Q. Hi Denise!
Congratulations on your upcoming baby!
I’d love to hear – how are you preparing your business?
Do you have any tips on what to do to baby-proof your business?
When I told everyone that I’m expecting my first baby – I’ve gotten one of three reactions.
1. OMG – life is never going to be the SAME EVER. You’ll never sleep again. You’ll never be able to DO ANYTHING EVER AGAIN.
2. ENJOY EVERY SINGLE MAGICAL MOMENT. It’s SO magical. MAGICAL I tell you!
3. Don’t worry – you’ll be fine. All will be well. You’ll handle the good and the bad.
I’m hoping I’ll be a pretty chilled out mother – pretty much how I am now about life.
I really try to avoid a lot of stress (including stressful people and situations). I’m not a super busy Alpha female and I’ve pretty much got my perfectionism under control.
But who knows, right?
So, I’m not taking any chances on my business.
My business is extremely important to me, and I don’t want to let my hard work go down the drain by neglecting it for a few years while I pop out some little Duffield-Thomas babies.
On the other hand, I don’t want to create unnecessary stress on myself to perform, launch and hustle. I don’t know what to expect from motherhood, and I want to make sure I have as much time and space as I need without my income falling apart. My business earns a very healthy amount but up until recently, it still relied very much on me to crank everything and keep it rolling.
I’ve got quite a few months before I go on my self-imposed Maternity Leave, so I want to share with you my To-Do list and ask for advice from some wise business mamas. Would love to hear your tips too.
So, here’s how I’m planning to baby proof my business…
Mothers – don’t laugh.
Mum-preneurs – don’t laugh.
I’m sure there’s no way to FULLY baby-proof my business, but I want to make sure that the first six months with a baby is as stress free as possible from a business and financial perspective. I can’t control my baby, but I can totally control how much preparation I do now.
My intention for my business is that I’ll still be able to maintain a healthy six-figure income, with minimal interruption and maximum automation and leverage. My personal intention is to be able to spend as much time with my new baby as possible without feeling obligated over day to day business things. And of course, the flexibility to shift in between if possible.
My first rule of thumb…
Simplify, simplify, simplify
At the start of the year, I had many potential projects on the boil. A few new books, a potential short film, a movie script idea in my head, several retreats I wanted to run and lastly, a high level mastermind for women. I had names and URLs planned out for each project. I had consulted my trusty astrologer Theresa Reed for the most auspicious dates for launches.
But my myriad ideas were pulling me in a million different directions and when we decided we wanted to have kids, I knew that I needed to be brutal and cut back pretty much ALL of the random side projects and really focus on 1-2 things.
That was difficult for me, because I had ego around my multi-tasking ability. I could do ALL OF MY PROJECTS – YOU CAN’T MAKE ME GIVE UP ANY OF THEM.
I cut one project after another, which was tough. Some projects had cost thousands of dollars to create, but put simply – they weren’t in my zone of genius.
I decided that I was going to focus purely on a money message. The other spin-offs could wait (or honestly, someone else could do them much better than me). I don’t have to be good at everything!
One focus, one message is working out SO much better and it will give me much more time and creative space to streamline the rest of my business.
Automate income producing activities
I made a very conscious choice to cut back on my coaching hours at the start of this year. This meant taking on only 4 private VIP clients, instead of about 15 a week. I loved my VIPs, but they all finished a few months ago, and that was the end of 1:1 coaching for me.
I could have easily have created an extra few hundred thousand by doing a group mastermind. There was huge demand for it from my client base, but I knew I had to let the opportunity go.
I’ve seen a lot of new mamas successfully juggle a baby and a full client load, but I just didn’t want to. I knew it would have stressed me out too much, so I had to find a better way to make money.
Luckily, I already had a proven course that I knew could work really well as a standalone home study course. At the start of the year, I relaunched my Money Bootcamp.
For now and probably for the next few years, the Lucky Bitch Money Bootcamp is my primary product. It’s an awesome course (in my opinion, it’s a MUST DO for all female entrepreneurs) and there was no point creating something that can have a big impact and then going on to something else just to create something new.
And because it’s a completely virtual program, it doesn’t take any of my personal time. This way, I know that if I don’t feel like working, my income isn’t going to suffer!
Saying NO (thank-you)
I said yes to everything in my first year (as Danielle LaPorte recommends to do), but now I’m extremely picky in how I spend my time.
Here’s what I say no to right now to free up my time
- Catch ups with people I don’t personally know (the invitations are sweet but as an introvert…..um, no)
- Interviews with people with less than 5000 people on their list
- Being involved in most telesummits (unless I really love the person)
- Being an “expert” in anything other than money (yes, I can tell you how to publish a book/find a soul mate/manifest a baby but it’s not in my zone of genius)
- Answering random questions over email
- Answering email full stop (my bootcamp customers get responses, not everyone else does)
I don’t like to lie and tell people I’m super busy – I just say that it’s not my focus right now. I have time to do all those things, but I couldn’t handle the mental clutter.
Yes, some people get pissed when I tell them no, but seriously – you can’t please everyone all the time.
Of course, when I have a baby, that’s a perfectly acceptable excuse to say no. I literally won’t have the time to get involved in other stuff. I’ll have to be even more brutal with my time, this time out of necessity.
The thing that I really admire about my mama-preneur friends is that they become super productive because they have much less time to faff around on time-wasting activities!
If you need some help with boundaries, check out this post >>
Streamlining content production
I’m getting smarter about how I produce content. I usually sit down and write a loooong article every week, sometimes without thought of what or why I’m writing.
This has to change!
For example, I’m batching social media content and using tools like Social Oomph to create regular and recurring social media updates.
That means, I can sit down with my assistant and we’ll come up with 100 quotes to drip feed out, create a whole bunch of sharable images in one go (I’m using Karen Gunton’s tips on this) and create a bunch of relevant and interesting links we want to share.
A site like Social Oopmh is perfect, because I can create recurring queues of updates, so I can republish my archived content again and again. (I’ve got more than 200 blog posts that I’ve written over the past few years, I really want to leverage that).
I’m also making a whole bunch of videos now, that will drip feed out over the next year. Pre-writing new content is a little harder because it’s so time-intensive! Again, I can batch record these videos and I’m planning a video day very soon to crank out a whole bunch.
I’m adding a few cool features like an “Ask Denise” section and “Best Month Ever” series of interviews with entrepreneurs who just experienced their best month ever (I actually can’t wait for this one!)
So, lots of new stuff is coming to make LuckyBitch.com even better – but it will rely less on me, when I might not necessarily have the creative juice to do anything.
Automating my marketing
I’m working with a copywriter to create an automated marketing strategy that doesn’t rely on creating new content all the time.
It means that when a new person joins my list, they’ll get regular and automated content for about three months. They’ll get a chance to see some of my most popular posts, get notification of all my various freebies and access to exclusive resources.
It means that I don’t have to rely on getting my newsletter out on time. It also means that new people won’t be greeted with a big fat silence or worse – getting some kind of hastily written crap because I’m too busy.
It’s important to keep growing your list, even when you don’t have anything new to sell. There’s nothing worse than having to say “Hi, I’m back!” – hopefully people won’t even notice that I’m gone!
Tips from my biz mamas…
I asked around in my business networks for some tips from other lovely biz mamas.
Once you have a baby, schedules go to shit. It can be so hard to get the space, time and schedule you need to continue 1-1 work. If you’ve got programs you can sell that don’t need your presence, you’re bonza!
Another thing – I was honestly so terrified when I had my baby that my business would fail. But it didn’t – I still doubled in size that year, and have kept doubling or tripling ever since that – we’re now up to a 3/4 of a million dollar a year business.
I’ve consciously crafted my life to spend as much time with my daughter and husband as possible, while still sharing the miracles that are inside me. It really IS possible and doable when you love what you do and stay totally committed to your vision!
Leonie Dawson | www.LeonieDawson.com
The biggest thing for me as a new mother was giving myself time to not only heal physically but to adjust emotionally.
Even though I have the support of wonderful family and friends, I had to give MYSELF permission to slow down which didn’t happen easily.
Having a baby forces you to slow down in business, so be kind to yourself and trust that everything you have done to prepare for this beautiful moment will be keep you in good stead until you are ready to get back into it.
Jade McKenzie | www.EventHead.com.au
Taking the time to redefine my business purpose and vision as well as the big vision for how I wanted my life to look as a new Mum.
Doing this meant that when it did come time to work – whether for an hour or a day or back to every day – I knew my motivation and was able to focus on what I was creating for ALL of us for the future, rather than simple getting caught up in the stress, tiredness or overwhelm of ‘having’ to work in between feeds and general mothering madness.
My tip is to take time out now to journal about what you want your business and life to look like and why. And also remember it’s perfectly fine to change the want and why anytime!
Kat Loterzo | www.KatLoterzo.com
Obviously you have to be extremely sacred with your time right now.
You can not afford to faff about and work randomly. On the contrary your brain is not likely to be firing at its highest productivity capacity. So I suggest going extremely easy on yourself. Only do what you have to do.
Minimum Effective Dose!
Jana Kingsford | www.mumsjugglingact.com
I created a financial cushion so I could really enjoy my maternity leave by putting money aside in the lead up to the birth. Money that I would normally have reinvested in the business.
I paid for help: I didn’t have grandparent support close by so when my daughter was 6 months old I paid a nanny to come a couple of days a week.
That kept my daughter close to me and still gave me the space to work in the early days.
Samantha Nolan Smith | www.SamanthaNolanSmith.com
Put in place a support network of family, friends, GP, therapist before the birth and connect with new mothers after so you can stay connected and ward off Post-natal depression.
Jane Copeland | www.CopingWithJane.com and author of Boardroom To Baby
So – I’m busy like a little pregnant beaver making all this happen! Stay tuned.
Are you pregnant or are running a business with small children?
I’d LOVE to hear your tips.
(and please – no “It’s SO MAGICAL”. Practical stuff that us pregnant mamas can put into action would be ACE.)
Chime in below…
What “baby-proofing” tips are a MUST?
What did you do or wish you had done?
Thanks for all your well-wishes!