself and others! Don't say yes to things because you feel like you "should." Doing that wastes everyone's time.

Understand what will serve both you and others, then do more of that and less of anything else. Be honest about what is actually purposeful and what is just people-pleasing, guilt or obligation.

And now let's look at what heart centered IS NOT about....

Giving yourself away for free

When giving stuff away for free you have to consider what your long range objectives and end game are. There are tons of ways to be generous and heart centered without "ripping yourself off," as NJ put it.

Always weigh the cost of what you're considering giving away and whether there is a positive tradeoff in terms of your life and business.

You, your skills and your work are valuable - there is no rule anywhere that says you to be a good person you have to give yourself away for free!

Being a heart centered business owner isn't about giving yourself away for free....it's about bringing your best self to the table, at the service of others, and being driven to make other peoples' lives better by living yours the best way you can.

When you know and own your worth, others will reflect that back to you.

Making decisions from your heart

We want to wrap up by clearing up the misnomer that being heart centered means making decisions about your business from your heart. It doesn't mean you should make decisions based on what feels like you're giving from a place of love.

In order to be heart centered about who you serve, you have to be head centered and gut centered about how you're building your business so that you have the space and resources to use your heart when it makes sense.

Sponsor Spotlight: Thinkific

You all know just how much I love online courses and think that anyone with knowledge or expertise in an area should take that knowledge and turn it into a resource to share with others.

That’s why I’m SO pumped to share Thinkific with you, the online course platform that I use and love for all Boss Mom courses.

Thinkific is dedicated to helping businesses grow through online education, and helping you easily create, market and sell online courses. This easy to use, all-inclusive resource will change your life – seriously.

Go check out boss-mom.com/thinkific to learn more and try Thinkific FREE for 1 month.

Connect with Dana & NJ

We love hearing from you!

If you’ve got a question about today’s episode or want to leave us some inbox love, you can email us at hello@boss-mom.com. Or, you can always find Dana hanging out in her happy place, the Boss Mom Facebook Community. 

We would also LOVE it if you’d leave a podcast rating or review for us on iTunes! We know it can be kind of tricky to figure out, so here are a few step-by-step instructions on how to leave an iTunes rating or review for a podcast from your iPhone or iPad.

  1. Launch Apple’s Podcast app.
  2. Tap the Search tab.
  3. Enter the name of the podcast you want to rate or review.
  4. Tap the blue Search key at the bottom right.
  5. Tap the album art for the podcast.
  6. Tap the Reviews tab.
  7. Tap Write a Review at the bottom.
  8. Enter your iTunes password to login.
  9. Tap the Stars to leave a rating.
  10. Enter title text and content to leave a review.
  11. Tap Send.
Apr 7, 2017

Totally gotcha with the title, didn't I? I know...and it was completely intentional ;) In case you haven't noticed, over the past few years the 50 Shades of Gray books and movies have taken the world by storm - and for good reason! In terms of subject matter, they are pretty controversial, but clearly people have eaten it up.

Recently I had a conversation with a friend chatting about some interesting correlations I see between business and themes from the book/movie series and decided to dive into them from a business perspective to hopefully entertain you a little bit while imparting some serious golden nuggets.

Listen + subscribe on iTunes // Stitcher

A few lessons we can learn from 50 Shades of Gray that apply to business....

1. Everybody has a match

The truth is, no matter how crazy you think your freak flag is, someone else is secretly flying that same freak flag and is a great match for you. But if you never fly yours, how will they find you?

Don't ever stop being yourself or hide the true you away because you're afraid of what other people think or that they won't "get" you. I promise that their are people out there who will totally get you, and those are the people you want in your life and as part of your business.

The point isn't that you can be more helpful when you're being yourself (although that's true!) The point is that everyone has a match out there and when we are authentically ourselves, in life AND business, we will attract the right kinds of people for us.....even if it's kinky or strange ;)

2. Our past doesn't have to dictate our future

Just because something you did before totally tanked doesn't mean the next thing you're doing is going to totally tank! Case in point: I thought the first 50 Shades of Gray movie was completely awful. But things changed and evolved, and the second movie I absolutely loved.

It's the same in our businesses. Just because we produce something that fails or doesn't work as well as we were hoping, doesn't mean everything we're ever going to do will have the same result.

If we do it right, we learn from our mistakes, learn what didn't work, and move forward. We have to keep trying, keep going keep moving forward because we never know when the thing we make is going to totally explode and be amazing. Don’t let hiccups from the past keep you from building the next thing.

3. Know your audience

It's super obvious that the 50 Shades franchise has been so wildly successful because they knew what their audience wanted - to feel like they could relinquish control and have some of the weight of constant decision-making taken of their plates. Women everywhere dream of living a free, exciting, exhilarating life which is the kind of picture that was painted in these books and movies.

In business it's important to know who you're trying to reach, what they need and what they want. We need to know the trigger points that will draw people in, keep them excited and coming back for more time and time again. It's our job to paint a picture of the world they want to live in....and make it a possibility for them.

4. Make people's lives easier

From a business perspective what probably ALL people want at some point or another is freedom of the weight of constant decision-making. That's the whole premise behind the 50 Shades of Gray story. As business owners we want to be Christian Gray.....we want our people to trust us and know that we have their best interests in mind and will take care of them.

What we need to offer is an easier way, an easier path, an easier solution. Then we need to back it up with accountability and support and love. Following that formula, I guarantee anything you do will have the right people coming back time and time again. 

Episode Sponsor: Boss Mom Facebook Group

Are you ready to connect with an absolutely AMAZING community of over 15,000 incredible boss moms for some fun, friendship, connection and tons of support (and dance parties!)??

Click here to join us in the Boss Moms Facebook group - and be sure to let us know what you thought about this episode, we just love your feedback ;)

Connect with Dana

We love hearing from you!

If you’ve got a question about today’s episode or want to leave us some inbox love, you can email us at hello@boss-mom.com. Or, you can always find Dana hanging out in her happy place, the Boss Mom Facebook Community. 

We would also LOVE it if you’d leave a podcast rating or review for us on iTunes! We know it can be kind of tricky to figure out, so here are a few step-by-step instructions on how to leave an iTunes rating or review for a podcast from your iPhone or iPad.

  1. Launch Apple’s Podcast app.
  2. Tap the Search tab.
  3. Enter the name of the podcast you want to rate or review.
  4. Tap the blue Search key at the bottom right.
  5. Tap the album art for the podcast.
  6. Tap the Reviews tab.
  7. Tap Write a Review at the bottom.
  8. Enter your iTunes password to login.
  9. Tap the Stars to leave a rating.
  10. Enter title text and content to leave a review.
  11. Tap Send.
Apr 6, 2017

Ladies, hold onto your seats for this episode because you are about to have your world rocked (in the best way). Today I am diving deep into topics like mental health and racial reconciliation with Monique Melton, a relationships coach, Creator of the Esther 4:14 Experience, speaker and author of EntrepreFriendships.

For Monique, all of her work is central to building relationships and helping women do the work they're called to do. She is a natural big, bold dreamer, a deeply rooted woman of faith, a proud Navy wife and mama to two little ones who believes it's not about your comfort - it's about your growth (which I just LOVE!)

Seriously, you are going to want to tune in for this one. I promise you will be challenged and stretched and have your eyes opened in a way that will help you proactively move forward with purpose in how you live your life and run your business as a boss mom.

Listen + subscribe on iTunes // Stitcher

Monique's Boss Mom Journey

Monique's journey as a boss mom began in college roughly ten years ago when she worked as a professional makeup artist while studying sociology and psychology, before going on to study two years of graduate level clinical counseling at John's Hopkins University.

Over the past ten years she's graduated college, gotten married, had two babies, stopped doing makeup, and grown into the place she's at now where she really focuses on helping women create community and thriving relationships as their develop brands and businesses that make an impact.

She talks about how she's gotten to a place of being able to combine #allthethings she loves into her business, which is what it's all about for her.

When discussing her entry into motherhood, Monique describes it as being completely devastating due to a traumatic first birth experience, and struggling with postpartum mood disorder after both of her pregnancies.

“I used to feel like motherhood destroyed my life.” (7:38)

She shares though, that now she's come to realize that motherhood was the best thing that's ever happened to her because it has forced her to grow and stretch and learn, and challenged her to rise above everything she thought she knew about herself to become who she was created to be.

After the birth of both children she took a break away from work, which meant that when she was ready to return she had to go through seasons of rebuilding. These seasons helped her grow to value taking time to think through and reflect on how you're spending your life.

“I really appreciate taking time out to reflect and to think and process, and to not necessarily do but to just let yourself experience quiet and calm and just really hear what is next, and what is going on in your heart.” (9:35)

After the birth of her second daughter, she really questioned what she was doing and what she wanted to do with her life, which is what lead to her walking out what she's doing now.

She mentions that it's important for us to be open to that reflective process because we are constantly changing and evolving, and that needs to be reflected in everything we do.

Integrating Your Passions with Your Business

Struggling through seasons of mental illness really "put a monkey wrench" into things, Monique shares, but overcoming it has led to her becoming a much more compassionate and loving person.

“I did not go through that to keep it for myself. We’re all connected and so to keep your experiences for yourself, I feel like that’s selfish. We’re not living a life to live it alone, so if my experience is not just about me, how dare I keep it to myself because I’m afraid of what people might think?” 12:51

Monique is a living example of infusing what matters to you into the work you do, and she cares deeply about building strong relationships, normalizing conversation around mental health, and normalizing conversation around racial reconciliation.

Regarding mental health, she has this to say (which is amazing):

“You might still have disturbing thoughts or you might still have seasons of depression. It doesn’t mean that something’s wrong with you or you’re broken and all these things. It just means that this is a part of your journey and that it can get better. There’s certain things that you’re going to need to do in order to cope, and that’s fine - you don’t need to compare yourself to anyone else." (13:51)

Monique also feels similarly about building real, true connected community by having open, honest, respectful conversations about the struggles that we all face every day with race, religion, etc.

“Well if we don’t talk about it, how are we possibly going to heal and come together?” (14:27)

At the end of the day, she says, it all comes down to relationships and love, which is what she's all about.

The Importance of Having Hard Conversations

I love this analogy that Monique mentions comparing how we care for our relationships to how we care for our bodies. If you only feed your body the things you want or crave, you'll never live a truly healthy, fruitful, fulfilling life of longevity.

It's the same with relationships. If we avoid having real, tough conversations and only do what makes us happy or what feels comfortable in our relationships, that's not actually what's best for us. Over time we won't be able to interact relationally at an optimal level and we'll miss out on true connectivity.

"You can’t have connection without trust, vulnerability, open and honest communication.” (17:56)

We were created for community and to be in relationships, Monique expresses, and in our age of technology we've lost a lot of that real connection....which is why she's so passionate about correcting that through having honest, raw, vulnerable conversations that bring people together instead of continuing to push people further apart.

On Integrating Racial Reconciliation with Business

During this portion of our conversation, things start to get really interesting because Monique presents me with some really challenging points of view to consider when comparing my experience of life as a white woman in America with her experience of life as a black woman in America.

She shares some beautiful thoughts on the focus needing to be about all women joining together as sisters to engage in compassionate conversation and elevate each others' voices, which is how she believes healing can begin to take place.

She also strongly believes in the value of everyone making a conscious effort to open up conversations surrounding these topics in your business space and community, even suggesting that it's irresponsible not to.

Monique posed the thought that, if we say we want to build community where people feel safe, loved and supported, but we aren't demonstrating care for the issues that affect everyone on a daily basis, we aren't truly able to serve our communities well.

What YOU Can Do

You know we're all about practicality here, so Monique has a few great recommendations for how to move forward with purposeful action after listening to this episode.

The first thing is to actively seek out opportunities to engage in constructive, compassionate conversation with people of different backgrounds and perspectives. She says it's about education, enlightenment and figuring out together what we can do to identify actionable steps forward.

She also encourages us to be bold and courageous because there is no easy or perfect, right way to make these conversations happen. We just have to show up and do it from a place of love and humility.

Lastly, she mentions something profound, which is learning to take note of your behavior and perspective when building community. You want to focus on creating an INVITING atmosphere, not just a welcoming one. Monique says there is a difference between become welcome somewhere and being invited, which is what people really crave - the invitation.

Recommended Reading to Learn More about Racial Reconciliation

Referenced in the Show:

(Just FYI, some of these links may be affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase using the links I may receive some love in return!)

Connect with Dana + Monique

We love hearing from you!

If you’ve got a question about today’s episode or want to leave us some inbox love, you can email us at hello@boss-mom.com. Or, you can always find Dana hanging out in her happy place, the Boss Mom Facebook Community. 

We would also LOVE it if you’d leave a podcast rating or review for us on iTunes! We know it can be kind of tricky to figure out, so here are a few step-by-step instructions on how to leave an iTunes rating or review for a podcast from your iPhone or iPad.

  1. Launch Apple’s Podcast app.
  2. Tap the Search tab.
  3. Enter the name of the podcast you want to rate or review.
  4. Tap the blue Search key at the bottom right.
  5. Tap the album art for the podcast.
  6. Tap the Reviews tab.
  7. Tap Write a Review at the bottom.
  8. Enter your iTunes password to login.
  9. Tap the Stars to leave a rating.
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Apr 4, 2017

Self care is one of those things we boss moms often talk about.....a lot more than we actually do. Am I right?? Boss mom life is not for the faint of heart as we constantly try to juggle #allthethings with as much grace as possible.

In today's episode you'll hear super real conversation surrounding the realities of self care (or lack thereof!) and some of our thoughts and ideas on how to get practical and start making self care a greater priority.

Listen + subscribe on iTunes // Stitcher

 

When you go through seasons in your life or business where you're really stressed out, not taking good care of yourself, and constantly running, it's inevitable to experience the emotional peaks and valleys that come from feeling like life is outside of your control.

The baseline things like rest, hydration, nutrition, exercise and recovery time are often the things that we give up first in the name of doing for other before ourselves.

There's a problem, however, when we let that response become our default instead of prioritizing our own self care so that we can more effectively serve and give as we live our lives.

When we talk about self care, we really aren't talking about the special, pampering things like massages and pedicures (although those things are nice too!) We are really talking about it from a perspective of taking a real, honest look at how you're doing and filling the gaps between where you're at and where you need to be.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself to get started on the road to better self care, especially when you find yourself in a season of push, which you'll hear us talk about a LOT in this episode (because hey, that's where I am right now!)

1. What is working?

It's easy when you feel run down, worn out and ragged to feel like nothing is working and everything is a mess. We've all been there, right? But always keep this thought in your back pocket: the only thing that is ever the end of the world is the end of the world.

Start first by assessing your life and finding the things that are working in this season. Celebrate those things, magnify them and make a point to give those areas more attention. What we focus on multiplies, so choose well!

2. What isn't working

Now it's time to get real and figure out what just isn't working so you can figure out how to problem solve and fill the gaps. The place to start is by identifying the things in your life that don't feel good or are resulting in less than stellar outcomes.

For example, if I judged whether I was getting enough sleep by my productivity, I wouldn't necessarily think there was an issue. But when I judge it based on my level of patience with my kids or overall ability to cope with life, it's much easier to notice that lack of sleep is causing issues.

Take the time regularly to assess what isn't working so you can address it and make the necessary adjustments.

3. What matters MOST?

Too often we sacrifice the things that matter most and kill ourself doing things that.....*drumroll*.....don't really matter! Now what kind of sense does that make??

Remember when you decided to become your own boss so you could be the one in charge and create something that allowed you to live in freedom? You get to do that in your LIFE, not just your business! Decide what's most important, and set your priorities up to reflect that.

At the end of the day, when you can answer (truthfully!) each of these questions, you'll be well on your way to making things better. Good self care begins with good self awareness....and all that's left to do is mix in a healthy dose of purposeful action.

There are tons of steps that you can take to improve your approach to caring for yourself, but here are a few ideas to get you started.....

1. Find support

For me, hiring a team has been my greatest form of self care because it has made the greatest impact on my ability to balance life and business better. For you, it may be factoring in more time with friends, or getting yourself into therapy or joining a new fitness class. Whatever it may be, make sure that you feel supported, so that while you try to care for yourself well, others can come alongside and care for you too.

2. Let things go

Sometimes the best self care starts with letting things go because they aren't sustainable or the things that matter most. It might be scary, but don't let fear keep you stuck in places that aren't good for you. Be realistic about the season you're in, and go back to your answers to the questions above when you need direction about what to keep and what to let go.

3. Set boundaries

Along with letting things go, it's super important to learn how and when to say no and set good boundaries (which, admittedly, I stink at!) And it's not just about setting boundaries for yourself - it's about setting boundaries with others too. How you treat yourself is how you will train others to treat you.

Bottom line: you are WORTH taking care of, and in order to thrive as a person and a CEO, you need to start taking better care of yourself TODAY. It can feel easier to continue to self sabotage rather than be honest with yourself and create better habits, but you will inevitably burn out and be totally useless to yourself and everyone else. And you were made for so much more than that.

 

Referenced in the Show:

(Just FYI, some of these links may be affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase using the links I may receive some love in return!)

Sponsor Spotlight: Thinkific

You all know just how much I love online courses and think that anyone with knowledge or expertise in an area should take that knowledge and turn it into a resource to share with others.

That's why I'm SO pumped to share Thinkific with you, the online course platform that I use and love for all Boss Mom courses.

Thinkific is dedicated to helping businesses grow through online education, and helping you easily create, market and sell online courses. This easy to use, all-inclusive resource will change your life - seriously.

Go check out boss-mom.com/thinkific to learn more and try Thinkific FREE for 1 month.

Connect with Dana & NJ

We love hearing from you!

If you’ve got a question about today’s episode or want to leave us some inbox love, you can email us at hello@boss-mom.com. Or, you can always find Dana hanging out in her happy place, the Boss Mom Facebook Community. 

We would also LOVE it if you’d leave a podcast rating or review for us on iTunes! We know it can be kind of tricky to figure out, so here are a few step-by-step instructions on how to leave an iTunes rating or review for a podcast from your iPhone or iPad.

  1. Launch Apple’s Podcast app.
  2. Tap the Search tab.
  3. Enter the name of the podcast you want to rate or review.
  4. Tap the blue Search key at the bottom right.
  5. Tap the album art for the podcast.
  6. Tap the Reviews tab.
  7. Tap Write a Review at the bottom.
  8. Enter your iTunes password to login.
  9. Tap the Stars to leave a rating.
  10. Enter title text and content to leave a review.
  11. Tap Send.
Mar 31, 2017

Recently I was taking with someone about this subject who suggested that it would make a great podcast episode - and I totally agreed, so here we are!

Knowing and understanding the concept of opportunity cost in both life and business is super important, and in this episode I'm breaking down what exactly it is, how to assess it and how to use it as a tool to make better decisions.

Listen + subscribe on iTunes // Stitcher

If you have ever been in business, sales, gambled or just know someone who likes this phrase, then you’ve heard the term opportunity cost before.

Here's how I like to think about: opportunity cost is the cost of continuing on one path at the expense of a pursuing a potentially better path.

You know I love a good analogy, so here are a few real life, practical examples of opportunity cost that might help you grasp the concept a little better.

Example 1:

If you are gambling, there is an opportunity cost to continuing to put money into the pot even when you think your hand won’t win, simply because you’re already invested.

At some point you have to recognize and evaluate the opportunity cost, cut your losses and run otherwise you'll continue to bleed money and lose the game entirely.

Here's another example for you....

Example 2:

Let's say you're dating someone that you know isn’t right for you long-term, but you're staying because you've invested time, energy and emotions into the relationship.

The longer you stay, the greater the opportunity cost because you're potentially missing out on the opportunity for something that would be much better for you in the long run.

Example 3:

If more time freedom is important to you in your business, but all you're spending all your time trading hours for dollars as opposed to creating passive income streams, your opportunity cost will grow higher every day that you continue that pattern.

The Reality

We have to learn how to consistently measure the opportunity cost of what we’re trading now at the expense of something better.

If you never stop and make that assessment you’re always going to be stuck in the same rate race.

In any area of life or business that isn't working the way you want it, there is an opportunity cost involved with not addressing it, and we need to know what that is in order to make better decisions and appropriate pivots.

Start by asking yourself what situations you may be dealing with right now that are costing you better potential opportunity? What are you holding onto that would be better moved on from or switched up?

One thing I want to mention: there should hopefully be some things in your life and business that you don't need to count the opportunity cost for, because it's working and you're happy. Don't look for problems where there aren't any. Just be happy!

However, for the other things that you aren’t 100% positive about, you need to develop a process for deciding when it's best to cut your losses and change course OR what deciding factors are going to help you continue moving forward.

And hey....if you've just been skimming through this article without actually listening to the podcast, now's the part where you need to click play because I'm sharing a SUPER personal story about why I really wanted to name this episode "Don't Wait Until Your Business Throws a Spoon at You." Trust me.....you want to listen ;)

We invest a lot into our businesses, just as we invest a lot into our families. We love what we create and usually feel a massive connection to the investments we've made. This is all normal and fine.

Just don’t feel let those feelings keep you stuck in patterns that aren't working out in your favor. Learn how to recognize the opportunity cost of what you're doing and how to cut your losses and move on to bigger, better things when it's time.

Episode Sponsor: Raising Your Business

Raising Your Business is an 8-week self-guided course that walks you step-by-step through the 10-point path you need to follow in order to raise and nurture a truly successful business.

This program is perfect for you if you’ve started your business, but don’t feel like you are super clear on how you will structure your brand, programs, pricing, and content. If you know what you want, but don’t know how to get there, then this is a great fit!

If you want to know more about Raising Your Business, be sure to check out my newest live workshop, Your 10 Point Path to Raise a Successful Business, where I will walk you through the process to ensure you’re raising your business the right way. Save your spot today!

Connect with Dana

We love hearing from you!

If you’ve got a question about today’s episode or want to leave us some inbox love, you can email us at hello@boss-mom.com. Or, you can always find Dana hanging out in her happy place, the Boss Mom Facebook Community. 

We would also LOVE it if you’d leave a podcast rating or review for us on iTunes! We know it can be kind of tricky to figure out, so here are a few step-by-step instructions on how to leave an iTunes rating or review for a podcast from your iPhone or iPad.

  1. Launch Apple’s Podcast app.
  2. Tap the Search tab.
  3. Enter the name of the podcast you want to rate or review.
  4. Tap the blue Search key at the bottom right.
  5. Tap the album art for the podcast.
  6. Tap the Reviews tab.
  7. Tap Write a Review at the bottom.
  8. Enter your iTunes password to login.
  9. Tap the Stars to leave a rating.
  10. Enter title text and content to leave a review.
  11. Tap Send.
Mar 31, 2017

Money and personal finance is something that can make a lot of people's heads spin, and chances are you may be one of them! Today's guest is the amazing Jen Hemphill, a Motivational Money Coach, an AFC® (Accredited Financial Counselor) and host of the Her Money Matters Podcast.

Jen is super passionate about helping busy, ambitious women transform their finances from being overwhelming to bringing joy, simplicity, and confidence. When she's not talking money, she enjoys photography, coffee, chocolate, traveling, working out and spending time with her husband and two boys.

I just know you're going to love what she has to say, so go ahead and jump in below!

Listen + subscribe on iTunes // Stitcher

Jen's Boss Mom Journey

Jen describes the start of her journey beginning back in 2000 when she married her husband, becoming a military spouse and living in the middle of nowhere.

Soon after, Jen recognized that it would be impossible to sustain career stability for herself, so she began brainstorming what she could do moving forward, also knowing she and her husband would soon begin growing their family.

“I wanted to have my cake and eat it too. I wanted to be at home with the kids, and I wanted to have a career.” (1:43)

When her oldest child was born a few years later, she made the decision to stop working (a difficult decision at the time as she earning more at her job than her husband).

Despite going from two incomes to one and bringing in substantially less income, she dove in, managed the money well and made it work (though she couldn't tell you how, now!)

Over time she became sought after by friends, family and others for financial advice as people saw the kind of lifestyle Jen and her family were able to live on their reduced income. And that's when the entrepreneurial bug bit.

“I realized that was really my calling, that was my strength - being able to teach people about personal finance.” (4:55)

What is Personal Finance Exactly?

Jen explains that personal finance isn't just about budgeting, saving money, paying off debt, etc. It's ultimately about learning to become your own money expert over time.

There are so many wonderful money gurus out there to learn and glean from, and they give fantastic advice. But the problem is that we often tend to hold tightly to the one size fits all principles shared by these gurus and forget to tune into OUR needs and desires financially.

“The money experts out there are experts in money, but they’re not experts in you.” (6:19)

The backbone of Jen's business is empowering women to really learn how to become their own money expert by staying tuned into their wants and desires and being specific and intentional in setting and reaching their financial goals.

She encouraged women to look at things with a long-term, big picture perspective and have a holistic approach to how you handle your finances.

Keep it Simple & Do What Works

The simplification of personal finance is something that can feel overwhelming and out of reach for a lot of people, which is why Jen is so passionate about keeping things as simple as possible.

She says that's "her thing," stating, "the simpler it gets, the better it is!"

We discuss the reality that complicated spreadsheets aren't the only way to go about managing your money, and the importance of figuring out the tools and systems that will actually work because you use them.

How to Budget & Save Realistically

Jen's first bit of advice when I asked her about where to start from a practical standpoint with realistic budgeting, is to acknowledge the fact that, like you, your finances are a work in progress.

"I still mess up, and I'm transparent about that."

But don't let the setbacks, missteps and mistakes hold you back from moving forward and growing.

She says for most people, budgeting the fixed expenses is the easy part. It's the variable expenses that are harder to manage and get people overwhelmed to a point of just ignoring their financial planning instead of owning it.

Jen encourages us to be intentional about making decisions regarding how much money we will spend on things, breaking it down into consistent monthly numbers and then separating that money and treating it like bill money. Getting things automated would be even better!

When it comes to saving, you also need to treat that money like part of the bills. Come up with research rough estimates, and then break your total number down based on the number of months you'll need to save for something.

Get it automated by using something like a virtual envelope system, which will allow you to "set it and forget it" as you watch the money accumulate and you never have to worry about those variable (and sometimes unpredictable!) expenses.

Managing Family, Finance & Business

When I asked Jen how she manages juggling all the things she does, her answer was:

“I ask myself, ‘How did I get myself into this?!” (28:49)

She goes on to share her struggle with prioritizing self care and has been actively trying to improve in that area of her life because she knows it makes a world of difference.

One of the biggest things she has worked through in recent years is learning to give herself permission and grace to not have to do it all and be perfect, advice that we could all stand to take to heart as the hardworking boss moms we are.

Referenced in the Show:

(Just FYI, some of these links may be affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase using the links I may receive some love in return!)

Episode Sponsor: Trello

Are you tired of trying (and feeling like you're failing) at juggling #allthethings in your life and business? I've totally been there, but the day I discovered Trello my life (and business!) completely changed - for the better!

To show you what I'm talking about, I've put together an epic FREE training on how exactly I use Trello to organize my life and business and manage my team like a total Boss Mom!

Over 6,000 women have used this training to bring more balance, organization, peace and productivity to their lives and businesses, and I want YOU to be next. Click here to get instant access now.

PS: Did I mention it's totally free? The training AND Trello itself! #winning

Connect with Dana + Jen

We love hearing from you!

If you’ve got a question about today’s episode or want to leave us some inbox love, you can email us at hello@boss-mom.com. Or, you can always find Dana hanging out in her happy place, the Boss Mom Facebook Community. 

We would also LOVE it if you’d leave a podcast rating or review for us on iTunes! We know it can be kind of tricky to figure out, so here are a few step-by-step instructions on how to leave an iTunes rating or review for a podcast from your iPhone or iPad.

  1. Launch Apple’s Podcast app.
  2. Tap the Search tab.
  3. Enter the name of the podcast you want to rate or review.
  4. Tap the blue Search key at the bottom right.
  5. Tap the album art for the podcast.
  6. Tap the Reviews tab.
  7. Tap Write a Review at the bottom.
  8. Enter your iTunes password to login.
  9. Tap the Stars to leave a rating.
  10. Enter title text and content to leave a review.
  11. Tap Send.
Mar 28, 2017

A huge part of running a successful business and embracing your role as CEO of your business is learning how to become a good decision-maker. But let's be honest: knowing how to make the best decisions for both your business and your life can be super hard.

In this episode NJ and I are exploring a few thoughts and strategies for determining what things should get your "yes" and what things should get your "no" in business. 

Listen + subscribe on iTunes // Stitcher

Specifically, we are diving into how you can best decide which opportunities you're going to pursue, and which opportunities you're not. NJ and I both have different internal default settings and varying strengths and weaknesses, so you're going to get a great, well-rounded perspective into this tricky subject!

Here are a few solid questions to help you in your decision-making process.

1. Do you have the capacity?

Knowing your capacity and bandwidth is SUPER important, because if you aren't honest with yourself and others in this area, you're going to consistently over-promise, under-deliver and overwork yourself at the expense of what matters most (typically your self care, your family, etc).

2. Does it align with your business goals?

You can't (and shouldn't!) say yes to everything, so be really clear about why you're saying yes. Does the opportunity you're considering make sense with regard to what your business goals are? Ask yourself three sub-questions here: What are my business goals? How would this opportunity support my goals? Will this opportunity set me back from meeting my goals in any way?

3. Will it move your business forward?

This stems from the last question about aligning with your goals. When you know what your goals are, then you can determine if the opportunities you're considering will significantly move your business forward in any way. At the very least, you don't want to set yourself back. Ideally, you want to save your "yes" for those opportunities that will really move you and your business forward.

4. Does it fit within your schedule constraints?

This is an obvious one, but we too often act like our schedules have no limitations (when really, the exact opposite is true and time after time we sacrifice things of great importance.) Consider whether your schedule can really accommodate the opportunities you're considering. What will the effect of saying yes have on you? What about your family? Others?

5. Is the cost worth it?

Determine how much it will cost to say yes to an opportunity, and work backwards to figure out whether the tradeoff will be worth it. Maybe something that has a high initial cost is worth it because of a beneficial long-term payout. But maybe it will just be a lot of money spent with nothing really substantial to show for it from an investment perspective. Be rational when considering whether something is worth investing your time, energy and finances in.

6. Is it going to serve your position as an expert in your niche?

You want to be strategic in everything you do and sometimes opportunities will arise that won't serve you and the platform you're trying to build for yourself. Think about how saying yes to something will position you to look to others. Will it improve people's perception of you or damage it?

7. How will you be able to leverage it?

Know with a decent amount of certainty the specifics of how you will leverage an opportunity long-term before you say yes. If you can't leverage something, it's probably not going to be worth your "yes."

Referenced in the Show:

(Just FYI, some of these links may be affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase using the links I may receive some love in return!)

Connect with Dana & NJ

We love hearing from you!

If you’ve got a question about today’s episode or want to leave us some inbox love, you can email us at hello@boss-mom.com. Or, you can always find Dana hanging out in her happy place, the Boss Mom Facebook Community. 

We would also LOVE it if you’d leave a podcast rating or review for us on iTunes! We know it can be kind of tricky to figure out, so here are a few step-by-step instructions on how to leave an iTunes rating or review for a podcast from your iPhone or iPad.

  1. Launch Apple’s Podcast app.
  2. Tap the Search tab.
  3. Enter the name of the podcast you want to rate or review.
  4. Tap the blue Search key at the bottom right.
  5. Tap the album art for the podcast.
  6. Tap the Reviews tab.
  7. Tap Write a Review at the bottom.
  8. Enter your iTunes password to login.
  9. Tap the Stars to leave a rating.
  10. Enter title text and content to leave a review.
  11. Tap Send.
Mar 24, 2017

Do you have a hard time stepping away or taking time off from your business? You are not alone my friend. As entrepreneurs we live very different lives from our traditionally employed counterparts, in that we are ultimately responsible for and affected by everything that happens with our businesses.

Woah, that's a lot of pressure, can I get an amen?! In this episode I'm sharing 3 things we can do as business owners to help combat the "separation anxiety" we often experience, so that we can move forward in continuing to grow our businesses without experiencing as much of the worry or stress that can go along with it.

Listen + subscribe on iTunes // Stitcher

I don't know about you, but I have personally had some experiences since becoming an entrepreneur where other people who aren't entrepreneurs just didn't "get" the way I am or the way my life works.

I've even been accused of working too much, not being able to step away from my business, being on my phone too much and not having healthy boundaries. (And yes, if you're wondering, those kinds of words do hurt).

Non-entrepreneurs often don’t get it. We live in a different world where the weight of all the things rest solely on us, as opposed to only being responsible for the execution of someone else’s vision. We can’t just clock out and forget about it because our tasks are done.

The reality is that, as business owners, we often wear all the hats. We are the CEO, the manager, the doer, etc. And that reality makes it really difficult to completely turn things off and step away.

When we have people and projects to manage in our business, and the accountability for those people and projects falls to us, there is a great level of ownership involved.....so it's no wonder why fear, worry and anxiety can often come into play.

Entrepreneurism is not just about doing what you love or what you’re passionate about, or finding your gift and monetizing it. Business is about making decisions and taking ownership of everything that means. THAT is what we signed up for. Which, by definition, is really darn scary.

If ever you feel like you're alone, I want you to remember that you. are. not. Even really successful people experience the same kind of intimidation about the weight of their level of ownership and accountability for the effects of their decisions.

To combat that scary feeling, successful people are intentional about surrounding themselves with people who get it AND who are sharp and give them greater confidence in their decision making.

In addition to surrounding yourself by other positive, encouraging, smart and successful entrepreneurs who understand the journey you're on and can help bolster your confidence as a business owner, you can also do the following 3 things to help stave off feelings of separation anxiety from your business.

1. Know your deadlines

I am a BIG fan of mapping out everything in your life and business on an annual calendar, because it requires you to make well-thought out and well-planed decisions for both your life and business for an entire year. It eliminates the element of surprise that can often contribute to feels of worry or anxiety. When you know what's coming next, you can more easily let the small things go because you're focused on the big pictures.

In addition to planning out your annual calendar, I strongly encourage you to revisit and reexamine it regularly. Make adjustments as you need to- nothing has to be permanently set in stone! The point is to make decisions about things before they come up, so you can rest easy and feel like you have more space for the unexpected things that really ARE out of your control.

If you don't feel confident in your ability to map your annual calendar out, find a person or resource that can help you get things nailed down. Find who or what you need for decisions support (my new webinar training Your 10 Point Path to Raising a Successful Business is all about this!)

2. Know your business' different cries

As business owners, just as with being moms, it's critical to learn the difference between our business' different signals or cries. There are usually two categories that most issues fall under: the urgent and the important. Usually we end up spending the most time on the urgent, those fires that constantly pop up needing put out right away. Typically the urgent isn't actually that important in the long run, but we spend most of our time there.

When we shift our focus to what's actually important, coupled with knowing what's coming next down the pipeline, we are better able to accomplish what we really need to without feeling the constant need to be a firefighter in our businesses. We want to live as much as possible in the place where things are important, but don’t feel urgent.

When something comes up in your business, ask yourself why it feels like a fire so you can determine if it actually is a fire that demands your attention. Can it wait? If so, make it wait! We waste time feeling like we have to be present all the time, doing whatever we can to put out all the fires that come up.

But just like we do a disservice to answering every little whimper our kids make, we do a disservice to our business by not teaching it and equipping it to resolve things on its own. Certain cries require an immediate response, and others don't. Learn the difference in your business.

3. Be proud of yourself

Have you ever heard of positive and negative emotional attractors? Did you know that it takes on average 5 positive experiences to outweigh the impact on 1 negative experience? That's crazy....but valuable information.

Taking time to regularly reflect on all you've accomplished, how far you've come and how hard you've worked can make a world of difference in your outlook. When we develop a practice of celebrating ourselves and our businesses, we become much less likely to focus on the negative things that inevitably arise in favor of remembering that, even though challenges will come, everything will be alright.

Tell yourself every day that everything will be okay. You and your business are going to survive until tomorrow. Nothing except the end of the world is ever the end of the world.

And just remember: there really is no such thing as work/life balance. BUT we can make decisions that helps us be decisive so we can avoid separation anxiety and just be good leaders, entrepreneurs, CEOs, etc.

Referenced in the Show:

(Just FYI, some of these links may be affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase using the links I may receive some love in return!)

Episode Sponsor: Raising Your Business

Raising Your Business is an 8-week self-guided course that walks you step-by-step through the 10-point path you need to follow in order to raise and nurture a truly successful business.

This program is perfect for you if you’ve started your business, but don’t feel like you are super clear on how you will structure your brand, programs, pricing, and content. If you know what you want, but don’t know how to get there, then this is a great fit!

If you want to know more about Raising Your Business, be sure to check out my newest live workshop, Your 10 Point Path to Raise a Successful Business, where I will walk you through the process to ensure you’re raising your business the right way. Save your spot today!

Connect with Dana

We love hearing from you!

If you’ve got a question about today’s episode or want to leave us some inbox love, you can email us at hello@boss-mom.com. Or, you can always find Dana hanging out in her happy place, the Boss Mom Facebook Community. 

We would also LOVE it if you’d leave a podcast rating or review for us on iTunes! We know it can be kind of tricky to figure out, so here are a few step-by-step instructions on how to leave an iTunes rating or review for a podcast from your iPhone or iPad.

  1. Launch Apple’s Podcast app.
  2. Tap the Search tab.
  3. Enter the name of the podcast you want to rate or review.
  4. Tap the blue Search key at the bottom right.
  5. Tap the album art for the podcast.
  6. Tap the Reviews tab.
  7. Tap Write a Review at the bottom.
  8. Enter your iTunes password to login.
  9. Tap the Stars to leave a rating.
  10. Enter title text and content to leave a review.
  11. Tap Send.
Mar 23, 2017

In this episode I am having an awesome conversation with author Liz O'Donnell about the realities working moms face in the world today trying to balance home life and work.

Liz is is the general manager of Double Forte, a PR and digital marketing firm, as well as the author of Mogul, Mom & Maid: The Balancing Act of the Modern Woman, a book that examines the impact women’s personal lives have on their careers and the ways business can support working women.

Tune in for some very candid discussion that will be eye-opening at the least, and more than likely have you cheering from your seat!

Listen + subscribe on iTunes // Stitcher

Liz's Boss Mom Journey

Our conversation begins with Liz sharing a bit about her background, recounting that she always "wanted to want" to be a mother....but never actually wanted to. She felt like one day she may regret never having kids, but just didn't feel maternal.

Her husband was on board for not having any kids, and they went on their merry way as just a happily married couple.....until one day, he changed his mind! Liz got on board, got pregnant at age 35 and was shocked to discover she actually liked being a mom!

But, she also LOVED working (while her husband did not) so they came up with an arrangement they felt would work best for them: she would work full-time and he would be the stay-at-home dad.

As she developed and honed her skill set working in PR, social media and digital marketing, she was also doing the same in a few side ventures as well. In 2009 Liz started blogging, eventually wrote a book and recently shut down that original blog to start a new one called WorkingDaughter.com.

Now Liz's children are 12 and 14 and her husband is preparing to make his way back into the working world, but in the beginning when they were just figuring things out, everything looked a little different.

When she initially went back to work (after 10 weeks of maternity leave) her husband was still working so they had to juggle back and forth a little bit. She remembers finding a great daycare for her son, then getting laid off shortly after returning from maternity leave after having her daughter, which meant they would have to pull their son out of the daycare they loved and that he was thriving at.

It's experiences like these as a working mother that have fueled Liz's passion to examine and address the realities of working moms trying to balance it all in a culture that's not always been the easiest for working moms to navigate while having a real life.

The Path to Writing Her Book

Liz shares that she had always wanted to be a writer, so it was no surprise (especially after being a blogger) that she eventually ended up sitting down to pen her own book.

She knew that she had to write the book she did because of the things she had experienced as a working mom, and how widespread an issue the disparity between life for working moms and life for working dads had become.

She shares that there is countless data that shows women are still doing 40-60% more housework and childcare in the home, regardless of who's working.

“Nobody’s talking about this to the level that I want to talk about it.” (8:02)

We discuss how in our culture the public school system still operates under the assumption that there will be a parent at home during the day, and 9 times out of 10 if there is an emergency or need of some kind they default to reaching out to the mom first.

This is just one example, she says, of how women often get the short end of the stick when it comes to work/life balance and validation of their vocational status.

She also talks about the reality that, while women are often pulling more weight in terms of all the things they juggle between work and home life, it's painful and uncomfortable to feel upset or resentful at your spouse because most aren't bad people.....they've just grown up in a culture that has conditioned them to perceive and expect things to be a certain way.

Especially when there are often more variables at play than just one. Case in point: what Liz calls "maternal gatekeeping" which is where moms habitually jump in even when their partners are trying to be more involved and take ownership of responsibilities within the home, because they constantly feel like they could do a better job.

From Liz's perspective, we live in a society where most work cultures that expect you to check your "real life" at the door in the name of professionalism....which often hurts working moms in a different way than their working counterparts.

“I think what we really need is not just work/life policies, but we need work/life cultures, and they’re two different things.” (24:42)

Continuing the Journey

Since writing her book, she has shifted her focus a bit in starting her new blog and working on her new book that is about recognizing that there are 44 million people in this country giving unpaid elder care support (to parents, grandparents, etc).

Liz states that, as a culture, we need to solve the issue of work/life balance for everyone regardless of what their unique circumstances are (being parents, being elder caregivers, etc).

She proposes the introduction of a "don't ask, don't tell" policy in the workplace, which would enable you to excel at your job, while being able to take the time away from work to handle things in your personal life without being interrogated or made to feel like your job has to come before your personal obligations to your family.

“We’re not expected to be humans at work, we’re expected to be professional!” (31:09)

But the reality as moms and/or elder care givers is that we are all the things, all the time and shouldn't constantly be expected to take hats off in order to put other ones on.

What Women Can Do to Make Better Spaces for Themselves

In addition to advocating and championing policies like "don't ask, don't tell" in the workplace, Liz also suggests that women actively take care regarding their attitudes toward men.

She talks about how it can be easy to be resentful or angry at men across the board, but the reality is that if anything is going to change in our society, it will require the support and involvement of men.....and many men aren't trying to propagate these issues on purpose, so there should be a modicum of grace extended their way.

Liz also encourages women to constantly assess whether they are in a good space that is working for them, or if they're regularly having to give up too much of themselves and sacrifice their personal lives on the alter of their work lives.

“You don’t want to see women suffering and sacrificing themselves through the whole experience.” (37:33)

One of her favorite sayings is to "Put down the mop!" which she says means finding the things in your life that you can let go and move on from, because at the end of the day they don't actually matter that much!

Let go of the drive to prove to other people that you love your kids, or that your house is always neat and tidy, and so on. At the end of the day your only obligation is to stay true to yourself and figure out what works best for you and your family.....so let everything else go!

Referenced in the Show:

(Just FYI, some of these links may be affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase using the links I may receive some love in return!)

Episode Sponsor: Adoption STAR

The adoption process can often be confusing and frustrating. Adoption STAR offers support, knowledge, assistance, and most importantly, personalized attention, to make this process easier. Clients of Adoption STAR are pleasantly surprised that their adoption journey is one filled with education, individual choices and compassion.

Adoption STAR’s international programs are open to residents of New York State, Ohio and Florida. Adoptive couples or singles who wish to adopt domestically with Adoption STAR are eligible if they reside in New York State, Florida, or Ohio. Adoption STAR is also Connecticut and Illinois Approved. In addition, each year a a few applicants outside of these areas are considered for the domestic program.

The agency offers consultation, counseling, educational classes, a resource library, home studies, updates, post-placement, post-adoption support, expectant parent, birth parent and adoptive parent counseling, child placements and so much more.

Begin your adoption journey today by clicking here to request your free information packet!

Connect with Dana

We love hearing from you!

If you’ve got a question about today’s episode or want to leave us some inbox love, you can email us at hello@boss-mom.com. Or, you can always find Dana hanging out in her happy place, the Boss Mom Facebook Community. 

We would also LOVE it if you’d leave a podcast rating or review for us on iTunes! We know it can be kind of tricky to figure out, so here are a few step-by-step instructions on how to leave an iTunes rating or review for a podcast from your iPhone or iPad.

  1. Launch Apple’s Podcast app.
  2. Tap the Search tab.
  3. Enter the name of the podcast you want to rate or review.
  4. Tap the blue Search key at the bottom right.
  5. Tap the album art for the podcast.
  6. Tap the Reviews tab.
  7. Tap Write a Review at the bottom.
  8. Enter your iTunes password to login.
  9. Tap the Stars to leave a rating.
  10. Enter title text and content to leave a review.
  11. Tap Send.
Mar 21, 2017

As busy moms and entrepreneurs the thought of ever having to step outside of our regular lives or businesses can seem pretty impossible at times. But the reality is, we NEED to give ourselves space away from normal life and business to reset, get refreshed and live a little!

In preparation for a busy several weeks of travel coming up for me, I am hopping into this episode with NJ to discuss all the ways we as boss moms can prepare our businesses for travel so that you can have a leg up next time you have somewhere to go!

Listen + subscribe on iTunes // Stitcher

The biggest thing to think about when it comes to preparing your business for travel is how you can not only prepare for the time you'll be away, but also for your return. There is nothing worse than letting things get backlogged so you end up having to work when you weren't planning to, letting things fall through the cracks, OR having a great time away, but having to jump back into chaos immediately upon returning.

Here are a few of our best tips that will help set you and your business up for success the next time you travel!

1. Create space in your calendar

During the weeks leading up to a trip or vacation you want to be proactive about how you'll be spending your time before traveling. Pull your calendar out and identify what things can be taken off and what you'll need to say no to in order to create space for you to make the necessary preparations for leaving your business. Get your ducks in a row little by little leading up to your trip and you won't feel like a crazy minute trying to get everything figured out right as you're heading out the door!

2. Work IN your business instead of ON your business.

More than likely it will be in your best interest to focus on the inner workings of your business and stay in "create & sustain" mode versus focusing on business growth and adding high level things to your plate right before traveling. Because honestly, who needs that extra stress? Be intentional about taking care of the things inside your house versus the things outside (you can do that when you get back!)

3. Determine if you will work while you travel.

Sometimes there will be instances where traveling provides you the perfect opportunity to work on things in your business that you wouldn't normally get to in regular life. Other times there are things you will have to do while you're gone, such as checking into a Facebook group that you run or hopping on the phone for client calls. But there are other times (ie: vacation) where you won't want to (and shouldn't!) touch a phone or computer. Figure these things out in advance. Decide what you will and won't do, and prepare yourself and your business to accommodate that decision.

4. Get your automation systems in place.

Automation is a beautiful, beautiful thing for us busy mom entrepreneurs on a normal basis, but it's especially amazing during times of travel. Figure out what can be automated while you're away and do the work to get those systems in place and running so you don't have to even think about it until you return.

5. Clearly define roles & operations information to your team.

If your business is to the point where you have a team of people supporting you, make sure to prepare them for your absence and set them up for success while you're gone. Clearly define who will be responsible for what, make sure they have what they need, and make sure they have access to everything they'll need access to (including you, in cases of emergency!) Pro tip: don't try to micromanage and allow your team members to own their roles.

While we can't promise that if you do all these things that your life, business and trip will go off without a hitch, we can guarantee that it will be a whole lot easier than if you didn't prepare in advance ;)

Referenced in the Show:

(Just FYI, some of these links may be affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase using the links I may receive some love in return!)

Episode Sponsor: The Biz Chix Podcast

BizChix.com encourages, educates, and promotes entrepreneurial women with educational content and training, a community support system, masterminding, coaching, and events.

Natalie Eckdahl, MBA, is a business coach, professional facilitator, keynote speaker and host of the Biz Chix Podcast which iTunes featured as a top New Business Podcast in March 2014.

You can listen to the podcast here.

Connect with Dana & NJ

We love hearing from you!

If you’ve got a question about today’s episode or want to leave us some inbox love, you can email us at hello@boss-mom.com. Or, you can always find Dana hanging out in her happy place, the Boss Mom Facebook Community. 

We would also LOVE it if you’d leave a podcast rating or review for us on iTunes! We know it can be kind of tricky to figure out, so here are a few step-by-step instructions on how to leave an iTunes rating or review for a podcast from your iPhone or iPad.

  1. Launch Apple’s Podcast app.
  2. Tap the Search tab.
  3. Enter the name of the podcast you want to rate or review.
  4. Tap the blue Search key at the bottom right.
  5. Tap the album art for the podcast.
  6. Tap the Reviews tab.
  7. Tap Write a Review at the bottom.
  8. Enter your iTunes password to login.
  9. Tap the Stars to leave a rating.
  10. Enter title text and content to leave a review.
  11. Tap Send.
Mar 17, 2017

Ok, first I want to make sure to give you fair warning before you dive into this episode: I totally recorded it in the front seat of my car sitting in my garage because my brother is visiting from out of town and he is upstairs with my kids building forts and causing chaos (as all uncles should do with their nieces & nephews!)

So, let's talk quizzes! Quizzes have become pretty popular over the years and can be excellent tools for business owners to really get people engaged with what they're doing. In this episode I'm diving into what the basic function of quizzes is, how to go about brainstorming your next quiz and how to then actually create it (all of which can feel overwhelming and daunting at first!)

Listen + subscribe on iTunes // Stitcher

If you don't know my personal background, I actually used to build behavior modification courseware in Corporate America that included things like surveys, quizzes, etc. Now I want to share the knowledge and expertise I gained in that role to help walk you through implementing these powerful tools in your own business! (I promise, it's really not so hard!)

There are three primary questions that most people ask themselves when they decide to create a quiz:

  1. What kind of quiz should I build?
  2. What is the point behind my quiz?
  3. How am I actually going to make my quiz?

Let's explore each question and I'll give you some practical, actionable tips for moving forward in creating your very own quiz.

Phase 1: Brainstorming

Many people often decide that they are going to create a quiz and get hung up on trying to first decide on a title. I'm here to tell you that starting with the title will probably make your life way harder than it has to be. Instead, I recommend starting with the end in mind.

First, begin by deciding what you want the outcome to be. Reverse engineer your way through brainstorming the why and the what behind your quiz. Ultimately you want your quiz to draw people in, keep them engaged and clearly illustrate for them why they need whatever you're offering in their life.

Upon completing the quiz they should experience an "aha" moment that directs them straight to your opt-in, which is the "first date" part of your free to paid journey. 

Second, break down your end result into categories and questions. Think about what you'll be leading your people to and how what you're offering can apply to different kinds of people. Use the categories you decide on to determine the kind of information you need to gather from them in the form of quiz questions.

Brainstorm as many questions as you can think of that might help you get them to that "aha" moment, and then narrow your list down to the most important, relevant and helpful questions.

Third, put your end result, categories and questions together to brainstorm some possible titles for your quiz. Again, brainstorm as many as you can think of! Brainstorming isn't about getting it all perfect - it's about getting it all out!

Narrow your list down to three different options, then take them to your community and have them vote on their favorite (and share WHY it's their favorite!)

Phase 2: Building

The next part is all about figuring out how to build your quiz. This part can also really trip people up because they get stuck on figuring out the best tools to use to execute.

There are several things out there that you could use, but my personal favorite and recommendation is Interact.

When you are building your quiz, I want you to consider a few key things:

  1. Where can you include pictures in your quiz to keep things fun and exciting 
  2. Will you require quiz takers to input their email address to receive their results or not
  3. Make sure you aren't building it alone!

When it comes to quizzes, you want to remember that your strategy is all about enticing people, drawing them in and keeping them engaged so they feel good about the time they spent taking your quiz.

Including pictures (specifically as answer choices!) can make a big difference in how they experience taking your quiz.

Now you need to decide where you want to ask for people's email addresses. I'm sure you've seen some quizzes require an email address to receive your results, which can definitely work.

However, my personal opinion is that it's more powerful to be generous up front by giving them their results right away and then seamlessly leading them to your opt-in when delivering their results. By providing an opt-in offering that perfectly aligns with the quiz result they've received, they'll feel personally connected to (and excited about!) giving you an email address in exchange for your opt-in.

Lastly, make sure you aren't building things in your business alone! Clarity comes in the building phase, and greater clarity comes from brainstorming and hashing things out with other people. Be sure to engage with your community and let them help you make decisions as you build not only your quizzes, but all content.

Referenced in the Show:

(Just FYI, some of these links may be affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase using the links I may receive some love in return!)

Episode Sponsor: Kerstin Pressler

Kerstin Pressler is a fine artist and mentor to creatives who believes that anyone can make a living out of their passions just as she has done. In 2013 she founded the Biz School for Creatives, where she provides the tools, structures, techniques and strategies creative entrepreneurs need to succeed.

She also LOVES all you fabulous Boss Moms, which is why she has put together a special FREE website checklist just for you, to help you make sure your website is really serving you and your business in the best light.

You can click here to access that checklist for free AND, if after checking out any of her artworkcourseworkjewelry, etc you see something you like, be sure to use code BOSSMOM at checkout for 20% off!

Connect with Dana:

Instagram // Facebook // Facebook Community

We love hearing from you!

If you’ve got a question about today’s episode or want to leave us some inbox love, you can email us at hello@boss-mom.com. Or, you can always find Dana hanging out in her happy place, the Boss Mom Facebook Community. 

We would also LOVE it if you’d leave a podcast rating or review for us on iTunes! We know it can be kind of tricky to figure out, so here are a few step-by-step instructions on how to leave an iTunes rating or review for a podcast from your iPhone or iPad.

  1. Launch Apple’s Podcast app.
  2. Tap the Search tab.
  3. Enter the name of the podcast you want to rate or review.
  4. Tap the blue Search key at the bottom right.
  5. Tap the album art for the podcast.
  6. Tap the Reviews tab.
  7. Tap Write a Review at the bottom.
  8. Enter your iTunes password to login.
  9. Tap the Stars to leave a rating.
  10. Enter title text and content to leave a review.
  11. Tap Send.
Mar 16, 2017

In this episode I am hanging out with Maria Dismondy, an award-winning children's book author who is passionate about inspiring lives through her poignant stories about topics challenging today’s modern child.

Maria’s background in early education and commitment to teach the importance of character building enables her to touch lives the world over while touring as a public speaker in schools, community forums, and at national conferences.

When Maria isn’t writing, she can be found embarking on adventures throughout southeast Michigan and beyond, where she lives with her husband and three book-loving children.

Tune in to hear us discuss her journey to becoming an author and building a thriving business (and family!) while following her passions.

Listen + subscribe on iTunes // Stitcher

Maria's Boss Mom Story

As we dive in, Maria shares that she never actually intended to be an entrepreneur. Growing up she wanted to be a teacher and a mom - both dreams she would later go on to fulfill!!

To both her and everyone around her it was quite a shock when she made the decision to leave teaching and pursue writing her children's books. But the decision was fueled by both a passion to fulfill a need that she saw, and do what made sense for her growing family.

"I felt like there was a problem, that we were lacking children’s literature with realistic kids - real characters that kids could relate to with real world problems.” (3:36)

So, Maria wrote her first book Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun, and a few weeks later she got pregnant with her first baby!

After her book came out and her daughter was born, she went down to teaching part-time, and didn't have much of a plan beyond that. One year turned into two, and eventually she realized that she wanted more time to pour into both her growing family, and her growing business (which she was LOVING!)

“It wasn't just writing books, but spreading these amazing messages to children and families.” (4:10)

A Day in the Life....

When I asked Maria what her day-to-day life as an author, publisher and mom looked like, she shared that it didn't look like what most people would think.

“Being a writer you would think that I would spend my days writing and I don’t!” (4:30)

As a work-at-home mom to three kids (ages 2, 5 and 7) her days start early so she can get some good creative work time in, as well as some self care.

She also books around 75 speaking engagements per year, but most all of them are local as she has made the decision not to travel away from her family if she can help it.

Maria also describes that every day is a journey to just figure out what works best in that season.

“I didn’t plan for any of it, and Dana I am a planner so when baby #3 came along surprisingly (and was due on Christmas Day!) I thought, ‘This is a sign from the universe that, Maria you don’t get to plan your life and it doesn’t go accordingly1" (7:25)

The Importance of Outsourcing & Delegation

Having three kids was a complete game changer for Maria and her family - one she describes as sending her into complete overwhelm.

“I just said things have to change, I cannot do it all. I need to delegate and outsource things.” (8:13)

And so, she did just that! They hired help both inside the home and in her business, which she says has made a world of difference, though it was difficult for her to let things go at first.

On Kicking Mom Guilt to the Curb

Our discussion took a great turn as we explored the differences between moms and dads, and how moms often seem more inclined to feel guilty about things that don't tend to ultimately matter as much.

I share how the "put-together" moms at daycare made me feel especially un-put-together until I realized the freedom that I have because I don't have to show up to a job and instead get to spend the morning playing with my kids.

Maria on the other hand, is one of those moms who is put together first thing in the morning - because it's important to her! And also her only real chance during the day to make sure getting ready happens.

It's all about figuring out what matters and what works for you.

“We are so quick to compare ourselves to other people without knowing the whole story, and that’s hard. I wish we didn’t put that on ourselves.” (12:43)

Building a Business as an Author

After Maria's first book was released in 2008 she was asked to do a few speaking engagements, which she quickly realized she loved.

She then decided to spend time building her speaking career to allow her the time and space to write more books.

“I felt like every additional book added credibility to my speaking platform.” (13:48)

Another big point she shared is that marketing is a really key component to building a business as an author.

“A huge part, about 75%, of what I do is marketing in a non-sales and very authentic way trying to get my messages out there so that people do want to hear me speak and do want to bring my books into their homes.” (14:57)

We discuss the ramifications of publishing traditionally (which she did with her first book) versus self-publishing (which she does now, for both herself and other authors through her publishing house Cardinal Rule Press).

She shares that in addition to writing and speaking, she began consulting for other aspiring authors, but she didn't completely love the process of consulting, so creating a course to impart her knowledge instead.

“I want to educate other published authors on how they can use their platform to market their messages.” (16:23)

And - Maria is a BIG believer in anyone being able to write the stories that matter to them. She says she often has people suggest book topics to her, but believes that any person who has a story in mind should be the one to write it themselves!

“When you have the personal experience and the passion for that topic that will drive your business and that will make you all the more successful because you have passion behind the idea.” (24:06)

On Dealing with Overwhelm

Towards the end of our conversation we dig deep into the realities of being a boss mom and discuss what Maria does to deal with the inevitable overwhelm we all experience at times.

She shares that exercise, meal planning, making lists and putting everything into ONE calendar are what keep life afloat for her, and she's really had to figure out what tools work well.

We compare different organization tools like Asana, Trello and Bootcamp and how different platforms work better for different people, so it's important to figure out which is best for YOU.

“Don’t give up! If one doesn’t work, try a different one.” (30:22)

Referenced in the Show:

(Just FYI, some of these links may be affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase using the links I may receive some love in return!)

Episode Sponsor: Adoption STAR

The adoption process can often be confusing and frustrating. Adoption STAR offers support, knowledge, assistance, and most importantly, personalized attention, to make this process easier. Clients of Adoption STAR are pleasantly surprised that their adoption journey is one filled with education, individual choices and compassion.

Adoption STAR’s international programs are open to residents of New York State, Ohio and Florida. Adoptive couples or singles who wish to adopt domestically with Adoption STAR are eligible if they reside in New York State, Florida, or Ohio. Adoption STAR is also Connecticut and Illinois Approved. In addition, each year a a few applicants outside of these areas are considered for the domestic program.

The agency offers consultation, counseling, educational classes, a resource library, home studies, updates, post-placement, post-adoption support, expectant parent, birth parent and adoptive parent counseling, child placements and so much more.

Begin your adoption journey today by clicking here to request your free information packet!

Connect with Dana:

Instagram // Facebook // Facebook Community

We love hearing from you!

If you’ve got a question about today’s episode or want to leave us some inbox love, you can email us at hello@boss-mom.com. Or, you can always find Dana hanging out in her happy place, the Boss Mom Facebook Community. 

We would also LOVE it if you’d leave a podcast rating or review for us on iTunes! We know it can be kind of tricky to figure out, so here are a few step-by-step instructions on how to leave an iTunes rating or review for a podcast from your iPhone or iPad.

  1. Launch Apple’s Podcast app.
  2. Tap the Search tab.
  3. Enter the name of the podcast you want to rate or review.
  4. Tap the blue Search key at the bottom right.
  5. Tap the album art for the podcast.
  6. Tap the Reviews tab.
  7. Tap Write a Review at the bottom.
  8. Enter your iTunes password to login.
  9. Tap the Stars to leave a rating.
  10. Enter title text and content to leave a review.
  11. Tap Send.
Mar 15, 2017

In case you hadn't noticed, online courses have become all the rage in the last few years. Seriously - you can find a course online for just about ANYTHING.

While there are tons of benefits to being able to find quality information and training on pretty much any subject you want, when it comes to choosing courses as investments into your business there are definitely things you want to consider before pulling the trigger.

In this episode we are chatting about best practices when it comes to buying courses and then how to actually leverage them once you have purchased. Because no one likes wasting time or money, right?!

1. Don't get caught up in the hype.

Oftentimes affiliate marketing will play a big role in the overall marketing strategy of course launches and how it can be easy to get sucked up into the hype course affiliates are putting out there. It's important to "vet" your sources and try to determine if they genuinely love the course....or if they're just greedy and in it for a payday.

2. Research the course creator - do your due diligence!

These days anyone can make a course about anything - you don't need a degree in rocket science to put together some slides with Wikipedia'd information and upload it to an online platform to sell. When you discover a course you are interested in, do your due diligence in terms of properly vetting the course creator. Ask yourself, "Do I trust this person? Do they have the chops to teach me x, y and z?" Evaluate the actual reasons you have for why this person is the right person to teach you what you're wanting to know. Do you research and sell it to yourself.

3. Determine if the course will actually be worth your time.

Many business owners when they're just starting out try to learn and do #allthethings because they don't want to outsource tasks until they feel financially capable of taking that step. Learning how to do #allthethings via courses seems like a good starting point - and often times, it is! But you have to consider the very real possibility that there are some things you just shouldn't spend your time doing because they will never fall in line with your gifts and will actually continue to waste your time rather than make your time more profitable.

4. Determine if your business really requires this skill or information.

It can be easy to think that your business needs #allthethings in order to be successful in the online space....but that's hardly ever true. There are tons of different approaches and strategies and tools out there that can help you grow your business....but you won't need all of them, only the ones that are right for you and your business. Don't just invest in a course because you think you need to.

5. Identify your "course personality."

Not all course takers are created equally! Typically there are two types of course takers: the "Doers" and the "Thinkers." The Doers just want to get in, zero in on the parts that they want, devour them and then act on what they learned. The Thinkers want to go through systematically and thoroughly consume all the information so they can fully own it and then implement. Some courses are laid out to accommodate both types of people. Some are not. You don't want to get stuck with a course that isn't in a format that will be conducive to your course personality type. If you aren't sure, reach out to the course creator to ask!

6. Assess whether the course aligns with your business goals.

Sometimes a course will seem like a good idea, but when you actually stop to think about it, maybe it's not the right time in your business to focus on whatever that course topic is. You need to make decisions in your business surrounding what you should be focusing on now. Ask yourself, "Will this course help me move me toward my current business goals or slow me down?"

7. Assess whether the course aligns with your calendar.

The reality is that time is not an unlimited resource and even if we desperately want to be able to take a course that seems valuable, our calendar and schedule may simply not allow it. Be honest with yourself about the time you have and make decisions accordingly.

8. Recognize that you will have to do the work.

Magic doesn't just suddenly happen the moment you hit the "buy" button and enroll in a course. Think of it like a college class. The professor will show up and impart his information to you, but you have to show up and do the work to actually get anything out of it.

9. Know what you want to get out of it before you buy

Speaking of getting what you want out the course.....you'll want to know what exactly it is that you want to get out of it BEFORE you buy. Lay it out for yourself. What will this course help you accomplish in terms of moving your business forward? Is the primary focus to learn a skill? How will that skill help your business? What do you want it to gain you? Do you want more clients at the end? More confidence? More leads? Know what you want so you can stay focused as you move through the course.

10. Plan to follow through

Too often people get jazzed about a new course, sign up.....and then let it sit there taking up space on the internet instead of in their brain or business. If you're going to be decisive in taking action to purchase a course, follow it up with blocking out time in your calendar to actually complete the course. Set yourself up for success the moment you purchase. The longer you wait, the less likely you are to actually leverage your investment.

Referenced in the Show:

 

(Just FYI, some of these links may be affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase using the links I may receive some love in return!)

Episode Sponsor: The Biz Chix Podcast

BizChix.com encourages, educates, and promotes entrepreneurial women with educational content and training, a community support system, masterminding, coaching, and events.

Natalie Eckdahl, MBA, is a business coach, professional facilitator, keynote speaker and host of the Biz Chix Podcast which iTunes featured as a top New Business Podcast in March 2014.

You can listen to the podcast here.

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