About the episode
In this episode of the Mom Owned and Operated podcast, Rita Suzanne and Jennifer Bennett discuss raising a family, running a business and remembering yourself.
Jennifer is a Realtor, Marketing expert, Social Media Savvy, and CEO/Founder of Get Desky. She empowers you to create a solution that; you and your clients will love, igniting real results for your business. She also empowers entrepreneurs by providing them with the resources they need for success. At its core, Jennifer aims not only to help business owners reach their goals but also to give back to create communities that give everyone access to opportunities no matter where they come from or their background She values a diverse community.
Jennifer is also known to be an innovative thinker with strong operational and managerial analysis and digital marketing. She is recognized for maximizing performance by implementing appropriate strategies through analysis of details to understand market trends. She demonstrated success executing complex transactions while delivering world-class service.
Book a free consultation with Jennifer.
Listen to the episode
Rita Suzanne, Jennifer Bennett
Rita Suzanne 00:01
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 Rita Suzanne. And today I have my guest, Jennifer Bennett with me, Jennifer, I’m so excited to chat with you, and learn all the things about you, your family, and how you are doing all the things. So please tell us a little bit more about you.
Jennifer Bennett 00:45
So I am Jennifer, I own Get Desky. And I am also a mother of two, I have been very for about 16 years. And I for the longest time was a stay at home mom started kind of dabbling and stay at home work as a real estate agent. And now I’m a business owner with my mom. Actually.
Rita Suzanne 01:08
That’s what I love, I think the most about your story is that you started a business with your mom. And as I was mentioning to you before I did the same thing. And it was is definitely a different experience. How is it working out with you guys?
Jennifer Bennett 01:24
It’s going well. So she’s definitely more of a numbers lady. She has helped by dad for the last 50 years with his consulting business, basically doing his books, and things like that. So she does the books, but she’s also very creative. So she helps with a lot of the graphic work and things like that. So it works out really well. We’ve always had like a special relationship, because my dad would travel when I was younger, so a lot of the time. So it’s just be a mom. So we always kind of develop that special bond, and we just kind of took it to get deskey. And so we’re here to, you know, encourage other moms that you can be able to have that work life balance and still be able to build a business.
Rita Suzanne 02:11
Yeah. So tell me what are tell everybody what is get dusky and like, what do you guys do?
Jennifer Bennett 02:18
So get dusty is a virtual assistant company. And, and we do things a little bit differently, we don’t match people with an assistant, we do everything as a team. And we are a team stay at home mothers that want to be able to have that work life balance, to be able to have that freedom and that flexibility to be able to provide for our families, but also be with our families too, and be present with them. Because when I was growing up, and even when I had our first daughter, the biggest challenge that we had was we could put our daughter in daycare, and somebody else would raise our kid, or my whole check would go to be raising that kid. Or I could stay at home. And I could do that there was not a lot of remote options. But my 17 year old was an infant. Now there is you know, there’s this, there’s this space now for remote work to where moms can be able to do both at the same time. And a lot of moms want to be able to do that they want to provide for their families, and be able to be present for their families as well too.
Rita Suzanne 03:32
Well, and sometimes you need two incomes, and you can’t afford to send your kids to daycare. So it’s a necessity for the second person to find some kind of something to bring in and like we are lucky because we have all of these opportunities online. Do you guys specialize in anything in particular get dusky, like surfaces.
Jennifer Bennett 03:57
So we specialize a lot in social media, a lot of people want us to be kind of the voice behind the brand. So doing the copies, creating the graphics really engaging with the audience. We also have some clients that want us to do administrative and executive tasks, you know, creating reports, analytics. They’re really specialized proposals, things like that. But we really, really can’t handle most administrative tasks
Rita Suzanne 04:31
remotely. And I love that you have everybody work everybody in the team is aware of the project and is kind of on board with it. So there’s no downtime, should somebody need to not be there or training. Somebody decides that this is not a good fit for them.
Jennifer Bennett 04:52
Yeah, and it also allows me to as a leader to be able to see, you know, when a new person hands in. And they really struggled with learning a new skill that they wanted to learn. And they finally convinced with them, so I could then see in our Slack channels or in our project manager, tool that we use, and I could celebrate with it, I could go there and be like, hey, like you’re doing an amazing job. Like, this is like you did it. And I think that’s, that’s the most important part of, you know, the team that I have is really celebrating those either. minuscule wins, it really encourages my team to just want to come in and the next day just be better than they were yesterday.
Rita Suzanne 05:38
I like that. So when they cut some of them, when they come to you, they just have no experience at all. And do you have a lot of systems and processes in place? Do you have like, all of those SOPs? Like how are you teaching them? Are you teaching them individually.
Jennifer Bennett 05:54
So we have specific tools that we use, and we allow them to learn those tools, you know, so our graphic design software’s Canva, and so we really let the, you know, kind of learn from Canva. And then also be able to, you know, it get feedback of like, hey, like, this line is too thick, let’s make it a little thinner, you know, just encouraging them to really broaden their horizons of what they think of like basic things are, and really just giving them feedback, you know, in a positive way of like, Hey, you did such a great job of this. Let’s tweak this just a little bit. So it’s an ongoing training that we offer them. So but we do have SOPs, we have a long list of different courses and things that we do. And then we also have like shadow your mentor. So basically, one of my assistants right now is shadowing my, my direct assistant, which you’ve been interacting with some time in email. And she wants to learn how to be an executive assistant. And so like she’s starting to take on some of those tasks. And so once she’s learned, you know, the basics of the tools and the software’s and things like that, then she shadows, somebody to be able to ask those weird questions that comes from a place of insecurity, but just need somebody to be able to say, you got this like, you got it, you did it, right.
Rita Suzanne 07:26
I love I love that, because it’s really empowering other women and other moms. And I think that that’s so important like that is the whole premise of mom owned and operated is to really empower and elevate other moms. And sometimes people don’t want to take on newbies, because they need so much hand holding. But I love what you’re doing because you’re actually holding their hands, you’re giving them you know, the encouragement, the skill level that they need in order to bring in money, but also to be at home with her children.
Jennifer Bennett 08:01
Yes, yes. Which is a challenge in of itself. I know yesterday, one of my assistants said that their toddler was exploring and sent me a picture of the refrigerator. And there were eggs like cracked all over the floor. And my first thought was like, oh, there’s such cute like, tiny humans, but it was like, I really do feel that, you know, they haven’t been there twice. And it’s like, it’ll be fine. Let’s so clean it up. And then it’ll be all right. And so just little things like that, like just laughing with them in a fun way of like, yes, you will get through this, like toddlers are amazing humans at exploring.
Rita Suzanne 08:42
Right? And it just reminds you of when your kids were young, because you know, yeah, you know, your daughter, your youngest daughter is six, but my youngest is almost 12. And I look back at their pictures. And I’m just like, Oh, thank God, you were so cute. Remember this? And now it could be less interested.
Jennifer Bennett 08:59
Yeah, I know. We’re over here. Like about to cry? Yeah, no, my oldest is graduating high school this year. So yes, you’re like, where did my baby go?
Rita Suzanne 09:09
Right? Like a time flies so fast. I was saying this to someone yesterday, it goes by so quickly. But when you’re in the moment, it feels like it’s going so slow, right? It’s like, oh, this, this is torture sometimes, you know. The next thing you know, it’s, you know, been years since that moment. Yes.
Jennifer Bennett 09:31
Rita Suzanne 09:33
if another mom Well, I would say you know, if another mom came to you and she said that she had a business idea, like what kind of advice do you think that you would give her?
Jennifer Bennett 09:43
So the first advice I would give her is just start. Just just start just to sign that LLC documents you know, get those those little things done that you gotta do to be able to be legal, and just start you will figure it out. You know, when me and my mom first Hard to get desks the the whole thing was going to be just transaction coordination for real estate. And the more I kept talking to my mom, I have so much experience from being a real estate agent of all the different things that people don’t tell you like, Hey, pretty much a real estate agent is a business owner, you know, you have to do marketing, you have to do negotiations, you have to finagle a whole bunch of people’s emotions, you have to be able to do customer service. You have to be able to set up expectations, you know, manage people’s schedules, all these different things. And she was like, why don’t we just do virtual assistants, that’s a whole and just hire, stay at home moms. And I was like, done for doing it. Right. So and that’s where it gets messy is now. So
Rita Suzanne 10:46
yeah, I work with so many people who start in one place, and then they end up in a completely other place. Because they think that the thing that they’re doing now is going to be what they’re going to continue to do. But as they start to do it, they realize, oh, this maybe was not a great fit for me. And then we try to figure out what what maybe is the next pivot for you. But one thing that I did when I was rebuilding my business was a business plan. And I can’t tell you how, like, I didn’t do it the first time because I didn’t think that I needed it because it was mostly, you know, like, I’m gonna just be a web designer, like how hard is that I don’t need a business plan to figure this out. But I wish that I would have because it went into a lot of the important things that I needed and that I could have used. And a lot of moms don’t realize or or business owners don’t realize that if you have a business plan, you can use that for additional funding, like grants, or crowdsourcing, or even loans and other ways to build your business without having that constant client Chase. And so I think that that’s something important to think about too, like alternative methods of funding because I think us as entrepreneurs, our thing is like, you know, as much as I hate the hustle mentality, like it’s always like, hustle, hustle, hustle, I gotta go get a new client. I’ve got anything new. It’s like always the client Chase.
Jennifer Bennett 12:18
Yeah, yeah. And the facts of that are is if you start really looking into the people that really, really push the hustle mentality, they hustle really, really hard. But the thing that gets overlooked is they also play and rest just as hard as they hustle. So what does that tell you? Yes, hard work. And working is really important. But also so is playing and so is resting. So and this is true for you make people like Grant Cardone, Gary Vee. I mean, all of those people, like if you go and you like really watch what they do, like they, they work just as hard as they play. And just as hard as they rest. And so really, you’ve got to be able to have a balance of yes, you need to work hard, you need to be able to, you know, hustle in your business. And I always tell my assistants, work smarter, not harder, and figure out ways to just make it more efficient. And also, when when it’s out of office hours, turn off everything like it will always be there work will always be there, your kids won’t always be to your kids won’t always be 70 they won’t always be six, go enjoy that you will always be married to your husband for 16 years, it’s only going to get your the time is gonna go by. So always make time for yourself and also for your family. Because that’s why you’re doing the hustle is so that you can give your family things. And yeah, but
Rita Suzanne 13:59
I’m saying I don’t say I’m saying you don’t need the hustle you hustle. Like, because we talked about the the balance, you know, the work life balance, and a lot of people don’t think that that is possible. I do think it is.
Jennifer Bennett 14:14
It is 100% possible, you know, and a lot of the things that they perceive of that is, you know, it’s I have to work 24/7 That’s what everybody thinks is like that hustle is I have to work 24 hours a day. No, you know, yeah, like that that email can be answered tomorrow. I mean, barring somebody’s dying, you know, it doesn’t have to be done, you know? And really letting go of the guilt is the key to that, you know, because they think that if there are present 24/7 at their work, that they are going to magic Like, just do it overnight, you know, but the fact of the matter is, is barring somebody dying it, it really will be okay. If it waits till the next day? Well, what may not be is whatever. Yeah, you might, you might miss your kid making scrambled eggs for the first time ever being super duper excited about it, you know, but and you won’t ever be able to get that back?
Rita Suzanne 15:25
Well, let me ask you a question then. Because I feel like a lot of this has to do with boundaries, right. And I think that, at least for me, when I worked in corporate, the, they teach you to be really responsive, like really reactive to all things, meaning, if an email comes in, and it’s been five minutes, it’s like, what is she doing? Why hasn’t she replied to my email, right? It came in. And so they teach you keep your email open, when an email comes in, you reply to your email, right? So I feel like in corporate, they teach you to be reactive. And so that was part of my thing was when I started my business, I was very reactive. Anything would happen, I was reactive. I wasn’t and I think for entrepreneurs, is better. If you’re proactive, you need to, you know, shut your email off. Have your email, not on your phone, check your email a certain times during the day reply, then that way you’re establishing some boundaries, and you can’t be there all the time. So do you think that boundaries is would maybe help people to, like, alleviate
Jennifer Bennett 16:36
that guilt? Yes, that is actually one of the things when I took on real estate agents and I was mentoring them. The one of the first conversations I would have with them is, what are your boundaries? And they would look at me and they go, what do you need that injury? So I was like, Well, how do you want to tell your clients to interact with them? And they’re like, Well, why would I tell them that? Well, how are you going to explain to them that you’re not going to answer the phone after seven? Unless there’s an actual emergency? And they’re like, But won’t I lose friends that way? Yes, the ones you don’t need the ones who are not going to respect you, the ones that are not going to value your time, the ones that are not going to value your opinion, you’re waiting out the people that don’t care about you as a human. Right? And therefore, you’re only going to get to work with the people that are gonna say, Oh, my God, you did an amazing job. Can I give you extra? Can I give you a bonus? Like, oh, my goodness, like, you stayed after, you know, while something else was going on? Can I feed you dinner, like, you’re gonna get those people that are going to value your time and your opinions, because you took the time at the first meeting to say, look, I understand like, this is a really big purchase for you for real estate. And I will respond to you and I will be interacted with you. But after seven o’clock, my phone goes, right, wherever. If I look at my phone, and I see that I see your message, and I have time, I will respond to it. Otherwise, after my kids go to school, I will pick it back up. And I will answer any questions, any concerns, any comments that you have? And that really sets them up to know, Jennifer cares about what’s going on with this transaction. But she also has a family. And she has a life too. Yeah, and never lost anyone? Yes, it is 100% important, because then you’re preventing burnout. You’re telling people how you how to interact with them. So many people are afraid to educate their clients on how to interact with them.
Rita Suzanne 18:45
Yes. And I think that especially as entrepreneurs, they’re more they’re afraid because of just like you said, it’s like, I gotta please everyone, there’s a lot of people pleasing going on. And yeah, I think that if somebody is going to be a pain, they’re going to be you know, like, well, then they’re just not going to be a good fit for me. Right? But maybe their needs are just not something that I can can handle because I have had clients who maybe were not a good fit for me, but I was needing the money and regretted every single second of it. It was not worth it in the end, right? Because no, it
Jennifer Bennett 19:27
wasn’t never ever ever is it worth taking the money? If I could go back to there were several clients and tell my younger self when I was just starting out as real estate that the money is never worth it. I would be so much better off so much faster, and you know, really stick to those clients. And so that was one of the things when we started get deskey is like I told my mom I was like, we’re gonna be picky and she’s like, why and I was like Because I only want to deal with the people who want to be here, I don’t want to deal with every one. Because we’re not for everyone. And that is 100%. Okay, because someone else is for that person that is not for us.
Rita Suzanne 20:18
Right. Right. And it’s not hard to find clients, I think for virtual assistants, I mean, I every time I turn around somebody’s saying, I need a VA.
Jennifer Bennett 20:28
Yes, yes, that is true. So we don’t take everybody though. Just because we really do feel like everyone has that, that match of like, who would work well, for us. And some people, we refer them to other people, we’re like, we really think that you would do much better here just because of personalities. And sometimes it has to do with skill sets that we don’t yet possess. And so we don’t, we will literally not take somebody for various reasons. But we will be like, hey, but we think that these people would be a good fit for you.
Rita Suzanne 21:05
And I think that that’s the smart thing to do, because then a better client fit is going to come along for you anyways. Yes, because I had to start I started doing that with my some of my design clients. You know, it’s almost as if I could tell when we had our first call, if it was a good fit, or if it wasn’t, right. So
Jennifer Bennett 21:27
yeah, and I think I think a lot of people, when you actually tell them, like, look, I really don’t think that you’re a good fit for us. But I really think you would be a good fit for this person. I feel like what you’re genuine about that people respect you for and when you have something that they could really, really use and really be, they will come back to you. Or they will refer somebody to be like, hey, you know, these people do a really good job of this thing. I can’t do it, but these people can. And so it’s like helping one another. Just finding those best fits.
Rita Suzanne 22:04
I feel like that’s so important in this in this industry is just to help one another. Right? So like their clients for all of us. No, you don’t have to be greedy about it. We can we can also work.
Jennifer Bennett 22:17
Yes, yes. And that’s all we really want to do is just be able to work provide for our families have that freedom and that flexibility.
Rita Suzanne 22:24
Yeah, so I love you know, I love always talking about family and business. But my most fun topic is talking about what are you doing for yourself? So Jen, like, how are Jennifer My apologies? How are you remembering yourself?
Jennifer Bennett 22:44
So sometimes, you know, we talked about this before, but sometimes, you know, working from home, I get stuck in my little cave, as my husband calls it. And I will just call a friend and be like, Hey, I’m tired of working in my office, can can we go and like your work at lunch? Or let’s go get coffee. Or sometimes I take a bath at night. And I’ll be like, Look, I need you to just give me like 15 minutes, like no one come in, I want to read my book, and not do anything. And I think the biggest change for me was not feeling guilty about taking that time. And for the longest time, you know, even being as a mom, it was I would feel guilty about sometimes even just tell him as I need a shower, you know, and really when I started, like just not feeling guilty about taking care of myself, either with basic things like it made such a huge difference in my family, like my family was happier. I would because I was happier. I wasn’t being grumpy at the end of the day because I was looking forward to the end of the day because then I get to have like 1015 minutes, you know every once a while to like sit in the tub and just like do that thing. And so it makes it more enjoyable for everybody else to
Rita Suzanne 24:12
Yeah, I miss my tub I moved into a place that my bathroom only has a shower and I am missing it because I would love taking my hot hot baths with my mat you know my Epsom salts in there and just like trying to soak away my my day all this stuff went down the drain. But, I mean, we still have a bathtub, but it’s in the kids bathroom and I’m just not willing to do that. So it just it’s just not worth it to me at this point.
Jennifer Bennett 24:45
Yeah, I mean, you got boys. So I mean, I only have goals. So it might be sort of okay if I were to do that, but I kind of feel younger kids like sometimes. Just yeah,
Rita Suzanne 24:58
they’re well they’re just there now. I clean enough for me. I mean, I mean, honestly, the bathroom doesn’t look bad. It’s just that I, I’m so crazy about certain things. And then I get you on feeling guilty about taking a shower. I remember when my kids were younger, and my ex husband would come home and I would just feel like, oh, I need a, I need a shower. And I would feel like not that as if it was owed to me almost as if he was giving me a treat, you know, like, less? Yes. And I would hurry as fast as I could to get back down there and take the kids. And you know, I, I didn’t realize at the time, that was a feeling of guilt, but I do now.
Jennifer Bennett 25:45
Yeah, yeah, I didn’t realize it at the time, either. It took me a while to realize that to like, it was just a self imposed guilt. You know, it was like, now that I’m a mom, like, I don’t get that 1015 minutes, you know, I don’t get that time. And really, that’s just a limiting thing. Of like, yes, you want to be able to provide for your kids, but you can’t provide for your kids. And you can’t provide for your kids as well. If you’re not providing for yourself, either. And it’s really teaching your kids to to unhealthy habits as well.
Rita Suzanne 26:17
I know I teach mine all the time. We’re like, this is called boundaries, and I’m gonna need you to leave. So I love you. But please go.
Jennifer Bennett 26:29
Like, but Mom, I just love you. And I love you too. But Mommy needs this
Rita Suzanne 26:36
to be. So where can everyone find you and
Jennifer Bennett 26:42
online. So LinkedIn is probably the best. I’m on there all the time. It’s probably my favorite platform to be on. You could just search Twitter for Beddit. And you’ll find me my logo says Mom, wife, mom, CEO, realtor. And I can I can provide you the link. I believe it’s going to be below to find me on LinkedIn. If you’re interested about our services, you can schedule a call with me as well, too.
Rita Suzanne 27:12
So and your website get dusky.com.
Jennifer Bennett 27:16
Yes, yeah. And you’re in the website. Yes, you could sign up for on there. So you can you can go straight. If you do want a virtual assistant, you can sign up there for us.
Rita Suzanne 27:26
Well, thank you so much. It’s been such a pleasure chatting with you. Appreciate it.
Jennifer Bennett 27:31
Yes, I am looking forward to talking with all the moms out there and letting them know you can do it.
Rita Suzanne 27:38
Yes, they can for sure. Yes. Thank you again. You’re welcome. 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