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A Business Workflow with HUGE Results

Forget the hustle mama!

Today we’re chatting about “themed” days to align with your business priorities and create consistency, which leads to building a 6-figure business on a part-time schedule! Heck yes!

In this episode with Holly Haynes, you’ll discover:

  • the main systems and routines to put in place
  • how to create your “themed” days
  • what a CEO week looks like
  • how to create your own consistency pattern for long-term sustainability

Prefer video? Watch here:

YouTube video

Connect with Holly:

Website: https://www.hollymariehaynes.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/holly_marie_haynes

https://www.hollymariehaynes.com/ceoweek FREE 5-DAY CHALLENGE

 

photo of a woman laughing | a simple workflow with huge results on the blog - boss lady in sweatpants

 

Before you jump into the transcription/blog, grab my weekly project workflow for business success!

Intro and Holly’s background

Allison: Hey everyone. Welcome back to the show, and we are diving into a topic that I’m passionate about. I implement in my business, but I have Holly Hayes here and she is going to talk about. Themed days and what her c e O work week looks like. And she, I can tell just by talking to her before we hit record, I can tell that she is not in the hustle mentality.

Allison: Like, no way. Like us moms, we don’t want, we hustle in our private life as it is with family, kids, and chaos. We don’t need that in our business. So I know that I’m going to. Align with everything that she must talk about today. But before we jump into that, Holly, I would love for you to take this opportunity just to introduce yourself to the audience and give us a bit of background about, you know, like what you do and how you help mompreneurs build those six-figure businesses on a part-time schedule, which is like my favorite thing ever.

Holly: Right. I love it. Well, thank you so much for the introduction. my name is Holly Haynes. I’m in Columbus, Ohio. I started building my business. It’s been about three years ago officially. , I have a 22 year corporate strategy background. So my goal in life, like, everyone’s like, oh, I always dreamt of being an entrepreneur, or this was just my vision.

Holly: Like this was not my vision. Like I thought that I had like the corporate career all figured out, sort of worked my way up. the ladder like got to where I thought that I wanted to be, had the team, the office, all the things. And I remember my, I have twin daughters who are were at home at the time, and I just remember thinking like, I can’t keep doing this for the next 10 years.

Holly: And I think that just kick it off. Like that’s the question that I always say, like, we’ll tell you if you’re on the right track. Like if your everyday life was exactly the same for the next 10. , would you be excited about it? And my answer was, No, like I would say other words, but like, absolutely not. , so long story short, I decided that I was going to take my corporate experience and sort of flip the model and teach female entrepreneurs, specifically women, how to grow and scale a business because I was doing it for Fortune 500 is with really large Fortune 500, consulting firms.

Holly: But it really feels different when you’re helping other. Moms and women and just women leaders thrive. And so I decided that that was going to be my path. I really didn’t know what it was going to look like. , so long story short, I started a podcast and sort of grew my community and built products that served that community over.

Holly: The last three years, which has led me to be able to retire myself and my husband now from the corporate world, and the best part is, is the whole goal was to create a schedule, right? Going back to what I said at the beginning where. I wasn’t working 70 hours a week and I was able to build a business where I didn’t burn out.

Holly: And I think one of my favorite statistics, not favorite, but it’s very eye-opening, is almost 70% of businesses fail due to burnout in the first year, right? So it’s not because we’re not doing the right thing, it’s not because we’re not, you know, educated enough, or don’t know what we need to do. It’s because we’re trying to fit so much into such a short amount of time.

Holly: And so I was really on a mission to teach like, well, how can you do this in a way that’s sustainable, where every day is something that you could repeat for the next 10 years? And so that’s sort of where my, my philosophy and my backgrounds came.

Allison: and I love that. And you know what, it’s so true what you just said because it is true that a lot of maybe entrepreneurs, women, they want to get out of corporate and they think I’m going to be an entrepreneur because they want that time freedom, right?

Allison: Yeah. They want to be home with their families. Well, what happens? They end up working more and that’s when they give up and they probably don’t have the right setup. Like they have the tools to do. They’re just not executing it in a way that is aligned with their family. So I want to know from you, Holly, what are your main systems and routines that you put in place to make themed days work?

The Main Systems and Routines for themed days to work (Business Workflow)

Holly: Yeah, so it didn’t really start out as steam days. I will tell you, , what it started out was I knew that if I was going to build a business again, that answered my question, can I do this for the next 10 years? I had to figure out a way that I could do it. That worked. Without taking away from my day job because that was intense enough, like I didn’t need more of that.

Holly: It was also the middle of the pandemic, which at the time, no one knew what the heck was going on or what was going to happen. And we had my girls at home who we were homeschooling kindergarten with, so it’s like there was very little time and I was like, okay. What am I going to do to make this work? Like you?

Holly: You can’t create time. The best thing that you can do is manage the time that you have. And so I decided that once every single day for five days a week, I was going to work one hour to 90 minutes on my business. That did not mean that I was scrolling Instagram, trying to find the answer or. figuring out like what I should do during that time, which meant that I had mapped out what I was going to do, and I had, you know, anywhere from an hour to 90 minutes to work on that.

Holly: So my intention was I’m going to set business hours and I’m going to, I’m going to be so consistent with it that by the end, I think it ends up being 417 hours a year. If you work eight hours a week on your business, which seems like a lot of time. So I was like, okay, we’ve got 400 hours. What are we going to do?

Holly: So every single day, typically Monday through Friday would be six to seven or seven 30 in the morning was when I would work on my business because to me, and my husband and I were just talking about this this morning, that’s the time that no one can take away from me. Right? Like once everyone’s up or you’re in sort of your day job, like it time, people could just like pick and pull at you, right?

Holly: But when everyone’s sleeping and it’s like the quiet of the morning or maybe it’s night for you, like no one can take that away. So I set up my schedule to be six to seven 30 ish Monday through Friday. And then the second piece of that is so often we work in super small increments. So it might be like 15 minutes here, 20 minutes here, 30 minutes there.

Holly: And I love that, and I think we could be very productive in those times, but I also think if you’re trying to build a business like a legit business, you need more than 15 minute increments to think through what you’re going to do. So I would use Saturday mornings, I called it my creative time, and the minimum was a two hour session.

Holly: So I had to have two hours of non-interrupted time where I was working. on the vision or creating the course or like really getting into the details of things that I was doing, where Monday through Friday was more of like keeping the lights on, right. Um, so that was sort of my schedule. And then every Sunday I always had.

Holly: Like rest period where I’m regrouping. And then I would have a planning period where I would map out, okay, what are we doing the next week? When are my business hours? When’s my creative period? What is this going to look like? So that’s kind of how it all started. But the trick is once you get into your business hours, you must know what to work on or it doesn’t work.

Holly: Mm-hmm. . And so I was like, how can we make this easy? So at six in the morning, or I’m getting up at five or whatever. , I’m not like struggling to think about what is next. So I mapped out what I call my theme days, which was your original question. And that is, okay, what am I doing each day consistently over and repeatedly?

Holly: And so I pulled this from my strategic background and said, okay, well how do I get people to notice me? Well, content, right? Content creates trust, which, you know, trust equals. So let’s just create really awesome content. So I would potentially have Monday as my content day, and then Tuesday might be my podcast day.

Holly: Wednesday might be another content day because we all know how important content is, right? Thursday might be like connection day, where I’m. Reaching out to people or working to get on summits or networking, uh, whatever it might be. And the theme days would change, right? So, you know, if you’re at the beginning of your business, maybe you’re trying to build a website, so you might have a website day, because we all know that we’re not going to get it done in an hour.

Holly: So maybe we have a running list of all the things that we want to do on our website, and then every Thursday for an hour, I’m just going to work on as much as I can, and then I’m going to come back. , which instantly sort of relieves the stress. I don’t know about you when I’m sitting at my desk and I’m like, oh, I really need to fix this, or I really need to fix this, and I don’t know.

Holly: what category to put it in. And then I’m like, well, do I do this first or do I do that next? I’m like, Nope, that just goes into website day or Pinterest day or content day. And then when it’s time to work on that, I just pull up that list and I know exactly what I need to do. So the mix of being super intentional with my time.

Holly: and being very focused, right? So eight hours a week is 416 hours a year and knowing what I’m working on before I get into that is I believe what sets you up for success because. . One of my favorite quotes is consistency trump’s talent. You don’t have to be in the game. You must stay in the game.

Holly: right? So the whole goal is most people are not going to stay in the game, right? So if I told you, for every year. If you show up for eight hours a week and you were consistent, you will see enough momentum to see growth. I guarantee you only 1% of you will do it. And so to me it’s like what can you create?

Holly: What schedule can you create and what themes can you create so that you’re so consistent that you just can’t, you can’t stop. Like it’s easy. It’s easy to follow. and this

Allison: is exactly what I do, so I don’t really Oh, I love that. I don’t really call them theme days. I think I call it my weekly project workflow, so I do the same thing.

Allison: I sat down, I would say maybe close to two years ago, year and a half ago, and I literally just brain dumped. every little task I do in my business. Yeah. And then what I did is I did the same thing, is I categorized them and then I decided, okay, well how much time would it take me to do these specific categories?

Allison: And then I also thought too, , when in my week do I know I’ll be the most productive? I put the hardest categories on those days because I knew I would be more equipped to follow through and do it. And then I also made sure that I included a category for personal development. Cause I think a lot of times we as entrepreneurs get so into our business that we forget we need to continue growing as well.

Allison: So now my Friday mornings, because I basically now just work Monday through Thursday, but now my Friday mornings because I honestly, I’m getting to the point, I don’t want to really do anything on Fridays and I know that about myself, right? . So I’m not putting a theme or a category on Fridays. for personal development.

Allison: I am allotting an hour and a half every Friday morning in my PJ’s with my coffee, and I will be doing personal development. Whether it’s watching a training video, maybe it’s something I down a freebie I downloaded that I really want to dig through. Maybe it’s just reading a personal development book, but now I know that an hour to an hour and a half every Friday is at time.

Allison: And it might not sound like a lot of time, but when you talked about your eight hours and how many hours I was in a year. how many hours of personal development I’m going to have by the end of this year, right? So, it’s just like these little chunks in your week and you just need to be strategic with it.

Allison: Now you also talk about something called a CEO Week. I’m very curious on this. Mm-hmm. Let, tell me about your CEO week.

What is a CEO week and how it ties in with themed days?

Holly: Yeah, so CEO week is basically what I just described, and it’s really taking the tools that I just handed to you and saying. Every Sunday I’m going to sit down, and this is what my schedule’s going to look like from a business perspective, personal perspective, whatever it looks like.

Holly: And then these are the theme days that, um, make sense for my business now. And then the other thing that’s part of ceo week that I do is sort of what you explained on your Fridays is what I call CEO Day. And I have found, and I’m an Enneagram three, um, I love lists, like I’m very structure.

Holly: But I have found the days where I have the least amount of structure and the most amount of free time is where my best ideas come from and where I am the most productive. So my whole goal going into this business is like, how do I create more white space? Because the white space is where you thrive.

Holly: And so my CEO day, even when I was working full-time, . I would very strategically move meetings away from Friday or away from Monday, whatever that looked like. It’s not like I told my boss like, Hey, it’s my ceo day. Like I can’t meet with you right now. I wouldn’t say that, but I would be like, is there any way we could meet on Tuesday?

White Space in a Business Workflow

Holly: I don’t even have to say why. , and so I would start to see like what this like time freedom would look like before I was even in the position for it to look that way. . The other thing I would say, and I can’t remember the name of the podcast, but it’s with, Brene Brown and I think Adam Grant and maybe one other person, and they talked about like how our brains work.

Holly: And this is the piece that makes sense to me from a strategic side. And it’s like 20% of your brains very like list focused and check mark and all of that, but 80% of your brain is this like free flowing, like wide space. And to tap into that white space to tap into that creativity to tap into like, what’s the next product I’m going to create?

Holly: Or what’s the business name that I need to do? You must have downtime. Mm-hmm. So, so often I found in my corporate career, I was listening to podcasts in the shower, taking notes in my car. I mean, there was like, there was just nonstop all the time. And the minute that I created. Free space was where the best ideas came from.

Holly: And so now my whole goal is like, well, how can I have two c e o days a week or even now, like I typically will have meetings Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, but going into this year, I was like, how can I make the last week of every month meeting free? Like the whole week? Can you imagine if you had seven days of no meetings, like for me from like a corporate world.

Holly: I’m like, oh my God, that’s like, I can. I cannot wait. It hasn’t happened yet this year, but it’s like two weeks away and I’m like so excited, so those are just some tips of like where c e o we came from and what it looks like.

Allison: That is so cool. And I, you said something about that, that white space and it just made me think of allowing yourself to dream.

Allison: because I noticed the ideas come in on a Friday afternoon where I like shut down and like, and I’m mentally telling myself I’m done. I’m shutting down the computer. I’m not opening my inbox, nothing. And I think I’m just going to be totally like out of the zone for the weekend. But what happens? I’ve allowed myself to just breathe and just sit back and relax and that’s when the ideas come in.

Allison: Or now my Mondays, I am now putting kind of just like basic behind the scenes tasks that I do now on Mondays that are just so like mm-hmm. , yes. I just chose to do on Mondays and in the afternoons is now what I like to meal prep for the week. Mm-hmm. I’m noticing now during, during meal, these little ideas are just coming to my brain.

Allison: Yeah. And then I just hurry up and like open my phone and like just put it in my notes or write on a post-it note, and I’ll like look at it later. But yes, when you allow that space to like rest and reflect, that allows the creativity to be sparked. And I hear that so often and maybe you do two entrepreneurs hard, they’re like, I’m not creative, or I can’t think of anything, and I want to be like then.

The Creative Spark

Allison: don’t like just stop. Like just, yeah, allow yourself to rest and reflect. If you don’t rest and you’re constantly, I hate to say it, that hustle mentality, you’re going to have no energy. So rest and reflect leads to that creativity spark.

Holly: For sure. Yeah. I will even add on to that and say, when I left my corporate job, I feel like it took me a good six to nine months to be comfortable with not having things every 15 minutes.

Holly: Yes, and I had it like it was a therapist or a coach, and she’s like, Holly, that was your survival mode. Your survival mode was literally scheduling something every 15 minutes because that’s what you had to do. And in some cases, you do have to do that. But I would encourage you to think about, well, how can I not do that?

Holly: Like, how can I just give myself like, maybe two hours on a random Wednesday afternoon where like nothing is scheduled, even if you’re working full-time, like can you imagine like sitting in your office and not having meetings for two hours, like it’s like gold. You could get so much done and just really listen to your intuition of what’s happening.

Holly: And so that really goes back to what I was saying of like you’re scheduling your business hours. , then you’re not worrying about it the rest of the day, right? Because you’ve got other things that you need to focus on. And so you’re really building your business around your life instead of, you know, just fitting in life where it happens to make sense.

Allison: And I think the theme days allow for business growth because if you don’t have those themed days, in my opinion, let’s say you don’t finish whatever you’re working on a Tuesday, you’re going to think in your head on Wednesday, you need to. . Well, then everything else slowly gets pushed back and pushed back and pushed back.

Allison: And then you’re just on this hamster wheel of you constantly feel that you need to catch up in your business. And that’s why themed days are so good because typically I will build out a little bit of content on Mondays, Monday mornings. Well, guess what? If I don’t finish content on Monday, I don’t do it Tuesday because Tuesday I need to do my podcast.

Allison: I. So what I didn’t finish Monday goes now to next Monday. Mm-hmm. . So I can continue that growth throughout the week. And then, like you said, on the weekends, or you know, you’re going to do it late Friday or a Sunday, look at the week. What didn’t you finish? Now that’s your mission for the next week.

Allison: Is that kind of how you do that too if you don’t finish something?

Weekly reflection built into your business workflow

Holly: Yeah, yeah, definitely. And I think too, you can also, the whole goal of sort of the Sunday reflection is like, what went well this week? What, like what happened that went well? And then what did it go well? Like what do we not want to repeat?

Holly: Right? And it’s just thinking through like, okay. I have like a fresh start. I, I kind of think every day is a fresh start, but going into the week, it’s like, let’s, let’s repeat what worked well and let’s not repeat what didn’t work well. And it’s slowing down enough to realize that. And I think so often people expect this like, Super fancy formula.

Holly: Uh, well, this is how I did it and this is how I scaled. But it really did come down to, okay, I’m going to sit and intentionally think about what am I going to do this week in my business? What am I going to do this week from our family perspective? What am I going to do this week in my corporate role? And then figuring out how those merged.

Holly: And I always say there’s seasons too, right? So there’s seasons where maybe like your corporate job is like insanity, and so you’re like, there’s no way that I’m going to be able to launch a course the same time that this is happening. But maybe on the flip side, it’s a slower time. So it’s like, oh, this would make a lot of sense to do this then.

Holly: But when you’ve got like, you know, three or four priorities that are all like super intense at once, you’re not going to be able to do any of them good. So I always like to just sit down and prioritize. , this is going to be a heavy work week this week. So after that we’re going to take like a three day break from social media and go hang out camping or something like so you can prioritize it so they all work together.

Allison: And I’m glad that you said seasons because I’m a big proponent of, because I work full-time from home, but when it’s summer and my kids are. My theme days or my weekly workflow is now completely different. Yeah. And I completely change it because I prioritize my family over my business, and I don’t want to have the same amount of time or the same theme days because I want to spend more time with them.

Allison: And I also think too, in my head, as the year goes, I don’t want any big projects. Being released. Mm-hmm. over the summer, because I don’t want to worry about launches or whatnot. So maybe over the summer my priority is maybe just building my email list. Yeah. Like how easy is that to do over the summer? . Yeah,

Allison: Now let’s talk consistency because that is a buzzword that you hear all the time. For you, what does that really look?

What does Consistency look like in a Business Workflow?

Holly: Yeah, I mean, I think consistency is different for everyone and I also think going back to it depends on your season, right? Mm-hmm. , , I can tell you my focus. Recently and in the last year has been networking because my goal was, I don’t want to sit behind a computer, I don’t want to sit on Zoom calls, and I don’t want to be scrolling social media, so how do I get my business in front of people?

Holly: For me, it was networking. So it’s podcasting, , summits, live speaking events, and so consistency in that category. At least once a week for an hour or two. That’s what I was doing. I was pitching myself, reaching out, or networking, and I did it literally every single day or every single week for a minimum of an hour.

Holly: for 52 weeks. So I was looking at my calendar, um, the other day I was filming a course for some of my students, and they were like, Holly, how many podcasts have you been on? And I was like, I think I’ve spoken in like 15 summits in the last three months. But that’s because it was my focus. It didn’t mean that it’s.

Holly: Spent more time doing it. It just meant I was consistent. And every Thursday at 9:00 AM guess what I’m doing. I’m going in and pitching myself to different podcasts and figuring out what summits can I share my expertise so that I can grow my network and help more people. . And so that’s an example of consistency.

Holly: I think. , another example might just be going back to writing content, because I’m such a huge believer in that content is what builds trust. And trust is what builds sales, right? So if you’re feeling stuck and you’re like, no one’s paying attention to me, it’s like, well, what kind of content are you sharing?

Holly: And does it relate back to what you’re teaching? And so I would always go back to, well, I. You know, at least create two podcast episodes a week, and I’m going to at least turn that into three social media posts, and then I’m going to at least put that onto Pinterest in a blog. And so if you do that consistently over 52 weeks, like the compound effect of all of that adds up as well.

Holly: And so you kind of must like pick your category of what you want to be consistent in, , and map it back to like, well, what are your goals? Right? So just. , my goal is to get 7,500 steps a day. I must walk for 30 minutes, or it will not happen . Like it will not even come close. So it’s like, okay, well how do I do that?

Holly: Well, as soon as my girls get on the bus, I immediately go for a walk because I know at like four o’clock, especially in Ohio in the winter, that’s like the last thing that I’m going to want to do. Cause it’s cold and yucky out. , so it’s just, you know, pick your, pick your categories and schedule it. I would. I love that.

Allison: That’s great advice. And speaking of advice, are there any other tips before we wrap up that you would like to share?

Last piece of advice to maximize your business workflow

Holly: That was a great, great question. , I think, you know, when it comes to planning, especially this time of year, I would just say that everything doesn’t have to be done at once. Right.

Holly: I think it’s ridiculous that people come up with these grand old plans for the whole year and you have like no idea what the year is in store. And so I always going back to your consistency question of like, well, let’s just revisit our goals every week, even if it’s for 10 minutes. Or let’s revisit our goals once a month for 30 minutes or once a quarter.

Holly: Let’s maybe spend an hour and revisit like what is happening. Because the, I always say it’s , data that is telling your story, right? It’s facts not feeling. So let’s look at the facts, like what’s happening and then how do we feel about it? And then what are we going to do differently? So just, I would say setting some time in your calendar.

Holly: Weekly, monthly, and quarterly to really think through like some reflection time of what’s happening, what do I like doing, what do I not like doing? And then how can you continue to pivot and adjust.

Allison: Perfect. That was great advice. I love that, Holly. So Holly, I know that my audience will want to connect with you, and I know you have something, uh, is it a five day challenge for your C e O week?

Allison: Yeah. Yeah. Tell us a little bit about that and I’ll make sure I put the

Holly: link. So this is like the number one question that I get, and so what I did was created, it’s totally free. It’s a five day challenge, and every single day I walk you through how to set up your own c e o week. So it’s everything from blocking out your time.

Holly: in a way that makes sense to creating your theme days. And then I even go through example theme days. Like I’ll go through my example content day on my example podcast day so you can see exactly what you know you can do. And that I do in the sort of hour or hour and a half time,

Holly: that you have. So it’s just hollymariehaynes.com/ceoweek.

Holly: It’s totally free. You can ask questions. I’m in the backend answering them. You can see sort of other people and what they’ve done, and it’s a super, super powerful. . Awesome. I will make

Allison: sure that it is in the show notes. And thank you so much for being on the show. This was such a great conversation.

Holly: Yeah, thank you.

 

Design Your Business Boosting Week

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