Home-Based Business Time Management – Interview with Windy Lawson

You dream of having a successful business that you manage from home, but you don’t understand how much time starting and running a new business takes. We only have so much capacity every day. Allocating more time than you mentally have to business unbalances your life and leads to stress, burnout, and business failure. Learn how to define your goals and create a plan with the amount of time you need to achieve them and do it without sacrificing your life, family, and friends.

In my interview with Windy Lawson, owner, and publisher of The 90-Day Slay. We discuss working with home-based business owners to define goals and the time to achieve them. Windy provides great stories to help listeners to understand that you can have everything you want just not all at the same time.

Windy Lawson spent 20 years in live-event marketing before really evaluating how she wanted to feel as a human both in and out of business.  She became a certified coach, honed her skills, and developed a framework to help female business owners create short-term strategic plans to achieve their business goals while prioritizing life away from work. 

Links Mentioned In This Episode 

Windy Lawson

The 90-Day Slay

Slay Your WorkdayFree download.

Podcast episodes, articles, and books mentioned in this episode

Episode 28 – A/B Testing To Convert More Leads Into Customers

Episode 41 – Using Artificial Intelligence to Streamline Your Marketing

Episode 44- ROI Of Time From A Marketer’s Perspective

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Check out our new blog at marketingmasterminds.co free marketing educational content with how-to’s and training coming soon. 

What we discussed:

  • Burnout
  • Paying for expertise
  • 90-day slay

Home-Based Business Time Management – Interview with Windy Lawson

*Not ready to give this episode a listen or watch just yet? Below is a rough transcript of today’s episode.*

Hi, everyone. Audrey Kirchner with Inkyma. And today I have Windy Lawson with me. She is the founder of the 90 Day Slay. She’s an accountability coach. She works with small businesses and as you’ve heard me say time and time again, marketing and business, they live in this pool together. And sometimes, you need different swimmies when you’re in the pool.

Sometimes you need your marketing swimmies and sometimes you need your business swimmies. And so that’s why I like talking to folks like Windy, because she’s got the business swimmies where I’ve got the marketing swimmies. So welcome, Windy. I’m so glad you’re here with me today. I love having conversations with you.

Thank you, Audrey. I’m so excited to be here too. The last time we talked, it was so good. And I literally snickered for three days afterwards. And I was trying to explain to my husband why it was so funny, what you said to me about AB testing something and he didn’t get it. He didn’t get it. I got it.

I thought it was hilarious. It made my…I literally was just like snickering for days. 

Yes, the whole marketing humor joke. So I’ve done actually an episode on AB testing. And Windy’s referring to is we were talking about something, I don’t know what it was. And I was like, okay, Windy, you’re gonna love this.

What I want you to do is I want you to AB test that and she just busts out laughing, Marketing geeky humor. Because Windy actually has a very big background, long prestigious background in marketing herself, but she’s gone to the dark side of business. Where I say on the fun side of the marketing.

I’m not…listen. I’m not gonna, I’m not gonna argue with you. Marketing is the fun side because, and I always said I loved marketing because marketing is like the perfect sweet and salty snack because you get creativity and you get to nerd out over numbers. So it’s like the best of both worlds.

But I’m gonna leave the marketing to you now, Audrey, and I’m gonna, I’m gonna help people another way. 

We’ll have you be the barbecue chips. I’ll be the salt and vinegar. Perfect. Perfect. Dippy chocolate. Yes. Yes. Windy tell us about you, your background and tell us about the 90 Day Slay. I’m really excited to share that with everybody on the podcast.

Yeah, I would love that. So I have to tell you, Audrey, I spent 20 years as you shared a long illustrious career, which is, I know this is a podcast, so people can’t see me, but I clearly look like I’m about 22. Just kidding. I wish. And by the way, they can see you cuz this is video and audio.

Oh. So if you wanna see Windy go to YouTube. Go ahead. Yeah, so I spent 20 years in live event marketing. I was basically a concert promoter and I loved it. It was a career I’m like obsessed with music. It was a great career. It was a lot of fun until Kenny Rogers ruined my wedding anniversary and that changed everything for me.

And it’s like one of those moments that’s just trapped in your mind forever. I was standing in the kitchen. The I was waiting, I was at the, like in front of the stove, still in my pajamas with the kettle on the stove. And I was like waiting for that whistle that the, when the kettle starts whistling, cuz the water’s boiling to pour that water into the French press.

So I’m standing there waiting for this to happen. And my husband comes walking out of the laundry room. And he is got roses in one hand and Godiva truffles in the other hand. And I’m not kidding you. He starts to serenade me and he’s singing a Kenny Roger song to me. This is what he sings to me: “Lady…I’m so sorry you have to work on our anniversary. I will eat pizza without you.” Okay. I’m not a singer clearly. It was our wedding anniversary and I had a Kenny Rogers concert that night. And I was…like, the water starts to boil the kettles whistling and I’m like, got like my eyes are welling up with tears.

I’m like, snot bubbles coming outta my nose. Cuz I was just crushed. He was, it was one of those moments where my husband and I were both really silly people. And so he thought he was being silly, but it was like shining a light back on me that like I’m choosing my career over my husband.

And honestly I missed every single wedding anniversary, including that one, because I worked in an arena or a theater and we always had a show. And that was the first time that I really said, okay, like something has to give. I’m willing to put my career first at the expense of everything else and that’s not healthy.

And to be honest, Kenny Rogers ain’t gonna show up at my house when I’m sick and have the flu and be like, Hey, you sold 15 extra tickets. Let me take care of you. 

And that’s the dark side of marketing for sure. I have stories just like that. Father’s day standing in Barnes and Noble on the phone while I’m trying to help my son pick out a gift for his dad.

Yeah. Yeah. And it’s heartbreaking cuz you wanna be present for that moment, whatever it is. And you can’t, that’s actually why I started my own company cuz I was like, forget that! I make my own hours now. Exactly. Yeah, you had this awakening of your time. Yes. There, there’s an, there’s always an element of trading time for money.

That’s just, that’s what it is in the world. Like we’re trading our time for our money, the people in particular who own businesses it’s because they’re saying, you know what, I’m willing to trade time for money, but I’m gonna be in charge of what the value is and what the time is.

And I want to, I wanna schedule things the way I wanna schedule them. Absolutely. Because entrepreneurship is not as glamorous as people think it is. It’s hard, it’s dirty. 

It is hard 

Unknowing, but the biggest bonus is that you’re in charge. You get to do whatever you want whenever you want and say yes and no to whomever you want.

That’s the power of it. So yeah, exactly. That’s where I think 90 Day Slay comes in, right?

Yeah, absolutely. So part of what came up for me and part of what I realized, and I wish I could tell you Audrey, that there was the Kenny Rogers concert and the next day I quit my job and everything was great.

No, of course not. That’s not how our lives work. It took a while to get where I am because I’m a slow learner, like I need the data…Audrey, I need the data sets to come back right repeatedly and tell me, yes, this is a trend that you need to follow. It was, I was constantly for 20 years.

That’s a long time in someone’s life to be in such a high pressured job and a high pressure environment with… 

you know marketing. It’s all about margin bottom line, and just really getting just paying so much attention and throwing all, everything. To make the campaign work.

And after 20 years of that, I was like, I was done. I was burnt out. And I said, I have to figure out a way of looking at my goals and what I want to accomplish in my life differently, because what I’ve been doing, I was A-B testing. What I’ve been doing, isn’t working. It’s not working. I don’t want either-or. I want and. I want a career that I love and time with my family.

And so when I really started to look at how I was setting and evaluating the goals of how I was spending my work time and really took a different approach and said, okay, How do I wanna feel as a human? What’s important to me as a human, I’ve gotta like shore that up and then let that sort of be the foundation of everything I do out in the world, in my business and whatever. That kind of changed everything.

And that’s really what the 

90 Day Slay is all about. I am, you know what I do now? You said, like I flipped to the dark side, the business side, right? What I do now is I really help female, primarily female business owners create short term strategic plans. So short term, this isn’t long term. I don’t wanna talk to you about what you’re gonna do in five years.

You don’t know. I don’t know. None of us know. Let’s talk about what you’re gonna do in the next three months. The next 90 days, that’s gonna get you closer to what it is that you want for your business and for your life. Like you can have both of them, you just can’t have…you can’t have it all

all at the same time. Exactly. We want it all, but we want it all right now. And we want all of it of all of it. And we wanna go to sleep at night. So it’s I love that. I was never a big fan or proponent of the five year plan. And where do you wanna be? I was like, tomorrow, I don’t wanna try to even figure out what I’m having for breakfast tomorrow, let alone what I’m gonna do in five years.

So I love the concept of this plan. Now, when you and I were talking about it, we had a long conversation about capacity. Because you and I both know, small business owners, we’ve both been through it and everybody goes through it, right? Where you try to do everything yourself. So let’s talk to me about your thoughts around capacity and all the good things that come with that.

Yeah. So I think…I lived in Las Vegas for a while and one of the things when I was in Las Vegas, everybody loved to go to at the time. I don’t know if they still do it, but at the time it was the Bellagio Sunday Brunch. I don’t even know if they do brunches not brunch buffet. I don’t even know if buffets were a thing anymore, but when you would go to this buffet, they had this seafood buffet and they had all this gorgeous food.

When you go in there and the first thing is like something you really love, 

for me, like crab legs. You wanna pile your plate up with that, right? It’s the same thing in marketing. Like it’s a giant buffet of options and you wanna load up your plate, right? Our natural, our greedy selves.

Our gluttons wanna load up our plate with all the different deliciousness, but our stomach’s only so big. Our plate’s only so big. And when we think about from a marketing standpoint, really every in all areas of your life, like you only have so much capacity, you could only hold so much. The cup is only so big.

You would never try to pour a 14 ounce cup of coffee into an espresso shot glass. And it’s the same way when we’re trying to jam pack our lives with all these different marketing tactics, all these different strategies. Like we really have to look at what our capacity is. Be honest with ourself about our capacity, recognize that there is an opportunity cost.

Every time you say yes to one thing, you’re essentially saying no to something else. That you don’t know. Yeah. Which is fine. Like we have to make decisions. We have to commit, we have to move forward. But just making smarter decisions. And I think it really all starts down to being honest about what your capacity is, and then utilizing the tools, the people, the resources that you have so that you are taking off your plate, but it’s not falling through the cracks.

So if we think about food, I think about food all the time. I like food. I’m a fan of food. Okay. Exactly. You think about think about the vegetables or the the nutrition, right? The nutrients that you’re supposed to consume every day, like the FDA says, or I don’t know, whoever’s in charge of what vitamins we need, whoever those people are.

If they said you have to have 500 milligrams of vitamin C and this and that and that…if you had to eat, if you had to physically consume like nothing but food to get all of that. You would be stuffed beyond capacity. So what do we do? We take vitamins, right? So vitamins are, and when we think about this, vitamins are essentially like delegation or automation, ways that you can still put some crab legs on your plate, enjoy what you’ve got, but you’re still getting the nutritional value.

You’re still getting the marketing value. But you’re not doing it, right? You’re automating it. You’re delegating it. You’re looking at different ways to take pieces off so that it’s still getting done, but it doesn’t tie you up. 

Absolutely. I love that analogy with the vitamins and the crab legs, and I’m gonna throw in some chocolate cake there which has no nutritional value other than it just makes you feel really good.

But yeah, that delegation, 

the automation. And sometimes I would even say that automation can probably do it better than you or someone you delegate it to because it doesn’t get bored. It doesn’t call out sick. And it just, it does it every single time. So I just love automation anywhere you can put it.

So let me ask you a question. Okay. Yeah. I’m gonna play devil’s advocate here. I am that solopreneur who feels like I am the only one who can do anything. I’m tired. I am burned out. But I can’t hire people and I won’t trust automation. What do you say to me when you have that initial consultation?

Well, If you’re burnt out, you’re not serving who you wanna serve in the way you wanna serve them anyway. So you’re already damaging yourself. Damaging your business, I should say. Yeah, I’m not one Audrey. I’m not one to sugar coat. I’m just, I call it like I see it. So if someone tells me no one else can do it, I’m gonna call ’em out on their nonsense.

Like of course someone else can do it. It won’t be the same way you would do it, but someone else can do it. And then it comes back to them. You have a choice, it’s all a choice. Do you wanna be exhausted? And have only you doing this? Or do you wanna get some sleep? Do you wanna have some fun? Do you wanna trust that you can train someone else to do this just as well, if not better than you.

Yeah. We’re not all great at everything. And we can really hone in on our zone of genius and, I think Audrey, I think there’s so many…people think… Look, can I just be real? Audrey, I’m just gonna be real. Okay. There are a lot of coaches who dumb down marketing tactics and make it seem like marketing is easy.

Marketing is not brain surgery. I’ve never saved anybody’s life. Okay. You probably, maybe you have, I dunno, many you have, I stay away from that. yeah, exactly. We’re not landing planes like it’s so it’s not super complicated, but it does require…it’s equal parts art and science. Absolutely. And if someone’s just showing you, 5% of the equation, you’re never gonna be as good as if you had like the actual scientist doing it for you.

And so I think a lot of times when entrepreneurs and I fell into this too entrepreneurs think oh, I can buy this course. I can just do it myself. It’s again, it’s coming back to capacity. You can, it’s not gonna be as good. And you’re giving up your time. So if that’s what you want.

More power to you. That’s not what your competitors are gonna do, and that’s gonna lead you to burnout. And when you burn out, you’re really gonna wanna see me. 

Yeah, absolutely. And even to take that a step further. Yeah. You can take the course, but you, I, me. 25 plus years of doing this over and over again, repetition is what breeds genius and that high expertise of knowledge not taking a class in two hours.

That’s what Seth Godin’s book was about was just like how many hours does it take to actually master something? And do you wanna spend that time? Maybe you wanna spend your time. I don’t wanna spend my time mastering bookkeeping. I’d rather hire a bookkeeper. Who’s already spent those hours of mastery and then can just do what I tried to do in three hours in two minutes.

And that’s what we’re paying for. We’re paying for that expertise. We’re paying for that…we’re paying for all the blood, sweat and tears time that they put into becoming a professional and becoming, or practice makes proficient. That’s how you get better is repeating, repeating, repeating.

Exactly. So exactly. Yeah, for sure. So you were telling me about this awesome checklist that you have. Yes. Tell me more about that. 

Okay. So I will tell you, I…well, the 90 Day Slay is I touched on this earlier and then Audrey, I get all excited. I tell stories. I get get lost 

And then you start talking about crab legs and how hell are we supposed to stay on track…

was gonna say, I was like over here, like putting on a, my, my crab leg putting on some sort of bib for the butter and, okay. The 90 Day Slay is a framework or a system that really helps business owners identify sort of those areas that they really wanna focus on in their business. Right?

So this is what my priority is gonna be for 90 days. Gonna work a plan, get a roadmap. Move forward. So that was my signature product. That was what I developed about a year ago. And what I realized is that’s great for having a big picture system in place. I don’t know about you. I live in planet earth where, I don’t know if you just heard my dog was barking, right?

There’s apparently a squirrel in my neighborhood. The phone is, the phone is vibrating. There’s just chaos all around. You get emails, you get attention pulled away. Like you’re just, I feel like I was, I felt like I was constantly have it in this chaotic energy and that my workday was becoming really, really complicated.

And when we live in a complicated chaotic state it’s really hard to get good work done. It’s hard to feel good about it, but it’s also really hard to know where you stop and where you end. Like I’m a big fan of clean off my desk every day when I leave. Because that like signals to my brain, Hey, we’re done working for the day or make my bed in the morning.

Hey, you’re no longer in bed. It’s time to get up. This closes one chapter. So I created this checklist to really help particularly, the people who work from home entrepreneurs who work from home to help them put some boundaries, put their day in a container to make it more productive for them, but to really eliminate some of that chaos and complication that happens when you live on planet earth in the year 2022.

So that’s what that is. That is so perfect. And I think so many people that are working from home now need something like that because I’ve been doing this for, I’ve been working from home the last 12 years. And I remember in the beginning it was you needed to create mental and physical boundaries because you didn’t have the drive to work, drive home from work to create that break in the elastic band. Especially when you walk by your office after making dinner. So yeah, I have those little things too. So what we’re gonna do is in the show notes, we’re gonna put a link to Windy’s checklist so that you can sign up and get a free copy of it.

And then that’ll give you a feel for what it’s like to work with her. Because I think it’s amazing. I think what she’s doing is really, really amazing. And everything you’re saying makes so much sense to me. And, I talk to, I’ll do marketing for a company. And yet they could very well be in that frazzled state.

And I am trying to pick and pull the things out to get this one piece, to move forward with them when they would be so much more efficient, if they could compartmentalize that time a little bit better themselves. So I think there’s a lot of people that need you. My dear, a lot of people. Thank you. Thank you.

Yeah. I love putting things in containers. I’m like a toddler. Let’s put some in containers. That’s right. We’re put the circle in the square container. Cause that’s what we do. That’s what entrepreneurs do. We figure out how to make that work. Exactly. So I have a question for you. I always find this kinda stuff fun. Do you have…no names…do you have a fun, interesting client story that you can share with us that when it comes to that capacity type of thing. 

A fun story. I have to tell you, I don’t I nothing’s coming up for me. Most of the clients that I work with, Audrey they’re like really close to a burnout.

Yeah. And so that’s not, so it’s not fun. Not, that’s not a fun, it’s not fun. Yeah. So maybe not little fun but in share us with us, one of the stories that kind of hit close to home for you when you’re working with them, or maybe a success story. I think people like to hear these kind of stories cuz they can see themselves in your story.

Yeah. I think I think the biggest and I’m trying to think if there’s like a specific… cuz I love me a good, I love a good story. I get lost in the details. I will say, I think it’s… the biggest win that I think I see pretty regularly for my clients is when they really start looking at their time

and they start using language around their time, the same way they do their money. Like they have a budget and it’s start it’s not about work. Because for so many of us it’s particularly for those of us who work from home, whether we’ve been doing this for a long time or this is new to us.

It’s still, if you work from home, it’s really easy to your point earlier that the day like never ends. Yeah. That easy access to your office becomes it like started out as a benefit and then eventually it becomes a curse. And so what, the one thing that I see for my clients, the sort of the most often is when they recognize, like they start putting again, they put their work time in a container and they start choosing how they’re gonna spend that time differently. Yes. Recognizing this is all I have for this. Like I’m going to limit myself just like limiting screen time for your kids. Yeah. I’m limiting the amount of time I’m working. When you do that, you automatically become more efficient.

You’re more focused. You’re like, and it, you make better decisions on what you’re gonna spend your time on. Yeah. I did a whole podcast episode on the ROI of time and you just summed it up beautifully there. What I was saying in that episode was like, if you spend your time wisely, good things are gonna come back to you.

You gotta just, like you said, you gotta start thinking about it like it’s money. So I’m glad that’s the one insight that you chose, because I think that’s probably the most important and the easiest way I think to try to get out a burnout is like, what’s important for my time and making it, you protecting your time.

Exactly. All of that. It’s just like a budget. People think a, like a financial budget is restrictive. No, it’s not. It’s putting your money to work. It’s saying, what do I want my money to do? It’s giving you a tool. It’s a tool to help you get more of what you want. Yeah, I’m all for budgets and time time budgets, money budgets.

Give me a good budget. Yeah. Yeah. And you know what, it, also, those budgets stop you from buying like the really stupid crap that you would if you didn’t have a budget, which keeps you from having less stuff in your house. So that is so amazing. We’re like getting close to the end of our time here.

I try to keep everything within 20 or 30 minutes. It just always flies by. Yeah. So do you have any last thoughts or anything you wanna share with everybody before we finish wrapping all of this up? I think if I could leave people with one thought, like the one, and this is not a new thought I mentioned this earlier, this is…Windy didn’t invent this…but it’s really feeling in your bones that there is an opportunity cost to every yes you make.

And just really starting to look at the choices that you make in your business differently, knowing that every time you say yes, that means you’re saying no to something that you may or may not know. And again, yes. It’s important to move forward. Yes. It’s good to make decisions. Yes. I applaud you for giving a decisive,

“Yes, I wanna do this,” but just understand that every yes does equal a no. And it just, yeah. There is, we do have limited capacity, so there’s only so much you can do. And I’m really glad you brought that back up because I know you said that. And I was like, oh, that’s a really profound one. I hope people grabbed it.

So they’re gonna grab it on the back end here. Definitely. And then I’m gonna make sure it’s in the show notes too. We’re gonna put a little quote in there because that’s an important one. So if people wanna reach out to you after listening to this, to talk to you about how they’re using their time, running their business, what’s the best way for them to get ahold of you?

Yeah, I love that. Thank you. The easiest way is my website. It’s www.windylawson.com. I’m sure that will be in the show notes. It will. I’m just gonna say just for everybody that’s listening and not watching it’s Windy. I’m not Southern. It actually is like the weather. It’s not that I’m not enunciating.

It’s Windy like the weather, my parents were hippies. It just is what it. Which I think is pretty cool, but we all take a double take at it. So yeah, it’s W I N D Y and the link it’s gonna be in the show notes, along with the link to get the checklist download so that you’re not spending all your time at your work desk while you’re actually at home.

You don’t feel like all burned out and stuff, cool. All righty. Windy. Thank you so much. My dear for being on the show I loved having you, maybe we’ll have you back in a little while and talk about a different topic. Share other food thoughts with people too, cuz that was a lot of fun.

This was my pleasure, Audrey. Thank you so much. I hope I, I appreciate you inviting me. I hope you have a great rest of your day and I hope your listeners have an amazing day as well. That’s how I always sign off. I’m always like thanks for listening and have an amazing day. Take care. Bye! 

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