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How to Take Maternity Leave without Putting Life on Hold

Lesson 10 of 16

Reinvigorating your Business


How to Take Maternity Leave without Putting Life on Hold

Lesson 10 of 16

Reinvigorating your Business


Lesson Info

Reinvigorating your Business

Alright! So, let's talk about this phase of reinvigorating your business. So, this is like stepping it up, kicking all the stuff back in, because now, you've gotten through the hard stuff, and you're ready to go. So, we're gonna do some identification, of where we want our business to be, in the long haul, and what we need to do, to get our business there. So, the first thing I think about, is what does reinvigorating your business mean to you? It can be different things, to different people. So, maybe for you, it's five days a week, right? You wanna be back, full-time, doing stuff. For other people, you could have an arrangement. Let's say, you're a wedding photographer, where you, you work all day long, on Saturday. You are hardcore, 16 hours all day, Saturday, and that's a full time job. It's fully revved up. But, you have a partner, who can watch your child, because it's the weekend. So, this is gonna look different. The amount of work, that you have, is going to depend on your fam...

ily's needs. I do just want you to think about, you may not... All of these childcare arrangements, that we've been talking about, come into play. So, you can steer your business, in lots of different ways. So, I do encourage you to think about your budget, and where you want your business to be going. Just like we talked about, in maintenance mode, an integrated life is making sure that you have enough time, energy, and money for your priorities. This is never gonna change. (chuckles) You always, you're gonna spend the rest of your life just making sure that you have the time and energy for the things, that are important to you. And so, really revving up is just doing the same thing, but maybe a little bit more. Maybe, you're streamlining a little bit more, maybe you're delegating a little bit more. Maybe, you're adding brainstorming to your values list, right? That's something, that would pick up a bit, in the business momentum. And you never get away, from re-negotiating the agreement, that you have with your family. So, Sara Holoubek says, "When you are responsible for keeping a small human alive, "your understanding of what constitutes a 'real problem' "both in life and work changes. "This perspective has been inordinately helpful "when prioritizing and reprioritizing my day." And so, I think this is a really great insight, into the life changing, that happens, when you become a parent. And so, you may never approach your business the same way. Every business needs a little bit of things, that make money now, and a little bit of the ideas, that'll help my business grow. And so, what the phase you just got through, was doing things to just make some money right now. And what this last phase is really about, is bringing back those things that are invigorating, bringing back the things that are the brainstorming. And that's really where we can put this to work. You may feel, if you stayed in maintenance mode, in kind of what felt like too long, that your business started to stagnate a little. So, this is the time, to give it the jumpstart, and get it growing again. I encourage you, to think about where you'll be in five years. So... This is really exciting. You're coming into this phase, with a business, that's sleek, and you have a lot of great systems running. So, it's almost like starting your business from scratch, except you have this really good framework to work with. So now, you can do all this dreaming. What do you want your business to be like, in five years? So, the first thing I want you to think about, is what benchmark could you reach in five years, and you would be like, wow, I'm really successful! Man, I've really done it! So, for some people, this could be a certain income level. For some people, this could be a magazine feature. There's lots of things, that this could be. It could be teaching on a certain platform. It could be getting a certain number of sales on your website. Whatever you think it would be, that would make you say, yeah, I nailed it, I got it. And once you do that, and you might not do that in this 30 seconds. I really encourage you to think about these things. What you need to do, to reach that benchmark, and are you solidly on the path towards doing it right now? Okay, so let's say, my dream is to be in a magazine in five years. Well, have I pitched to any magazines? Nope. Okay, well, you have to do the steps, to get to your benchmark. So, think about what can you do, to get there? Where do you need to direct your energy, to make sure you are really getting to where you want your business to be? And then, lastly, I'd like to think, for you to think about, what would your perfect work day be like? And are you building your business, so you can get there? So, if you don't really love answering emails... Don't build systems, that force you to be answering emails, for three hours a day. That's sign, it's a task, that you need to delegate, or you need to build your company a little bit differently. So, I really want you to think about what you want your business to be like, and how you can get it there, and just doing a little dreaming. Sometimes, you don't really know where you wanna go, until you kinda put it in the fantasy realm. So, we're not being practical on this worksheet. We're just fantasizing. What would you do for your business, if you had 40,000 dollars. And if you can't come up with any ideas, stop. (chuckles) You're not allowed to do anything else, until you can come up with some ideas. Because, coming up with things, that you could inject money into your business for, that's part of growing your business. How are you gonna grow, if you don't have any ideals about it? What would you do, if you had a 40 hour a week employee? So, where could you get some help? What things could you accomplish? How could you take your products to the next level, if you just had an extra set of hands? And then, I want you to think about, what would you accomplish, with a second you? So, you, the one with all the ideas, who's running the business, is a lot different from just a normal employee. So, if I had a second me, I would tell her to develop a one-year long training program for my customers. That's something, that only I could do. And these are fantasies, and you're never really gonna get a second you, but what if you can delegate, and streamline so well, the actual you can do what you were fantasizing the second you would do, next year? So, that's kinda the goal state. And then, I want you to think about which one of these things, the money, the employee, or the you, (chuckles) would you need most, and why? So, these sound so lofty, but they're really important for thinking about, so that we can at least just get a taste of how to move our business forward. And then, I want you to keep 'em on the back of your mind, for when we get to our hiring chapter. Okay, let's talk about growing a bit more. Where are you leaving money on the table, in your business? So, one example... Let's say, someone signs up for your newsletter. Are you sending out a sales funnel, to all your newsletter sign-ups? And that's an email every week, that's giving them really great information, and eventually leading them to buy your product. Are customers getting thank you emails, that are converting into sign-ups for your newsletter? What if you hired some of these tasks out, so that your email look completely professional, and then started converting into sales? These are all things you can hire someone to do, and we're gonna be talking about that a bit... Simple, little things, that are just gonna pay off, in dividends. So, what if you created, what if you have a digital product, and you hired someone to give it a refresh? So now, it look ten times better, and it would really improve your sales. These are tiny, little things, you wanna think about, for growing your business better. So, more ideas, for taking your business to the next level, the email sales funnel, getting great newsletter content, that are gonna have people coming back to you, again and again, perhaps professional product photos. 'Cause, if you're selling online, people think a meh photo, means it's kind of a meh product. So, if you hired a photographer for the day, and got all new product photos, that's a serious way to amp up your image. You could hire a copywriter, to write your product descriptions. You could start placing ads, or make your ads even better. Buying a new piece of equipment could really take your business to the next level, depending on what your product is. New packaging, or a new logo. So, you really wanna think about, what your bestselling products are, where you're making money, how can you capitalize on those strengths, and then making your business even stronger? So, I'm gonna show you an example here. Aeolidia does brand, web, and product redesigns, and they're sharing with us a story. So, "Stacia and Rob of Handcrafted HoneyBee "had a great product and a fantastic vision for their brand, "but until they invested in professional design "for their logo and packaging, "they were struggling to tell a story "that resonated with their customer." So, here's a case, where they had a great product, they've already been doing the work, but then, (sighs) they were just getting kinda stuck somewhere. And so, Stacia says, "We had a choice to make, "either take a hard look at all aspects of our current brand "and fix it "to attract our target customer, "or just go all-in, ground-up, and rebrand, "in order to provide a real value to our actual customers." And so, this is the end result. So, they hired Aeolidia, to do their rebranding, and their packaging. And since they've done that, their business is growing so quickly. In just less than a year, they've hired employees and already have moved into their own warehouse. So, this is just a great little story, about how doing one thing, investing a bit. Now, you're ready, to kick your business back into full gear, can completely revitalize the trajectory of your business. An example of how I did a little redesign, so before I told you how I was shipping out lots of packages, and... It got to the point, where I wasn't even advertising that product anymore, because it was just too much to manage. My business was becoming unsustainable for my life. So... A year later, I check it out, for I think, 18 months, then I redesigned my site, to have a digital product. So, this was putting an investment into my business, so that it was more compatible with my life. So, this, the digital product, is a subscription club, it's a membership site, it has a forum. I hired a web designer, I hired her an illustrator, to do all-new logos. And so, this was preparing for future growth, for my business, now that I was able to dedicate more time to it, again. So, I really encourage you, to take stock of your life. It's always constant re-analysis. Maybe, you weren't earning what you had hoped. Maybe, you discovered the world doesn't fall apart, if you have pizza every Friday night. Take a peek, at all the aspects in your life, and see how it's working out. Shortcut, I discovered bean bowls. Really, we actually just eat the same thing everyday. It's beans, roasted vegetables, soft boiled eggs, seasonings, bam. That's what our life is like, because that's an area, where we cut back, just streamlined to the max, so that all of the other aspects keep flowing. My business is doing really well, my husband loves his job, our daughter is wonderful. But, we, our food's kinda boring. I don't know, that's just how life is. (chuckles) So, when we're thinking about childcare, and your job, I want you to... Childcare costs a fortune. And I want you to think about, not the cost of childcare, per se, but how these factor into your future earnings. So, we talked earlier, about how a lot of the lower incomes, that women receive, are due to taking time off, for having a baby, and the loss of skills, that is associated with it. So, here's a little graph. So, let's say you took three years off. Your wages, when you come back, are going to be a lot lower. If, though, you pay a childcare cost, but can keep your income increasing, you're lowering that gap. So, you have paid a chunk of money, for a couple of years, but you're gonna see higher earnings, for your business, and your job, for the rest of your life. So, those are the 20 year earnings, that we're thinking about. So, I encourage you to think about this, for the long haul, not just, oh, this is how much the childcare is costing me this year. Okay, quickly, I wanna say, talk a bit about multiple children, illnesses, long term maintenance mode. So... It's like I've been saying the whole time, this is just managing time, money, energy, and it's gonna be different for every person. A lot of people find that the system works really well for one child. And then, for a second one, it can be really hard, to put your life on hold, again. We've been talking a lot about children, but this same system works, for, let's say, your parent or spouse has an illness, or for some other reason, you need to go into a long term maintenance mode, for personal issues. All of these features, about streamlining, eliminating, delegating, and creating flexibility, can be made to work. And people have done a maintenance mode, multiple times over again, but some people have found, that it won't work for them. So, Abigail Rasminsky said, "I just don't know how I'd put my career on hold "for a second time." And I think that's a really important insight. You're doing some calculations, with your business momentum, with your finances, and it may, or may not work for you. The same thing, with your fantasy, about how long, maybe you wanted to take off, or go into maintenance mode, for three years, but you find your business momentum slowed so much, you had to cut it back. So, these are the realities of life. And it's all about deciding what's gonna work, for you.

Class Description

If the term “maternity leave” makes you nervous, you’re not alone.

The big challenge: stepping away from life for 3 months with the expectation of returning to work after maternity leave like nothing happened. Many working women already put in 12 hours a day, so how does one manage with fewer? This common practice is particularly detrimental to small business owners, who find their business slipping away during maternity leave, along with confused and disappointed customers, even when the business has returned to normal.

There’s a better way.

Instead of a traditional maternity leave, in How to Take Maternity Leave without your Putting Life on Hold, Stacey will show you how to put your business into maintenance mode for as long as you want: keeping your business functioning at a high level to keep your customers happy, but not requiring your full-time attention. It will make returning to work after maternity leave much more seamless.  

Many business owners spend time on tasks that are not essential. By eliminating these excess activities, you can distill your business into a few hours a day of powerful productivity. Keep your business going while still spending the time with your family that only comes once in a lifetime. When you’re returning to work after maternity leave, you’ll find that your newly-discovered efficiency has transformed your business. You may even decide to limit work to a few hours a day, permanently!

You’ll Learn How To:

·       Determine which tasks in your business are worth your time and attention

·       Streamline your business down to the bare essentials, creating successful systems

·       Calculate how much money you need to earn during your leave, and work the minimum number of hours to achieve it

·       Take advantage of ‘down time’ in productive ways

·       Decide when to hire out tasks, even if you’ve never considered hiring contractors before

·       Find non-standard childcare options… there’s more than full-time daycare!

·       Effortlessly shift your business back into ‘full-rev’ mode

During Stacey’s daughter’s first year, she earned 65% of what she earned the previous year, working during baby’s naps and in the evenings. She was able to do this by streamlining her business and working on only what brought in results, cutting work time down to a couple of hours a day. Her daughter entered traditional daycare when she was 20 months old, with a transition that was seamless to customers, because it appeared as if she had been working full-time all along.

Learn how you can apply Stacey’s techniques and strategies to your maternity leave plan. Even if you’re not a small business owner, you’ll find ways to assess and streamline your work, make time for this once-in-a-lifetime period,  manage childcare, rev up and get back in the game.   


Patrice Horvath

Thank you for making such an important class!!! This is a topic we all really need to talk about openly and have some guidance on! I'm 29, recently married and went freelance last year because I knew I'd want flexibility when I started a family. My business has gained momentum recently and this will course be so important to have handy during the next few years when I start a family to help me maintain my business. Thank you, very excited!