Rebel Boss with Eden Fried

Raising Babies while Running a Business: How to Stay Sane and Do it All Well with Holly G

Having a kid is transformational in many ways – so how can you run your business when you have little kids at home?

Whether you have a baby or toddler at home, maybe more than one young child, or are just thinking about having kids right now and wondering how that will impact your life, this is the episode for you.

Maybe you’re worried about starting a business because you have kids and you’re not sure how you’ll be able to manage your time. Or maybe you have a business, and you’re starting to stress about how having kids will change what that looks like.

If you’re feeling this way, know that you’re not alone.

Today, we’re talking about how to balance the demands of parenthood and running a business. How can you do both at the same time?

My guest today is Holly G of Holly G Studios. She’s a parent to two very young children – both boys under the age of 4 – and today we’re going to talk about how she manages to stay sane and do it all well while parenting and running her business.

Holly is your go-to video gal. She helps high performing leading ladies save time on both sides of the camera by teaching them the skills they need to create business cinema, her term for video with a plan, purpose, system and strategy that helps move your business forward, not just creating video for the sake of creating video.

Listen to episode 039 of the Rebel Boss Ladies Podcast featuring Holly G, How to Create Video Content for Your Online Course

What’s it Like to Be a Parent While Also Running A Business?

At the time this episode is being published, both Holly and I have young kids at home. She’s a mom of two little boys, ages 3 years and 17 months, and I also have a 17-month-old son.

While it might sound chaotic and stressful to balance having young children with work and business commitments, Holly said that having kids actually helped her to focus on both aspects of her life and become more purposeful about the time that she does spend on each.

“I love the way that I’ve set up my life in my business. And it’s extremely purposeful because I want to be able to spend quality time with my children because they’re only this age for such a short period of time.”

Even though it can feel like the days are long when you have children, the years go by so quickly, and Holly wants to be able to maximize the time she spends with her children and her work.

Before she had kids, she would work all day, 10+ hours, and had no problem with it. She admits that sometimes she still wishes she could sit down and work like that because she loves her business, her clients and the work that she was doing. 

Once she had her first son, all of that changed. She realized that she couldn’t focus on work in the same way that she had previously. She needed to cut her hours drastically, which meant cutting out a lot of the extra work, or the work that she felt like she was doing just for the sake of working instead of actually moving the needle in her business.

Having her first son helped her figure out what were the crucial things that actually needed to get done by her, and what she could outsource so she could spend more time with her family.

She very intentionally modified her business to fit her life – making a very deliberate distinction between the time she spends with her children and the time that she spends working.

“The time that I spend with my children is time I spend with my children. I don’t divide my attention as much as possible. When I’m working, I want that to be my special work time where I sit down and I have dedicated time.”

Holly’s Schedule and How She Balances Parenting with Her Business

After having her first son, Holly took a three-month maternity leave and scheduled everything in advance.

Once her son was a little over six months, she started hiring a babysitter two days a week, and had a family member take care of him for another two days. This meant she had about 5 hours each day for 4 days per week to work – totalling about 20 hours per week.

Holly had her second child in February 2020, one month before the pandemic hit. She ended up staying home with her son full time, while her husband was alternating between working two weeks full time and two weeks off, which meant he was out of the house for significant periods of time. Her sister came to the house two days a week, but other than that Holly was the primary caregiver.

Even though this meant Holly had a lot less time to work, she made it all balance out. She said that it was an amazing time because she got to spend so much time with her newborn and watch him grow up, but she also had made her business work around it.

She identified the two aspects of her business that were critical and needed most of her time – her two products, the Start to Start Program, which she runs every quarter, and her Video Made Easy Program, an annual mentorship. This is where she focused her full efforts and made it work with her two-days of work week schedule.

Structuring Your Business Around Your Life and Managing Your Time as a Parent

It is a privilege to have the option to be home with your children, with the luxury of working on a very flexible schedule for a limited amount of time, while working on something you love to do.

However, in the beginning it can feel really overwhelming to cut your work time down so significantly. The best way to compensate when this happens is to cut out that nonsense and fluff so you’re maximizing your time on the most important aspects of your business.

It’s not hard to identify what you need to keep doing and what you can cut out when you become a parent. You know what the most important things are in your gut – how do you want to make money? What’s going to sell? What do your people need? How are you going to get it to them? 

Know that this balancing act is hard, and you’re not alone. It becomes really overwhelming at times – you may love both your children and your work, and want to focus all of your attention on both things all of the time.

If you’re struggling with everything in the beginning – the sleep deprivation, the constant pressures on all sides, and more – know that things get better over time as you come up with a routine and streamline your systems.

Getting the Support You Need for Parenting and Your Business

Hiring a virtual assistant or someone to help can also be a really important way to keep your business moving forward without feeling like you constantly have to be working on it.

It can also be tricky – delegating, training, and handing over your work to someone else can take time that you could be using to work on your projects. Sometimes it takes longer to train someone to learn how to do something than it would be if you just did it yourself, or they may not do it in exactly the same way that you would do it.

Having help is crucial for growing your business, though, and if you’re taking time off because of parenting it can be for the best in the long run.

Progress Over Perfection When It Comes to Parenting and Running a Business

Holly says that the biggest challenge for her is time. It’s not necessarily not having enough time, because there’s always plenty of time and time is a relative thing. It’s balancing the time you have between everything that you care about so deeply.

“When I get into those passion projects, when I get on a roll, when I get super excited about something I’m working on or there’s a deadline, then that’s when it starts to get a little tricky.”

When time starts to get a bit crunched, what you need to remember is progress over perfection. Whatever work you’re doing, it doesn’t have to be beautiful but it does need to be moving your business forward.

Holly says that when she had her first child, she realized that she needed to let go of a lot of things that she was trying to be perfect in, both as a parent and in her business.

It’s all about priorities. What’s more important? Keeping your house clean, or keeping your kids alive? Obviously your kids are more important, and it’s okay if your house doesn’t look perfectly spotless all the time anymore.

When it comes to business, “what’s more important, getting to spend time with my clients or looking really great because I had like I spent all the time doing my hair and makeup? Being there to deliver value to my clients in whatever state I show up is the most important.”

Messy or less perfect doesn’t make the work that you do less valuable. Holly doesn’t mean just give up on your standards – you still need to be delivering important content and value to your customers – but showing up with a messy bun or no makeup once in a while doesn’t change the value of what you’re providing.

In fact, Holly says that if her customers need her to be perfect all the time then maybe they’re in the wrong place. Now, she tries to deliver value, straight to the point, in her content because she doesn’t have the time to do it any other way. Sometimes she might, but she’s come to recognize that it’s okay when she doesn’t look as perfect as she did before, as long as she’s making progress.

“Show up and respect your audience but know that you don’t need to be full hair, make up, be all of the things, for it to resonate with your audience. I’m trying to be the living example of that message I send to my clients.”

Setting Boundaries for Your Business and Your Life

The right people in your audience are going to be understanding of your life. You should structure your business around your life, not the other way around.

It’s important as a parent to set boundaries around your time. Your audience and customers will understand this – people get that your time is limited when you have little kids.

Boundaries also help so that when you’re there, you can be extra present. Setting those boundaries makes it so that you’re not 50% there – when you said you’re going to be there for your people, you’re 100% there and that’s the most important thing.

Remember that it’s important to structure your business and life around what works for you, not for everyone else. Everybody has a different schedule, different life, different needs, different desires. Every child has different demands or needs in specific areas.

You get to decide how and when you’re running your own business, what programs you want to create, how you want to show up, and then it’s up to you to make it work for your schedule.

The most important things to keep in mind are you need to respect your audience, respect yourself, and show up in a professional way by delivering value and being respectful, but you can do all of this in your own way.

Learn More From Holly

Follow Holly at Holly G Studios on Instagram and YouTube

Listen to episode 039 of the Rebel Boss Ladies Podcast featuring Holly G, How to Create Video Content for Your Online Course


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