September 28, 2023

Transcript #217: Entrepreneurial Insights for Expecting Mothers – A Candid Conversation with Ann K. Emery

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Transcript #217: Entrepreneurial Insights for Expecting Mothers – A Candid Conversation with Ann K. Emery

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Entrepreneurial Insights for Expecting Mothers – A Candid Conversation with Ann K. Emery

– Transcript Ep #217

Hint of Hustle Podcast Cover

Heather Sager  1:50  

Well, hey, everyone. Welcome back to another episode, we are officially done. With live launching for 2023. We just wrapped up our latest launch Sikandra talk accelerator. And we are back to our standard programming, which is always great launch season off launch season. But I wanted to do something a little different after this launch. And today’s conversation I’m going to be bringing on one of my long term clients. She was one of the first people came through my program. But this is not a conversation about speaking it’s not a conversation around how speaking has transformed her business. Although it has. This is a fellow business owner who is also pregnant right now. And well, this episode we definitely talk about pregnancy we talk about maternity leave, whilst being self employed. It’s like a whole new ballgame. This is the first time I’ve ever been pregnant while running my own business. At first this will be the only but i It’s interesting this conversation one of the reason why I started this show hint of hustle is I wanted to have behind the scenes conversations with business owners around what life looks like off stage and behind the curtain. And it’s because online and as Instagram, YouTube, Tik Tok all this social media world, we only see a slice of other people’s lives, whether it’s personal brands, whether it’s businesses, whether it’s people that you follow, or your friends, for good reason. We don’t share everything online. But as a business owner, when you’re trying to understand if you’re doing things, quote unquote, right, if you’re trying to figure out like, What the hell am I doing, which no, none of us know, by the way, we’re just figuring out as we go. It’s oftentimes really easy to look at, to look at other people’s onstage time as your measurement of success. But really, we do business so that we can live a life outside of our businesses. And this conversation today is so good. I wrapped it up this afternoon, I had to go pick up my kids from school, stop at a country store and pick up some snacks and now I am back. I wanted to get this intro recorded for you. But I just am reflecting on this interview you’re going to frickin love it. And let me just call out the elephant in the room. If you are not pregnant, have no plans to have children or past the stage of this. This is not an episode specifically around pregnancy. I did ask and some very specific questions that I have gotten lately from people going. How are you navigating business in pregnancy? How are you planning maternity leave? How do you have energy to show up and speak while you’re pregnant? Now you can insert pregnancy for other life phases, other big events you have something hard going on? Make this episode work for you. Please do not just dismiss it because I’m pregnant. I’m talking about that. Right. I also do really respect that if you’re in a phase of your life where Pregnancy is a hard discussion. It’s you hate hearing people talk about it because you had your own experience with it. Whether you’re trying to conceive you lost a child, whatever experience you’ve have, I get it I went through a phase where I tried very long, a very long time to get pregnant with my husband. And when we finally did, we miscarried the first time. So it was very difficult listening to other people. So I fully respect if you’re in a season that this is not a topic you want to hear, skip this episode. But if you were open to the conversation, we actually have way more of a conversation around how to structure your business and how to my favorite little takeaway of this, how to simplify but more importantly, how to create a I don’t list so that you have more boundaries in your life around your business, and you can fully be present and live, with your family, with your hobbies with whatever passions that you pursue. That sounded super cheesy, but I hope that you follow what I’m saying, You’re going to love this interview, you’re going to love and you’re also just going to laugh your butt off of how nonchalant she is in her bad ass form. Her business is in frickin incredible. So pay close attention. Enjoy the episode and help me give a big fat congratulations to Anne and her entire family. At the time of this recording. She is about to go into labor any fricking moment with twins, baby’s number four and five. So the fact that she said, Hell yeah, Heather like, I’m just waiting for this baby’s to come out, why not have a conversation about it. I’m just so grateful. So enjoy the episode, please send us a note over on Instagram. If you did, I’d love to hear from you. I am going to be I’ll just give you a little heads up. I am going to do a solo episode here in a few weeks, specifically around how I am planning my business around time off. Now I’m going to call it maternity leave because I’m having a baby but you could call it a sabbatical, you could call it taking the summer off with your kids. You can call it whatever you want to call it. But if you’re curious around, how do you structure a business when you’re the face of the company, and you’re the engine of the company? How am I like if you’re curious, I’ll share with you how I’m planning to take time off, I’ll share how much time I’m taking off how I’m structuring it how my business model is changed. I’m going to give you all a rundown. And it’s going to be a work in Messy progress because clearly I haven’t done it yet. But I’ll walk you through my thinking and and share that with you. So if you have certain questions that you would love for me to cover on that episode, be sure to shoot me over a DM on Instagram and let me know I would love to include your questions on that show. But that’ll be coming up here within the next couple of weeks. Who knows? Maybe next week? Not entirely sure yet? Well, we’ll see we’re in a we’re in a little bit of an in between winging it phase which I’m good with those every now and then. So friend, I’ll pass it over to the interviewer I gotta go, I gotta go chase my kids across the law. They’re both eating ice cream. And this looks like it’s gonna be a mess to clean up on the other side of this interview

Heather Sager  8:03  

well, hey, Ayaan, officially, welcome to the Hindus hustle Podcast. I’m pretty confident this is the first time I have had you on the show. Is that correct?

Ann Emery  8:12  

I think so. Which is wild, because I see you all the time, when I’m in your workshops and events.

Heather Sager  8:18  

Yeah, I can’t believe I can’t. Okay, this is actually now that I’m having that realization. And this moment, we’re gonna have to have you back on the show after we get through what we’re going to talk about today. So in the distant future, we’ll come back and talk about some other things. But this conversation is going to be a similar one that I had last week. So last week, I had my friends appear on the show. And we were like, two gals obsessed with storytelling, talking about storytelling from different angles. And we’re just kind of geeking out in a casual conversation. We’re not talking about storytelling, nor anything real business listening. Today, we’re talking about pregnancy and maternity leave, and how it works as a business owner because you and I both are cooking up some beautiful creations, you a little bit more further along than me. So that’s what we’re talking about today. So why don’t you share just for a moment your business like what your business is about. And then let’s talk about talk about maternity leave, and all those good things.

Ann Emery  9:19  

So as you know, I’ve been a full time speaker for about a decade. Now. That being said, I started with like a little more servicii based a little bit more consulting, but I’ve shifted very intentionally into just speaking and training. And I’m about 10 years in the business and I’m about to have kid four and five so yep, cooking up some babies. And I’m due any day now, like any day, any day about to pop. So I’ve been thinking very carefully all year about how to plan this maternity leave. Because the first maternity leave eight years ago was was fine. Maybe at the time it was kind of a hot mess in some aspects looking back I’ve kind of fine tune and fine tune the business as I’ve gotten to.

Heather Sager  10:03  

Yeah, this is what’s fascinating for me, because this is my first pregnancy that I’m going through. So I’m 29, almost 30 weeks at the time of this recording, I keep losing count on my third child. I don’t know if you’ve experienced that, too. Everyone asks him like, I don’t know, check my app, I have no idea. But this is my first pregnancy that I’m experiencing where I am not a corporate employee with paid time off with short term disability with a job to go back to. So I’m really fascinated because you’ve had all of your children while being self employed, right?

Ann Emery  10:40  

Yeah. And like really close timing. Because my first day of self employment, I remember because I like hopped on a plane to California, it was September 8. And then 10 days later, my husband turned 30, on the 18th. And he was like, Cool, I’m ready to be a dad. Now I’m a grown up. And I was like, I’m not ready. Am I ready? Maybe. So I had to think about it. He talked me into it. And then just, you know, we decided to go for it. And we were pregnant a couple months later. So I was, you know, a couple months in the business when I got pregnant. And I actually think in hindsight, that worked out for the best because starting a business is so hard. And being a first time parent is so hard, and I’ve never known them separate. I’ve only done them together the whole time. So I don’t have anything to compare to. So maybe that’s an advantage.

Heather Sager  11:32  

That’s interesting. I didn’t know that. I am sure It even lets you be like, oh, man, I can’t imagine brewing a baby for the first time becoming apparent for the first time well, making this business happen for the first time. But when you don’t know any different, it’s just it is what it what it is. I just heard and yeah, yeah, I’m curious how how would you say that just experience overall of planning for business while you’re recovering with baby? How is that different to like, fast forward now? On babies four and five?

Ann Emery  12:05  

Yeah. So early on. I mean, my business looked so different, almost 10 years ago, because I was doing a mix of consulting, you know, where you get paid by the hour or by the day. And speaking, which was more like product based package based? Yeah. And I remember I had this one long term project, it was a two year project, which is a major commitment, like all of my projects are short, it’s like I come in and I speak for a day, you know, maybe a week or two days. That’s my typical project nowadays. But I have this two year project. And I was like, What am I going to do for maternity leave, and I, I tried to be really proactive and schedule all the deadlines and deliverables that I could kind of take time off. And then because I was being paid hourly or daily, like, if I didn’t work, I didn’t get paid. So I just piled up a bunch of money in my savings account, knowing I kind of live off that when I wasn’t working. And I just kind of like figured it out as I went. And it was it was okay, it was like good enough. But that’s so different from now, where I have short term projects. On purpose. I can’t imagine having a two year commitment with a client, right? It would be I can’t do that around pregnancies, I just can’t. And because I have online courses now. And I’ve been doing that for about five years, my bank accounts actually gonna go up on maternity leave, instead of down. So it’s I don’t know, it’s different in every aspect, like so much has changed over 10 years, but very purposefully.

Heather Sager  13:29  

Okay. So you mentioned that your business model has evolved a lot. So I want to I want to talk about that for a moment, because I think that is something that regardless of kids or pregnancy, businesses change over time. And so can you walk a little bit through around how your business model has changed? And how you’ve kind of adapted it for different life phases?

Ann Emery  13:53  

Yeah, I mean, I realized early on, being committed to one project for two years doesn’t make any sense. If I’m also in the like, having children stage of life, it was just too stressful. It felt like work, like, like hard work to really figure that out. And I know a lot of people who have jobs similar to mine, they’ll just hire like a subcontractor or they’ll hire a helper, like some other highly skilled person to just jump into the project for a few months while they’re out. And I considered that I can’t remember why I didn’t do it. I don’t know. I just like didn’t figure that out in time. And it was just easier to like, schedule deadlines around when I was available or not. But I just remember like, Oh, if this isn’t going to work, I can’t do this. Again, I need to have shorter term projects. So that I’m not committed to something and then oh, I have to step away for a few months and like over communicate to the client about why I’m out. That just was a big mess. So I knew right away like nope, short term projects are it and then for a few years, I did like a few years later I did practice hiring subcontractors and I had more of an agency model to like people would email me and say, Can you do XYZ project for us and I was at capacity or over capacity. So I would hire like a past coworker, right, like a trusted colleague to help out in this agency model. But that also kind of didn’t work and felt like a lot of work because it was also speaking. So I remember I’d be like, standing in the airport on the line ready to board an international flight where I wasn’t going to have Wi Fi for 24 hours, because they’d be on the plane. And they’d be like, scrambling thumb typing, to coordinate with all these subcontractors, like, did you send this to this client, and then trying to upload attachments with the airport Wi Fi, it was just a mess. So just speaking in person on other continents, and doing consulting, kind of time and time again, the universe taught me, that’s not gonna work, I need to really, really focus. It probably wasn’t until maybe five years into business that I realized, like, oh, yeah, doing fewer things. But better, is the way to go. So you free up time, and you can do really high quality on all the projects I did. So that’s where I’ve been in the past, you know, five ish years is just like, only speaking only a few core offerings, like do a few things. At a really, really high level, rather than trying to do all the things all scattered all over.

Heather Sager  16:05  

Yeah, I one of the things that I’ve always been really fascinated by with you is your knowing that you don’t want to manage a bunch of people, and you don’t want to build a business in the way that other people say, you have to to grow, you’re pretty solid around what your goals are, and what you want your lifestyle to be around those goals. And you’re pretty good at making those decisions. So I didn’t know that thing. I didn’t know you had agency contractors at some point. So that’s fascinating that you tried that. But it’s pretty cool. Did you? Did you just come from the place of going? This is annoying, I don’t want to manage this or did something else lead you to go? Nope, Screw this, I’m gonna simplify.

Ann Emery  16:45  

No, it’s, it’s really that simple. It’s like, if it feels like work, I say, I’m not gonna do it, I’m just not gonna play that game. There’s just no point. And like, you can try all the software programs in the world or try to hire the right person or have the best little communication plans or planning documents with them. But at the end of the day, if it’s like managing somebody just doesn’t feel fun to you, then I just don’t do that. I just, I just don’t. And I do hire help. So one thing I don’t think you know, is we just got a nanny, like two weeks ago, I’ve been

Heather Sager  17:17  

here Instagram stories.

Ann Emery  17:22  

I don’t have help, like I, I hired help way too late in my business, I should have done it earlier. But it’s the type of help I’ve had has shifted. So you know, I tried the agency model for a few years in there. And this doesn’t really feel right, it just didn’t work with not being available on Wi Fi all the time. And then I don’t think when I joined your program, like way back in 2019, that was about five ish years in the business. For me. That was the first like actual professional development I ever committed to for myself. I like literally spent maybe $20 on a book about consulting before that, like that was it. I didn’t go to conferences for myself, like I was way too slow to invest in professional development. So I finally did that I finally got a VA about five ish years, and she helped me five hours a week on administrative stuff. I tried that for a few years, but just my business shifted. I just kind of eliminated all the stuff she was doing. I ended up purchasing like Calendly to schedule meetings for me or I purchased Zapier to connect, zoom and teachable and ConvertKit for me, and I just kind of accidentally like eliminated the need for her. I didn’t plan to do that. It just kind of happened. But I mean, nowadays, like we have a landscaper, we don’t mow our lawn anymore. We we live in Florida, everybody has pools so we have a pool service. So we don’t have to mess with the pool chemicals ourselves. I don’t need to do laundry myself anymore. I just don’t like I don’t think doing laundry makes me a better mother or a better business owner. So we decided to hire a nanny, who is also a private chef, who also worked as a swim coach for three years. So it’s just like, that makes a lot more sense. She’s here like, she’ll cook us breakfast in the morning while we swim with our kids. And then she makes us lunch while I I go to a doctor’s appointment and stuff. So it’s again, it’s not that I don’t need help. It’s just that the type of help that I need has changed a lot of course,

Heather Sager  19:15  

yeah. Okay. I frickin love this conversation around that because so often we we think, as business owners that help is hiring contractors are so often I see people throwing money at somebody to post on social media, or all these little things that we think we have to do. But what you have done really, really well in that whole project simplify is Get clear around where your unique value is how you can create systems to make those things work and spend your time on the things that are going to make you money and then get help in the other areas so that you can be free for life and for other things. I mean, let’s talk about Okay, speaking of like free for life. One of the things I have always friggin loved about watching your journey, just in general of blending life and business is how much you and your family travel. So let’s talk about that. So you mentioned you joined my program back in 2019. I remember when you and I talked about it, and we got you enrolled the program, you were getting ready to board a plane and go live in Japan.

Ann Emery  20:25  

Yeah, we’ve been all over Asia for about six

Heather Sager  20:27  

months, which was wild when you had your kids with you. You’ve done this multiple times. So let’s talk about that. Was travel, always something that you had planned on with family with work? Tell me a little bit more about that?

Ann Emery  20:39  

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, that that’s probably the number one reason I decided to be self employed was because in my 20s, I was like, instantly burned out like corporate life, quarterlife crisis of just thinking, Oh, my gosh, I only get 10 paid days off a year. And I get like five sick days or whatever you get when you started a company, it’s almost nothing. Well, I was used to being a college student where you get the whole summer off. And sure, like, worked full time over the summer. And I did all the internships, I was like, very busy and productive. But just the idea that I had to work, like 50 weeks a year, I was instantly burned out. And I knew that didn’t work. So I knew, Okay, I either have to find some company with like the best benefits package in the world, which doesn’t exist, or I just have to be self employed. So I have control over my time. And I can take like, I wanted to take like a three week vacation. That’s all I wanted to do. It wasn’t anything like a wild I wanted, I just wanted to be able to, like go camping for a few weeks or something. So that was like a major, major reason for me, leaving the corporate life and getting control over my own schedule. But then when we traveled full time for about a year, I don’t know if I like planned on that it just kind of had to happen. Because of the kids all like blame them or give them credit for it. It was just simply like I was traveling all over the world to do on site workshops. Because very few things used to be zoom, it was mostly in person before the pandemic. And I just got really tired of missing my kids. I was homesick and I wanted to be there to have dinner together and do bath time and do bedtime routines. So my husband and I were like I know, what if we just sell all of our belongings, and everybody just travels with mommy’s job. And then when government agencies or foundations like send me around to different countries to train their people. I just bring the family along. So that seems really logical at the time. It seems like crazy now that that’s the solution we came up with. But that’s that’s why we traveled because I wanted to early on, and then I kind of had to later on.

Heather Sager  22:39  

Now your husband did he was he working at the time when you guys made that decision?

Ann Emery  22:44  

Yeah. And he had like, like a, like a good job like, like he worked for the FBI for a decade. I can say that now that he’s not there anymore. But he had like a good job where it was a massive decision, should he leave his nice stable job, his health care plan, the pension, like all the paid time off the sick leave. So we thought about that for about a full year, or like the whole pregnancy with my second baby. I was thinking, Okay, if being homesick now sucks. This is gonna be even worse when the second kid is born. So we went into kind of planning mode and we’re like, maybe he should quit his job. Should we travel full time? I don’t know. And you know, me, I’m a spreadsheet person, right? So I had to like work out the healthcare costs and the pension, giving up costs and all of that. And we decided to go for it. Because actually, I had a course launch one week where I made his salary within a week. And then we were like, Why is he working? Like there’s there’s no point. I mean, sure, there’s like, more benefits of working than just an income. But that was a pretty clear decision maker for us is like, Oh, my income is pretty much unlimited. But he has like a very set salary job too.

Heather Sager  23:53  

Yeah, and the time that goes with it, right, the the freedom and flexibility that you have had for choosing your schedule for traveling where you want. It’s just been really, really cool to watch. I am curious, your travels in all of your pregnancies. You’ve traveled in all of your pregnancies. Can you talk a little bit about I got this question the other day on Instagram from someone asking Heather How are you keeping your energy showing up and speaking while you’re pregnant? Let’s talk about hormones go lower. So can you share a little bit about what your experience has been around traveling pregnant and showing up for audiences whether it’s virtual or in person? What’s that experience like have been like for you?

Ann Emery  24:40  

I think it’s not that I don’t get nervous anymore because you know, like a lot of like, times when you’re getting used to speaking you get you get like traditional nerves like maybe I’d be shaking or my voice to be like wavering a little bit. I don’t get that anymore. But I do get an adrenaline rush. I think you’d call it the I don’t know my body goes into what I what I You can describe as fight or flight mode, like when I’m speaking and I’m on, whether there’s 10 people watching me or like several 100 people in a keynote audience watching me, my brain and body are like you’re on, you’re on, like, every ounce of energy is like just being on during that like hour or day. But then afterwards, I totally crash, I’ll go back to the hotel room, and I’m like, sleep 10 hours instead of eight hours or something. So it’s not like, Oh, you just get this superhero energy. I think your body just knows, like, don’t mess up. There’s people staring at you, like gather all your limited energy. And then like before, after that, you just know like, I’m gonna have to nap. I’m gonna have to regroup. Do whatever it is for self care to kind of relax yourself. So it’s not like, I don’t know, you just kind of have to be okay with crashing afterwards when your body shuts down, to be honest.

Heather Sager  25:49  

Yeah, that’s a really beautiful way to put it. It’s I noticed that same thing, too is the I call it go time, like when it’s go time, your body when you have spoken on stages, or doing groups and stuff before you know how to perform your body does it? I didn’t notice a difference when I was pregnant when I was on. But you just use 100% hit the point that it was the time off stage that I noticed my recovery time was different, being more intentional around what I was eating while I was traveling, being aware that I could need to or I would have instant heartburn. So things like that, like it was it was the off stage that really took its toll that I had to be more aware of the Mian stage time. You did a lot of you did a lot of traveling this year with this twin pregnancy. And I know this has been a carrying twins. It’s like a whole whole land that I know nothing about. But have you noticed through more pregnancies and more maturity in business, have you noticed anything like shift in this pregnancy in this last leg?

Ann Emery  26:55  

I mean, the first trimester with twins is really intense. And I’m like so lucky. Like pregnancy is generally very easy for me. I don’t throw up I just feel like I might. So I was on the plane. I think I was like 14 weeks pregnant. I was flying to California from Florida to California, which is like that’s a whole that’s a whole day flight. Like that’s a whole long, you know, multiple stops type of thing. And even though I was 14 weeks along because it’s twins all your first trimester terribleness just last longer, I was so sick on the flight. Like I was thinking do I need to go to urgent care when I land to like get some IVs I was just absolutely miserable. Like almost in tears. So stressed just thinking, I can’t believe I said yes to this project. Why did I think I was going to be okay, by 14 weeks. I’m not okay. But of course, I’d signed the contract like six months before and I wasn’t going to back out of it like unless it unless it was like a terrible or something. I wasn’t quite there. But I was getting close. So visibly, the flight was just terrible. Walking through the airport with all the smells, I was like holding my nose because it was so bad. But when I got there, my body without me trying just goes you’re on now. And everything was perfect. And I just had a perfect healthy day. But then I went back to the airport and kind of the adrenaline wears off. And my body just crashed again. And I just said let’s see miserable. So that I mean that that’s just the reality of like, first trimester with twins. I mean, I did it. But behind the scenes kind of off stage, I was absolutely miserable.

Heather Sager  28:24  

And terrible. Yeah. I’m having flashbacks of that. So most people don’t. I haven’t shared this story. But for me this on this pregnancy, I can’t tell if it’s the pregnancy or it’s the age pushing 40 at pregnant. It’s just a whole a whole new land. But I I’ve had I’ve similar to you for all three of my pregnancies. I have been very, I feel sick, but I don’t get sick. Like it never crossed that line. But I was very nauseous through it. But this pregnancy, I was traveling to Phoenix. This was when I was maybe not even seven weeks pregnant. I was seven weeks pregnant the time. So it was still really early. We hadn’t told anyone. And I was traveling at event with my business coach. I was at his event for two days, and I was fine. And then the next day, I had to get in the car with three other women business owners. And we drove to Sedona, because we were going to as James Wedmore as we were doing as an affiliate first program, you know this, and we were doing a bunch of content filming in Sedona that weekend. So it was kind of like this VIP weekend, we get to go home, I want James and his Airbnb, it’s gonna be really cool. And I woke up that morning to drive to Sedona and I could not stop throwing up. It was like, beyond like, absolutely beyond. So I ended up having to tell all the women in the car, two of which were not they were not parents, they were not at the stage where they’re having kids yet, so I completely terrified them from ever having babies of around what I look like, but the entire way to Sedona and that entire day, including at the crystal shop at the smoothie shop at James Webb More’s house in every single bathroom. It was horrible. It was horrible. But the next day when we had to be on for content, my body snapped back in. And we got to film all day. And I got the best film from that trip. But this behind the scenes that like people don’t know about, it’s really weird. I hadn’t thought about the like being on and your body knowing versus your body. Good. All right, we’re gonna recover right now.

Ann Emery  30:24  

I feel like this goes full circle to something we were talking about before we started recording, which is like, what’s the alternative? We just don’t work. We just don’t ever try to get on stage. You don’t ever have a course launch you don’t? Like, there’s no perfect conditions. I mean, even if we weren’t pregnant, I probably would have had COVID. Again this year, I probably would have had colds all winter. Like they go around all families all winter, like there would have been something. There’s no I gotten like a minor car crash last year that could have happened to get like there’s always something to deal with. So I don’t know. I just feel like the circumstances are never perfect. There’s always a flight delay. There’s always internet glitches, like USB Drive glitch. There’s always something so like, what are you going to do? You just don’t know. So hopefully, people listening are reassured that glitches happen, and just bad things happen. And you just keep going, you just go for it, you just do your best.

Heather Sager  31:16  

It’s the land of I think one of the things that okay, one of the many things that you said earlier, but just that choice of going all in on your business around, I’m going to do this, this is going to work. It’s kind of your approach to just business in general. Right. It’s the whether it’s another pregnancy, whether it’s something else going on, it’s going to make it work like this is the life that we choose. When you I think side tangent, let me go left here for a second. I think a lot of times where people get stuck in business is when they haven’t fully decided that this is the path that they’re going to make work. But I think somebody similar between you and I both when we started our businesses you have a few years ahead of me. But it was never an option that it wasn’t going to work. There was that working for myself, never going back to someone else being my employer having the flexibility to work when I want, even if it’s from bed. That was the choice, that choice was already made. So I don’t make that choice ever again, it was just already made. So you just operate in the condition. So all these other things are just situations that come up.

Ann Emery  32:19  

I mean, I still have maybe one day a year when I say this sucks. Why did I choose this, I should go get a regular job again. And it’s always around taxes. So finally, a few years ago, I was like, oh, yeah, da, I can hire an accountant to worry about. So I hired somebody who I met in your program. And it’s worth every penny. And now I don’t have to pay my VA to follow up on invoices. She set me up with an accounting system that like automatically follows. I don’t have to worry about taxes and say, oh my gosh, I’m gonna go to jail IRS jail, if I don’t fill out this form. I know that, like that’s what you hire somebody to worry about for you. And they just do it right? They don’t even worry, because it’s just normal for their job. So I still do like sometimes have those days where I think oh, like, what am I doing? Maybe I should go back? Is this worth it? Or if I have a big healthcare bill, I’m about to have a huge hospital bill. I know I’m gonna have a moment when I get that bill of like, gosh, if I had a regular job, I pay like $2 for this hospital stay and not like the 1000s that I’m gonna have to pay. Yeah, but that’s normal. That’s just like everybody I’ve talked to self employed just has that kind of roller coaster of emotions. And it always goes away. And I’m always so grateful I work for myself. And like you were saying, I kind of have no choice but to make it work because I’m going to be the sole earner for seven people. Like, I have to support a family of seven. So I can’t just sit there and twiddle my thumbs and be like, Oh, I guess I’ll just do like a C quality presentation today. It’s like, No, I have to do a plus every time because there’s no other choice. There’s no other choice, how am I going to put groceries on the table like I have to do like very good work every single time.

Heather Sager  34:00  

And for you pressure, no pressure and also the the quality of your work as you’ve simplified your offers. And you’ve simplified the type of workshops, you mentioned, the digital courses, the people that you work with your booking higher contracts, so the stakes probably feel higher to perform at your absolute best. I mean, we always should perform at our best, right but when you’re booking contracts at that level you do have to perform. So how do you balance that just out of curiosity? When let’s say you do have a really big speaking event or you have a big training event virtually or in person, and you’re not feeling your best or something does go south with someone in your family being sick or things come up, right? How have you navigated that over the last couple years?

Ann Emery  34:46  

I’ve always done my best I could for speaking gigs I have thrown up during speaking gigs. Absolutely because if you speak 50 to 100 times a year in person, you get normal sickness and life I’ll get a migraine and have to excuse myself to the hallway I’ve thrown up in the hallway in the in. This is terrible Dakota. But like, I just say, Oh, hey, you know what, let’s just take a five minute break. I’ll be right back. I disappear. I come back in. I don’t say anything. I don’t want people to feel bad for me. Like, I don’t want to mess up the dynamic in the room and just say, All right, let’s just pick up where we were again, I just keep going. Yeah, so I’ve always like brought it for speaking gigs. I don’t know. I think just like, like you were saying, simplifying the offers helps a lot. And that’s something I knew I had to do this year, when I found out Oh, my gosh, not only is it one baby, like it’s two babies, which is automatically high risk, it’s automatically a million times more appointments, I immediately made on my notebook a to don’t list of everything I was going to not do this year, which is I shouldn’t say this on your podcast, but I had to cut back on like, all my visibility this year, like, in more in a normal year, I’d be so proactive. I would seek out all the podcasts, I would seek out all the conferences, I would write a bunch of articles, I would do all the visibility. And this year, I was like, I can’t do any of that. Like, I was speaking with you. Because it’s for fun today. And like, what else am I gonna do today, I’m just sitting around a baby watch, like working from bed writing blog posts here and there. But I didn’t seek out any other podcasts this year, I guess lectured in one university class. I didn’t make any YouTube videos. Normally, that’d be a priority. I just did blog posts, because that’s faster than making the whole video. Like I really, really cut back so that I’d have enough mental energy to just focus on the few client things and few online courses I was doing, which it’s so counterintuitive to realize this, but that actually means you make a lot more money. And you have a lot more free time, when you like really pared down. So you just do a few things at a really high level. You know, like less work, but better work has been a perfect solution for me.

Heather Sager  36:59  

Yeah. Okay. I love that you said I’m 1,000% happy that you said that you’ve cut back on your visibility because I think people need to hear that message. So there are seasons where you do have to cut back i i did a podcast episode this spring where he talked about how I was in a season of being lazy. What audience didn’t know at the time it was I was very nearly pregnant. And I had to so very similar things. But I similar this last, what six months is I always giggle at people like oh my gosh, you’re on all the time. How are you doing so much? And I laugh because I’m like, I’m not actually doing a lot. I do not work very many hours a day like and I don’t want people to think that I do because I don’t want to build up this false thing that you need to be working 90 hours a week as an entrepreneur. This week. I probably am because we’re in launch mode and I’m hustling. But all like other weeks. Hell no, I’m in bed. I’m hanging it out. Like I’m gonna walk through the morning. I’m not starting work until 10 or 11. I sometimes we really have to dial it back, because that’s the season we’re in whether you’re pregnant or not. We all need to go through those cycles. So I think we need to normalize that.

Ann Emery  38:12  

Yeah, I mean, I think I had one weekend I had to work I had like I had to work like a full Sunday in the spring. And the whole time I was thinking How embarrassing. Like I was so embarrassed for myself, because I hadn’t managed my time well. And I thought at this stage in business, like, Oh, why am I managing my time so poorly that I have to like work past three or four o’clock or if I have to wake up early. And it’s just not necessary to run a good business or a profitable business to work all that time. And if anything, I think it hurts your business too. And it definitely hurts your mental health and physical health in the long run to work that much. So yeah, I don’t know, I used to live in work in downtown DC. So the hustle culture is like in me ingrained. And I’ve had to unlearn that slowly over the years. I think I’m officially there, though. But it takes a while to make that shift.

Heather Sager  39:03  

Well, let’s talk about the opposite of that. Because it’s one of the pieces pieces we talked about here, right? Have the hint of hustle have those seasons where you’re in it, I find launches speaking gigs. There’s like certain things that I’m like going in all the way, but that I’m really good at resting. And that’s something that you do really, really well. Although I would argue I mean, your version of resting is like walking around Disney World for a million hours with your kids seven days in a row. So we have very different ideas of what rest is. But tell us a little bit about when you’re not working. What how are you spending your time? How do you make that a priority consistently without feel like without feeling like you’re cheating your business?

Ann Emery  39:44  

Well, I don’t think any of us can be on every single day, or even consistently and that was a big problem I had with the corporate life was like if I had a migraine, I needed to just go into work a couple hours late. I couldn’t like I still had to be there but then I was only working kind of like halfway and that always felt terrible to me to know, I wasn’t giving my best I just wanted to like give my best. But it’s physically impossible to do that eight hours a day. So it just, I always felt like off about that it just never fit to have to be like expected to work a consistent amount every single day. That’s the beauty of self employment is like, with some practice with some time, you can schedule your work to match your own energy levels, which is nice. And for me, I can’t be on all year round. I do best taking the summers off. This is my third year in a row now I’ve taken the summer off. So the first two summers we did, how long do my kids have off school 13 weeks or something in the summer, which is like a pretty good summer break. So we took a two month camping road trip we just I which, to me sounds really easy. It’s like Oh, I’m not on Zoom leading workshops in sort of 100 people. I’m just like tent camping for eight weeks straight in the middle of nowhere with like no internet, or coffeemaker or anything. But for me, that’s super fun. Like I love doing that. This year we took we’re going to take two months to go to Europe. But because of my pregnancy, I couldn’t miss all the high risk doctor’s appointments and ultrasounds so I could only really be away from the doctor for like a month. It’s kind of what they like unofficially approved me for but we still have a month off. And then I did like all the staycation time to Disney and universal and see these are just like normal Orlando things. So every Orlando mom does all the Disney stuff all the time. But I think this you know, it took years to figure out. But that seems to be the right balance for me is like hustle in the spring and fall. And then don’t do any work or any deadlines all summer long.

Heather Sager  41:37  

Yeah, I love I love that schedule. My work work free summer is totally my ideal. That’s always been my plan. And I’ve been doing pretty good on it. Until this year, when we found out we were pregnant, or I’m pregnant. It’s not a wee thing. My husband is not pregnant, I hate it with

Ann Emery  41:51  


Heather Sager  41:54  

But when I found that out, I’m like, Oh man, I have like a time we have a ticking time bomb window of right generating revenue to sustain leave like that is a very real thing that we have to be planning for as self employed. But one of the things that I love, you mentioned this earlier, your creation of a to don’t list like that is a very simple concept. But it’s something that I see when you talk about simplifying, this has been a guide for you. Can you talk about some of the things that you have on that list because I was picking out it earlier because he shared it with me. And it’s fascinating. And I feel like people need to hear this like granular level of the types of things that you say no to to allow you to have this kind of free time.

Ann Emery  42:35  

Well, in a normal year, I would seek out conferences in my industry. And I would try to do one a month, I would try to do like an that’s not like in person flying to a conference because so many things are virtual nowadays. But that’s a lot of intentional work behind the scenes, too. It’s not like, oh, in one hour, I just this weekend, it doesn’t conferences, it means like submitting your proposal, and you have to get accepted. And you have to like send in your bio and headshot and do the practice, right? Like it’s a lot of work to do that. And even though those aren’t paid in the moment, I mean, obviously you know about visibility better than anybody, those absolutely grow your business over the next couple of months, next couple of years. So saying no to that is not a long term solution. But it was like a necessity for this year for the short term to just not speak at conferences. In a normal year, I would be invited to guest lecturer in undergrad and grad courses, which sometimes pay like 200 bucks or 500 bucks, but are usually free and you do it for like the visibility or you do it because oh, I can turn that talk I developed into a blog post later. And maybe that’ll turn into a workshop later or something like it’s really good speaking practice. I did one of those. But I’d already committed to it last year. So that’s why I had the one. And then I only did one free talk for a company this year. But it was such a big name company. I just couldn’t say no to like 700 people. It was just a 30 minute talk. So I did one of those I did like break my own rule. But when when I don’t know when you get good emails in your inbox, sometimes you can’t fully say no, and you’re like, that sounds really juicy. But I still drastically cut down on all the visibility I did. I didn’t do YouTube videos. Just one. So I don’t know I’m not perfect following my own advice. What else did I not do? I have a Shi T list of bad projects that I just can’t there’s just there’s a few companies and names on that list that I’ve just been burned. And I just can’t work with them anymore. So you know, there’s just a couple of people where I like I have to find them another consultant to work with because I’m not the right person anymore. I’ve had that for years, though. So that’s not new this year. What else did I not do? I didn’t travel much. I’m fascinated that you see my life through Insta Stories as me traveling a lot but I used to travel every week so maybe traveled I don’t know five maybe 10 times this year. That’s not a lot for me. That’s like nothing for me. I did a lot more virtual work.

Heather Sager  44:55  

It is fascinating though that really brings up and like hammers down the point that A lot of times we build up our perceptions or on other people’s lives through the highlight reel, as we all know, and we it’s not, you don’t see the whole picture, you don’t see the whole business, you don’t see the whole schedule for the day, the week, the month. So that’s why I’m loving this conversation, because we’re sharing a little bit more of the behind the scenes and whether or not it’s about pregnancy, like we’re actually not even talking about that a lot, which I’m okay with. But it’s the the dynamics of building a business that you actually enjoy and want to keep showing up for. But it’s so that you have the kind of life that you want to have, which is the whole point of Ron, while we’re all doing this. So one of the things on your to don’t list that I thought was interesting. It was very specific. And that’s why it caught my eye is you said you no longer offer fast action bonuses. Tell me about that. Yeah,

Ann Emery  45:50  

I was debating whether to say this aloud. I used to have things for my online courses were the first 10 people to sign up, you’d get like a one to one consultation, or the first 25 people to sign up, I’d send you a swag bag with like T shirts and stickers in the mail. And I stopped swag bags this year, because I don’t have time to like, look through people’s t shirt size orders, send in the order, get them delivered to my house, pick out all the little stickers print out cute little letters. And then what I would end up doing is hiring like a high schooler down the street to assemble all of them for a couple hours. And nobody was signing up because of the swag bags. like by the time I’d even send out the social media post or newsletter saying Hey, and if you sign up the first 25 people, you get a swag bag, we already had like 30 people sign up. So like nobody was signing up because of the fast action bonus anyway. So I just made my Swag Shop public. So if people want like a T shirt that says date of is on it, you can just get that anyway. I just had to drop that because it would take about a full working day times for different course launches. So I saved myself four days of work throughout the year of doing something that I don’t think anybody cared about to begin with.

Heather Sager  47:03  

It’s so fascinating is that evaluation of round? What time is it really, truly going to take that I do think when you’re under a deadline, especially a deadline of you’re creating a human and there will be a deadline where you physically have to stop. It really forces you to say, all right, why am I doing this? And what’s the, what’s the value of this for my clients or for myself, I think it’s fascinating, I the fast action bonus thing jumped out for me because we this was literally a fresh discussion I was having with my team over the last couple of weeks preparing for our launch. By the time this episode comes out, the launch is over, but I’m in it right now was recording this. And I normally don’t do or haven’t done in the last couple years facts section bonuses. Because I’m not a huge fan of them similar to you, the people who are going to buy first of the people who are going to buy first. But around this launch, we decided we were going to do them. But all the ideas we kept coming up with the filter for my team was or to my team was it cannot require my time. Like it cannot require my time. So we found we found a way to have I actually had somebody else coming in to perform something like super juicy. So that was good. I did one thing that was going to be worth my time. But it was it was going to be also valuable for the program. But it’s just it’s just a conversation that I think we always can come up with ideas that take our time. But I think it’s harder to say like no to those things when they’re not necessary. Yep. Yeah, there’s just like, there’s just so many interesting things in businesses around that we just do it because we think we need to do it. Talk to me about your digital courses kind of the shift into those because I know you’ve had digital courses for a while. But your your bread and butter for your business has always been like your speaking and your your service based contracts and you’re really been getting into courses and you’re kind of like a low key baller in the digital course space. You do these launches that I had no idea that you had like such a successful course launching business. And still you started like, we just Oh, randomly sharing it as a win a couple years ago inside our group. But talk a little bit about that shift.

Ann Emery  49:06  

I am in the top 1% of teachable creators, which is nice. The top top person makes like 20 million a year. I’m not making 20 million a year of courses. But I could absolutely support my family of seven just on courses working, I don’t know, half day a week to record. And then now I have to update all the old courses which is just ongoing, ongoing, ongoing. I wish I could sound intentional. Like I went to a retreat and got this idea or I knew is going to be great for my business. It was literally like one of my friends Chris said, Hey, have you heard of this thing called teachable? And this was like 2015 or 16 when it was brand new and nobody had course platforms? And I was like nope. And he was like, you like teaching? Why don’t you teach online? And I was like, Yeah, maybe. And I just didn’t think about it. And then I think in 2018 I maybe had like one day where I didn’t have any meetings or deadlines. I was waiting for that like perfect. I’m To week to open up, which never happens, everybody always wants to wait for free time to make a course I had like, an afternoon. And I said, Oh, maybe I’ll do this like free teachable course or something like that was like literally all the thought I put into it was just like a spur of the moment decision. And I took seven existing YouTube videos I already had, I didn’t even make any new content. And I uploaded them to teachable. And I called it a course. And I made it available for free. And then like 1000s of people signed up for it. And then I thought, oh, that sounds promising. I think I’ll make another one. And then I think my first course launch, I had like 1000 people my mailing list, which is not, not a lot, some of my friends are like 50,000 100,000 people on their mailing list, I had maybe 1000. And I made I think like $40,000. And I just thought that was normal. But apparently that’s not normal in the course world to send like three or four emails and like actually have a course launch. But then everybody was like, That’s really impressive. And I thought, Great, maybe I’ll make another course. It was just like very, like very simple and very organic. But now I think this is my sixth year of doing courses. So I know what I’m doing now. And it’s much more intentional. But I really just started because I liked teaching and somebody said, Hey, you can do this online. Dude, I was like, that sounds like a plan that makes money. Okay, cool, like win win for everybody.

Heather Sager  51:19  

How has the having more of the products in your business, the courses, how has that shifted how you’re able to spend time with your family and prepare for this now, next round of maternity leave.

Ann Emery  51:31  

I mean, night and day, you always hear in the entrepreneurial spaces about passive income and like, go make passive income, I’m going to teach you how to make passive income, sign up for my course. And I’ll teach you about passive income. And I always kind of thought that was stupid, like passive income just means is you still do work, it just means you do it like beforehand, or afterwards, you’re just not doing it like per hour. It’s just a different use of time, and a different pay schedule, I guess. But now that I’m six years in, and I’m no longer creating new courses, I’m just refining my existing ones. I’m like, Oh, I think I finally reached the stage that everybody’s talking about. Because I mean, it means that like right now, this week, I’m in the middle of a course launch, I do one every every three months. So for a year, I just cycle through all my courses and just kind of offer them in a row in a row. And I’ve already recorded all the content for these courses years ago, and I’ve re recorded it. So I just get to like, sit back with my pre scheduled social media images, my pre scheduled emails that I did in August. And now just get paid for the course. Which I think feels normal now because I’ve done it so many times. I don’t know. But then when I talk about builder like you, you made like how many 1000s of dollars doing nothing? Like like did the work? I just did it in the past. I’m just getting paid for it again now. Yeah, it’s very normal to me at this point, I think

Heather Sager  52:54  

it will it is it is normal. It’s the idea of like, it’s the whole analogy of like the seeds you sow. Now, the harvest pays off later, doesn’t mean that you only do it one time you’re you’re actively like you’re updating some of those emails, you’re there’s a launch component to it. But it’s just working in a different way. I think what I think some of the challenge for business owners, especially if you’re listening right now, if you’re in like the early phase of creation, I think it’s what you’re pointing out and is the the expectation to have passive income, when you’re still in Build Mode is a little delusional. And that’s where I think people start giving up or going like, Pat, I have to switch strategies or all those things. But what you did really well is the fact that you were blissfully unaware of what you were building, like you knew what you were creating, right, but that you were building this empire of digital courses, and you had no idea. There’s kind of a beautiful thing in that because I think patience is something that entrepreneurs suck at, we want the instant payoff, we want it to be easy. We want to have that whole suite of all these products. But it just doesn’t really work that way of having the patience and doing the learning to figure out the business model and figure out the lessons. It takes time. And it’s really cool watching you now benefit from all the hard work that you did in your first six years and even the last four, right, but it’s really beautiful to see because so often we hear stories of people who like had a fluke success early, and then they’re trying to recreate that every frickin year.

Ann Emery  54:27  

It’s just such a long game. And I think a lot of people get into self employment and they you know, you maybe hear stories of somebody making however many millions of dollars or they go to Europe for a couple months or like they hear people like me, but I’m in year 10 I’m in year 10 Like I had normal years at the beginning. I mean, I replaced my old salary job like I did that. So it’s like, still doing fine, but it’s just been like the little 1% incremental changes that I’ve made. Yes, that I’ve stuck with it for 10 years, because like we’ve talked about I haven’t I have no other option. I’m not going back to the salaried world like absolutely not. And being in the data space, I don’t even think I said what I do for a living. I do like data stuff. So I get emails from all the, like San Francisco companies saying, Hey, we’re looking for like a director of analytics, will you apply? Are you here’s the salary. It’s like a nice big salary. And sometimes I just, I’ll just respond to be like, I’m sorry. Like, I’m not, I’m just not interested in working like a regular job again, like, I’m sure your job is great. I’m sure your company is wonderful, but like, it’s just like, this not gonna work. There’s no amount you could pay me. And also what they pay me would never compare to self employment pay either. So I don’t know. I think a lot of people get frustrated early on, and they expect instant success. But everybody who’s successful now it’s because we probably had some, like, meth years early on, and we just kept going.

Heather Sager  55:49  

Yeah, I, you know, even so on. So I’m five years in, right. And I mean, I have a great business, I love my business. I still have big goals on that. But I’m five years in and it it, it makes me feel so reassured of you just saying that. Look, I’m 10 years in, I think there’s this expectation that we should be at a certain point by now, whatever frickin arbitrary measurement that is. But it’s, it takes time. And it’s like, there’s no race, there’s no rush, just slow, the F down. And folk like this. The theme of simplification today of really getting good at a couple things and say no to the distractions. That is a great reminder for me right now. So I know for those listening, they’re like, all right, you say it’s simple. I don’t know that I believe you yet. But I’m gonna, I’m gonna go and try.

Ann Emery  56:38  

I mean, I had guilt for years of, oh, my gosh, I haven’t written a book. And in my data space, like everybody’s written a book, people write a book. And like, while they’re still in their salary job, or their first year to have self employment, and their book is like, their business card, or their big stamp of credibility, like, it’s very normal to write books in my space. I’m 10 years old, and haven’t done that. And I’m definitely getting the vibes from like, all my data friends, like, why haven’t you done this yet? And I say, because it doesn’t pay any money. It doesn’t it doesn’t. It, you’ve maybe you make like, I don’t know, $100,000. But like in the in the space I’m in, it’s like, that’s, of course launch. Like, I don’t know, it just doesn’t have to spend a year working on it. So I’m gonna write a book eventually. But like, maybe I need five more years, before I have the free time to do that. And I’m probably going to be working for decades to come if I do this, right and enjoy my job and keep evolving and shifting. So that I have work that’s like very intellectually stimulating for me and helpful to the community. I’m in like, I’m probably going to be working a long time. So kind of what’s the hurry at the same time? Am I going to wake up at 5am? To like, write a book? Not right now, now that I’m about to have twins, like there’s, there’s just no way that that’s gonna fit in this chapter of life anytime soon.

Heather Sager  57:54  

Yeah, I love one of the measurements that I hear you see all the time, but But will it be fun, if it’s not, I’m not interested, like, you have some kind of version of that. I’ve always just saying, this is fun, this is gonna feel good. This is something that I want to do. And I think somebody might hear that and be like, well, that must be nice, or Oh, that’s great. But going off of that measure, really helps you choose the things that actually light you up and make you feel excited, not drained. That’s why business isn’t draining. And it’s more fueling, because you’re working on things that you actually want to work on and enjoy.

Ann Emery  58:26  

I mean, the fancy way of saying it is zone of genius is what all the business coaches talk about. And they say, work in your zone of genius work in your zone of genius. And it just what that means in an operational sense is like, if you’re good at it, and you enjoy it, and it feels like it just flows you get in a flow state. That’s what you should be doing. Like it’s really that easy. When do you not look at the clock? When are you like, oh, that’s something I want to do. Because it’s Saturday afternoon, and I love it. For me that’s blogging and teaching data. Like that’s why I was able to get started in this career because I did blogs and YouTube videos for fun. Like it was my hobby that then turned into a career managing a VA felt like work to me. For other people that’s probably really easy for them. But for me, it was just I was like wasn’t naturally good at it. Just didn’t feel right. And I just after a while it’s like I’m just not going to do that anymore. Like why why bother? It’s just not something I’m great at.

Heather Sager  59:20  

Yeah, I think that’s a really good guy to listen to. Okay, as we as we start wrapping up this episode, so you don’t go into labor while we’re on. On camera. Two things. So one, I giggled because No, we didn’t talk about your actual business or area of expertise will at some point we’ll talk about that. But I actually loved where we went with our conversation today. It was it was everything that I didn’t even realize that I needed to have at this phase in my pregnancy. So thank you. Where can people follow you and just reconnect with your story and connect with you as a peer business owner? What’s the best place?

Ann Emery  59:55  

As a peer business owner I share a lot on Insta Stories. So if you just look up MK Emery on Instagram, you’ll find me right away, and then work and is on LinkedIn. And those are similar but different personalities. So I think people from the podcast might enjoy following both. Like on LinkedIn, I’m not pregnant. I mean, I have pictures of my pregnant belly, but I’ve been pregnant many times, so people don’t know, there’s like, recent pictures. But on Instagram, it’s like me at the doctor’s office measurements have to take twice a day. So it’s a little bit different versions, I think people might enjoy seeing, like, public and versus behind the scenes. And

Heather Sager  1:00:33  

I’m laughing because I just realized that I actually don’t follow you professionally, anywhere. I only follow Instagram and and obviously, I learned your business updates through our, our speaking community. So now I’m gonna have to go see with this alter ego of buttoned up professional and is I have

Ann Emery  1:00:51  

like a newsletter and a website and all those things. But that’s like, that’s about data that’s not about these topics that we’re talking about.

Heather Sager  1:00:58  

I love I love though I wasn’t even meaning to go here. But I love that you just gave permission, I oftentimes get questions from people around when it comes to visibility, do I have to share everything about my life. And you’re a really great example of how you have an Instagram account and you treat it like a personal brand. But that’s not your business, is you talk about business, you talk about how your business is working. But your business is you have under a business name, you have a kind of different personas there. They work together, as you said, but they’re, you’re able to play and share. And I think that’s really valuable. Because a lot of times we see people over sharing all of the pieces online. And you don’t have to do that to have a successful online business. And I think you model that really well. parting words. So for someone listening, whether or not they’re exploring pregnancy, or in a phase of raising kids, maybe they’re in a phase in their business, where they’re trying to make some changes to make their business model works for them, and have their business like, evolve with them. Um, did he just kind of parting thoughts or advice for for anyone listening to on how to stick with it?

Ann Emery  1:02:01  

I would just say, No, you’re gonna have bad days. No, you’re gonna have days when you second guess all your life decisions. Those thoughts usually go away. If they don’t, what’s the worst that happens? You go back to a regular job. Like, that’s not so bad. There’s plenty of great jobs out there. A lot of people go back and forth and back and forth throughout their careers. And then probably the second thing I’d say is, if you’re early on, absolutely, try all the things, try all the services and products and different types of clients and try b2c, try b2b, try all those things and dabble for a few years. But after a few years, it’s really time to start streamlining and only doing the things you’re best at. And really narrow down your offerings. So you can do them well. And that shouldn’t take too like year five or 10. I’d say that’s like your 234 that you should really be paring down and doing one thing at an elite level.

Heather Sager  1:02:50  

Yeah, that is exceptional, exceptional advice. If you just skipped right over that. Just hit the 32nd Back button and listen to that again. Because the timeline and the intention behind that is gold coming from someone 10 years in, I support that five years in. That is just huge. And thank you so much. I know it took a lot of energy for you today to decide to get dressed and ready at this stage of pregnancy. Week two. I’m just so grateful when I reached out to you last week saying hey, I have a random idea to talk about pregnancy and business and launching and all just random things Are you game. I thought that this would not happen. I’m like she’s gonna go into labor and we won’t be able to have this conversation until February. So I’m just I’m so grateful for you.

Ann Emery  1:03:36  

I’m grateful. I’m still pregnant. I’m just cooking the babies a couple days longer. So it wasn’t planned. It just worked out like this. I’m glad it worked. Oh, it’s beautiful.

Heather Sager  1:03:45  

All right, go take care of those babies. We’re wishing you all the best luck. We’re excited to follow along on Instagram Stories. Don’t take us to the delivery room. keep something secret. All right, friends. Thanks for listening today and we’ll see you again next week.

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