Laura Rennie

Behind the scenes // What I learned from a coaching session

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Last week I heard myself say the words, "Sorry I missed your call, I was on the other line with a business coach."

Say what?

I met Shi, a business coach based out of Baltimore, at a Christmas party last month. Shi recently put up an offer on Facebook for a free 20-25 minute session (in exchange for a short chat she'd use for research purposes). I jumped on the opportunity to receive free coaching, and I'm so glad I did! Here's what I learned:

I mainly wanted to talk about ideas for better managing my time. We also hit on how to be more productive in blog-writing, reaching my target audience and ways to build my community with other small business owners. I took notes while we chatted over FaceTime and felt more inspired and empowered by each minute that passed!

After taking the Clifton Strengths Finder assessment a few months ago, I learned one of my top strengths is seeing potential in others and challenging them to grow. (This strength is labeled "developer.") I'm always looking for ways to be a better developer, and what better way to learn than by observing a business coach? During my session I not only took note of Shi's advice for how I can more successfully run my business, but also observed how Shi patiently listened to my ramblings, repeated key thoughts back to me and posed thoughtful questions that made me truly think about my goals and priorities:

  • My marriage and personal well-being come before my business
  • My goal as a decorator is to listen well and create a space my client feels at home in
  • My goal as a blog-writer is to teach readers how to decorate well and inspire them to try new things
  • I want to dedicate time in my schedule for learning business tools and staying up-to-date on decorating trends
  • I want to have room in my schedule for networking events, volunteer opportunities and occasional coffee/lunch dates with girlfriends

I'm giving myself a project for the rest of January: I'm going to stick to a morning routine, time-block daily tasks and dedicate set days for recurring tasks. I was doing great with a consistent morning routine until December. Suddenly I was hitting snooze WAY too often and excusing myself from exercise and quiet time. I was using my planner to plan out each day, but I wasn't taking a long look at the week as a whole. I had a hard time coming back to "the real world" after a deliciously relaxing holiday. I'm ready to get back in the swing of things!


(I squealed like a little girl when I opened this gorgeous planner on Christmas!)

I got out of bed at 7:30, set up the coffee maker and spent half an hour doing an energizing yoga workout and going for a quick walk around the block with the pup. I made myself eggs and toast and spent some time reading a devotional and correlating scripture. I set up my laptop, planner and notebook on my desk to be ready for me to work and spent my remaining 20 minutes of "morning time" drinking coffee on the couch and watching an episode of Friends. At 9 a.m. I headed to my desk and spent the next two hours e-mailing clients and writing this post!

Today I'm helping a local business owner decorate her new studio space. My van is PACKED with furniture, pillows, wall art and plants! I love my job.

What helps you stay motivated? What are your time-management tricks or tips? I'd love to know!