Megan Martin 0:00
This is talking small business with Kat Schmoyer and Meghan Martin, a podcast for creatives who like to keep it real about what it actually takes to grow an online business.
Kat Schmoyer 0:09
We’re competitors turned to biz besties, who chat daily, and now we’re bringing you into the conversation.
Megan Martin 0:19
Hey, friend, welcome back to another episode of talking small business. This one’s sort of an extension of our last episode, but more focused on motherhood. Last episode, we talked about social media and setting boundaries. And we touched a little bit about our lives as mothers within that realm. But this time, we want to kind of broaden it a little bit and talk about really having good expectations for yourself and your capacity to produce. As a mom, Kat and I are both mothers cat has two babies, I have four babies, and that is a lot of your for all of you it is you have a lot of babies. I absolutely have many, many babies. But it’s a lot. No matter how many children you have, if you’re a mom, and you are a business owner, you know, that life just looks different. For us. It looks different. And I want to say if you are here, and you’re listening, and you’re not a mom, like please know that you’re absolutely welcome in our circles, and we love you to death. But the truth of the matter is business looks different when you are a mother. And business especially looks different. When you are a mother and you are a very small team, either of team of one, or maybe two, three, or four. When you’re talking about a small business that has a pretty large operation, it’s probably even going to look different than what our conversation is. So from me, I’m coming from a team of like, really realistically, it’s just me and my business, Jeremy works in my business, like he does some tasks. But I am the one who carries most of the weight in this business, I would say 98% of the weight is on my shoulders, Jeremy helps and then cat sometimes helps me do things because she is type A, it helps me be organized. But the reality is like I I almost consider myself a team of one at this point. And that is really, really difficult as a mother and I know like I want to hear cat like what is your situation with like, your motherhood life in your business life? Like how does that look? What’s your team look like? So we can get perspective on that? Yeah,
Kat Schmoyer 2:31
so I, I feel like my relationship with Matt, and the business is similar to you. And Jeremy, like Matt has like specific roles and tasks that he’s doing in the business. But his roles are more project based. So not he’s not every day involved in the business. For us, though, that works out because he’s like Mr. Mom, so he wears more of the parenting hat on like a Monday through Friday basis than I do and for our relationship and our business and our family like it really flourishes in that way. But I do have two part time assistants. And I’ll be bringing on a third part time assistant soon. So I do have more support with that team and of being able to delegate those tasks to some of them. However, my business model, I mean, as if you’re a passive listener, then maybe you listen to, you know, mechanized like business stories before, my business model is different than Megan. So I have services. So I have my integrator agency. And so I have client work and projects. And so my team is an agency model and is heavily involved in that client work. So I wouldn’t be able to grow the service side of my business if I didn’t have my girls under me, because they’re not only working on certain things within my own business, but they’re also working with our clients. And so it’s just the way that my model is set up. I have those two girls as part time employees, and then several subcontractors that will outsource things to as needed.
Megan Martin 3:56
Yeah. So totally different. Totally different reasons totally. We’re looking at, but we’re in that we’re, I would say we’re in the same realm of like one to five team member.
Kat Schmoyer 4:06
Yeah. And we’re also in the same realm of Yes, you have more babies than I do. But our babies are in the same age group. And I think that’s different. We don’t have high schoolers. We’re working with young children. And that’s just a different style of motherhood. I cannot speak to mothering a high schooler. That is going to be a whole new world when I get there. But like, I can speak to motherhood with toddlers.
Megan Martin 4:27
Yeah. So this whole podcast episode really came up because I continue to get the question and I’m sure you get it often cat as well that how do you do this? How are you running this business? And, you know, because part of my business is teaching other people how to start and grow digital business, product based businesses. I naturally share about what I do in my business, the results that I can naturally get myself and the results that I can help other people get. So you It’s pretty public knowledge. If you were to look at my website that I make six figures in my digital business. And so I think that you see that number. And you see, like, you hear me talk about the fact that I don’t work every day. And I have a very, very fluid and flexible schedule. And it’s natural for people to start asking me the question like, how are you doing this with the with four kids? Like, I cannot imagine I’m swamped. I’m like, underwater right now. I’m overwhelmed. I burnt out. I’m not making the kind of money yet that I want to, like, I’m so confused. How are you doing this? And I’m sure like cat, do you get the similar questions?
Kat Schmoyer 5:38
Absolutely. Yes. All the time. So I’m glad that we’re getting to talk about this right now. Yeah. So
Megan Martin 5:42
really, like we wanted to just kind of have a candid conversation about real like setting up realistic expectations about being a mom and being a business owner. And some of the things that you don’t see behind the marketing messages, because the reality is like for me to show up and say, Hey, I can help you start and grow a business, I do have to tell you that I can actually help you do that. And to do that, I have to show you my results. And I think that hides a part of the message that people want to really hear, which is like, what does this actually look like on the back end for you? And is this attainable for me? So cat, I would love to hear from you. What does like what has been your journey? Or what two expectations look like for you and setting up those in your life and your business? As a mother as well?
Kat Schmoyer 6:33
Yeah, first and foremost, Megan and I are not like super woman’s. I mean, I mean, we like we’re pretty cool. But like you can do what we do. Like I feel like I want to start by just saying that to everybody out there. Because I do get this question a good bit. And like dm conversations are with my coaching clients, or my mastermind, we’re talking about like balancing motherhood in business, setting expectations, setting boundaries. And here’s the thing, Megan, and I don’t do it perfectly. Like I know, I can speak for both of us. And that just because we’re such good friends, like we talked about, like when we mess up as a mom or as a business owner, as a wife, like we’re not doing this perfectly. But we’re doing it in a way that works for us. And in a way that you can figure out how to be a mom and to be a business owner and run a six or multi six figure business, whatever it is that you want. Like, I genuinely believe that you can do that. And you don’t have to choose between being a mom and being a business owner. That was a big fear I had because I started my business pre kids. So I struggled with like man, can I do both? Like how is that going to look like? Will I be able to make the same revenue. And Meg and I have talked on the podcast before that, like we provide for our families. So as being able to bring in revenue is vital for our family finances. Therefore, yes, I want children but I also still need to make sure that like the business is secure financially. So that’s a lot of weight and a lot to think about. And I just want you guys to know that you’re not alone and like having those doubts. But you’re also like, we’re not an exception to that, like you can do what we are doing. And I hope that this conversation is just like a breath of fresh air around knowing that like you can be a really great mama and also be a CEO, and do them both well. So to answer your question, again, with like, kind of starting around those expectations, I think first and foremost, you have to think about what you want this to look like. We talked last week when we were talking about social media boundaries about like, just what will make you happy. And that might sound fluffy and silly. But like that’s like genuinely like Happy is the word that I want to feel every day in my life. Whether I’m being I’m putting the business owner hat on, or I’m putting the mama hat on, unless my three year olds like screaming, I’m not necessarily happy during the temper tantrum, but overall, I want to be happy. So when I think about expectations for mama and business owner life, I want to think about like what will this look like in being happy? Is that having set workdays? Is that only working, you know, two days a week? Is that working every day? Is that my son in daycare or not in daycare, like what is this mean? And letting go of any guilt around that. So I would love for us to challenge you guys to like dream about that, like what does happy look like for you as a mama and as a business owner?
Megan Martin 9:25
Yeah, I absolutely agree with that. And I think we’ve said here on the podcast before like this, you’re a small business owner, you get to decide what all of this is going to look like. You get to decide what kind of business you want to run. You get to decide what the size of your business you want to run and you get to decide how this business is going to fit in your life. And I think I think as well like thinking about what’s going to make you happy, like what kind of business do you want to run like cat loves doing her service work like she loves. She’s passionate about that, like, what are you passionate about doing? For me, I’m going to tell you, I’m passionate about the fact that I don’t have to work that much. I, I would hate having, like, client, like, I love anyone who’s I’ve ever worked for I love you. So having clients where I genuinely like, feel so stressed and overwhelmed when I know that I am at the mercy of somebody else, and I have to deliver for somebody else. That is the most stressful thing. So I have set up a business where I do not have to depend on that. And that has been a huge blessing. But maybe you as a listener, maybe you have dreams of like building some big global company that is gonna look different, like your, your, the way that your life as a mom and a business owner, is gonna look completely different, as opposed to someone who’s like me, who only wants to work four hours a day tops, maybe not even that much like, so I have a much heavier role as a mom in my life, because I’m not spending as much time focusing on my business, because I don’t have global Empire dreams and goals. So you have to first start with, what is it that you want to do with this business? And what kind of business do you run, and being realistic about what it’s going to take to actually do that?
Kat Schmoyer 11:26
I also think alongside of like, the dreaming on your own within your business? After you think through like what what do you want, like, what will make you happy? Then you bring the spouse into that conversation? Like you bring him in and say, Okay, now together, this is what I would like, like, What do you want? Like, can this work together? Because maybe your husband works the traditional nine to five, and he’s gone Monday through Friday. So you might need childcare to be able to like get some of the dreams? Don’t like get some of that happy for you and your business? Or? Or maybe, maybe not, maybe you’re like, no, I actually want to be able to work less and be with my kids more. And whatever it is the routine is going to affect him. And so I think it’s really important to set very clear expectations together on how the business and motherhood are going to affect the family, because they’re affecting both like they’re both your kids. So you all need to have a say and what that looks like for your family.
Megan Martin 12:26
Yeah, I mean, I hate to like give strong opinions. But I would also say no, you don’t need love gain strong I do. But like I hate to do it in the sense of this because I don’t want to like, you know, I don’t want to feel or I don’t want it to come off that like my belief systems or like how I think a family should be structured is like the way you know, because I know everybody has different ideas and whatever. But I feel like at the end of the day, if you are a mom, this is a role that you have been given. And you can’t just forsake that for the like dream or the goal, right. And I know it can be done. I’m thinking of I don’t even know her name. But like the woman who owns the company, Spanx, like she owns amazing, crazy successful business. And I’m pretty sure she’s a mom. So obviously it can be done like there are women that can go out and make amazing businesses. And that was her goal to build a business like that. And so I assume that she must have had some sort of like, big investment upfront. And that investment probably included childcare, or some sort of help in that way. But at the end of the day, you are a mom. And that is a role that you cannot just for sake for the sake of a dream. And if you don’t, I think this is part of the expectation comp conversation that if you don’t have X, Y, Z ducks in a row to be able to build on this dream, then you have to be realistic with yourself that like you can’t just throw your kids in another room for the next 90 days. And hope they survive, you know, and that’s part of this expectation comrade conversation that I think we should go into next is like, Who are we looking towards in the industry that’s telling us that you can do message and I know we started this episode with cat you telling us like you can do this, you can do what we’re doing, which is totally true. But again, like sometimes when we’re seeing these marketing messages of like you can do it. We’re not seeing what’s happening on the back end of the I’m doing it to understand like is this is this one woman show? Is this a 20 woman show? Is this something that I can actually replicate? You know?
Kat Schmoyer 14:45
Absolutely. It’s such an interesting balance, especially like I’m listening to you talk and like thinking about how that looks for me because I’m the person that like I don’t just want to work four hours in a day like I know I genuinely love working, I want to work. So like when Matt and I have conversations around the business, it’s me saying like, I want to wear it, like I want to keep working, if he had a corporate job, if he was not in the business, we would have more full time childcare, because that is just that’s what I want. But also knowing that, just like you said, like, but I’ve also been gifted the blessing of motherhood, and therefore like these little lives in our mind to like culture and to like cultivate and nurture and like love. And so there needs to be this balance of what do I want as a business owner, but also like, what have they need. And as much as I love Paw Patrol, because it’s a great distraction, like, they don’t need Paw Patrol for nine hours in a day, like they just don’t, right. And so there needs to be this balance of like, how can I do what I want to do, but also love my babies. For me, personally, that looks like I work four days a week, and one day a week, I am, I’m not working, and I’m in mom mode. And that has been really, really healthy for me. So going back to like how I have those like stripped social media boundaries, it sounds so silly to be like, I give myself like a strict mom boundary. But I do. And it’s not to say that I’m not a mom, like Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, like, I’m still a mom, but I’m also in my office like eight hours a day, you know, on those like four days where it’s Tuesday night in my office and with the kids and we’re going to the park or we’re doing this or we’re doing that and we’re just like in mom world. And that’s been really healthy for me with like workaholic tendencies. And the dreams I love as a business owner. And like the global domination dreams that like I have, like polar opposites, like those big dreams, it’s been really good for me to be like, but wait a second, I have a three year old and like he really just wants to color right now. And like, I don’t need to go chase this new client or like, I don’t need to go like make this new, whatever for my business. Like, he just wants me to sit here in color with him. And like that’s a really beautiful thing. And I need to like force myself to sit in those moments. And it sounds awful. So like admit that So please, if somebody is like resonating, let me know that I’m not like a terrible Mom, I love my children so much I want more children. Um, but there is I do personally have to like create that boundary and therefore set that expectation. So like my kids know, mommy’s not always on her laptop, right? Like mommy does want mommy and Micah time are like mommy and Mae time. But mommy also does love to work and like instilling a love for work, and then too. So it’s a really interesting balance.
Megan Martin 17:23
Yeah, I think, you know, you touched on if Matt, were still working in corporate America that you would have more childcare. And I think that that is one of the biggest expectations that mothers who are business owners need to understand is that there’s always going to be a battle between what your dream is and the resources that you have to make that dream happen. And you have to have realistic expectations around this, if you are a mama who is trying to grow a business and say you don’t have a team yet, and you don’t have a lot of money to invest in your business. The truth is that it’s going to be difficult to grow your business, and you’re not going to be able to do as much as you dream or as much as your hearing your educators tell you that you need to do. And we have to start like almost even in this education comp, like conversation any anytime that I’m learning from somebody else, specifically about certain strategies to implement to grow my business, I always have to take it with a grain of salt of like, I know, I’m a mom, I have this role that I cannot forsake, can I realistically do this with the resources that I currently have? If not, am I going to have to hire somebody to do that? Am I financially able to do that, and if not, then you have to start like picking and choosing as a mom and a business owner, you have to stop, like buying into these these lies that we tell ourselves that we can only grow our business if we do the next trendy thing. Or if we can just add one more strategy to the bucket or if we add all of the 15 strategies that other business owner that we follow is doing to the bucket like you have to start realizing that like that person may have a team behind them that you don’t know about. And it’s easy to teach about the results. But you know, if they have a team of five or 10 people behind them, that is a whole different scenario than just a mom who’s trying to grow a business by herself. Right?
Kat Schmoyer 19:39
Absolutely. It’s just the the lie we believe, you know, or like the comparison trap that we fall in when we see so and so doing something and then we’re like, Well why couldn’t I do that? And like she has, I mean I’m sure I’m sure Megan people have seen you do stuff and like but she has four kids at home like how is she doing? You know, whatever, but like what is the other reality Right, like what’s the life behind a screen? Like what are the expectations that like you and Jeremy have set up for that season or whatever it might be like, we just don’t know. And so I think this is it’s just so powerful Megan, for all moms to constantly come back to like, yes, what is the dream but also what is physically realistically possible right now. And that is going to look different for every single mom and every single family in every single business based on so many different factors. And we have to be okay with that. And like, come to terms with that.
Megan Martin 20:35
Yep. I would love to hear from you, cat. Um, what? Let me think about how I want to phrase this. How do you deal with essentially when motherhood interrupts the perfect plan?
Kat Schmoyer 20:49
flexible plans are better, but it’s still hard. Yeah, we are both of our kids were sick like a week ago. That’s like the most recent thing I have to like, think about when motherhood like quote unquote, disrupted it because they’re sick. So they need more you know, either Mike is home from school, he goes to a preschool like three days a week, so he was home from school may was just extra fussy and clingy. So just not able to get the work done, because they needed mom time, or they needed extra whatever. I think in that scenario, it’s either not being afraid to ask for help. So whether that is just you know, asking, you know, a family member or somebody else to kind of come in and help with things if you are service based, and you still have like, certain deadlines and things that your business like continues to need. But also on the flip side of that, not being afraid to share that with clients, like I actually had to send slack messages to like four of my clients and say, Hey, this is my current reality. So I need more time like this, this deadline is not gonna work out for me. And they all completely understand and they’re telling me like, Go rest, like, it’s okay sleep when you can, like no big deal, like, because they understand that motherhood is so important to me. And sometimes I’ll have a zoom call and you know, one of the kids like, kind of runs in and like, again, that’s just like reality of working from home when my kids are in and out. And so I feel like that would be my biggest piece of advice is like, when you feel like motherhood disrupts like a rhythm or a routine in your business is just resetting those expectations, resetting those expectations for yourself and your family, resetting those expectations for clients, and not being afraid that it’s going to make you seem unprofessional, or it’s not going to make you lose out on something because you had to like reset what that expectation is in that current season.
Megan Martin 22:42
Cat, what about because you work more on a deadline basis than I do? What would happen if you were in like a situation where you were on an extremely hard deadline, like one of your clients was in the middle of a launch or something. And motherhood? had like disrupted business essentially, like what do
Kat Schmoyer 23:05
one of two things or maybe both of these things, number one, because I have a team, I do have girls that I can fall back on. So if I need to, you know, they’re trained on a lot of the things that I’m trained on too. So it might just be having to delegate more having to pass things off to them. That’s where I think just having a team in general can be really helpful for when life disrupt whether it maybe you’re not a mom, and you’re listening to this episode, but just life happens and you need to pass something off to your assistant, you know, the other thing would be like, hustle. Like, I just I can’t like it might be an all nighter, right? There have absolutely been seasons, y’all with my service based business and having kids at home where like, I am working at 1am you know, and I like it’s got to get done. And it didn’t matter that both my kids were sick, or it didn’t matter that you know, May was teething or we had doctor’s appointments that day, or like whatever throughout the schedule, like this still has to happen. And so if I need to have an all nighter, I will pull that all nighter. But that’s the thing that that needs to be a season like that needs to not be a regular routine, there needs to be standard expectations that avoid the one to 3am like work life. So if you’re a mom working from home right now, and that’s your current reality is like every night, you put those babies to bed and then you’re up until the very early morning getting work done. I don’t think that that’s sustainable and healthy long term. I do though understand this season of that, whether that’s just because of a deadline or because of something happening. And I think that might just need to happen to in order to like get things done. So yeah, I would try to delegate but also just
Megan Martin 24:42
hustle. Yeah, and which is a conversation that we should have another time on the podcast, but you know, it’s it’s, I love that you said hustle because in our in our creative, small business bubble it’s always the anti hustle talk like don’t hustle. We need to rest You know, the truth is as business owners I’ve never met another business owner who didn’t hustle. So I think all of the all of y’all are doing a lot of sugarcoating whatever another conversation for another time. But I think the reality here that this whole episode we’ve been talking about is that when you are, you know, looking at other business owners who you know, from the outside in are crushing it. And especially when you’re looking at these other business owners and their moms and you’re just you’re not sure, like, how can they do this, when you’re questioning this, I just want you to remember that first of all, you do not see everything that’s behind the scenes. And I want to encourage you that it’s okay to strip things away from your business, it’s okay to strip expectations that you’ve set for yourself or expectations that other people have put on you because that’s the way that they say you should grow a business it’s okay to strip that away and go a little bit slower if you have to. Even if you’ve set great big deadlines and great big goals, like it’s okay if those goals need to have some grace so that you can go slower and prioritize the role that you have as a mother. We’d love to hear from you. So send us a DM or chat with us and tell us about how your motherhood and expectation balance looks like. But I can’t wait to chat again about motherhood and business and we’ll be sure to do that here real soon But till then we will catch you in the next conversation.
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