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As a digital entrepreneur, a wife and mom of a blended family, Anne Leah Mauro doesn’t just know a thing or two about hard work, she lives by it. In fact, she emerged from one of the most challenging times in her life – being a single mom and suddenly getting fired from her day job – to becoming a successful business owner and parent of five kids.
If you’re looking for someone who knows a thing or two about resilience, Anne Leah is your girl. She’s gone from being a full-time employee to starting her own ventures, like the Anne Leah & Co, and the AmbitiousVA, alongside juggling the demands of being a wife and a parent of five.
And get this: despite having a busy life, she manages to find time to get out there and have motorcycle adventures with her husband – proof that running a business doesn’t have to be all work and no play!
Anne Leah’s story is also proof that a full-time mom can also be a full-time entrepreneur, and with grit and determination, and a bit of planning and organization, anything is possible. (Including the business freedom you’ve always wanted.)
If you’re a mom who’s looking to start your own business, or just seeking some inspiration on how to balance work and family life, or even looking to transform your small business into a systematized legacy, Anne Leah is definitely someone you should check out.
You can read more about Anne Leah’s story, her tips and tricks on digital entrepreneurship, and more by reading the full transcript below:
📄 Video Transcription:
Yvonne: Hey everybody and welcome back to Boss Your Business, where my guests tell you how they build businesses that support their lifestyle. And today, my friend Anne Leah Shick, sorry, I am not updating your name to me. You are Anne Leah Shick, I’m gonna get in trouble with a hubby. We’ll be talking about all of that. The insider joke, um, Anne is actually now a married millennial mom to five kids and a blended family.
Yvonne: I swear. I don’t know how she makes it happen. And a motorcycle enthusiast, owner of Anne Leah and CO and Ambitious VA. You are certified Director of Operations and vetted ClickUp consultant living in New York and surviving on locally roasted coffee and baked goods. Did I mention yeah, coffee? James who is in the live audience, is drinking a flat white.
Yvonne: So we are all caffeinated up here. So with that, as the audience already heard, it’s like, to me, I’m so used Anne Leah Shick, but it’s actually Anne Leah Mauro now.
Anne: It’s the German accent in you, Mauro. It’s the German accent.
Yvonne: It’s the cute one. I’ve been told the German accent is sexy, and I choose to believe that.
Anne: My kids come home every day and get so mad because the teachers still cannot pronounce their last name.
Anne: And we’re like, what’s what’s wrong with Mauro? It’s, it’s so just Mauro. It’s, it’s spelled, it’s pronounced the way you spell it is M O R R O W. It’s spelled the Italian way, so M A U R O. So you pronounce it as if you were gonna spell it. M O R R O W , Mauro.
Yvonne: I just, I just pronounced it the German way.
Anne: It’s okay.
Yvonne: Now that we know where you are right now.
Anne: Yeah. Five kids, blended family. All the things.
How did you get started?
Yvonne: My first initial question too, my guess is always how did you get here? How did all of this start?
Anne: Okay? So in order to make the connection to the blended family, I have to go into mine and my husband’s love story a little bit because people were extremely, uh, a lot of people that know us personally, know the story, but other people that I’ve just met over the last three and a half years, they always tell me it’s a love story. And him and I just brush it off because we were high school sweethearts.
Yvonne: Oh my God, I didn’t even know.
Yvonne: Did I know that? I don’t think I knew.
Anne: So I was the good girl in high school and he was the bad boy, basically. Yeah and I met him through a mutual friend and I graduated and then I got pregnant right after graduation. Not too long after I was about 19, I got pregnant with our oldest, who will be 20 next month.
Anne: So our age ranges of our kids are 20, 15, 12, 11, and three, and the two girls are my bonus daughters. And then my second, my middle son is his bonus son, we call it. So we don’t go, we don’t use the annotation stepmom or stepdad. We use bonus mom. Bonus dad. I like bonus kids. Um, and after we separated, when our oldest was about three, he got remarried, had the two girls.
Anne: I had the other son, and then in about 2018, almost exactly at the time that I lost my job, he, him and I had, I had friend zoned him for a few years. Um, so after, you know, just being in kind of the friend zone and checking in with each other, and he was seeing his son all the time. We hung out and I’m sure he’s watching and he’s probably gonna jump in the comments and say smart ass shit. But that’s fine.
Yvonne: That’s how we know him.
Anne: Cause he, he has his own, he has his own little love story going on. I’m the one that called him apparently. Uh, so we hung out and then after we did that, I, surprisingly last minute type of thing, I lost my job. So I had an IT job at a corporate IT company here locally in New York.
Anne: And I walked into work at like nine o’clock one morning. And I left with no job by 10:30.
Yvonne: And so it sounds like it was completely unexpected.
Anne: Yeah, so they called me into the HR office. The minute I got in the door, they wouldn’t even let me go to my desk. They said, go right to HR. They handed me a severance package and they said, I said, I need to ask why I’m being terminated so I can file for unemployment. And they said, don’t worry about it. That’s confidential. We won’t deny your unemployment. Here’s your severance package. They called a company wide meeting to the point that I was escorted out of the, another door of the building so that other people wouldn’t know I was leaving.
Anne: I was managing accounts for other clients. So for three months after I was let go, I was still getting text messages and phone calls. For support from clients because I wasn’t even, I wasn’t even allowed to like close the loop or tell them I wasn’t gonna be there anymore. That’s how sudden it was.
Anne: So I left at like 10:30 in the morning, falling my eyes out. Single mom, my two boys at the time, and like, had no idea what I was gonna do or where I was gonna go. So yeah, it was.
Yvonne: I’m like, it’s, it’s not even, it was just such a cutoff.
Anne: I found out months later they were actually making a bunch of management changes.
Anne: So what I actually did was I was so upset about it, but in a way I was, my eyes were opened to the point that I was actually overworking myself at this company to the point that I was completely blindsided to what had been going on in my kids’ lives and at school. And that kind of opened my eyes. And then I was grateful for it because then I was able to like, take some time off and really kind of refocus and see where I was missing.
Anne: Um, you know, like the mom aspect, like I was so busy just dropping ’em off at daycare and school every day and then picking them up at night. And I found out that they were having a lot of problems at school. There was a lot of bullying situations going on, and I had actually just kind of, I was enlightened essentially to the fact that I was like the overworked single mom at that point.
Yvonne: So it, it sounds like once you digested this whole…
Anne: Yeah, it was like a blessing in disguise, essentially, but…
Yvonne: Which, which I always hate when we are in it. I’m like, I got a couple of those situations too where I’m like, damn, that was quite a journey. But in the long haul I’m thankful for it. But yeah, when you are in it, it’s like, so what the heck?
Anne: I’m on that little era.
Anne: Uh, my oldest son’s father and I, who’s now my husband, we were talking, and this happened a week and a half before my now 11, uh, 11 year old son’s birthday cuz his birthday.
Anne: I actually remember the month that happened and I was stressed, I was pissed, I was stressed, I was upset, like, how am I gonna for, I had like a huge birthday party planned for him.
Anne: There was another series of events that had happened with another friend of mine and I was supposed to have a party at their house for and I was unable to, so I happened to call him and was like, I need someone to come help me rearrange this entire garage by tomorrow for a birthday party. Cuz we were doing like a pinata and like a whole bunch of stuff.
Anne: And he brought the girls over and he came over and he essentially showed up as my knight in shining armor and helped me through the stressful situation and it was very obvious after years of like not being together, that we had still very much loved each other. We were just basically kids freezing at that point in time.
Anne: So then we decided very quickly that it would be easiest if, uh, him and the girls had moved in in our house together and we just kind of decided like, why not? Like, this is fate. Let’s just, let’s make it work. And we combined our families. And if I were to tell you that it was easy, that would be a flat out freaking lie because it has not been an easy path and it’s not, it was not easy at all.
Yvonne: And life is never easy. Yeah. Especially when you are have, when you have a family of seven, you have seven different personalities.
Anne: Cause she’s a, she’s a whole nother family member. Yeah. Um, so we um, essentially decided that we would just merge families. And thankfully, we were living off of his paycheck.
Anne: He’s an auto mechanic and he was like, I’ll help take care of things. That was one of the reasons he moved in with me, with the girls, was to help me financially until I could figure out what, what I was gonna do. Thankfully, I’ve always been a little bit of an entrepreneur. I think that’s probably why I didn’t do so well in the corporate world.
Anne: Um, I like to innovate and I like to stand out and I, yeah, honestly, um, a lot of frustrations with that job was the fact that they didn’t have a project management tool. Which I won’t go into cuz someone will call me from their corporate office. If you need me and you need ClickUp, you know where to reach me. So if you’re watching this, you know exactly what company I worked for.
Anne: So there, that’s, that’s all on you. Just leave that.
A little sneak peek at project management (of most agencies)
Yvonne: I would love to take this on a complete different site. Note here for a second. This is what always surprises me, me. I’m like, I look, I have the exposure to, to some big brands in, in the social media sector to, um, social media agency, to digital marketing agencies and everything.
Yvonne: And it’s like you see the public view of everything and then you get a sneak peek behind the scenes. And I cannot tell you how many of those companies actually got. Project management is not an easy thing. Don’t give me wrong, but more than not actually have nothing in place. It’s a shit show.
Anne: It is. It’s a total shit show. And then they got mad at me because they were doing layoffs and then instead of rehiring at one point before they let me go, they were just adding onto the workload and then they were getting mad at me because I couldn’t keep up with these expectations and they were like, track it with an Excel sheet.
Anne: Try Microsoft Project. Really?
Yvonne: It doesn’t work like that.
Anne: It didn’t work like that. So then I started innovating and I started like trying to figure out like ways to help and next thing you know, I’m out of a job, so whatever.
Anne: I just hope the employees at that place, that things are better. And that’s all I’m gonna say.
Yvonne: So with that, you started your journey.
Anne: I actually started my journey doing InstaCart.
Yvonne: Huh? Love something new again. No, I did not. Okay.
Anne: So before AmbitiousVA, we were strapped for cash and I needed to make some extra money because I could see the, the stressors coming in from being such a large family and just the one income.
Anne: So I told my husband, I said, let me try this Instacart thing. Let’s see where it goes. It gives me flexibility. I can make my own hours. Um, I was not pregnant yet with Carmen. I did have a miscarriage, which is how we ended up with the dog that I did not publicly talk about because I was so upset because what happened was I was too early.
Anne: Dan was excited. We told the kids too early, and then it happened so quickly that I had to explain to the kids why they weren’t having a sibling. It was super hurtful. It was, it was really rough. And in that point, um, we filled, we, we filled that little emptiness with, um, our, our tricolor bully dog.
Anne: Her name is White Girl.
Yvonne: I love it.
Anne: And um, so we filled that. And then in that timeframe, I was like, geez, maybe, maybe we should try Instacart or something. I tried Instacart, I actually enjoyed it. But then it got to the point that when we found out I was pregnant, my husband was like, you’re putting too much wear and tear in the car and I don’t want you carrying loads and loads of groceries while you’re like knocked off.
Anne: So he was like, let’s you know, is there something else we can do? And I started trolling around in the online world and that’s when I came across this whole like virtual assistant thing. I do have a good friend of mine. Who’s like another business bestie. She knows who she is and she was essentially my first client and I was helping her with her craft business and her storefront and all of that stuff. And she’s like, you’d make a great virtual assistant. And it kind of opened up that can of worms down into that AmbitiousVA road. And then I officially was like, I’m no longer doing Instacart, but one day I’m gonna be the person that somebody’s dropping groceries off, and let me tell you, I use them every week.
Yvonne: It takes a ton of time to literally just, heck, it takes a ton of time for me to go grocery shopping and I’m a single.
Anne: Yeah. So now, so like I’ve achieved that little bit of a goal, but that’s what happened is I started helping people with all of the crazy crazily acquired business knowledge also.
Anne: I wanna backtrack also quickly. When I was given the option to file for unemployment, when I lost my job, they gave you something called the SEAP program, which is the Self-Employment Assistance Program, which allows you to pursue opening a business while you collect unemployment, because I could not stomach the idea of interviewing for jobs because at the time, nobody had known what a customer success manager was because it was such a new and upcoming thing in the IT industry.
Anne: There was no openings for it, and I was overly qualified for other jobs. So I told them, I wanna do this. I wanna open a coffee run business, and essentially it was a coffee delivery service that I wanted to do, which in hindsight would’ve been great through a pandemic, but the upfront costs were too expensive, so I never pursued that opportunity.
Anne: I kind of just debted it and decided to go more in pursuit of the virtual assistant business, because I literally started my business for $35. You guys? Yep. I filed the DBA. I had a computer and I had internet.
Yvonne: That’s pretty much all you need. You might need to get a business license based on where you at. But even that business license…
Anne: So in New York, it’s just an assumed business. Fictitious business name is a sole proprietorship. It’s called a "doing business as".
Yvonne: Yeah. So in California you need to DBA and you need to pay your business license. So there is two things to that, but again, it comes down to what, a hundred bucks or something?
Anne: Yeah. Um, no, no biggie. That’s, that’s essentially what happened and I had to take a course called the Fast Track to Business Startup Workshop that essentially taught me all of the little bits and foundational pieces that I needed to be successful. And what I did is I actually took those resources from my coffee run business and I ended up just pivoting them into the AmbitiousVA business, which is kind of why it just popped up so quickly. Cuz I already had the resources there. I already knew what I needed to do. Yeah. Um, and then I found people that actually needed help and it wasn’t super profitable until the pandemic hit.
Anne: And then everybody fell in love with ClickUp and needed to know how to get virtual with their business and that’s what happened. And then from ClickUp, I actually got tired of doing ClickUp implementations.
Yvonne: I’m laughing over here because I think that’s, that’s a piece of growth that a lot of done-for-you service providers go through.
Yvonne: I’ve done the implementation for ClickUp. Don’t get me wrong, it’s also a part of learning. I don’t think either one of us would be where we are specifically with ClickUp, if we wouldn’t have done done for you. Yeah. And once I’ve launched my stuff in January, Ann is gonna be looking at me and be like, but you told me not to do this.
Yvonne: Because I’m, I’m doing something that I always told you not to do it.
The first official 4-figure client
Anne: What’s even funnier is a lot of people don’t believe me when I tell them I signed my first official four-figure client that paid me lots of money to do a ClickUp setup. I signed that client while I was in the hospital giving birth to little toddler.
Yvonne: Yeah, I can see you doing that.
Anne: I got the notification on my email through Dubsado that said she had signed the contract and paid the invoice, and I was literally giving birth going, well, I just signed a client. My husband’s like, what are you? I’m like, I’m giving birth and making money.
About running a digital business
I mean, this is legit, like this is, I think it was at that moment in time, the light bulb kind of flipped because I think in our type of work, maybe it’s just because of my area, people still don’t know like what I do or how I do it, or like everybody keeps telling me like they don’t think my business was a legit thing. It wasn’t until like just this past year, like after everybody went unemployed for COVID, and I still was working and thriving in my business, that people were like, oh shit, like, she’s actually doing something like, I don’t know what she’s doing, but she’s doing something.
Anne: And I’m like, It’s because you’re not business owners. Like if you’re not a business owner, if you’re not in my industry, you’re not gonna know what I do. And that’s okay.
Yvonne: And I think that’s, I think that’s what a lot of beginners in this journey need to learn. Mm-hmm. , I’ve done, I’ve done the same mistake where I’m like, I’m asking people for recommendations or feedback or input that I shouldn’t.
Yvonne: Simply because they are nine to five. I, I love my nine to five of friends. I love them. But I’m sorry, you are nine to five. You are not gonna put the same passion into your nine to five that I’m gonna put into my business. If I decide to not go out and drink on the weekend because I’m writing a book.
Yvonne: Or interesting story. It’s like I had a friend of like, hey, um, graphic design, Adobe is doing something. You get 50 bucks if you submit something. I’m like, Yeah. Why would I spend half an hour to put something together for 50 bucks and maybe win a thousand? I’m like, you know what I can do with this hour?
Yvonne: That hour takes care of my next section of my book. That hour takes care of building that sales funnel. So with that, I think we often put way too much weight on what other people close to us think about our business. We do have friends that we care about. We do have family we care about. That doesn’t mean they understand what the hell we are doing.
Anne: Oh, right. And it’s so funny because I have. I have a few close family and friends that are like super supportive and like they’ve seen the progression and they’ve seen my hard work and they’ve attempted to understand what I do, even though I’ve had to reword it like a zillion times. But then there’s always those like, there, there’s still or always are the doubters, like they’re just like, I can even tell you, it’s so funny, I haven’t posted a single YouTube video on my channel in over a year. I still get traffic, I still get views, and my kids are still dumbfounded that I have almost 2000 subscribers. And it, and I’m like, it’s, I’m, I’m kind of a YouTube star, like in the ClickUp world.
Anne: Like people still watch my stuff and the kids are like, really? And I’m like, by the way, that kid that you’re watching on YouTube, he needs some help. His title is not SEO optimized.
Yvonne: He is not living up to his full potential.
Anne: He’s not living up to his full YouTube potential. And you can take your superstar YouTube mom, but I just, I tease him cuz it’s funny cuz they don’t get it cuz it’s not videos they would watch. But they don’t think there’s a whole clientele out there that are like, I’m waiting for your next video cuz now I’m a certified Director of Operations. So now my focus is business operations and ClickUp is just a small piece of that.
Yvonne: And what I’m curious about, you already touched a little bit on that, so there’s been a lot of growth, there’s been a lot of changes, there’s been a lot of things going on for both of us.
Yvonne: Okay. And what. I love the story of, oh yeah, I just got paid while, while being in labor and giving birth to a child.
Processes and workflows for Business Freedom
What are some of those processes and workflows that allow you to have the life now that you have. I’m like, I’m watching you. You guys are going on motorcycle trips pretty much every weekend if it’s possible.
Yvonne: Um, I’ve seen the changes in your bike. She is now finally purple. All branded.
Anne: All purple. Yes.
Yvonne: And what, what’s happening behind the scenes? So what are some of those processes and workflows that allow you to live that life?
Raising a family like a business
Anne: So first and foremost, I run my family like a business.
Yvonne: She actually does. She does. Yeah.
Anne: So behind the branding, the whole Anne Leah & Co. and the Atom is not work/life balance. That is a total lie. It’s work, but it’s work life integration, work life, family integration. So the whole meaning behind Anne Leah & Co. is that it’s a team of people. It’s me and a team, and whether my team is my kids or my husband, or my virtual assistant or my intern, we’re all working together as a team because the help I get from my family team, my kids, and my husband, allows me to be able to work and focus my efforts where people need me, that generates revenue and vice versa.
Anne: The people at my work team allow me to delegate and distribute work internally that allows me the freedom to go back and spend the time with my family. So the quick answer is delegation.
Anne: And the long answer is that you can’t delegate properly without the processes in the systems. And that’s what people don’t seem to understand, and it’s the delegation in the outsourcing.
Anne: So for instance, when hubby and I wanna take a road trip and we know either two of the kids come with us, or if they wanna stay home, they stay home. We know we have to grocery shop. And we know we have to cook every week and we know we need food in the house and we need to make a meal plan because decision fatigue is real.
Anne: One thing the husband and I hate to do, it’s argue over what’s for dinner and I’m spoiled.
Yvonne: I think that, I think that has been reasons for divorces. That was one of the things where I’m like, What do you want for dinner? It’s like I’ve been, I’ve been working that literally in my last relationship where I’m like, you asked me how you can help me.
Yvonne: I had to make decisions every single minute this whole day. Yeah. Just decide on dinner and take this off my back. So yeah, I can. Mm-hmm.
Anne: So I developed, I developed a system where it took a lot of trial and error too. So like no system is perfect. I basically go by, be flexible, try and error, you know, trial and error, and then go with the simplest form that works for everyone.
Anne: Because what you wanna do is take yourself out of that mix, essentially. So if I wanna work, I work on my schedule, I work around my kids, so I use a booking tool, a scheduler, essentially. I use Google Calendar and I link all of my Google calendars into one calendar to get like, blocked view of all my overlays, essentially.
Anne: I tried all their different tools, but unfortunately they didn’t work well because my virtual assistant likes to have like an overview of like what my schedule is. Yeah. Personal and business so that I can tell her like, hey, I’ve gotta run and do this. Or, hey, I’m on a consultation call here. Or if she needs to check availability, and I delegate client work to.
Anne: She’s got an overview. So we’re very heavily using like one Google calendar that’s linked to the rest of our calendars that she has access to.
Anne: I even do that.
Yvonne: Yeah. Where it’s like, to me, a big piece of when I’m working with clients is often the issue of you are working in silos. Yeah. You can’t just work in silos.
Yvonne: It has to combine with a big picture too. So, I completely get where your VA is. I’m like, hey, I need a big picture of everything. Yes, I can drill down on your work schedule and your family schedule if I need to, but I need to have a big picture of you, of everything so that I can make the right decision in one of those silos that’s happening.
Anne: Yeah, I think the hardest thing that I’ve had to deal with the last three months is the fact that I have a very inconsistent three year old, and until just recently, now that he’s in a structured, um, universal pre-K program for half the morning. I was struggling trying to find like a routine and trying to force myself into that routine was the worst instead of me just getting up and following my flow and working when I could.
Anne: Which then brings me to the next thing is, prioritization.
Yvonne: Oh my God, yes.
Anne: Um, especially with a big family. So like I, people get mad, like I don’t say when I’m on Facebook, I do it in periods throughout the day. I do like a blast of engagement and then I’m done. That’s usually at night or first thing in the morning.
Anne: I don’t know if anybody’s noticed this on my social media because the rest of the day, my time is being delegated into more important things. And then the other thing is not being mad at myself because I just couldn’t do it all.
Yvonne: Oh God, yes. Like we were talking behind the scenes about this, how you changed, approaching your goals because life just happens.
Yvonne: Yeah. I’m like, yes, we can set annual goals. Yes, we can set like the next three months goals. The big picture, what do we wanna reach? If COVID has taught us something, it’s that nothing ever happens how we plan it to happen. Exactly. Being able to step back and just be like, it’s fine. It didn’t happen in this amount of time.
Yvonne: We’ll move it. Yes, I care about this. Yes. I wanna keep this, let’s move it to the next section.
Anne: Um, so quickly I can give you like a rundown of like, favorite tools that I use essentially.
Yvonne: Bring it on.
Anne: Okay. So first and foremost is ClickUp. Second is Google Calendar. Um, the third is the handy dandy trusty notebook.
Anne: I still use my notebook every freaking day. Um, and on top of that, it’s processes. And I have to say, I have to be careful in the way that I say this because it works for family and it works for work. So my work processes are stored in a tool called Guru. It’s an SOP tool. I do not store my SOPs in ClickUp anymore.
Yvonne: Oh, I don’t either.
Anne: So that’s up and coming. Um, a whole thing on that, another time. But I started doing that because I was getting annoyed that when I would delegate something to my VA, I brain dump it somewhere in ClickUp and then we could never find it.
Anne: And I’m like, I know. I put it somewhere and it just wasn’t intuitive enough.
Anne: So we were migrating, still migrating things, and I have an SOP processing system that I use where we submit a request, we collaborate, we move it into the tool and then it goes from there. Now, when I say processes for home, okay, I tried to get too detailed. I tried to get too specific. My family doesn’t use ClickUp.
Anne: My family uses a calendar, which would’ve been ideal if we had done this at home. There’s a big wall calendar, a paper wall calendar on the kitchen behind my desk, and every week the kids have jobs. They do their own laundry. They each get a day that they’re supposed to clean the kitchen. To my mom’s out there, this means I don’t clean and cook all the time.
Anne: Just so you know, and I’m fine with that. That is me being the rubble and saying, I’m not gonna be the mom that cooks, that cleans, that does the laundry and runs a business and does everything. I don’t spend my time doing that.
Yvonne: And actually me, me as a no mom, and yes, the kids need to be at a specific age to be able to do this.
Yvonne: There is no question about this. Me as a no mom. That has to, that had to babysit guys. I actually appreciate you doing that because it’s, it’s, it’s a different upbringing between the states and Germany, to be honest, where, where I run into not just guys, but also women who had the blessing and the luxury of growing up with a mom that did everything and now they’re burning water.
Yvonne: You are actually helping your kids, be self-sufficient by handing this stuff off. Does it need to be age appropriate? Yes. Do I have nothing to say about this because I’m not a mom. Yes, but I’m the one that now has to pay when dating where guys are literally, they’re living in the bachelor pad and not just because they’re a bachelor, because they never had to do their laundry.
Yvonne: They often don’t even know how, which button to push on the laundry. Yeah. So I’m happy about moms like you.
Anne: I can tell you first and foremost it was not perfect. It has been messy. We have tried multiple different ways. In so far, the most recent has been the most efficient in the one that sticks. So each kid gets a day that they do their laundry.
Anne: Each kid gets a specific day that it’s a different day that they do the kitchen, meaning it is their job to make sure the kit, the dishwasher’s loaded, the dishwasher’s empty, they clean up after dinner, and that day that they do the kitchen is the day that I tell them to pick a meal for dinner because no one hates to sit there and figure out what each kid wants to eat for dinner and anybody that has a large family knows your kids are picky as shit. No one ever wants the same thing. So if you give them a day that they get to pick what meal they want, then you have a week’s worth of meals. You have your grocery list, you have your meal plan, and it’s all done, and it’s all a team effort. And I make them do inventory. I don’t make them.
Anne: They choose to now. They do inventory. They help write out the grocery list. Worst case scenario is I place an Instacart order for pickup. I place an Instacart order for delivery, or my husband and I will once in a while actually go to the store if he wants to pick out some steak. He will go to the store and he will pick out his steak.
Anne: But other than that, we do most of that on a Sunday and we go for rides on the motorcycles. And we spend time with our kids because we’ve got a system in place that teaches the kids and I’ll tell you, the system for the meal planning and the grocery shopping is literally a piece of paper outta my journal.
Anne: I take it outta my journal. I put the pen on the desk and I said, get over here and write down what you want for dinner on this. And then the calendar, they update each month and they write the jobs out each month, and then they write the meals on the calendar. So when husband comes home from work every night, he knows what to cook, , and Lord knows I would starve if it wasn’t for him.
Anne: I love you.
Yvonne: And that’s, that’s where I’m like, I love this because no matter if that’s on the personal side or the business side, the tool you use is the right tool. It doesn’t always have to be fancy. It doesn’t always have to be big and elaborate. If you are not using the tool, it’s not the right tool. No, and just keeping it simple.
Anne: It is, It’s keeping it simple. And I’ve tried all sorts of different methods, like I’ve, I’ve tried to find like fancy mom coaches that are like, oh, be a better wife and be a better mother. And I’m just, do you know what makes me a better mom? Getting on my motorcycle for an hour or two and just not listening to my kids because I don’t have time to wind down some days.
Anne: That is my form of self care going, getting my nails done, meh. Maybe my hair. I don’t know if these roots are telling you anything. Probably not my favorite thing, but if you give me an hour and a half on my motorcycle to just let the wind hit my face and just give me some time to myself. I will come back a much better person.
Anne: That is my type of self care and it’s, and then I, honestly, I can, I can, I tend to micromanage. I’ve learned from self discovery not to do that in my personal life and my business. No, I don’t have any control issues at all. . So the good thing about my husband, is, moms and dads parent different too.
Anne: Yeah. And they run businesses different. And that’s why I like working with husband and wife teams because typically one is an integrator and one is a visionary. And for my clients, I’m their integrator and they’re the visionary. For my business, I’m the visionary. My VA is my integrator. For our family, I’m the visionary and my husband is the integrator.
Anne: If I go up to him any minute and say, let’s do X, Y, Z. Or I’m thinking if I say, oh, I’d like to, or I’m thinking, if I hint at it, he will tell me. Let’s go, right now, or he will do it. And I have to be careful because there has been some, um, legal on adventures we call them. If there’s something like we have to do or need to do or want to do, it turns into a freaking adventure with him.
Anne: He’s definitely like, uh, he’s definitely like the adventurous personality assessment, whatever that one was. That’s, that’s him. He just runs and he takes off and he goes on adventures. It drives me nuts because he’s the spontaneous one and I’m the structured disciplined one. And it helps, but it also doesn’t help cuz you have the visionary and you have the integrator.
Anne: And that’s a lot of times when I work with husband and wife teams or husband and wife entrepreneurs. That’s usually how it goes. One is usually the visionary and one is usually the integrator, and that’s usually the strongest relationship I’ve seen. And that’s from the book, Rocket Fuel, actually is where, where they really talk about that.
Yvonne: There is an amazing business lesson in here, too, where it’s like really learn what kind of personality type you are. Where it’s like I’m a quick starter, meaning I can go ad hoc with an idea. No problem. I’m a big picture. But the nitty gritty to fill in the in between the short term goal and the long-term goal, not my strong suit.
Yvonne: So bringing somebody in that can fill that need, that can take care of that bottleneck. Perfect. And where can people find you? No. No. You’re gonna have to wait for the where can people find you? Okay. What’s in the books for Anne Leah & Co. for 2023? What magic is happening?
Anne: Uh, there’s gonna be a lot. There’s gonna be a lot, a lot of people are gonna see, um, my visibility is gonna start to come back. I’m gonna make it come back. I’m gonna make a huge Britney Spears style, come back maybe. I don’t know.
Yvonne: I love it.
Anne: Yeah, I know. I once shaved my head. I promise.
Yvonne: I know for you there was a lot of behind the scenes and alignment and learning and adjusting and all the things happening, so I’m looking forward to all of that coming out into the public In 2023.
Anne: There’s definitely going to be some branches off of Anne Leah & Co.
Anne: There is the chance for a potential virtual assistant agency. Um, which, because I still own AmbitiousVA.
Anne: And there is a chance that that’s gonna come about realistically. The goal is that I’ve done a lot of operations retainer work the last year and a half, which has been nice, but I’m looking to have a more project passive style so that I can have a more flexible schedule next summer. Because what I’ve learned this past summer is that I want a little bit more freedom because here in New York, it’s not nice all the time. So yeah, the summer months are the months I don’t really wanna work. I just wanna be out doing things and then winter comes, like now and I kind of buckle down and I bury my head and I put a lot of items in place to help make that happen.
Anne: My new website will be up. We have, um, the Fill Your Legacy Shop, which is essentially going to be a place where you can get everything to help fill your legacy for family and business. And we have our merch line, too.
Yvonne: Lots of things coming. It’s gonna be interesting watching you. Yeah. Now, where can people connect with you?
Yvonne: What’s the best way for them to find you?
Anne: They can find me on Facebook and Instagram. The handle is just @anneleahco.
Yvonne: And there you have at peeps, um, there will be links in the description, in the show notes, all the things you know, how that goes. Thanks so much for joining me.
Anne: You’re welcome.
Yvonne: Tech issues and all.
Yvonne: That’s what it is when you record a podcast live. If you guys ever wanna join us live, Thursdays on my YouTube channel. Just literally hit the notification button so you get notified when we are going live, when I bring you amazing guests, and I’ll see you again next week. Bye, everybody.
Anne: Bye. Thanks for watching.
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