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6 Productivity Tips for Wearing the Superwoman Cape With Grace

By giving your permission to live, you're making it a point to put as much effort into your personal life as you do your professional life. Doing so will make you a healthier and happier mom, wife, and of course, business owner.
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I am not here to make bold claims or promises when it comes to achieving a healthy balance in your life and business. But, I am here to talk about what it takes to wear the Superwoman cape with grace and confidence. I will not sprinkle fairy dust on this journey, nor will I tell you it will always be easy, but I will give you some advice that may help you find some balance in your life.

I have always been a CEO, independent contractor, and business owner.

My life changed in 2006 when I gave birth to my second baby and wanted to take some time off (a sweet nine months) of commercial real estate to fulfill my dream of becoming a health coach. I went back to school, and four months before I graduated, I was faced with a harsh reality.

I still remember my husband standing before me and solemnly telling me, "Honey, everything is gone." My husband's business crashed and burned, and so did our investments and savings.

I had a decision to make.

Would I go back into real estate to have financial stability or pursue my dream and take a huge financial risk?

My husband's business never recovered. I kept hoping for the day he would be able to put the pieces back together but the business was gone and I was scared.

I had no idea what we were going to do.

Would I be forced to go back to the rat race in commercial real estate and trade my dream for financial security?

I sat there looking at my children, ages 1 and 3, and I felt desperate.

I felt angry we had lost everything. I felt angry we would not have that extra income. But looking back, I realized I was not angry; I was scared.

Luckily, we were left with only one smart investment -- our home that we chose to pay off when both our businesses were doing well financially. I am so glad we made that investment, or our lives could have taken a completely different path.

Like many women, I believe dreams should become a reality. I chose my dreams, and I took the risk. So we ultimately sold the house and lived off our savings until it ran out as I pursued my health coaching business.

The first few years of my business were tough, but I did not give up. Knowing that my husband's business would never recover, I was driven to build a sustainable and profitable business. During that period, I truly stepped into my Superwoman cape -- because I didn't have a choice.

I made 13K, and I knew that would not pay the bills. My second year, I was still struggling to balance it all -- being a mom to little kids, building a business in a new state and trying to take care of myself.

I remember listening to other moms on playdates talk about what was the best organic food, and I was thinking about how I'd pay the bills. I felt torn.

I had to birth a business, and I had no idea where to start in a world forever changed by internet marketing. I swear birthing my two children naturally felt easier.

In my business before, I was the walking billboard, but now I had to learn about social media, email marketing, fancy websites, and craft my message in a world of stiff competition.

I learned fast because I needed to make money, and I wish I could tell you my journey was pain-free, but it wasn't.

I lost myself in my business. I sacrificed self-care.

I felt hurt on the inside. I would often think I was a "bad mom" when I would watch my husband enjoying my kids while I was working.

I am proud of who I have become and I proudly support my family, but there were days when I would hear my children laughing with their dad and get jealous. Yet, developing my business was my primary focus to support my family, and with my success came sacrifice.

I worked my tail off daily, sometimes clocking 80-hour weeks or more learning how to master social media, build my brand, and grow my business from the ground up. I am sure you can relate. I was fried, but I had no other choice.

At first, I did NOT wear the Superwoman cape with grace because I did not know how. I was pressured to make ends meet, pay the bills, and pay for my kids' schooling.

I became the breadwinner, and I would have done anything to support my family, even if it meant sacrificing my health to put food on the table.

But then, it all crashed down on me, even though my business quickly became successful. I felt unhappy, unfulfilled, and my health was suffering.

After making several mistakes, I have learned how to wear that Superwoman cape with grace.

We made it work because I learned to ask for help. In the beginning years of my business, my motto was "I can do it all by myself." However, I learned the hard way that I could not, and my Superwoman cape was barely hanging on.

I told my husband, thereby admitting to myself, "I cannot do this alone." This is when my life and my business changed. I was not pretending anymore that I could do it all. This is when I started to wear the Superwoman cape with grace.

I was locked away in my office, acting as the mastermind of my own creation, committed to achieving financial success for my family, when it hit me:

I have to "lean out" as much as I "lean into" my life.

I had to schedule my time. I had to learn how to shut everything down and lean into my life at home, with my clients, and in my business.

I had to let go of the outcome and fear. I had to believe there was a reason I was placed in the situation to be the breadwinner.

Here are some of the ways I successfully balance being a mom, wife and 6-figure business owner, and how you can do the same:

Prioritize your Day

From the time you wake up, to the time you go to sleep, you must schedule your day if you want to keep all your balls in the air. This means scheduling work time, family time, and self-care time (yes, it's just as important) as if they are all mandatory meetings.

I make sure to schedule all of my work, including calls, during my business hours and sticking to those hours. Before I start work for the day at 8 AM, I schedule self-care, which typically includes going for a run, or going to the gym. After business hours, it's family time from 4 30 PM to 8 PM. Then, from 8 PM to 10 PM it's more self-care time and time with my husband. When you don't do this, it's much too easy to let your work take over your life.

Take Advantage of Productivity Apps

We live in a world where technology can solve nearly every problem, including work/life balance. Yes, you heard that right. You can calm business chaos by taking advantage of business productivity software.

There are an infinite number of them to choose from, but here are my favorite solutions:

• 17hats: An all-in-one app that lets you manage your projects, build quotes, capture leads, sign contracts, create invoices, handle finances, and basically everything else you need to do.

• Teamwork: This is a robust project management platform that is key for managing my teams and projects. I create to-do lists for my team, create milestones, assign tasks, and collaborate on projects via Teamwork.

• TimeTrade: TimeTrade is an online appointment scheduling software, which is a critical component to my business because it allows my coaching clients to book easily time to speak with me based on the availability I've inputted. This is a huge time-saver and money-saver for any business.

Streamline Online Visibility Efforts

Like amplifying business productivity, technology can also work wonders for quickly managing online visibility.

For example, for social networking, download all of the social media apps on your phone and connect them all. This way, when you post to Instagram, your post also goes to Facebook and Twitter. This will save you from having to log in to each individual account on your computer and pasting your status to each network.

I also recommend using social media management software, such as Edgar, Buffer or Hootsuite. These platforms allow you to connect all of your accounts, and then create and schedule content for a specific date and time. It works well if you spend an hour on Monday morning or Friday afternoon creating and scheduling social media content so that you don't have to bother with it during the rest of the week.

By scheduling the content ahead of time, you're also less likely to be distracted with aimlessly browsing social feeds during the week when you should be working.

For video streaming, you can download the Periscope app to your phone so that you can stream content whenever you have a spare moment. Then, you can save the video to your phone and upload it to YouTube or Vimeo, which only takes a few moments.

Outsource Your Business

Why, as business owners, do we feel like we have to do it all ourselves? What most of us fail to realize is that if we just made the decision to outsource some of our work, we'd save money and free up time to focus on profit generation.

Think of it this way, as a business owner; your time is the most valuable asset you have to offer. After all, you're the brains behind the company. Therefore, whatever your hourly rate is, it's probably a good deal higher than what many contractors will charge. If this is the case (and it's not with all types of contractors, but with many), then by outsourcing, you're saving money-per-hour, freeing up your schedule, and increasing productivity.

There is no excuse not to outsource these days, as you can find skilled contractors in every line of work without ever leaving your house. The issue many business owners have is giving up the control to someone else. However, if you find skilled contractors and use productivity apps to manage your projects, there should be no reason you don't benefit exponentially from outsourcing.

To find contractors, I look at upwork.com, fiverr.com, or I ask online in forums, where I trust the advice and comments from other people in successful businesses.

Outsource Your Life

Okay, I don't mean outsource all of your life, but just like in business, you should outsource where it makes sense in your personal life. For example, I know many business owners who hire a nanny to help with their younger kids while they work. This is a form of personal outsourcing that allows the woman to maximize business productivity during the day so that she can maximize family time after-hours instead of worrying about her work late into the night.

I also know women that have their dinners prepared and brought to their house so that they can be involved in extracurricular activities with their kids rather than spending two hours in the kitchen. I also know women that hire a housekeeper to clean once a week so they can free up more personal time.

Of course, it isn't just about hiring paid help, it's also about outsourcing to those around you, such as your husband, parents, older kids, etc. For example, in my personal life, my husband takes on the job of doing laundry and helping the kids with their homework and my children also help around the house. These are all forms of personal outsourcing because you cannot rely on yourself to do it all.

Give Yourself Permission to Live

So often, we hear about the hardships of hustling for your business. We hear about people like the woman I used to be, who clock 80 hours per week and sacrifice time with loved ones. We hear about lack of sleep and abundance of stress. What we don't hear about often enough is all of the good stuff! This is because entrepreneurs get so buried in the hustle, they don't even enjoy all of the rewards!

Right here and right now, I want you to give yourself permission to live! For me, that means clocking out without overworking myself, dancing to Adele and having a Skype chat with a girlfriend in the middle of the work day, hiring a team of people I enjoy working with, going for a run at 9 AM when most people are stuck in traffic, going to the beach on a Friday because I can, working remotely from the park instead of being stuck in my home office, and taking the day off to get pampered with my daughter.

By giving your permission to live, you're making it a point to put as much effort into your personal life as you do your professional life. Doing so will make you a healthier and happier mom, wife, and of course, business owner.

If you are feeling lost, or you feel like you are not wearing your Superwoman cape with grace, I can only hope that my advice helps you find some balance in the midst of your chaos. Being a 6-figure CEO, wife, and mother, comes with sacrifice and hard work, but it doesn't have to deplete your energy, your health, or your happiness -- like it once did mine.

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