Survive Summer as a WAHM (work at home mom)

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Warning: this post is for the mamas.

However, if you need help really tackling your time...read up!

Summer is here and your amazing babes are home with you. You have it all planned out, you will wake up at 5 A.M. and work before they wake up. By 8 A.M. you will have breakfast on the table for them. Some morning quality time before you start back at 10 am. You planned activities to keep them entertained until lunch time.

Your babes have another plan which deviates fully from your plan. You end up apologizing to your clients for the loud outbursts that keep coming through your end of Skype. If you have more than one child you may have to break a few disagreements up that only the honorable judge Mama has the ability to settle.

And all of this occurred day 1 before lunch.

Welcome to the summer...solopreneur stay at home mama edition.

Summer camp, sitters & nannies make this thing work smoothly. Believe me when I tell you. Even if just for a few hours a day. You quickly learn to maximize how much you can get done in two hours. Honestly, most of our days are transitioning from one thing to the next. So when you alleviate transitions and just get it done...you activate your productivity super power.

First thing first: Life happens. There will be dramaticals (kid induced dramatic situations that really aren’t that serious)! You will be annoyed, they will be annoyed. Hug it out and (or) have a water balloon fight.

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For my service provider mamas: first thing you need to do is decide how many client hours you are offering over the summer and what your active office hours.

I have a client, whom we'll call Dani. This is her first summer working full time in her growing business. Dani has two daughters aged 3 years old and 6 years old. Her partner works outside the home and is usually home by 6 pm.

Dani set her office hours to 10am-2pm Tuesday through Thursday. These are the times she meets with clients and is available for clients. Monday's and Thursday's she offers evening hours on a case by case basis. Dani decided based on her current retainer clients, projects, and summer vacations she would take on 4 additional clients for the summer. How many clients are you able to take on? 

Plan your schedule with your babes if they are old enough to contribute.

Where do they want to go during the day?

What do they want to learn? (Learning is year round. Make it fun. Have themes.) 

Libraries have awesome summer programs for kids of all ages. 

Keep an area/drawer full of activities for them to entertain themselves with during your office hours.

Enroll your babes in activities. These activities usually have a set time & you can bring your laptop & work on the go.

Establish lunch and snack times. Hangry (hungry + angry) mini humans are no bueno for business.

You are solopreneur extraordinaire and summer camp leader. Children love structure and order, despite the word "no" being a fave of theirs.

Just like camp there are schedules that are followed. Another schedule, Kimber? I'm already busy.

I know most creatives despise schedules. However, this takes 30 minutes at most, done once, and guess what? You will then have a summer full of good times with your babes & a thriving biz.

Here's a sample of the camp Dani & I devised:

Monday’s are transitional. Getting in the groove from the weekend and getting the crack down on biz. ½ the day is fun and the other ½ is business. Administrative work is fit in around active child activities. Pinterest has summer  activities for kids, older kids and teens.

Friday are free days. Which means go outside and enjoy the sunshine.

Tuesday through Thursday:

7am -10am quality time w/ babes (breakfast, cuddles, play & talks, reminder of office hours)

10-12 client time

12-12:30 lunch

12:30-2 client time

2pm on is flexible

Client time is usually free time for the babes to play and have individual enrichment time.

Pick two days out the month (weekends are perfect) to batch content (blog posts, podcasts, videos, social media images).  

There will be days after your client hours when you just aren’t able to get your administrative work done. Acknowledge that now.

I

T

I

S

O

K

A

Y

!

Yes, it is okay.

Your business is not going to fall apart, you are just going to have to move things around. The recommended advice is “work when your children are asleep.” Being a realistic mama of three, sometimes when they are sleep, I want to be asleep too. So times when I normally "chill," are converted to work times.

When your children are awake outside of office hours, be present with them. They will always be your best consumers.

Chic Tips to Mastery this summer:

  1. Turn off your Email alerts. Use Inbox Pause to pause your email. You check your email too much. You really do. If you check your email more than thrice (2-3 times) a day, that’s too much. Unless President Obama is emailing you. Pause it, so you won’t even be tempted to check and respond.

  2. Use Streak & Boomerang to manage your inbox.

  3. Delegate tasks. If you think outsourcing and hiring contractors is expensive, stay up for 24 hours being super mom and solopreneur. Delegate household tasks too (chores & cooking to your huni or older babes).

  4. Get organized. Use Evernote & Asana to manage your biz on the go. 

  5. Review your schedule the night before & the morning of.

  6. Stick to the boundaries you set- work hours or work space. This gives you the freedom to concentrate fully on the tasks at hand - work or play.

  7. Get your rest. 7-8 hours non negotiable. You are of no service to your clients or children burned out.

  8. Self-care needs to be scheduled in. Click here for self-care ideas.

  9. Brain dump a minimum of once a week or whenever you start to feel overwhelmed.

  10. Identify time wasters. Write them on post-it notes and place around your computer to remind you NOT to waste time. (Facebook is mine. I use StayFocused to block certain sites & track my time.)

  11. Make friends with Zappier & IFTTT




Set it up, move on, and get clients while you shop!

The number two reason why people never set up systems is because they don’t have time. The irony in that- systems provide more time.

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The number one reason why people never set up systems is because they are cool with the chaos.

Today is a new day!

I don’t want you to get caught up in reason one or reason two. Deal? Deal!

Every week if you set aside 30 minutes to set up one system. By the end of the month you would have used two hours total to  free yourself an hour each week going forward. So 2 hours can provide you with 52 hours.

Do you really not have time for that type of return on time?

Streamlining your business can be stressful and boring, but so is grocery shopping. Some things we just have to do until we don’t have to do them anymore.

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The day grocery delivery is available in my area - I am signing up! Part of automating and systemizing your business is first assessing the things you don’t like to do and don’t do that well. This way you stay in your lane of genius much more.

One thing most chic + savvy solopreneurs don’t like doing is constantly repeating herself:

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

Instead of answering the same questions over and over and OVER again in your email, create a thorough FAQ PDF and send it to your prospects in your welcome auto-responder. If the prospect doesn’t know how amazing you are yet and isn’t on your email list. Create a canned response in your email to send them the FAQ PDF. Do it once and you’re done. It may take you 15-30 minutes to create. However, that’s a one time investment of 15-30 minutes. Don’t want to create a FAQ PDF? Add a FAQ page to your website. Send the prospect your link.

Another thing is worrying about the money:

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FINANCIAL

Use Freshbooks to get your financial system organized. Once your account is set up, Freshbooks will do the work for you.

Once a week you should set aside time to review the financial systems in your business. There are many aspects to this system. However, having a service to track and keep it organized is a great start.

Chic + Savvy Solopreneurs have big visions and respect their time. Hence, scheduling is a BIG system.

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SCHEDULING

Emailing or messaging on social networks to schedule is a BIG waste of time. You know your schedule better than anyone. Enter into google calendar and sign up for Acuity Scheduling. Acuity links with google calendar and allows you to set your availability for your clients. You can also link your paypal account and have your clients to pay and schedule their sessions at the same time.

I’ll be doing a review of three schedulers next week, so stay tuned, if you haven’t found one that you adore yet.

Once you set these systems up, move on, and go do what you please. Maybe it’s shopping with your bestie mid day on Friday. Or taking a nap before your spa day because you want to be WELL rested before pampering. Or reading to at-risk youth before a lunch date. Whatever you decide, you can do it in peace without checking your email to see if you need to complete a biz process.

Are you ready to organize the chaos in your business? Let me help you automate your biz, maximize your time and profits!


What do you do every day? Assess your schedule

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What do you do every day? From the moment you wake up *hums I woke up like this*

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To the minute you fall graciously asleep. What are you doing?

About a year ago I became very intentional about my time. I was already intentional about my living but had just connected the dots that I wasted a lot of time doing NOTHING. I was busy being busy.

I did an assessment of my days and times. I've since helped hundreds of women to take the same assessments. On average my day starts at 6 am and ends at 11 pm. 

Below is a sample of a typical week for me: I do an overview then enter it into google calendar. Click on the image to see it in action. Save yourself a copy. 

Assessment of your time: 

  1. What time does your day start?

  2. What is your morning routine? Does it include personal time aside from hygiene and getting ready for the day? Do you eat breakfast? Do you cook it? Is it ready made? Are you drinking water? Tea? Coffee? Juice? Do you have babes you need to get ready? Do you drive them to school? Sitter? Daycare? Do you wait for them to get on bus? Etc.

  3. When do you work best? Don't work 9-whatever end time just because you think everyone else is.

  4. what time do you eat lunch? [SN: you need to eat at least 6 times a day]

  5. On what days do you work in your business and what days do you work on your business?

  6. What are your office hours?

  7. Client hours? Content creation hours? Biz development hours? Networking hours?

  8. Do you cook dinner each night?  

  9. Do you go grocery shopping?

  10. Of course you have to block off time for Scandal.

  11. Which days are reserved for dates (kiddie dates, lunch dates, and romantic dates with your honey)?

  12. When do you workout?

  13. When do you shop offline?

3 Chic tips to system mastery

1. Assess your current schedule. Use this PDF to help you.

2. Create a schedule template here. [save a copy to your google drive]

Transfer to google calendar once completed.

3. Honor & respect your time to ensure that others respect your time also.

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