My Top 5 Tips For The New Momprenuer

Today's post is one where I feel like I can really get real! I going to be honest with you like I never have before! I started this business as a mom, but Sydney was two years old and I felt like it was actually pretty easy to do both! Even during this last pregnancy I was like “ I'll just take a week or so off after I come home from the hospital. My baby will sleep all the time right? I've got this! “...

OH HECK NO!

Let me just tell you that our little Emma Bear rocked our world when she was born,and almost every single day since. I definitely took a couple of weeks off after she was born but beyond that, it has been a HUGE learning curve. I'm seriously still trying to figure out how to juggle it all, and she is 7 months old. But today I thought I would share some tips/advice with any of you out there who are new to mompreneurship, or are running a business and considering starting a family that will hopefully help.

Top Five Tips For The New Mompreneur | Business Tips | Tiffany Kuehl Designs

1. Find your system!

Oh gosh! I can't explain to you how important it is to have a system in place. Something that I recently heard and am trying to use now is to have a daily todo list of three to five things. Look at those three to five things and work on those and those alone at first. When you get that baby down for a nap and you go to sit on that computer and your a little tired, but really need to get some work done, you are going to be overwhelmed if you sit down and see your mega to-do list that has everything you could possibly need to get done for every project listed. Trust me! So I would suggest you seriously do the five top tasks rule. If you have a list with just that on there, you aren't so overwhelmed the moment you sit down and you can focus easier, which can lead to being more productive all around. If this system doesn't seem like it would work for you, that is totally fine! We are all different people with different personalities. The important thing is finding a system that does help you be more productive with limited time. Because let's face it, you're working in little time frames dictated by your little one.

2. Streamline Your Process

This one is just a huge struggle for me, and a MAJOR goal this year for me. I have seriously got to streamline my process! To do this you really need to sit down and list out every single step of your process. I mean EVERY. SINGLE. STEP! From beginning to end, write that shit down in bullet points! Then sit back and look at your list. What in that list is something that you could maybe alter, make ahead of time, or even remove to save time? The possibilities are endless in ways you could streamline. For me, just off the top of my head, I need to create templates that I can use over and over for design process for images like client previews, inspiration boards, and brand identity boards. I want to create canned emails for certain instances that happen very often so that I am not always having to write it out every single time. Just figure out any possible way that you can save time in your process and do it! If you can do all of this BEFORE you have your baby, do it!!! Oh gosh I wish I had sometimes!

3. Decide when you will hustle!

Mama, I know you're tired. Trust me I get it! I remember everyone always telling me to nap when the baby naps, and for those first few weeks I totally agree! So then the question is when should you work?

Honestly that is up to you! Not everyone's answer is the same, and if I'm totally honest mine seems to be changing as time goes. When Emma was a little younger I could get so much work done while she napped and between feedings at night when she was in her crib. I felt like I was doing so good. Then that damn 4 month sleep regression hit and we started co-sleeping. Truthfully, that has made it more difficult. Emma wants her Mommy right by her when she is napping. So I can't be sitting at my desk when she naps. Not to mention I have two kids, and summer is coming soon. When will I work when Sydney is home from school and I have Emma at home. Right now I am thinking I may have to start working more at night once the girls are in bed. This way I get to enjoy my day with them, and they don't feel neglected because I'm at the computer. If I'm able to get on sometimes during the day then that's great! But I know it won't be the standard, so I can't always count on it. Your work time may be totally different. The important part is to really just figure out what works best for you and roll with it!

4. Get over the guilt!

I have a little secret for you…There is always going to be some level of guilt! There is the mom guilt you have when you're working and you want to be playing with your babies. There is the wife guilt that you get when the kids are finally in bed, and instead of cuddling together on the couch and watching tv you have to get on the computer. Or there is the business guilt you get when you decide that tonight is the night that I am just playing with my kids and cuddling with my husband gosh darn it! Because you do have that choice! So how do you get rid of the guilt?

You don't get rid of it. You just take it day by day and try to decide which guilt you can deal with right then. Also think of the end goal! Always think of the end goal, because that's why you're in the mompreneur game after all. Why do you do this, and will whatever is causing the guilt for the moment help you reach that goal? It's a balancing act for sure, but it's one you can totally do.

5. Batch Days!

As a mom who can't always be at the computer, batch days are going to be your very best friend! What is a batch day? It's when you sit there and you do any work you can in bulk. Batch days can be applied to blog posts, images you create for social media, and any kind of content creation. You create it all and save it to a location that is easily accessible like Google Drive or Trello, and then you have them ready when you need to put them out there into the world. When I do this I tend to get in a flow and work pretty quickly, and who doesn't love that!

In my opinion, there isn't really a right or wrong, as long as you find what works for you! I mean becoming a parent is a huge learning curve as you and your baby get to know each other, and you get into a new way of life. Of course that is going to flow into your business life as well. You just have to find the best way for you of combining the two. But let's be honest, no matter what the juggle is real and we are all doing it day by day,

Creating The Perfect Pinterest Board For Your Brand

Okay so you have started your new business, but you just haven't gotten the look you wanted. At this point you start looking into designers. You find that perfect designer who is so your style, and you start the process to book their services. Then you receive your client homework and somewhere on there they ask you to do two things…

Give descriptive words for what your wanting your brand to be and feel like as a whole.

Create a Pinterest board!

I promise you this is not just pointless work that we have you do, and there is totally a good reason behind it! You may not know this about me, but like so many other designers, I am an extremely visual person!!! So having you take these two steps helps tremendously when I am trying to come up with every aspect of your brand. However, I find that some people get a little overwhelmed with this, and they don't know what they heck they are doing!

Creating The Perfect Pinterest Board For Your Brand | Tiffany Kuehl Designs

Today, I am going to help teach you how to go through this process, and when we are done the result will give your designer the things it needs to create a beautiful Inspiration board like this one! 

Okay so first things first. You need to grab a pen and paper and do a little bit of brainstorming. Write down every single keyword that you can think of to describe your business/brand as a whole. Consider this to be sort of a brain dump, and wrote down as many as you can possibly think of. You want to use words to describe the tangible and intangible aspects of your business. How do you want it to make your dream client feel when they look at your website? What sort of vibe do you want to give off when you talk to your clients? How do they feel when they touch or use the item/service you provide? Write every single word you can think of to describe your ideal business/brand down. Once you get 20 to 30 words you can stop.

Now I want you to narrow it down to ten! When you look at all of these words which ones really pop out at you? These are the words that we will focus on!

So you have come up with keywords for your business… Now what?

Now you go in and create a Pinterest board!!! It can be private or public, but you will want to give your designer access to it either way! Once you have done this, you should go in and start looking for images that fit those keywords! If you're confused, don't worry! I'll help show you how to go about it!

To do this I am going to invent a client. Let's say her name is Makayla. She is a new mompreneur in her late twenties who is starting her own online children’s boutique. When she did her homework she found that she wanted her brand to be classic, feminine, soft, vintage, refreshing, modern, welcoming, subtle, cozy, and little bit of a bohemian feel.

Knowing this she goes into Pinterest and creates her board. She starts searching for those keywords and pinning every image that she saw that appealed to her, and fit with those keywords. It is really that simple. One tip I will mention is if you do find an image you love, and it just goes with the style you are wanting, then make sure you look below it as the similar images because you may find even more there! Stay away from other brand boards or color charts as you want your brand to be unique. I know a lot of designers say to stay away from and logos of any kind, but I like to see logos that you like. So pin those as well.  Just make sure to remember, as it will save yourself time in the end, is to add the reason that your pinning this image as the pin description. Because the reason I think you chose it could be completely different from the reason you actually did!

Once you have pinned your little heart out, take a look at your overall board. Go through and remove those images that you thought you liked at first, but just don't fit now that you're taking another look. Because we all know those images will be in there! Pinterest can be so addictive and sometimes we just pin the wrong things! Once you have cleaned it up a bit, you should get something along these lines! 

Pinterest Board Example | Creating The Perfect Pinterest Board For Your Brand | Tiffany Kuehl Designs

You may have way more pins than I do for Makayla and that is totally fine because I just pinned enough to get a good board for the sake of the tutorial.

Now that you have your board complete, and you have shared your keywords with me, this is where things start to get really exciting! I will typically look everything over and select a few images. If you have a great start, but the images aren't quite what are needed, then I will use them as reference to pin just a few more. Then I will take everything over to my Adobe Illustrator. I will add some of those images that we pinned and place them together on one image in a way that is appealing to the eye, and gives off the feel you're going for. Then I literally grab the colors from the images using the eyedropper tool until we get a color scheme that I really like.

Color Inspiration Board | Creating The Perfect Pinterest Board For Your Brand | Tiffany Kuehl Designs

Once we come up with the main colors like we did in the above image, which comes after quite a bit of trial and error, I move them over to a color wheel that I have designed.

Color Wheel | Creating The Perfect Pinterest Board For Your Brand | Tiffany Kuehl Designs

This color wheel has many purposes. First it lets me see how the colors look together away from their original images. Sometimes it's a game changer and I have to start all over. Second, it allows me to give the pallet a little more depth. Sometimes in a brand you need more than just the shades you originally picked, and this is where the inner circle of colors comes in. It gives you a few more accent colors for your brand!

Now that you know how to do this part of your homework, have some fun with it! Pinterest is an amazing and addicting place, and you can find so many images there. But you can also add your own images to a board if your images are on brand. In the end it is the key piece of inspiration that will be used over and over as we design every single aspect of your brand.

I had so much fun creating this tutorial on how to create the perfect Pinterest board for your designer. Next maybe I can teach you how to create the actual images that you get as the end result! Who doesn't love a little DIY?!?

Why I Believe Getting Out Is Great For Business

As entrepreneurs, we tend to spend a ton of time in front of a screen. Whether you are on your computer, your iPad, or your phone it just seems like you're always connected right? There is no way I am alone in this.

Getting Out Id Good For Business | Tiffany Kuehl Designs | Business Tips

Today I am here to tell you that one of the best things you can possibly do for your business is to simply take a moment and step away from the computer!

DISCONNECT!

Trust me, I know you feel the itch to check your social media or even look at your email, but guess what, it will all be there when you return! You are always so connected, and so into what you love doing, that you kind of forget to live. I mean, didn't you start your own business so that you could live your life on your own terms, and do more?

Now, I'm not telling you to neglect everything for days on end. I'm telling you to take a day, or even an hour or two out of your day and get out there! Something that I LOVE to do is going to the park and takibg a nice long walk with my husband and the girls, or going to grab a bite together. Just taking some time to live my life by design and be there in the moment with my family not only makes me feel good, but also shows me why I want to continue to do what I do.

There are also more ways that taking a tiny break can be so beneficial...

How many of you are guilty of getting so into your work that you look at the clock and it's mid afternoon already. You haven't eaten, let alone showered. It's a common theme with most creative entrepreneurs that I know. I like to TRY to go for a walk in the morning. Doing this forces me to eat before I go, get a little excercise so I'm not gaining crazy amounts of weight from sitting on my butt all the time, and it makes me shower when I get home. So doing this one thing promotes three forms of self care, which then make me feel better and more productive when I do sit down at the computer for the day!

If I am ever stuck on a design element or a component of a website, it helps to clear my mind! Even if I just put my screen to sleep and go clean the house it just helps me to stop thinking about it for a few minutes. I tend to have some of my best ideas when I am taking one of those small breaks. I still think about work, but I am enjoying myself and giving my brain the break that it needs

Burnout is real! Ever worked so hard on a project and somehow gotten behind? So then you just work longer and later until you get it done. But then you're just physically and mentally exhausted and drained by the time you are done. This is when I say you should take a day or two! Get away from your work and do something just for yourself to clear your mind and help you feel refreshed for the next project. Both you and your next client will thank you in the long run!

There are honestly just so many ways that it helps me to take a little time away from my business every day and just unplug. Alot of us work from home right? It's so easy to become a hermit and do nothing but wake up, drink coffee, work, eat dinner, sleep, and do it all over again. Granted I now have a 6 month old and there are more baby cuddles than work hours lately, but it is still so easy to get sucked in when she is asleep or playing with her sister. This is when I think it is so important to step away and unplug on your own terms. Set up some business hours, and make sure you actually stick to them! It will help you accomplish more in your day other than work, and force you to be more productive when you are actually working

We are entrepreneurs because we want to be able to do something we LOVE doing, and want to do it on our own terms. I'm just saying that stepping away for a little self care every once in a while will make you happier and help let you live the life you are wanting to live which will also help your business grow in the end.

So tell me, when you find that you need to take a tiny break, what is it that you like to do?