Episode #127: Work smarter, play harder this summer

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It’s almost that time of the year.  

The most enjoyable, yet *sometimes* the most stressful time of the year.

Memorial Day has come and gone, June is now here, and summer break is on the horizon.

For me, I have about 4 weeks until Camden is home all summer so I am in serious summer prep mode.  

I’ll never forget my first summer in full-time entrepreneurship.  Camden was 2, we had just moved 4 hours away from our family, had no support system in our new city, and it was ROUGH.  My business was barely limping along as it is, and then throw in an energetic 2 year old and shew, it was a recipe for disaster.

And so if you’re seeing the impending summer break as an impending doom, this episode is totally for you.

This summer I’m going to have 16 month Nora and 5 year old Camden home with me full-time and so I want to share with you how I’m still going to be serving my Legacy Mastermind clients, creating amazing content for my membership site and simultaneously scaling, The Lead Generation Lab, AND still have time for the podcast, serving my Facebook community, and doing #allthethings businesses, WHILE also having a life and enjoying the heck out of my family time.

The most important thing for the success of the summer is boundaries.  

I’m a big people pleaser (I am an enneagram 9 after all) and so for me it’s a matter of not getting derailed by outside circumstances and forces.  When it's time for me to work, it’s time for me to work. When it’s time for me to play, it’s time for me to play. I do not do one while doing the other, that doesn’t work and it’s a fast track to frustration, burnout, and resentment.

So today I want to share with you what I’m doing to work smarter, not harder this summer.  Now I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, our businesses are not cookie cutters. What works for me may not work for you, and vice versa.  That’s that’s ok! But why I’m sharing this with you is to help you to see what you could do to help set you up for success this summer while wrangling those amazing kids of yours AND still building your business.  

First, I hired a babysitter.  

And ALL the praise hands for this one!  We haven’t hired anyone to help with Nora yet….and she’s 16 months. I’m super proud that Teer (the hubs) and I, and our tiny village, have been the primary caregivers for her for the first 16 months of her life.  But now it’s time.

I’m going to have the babysitter come over from 9:00 - 1:00 two times a week.  So 8 hours a week. Now Nora will be napping for the first two hours of that, so those first two hours are reserved for Camden.  The babysitter and him are going to play outside, go down to the park near our house, go explore our neighborhood, whatever really to keep him entertained and getting some of his never-ending 5 year old boy energy out.  When Nora wakes up, it’s Nora AND Camden time, and so their play time will change based on Nora’s needs during that time. During these four hours this is when I’m going to be recording videos, doing podcast episodes, and coaching calls.  This is my active work time that requires me to be in my office.

In the afternoons from about 2:00 - 4:00 in our house we have quiet time.  Camden is a go, go, go kind of boy but that’s not sustainable for an entire day with him.  He will crash and that crash isn’t fun for anyone. So it’s imperative that for an hour or two that he actually rest.  I have no problem turning on a movie for him, making him a healthy snack, and letting him veg out for about two hours every afternoon, it sets us up for a happier evening.  So during this time it’ll be time for me to work on the back end systems in my business. And I’m going to talk about that in a little bit. But things like Facebook Ads, tweaking funnels, content planning and creation, marketing implementation, things like that that don’t require me to be live or record anything.  

Teer is also off on Mondays so it’s a good time for him to get some good quality time in with the kiddos, but also a great opportunity for all of us to get some good, quality time in as a family. So I plan on working about 2 hours on Mondays while Nora naps.  And my mom comes down every other Friday to spend time with her grandkids. So I plan on working about 2 hours in the afternoon while her and Camden get some quality time in.

So my work week, between the babysitter, Teer, and my mom, will be between 15-20 hours.  Right now it’s between 20-30 hours, so now I want to chat a bit more about what this cut in hours will look like.

So let’s talk a bit about those back-end systems.  Here’s my philosophy on this:

Your business should have some sort of mechanism to build your business FOR you, while you’re actually living your life.  It’s the entire premise of the Lead Generation Lab because it’s a HUGE value for me and for my clients. Your business should serve YOU, not you serve it.  

Having automation implemented is imperative here.

And if you don’t have automation just yet, it’s key to your growing your business so you really need to dive into it.  Your sanity depends on it!

Now automation looks different for everyone, but here is what it looks like for me:

Facebook and Instagram Ads for a freebie, that freebie is hooked to an email sequence that develops the know, like, and trust factor AND also pitches them a paid program like the Lead Generation Lab or my Facebook Group course: From Wallflowers to Groupies.

I am going to be putting a huge emphasis on this this summer simply because I feel like it’s time.  I’ve done a lot of active launching this year to test out sales funnels and Facebook Ads, I know what works, and most importantly what doesn’t work, and so it’s time to maximize that knowledge.  Everything I’ve done up to this point this year, has been to automate my business the second half of the year.

And so if you’re thinking right now, “Well I don’t have that knowledge yet.  I haven’t been thinking this far ahead.” It’s totally fine, you can still have a summer that grows your business AND is a lot of fun.   

Here’s what I think you should do:

  1. Develop an AMAZING freebie. Do your market research, figure out the deep pain point your ideal client is suffering from.  Create this freebie in the method that they most prefer (video training, checklist, swipe copy, quiz).

  2. You don’t necessarily have to have a BIG email sales funnel hooked up.  What if you attached a three email nurture sequence to this freebie. A simple, “Hey, let’s get to know one another!” sequence that was easy for you to write.  After they go through the nurture sequence they get rolled over onto your mailing list where they receive updates and/or promotions once or twice a week.

This will allow you to still grow your email list, while still offering amazing value to your new subscribers through a super effective freebie.

Now I do think you need a Facebook and Instagram Ad strategy.  I truly think that Facebook and Instagram Ads will get you the most bang for your buck.  AND you can manage these for yourself. Buy a course and dive in. This is something you can implement NOW and once an Ad is running well, you can check in with it and tweak and adjust as needed.

But get the base down NOW.

Now something else I’m doing now is batching my content.  

I do now want to go silent for the summer. That’s not how I want to run my business and I don’t think it should be how you run your business.  So like today, I’m recording 3 podcast episodes in one sitting. And yes it’s a lot of prep work, but it has to be done in order to keep podcast episodes coming out all summer long.  I still want to be visible, creating valuable content, AND growing my business this summer, and the podcast is a really great way I can do that.

Some more things I’m batching are emails to my list, Instagram posts (I currently have posts until July 1 scheduled out), Facebook Group content, and flash sale promotions.  I’ve created a marketing schedule for what I’m promoting and when, and I’m using this schedule as a way to drive what I’m talking about and when I’m talking about it. Having everything tied to my overall strategy this summer had made creating content a whole heck of a lot easier, because it’s taken the guessing game over “what do I post today?” or “I have nothing to talk about!” out of the equation.  And it’s making creating this content so much more streamlined. And I have to say, I think it’s better with this kind of preparation! It’s been a game changer and it’s made creating content feel a whole heck of a lot easier.

And I have to say this about prepping for the summer, I’ve actually never been more excited about a summer.  Last summer I was in the grips of postpartum depression, a business that mostly worked, and was feeling the pressure to perform and get BIG results.  

This summer I’m feeling calm, serene, like I have my stuff handled, and like I’m in control.  

And it’s because I have a plan.

Now I’m 100% certain there will be some hiccups along the way.  I fully expect a Facebook or Instagram Ad to stop performing. I expect an email funnel to tank.  I expect to have some client obstacles to work through. It’s not always rainbows and butterflies.  But it’s having these systems in place that you can lean on is imperative to growing your business.

Because what got you here, won’t get you there.

So if last summer was a bit of a train wreck, like mine was, then I want you to really dive deep here and figure out, what is the #1 thing I need to do to grow my business this summer, and start there?  Getting that kind of clarity can and will change your business AND the results that you see.

And I have to say this, I’m actually excited to lean into working in this way this summer.  I’m interested to see where it leads me, how it grows my business, and if it changes how I show it up.  You never know, this might be exactly what I or we need to push us to the next level and to really scale our businesses in a smart, savvy way.

I plan on doing a podcast episode in September telling you how all of this went, what worked, what didn’t, and how I’m going to be adjusting as we move forward.  So stay tuned for that.


RESOURCES:

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Music courtesy of www.bensound.com.

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