One of my favorite things is helping other women get creative and create money, revenue and a successful business out of something they love to do – especially when they can run it from their sofa! If you are ready to start your own business, work from home, and create income from your blog or podcast or whatever, this episode is for you! I’ve got a big list of questions you guys asked and I am REALLY excited to dive into them! PS – part 2 of this business Q&A will be out soon!
In This Episode Allie Discusses:
Her tips for getting started and the best ways to fight discouragement.
How to balance work and family life.
Ways to generate income for your blog.
The importance of delegating work and when you know it is time you start bringing on a team.
What you need to get started.
Mentioned in this Episode:
Interested in becoming an affiliate for Allie’s courses? Sign up here.
Allie’s Courses (Use the code PURPOSESHOW for 10% off!)
Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.
Hey guys! Welcome! All right, we are doing an “ask anything” episode. I love these.
Usually on Instagram (sometimes we involve Facebook, sometimes we’ll send an email out and get some questions from there) but what we do is we send out a topic with a question box where people see a topic – family, minimalism, business – and they can submit any question that they have on that topic for me.
A while back we did one centered around business and I think next time we do it, I’m going to be more specific because this is such a beast of a topic. It’s really huge, it’s really important and is a huge passion of mine. I absolutely love helping other women get creative, get passionate and create money, revenue and a successful business out of what they care about and what their passion is, and absolutely from their living room sofa not needing to go out and be away from their kids if that’s not what they want.
Some of you mommas absolutely want that. You need the break and thrive doing your thing outside of the house. And that’s great. But not everybody wants that.
So, for those of you who are starting your own businesses, have a dream to work from home and want to create income from your blog or your podcast or whatever it is, I’m your girl. I love helping with that. And although this podcast is not a business podcast, this is something that we can talk about every once in a while.
If you guys have the questions and they’re rolling in enough, we’ll talk about anything on here because this show is a lifestyle show for moms. It’s not one and done. It’s not just about one thing.
So, okay, I’ve got a big list of questions here and what I’m going to do…I’m just really relaxed here, just doing this live. Well, this is recorded, but you know what I’m saying. This isn’t super preplanned or anything. I’ve got a list of questions here in Trello and I am going to go through, skim through and pick out the ones that seem like they’d be the most helpful and we’ll just go through it this way.
So, ask me anything about business. Here we go.
Here’s some questions that are about the starting process of a business.
What was the hardest part of starting your business? Uh, being broke. If you guys have not listened to episode six of The Purpose Show you might want to go back and do that.
It’s basically the story of our business. The story of how we came to run this together, Brian & I. He used to work for a really big company. He worked a ton of hours. He was gone all the time and we were really broke all the time. We lived that way for years. And so not having the financial resources to start out in an easier way, I think starting a business is incredibly grueling no matter what. But also, not having funds for things like a new laptop, a microphone, even some decent headphones. I desperately wanted noise canceling headphones just so that I could get some work done in the evenings when Brian would come home from work and he’d be doing bedtime with the kids. I could hear everything. We lived in the Midwest at the time and it would be icy and cold and, being from SoCal, I just didn’t want to brace that and go out and find a coffee shop. Or they’d all be really full and it became too difficult to even find a spot to work in town, you know? It was easier to stay home.
But I could hear everything and it was hard to focus. My laptop was really crappy. I got it off of Craigslist from this creepy guy and it just wouldn’t work. The fan was super loud on it. It was old. It was slow.
I was constantly worried about how we were going to make it. How are we going to pay bills? We were behind on our car. We were behind on our rent. So just that stress, that heavy financial burden was the hardest part of starting for me.
But I think also (and this might be more relatable to everyone else) working so hard to create really good content that’s going to help people and feeling like nobody is seeing it. That’s really frustrating. It takes a lot of time and energy and you’re constantly creating this stuff – these blog posts, these podcasts episodes – whatever it is for you. For me (at the time I didn’t have the podcast) it was a blog-based business.
I had been blogging for, gosh, I don’t know, five years, but had just recently decided, “You know what? I’m going to turn this into a business. We’re done with this hand-to-mouth lifestyle. And I’m going to make this something big.” And I told Brian, “I’m going to get to a point where people know my name. This is big. They know my message. And this is going to be a global phenomenon. Just watch.”
And it’s really cool because I said that when we were trying to stretch one cereal bowl into four and in the middle of the Midwest, away from all of our friends and family, and really struggling.
And it’s hard because you see that picture and you’re busting out all of this content to help people, but it does feel sometimes like nobody is even seeing it.
And I think my advice on that…I don’t want to just tell you what the hardest part was and then move on. What I would say to anybody in that place who’s really relating to that (you know, what I’m saying) I would say you need to realize the power of the few people who are watching. Even if they’re not reading every blog post, even if they’re not opening up every email, they are there.
Somebody is there. Somebody really likes what you have to say. Even if there’s one person. Even if there’s 3. If there’s 50. If there’s a few hundred, you know, but it’s just not massive, don’t look at what I have now and think. “Man, I just wish…”
It’s not helpful. It’s not constructive. And you have to realize that I was talking about this same stuff that I’m talking about now, but nobody was there. It was just 10 people, and then it grew to 50 people, and then it grew to 300 people. I thought that was a big deal some days. But then other days I’d get frustrated because I’d see other people having way more than me and I let that frustrate me.
But the thing is that you will never, ever have those tens of thousands or millions of people if you don’t start with the 10. If you don’t serve those 10 well, show up for them, consistently get in their inbox and create content that’s helpful for them, inspiring for them, that’s true to who you are so they can connect with you…those are the people who are going to spread you to their friends, their neighbors, their families, share you on social media and talk about you at mom’s group.
Those are the people that grew me to the millions now, but it doesn’t start that way for most people.
What is the very first step you would take if you had to do it all over again? This is an amazing question. I would start my email list earlier. I blogged for a long time with really no email list. I had an RSS feed and stuff like that, but you have to have an email list.
I recommend Convertkit. That’s what I use for my email list. I love them and I like their pricing. It moves up as your list size grows so you’re not paying $500 a month right out the gate. It’s like $49 a month to start. And then as you grow more followers and more email subscribers, then the price goes up accordingly. Once you hit 500 it goes up a little bit and once you hit 5,000 it goes up a little bit. Your email list is where your money is going to come in.
I don’t like to rely on social media and algorithms for my success. I love Instagram and I do use it. I don’t really play the algorithm games. I just kind of show there and do my thing. I’m not super rule following and picky on there about when’s the perfect time to post this photo. I’m just there. I’m sharing. And once people realize it, they stay and they like the content, and I’m not worried about the algorithms.
But the thing is, is that so many people put all their eggs in one basket, or they just rely so heavily on social media to carry their businesses. And the problem with that is that certain platforms expire. They die out.
Look at Periscope. Periscope was the newest, the latest, the hottest livestreaming platform. It was super popular. It grew. It broke records with how much it grew and how quickly it grew. It was such a success. And then it died because of Facebook Live. Facebook is probably not going anywhere, but that still doesn’t mean that you should put all your eggs in that basket because their algorithm is constantly changing. It’s like a mind game over there.
I don’t want my business success or failure to be in the hands of someone else. Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest…there are other companies running them.
But when you focus on your email list, you put the power in your own hands. Everybody checks their email. No one’s gonna miss that. Maybe they’ll choose to not open it, but everyone checks their email, so when you get in their inbox, that’s powerful. That is where you can make sales, you can connect, you can share your passion in a very deep way. And it’s very personal. You’re writing like a friend to these people. I always write my emails like they’re to a friend because I feel that way about you guys first of all. And secondly, because I want to connect with you because if I can’t connect with you, you’re not going to hear my message. And my message is important. It’s going to change your life if you’ll hear it. I know that.
I wish that I would have realized that sooner. I did start my email list pretty early on when I switched my blog to my business, but I just wished that I would’ve had an email list growing while I was blogging for five years. I did not have any email list and that really sucked. Starting from zero there, you know, it’s hard.
How did you start making a steady income from your blog? There are a few different options when it comes to creating income from your blog. The most common way is affiliates. I’m not a huge fan of affiliate marketing. And by this I mean like Amazon affiliate links, talking about other products and trying to get the clicks to make money. It just doesn’t vibe with me. I don’t like to be paid to tell people what products from Amazon to buy. I don’t really do any of that. I do have an Amazon affiliate account because obviously at my level there’s millions of people watching what I do. So, if I do happen to find a really great jacket or a great pair of shoes that I absolutely love and I want to share it of my own volition, I will. And I do believe I should be compensated from that. So, every once in a while I’ll use an affiliate link like that.
But some people use Amazon affiliate links…they find things that are high priced so that each click gets them more money and they will not even buy the product. They’ll just promote it. They make stuff up straight out of the air and then use an Amazon affiliate link to try to get money. And that just doesn’t work for me. Like I said, it doesn’t vibe with me. It feels dishonest and slimy and I just didn’t want to do that.
Also, I’m not a huge fan of getting people to click away from my site. I’m not here to have a blog that makes me money. I’m here to spread my message. So, if you’re there to just have a blog that makes you money and to bring an income, there’s nothing wrong with that. Your approach is just going to be different and you might want to look into affiliate links and things like that and creating money from things other people have done.
My courses have affiliate programs and a lot of moms sign up for the affiliate program and make money from telling people about my courses that have changed their lives already and then they make the money back that they spent on the course and then some. They bring in hundreds every month. It just depends on how they’re sharing it.
There is nothing wrong with affiliate programs. I think they’re very powerful. But for me, my message is my passion and it’s important that I get that out into the world. And I knew there was a way for me to create a very steady and powerful income by doing that, so I went the route of courses and online programs.
Basically, it’s almost impossible to get everything out that you want to say for free on a blog or a podcast if you’re a busy mom. But if you put everything in one vault, in one area, and you organize it, you put it in order, you can see that you’ve covered every single topic, every single base, then you can package it up and sell it. And that’s basically what an online course is.
It’s for the people who want all the information. They’re done with whatever the problem is that your course solves and they want the solution. They’re willing to pay for it and they want all of it. They don’t want to just get inspired and listen to a podcast or read a blog. They want to be coached to solving this problem that your course solves.
And so, I created my course because my audience was asking me for one. It was slow going at first, of course, but eventually through growth, guest blogging on other people’s blogs, getting podcast interviews, doing things like that, I spread the word enough. I was doing webinars and no one was coming. I just kept doing them and eventually people came.
Eventually the income went from a few hundred dollars a month to a few thousand. Now we have an incorporation, we have an S-corp. We have this big incorporation that employs all these people and makes multiple seven figures every year, from a low-priced course. Most courses are in the thousands. My highest one is less than $300. That’s just unheard of. But I want to tell you, now it is heard of and you can do that as well.
I started from nothing, you guys. There was nothing special about my story. There was nothing special about me. I was a normal girl, very overwhelmed. Very afraid of fame, very afraid of being seen. Very private. But I had a burning passion to spread my message and I had a burning passion to create revenue for my family so that my husband could get out of his crappy job and we could step into this lifestyle that we had only dreamed of.
It seemed impossible. Honestly, so many people that I really appreciated and respected told me that it was impossible. Nobody took me seriously. And you know, honestly, still some people don’t. They’ll say things like “you’re lucky” or “wow, you went viral and you are so lucky this happened for you.” Like, “oh, it’s so lucky that you get to take Instagram pictures and make a bunch of money.” And it’s very demeaning.
It is a lot of hard work and it absolutely is not for everyone. I think it’s something like 1% of entrepreneurs actually keep going more than a year and have successful businesses. If you want to be in that 1%, you’ve got to do the work and it takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears. I mean that quite literally. It’s a lot of hustle, a lot of focus, a lot of being willing to learn and being willing to change your mind and be flexible.
So that is the first step that I would do if I could do it all over again. I would start that email list early. Making steady income came from the courses. I know that was a lot, but I hope that answers those two questions.
Where are my business-minded mama’s at? I have something for you that I’m super excited to be sharing. If you’ve ever wanted the behind-the-scenes and inside scoop on how I grew my business from a tiny hobby blog with zero income to a multiple-seven-figure-per-year corporation, I have so, so much to tell you!
I’ve compiled all my favorite resources, books, courses and advice. A brain dump of everything that helped teach me what I know now and get me to where I am today (other than a lot of blood, sweat and tears and some serious hustle and late nights.) I’ve put it all together for you guys and it’s in the Online Business Cheat Sheet.
Maybe you already have a blog or a platform and you want to grow it into a business. Or you don’t have anything yet but you’re wanting to get more information. You know you have some ideas but you want some resources. You wish you knew what are the best books to give my time to? What are the best courses? What are the best investments I can make in time or money to learn about growing a successful business?
I’ve given you all of my opinions in the Online Business Cheat Sheet and you can go get it right now by heading to alliecasazza.com/blogtobiz.
How do you keep the courage to turn your ideas into a business when you see others in the same field succeeding, especially in the mom niche? Well, first of all, I think that it doesn’t matter if anyone else is doing something. You have your own personality and your own voice and that’s why it’s so important to be yourself. It’s really easy when the camera starts to roll to switch and get into a different tone of talking, get into this different mode. I still find myself doing it sometimes. To some extent it’s just normal. But I think it’s important to remain true to yourself.
And that’s hard, you know? Things like the words that I’ll say or the way I’ll phrase something…I’m a really blunt person. “I love Jesus but I cuss a little,” sometimes things like that are hard because you see the judgmental comments and people saying, “I can’t believe that you would phrase that that way. That was so harsh.” Well it’s not harsh; I’m just being sarcastic, but I guess you don’t like sarcasm and I can’t really control that.
So, things like that, the constant running opinions of other people can sometimes make it just a little difficult to not turn on your fake camera face and voice. But typically, you’ve got to just get over it and you have to create the courage. It’s not like, “Oh, how do you keep the courage to do this?” You have to make the choice to be courageous and realize you have your own personality, you have your own voice, you have your own way of saying and doing things and that is what’s going to connect you to your audience. If you’re not connecting with someone, they’re just not your audience. It doesn’t matter. You don’t want them, they’re not your audience. They are someone else’s audience.
There’s been a lot of frustration for me in my business journey with the minimalism becoming a trend after I had been teaching it, feeling like I was talking to a wall for so long and not growing a following and that was really frustrating. Then minimalism became this trend and all of these other people started doing it and they had very quick success while I’m in the background trying so hard.
A lot of the time people will talk to me, “Oh, you were smart. You jumped on board after this became a trend and you got on it.” “No. I’ve been doing this for much longer…” But it’s fine.
I think keeping your head down and focusing on what you’re going for, being yourself and letting your personality shine.
You know, a lot of people try to put me up against and compare me to Marie Kondo and I’ll never play that game. There’s a lot of differences in the way we teach, a lot of differences in our personalities and that’s good. She’s very sweet. She’s very gentle. She has a totally different way of teaching things. Some things are just not my style; I just won’t do that. And some things I just disagree with. As a mom, that’s not going to work for us, for us overwhelmed, busy moms. So that’s good.
I can be really empathetic. I’ll often cry with people who are struggling. I take on the emotions of other people. And so, I can be sweet in that way, but I’m typically more blunt. I have a lot of humor that I infuse in things with the way I describe situations and try to make people feel lighter about what they’re struggling with. I just have a different, “no nonsense, no BS” approach to clutter. Some people like that and some people don’t.
It’s good that you’re different. It’s good that you’re doing the same thing as someone else because that means that your niche needs that message. You actually don’t want to start a business about something that no one is doing and you can’t find anything about. There’s a reason for that.
So just stick true to who you are and be persistently you. No matter how big it gets, you need to be consistently you. Let yourself shine. If you’re blunt and sarcastic, let that be a part of what you do. If you’re really sweet and empathetic, let that be a part of it. If you’re a mix of all four of those things like me, then let that be what shines.
People connect to people. They don’t connect to business ideas.
What’s your number one tip for a mom trying to grow a hobby blog read by mostly family and friends into something bigger that brings in more money? So, I would go back to the earlier questions I answered. Get yourself an email list. You can use MailChimp. You can use Convertkit. Whatever floats your boat; you could use something else. But get an email list set up.
And you need to create a free opt-in. A free opt-in is a pdf, a checklist of some kind that goes hand-in-hand with what you’re sharing, what you’re teaching. So, for example, my most popular free opt-in is the Clear The Clutter Starter Kit. It used to be called the Minimalism Starter Kit. That’s been around for years. That has about 100,000 downloads to it. So,100,000 people have downloaded that in just three years, which is amazing. That is a free opt-in. In exchange for their email address, I give somebody something helpful for free. That’s what a free opt-in is. You can do a video series. You could do one video. You could do a pdf checklist, an ebook, something like that. You could do an email challenge. You’re giving them something valuable for free. They just have to give you their email address. So, you grow your email list like that. That’s my number one tip for you.
How do you narrow multiple interests into the one people most connect with? Test it out. Talk passionately about what your interests are and you will probably find not only is your audience responding more to one than the others, but you’re connecting more to one than the others. Probably the same one your audience is connecting with because they are going to connect with your passion. So just start.
I used to talk about all kinds of things. Marriage, faith, parenting, postpartum depression, minimalism, house stuff. As I evolved as a minimalist and as a mom dealing with overwhelm, I became extra passionate about the house part. I came across far too many women who didn’t enjoy being at home. They avoided being at home. They felt really depressed when they were at home. They felt very overwhelmed by their homes. I used to be like that. I got out of it and I created a beautiful space that I loved being in, even though we were super broke. I got really good at budgeting, decorating on a budget, minimalism, just simplifying.
It changed my life and that passion showed through. As I became more passionate about that, my audience began to not read the other things. They wouldn’t even get clicked. The emails wouldn’t get opened. The blog post wouldn’t get read. It wasn’t happening. And so, I just naturally scooted over into this specific topic. But of course, you guys who have listened to different podcast episodes, you see you can still have it all. You can still talk about other things.
My podcast is my outlet for discussing life and encouraging people on all topics. We have all kinds of different guests – health guests, marriage guests, sex guests, personal growth guests. I talk about all different things – living well and full, being a strong woman, the enneagram and personality types. We celebrate together. We have fun episodes. We have serious episodes. I cry. I laugh. We are relaxed and some are more strategic. It’s all the things. So, don’t think that you have to pick one thing.
But at the same time, what am I most known for? Minimalism, home stuff, simplified living. That goes into home, calendar, and life.
I hope that makes sense. You’ll figure it out. Just start to talk and start to share. Don’t be afraid to survey your audience. Ask them what they think you’re best at. But don’t do it too soon. Make sure it’s been a while of you sharing your multiple interests. See what you connect to sharing most. What do you love sharing about so much that you would do it all day long for free? For me that was minimalism.
Talking about faith and dealing with all the rude and difficult feedback from that…it just drained me. Not in a way where I was ashamed of God, or ashamed of my walk with Him, but I wasn’t drawn to it. I actually struggled with that one specifically for a really long time. A lot of people still will tell me, “You need to talk about Jesus more. You don’t share your faith enough. I’m offended by that.” And it’s like, “Well then you go share your faith.”
Because I can tell you right now, I’m eight years into blogging and I know for a fact that going way deep into that and sharing openly, making that my niche, is not my calling. Just because you believe something doesn’t mean it’s your “calling” to talk about it exclusively. So, don’t let anyone tell you that or try to change your mind about something that you feel strongly is what you’re supposed to be talking about.
I know that what I’m talking about now, what I’m most known for – helping women create spaces that they love, helping them simplify so they can focus on what matters – I was born to do this and you should feel that way about what you do with your business, your blog, your podcast or whatever it is.
How many hours is a good amount to dedicate to starting your business without it taking over all your time? I think I’m going to flip your question around and instead say, where are the blocks of time you can fit it in?
Going back to an example from my personal life, when I started this business (it was in January of 2016) and started really learning and focusing on turning my blog into a business, that’s when Brian would leave for work around 7:40 in the morning and he would come back after dinner. I got up at 4:00 a.m. for a year and I worked for a few hours before he went to work and that’s when I got the bulk of my stuff done. About halfway through the day I would need to take a power nap, so I would turn on Netflix for the kids and snuggle with Emmett. Emmett was a baby and I would nurse him to a nap and we would nap together for half an hour in the middle of the day. Then I would often work again at night before I went to bed and let Brian cook dinner, if he was home in time, or if he wasn’t, I would handle dinner and then he would come in and do bath and bedtime and all of that. I wouldn’t do that every night because I wanted to have that family time at night. But a few nights a week I would also work at night.
Some days I would end up working 7 hours a day and other days it would be 3 or 4 hours. It’s not about how many hours is the magic number, it’s about where are the blocks of time that you can fit it in. When I started to look at that and I saw that there were none, I had to make a choice. Am I in this or not? That’s when I made the choice to get up at an ungodly hour every morning for a year. And it was so worth it. Those are the kinds of decisions that separate the ones who succeed from the ones who don’t.
Okay. Let’s switch gears a little bit and go into the questions that are more about balance with work and family.
How do you protect your kids’ privacy and security while still sharing about them? This is a very good question.
I’ve done a lot of research on this. I would encourage anyone…I was going to say anyone who’s looking to be a public figure or a lifestyle person…but I wasn’t looking for that. I didn’t realize that would happen based on what I do. I always say that I’m so glad I didn’t know that this public figure role would happen with what I did with my blog and my business. Because if I had known with my personality and how much I value privacy, I probably wouldn’t have done it. It’s really hard. That’s the hardest part of all of this for me. I’m so much better now. Even talking about it now. I’m like, is it really the hardest part anymore though? Cause I’m really over it. I really don’t care. People make up stuff about me all the time and I just don’t care.
Sometimes people will figure out things or piece things together that I’ve said from the past that are true and try to use it against me and I don’t care. I know that I said that. I know that that happened. I know that that’s who I used to be. It doesn’t matter. But before this year it was really hard for me.
Once I saw that this was happening, and it was spiraling out of control and people were really obsessively watching our family and looking at us, I started to do some really heavy research on kids’ privacy and safety. There’s so much out there, please go look it up for yourself.
Basically there are some rules: Never show the front of your house. Never show the license plate on your car or of a car that is always near where you are (like the license plates on the cars that are in my neighborhood). Things like that. Because people are crazy, much crazier than you probably are, and they will look you up and they will find you. Trust me. I won’t get into the details, but we’ve had some really weird stuff happen and it’s disturbing. People are very, very strange, especially when you’re connecting with people and you’re sharing your heart and you’re helping them. Some people get obsessive and strange.
Also be very careful with the types of photos of your kids that you post if you choose to post them at all. I even have some friends who are not influencers and they just live this way. And I have some other influencer friends who don’t share anything about their kids. They are not a part of their role. They’re not a part of their business, they’re not a part of their image and it does just the way that it is.
For me, I actually really don’t like that as much as I love privacy. I wanted to make sure that people were able to see how this is lived out, that they can see our family. I use Instagram Story almost like a vlog most days. Some days I’m not so good at it, but most days I do. I like that and the kids like it too. They’ll say, “Mom, can you show this on your Instagram Stories?” We’re all involved; we’re all in it together. And I like that. I don’t mind having my kids a part of what I do and I think it’s important.
But be careful – the weirdest, most random photos that you would never think have anything wrong with them will end up snagged from your blog and put on a pedophile site. And I’m not even kidding. You have to watch. You have to be careful. Do it yourself, or if you can’t, have somebody be in charge of just watching where blog traffic is coming from. If you ever see a spike on something, follow the trail. Make sure that it’s from a reputable site, from a mommy blogger sharing you or something and it’s not from a bunch of creeps looking at your photos. Things like bathing suits, short shorts…just be careful, be respectful, but respect your kids’ privacy too.
There’s a lot of things…maybe I’m telling a story about a difficult day we had with one of our kids. I won’t say who it is unless I’ve talked to them and I’m like, “Hey, I think this would really be helpful for other moms. I’m going to tell this story but I’m going to leave your name out. Okay? Is that alright with you?” And sometimes they’ll say, “Oh, you can say my name mom. I want them to know how old I am.” They get it. They want to help you guys. And sometimes they’re like, “Yeah, okay.”
And I won’t say which kid it is because I don’t want to embarrass or shame my kids and a lot of “public-figure” parents are not aware of this sadly. You have to think, “How can I respect my kids in this way? They don’t have a say. So where is their privacy here?”
There was one situation about three years ago when we got offered a reality TV show. And as we met with the producers, we talked with them, we started to see what they were envisioning, I quickly found out that they originally reached out and said they wanted it to be about my business and what I do for women. And then they very quickly switched gears and decided that we were fascinating because we lived in the camper (we were touring the US at the time) and they were like, “Oh my gosh, this is amazing. No, we want to do a reality show about your family and your kids.” And I said, “I’m not okay with that.”
They really pushed and they really wanted it to be that way and it wasn’t right for me. It’s not that reality TV families are doing anything wrong, but in my gut it didn’t feel right. It didn’t feel right at that time, and it still doesn’t feel right now to have a reality show about our family. It just doesn’t feel right to me. You have to follow that. I always say you were chosen out of every mother, whoever lived in any era to be the parent, the mother to your kids. There’s a reason for that.
This is why I think that it’s ridiculous when moms judge each other for their choices. “Oh, you let your kids watch Spongebob? I would never do that.” And it’s like, “Okay, well there’s probably some reason that one of your kids just wouldn’t do well watching Spongebob then don’t do that, but don’t hate on us who are like, ‘Oh, Spongebob is hilarious and it’s fine.’” You know? I just think it’s ridiculous. Same with this sort of thing in my gut. I just knew this isn’t right. I would love to do a show about my business. And I don’t mind if my kids are in it every once in a while, but I don’t want a reality show about our family. It just didn’t feel right. And they wouldn’t budge, so we didn’t do a deal.
You have to gauge with your gut what is important to you, what feels right to you. Pray about it. Think about it. Meditate on it. Process it. It’s okay to say, “Let me think about it,” to an opportunity and take a walk. Talk it out with your spouse. Let it sift around in your brain for a weekend. This is your family and this is your life. And once something is out, it’s out. People will always try to dig up stuff on you and try to say stuff about you. That’s inevitable and it really doesn’t matter. It’s empty. People are just nosy and who cares? But it is your job to protect your kids’ privacy and security. Be careful. Research. Know the facts and then follow your gut for all the things that seemed kind of fluid and gray.
How do you schedule or protect time with your family and then time for your blog business and then time to be off and away, et cetera, when the Internet really never sleeps? Great question.
I’m really big on batching. I’ve talked about this a lot in the past and we can link to blog posts and episodes that have been about this in the show notes, but basically there’s certain days – guys, take this with a grain of salt because whenever I say something like “I usually take Thursdays off for family day” and then on a Thursday I’ll show on Instagram Stories that I’m writing or getting some work done and people will be like, “I thought it was family day.” And it’s like, “Good Lord, I don’t have a cemented, rigid, schedule with two armed guards next to it that are going to shoot me up if I break my rules.
It’s very fluid and what I do, it comes and goes in waves very, very much. So, some seasons it’s so busy and we’ll be a little bit more flexible. Maybe I’ll work an hour on a morning that I’m normally off, maybe I won’t. It’s fluid. But typically, my weekends are really protected. We have a lot of family time on the weekends. Then on Mondays it’s pretty much really slow going and open-ended. That’s a day where we go grocery shopping, we get our stuff done for the week, we prepare for the coming week, a little bit on Sunday night too. We have a family day. We have Legoland passes so that might be a day we go to Legoland.
Also Thursdays are a “nothing” day. If I want to, and I feel like I have the energy, I will sometimes catch up. We use Asana for running tasks for the business. If I have a bunch of unfinished tasks in Asana, I’ll maybe spend an hour or so going through them and knocking them out. Approving blog posts, writing up emails for the week or whatever, things like that. But typically, it’s a really slow, quiet, at-home day.
And then Tuesday, Wednesday and Fridays are very much go, go, go when it comes to the business. I section off my time during the week like that.
Then we make sure we schedule a week or so off really regularly. We take a lot of trips. We do a lot of travel. Pretty much every month at least I am traveling, but usually I bring my family with me because that’s the main reason we homeschool is so we can travel, do fun things together, and have that freedom and flexibility in our schedule to do what we want.
For example, I’m recording this right now and it’s February. I finished (well almost finished) my book proposal last week. This week it’s all about the podcast and recording episodes, doing all of that. And then next week it’s all about work wrap up, so I am wrapping up some plans for an upcoming product launch and doing a couple of interviews for other people’s podcasts and press, finalizing a couple of really big projects that are being planned. And then the last week of the month is our team retreat in Nashville. So I’ll be gone for nine days at the end of the month. So that’s usually how it goes. Pretty much every month, there’s a week of travel in there somewhere. Sometimes it’s for work, sometimes it’s for fun, sometimes it’s for both.
I block out my week to where there’s balanced work time, rest time, family time. And then also my mom’s like, “Well, we’re due for a family vacation. Let’s take a trip. Let’s go up to San Diego for five days and just rest.” “I’m speaking over here on the east coast this week. Let’s add five days to that trip and just make a family event out of it.” How am I feeling? What’s my gut telling me? What do I feel like I need? If I feel burnout coming, we’ll plan an extra time of rest. I will cancel a launch, cancel something. I’m never afraid to cancel, never afraid to say, “Nevermind, this isn’t gonna work for me. I’m too exhausted.” That’s how I find that balance.
I wish we could get into the next section. We’re going to need to do a Part II on this because there are so many good questions about courses, paid content, delegating and oh, so good. We’re going to do another Part II.
Guys, thank you for these questions. I really appreciate when you guys help write episodes like this because I feel like they’re so good. And these are always the ones that you guys love the most because you basically wrote them and you decided what the topic was going to be.
Okay. I love you guys. I will talk to you next time.
If you’re starting a business, please just be encouraged. Please be encouraged. Go and download my Online Business Cheat Sheet. It is loaded with literally just names and links to my favorite resources that helped me start my business – the influencers, the leaders, the websites, the content, the courses, the freebies that helped form who I am as a business woman today are all linked in there. It’s super, super helpful.
Go get that in the show notes. Let that be your starting point.
This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.
Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.
I am always rooting for you, friend!
See ya next time!