On this episode of Motivating Other Moms, Rosemary welcomes former professional organizer turned life-coach, Cena Block to the show. Rosemary and Cena discuss many different aspects of juggling your business at different points of your children’s lives. Cena explains time management best practices and what moms struggle with most. Cena also shares her current special offer for Motivating Other Moms listeners!
About Our Guest
Cena Block is a mom entrepreneur productivity expert! She’s a mentor-coach, professional facilitator, author, and motivational speaker who helps small business owners struggling to ‘manage it all’ in the time they have! She is the founder of SaneSpaces.com and creator of the Time & Space Style Inventory™
Cena helps her clients create systems, take care of themselves, and build support so their business fuels a lifestyle they love by design. Her clients gain clarity, ignite passions, increase productivity and create time to enjoy their lives again.
Cena works with corporate and non-profit groups to deliver interactive workshops that combine self-assessment, wellness practices and success principles that guide attendees to take powerful action.
Cena Block’s professional expertise comes from more than 25 years of human performance management, managing teams, coaching, training design and delivery and entrepreneurship. She also holds certifications and accreditations in many world-wide training and coaching programs.
Cena has led employee engagement initiatives, directed performance planning, managed staff, and implemented improvement initiatives for an employee base of more than 28,000. She is master-certified as a facilitator, coach, leadership presenter, and productivity consultant.
Cena invented the Time & Space Style Inventory (TSSI™). The premier inventory is the first online assessment for people to understand their natural style of time management and space organization. Individuals receive a customized style profile that is a starting point for coaches, organizers and educators dedicated to helping those who struggle with organizing space and managing their time.
Cena is the author of: Time To Toss It, and Getting It All Done in The Unstoppable Woman’s Guide To Emotional Well Being. Cena’s areas of expertise include career and self-development, productivity, curriculum design, teaming, management and leadership.
Cena received both her Bachelor’s Degree in Communications, and her Master’s Degree in Corporate Communications from Ithaca College. She holds certifications in many human performance, coaching and training Systems. As a professional organizer, Cena has worked with chronically disorganized populations and those who struggle with ADHD, OCD, PTSD, TBI and other brain-related conditions. She is a: speaker, professional facilitator, business coach, consultant, author and mompreneur herself. Cena is the past president of the Northern NJ Chapter of National Association of Professional Organizers, (NAPO NNJ: 2012 – 2014) & a member of both Pike County, PA and Greater Scranton, PA Chambers of Commerce.
Cena: Hi. I’m Cena Block, founder of sanespaces.com and the creator of the time and space style inventory and you’re listening to motivating other moms.
Woman: Mompreneurs, if you’re pulling double duty with kids and a business, you know how hard it is and it can be easy to feel so alone. But I’ve got great news. You’re not alone and you can do this. Welcome to motivating other moms. The show that pulls back the curtain to show vulnerable moments, lessons learned and solid business tips for mompreneurs. Now, here’s your host, successful mompreneur, Rosemary Nickel.
Rosemary: Welcome Cena Block. I’m so happy you’re here. We have known each other for years. We met in a mastermind group many, many years ago and since then you have done some changes to your business. What are those changes? What did you use to do before you started doing this?
Cena: Well, that’s a great question and I’m really to be happy to be here with your Rosemary. It’ll be fun. I — when we met I was really kind of focused specifically on helping people get organized so I was a professional organizer and I had done a considerable amount of work on getting different certifications and so forth for different types of groups. Chronically disorganized and brain trauma and physically disabled and all kinds of different people and I realized about four years into it that it just wasn’t making my heart zing. I was good at it and I could do it but I was so used to working with high performers so I shifter my business model to coaching and started pursuing coaching and it has been a great mix between what I used to do and now because I focus specifically on moms and business who are really struggling and juggling all the pieces and parts for their businesses and we really do focus on a few things like time management specifically and more often than not self care and systemizing the things that they can put on autopilot. So as a coach we work on their pain points and then try to work on the tactical pieces to create a better format for them and most of the moms that I know in business struggle a lot with guilt and so we work on how to get that all working for them rather than feeling bad about things that are not getting done.
R: Oh, I love that and I know that my listeners are going to love that. Oh, the guilt. Does it ever all go away 100 percent? I don’t think.
C: Yeah. I think — I mean, I feel like guilt comes from other people’s expectations that we take on and so I think that there’s a lot that can be done to move us forward and out of guilt and when — I am a really strong proponent for aligning your life from a really strong sense of core values and I think specifically with women and moms our time so often belongs to the rest of the world, our children, our spouses, our families, the expectations that everybody has of us and then we — if we don’t have alignment deep down in those areas and we can’t push back and set boundaries and have our own space then creating something on top of that like a business becomes a really difficult compromising thing so when I work with clients I go — we go deep right away. and people — sometimes I — one of the things that i actually have people do which is — I just started a new client last week so she just went through this and I love when I get the email — I love when I get the email because I ask people to look at their time and literally track their time by the minute for a week and I get that email like half way through or two days in like I’m going to shoot you because you’re making me do this because it’s so much work. and then at the end of the week when they look back and I have several reflective questions where they analyze where their time is being spent and is it being spent on interruptions and are the interruptions valuable and — so it pushes into all the different parts that are leaky in their foundation and then I get that second email and they’re like oh, my gosh. I learned so much about what’s going on here. So it always works when we start with what’s happening first.
R: Yeah. That initial challenge sounds excruciatingly painful.
C: Well, I think — here’s what I’ve noticed with the — and I’ve done it with several clients. I mean, I would say hundreds of clients at this point because I also do it as part of a course.
R: Do you get a lot of kickback at first?
C: Yeah. Oh, yeah. Everybody hates it. But it’s a pain. It is a pain but what happens is people get very clear on what they’re telling themselves about how they’re spending their time and how they’re really spending their time and there’s a lot of insight in that gap.
R: So why do you think that it is so painful? Is it fear of finding out?
C: I think people are upset because it’s — you have to do it often. You have to spend time on it a lot during the day because you might have a five minute phone call or a 45 minute this or that and then I have to go pick up the kids or I was interrupted or god forbid you have little kids that interrupt you constantly. But when — so if it’s three minutes on task and 10 minute son task when we think about that as a mom we think we’ve spent hour doing something. But when you add in all the interruptions or you add in all the other things that we’re shifting task on or multitasking or stopping and starting you realize it is not that much time sometimes because you’re only focused for short periods. So it’s one of the first ways that I think moms in business start to legitimize the fact that they do need their own time and space to do deeper work.
R: What is the biggest waste of time spent that mompreneurs do?
C: Probably doing everything themselves like thinking they have to do everything themselves meaning like many, many people that I know who have started businesses start with this idea that they don’t have to invest in their business and that they don’t have to invest in support and help and then they’re going to do it themselves. And it’s great, and it’s noble and it’s all the things but if you’re not a web designer it’s going to take you extraordinarily longer to do tasks and to build your website. Yes, it will save you the money of investing in a web designer but you — moms often don’t value their time as a commodity. They just think they can do it all and I’m sure that most of us can do anything we put our minds to but it’s just not that efficient and it’s — oftentimes we’re not doing it well.
R: Men don’t do all of it.
C: No. most often they don’t. No.
R: No. so it’s really interesting that we do it to ourselves when you really look at all that we’re doing which you’ve mentioned is we’re being a mom and we’re taking care of the house and we’re taking care of our business and then any outside things that we may have to do for school or whatever, for our kids and running errands and running our kids to events and taking care of our own events and men get to go to work. They’ve got it going on.
C: Yeah, yeah.
R: Not all men but you know what I’m saying.
C: No. yeah. It’s true. I think — well, interestingly I’ve worked with people who have had a previous corporate identity and then have taken time off and then I’ve also worked with people who have not had that. who’ve just kind of gone from maybe graduating college and right into family, raising their family and I think that that is the trickiest portion because they’re — our identity has a lot to do with what we do every day so when we go and we self identify as a mom then it is even more complicated when it comes to creating the structures and legitimizing your time that you want to devote to other things rather than family. Sometimes I feel like it’s the people who have had a strong career can give themselves permissions but more often than not mompreneurs are very high achievers and they’re very competitive and they’re very smart and they’re very capable. And so they have these crazy high expectations of what they can do and sometimes it just — it gets overwhelming.
R: What are three critical time management skills that moms can learn from?
C: Okay. First is saying no.
R: I love that one.
C: Yeah. It’s a boundary issue for the most part. I mean, people with very strong boundaries have a lot easier time with time management because they’re very clear about what they will spend time on and what they won’t. I mean, it’s almost like if we can use a metaphor of someone who’s a vegetarian, right. A vegetarian has a very clear boundary about what they will eat and what they won’t eat and so it doesn’t matter if a gorgeous, sizzling, yummy steak shows up on the table. The vegetarian’s like no, not for me. I’m not going to eat that. And so it’s similar I think saying no and boundaries with time have a lot to do with that. when you have very clear boundaries about where your time belongs, it’s so much easier but when you have real squishy boundaries or a very flexible and loose boundaries because you want to be open to possibility or you don’t want to be mean or the big B word then it becomes more difficult. So boundaries and saying no is like number one. Bottom line.
R: It’s extremely freeing when you learn to do that.
C: Yeah. And it’s a complete sentence. You don’t even have to say why if you don’t want to.
R: No. but only — we tend to follow up with well, this — I can’t because bla, bla, bla, bla, bla when really if you’re just practicing no. it was really hard for me to learn to just say no.
C: Yeah. I mean, sometimes I actually give that as homework to my clients for a week.
C: Just say no. every time a request comes up that’s outside of these goals and usually their goals are not just business goals. Their goals are like family oriented and health oriented or whatever. Every time that something comes from outside of these three things say no. just say no. see what happens. And it’s huge. It’s a very big lesson in what we allow ourselves to do and don’t do and I think bottom line is it’s more about — especially people who struggle with people pleasing and I don’t mean struggle but who are focused on making everybody happy really struggle with no.
R: That’s true. That’s true. How much time do you think moms can save by learning to say no?
C: Oh, I mean, huge. It’s huge. And I mean, it’s different for everyone but there are — if you have listeners out there that are kind of rolling their eyes and going oh, yeah. This is me. I would say if you’re an eye roller at this point try it. Try it yourself. Sit down and think about how many times you say yes and obligate yourself to things that you don’t really care about, that you don’t have any desire to do but you just don’t want to hurt somebody’s feelings or you just don’t want to be seen as you know somebody who’s not a team player or whatever. If that’s you I would say try it and see how much — see what happens.
R: One of the things we also don’t say no to sometimes is things like volunteering for PTA or organizations like that and you’ve got to look at — when you’re volunteering for something like that are you doing it because you love it or are you doing it because you want to look good, are you doing it because you feel obligated to your kids and really analyze why you’re doing that. I got great freedom in learning how to say no to PTA because that’s like a fulltime job or a part-time job depending on your position in the PTA.
C: Yeah. When I first — stay at home mom that’s what I said. First thing I did was I decorated my entire new house so that was my first fulltime job. And I did it all. Like painting then wallpapering I did it all myself which was a blast and it kept me distracted and not depressed about leaving my career. And then the second thing was doing all the volunteer work. Class mom, room mom, PTA, doing the tricky trade, doing this, a bike rodeo, bake sale, cookie walk. We had so many events when I — when we did the PTA and it was great. I mean, it gave me a social life. I have — some of my best friends I learned how to be that home mom which I didn’t know how to do because I had gone right from school to grad school to my career and my career just kept going so I learned a lot but at one — at some point I was running to my computer all the time, the kids were young and my husband was like you’re like spending so much time on this stuff and I said yeah. It’s — I could go back to work with how much time I devote to PTA. So it’s actually what made me want to start my business Rosemary.
R: Oh, that’s interesting.
C: Yes, it is. I’m like, man if I can get all this done I could probably make some money too.
R: Exactly. Instead of spending all that time volunteering for the school you could be building your business and changing people’s lives and making a difference.
C: You’re right. You’re right. And so that’s what started it. It was all the volunteer work.
R: Well, that’s awesome that that happened.
C: Yeah. I mean, and you I didn’t have a whole bunch of other complications either. It’s not like I had difficulties like special needs kids or — my parents were well and my husband’s parents were well. So many of us are stuck in a sandwich generation where we have care for both sides of the spectrum and now that my parents are aging I can definitely relate to it. I live far away but we have so many things that pull on us as moms and as daughters. It’s different, it’s different. I think than men have to confront.
R: I couldn’t agree more. How many kids do you have?
C: Just two and they barely qualify any more. One is now 19 and one is 15 so they — I can barely call them kids.
R: Oh, my gosh.
C: But I started this when they were much younger so yeah. They grow.
R: How’s your business changed as they have grown? Was it different, did you do less back when they were younger as opposed to now that they’re older because I think a lot of moms beat themselves up when they have younger kids that they’re struggling with their business and they feel like it’s their fault because they’re looking at all these other entrepreneurial moms that look like they’re rocking it and that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re rocking it by the way but it looks like they’re rocking it and they wonder how they all do it, right?
C: Yeah. No. it’s true. And I do think it changes. It’s one of the biggest reasons that I start with the whole inside out approach. Values first, time next, self care next and then let’s figure out what’s most important and then put that into the pie. Once you get everything else kind of shorter up. And yeah. It certainly changes. I mean, as — my son now is a college student so he’s out of the house so he doesn’t have the same needs that he did four years ago. My other son is a freshmen in high school and we live in a rural community so he’s out of the house by 07:15 in the morning and I sometimes don’t see him until 06:30 at night. That one factor alone completely shifts your ability to focus on your career and create whatever your role is or whatever you want out of your business. I mean, for a lot of moms with young kids, they’re struggling and I agree they’re comparing themselves to a whole different format and a whole different lifestyle. So I always say don’t compare your work in progress to someone’s finishes product. And there is no comparison between having toddlers and school age children who really do need parental guidance every couple of hours if not more often when they’re young or childcare and a lot of people — I think a lot of moms and business try to run their businesses while they are parenting and it’s really hard. I mean, how can you do that really effectively? It’s one reason that I’m a proponent for direct sales formats and so forth because really if that’s what you want, if you want some financial independence it’s a great way to start because really what you are as a direct sales person is just the sales engine of a marketing product development team and all the other work is done and it makes it a lot easier to do that job in bits and bursts of time and you can schedule it flexibly. So I think it’s a great way to start if that’s what you want. If you want to go into business just to generate income you have to pick something that’s immediately possible to generate income. It’s not always possible when you’re doing your own thing.
R: No. it takes years to really build a good, solid foundation for your business and people don’t see the little bit of money that’s coming in versus the a lot of money that’s going out.
C: Yeah, yeah. And the infrastructure on all those pieces, it’s not just a matter of getting a website. That’s one tiny drop in the entire format of what you are going to do and what you’re going to offer and how you’re going to get out there, market yourself and how you’re going to get clients that will pay you. So it depends on what you do and a lot of times — some people do very well with tactile services like cleaning services and — this is true I think with the organizing world too. They do organizing services but there is this whole other aspect of running a business. When are you going to call your clients, who’s going to do the scheduling, who’s going to buy the supplies, how are you going to get to and from, what about travel time. There are all these pieces that roll into it. What if you have a client who writes you a bad check and this is what you made all week. That happened to me several times. There are so many pieces that come into play that it’s a lot. It’s a lot to juggle and manage for moms.
R: It is a lot and then when things don’t go right you start beating yourself up. There’s a lot of self improvement that goes along with building a business. Wouldn’t you say?
C: Oh, I would. Yeah. No. I think I never knew what a mindset game it was and I think we learned this from our own mastermind group. There’s so much that stands in our way. and it’s the — the interesting thing is from a coaching standpoint — Rosemary, I know you have a coaching background so this metaphor will probably resonate with you but this whole idea of stepping over nothing. Like resistance often — what we confront as resistance is within us. I can’t do that because, I can’t do it because and so a lot of what shows up is mindset stuff and I didn’t realize what a journey that would be when I started my thoughts about money, my thoughts about investing, my thoughts about time, my thoughts about success, my thoughts about who am I to go out there like this, my thoughts about owning my voice and what I wanted to say and blogging and getting out there to speak and connecting with — it’s just you’re constantly confronting your own mindset limitations and it’s why I’m very, very thankful that I’ve had really excellent coaches to kind of help me through this journey.
R: Yeah. I love that stepping over nothing because it looks like something. It looks huge, it’s scary and then when you finally do step over it and you go through it, you look back and go wow. That was really nothing. Why did I make such a big deal out of that? But it’s very real. Very real. And sometimes it could take you years to step over nothing.
C: Right. Yeah, yeah. And years and tears and therapy. Lots of stuff. But yeah. But it’s true and I think that perspective shifting is really huge. There are things today that I do that I never thought would be part of my routine. Meditation is one thing that I never would’ve thought that I would — and it really helps center me in the morning especially in a space as service and there’s a resilience that we have to call on as business owners. We face failure often. Our expectations are often missed, often, often, often missed and what — that’s just because we’re dreamers and we have high expectations or not. But that whole idea of picking yourself up and going again and picking yourself up and going again is — I mean, it’s just a day in and day out of an entrepreneur until you get your engine built and you feel like oh, my gosh. I think this is going to work. And that usually is highly connected to how much income you can generate.
R: I have noticed that with a lot of my friends and I’m watching one right now who — she’s been texting me. Oh, my god. I’m finally there, I’m finally there. We’ve been working together for off and on for probably five or six years and it’s just so much fun when it clicks and when it clicks it’s because you finally figure out what that thing is that is you. that is your sole purpose, your heart purpose and it’s just naturally flowing and then people naturally start investing in it and it just flows naturally but it seems to take years for that to go into place for a lot of people. Not everybody. But for a lot. Because I think it’s more common than not.
C: Yeah. I do too and I think that there’s some shame that’s connected to it so even when you’re starting out, even if it feels like your wheels are falling off you don’t really want to tell that to anybody. You don’t want to say I have no idea what I’m doing and I’m really scared.
R: Hire me.
C: Most people don’t want to do that. and I have also found interestingly that a lot of moms in business who decide they’re going to take time away from a career have done so because they want to be home, they want to have their freedom and their flexibility back. I talked to thousands of women who have made this decision and often it is because they didn’t — they couldn’t claim their freedom and flexibility because of a sick child or because of a situation they didn’t — there was this lack of flexibility from the big boss. And that is usually the seed that sparks women to say okay, screw it. I’m not going to do this anymore and I’m not going to be compromised anymore because this bottom line doesn’t work for me and my value system any more. And what happens then if that’s you and that was clearly part of my story but what happens is there’s kind of this backlash of okay. If I’m not going to do this thing called my career that is this corporate identity that I’m — and I’m going to do something completely different. I’m not going to take this piece of myself that I’ve been building all these years. I’m just going to go do something different and so when I first work with people there’s a download on my site, my free offer which is my video training and I talk about your core when you’re building your business. Your C, who’s your client and O, what are their objectives, what do they want from you that you can deliver and R is — what are your results that you deliver and then your E is your expertise because so many people I think walk away from their expertise when they start something new. They don’t build it into what they want to do. They somehow just turn away from it because it’s caused them pain. And so it’s — I’ve tried to encourage my clients to really embrace their business model from all of those aspects before they even start too far into it and like me to avoid the mistake. I just went into professional organizing and I didn’t build in this entire background of curriculum design, development and training and coaching and facilitation. I was afraid. And I was afraid to do that because I didn’t want to fail.
R: How long did it take you to start creating curriculum?
C: I did it right away. So I instead did two different freaking jobs Rosemary. So I had the professional organizing thing and that’s what I’m saying. I could’ve saved myself an awful lot of heartache if I just niched to either the training end and the curriculum design end and worked with people on that or did professional organizing but I was doing speaking and training. I was teaching at the universities around me and the colleges around me. I was doing adult education. I was helping people _____26:02 I was running from thing to thing to thing to thing the first couple of years in business and I was crazy.
R: And you had kids at that time?
C: Yes, yes. I had kids.
R: So looking back at that there’s probably a lot of moms listening. They’re in that same boat. They’re running, running, running, trying to build their business, not necessarily focused on the right things and then also having small children at home. What was the biggest thing that you struggled with back then that other moms can learn from?
C: I think that I didn’t choose. I didn’t choose. I just kept — you know we talked about boundaries and saying no. I just kept saying yes to everything because I was desperate to turn a profit and so if I got a consulting opportunity for a 10000 dollar bid I’d say yes to that. Well, that also — that yes includes like a lot of work associated with that yes. It doesn’t just come of the sky. I had to produce what they wanted in addition to doing the other thing. So I think that the hardest thing was choosing and then putting the pieces together in a way that was going to fit my needs the best. And I also think that my big hit in reveal that happened over time was I think I was driven by not failing. I just didn’t want to fail. And so I just kept saying yes to everything and found myself on Halloween being called by my girlfriend downtown who had my child saying it’s Halloween. You should be down here trick or treating with your kid. Why are you at your computer? Those kinds of things were happening and those were the costs.
R: What did it take for you to realize that you needed to scale back?
C: I just think it was a series of things and I think that the other thing that I remember doing my thing is just not really paying attention to my numbers, my finances because I didn’t want to know that I wasn’t making what I thought I was making. And I think that the facts were really helpful. Just the kind of thing that happens that we open the interview with about time. I think the same thing happened when I realized as I closed my books the first year in business and I had made 12000 or something like that. I was just like — I had been working 60 hour weeks start to finish and doing everything. Building my own website. Oh, yeah. I’m going to design my website. I’m going to do this. I’m going to do that. So it was just each little dose of reality was another step toward finding the right mix.
R: So what do you say to new entrepreneurs and moms that don’t have the money to pay somebody to do their website? They might be reaching out to a niece or a nephew which I think we all have at some point or another. What can they do when they don’t have the funds to do all — hire out?
C: Yeah. Well, I actually think that’s a great decision. Especially if you niece or nephew has better skills. Like my son has great skills, computer skills, he’s got web designing skills and he also has video skills so he’s done a lot of the videos for me that are on my site. I’ve paid him but certainly haven’t paid him at the rate that a “professional” would probably charge me. I think that you — depending on what you are working on I think there are certain things that you need to put in place first and there’s a path that works better than others and it’s really what I talk about. If you have clarity when you go into it then each piece of your development as a business can be strategic. Like you don’t have to be doing a whole bunch of things at one time. It’s really, really important for you to understand who it is you serve and what it is you do because when you get those two pieces in place then you can find those people easily and offer what they’re looking for and there’s your sales conversation. So I think that oftentimes we do it kind of backwards. I do this, this, this and this and then we go to try to find people who want that versus I really want to work with this group and here is how I help them. It’s kind of a different way of going about it especially in the service industry.
R: Yeah. I agree. And one of the other things is that within interviewing entrepreneurial moms and I have conversations all the time everywhere I go, one of the common things that I’ve found with a couple of entrepreneurial moms that I think is truly fascinating is they build their business without a website first. So they were going and getting clients the old fashion way picking up the phone and most — even if you have a website you have to pick up the phone and you have to make phone calls. So regardless of whether you have one or not you can make money without having a website.
C: Oh, for sure. For sure. Yeah. You can. You absolutely can. It depends on — in fact, a lot of people — if you are clear about who you want to serve and what you offer, it’s much better to start a revenue stream before you start spending.
R: Yes. What are some — some of our natural behaviors regarding using time and organization, space — clutter causes a lot of problem in our lives.
R: And we have kids, we get more clutter on top of even if you weren’t necessarily the most organized person before you had kids it’s worse after you have kids. For those people — I’m not naming names Rosemary. Who are not naturally organized people, how does that affect their business and how can they get on top of that?
C: Well, it’s so interesting because this, I believe, is why I went into the organizing industry with my background. I — when I was helping people — since I have — my background is in training and HR and I used to do management delivery and performance management and all that kind of stuff and so typically when we would have a class which we had often people would come into the class and they would first of all start with some kind of an assessment of what’s going on and if it were a class somehow to delegate to employees it would be what are you doing today and where are your gaps so that we can make this class work for you. so when I showed up in the organizing industry I was kind of tuned to look for that assessment to learn there wasn’t one and I found this obscure book that had been written and out of print for several years and I contacted the author of the book and the book was called how to be organized in spite of yourself and I worked with her book and again I said I was wearing all these hats. Partially I was giving training sessions at corporations and colleges as well and so I started to build a training session on managing time and organizing space using the basis of her book and it started to really flesh out and I started to use it with my clients and so fast forward all these years now I just launched the online version of this assessment tool called the time and space style inventory. So what it does is it allows people whether they feel organized or not, whether they feel like they manage their time or not it meets you where you are and it gives you a read on what your style preferences are. What your natural approach to time is, what your natural approach to space is. So I’ll give you an example since you brought up the organizing piece. Some people have a natural tendency to want to leave things in out, in the past or on their desk so they don’t forget about something. So that might be — the title that we give that behavior specifically is an everything out. they prefer to see things, they prefer the visible evidence that something is there and then compare that to another style preference which is a nothing out and a nothing out is somebody who really wants a clear surface and who will often you know tuck things away in a drawer or in a closet even if it doesn’t have any semblance of order. They might even put things in a little basket that have completely nothing to do with each other but at least it looks neat so a nothing out versus an everything out. So this — what we found is that people have a tendency to resonate with a dominance for some of these things. And so what this assessment tool allows you to do is understand where your dominant preferences are and then what I did is I built all kinds of behaviors and ways in which you can set up your environment to actually help you feel confident in your style preference. Because what we’ve found is that people tend to do what’s natural to them and tend to do what helps them and the whole point is to ease tension. So let’s say my office right now if you looked around I have a bunch of stuff on my desk and I have stuff on the floor and I had to pay a couple people yesterday. I had to pay my VA and I had to make another check so what I tend to do is I tend to write out the check, write out the envelope, put on the stamp and I throw it on the floor in my way so that when I get up I see it and I remember that I have to take it to the next place. So I have a dominance for an everything out preference but I also have a dominance for nothing out preference in my natural spaces like in the kitchen, in the living room. I don’t want stuff all over the place. So it’s interesting to see — I know that what helps me manage myself, there are different triggers and so much of being organized is wrapped up in this shame stuff. Like people feel embarrassed and they feel like they’re not good enough and they feel like they’re stupid and they feel like they should be able to do this and there’s — it’s so many layers in the organizing industry because there are so many factors that can play into it that this assessment tool is a great place to start for anybody so that they better understand where they naturally resonate. So if you set up an environment for somebody who has a nothing out preference and you put like a bulletin board up and you put things upon the wall and things out, nothing out people won’t use it, they’ll hate it and they’ll probably rip it down. However, those are the things that really help an everything out person feel more in control because they can see things. One of the best ways to help a nothing out person is to use their inside spaces and categorize them and qualify them and label them and that way everything has a place and so what nothing out people tend to do if they don’t have systems in place is they tend to just kind of dash and stash. They just push things out of their way and put them into little holes but they can never find anything and it’s because they need to create systems behind the scenes and that’s what makes them feel confident and comfortable because being organized is knowing what you have, having what you need and knowing where to find it when it’s time to find it. And so if you — you can look like a very organized person because you have a nothing out affect and nothing out style preference but your inside spaces may be a wreck. You may open the cabinets and stuff’s all mismatched and not in the same place and a soccer ball is in the kitchen cabinet or something because it just was not in the right place so I had to throw it somewhere and to get it out of the way. And so those are — that’s kind of where we begin so you know I — we talked earlier about assessment and working from the inside out. This is kind of the legacy piece that I created for that industry and I’m very excited about it. And I use it with my clients as well because everybody, everybody can be helped by learning more about how they naturally resonate with time management and how they naturally resonate in space.
R: I can resonate with some of that stuff that you talked about. Well, it was interesting how you did — and you’re thinking — well, my listeners are able to really visualize and pick themselves up easily when you’re mentioning some of these things because we all know what those tendencies are. It’s very clear. One of the things that I do and I know many people do, they go out and they network and they might go to events and conferences. When they come back you have good intentions on following up, you have good intentions with getting right back into the game and getting everything organized again but like for me right now I have a bed in my office because it was my daughter’s bedroom and I took it away from her so I could have an office. Don’t worry people. She has a bed to sleep in. I did not put her out on the floor. Although she would probably love that.
R: The bed becomes a stacking area.
R: And when I come from conferences or anywhere it’s just like boom. It’s on the bed. And I know that I cannot be the only person that does stuff like that. It might be a table for somebody else or a floor for somebody else. What is a great — what are some great tips that you can give people for following up and getting reorganized after a conference?
C: Well, I think that it has a lot to do with the systems that you have in place so when I work with people on this I always recommend that you — before you even go to events or your next event that you create some kind of a way to capture somebody’s intention and take that next step with you. If you have a free offer, if you have a download, if you have anything like that I recommend that you take that next step right away. First of all, if you’re going to network and not follow up it’s not worth your time.
C: Don’t do it. So stop doing that and that will save you time right there. And then figure out what — and then —
C: _____40:37 then you can figure out what your call to action/free offer might be for somebody. What you want to do at a networking event is make sure that people have access to you and you have access to them and so if you have something that you — that represents what you do you have to move that into the next phase of action and one of the easiest ways to do that is to either make a giveaway or get somebody’s email address and send it to them. the complicating piece of that of course is the can spam act where you can’t add people to your list but I always say that if you’re networking without any results then it probably has to do with the missing pieces in your systems on the other side of it. So many people spend time networking in areas of interest that people will never hire you. So get that off your list because if you’re networking for business and you’re just being nice it’s not where you need to focus right now. If you want to reclaim your time and focus on things that really work then go to the places where — as Fabien says fish where the fish are.
C: Go to the places where you know you’re going to find ideal clients and then what I always say is that you have to have some kind of backend system that’s really easy to do on the other side of it. now depending on how big your business is or how much you have in terms of follow up steps, you may get five to 10 cards and that may be okay for you to do follow up calls with people but it makes it really easy if you already have an email or some kind of follow up in place that you can immediately push the button the next day. and one of the other I think gaps for moms is that we get ourselves and we get ourselves ready for these networking events but we don’t then put a chunk of time the next day or within the next two days to follow up on all the contacts we’ve made. So then we miss the gap. I mean, we miss the beat in terms of following up and if you’re like most people you probably have hundreds of cards stuck in different places around your desk from different people you’ve met that now you couldn’t even pick their face out in a lineup. So if you don’t have a call to action when you walk into a networking event of a potential way that you handle client contact then that’s where you need to — you need to spend some time creating your system. So is it a warm lead, is it a potential client, is it a joint venture, is it somebody you’d like to blog with or would you like to do a project with them. figure out what prototype that contact is for you and then your next step is to come up with your follow up process that’s something you can create that’s repeatable.
R: I love that. And I’ve always been so impressed with people who do do that and I recognize that they do that but it’s just amazing that they have the — and I don’t have a system set up. I’ll be honest. But it’s — boy, when you get back and they have already sent out — they’ve created the email before they even left and all they have to do is give their assistant the cards or they do it themselves and boom, the names are entered and you’re done.
C: Yeah, yeah. and I mean, I think also with a networking event — I’ve done a lot of blogging about this because I think that networking is great if you do it well and I think it’s a giant waste of time if you don’t know what you’re doing. And I think a lot of people get lulled into attending networking events because they can schedule them and they’re — it’s almost like they’re hard dates, right. so I know the women in business meeting is every month on a third Thursday of the month at 08:00 AM so I can schedule around that and I can get there but my suggestion is before you do that create your follow up strategy for the different types of people you might meet and it could be two or three types of people. A potential client. A joint venture and somebody who may want you to speak at their event. So you have — so create your systematized approach for those three and then when you grab their card you know what the next step is going to be and you can say hey, I’d love to send you my free _____45:10 or I’d love to give you a link to my calendar and let’s set up a time to talk. So you’ve anticipated that next step in your system and you — that’s what you communicate to somebody and that really is what creates reliable follow up system and what really helps you — helps people trust you because you’re going to take the action that you’re saying you’re going to take and you’ve already got it set up.
R: Yeah. And so many people don’t follow up. I mean, I even know I had friends that have flown to go speak somewhere and they had the habit — they didn’t have anything set up before they left and they have the habit of giving the cards and getting home and maybe they might remember to follow up, maybe they won’t because they get busy with business again and just having that system in place would make a difference but they leave a lot on the table and here they went and paid to fly out — most of the time most people pay to fly out. Not everybody gets paid to speak. And so there’s a lot of money and time that just went out that window. It’s really amazing what we do to ourselves.
C: Yeah. And I — that’s what I — I was saying that. I think we trick ourselves into this idea that just showing up at a networking event is enough and it’s great. Face time is really good and you never will replace somebody’s actually face to face meeting you. You and I have met each other face to face. We know what we look like.
C: Yeah. All of that. we’ve met each other face to face and there’s a level of trust that shows up just for showing up but the fact of the matter is if you’re going to the networking event as an extension of your business to create more business you have to be smart about what it is you do so I say don’t even put it on your calendar if you don’t have a reliable follow up system.
R: I think that is a fantastic tip. Fantastic. That’s a take it to the bank money tip.
C: Money tip right there.
R: That’s a big money tip right there.
R: So let’s talk about relationships. You have a spouse and you guys had to go through this whole business thing together. Is he an entrepreneur?
C: Actually, he is but he’s also a corporate guy too so yeah. He’s an entrepreneur and runs a photography business on the weekends that we — I say “pays for our vacations”.
R: We have some items like that.
R: Yeah. Yeah.
C: Yeah. So yeah. He is. It’s been interesting to see how our relationship has evolved because we both of course were corporate when we first had our kids and we’ve done every kind of child care there is from in home care to friends coming in to family to nannies to everything so we have been co-parenting and sharing the financial responsibilities in our marriage for a long time so when I actually stopped working and stayed home it was really hard for me more than it was for him because I totally lost who I was and totally felt like I — the connection to the earning potential was a big deal for me. And walking away from my career through a restructure and then not looking because I just wanted to stay home for a while — it was — it took a toll. Mostly on me but — because I really was not prepared for what the emotional toll would be and in hindsight I think for me I had gone from a pretty powerful place, I felt really confident and really good at what I did. I loved what I did. And then I wasn’t prepared to face how connected that was to who I was.
R: Can you — do you mind sharing some of the emotions that you had to deal with?
C: Oh, of course. I think it actually followed the grief, the stages of grief. I was very disoriented when it first happened and I would have these periods of — I think most compelling were kind of the middle of the night sweats that I didn’t matter. That I did wasn’t making any difference anymore and although I loved being a mom and I totally adored my children and I was hitting it out of the ballpark in that particular part of my journey as a mom. I mean, I was really proud of myself. I’m just doing everything right. I was finally doing the things that I always didn’t have time for when I was working full time so — but I wasn’t prepared for still feeling insignificant and like I wasn’t making a difference and a lot of that was connected to earning and a lot of it was also connected to giving back and I think when I lined those pieces up and stopped distracting myself from feeling those things and finally felt them I could see that I had to start something of my own.
R: How long did that take you?
C: I have a very low tolerance for being in pain so I think when I finally saw it I moved right into action but I think I was struggling to see what it was for probably oh I would say two years.
R: What was your spouse saying to you at this time?
C: Oh, I mean, he would say you matter. If you want to go back to work go back to work. We both could do this. I could stay home. The kids are loving having you home. This is wonderful. It’s okay. We’re fine. We’re safe. He was very supportive. He didn’t really understand the struggle like I’d — I don’t know in hindsight whether he would say that he did. I don’t know if I were to ask him now if he would but he hadn’t been through it. I guess that that’s the key. And I think that that’s the driver for me wanting to really help mompreneurs because going through some of the dark places emotionally and then being driven to pull yourself out of it is — it’s a certain person and I can make assumptions about a lot of things about that person. The tenacity and the not giving up and the deep level of caring and all those pieces but when you’re in it you don’t know what’s going on and it’s hard.
R: It is really hard and your children were little babies at that time, right?
C: They were young. They were young. Three and seven. Yeah.
R: Okay. Yeah. it’s really hard to kind of go through that and I recognize that totally and I’m hoping that other moms that may be listening, that may be interested and haven’t decided to take that leap into becoming an entrepreneurial mom can be a little less harsh on themselves.
C: Yeah. I mean, I think that that’s really it. The self beating up that we tend to do is really — it’s really ridiculous and I mean, you don’t know you’re doing it until somebody holds that mirror up for you. I definitely was just so thankful for coaches and my mom and my sisters and my friends. I mean, there are certain people but even friends who don’t go through this don’t get it. Like a lot of my friends that — my mom friends were just like — they didn’t get it. They didn’t get it. they didn’t get the loss, they didn’t get the sense of guilt, they didn’t get this whole thing that I wanted to contribute, that I wanted to contribute financially because some of them had not really ever done that so they didn’t know what that felt like.
R: Yeah. And unless you walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.
R: You just never know. Well, thank you for being on the show. I am grateful. You have really — you packed a lot of value into the show. I can’t thank you enough Cena. And you have a special offer.
C: I do. Well, we talked about the time and space style inventory and I would like to invite your listeners to check it out and I’m happy to provide the links but if you go to sanespaces.com and that’s S-A-N-E, sane. Like not insane but sanespaces.com and the link is /prm Peter, Rita, Marry, /tssimaine which is time, space, style, inventory main page. You’ll see the enter page to the style inventory and there’s a purple button that offers the inventory there and if you click that button you will go to a shopping cart and I’d like to offer a promo code which is 10 dollars off for the pass and the promo code is accelerate. A-C-C-E-L-E-R-A-T-E and that will drop the price 10 dollars and you can take the inventory for yourself. It also comes with a 60 day pass to my membership site which has all kinds of information and videos and downloadables and printables and checklists for your different style preferences especially if you’re really struggling with managing time. It’s — there’s a lot of great stuff in there and it’s really helpful. So I would love to make an offer. It’s a great tool and I’m very proud of it and I know that it makes a really big difference for people who take it so my whole belief is that we are who we are and we have to accept who we are from the core of our being before we can do anything further and deep acceptance comes from deep self love and knowing more about yourself helps reveal what’s awesome about you. So be where you are and this particular assessment tool will help you embrace what’s great about where you are. And maybe some things you might want to take a look at to move and alter a little bit to help you manage your time and organize your space a little bit more effectively for you.
R: I love that and all of that will be on my show notes page on motivatingothermoms.com and if you guys are interested I just want to let you know that I do have a private Facebook group on Facebook. That is closed for entrepreneurial moms and anybody that may be considering becoming an entrepreneurial mom where you can get support and resources and advice on a lot of different things that has to do with being a mompreneur which includes parenting and relationships and everything in between because it all affects us. It all is a — it’s a circle and it’s a cycle and it all — everything affects everything. So thank you, thank you, thank you for that great offer. Like I said it will be on the show notes and I can’t say enough about how great this show was. Thank you Cena.
C: Thank you Rosemary. I’ll see you soon.
Woman: All right mompreneurs. This episode of motivating other moms has come to an end. Are you feeling inspired? Visit motivatingothermoms.com for more wonderful episodes and be sure to join our mailing list to get great free bonuses to keep your life and business moving forward. We’ll see you next time on motivating other moms.
Key Takeaways[00:00:51] Cena shares how she started in the entrepreneurial world
[00:02:39] Rosemary and Cena talk about the guilt moms face
[00:04:03] Cena describes her vigorous time tracking exercise
[00:06:05] What are moms wasting most of their precious time on?
[00:08:31] The problems with only identifying as a mom
[00:08:51] Cena talks about the importance of saying no
[00:12:27] Rosemary and Cena talk about volunteering on the PTA
[00:14:38] Cena shares about her two sons
[00:14:56] How Cena’s work flow changed as her kids got older
[00:18:04] Rosemary and Cena discuss moms starting their own businesses
[00:24:30] Cena explains C.O.R.E. and how it applies to business
[00:26:19] The plague of always saying yes
[00:28:49] Advice for new mompreneurs
[00:31:30] Cena talks about staying organized your business
[00:38:48] How to get organized before AND after events
[00:47:12] Cena speaks about her journey through entrepreneurship with her spouse
[00:49:07] Cena shares her emotional ups and downs after she left the corporate world
[00:50:56] How Cena’s husband reacted to her emotional state
[00:53:39] Cena shares her special offer!
Mentioned in This Episode
http://sanespaces.com/prm/tssimain/ $10 OFF PROMO CODE: EXCELERATE
In this report you’ll discover 5 tips you can begin implementing and practicing right away to be on your way to creating a more predictable flow in your family and life.