Color coded time blocked calendar image on computer screen

Monday Motivations –
5 Tips to Regain Control of Your Business and Personal Life

Do your days feel like they are just a whirlwind of interruptions and problem-solving, but at the end of the day, you never really get anything important done?

We can all relate to that, right?  I know I can!  I couldn’t get any good, quality work done…I was jumping to answer everyone’s beck and call…all the while growing more and more frustrated as my task list in Asana kept getting longer.  My 2-minute rule became the “let’s hurry up, and do it so I can tune out the noise and focus on my real work” rule…and that just didn’t work either. Obviously. Don’t get me wrong, I love my clients,  my internal team, my family, and my friends, too of course, but it just wasn’t working. This is nothing against any of them…it’s on me.

Boundaries crossed, scope creep abundant, time blocks ignored, important deadlines looming and all of the time that I had carefully set aside to work on them had been hijacked by “emergencies” and the needs of others around me.  I don’t know about you but I did not start my own business to live like this.  Freedom to work when and where I wanted, respect of my colleagues and peers, financial independence, and love of being a techie operations geek who always just finds a way to make things work and help other entrepreneurs grow their businesses… these are the reasons why I started this business.

My weekends were spent at work instead of spending quality time with my family and friends. I’ve had to cancel commitments at the last minute because I just had to finish this one last thing. I was not only missing out on a ton of things, but people got frustrated with me because I wasn’t able show up for them like I should be able to.  I just kept plugging away at work, thinking if I could just work faster, harder, then things would clear up soon and be better… when what I needed to do was manage things and stick to my own SOPs.

So, what does that mean, and how did I accomplish it?? Well, I am human and I’m a WORK in progress!  I took Marie Forleo’s Time Genius program and the mindset skills I learned there have been invaluable.  It’s not that I don’t know HOW to do this, it’s that I have a heart and a mindset that is programmed to protect and serve everyone else first, and that often means I end up last.  That old adage about you have to put on your own oxygen mask first…  yeah, that applies to business as well.

So here are 5 tips that I have learned and incorporated into my own business:

  1. If it’s not on the calendar, it’s not important to you – CALENDAR FIRST
    I have all of my clients’ hours time blocked into a lovely color-coded system on my calendar. All my appointments booked thru my Dubsado scheduler are shown in one color, and all appointments booked directly through my Google calendar are shown in another. Those on Google are usually my personal appointments or me signing up to attend an event. This helps me know what’s going on, how many free hours are in my schedule so that I know if I have the bandwidth to take on new clients. [bonus tip: make sure that when you are time blocking your hours, that you show your client workload time blocks as “FREE” at least a couple times per week, or else no one will be able to book appointments with you if you have a pretty busy schedule.]Think ahead – seriously far ahead, as far as a year even. Block space for yourself and your family – plot birthdays as “BUSY” in your calendar now to avoid stress when the day arrives. Do the same for holidays. Want to take a vacation? Maybe two? Block out target weeks on your calendar – it’s not set in stone but at least it will protect that space for you.When does your brain function at its peak? Give yourself an hour each business day during that time to work ON your business, not just IN it. [Personal note: I want to be a morning person but I am just NOT… I produce my best work late afternoons or early evenings… so most evenings I block out 5-6 PM so I can devote my time to doing my best work to GROW my business.
  2. Pick a team/project management tool and USE it!
    This is obviously the next step after getting your calendar organized. I don’t care WHAT tool you choose, as long as you USE it. Most of my clients use Asana, ClickUp, or Airtable currently. Asana probably has the least learning curve of the 3, but all are pretty intuitive once you just get started. [Bonus tip: create a private project or area that is just for you, in whichever system you choose, and this is where you can enter your personal tasks and projects – start by filling in this area first, give yourself due dates or these items most likely will not get done.Then start a project for each client – put their work in there and make sure it gets done…how do you do that? You assign it to a team member and assign a due date as soon as you know about something. I will go more into depth on project management systems at a later date.
  3. Avoid SHINY OBJECT SYNDROME!Like everyone else, I get distracted when I see ads on social media, read posts by someone raving about a certain tool or business magazine, or a business publication talk about the best person to help your business scale. As entrepreneurs, we are serial learners, we crave this stuff! But is it always the best use of our time when we should be focusing on something else? NOPE. So what I did is I created a task in my project management tool and gave it the name “SQUIRREL!” (if you know, you know). I put links and a brief statement into this task about each of these things that I want to review later…and then I time block a “SQUIRREL!” hour once per week to go through the juiciest ones…. I delete most on first click – some I will make notes on and addto my schedule for a real review, demo call, etc… this allows me the freedom to still feed that need… and to channel it in a productive manner.
  4. OUTSOURCEI don’t care if you hire employees, part-time or full-time if you outsource to one of the boards like Upwork, or if you manage to find the perfect independent contractors through referral connections. But if you are operating near the 6-figure mark and above…you cannot do it alone. I am now working as an agency model, which is something that I never thought I wanted, never could find the right people to support me, but now…this is my business model and I love it. I get to do the high-level stuff that needs to be done and outsource, with very clear direction, things that don’t need my way too many years of experience. (Personal note: I’m OLD, and have been running other people’s businesses for over 3 decades now!)
    Yes, of course, this is an added expense, but budget for it! The longer I am in business, the more I am a fan of admitting that we shouldn’t operate in a silo, as an island, or whatever other metaphor you have in mind. We can learn so much from other seasoned professionals…on a very part-time basis. Hire a coach to get through your own thoughts and get the best out of yourself. Hire a consultant to review where you’re at to see how you’re doing, and make recommendations for improvement. Hire advisors to create exit strategies, growth and scaling strategies, etc. Choose a coach or consultant who shares your target audience if possible, but who is further along than you are. Always aspire upward.

That’s it, I could go on and on about business and how to do better, be better, improve efficiencies, etc…but this is a very basic first step and I hope you found it helpful. If you would like to learn more about any of these, feel free to reach out via the contact form on my website.

So, this is a fun week…St. Patrick’s day this Thursday! It is so easy to get off track from our goals on holiday weeks. Don’t rely on the “Luck of the Irish” or anyone else to get through holidays and special events. This is when you really need to rely on your systems to get you through and keep your eyes on the long game, rather than just focusing on the quickly approaching holiday!

There will be Corned Beef and Cabbage served at our table, beer bread and Irish Car-bomb Cupcakes for dessert…but that’s the short-game. The long game, is that I have clients to support, my own projects with deadlines that I have to meet for new services, Masterminds that I am a part of and I need to be ready for them and support the other members also.

So, how do we do this? Use your excitement for the holiday (insert family party, or any other event here if St. Patrick’s Day doesn’t do it for you!), and make sure you plan ahead and can sail through it smoothly. Have EVERYTHING on your calendar or in your project management system…and break them all down into manageable time blocks. This includes grocery shopping and prepping and cooking! (as well as digging through storage for your tacky light-up shamrock necklace for the big day! Wait what? You don’t have one of those? OH, I thought everyone did! lol)

Seriously, time block everything. Focus work gets put on your calendar when you are most likely to be able to really concentrate, client work get time-blocked, as does cooking and family responsibilities. I know that everyone in the world now seems to be against the hustle mentality, and I am not going to tell them that they are wrong, I don’t want anyone out there working themselves to the bone literally, but life does require a certain amount of effort to be lived well. If you know there’s something fun coming down the road, it is a great motivator to get the other tasks off of your plate so that you can really be present and enjoy the moments with family and friends!

It’s Monday – stop what you’re doing right now and map out the rest of your week to the best of your ability at this time. It will change as the week goes on and that’s ok, you have a plan…and that’s half the battle! You can have a great week, you can have it all…but it won’t be luck that get’s it for you…it will be organization and dedication. Make it a great week!

Integrity has been on my mind quite a bit recently.  I am often wondering what people are thinking…is it just really all about the quick sale?

The marketing techniques that are being taught don’t sit well with me these days.  We are told to sell a program before we build it, sell a product before it’s complete, etc…  How is that fair to the consumer?  They are buying into the “expert” but the still expect the product to be sound and a good investment.  And maybe it will be…or maybe it won’t…but is it fair to use consumers as guinea pigs when they are not aware?

There are exceptions to this of course, like products being promoted on Kickstarter or other platforms where you are told up front…”It’s not built yet, but if enough of you invest with us, we can make this great thing…” That is a pretty transparent situation and I am all for it.

I searched for a business coach, or a program, for quite awhile…I consumed way too much content and spent way too much time.  But this is a big deal and I wanted to not regret it later.  I finally settled on one who I kept seeing show up, be real, make mistakes and typos – and own up to it.  Settled is the wrong word.  Once i knew that it was going to work out and we were going to be able to work together, I  was beyond ready to get started.  This is not a shiny object coach…she will give you the tools and the support needed…she is all about support…but you had better show up and do the work!

I know it seems like I went way off topic…but bear with me…she comes at everything from a place of integrity and of wanting to provide value and service to her clients.  This is what was missing from the others…they were just shiny ads and click funnels…and even the one that tried to be all vulnerable  looking and showing you how rough it was for her before it got better…it just felt slimy and mass-produced.

I get the theory behind automation…but it needs to come from a place of integrity and service and to make things better for your clients, to enable you to serve more clients, faster, with better results…not just a quick sale and then off into another automation.  Integrity first.  

So, I am all about asking for an earned endorsement or recommendation on LinkedIn – or anywhere really…but this was literally appalling to me!  I connected with this guy, like many others, upon his request and never heard a peep out of him…until I got this message:


I blackened out his identifying information just to be kind but…wish I didn’t feel I had to.  Seriously – who does this???


But wait – there’s more.  When I first got this message, I remember being flabbergasted…like what the heck  did I just read????  I decided just to ignore it rather than waste my energy…  But then, 6 months later I get the exact same message from him again!!!  


This is not what LinkedIn recommendations are all about.  What happened to integrity and authenticity?  


Have any of you received similar messages?

So, I was scrolling online today and I saw a recommendation for a graphics program called RelayThat…now let’s be clear, I have a background of using Photoshop, and have also been spending a lot of time lately using Canva.  I don’t “need” another graphics program…but there was one thing that enticed me about RelayThat…

What’s that you ask?  Well, you can design one graphic – and then it gives you a bunch of different potential layouts.  I designed this graphic to the right, and then I simply clicked on Layouts, and it showed me a ton of other options…that would easily allow me to design to my taste once – and then just click on one of the others and maybe change out an image or a title, and voila…new graphic within seconds.

Sound too good to be true?  Check this out:




See all those different looks above?  Well I promise you that these aren’t even a drop in the bucket!  There are so so SO many options in there once you design your first graphic in the workspace.

That’s it.  So far, and granted I just started working with the program, but so far that is the only benefit I see over what some have called the “more difficult to use, Canva”.  I hate being told what I can and cannot do…especially on the cannot side, and RelayThat doesn’t allow me to just add text wherever I want, I can’t send an object to the back or the front (layers are huge in graphic design…and you have no control over them in RelayThat.  

I think that as someone who designs many social media graphics a month, the concept is interesting to bust them out faster with all of the templates that RelayThat can mass-produce for you quickly…but as someone who wants to get the quality and the right messaging on the graphics also…I don’t see myself letting my Canva subscription lag anytime soon. ♥

I will most likely keep my RelayThat subscription active for a month or so, and then come back and update this post, maybe all the templates in there will broaden my real design scope a bit…but as of right now, I expect I will be canceling my RelayThat subscription and just continuing on with my Canva Pro subscription thereafter.

I hope this helps someone!  If creating social media graphics for your content has you firmly planted in a field of overwhelm, please book a strategy session with me today so we can figure out how to get you unstuck and scaling your business faster!



Next to the first day of the new year, today has got to be as good a time as any to make a fresh start – set a plan – and see it through!  Why is that you ask?


Because today is the first Monday of spring…a time of new beginnings and new growth.  A perfect time to think about what you want your business to bloom into and the growth you want to achieve by this time next year.


Have you ever ridden a horse?  I know…odd question…but play along please.  When riding a horse…you need to look where you want to go, in order for the horse to take you there.  If you’re riding on a steep cliff, they always tell you not to look over the edge… In the same manner – if there is an awesome view at the top of the hill, if you keep your eye on that….the horse will take you there. (this is for horses in general, not brilliantly trained trick riding ponies, etc…)


Need another example?  Believe in the laws of attraction?  Even just a little bit?  They say what you focus on – expend your energy on, will manifest more of that.  So if you focus on good things, growth and abundance…all things spring like – it is believed that you will get more of that.  Focus on the negative things in your life and well…you get the picture.


So on this first day of spring ask yourself some questions:

  1. What do I want to achieve in my business by this time next year?
  2. What do I have to do to do that / to get there?
  3. And what will it look like when I get there????

Now live like it has already happened and you are doing more of it – just keep on going.  Consistency is key.  You have to get up every day and keep going in that direction…small consistent steps…those are what will get you to the top of that hill, to your desired success.  And you know what?  I’m going to do it right along with you!  I made a plan over the weekend for consistent, well rounded steps that will get me to my goals…and they are already paying off. 

Happy First Monday of Spring 2021 – let’s make it an awesome beginning to an amazing season of entrepreneurial growth!  

Happy Sunday!  Let’s talk systems!  


One of my favorite systems right now is my Dubsado!  I have done their training, Dubsado 101 they call it, and it just is such a great and efficient all in one tool for the most part!  At the time of writing this post, I have been using Dubsado for about 5 months.

What do I like about this program?


  1. Built in contract, proposal, email and form templates that you can customize to suit your needs.
  2. Signature capture capability for contracts and proposals.
  3. Time tracking
  4. Invoicing
  5. Ability to tell if clients have read their documents / emails
  6. Built in scheduler that I can have special links to or embed on my website.
  7. CRM capabilities
  8. Client portal

I really do love Dubsado – so far the very minor issues I have had have been addressed competently and quickly by their tech support staff.  I know that several of my clients and colleagues use this program as well – and there is an awesome Facebook Group for them also. (message me if you need the name)

I highly suggest that you do watch some training videos though and not just try to do everything yourself out of the “box”.  I am a self-professed geek, and even I missed a thing or two the first time around on the scheduler setup.  Now I am very proficient in this program and am confident in adding it to my arsenal of programs that I can support my clients with.  This program isn’t for everyone; however if you are a service-based entrepreneur…I highly suggest you give it a try!

*Note:  I looked at a few similar programs prior to choosing Dubsado.  I was originally working in SuiteDash and I looked into HoneyBook…in the end, I am happy that I settled with Dubsado and don’t see myself changing anytime soon!  If you want to try Dubsado and need some help with setup & implementation, feel free to schedule a strategy session with me!


Here’s a discount code for you:  christinewade

Or just use this link.

***If you would like to signup for Dubsado, it’s absolutely free until you have 3 clients – no matter how long that takes you – and then once you graduate to the paid subscription, by using my discount / affiliate code, you will get 20% off your first month OR your first year…and I will get credit towards my own Dubsado account.  I only promote affiliate products that I actually use regularly!



So – yeah…see that message in the graphic?  –>

Seriously – this is how this guy thought a business connection would be made.

If you can’t take a few seconds to slow down and make a proper greeting in LinkedIn or any DM, know which “you’re” to use, capitalize a sentence, etc…I certainly do NOT think that it is “ideal” for us to connect. Sorry.

Not my type of connection…please friends…don’t be this guy! Take pride in your business and let your communication show it!

We are all guilty of the occasional typo – but first impressions matter – so make sure you put in that extra effort and don’t make the same LinkedIn connection request faux pas that this guy did…

Take some time to really look at the profile of the person whom you want to connect with, note something personal about them and relate to that…don’t just throw something generic out there.  It reeks of haste…and you know what our mamas always say…”haste makes waste!”

Slow down, focus on one connection at a time, focus on the relationship you wish to build with that person and why…this is not the time to multi-task btw…it may take a bit longer up front…but the quality of connection will be the reward for time well spent. 

There is somewhat of a guilt factor engrained into human beings…if someone spends time on us, getting to know us, engaging with us, etc…we feel obligated to give something back to them…so if you check out those potential connections before just mass-blasting out a ton of connections requests, and focus on quality over quantity…your end result coming back to you will be so much more rewarding.