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Episode 139: What You Can Really Get Done In 10 Hours A Week With Dawn Hansen

PRODUCTIVITY HACKS: Listen for encouraging nuggets from Dawn about how to find what YOUR things are and how to stay focused on them in order to run a super streamlined business. 


Listen to episode 139 to help you figure out who your people are, what they want from you and figure out who YOU are as a brand and a content creator and stay true to that.


Blog Title: Dawn Loves Food

Social Media:

DLF on Instagram

DLF on Facebook

About: Dawn Loves Food is a website and social media source that started in 2017 to capture adventures and creativity in the kitchen by changing up cooking styles and ingredients to be more health minded yet still delicious and flavorful. 

Diagnosed with an immune deficiency midlife at age 44, I elected to dig into understanding what chronic inflammation is, how it affects my internal environment and do what I can to self manage and live WELL. 

DLF is a lifelong outlet for creativity, connection and art through digital media. The underlying philosophy that we can apply to anything in our lives is slow intentional steps, over time, create intention, long term change and growth. 


Takeaways From Episode #139

  • Her website was born out of this midlife health crisis. Dawn Loves Food became her resource and her creative outlet.
  • With all that she had to learn, Dawn was fighting Imposter Syndrome as well as analysis paralysis, so Dawn had to ask herself to do an evaluation – who am I going to be? What do I want to do?
  • Dawn is focusing this year on streamlining processes, asking herself if what’s she’s spending time on is really important to her.
  • Dawn participated in a challenge with Eat Blog Talk that took control of time and completed a Toggl experiment. She learned exactly how she spent her time and it forced her to be more dedicated to using her time the way she wanted to vs just letting it happen.
  • Dawn also listened to and put into practice the paperclip method she learned from Atomic Habits by James Clear. Dawn recognized she wanted to limit work to a 40 hour week so that had to be her full time job and her blog work. So then 10 hours a week were dedicated to the blog and she broke that down into 2-5 hour chunks. From there she determined what she would do in each piece of time. Having that laid out in front of her was so freeing to get to work on the right stuff.
  • Dawn determined that topics related to the blog had to fall into the categories of video, creating content and creating community for her peeps. If the project idea didn’t fall into one of those categories, it had to go onto a list of someday but not right now.
  • You are your brand. Your food is a part of you and your brand, it’s not the brand.
  • Stay fluid. Things are going to come in and come out, so just stay fluid.
  • You are the brand, not your sauce, just you.
  • You have so much to offer and what you are a master of already exists. So start to think about all the things you do and start to frame your thinking in a way that highlights what you are a master at.

pinterest graphic for productivity hacks and what you can get done in 10 hours

Helpful Resources From The Episode

Resources Courses taken – Business/Brand Mentors/Conferences

Courage and Clarity Podcast – Steph Crowder Kaye Putnam Archetypes & Quiz – Psychology Driven Brand Strategist Laura Belgray -Copywriting – Talking Shrimp – Email/Inbox Hero Tastemaker Conference

Books Business/Branding/Self Discovery Atomic Habits – James Clear Building a Story Brand – Donald Miller Brag! – Peggy Klaus This is Marketing – Seth Godin You are a Badass – Jen Sincero Big Magic – Liz Gilbert The Gifts of Imperfection – Brene Brown Daring Greatly – Brene Brown Girl Stop Apologizing – Rachel Hollis Untamed – Glennon Doyle 

Video/YouTube Strategy/Style/Inspiration Think Media Video Creators Parker Walbeck Jevin Dovey Peter McKinnon 


More About This Topic

Check out Episode 116, where Megan breaks down 7 important lessons from one of her favorite books, The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss.


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Transcript of Episode #139

Intro:

Welcome to Eat Blog Talk where food bloggers come to get their fill of the latest tips, tricks, and insights into the world of food blogging. If you feel that hunger for information we’ll provide you with the tools you need to add value to your blog. And we’ll also ensure you’re taking care of yourself because food blogging is a demanding job. Now, please welcome your host,Megan porta

Megan Porta:

Food bloggers. Hey, if you have not yet joined the new, amazing Eat Blog Talk community, you have to go do it. You will find so much value inside, including connecting with other food bloggers in a much deeper way and having access to all kinds of exclusive value, such as bonus podcast, episodes and mastermind groups, and a resources and service providers directory, and so much more go to eat blog, talk.com for more information, and we cannot wait to see you inside. Okay, food bloggers, have you heard of Flodesk, the new big email marketing rage. This is an amazing new option for managing your email subscriber list. It is super easy to use and it comes with gorgeous, intuitive drag and drop templates. And Flodesk does not charge based on number of subscribers. So your monthly rate will stay the same from month to month, everyone pays $38 a month or use my affiliate link to get 50% off and pay only $19 a month. You guys, this is a fraction of the price of other email service providers, and you’ll be blown away by the beautiful and intuitive templates waiting for you inside. Visit eatblogtalk.com/resources to grab your link. Flodesk, the stunning new option for email marketing.

Megan Porta:

Hello Dawn. Thanks for being here. I’m so excited to do my first video/audio recording here on Eat Blog Talk. Thanks for being my guinea pig.

Dawn Hansen:

No problem.

Megan Porta:

Well, Hey, food bloggers. Welcome to Eat Blog Talk. This podcast is for you, food bloggers, wanting value information and clarity that will help you hopefully find greater success in your business. And I already introduced Dawn, I am having an interview with her today. She is from Dawnlovesfood.com and we’re going to talk about what you can really get done in 10 hours a week. Dawnlovesfood is a website and social media source that started in 2017 to capture adventures and creativity in the kitchen by changing up cooking styles and ingredients, to be more health-minded yet still delicious and flavorful. Diagnosed with an immune deficiency at midlife at age 44, Dawn elected to dig into understanding what chronic inflammation is, how it affects our internal environment and also what she can do to manage and live life well. So Dawn shares her own experiences, functional medicine principles, the Whole30 program and lessons around understanding relationships with food and adapting habits and change in real time as she continues forward. Dawn loves food as a lifelong outlet for creativity, connection and art through digital media. The underlying philosophy that we can apply to anything in our lives is slow, intentional steps over time, creating intention, longterm change, and growth. I love your bio. That is so amazing. Says so much about you and I’m really, okay, I’m getting a little ahead of myself. I’m excited to chat with you, but first we want to hear Dawn’s fun fact.

Dawn Hansen:

Well, um, I am a compulsive domain buyer. I, um, uh, you know, we hang out with friends or whatnot and I’m always the one that’s kind of the creative, the entrepreneur, you know, or we always kind of joke around that. We come up with businesses together all the time. And the first thing that I always go to is like, okay, what’s the name of the business? And I quickly started searching GoDaddy. So, with that, I have over, usually, uh, between like 15 and 20 dot coms going every year.

Megan Porta:

That’s, that’s great. I love that. So do you, do you ever like go back to them or do you kind of like buy them and just let them, live there.

Dawn Hansen:

I buy them. I buy them for one year. I do one year with private equity because I don’t want all the creeps, you know, texting me all weird stuff, but I do do a year and then I’ll look, and then it’s kind of a way to benchmark where I am or what I thought about last year. A lot of it has to do with my business with Dawn Loves Food and I’ll come up with something, or I’m always trying to think about, you know, doing, you know, something maybe at the farmer’s market or doing something online or, you know, whatever it is and I end up, or, or a program that I want to do, and then I’ll go to the dot com and some of them are still simmering. They’re still in the works, you know, from even a couple of years ago. And I just keep them and it’s like, okay, if it’s worth it, I’ll keep it. If it’s not, if it was just something fun, then it goes away. It was 20 bucks. Oh, well, okay.

Megan Porta:

Oh, that’s kind of fun. I like to know that about you. Great fun fact Dawn. Okay. I was starting to say this before I realized I needed your fun fact, but you are such an inspiration. I follow you on Instagram. I followed you for awhile and it’s just so fun. Your journey is unfolding in such a beautiful way, and you always have such encouraging nuggets to share. You’re so inspiring. Every time I see one of your stories, I walk away inspired.

Dawn Hansen:

Really!?

Megan Porta:

I do, I love it. I just, I love your feed and yeah, you have amazing stuff. So thank you for that.

Dawn Hansen:

Thank you so much. That’s really kind of you to say that.

Megan Porta:

To start off talking, I would love it if you just walked us, talk to us through Dawn Loves Food, how you got started with it, how your journey has unfolded and all of that.

Dawn Hansen:

Well, it’s, it’s, uh, I’m happy to know that that, that it comes through like, like my life is Dawn Loves Food is, is, is very intertwined with my own personal life. Um, it is a story. It is an unfolding story. It really truly is. And it started in 2017. Um, a lot of things kind of happened around that time of my life and I was diagnosed with an immune deficiency after two years of a lot of, um, I was scared. There was a lot of fear going on at that time and ultimately through a very long process of going through a lot of antibiotics and a lot of steroids and surgeries and understanding my respiratory system and, um, immunologists and pulmonologists and ENT’s and all kinds of people. Um, it was, um, ultimately I was diagnosed with this immune deficiency and it’s basically, um, it’s, hypogammaglobulinemia, it’s very long, but it basically means, um, I am deficient in white blood cells that when, uh, they’re called IgGs and IgGs are when, they’re our first invaders, they’re our boots on the ground. You know, if there’s a bacteria or a virus or something that enters our respiratory system. Um, my, my guys, my fighters are just, their they’re deficient. They’re not there, or I don’t produce enough. Um, so finally at least I was diagnosed with, with this and, and my specialists knew what to do. So I started taking donor plasma. Actually, I do still take plasma every, every week. Um, and it helps me, it helps me fill the gap. Um, but it took a long time to finally get that. And that treatment is incredibly expensive and it is, um, it’s a long road to get there and, um, I did get it midlife. And when I did get it midlife, that the first question that I always asked every single specialist is what can I do to help myself? Because I knew that, I knew, I just, I knew something was off and I knew I could do something. I just didn’t know what it was, you know, and I kept asking the professionals, you know, what can I do? And the one thing that every single one of them said, verbatim was to eat a non-inflammatory diet. So me being scared and fearful and all of those thoughts in my head, you know, I am a bit of an extremist. So, and I was really scared. So I dove headfirst into functional medicine and into integrative therapies. And I knew about it before, but it’s funny how, you know, life gives you these universal breadcrumbs, you know, they’re, they’re the things that happen in your life maybe 10 years ago or 20 years ago, they’re, they’re going to come around again. And I think if you didn’t figure it out, then, you know, the universe kind of has a way of tapping your shoulder.

Megan Porta:

That’s so true. Oh my God,

Dawn Hansen:

There were in one way or another, you know, whatever, whatever you believe, but I think, you know where I’m going here. Um, but you know, those, those lessons come around again. So, I really did dive into that, um, whole aspect. And I really started changing out my pantry and I was quickly doing it, you know, changing out all purpose flour and refined sugar. And, um, you know, you can really go down a rabbit hole with that too. You know, it can, it can go, you can get scared to even eat food, you know, really cause everything, there’s a reaction to everything, you know, especially when you are in a super reactive state, like I was. It’s hard to really find what your triggers are when you are in a chronic state of inflammation everywhere. So, um, any who, um, I gravitated towards paleolithic approach and towards, and I found Whole30 and I’ve been in the Whole30 space, I guess you could say, for the majority of that time with Dawn Loves Food. And I used Dawn Loves Food as a resource, as a place to keep my recipes. Really she’s, she’s there for, for recipes. Um, I wouldn’t say it’s a real, it’s, it’s a part of Dawn Loves Food, but it’s not the only part of Dawn Loves Food. Like my social feed and my Instagram and whatnot are a very big part of, of this whole thing. And, um, that’s, that’s how Dawn Loves Food started.

Megan Porta:

So how did you make the decision to go from, you know, immersing yourself in this new food, to putting it on a blog and putting it on Instagram?

Dawn Hansen:

Well, diving into social, you know, I was diving into all these things at the same time and, you know, self discovery kind of starts happening and figuring out when it comes to blogging, to me, it was just like this gigantic opportunity to figure out, I was just, I still am. I’m in a state of like, who am I, what do I want to do? Where am I going with my life? You know, how, how am I going to with this midlife diagnosis? Like, how am I going to do all the things that I want to do in the next 50 years? You know, kind of a real deep analogy and an analysis of, of who I am, what do I want? And Dawn Loves Food, kind of, I’ve, I’ve always thought about blogging, kind of in the back of my mind, and you know, I’m, I’m approaching 50 here. So I have a lot of different, you know, jobs and things I’ve done in my life. And a while back, I, I was a wedding and event designer. Did have a blog back then with that business back in like, ’07, ’08.

Megan Porta:

Wow.

Dawn Hansen:

Just starting, you know, so I did a lot of wedding, you know, I did a lot of wedding stuff back then and, and being the creative, you know, I’ve always like, okay, how can I, and I do love food. You know, I love food, so how can I make a blog out of it? And I wanted to create something, some type of content that I knew would carry me for the long haul, like food blogging. It’s, it to me, I’m in this for the long run. So what could I do? And then it started becoming like, okay, well I need to just cook the way I cook and be who I am. And then the blog kind of came along with it. You know, it wasn’t like me creating this whole process of how I was going to cook. It’s just, it it’s just over time, become like, I just need to be myself and I need to cook in my kitchen the way I cook. And then learn about social media and learn about blogging and learn about all of these things that it takes to, to even do this, to even do like what you do or do what we all have different, a different approach, I think, to what blogging is for us.

Megan Porta:

Yeah. It’s so true. And your story obviously affects other people because you are cooking for yourself. Yes. But you’re also cooking to share this lifestyle and this way of eating with other people as well. So I’m curious about the side of it, because, okay. I want to say this, right, because I’m, I am over, I’m 45, so I am, you know, 40 plus as well. So I’m not saying like older people. Um, I want you to know I’m coming from a good place, but like being on this side of 40, how has it been for you as far as like dealing with the technical, like dealing with the overwhelm and maybe feeling like we’re, you know, not as, um, not as capable as the twenties generation and the thirties, how do you deal with all of that? I’m really curious to hear,

Dawn Hansen:

Well, uh, I’m going to be brutally honest. It is a struggle all the time for me, it is, it is a struggle and it is, uh, that imposter syndrome. She is nasty, she’s nasty and she will just, she will talk me down all the time and I’m like, wait, Whoa, Whoa, wait a minute. You know, like those conversations with myself, it’s like, mmm Fifties, I think, you know, midlife, I think that it’s a time of just complete evaluation. And, you know, uh, I’ve questioned myself my whole life. You know, who am I going to be? What do I want to do? What’s my big, what’s going to be my big mark. What’s going to be my big thing, you know? And it’s just, it can be so crushingly overwhelming. Um, and then on the other hand of that, I’m creative and I’m always going to have some kind of creative outlet. Like I know in my bones that I have to be creative, I’m also analytical. And I think, honestly, I think in this space, in this space with blogging and understanding and creating, I think we are all in one form or another, kind of left brain, right. Brain like that 60/40 kind of split. And using what we have, and losing, learning what I mean, I’m sorry, what we’ve learned and how, where, where we’ve come from and what we have, like those tools are invaluable. And I think that we underestimate ourselves all the time. But I think approaching 50 to me, I’m looking forward to my fifties, looking forward to them, like my nines, my 29, my 39, they were hard. And they were, you know, I think, you know, you get into that evaluation, but I am really looking forward to it. And I think it’s because of I’ve dived in so much to who I am as a person with blogging, with my health, like making sure that I am going to live a long, vibrant life and, and learning all those missteps and steps and just all of it. Like I’m, I’m here and I’m present for my life now.

Megan Porta:

That is very inspiring. And I, I see this more and more where people use blogging and this whole journey of being a content creator as a way to get to know themselves better. And it’s fun to watch that unfold for people because we all follow those people on social media or we follow their blogs and we see them kind of start out in that same way that you were just saying, where they don’t really necessarily know who they are. And then they start evolving into this beautiful thing because of this journey that they’re on. So I love that you just shared that, you worded it so well, and yes, imposter syndrome, it’s the worst. It is. It is the word it’s so real. Yeah.

Dawn Hansen:

Yes.

Megan Porta:

Well, your journey is amazing. I am also curious to hear about, do you have anything specific that you can think back on, like, um, things that got in your way that you overcame, um, just really specific, maybe a story that kind of pivoted you on your journey with food blogging, anything like that?

Dawn Hansen:

Well, I would say that some of my biggest crushing moments came after. Like it’s like the ebb and flow, right? Like the big giant wave. And usually it’s conferences. Oh my gosh, conferences are amazing and you look so forward to it and it’s this big, giant crescendo. It’s the symphony and all of these people are coming together and all of your friends and you’re all, it’s this mad, awesome, amazing frenzy of learning and growing. And you’re you go home and you’re like, yes, I can do this! It’s going to be awesome!, And then you, your list of things that you want to do and the direction of where you want to go, and what’s the most important. And all of these things, you know, imposter syndrome starts cutting, starts, you know, rearing its head. And then what’s the other bad one. There’s another one that I got caught up with too. Uh, analysis paralysis.

Megan Porta:

Oh yeah.

Dawn Hansen:

Another massive, massive issue. And then I just freeze. And Um, like after the Tastemaker Conference that I met you at, I was on fire when I came home. I was just like going to take over the world. Dawn Loves Food was going to be everywhere, all of these things. And then I went into a very low point after that, like October, November were dark, and they were hard, but then I emerged out of it. It’s just like, I keep, she keeps coming back. Like Dawn Loves Food isn’t going anywhere. Cause every time I think of getting rid of her, it can’t happen because that’s where my joy is. Like, I find so much joy in my kitchen. And it’s the same thought, I have to keep Dawn Loves Food around. It’s just, how am I going to fit her in? And what am I going to do? And that whole long term small, small things, because I have a full time job. I have a full time life. And um, I have to maintain my health and like, I have a lot of plates juggling, just like everybody else does. It’s just, but she has to be in the priorities.

Megan Porta:

Yeah. Oh my gosh. Yeah. There’s so much right. And, it’s like, as you were talking, I was thinking your blog and you’re also like all of your accounts tied to your blog. It’s inevitable for you. Like it is, it’s a given, right? Like you’re not ever going to give up, you have those lows, I’m sorry that you had that low after Tastemaker, but I think that’s pretty normal. I think that the competition thing starts creeping in and we start questioning ourselves and we get just overloaded with all of that information. I mean, yeah, it was great information, but, you get home and you’re like, whoa, I did not think that I can handle this. And that is even for the best of the best. I think everybody, everybody feels that. But at the end of the day, you know, you’re going to come out of that little and you’re going to emerge again. So for you, your blog is inevitable. It’s going to go on. And I think a lot of us feel that same way. Like nothing is going to sink me, but I will have my, I will have my moments. I’ll have my stretches when I question everything. But, um, yeah, what a cool way to explain that. And you’re right. Like the whole, like taking care of yourself too, you need to keep that at the forefront because this journey, this whole blogging game can so easily destroy our priorities and like confuse us and attempt to sink us. So how do you do that? How do you keep you especially with health issues that you have to really keep an eye on? Right? How do you keep your health and your sanity above everything else?

Dawn Hansen:

Hmm. Haha! That’s like the million dollar question. Um, I think just, uh, how do I manage, um, I really, uh, jeez, this year, it’s just it’s evaluation. It’s constantly, especially like this year has really been like evaluation, minimizing. Um, is it important? Does it truly make me happy? Does it give me joy? Is this worth? Is this worth the stress? Is this worth the pain? Is this worth, you know, constantly, I constantly evaluate every decision that I make and it can be exhausting, but once I work through that decision down to really asking myself truly, is it worth it for me? Um, oftentimes I will say yes. And it might look different than what I anticipated it to look like. Um, you know, right now I’m really finding also the whole crossover. You know, there’s a lot of crossover in my life, especially now with streamlining and figuring out how to do multiple. Like I’m a multitasker extraordinaire in some cases. And you know, the habit change or, you know, learning about things and then spinning it into Dawn Loves Food somehow so there’s some valuable content there. Um, and then, in turn, I use what I’ve learned with Don loves food on our business. I use that for our social media and I, I’m double dipping in a lot of things. So it’s like, it’s just that whole in real life.

Megan Porta:

Yeah, yeah.

Dawn Hansen:

It’s kind of just happening. And that’s, that’s where I’m at with it.

Megan Porta:

It’s hard to explain it sometimes. I mean, you just, for me, it’s like, I try to get by as best I can. For me this year, boundaries has been kind of a big thing for me. Like I, I always, prior to June of this year, I mean, I was always frazzled. And to the point where it was like, this is not healthy. And it took me a quarantine to realize that seriously, like at the end of the quarter, and I’m like, I haven’t done anything. I haven’t gone anywhere and I’m freaking frazzled. I was just, it just wasn’t right. I was like, something is not computing. So I was really strict with myself and I just sat myself down and I said, dude, you have got to create some real solid boundaries in your life. And I did. And I just, like, I stopped work at five o’clock every day. I have to take better care of myself. I get better sleep. I have to spend more time with my family. And I did all of these things as kind of a little experiment. And now, so June, July, August, September, it’s been four months, I’ve been doing these things and it has changed my life. I mean, I feel like I am happier than I have ever been as an adult in my entire life. And that is saying a lot because this year has sucked for so many obvious reasons. So I just so strongly believe that you have to do whatever you need to do to take care of yourself, whether that’s, you know, like questioning everything you do and evaluating everything like you do or studying really stringent boundaries, just figure it out. Because I, thank you quarantine for that lesson, probably can’t say thank you, quarantine for many things. But for that lesson, I am so grateful because I don’t think I would have learned it without it. Yeah.

Dawn Hansen:

I agree with you on that and that you, when was, when was the little test or thing that we did with toggle when that was in March or April, right? Because that made a lot of change that made a big impact on where I’m at and, and with, with really that went along with questioning my timelines. And, and I did. Um, and I think one of the biggest takeaways from that whole thing is, you know, we are always, we always don’t have time. We don’t have enough time. There’s not enough time. We’re too, we’re too old to get in this game. You know, there’s too much to learn. There’s too much of this, too much of that. I don’t, how am I ever going to get it done? And then you’re the one mental shift of telling ourselves that we have time, right. That was magic. That was lightning in a bottle. That’s what I got. I got so much out of just that one.

Megan Porta:

I’m so glad.

Dawn Hansen:

And it has helped. And the toggle really, really breaking down how much time I spend on social media, just going down rabbit holes. And not doing actual work on social media. You know, there’s a difference. When you, when you go in it with it with intention. Um, you know, there’s, or, or just, just, um, wasting like some just precious time that I could have used for Dawn Loves Food, or I could have used, you know, to go walk in the morning or I could have used XYZ. That really man, that helps so much. And you’re right. The, um, the quarantine effect, just the 2020 effect let’s just call it

Megan Porta:

Yeah.

Dawn Hansen:

It’s, it has made us all reevaluate our lives in one way or another. And I do think that all of us are really trimming the fat a little bit, if you will. We’re all figuring out how to get to the gold of our lives and the really rich, good stuff and get rid of the noise.

Megan Porta:

That’s so true. And you know, everyone bashed 2020 and I am, I mean, I agree. It was a rough year. It was a rough year.

Dawn Hansen:

It IS a rough year.

Megan Porta:

It’s not done yet. Like all along I just kept thinking, yeah, this is rough, but there are, there are gems that we are finding that we’re going to find that all of us are going to walk away, whether we like to admit it or not. I think a lot of us are like, nope, no gems here, but I just have felt all along. Like, there are good things that we are going to take away from this. And if we look hard enough, we will find them. But yeah, I’m not going to lie . I mean, it’s, you hear it all over social media people, people are just bashing on 2020.

Dawn Hansen:

And from, from my, from my perspective, like, and from, you know, if you have an immune deficiency or if you have a, you know, something that, you know, your immune system is affected, it changed my life three years ago, like way before what happened this year came along. Um, I kind of live a cautious life, you know, I’m, I’m careful with who I’m around. I’m careful with, I’m careful with, with, with those types of things. And it was kind of like, Hey everybody, welcome to my world.

Megan Porta:

Right.

Dawn Hansen:

I’m, I’m a, you know, kind of being a little bit more, you know, I’m extroverted. Yes. But I’m introverted and, you know, staying at home and being at my house, my home, like I think a lot of us are kind of that combination too. And we’re okay with staying at home and cooking and we’re okay with, you know, having, having a few people over for dinner, like, you know, this is, this is our spot. Like, this is our, this is our, this is where we’ve been.

Megan Porta:

Right. Exactly. I joked about that with my husband to start quarantine because he works in an office setting. So for him being home was really different. I mean, it changed his world. And for me, I was like, yeah, I it’s different for me because I know everything out there is different. But here at home, everything is kind of the same for me. Like I’m just doing my thing, working, cooking. So it was funny how we have a little bit different perspective, I think because of our jobs, those full time food bloggers anyway, and compared to other people. I want to talk about time management of it, because you touched on that. So Dawn referred to this little kind of test group we did in early this year, before quarantine, where we talked a lot about just what she said, like the fact that there is always enough time. And I think we all get caught up in that notion that there’s not ever enough time and that it’s okay to live your life, thinking that all the time, like there’s never going to be enough time for me to clean out my garage or whatever it is. So once you can wrap your head around just the idea that actually the time is there, you just need to believe that. And then like, make time for those precious, awesome things that you want to spend time on. So we did a toggle experiment where we logged our time and that is super revealing. You talked about that a little bit, Dawn, like unnecessary time on social media. I had all these random things pop up. Like, I don’t remember anymore, but I remember being extremely surprised about the way that I was spending my time. And it was super revealing when you see it, like in a log. And when you do toggle it’s T O G G L, I believe, um, you log your time and then it puts it all together for you in this awesome little report. And then it shows it to you. And you’re like, wow! what??

Dawn Hansen:

Then it’s reality time, it was like, Oh wow, four hours on social media. And I did nothing on my blog. I did nothing. I did not. That was not time editing time. That was not story’s time. That was me. Wow.

Megan Porta:

Yeah, and whether it’s good or bad, you just see these glaring things. So do you have any other tips as far as managing time, being more aware of what you’re spending your time on, anything along those lines?

Dawn Hansen:

Um, so with, with learning, you know, how to streamline and how to make time for Dawn Loves Food. And that was kind of the kickoff to really figuring out how much time I do have, because yes, my laundry list of things that I want to do is, is exponential. I have an Excel spreadsheet that will make your head spin on what I want to do with it, but what can I do with it is really the question and how long and how many steps and how many pieces, you know, how long is this really going to take to get to X, Y, Z? And the toggl experiment was part of it. And then Atomic Habits was another big piece this year of really figuring out time management and what can work for me and what works for my mind might not work for everyone’s everyone else and figuring out, um, I used one of his methods called the paperclip method.

Megan Porta:

Mmmm, yes, yeah.

Dawn Hansen:

And it’s, uh, in a nutshell, it’s basically like you put a, you know, he was putting, this was this guy as an example, this sales guy, you know, he wanted to make a hundred phone calls a day. So he used a paperclip a day, you know, a paperclip, a hundred paperclips. And, you know, as he called, he would drop these coins. And while I translated that to a quarter here they are right here, a quarter for one hour of work. I have, you know, in a perfect world if I could work 40 hours a week, right. 40 hours a week. Okay. So I’m trying, working with the experiment right now of 30 hours towards our full time business. And then 10 towards Dawn Loves Food, like in a perfect world, if I can keep both of those wheels turning with a 40 hour week, you know, I, do I want to work a 50, 60, 70 hour week? No, I don’t. At this point in my life, no, I don’t. Have I done it before? Yes I have. And have, did I burn myself out and cause myself to get sick from it? Possibly it’s highly probable that I had a lot to do with, with what happened to me. So working with this 10 hours, like, okay, what can I do in 10 hours? And, you know, starting to ask myself questions, you know, what do I really love about Dawn Loves Food? What are the things that I really do well? What are the things that I want to keep doing? What are the, where can I see doing these same things 10 years from now? And video comes up every single time. Something that I’m comfortable with. I’m comfortable with video. Of course, creating content, create cooking, and creating content, video, and, um, community. And my peeps, I call, I, I don’t really identify with calling people subscribers or calling them followers. Um, I like people, peeps. So I call, I call everybody my peeps and, um, you know, keeping who I have entertained and edutained and keep them, keep them here and keep them happy and keep them learning along with me. And like, I really I’m constantly thinking about them and what I can create for us. Cause I’m in it with them. I’m learning all of this stuff together with them. So I’m thinking of those things. And I streamlined myself down to like, okay, if it doesn’t fit in those three categories, well I’m learning and there’s a little bit, a little, I always gotta learn something new. So like, it’s just, it’s a litmus test. I ask, you know, if I want to do this thing for Dawn Loves Food. Okay. Is it a video? Does it relate to a video? Can I make a video out of it? Is it food-related? Am I creating new? Am I creating a recipe? Am I creating something? Or am I doing something that they can, that they can get some value out of community base? And that’s it like, that’s it. I asked myself and then if it’s not, it goes on the big, giant Excel spreadsheet.

Megan Porta:

I like, I love that so much because really, if you can find those few things that are just vital to your brand, into your business and to your like true to yourself as well, then you can do that test any time with anything. And if, if it doesn’t check off the list, then it’s out, right? But if you don’t have that, um, guidepost, then you’re just like, who knows what you’re working on. You could be working on something that’s totally fruitless that doesn’t align with who you are. It doesn’t align with where you want to go. So it is so important. So how do you recommend to people get those kind of core, you know, brand values for their own businesses? How did you find yours and how do you think other people can like find those few keywords for themselves?

Dawn Hansen:

Well, um, everybody comes into this from a different way. You know what I mean? We’ve, there’s a million different ways to come into blogging. And one of the things that really stuck with me from the very beginning was brand identity and figuring out like, I’m not here. I have a full time job. Like I’m not here. I know this is gonna, you might not come across the right way, but I’m not here for the money. I’m not here to, you know, of course it’d be nice, I’m not saying that I’d love to have more of it coming my way, but I’m very careful on how I go about gaining that momentum. I’m more, I’ve been more concerned with who am I, what am I, what is it? Who’s my group? Where’s my niche? What is it? How do I tap into that in a way that’s really genuine. So I’ve spent a lot of time on branding and asking and with that understanding like, um, behavior and psychology and, um, Kay Putnam, have you ever heard of Kay Putnam? She wa, funny. She’s phenomenal. I’ve taken a couple of her, of her classes and I’ve done a few things with her and she really made me think differently on what I wanted to do here. And ever since then, like if does it identify with the brand that I want to create? Does it end? And your brand is you, like, let’s cut through it. You, me, we, we are the brand. Our food is, is a part of our brand. It’s not the primary piece of why people choose to, to tap it into your social feed. Um, so just really learning that and, and really asking yourself, what do you love to do? And I know that there’s many things that are the stuff that we don’t love to do, you know, but asking yourself, what do you really love to do about what you’re doing? I know some, some of us, some of us love the research and development. Some of us, you know, love the, love copy writing. Some of us love video. Some of us love photography. You know, there’s a couple amazing, like there are people in this space that I follow for different reasons because I find something really interesting about them. It could be their personality, it could be how they talk. It could be, it could be their video content. It could be the music that they use. It could be their moody backdrops. It could be the flowers or the feminine or the masculine. It can be all of those things. So it’s like, really ask yourself, what is it that you love to do about this? And who are you inn all of it?

Megan Porta:

I love that you explained all that. Like, and I guess I’d never really put thought to that before about the really detailed specifics that you might be drawn to. There are certain Instagram accounts that I am drawn to because of what you just said, because they have amazing music and I’m like, okay, I wouldn’t have scrolled right by this, had it not been for this really great. Um, yeah. And then there’s like, you know, just really unique things, like a certain style of a photo shoot or the way that someone captures the video. So kind of finding out what that is for you. And I don’t think there’s harm in asking people, like asking your trusted peers, Hey, what is it about me or my brand that stands out to you and then see if there’s a common theme. I think that would be really interesting to kind of gather, you know, a few results from your friend. Obviously people you trust, but not like random people. Hey, what do you like about me? But…

Dawn Hansen:

Yeah. And what you’ll find is what you will find in, in that approach is you will find that all of you have a connection through you. You are more likely, you’re kind of cut from that same archetype mold, or you’re cut from a specific Myers-Briggs

Megan Porta:

Right.

Dawn Hansen:

There’s, there’s behavioral stuff that goes on, color, or like just so much stuff that goes into what we’re attracted to. Your friends, you probably have a specific thing in common with them. And that’s, that’s what I do. A lot of that too. Like I have specific, I know that there’s, you know, we talk a lot about, um, avatars or ideal clients and what not. And honestly, I still don’t have just one, you know. I have a couple pieces and parts of people are my, that are my friends or people like you or people that, um, you know, other blog influences or other Whole30 influences that I keep in my mind when I’m doing specific content. Or if I want to talk about something specific, I’m thinking of them because I’m talking to one person, I’m talking like, um, and I know that I’m going to reach many, but it’s that one person that I have in mind on, on different things.

Megan Porta:

I think you have approached us in a really smart way, and you’ve approached it differently than a lot of people, because a lot of people go the opposite way and they don’t think about the person, the audience, and you really made your ideal customer, avatars like really priority, you know, you prioritize them. And I think that’s so great. And I wish everybody would start that way because newer bloggers start out with money. Well, I shouldn’t say like blanket, but a lot of newer people like get in it for the money. And then they get really frustrated really quickly because the money is not showing up, but they don’t know who their people are and they might not know who they are as a blogger and an influencer and a content creator. And they don’t know who they’re speaking to. So like going back to that is so vital and I love that you do that. That’s like your number one thing. And I think that’s huge.

Dawn Hansen:

Yeah. And it, yeah, it’s going to take longer to make a, uh, to, to monetize. Uh, it’s going to take longer to monetize. And I know I’m speaking to bloggers so I can talk about, you know, Mon monetizing and branding and all of that stuff. And you know, in, in real life though, that’s not what, we don’t talk about like making money first. You know what I mean? Like I do want to be, it’s hard. Like, like I come from a sales background, I come from entrepreneurs, I come from business, corporate business and this whole thing about blogging and or about social and just being yourself and connecting with someone on a, on a genuine personal level. I really, really had to dig into it because I didn’t understand the mechanics of it, because I wasn’t ever trained that. So learning it from the backwards, you know, learning it from, I don’t think that that’s really out there very much. Like, I think we’re so used to seeing trainings and classes about funnels and clicks and emails and email drips and you know, all of that jazz. Okay. That’s fantastic. But do I identify with any of that? No. And do I see it? As soon as I see, I’ll see a product I’m like, okay, this is fantastic. I’m in, I’m in, okay. How much is it? And then, okay. It’s out of my price range right now, but I’m going to still hang out and I’m still going to hang out with that person, but I don’t need your seven, eight, nine email drips telling me how much I need to do this right now, because they want me to buy it, right, that second, like, that’s fantastic, but I like, I know what you’re doing. So kind of turns me off. But that’s, you know, so just trying to figure out and starting smaller and like, I don’t really want a million followers. I don’t, I would rather have a thousand or 500. I have 500 right now and I’m happy as a clam. And if I have more than that, okay, great. They’re going to trickle in a little bit here and there. And they all, it’s like all the trolls are way out there and I’m hoping like some troll resistance here. I don’t want to deal with all of that stuff. I just want to have my nice little happy spot on the internet and just keep rolling with it.

Megan Porta:

Oh, the idea of just like resisting the troll, that is such a lovely idea. I, I’ve done pretty, fairly well with that as well. I was chatting with some other bloggers a few weeks ago and they were telling me these just absolute horror stories about terrible things that people were saying to them on Instagram and on their blogs. And I was like, I was horrified. I could not. I was like, are you lying? This is crazy. Like, who would ever say that to another human being? But, I, thank God, I have done a really good job. I think too, of creating a space where that’s just not happening. And I, I too, I’m not into, like, I don’t want a million followers. I want to have whatever number. I don’t care, but I just want my, my audience to be engaged and to really genuinely like my stuff. And I want to appreciate them. And I want to know that I appreciate them. And I think that’s more important than having the goal of millions of followers. But, you know what? Some people do have that goal and…

Dawn Hansen:

And that’s fantastic. It’s fantastic. And that is a full time. That is a full time job. That is a fulltime gig, even someone even maintaining your comments, that’s a full time job when you get to that level. And um, more power to you. If that’s what you want to do, this isn’t about, this is just a diversity, you know, we’re all we are all after different things and I’m, and that’s totally cool. Like no disrespect whatsoever, like kudos. Like I’ve seen a few of you and I am an, I am inspired by you. I’ve seen a couple, um, YouTubers go from, I’ve met them at 10,000 and now they’re pushing, they’re pushing 2 million, like, just props to you. Like amazing, amazing. But that’s not, that’s not my jam. Like, this is more like welcome to my house. You will respect my friends. You will be cool because if you’re not, like out, see ya. Yeah. Well, you’re not welcome here.

Megan Porta:

Agreed. We all have different reasons and goals and that’s fine. I respect everyone’s like, I love accountants that can just go from like a hundred to a million because that’s what they wanted to do. That’s the thing that inspires me. I think that’s incredible. Yup. So I want to talk to you a little bit about your process because the whole title of this chat is called What You Can Really Get Done In 10 Hours and 10 hours probably doesn’t seem like a lot to a lot of people, but I want to hear Dawn, what can you really get done in 10 hours? We talked about just being aware of time and streamlining and, you know, knowing your brand and knowing what your main focuses are. So talk us through what some people can get done in 10 hours a week.

Dawn Hansen:

Through a 10 hour week for Dawn Loves Food. Okay. So, uh, just right now, currently, right now. Okay. So I’ve got 10 hours. So five hours is spent on currently, five hours is spent on video and video editing and social. Um, and then the other five is spent on building a project. Um, so, for example, so the first five, so what I usually do in a given week, to keep content going, is I will do, I usually do meal prep, some sort or shape or style. I usually either do meal prep on S on Sundays, or I end up having a dinner party or people over, like, there’s something that I can gain as content that I do on the weekends. So I will record it. I use my phone, I, I have a Canon M 50, I’ve got a Go Pro, but I don’t use them. I really don’t. I use my phone, I use my phone, and I use Adobe Rush, and those are like that Adobe Rush is my BFF, like I know how to work that system really well. And it’s the shortcut to, you know, really getting into and I just record, usually I record with my earbuds and I do voiceovers and whatnot. So I do with that is I create two or three different videos, you know, maybe I’ll make a meal. Um, like for example, uh, I did overnight oats this weekend. Um, I did some overnight oats and I used a couple different kinds. Um, and I also made, um, some little kind of, um, they are like paleo peanut butter cups, if you will. They’re like an egg base with like the, the, um, with like some it’s called nutso. It’s like a really amazing peanut butter product, but it’s, there’s no peanuts in it. So anyways, like something simple like that, I made a couple of those. I shot a couple of videos and then I break them into little pieces or like, if I’m doing a salad or like a steak salad for dinner or something, I’ll do, I’ll do one piece on like how to cook or marinate the meat. I’ll do another on how to build a salad. And then the third one will be what kind of dressing I did and I’ll build. And thanks to Tik Tok everything is now a minute, is kind of the precedence for a video. Long form videos are more for, you know, IGTV or, um, YouTube. And I spent a little bit more time on those, but I’m not talking about, I’m talking about the minute or less kind of hot stuff that is, that is current. And so I will do a voiceover, I’ll edit, cause usually, yeah, I’m, I’m right in the middle of dinner or I’m, I’m doing something like these, these things that I’m doing, I’m multitasking. So I’m making dinner, you know, I got my little DIY background backdrop, I got my one light. I go over, I have specific, um, types of shots that I use to brand my own videos. I have my own style that I’ve developed that I keep consistent. So I will go over, I’ll shoot that, I’ll eat dinner. And then, you know, over the next couple of days, you know, kind of drop some more of those quarters in and do some editing and then I will roll out a video maybe every other day. I’ll do it on Tik Tok at first to get. Cause I think that Tik Tok has way better music options and, um, I’ll edit. And then I will drop that over to Stories on, on Instagram and I’ll drop it into a post and then I’ll also drop it over to Facebook. So I tap into like four or five different sources all on the same video. So that’s another streamline. And then, um, the other five, I’m working on a project for Whole30. I’m actually, um, I pitched myself to Whole30 for the Whole30 recipes takeover. And, I’m in!

Megan Porta:

That’s awesome!

Dawn Hansen:

But I, I’m in line. Like I like, uh, I, it could be next year, maybe the end of next year, maybe even in the 2022, I don’t know when it’s going to happen, but it’s going to happen. So, I’m in process of becoming a Whole30 coach and I’m in process yeah of like building. Yeah. Thank you. Yeah. Thank you very much. Um, it’s all been a pro you know, this is all part of my roadmap, if you will. These are all pieces and points that I’m, my markers, my mile markers that I’m hitting. And so the next one is to create, um, a project, I’m creating, um, something that I can offer, um, based around the Whole30 and around cooking and meal prepping and kind of my philosophies on it and who I’m speaking to with, with what I want to offer. Um, and that a lot of that came out of the story brand, uh, work that we did to really hone in on what it is that I want to do. So I’m in process of doing that. So I have to allow some time to do that stuff too. So, that timeframe, those 10 hours will change based on what I’m doing. So like right now, I need to, I need to figure out how to put an hour. I need to actually do four hours of video. And then I need to do one hour for YouTube because YouTube is getting, she’s getting neglected. ,I need to spend some more time on her. And the content on YouTube is glaringly different. I’m finding it’s different than what I do on, on Instagram and Facebook, because there’s one video on, I’ve done over a hundred YouTube videos. And there’s one video that, um, by far, people are subscribing to it for. And it’s a do it yourself. It’s a do it yourself drop type of thing. So I need to do, kind of the blogger type streamlined content, like this kind of stuff, like breakout and little small pieces and feed that every week on YouTube. And I think that’s probably what Dawn Loves Food’s going to look like on there versus what I thought it would. So, just like, that’s an example of stuff that I’m currently working on and like where the hours go and how it’s spent. And then if I’ve got any time leftover, then I learned something different. You know, I will learn, um, more about editing. Um, editing is something that I really love. I’m actually, that’s a creative outlet. It really is. I know it can be daunting for some people, but learning about style, the style of editing and like kind of that cinematography style. Like I am so into that. I’m excited about learning more about that, so that there you go. That’s my 10 hours.

Megan Porta:

No, that’s great. And I have to say too, that I can tell that shines through in your, um, I know you have them on Instagram and I think you create, you said you create them in Tik Tok, but I can totally tell that you love that. And isn’t that funny how that can shine through? I mean, I feel like some people are doing Instagram Reels because they have to (me) and my Reels probably aren’t like, Oh, Megan really loves those Reels because I am just doing them to make Instagram happy. But for you, I can see that you truly are finding creative value in these. And I love that. So it definitely shines through.

Dawn Hansen:

Aw, thank you.

Megan Porta:

Yeah.

Dawn Hansen:

Well your thing, your creative, your creative outlet is the podcast, is EBT. Like this is, I’ve seen this evolve for you. And now here you are in, you know, you’re past a hundred episodes. Now you’re, you’re doing your own, you know, you’ve got a monthly membership thing going like, whoop, whoop, like kudos to you. Like you’re slowly, you know, it’s, you’re doing your thing and it’s, it’s okay. Like, you don’t have to be everywhere. You know what I mean? You don’t, if you don’t, if you’re not into Reels then like, spend that time doing something else, like, do you really have to, I don’t know. I mean, nobody knows how Reels are going to end up going. If they’re just competing with Tik Tok they’re competing for time. That’s really where it is right now. So, you know, just like Stories was trying to compete with YouTube, you know, where did that go? You know what I’m saying? Like, you don’t know where it’s going to go.

Megan Porta:

No, but it is, I think it is good to experiment and that’s all I’m really doing is experimenting with it, just to see, um. I’ve noticed that when I create a reel and post it, that my engagement goes way up, like everything has been going, I get more followers and, you know,

Dawn Hansen:

So they’re rewarding for it. I mean, definitely rewarding for the behavior. So, I mean, why not? You know, I mean, give it a go and if it works fantastic.

Megan Porta:

Yeah. But it’s not going to be my primary focus. I mean, when, just like this podcast, like you said, it was an outlet for me and I love it. Not everyone’s going to want to go, you know, start a podcast and that’s fine. You have to find what your thing is. And then it makes sure it aligns with your values and your focuses. So I like how you break up your time. So you do like half kind of projects and then half keeping things going. Um, so like with, for you it’s video, that’s a primary focus for you and just kind of splitting it down the middle. I think that’s really smart. So then if you ever have, like a project that ends, you can find something else to throw in there.

Dawn Hansen:

Yes.

Megan Porta:

Yeah. That’s really cool how you do that.

Dawn Hansen:

I am working on and I am working on something. I’m working on, um, you know, like something through Teachable. Like I want to sell some type of program and I know sales is that, you know, we, nobody likes to say sales. They like to say ‘offer’ instead. But, I mean, it’s something that I’ve worked a long time on figuring out what it is that I can offer for a cos,t that I know is pure gold and a hundred percent value. And for whoever chooses to buy it, not everybody will, but who does choose to, it’s going to be money well spent. And working on something like that from my mind and me being the ultimate, you know, research and development person and getting myself out of that and really pushing the action part of it. I really have to carve out five hours. I really, I personally, I have to kind of forcing myself, but I’m saying like, look, here’s your time to do what you want to do, baby girl. So do it. And that is like, that’s how I need to push myself in the right direction.

Megan Porta:

That’s so inspiring. I have loved this chat. So let’s see. We don’t have a whole lot of time, but I want to ask you, is there anything that we absolutely have to say before we say goodbye. I don’t want to hang up and have you be like, wait, I should have said that. So let me know. Okay.

Dawn Hansen:

I, uh, I don’t, I don’t think so. Just, um, you know, in closing, I just, I have a couple things in closing, you know, are you going to be editing this? Are we just rolling? Like right through the whole. Oh, great. Alright. Um, so just real quick, you know, um, just you, the brand, but I, I can’t emphasize that enough. Like you, whatever whoever’s listening right now, like you you’re it, you’re it. Your food, your food is amazing and how you cook and how you choose to capture it on a camera or a video, or how you choose to capture it with copy. But you still are the brand, like how you describe it and what kind of food you make and you know, your sauce shots and your, whatever you choose to do. Like you, you are the brand, that’s really kind of what I want to really entrust what you already know, you know, trust what you already know. And, um, you know, I, it sounds like we’re, we’re, we’re talking to a lot of, uh, there’s a lot of folks that are, that are in that age, in the, in the forties, the fifties, you know, you, you are, you have so much to offer and maybe you don’t even realize that you do. But you do have so much to offer already and hone in on what you are a master at, already. Like, what are you really good at? I know that there’s plenty, that you’re good at, but you maybe just haven’t thought about it in that way. And that’s really, what else. Yeah. And stay fluid, like stay fluid, like things are gonna come in and come out and just stay fluid.

Megan Porta:

Yes. You have to be adaptable. Right. You absolutely cannot survive in this world without being adaptable and resilient. Yeah. That’s really good.

Dawn Hansen:

That’s really it. I think that’s, yeah.

Megan Porta:

That’s so great Dawn. Thank you again, inspired after hearing you talk. So I really appreciate you taking the time for this and thank you for being my video/audio guinea pig today.

Dawn Hansen:

Yeah, it was great. Thank you so much. I miss you all the time and I just, I love this group. Um, I just, I love it. I love it. Keep going.

Megan Porta:

Aww, thank you so much.

Intro:

We’re glad you could join us on this episode of Eat Blog Talk. For more resources based on today’s discussion, as well as show notes and an opportunity to be on a future episode of the show, be sure to head to Eatblogtalk.com. If you feel that hunger for information we’ll be here to feed you on EatbBlog Talk.

Megan
Megan

Megan started her food blog Pip and Ebby in 2010 and food blogging has been her full-time career since 2013. Her passion for blogging has grown into an intense desire to help fellow food bloggers find the information, insight, and community they need in order to find success.

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