Episode #2 - Structuring your business to work for you
This episode features Katie Leighon the Ready.Set.Glo! Podcast 💫
In this next episode, we welcome branding strategist Katie Leigh. She talks about structuring your business to work for you.
Katie Leigh is a branding strategist who found her stride in the industry by helping small business owners gain confidence when making tough decisions for their businesses. We talk about how to properly set up client expectations and place boundaries that allow business owners to excel both in their professional and personal lives. Her ultimate goal is to help you shape a business you are super excited to be a part of each day, while still enjoying the other aspects of your life.
Structuring Your Business to Work For You with Katie Leigh
Mary Harcourt 0:03 Welcome to Ready Set glow, a podcast where I interview the person behind the brand. We're going to talk about what it took to get started, the lessons learned along the way, and the advice they have for you on your own journey. I'm your host, Mary Harcourt, founder and CEO of cosmic glow. He asked to us from Denver, Colorado, she's an artist to her forte. She's held positions in graphic design, illustration, and as a marketing director of a nine studio yoga coffee. As to many of us experience navigating COVID As a business leader eventually led her to the point of maximum burnout. She took an inventory of her life, damage her priorities, and work to find out what was truly most valuable to her life. At took space, she pivoted and she found her own voice was helping small business owners with their marketing strategies in this ever changing world. She expanded on many of her skills in the process and learned how setting boundaries, getting clear on one's values. And setting priorities can lead to a fulfilling life. Defining priorities and boundaries allows a person to make time for themselves, who and what is important to them, and allows the person to build structure into their business. She unlocked some incredible info. Now avoid burnout from the hustling lifestyle we all know, especially in the beauty industry. So Katie, welcome to the show.
katie leigh 1:23 Thank you so much for having me. I'm really excited to be here.
Mary Harcourt 1:27 Yeah, totally. I'm just gonna jump right in. How do we stop the hustle and avoid? Like, Teach me your ways, as if you professional and been in the beauty industry for years? It's just how we live like, tell me everything. Teach me your ways. How do we avoid burnout and kind of cut down on the hustle lifestyle?
katie leigh 1:49 Oh, man, I mean, that's a huge, huge question.
Mary Harcourt 1:52 That's a multi faceted question too. I loaded? Loaded you all up?
katie leigh 1:56 Yep. No, no, going in slow. We're just going going in hard. And I'm cool with that. Yeah, I mean, the hustle is here, for every industry, it's, it's just become part of our society and our culture. And we just think it's normal to work a million hours and feel exhausted. And I mean, in all honesty, even be miserable. And so my, my philosophy and thought about all of this is really coming back to like tuning in, and noticing things. So noticing when you're booking appointments, and you're having dread around it. Is it because of the specific client? Is it because of the time of day, your booking? All of those questions can start to like help you figure out what is it that's actually not helping you?
Mary Harcourt 2:38 Yeah, or you're sore? Like, dude, I used to do lashes, and I would do I'd have 12 clients one day, and like, by the end, like my shoulders, my back my neck like it
katie leigh 2:48 was painful. Yeah. So then it's like, that's a great example of like, Alright, so how can I pull back from not only like, dreading clients, but like being dead tired by the end of the day? So maybe it's alright, I had 12 clients today, and that was miserable. So tomorrow, I'm going to try 11 clients. Oh, no, that's still miserable. Just slowly get down until you're like, oh, seven clients is my sweet spot like I can I can vibe on that. And and then you notice, oh, I need an hour for lunch. Like I need some time to like decompress, maybe pick up a book, maybe go for a walk, whatever it is like giving yourself a little of that space, to be able to take care of yourself and to prioritize yourself,
Mary Harcourt 3:29 which sounds beautiful. And like, I would love that to be reality. But what happens when people text you and say, Hey, I just had a trip come up emergency I'm leaving tomorrow. Can you fit me in tonight? Or you have that our lunch break? And someone says My daughter has to go to the doctor right now? Can I move my appointment to two o'clock, which was your scheduled hour?
katie leigh 3:51 I would say you can give yourself maybe two days a week that you allow for those emergency calls. So maybe there's lunch breaks during the week that you say, All right, I will I'm willing to skip my lunch break to take care of my client. But I'm not doing it every single day. Because otherwise every client is saying My time is more important than your time.
Mary Harcourt 4:11 True. That's a very valid point. And that's realistic, which is what I was getting to because how do you make it realistic? I mean, I You're at the mercy of these people that you see. It's like doing juggling in your head of well, I could take the client and earn extra money. I could say no, I could go to lunch and take care of me. So yeah, who it is kind of I guess putting yourself first or just considering all the options where maybe you don't commit to it every single day. But there are a certain amount of days where you're like, No, like, sorry, you're going out of town. I'm booked.
katie leigh 4:45 Yeah, exactly. I mean, the number of times I've called a service and said, Oh, I need to reschedule or whatever. And they're like, we're two weeks out like, like, you know, I see a therapist. If I want to reschedule there's no way in hell like she is completely booked forever. So it's like unless somebody cancels is the only chance ever I would get to rebook otherwise, I just lose my spot. So maybe
Mary Harcourt 5:05 this is just me, but I can't imagine it's just me, how do you suggest to deal with the guilt of like, if I say no, then she gets to go on her trip and not have lashes, or if I don't sit her in, she won't get in for two more weeks, there's like, sometimes you get this guilt,
katie leigh 5:24 that that's like a trained thing that we have to work on. Okay? Because it comes, it comes down to like, it's other people's problems, like, you also have to take care of yourself, here's a great way to look at it is, if I'm not taking care of myself, if I'm not getting myself at our lunch, or ending the day, whatever time is right for you. And I continue to take on clients that I'm getting burnt out, I'm not going to be as nice of a person when I'm doing my services, because I'm exhausted, I might not do as good of a job because I'm sleep deprived, or I'm stressed out, you know, you want to come as your best self to your service, you want to serve your clients as your best self. And that cannot happen. Unless you are your best self, which only happens with self care.
Mary Harcourt 6:05 I love that. I mean, that's so true. I 100%. So let's talk about how did you get started in this and like, we've had a whole history, you kind of led this journey that took you to where you are now, what was the moment that you're kind of like, you know what, I'm going to make this my career, this is what I want to do.
katie leigh 6:26 Yeah, so I have a background in marketing and design. And I was a full time marketing director for a large scale yoga company in Denver. And of course, COVID hits, and the whole wellness industry just goes right out the door. So during that the height of COVID, the company had to close their doors, which was in the same moment, like devastating and the greatest relief because I was fried, I was so burnt out from working insane hours trying to keep the business afloat, moving everything online, doing all this stuff that it was just like, and you know, there's like a pandemic happening in the world. And like, nobody understands how to navigate that. So it definitely was a time of my life that like, my entire body reacted to how burnt out and stressed out I was that like I had the worst acne I've ever had, which I've never even really had that much acne. And like, I was always exhausted, like, doesn't matter how many hours of sleep I got it, always just so tired. And the moment like when I really realized it was that bad was actually a couple months later after I'd started doing some healing. But I overheard my husband talking to somebody saying, I knew it was really bad for her because she wasn't getting like obsessed about anything. I have this personality that I love to learn. And I find a new topic and I get 600 books from the library. And I'm doing all these projects around it. And he was like, yeah, there was none of that. Like she came home like she worked. She like came home. But we all work from home. So like ended her day, kind of like bed down a little bit, went to bed and then repeated the next day, because there was nothing else I could do.
Mary Harcourt 8:06 Which is so interesting. I think if you were to diagnose burnout, like that is burnout. But it's an interesting way to say it is you're not excited or obsessed with anything. And I feel like so many people are going to hear that and go, Yeah, that's what I'm going through right now. Like, it's so true. I've had many, many, many ups and downs in my life in my career and everything. I'm not perfect and still going through it. But it is truly you stop being obsessed or excited about things. You're just in this world of blah, and like exhausted. And that's so true. And your body does react. I mean, you get exhausted and you stay exhausted. Even if you sleep all night, you kind of wake up already exhausted. Yeah,
katie leigh 8:50 I mean, there's no energy around anything. It's like, the only energy I have right now is to survive, and that there is a no leftover energy to do anything else. That's to me burnout.
Mary Harcourt 9:01 That's burnout. 100%. So how do you help people find what matters most of them and focus on that so they can help, like, get out of this burnout?
katie leigh 9:13 Yeah, so for me personally, it started with just kind of getting back down to the basics of I took a little bit of time off between figuring out what I was going to do next career wise. And in that time, I was like, Well, I think I want to stay in marketing. I don't know exactly what it's gonna look like I had a couple clients come on, and we're just doing freelance stuff. So it gave me the space to start working on myself. And that looks like starting with my foundations, which was making sure I was getting plenty of sleep, eating really good, wholesome foods, and making sure there was a movement practice, whether it was yoga, going for walks, whatever it was. Those are the three things that we need to survive as humans. So once you have that on your plate and you can get those into your day, then things can start getting a little bit better. So,
Mary Harcourt 9:58 I mean, it sounds so simple. But I fully agree.
katie leigh 10:02 It is, I mean, it is so simple, but we also we always forget it, you know, and we, we don't always make time for it and that we push it aside. But when we can just start with those three things, we can feel the difference in our bodies, we can start to notice it in our day. And so from there, then I started getting into some other areas, I ended up deciding to go into a yoga teacher training, which was really great for me, because it forced me to do a movement practice every single day. It got me back into a spiritual practice, and just like really focusing on my health, and, and it was just this beautiful time of healing. And that then allowed me the space to start thinking about like, alright, well, what do I really care about? Like, if I'm going to build a business? If I'm going to build a life, what do I want it to be around. And so then I started developing what my values were. And I came up with four values, which are my community, and my family and friends, my health, creativity, I like having some sort of creative outlet. I'm a painter. So I'm doing that a lot more often now. And then my spirituality. And so I developed these four values so that I could use them as a measuring tool to make decisions in my life of is this the business that I'm building? Are these clients I'm taking on? Do they align with my values does how much time I'm spending working, does that align with my values, and all of those little things of building foundations and creating values and making space for self care? Those are what allowed me to start healing from the burnout. And, you know, it still took me a solid year to get to a really healthy place that my skin started clearing up, and I wasn't exhausted all the time. But through that process, you know, now I've learned these tools that allow me to implement them over and over again, week after week. Now, obviously, it's never perfect, but
Mary Harcourt 11:47 it's a practice. Absolutely. And through your journey and kind of breaking it down into these very simple things. I mean, you make it sound so simple. It sounds so easy. But I totally see how you broke it down into very bite sized pieces that are achievable, and then stopped and said, okay, like, literally everyone needs this, and I can help them get there.
katie leigh 12:12 Yeah, I think one of the things that I get a pushback on a lot, and I and I'm sure that your listeners right now are thinking the exact same thing. And it's like, yeah, but I want to make money.
Mary Harcourt 12:23 There is a trade off. And I like I think that's part of the juggle in their head is like, okay, that's what you say, make it sound so easy. But it's also where is the realistic part of having both?
katie leigh 12:33 Exactly. So when I work with clients, because I, my, my day job is a marketing strategist. And so I'm here to try and help you as a brand, make money and fulfill your dreams. But I want to do it with intention. And I want to do it by simplifying your marketing plan, so that you do have time for work life balance. So I love that the number one thing I start with is not how much money do you want to make this year? It's how much money do you need to make this year? What is the lowest amount possible that you can make and still live a comfortable happy life, be able to support your business be able to support your family, but we're not talking about being the next Kardashian? Well, we're
Mary Harcourt 13:11 also talking about not scraping by which I think so many people are, you're still trying to just make it work. That's not a that's you're not making as much money as you need at that point. So it's not even having the conversation in a negative way. It's saying maybe you need to make more and the money you need is what we need to focus on.
katie leigh 13:31 Yeah. And the reality is, especially when you're a new business, and you're like getting your footing and you're building your clientele, there is going to be more hustle there. Like that's just the reality of starting a business. The goal is though to not have that lasting forever. So we want a time limit on how many? How many? How many months? Are you willing to work like, crazy hours, 60 hours a week or whatever? Like maybe we say, Alright, you got six months to do this. And then after that, you have to start pulling back. And if you're not making enough money here, let's let's readjust, let's think differently, or maybe you need to raise your prices or, like, figure those kinds of things out.
Mary Harcourt 14:07 Right. I mean, I think that's in a nutshell, so valuable is to get your time back, you do have to raise your prices. And there's a way and a strategy. And I'm sure this is what you help with is being able to strategize here, we're going to redo a little bit of how our marketing strategy goes so that we can add in the price increase and get your time back so you have a more balanced life.
katie leigh 14:30 I mean, that's the thing is we want to give you your time back. So finding that balance every time, like balance looks different throughout our entire lives. Like when you're starting a business, when you're starting a family, any of those kinds of things are gonna like push your time in a whole different direction. And so it's finding little steps then. So like maybe if you're working 60 hour weeks, when is it time that you can go like take a 10 minute walk and just like don't bring your phone don't bring any gadgets, just go for a 10 minute walk around the block, get some fresh air, get back into your body and just Like, be for a second, like, we all have those 10 minutes. I mean, we have bathroom breaks. So we have 10 minutes in our day, to just go like, go sit on a toilet then and just like have a moment to yourself, not on your phone, not any with anybody else, and come back to yourself and focus on those little moments throughout the day, during your really crazy seasons. But again, put a limit to those crazy seasons.
Mary Harcourt 15:22 I love that and I want to go back because I feel like that is such a golden nugget to say balance is different for everything you're going through. It's different for everyone, it's different for every stage in every phase. That's I think so often. And maybe I'm the only one that does this, but I think balance is 5050 that that to me is bounce 5050. Um, and I think it's just it's another way to think about things is maybe it's not, if you're running a new business, maybe your workload is going to be 75 to 80% of your day. But the other chunk of that has to balance making all of the work times work until you can get to the point where you can balance back to maybe a 60% or 50%. Or hey, if the end goal is 30%. Let's get there too.
katie leigh 16:06 Yeah, exactly. I think that's I think most people when they think of balance, you're thinking of a scale. So you're wanting it to be perfectly balanced and everything straight across. And you know, I would say like, think of somebody. If you're like walking on a tightrope, then when you're balancing, you might be leaning really far to the left with your leg way out there. And then you start leaning all the way over to the right and like it's this back and forth thing. But it's not necessarily like you're a balanced being Walker isn't always necessarily perfectly in balanced. All that
Mary Harcourt 16:37 I love. I feel like I just My mind is exploding right now that is so Libra our sign is literally balanced. Like I like everything in balance. And I think I always think balance is perfectly in line balance. But you're so right. I mean, it is a tight tightrope. And sometimes you have a crazy day where you take 12 clients and the next day, you get to reward yourself and sleep a little better do something, go for a walk by the beach or read a book and you swing a little bit the other way, it's almost a little bit like a pendulum to like balance, even though it's perfectly in harmony doesn't mean it's 5050. And you have to figure out what that balance is for what your phase in life is what you're going through, and what stage you're in, as we said, like having kids, you're gonna require a lot more time being with an infant than you are is your kids. 18.
katie leigh 17:26 Yeah, exactly. And I think one of those things like how you find that balance is it's going to come to scheduling it. So whether you had the crazy schedule, or you have a more flexible one, that you can be scheduling bigger chunks, it doesn't matter the size of a time that you're going to give it but if you're saying, Okay, I've got 12 clients today, I can take a 10 minute walk here, and I can take a five minute walk here, and you put those in your calendar and you live by them, like they don't get moved, they don't get rearranged. So those are your 15 minutes today, to have a little bit of your time. And and you know, we live by our schedule. So if you can get that into the schedule. And remember that that time is non negotiable, then it then you'll start building up those small moments. And they do accumulate.
Mary Harcourt 18:09 Yeah, I mean, it's so true, I'm thinking back. So the times where I would just be crazy working hours, and I would literally schedule them, if I don't eat at this particular moment, I don't eat today. And then I started saying, but I want a lunch break. So starting when I can feed was booked out for a couple weeks, but like starting in five weeks, I'm gonna schedule myself 45 minutes, this is insane. And it did go ons where I was very diligent about making sure I did have a break. But it took time. And it took realizing that this is no way to live. And I think that's something in the service industry that happens so much because we have a heart for others, we do want to help people. And we want to help them feel better about themselves, we want them to look as good as possible. And of course, we want to make money too. But it is true that if you are giving yourself that break, and that moment to breathe in a reset and just arrest on your muscles, you do do a better job, and your clients are going to have a better service. And after that service, they're going to come back to you more often. And they're gonna value your appointment times and value you as a service provider. And then in the future, you can raise your prices and for the amount of money, you're raising your prices, get that chunk of time back in your life to then have a more balanced life.
katie leigh 19:26 Yeah, I think if I did have one nugget that everybody would hold on to you from this conversation, it would be that your clients time is not more important than yours, your client is not more important than you are. Oh,
Mary Harcourt 19:40 that is a good nugget. And so
katie leigh 19:43 if we can remember that I mean, there's there's the famous saying of when you're on an airplane and the flight attendant is going through all of the rules in case of a crash that you put your own oxygen mask on before helping anybody else and they now even walk through the aisles and go to all of the Parents and they look at the parent and they say, you put your mask on first, then your child Wow. Because you come first, if you are not healthy, if you are not taken care of you cannot take care of the person next to you.
Mary Harcourt 20:14 Oh, I feel like that is so, so helpful and a great way to make that relatable. So let's talk about marketing strategy. What is marketing strategy?
katie leigh 20:24 For me, it's working one on one with the client to talk about what you're doing in your marketing right now and how we can make it better in the most simplistic terms. So we can start looking at your analytics and find out what's working and what's not, we can come up with a plan of most likely taking away some tasks on your marketing for figuring out that things aren't working, I want to take as much off of your plate as possible. But I also like to look at the things that like what do you like doing? Or what do you hate doing and is there room to outsource the things that you hate doing but are working, but but that marketing is working for you. So marketing strategy really comes down to us just like having really in depth conversations around your marketing, and giving you the tools so that you can improve your marketing.
Mary Harcourt 21:06 I love that. And it makes so much sense. I mean, there's certain things in my business that I love doing. Love it. There's also things that I like. Now, if I could never do that, again, in my entire life, life would get a little bit better. But I mean, it especially as a new business, you're trying to do it all you're trying to be a master of it all you feel like time is, is like I don't even know like the Time is of essence there. And how do you how do you juggle it all between? In our I mean, we're in beauty industry, but like service clients, taking care of yourself doing all of your marketing, scheduling all of these, like social media things or emails or newsletters, I mean, it's a lot. So is that you help people just kind of capture all of that and plan it out?
katie leigh 21:54 We start with what's working. So we'll look at your are people signing up for your newsletter? Are people engaging with you on social media? Where where are you present? In all the ways are you on like 20 different social media channels. And then I might be like, alright, let's not be on 20 social media channels, let's like that's not using your time in a wise way. So what social channels are actually working for you. And you know, Instagram ends up being a lot of the the more popular ones. So it's like, well, let's start with Instagram and only focus on Instagram for right now. And we can come up with the content calendar and figure out a schedule for how often you should be posting when you can actually be creating those posts, and putting that into your weekly schedule, as well as making sure you have time to be taking care of yourself in that weekly schedule. And then we can work together on looking at your analytics and analyzing things to see, you know, what, what could perform better? Where could we be making improvements? What can we just like stop doing all together, because it's just not working at all. It's a little bit of balance of that. And my goal is always to have a more simplified marketing strategy, because anybody coming into marketing when they're starting a business, that is their first thought is I have to do it all, I have to be everywhere all the time. And especially for somebody starting out, I don't think that's true, I think it's pick one or two places, a newsletter is always going to be really powerful. But that doesn't mean you need to send one every week, or even twice a month, you could just do a monthly newsletter, and figure out the ways that we can make it so it doesn't feel so overwhelming.
Mary Harcourt 23:23 Yeah, I mean, I love that. And that makes so much sense. And I think we are all guilty of trying to beat this spread so thin on so many different platforms. But it's almost like if you're on 10 platforms and giving 10% and getting 10% back, it's not really working, where if you're on a platform, and it's 90% working for you, but 90% of your effort. And you're going to get so much more back from using a platform that's working for you, then trying to spread yourself so thin and getting no results from any of them. Yeah,
katie leigh 23:54 exactly. I mean, it all just comes back down to you only have so many hours in the day. So let's plan for a way to make this work. Now, that doesn't mean later, you can't add more platforms, you might be able to you might be doing so well that you can outsource that. So you're still not doing any of the work. But you have a presence on other platforms.
Mary Harcourt 24:13 Oh, okay. So one of the things you do is help people find their values, what, what matters most to them, and then what they enjoy the most in their strengths. How do you kind of help boil that down? I think sometimes it's confusing to know, really what one's values are?
katie leigh 24:32 Yeah, I totally get that. When it comes to that use. I have a couple of different questions that I like to go over with clients. And I actually have a free guide to work life balance that includes all of this information in it too. That's on my website. So as soon as you show up on my website, there's a little pop up you can click there and sign up for it and start filling out the questions and thinking it through.
Mary Harcourt 24:54 And what's your website?
katie leigh 24:56 It is the Katie Lee le IG H dot com. Perfect.
Mary Harcourt 25:02 Okay, now, now we're on board. So back to where you?
katie leigh 25:05 Yep. Yeah. So one of the questions that is featured on there, but it's one of the ones I start with is, what do you talk about the most, when it comes to your, and this is how we're figuring out your values. So what do you talk about a lot, are often things that you say to your friends or family, for me, the conversations around being obsessed with community always came up. So talking about how community was important to me talking about, you know, we'd watch movies and be like, I love that movie so much, because everybody came together, and it's all about community, and they were so focused on being present with their friends and family. And that's the kind of stuff I talked about over and over again. So it's like, oh, community is important to me. Like, that's
Mary Harcourt 25:46 interesting. That's so interesting. It's Yo, I mean, I can think about the top five things I think of in 30 seconds. And I would have never actually validated that that's what my interests are. But when I think about it, you're so right. Yeah, so just pay attention
katie leigh 26:01 to like, what are phrases or conversations you have over and over and over again, and, you know, another one was health. For me, I talked to everybody about health, whenever somebody complains about feeling burnt out, or that they're not feeling good, or whatever, I'm, I'm super into herbs. And so I'll like make teas for friends. And it's just always been something that I do. And I'm like, Oh, I'm really passionate about health. And like, not I haven't always prioritized my own health. But I've also had a lot of health issues throughout my life. And so the more that I can do research on it, pay attention to my own and help other people with theirs, the happier I feel. Which then is the second way to find your value is, when are the moments that you just feel so lit up on fire, like those times when you're like, oh my god, this is what I meant to be doing. And it doesn't have to be like a service or a job kind of thing. For me, it was, you know, when I make teas for people, when I do research about health, when I'm painting any of that kind of stuff, and like, I could do this all the time, like if I just love doing this kind of stuff.
Mary Harcourt 27:06 I think that's an interesting way to talk about fulfillment, too. Because everyone always says you have to find fulfillment, you have to find fulfillment, what is fulfillment, and it's exactly that. It's like feeling so full of you being in that moment, and the war, everything is going right in the world. And you're all your needs are met and you're happy and your spirits happy and your body's happy. Like that's just fulfillment. And I think that's something to when you're asking people find their values. It's like, what, what, what fulfills you, where's your happiest moments.
katie leigh 27:39 And what's great about that is, those pieces that fulfill you don't have to be monetized. And in a lot of ways, it's better to not monetize them. So they continue to bring you joy, and don't make you feel stressed out. And so like, for me, it was, you know, like making teas or reading about health, like, I'm not a nutritionist, I'm not going to give you like, Doctor advice, I can say, Oh, I read about this, or oh, I can throw these herbs together and make you a tea. And it brings me a lot of joy, it makes me feel really happy to do those kinds of things. But I'm not starting a tea line, I'm not doing any of that kind of stuff. It's just something that brings me joy, and it makes me happy. And, and when you'll notice those things that fulfill you, those can also be the things that you're scheduling in your time in your schedule for. So when I know that I love to make teas, I need to make sure that I have time in my week to do a little bit of herb mixing, because that's going to bring me joy and make me feel whole.
Mary Harcourt 28:33 I love that. So if you just vibe with making candles or something like that, it's like, hey, on Tuesday nights, or one night, one month, one day, a month, on whatever day, Tuesday night, Thursday night, that is my candle making day. And I grind up all of the herbs and essential oils, and they make sure everything's planned for that evening, rather than saying, yeah, when I get the time I'm going to do that. Exactly. I feel like we have so many things we're trying to accomplish when we get the time. But really everyone has the same amount of time on this earth. Like we all have 24 hours in a day, seven days in a week, however many days in a month, you have it. It's just are you planning for it? Are you making sure that you are doing the things that are important to you? And I think
katie leigh 29:22 prioritizing is a big thing to be paying attention to because I gave up social media up back in August. So I went five months without doing anything on social and I realized how much social media was taking out of my life. Like I spent so much time and it wasn't always productive. it for sure. I mean, the reason I left social media was I wasn't getting a return on investment. So I created a ton of content videos and reels and stories and did all this stuff. And people liked it and there was engagement and I got great feedback on it. But I wasn't getting sales from it. And so I'm like Alright, cool. I'm putting hours and hours Time just ended the creation side of it, let alone just me sitting there scrolling through Instagram, and I'm not getting any return on it, I'm just gonna take a break and see what this does for me see what other ways I can mark it see how this makes me feel, personally. And by taking that time away, I got back to painting. And oh, now I had all this time to paint and I'm now working on a children's book. And I have some other fun projects that I'm doing. And and it's been a great thing for me. And so it's it's figuring out, like, where's my time going? And then how can I prioritize my time and that's going to come back to like aligning with your values. So I want to make sure I'm spending my time that is in alignment with the things that matter most to me. So making sure family has a lot of time because that's my number one value, and, and health and creativity and all of those are on there. And, and by prioritizing what I'm doing to align with those things, I'm gonna feel better at the end of the day. And I'm also going to find a lot more time in my day.
Mary Harcourt 31:00 Wow. So work life balance does exist. It's a real thing.
katie leigh 31:04 I mean, I think it can be once again, it's a fluctuation thing. So there, there are some days like yesterday was a great example, I had a ton of client work to get done. I had a podcast that I was on. And then I needed to go run a couple of errands. And my goal was to work on another project that has a deadline and a couple months that I'm behind on. And I didn't get to it, I did not get any time on that because all these other things happened. And so you're like, Okay, that's fine. Tomorrow, I'm going to readjust my day so that I get the time to work on that project. And it's going to continue to be this balancing act. Like it's not just that it's imbalanced. And it's like that forever, it is always going to be like the I pay a lot of attention to it, you got to juggle some things around, but you can find balance.
Mary Harcourt 31:47 What's your clients say that they gain from working with you? What's the customer feedback that you hear?
katie leigh 31:54 I would say the number one thing that I hear back is that I help provide them with confidence. By working with me, they gain this confidence that allows them to make harder decisions in their business, to go about their days to rearrange their schedules to say no to things. I mean, I like to teach that there are no rules, like we get to make up whatever we want to do. So if you love Instagram, and it's working for you, great, if you hate it, you don't have to be on it, we can, we can find other places for you to go and still feel confident that you're gonna be able to build your business and do the things that you want to do. So I love getting to provide competence with my clients and, and help them shape a business that they are so excited to show off to potential customers to current customers, whatever that may look like.
Mary Harcourt 32:39 I love that that's so good. What's something that people in the service industry can do to set up their client expectations? Because I feel like we all have these beautiful like, it's January one and my New Year's resolution is to set boundaries. But then by January 3, they've gone out the window, because it's it's great to say but I mean, it's it's hard. And we touched on this a little bit before for the recording of just setting up your client expectations. And it was such a good point that I would love to talk about setting up your client expectations.
katie leigh 33:18 Yeah, so I think it starts with your figuring out what your own boundaries are. So we talked about maybe not doing 12 hour days and lessening that or however that's going to look like for you, you're figuring out what it is that you need to get where your business needs to be. And then once you have those kinds of structures, we can start figuring out where we can draw lines. So one line that I draw is, I do not check email after 4pm. And I do not check it on the weekends. That might not work for you. You might you might change it up a little bit. Maybe you say I check it every day of the week, but it's closed at 6pm. And so then in my signature, I say that I say I need 24 business hours to respond. And I do not check messages over the weekend. No one has ever had a problem with that.
Mary Harcourt 34:05 And I think that's you have to put it upfront, you have to let the client know, I think that's one of the biggest pitfalls is we we set up our own boundaries, like Okay, after seven o'clock, I'm not going to talk to clients. And I'm not going to book in any last minute appointments. And it's after seven o'clock, but your clients never got the message where you can send out a newsletter or update your clients and say, Hey, starting March 1, I am going to not respond to your messages after 7pm Thank you so much. I will get back to you in the morning. Or have like a little auto messenger setup on your Instagram. Email is a beautiful thing. And even just training your clients into that words. Hey, thank you so much for your message. I'm going to get back to you tomorrow. I am spending 7pm And on with my family. And I think your client respects that where it's like oh, shoot, I'm so sorry. Yes, go be with your family. And the next time they go to send a message. It's gonna be like, oh, you know what, I'll just Text her tomorrow or I'll call or even I bet it would train him to go book online because instead of having easy access to texting you, they know that Oh, after seven, she's with her family, I'm actually just going to go online and book my own appointment. And you just accomplish two things with that.
katie leigh 35:16 Oh, exactly. And I think leaving that in the text message of here's a link to my website, if you just want to go ahead and schedule otherwise, I'll get back to you tomorrow is the perfect thing to say. It does, it creates that expectation, it draws a line in the sand that says, I have boundaries, and I am not here for you, 24/7, I have my own life, I have my own health, I have my own family. All of these have to take precedent. And so during these hours, you got my full attention. But after that, it's me, it's all about me.
Mary Harcourt 35:46 I love that I think that's something that we could all apply to our lives more is setting the client expectations, but also cluing in people on that instead of just keeping it to yourself of okay, I'm gonna start doing this for myself. And I think that's why those boundaries don't last is he just never got everyone else started on it. But if you add it into your newsletters that you send out monthly, or quarterly or weekly, or whatever, or even, you can add it to the end of when people book appointments or their appointment reminder, hey, thank you so much for booking your appointment or your appointments coming up on Friday. Please confirm. Also, please note that after seven o'clock, I'm unreachable on my cell phone. But here's the link to book or however you want to do that. But that's so important to tell your clients where they can go to self serve. And that, hey, at this time, whatever time we're using seven 7pm. But maybe it's three in the afternoon, you go pick up your kids and from three o'clock on like you are in mom mode, and you're doing what's good for you, your soul, what's fulfilling you spending time with your family, and it doesn't mean that your clients aren't important. It's just separating that work and life balance a little bit. And also giving them an outlet to say, hey, thank you so much, I'll get back to you tomorrow, or you can book your appointment here. Or if you need anything, please contact the salon or deal with the receptionist or somebody at the front desk to answer all these questions for you. You're not just ignoring them. I think that's also some things that a mistake that's made often is people just ignore the client at seven o'clock, okay, I'm done. And that client sitting there like, so I'm gonna find someone else because they don't respond to my messages. Were just communicating and being transparent lets them in where? Oh, thank you so much for the message, I appreciate that. I'm still with you. I'm still committed, you're still my service provider. But yes, I will respect your boundary and go make my own appointment and, you know, go down that route.
katie leigh 37:40 The biggest part is going to be in the transition. So when you go from i Answer text messages and emails and everything all the time to Oh, no, I have a schedule, that's going to be where people have the hardest time. So making sure you get the message out, you're responding to those text messages for the first month or so that you'd say, Oh, hey, I'm with my family, I'll respond to this tomorrow. But eventually, you're going to get to a point where like, maybe you put your phone away for the rest of the night, so that it's not even a distraction for you. So you can be with your family, and then you're not going to be able to respond to those messages. And, and that's okay, too, like, I would just make sure you have that kind of messaging those boundaries all over the place. So within your email signature, it's in on your contact page, it's in any reminders for appointments. And there's other ways to do like automated email, my emails, automated messages with your text messages, or your Instagram messages, any of that kind of stuff. And just have it really set up so that people know what the expectation is, how fast you're going to respond, what your hours are all that kind of stuff. And another way that you can even limit some of your the ways that customers get through to you is I have a Google phone number, the Google voice that I get out as my work number, I don't get out my personal phone number because I am very private. And I don't want that out to everybody out there. And so by giving them my Google number, I can also choose times that my Google number even comes through on my phone. And so after a certain time, I just don't get messages anymore.
Mary Harcourt 39:09 I mean, that's such a helpful nugget. Absolutely. I have the same phone number that I had as a senior in high school. Like when I wrote in the yearbook call me any time you can still call me any time it's the same number. The problem with that is you can you leave it imagine how many people have my phone number. And I like get a little anxiety when somebody texts over at like 1130 at night who is this? Like? What let me go look at it. I don't want to look at it. It's freaking annoying that someone just stole my 1130 minute minutes. But also like I have anxiety because who's texting me at 1130 and half the time it like it's not important. I didn't need to get that I didn't need to get distracted. Half the time. I don't even want the message that came over if I could have just not come over. So I love having a Google number where you can schedule Hey during 8am to let's just say, I don't know, 8pm 9pm, whatever, I'm gonna get these messages, but after that I'm not. And that's a great way to kind of set those boundaries. And I love that it's flexible. I think it's, that's a great little nugget.
katie leigh 40:15 I mean, I think people are used to this too, like, when I go to schedule my hair appointment, I use an online schedule or, and my option is to call that or to call the salon, I don't have my, my hairstylist personal phone number and be like, Oh, can you fit me in tomorrow, like, I go online, or I call the salon. And then the salon closes at 6pm. And so if I don't call by 6pm, I got to wait till tomorrow anyways, and like, that's a pretty normal thing for most services. And so we come in with these specialty services, and we think it's different, but you can set those same boundaries, and it's not going to hurt anybody. And it probably won't hurt your business, either. It's going to help you in the long run, because people know where you've drawn a line in the sand. And they respect that.
Mary Harcourt 40:58 And I think that goes back to what we were talking about earlier of the guilt. If you can set these hours, that you run your business, like a brick and mortar, even if you're a home based business or a traveling business, or however it's laid out, you're right. I mean, so many people feel like they must be accessible at all times, or they're going to lose a client or lose a sale or lose a service or lose a new customer. But it really isn't that way. We are all used to opening hours and closing hours. And I think that's a great way to kind of get back and remove that guilt of you're not going to miss anything. They're not going anywhere. They're not we don't have phone books anymore. They're not going down the list of 1212 more people to call tonight, right? They do want you you're a service provider, they love the value that you offer them, they will wait for you. And you can take that time and not feel guilty about having your phone on you at all times. Because you set those open and close hours. That makes you a better service provider. And sometimes we have the guilt of like, no, no, I must, I must have my phone on me at all times. But really you don't. And you don't need to. And you can set these hours and boundaries. And it goes back to what you said before is putting yourself first like if you are not taken care of and you are not balanced and you're not feeling as good as you can, you're not going to do as well as you can through life, which all goes to pull making you feel like you're pulled in so many directions stressed out and bent backwards. It's almost like self sabotaging, like you're doing this to yourself, get a grip girl, let me help you and set these boundaries so that you can enjoy life more and stop thinking about it being a bad thing or guilty and start thinking about it as being empowered, like I took control of my business in my life. And now I'm healthier, I am more mentally balanced. And I'm sure going in while we're on this subject, I eat it all into like now you can take that walk. Now you can take that time to go to a yoga class, because you've already established that after this time, or however you want to do it. But you get tired of that work life balance back into your life to give you more stability and empowerment for your business.
katie leigh 43:14 I also think like your customers, they love you. Like they're not coming to you all the time. They're not calling you for emergencies, because they could find somebody else to do with what you do. They come to you for a reason. And so they also care about you as a human being. And if they don't, is that really a customer you want. Like I think true, the highest maintenance customers that we have are usually the ones that were like, Oh, I'd really be happy, like if they decided they wanted to go somewhere else. And so that's the other thing to think about when you're feeling really guilty about not being on all the time is that one your customers want you to be healthy, they want you to be taken care of. But if they don't, then maybe that's not a customer you really want. And if they do leave, it could make your business better. We don't need to, we don't need to appeal to everybody. We don't need every client. We want the clients that we're going to love to serve that appreciate what we do, and we know that we can help.
Unknown Speaker 44:06 I love that that's so true.
Mary Harcourt 44:08 And it just goes back to exactly what we've been talking about what you run your business is when you are spending your day around the clients you love and the clients that respect you and value your time. You're going to really enjoy your job and what you do. So you're coming to work excited about it and you're going through your clients and it's a great day and you leave and feel like accomplished I had a great day, great clients. And now I get to go home and be with my family and do what matters most to me versus like, oh gosh, you needed to move her appointment and then you're all sudden you're like stressed out and frazzled. And it's just going back to setting those boundaries and making it the life that you want, which sometimes is hard, but you do have to say is this client really valuing me? And am I choosing to make this ungrateful client happy By throwing off my entire work balance, or am I going to say, Hey, I'm not available at that time? Anything ever come back that just made my life better?
katie leigh 45:08 Yeah, exactly like that. We've all had those clients that were like, Oh, I just don't want to ever deal with you again. And that's okay. We can't, we cannot serve everybody, and they will find the person that works for them. But it doesn't have to be you.
Mary Harcourt 45:22 I love that. Well, Katie, thank you so much for being on the show. I think we got so many things that everyone's listening to this going, okay, I can change at least two or three things in my business to make me enjoy my work more, make me enjoy my life more and probably build more stable relationships. So thank you so much for all of your insight. I love what you do. Where if someone's listening right now, and they're like, Okay, I need to talk to her. She's amazing. Where do they go to find you? How do they get in contact with you?
katie leigh 45:52 The best place to get in touch with me is through my website. It's the KT li l e IG H, apparently I spell it very weird.com. And you can sign up for my newsletter. If you respond to any of those those emails, I, they come directly to me and I respond to every one of them. Or I have a contact form on there that you can reach out to me on that as well.
Mary Harcourt 46:15 And then what kind of services you offer? I mean, if someone says, I love what you're you're talking about today, I really want to do this. Is it a coaching program? Is it a class as a course? Like how how does your business work?
katie leigh 46:29 Yeah, so I do marketing strategy sessions, which is basically like business coaching for your marketing. So we'll sit down one on one, talk about all the questions that you have, we can go through some of the materials that I've already pre created, whatever is going to fit best for you and help your business the most. My goal is to give you as much value as humanly possible. And I have that setup as just a one off time if you only want to try it once and then you're done. Or I also have a couple of different options for packages.
Mary Harcourt 46:57 I love that. Cool. Well, thank you so much for being on the show. I think that we all have a little bit of work homework to go home and do and I appreciate everything that we talked about today.
katie leigh 47:07 Thank you so much. I was so excited to be here.
Mary Harcourt 47:11 If this resonates with you and you want to learn more, go check out Katie's website, the Katie lee.com. She offers one on one marketing strategy sessions that will help you simplify your marketing and find work life balance. You can also sign up for her weekly newsletter, The Monday post and get her free guide to better work life balance. Maybe this is something you need help with but haven't known where to start. You can contact Katie through her website or by replying to any of her weekly newsletters. That wraps up today's episode. For more information on our guests. You can find them at Mary Harcourt calm under the episodes tab. You can always find me on Instagram at Mary Harcourt underscore and the cosmic glow light. I hope you enjoyed today's episode and many more to come
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