Six Most Frequently Asked Questions
I am frequently asked questions about life, business, motherhood, routines, healthy eating, etc and I love nothing more than being able to connect with my audience and give them little snippets of my life! But to be completely honest, I’ve been working on setting some boundaries in my life and limiting my phone use is one of them. So, the less time I can spend on my phone answering messages, the better.
This doesn’t mean that I don’t love my audience and I don’t appreciate the time they take to message me and talk to me. It just means that as I work on creating more margin and space in my life and putting systems in place that allow people to have access what they want quicker and frees up my time.
Did you want an entire explanation for why I wrote this post? Bahaha, well you got it. Without further ado, here’s the information you’re looking for!
How did you get started with your business?
Well, there’s a long answer and a short answer. The short answer is I was newly married, a recent college graduate and tired of working for someone else. I wanted to do something creative and so I started. I quit my job and then started. I worked hard. I tried a lot of different things. And I wasn’t scared to tell others about what I was doing. I created an Instagram account. And I started posting calligraphy. You can hear the longer story of my business on this podcast episode if you want to hear me talk about it. I also talk about it here and here.
My best advice for those of you who want to start a business is to just start. Buy the business license. Create the Instagram account. And take in as much information as possible. Write a mission statement. Be consistent. And work hard. Don’t give up when things don’t go as planned and be willing to try new things. When I started out I never thought my end game would be what my business is right now. I thought I was going to be a photographer. But I was willing to adjust and change.
I always remember that and I am always willing to change. I have no idea where I’ll be in three years and I always want to be willing to take chances and make changes! I also wrote a three part blog post about how I got started. Read part one here.
How do you wake up so early? And how do you make your coffee?
To be 100% honest, I am a morning person and very motivated by productivity and alone time. So, those factors make it easier for me to get out of bed. The morning time is a place for me to get a grasp on the day and get a head start on the work that needs to be done. It is also a time for me to read and pray and set the tone for the day. If I didn’t do this, I would wake up flustered and frustrated, making me a worse mom, business owner, and wife. It also brings me more anxiety. So sacrificing a little sleep to sidestep the other options is totally worth it for me.
I make my coffee using a Nespresso and it really does make it foamy with just coffee. I add a little almondmilk and the prospect of coffee also helps me get out of bed. I wrote this post which details more of my morning routine and tips to help you do it too (if you want!).
What are your favorite clean products?
As you might know, in 2018 I set out to detoxify our home and beauty products. It seem overwhelming at first, but it has also been very fun! You can read about my favorite makeup here, a different brand of skincare here, and all about clean home products here. I actually created a brand new website recently to house all my wellness and non-toxic living products. Rachel Allene Wellness is the place where you can find anything about health and wellness and I will continue to add to the blog overtime. You can also follow along on my wellness Instagram account to learn tips and tricks!
How do stay organized and find time for everything?
Well, first of all: I don’t find time for everything. I have very specific goals and intentions for my time and I make sure I spend my time doing things that truly matter to me. After becoming a mom, I quickly realized that I needed to give certain space and time to certain tasks. It doesn’t work well too try and do three things at once. For the most part, I don’t mix Mom life with business life and vice versa. This helps me be ultra focused on one thing at a time. I can shut down the other areas of my brain and only focus on what’s in front of me. This has helped me work towards all sorts of different types of goals at the same time because I give each of them their own time slot. The same goes for my personal life. The moment I try and do three chores at once, I lose all focus and I don’t make any progress on all of them.
Being able to give each task and project its own section of time is key for me. This is how I stay organized. I also make very detailed to-do lists. I break one to-do list item into its own little to-do list, so I can stay focused but also feel productive even if I am making tiny steps. This gives me confidence and helps me keep moving forward. Read more about this in this blog post.
What’s the best and worst part of running a business?
For me, the best part of running my business is the fact that products I create are sent all over into the homes of my customers. That’s wild to me. I get to package up products and send them to YOU. Furthermore, I get to create products that inspire and uplift. At times, my products impact your life and help you remember that you are strong and capable and loved. That’s pretty rad to me. I also host a mastermind for product shop owners and I love being able to coach and mentor those women and help them create and run thriving product shops. Seeing others find success is one of the best feelings in the world!
The worst or hardest part of running a business is the emotional toll it can take on me. I am a hard core people pleaser and Enneagram number 2, so I can often find my worth in relationships. With an online presence this can be a toxic and debilitating need on my part. As I search for acceptance in the online world, I am often left confused and saddened because my unhealthy and unrealistic desires won’t be met. In the last three years, I’ve really had to do some inner work and take a look at what triggers me and how I can overcome. At times, the emotional toll it can take on me hasn’t felt worth it. But, it has forced me to take a good, hard look at myself and work on my insecurities. The internet can be a nasty place sometimes and having healthy boundaries is very, very important.
Since so much of your business requires a phone, how do you limit your screen time in front of Knox?
This is such a great question and one I really want to address! For the most part, I don’t think parents are thinking about this. But we should be. For years, I’ve been working on less phone use, but since I do use it so much for work, it’s hard to find the right boundaries. But in the last 8 months or so, I’ve really been working on taking this very seriously. I read this article and it was enough for me to take this to heart.
I must say that I do not do this perfectly every day and that I fail all the time. But I am trying to be VERY conscious about this.
If you watch my Instagram stories, you might notice that most of my stories happen during naptime or before Knox wakes up. If they aren’t then they are posted when Knox is not around. If it’s a picture or a video of Knox, it’s usually because I snapped a photo real quick to send to his dad and then uploaded it hours later. About 99% of the time, I do not post stories immediately. I wait until Knox has gone down for a nap, or I leave the room so he doesn’t see the phone. If I post a story on the go, he’s already in his car seat.
I don’t want to be distracted by my phone when he is around. He loves to play outside, so if I do have an email or two to catch up on, I make sure he’s doing an activity that he is engaged with. But again, I work very hard to not work when I am in mom mode.
Our family is working on not having phones around during wake hours for Knox. Now this is not 100% of the time, but if we do need to use our phone, we usually try to leave to the room so Knox doesn’t see the phone. Unfortunately, we fail at this all the time. With family who doesn’t live here, we Facetime from time to time, so Knox knows what a phone is a wants to play with it from time to time. But at his age, we pretty much have a zero screen time policy.
Keep in mind, this is our family and this is what we have chosen. Also keep in mind that we aren’t perfect. But, everyday we work to do better.
I comment, post, and upload things on Instagram only when Knox is sleeping or we are walking in the stroller and he’s eating his snacks (this would be for a brief moment). I don’t want to be constantly distracted by my phone when he is around, so I try to limit the temptation by putting my phone in a different room or up on a high shelf. I catch up on things like commenting back to people after he has gone to bed. That’s why if you do comment on a post or reply to a story, most of the time, you won’t receive a reply for awhile. You might also notice, that there are very few videos of Knox looking at the phone or engaging with it. We are working very hard to be conscious of all of this. In addition, if there is a moment where I did get distracted by my phone and then Knox is needing my attention, I always apologize to him and tell him that I shouldn’t have done that and that he is so much more important than my phone.