Hint of Hustle with Heather Sager

Entrepreneurial Insights for Expecting Mothers – A Candid Conversation with Ann K. Emery

September 28, 2023 Heather Sager Episode 217
Entrepreneurial Insights for Expecting Mothers – A Candid Conversation with Ann K. Emery
Hint of Hustle with Heather Sager
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Hint of Hustle with Heather Sager
Entrepreneurial Insights for Expecting Mothers – A Candid Conversation with Ann K. Emery
Sep 28, 2023 Episode 217
Heather Sager

Real talk – how do you navigate pregnancy (or any big life change) while running a business? Especially one where you travel and speak? 

If you’re self-employed planning maternity leave, or if you're simply looking for strategies to strike a healthier work-life balance, this episode will enlighten, inspire and spark new ideas for you. I sat down with one of my long-term clients, successful speaker and trainer,  who ALSO  is pregnant with TWINS.  Between us we have (or are brewing) 8 kiddos and we’re sharing a candid convo on challenges and realities of juggling motherhood, pregnancy, speaking, digital courses  and all things entrepreneurship.

Even if you’re not pregnant, these insights are for anyone craving a good life beyond their business.

Episode Quick Guide:

0:00 Self-Employed Pregnancy and Maternity Leave

3:58 Navigating Business and Pregnancy

14:18 Transition to Short-Term Projects and Simplify Business Operations

20:32 Travel and Work Independently

24:58 The Challenges of Performing and Recovering

35:31 Balancing Work and Rest in Self-Employment

42:06 Simplifying Business and Avoiding Time-Wasting Activities

48:31 Shift to Digital Courses

58:29 Balancing Personal and Professional Brand

1:04:08 Using Your Voice for Marketing Success


EPISODE  SHOW NOTES👇

https://heathersager.com/episode217


Support the Show.

🔗 Grab the latest FREE resources: https://heathersager.com/start

🔗 Browse all episode shownotes: https://heathersager.com/blog

👋 CONNECT WITH HEATHER:

Work with Heather: https://www.heathersager.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theheathersager/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/HeatherSager

If you’re loving this episode, please take a moment to rate & review the show. This helps me get this message to more people so they too can ditch the hustle 24/7 life.

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Real talk – how do you navigate pregnancy (or any big life change) while running a business? Especially one where you travel and speak? 

If you’re self-employed planning maternity leave, or if you're simply looking for strategies to strike a healthier work-life balance, this episode will enlighten, inspire and spark new ideas for you. I sat down with one of my long-term clients, successful speaker and trainer,  who ALSO  is pregnant with TWINS.  Between us we have (or are brewing) 8 kiddos and we’re sharing a candid convo on challenges and realities of juggling motherhood, pregnancy, speaking, digital courses  and all things entrepreneurship.

Even if you’re not pregnant, these insights are for anyone craving a good life beyond their business.

Episode Quick Guide:

0:00 Self-Employed Pregnancy and Maternity Leave

3:58 Navigating Business and Pregnancy

14:18 Transition to Short-Term Projects and Simplify Business Operations

20:32 Travel and Work Independently

24:58 The Challenges of Performing and Recovering

35:31 Balancing Work and Rest in Self-Employment

42:06 Simplifying Business and Avoiding Time-Wasting Activities

48:31 Shift to Digital Courses

58:29 Balancing Personal and Professional Brand

1:04:08 Using Your Voice for Marketing Success


EPISODE  SHOW NOTES👇

https://heathersager.com/episode217


Support the Show.

🔗 Grab the latest FREE resources: https://heathersager.com/start

🔗 Browse all episode shownotes: https://heathersager.com/blog

👋 CONNECT WITH HEATHER:

Work with Heather: https://www.heathersager.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theheathersager/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/HeatherSager

If you’re loving this episode, please take a moment to rate & review the show. This helps me get this message to more people so they too can ditch the hustle 24/7 life.

Speaker 1:

know you're going to have bad days, know you're going to have days when you second guess all your life decisions. Those thoughts usually go away. If they don't. What's the worst that happens? You go back to a regular job Like that's not so bad, there's plenty of great jobs out there. A lot of people go back and forth and back and forth throughout their careers. And then probably the second thing I'd say is, if you're early on, absolutely try all the things, try all the services and products and different types of clients and try B2C, try B2B, try all those things and dabble for a few years. But after a few years it's really time to start streamlining and only doing the things you're best at and really narrow down your offerings so you can do them well, and that shouldn't take till like year five or 10. I'd say that's like year two, three, four that you should really be paring down and doing one thing at an elite level.

Speaker 2:

This is the podcast for the entrepreneur who wants to make a big impact, who doesn't shy away from hard work, but also wants to enjoy life along the way. Hi, I'm Heather Sager, former executive-turned-entrepreneur, and I've spent the last 20 years working with premium brands on sales, marketing and communication, and I've learned that when you become a magnet with your message, you only need a hint of hustle to achieve your goals. Get ready to be inspired and ignited each week with tangible strategies on sales, speaking, marketing and so much more. This is the Hint of Hustle podcast. Let's go Well. Hey friend, welcome back to another episode. We are officially done with live launching for 2023. We just wrapped up our latest launch, the Zick and Drotok Accelerator, and we are back to our standard programming, which is always great Launch season, off-launch season.

Speaker 2:

But I wanted to do something a little different after this launch and today's conversation. I'm going to be bringing on one of my long-term clients. She was one of the first people who came through my program, but this is not a conversation about speaking. It's not a conversation around how speaking has transformed her business, although it has. This is a fellow business owner who is also pregnant right now and while this episode we definitely talk about pregnancy, we talk about maternity leave whilst being self-employed. It's like a whole new ballgame. This is the first time I've ever been pregnant while running my own business, and first this will be the only. But it's interesting, this conversation.

Speaker 2:

One of the reasons why I started this show, hint of Hustle, is I wanted to have behind-the-scenes conversations with business owners around what life looks like offstage and behind the curtain. And it's because online, in this Instagram, youtube, tiktok, all this social media world, we only see a slice of other people's lives, whether it's personal brands, whether it's businesses, whether it's people that you follow or your friends. For good reason, we don't share everything online. But, as a business owner, when you're trying to understand if you're doing things quote, unquote, right if you're trying to figure out like, what the hell am I doing, which none of us know, by the way, we're just figuring out as we go it's oftentimes really easy to look at other people's onstage time as your measurement of success. But really, we do business so that we can live a life outside of our businesses and this conversation today is so good. I wrapped it up this afternoon had to go pick up my kiddos from school, stopped by the country store and pick up some snacks, and now I am back.

Speaker 2:

I wanted to get this intro recorded for you, but I just am reflecting on this interview. You're going to freaking love it. And let me just call out the elephant in the room If you are not pregnant, have no plans to have children or past the stage of this, this is not an episode specifically around pregnancy. I did ask Ann some very specific questions that I have gotten lately from people going how are you navigating business and pregnancy? How are you planning maternity leave? How do you have energy to show up and speak while you're pregnant? Now you can insert pregnancy for other life phases, other big events.

Speaker 2:

You have something hard going on. Make this episode work for you. Please do not just dismiss it because I'm pregnant. I'm talking about that, right. I also do really respect that. If you're in a phase of your life where pregnancy is a hard discussion, it's you hate hearing people talk about it because you've had your own experience with it, whether you're trying to conceive, you've lost a child, whatever experience you have, I get it. I went through a phase where I tried a very long time to get pregnant with my husband and when we finally did we miscarried the first time. It was very difficult listening to other people. I fully respect if you're in a season that this is not a topic you want to hear. Skip this episode If you were open to the conversation.

Speaker 2:

We actually have way more of a conversation around how to structure your business and how to my favorite little takeaway of this how to simplify, but more importantly, how to create a I don't list so that you have more boundaries in your life around your business and you can fully be present and live with your family, with your hobbies, with whatever passions that you pursue. That sounded super cheesy, but I hope that you follow what I'm saying. You're going to love this interview. You're going to love and you're also just going to laugh your butt off of how nonchalant she is in her badass form. Her business is in frick incredible. So pay close attention, enjoy the episode and help me give a big fat congratulations to Anne and her entire family. At the time of this recording, she is about to go into labor any frickin' moment with twins, babies number four and five. So the fact that she said, hell yeah, heather, like I'm just waiting for this babies to come out. Why not have a conversation about it. I'm just so grateful. So enjoy the episode.

Speaker 2:

Please send us a note over on Instagram If you did. I'd love to hear from you. I am going to be. I'll just give you this little heads up.

Speaker 2:

I am going to do a solo episode here in a few weeks, specifically around how I am planning my business around time off. Now I'm going to call an attorney leave because I'm having a baby, but you could call it a sabbatical. You could call it taking the summer off with your kids, you can call it whatever you want to call it. But if you're curious around how do you structure a business when you're the face of the company and you're the engine of the company, how am I Like? If you're curious, I'll share with you how I'm planning to take time off. I'll share how much time I'm taking off, how I'm structuring it, how my business model has changed. I'm going to give you all a rundown and it's going to be a work in messy progress because clearly I haven't done it yet, but I'll walk you through my thinking and ensure that with you.

Speaker 2:

So if you have certain questions that you would love for me to cover on that episode, be sure to shoot me over DM on Instagram and let me know. I would love to include your questions on that show. But that'll be coming up here within the next couple of weeks. Who knows, maybe next week, I'm not entirely sure yet. We'll see. We're in a little bit of an in-between-wing it phase, which I'm good with those every now and then. So, friend, I'll pass it over to the interview. I got to go chase my kids across the lawn. They're both eating ice cream and this looks like it's going to be a mess to clean up. I'll see you on the other side of this interview. Well, hey, anne, officially welcome to the hint of hustle podcast. I'm pretty confident this is the first time I have had you on the show. Is that correct?

Speaker 1:

I think so, which is wild, because I see you all the time when I'm in your workshops and events.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I can't believe. Okay, this is actually now that I'm having that realization in this moment. We're going to have to have you back on the show after we get through what we're going to talk about today. So in the distant future we'll come back and talk about some other things, but this conversation is going to be a similar one that I had last week. So last week I had my friends Zafira on the show and we were like two gals obsessed with storytelling, talking about storytelling from different angles, and we're just kind of geeking out in a casual conversation. We're not talking about storytelling, nor anything real business lessony. Today we're talking about pregnancy and maternity leave and how it works as a business owner, because you and I both are cooking up some beautiful creations you a little bit more further along than me. So that's what we're talking about today. So why don't you share just for a moment your business, like what your business is about? And then let's talk about maternity leave and all those good things.

Speaker 1:

So, as you know, I've been a full-time speaker for about a decade now. That being said, I started with a little more service-y based, a little bit more consulting, but I've shifted very intentionally into just speaking and training and I'm about 10 years into business and I'm about to have kid four and five. So, yeah, cooking up some babies and I'm do any day now, like any day, any day about to pop. So I've been thinking very carefully all year about how to plan this maternity leave, because the first maternity leave eight years ago was was fine. Maybe at the time it was kind of a hot mess in some aspects looking back, and I've kind of fine-tuned and fine-tuned the business as I've gone to.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, this is what's fascinating for me, because this is my first pregnancy that I'm going through. So I'm 29,. Almost 30 weeks at the time of this recording, I keep losing count on my third child. I don't know if you've experienced that too. Everyone asked. I'm like I don't know, check my app. I have no idea, but this is my first pregnancy that I'm experiencing where I am not a corporate employee, with paid time off, with short-term visibility, with a job to go back to. So I'm really fascinated because you've had all of your children well-being, self-employed, right.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and like really close timing, because my first day of self-employment I remember, because I like hopped on a plane to California. It was September 8th, and then 10 days later my husband turned 30, on the 18th, and he was like, cool, I'm ready to be a dad now I'm a grown-up. And I was like I'm not ready, am I ready, maybe. So I had to think about it to talk me into it and then, just, you know, we decided to go for it and we were pregnant a couple months later. So I was, you know, a couple months into business when I got pregnant and I actually think in hindsight, that worked out for the best, because starting a business is so hard and being a first-time parent is so hard and I've never known them separate, I've only done them together the whole time. So I don't have anything to compare to.

Speaker 2:

So maybe that's an advantage for me. To be honest, that's interesting. I didn't know that. I'm sure even listening to me like oh man, I can't imagine brewing a baby for the first time, becoming a parent for the first time, while making this business happen for the first time. But when you don't know any different, it's just, it is what it is.

Speaker 1:

It's just hard and yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I'm curious how would you say that just experience overall of planning for business while you're recovering with baby. How is that different to like? Fast forward now on babies four and five.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so early on. I mean, my business looked so different almost 10 years ago because I was doing a mix of consulting, you know, where you get paid by the hour or by the day and speaking, which was more like product based, package based, yeah. And I remember I had this one long term project. It was a two year project, which is a major commitment. Like all of my projects are short. It's like I come in and I speak for a day, you know, maybe as big, for two days. That's my typical project nowadays.

Speaker 1:

But I had this two year project and I was like what am I going to do for maternity leave? And I I tried to be really proactive and schedule all the deadlines and deliverables so that I could kind of take time off. And then, because I was being paid hourly or daily, like if I didn't work I didn't get paid. So I just piled up a bunch of money in my savings account, knowing I kind of live off that when I wasn't working, and I just kind of like figured it out as I went and it was, it was okay, it was like good enough.

Speaker 1:

But that's so different from now where I have short term projects on purpose. I can't imagine having a two year commitment with a client right. It would be. I can't do that around pregnancies, I just can't. And because I have online courses now and I've been doing that for about five years, my bank accounts actually going to go up on maternity leave instead of down. So it's I don't know it's different in every aspect, like so much has changed over 10 years, but very purposefully Okay so you mentioned that your business model has evolved a lot.

Speaker 2:

So I want to talk about that for a moment, because I think that is something that, regardless of kids or pregnancy, businesses change over time, and so can you walk a little bit through around how your business model has changed and how you kind of adapted it for different life phases?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I mean I realized early on being committed to one project for two years doesn't make any sense. If I'm also in the like having children stage of life. It was just too stressful. It felt like work, like like hard work to really figure that out, and I know a lot of people who have jobs similar to mine. They'll just hire a like a subcontractor or they'll hire a helper like some other highly skilled person to just jump into the project for a few months while they're out.

Speaker 1:

And I considered that I can't remember why I didn't do it. I don't know, I just like didn't figure that out in time and it was just easier to like schedule deadlines around when I was available or not. But I just remember like, oh, this isn't going to work, I can't do this again. I need to have shorter term projects so that I'm not committed to something. And then, oh, I have to step away for a few months and, like over, communicate to the client about why I'm out. That just was a big mess. So I knew right away like Nope, short term projects are it. And then for a few years I did like a few years later I did practice hiring subcontractors and I had more of an agency model to like people would email me and say, can you do XYZ project for us? And I was at capacity or over capacity so I would hire, like a pest co worker, right like a trusted colleague, to help out in this agency model.

Speaker 1:

But that also kind of didn't work and felt like a lot of work because I was also speaking.

Speaker 1:

So I remember I'd be like standing in the airport on the line ready to board an international flight where I wasn't going to have Wi-Fi for 24 hours because they'd be on the plane and I'd be like scrambling, thumb typing to coordinate with all these subcontractors, like did you send this to this client and I'm trying to upload attachments with the airport Wi-Fi. It was just a mess. So just speaking in person on other continents and doing consulting kind of time and time again the universe taught me that's not going to work. I need to really focus. It probably wasn't until maybe five years into business that I realized like, oh yeah, doing fewer things but better is the way to go, so you free up time and you can do really high quality on all the projects I did. So that's where I've been the past. You know, five ish years is just like only speaking only a few core offerings, like do a few things at a really, really high level, rather than trying to do all the things all scattered all over.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I. One of the things that I've always been really fascinated by with you is your knowing that you don't want to manage a bunch of people and you don't want to build a business in the way that other people say you have to to grow. You're pretty solid around what your goals are and what you want your lifestyle to be around those goals, and you're pretty good at making those decisions. So I didn't know that thing. I didn't know you had agency contractors at some point. So that's fascinating that you tried that. But it's pretty cool. Like, did you? Did you just come from the place of going this is annoying, I don't want to manage this? Or did something else lead you to go? No, screw this. I'm going to simplify.

Speaker 1:

No, it's really that simple. It's like if it feels like work, I say I'm not going to do it. I'm just not going to play that game. There's just no point. And like, you can try all the software programs in the world or try to hire the right person or have the best little communication plans or planning documents with them, but at the end of the day if it's like managing somebody just doesn't feel fun to you, then I just don't do that. I just I just don't. And I do hire help. So one thing I don't think you know is we just got a nanny, like two weeks ago.

Speaker 2:

I've been watching your Instagram stories.

Speaker 1:

Not that I don't have help Like I. I hired help way too late in my business. I should have done it earlier, but it's the type of help I've had has shifted. So you know, I tried the agency model for a few years in there. This doesn't really feel right. It just didn't work with not being available on Wi Fi all the time.

Speaker 1:

And then I don't think when I joined your program, like way back in 2019, that was about five ish years in the business for me. That was the first like actual professional development I ever committed to for myself. I'd like literally spent maybe $20 on a book about consulting. Before that, like that was it. I didn't go to conferences for myself, like I was like way too slow to invest in professional development. So I finally did that. I finally got a VA.

Speaker 1:

About five ish years in. She helped me five hours a week on administrative stuff. I tried that for a few years but just my business shifted. I just kind of eliminated all the stuff she was doing. I ended up purchasing like calendarly to schedule meetings for me. Or I purchased Zappier to connect zoom and teachable and convert kit for me and I just kind of accidentally like eliminated the need for her. I didn't plan to do that, it just kind of happened.

Speaker 1:

But I mean nowadays, like we have a landscaper, we don't mow our lawn anymore. We live in Florida, everybody has pools, so we have a pool service so we don't have to mess with the pool chemicals ourselves. I don't need to do laundry myself anymore. I just don't like. I don't think doing laundry makes me a better mother or a better business owner. So we decided to hire a nanny who is also a private chef, who also worked as a swim coach for three years. So it's just like that makes a lot more sense. She's here like she'll cook us breakfast in the morning while we swim with our kids, and then she makes us lunch while I go to a doctor's appointment and stuff. So it's again. It's not that I don't need help, it's just the type of help that I need has changed a lot, of course.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, okay, I frickin love this conversation around that because so often we we think, as business owners, that help is hiring contractors, or so often I see people throwing money at somebody to post on social media or all these little things that we think we have to do.

Speaker 2:

But what you have done really, really well in that whole project simplify is get clear around where your unique value is, how you can create systems to make those things work and spend your time on the things that are going to make you money and then get help in the other areas so that you can be free for life and for other things I mean let's talk about. Okay, speaking of like free for life, one of the things I have always frickin loved about watching your journey, just in general, of blending life and business, is how much you and your family travel. So let's talk about that. So you mentioned you joined my program back in 2019. I remember when you and I talked about it and we got you enrolled the program, you were getting ready to board a plane and go live in Japan.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, we went all over Asia for about six months.

Speaker 2:

Which was wild, and you had your kids with you. We've done this multiple times, so let's talk about that. Was travel always something that you had planned on with family, with work? Tell me a little bit more about that.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, that's probably the number one reason I decided to be self-employed was because in my 20s I was like instantly burned out. Like corporate life, quarter-life crisis of just thinking, oh my gosh, I only get 10 paid days off a year and I get like five sick days or whatever you get when you start in a company. It's almost nothing. Well, I was used to being a college student where you get the whole summer off and sure, I like worked full time over the summer and I did all the internships. I was like very busy and productive, but just the idea that I had to work like 50 weeks a year, I was just instantly burned out and I knew that didn't work. So I knew, okay, I either have to find some company with like the best benefits package in the world which doesn't exist or I just have to be self-employed. So I have control over my time and I can take like I wanted to take like a three-week vacation.

Speaker 1:

That's all I wanted to do. It wasn't anything like wild I wanted. I just wanted to be able to like go camp for a few weeks or something. So that was like a major, major reason for me leaving the corporate life and getting control over my own schedule. But then when we traveled full time for about a year I don't know if I like planned on that it just kind of had to happen because of the kids.

Speaker 1:

I'll like blame them or give them credit for it. It was just simply like I was traveling all over the world to do on-site workshops, because very few things used to be Zoom, it was mostly in person before the pandemic and I just got really tired of missing my kids. I was just homesick and I wanted to be there to have dinner together and do bath time and do bedtime routines. So my husband and I were like I know what if we just sell all of our belongings and everybody just travels with mommy's job, and then when government agencies or foundations like send me around to different countries to train their people, I just bring the family along. So that's seemed really logical at the time and it seems like crazy now that that's the solution we came up with. But that's why we traveled, because I wanted to early on and then I kind of had to later on.

Speaker 2:

Now your husband. Was he working at the time when you guys made that decision?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and he had like a good job. He worked for the FBI for a decade. I can say that now that he's not there anymore, but he had like a good job where it was a massive decision Should he leave his nice stable job, his healthcare plan, the pension, like all the paid time off, the sick leave? So we thought about that for about a full year, the whole pregnancy with my second baby. I was thinking, okay, if being homesick now sucks, this is going to be even worse when the second kid is born. So we went into kind of planning mode and we're like maybe he should quit his job.

Speaker 1:

Should we travel full time? I don't know, and you know me, I'm a spreadsheet person, right. So I had to like work out the healthcare costs and the pension, giving up costs and all of that. And we decided to go for it because actually I had had a course launch one week where I made his salary within a week and then we were like why is he working? Like there's no point. I mean sure, there's like more benefits of working than just an income, but that was a pretty clear decision maker for us is like, oh, my income is pretty much unlimited but he has like a very set salary job too.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and the time that goes with it, right the freedom and flexibility that you have had for choosing your schedule for traveling where you want. It's just been really, really cool to watch, I am curious, your travels in all of your pregnancies you've traveled in all of your pregnancies Can you talk a little bit about? I got this question the other day on Instagram from someone asking Heather, how are you keeping up your energy showing up and speaking while you're pregnant? Let's talk about hormones galore, so can you share a little bit about what your experience has been around traveling pregnant and showing up for audiences, whether it's virtual or in person? What's that experience like, have been like for you?

Speaker 1:

I think it's not that I don't get nervous anymore because you know how, like a lot of like times when you're getting used to speaking, you get like traditional nerves, like maybe I'd be shaking or my voice would be like wavering a little bit. I don't get that anymore, but I do get an adrenaline rush. I think you'd call it that, I don't know. My body goes into what I can describe as fight or flight mode. Like when I'm speaking and I'm on whether there's 10 people watching me or like several hundred people in a keynote audience watching me my brain and body are like you're on.

Speaker 1:

You're on like every ounce of energy is like just being on during that like hour or day, but then afterwards I totally crash. I'll go back to the hotel room and I'm like sleep 10 hours instead of eight hours or something. So it's not like, oh, you just get this superhero energy. I think your body just knows like don't mess up, there's people staring at you. Like gather all your limited energy and then, like before or after that, you just know like I'm going to have to nap, I'm going to have to regroup, do whatever it is for self care to kind of relax yourself. So it's not like I don't know. You just kind of have to be okay with crashing afterwards when your body shuts down.

Speaker 2:

To be honest, yeah, that's a really beautiful way to put it it's. I noticed that same thing too is the I call it go time, like when it's go time, your body when you have spoken on stages or doing groups and stuff before you know how to perform, your body does it. I didn't notice a difference when I was pregnant, when I was on, but you just use 100% hit the point that it was the time off stage that I noticed my recovery time was different, being more intentional around what I was eating while I was traveling, being aware that I couldn't eat or I would have instant heartburn, so things like that. Like it was, it was the off stage that really took its toll that I had to be more aware of than the on stage time.

Speaker 2:

You did a lot of traveling this year with this twin pregnancy and I know this has been. A carrying twins is like a whole whole land that I know nothing about. But have you noticed, through more pregnancies and more maturity and business, have you noticed anything like shift in this pregnancy and this last leg?

Speaker 1:

I mean, the first trimester with twins is really intense and I'm like so lucky, like pregnancy is generally very easy for me, I don't throw up, I just feel like I might. So I was on the plane. I think I was like 14 weeks pregnant. I was flying to California, from Florida to California, which is like that's a whole, that's a whole day flight, Like that's a whole long, you know multiple stops type of thing. And even though I was 14 weeks along because it's twins, all your first trimester terrible ness, just it lasts longer.

Speaker 1:

I was so sick on the flight Like I was thinking do I need to go to urgent care when I land to like get some IVs? I was just absolutely miserable, like almost in tears, so stressed, just thinking I can't believe I said yes to this project. Why did I think I was going to be okay by 14 weeks? I'm not okay. But of course I'd signed the contract like six months before and I wasn't going to back out of it, like, unless it was like a terrible or something. I wasn't quite there, but I was getting close.

Speaker 1:

So basically the flight was just terrible. Walking through the airport with all the smells, I was like holding my nose because it was so bad. But when I got there, my body, without me trying, just goes you're on now and everything was perfect and I just had a perfect, healthy day. But then I went back to the airport and kind of the adrenaline wears off and my body just crashed again and I just sat in that seat, miserable. So I mean that's just the reality of like first trimester with twins. I mean I did it, but behind the scenes kind of offstage. I was absolutely miserable and terrible yeah.

Speaker 2:

Oh, I'm happy flashbacks of that. So most people don't. I haven't shared this story, but for me, on this pregnancy I can't tell if it's the pregnancy or it's the age 40 at pregnant is just a whole, a whole new land. But I've had I've similar to you. From all three of my pregnancies I have been very I feel sick, but I don't get sick Like it never crossed that line, but I was very nauseous through it. But this pregnancy I was traveling to Phoenix. This was when I was maybe not even a seven weeks pregnant. I was seven weeks pregnant at the time, so it was still really early.

Speaker 2:

We hadn't told anyone and I was traveling an event with my business coach. I was at his event for two days and I was fine. And then the next day I had to get in the car with three other women business owners and we drove to Sedona. Because we were going to it was James Wedmore's. We were doing of the affiliate first program, you know this and we were doing a bunch of content filming in Sedona that weekend. So it was kind of like this ooh, VIP weekend, we get to go home and I want James at his Airbnb. It was going to be really cool.

Speaker 2:

And I woke up that morning to drive to Sedona and I could not stop throwing up. It was like beyond, like absolutely beyond. So I ended up having to tell all the women in the car, two of which were not, they were not parents, they were not at the stage where they were having kids yet, so I completely terrified them from ever having babies of around what I looked like. But the entire way to Sedona and that entire day, including at the crystal shop, at the smoothie shop, at James Wedmore's house, in every single bathroom, it was horrible. It was horrible. But the next day, when we had to be on for content, my body snapped back in and we got a film all day and I got the best film from that trip. But there's the behind the scenes that, like, people don't know about. It's really weird. I hadn't thought about the like being on and your body knowing versus your body going. All right, we're going to recover right now.

Speaker 1:

I feel like this goes full circle to something we were talking about before we started recording, which is like what's the alternative? We just don't work, we just don't ever try to get on stage, you don't ever have a course lunch, you don't like. There's no perfect conditions. I mean, even if we weren't pregnant, I probably would have had COVID again this year. I probably would have had the colds all winter, like they go around. All families, all went, like there would have been something there's you know I got in like a minor car crash last year that could have happened again.

Speaker 1:

Like there's always something to deal with. So I don't know. I just feel like the circumstances are never perfect. There's always a flight delay, there's always internet glitches, like USB drive glitches. There's always something. So, like, what are you going to do? You just I don't know. So hopefully people listening are reassured that glitches happen and just bad things happen and you just keep going. You just go for it, you just do your best.

Speaker 2:

It's the land of. I think one of the things that, okay, one of the many things that you said earlier. But just that choice of going all in in your business around, I'm going to do this, this is going to work. It's kind of your approach to just business in general. Right, it's the whether it's another pregnancy, whether it's something else going on, it's I'm going to make it work. Like this is the life that we choose. When you, I think I'm side tangent. Let me go left here for a second.

Speaker 2:

I think a lot of times where people get stuck in business is when they haven't fully decided that this is the path that they're going to make work. But I think something similar between you and I both when we started our businesses you have a few years ahead of me, but it was never an option that it wasn't going to work. It was the working for myself, never going back to someone else, being my employer, having the flexibility to work when I want, even if it's from bed. That was the choice. That choice was already made. So I don't make that choice ever again. It was just already made. So you just operate in the conditions. So all these other things are just situations that come up.

Speaker 1:

I mean, I still have maybe one day a year when I say this sucks, why did I choose this? I should go get a regular job again, and it's always around taxes. So finally, a few years ago I was like, oh yeah, duh, I can hire an accountant to worry about that.

Speaker 1:

So I hired somebody who I met in your program and it's worth every penny and now I don't have to pay my VA to follow up on invoices. She set me up with an accounting system that automatically follows up, I don't have to worry about taxes and say, oh my gosh, I'm going to go to jail IRS jail if I don't fill out this form right?

Speaker 1:

No, that's what you hire somebody to worry about for you and they just do it right. I can't even worry because it's just normal for their job. So I still do sometimes have those days where I think, oh, what am I doing? Maybe I should go back. Is this worth it? Or if I have a big health care bill, I'm about to have a huge hospital bill. I know I'm going to have a moment when I get that bill of, like gosh, if I had a regular job I'd pay like $2 for this hospital stay and not like the thousands that I'm going to have to pay.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, but that's normal, that's just like everybody I've talked to self-employed just has that kind of roller coaster of emotions and it always goes away and I'm always so grateful. I work for myself and, like you were saying, I kind of have no choice but to make it work, because I'm going to be the sole earner for seven people, like I have to support a family of seven. So I can't just sit there and twiddle my thumbs and be like, oh, I guess I'll just do like a C quality presentation today. It's like, no, I have to do the A plus every time because there's no other choice. There's no other choice. How am I going to put groceries on the table Like I have to do like very good work every single time?

Speaker 2:

And for you no pressure.

Speaker 2:

No pressure and also the quality of your work, as you've simplified your offers and you've simplified the type of workshops you mentioned. You have digital courses. The people that you work with you're booking higher contracts, so the stakes probably feel higher. To perform at your absolute best I mean, we always should perform at our best right, but when you're booking contracts at that level, you do have to perform. So how do you balance that? Just out of curiosity, when, let's say, you do have a really big speaking event or you have a big training event, virtually or in person, and you're not feeling your best or something does go south with someone in your family being sick or things come up right, how have you navigated that over the last couple of years?

Speaker 1:

I've always done my best I could for speaking gigs. I have thrown up during speaking gigs, Absolutely, Because if you speak 50 to 100 times a year in person you get normal sickness and like I'll get a migraine and have to excuse myself to the hallway and I've thrown up in the hallway in the back in. This is terrible to talk about in the podcast.

Speaker 1:

I don't know, I don't know, I just say, oh hey, you know what, let's just take a five minute break, I'll be right back, I disappear, I come back in, I don't say anything. I don't want people to feel bad for me, like I don't want to mess up the dynamic in the room, and I just say, all right, let's just pick up where we were again. And I just keep going yeah, so I've always like brought it for speaking gigs, I don't know. I think, just like, like you were saying, simplifying the offers helps a lot and that's something I knew I had to do this year.

Speaker 1:

When I found out, oh my gosh, not only is it one baby, like it's two babies, which is automatically high risk, it's automatically a million times more appointments, I immediately made on my notebook a to don't list of everything I was going to not do this year, which is I shouldn't say this on your podcast. But I had to cut back on like all my visibility this year. Like in a normal year I would be so proactive, I would seek out all the podcasts, I would seek out all the conferences, I would write a bunch of articles, I would do all the visibility. And this year I was like I can't do any of that. Like I'm speaking with you because it's for fun today, and like what else am I?

Speaker 1:

going to do today? I'm just sitting around a baby watch like working from bed, writing blog posts here and there, but I didn't seek out any other podcasts. This year I guess lectured in one university class. I didn't make any YouTube videos. Normally that would be a priority. I just did blog posts because that's faster than making a whole video. Like I really really cut back so that I would have enough mental energy to just focus on the few client things and few online courses I was doing, which it's so counterintuitive to realize this. But that actually means you make a lot more money. You have a lot more free time when you like really pare down, so you just do a few things at a really high level. You know, like less work but better work has been a perfect solution for me.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, okay, I love that you said. I'm 1000% happy that you said that you've cut back on your visibility, because I think people need to hear that message. So there are seasons where you do have to cut back. I did a podcast episode this spring where I talked about how I was in a season of being lazy what audience didn't know at the time it was. I was very newly pregnant and I had to. So very similar things. But I similar this last. What six months is?

Speaker 2:

I always giggle of people like, oh my gosh, you're on all the time. How are you doing so much? And I laugh because I'm like I'm not actually doing a lot. I do not work very many hours a day, like and I don't want people to think that I do, because I don't want to build up this false thing that you need to be working 90 hours a week as an entrepreneur. This week I probably am because we're in launch mode and I'm hustling, but all like other weeks, hell, no, I'm in bed, I'm hanging out like I'm going on walks of the morning. I'm not starting work until 10 or 11. I sometimes we really have to dial it back because that's the season we're in, whether you're pregnant or not, we all need to go through those cycles. I think we need to normalize that.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I mean, I think I had one weekend I had to work. I had, like I had to work like a full Sunday in the spring, and the whole time I was thinking how embarrassing, like I was so embarrassed for myself because I hadn't managed my time well, and I thought at this stage in business like, oh, why am I managing my time so poorly that I have to like work past three or four o'clock? Or if I have to wake up early and it's just not necessary to run a good business or a profitable business to work all that time. And, if anything, I think it hurts your business too and it definitely hurts your mental health and physical health in the long run to work that much. So, yeah, I don't know, and I used to live and work in downtown DC, so the hustle culture is like in me in grained, and I've had to unlearn that slowly over the years. I think I'm officially there, though, but it takes a while to make that shift.

Speaker 2:

Well, let's talk about the opposite of that, because it's one of the pieces we talked about here, like have the hint of hustle, have those seasons where you're in it. I find launches, speaking gigs, there's like certain things that I'm like going in all the way, but then I'm really good at resting and that's something that you do really, really well, although I would argue, I mean, your version of resting is like walking around Disney World for a million hours with your kids seven days in a row. So we have very different ideas of what rest is. But tell us a little bit about when you're not working, what? How are you spending your time? How do you make that a priority consistently, without feel like, without feeling like you're cheating your business?

Speaker 1:

Well, I don't think any of us can be on every single day, or even consistently, and that was a big problem I had with the corporate. Life was like if I had a migraine and needed to just go into work a couple hours late, I couldn't like I still had to be there, but then I was only working kind of like halfway and that always felt terrible to me to know I wasn't giving my best. I just wanted to like give my best, but it's physically impossible to do that eight hours a day. So it just I always felt like off about that. It just never fit to have to be like expected to work a consistent amount every single day. That's the beauty of self employment is like with some practice, with some time, you can schedule your work to match your own energy levels, which is nice.

Speaker 1:

And for me I can't be on all year round. I do best taking the summers off. This is my third year in a row Now I've taken the summer off. So the first two summers we did how long do my kids have off school? 13 weeks or something in the summer, which is like a pretty good summer break. So we took a two month camping road trip.

Speaker 1:

We just I wish to me sounds really easy. It's like oh, I'm not on zoom, leading workshops and sort of 100 people, I'm just like tent camping for eight weeks straight in the middle of nowhere with like no internet or coffee maker or anything. But for me that's super fun, like I love doing that. This year we took we are going to take two months to go to Europe but because of my pregnancy I couldn't miss all the high risk doctors appointments and ultrasounds, so I could only really be away from the doctor for like a month. It's kind of what they like unofficially approved me for, but we still did a month off and then I did like all the staycation time to Disney and Universal and see, these are just like normal Orlando things though every Orlando mom does all the Disney stuff all the time. But I think this you know it took years to figure out, but that seems to be the right balance for me is like hustle in the spring and fall and then don't do any work or any deadlines all summer long.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I love, I love that schedule. My work, work free summer is totally my ideal. That's always been my plan and I've been doing pretty good on it until this year when we found out we were pregnant. Or I'm pregnant, it's not a. We think my husband is not pregnant.

Speaker 1:

I hate it with the thing, I don't think the whole household.

Speaker 2:

But when I found that out I'm like, oh man, I have like a time we have a ticking time bomb window of right. Generating revenue to sustain leave like that is a very real thing that we have to be planning for as self employed. But one of the things that I I love you mentioned this earlier your creation of a to don't list, like that is. It's a very simple concept but it's something that I see when you talk about simplifying, this has been a guide for you. Can you talk about some of the things that you have on that list, because I was peeking at it earlier because he shared it with me and it's fascinating and I feel like people need to hear this like granular level of the types of things that you say no to to allow you to have this kind of free time.

Speaker 1:

Well, in a normal year I would seek out conferences in my industry and I would try to do one a month.

Speaker 1:

I would try to do like and that's not like in person flying to a conference, because so many things are virtual nowadays but that's a lot of intentional work behind the scenes to. It's not like oh and one hour and two or three or four or five or six or seven or eight hours a day. It doesn't conferences. It means like submitting your proposal and you have to get accepted and you have to like send in your bio and headshot and do the practice like. It's a lot of work to do that and even though those aren't paid in the moment I mean, obviously you know about visibility better than anybody those absolutely grow your business over the next couple months, next couple years. So saying no to that is not a long term solution. But it was like a in a normal year I would be invited to guest lecture in undergrad and grad courses, which sometimes pay like 200 bucks or 500 bucks but are usually free, and you do it for like the visibility or you do it because, oh, I can turn that talk I developed into a blog post later and maybe that'll turn into a workshop later or something like. It's really good speaking practice. I did one of those, but I'd already committed to it last year, so that's why I had the one. And then I only did one free talk for a company this year, but it was such a big name company I just couldn't say no, I'm selling 700 people. It was just a 30 minute talk, so I did one of those. I did like break my own rule, but when, when I don't know. When you get good emails in your inbox, sometimes you can't fully say no, you're like this one's really juicy. But I still drastically cut down on all the visibility that I did. I didn't do YouTube videos, just one. So I don't know. I'm not perfect following my own advice.

Speaker 1:

What else did I not do? I have a sh? It list of bad projects that I just can't. There's just there's a few companies and names on that list that I've just been burned and I just can't work with them anymore. So you know, there's just a couple people where I like I have to find them another consultant to work with because I'm not the right person anymore. I've had that for years, though, so that's not new this year. What else did I not do. I didn't travel much. I'm fascinated that you see my life through Insta stories as me traveling a lot, but I used to travel every week, so I maybe traveled I don't know five, maybe 10 times this year. That's not a lot for me. That's like nothing for me. I did a lot more virtual work.

Speaker 2:

It is fascinating, though that really brings up and like cameras down the point that a lot of times we build up our perceptions around other people's lives through the highlight reel, as we all know and we it's not you don't see the whole picture, you don't see the whole business, you don't see the whole schedule for the day, the week, the month. So that's why I'm loving this conversation, because we're sharing a little bit more of the behind the scenes and whether or not it's about pregnancy, like we're actually not even talking about that a lot, which I'm okay with but it's the the dynamics of building a business that you actually enjoy and want to keep showing up for, but it's so that you have the kind of life that you want to have, which is the whole point around what we're all doing this. So one of the things on your to don't list that I thought was interesting it was very specific and that's why it caught my eye is you said you no longer offer fast action bonuses. Tell me about that, yeah.

Speaker 1:

I was debating whether to say this aloud. I used to have things for my online courses where the first 10 people to sign up you'd get like a one to one consultation. Or the first 25 people to sign up I'd send you a swag bag with like t-shirts and stickers in the mail. And I stopped swag bags this year because I don't have time to like look through people's t-shirt size orders, send in the order, get them delivered to my house, pick out all the little stickers, print out cute little letters, and then what I would end up doing is hiring like a high schooler down the street to assemble all of them for a couple hours. And nobody was signing up because of the swag bags. Like by the time I'd even send out the social media post or newsletter saying, hey, and if you sign up the first 25 people, you get a swag bag. We already had like 30 people sign up, so like nobody was signing up because of the fast action bonus anyway so.

Speaker 1:

I just made my swag shop public, so if people want like a t-shirt that says data viz on it, you can just get that anyway. Yeah, I just had to drop that because it would take about a full working day times four different course launches. So I saved myself four days of work throughout the year of doing something that I don't think anybody cared about to begin with.

Speaker 2:

It's so fascinating is that evaluation of around what time is it really truly going to take? That I do think when you're under a deadline, especially a deadline of you're creating a human and there will be a deadline where you physically have to stop, it really forces you to say, all right, why am I doing this and what's the what's the value of this for my clients or for myself? I think it's fascinating. I the fast action bonus thing jumped out for me because we this was literally a fresh discussion I was having with my team over the last couple weeks preparing for our launch.

Speaker 2:

By the time this episode comes out, the launch is over, but I'm in it right now while we're recording this, and I normally don't do or haven't done in the last couple of years fax action bonuses because I'm not a huge fan of them, similar to you, the people who are going to buy first or the people who are going to buy first, but around this launch, we decided we were going to do them, but all the ideas we kept coming up with, the filter for my team was or to my team was it cannot require my time, like it cannot require my time. So we found, we found a way to have. I actually had somebody else coming in to perform something like super juicy, so that was good. I did one thing that was going to be worth my time, but it was. It was going to be also valuable for the program, but it's just. It's just a conversation that I think we always can come up with ideas that take our time, but I think it's harder to say like no to those things when they're not necessary. Yep, yeah.

Speaker 2:

There's just like so many interesting things in businesses around that we just do because we think we need to do it. Talk to me about your digital courses, kind of the shift into those, because I know you've had digital courses for a while but your your bread and butter for your business has always been like you're speaking and your your service based contracts and you're really been getting into courses and you're kind of like a low key but baller in the digital core space. You do these launches that I had no idea that you had like such a successful course launching business since tell you started like just randomly sharing it as a win a couple years ago inside our group. But talk a little bit about that shift.

Speaker 1:

I am in the top 1% of teachable creators, which is nice. The top top person makes like 20 million a year. I'm not making 20 million a year of courses, but I could absolutely support my family of seven just on courses working I don't know, a half day a week to record. And then now I have to update all the old courses, which is just ongoing, ongoing, ongoing. I wish I could sound intentional, like I went to a retreat and got this idea or I knew is going to be great for my business. It was literally like one of my friends, chris, said hey, have you heard of this thing called teachable? And this was like 2015 or 16, when it was brand new and nobody had course platforms. And I was like, nope, and he's like you like teaching, why don't you teach online? And I was like, yeah, maybe, and I just didn't think about it. And then I think in 2018, I maybe had like one day where I didn't have any meetings or deadlines. I was waiting for that like perfect empty week to open up, which never happens. Everybody always wants to wait for free time to make a course. I had like an afternoon and I said, oh, maybe I'll do this like free teachable course or something like. That was like literally all the thought I put into it. It was just like a spur of the moment decision and I took seven existing YouTube videos I already had I didn't even make any new content and I uploaded them to teachable and I called it a course and I made it available for free and then, like thousands of people signed up for it and then I thought, oh, this one's promising, I think I'll make another one.

Speaker 1:

And then I think, my first course launch. I had like a thousand people on my mailing list, which is not not a lot. Some of my friends are like 50,000, 100,000 people on their mailing list. I had maybe a thousand and I made I think like $40,000 and I just thought that was normal. But apparently that's not normal in the course world to send like three or four emails and like actually have a course launch. But then everybody was like that's really impressive and I thought, great, maybe I'll make another course. It was just like very, like, very simple and very organic. But now I think this is my sixth year of doing courses, so I know what I'm doing now and it's much more intentional. But I really just started because I liked teaching and somebody said hey, you can do this online too. And I was like that sounds like a plan, it makes money. Okay, cool, like win-win for everybody.

Speaker 2:

How has the having more of the products in your business, the courses, how has that shifted? How you're able to spend time with your family and prepare for this now, next round of maternity leave.

Speaker 1:

I mean, night and day, you always hear in the entrepreneurial spaces about passive income and like, go make passive income, I'm going to teach you how to make passive income, sign up for my course and I'll teach you about passive income, and I always kind of thought that was stupid. Like passive income just means is you still do work. It just means you do it like beforehand or afterwards. You're just not doing it like per hour. It's just a different use of time and a different pay schedule, I guess. But now that I'm six years in and I'm no longer creating new courses, I'm just refining my existing ones, I'm like, oh, I think I finally reached the stage that everybody's talking about, because I mean it means that like right now, this week, I'm in the middle of a course launch.

Speaker 1:

I do one every every three months. So for a year I just cycle through all my courses and just kind of offer them in a row, in a row, and I'd already recorded all the content for these courses years ago and I've rerecorded it. So I just get to like sit back with my pre scheduled social media images, my pre scheduled emails that I did in August and now just get paid for the course, which I think feels normal now, because I've done it so many times I don't know. But then when I talk about people are like you, you made like how many thousands of dollars doing nothing. Like, well, I did the work, I just did it in the past, I'm just getting paid for it again now. Yeah, it's very normal to me at this point, I think.

Speaker 2:

Well, it is normal. It's the idea of like. It's the whole analogy of like the seeds you sow now, the harvest pays off later. Does it mean that you only do it one time? You're actively like, you're updating some of those emails. There's a launch component to it, but it's just working in a different way.

Speaker 2:

I think what I think some of the challenge for business owners especially if you're listening right now, if you're in, like the early phase of creation I think it's what you're pointing out, ian is the expectation to have passive income when you're still in build mode is a little delusional, and that's where I think people start giving up or going like I have to switch strategies or all those things.

Speaker 2:

But what you've did really well is the fact that you were blissfully unaware of what you were building Like. You knew what you were creating right, but that you were building this empire of digital courses and you had no idea. There's kind of a beautiful thing in that, because I think patience is something that entrepreneurs suck at. We want the instant payoff, we want it to be easy, we want to have that whole suite of all these products, but it just doesn't really work that way of having the patience and doing the learning to figure out the business model and figure out the lessons. It takes time and it's really cool watching you now benefit from all the hard work that you did in your first six years and even the last four, right. But it's really beautiful to see because so often we hear stories of people who, like, had a fluke success early and then they're trying to recreate that every fricking year.

Speaker 1:

It's just such a long game and I think a lot of people get into self employment and they've you know, you maybe hear stories of somebody making however many millions of dollars, or they go to Europe for a couple months, or like they hear people like me, but I'm in year 10. I'm in year 10. Like I had normal years at the beginning. I mean I replaced my old salary job Like I did that. So it's like still doing fine, but it's just been like the little 1% incremental changes that I've made. Yeah, I'm just that I've stuck with it for 10 years because, like we've talked about, I have no other option.

Speaker 1:

I'm not going back to the salaried world, like absolutely not being in the data space. I don't even think I said what I do for a living. I do like data stuff. So I get emails from all the like San Francisco companies saying hey, we're looking for like a director of analytics, will you apply, are you? Here's the salary. It's like a nice big salary and sometimes I just I'll just respond to be like I'm sorry, like I'm not, I'm just not interested in working like a regular job again, like I'm sure your job is great, I'm sure your company is wonderful, but like it's just like this not going to work, there's no amount you could pay me and also what they pay me would never compare to self employment pay either. So I don't know. I think a lot of people get frustrated early on and they expect instant success. But everybody who's successful now it's because we probably had some like meh years early on and we just kept going yeah.

Speaker 2:

I, you know even someone. So I'm five years in, right, and I, I mean, I have a great business, I love my business, I still have big goals on that, but I'm five years in and it, it, it makes me feel so reassured of you just saying that, look, I'm 10 years in. I think there's this expectation that we should be at a certain point by now, whatever fricking arbitrary measurement that is, but it's, it takes time and it's like there's no race, there's no rush, just slow the F down. And folk like this the theme of simplification today, of really getting good at a couple of things and say no to the distractions that it was a great reminder for me right now. So I know for those listening they're like all right, you say it's simple. I don't know that I believe you yet, but I'm going to. I'm going to go and try.

Speaker 1:

I mean I had guilt for years of, oh my gosh, I haven't written a book and in my data space, like everybody's written a book. People write a book in like while they're still in their salary job or their first year or two of self employment and their book is like their business card or their big stamp of credibility, like it's very normal to write books in my space. I'm 10 years in and haven't done that and I'm definitely getting the vibes from like all my data friends, like why haven't you done this yet? And I say because it doesn't pay any money, it doesn't, it doesn't. Maybe you make, like I don't know $100,000, but like in the in the space I'm in, it's like that's a course launch Like I don't know, it just doesn't, and to spend a year working on it.

Speaker 1:

So I'm going to write a book eventually but like maybe I need five more years before I have the free time to do that and I'm probably going to be working for decades to come. If I do this right and enjoy my job and keep evolving and shifting so that I have work that's like very intellectually stimulating for me and helpful to the community I'm in, like I'm probably going to be working a long time, so kind of, what's the hurry? At the same time, am I going to wake up at 5am to like write a book? Not right now, not what I'm about to have twins Like there's. There's just no way that that's going to fit in this chapter of life anytime soon.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I love one of the measurements that I hear you see all the time. But but will it be fun? If it's not, I'm not interested. Like you have some kind of version of that of always just saying this is fun, this is going to feel good, this is something that I want to do, and I think somebody might hear that and be like, well, that must be nice or oh, that's great. But going off of that measure really helps you choose the things that actually light you up and make you feel excited, not drained. That's why business isn't draining and it's more fueling, because you're working on things that you actually want to work on and enjoy.

Speaker 1:

I mean the fancy way of saying it is. Zone of genius is what all the business coaches talk about and they say work in your zone of genius, work in your zone of genius. And it. Just what that means in an operational sense is like if you're good at it and you enjoy it and it feels like it just flows, you get in the flow state. That's what you should be doing. Like it's really that easy. When do you not look at the clock? When are you like oh, that's something I want to do because it's Saturday afternoon and I love it.

Speaker 1:

For me, that's blogging and teaching about data. Like that's why I was able to get started in this career. Because I did blogs and YouTube videos for fun. Like it was my hobby that then turned into a career. Managing a VA felt like work to me. For other people that's probably really easy for them, but for me it was just. I was like wasn't naturally good at it. I just didn't feel right and I just, after a while, it's like I'm just not going to do that anymore. Like why bother? It's just not something I'm great at.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think that's a really good guide to listen to. Okay, as we start wrapping up this episode, so you don't go into labor while we're on camera. Two things, so one I giggle because, no, we didn't talk about your actual business or area of expertise. Well, at some point we'll talk about that, but I actually loved where we went with our conversation today. It was everything that I didn't even realize that I needed to have at this phase in my pregnancy. So, thank you. Where can people follow you and just reconnect with your story and connect with you as a peer business owner? What's the best place?

Speaker 1:

As a peer business owner, I share a lot on Insta stories. So if you just look up Ann K Emory on Instagram, you'll find me right away and then work. Ann is on LinkedIn and those are similar but different personalities so I think people from the podcast might enjoy following both Like on LinkedIn. I'm not pregnant. I mean I have pictures in my pregnant belly, but I've been pregnant many times so people don't know. There's like recent pictures, but on Instagram it's like me at the doctor's office.

Speaker 1:

My blood pressure measurements I have to take twice a day. It's a little bit different versions, I think people might enjoy seeing like public Ann, versus behind the scenes Ann.

Speaker 2:

I'm laughing because I just realized that I actually don't follow you professionally anywhere. I only follow Instagram and and obviously I learned your business updates through our that are speaking community. So now I'm going to have to go see what this alter ego of buttoned up professional Ann is.

Speaker 1:

I mean, I have like a newsletter and a website and all those things, but that's like that's about data and I think that's a really great example of how you can share these topics that we're talking about.

Speaker 2:

I love. I love though I wasn't even meaning to go here, but I love that you just gave permission I oftentimes get questions from people around when it comes to visibility. Do I have to share everything about my life? And you're a really great example of how you have an Instagram account and you treat it like a personal brand. But that's not your business. It's.

Speaker 2:

You talk about business. You talk about how your business is working, but your business is. You have, under a business name, personas there. They work together, as you said, but they're you're able to play and share, and I think that's really valuable because a lot of times we see people over sharing all of the pieces online and you don't have to do that to have a successful online business, and I think you model that really well. Party word. So for someone listening whether or not they're exploring pregnancy or in a phase of raising kids, maybe they're in a phase in their business where they're trying to make some changes to make their business model works for them and have their business like, evolve with them Any just kind of parting thoughts or advice for anyone listening to run how to stick with it.

Speaker 1:

I would just say no, you're going to have bad days. No, you're going to have days when you second guess all your life decisions. Those thoughts usually go away If they don't. What's the worst that happens? You go back to a regular job Like that's not so bad, there's plenty of great jobs out there. A lot of people go back and forth and back and forth throughout their careers. And then probably the second thing I'd say is, if you're early on, absolutely try all the things. Try all the services and products and different types of clients, and try B2C. Try all those things and dabble for a few years. But after a few years it's really time to start streamlining and only doing the things you're best at and really narrow down your offerings so you can do them well, and that shouldn't take till like year five or 10. It's like year two, three, four that you should really be pairing down and doing one thing at an elite level.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that is exceptional, exceptional advice. If you just skimmed right over that, just hit the 30 second back button and listen to that again, because the timeline and the intention behind that is gold. Coming from someone 10 years in, I support that at five years in, that is just huge and thank you so much. I know it took a lot of energy for you today to decide to get dressed and ready at this stage of pregnancy. Me too, I'm just so grateful. When I reached out to you last week saying, hey, I have a random idea to talk about pregnancy and business and launching and all just random things, are you game? I thought that this would not happen. I'm like she's going to go into labor and we won't be able to have this conversation until February. So I'm just I'm so grateful for you.

Speaker 1:

I'm grateful I'm still pregnant and just cooking the babies a couple days longer. So it just it wasn't planned, it just worked out like this. I'm glad it worked out.

Speaker 2:

That was beautiful. All right, go take care of those babies where we should do all the best luck. We're excited to follow along on Instagram stories. Don't take us to the delivery room. Keep something secret. All right, friends, we'll see you again next week. Thanks for listening to another episode of the hint of hustle podcast. If you're in the season of hustle, consider this the permission slip. You didn't need to take a beat. Go on a walk stretch. Call a friend. Go reheat that coffee for the fourth time and actually drink it, because those big dreams you're chasing, they require the best version of you. And if those goals include expanding your audience, establishing your industry credibility and selling your premium price programs, the best way to tackle this is through speaking. Your voice is your best brand asset and we'll teach you how to use it as a marketing tool. Head on over to the speakercocom forward slash, start, and I'll see you there.

Self-Employed Pregnancy and Maternity Leave
Navigating Business and Pregnancy
Transition to Short-Term Projects and Simplify Business Operations
Travel and Work Independently
The Challenges of Performing and Recovering
Balancing Work and Rest in Self-Employment
Simplifying Business and Avoiding Time-Wasting Activities
Shift to Digital Courses
Balancing Personal and Professional Brand
Using Your Voice for Marketing Success