If you are trying to make this work-at-home thing work for your family, while still managing to do all the things that must be done in a day, then have a listen to this episode. Let’s face it, even though this podcast is all about Pinterest, nobody spends every waking moment focused on their Pinterest account.
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Hallie Sherman from Speech Time Fun contacted me recently and shared some of the ways she has found to balance her life of full-time work outside the home with her side business and motherhood.
Hallie is a speech and language pathologist at an elementary school, a blogger, and the mother of a toddler. She also creates printables to sell on Teachers Pay Teachers. Check out episode #19 for all the information we shared on integrating Pinterest with Teachers Pay Teachers.
When Hallie began her blog, she figured nobody would ever see it. But then came Pinterest. There was a shortage of SLP (speech and language pathology) pins on Pinterest at the time, so Hallie was taking the ones she could find, giving them new captions, and pinning them.
After a while, she began seeing those pins floating around Pinterest, and she slowly but surely developed a following on the platform.
Batching and Scheduling
When Hallie became pregnant with her first child, she knew she needed to work ahead in order to keep her business running when she had her baby. She worked to get 3 months of blog posts ready to go, and when she delivered the baby, she pinned as she could. There were no scheduling tools like Tailwind or Viral Tag back then!
She knew that when she went back to work full time, and her daughter got older, she would need to rely on a stricter schedule in order to keep the business going. Not to mention she still needed to do all the Mom things, along with sleeping and having time for personal needs. Batching and scheduling were the tricks she used to stay ahead.
Real Life Balance
Real life balance doesn’t look like a perfect life. Hallie still deals with laundry piles, needing to eat out, and struggling to find time for exercise; those are some of the sacrifices she makes to keep everything working. What she’s had to do is make routines for herself and ask for help. Relying on her husband, her mother, and online grocery shopping has saved her a ton of time.
We have to rely on more than just ourselves to do what we need to do. ~Kate
Even things as simple as having her husband stop for milk or take over the bedtime routine for their daughter…every minute is a minute she can work on her business.
Structure and Tools
Because Hallie has a full-time job at a school, she is away from the house from 8-3 each weekday. When she gets home from the school, she goes into full-time Mom mode. Then at 8 p.m., if her husband is home, he takes over for bedtime and Hallie puts on her business hat. She goes into another room, closes the door to remove distractions, turns off social media, and focuses on her business.
This includes creating educational materials, scheduling pins, writing blog posts, etc. Because her time is so limited, she has to decide what to work on when she gets some time. Hallie prioritizes what she feels inspired by.
Some real examples of how she batches and schedules are as follows:
- Prep the entire week’s posts for Instagram on Monday
- Schedule a full month of Pinterest in Tailwind the last week of each month
- Add in new content as she creates it
She still has to check in from time to time to see which of her pins are doing well and what she needs to pin more of. But her basic content for the month is ready to go. As she creates new content, or if she finds things she wants to share, she will add those in. It isn’t a complete fix-it-and-forget-it system, but it’s about as close as it can get.
The Time It Takes
Hallie shoots for around 20 pins per day, knowing that if she schedules 15, she will fill them in as the month goes along. She tries to keep a ratio of 75% her own content and 25% others’ content. Some of that is seasonal. If she is short on specific material, she makes it up with other people’s content.
A lot of her great content is found through Tribes in Tailwind, and within smaller mastermind groups of people within her niche. Because her niche is so specific, content can be hard to find. She has a number of trusted Pinterest pages that she can go to to find new content to add to her queue if she needs more.
When she began using Pinterest to grow her business, it took her quite a while to make all her graphics and get everything scheduled. But now that she has a system, she only spends about an hour to an hour and a half each month getting the entire month scheduled out.
Social media can be a huge hurdle when trying to work a side business. You can go in with great intentions, and before you know it you’ve been staring at Facebook for an hour, or you went to search for something on Pinterest and fell right down a rabbit hole.
It is important to know yourself and how you work best. Are you strictly a Type A person, where everything is super scheduled and you never deviate from the plan? Is it easy for you to focus on what you need to do and you almost never feel distracted?
Or are you more Type B, with all the distractions always pulling at you? Do you find it hard to focus on what you should be doing? Do you find yourself falling down rabbit holes without meaning to?
Hallie is not committing to either one. She has created a business for herself without any hard deadlines. If something doesn’t get done today, nothing terrible will happen. She allows herself a few minutes to check social media before she starts working and a few minutes at the end. That way, she “gets her fix”, and then she can turn it off and get busy.
Hallie also sits down on Sunday night and plans out her week. She looks at how many evenings that upcoming week she can devote to work, and she schedules out specific tasks for those times. She uses an app called Awesome Notes for her weekly scheduling. This app syncs to her phone calendar, and Hallie also uses it for keeping any ideas that come to her during the day.
One thing that I do with my work here at Simple Pin Media is to have a goal in mind before I even start working. So while I am cooking breakfast or showering, I decide on the one goal I want to accomplish during that work time. It probably won’t be the only thing I do, but it will be the first priority and I won’t do anything else until it is done.
Tips for Families
The one big thing that makes it so much easier to accomplish great things in your business is having the support of your spouse. If your husband or wife completely understands why you do what you do, and helps you to do it, then everything is easier.
When Hallie first started her business, her husband was working long hours. It was easier for her to work on her business because it gave her something to fill the hours. Now, he sees firsthand the ways she benefits from running her business. He sees the emails she gets from her audience, and their comments.
Hallie mentioned earlier that she relies on online shopping. Amazon Fresh is one thing that has saved her a ton of time because she isn’t having to go to the store. Going grocery shopping was always a point of contention in their family, because nobody wanted to be the one who had to go.
Try to find ways to save time doing the things you have to do frequently. Are there delivery options where you live for groceries, dry cleaning, etc?
Last Tips for Balancing Life, Business and Pinterest
- Find quiet places to work
- Set schedules for yourself
- Make manageable and achievable deadlines for yourself
- Ask for help
- Know your strengths and weaknesses
Be sure that your time online isn’t spent comparing yourself with others. Pinterest is full of beautiful pictures, but they don’t represent an entire life. People aren’t taking pictures of their piles of laundry or their dirty dishes.
Finding your strengths means not worrying about what others are doing. Just because someone else has a certain strength doesn’t mean you have to have that strength. Focus on what you are good at. Be true to your business and your brand.
It’s important for all of us to realize that we can’t burn ourselves into the ground…that you can ask for help…that you can utilize resources that save your time.
Connect with Hallie at Speech Time Fun
5:00 Batching and Scheduling
7:45 Real Life Balance
11:00 Structure and Tools
13:40 The Time It Takes
16:40 Discipline and Personality
22:30 Tips for Families
27:55 Last Tips