Laura Kåmark [00:00:01]:
Hey everyone. Welcome to the Be Bold Make Waves Podcast, a show bringing you inspiring stories of women who are growing and scaling their business. I’m your host, Laura Kamark, a website and tech integration specialist who works with online business owners who love their work and not their website. Join me as we have incredible conversations about business mindset, productivity, and of course, the website and tech behind the business. Let’s go ahead and dive in to this week’s episode. Hello and welcome to today’s show. For those of you who don’t already know me, I’m Laura Kamark, website and tech integration specialist for women who love their work but not their website. I’m really excited about today’s solo episode.
Laura Kåmark [00:00:48]:
We’re about a little past midway through the year. It’s August at the time of this recording, and I want to talk to you a little bit about some changes I made this year to create more space in my schedule and to allow a little more breathing room, because the last few years, I felt a lot of overwhelm. A lot of overbooking, and, like, there’s just been a lot going on. And I know most people do this sort of end of year stuff, beginning of the year, December, January, I don’t do that. I do it around July, August, because for me, December and January is absolutely insane time of year. I have all the tax stuff I need to do for my husband’s business with getting all his books in order and just there’s so much going on between the kids being off school and holidays and travel. All the things that I, a few years ago, gave myself permission to not worry about figuring out my big lofty goals for the year or figuring out my word of the year or any of those things that I feel a lot of us kind of are talking about in January and December. And I do all my big planning and big visioning when the kids go back to school because for me, that’s when I have more space in my calendar.
Laura Kåmark [00:02:07]:
And this year, actually both my kids, my youngest started kindergarten this week and so this is going to be the first time I actually have like five full days where both kids are at the same place around the same hours ish, and I’m really looking forward to that. But that’s not what we’re here to talk about. We are going to talk about some of the things I did intentionally this year to open up a little more space in my calendar, in my life, in all the things and hopefully you can take away from this some ideas on how you could open up a little more space. So let’s go ahead and dive in. So the first thing that I intentionally did is this year I’ve joined a lot less programs in the past few years. I’ve had a lot of different business coaches, mindset coaches. I’ve had a lot of different coaches I’ve worked with, which has been amazing and incredible for my business and the growth of my business. And if you’ve been around me at all, you know, like, I think coaching is so important.
Laura Kåmark [00:03:07]:
Finding someone who you resonate with, who can help you get really clear when you’re feeling very jumbled and there’s a lot going on, you have a lot of things going on. And for me, I sometimes just need someone that I can go to and say, here’s all the things I want to accomplish, and I know how to get there. I just don’t know what’s the thing I need to focus on right now. And having a coach that can help guide me and help clear things away when it’s all looking a little foggy has been incredible for my business and helped move it forward. When I started investing in coaching, that’s when I saw such a big shift in my business and I started getting more clients and feeling more confident and raising my prices and valuing the work I was doing and doing more work based on value pricing instead of time pricing. So for me, I totally believe in coaching. I love working with a coach, and one of the things I found myself doing the last couple of years is working with multiple coaches at the same time. And that was leading to a number of things.
Laura Kåmark [00:04:15]:
One, I was getting a lot of different ideas of how to do things and different opinions. I was also on a lot of calls. Most of these coaching programs have a weekly call, and it’s a lot it’s a big time commitment. Some of them also have a course component. I personally, right now am in a place in my business where I don’t want to work in any more courses. I just want to be working with someone a little more one on one. Have some either, like one on one Voxer support, have a small group mastermind that I’m able to get a little more attention because I don’t want to have to do the one on one or the course time where that’s not where I want to be spending my time so intentionally. This year, I am now in only two programs for coaching.
Laura Kåmark [00:05:03]:
One is a web designer program, and the other one is a straight business coaching program. And the business one is actually really great. It’s with Sarah Massey, who’s been on the podcast, who I did coaching with a number of years ago for VIP days. And it’s one of the things that’s been really great. And I tell her over and over again how much I appreciate that she did this. It’s two calls a month. Instead of being a weekly call, it’s two calls, and that’s it. We have Voxer support access, we have a Voxer group chat, and we have a Facebook group, which isn’t quite as active, which is fine.
Laura Kåmark [00:05:36]:
And that right there has given me so much support in all the right ways. We also have the in person Mastermind retreats, which, if you follow me on Instagram, you saw me posting when we were in Breckenridge, Colorado earlier this year. So for me, being in a program that doesn’t have weekly calls has opened up so much additional space on my calendar because I’m not committed every week to being on that call for that program. So something to think about if you have a coaching program, think about how often you’re doing calls and maybe ask your clients, is this supporting them, or is this just adding additional things to their calendar? And what could it look like if you maybe dialed it down a little bit and did every other week or twice a month? So that just to give everyone a little more space. So that’s one of the things I did this year. Something else I did was this kind of goes hand in hand. I bought less courses. I think we all can get shiny object syndrome.
Laura Kåmark [00:06:40]:
Like, I know I get it all the time. I see this amazing sounding course. I’m like, oh, that would be so great. I would love to do that. I’ve tried so hard this year to just focus on the big picture. I know where I want to go. I know what I want to do. How is this going off? And looking at this shiny thing going to help me get there? And so that’s a filter.
Laura Kåmark [00:07:03]:
I’ve tried to run my decisions through as I make purchasing decisions this year. So I’ve bought less courses. There’s again, been so many things I’m like, oh, that would be amazing. And wait, it’s not going anywhere. It’s still going to be available later. Let’s just wait a little bit and keep moving forward with step by step with what the track you’re on. So that’s the second thing I’ve done. The third thing I did this year, which has been so life changing for my business, is I implement a CEO Week.
Laura Kåmark [00:07:35]:
So what that means is, and I’ve talked about this before on the podcast with guests, is the first Monday through Friday of the month is blocked off on my Google Calendar for CEO Week. And this just means by it being blocked off because I have my Acuity calendar synced up with my Google Calendar, no one’s able to schedule any appointments, any meetings, anything with me. And that’s given me so much space to just know I have one week a month that’s going to be quiet. I have no prior commitments scheduled, and it gives me focus, time to work on my business, do some of the admin things, create more things, take those small steps closer to the bigger goals that I have for my business. And there’s been times where client work falls into those that week, but that’s okay because it’s intentional. Something else that’s been that I was intentional about is it being at the beginning of the month, because I feel like at least I see with my clients a lot of times I get a lot of requests closer to the end of the month, of things middle to end coming in, of wanting things to get done. And so I didn’t want to then take all those tasks that I didn’t really have space to fit in and put it in my CEO week. So I intentionally put my CEO week at the start of the month.
Laura Kåmark [00:08:55]:
And right now it is on my Google calendar with no end date. And I plan on keeping it there for as long as it makes sense. Because again, I just really have enjoyed having that additional open space, that white space on my calendar. A lot of times it did fall in line with, like when we were out of town for 4 July this year or when the kids were on spring break. There’s been weeks my parents were here visiting. There were weeks where it fell in line with time. I needed to be off anyway, but that was okay because I already had my schedule cleared for that. So that’s the third thing I did this year.
Laura Kåmark [00:09:31]:
The fourth thing I did was setting more realistic goals. I had one conversation with my business coach, and I have this course I’m getting ready to film and put out. She’s like, can you have it done by the end of August? And I laughed at her. I said, no. I said, Kids are starting school. I have family coming into town. I have a bunch of proposals out. No, it will not be done by the end of August.
Laura Kåmark [00:09:55]:
That’s not realistic for me. I don’t want to work that hard to get it done. She said, okay, I hear you. How about the end of September? I said, now that’s doable. So really meeting myself where I’m at, being realistic with myself, putting a little less pressure on myself to get those things done and setting more realistic goals has dramatically helped this year in just taking some of the stress off myself. So something else I did, which was really fun, and I know a lot of my other Mastermind gals and accountability partners have all had a really good summer. We took some time off. I know this was the first summer we really traveled as a family.
Laura Kåmark [00:10:42]:
We had a bunch of different things going on. We had a wedding we went to for some family in Hawaii. I had the Breckenridge, Colorado retreat with my Mastermind group that I went to. And then we had wine tasting week away with our neighbors. My husband and I went and then my parents came to visit, which was super amazing. We don’t see them a whole lot. My dad came. We really don’t see him as much.
Laura Kåmark [00:11:06]:
So it was just really great to take time off during summer when the past few years we really haven’t done that and it felt really good. It’s exhausting. Always traveling with children is not exactly what I would call vacation. It’s a lot of work, but we spent a lot of time together as a family and just really were able to take time off that we hadn’t been doing in the past few years. So that was something that really, again, I planned ahead for that. I blocked off my calendar, I had space opened up, so I was able to take that time off. I notified my clients and I put an out of office on and that was okay. I had a few different weeks where because of how things fell, it was almost two or three weeks I was off in a row and that was okay.
Laura Kåmark [00:11:55]:
And I let that be okay. So it was definitely a summer where we spent some good time out getting out there. But that’s the goal, right? We have these businesses so we can have this freedom. The idea isn’t for us to be working twenty four seven. The idea is for us to do something we really love, have amazing clients and have this space and time to really do the things we love to do. For me and my family, it’s travel. We love to travel. I love going places and going on adventures.
Laura Kåmark [00:12:28]:
And it’s been so cup filling for me for the last few months, having that travel coming back into my schedule, because that was something that my soul had really been missing. So something else that I’ve been doing to really just kind of open up some more space and time is just again, intentionally trying to not work as many nights. For a number of years there I was putting in some long hours at night and I don’t know if it’s all just caught up to me or if I’m just getting tired of it or just really trying to have less, but I have not been working as many nights, which has felt amazing. I’ve also been prioritizing going to bed earlier and getting rest because I think we all know how important it is to sleep. So really going into intentional rest time of it’s 10:00 bedtime, go to bed, don’t stay up late, just go to bed. And then the final thing that I’ve done that’s really been intentional and life changing for me this year is prioritizing movement. I love to get out and walk the dog. I recently started jogging with him, which he does not like, but it was something that for me it feels very efficient because we get our movement in a lot quicker and I love being outside with him.
Laura Kåmark [00:13:52]:
I was looking into joining a gym and realized I just don’t want to join the gym. I want to be outside. I want to be with my dog. Whether it’s we’re going for a trail run, which he hates, or if we’re just going for a jog around the harbor. But it’s something that it’s felt really good to me, something that I’m getting back into. When I lived in the Virgin Islands, I used to do a lot of trail running with my dog because, again, it was a more efficient way to get her exercised and we had to do it like right before sundown because it was so hot there. So for me, it’s felt really great to just be able to get back into that movement and prioritizing that movement. So that’s what I have for everyone today.
Laura Kåmark [00:14:34]:
I hope that you’ve taken a look at these items. We talked about joining less programs, buying less courses, opening up space on your calendar with like a CEO week where you’re really not opening it, but blocking it off. Time for you, time for your business, setting more realistic goals and not trying to bend over backwards to hit these goals that sometimes can feel unattainable. Taking time off to rest and rejuvenate, not working as many nights, going to bed earlier and prioritizing movement. So I would love to hear from you. Let me know. What are you doing this year that’s been helpful and changing in how you’re running your business? What are you doing to open up more space, to give yourself more time, energy, more fulfillment? I’d love to hear from you. I’ll see you next week.
Laura Kåmark [00:15:27]:
Bye now. Thanks so much for listening to this week’s episode. Be sure to check out the Show Notes laurakamark.com/podcast. And if you’re ready to turn your website into a marketing machine, get more sales, save time, and simplify the back end of your business. Grab my free Resource Power integrations for your website. Head on over to Laurakamark.com/Power. If you enjoyed today’s episode, make sure to subscribe. And also, I’ll just love you forever.
Laura Kåmark [00:15:58]:
If you leave me a review, it helps get this podcast in front of other people that can help inspire. Thanks so much for listening. I’ll see you next week. Bye now.