self care

  • How to take a real vacation from your business

    As a solopreneur, have you ever been on a real vacation? Learn how you can take a real vacation from your business without it coming to a halt.

    There’s a misconception that online business owners don’t have the luxury of disconnecting completely from their business. Well, I’m here to tell you, you definitely can! To make it real and practical I actually went on vacation so that I can share some of the practical things that I did for my business. I am hoping that by sharing these tips you’ll realize that you can take a real vacation from your business.

    I am sharing the things that I did to ensure that I enjoyed my well-deserved time off without being constantly tethered to my phone, trying to figure out what’s happening in my business. In order to take a real vacation from your business, you definitely need to do a lot of planning in advance.

    Reasons why you should take a real vacation from your business

    Rest happens in the resting phase

    I recently saw a post on Instagram, where someone asked; What if you actually needed to take time off to rest in order for me to be more productive? And that totally resonated with the book a have been reading i.e. the 5:00 AM club. The author, Robin Sharma talks about growth happening in the resting phase. Growth actually happens in the resting phase as opposed to the performing phase of your business when you are in the throws of the daily hustle and grind.

    Why is that? Reflect back to when you have come up with the most amazing ideas in your business. Think about when you have come up with those amazing kick-ass strategies that have seen you level up income in your business. When have those ideas come up and when have those plans come up?

    They’ve probably come up when you’re in solitude and quiet. As opposed to when you have been so busy working on that to-do list and trying to get all the tasks done. That’s why it is important to take time off to rest and to review and think of your business. You don’t need to do anything formal like writing down notes or work on your laptop.

    Use the time off to totally disconnect so that you can take time to reflect and think of;

    1.      What has worked well in your business?

    2.      What could you maybe do differently?

    3.      What are those ideas that you could come up with during that time of rest and minimal distractions from the outside world to make your business even better?

    It’s an opportunity to uncover your team’s strengths

    It’s also an opportunity to stretch your team and uncover strengths you never knew were there. Here’s how. You have a number of tasks that you do as the CEO that you’ve never delegated to your team members. Going on vacation is a great opportunity to know if they could actually do some of those tasks once you assign them to your team.

    You’ll be able to see what will work because they are going to have to do those tasks, whether you are there or not. And maybe they might not have access to ask you questions and to get clarification. It’s a really great way to see how they work under pressure and when they are stretched.

    You might come back and they’ll tell you that they actually enjoyed a specific task, which would be a plus for you. Because that would be one less thing for you to do. And one thing for your team members to do and to do really.

    Having fun

    You only have one life to live. If you are going to live your life, working all day, all week, all year long, where is the fun in that? Right. You want to be present as a mom if you’re a mom. You want to be present with your family if you’re going to taking time off with them. It’s the only way to enjoy the things in life that you actually started your business for.

    A lot of us started our businesses to get more freedom. Location freedom, time freedom and to have more flexibility. Now, if you are not taking time off, you are not having freedom. You just replaced your 9-5 with a business that probably takes away more freedom than when you had your 9-5.

    How to prepare your business for an actual vacation

    Tip 1: Plan, Plan & Plan

    The first thing is you want to do is plan your vacations well in advance for at least two to three months. That way you have time to make sure you’ve prepared your business for when you actually take that time off.

    Go through your list of tasks in your work management space, and it’s also an opportunity to do a task audit. This will help you identify the tasks that are solely on you to do, and what could you possibly automate or delegate.

    I know sometimes it’s difficult to know what you could automate because you don’t know what you don’t know. Maybe you don’t know that some of the tasks you’re doing manually can actually be automated. Feel free to reach out to me here once you’ve done your task audit and I could share a few tips and pointers on what you could possibly automate.

    Tip 2: Work on your tasks upfront

    Put in some time every single day for at least a month or two weeks to work on the tasks that you typically do upfront. There are a lot of tasks you can actually batch upfront without even having to delegate or automate them.

    And the one that comes to mind right now is content creation! Content creation can be done upfront you don’t have to do it on the go. You actually shouldn’t be doing it on the go, because that is when you can have a major content burn.

    Think of other tasks you can do upfront, like client deliveries. You could probably move the dates forward so that you can finish some of the deliveries in advance. Consider completing some of the milestones of your projects so that you don’t have to work on them immediately after you come back from your vacation.

    Tip 3: Systems to support your business while away

    Ask yourself what are the systems that your business could use while you are away? Systems are a long haul and a long-term game. It’s not something that you can wake up today and have a fully-fledged system tomorrow. It’s something you need to think of upfront.

    But there are certainly certain activities you can do upfront before you take a real vacation from your business. This will sort of set the wheels running in getting your systems in place. And maybe you already have systems in place. For example, a client management system that you use to automate your client onboarding and management process. But there could be certain things in your client management system that you could optimize to make it more efficient.

    If you don’t have any systems in place, think of some of the tasks that are critical in your business. Especially income-generating activities around lead generation, client management & onboarding and how you can potentially automate a few of those tasks upfront.

    Like I said earlier in this blog, you don’t know what you don’t know. I would love to have a chat with you once you have figured out the priority tasks in your business. The tasks that you potentially need to have automated and tech to help you support your business while you are on vacation.

    Business activities that could be automated

    Email Marketing

    Email marketing is an area that requires system support while you take a vacation is your email marketing system. You can definitely schedule your emails to be sent out to your email list while you are away.

    Lead generation & tracking

    You can set up an automation so that your lead generation spreadsheets are updated while you are on vacation from your business.

    Inquiry Management

    Set up an automation to manage any inquiries made about your services while you are away. Your business doesn’t have to come to a halt just because you are taking time off.

    As a solopreneur, have you ever been on a real vacation? Learn how you can take a real vacation from your business without it coming to a halt.

    Tip 4: Automate and or delegate

    Be very careful around delegating versus automating because there’s no need to delegate tasks that can be automated. That is going to be a waste of time on your team while you are away. Try not to delegate tasks that you could automate. If you aren’t sure that you can automate them, let your team members research and see if there’s any way, they can automate some of these tasks.

    There’s one thing that we recently automated in my business. At the back of my mind, I knew that it could be done I just hadn’t done it. Every member that joins our Facebook group they are meant to get added on to our email list. Previously, the process was manual where we had to copy and paste that information from Facebook group onto our email list.

    So, a few weeks ago as I was preparing to take a vacation from my business, I created automation with Zapier and Flodesk i.e. my email marketing system. Now every time someone joins our Facebook group, they automatically get added on to our email list. And now my VA has saved close to an hour of her time every week trying to do this.

    It’s so important to also look at your systems from that point of view. That way you can free up time with your team and have them focus on the more higher-level activities that actually require human interaction and engagement.

    Tip 5: Set an autoresponder

    The next step is to set your autoresponder responder.  Make sure you have a solid, auto-responder. Be very clear on when you will be away and who can be contacted while you are away. If there are any frequently asked questions around your services, include them in your autoresponder.

    Include details on where they can find out about your services by adding a link to your website. You can also embed your service guide or just attach it to your autoresponder so that people can have a look at your services while you away. And make sure it is very clear whether you are going to be partly available or not available at all.

    When I started in my career, I was terrified of including that I wouldn’t be available for emails on my out of office email. I then realized that if you do not set your boundaries right, people are going to step right over your boundaries.

    And if you indicate that you won’t be available for emails, that doesn’t mean that you’re going to lose out on potential clients and leads. That could actually be an indicator to your potential leads that you’re actually a woman of integrity. And you know how to manage your business and they might want to learn how you’ve been able to do that.

    Don’t be afraid to set your boundaries in your autoresponder or on your out of office email. Because that is literally going to set the tone for how you enjoy your holiday or not.

    Tip 6: Communicate with your team

    Communicate with your team and let them know what you are going to do upfront and what they need to do. Delegate your tasks as early as possible, lean into your SOPs. If you don’t have SOPs create simple loom videos. These will help your team members understand what the tasks are about. That’s probably the fastest way you can delegate tasks in a way that there are not going to be left trying to figure out how to do it on their own.

    When you come back, make a point of creating documented SOPs around these activities. That way that the next time you take a vacation from your business, it will be easier. And you won’t have to do a lot of legwork upfront.

    Tip 7: Trust your team

    Trust your team members to handle things while you are away. I know a lot of us are superwomen and supermoms we want to do everything our way. Sometimes we don’t have sufficient trust in our team members to be able to handle things. But trust me, everything is going to be okay.

    Trust and empower your team members and they are going to deliver. And most likely they actually going to over-deliver and you will be blown away at what your team members can do in your absence. So, don’t be afraid to delegate.

    Tip 8: Set your boundaries & eliminate guilt

    Make sure you set your boundaries when it comes to your team. I’ve already talked about setting boundaries in your autoresponder but make sure you set your intentions and keep them.

    For me, my intention is at least in the first three to four days of my vacation, I am going to completely switch off from social media. And my VA is going to manage my social media platforms on my behalf. Your VA can help you engage with people on your behalf, they can help you manage your Facebook community if you have trained them upfront on how to do it.

    My plan when I take a vacation from my business is to switch off completely from social media. This allows me to zone in to just being present. I zone into thinking and reflecting on my life, my business and anything else I want to reflect on while I am away.

    Eliminate guilt by doing work upfront. A lot of times we don’t set boundaries because we feel guilty! We feel guilty that if we don’t check our emails or respond to a client inquiry within a certain period of time, things won’t work out or things are going to fall apart.

    But if you do the work upfront, you will be able to set your intentions and boundaries and keep them. You’ll remain true to your intentions while you are away on vacation from your business. And while you are.

    Tip 9: Take a day off once you’re back from your holiday

    You don’t want to return from your vacation and the next day you are back in the throws of the day-to-day activities of your business. Take time to ease your way back into work. And this is something that I was intentional about. On the first day, I eased my way back and I took the day off from my 9-5 as well.

    I use this time to check my emails, plan out the rest of my week, review anything that I need to review, check-in with my team members and my clients. This way you don’t have to have that sad feeling that your vacation has ended and you are back in the day-to-day hustle and grind. Just ease your way back in and feel more in control when it’s time to get back to work.

    In conclusion,

    I hope this blog inspires you to take a real vacation from your business soon. Plan out your vacation and spend time with your family and friends and yourself too.

    Listen to the full episode here.

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  • How to rock your morning routine like successful people

    Morning routine for successful people

    I used to convince myself that being a night owl was awesome! It meant that I could work into the wee hours of the night, and not have to worry about waking up early. This all changed when I had my twins and realized that if I didn’t have a proper morning routine, I would never have time to myself. I indeed needed to rock my morning routine like successful people.

    When I started becoming more intentional with my morning routine, I noticed that I was sleeping earlier and longer hours. Overall I felt so much better about myself and had more energy throughout the day.

    It also meant that when the twins would wake up, I already had a headstart to the day. I get to spend some time with them before heading to my 9-5 office. So, I get to be present and in the moment with them without feeling overwhelmed that I haven’t gotten anything done or planned for the day.

    Being a corporate side hustler also means that you don’t have the whole day to work on your business. In fact, you only have a few hours in the morning and a few hours at night (depending on how tired you are after work) to make any progress.

    My morning hours are the most productive hours where I am also at high alert. Without a successful morning routine, I wouldn’t have an extra hour to work on my side hustle. This extra hour is literally how I have built my coaching business (and a few more hours on Saturday mornings too).

    If you are not yet convinced, here are other reasons why a morning routine is important.

    It gets me in the right mindset

    Mindset is everything if you want to be that 6-figure mompreneur. You need to wake up with the right mindset to handle the challenges of juggling corporate life + motherhood and a side hustle. The best way to do this is to create a solid morning routine.

    I get to have self care time

    I didn’t read as much before I started having a consistent morning routine. Since starting and being consistent with my morning routine, I have gone through at least 1 book a month, simply by spending 10-15 minutes in the morning to catch up with my reading. 

    Quiet time before the kids wake up! 

    I am sure you miss the days when you had peace and quiet for long hours. You can have that today! You just need to wake up and get your consistent morning routine before the kids wake up. 

    During my morning routine, I can think clearly and make some progress. Especially with the high-level tasks that need my full concentration, without a baby screaming for attention in the background.

    How to start a morning routine like successful people

    Getting into the habit of a consistent morning routine is not easy. But it’s definitely worth it once you start to do it and see how it makes you feel both physically and mentally.

    First of all, here are a few tips to help you wake up on time for your morning routine:

    Tip #1: Sleep 15 minutes earlier today

    I know you were probably wondering if this was a typo or not, but YES. The secret to a morning routine like successful people have consistently, is to sleep early. Sleeping earlier will give you enough hours of good quality sleep so that you are ready for the early wake-up call. Start by sleeping 15 minutes earlier than your usual bedtime, and incrementally sleeping earlier every week. Do this until you get to the point where you are getting 7 to 7.5 hours of good quality sleep.

    The work that you weren’t able to do the day before, can wait. You will get it done much faster and more efficiently if you sleep early and well enough. Just schedule it for your morning hours.

    Tip #2: Build on your morning routine incrementally. 

    If you have never had a consistent morning routine, don’t start with a 1-hour morning routine. Start with a 15-minute routine for 1 or 2 items from my 3G method below. Once you have consistently completed your routine for at least 3 days, you can start to increase the amount of time you spend on your morning routine. For every 15 minutes you sleep earlier, you should be able to increase your morning routine by 15 minutes.

    Tip 3: Work in small pockets of time

    I got this tip from the book, The 5am club, which you can get here.  The mistake we make as humans is to overestimate how much we can achieve in a short space of time. For example, instead of thinking about the number of pages you want to read in a day, think of the amount of time you want to spend reading. That’s a much easier and realistic way to set your morning routine goals and increase your time spend, as you become more consistent.

    All you need to do is devote 20 minutes to each pillar from my 3G method, which I have broken down easily for you below:

    Growth: 20 minutes

    This is the time you can dedicate to your personal growth and development. One of the things that almost every successful person I know of does, is to READ. You cannot pour from an empty cup, and you cannot share what you don’t know.

    If you want to be successful, then you need to commit to creating a morning routine like successful people do. Through my 3G method, I have been able to go through 10 books in the same year that I had my twins! Before that, I barely finished 3….

    The secret to this method is being consistent, committing to waking up early and getting your 3G’s done before the day begins.

    Gratitude: 20 minutes

    I can’t emphasize enough the power of prayer, meditation and journaling. I struggled with negative mindset and self confidence throughout my adulthood, and starting an online business from scratch only made it worse. 

    Once I started putting in the time to journal, do my daily affirmations and show gratitude for everything happening to me and around me, I started to show up for my business in a different way. 

    I cannot overstate how important it is to take time for gratitude, and the inner self work that is needed as part of a morning routine. 

    Go: 20 minutes

    Do your workout in the morning and forget about it. I don’t know if your 9-5 is as unpredictable as mine, but waking up earlier to do my workout has made me feel more energetic throughout the day.

    Whether you workout plans get derailed or not, you know that at least you have gotten 20 minutes of exercise. Imagine how fit you will be by the end of the year, if you got 20 minutes of daily exercise, that’s 7300 minutes of moving your body!

    What makes a morning routine successful

    • Plan the night before, so that in the morning you are all systems go
    • If you have a workout, remove your clothes so that you see them when you wake up
    • Prepare your breakfast the night before (smoothies and overnight oats have been my go-to breakfast on-the-go)

    In conclusion, 

    My morning routine has completely changed my way of life, for the better, I

    • Complete 1 book a month just through my morning routine
    • Got disciplined in getting my kids to sleep early, and sleeping early myself
    • Wake up feeling much more refreshed and ready to slay the day
    • Get 20 minutes to work on my business before I start my 9-5
    • Get some quiet space to meditate, journal and visualize the success I want to have
    • Feel better about myself because I have my workout, and a good breakfast to start the day
    • Have some (actually, lots of) peace and quiet before the kids wake up!

    Do you have a morning routine? What’s your favourite part of your morning routine?

    Morning routine for successful people

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  • 10 Budget Friendly Self-care ideas in quarantine

    Self care ideas that you can try out while in quarantine or self isolation

    So, you are probably tired of going through social media a lot more than before, scrolling through posts that overwhelmingly remind you to learn something new, and be productive with your time while we are in self isolation mode. As much as we have all been involuntarily given the rare gift of time which we should definitely use wisely, it is also important that we get through this season with our mental and physical health in check. So here are 10 budget-friendly things you can think of for self-care while in isolation.

    1. Create a vision board

    While this seems like a lot of work, all you need is 1 or 2 magazines, a pair of scissors, a few pens and paper and a list of your dreams. I am a strong believer in the power of visualizing in manifesting dreams and aspirations, and a vision board somehow gives me clarity as to why I wake up to hustle and work hard everyday.

    2. Read a new book

    If you are not an avid reader, now may be the time to get something to keep your spirits up. Plus, there are apps like Audible for you to listen to the audio version of the book if reading is really not your thing.

    Check out this post that shows my all-time 10 most inspiring motivational books.

    3. Do a body scrub

    If you haven’t done a body scrub in a long time, the most likely reason is…not enough time. So now that time is abundant, take a little extra 30 minutes to soak up in a bath tub, and then do a full body scrub. You don’t need to buy one to do this. I use 1 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of olive oil to start with, and continue adding oil to the mixture until I am happy with the consistency. Your body will thank you for this afterwards!

    4. Do a DIY facial at home

    You do not need to wait for the spa to open up again before doing a facial. All you need is your current skincare routine products, and a basin with hot water. Steam your face first, and then proceed with your usual skincare routine. You can use this opportunity to do a facial mask for a change.

    5. Detox from social media

    Social media usage has increased significantly since the global pandemic started spreading widely. My average phone hour useage has also increased by more than 25%, yikes! Stepping away from social media for a day or two might be just what you need for a refreshed mind. Plus, it will keep you away from all then negative news about what’s going on, that you shouldn’t be consuming anyway.

    6. Play your favorite tune…on loud

    If you last played your favourite tune in your car, which you probably have not used for a while, then now might be a good time to put your tune on loud, and sing along if you wish!

    7. Put away your work for 24 hours

    Yes, even though we need to keep focused on our goals and plans, some downtime never hurt anybody. Pack your laptop away and unplug for a day. I personally switch off my whatsapp as well if I need to fully unplug. The time away from your work may even give you time to think of some awesome ideas on a problem that you have been trying to solve. Self care in isolation also means being intentional about your working hours and having time to unwind from it all.

    8. Dress up!

    While dressing up may seem too much of a hassle since you are not going to be going anywhere anyway, it can definitely lighten up your mood. So get those stunner heels out, and wear one of your favourite outfits. You could even take a few photos with your phone as a memoir of how stunning you looked, and a reminder that things will get better soon.

    9. Declutter your room

    This might seem like a lot of work for self-care, but a decluttered and organized space might be what you need for a refreshed mind and body. Just the thought and awareness of a congested and untidy space could have a negative impact on how you are feeling. You will definitely feel like you have accomplished a lot by decluttering your room, and more than that, this might also resemble the turning of a new leaf in your life. So let go of things that you have not used in the last 6-12 months, donate what you need to donate, or if you are looking for some extra cents, put these old items on sale online.

    10. Light up some candles

    My favourite are the scented candles from Mr P Home, they are budget-friendly and smell amazing! You can light them up in your bathroom too, before soaking up in a salted bath for an extra rejuvenated feel. This is a simple thing to do, but will make you feel pampered at a very price-friendly cost!

    I hope you have found this post useful in giving you a few tips for self-care this season of isolation. Take care xo

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  • Self Care Tips During Pregnancy

    This is Rebecca Kay at prenatal swimming lessons in Nairobi

    I literally stepped out of the gym once I found out that I was pregnant, mostly for fear of overworking myself during my first trimester…

    I have not gone back, and I miss it dearly, but I found a prenatal swimming class in Nairobi, that has helped relieve the guilty feeling of not doing any exercising in this pregnancy.

    I also made a point of maintaining a healthy mind, and tried to control my food cravings, which I have since learnt are somewhat controllable…

    What do you do to keep a healthy mind and body? Share with us in the comments below

    Here’s a full list of other self care activities that have taken me through this pregnancy.

    self care tips during pregnancy

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