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COVID-19 Managing Home and Life Before vs After

In this episode, we flip roles!  RDD’s own Melissa Lehman interviews Jen!  We chat all about the impact COVID-19 has had on typical life on and offline.

If you are on the struggle bus of being productive while working from home, this is for you!!

 

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Podcast Transcript

Jennifer Sakowski:

Hello, welcome to a brand new episode of Raney Day Talks podcast. I’m Jennifer Sakowski, and today I have a special guest, which is going to be weird today because Miss Melissa has joined me. Hey, Melissa.

Melissa Lehman:

Hey, Jen.

Jennifer Sakowski:

Melissa has been with my team now for almost a year. She runs our content strategy, copywriting, anything that has to do with words, she is our it girl. I’m so excited to have you here.

Melissa Lehman:

I’m excited to be doing this with you. This is going to be fun.

Jennifer Sakowski:

Yes. Melissa, she does work for us at Raney Day Design and is an integral part of our team here, but also she has her own business called Uplevel Your Content. Melissa, before we get into the fun part, not that this isn’t fun, that was bad, but-

Melissa Lehman:

Wait a minute.

Jennifer Sakowski:

We probably should restart, but we’re rolling with it like you said.

Melissa Lehman:

Let’s just go.

Jennifer Sakowski:

Tell us a little bit about your business and what you do.

Melissa Lehman:

Okay. Well, I write the things for people, and I help them figure out what things to write and what to focus on. I used to be a classroom teacher, a corporate trainer. I’ve done a lot of marketing writing in my J-O-Bs that I had in the past, and I kind of put that all together, and I help people write content usually of a how-to nature, so from a teaching perspective to help when your audience is consuming. And that would include video. I could help you script things and structure things to help people get that transformation, whatever it is that you’re promising to your customers.

Melissa Lehman:

Every time somebody makes a purchase, no matter what it is, they’re expecting some sort of change in their result. I help you help them get that change and that result, and then they become your raving fans, and you have testimonials and referrals, and everything’s beautiful, and it’s this whole… I think of it as an upward spiral of goodness. If you help someone else, they help someone, and it makes their lives better and so on and so forth. I just feel real blessed.

Jennifer Sakowski:

Let me help you help you.

Melissa Lehman:

Yes.

Jennifer Sakowski:

Your clients.

Melissa Lehman:

I feel really blessed to work in this space right now because I think this is very much what people need now and are going to need going forward.

Jennifer Sakowski:

Absolutely. And you just recently rebranded and launched your website uplevelyourcontent.com.

Melissa Lehman:

With your help, it’s amazing and our fabulous Chelsea.

Jennifer Sakowski:

We have a legit, amazing team here at RDD.

Melissa Lehman:

It’s the bomb-

Jennifer Sakowski:

It’s the bomb.com.

Melissa Lehman:

… skills. Yes.

Jennifer Sakowski:

You not only are doing amazing things here at Raney Day Design, you’re doing your own amazing things, so definitely check the link in our show notes, follow along to Uplevel Your Content. Find you on Facebook, Instagram, website.

Melissa Lehman:

Those are the places.

Jennifer Sakowski:

Those are primary places.

Melissa Lehman:

Yeah.

Jennifer Sakowski:

You’ve got some really awesome, new… Can I say course? Can I just go ahead and say that?

Melissa Lehman:

Yeah, it’s coming.

Jennifer Sakowski:

It’s coming. That’s coming.

Melissa Lehman:

I’m doing it as an accelerated version to get it out to people fast so they can do things fast right now, so that’s coming probably by next week.

Jennifer Sakowski:

Yeah, super excited about that. The reason why we’re brainstorming about, “Okay, what are some fun things that we could do for the podcast? How can we create some new content for RDD?” Just in general, what can we do differently? Melissa had a great idea, and she was like, “Hey, why don’t we flip it, and I’ll come on and interview you?” At first that was, “I don’t think that’s how it works.” But she let me know that that’s not the case.

Melissa Lehman:

I was just like, “I’m taking over.”

Jennifer Sakowski:

Today I am literally passing the reigns over. We really didn’t do much prep work, which you all know Raney Day Talks podcast is all about… Do you have your coffee? I think I saw a Dunkin mug.

Melissa Lehman:

Of course.

Jennifer Sakowski:

We’re just talking shop. Melissa, feel free. Take it away.

Melissa Lehman:

Okay, so my original idea because I think that it’s amazing what you do. My kids are older. They go to school all day long, right? I have at least six hours of alone time in the house every day of the week that there’s not snow delay and day off for some reason. I often struggle to do all the things. You have two littles at home, and each day of your week is a little bit different than the rest because of where they go and who they visit and everything. I thought it’d be great to… I just think it’s incredible that you run this business, you have this global team that you manage, and you have these two little people who are darlings at home with you for much of the time. I thought you could share with people how you do this. I think this is actually more timely even though everything is a little flipped on its ear right now because I think more and more moms are going to be having a side hustle or turning their existing side hustle into their full-time thing, and they might be saying “I want to do this, but I don’t know how.” And I think this would help people.

Melissa Lehman:

I thought maybe you could go through quickly a month ago what your schedule looked like, like a week in a glance maybe, and then we could talk about how quickly we’ve had to adjust to everything being different. You’re still at home, you’re at home more, but now there’s more people in the house all the time.

Jennifer Sakowski:

All the time.

Melissa Lehman:

So what’s working? What’s challenging? And help each other get through this weird time.

Jennifer Sakowski:

That’s a loaded question.

Melissa Lehman:

Do one thing at a time.

Jennifer Sakowski:

Okay, so-

Melissa Lehman:

Tell us how you manage your whole Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Tuesday, Thursday, weekend here and there.

Jennifer Sakowski:

Before, I honestly had to start with almost the end in mind. We knew going into this year and with school for… I have an almost five year old and an almost three year old. I’m saying that because Lord have mercy let’s get out of the two’s and even four’s.

Melissa Lehman:

I’m not going to say anything about the three’s. I’ll just let you figure that out on your own.

Jennifer Sakowski:

Well, I mean Luke… Okay, yeah. My daughter, she’s a very gifted little beast.

Melissa Lehman:

She is.

Jennifer Sakowski:

How I had to break this down. We started with one. I knew at least if we could manage… I needed two days. Two days of just kid free focus time. Honestly, I have an awesome tribe here. Between my in-laws helping with my oldest on Tuesdays and Thursdays, they take him, then on the same days we found a local daycare that is amazing to take Ev. That freed me up. I cram as much as I can face time with clients. If I had any of our local clients or even out of state clients, I would load that time up with Zoom meetings, in-person calls or in-person meetings, team meetings, just anything that I needed to truly focus on.

Jennifer Sakowski:

Because I don’t know, maybe other people are much better at this, but I cannot truly focus when I have those little humans because I’m still thinking about what do they need? Where are they at? What are they into? Are they beating on each other? Are they hungry? Those two days are gifts.

Melissa Lehman:

I want to mention, and I want to come back to this. Maybe we can put a link in the show notes later. There’s literally some research that moms can’t shut that off. If you can hear your kids, they’re in your consciousness, so you’re automatically multitasking if you can hear your own children. Absolutely cannot focus.

Jennifer Sakowski:

It’s a legit thing.

Melissa Lehman:

Yes.

Jennifer Sakowski:

That’s legit.

Melissa Lehman:

There’s science behind it.

Jennifer Sakowski:

That’s legit. Well, that’s good to know because sometimes you just feel like you’re crazy. Then on the other days Monday, Wednesday, Friday, my oldest he was going into preschool. We had half days on Monday, Wednesday, Friday. I have gotten really good at scheduling out the week. Now, no, it does not go perfect, and it rarely goes how I want it to go for the day, but for me, having that set plan. I knew I would drop… First of all, back up. I get up before my children.

Melissa Lehman:

Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding.

Jennifer Sakowski:

That is the number one thing.

Melissa Lehman:

That’s key.

Jennifer Sakowski:

I want to tell anybody if you have kids at home or even don’t have kids at home and have a spouse or somebody else there, get your butt up out of bed and be the first up because that allows you to set the tone for yourself before anyone else comes down the stairs. For me, that’s move my body. I have some Jesus time. I have some coffee, and I start making out my list. I do gratitudes, five gratitudes for every day, and I write out my goals as they’ve already happened.

Melissa Lehman:

I have a similar routine, and to tell you the truth, I am naturally much more of a night owl than a morning person.

Jennifer Sakowski:

Same, same.

Melissa Lehman:

When my kids were little and I needed exercise time, I realized that the only time I had to do it was at 5:00 in the morning, and I started getting up. Now, I’m still sort of naturally more can stay up more easily than I can get up. But now if I sleep in, everything’s thrown off. If you think you’re not, you can’t, you’re like, “Oh, I already get up so early,” you can train yourself in a short period of time and actually begin to look forward to it to be a morning person.

Jennifer Sakowski:

There’s a great book called Morning Miracle, and there’s a-

Melissa Lehman:

Miracle Morning, Hal Elrod?

Jennifer Sakowski:

Yeah. There’s one for family.

Melissa Lehman:

He’s the best.

Jennifer Sakowski:

There’s another version. That is awesome. If anyone is needing a book, check that book out because that breaks down how to manage that, how to set that up. I think just getting a schedule, starting before the kids got up and then being very transparent with everybody. I have worked real hard with my clients to say, “Listen, I have little humans at home. I do this business because I want to be a part of their lives and be home with them, but I also want to help you succeed.”

Jennifer Sakowski:

All of my clients, I’m very forthcoming on that information of if you want to get with me, this is how the schedule has to be. And, also, it’s not just me. I have an amazing team that’s ready to support you as well. I think being transparent with people who you work with, I asked for help. I have an amazing supportive husband that… And we can talk how it works now. But we work really hard to communicate to set boundaries for not only in the home front but both of our jobs and the passions and the side hustles that we do. That also helps.

Jennifer Sakowski:

I think all of it combined I’ve just started with a schedule, being disciplined on getting up, handling what I need to do, and then at the end of the day if something is not done, I either stay awake and get it done until it’s done and I can go to bed or I get really creative on how I can plug in times to work whether it’s I’m in the car waiting on my son to come out of preschool and I have Evelyn in the backseat, I’m making calls or I’m jumping on a call with my team. Or it’s nap time. Or it’s while they’re quiet and eating I might run upstairs and do a client call if somebody needs me.

Jennifer Sakowski:

I think that’s how. I get really intense during that because to be able-

Melissa Lehman:

I see that.

Jennifer Sakowski:

… to do this for so long I think that you have to have a level of this is what I’m going to rock out. This is what I want to do. This is my goal. And I have people that count on me. Our team here that is global, that is no accident. I’ve worked hard. I’ve vetted people. I’ve interviewed. I’ve had hard conversations. We do things that are out of the box to cultivate an awesome culture here. I don’t know. I’m sorry. I got way over there, but I think that-

Melissa Lehman:

No, that was really good because you have big corporation HR skills as far as onboarding team members and deliberately creating the culture that you want to have and not just letting it happen by default and being transparent about all of that. We have discussions around it so it’s not just dictated by you, but you set the direction, and we’re on board with it because you’ve brought us into it. Getting back to your thing about-

Jennifer Sakowski:

You all drink the Kool-Aid. That’s what it is.

Melissa Lehman:

No, no, no. That makes it sound nefarious.

Jennifer Sakowski:

Oh, that’s good.

Melissa Lehman:

It’s not that at all. Getting back to the little snippets of time, one of my little hacks is that it’s hard for me to tune out notifications, but I’ve gotten better about which ones I attend to when I have my desk time when the kids are at school. And I will check to see if anything’s urgent on Voxer, but I know that I can do that in the car, so I’ll be like, “Okay, I’m going to use my desk time at my computer now, and when I get in the car to go pick up the kids after school that’s when I reply to all my messages.” I do a lot of driving and Voxering with my clients and my friends and my other online business friends to stay connected and share tips and cheerleading and all that good stuff.

Jennifer Sakowski:

You mentioned a good point about Voxer. You have always said, “Hey, if you need me, Voxer is the channel.” I think that’s important if you do have a team or if you are working with others or even for your clients, this is your in. If you need to get a hold of me or something goes down or even though I have 25 other things going on, this is your access or this is how you get stuff done. I think for you it’s get me on Voxer. I know I’m going to be checking Voxer over Slack.

Melissa Lehman:

That’s the one I’ll notice first. If you’ve pinged me anywhere, I will catch that before… more than likely before a Slack notification, definitely before an email.

Jennifer Sakowski:

Yeah. It all comes down to communication. With our team, when you all joined in, I’m like, “Listen, this isn’t going to be pretty. It’s going to be a little messy, but we’re going to have a lot of fun. We’re going to help a lot of people but just know that there are going to be calls where a little human runs in.” Or if you catch me on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and we got to work something out for a project, there’s going to be a little human come in. I think having that transparency… We all have lives. This is a unique space because we’re virtual, so we just got to be open to that.

Melissa Lehman:

Yeah. You attract the people who are willing to work with that.

Jennifer Sakowski:

Absolutely.

Melissa Lehman:

And people who don’t want that, there’s more than enough to go around, and you attract the right people. But I think I’m getting ahead of myself, but that might be a good Segway into how this everything from pre-pandemic to now has changed. But I think that one of the potential good things that’s going to come out of this is that people are going to be a lot more tolerant about… We won’t be talking so much about work/life balance or we’ll be talking about it in a different way because people will be okay with your working and your kids there.

Melissa Lehman:

Not having this so strict dichotomy between work and personal and everybody recognizing that everybody has a life, and sometimes they bump into each other, but you make it work. So I think that people are going to get more and more used to, “Yeah, my kids are fighting in the background, but they’re not hurting each other, so just don’t worry about that right now.” I think that’s going to be a good thing. We can just integrate our lives better. Maybe it will be one of the positive outcomes.

Jennifer Sakowski:

I think it brings that realness to the table.

Melissa Lehman:

Yes.

Jennifer Sakowski:

We’re not just… Well, in this space we’re not. You think, “Oh, I have to have this client call, and I’ve got to show up with my blazer on or show up with my… ” Get all prepared and have everything perfect. Perfect is boring. It’s not real.

Melissa Lehman:

Yes, amen.

Jennifer Sakowski:

We’re not Jesus. I think that that brings down some of those walls that people put up to look like we’re just talking, and we’re doing business, and we have one goal in mind here is to help other people. I agree. This whole what’s going on especially on the online world and more people forced to rip that Band-Aid off to figure out how to manage this, I think it’s going to be good.

Melissa Lehman:

I think we’re all going to give each other some grace. Right now, my husband is a teacher, and he’s setting up his online classroom. There’s a cut and paste thing on Facebook that’s going around about teachers are learning this and give them some grace, and they’re working really hard and everything. It’s a learning curve for them. They use technology in their classrooms, but this is a whole set of technology. I think ultimately it’s going to be a good thing. They’re going to have more ways to connect people. If you’re home sick from school, it’ll be easier to access the materials online to get caught up more quickly. It’s just going to be a good thing overall when the dust finally settles.

Jennifer Sakowski:

Yes, completely agree.

Melissa Lehman:

You told me… I have to confess. I have been out of the house much more than Miss Jennifer here. I’ve been the person who’s run to the store for more milk and into the pharmacy and this habit that is Jennifer’s fault. We won’t even get into that.

Jennifer Sakowski:

For those listening, she just held up a Dunkin.

Melissa Lehman:

How many days was it that you literally did not leave your house?

Jennifer Sakowski:

I think I was up to 10.

Melissa Lehman:

I think that you told me 10.

Jennifer Sakowski:

With the little humans.

Melissa Lehman:

Before you finally did a Dunkin run for coffee and treats for your kiddos.

Jennifer Sakowski:

I did.

Melissa Lehman:

You’ve been very, very good about adhering to the stay at home rules.

Jennifer Sakowski:

Yeah.

Melissa Lehman:

What does that look like now? Everybody’s there. Kiddos don’t go anywhere. You’ve got to avoid if you don’t live with people, so your in-laws are kind of off the table. How do you make this work now?

Jennifer Sakowski:

Catch me on the different day, and I’ll tell you probably differently.

Melissa Lehman:

Right.

Jennifer Sakowski:

Just to be honest, because my husband is still considered an essential person that has to go out and still working that goes back and forth from Pittsburgh, he’s had the opportunity to switch to nights. When this all started, we had one schedule, which once again comes back to communication. I have a very supportive significant other who… We have those hard conversations. Okay, what do you got going on? What do I got going on? Then we kind of map it out together. Right now, it hasn’t been bad. I know it could be a lot worse just because my husband is still able to work, which that’s a blessing. He goes in the night, and then I will take during the daytime for a few hours, and it’s a lot of starting and stopping, which is… I feel like I’ve been preparing for this moment because I can’t-

Melissa Lehman:

It’s not optimal, but you’re more used to it than some of us.

Jennifer Sakowski:

Right. I can go a quick two hours and prioritize what tasks and who I need to talk with and then come back during nap time when I potentially have another… My oldest sometimes doesn’t nap. Then once the kids go to bed, I might have a couple hours before my husband comes home late, and then trying to get up before. It’s the same things that I’m doing every day that I did before, it’s just scrambled up.

Melissa Lehman:

Your little chunks, it’s like they’re puzzle pieces.

Jennifer Sakowski:

Exactly.

Melissa Lehman:

You used to have more puzzle pieces on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and now you’ve had to rearrange. It’s almost like Tetris where you got to reconfigure.

Jennifer Sakowski:

Exactly.

Melissa Lehman:

And it’s always moving too. Tetris, I think, is a really a good analogy.

Jennifer Sakowski:

That is.

Melissa Lehman:

You have all these things to fit in. You’ve got to make them fit. Everything’s moving and shifting, and you think you’ve got it handled, and then something else changes, and you just have to agile with it. Right?

Jennifer Sakowski:

Yep, absolutely. I always come back to giving yourself some grace because this morning I started off a bit emotional because I’ve been up super late, and I’ll normally go to bed by 11:00, before 11:00. I try to get in bed before 11:00, and I’m usually up anywhere between 4:00 and 5:00 depending on the day before all this happened. I had all of this time before the kids and then everything was very rigid. Well, now, I don’t have that because I’m staying up even later. I was doing a Zoom call last night until after midnight for a California client.

Jennifer Sakowski:

You just have to flow with it. So this morning I was on the couch with the kids and the husband came down with coffee just to like, “Okay, let’s do this.” I think too it’s like you can make or break your day. Let’s be honest. If you’re in a funk, sometimes we just get in a funk. It’s hard not to be. I started reaching out to family, “Hey, who can FaceTime me? I really need to get out of my head.” Because my husband had to go and get groceries this morning, and we were kind of on lockdown, so my morning started a little bit later.

Jennifer Sakowski:

My son got to talk with his class on Zoom, which had me ugly crying because how bad he missed them. We don’t realize it affects us, but those little humans, they get affected too. I think now you’re right, everyday is different, but I still go back to I make a list of those gratitudes that’s happened in 24 hours. I write out my goals, which still feels kind of weird and uncomfortable because we don’t know what’s going to happen.

Melissa Lehman:

Right.

Jennifer Sakowski:

But I still… That’s still what’s going to roll.

Melissa Lehman:

That’s a good point. I think we need to recognize that we don’t know to expect, and things are going to change, but you still have to have some sort of positive vision. Realize your days aren’t going to go as planned, your long-term plans aren’t going to go as planned, but still have some goal. You know you’re going to change direction a little bit on the way, but you’re still focused on that. I think that’s what’s going to help us get out of bed every morning, get through the whole day without having a meltdown and letting the anxiety take over-

Jennifer Sakowski:

In the fetal position in the corner.

Melissa Lehman:

… from what happened yesterday. Yesterday was not my day, I’m much better today.

Jennifer Sakowski:

Yeah, and it happens. It happens. That’s where having a GSD list, get that stuff done list, and still being able to… because that’s kind of where I go. When I need to get out of my funk, I throw some music on, I make a cup of coffee, and I make a list, and then I get busy.

Melissa Lehman:

Music helps.

Jennifer Sakowski:

Yeah.

Melissa Lehman:

I picked that up from you earlier this week. That’s been helping me.

Jennifer Sakowski:

Yeah.

Melissa Lehman:

Keep the energy up.

Jennifer Sakowski:

Every day I’ve been throwing out a Zoom link for our team to say, “If you need FaceTime, I’m here.” For 15 minutes max, I throw some music on, wait until everybody gets in. Some people can come, some people not, depending on where in the world they are and what’s going to happen on the home front, but we still try to have that connection. I think that’s important.

Melissa Lehman:

I appreciate that you do that every day, that you’re making yourself available, and I know that I can count on you’re going to be around at some point. That’s one less person I have to hunt down like, “Somebody talk to me.”

Jennifer Sakowski:

Yes, absolutely.

Melissa Lehman:

Yeah, it’s great. How is this then… And I have my own perceptions of this from my business. How is this affecting not just how you run your days but changes to the business itself? Again, we’re lucky to be in a digital world where almost nearly everything we do is done online, which is good for right now because that’s where people are forced to be like you said. How is that changing marketing in general? Running a business especially with a lot of storefronts closing, what’s different in terms of how we’re interacting with clients and what we’re focusing on and how we’re helping people?

Jennifer Sakowski:

That’s a good question. My first initial thing that I’d want to say is it does feel heavy. It feels heavy for our clients because we’re seeing clients that have storefronts or coffee shops, and they closed. That’s heavy. I guess in the initial it’s hard because we know that we can continue on and work and that they’re unable. It’s almost like we can hit pause as a team, and I think we have to re-evaluate, “Okay, this is our reality. How can we get creative?” I think across the board it’s just a matter of we’re blessed with the worldwide web. Let’s be honest. The fact that we can do this and the teachers have the capabilities of having that online. This is not a new thing.

Melissa Lehman:

Right.

Jennifer Sakowski:

I believe that whether you’re a coffee shop or a coach or heating and cooling, there’s still activity that you can focus on online. It does take a different… It shifts the message because people are like, “Oh, I don’t want to be so salesy because people don’t have jobs.” But a good friend of mine challenged me about how you deserve… Your clients and the people that you help need you to be present and the lead in that aspect, not so much that… She said it so much better, and I’m talking about Melissa for all you following along.

Melissa Lehman:

I don’t remember exactly what I said.

Jennifer Sakowski:

I know, but you challenged me. Because I was like, “Oh, guys, let’s not sell. Let’s just send out a mass email and see how we can help.” But Melissa got me thinking. It’s like, “No, we’re in this space for a reason,” and we have the tools and the resources and the knowledge and experience to help our clients, and not just our clients, but really anybody that has a small business or trying to build their side hustle or want to launch something new. We have the tools, the key, for them to do that. That totally shifted it for me. It got out of the, “Oh, that feels icky,” to like, “Heck no, we’re here to help.”

Melissa Lehman:

We’re serving.

Jennifer Sakowski:

Right. We’re serving. That has been… I just got chills. That has been our foundation since we launched this biz baby is to help other people. Why wouldn’t we walk into this?

Melissa Lehman:

I think I shared with you I noticed online that a lot of online entrepreneurs are having a similar message of this is our time to lead. People need us. This is a time to maintain and even grow your business because you can help people. Also, I’ve seen people who are like, “I don’t want to market because it feels ugly. Everyone’s losing their jobs.” Well, you’re not making money doesn’t help that.” You know what I mean? It’s not serving them to put yourself in the same boat and to the extent that you can maintain your own income. The more money you have, the more money you’re going to have to help other people by buying their services. It’s good for the economy as a whole.

Melissa Lehman:

I think what I said to you was something along the lines of I feel almost a responsibility to keep going as much as I possibly can because the more money that’s circulating, the better, and other people are forced to close, I am not. But then I also have seen… There’s a few online people I’ve seen, they’re a little bit too rah rah about the opportunity. I want to feel encouraged and inspired and do that for other people, but I’m not one to say I’m excited about it. That’s pushing it a little bit too far. I think showing up, leading and being prepared to serve is a really great place for people to be if you have something to offer.

Melissa Lehman:

Like I said, people are trying to grow their businesses or they have a side hustle that now they want to grow that so they don’t have to end up in this situation again.

Jennifer Sakowski:

Absolutely.

Melissa Lehman:

They don’t have a website or they need to improve their website. That’s serving them, that’s helping them grow now when it’s really tricky and then in the future.

Jennifer Sakowski:

Absolutely. Honestly, I think it’s a challenge for everyone to assess what your business looks like right now because no one expected this, right? It threw a huge wrench in everyone’s plans and everyone’s business, but I think it is an opportunity to assess, “Okay, financially, what’s your numbers look like?” How can you either reserve what you can now but then build upon a future so that way you have three to six months savings put back or what debt do you have to handle or maybe, “Okay, I’ve now realized that these are the expenses that I have to cut.”

Jennifer Sakowski:

If you had to do it over again, how would you prepare for this or how would you set yourself up online to be able to continue on without having to close your doors completely? I do think it’s an opportunity for everybody just to hit pause and look at where you’re at right now. When we come through this because we will, this is only a season, we will come through this.

Melissa Lehman:

This too shall pass.

Jennifer Sakowski:

Exactly. But once we do, how are we going to be different? I even know in the free time right now, and I haven’t started it yet, but I took advantage of all of the software companies putting out their courses for free. I have downloaded and saved. I jumped on that for SEO and some-

Melissa Lehman:

Other people are stockpiling toilet paper, Jennifer is stockpiling courses.

Jennifer Sakowski:

It’s true. What a better time to take advantage of this. I know that sounds selfish, but no. The more that you can improve, the more you’re going to help somebody else out. Right?

Melissa Lehman:

Yep. Yes.

Jennifer Sakowski:

I see it as a challenge, and I know it’s scary. And it is hard because even when I sit down and write out things of, “Okay, we’re coming up on a new quarter here,” and looking back at the last quarter and trying to plan ahead, it is a little tricky, but I think that we still need to forge ahead. Right? We need to continue on even in the scariness.

Melissa Lehman:

Yeah, but you’re right, it’s like your quarterly planning is going to look different. I think knowing that helps though because since you’re not even sure what’s going to happen tomorrow, but you still need to have some sort of plan like, “This is the target. This is what I’m moving towards, and if tomorrow I have to tweak this plan, that’s fine.” I like what you said about pausing and assessing and asking. I feel we need to ask better questions like, “Well, I’m stuck with this, but what can I do?” Then I think you hit pause, but then you want to act quickly. You want to pick one or two things to focus on and run with it and see what works, pivot what doesn’t, run with it, double down on it when it does. It’s a time to think carefully, but act as quickly as you can.

Jennifer Sakowski:

Yeah, that’s… Well, you know because this is one of our… I wouldn’t say our struggles, but even in our own space, we’ll have these great ideas, and it’s like, “Oh, that’s our challenge right now is how quickly can we get this content out that’s relevant?”

Melissa Lehman:

Yes.

Jennifer Sakowski:

I think if we all look at, “How can you take your knowledge and your experience and push content out?” Publishing content on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram, YouTube, it is free to do. You have a voice. I think that you just nailed it. How quickly can you take your information and put it out there because the great thing of it is, it’s not going anywhere. That footprint is still there.

Melissa Lehman:

Exactly.

Jennifer Sakowski:

Even through this, you’re already building traction. You’re already building awareness for your expertise, your knowledge, what you bring to the table, whether it’s your business or you as an individual.

Melissa Lehman:

You’re out there. If you have something helpful or if you have a good message to spread, everybody’s doing the scroll right now getting updates and everything, interrupt this COVID-19 crisis with information that it could be actually helpful to you in other parts of your life.

Jennifer Sakowski:

Let’s be honest, a positive… Let’s just drop this out. Any positive nonscary threatening news COVID updates would probably be good right now. It would interrupt those channels.

Melissa Lehman:

I’m all for being informed, but we need to… I was on a webinar earlier this week of a couple of guys with big marketing companies talking about what people could do now. One guy said the first thing he focused on was being positive. He said he doubled down on the podcasts that he’s listening to, the reading that he’s doing. He’s just trying to flood his brain with good, smart, inspiring knowledge. Like I said, yes, be informed and know what’s going on, but I like that advice.

Jennifer Sakowski:

Don’t live there.

Melissa Lehman:

Yes, don’t camp out.

Jennifer Sakowski:

Right.

Melissa Lehman:

Visit and leave.

Jennifer Sakowski:

Move on.

Melissa Lehman:

Yes. Exactly.

Jennifer Sakowski:

That’s awesome.

Melissa Lehman:

Do we have any other major topics to cover? I think we talked about what your normal life looked like before, your pre-pandemic. And we’ve talked about how we’ve had to shift and be agile but still show up and do our best to serve our audience and other people around us. Like I said, my husband is trying to set up his online classroom, and he’s using tools that are different than the ones that I use, but I’m better at figuring them out because I’m online all day. So I’ve become his virtual world consultant. We’re all pitching in and helping each other to make the things happen, and that’s a good thing.

Jennifer Sakowski:

That’s awesome. Well, I appreciate, one, this awesome idea-

Melissa Lehman:

It’s been so much fun.

Jennifer Sakowski:

… to join me on the podcast. It’s so exciting. We need to bring everybody on. I think how relevant it is too, so I feel like we’ve really checked the boxes with today. I feel really good about this.

Melissa Lehman:

We did. For as much as we were winging it, I think we did an outstanding job. I don’t think we could’ve planned it this well.

Jennifer Sakowski:

I think you rock. I appreciate you.

Melissa Lehman:

Right back at you, girl. We do have a little love fest going on. Jennifer is literally my favorite person right now.

Jennifer Sakowski:

Thanks.

Melissa Lehman:

I’m sending you this hug since I can’t-

Jennifer Sakowski:

Can’t touch me.

Melissa Lehman:

… give you a real one right now.

Jennifer Sakowski:

My love language is touch. The struggle is real. I can’t be hugging on anybody other than my little pod here.

Melissa Lehman:

Yeah, it’s rough.

Jennifer Sakowski:

In conclusion, thank you so much, Melissa.

Melissa Lehman:

Thank you.

Jennifer Sakowski:

Definitely check out uplevelyourcontent.com, and follow along with Melissa on all of the channels, Facebook, Instagram, and then definitely drop into her list because she will be rocking out that course. If you are looking to find help on publishing a course, maybe you just need to assess your site or what you’re offering in messages, Melissa is your person. One thing that I appreciate about Melissa, she doesn’t just do what I ask her, she-

Melissa Lehman:

I don’t do as I’m told.

Jennifer Sakowski:

Right. She doesn’t. We worked with it. She’ll take it, and she looks at the big picture. If you are in the weeds, Melissa is a gift because she will help you overcome that. She’ll look at the big picture. She is versed on courses. She’s gifted on breaking down what your offering is and chunking it out to as something that somebody can actually take and apply. Check out uplevelyourcontent.com.

Melissa Lehman:

Thanks so much.

Jennifer Sakowski:

You’re welcome. I’m going to throw out a bunch of resources. Raneydaydesign.com, we are producing content on our social channels. We are trying to promote our clients. I encourage you if you’re a digital agency take time to reach time to reach out to your clients and help promote them through your channels. We’re doing that the same, so definitely follow raneydaydesign.com. And then for anybody who has little humans at home, I’m really trying to also be relevant and help and put out any hacks or tips that I have from running the business, a team and then working from home. So check out Jennifersakowski.com. A lot of resources to you. We can’t wait to hear. Let us know that if this is helpful. Take a screenshot, hashtag Rainey Day Talks. We look forward to connect with you again.

Jennifer Sakowski:

Melissa, thank you so much.

Melissa Lehman:

Thank you.

Jennifer Sakowski:

You all have a great day. Thank you.

Melissa Lehman:

Bye.


Connect with Melissa:

Site: https://uplevelyourcontent.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UplevelYourContent/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/uplevelyourcontent/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mlehman5150/

 

Thank you to Our Sponsor

A huge thank you to Mark at Mark Levander Productions is for sponsoring season, one of Raney Day Talks Podcast. I’m very particular who we partner with and Mark was a no brainer. Mark does all of our video editing and puts all of the components and pieces together for our YouTube channel and podcast. If you are looking to publish your own YouTube series podcasts or need photography work, please contact Mark through MarkLevanderProductions.com