Finding a work/life balance

Have you ever gotten to the point that you just want to throw everything in the fuck it bucket and walk away, from work, life and everything in between?

Homeschooling, running two businesses and a husband who works away has had me frazzled and I’m not afraid to admit it! I knew that I wasn’t alone when I asked the question “As female entrepreneurs, what do you think your biggest pain points are” in my facebook group this week and the poll came back with work/life balance having double the amount of votes of the second, most popular, option.

So, I went to my coach this week (yup even us coaches see the benefit of working with a coach) with the problem of sorting my work/life balance out. As is always the way with pure coaching, I was asked questions around my thoughts and feelings of my current situation and came to the conclusion of how I can get this balance for myself and my family and what steps I could take to find this peace and happiness that I am craving.

Photo by Alex Green on Pexels.com

How was I feeling?

Pure overwhelm if I’m honest. Not only are we dealing with homeschooling (something that I am majorly failing at) I’m trying to run my businesses, keep my podcast going and am on a course to gain my PCC accreditation with the International Coaching Federation. We hear so much that networking is key to building a business so was spending a good 1-2 hours on my phone first thing in the morning trying to find those ideal clients. Then would lose my shit because the house would be a mess from the kids making their own breakfast, the day then followed in that sequence… me trying to get work done then having to clean up after the kids who’d be running feral.

What can I control?

A really powerful question that I ask myself and my clients is “what can you control” this works in any situation where you are feeling overwhelmed but is something that I hadn’t considered here. I cannot control that the children are home, that my husband works away, or that somedays the kids just really do want to spend the day trying to kill each other. But I could control where I directed my attention, What I chose to prioritise and how I react to situations.

Notifications

I started by turning off all notifications on my phone. I think this is my biggest distraction and time waster during the day. As soon as I settle to complete a task my phone, watch, iPad and mac buzz all with the same notification so that no matter where I am or what I’m doing my attention is diverted. Then FOMO kicks in and I get drawn into the inevitable scroll hole of whatever app the notification has come from. Turning off the notifications means that I now only give my phone the attention I want to give it and a time that it is convinient to me.

Set a routine

I like to think of myself as a highly organised person but everything seems to have gone wrong in this latest lockdown. So I’ve set myself a daily schedule/routine where I can find this magical work/life balance. I will be sticking to it regradless of my husband being home or working away and have changed my appointments to reflect this;

I’m holding myself accountable as I can see the difference that this structure has made to our home life already this week. I’ve explained to the kids that I need them to be focused in their time and the behaviour I need from them whilst I am working. This will be rewarded with a high value activity like baking or helping me to cook dinner.

I also opened up a conversation where I explained that they need to be cleaning up after themselves (and exactly what “clearing up” means to me) and that if this is not done then it will result in the consequence of me having to do this in time that was allocated as family time.

How do I feel now?

I honestly feel as if a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. My kids know what to expect from me and what I expect from them so I’m not getting to the point of a meltdown before anyone gets anything done. They know that they have set time each day for their 1:1 time and that mummy won’t be distracted by the blasted pinging of her phone!

Having set times to work means that I have a 4 hour slot each day to really concentrate and get things done. The children won’t be screaming for my attention and I can use the morning to set them up with activities to do during my working time to keep them from getting bored.

I feel now that I have the work life balance that I so desperately needed and in a period where we are all time poor this is more valuable to me than ever.

My questions to you:

Don’t forget to come over to the FACEBOOK GROUP where I ask daily questions to get you thinking about your business in a way which will help you to grow.

Want to find out how I can help you to clarify and focus yourself to increase productivity and success? Book a free 30 minute discovery call with me. You won’t regret it.

Podcast | Bare Kind | Interview with Lucy Jeffery

Lucy is a woman on a mission. She left her career in banking to pursue her dream of running a business that is not only sustainable but that also means she can help out charities with some financial renumeration.

After watching the horrific video of a sea turtle having a plastic straw pulled from its nostril Lucy knew that she wanted to play her part in the battle against single use plastic so embarked on a journey to sell an alternative to plastic straws. This then developed into sourcing a supplier for bamboo material, which is a sustainable and eco friendly fabric, that she could have custom designed and made into socks.

There are currently 5 different designs featuring a different animal on each pair, the animal featured represents the charity that it is supporting. For every sale of the design above 10% of the profit goes to The Turtle Foundation.

Lucy has new designs in process which will be available in April, she has worked with a graphic designer to create all her images to date but hopes that she will be able to design her images herself in future.

During our interview Lucy spoke of her morning routine which involves a freezing cold shower, this is something I have heard of in the past and decided to give it ago, I speak briefly of my findings on the podcast but I will go into more detail, on how it has affected me, at a later date.

Please do check out Lucy’s website HERE, her products are for a great cause and I know that Lucy, and all the animals she helps out, will appreciate your support!

As always, please let me know your thoughts on today’s episode, don’t forget to come and join the Facebook group and I’ll be back with another episode next week.

Podcasting for Business Awards

Back in early January I stumbled across a Facebook post for an awards ceremony for Indie podcasters. I bookmarked the add so that I could keep an eve on the event and hopefully sign up next year. Some how I found myself on the website page and entering my baby podcast, the podcast that had been going less than 8 weeks, the podcast that had fewer than 10 episodes! I entered and thought nothing of it!

A couple of weeks later the entry deadline passed and had something to look forward too on a dreary mid January day! It was going to be an evening of hanging out with podcasters and podcast listeners if nothing else!

I only went and bloody won!! I was shocked to bits, I could hardly believe I made the top 4 let alone won my category!! To say I’ve been on cloud 9 since then is an understatement, my award now has pride of place behind me so you’ll get used to seeing it in my videos.. you may get a bit sick of me mentioning it but if I don’t toot my own horn no one will!

So where now? What does an award winning podcaster do? Retire? Do guest appearances around the world for money?? I wish! Nothing as glamorous just yet but I am planning on making the podcast even better, interviewing more guest who fit my criteria and overall continue to coach female business owners on launching, re launching and growing their online creative business.

You can watch my section of the awards ceremony here;

I really do thank each and every person who listens, shares and supports my podcast and all of my projects. I appreciate you all.

Podcast | Hypnobirthing Coach | Interview with Laura Abba

I had the absolute pleasure of interviewing Laura at the beginning of the mont, Laura is a Hypnobirthing coach and is very passionate about what she does! I learnt so much about a career that I never really knew existed and really enjoyed our chat.

We discussed what it is that a hypnobirthing coach does, how Laura got started and what plans she has for her business in the future.

A big part of the conversations was focused on juggling motherhood and running a business and the pressure that we put on ourselves. And also about the anxieties of pregnancy and childbirth and how things have changed over the last 12 months since Covid hit.

You can reach Laura on her website and social media channels @mindthemother I know she would really appreciate it if you guys swung by and said hello!

>>>> Join My Facebook Community <<<<

Ok so ‘fess up! Who hasn’t joined the Facebook group yet? I’m over there creating a community of creative entrepreneur’s and you are officially invited! I’m going to be running a challenge over there for February so you have to be there to take part. You never know, you might get some sales 😉

YouTube | Using Trello as a Life Planner

For those of you who have followed me for a while or who know me personally you will know that I am obsessed with organisation and planning. I used to be a big part of the planning community in the UK and have a whole businesses making leather bound notebooks.

I came away from that community a few years back and have been doing my own thing since then. I haven’t really been crafting so my YouTube channel was kind of left to dwindle away… sad, sad days!

This week I decided to revamp my channel and give it a bit of a make over.. I’m currently taking out some of the videos and working on creating more content. I wanted to keep this channel as I had such a lovely community over there and would love to be part of that again. My subscribers are mainly crafters so they are my perfect audience for the content that I plan on creating from here on in!

If you don’t already use Trello then you should be, its a fantastic piece of software that I use to manage everything from my direct sales clients to my courses and 1:1 clients. This video takes you through everything you need to know about getting started!

As always I hope that you enjoy and feel inclined to leave me a happy comment and a thumbs up and also to subscribe. It is always much appreciated!

A few people have reached out lately and asked how they can support me and assist me in continuing to create content so I have set up a link at Buy Me A Coffee which is a platform that you can donate the cost of a posh coffee, of course this is not a requirement and a like/subscribe and share also help me out massively.

If you have an Etsy store and you would like to be featured on my YouTube channel for a FREE Etsy audit then please do drop me a message via the contact form and I will aim to get you booked in.

Podcast | Financial Adviser | Interview with Nicola Tempest Hall

I had the absolute please in interviewing Nic for this weeks podcast episode, Nic is a wealth of information on all things financial and I took away so much value from our chat.

This pandemic has opened my eyes of how fragile life is and how we get comfortable in our lives but when something happens that takes our ability to earn away we all need a back up plan. Nic tells us what the back up plan could look like and how we’d go ahead and get that in place for our future selves.

If you haven’t hear I have just relaunched my Etsy Masterclass, this time it will be run via a private Facebook group where I will do daily live videos for 5 days, these videos will cover everything from choosing your name and the steps to open your shop right through to marketing, titles, tags and descriptions finishing with a launch strategy! You will also receive a FREE etsy shop audit from me which is worth £75!

The course starts on the 8th Feb and is just £29.. it will not be available at this price again so if you are looking to launch, relaunch and grow your handmade business you need to book now via this link.

Finally, please do go ahead and give my podcast a 5* rating and review, it helps me to be seen and is helping me to grow my audience which will help me keep it going.

Until next time, stay safe. Michelle xx

Podcast | The Content Planning Wizard | Interview with Amy Downes

Amy was an absolute dream to have on the show this week, her passion for what she does and the people that she works with really shone through and became infectious. The conversation flowed and we soon racked up over an hour’s worth of air time. The problem was that when it came time to edit I really struggled with removing anything, it was all such good content.

Let down by my audio equipment and children who decided it would be a great time to drag each other round the garden on a sledge would have seen me abandoning the interview once upon a time but I really feel that this is who I am and that my audience appreciate that about me, I’ll never be a perfect presenter and I’m kinda okay with that!

We started the interview with Amy telling us all about how she came to be in the business she is in, what exactly a content planning wizard is and what she can do to help small businesses, her “power hours” sound amazing and are bookable through her social media channels and a quick glance around her Facebook will give you a taste of just how incredibly talented this lady is at her job.

Want to know how to plan your content for the whole of 2021?
It’s not as scary as it sounds!
With the start of the year all sorted, things are starting to settle down and hopefully you’ll be finding a routine.
It’s a great time to take a look at your social media and plan what you want to post in the coming weeks and months, once that’s all figured it’s one less thing on your very busy to-do list!
I’m proud to have been invited to speak on lots of networking sessions where I’ll be helping fellow mums in business get their content calendar for the year sorted.
I’d love for you to join me at one of the following sessions on Facebook (I’ll share the links to each event in the comments):
– Wednesday 13th January, 7 pm, Mums in Business Int. Networking Hinckley
– Thursday 28th January, 8pm, Mums in Business Int. Networking Leeds and Wakefield
-Monday 1st February, 7:30 pm, Mums in Business Int. Networking Preston and Blackpool
– Tuesday 9th February, 1pm, The Entrepreneurs Growth Group.
I’m also appearing on the She Makes Biz Talk podcast which is out tomorrow!

The above was one of Amy’s posts from today and gives you a taste of the type of content you can expect from her and what her brand is all about.

You can find Amy on her social media channels; Facebook, Facebook Group, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

Have you joined our new Facebook group yet? Get yourself over to SHE Makes BizTalk – The Network and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram.

Lastly, I have a huge favour to ask you all… please head over to where ever you listen to your podcasts and leave me a 5* rating and review. I’ll be doing shoutouts in upcoming interviews and you might just find yourself featured.

Take care, stay safe.

Michelle xx

Podcast | PR and Marketing | Interview with Louise Burke – ZAPP Communications

It was such a pleasure interviewing Louise for this weeks podcast episode. We learn all about the PR/Marketing industry 25 years ago when Louise entered it and how it has changed in recent years.

The conversation flowed so well and we both seem to have a common interest of helping other small businesses to grow and succeed.

As well as learning how Louise “stumbled” into the glamorous world of PR she shares her knowledge and expertise of how a business can identify and reach their target market and why this is so important to help you grow.

Not only have I enjoyed connecting with Louise to interview for the podcast I was so impressed by her attitude and energy that I have decided to have her work on my PR and Marketing in 2021 when I have a few big things planned which will all be revealed to you soon!

We really hope that you enjoy this weeks episode and that you will subscribe and give me a 5* rating. If you do decide to check by Louise’s social media don’t forget to tell her that I sent you and say hi, I will add her links below for you.

Zapp Communications – Website

Facebook Page

Facebook Group

Instagram

As always you can contact and/or follow me over on my links page!

I’ve taken a few days away from social media (it’s been a struggle believe me) but I’ll be hitting the ground running in 2021 and have plans to take you all with me so buckle up and get ready for a hell of a ride.

Have a very happy new year, I look forward to connecting with you in 2021!

Michelle xx

Podcast | The Epsom Bakehouse | Interview with Rhiannon Abbot

Does anyone else feel like time just mushes together at Christmas? I swear I went to bed yesterday and it was Friday and I’ve woken up on Wednesday! Which is why this blog post is. day lat in reaching you… opps!!

So this week’s podcast I had the absolute pleasure of interviewing Rhiannon from The Epsom Bakehouse. I was so excited to get Rhiannon on as I’d never come across a business quite like hers!

Rhiannon started her business making and selling the most amazing looking bread which then developed into her training and teaching others to do the same, when covid hit she, like many others, had to pivot her business massively to allow it to continue running.

Thankfully Rhiannon already had a bit of a social media presence which allowed her to reach out to her followers and create online courses, group bake alongs and other amazingly doughy ideas. You can find out more about Rhiannon and The Epsom Bakehouse on the latest episode of the podcast by searching “She Makes Biz Talk” where ever you normally tune in to listen.

Now for the part where you help ME!! My mission for my podcast is to help and inspire others to get started or grow heir business, I plan on doing this by having other business owners tell their stories and give their business tips. As you know podcasting does not pay (well not until you are big time anyway) so I am doing this purely for you. If you have listened to my podcast I would love for you to leave me a 5* review and for you to share your favourite episode on social media using #shemakesbiztalk and tagging @itsmichellemills this helps me to be seen and motivates me to continue creating content for you 🙂

You can find Rhiannon on her website The Epsom Bakehouse or on her social media Facebook and Instagram.

We will see you with the last episode of 2020 next Tuesday.

Michelle xx

Podcast | The Parenting Copywriter | Interview with Sarah Davis

I had the absolute pleasure of interviewing Sarah Davis a few weeks back. Sarah is a published author and spoke about how the inspiration for the poems in her book came to her during the many night feeds with her, then, small baby.

Sarah’s love of writing led her to take a copywriting course and to launch her own business creating content for parenting blogs, books and businesses.

It was so lovely listening to a couple of Sarah’s poems and you can check out her book HERE.

Honestly I had never thought how a copywriter could help my business, to me they were something that the big magazines and blogs had need for, not little old me with my blog and podcast. But Sarah explained how she has been helping parenting blogs/websites with creating content and now it seems like a no brainer.

I want you guys to use the comments to tell me if a copy writer is something you’d have considered before this interview and if it is something that you would now consider using.

I love that I am discovering so many new things via this podcast. If you’ve found it helpful, inspirational or just worth a listen please do go ahead and drop me a 5* rating, I’ll love you long time.