Let’s Talk About A Better Workplace Culture

Seth Godin’s daily posts range from the inspirational to the tactical. The mundane to the philosophical. So when a post punches me in the gut, in the best possible way, it gets me thinking. Which is his goal: Stop existing. Start thinking. Disrupt the status quo.

Recently, he wrote a post called But First, We Need to Talk About. The gist is that what we are willing to talk about gets attention, resources, and energy.  So when we’re unwilling to talk about end-of-life health care costs or oppressive capitalist systems, we can’t change things. Instead, we pour countless hours of conversation into things like political infighting, Tik Tok crazes, or why Kim Kardashian ever dated Pete Davidson (those last 2 are way far out of my wheelhouse)

The realization hit me: This is why I’m talking about empathy at work and creating better leaders, cultures, and brands. I want us to pay attention, yes, but to actually make a change. Transform.

It started out with helping my clients craft an empathetic and engaging brand story, rooted in purpose. And yes, advising them on where they need to walk that talk in their culture, leadership, processes, or habits.  But it’s become a bigger movement to me. One in which we rethink our existing models and narratives of leadership and organizational success.

For too long, we’ve adopted false and binary narratives that you have to choose between humanity and profits. That compassionate leaders cannot also be competitive. That ambition can’t co-exist with empathy and collaboration. That we need to be one person at work and another when we’re off the clock.

Who the hell made these rules? Oh, right, we did. Humans. Our capitalist and industrialized society.

And we blindly bought into this status quo.

Here’s the great news: We as humans have the power to CHANGE those rules. They are not laws of physics that cannot be broken. We made them. We can make new ones.. (TWEET THIS!)

But first, we gotta talk about it. 

We have to talk about what is not working, where we are not being inclusive, and how our business practices might be harming our people or the environment.  We need to admit that profit had been held up above all other concerns for too long.  And that we can have both/and rather than either/or. 

Then we need to talk about how we get there. How we re-establish new rules together. How we create a better workplace culture. How we make the entire for-business system better.

Are you ready to talk to your leaders, teams, and customers about the future of work and the empathy revolution? I’d love to help. Let’s chat about a transformative and provocative talk to kick this into action for your organization tomorrow! 

3 Lessons for Entrepreneurs – from an Accidental Entrepreneur

3 Lessons for Entrepreneurs

I never thought I’d own my own business. But here I am, just celebrating 14 years of Red Slice.

Whoa. It’s the longest job I’ve ever had!

My corporate career was very successful and I was on a good trajectory. I liked getting regular paychecks, benefits, clear goals and metrics (most of the time!). I thrived on working in teams. 

For those who want to know the nuts and bolts of how Red Slice came to be, check out this 3-part Behind the Scenes series from a while ago. In it, I shared a lot of very specific lessons at each phase. 

In general, here are 3 lessons for entrepreneurs – hard-won advice from this self-proclaimed accidental entrepreneur!

  1. Define Your Goal, Purpose, and Definition of Success. You cannot skip this step. YOu might roll your eyes at this advice, but let me tell you. I did not quite hammer this out – as I said, my entrepreneurial journey was not quite super mapped out. I did have a vague idea of what I wanted Red Slice to be –  and ended up changing that vision 2 years later. You can always adapt and pivot. But start off with some kind of map of where you’re going and MORE IMPORTANTLY, why are you doing it? What is your motivator? This will steady you through some storms as you move forward. And never let anyone else define success for you. What does success look like for you? For me, it was creating more freedom in my life. It wasn’t about building a huge global agency. I was very clear on this from the beginning! In that respect, I have achieved immense success!
  1. Don’t Go It Alone: No one is an expert at everything. Starting out, it’s super important to have a good bookkeeper/accountant and lawyer. Set things up the right way to save yourself headaches later. Sure, you have to be scrappy at first. I didn’t hire my first virtual assistant until years into my business. And I paid the price in wasting a lot of time and doing things inefficiently. Know when it’s time to pay someone else for their expertise so you can operate in your own zone of genius. Don’t try to be a hero. When you need help, connections, referrals, advice – ASK! No smart business person will think any less of you. 
  1. Be Open to Change: What’s that they say about change being the only constant?! Don’t get so set in your plan that you miss out on opportunities – or that you make yourself miserable trying to make something work that just isn’t. I adapted my business a few years in and was so glad I did. It was a risk, but it was a smart one and it paid off. If I’d held on too tightly to my original picture of what I thought my work would look like, I’d be super miserable and not half as successful as I have been.  Never say never!

Entrepreneurship is hard, but it is such a journey of self-discovery. You get to know yourself, push your limits, and achieve your goals! (TWEET THIS!)

3 Surefire Ways to Attract Ideal Clients and Customers

Is this true of you as an entrepreneur, coach, consultant, marketer, or business owner?

 “We do amazing work and offer tremendous value.. I just wish more people better understood what we can do for them and how much we have to offer. It’s so hard to get people to pay attention, and I hate sales!”

Yep. Been there. We all have.

The solution is not to spend more money on marketing. It’s not to buy more ads or discount more deeply.

The answer is to critically look at your brand story and message and ask yourself, “Is my brand, story, and message infused with empathy?” (TWEET THIS!)

People respond when we feel we are seen, heard, and valued. Think about the last purchase you made where you really felt good about yourself. You felt like the sales email was written just for you! You felt like you had finally found your people. You felt like this purchase really said something about you and the way you want to work and live.

That’s what empathy in your brand can do! To connect with the right clients and customers (and I mean, right-fit, not inquiries, clicks, and follows from loads of people who will never buy from you or those who won’t get the value they need), we need to infuse more empathy into our brand.

What does that mean? Here are 3 tips for making your brand more empathetic and attracting the attracting the right clients and customers:

  1. See things from the client or customer point of view: Empathy requires you stash your ego for a while, and clearly see what your clients get from what you do. It’s not about talking only about what you offer, sell, or provide – but how does the client benefit? What do they actually get, achieve, or feel? This also means tactically go through your own sales process, audit customer support, have someone read through your website and test links. Make sure the experience is delightful, not disappointing!
  1. Speak your client’s or customer’s language: I can talk until I’m blue in the face about “brand strategy” but when clients don’t know what that means, I have to adjust my narrative. Yes, brand and marketing are two different things, but sometimes, I have to speak their language to help them understand the value.. It’s the difference between saying what you think they need to hear, and actually being the voice in their heads so they say, “I need that now!”
  1. Start with love: OK, this might be a bit hippy dippy for some, but hear me out. When you start from a place of genuine concern, service, and care, the money will follow. This is true whether you are a solopreneur or a marketer at a large organization. One past corporate client really despised his target customers, describing them in derogatory (and untrue) stereotypes,  and it was clear he didn’t understand their needs at all. That shows up in your messaging – and your reputation. You can be strong and firm and still be compassionate. Be of service, care about their success, show compassion if they are dealing with bad stuff in their lives – and adapt your policies and communications to be more human.

How Your Money Story Impacts your Business Success

Did you know? By the time you are 7 1/2, your money story has already been imprinted on you. 

And it’s either fueling or hindering your business success. 

What is your money story? It’s your relationship with money. It’s how you view it as a tool or a weapon. As scarce or abundant. How well you budget, plan, save and invest. 

All formed when we were kids, watching our parents and those around us.  

As an entrepreneur (heck, as anyone who earns a paycheck), your relationship to money is the single greatest indicator of success and profitability.  

Your money story impacts your success more than how many clients you have, how much revenue you generate, your experience/awards/accolades, or…how good your brand and marketing are. 

Today, Certified Money Coach Debbie Page explains how and why to uncover and adapt your money story so you keep more of the money you make. 

If you don’t already know her, you’ll love her! Debbie is an internationally recognized and award-winning entrepreneur, business coach and advocate for women’s economic independence.  She is recognized as a leading authority on cash flow and profitability for women in business and guides women to keep more of the money they make.  

For over two decades Debbie has worked with women and money and has acquired, scaled and sold two businesses of her own. Her clients achieve stunning success with profitability because of her commitment to accountability, execution and the systems and processes that create sustainable and scalable businesses. 

Watch this lively video interview now if you want to be more profitable and keep more of the money you make! And gentlemen, this video is just as applicable for you, too. 

YouTube video

Highlights include: 

*“You could be doing all these things correctly – marketing plans, sales calls, touch point plan, etc. – and still have no money in the bank. It’s a really unhealthy place to be.” (3:40) 

*A phenomenal example of a client whose unhealthy relationship with money, formed in childhood, led to underpricing (5:15) 

*How the entrepreneurial mindset and the way we handle money in our personal lives is so intertwined. (10:07) 

*“As entrepreneurs we are not trained how to run our business; it will default to the relationship we have with money.” (12:30)  

*Why our money has energy – and how that impacts out ability to create mindful money practices in our personal and professional lives. (13:26) 

*How small shifts in your language can make a big impact (16:02) 

*The small and significant steps you can take to achieve your money goals (17:49) 

*How Debbie’s “zero balance” shocker years ago was her wakeup call and affected her success mindset from that point on. (21:13) 

*What’s your daily money mantra daily? Here’s Debbie’s. (24:09) 

*Why just a healthy money story is the start, but it’s still not enough – the first step you can take (27:11)  

Grab a pen and soak up all of the wisdom in this video. My fave takeaway? 

“All the wishing, dreaming & pretty vision boards isn’t gonna do anything. If I’m not working the hustle muscle, I’m never gonna get it. Marry MINDSET with EXECUTION” – Debbie Page. (TWEET THIS!)

Connect with Debbie Page and learn more about her services and coaching: 

How to Build a Sales Funnel

How to Build a Sales Funnel - man proposing

“Hi, nice to meet you! You’ve never heard of me before but please click this button/take my business card and spend over $1000 on my products or services.”

The underappreciated skill of marketing is to take a customer on journey. One where they get to know you, assess your approach/values, evaluate how you can solve their needs and compare you against the alternatives. This sales cycle can happen in 5 minutes (rarely, unless you are chewing gum at the checkout line: a low-risk, low investment impulse purchase) or more likely, if you sell high-value goods or services, anywhere from one to six months. For some enterprise software firms with deals worth more than $500,000, this could take even longer.

I know, I wish it could be easier, believe me. You write a clever social media post, create a slick sales page or run one compelling ad and…BAM! New buyer.

Please stop proposing on the first date! Prospects need time to learn about you, know, like and trust you before they are going to invest their money and time. (TWEET THIS!)

Most of you don’t sell $5 items, but more expensive products or professional services.

When was the last time you parted with more than $100 when you met a brand for the first time?

To take a prospects on the journey, you need to build a marketing funnel. Or as I like to call it, do some good ole’ fashioned wooing and create a courtship plan.

Here are 5 ways to build a sales funnel so prospects can get to know, like and trust you before they buy:

  1. Offer a safe, no risk way for them to get to know what you are all about: an easily digestible free guide, white paper, or short video. This should be packed with value and not immediately lead to a hard sell, as they are still getting to know you. You are welcoming them to your world, so make them feel comfortable. Dating analogy: Don’t talk about how many kids you want or ask someone to meet you parents on the first date.
  2. Make each call to action or next step crystal clear: While the next call to action from #1 should not necessarily be BUY NOW, what other step should they take in the journey to get closer to a purchase? Perhaps ask them to invest some more time at a webinar or an event. Or ask them to sign up for your email list so you can deliver valuable content on a consistent basis and prove your expertise. Dating analogy: Plan some fun dates and keep things breezy and casual for a while…but make your intentions known that you are serious about building a long-term relationship.
  3. Offer multiple touch points: Building an automated follow-up funnel and getting them on your regular emails is great, but make sure you also have air cover (also known as brand marketing!) Are you posting regularly to social media? Are you doing a few ads every now and then so you stay top of mind? Are you booking speaking engagements or media? Combining your lead funnel “ground game” with the “air cover” of brand is a winning combination for prospects to start getting more comfortable. Dating analogy: Know any friends who can talk you up to your new crush? Or how about sending some flowers, an article you think they might like, or a “thinking of you” text so you stay top of mind between dates.
  4. Follow-up: Don’t leave people hanging. I can’t tell you how many vendors I wanted to spend money with, but I got busy and they never followed up. If you had a conversation or they attended a webinar and asked a lot of questions, be sure to promptly follow up and ask what they thought, what specific challenges they face, why they attended your training or downloaded your guide. You can automate this with emails or if you have strong analytics and can segment out the really interested folks, reach out directly with a personal email or call. Dating analogy: If you say you’re going to call the next day after your date, CALL!
  5. Make it easy for them to buy: When you get to the purchase phase, tell them what to do to seal the deal. Offer options. Ask for the sale (gracefully). Clients want to be led and they need to know what to do to say yes. Make sure your directives are clear: What button to press, where to click, what the contract process looks like. Dating analogy: When we are ready to commit to someone, what do we do? We pop the question: Will you marry me, or will you move in with me? Don’t assume they know that’s what you want!

For more advice on this topic, you may enjoy these past articles:

How to do content marketing right (3-part series)
The Art of Seduction: How to Woo Your Audience with Great Content
How to Build a Sales Process and Close More Deals
4  Tips for How to Sell Without Selling Your Soul

And did you know? Sales funnels that effectively use video marketing can greatly increase your customer conversion. Check out this article on How to use videos in a sales funnel for high conversion from Studiotale, to know more about employing videos in your sales funnel.

5 Tools That Run My Business

5 Tools That Run My Business

While I might be a branding expert with years of experience in consulting and marketing, when I started out in 2008, I was not an expert at running a business. I cobbled together my operations and processes over the years.

Since then, I’ve learned a lot about running a business and working for myself. And that includes slowly finding many of the tools I use to run my business on a daily basis.

If you’re wondering what tools, software or apps might help your business run just a bit more smoothly, let me share my 5y favorite go-to’s with you. Full disclosure: A few of the links below are affiliate links, so if you decide to buy, we both win. You can trust me: I personally use everything on this list, almost on a daily basis!

Landing Pages:

LeadPages has changed my life. Yes, I used to build pages off my website and add a clunky little button and have to manage and maintain it, etc. I finally broke down a few years ago and quite simply, I can’t imagine being it. Landing pages are a breeze. Especially since the best performing landing pages are simple and uncluttered. You can add your branding and make them your own. A must if you want to build your email list and quickly and easily get new subscribers with different campaigns. I also use their Campaigns functionality, which operates as a shopping cart and integrates with Stripe (see Payment Processors below)

Email Marketing:

You’d better not be sending marketing emails from your personal email list and BCC’ing everyone – you’ll end up on a spam blacklist! Get thee to an email marketing platform immediately. While MailChimp is free for simple uses for under 2000 subs, I pay for Aweber now and have for several years. I need more list flexibility than MailChimp provides. Their service is the best. I can ask them anything and immediately get help. Truthfully, I’ve had some issues with more complex tasks and being able to route different funnels to the same list, but they are adding functionality all the time.

Social Media Posting:

I use Buffer to schedule my social media posts in advance. I’d like to say I was uber efficient and plan way ahead with a fully stocked queue at all time, but alas. I’m working on it. But when I do think ahead, I can easily schedule posts for Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. They also offer Instagram. I don’t recommend using them for Facebook, as the Facebook algorithm dings you when you schedule with 3rd party apps (use Facebook’s native schedule for that). But Buffer is great if you plan in advance, want to set up promoting a colleague’s campaign, or even for when you are on vacation. I like to spend about 10-15 minutes stocking up my queue each week. But remember to still get on social media live every now and then to interact. It’s SOCIAL, people. Don’t just phone it in all the time!

Social Media Drip Campaigns:

I think I discovered Missing Lettr from another person’s blog post about productivity tools! Missing Lettr hooks up to your blog and when you publish a new post, it automatically sets up a year-long drip campaign. You can approve and edit all of the campaign posts, but once you do, BAM! You re-promote your content for an entire year without thinking about it. And it let’s you do some cool things, like create speech bubble images, which I kind of love. A huge promotional time-saver.

Payment Processing:

I use a few tools for this. PayPal is my standard for both taking and sending payments. It’s what I started out with. And you can set up subscription payments with them as well. But…I’ve started using Stripe for digital products because there is better integration for some marketing funnels I put together. Since I’m less familiar with it, I haven’t quite figured it out as easily as PayPal…but my VA knows, so that’s all that matters!  And when I sell books onsite at an event, I use Square on my iPad or phone.

Email marketing? Landing pages? Social Media sharing? Check out @redslice’s 5 go-to tech tools that run her consulting and online business!  (TWEET THIS!)

Photo Credit: Todd Quackenbush on Unsplash

How to Feel Less Busy and Get More Done: A Chat with Laura Vanderkam

Do you feel like you never have enough time?
Are you so crazy busy, you can’t get anything done?
Do you feel like the weeks are zipping along in a chaotic, unmemorable haze?

What would it feel like to get it all done and still find time for the important stuff: self-care, quality time with your kids, a walk in the park? You know…time freedom? Time when you feel “off the clock.” 

That time freedom is so alluring…and so elusive. Or is it?

I am thrilled to share my interview with time management and productivity expert Laura Vanderkam. Laura is the author of several books, including the new Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done. She is the co-host, with Sarah Hart-Unger, of the podcast Best of Both Worlds. Her TED talk, “How to gain control of your free time,” has been viewed more than 6 million times. She lives outside Philadelphia with her husband and four (!!!)children, and blogs at LauraVanderkam.com.  

Yeah, so she personally and professionally knows a lot about managing time.

Her book was amazing. More than practical and data-driven time management advice, it is a profound look at time nourishment: How to slow down time, create precious memories and savor each moment of every day, no matter if you’re at work or at play.

We covered it all in the video interview below: Where your time really goes, how to keep a time diary so you can feel time abundant versus time scarce, why planning actually gives you more freedom, how to slow down time, and practical tips for being more productive while savoring more of your life and creating memories.

If you yearn to feel less busy while getting more done, making time to enjoy your days, watch the video interview below! 

YouTube video

Highlights include: 

  • What Laura learned when 900 people with full time jobs and families tracked their time for a day – and what she has learned about herself by keeping a time diary for three years.  
  • Why equally busy people can feel time abundant versus time scarce and why some have time for everything and can feel “off the clock” more often while others feel stressed, manic and unproductive.  
  • Why our generation “feels” busier (7:42) “The issue is not that we’re busier, but that we have leisure time which we’re just chopping up throughout the day and that our quest for constant stimuli in wasted activity, like checking our phones, actually robs us of more intentional, thoughtful uses of our time. 
  • Why fun takes effort! Why the best planners are those who also have the most freedom with their time…and why freedom does not mean having no obligations. (10:14) 

“We don’t want our fun to take effort, but when we don’t put effort into our fun we only get effortless fun. In the long run, the effortless fun isn’t really all that memorable or enjoyable.” (TWEET THIS!)

  • Pro tip: Front-load your week to get more of the important stuff done (16:47) 
  • Our remembering selves and our anticipating selves are the keys to making time move more slowly. Why our human brains can’t actually be blissful “in the moment” and why that’s totally okay! (19:14) 
  • What being “in the moment really means” to create a lasting memory. And why you shouldn’t always listen to your “experiencing” self when making decisions about how to spend your time. (22:42)
  • How to get yourself out of the victim mentality of time happening to “you” – and the surprising lesson you will learn from a woman with 18 month-old triplets who tracked her time to discover she had 3 hours of personal time every day! (24:30) 
  • Why everyone should track their time. And why you might not want to because you’re clinging to a false story or source of identity: “I’m a busy entrepreneur or I give everything to my family so I have no time for myself!” (26:20) 
  • Balancing planning and routine with memory-making. How to make everyday tasks more memorable with a “mindset toward adventure” (30:10) 
  • Research that explains why the years fly by now but high school seemed like it lasted forever! (31:23) 
  • How to create “conscious artifacts” (35:14) 
  • Why intentional moments of nothing can make time feel plentiful. (36:34 ) 

And don’t miss Laura’s tactical pro tips to make more time and do more of what you love – including how to do Friday Planning Sessions. (41:32 )  

“Expectations and demands are infinite, but time is finite. You’re always choosing and you have to choose open space.” (TWEET THIS!)

Did any of Laura’s advice change your thinking, like it did for me? How do you currently manage your busy schedule or where do you have challenges? Reply back to this email and let me know! 

Want To Build Your List? Love the Ones You’re With

Looking for list building tricks? Trying to build your list but not sure where to start? Click through for tips on how to build your list by loving the people who already love you!

We always want more, don’t we? We’re all looking for that perfect list-building trick that will unlock more clients, more customers, more money. 

We all know it’s a lot easier to nurture a large, warm audience and convert them into sales over time. So we collect people and names like we’re picking blueberries and dump them into our sacks as we hunt for more.

But what about those people who already joined your team? Did you just seduce them to get on your list or pay for your course and then you tossed them to the side?

Newsflash: No matter whether you have 5 or 5,000 email subscribers, 10 or 10,000 customers or 5 or 25 clients, these loyal people are your biggest advocates. They have already raised their hands to support you and are your best brand evangelists.

A list-building trick you’ve never considered: 

Love the ones you’re with. While you’re out there marketing to collect clicks, email names, or new customers, do not forget all those people you already have on your side. (TWEET THIS!)

We all start out at Ground Zero and you have to build a brand from nothing. To accelerate, you have to start where you are.

Never lose sight of those who already know, like and trust your brand. Give them VIP service and they will talk about you to others, forward your charming emails or dish about your next big event.

But how do you love on them? Here are a few quick tips:

  • Cherry pick a new subscriber: Every week, check out your new email subscribers and send one or two of them a personal note (“No, this is not a bot, it’s really me!) thanking them for joining your list.

  • Engage with a question: Use your Welcome email to instantly engage them. If you’re a massage therapist, ask them the last time they had a massage and how it made them feel. If you’re an HR consultant, ask them what their biggest retention or recruitment challenge might be.

    I promise, you won’t get 600 responses back to which you’ll have to reply, but those you do get will never forget you!

    My Welcome email asks folks to tell me about their biggest marketing challenge, and someone actually tweeted about how this was the best email sign up she’d ever seen!

  • Offer them a freebie…just because. Not because you’re launching anything or want them to buy. Occasionally surprise and delight them with free discounts, a new eBook, a fun video or even an inspiring playlist curated just for them.

  • Go old school: When a prospect schedules a call to find out more about you or someone refers a client to you, send a handwritten note to prospects you talk to or meet with.

    Assuming this is a reasonable number, of course, but if you have any business development conversation, take it to the next level beyond a thank you email and write them a handwritten thank you note. This personal touch will not go unnoticed.

For more practical ideas on how to nurture your existing loyal fan base, however small, to attract even more fans, followers and clients, please check this lovely little mini-course I cooked up for you, CLIENT LOVE.

Imagine: an army of adoring fans, eager to buy your next product, attend your next event, or hire you for your next gig! The course also includes lessons on getting great customer testimonials, creating a signature touch that gets people buzzing and curating connections so people love you even more.

Your Dream is Not Dead Yet

About two years ago, we had our new house landscaped, front and back. We’re talking major overhaul.

One of the plants our designer had recommend was a Pride of Madeira. It’s a bold, big, round plant commonly seen here in Northern California that can quickly get unwieldy if not properly maintained. But when it is properly loved, the purple conical flowers look so lovely amidst all that green.

We planted two in the backyard and two in the front.

The backyard ones quickly consumed the yard and, instead of offering up their lovely purple cone-shaped blooms, simply grew into unwieldy large green bushes. My husband tried pruning it the way he’d read about online, but nothing seemed to happen. We decided to rip those out and replace them with other options, as well as one of the ones in the front that was quickly threatening to take over our neighbor’s driveway.

There was one in the front, however, that we left along the side of the driveway. My husband worked on it when he could. But two seasons passed with no purple blooms. And it was just too big. We read that our big mistake had been not pruning these plants often enough in the beginning. The green leaves took over, hogging vital nutrients the purple flowers needed to bloom. My husband made a few attempts on this last surviving one, but still…nothing.

“Rip it out,” I begged my husband. “There are no blooms. You tried to prune it, but the flowers are just dead. They won’t come in now” I thought it must be beyond saving and didn’t want this big green monstrosity in the front yard anymore.

And then…..

This past year, my husband tried one more time and really hacked at it. It looked anemic. But, finally, as it overnight, huge purple blooms spread across the bush. It was stunning. (See photo above)

The plant wasn’t dead yet. It just wasn’t properly nurtured.

The lesson here is not to keep banging your head against the wall in futility about a dream or a goal. The lesson is simply this:

Don’t give up on your dreams and goals before they are given the proper chance to bloom.  (TWEET THIS!)

Take a look at all avenues and be honest with yourself and what you’ve done to achieve them before you decide it is no longer viable. We gave half-assed attempts at nurturing this plant and too quickly said, “It’s done. It’s over.” That was on us. And saying things like, “I’m too old” or “I’m not smart enough” or “I don’t have the right connections” are simply excuses, not realities.

Before you give up on your business, book, or big idea, remember: Your dream may not be dead yet. It might just need some extra loving care and the right nutrients before it can bloom.

Photo credit: Maria Ross

Managing Entrepreneurship and Motherhood: A Chat with Sara Dean

How do you juggle the dueling demands of parenthood and running your own business or career? Are you managing it with aplomb or do you feel like a crazy person most of the time?

I admit to the latter.

See, I had this image of running my own business and doting on my sweet babe with grace and ease. Reality quickly set in and I have never, ever felt that kind of pressure before. An imaginary timer would start counting down from the moment I woke up to the minute I went to bed…and there was never enough time to do anything well.

I remember being a guest on a globally-recognized podcast while my newborn yelled in the background with the sitter I had to hire just for the call…and conducting another phone interview by headset while breastfeeding. Not to mention scrambling to finish client work in stolen moments of time because my son arrived earlier than expected.

The good news is that my little man has taught me more about prioritization, negotiation and setting boundaries than any self-help guru or leadership class ever could. 

Which is why I was thrilled to talk and laugh with shameless mom Sara Dean: Author, speaker, podcaster, and host of the top-ranked The Shameless Mom Academy podcast.

She coaches women on how to reclaim their identities and live bigger, bolder and braver #everydamnday.

We covered it all in the video interview below: Unrealistic expectations, owning your space, modern motherhood, the myth of balance, why men have less flexibility than women, prioritization, goal setting and how we ALL can support working moms (and dads) everywhere.

We also talked about how mothers make the best employees and how leaders who are moms get so good at negotiation, they could create world peace in days!

Sara’s golden nugget of wisdom:

Give yourself space and grace to figure out what you want BUT take radical responsibility to take one action every day to get you closer to your goals. (Tweet This!)

If you struggle to juggle your business, family and personal life–or simply want to be more productive and efficient–please click below to enjoy this video:

YouTube video

Highlights include:

How the “magical motherhood” picture was a myth and how Sara turned things around to reclaim her work and life (5:45): “I got really clear on how I was going to divide my time.”

What modern motherhood looks like, why even men don’t have as much flexibility – and why moms make the best employees and leaders (10:30): “What I love about modern motherhood is that it looks like whatever the heck you want it to look like!” and “Our next President should be a mom with six kids!”

Why balance is not real and how to think about “seasons” instead. And why the hustle and grind philosophy doesn’t work for everyone (16:52)

Sara’s foolproof tips and tools for planning and goal-setting (20:55): “What are the three things that will lead to revenue today?”

What each of us–and society­–can do to support entrepreneurial (and working) moms and dads (24:21): “What would systemically go a long way to support women and men in growing their success is to really check ourselves on our own judgment. Be supportive.”

How we can support each other (27:19): “The more we can be supportive for each other, the more we can own our space, own our decisions and own what we’re doing.”

How to look at others’ successes without falling into a jealousy trap or downward spiral. And how to own what you are doing (30:12): “I want to model what I think women should be doing. If you have a major accomplishment, let people know! I’m not going to apologize for success building.”

Why your personal story is everything if you want more publicity and growth (34:16): “Connect your story to where you are now and the gifts you’re giving to the world.”

How to take radical responsibility for all your “Yes’s” and “No’s” – and how to get good at saying no in a graceful way. HINT: Stop talking so much! (47:290: “Give yourself space and grace to figure out what you want to do. But also, that doesn’t mean you have the excuse of space and grace to not do anything, or not take action for a really long time. With the space and grace, have the radical responsibility of taking action. Do one thing every day that gets you closer to a goal.” 

What did you think of this video? How do you currently manage motherhood and your business, work or career? Drop me a line over on over on Twitter or the Facebook page and let me know!


Sara Dean is the creator and host of the Shameless Mom Academy Podcast, which has been featured in 5 categories of iTunes New & Noteworthy for almost 2 years now, and is rapidly approaching one million downloads.  Sara’s biggest passion is helping women own their space.  After enduring her own identity crises following the birth of her son, Sara took her background in psychology/health/ wellness and rebuilt her identity, one step at a time.  Sara motivates and inspires women to stop shrinking and start growing.  She is on a mission to inspire women and moms, in particular, to live bigger, bolder, braver #everydamnday.