Being a “business Mommy” at times, do I even need to say this, is challenging. To say the very least.
I have watched both my kids and my business completely change in the last year and basically have developed an undying urge to drink Capri Suns in the process (I don’t know why and don’t want to talk about it).
In planning for the next year I started coming to the realization that not only am I in the stage of the Terrible 2’s with my only son Greyson, but I am also starting to head into the terrible 2’s with my business.
It is starting to take on a mind of it’s own and I can’t seem to keep it out of the pantry of ideas nor keep my son out of the pantry of snacks (he’s smarter than the child proof door locks… seriously).
As an insurance agent, the end all be all of why I do what I do everyday is to take care of my customers. However, I have somehow ended up in a place of managing “things” instead of doing what I do best and that is allowing my ideas to infiltrate into my business to promote growth and better protection for my customers.
This is a big no in my world.
It makes me cranky, inefficient, and just straight up emotional. And trust me… no one likes emotional Erin. She isn’t a good time for anyone.
As I review my business plan/personal plan for the next year I couldn’t help but notice that not only are some of my goals are a bit lofty (again go big or go home) but that my business plan mirrors my personal plan. I started comparing the two together and also noticed that we are in the process of what is a “growing pain”. The kind that keeps you up at night wanting to be cuddled and told it is going to be ok.
So I am putting it all out there in hopes that other “business mommies” can take a page out of my book and see you are not alone and that it is important to push through these terrible 2’s together. So grab a margarita (unless it’s between the hours of 9-5… then maybe grab some coffee), enjoy the read, and please feel free to leave us comments with your business mommy moments.
Forget trying to Worry about the Process and Just Do
“Greyson it’s time for bed…”
“No Mommy, I sit”
“Greyson you have been sitting for 30 minutes… now it’s time for bed”
“I don’t want to go to bed”
Eventually you need to stop thinking about the process and just do. Having a routine is great, but what I am finding is that I actually work best without my routine. As my friends say… “being pushed off a cliff with no choice but to build something” is how I function best.
So why do I have so many processes in place? The answer to that is because whether I like it or not… I am human. So my goal is to pick a few processes and just complete them.
“Just go to bed kid”
All the Cups
My son has this thing that he can’t just have 1 cup of something delicious to drink. He has to have two cups at all times. At first it would make me crazy and I was completely resistant to why he couldn’t just have one darn cup!
Aaaaaa I get it now. Sometimes no matter how great your one cup is… you need that second cup.
I needed Arizona Wedding Insurance. And holy cow did it take off.
In the midst of our terrible 2’s in business we are juggling Arizona Wedding Insurance, Integrity Insurance Services, 3 blogs, and so many social media platforms that thinking about keeping up with the amount of comments, posts, etc on a daily basis makes me want to crawl into the heels portion of my closet and be amongst friends.
Turns out I’m the one with the “cups” problem.
Keep your two cups Greyson… and in 20 years when you are the CEO of some major company I will attribute it to your mother who also is the culprit of too much cup carrying.
But I just changed my outfit
How many times as a mom have I gotten dressed, checked myself out in the mirror, and thought… well hey there you have it together today. All to just walk downstairs and have a child spill something on you. Awesome. So off to the closet to get a new outfit on… who am I kidding, let’s just go with sweatpants and a sweatshirt ( I have no appointments today so it’s fine).
As a business mommy I am faced constantly with the same problem at the office. I am in the middle of doing something smoothly and then all of a sudden a client throws up all over me (well not literally… figuratively of course).
My job is of course to clean up the throw up with no gag reflex (because mommies don’t have those) and then cuddle them afterward and tell them it is going to be ok.
Although everything will be ok, sometimes its important to remember that as a mommy we know it’s going to be ok but that our customers and children need more reassurance than just the simple statement of “I promise it will be ok”. We need to be able to show them We’ve got this.
This is where my main focus for next year comes into play. Staffing. My goal is to not only grow my agency team but also to put in place another agency “nanny” that’s main focus is taking care of my customer’s needs and wants.
Let’s call this person my “Expert Coddler”. Just like my 2 year old needs his Boo Boo Hippo when he gets a boo boo. This expert coddler will be a Boo boo preventer and healer.
Shhhhhhh Mommy is Talking
The amount of times I have to shush an interrupting child while I am on the phone with someone is absolutely ridiculous.
Why can’t they see that when I have my headset on and my headphone in I am on the ever loving phone? I will be with you in probably 5 minutes to kiss owies, change a diaper, and fight crime… just for the love of all that is holy, give me a minute.
The same goes for my life at the office.
As much as social media has single handedly taken my business to levels I didn’t think possible, it also serves as the bane of my existence when it comes to efficiency. I am constantly checking messages making sure I respond within 3 minutes (so facebook doesn’t remove my fancy green light on being a great responder), updating blog posts, sharing tweets (it’s tweets right… not twits?). Whatever platform it is… it takes time to manage. So much time in fact that I have decided in 2016 to actually remove 2 platforms from my social media repertoire.
Asta pasta Periscope… does anyone even do that any longer?
Peace Out Linked In. Yes that’s right I said it. I will maintain my linked in profile to allow for connections however I can’t commit the time to truly be a force on there. If you can’t be a force on the platform… then maybe you should take a step back?
Truthfully, the best way to reach me is via either of my 2 websites (Integrity Insurance Services or Arizona Wedding Insurance) and of course there is always the Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Insta… see lots of options. However, I can’t sit and watch my friends/colleagues on Periscope. It distracts me in the worst way and for the growth of my agency I am officially legit and quitting it.
My name is Erin Nutting and I am 2 days Periscope free.
Choose Your Battles
You want to wear that storm trooper mask out in public? Cool.
You want to wear your underwear on the outside of your pants? Sweet.
The reality of my son Greyson is that everything goes. He has taught me so much about being a patient person that it’s amazing I am not more of one :).
I am a better business owner because sometimes it is all about just taking a step back and picking my battles. Pressing things go first and everything else falls in line.
I have completely lost site of the fact that sometimes voicemail is ok, emails will get answered, and that I need to handle the fire at hand before I can put out the one next door.
Patience is a virtue I am not great at. Ask anyone close to me… I don’t have any. However in the year 2016 I am going to be making it a key ingredient to my recipe for growth as a business owner.
It’s so Shiny
Any other parents out there who have kids with the “I need this” syndrome. At times it’s alter ego can be “I want this” or “please mommy”.
This is one I try to be sympathetic towards because it is all too often that I feel the need to purchase another office supply (see my prior blog The 5 things you Need to Know before opening a Small Business) item, the newest surface pro product (how pissed am I that I have the 3 and now there is a 4), or even the new fancy desk elevator to allow me to stand up while I work.
The point is, I need to spend less time worrying about the new fancy item I need and more time minimizing. I am the queen of paperless, an authority in quoting insurance, and most importantly I am a killer multi-tasker.
So unless it is going to help me develop a new found hidden talent… I don’t need it. 2016 the year of more growth and the year of the great office supply purge. Get ready.
Just like a mommy, the business mommy in me loves my baby unconditionally. I’ve birthed it, nursed it, and even gave it a sibling. Now as we are learning to walk on our own and even venturing into a toddling run… it is more than ever important to see how valuable these small but key points are in my agency development.
2016 is the year we become ineffable.