Episode 040: Show Notes
Today, we are going to talk about some dream weeks, some not so not so dream weeks, and how we have transitioned in our business. We chat about our journey, and how our lives and work days evolve as our business grows and changes and as our lives grow and change. We also discuss the kind of questions we begin to ask ourselves when we want to strive towards a different or better ideal week. We go over how to start working through some of these challenges yourself.
In this episode we are going to walk you through the process of what it looked like when we were scaling a multiple six figure business, and how we kind of hit a brick wall at the beginning of 2017 and had to learn a whole new world of how to run a business through health struggles and being a new mom. We dive into how managing life and business was completely different and why always keeping in mind what we wanted along the way was super important to us. Instead of letting the world just slip away from us, we kept our hopes and dreams actively in front of us and that’s what we want for you as well.
Our Work Weeks Before TCC Existed
We both have supportive families and partners, so when we outline our dream weeks that is where they stem from. Before TCC existed, when we were solopreneurs, Abby worked at a nine to five job, commuting every day, and trying to grow her business in the evenings. She was exhausted and did not know how to manage her time well at first. Her days were filled with trying to tend to the needs of others before her own. She stayed up late and worked crazy hours for a good six months until she just could not handle it anymore. For Emylee, in the beginning her full time job was sitting in her pajamas drinking coffee all day, perfecting her resume. After starting with photography again, she still could not find a real routine and spent a lot of her time “Netflixing”.
Finding Consistency and a Routine
After we met, we knew we had to sit down and truly figure out what our work weeks were going to look like. Both of us actually thrive in a really structured environment, and neither of us like working for a boss. However, we are also the types of people who need to be told what to do, which is where the schedule comes in. There is a reason they put kids on a schedule, and there is a reason that your body wakes up at generally the same time every day. Your body is made for a rhythm and so if you are not working towards a schedule you are ignoring what your body wants, which is consistency.
Interrupting Less, Dividing and Conquering More
When we first started working together, we would literally spend eight hours a day, every day on Google Hangouts just, well, hanging out. While we worked we could pop up and ask a question as if we were sitting together in the same room. However, what we did not realize was how disruptive this was to each of our workflows. This was because, although we were on a “cyber hangout” all day, we could not see what the other person was working on. So whenever one of us stopped to ask something, it would interrupt the whole process for the other. We then switched to Trello, which allowed us to see exactly what the other person was working on.
Designing Your Dream Week
Every quarter, we like to sit down and really map out what our dream weeks look like. You start out by laying out what your weeks look like right now, what you are missing, and the next steps. Essentially it comes down to figuring out exactly what works best for you and your business. For us, each day of the week has a specific practice. Monday is task oriented, dealing with emails, updating social media, and handling anything that pops up. On Tuesdays we write, and on Wednesdays our focus is shifted to the podcast to record fresh episodes. Thursdays has been dubbed “selling day”, where we jump onto Facebook Live, do a webinar, and engage with our audience from a sales perspective. Ideally, Fridays are a half day to handle all miscellaneous items that pop up and every fourth Friday we sit down to do our monthly review.
Using Batching to Design Your Work Week
When it comes to laying out a schedule, oftentimes batching is a go-to approach. As we mentioned before, this is what we use in our business, since each day is dedicated to a specific task or section within our company. There are many tasks on the to-do list that you could hash out and get done in a single afternoon, however, you really have to figure out if this is the right process for you personally. For Emylee, as a photographer it would seem feasible to batch taking all of the picture content in one sitting. However, she knows that creatively this is just not possible. So figure out what works best for you, and try to batch where it can help you get more done without causing you extra stress.
Delegating to Automate Your Business
A big part of this activity is understanding what we could delegate or outsource to make our week a little bit better and automate the business processes. For us, we have truly put our biz on autopilot and we’ve outsourced all of our blog graphics and all our YouTube graphics. We have someone helping us with our email inbox and doing some light customer service. We have someone helping us with podcast setup and podcast editing. We have a bookkeeper, and we have an editor for our images. So take a look at your day, take a look at the tasks that you are doing and ask yourself if there is something that you can set up to save yourself a heck of a lot of time — then do that!
- Learn what our work weeks looked like as solopreneurs and before the inevitable brick wall of 2017. [0:05:29.3]
- Understand why it is important to have a routine, and how your schedule can act like your boss. [0:15:12.8]
- Find out how we were able to be less interruptive in our workflow and get more done using Trello. [0:23:23.7]
- Discover the process of designing your dream week and how to incorporate it to best work for your business. [0:26:06.7]
- Understand the concept of batching and whether or not it is right for your business. [0:35:46.9]
- Learn how to put your business on autopilot by delegating out specific tasks. [0:37:51.8]
- Write down what your week looks like now, and then write down what your dream week would look like.
- Go into Trello and add all the things that will help you improve your productivity to your calendar.
- Get our productivity trifecta; Your Biz on Autopilot, Trello for Business, and The Follow Through Method.