In episode 328, Megan chats with Lani Jackson about how to create a flexible business strategy that allows female entrepreneurs to get out of survival mode and create a clear action plan to grow their business, have a steady income while enjoying the freedom to work when and where they want.
We cover information about how important it is to build flexibility into your plan, how to be purposeful about the time spent on your blog, you don’t have to overwork yourself and how to lean into what excites you most.
Listen on the player below or on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast player. Or scroll down to read a full transcript.
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Connect with Lani Jackson
Website | Instagram | Facebook
Lani is a mom to 6 kids, and wife to her husband of 16 years. She survives on caffeine, laughing with her kids, hiding in the pantry eating chocolate, and helping other women know they are not alone as they juggle business and babies.
She is a Clarity & Strategy Business Coach for female entrepreneurs. Helping them to create flexible strategies that adjust and move with the chaos of life, but still bring consistent monthly income. Her passion is to help entrepreneurs get out of survival mode and create a clear & sustainable plan of action that will help them reach their dreams of flexibility, and freedom with a thriving, highly profitable business.
- You have to create a business that matches your lifestyle so its sustainable and allows you to take care of both because that’s why you are doing it.
- Find systems that allow you to work more purposefully so you don’t have to work so hard or longer hours.
- Mindset is important for a life of freedom and flexible.
- Use a timer and use it to keep yourself on task for completing work and not get distracted.
- Change your words to be what you want to happen, what you want to feel.
- Keep tweaking the goals, the systems and be focused.
- Start with the TIME piece. Where are you spending your time? Are you reaching goals?
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Click for full script.
Episode 328 – Lani Jackson – Final
Lani Jackson: Hi, this is Lani Jackson from Brilliant Entrepreneurs podcast and Lani Jackson coaching and you are listening to the Eat Blog Talk podcast.
Sponsor: Hey, awesome food bloggers. Before we dig into this episode, I have a really quick favor to ask you. Go to your favorite podcast player. Go to Eat Blog Talk, scroll down to the bottom where you see the ratings and review section. Leave Eat Blog Talk a five star rating if you love this podcast and leave a great review, this will only benefit this podcast. It adds value. I so very much appreciate your efforts with this. Thank you so much for doing this. Okay, now on the episode.
Megan Porta: Hello, food bloggers. Welcome to Eat Blog Talk, the podcast for food bloggers, looking for the value and confidence that will move the needle forward in their businesses. This episode is sponsored by RankIQ. I am your host, Megan Porta and you are listening to episode number 328. Today I have Lani Jackson with me. She is going to talk to us about how to create a flexible business strategy and why this is important. Lani is a mom of six kids and wife to her husband of 16 years. She survives on caffeine, laughing with her kids, hiding in the pantry, eating chocolate. Oh my gosh, me too. Helping other women know they are not alone as they juggle business and babies. She is a clarity and strategy business coach for female entrepreneurs helping them to create flexible strategies that adjust and move with the chaos of life, but still bring consistent monthly income. Her passion is to help entrepreneurs get out of survival mode and create a clear and sustainable plan of action that will help them reach their dreams of flexibility and freedom with a thriving, highly profitable business. Lani, it is such a pleasure to have you here today with me. How are you doing?
Lani Jackson: I’m amazing. I’m excited to be on your podcast. I am a little bit obsessed with food bloggers.
Megan Porta: Oh. I love it. So why are you obsessed with food bloggers?
Lani Jackson: I started out as a blogger, a mom lifestyle blogger, and I am a self-proclaimed foodie and had a little tab for recipes, but didn’t go all in on food. I would stalk food bloggers, like with a passion. I still do.
Megan Porta: Oh, that’s great. Sometimes I have non-food blogger guests who don’t know food bloggers, and I can tell immediately that they don’t know food bloggers, but you do.
Lani Jackson: No, I know them. I’ve had the privilege of coaching several of them, working and collaborating with several food bloggers. It’s just such a unique niche in the blogging world. I just love food. Just being honest. I’m all like, please share all your secrets.
Megan Porta: Yes. I love it. So do you have a fun fact in addition to that to share?
Lani Jackson: Yes, I do. So I know if you heard six kids, y’all are like, oh my gosh, you must be crazy. I am a little bit crazy cuz of the chaos of my house. But my fun fact is we adopted half of our kids from foster care. We are a blended family like that and it’s just really fun and crazy. Our kids are 14, 12, 10, 10, 8, and eight. Oh my. But there’s only one set of identical twins. The other, we call involuntary twins because they’re six weeks apart.
Megan Porta: Oh, that is so cool. I bet you have such a fun house.
Lani Jackson: It is never boring in our home.
Megan Porta: Oh, I bet. That’s amazing. And it keeps you on your toes. I only have two boys, but I feel like they keep me young and just sharp.
Lani Jackson: Yep. They do, and our house is never clean and that’s just how we have to accept it.
Megan Porta: That is one of those things where I feel like being an early mom, it was why is this my life? It’s always a mess. But then I just got to a point where I feel like I matured or something and I just accepted it. This is life. This is our life now. Yeah. It’s just easier that way.
Lani Jackson: You have to. At some point, it’s just okay. We don’t wanna live in the grime, so we clean the dirt and the gunk, but there’s just, there’s always clutter.
Megan Porta: Yes. Yes. I hear you on that. It’s amazing to have you here today, and I’m super excited to hear what you have to say about creating a flexible business strategy. I guess Lani, just to start, why do you feel like entrepreneurs need a flexible business strategy?
Lani Jackson: I really am passionate about this because one, it was something I needed. I’ve been an entrepreneur for about 12 years now. When I first started out, I would get so frustrated and down on myself because I would see other people who started at the same time as me, or had similar businesses I did. They were just like flying by me, I felt. Or they were accomplishing things that I couldn’t or they were telling me to do things, like they were doing and it just seemed like I could not get on board. I couldn’t make it work for myself. When I finally stopped looking at everyone else and said, how could I make this work for me? My life, my chaos, my insanity that I had it going on at home, adding six kids to my life during that time, early part of. Business creating years. When I decided to become more flexible with my strategy and intentionally create a strategy that would be flexible, like setting up my week, knowing this probably won’t happen and I’m okay with it. Here’s how it can move and pivot to adjust to whatever comes up. That is when I saw massive growth in my business. I went from very inconsistent income of anywhere between 400 to a thousand dollars a month to $4,000 a month consistently within six months. So it was a game changer for me, because it was literally changing my viewpoint, my mindset. Setting up some operations in there and systems that would allow for the flexibility and then taking action every day and purposefully moving my business in a way that was sustainable, but also powerful. So I really feel like every person I talk to, regardless of whether you have kids or not, this is a game changer way of thinking about your business and your strategy that you have that will impact you in a very powerful way for your business growth.
Megan Porta: That’s so cool that you saw such dramatic results from it, just making that mindset shift. I’m wondering if you can give us an example of before and after. So we have an idea what was your schedule like before? I know you changed your mindset, but what else? What are those systems that you talked about that you changed? Just can you talk through that for us?
Lani Jackson: Absolutely. So when I was first starting out, I would want to sit down on my computer and spend an hour writing a blog post. So I started out as a blogger and a virtual assistant. I had both at the same time. I would want to be able to create, write, and sit and have this huge chunk of time, but I was constantly getting interrupted or my day would change and I would feel completely derailed. So if I didn’t have a big chunk of time, it would be really hard for me to wrap my mind around getting started. It would take me a long time to get started. I would sit down and be like, okay, I have a million things I want to do. But I don’t know which one to do first. So by the time I picked out which one to do first, I’d wasted a good 30 minutes of my time. Or I’d get sucked into a rabbit hole of shiny objects and oh, this webinar or this new system, or download this freebie.
And I was a freebie junkie . And so I was constantly just really distracted or feeling like I can’t accomplish anything in these because I don’t have a lot of time in front of me. First, when I changed my mindset and I’ve developed this into what I call the mom method, specifically for moms. It’s easy to remember when we do this, but we have to change your mindset about it first. Really coming in and saying, this is not how I want to live. I do have time. I just need to be purposeful with it. The systems that I started with Trello. I don’t know if you’re familiar with Trello. This is my best friend. If you haven’t gotten onto Trello yet it’s a system management, organizing system processes. I call it like a poster board and sticky notes and a to-do list had a baby explosion and that is Trello.
Megan Porta: That’s a great explanation. I love it.
Lani Jackson: I started there and I started with my time. I really didn’t work more or less. I just became more purposeful with it. In fact, I ended up working less once I got more and more into a flexible strategy because when I did work, I was very purposeful with what I was doing. So I wasn’t so distracted or trying to figure out what to do first, when I did have time. So I ended up cutting my hours and going from working 50 hours a week when I counted them all up, between naptime and getting up early and staying up late and all these little times during the day, I cut it down to now, I’m only working 20 hours a week. That’s really purposeful. It’s taken time for me to get to this point. Even this summer, I’m gonna be working 15 hours a week and that’s very purposeful. I’ve worked that into my flexible strategy so that I can spend time with my kids this summer and be present for them. So I started with really sitting down and starting with my time and saying, how much time do I actually want to work. I asked this to an entrepreneur last week and she said, “ I don’t know; how much time I need to build my business.”
Megan Porta: Oh, that’s dangerous,
Lani Jackson: You could work 90 hours a week. So I was like, you start a business, we become entrepreneurs to have freedom and flexibility and a lifestyle we imagine for our family. Not just income, but a lifestyle. So if we start with our time and we know exactly how much time we have or how much time we want to spend in our business, then we can determine what’s most important for growth in our business. Then we can, from there, decide how much income we want and it’s like a formula. It’s a little formula that you start to play with. As you start to really be intentional, that’s the game changer. A lot of times as entrepreneurs, we’re just like spaghetti at the wall, spaghetti at the wall, new trend, new idea. But if we stop for a second and determine this is what I want my life to look like, this is how much time I do have, this is how much money I want to make. Then we can choose the actions that we take along the way.
Megan Porta: Oh, wow. That’s so inspiring. I feel like you and I work very similarly, as you were talking through your plan, your strategy. That’s very similar to how I work, but it took me a lot of years to get to the point where I’m here. I literally have people, because I talk about this all the time. I work no more than 25 hours a week because of everything you’re saying. In the summer, it’s way less. I actually take a three week to four week vacation and I don’t work much during that time. I’m purposeful about that. People ask me like, are you really only working 25 hours a week? I’m like, yes, I do. But, it was not always like this. So talking to people who are starting out, I feel like this message is really important because it doesn’t have to be 90 hour weeks to start. It can be purposeful to start, right?
Lani Jackson: Absolutely. This is my passion, it is like if I could have had somebody come to me when I was starting and saying, Hey, Lani, let me reign you in. You don’t have to do everything. You don’t have to show up everywhere. You don’t have to chase every new trend. You don’t have to follow every person’s advice. Let’s start with you, what your values are and what you want out of this. Let’s build a business from. I know the impact it would’ve had on me back then. If I could help some other mom or young female entrepreneur make that change that I didn’t have the chance to do, because I just didn’t know. It’s my favorite thing in the world. That’s why I love coaching, yeah. Because it’s just yes. I can see you grow and do all the things that took me years to figure out you can do this in just a matter of months.
Megan Porta: Yes. Oh, I love this so much. Because it really does create freedom. Right? Having flexibility, this flexible business strategy that you’re talking about. Being intentional and purposeful with your time creates a life of freedom. It opens up so much time.
Lani Jackson: Yes, it does. I find a lot of times entrepreneurs are super frustrated because they’re not seeing growth. I was in that boat, I was like, if blogging isn’t gonna work for me, because I’m not seeing results, I’m gonna go be a virtual assistant. If that’s not working for me, I’m gonna be a PR representative. If that’s not working with me, I’m gonna start a brick and mortar. Like literally I had five businesses at one time because I was just like, something’s gonna work. But what I wasn’t realizing was I was so scattered and like not being purposeful with what my true desire for freedom and income and flexibility I wanted for my family, because that was not clear. None of those businesses brought me joy or income.
Megan Porta: Yeah. Oh gosh. That’s so true. I’m wondering about your calendar and how you deal with your calendar. So I know you have a flexible schedule, but do you sit down before the week starts and determine the things that you want to get done that week? I know you don’t always get those things done, but how do you move through your calendar?
Lani Jackson: So I use a Trello board for my weekly schedule, and that helps me so much. I actually have a free template. If you go to Lanijackson.com/weeklyschedule, that is a free template for a Trello board. It’s a part of my entire system that I teach people to create a flexible business strategy. But that board basically it’s Monday through Friday for me. Some people have Saturday and Sunday. It’s available there if you want it. But I organize it. I do a giant brain dump of everything I think I need to do. That’s the first thing I do. I do the brain dump of everything I think I need to do. I don’t have to do it all. Again, I have to remind myself, I’m the boss. I get to set my deadlines. I get to determine how much work I do, how much I produce. I go through that list of what I think I need to do. I start to assign it to my days. I also go in and I assign times. So maybe this week, so for example, this week I am working Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. So I have to determine, okay, I’m going to spend this time in my mornings doing client calls and client work. That means I have this much time left to do other things in my business. So I determine what’s most important to my business. I actually assign energy levels to tasks so that I know if I’m dragging because my daughter’s having insomnia, they have special needs. So if they were up all night, I might need to change what I’m doing today and switch it with tomorrow’s task because it’s a high energy task. I am exhausted from being up all night. So this is where the flexibility comes in for me. I know where my high energy times are. My low energy times are. What tasks take a lot of focus. What tasks can I do without really thinking about it? All of those start to factor in how I’ve set up my week and allow for flexibility determining how my energy. How’s my focus? Did the kids suddenly get sick and they’re home from school? Do I have to, you fill in the blank? It allows me to move around my week as much as possible. Some things are set in stone, like my client calls. I don’t necessarily move those very often. But everything else is movable. I also assign times to my tasks. So this also helped a lot with keeping me focused. So if I see, okay, I’m expecting myself to spend 30 minutes on this. I will set a timer and say, you are only going to do this for 30 minutes. I think the biggest tool that we ignore at our fingertips is a timer. I can beat the clock. I have this much time to finish this assignment that I’m giving myself and stick to that because I can take a task that really only takes 10 minutes and fit it into an hour. I don’t know if you’ve ever done that.
Megan Porta: Yes. Oh yeah. Oh my gosh and the other way around, I feel like it can be the other way too. So if there’s something that typically takes you an hour to do, try to experiment. I always do this. Like I wonder if I can get this done in 15 minutes and I’ll time myself and see if I can. Sometimes I do and it’s game changing.
Lani Jackson: It really is. I also suggest this to other people too, especially moms who have little kids who can be interrupted a lot. I say, take that hour’s task. Let’s say writing your newsletters. Instead of writing one newsletter in an hour, let’s write four 20 minute increments. They’re like, that’s not possible. You know what I mean? I’m just like, okay, let’s think about it. We’re gonna write four in 20 minutes or less. You’re gonna write four ideas, like main theme ideas. Great. Done. Boom. Move on. That’s all you have to do. The next time you sit down, you’re gonna write the main points of those newsletters. Done. Walk away. The next time you’re gonna take two of those. You’re gonna fill in, just so on and so forth. You break it down into, take that hour long task and break it down into small chunks and then double the work that you’re doing. Suddenly you just wrote four newsletters in an hour, but it was broken up.
Sponsor: Food bloggers. Let’s take a moment to talk about a few things that Eat Blog Talk has to offer that is going to add value to your business and accelerate your growth. First of all, head over to the Eat Blog Talk forum. It’s totally free. It’s off of Facebook. It has a bunch of valuable discussions inside. You can create your own discussion. You can self promote, you can talk about products and services that you offer.Without worrying about being removed from the group. Go to forum.eatblogtalk.com to check it out.
Also, I have hosted a few in-person retreats here in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and I’m going to continue that. They’ve been wildly successful. So much connection and growth and learning has occurred within these and they’re fun. So join us in the next one. Go to eatblogtalk.com/spring2022retreat, you will get access to all of the information for retreats moving forward at that URL. Go there and join the waitlist for the fall retreat and beyond and you will not be disappointed in that.
Also, I wanna mention the mastermind program. So for 2022, we are full on the mastermind program. Two groups are underway and they’re going really well. There are transformations happening. It is such a powerful, positive group of like-minded peers, and we do so much collaboration and learning inside these groups. We will open up new groups starting in 2023. So if you’re interested in joining, join the waitlist, go to eatblogtalk.com and follow the prompts for the masterminds.
Last but not least, I’ve started a group coaching program for foodie creators who are interested in becoming foodie podcasters. If this is you, send me an email, [email protected] blogtalk.com and let me know you’re interested in this group coaching situation. Whether you just have an idea or you’ve already launched or anything in between, we will serve you. We show up twice a month on group coaching calls where we’ll answer all the questions you need to get answered so you can start a successful foodie podcast.
There are so many ways that we can accelerate your growth and add value to your business. So I hope that you will take advantage of some of these. Now we’ll get back to the episode.
Megan Porta: I love this so much. You guys that are listening, you have no idea how much you can do in a shorter amount of time. I hear so many bloggers say it takes me eight hours to write a blog post or whatever. I’m always like, oh my gosh. If that is you I’ve been there. I’ve definitely been there for years. That was me. But you can do it in a much shorter amount of time. It’s very possible. So go big with thinking about what you can do in a smaller time frame. I love your mindset, Lani. This is so inspiring. So you talked about mindset a little bit, because this is really a mindset. This is where we start. We’ve got to change our mindset. So talk to us about it.
Lani Jackson: One of the things that really started this whole process of changing over to a flexible strategy and creating the mom method that I refer to now, was I realized that every morning I got on Marco polo, the app, I don’t know if you’re familiar with it.
Megan Porta: Yeah. Love Marco polo.
Lani Jackson: It’s my favorite. My sister and I live pretty far away from each other and she’s my best friend. So every morning I would Marco her. I’m like, I’m so tired. I have too much to do and not enough time to do it. I said that every morning, because you know how you go back and kind of rewatch. I realized oh my gosh, this is like on replay. I’m saying it every day. Guess what? Every day I was so exhausted and tired, I had too much to do and not enough time to do it. I was like, literally I’m speaking this into existence, so why would it be different? If that’s what I’m expecting and creating for my reality every day, and I’m gonna be truthful. I have six kids. It’s a lot. I have two with special needs. They have very intense children, but I was also creating my environment. I am in control of changing how I view things. So I started with changing purposely on Marco polo and I wrote it down as, I have all the energy I need to do the things I want to, and I’m gonna have a fun day. I just started changing that mindset and just that gave me, I have the energy I need to do the things I want to. Because that’s the truth. When all of us sit down, you can choose. I tell people all the time. You can find money to buy the things you want. 90% of the time. So when somebody tells me, oh, I can’t afford to invest in my business. I’m like, but you can find money to buy Starbucks when you’re out and really need a coffee. So I think we can always find what we want to find. So the same with our mindset. I can find the energy, I can find the time. I could find the perspective, I just have to change it.
So I always tell people, start with saying the things that you want to feel. I want to feel like money is easy and fun to get in my business. I don’t wanna feel like my business is work. I don’t have a nine to five because I don’t wanna be strapped down and not able to spend time with my kids. A big thing I hear all the time from the women in my community is, I feel mom guilty because I’m spending time in my business. I’m just like, that is you in your brain. No one else puts mom guilt on you. You do. I do it myself. Literally I started this business so that I could have the flexibility to drop everything when my children need me and we beat ourselves up because we do that. And vice versa. We have a business so we could work at home while our children play. And then we’re like, oh man, I shouldn’t be doing that. But that’s again, it’s all in our perspective. That’s why flexibility. I don’t think there’s any such thing as I wanna find balance. I don’t think balance is the word we need to use.
Flexibility allows me to sometimes lean a little more heavy into my business and sometimes lean a little more heavy into my mom’s life or my personal life or into my own soul, which I need to do as well. It just allows us to move with whatever we need. Yes, sometimes it’s a little more on the business side. Sometimes it’s a little more on the personal side, family side. But I could still make the income I want while giving myself permission to lean either way. It starts with that mindset of saying, this is why I started this business and it’s okay.
Megan Porta: That was so powerful. I loved everything you said. Thank you. This is gonna be one of my favorite episodes, I feel like . Yeah. And you were talking about. Making that one small change of changing your words. I think that is such a huge first step. It’s so easy to do it. I love that you had Marco polo to remind you what your themes were. Hey Lani, you’re saying this every day, you’re saying that you’re tired. You don’t have the energy. So if you say that every day, guess what’s gonna happen. You’re gonna be tired. You’re not gonna have the energy. So you had that moment where you were like, holy crap. I need to change my words. I think that’s a good reminder to all of us to just notice what we’re saying to other people every day and what we’re saying to ourselves every day and to change it if we need to.
Lani Jackson: Yes. I’m gonna give another example. Because I just had a client, we worked really hard on this. She basically complained about Instagram every time I talked to her. She was like, it’s just, oh, Instagram, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I was like, all right, I’m gonna call you out on this. Really, she was so negative about Instagram and it’s such an important part of her business. She’s a blogger and an influencer. We worked on a mindset and we changed it from man, Instagram is so frustrating. It just doesn’t wanna work with me. It doesn’t play nice too, it’s a free platform I get to have fun on. In a month’s time of us just working on that mindset shift, her Instagram just exploded. She had a couple things go viral and I’m not gonna guarantee any of that’s gonna happen to you. But I definitely know for sure it wouldn’t have happened if she had that same attitude.
Megan Porta: Oh, that’s so true.
Lani Jackson: So mindset shift can be anything from, personal inward to towards something in your business that is or is not working the way you want it to, or comparing yourself to somebody else. All of that, it starts in your head.
Megan Porta: Oh gosh, this can. Resonate with so many things in food blogging, because there are so many platforms that people get frustrated with.
Lani Jackson: No, it’s hard.
Megan Porta: It is hard. It’s not an easy thing, especially when you’re in the groove of being frustrated with something, it’s easy to just keep doing it and thinking it. Pinterest is a common one these days, because they’ve changed.
Lani Jackson: So much change.
Megan Porta: I don’t know why, but I haven’t fallen into that. I’m telling you if anyone lost massive traffic from Pinterest, it was me. I used to get upward of a million page views a month almost solely from Pinterest. Now I’m nowhere near that, like a fraction of a quarter of that, if not even less. If anyone should be frustrated with Pinterest, it should be Megan Porta but I’m not. You know what? Pinterest gave me massive traffic for so long. I’m so grateful for it. I love Pinterest. It’s a beautiful platform. It still gives me traffic. It still gives other food bloggers traffic. I don’t feel that frustration and I’m grateful that I don’t, because I see so many people very mad, say I hate Pinterest and I’m like, wow. Really, do you hate it? I don’t know. I get it, but then you just wanna point out what people are doing so they can make that shift.
Lani Jackson: Yes. Yes. If we approach it by saying, man, that’s disappointing. I’m not saying you have to always live in the positive, sunshines and unicorns and rainbows. That is not where I went. I’m not that kind of person. But I am saying, when I realize, man, that sucks. It does. It sucks that these platforms change algorithms and things are different. If things were like when I first started blogging in 2011, that’d be amazing, but not realistic. So we can approach it as, man, that sucks. Now I get to go have fun again and learn something new. Now I get to try something exciting. I get to lean into my creative side. I get to lead into data and analytics. What is it that makes you light up and lean into that? So for you, for instance, maybe you really like looking at Google analytics, it excites you, maybe that’s your thing. We can really dive into Google analytics and say, instead of Pinterest, what’s next? Yeah. What can I do next to make my analytics? Am I gonna dive into SEO and become the SEO queen? Or if you’re like me, analytics makes me wanna vomit, we lean into your creative side and we say, how can we show up on story pins? Or can we use TikTok? Or can I transfer into YouTube and spend my time and energy there and let Pinterest do its thing. Let’s lean into what are our strengths and our zone of genius and not fight against these things that we can’t control. But we can control putting our energy and our excitement back into what fulfills us.
Megan Porta: There’s always something else. Pinterest is like a fraction of the platforms and tools we get to use to grow our businesses. It’s such a small piece of it. So if Pinterest isn’t working, okay. Accept it. Move on to something like you said. There’s so many other things that we can focus on in a healthy way and be creative and excited and have fun doing. It doesn’t involve frustration.
Lani Jackson: Yes, exactly. Exactly. That’s so important. I don’t wanna live in a frustration mode cuz that just trickles into every part of my life.
Megan Porta: It does. And you don’t even know it. It can trickle and you’re not even aware of it. Then one day you’re like, oh, my Marco Polos are all negative. Great. So how do you recommend people start setting up this strategy for their own businesses? If they feel like they are in that place where they’re just trying everything. They’re maybe wasting their time. They’re distracted. It feels impossible to know where to start. I know that feeling, because I’ve been there. What do you suggest for them?
Lani Jackson: So I usually start with, like I said, lay out your time. What time are you currently working? Do you wanna keep doing that? Then I go to that brain dump list. You need to brain dump everything into your list and then go in there and say, does this make me feel expansive or contractive? I use these words a lot in my coaching. When we look at pieces of our business, some things make you feel like you wanna curl up into a ball and just cringe. That’s the contractive feeling. Some things are expensive. You’re like, oh, I’m so excited. This feels so fun. This gives me so much joy. Really look at the things that you’re doing and why is it making you feel contracted? Why is that thing on your to-do list rolling over week after week after week. You’re just avoiding it. Start there, breaking it down and really being intentional with what you’re choosing to do. When I first start working with clients, a lot of times we look at that big brain dump of all the things that they think they need to do, and that currently are doing. We can eliminate probably 20 to 30% of the things on that list because you don’t have to show up on every platform. You can be a little bit, work smarter, not harder. Some of the things that they’re doing, I’m like, oh you don’t need to create a different piece of content for every platform. Create one big piece and let’s take it everywhere and then let’s cut it up. There’s ways we can work more efficiently, but sometimes you can’t see that until you lay it all out in front of you.
Megan Porta: That is such a great place to start. Then just keep taking one step at a time, right? Keep moving. Don’t stop. Even if you have to slow down.
Lani Jackson: You just said the last piece of the mock method. Movement. It’s not gonna change overnight. This is the thing that, really is the truth behind what seems like such a method. It took me two years to really feel very comfortable and confident. I saw a big change in six months. But to feel like I’ve got this, like I’m here and I can really feel like it’s a no brainer action for me now, is that it takes small actions every day. So you don’t have to do this big, huge change today. You just do one thing and then take another step and another step. Small actions every day, end up impacting your life in massive ways. If we can wrap our minds around if I can send out one pitch email today and one tomorrow, then eventually we’ll have sent out a hundred pitches. Those will bring responses and, just slowly bringing into our mindset that movement. I have to not just change my mindset because changing our mindset is awesome, but that doesn’t make any impact in your day to day life if you don’t take action on it. You can set up a ton of Trello boards and they’re beautiful and they are so awesome looking. But if you don’t open it every day and use them, they’re worthless. So you have to take action on those things. Every day, checking in on your mindset. Every day, checking in on those systems and operations that you’re created for yourself and asking yourself, should I be doing this? Am I being purposeful? Am I getting distracted? Am I being frustrated? How could I make this simpler for myself so that I can sustain it week after week?
Megan Porta: Oh, this is amazing. How inspiring Lani? So do you have anything that we have forgotten?Anything to leave us like a main takeaway? What do you think?
Lani Jackson: I think the main thing right now is I always encourage everyone to just start with that time piece. Go back to your time. Even if you’re like, oh, I’m only working 20 hours a week and I’m happy with that, but you’re not seeing growth, go back and just check in. Do a check in, I do this every quarter. I redo that weekly schedule. I look at it and I say, is this working for me? I do like a mini business audit every three months. I say, me showing up on Instagram is bringing me clients? Me working in my Facebook community, is that really impacting people the way I want to? Is it fulfilling me? Is it driving traffic the way I want it to? Is it converting and just checking into the things that you’re doing. Say, is this doing what I want it to do? Or am I frustrated by it? Is it fulfilling me? Is it making me light up? Start with that and get curious about our business. I think sometimes we just throw ourselves into things and we’re like, this is how we have to do it. You can be unique. Somebody had to start. Remember those tasty videos that those overheads sped up 60. Somebody came up with that. How did they come up with that? They came up with oh, this would be fun to do. If we stopped and we looked at our business and said, what would be fun to do? Maybe you will be the next one to come up with the new style of video or new way of presenting food on your blog. There’s tons of room for creativity. But if we get bogged down by all the things somebody told us we had to do to have a great successful food blog, you’re never gonna have the opportunity to get creative or to stand out or to be unique.
Megan Porta: Great words to leave us with. Thank you so much for being here. This was amazing Lani.
Lani Jackson: Thank you for having me. I loved talking to you.
Megan Porta: Oh gosh. I could keep going. I could probably go on and on, but I suppose we should go out about our days and take care of our children and all of that. Do you have a favorite quote or words of inspiration in addition to everything you’ve shared, to leave us with today?
Lani Jackson: I do. I printed this out and put it on my wall. This quote, it’s, you’ve done harder things than this. When it comes to my business, sometimes I feel like it’s really hard to see that growth, or it’s really hard to figure out why things aren’t working or hard to show up every day. But then I realize, man, I’ve done all things that are a lot harder than this. We fostered, we adopted, we had hard pregnancies and births. Our story is crazy when I go through it and I’m just like, this is nothing. If I could do all of that, I could build a business that’s successful. I remind myself and others and my clients, you guys have done some hard things. I have clients who have gone through cancer, who have taken care of ill parents. They blow me away with how amazing and strong they are and then get stuck because they’re not seeing growth on Instagram. I’m just like, guys, you’ve done harder things than this.
Megan Porta: Perspective. Just they need a reminder of that perspective.
Lani Jackson: Yes. Yes. It’s not so scary when you realize man, I could go live on Instagram. That is not as scary as making myself vulnerable to be a foster mom.
Megan Porta: Oh gosh. That’s so true. Just yesterday, my son, I think I asked him to throw his wrapper in the garbage or something, really hard. He was like, I can’t. He was complaining. He’s 15, by the way. I’m like, okay, really? He just had open heart surgery a few months ago and I was like, dude, you. Went through open heart surgery. That was way, way harder. You can get that wrapper. You’ve got it. He was like, oh, so he just walked over and picked it up and threw it away. So I’m gonna keep using that.
Lani Jackson: Yes. It’s just so silly how sometimes we’re like the simplest things they become so hard. It’s just too hard to pitch myself to that brand. It’s just too hard to go live or it’s too hard to figure out this new platform. Oh my gosh. Girls, you have done so much harder things than that.
Megan Porta: I thought of pitching because that is a hangup for so many bloggers. It is. For me too, it’s scary. It’s the thought of, oh gosh. The thought of that just. Gives me shivers.
Lani Jackson: Because we feel like it’s gonna be rejected. So the mindset that I had to switch, because I was the same, that was part of me when I did start doing this, I was doing blogging full time. So I was just like, you know what? I don’t care about the people who say no. They weren’t the right fit for me. When I changed that mindset and I was like, I’m just gonna be excited about asking people, Hey, do you wanna be my friend? If they don’t answer back, okay, fine. I’m gonna go find somebody else who wants to be my friend. If they say, no, not right now, I’ll be like, that’s fine. You weren’t ready for me anyways. I just had to change my mindset. I think my goal was 20 people every two weeks, 20 brands every two weeks. That’s where I saw that massive income growth.
Megan Porta: Oh. That’s inspiring.
Lani Jackson: It was crazy. I was just like, holy cow. These people wanna work with me, but they never would’ve known about me if I hadn’t reached out.
Megan Porta: Yeah. That’s so cool. I just had someone in my mastermind group have this big goal like that. I was like, what? She said she had a goal of pitching a hundred brands within a month or something. I was like, that is so cool. I don’t hear that very often where people just set those really massive goals and then just like you, it changes your mindset. She filled all her slots within 40 pitches or something like that. That gives me goosebumps when I hear people just like going above and beyond, and then you don’t even need to get to that point because then you start getting fulfilled.
Lani Jackson: You do, you do.
Megan Porta: So inspiring. Okay. Thank you so much, Lani. We will put together some show notes for you and you can find those at eatblogtalk.com/lanijackson and Lani is spelled L A N I. Why don’t you tell everyone where they can find you? You have a podcast, you are on social media. Tell us all the details.
Lani Jackson: You can listen to my podcast, Brilliant Mompreneurs podcast. It is a podcast made specifically for mom entrepreneurs. We only have mom guests there who are building businesses and juggling babies because we love that perspective and insight that moms can bring to the table. So hop on over there. If you would like to hear the behind the scenes stories and some real mom advice. Then I am also on Instagram, Lani J Jackson. I hang out over there, but I’m mostly in my Facebook community, the Brilliant Mompreneur Society on Facebook. I would love for you to join us over there. That’s where I like to hang out, but you can DM me on Instagram or on Facebook. I love chatting with people. I love supporting female entrepreneurs as they grow their businesses, no matter what they are. Getting creative and leaning into your strengths and zone of genius and creating a business that’s unique to you that works and flexes with you and the freedom that you wanna create for your family. Then you can always find me at lanijackson.com is my website. If you wanna set up a call and just chat, let me know. I’d love to work with any of you.
Megan Porta: Awesome. Thank you again so much for being here, Lani. Thank you for listening today, food bloggers. I will see you in the next episode.
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