As entrepreneurs, it can sometimes feel like we have all the cards stacked against us. Operating a business while maintaining our personal lives is no easy feat, not to mention all the unexpected curveballs that get thrown in our path. It can be so hard to properly manage our time when we have so much on our plates. But I don't want that to discourage you from building an amazing business, so I brought in a special guest for this week's episode to give us some tips on making time for our business. Sarah Petty is an entrepreneur who has been featured in Entrepreneur, Fox Business, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal. She has taken her photography business and grown it into a multi-million dollar business and teaches other photographers how to do the same.
Time Management with Sarah Petty
Her success has been dependent on fine tuning her time management skills. Being the mother of three kids and two of them premature twins meant that Sarah had to learn very quickly how to manage her time so that she could have the income coming in to help support her family.
It was such a great opportunity to pick her brain and learn how she grew and led such successful businesses. We talked a lot about entrepreneurial mindset tips and tricks to ensure you're working as efficiently as possible while still having time for yourself and your family.
Sarah and I discussed how to stay focused and identified the biggest distractions that keep us from working to the best of our ability and what we should do to implement good habits so that they stick!
I loved all of the great insights that she had to share and think you will, too, so be sure to keep reading or listen to the interview below!
Oh, and because Sarah is so, so generous, she also gave us a free way to get her book, Worth Every Penny. How cool is that?!
Sarah Petty's Path to Entrepreneurship
Sarah Petty started her career at Coca-Cola and went on to become a marketing director at an advertising agency. After getting pregnant with her twins, she decided she didn't want to be in the corporate world anymore and instead wanted to focus on her family.
She opened her little photography studio just two weeks before 9/11. The uncertainty of that time helped her build the fortitude she would need as she embarked on this new journey. She was the mother of three young children who just left a job with a good salary and benefits and turned into a business owner who was making no money.
Sarah quickly realized that she couldn't sit in that pain and suffering forever. She was going to have to do the work and tackle those feelings of imposter syndrome.
Sarah Petty Asks, Where Is Your Time Going?
The first thing you need to do when setting out to manage your time is to identify what's taking your focus. A quick way to do that is checking how much time you're spending on your phone. You may be surprised to see your screen time average hover anywhere from four to nine hours a day!
Now, some of that time may be working on your business, but I'm willing to bet a lot of it is wasted time that could be utilized elsewhere. Sarah and I challenge you to look at your screen time and see how much of that time could be better spent on growing your business!
Something You Can Do Every Day
Sarah Petty picked up this pretty cool tip while working in her corporate job. Because her team was so reliant on each other to keep things moving, they had to set up systems to ensure everyone always knew what was coming up.
Every day, before she left, she had to leave on our desk the task list for the next day. It stuck with her because when you go into your business, there is no wolf pack. You are alone and have to be that wolf pack for yourself. So she started habits of making sure she knew what was happening in her day tomorrow.
Because if you don't do that, when you wake up, suddenly three hours are gone. And you're stuck scrolling on Instagram while you figure out what you need to do for the day.
Sarah Petty's Time Blocking Tips
Running your own business means you are often using different sides of your brain all at once. You have to juggle being creative with being analytical, which can be incredibly challenging. Sarah Petty combats the back and forth by splitting up her time in four quadrants.
- Who she needs to call whether it's business or personal.
- What she needs to do. Sometimes it's writing copy or paying bills.
- Where she needs to go, it can be running errands or dropping off her kids.
- Her back-burner list consists of things that don't need to get done immediately.
You don't need a fancy CRM to get organized. You just need an organized list and dedicated work time. Make sure everything is blocked on your calendar. That is how you prioritize getting things done.
Get more of Sarah Petty over on her website!
Ten Takeaways From Sarah Petty
- Be real. See how much you are actually on your phone and then learn to turn it off
- Take that time that you just newly discovered and turn that into productive hours
- Become your own Wolf Pack. At the end of the day, write down the direction that you're headed for the next day
- Setting up your schedule the night before will help you to follow and become reactive to chasing those squirrel trails the next day
- Sarah blocks her day out into four categories. It is called call,do, go and back-burner. Those are the four blocks
- The do is the thing that makes you the money
- Write notes of joy every Friday
- Dedicate your time to the do list, not the to-do list
- Put the big rocks in first.
- Pick the one thing and get it done