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Victim to Mompreneur with Emma Ferrick

About the episode

In this episode of the Mom Owned and Operated podcast, Rita Suzanne talks to Emma Ferrick all about how she is raising a family, running a business and remembering herself.

Emma Ferrick is a System and Business Strategist, she helps driven mompreneurs create a thriving business without sacrificing time with their family by leveraging automated systems, simple processes, and solid boundaries through my Optimization framework so they can create a life they love.

She started her business shortly after becoming a single mother dealing with domestic abuse so she needed to build a better life for the two of them. Emma began her journey as an entrepreneur like most do, to build a better life for her daughter.

What started out as a side hustle to my full-time job quickly grew into a thriving business. The foundation of building her own business from the ground up and balancing motherhood has given Emma a unique perspective.

Since the beginning of her business, Emma understood the importance of automation and efficiency because it would help her be able to live a life she enjoys. A life she designed.

Now, she help her clients find that same level of balance. Emma offers personalized solutions that help you organize your business that supports growing your business without your constant oversight! Emma wants you to be able to take moments to relax and be assured it’s all running smoothly.

You can find Emma at: her website, on Facebook or on Instagram

Apply to work with Rita at ritasuzanne.com/apply/

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Show Notes
Rita Suzanne
Welcome to the Mom Owned and Operated podcast, the podcast about moms and for moms, where we have candid conversations about running a business, raising a family, and remembering ourselves. I’m your host, Rita Suzanne, a single mom of four, digital strategist, and provider of no nonsense business strategies and tactics. Hi, this is Mom Owned and Operated. I’m Rita Suzanne. And today I have my guest, Emma on the show, Emma Ferrick. Right? Yep, yes. Great. So Emma, please tell us more about you, your family and your business.

Emma Ferrick
Yeah, I’m Emma. I’m a systems strategist, and operations strategist, I help creative and driven mompreneurs create a growing business without sacrificing time with their family by leveraging automated systems, simple processes and solid boundaries through my optimum optimization framework. So they can create a life they love. And my business name is ELF Operations. And a lot of people ask how I came up with that. And that’s actually just my initials. I’m so in because of focus. Cute.

Rita Suzanne
Yeah.

Emma Ferrick
That’s how I kind of came up with that I didn’t over complicate it, because I would have spent months just trying to think of a name. So I just wanted to get my business started. I started my business when I was working full time at a manufacturing company and project management. I was a single mom, at the time, I knew I needed extra income without sacrificing time with my daughter. So I found the world of online businesses, and I started my VA business while still working. And I knew that so like kind of backstory was, I had just started dating my now fiance at the time when I started my business, um, and when. So as we were together, and as we grew in our life, then the pandemic happened. And I was like, I need to take my business full time because it was either no one was going to be at home with my daughter, or I would have to come home and work third shift, like that was the option my company gave me basically. And I was like, you know what this business is, could run itself. If I had more time, I’ll just go all in on my business. And we’ll just figure it out from there. So I went all in almost a year ago, now, full time. And I decided that I was going to niche down into system strategy, business strategy and operations, consulting for small businesses and solopreneurs. So I’ve been doing that ever since. And we have my fiance and I, it’s not his but his daughter we parent our mind our three year old, her biological dad isn’t really in the picture, because there was domestic violence issue, and all kinds of things that happened before I started my business, but really drove me to start my business. So I could provide for myself and provide for her without needing his money or his support. Or really feeling like I needed anybody else to help me in that situation. So yeah, a little bit of the backstory. Well, I

Rita Suzanne
mean, I love that because then you know, it’s, it’s more about how you overcame these obstacles, because, you know, even in regular life, right, but starting a business, when you have these things in your life happened to you, I find that and tell me if this is your experience, but I find that if you have problems, quote unquote, emotional and otherwise, once you start your business, it feels like everything comes to the forefront and you’re able to kind of help and you know, and handle and deal with these things and overcome them and grow as a person. Do you find that that like has helped and helped with you as well?

Emma Ferrick
Yeah, I definitely feel like part of my starting my business was just part of my healing journey, because a lot of the emotional and mental abuse that I went through was constantly hearing I wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t smart enough. I was never gonna be able to start a business. I was just this dumb little naive girl who was just out of college, who was just like, you know, threw her life away.

Rita Suzanne
he was just beating your your self esteem down basically. Yeah.

Emma Ferrick
So being you up. And so for me, being able to go after that and like really tackle that fear head on was a real big part of my like, healing. process and through the journey of that. And now, because of starting my business, it put me in a place of being more volume vulnerable with my fiance, who I’ve like had to overcome a lot of the trust and you know, just leaning on someone else, when you’ve gone through a trauma like that you don’t really want to, but that’s been a, that’s been a real trigger or like, push for us to, you know, build that layer of trust and build that boundary, or build that relationship up and just go into a whole nother level with it that I don’t think I would have happened if I stayed in corporate because I made enough, that was enough for me to live kind of comfortably. I mean, I was I wasn’t making enough, fully, but you know,

Rita Suzanne
Paycheck a paycheck, basically, you were, and it was consistent. So that was probably given you a sense of security.

Emma Ferrick
Right? I was like, I’m never gonna own a house. Like if I stay at this job, or I’m never gonna be able to own a house, which together we were so like, that was another learning thing. For through the trauma was, you know, it’s okay to open up, and it’s okay to, like, have a partner because not everyone’s the same, not everyone’s going to do that to you. Right. Um, so, you know,

Rita Suzanne
being able to so glad, I’m so glad that you were able to do that. Because I think that a lot of times, you know, being in an abusive relationship, it can really be crippling, and you know, and so, I always love the fact that even just like I personally have been through so much in my life and starting my business I started seven years ago is like really helped me to grow as a person and to see things that when I was working in corporate that I didn’t even realize were issues. And you know, so then working for myself and having to do all the things I you know, a lot of things came up for me and I was able to work through them, I would have never probably dealt with them if I was still working corporate, you know, cuz, like hiding everything and trying to fit what I felt like was their idea of perfect and success, right?

Emma Ferrick
Yeah, yeah, I feel like when you you fall into like a complacency almost, because it’s just comfortable. Like you said, it’s stable, you know, you get that paycheck to paycheck. But there is also you’re just limited in that position, you’re not going to be able to, I was never going to get a raise at my role unless I was like five years in and I was like, I can’t wait five years to get a raise. I need extra money now and I can’t be working says how are they get it? Right? Yeah, how am I gonna get it? Do I pay more to have someone watch my kid that I’m already paying more than my rent at the time to put her in full time daycare. And being on my own also just like made me really budget focus. That is what also led me to being an entrepreneur, like starting my own business was just focusing in on my finances, really getting into my budget. And I loved the FI Movement. So being financially independent, that is something like my fiance and I we are working towards now to be debt free by the time we’re 30. And that we can not really be tied to a job that we love, and that we could just continue because he does real estate investing. So he’s also an entrepreneur, he’s flipping a huge property right now.

Rita Suzanne
Which is really good to have somebody who understands like, I feel like my son my second marriage, I was married to someone who didn’t understand entrepreneurship. And so that was a big struggle, because he didn’t really understand what I was doing, or even what I was trying to do, right. And like you I was stuck in a job where I felt like I had hit the ceiling, I had hit my cap, and I was like, I’m gonna do whatever I need to figure out whatever I need to do to get out of here, you know? Yep. And it just is it’s like a feeling of, I don’t want to continue to make this person rich. You know, I’m going to work every day and giving you everything I have. And I’m not really seeing the payoff and you know, if anything, like they give you the 3% cost of living increase, which like it’s nothing, it’s nothing.

Emma Ferrick
Yeah. No, and like because of the pandemic, our we weren’t going we weren’t co working from home. We were they were also deciding, like different layoffs that could happen or furloughs that could happen. And part of it was you weren’t going to get you couldn’t carry over your vacation days out of 2020 which by that point, I had to put my two weeks in and so that wasn’t going to affect me, but I thought to myself, Oh my gosh, thank goodness. I wasn’t That wasn’t going to be what my future was because I had to go toe to toe many court dates for our custody. We had issues, like all kinds of like all kinds of like, time that I was like I’m taking off for this. We were sitting there for no reason. And not only that, I was like I was the only one taking off for when my daughter was sick was, you know, when you go to daycare that he can’t like sometimes they have a 24 hour or so many hour rule. So she might be off for like, half the week, but only sick one day, right?

Rita Suzanne
So yeah, I used to hate it to ask having to ask permission to take my kid to the doctor, like can I have time off to take them to the doctor and the guilt that we like that they would bring? Was it heavier than any mom guilt that you ever felt? Right? It’s like a peer guilt. I think

Emma Ferrick
it’s just stressful trying to plan around that and you’re like, almost, I know, a lot of women are even, like, timid to even ask like, they just know, figure it out. And a lot of doctors thankfully out offer like those odd times. Yeah. By

Rita Suzanne
or like having urgent care and you know, all this other stuff. It’s just it’s really hard to work, any business right any business or in corporate as a mom, because like you said, we’re juggling all the things, we’re taking the baby to the doctor, we’re doing the any other things that we have any other commitments that we have that are outside of the job, and I feel like a lot of people in corporate they make you feel really guilty. You know? Yeah, about anything. Mom related. You know, it’s like, almost as if like, oh, you’re making it, you’re making this up. This is an excuse, like, your kid can’t be sick again.

Emma Ferrick
And if you have more than one kid, you don’t know which kids sick, like, and they usually pass it back and forth to each other. Right. And that was a problem too. Like she’d get sick, but then pass it to me. And I’m like, Well, now for myself.

Rita Suzanne
Yeah. I mean, and I think that’s why people used to come to work sick, right? You know, all the time, they would come to work sick because now, you know, everybody, you know, allowed to leave the house with even a sniffle. But you know, in the past, people would come to work full on sick fevers, no matter. I mean, they didn’t care because there was such a stigma with getting off of work.

Emma Ferrick
Yep. And well, like some companies, they were at least the ones that I was working out. If you had to take two weeks off, it wasn’t always going to be paid out to us. You’re like, okay, she leave first. And if you didn’t have any, you went for two weeks unpaid. Some people that’s not an option. That’s like pressuring them even more into coming in sick and potentially, like,

Rita Suzanne
infecting other people. Yeah, yeah. I mean, and so I am glad that you were able to quit and you know, and start your own business. But it had to be really hard during the pandemic. So like, how did how was that for you? Especially then your daughter is home too. So there’s a lot of juggling, I’m sure.

Emma Ferrick
Yeah, that was it was just hard to transition into the mindset of being a full time entrepreneur, and not just seeing myself as like a freelancer or just, you know, just seeing myself in that I’m the owner role, because I think a lot of women and a lot of business owners struggle with that transition. Yeah. Because you have to think strategically and long term. So like, I was really fortunate that because of the timing of my like, switch, I need, I did lose a couple leads, because they weren’t wanting to like spend the money right now. But I did have people and a lot of my clients weren’t losing business, or potential clients weren’t losing business, because they were starting to grow. Because I work with a lot of online coaches, with a lot of marketers with a lot of small or just remote teams. So they were thriving during this time, because they were selling digital courses. They were selling like group programs, they were selling personal development things. They were selling financial packages, or like financial advising.

Rita Suzanne
So I know a lot of people whose business just like took off from it. So I think, you know, I mean, it was probably a really good time to come in. Right?

Emma Ferrick
It Yeah. And that’s what my thinking was, I was like, you know, a lot of these even in person or brick and mortar businesses are going to want the support and how do I get on a digital presence? How do I, you know, navigate these, these new technology, this new technology, like I was so comfortable with zoom Slack, you know, all these online software’s then, now these businesses were trying to then implement, and they had no idea and they had to do it quickly. So being able to provide that as a value add for people have was really good at the time for that for me.

Rita Suzanne
Yeah, cuz it helps. It helps you like establish yourself as an authority and you know, just obviously, you know, Go out of the gate, hit it hard, because for a lot of people starting a new business just takes so much time to even gain any momentum at all.

Emma Ferrick
Yeah, it, it definitely does. And it was hard to to, I feel like gain the momentum, like you said with her home. But we made it like work. It was like trying to find a schedule, and a balance for us both. By

Rita Suzanne
wanting to get to lay your fiance was like helping you too, because

Emma Ferrick
he was home for a little bit. But then he went back to work full time because he has his business, but he also still works full time, as well. So he has been working a lot more to as of recently, not when the pandemic first started. But now he’s back to full time and a lot of properties that he’s bought up in the last few months because of the market.

Rita Suzanne
I know the market is crazy right now. I mean people are, it’s, it’s good for people selling right, because people are willing to just buy way over market value.

Emma Ferrick
Yep. And he’s got a couple of deals that were just sitting on the market for so long that they just wanted to get rid of like, that’s what he targets. But yeah, having him home at the beginning definitely helped. But it was not long last, it didn’t last long.

Rita Suzanne
Well, because you were able to get yourself organized, right? Because you’re into systems and you’re able to then focus in and create your systems and then help others do the same. Is that correct?

Emma Ferrick
Yeah, I’ve been implementing the systems that I use in the tech, I’ve invested in that a lot. Like just from the get go, and I help my clients kind of meet, sometimes they have to backtrack, they like hire people on, but they don’t have the systems or the processes in place to support that growth, or, you know, they’ve just been worked like they like action is good, you want to keep making that progress build up that momentum, but they’re not stopping to think about that. They’re like, Oh, I’ll take care of it later. But then later never comes. And so that’s something I built up from the beginning, I see a lot of new entrepreneurs, being afraid to invest in like a CRM system, or ICA, and like Facebook, or just online platforms, they’re like, I don’t really want to deal with stripe or something. Because of the fees. I’m like this, these are so astronomically low compared to the time that you’re going to save going back and forth with someone on an invoice or manually sending that invoice or maybe you forgot the invoice at the beginning of the month or whatever time. So I helped a lot of clients, just like, you know, get over that fear of investing in the technology, because you can find really cost effective technology that is cheaper than hiring someone. So I always say get your systems, get your processes in place, automate what you can and then outsource the process that you have down pat, to have really add value added tasks. So you’re not giving them something that a system or technology can do. Because they’re not then feeling value added to the team, they’re not going to be enjoying their work. Because usually the stuff that’s evaluated is creativity based. So they’re, you know, you know, going to be doing like content creation or strategy, or talking to people networking, customer support, like those are things that are you can automate. But those are things that you want to have personal touch added to like, I don’t like a lot of automations like, you know, that leave out that thought or sub question, right?

Rita Suzanne
Yeah, no, I feel you I, I as I mentioned, I’ve hired other people to help me with my social and everything. But I refuse to let anybody else write my social posts or anything because I want them to feel like it doesn’t feel like me. If I’m having them write it. You know what I mean? Like, yeah, even for the copy on my website and stuff like I Well, I’ve hired copywriters, and then I’ll go in there and tweak it because I’m like, Oh, well, it doesn’t sound like something I would say, you know, yeah. And so I think it’s important to keep that in mind. Because, you know, but but let me just backtrack to on what you were saying about investing in your business. You know, it’s like, I remember when I first started, I was all about bootstrapping, you know, it’s like, Here I am having these kids and I need to, like spend as little as possible because my income was so sporadic, you know, it was just all over the place. And I think that one of the first things that I invested in was was MailChimp, but I don’t use MailChimp anymore, Active Campaign, but it’s just the same, you know, it’s $10 and $10. And Active Campaign is just so powerful and such a great tool, I would let invest. I would tell anybody get that if you’re gonna, you know, invest in something. And then for me like freshbooks has just been I think a really instrumental thing and like tracking my profit and loss, and you know, all of these things that people don’t even realize, like, I see people conducting business on like, Venmo and stuff like that. And I just think like, that’s probably I mean, these the fees that were being charged. Yeah, write offs, like it’s not as if it’s, you know, it’s an expense. So, you know,

Emma Ferrick
getting Yeah, you doing go back and counterbalance what you’re making, and it’s gonna look more professional one, and to you, I think, like freshbooks, quick, QuickBooks kind of, but more. So freshbooks, dubsado. Wave, they have like, really good automations that you can build out to, then you’re not thinking about like, Oh, did I invoice this client? Like,

Rita Suzanne
and it does the reminders and everything. And yeah, you’re not

Emma Ferrick
having to send the reminders, you’re not having to say, Hey, can you pay this invoice. So it also just takes out the uncomfortableness of it, the computer signs up, or you you’re not feeling weird. If you just said nice, like, hey, just in case because I have clients are great, they pay on time, but sometimes something happens with their card. And I noticed like, Oh, this is where they haven’t gone in and paid, they’ve sent, they’ve gotten the reminders that they something comes up. And I just like nudge them because,

Rita Suzanne
you know, just the tracking, like, you know, you’re tracking everything is is already done inside of these these, you know, things you’re getting,

Emma Ferrick
yeah, you’re getting so much better data like dubsado. I love because I can go into my dashboard, see what leads came in? What needs sign like that dashboards right there. And I have like the automation, I can see my revenue. I don’t put my expenses in dubsado. I use QuickBooks for that. But it’s nice to just see everything out there. Oh, look, yeah,

Rita Suzanne
at a glance versus like trying to I would I would hate it like you’re pulling probably from Venmo, from stripe from PayPal. And I learned really quick not to use PayPal because of potential chargebacks. So you know, and so that’s something ever since I signed up with freshbooks I have not had to deal with is any type of somebody coming back and contesting something, you know, in order to get a refund. And people yeah, that

Emma Ferrick
was really, really lesson learned. Like if I could pass on one lesson learned from this past year was PayPal was so like I used it for one or two business expenses. But it was like, I used it to online shop, they charge my car, but it was like a pay through. And I also use their new like PayPal credit feature to pay for some contractors and some investments like that, I was like, I’ll get a return on investment. But that makes your QuickBooks so so difficult to then balance and bookkeeping. So PayPal is can be a good tool, but it can also just mess up your books so quickly. And it’s going to be more of a headache for you in the long run, or you’re going to end up paying someone to do fix your QuickBooks for you or your accounting software that you could just have set up or have them set up from the get go. So you’re not rushing at tax time.

Rita Suzanne
Yeah, this is this is the perk and the benefit of hiring someone like you who will be able to come in there and say, Listen, you need to be organized, you need a system for these things. And I think that a lot of times when we first start, we just are like playing it by ear, and we’re just going and not even thinking about it. And then they’re just not set up for growth. Right? And then that’s when they hire you. And they’re like Emma come and fix all my things. And you’re like, Okay,

Emma Ferrick
I love fixing things for my clients. I love the problems. I’m like, my favorite is like when they’re open to it. There’s people who are open to the change, though, obviously, I don’t really work well with her. But you know, when a client’s just like, I’m so done, I’m so ready for that change of like, I just took a client mixolo to click up, you know, like I did the whole system for her. And now she’s like, has a team dashboard that she can just see her team’s capacity at a glance like she’s managing her team so much better. We’re using like the forums to for her new podcast like, you know, so that it’s getting assigned to the teams in case something’s not answered, or just being able to let use that technology because clickup is at most Hi, love. It’s over the year.

Rita Suzanne
Right, right. And that’s it. That’s the benefit to it, too. And so that was one of my other things. Was that an investment in a project management system. And so clickup wasn’t around back then. But it is now so and it’s a tool that I love as well.

Emma Ferrick
yeah, that’s like one thing too. If I could, if I could tell people if they don’t want to do a CRM, for sure yet, at least use clickup because you can use clickup as a CRM kind of it won’t track your financials and won’t be able to send contracts or invoices. That’s why I love like honey book or for like dubsado for other industry specific CRM, but you can use it. If you’re just getting started like if that’s like the one tool You’re going to invest in I wouldn’t invest in,

Rita Suzanne
I saw that it had a template for a simple CRM and and yeah, so I mean and so that’s another benefit they set it up for is like basically done for you, you just go in and add your information.

Emma Ferrick
Yeah, they have really good tablets and a lot of people are, they make it easy to share and provide templates for other people as well. So you can find them easily too, if someone’s selling them on their shop or, you know, I’ve done a couple so that I can make as part of my VIP or my intensive, I just copy the link that from my template and just implement it into there super quickly when we’re in it intensive. So that saves me a ton of time that

Rita Suzanne
I love that Sorry, I’m children home today, we’re spring breaking. Um, okay, so if you have one tab for another mom who wants to start a business, what would be your best tip for her

Emma Ferrick
that I actually just recorded a piece of content on this today, but that stop wasting your energy and this is coming from like a recovering perfectionist someone who is you know, an overthinker Don’t overthink it, you’re wasting so much time and mental energy, just like going back and forth on it because I’ve done it too. So just if you have an inkling or want to do it, just go for it because you’re gonna learn so much more and no one’s paying attention to your failures. like no one’s noticing if you didn’t send that email that your weekly update or whatever, right away.

Rita Suzanne
Great. It’s okay, I know that your face is just like, ah, April Fool’s day he says do you have today?

Emma Ferrick
No, I don’t want to know today.

Rita Suzanne
Oh my gosh. He probably just thought I was just in here just like chatting with my friend or something. You know, cuz normally I wouldn’t have even scheduled podcast interviews during spring break, but I didn’t realize it when I set everything up. I didn’t realize it was spring break. And I was like, Oh, well, it’s too late. Now. I can’t just cancel on everybody. Like that would just be rude. So yeah,

Emma Ferrick
I know. I was like, I didn’t even realize what eat when Easter was coming up. I was like, Oh, crap. It’s like good Fridays on tomorrow, basically, like when I was planning and you know, all that stuff. I was like, it didn’t even register.

Rita Suzanne
Right. And so now I’m like, you know, I also I’m trying to just make sure that I you know, this is real life like this is business and this is how it is to be a mom who works at home with her with our kids. And so you know, I just said you know what, I’m just gonna go with it. And if interruptions happen they happen because life

Emma Ferrick
is real. The I’ve had my daughter come in on Facebook Live so many times I had a one time turn it off because the dog and her were you just going crazy. I was like, I’m turning us off. I’ll come back to it. But in I’ve also had my daughter come in without a diaper saying she’s everywhere. Oh, no. I call or like it was like a discovery call. Yeah. Not only that, I was like, Oh, can you excuse Yeah, to go?

Rita Suzanne
No, I I’ve had my son’s like, come in, jumping up and down a scream behind me during Facebook’s or presentations and stuff like that. But I feel like, if I was to give them the attention of doing that, then they do it more. You know, they think that it’s cute. They think it’s fun. So I’m like, I tried to just schedule stuff while they’re not here. But I still will do things while they’re home. But okay, so if someone wants to find you online, where can they find

Emma Ferrick
you? They can find me at elf_operations on Instagram. They can also join my free Facebook group that I have. It’s from overwhelmed to optimize. So if you type in facebook.com, backslash groups, backslash elf operations, you’ll find it. But also you can find if you go to Instagram, I have my link tree link too. And I will have my link tree for the episode that you can find me on my socials. Find my website and join the group.

Rita Suzanne
All right. Thank you so much. It’s been such a pleasure getting to know you.

Emma Ferrick
Yeah, thank you so much for having me. And I’m glad that we got to do this and that it was just very authentic.

Rita Suzanne
It was very fun. Thanks again. Thank you. And there you have it. I want to encourage you to remember that being a mom who runs her own business is not easy. we all struggle but just keep moving forward. And don’t forget to make time for yourself. As moms we are usually the first thing to go to the bottom of the list. If your business is overwhelming you and you need real solutions, not just some sugar coated suggestions apply to work with me at ritasuzanne.com/apply

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