Episode #80 - Behinds the Scenes for a Week in the Life of an Agency Owner
The purpose of my business is to create a lifestyle for me and my family. Everything I talk about on this podcast, everything I do as a teacher and coach, it’s all to help you do the same thing. It’s to help you build the lifestyle you want based on the needs of your life. Before I started this company, my corporate life was anything but geared to a family life. It’s why so much of my message is to avoid building a business that you don’t like.
With that in mind, I thought it would be fun to show you what it’s like around here, behind the scenes. What a typical week looks like. I thought about just showing you a day in my life but most of my days aren’t really that similar even if there is a rhythm to the week. Which is exactly how I like it.
Welcome to the Get Your Act Together podcast. I'm your host, Kelly Reynolds, ops strategist and agency coach at the Reynolds OBM agency. This podcast is all about building well-run and profitable businesses, so that we can create the lives we dream of.
Hello, everyone, and welcome to episode number 80. So my business has really been about creating this lifestyle for me, and my family which has become one of the most important parts of my business, I don't have designs to get VC investors and make a billion dollars with my software. Like that's not the kind of business this is. And it's really important to know that so that you know what you're building and why. And what I teach and coach on all the time is about finding out what you want to build based on your life. So many people we've talked about this before, because it's really a pet peeve of mine, like so many people say you have to do it this way, if you are a blank job description, you have to do things this way. And the great thing about being your own boss and being in this online world is that you can do whatever you want, as long as someone wants it and is willing to pay you for it. Right. And it's legal, obviously. But like this idea of building a business based on your life, and what you want is a core belief of mine. And I have really, really started to embrace that more and more in my coaching and in my branding and everything. Because it's so important to me. I see so many people come to me, with businesses they don't like, they're successful, and they don't like them, and they come to me to get out of it. And I'm okay with that. Because that's my favorite thing to do is help someone to get this business that they love. And I understand that because my corporate life before this business was anything but geared for a family and a life that I loved.
I was in New York City, I was on Wall Street, I had a four hour round trip commute, if everything was on time, sometimes it took way longer than that. And I hated it. It was awful. I mean, if I had to go to a doctor's appointment, I had to take a whole day off, just to go to the doctor. Because getting there and getting back, if you only went for half a day, you'd commute for four hours, you'd only be there for three hours. It was crazy. So with that in mind, I thought it would be kind of fun to show you what it's like around here. Like behind the scenes of my day. My week really, I was gonna do a day-in-the-life. But all my days are very different. And my typical week does have a rhythm to it, which is exactly how I like it. First of all, as you can imagine, after having to get up at the crack of dawn every morning to get on a train to go into the city, I don't get up early. I'm not a morning person, I am much more of a night person, I could stay up all night and be fine with that. I don't like getting up in the morning. I never did. And I don't do it anymore. So we get up, I don't know, somewhere between seven and eight in the morning, depending on what day it is and what we have, get my son ready for school, take my son to school or my husband does. Before that, I hang out with him, I get to like hanging out with my son. We snuggle in bed for a little bit, we talked about the day, we have to check the weather because he's obsessed with the Weather Channel app on my phone. But that's like the start of my morning, it's slow, I get going, I put my robe on to let the dog out, gotta get coffee, things like that. It is not getting up at 5 am to go to the gym, all of that, like, my brain doesn't work that way. And I don't want to. So I've adjusted my life in different ways. I will say that, if I am up later, I am much more helpful and creative at 10pm. I can do yoga, I can work on content for the program. Like I can do all of those things at 10 pm. My brain is engaged at that point, it is not engaged until 6 am like all those people who like to get up an hour early and work on things. My brain is not ready to work on things that you know at 5 am.
So I don't know the next thing that might surprise you a little bit. I don't have team meetings every day or every week. My team is a team of contractors and I really respect that they work at all different times they work when it's convenient for them. They are not my employees. I do not have meetings at a certain time every week. We instead do check-ins. So everyone when they get in there working on whatever they're going to work on. They check in with me on Slack. And they say Hey, this is what I got. They let me know if they have any questions and then they go take care of it. Cuz they're awesome and they're contractors and they're gonna go do it. That's why you hire contractors. They are self-sufficient. Listen, this is also a big huge thing with me and what I teach a lot also because I hate micromanaging, I hate being micromanaged. I hate someone checking with me every four minutes, like, let me do my job, I know how to do it, I don't miss that employee thing or everyone checks in all the time on you. If you're doing your job, well, they shouldn't have to. And that's what my team is. They're great. So they check in with me, let me know what's going on. I know what's going on. I don't have to micromanage. It's a huge part of my business. I am not following them around all day.
Schedule-wise, Another thing here is I don't do calls. Unless for a very specific reason, on Mondays or Fridays. I'm not on a ton of calls during the week, mostly because I've cut out most meetings that don't require me, there's no reason for me to sit there in a meeting that I don't need to be in. So I have really cut myself out of a lot of things like that. I'm always willing to get into a meeting if anyone needs me. I'm just not there if they don't like why, right? So I realized that if you have all five days open on your calendar, all five days will get one appointment. And then you have to work around that one appointment for the day. So if I blocked out my calendar on Mondays and Fridays, everybody just scheduled Tuesdays and Thursdays, and I have not had one complaint ever. Because everyone's like, yeah, okay, she's not free on Monday, I'll just book Tuesday, it's not that big of a deal. And if there was a person, like there was a deadline, or there's a problem, people can still get in touch with me. And, you know, like, there's a major crisis, there's never really a major crisis. But if there was, they could get in touch with me. And I would be happy to get on there, but I don't really need to. And Mondays and Fridays allow me to one, check out if I need to, to get us a chunk of work done that I need to focus on, right. Like sometimes you just need to focus, you're creating something you need to like and think your way through it. Or you have to do your books, or things like that. And you just need some time that people are not talking to you or you're being interrupted. And those are good chunks of time where I will for hours at a time shut off all of my like notifications on slack because they're massively distracting. And then I could just get done so much in like an hour that any other time of the week, I might take like forever, just because you're getting interrupted and you stop and doing all that. So that has been a huge help in my business. And my Saturday, you might have thought that I would say, Oh, my nose runs off to shower. But I am a person that needs to be ready to go for the day. I get up every morning, and I shower and get dressed. Even if it's like comfy clothes. I'm not in my pajamas, I can't work in my pajamas, I get very, I feel like a bomb. I feel like a bomb, like I can't do it. Like I need to be ready to go to work. And then I can be done from work at the end of the day. Or whenever that is, maybe it's only that I only work in the morning. But whatever it is, I have to be up and ready. Because if I walk in the bathroom and I look in my mirror, and my hair second up, I have got no makeup on and I'm in like, I don't know, my pajamas. I feel crappy. And that's not the way to get things going in my day. Even if it's a Saturday, and I just want to, you know, clean the kitchen, I'm probably going to be up dressed, breathing, brushing my teeth, like all of that. It's a real turn on the switch for me to get going in the morning. So that's been really important to me.
There are things that happen during the week, but not every day, like lunch dates with my lovely husband. We learned that once my son started going to school, he was there all day. And that meant that we could go for a lunch date. We could go for lunch, sit outside, have a wonderful conversation, maybe a glass of wine. It's so much cheaper because you don't need to pay for a babysitter. Lunch is way cheaper than dinner. So when we were much more focused on watching our cash flow, that was a huge help. So if any of you are out there and you have husbands home or wives home or whatever home and you could do lunch dates, instead of Friday night date nights, it's a world of difference because you don't feel rushed. And it's a lovely sunny day, you get to sit outside like we live about a mile from the beach. So we can go down to the beach, have some clams and a beer, something like that, and then come home and actually get to spend time with each other. So we do that as much as possible. It has been a little rough lately because between being home from like, closed down from COVID, and all that COVID was hard kid was here all the time, we could go anywhere. But now that everyone's back to school, we are doing that much more. And that's a really important thing, right? It's really important for our marriage to, you know, talk to each other without a child in the middle once in a while. And that's become really important to our lives. Another thing is beautiful afternoons are for leaving the house. Yesterday we went to the park, it was 50 degrees here. It's been like 15 degrees here lately. This is February 2022, as I'm recording this, so it has been really cold. And yesterday was really warm, you know us. And we were so excited when we went to the park. We have this wonderful park system in New Jersey, I live in Monmouth County and the parks here are just fantastic. It is the best thing for your sanity. And we hadn't been in a while because you know, 15 degrees here. And we went yesterday, all three of us. And I think I was there for like five minutes. And I was like, Oh my God, I've forgotten how awesome it is to be outside here. So that's a big focus, especially going forward. I've talked here about my love of paddleboarding, even though I live it out twice. But being outside is so good for me. And my sanity, my health, just you know, getting out of this chair, making sure my clothes fit that is a huge part of our lifestyle. Now, sometimes, if I have a ton of meetings in the day, and I have a half an hour between them, I will just go outside in the garden and weed a little bit because it's just very zen-like and soothing. Gardening is a huge part of my life. It's therapy, it's wonderfully optimistic because you're growing for the future. You are planting seeds or plants or whatever to plan for the future. And that's incredibly optimistic. And it was so helpful during COVID when nothing was optimistic, right? But you went outside and the lilacs were still blooming. Right? Like they didn't know anything about COVID. So that's been a huge thing for my sanity. And it's a lie, it's a lot of my branding because I understand how growing things really are looking to the future. And I love that I love the feeling that it gets exciting. So that's why that's there.
There are things that I have that are more workwise. Right, a lot of that was family-wise, my group program has a weekly call that's every Thursday, right now, I have my private coaching clients, most of my private clients, our calls two times a month, so they can kind of work on things in between. So I try to get most of them in the same week. So that way, one week, I have lots going on the next week, I have very little going on. And it gives my schedule a ton more flexibility. Like I've kind of shepherded it that way. So that one week is a lot more calls. And I'm cool with that, because I'm just like, Okay, I'm in the groove, I got more to do. And then the next week, it's like, Okay, looks like a beach day, there's a little more flexibility. I am also still a coach at the director of ops certification. So I have those calls, although not weekly, every round, I go in and teach a couple of things. And then I'm spending time on my Facebook group lives, things like that over there. If you aren't in the Get Your Agency together Facebook group come join us. I pop in there all the time. And those are like the meetings I have to show up to. I have very few client calls anymore. It's mostly coaching calls and things like that, I will drag my husband into a marketing meeting we do a lot. He's a marketer. So we will sit down and break down a whole bunch of stuff and plan things out. Those are my meetings, then there are the chunks of time that I will take to run my business. Most people will call it CEO time. This is learning to build funnels. Which seems like the craziest thing ever. But it's such a handy thing now that I want to change things in my funnel, and I don't have to hire someone again. So those kinds of things, I love to learn new things. I try not to go crazy on that. But that's one of the big things I like to do is work on new programs, content, updating my marketing, coming up with more social media posts, those kinds of things. Doing my financials, we haven't talked about it a lot lately, because we've been talking about other things. But financials are a huge, huge part of your business, because it's a hobby, if you don't make money, and you need to know what your numbers are. So you can make decisions. Not Hey, I made this much at the end of the year, my accountant told me, so all of those things, the content, the financials all that, that CEO time, those are bigger chunks of these days than they used to be because I used to push all that off and not build my own business and only worry about client businesses. And I'm much more focused on that. Now, there's a team to deal with and hiring and managing and all of that as well. And those are great things for that Monday, Friday chunk where I can take Monday afternoon and like get a whole bunch of stuff done for my own business. Now, this may be a controversial thing. But I am still on the client side of my business. I know I run an agency. And I think that like we said in the beginning, people have very strict rules about what you're supposed to do and not supposed to do. And I still like to do some of the work. And I thought that this was like the worst idea because everyone's like, Oh, you can't be successful unless you're only CEO and chief marketer. And I was like, Well, I don't even like marketing. I don't want to just be the chief marketer and my business is run really lean. I don't need to be a 30-hour-a-week CEO, not at this point. And I look at people like Julie Stone who are still so in the work, they are still creating programs, and building funnels and all of that kind of stuff, while being the CEO of a multimillion-dollar business, so I feel confident that I'm just fine. So all of the people who are gonna write me letters telling me that I'm not a proper agency CEO, well, there are no rules here, I am still on the client side of work, I do like to do certain things. And the whole reason I got into business doing this is because I like to do those things. I do like to organize things I do once in a while and make SOPs just because I like it. Or I like to organize things or have meetings with people or deal with higher-level financial stuff for clients. I get a little antsy, and I want to make sure all that high-level financial stuff is done. Maybe the HR stuff needs to be a little bit more sensitive. I still want to be in there, because that's interesting work for me. I don't want to be a full-time marketer. And that's a huge balance that I deal with in my head all the time. So there is, of course, marketing, there is all of that kind of stuff, the social, the pictures, there are constant pictures, I feel like everybody wants more pictures. And of course, there's this podcast record right now. And I'm doing this first thing in the morning, so that I can go to a doctor's appointment in a little while. I outlined this at 10:30 last night, because I was trying to be flexible and work around what I need to do. Like today, I have a doctor's appointment, and my hands have been hurting, and I don't know why. So I'm gonna go find out if they can fix my hands because it's really annoying not to be able to use your hands. So in order to do that, I had to shift some things around, but I can. So I outlined what I wanted to say to you guys today. I got up first thing this morning, got ready, out here recording now. And then this will get out to you guys. And that's a big, big part of this lifestyle. It's really why I built it. So I can, you know, pick up my son from school at 2:30 or go to a play or whatever they gonna please yeah, but maybe whatever the good things they do, I want to be able to go to them. And I want to be a mom, in addition to a big-deal business person. That flexibility is, I think, one of the core tenants of my whole life right now. But I want to be clear, like there's a lot going on here, I've just started a lot of you. And I talk fast as I feel like I'm talking faster as I record this. Because I am never not thinking about things. I woke up the other day very concerned with all the paperwork in my office being drowned in a boat or something. My brain is always going. I'm always thinking of new things to do, new content, to put in things that I want to tell my coaching clients. I wake up the morning, oh my god, I got to tell them this, like it just popped into my head. That can be exhausting. So it's nice to be able to do something at 9:30 in the morning, so I can take most of the day off today.
It's also exhausting because my brain doesn't shut off. I used to be much more structured before COVID, I was much more structured, I only worked during the day, while my son was at school. Although that was a little bit of an easier time because I wasn't building programs and having to be as creative, it was much more implementation and management work. It also was easier to shut off at the end of the day. So that's how I'm doing it. Now. It's much more flexible. But my brain never stops. Like it can be 11 o'clock at night. And then I will look at Brian and be like, hey, so I really was thinking about building this out for the program. He's like, What are you talking about? It's 11 o'clock and I go away. Those are the kinds of things that's the other, the opposite side of flexibility is not stopping. So I'm working on getting better at that. The other thing, which kind of sounds silly, but when I get so focused when I have those chunks of time, and I'm so focused in that same way that I never stopped working or thinking or in my brain, at least, I forget to get up from this desk forever. So I sit here all day, and then it gets dark. And I'm like, Oh my God, I didn't actually move or exercise, I didn't eat well. So those are the things that I'm working on still to get better at. And I'm hoping this spring with the warm weather that I will want to be out of this house much more. And that will be much more inspiration to get up from this desk. But in the meantime, I am working very hard to get a whole bunch of things done. I am so inspired by the coaching calls. I've had the group program coaching calls have been so amazing to get a better understanding of what people want and need and what their questions are. So I've been as I'm going through all these calls, and I'm writing all these things down. I'm getting so excited about this creativity that's going on. I look like a mad scientist right now. Like those memes with all the paper On the wall with the red string going through, like, that's how I feel like that's my brain is right now. Because I'm trying to like coalesce around all of these ideas and get them into a place where I can get them out of my head in a clear place so that my team can help me build things. So that is most of my crazy week. My family and my lifestyle is a big focus, it is the focus, actually, let's be fair, flexibility is a big focus. And that brings in good things, and also crazy behavior on my part. So I'm not sure that that's a good thing for me to tell you to do this as well. My point on all of this is, this may not be for you the way I do it. But it doesn't have to be, it's about the way you do it. And that is why I talk about this all the time, like whatever you do, you've got to make it work for you and your family, and how it goes right, like, make yourself happy. This is hard enough, figuring all this stuff out stressing about money or doing the right thing or selling the right thing. If you do all of that, and you're not doing what you want to do or building a life you want them why are you doing it right? So I hope this little like behind the scenes of my week and why I do these things can help you think about the ways you might want to build your life and business. Because I really want you to have a good sense to love. Alright guys, I'll see you next week.
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