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Balancing Business & Homeschooling with Leah Stine

About the episode

In episode of the Mom Owned and Operated podcast, Rita Suzanne and Leah Stine discuss raising a family, running a business and remembering yourself.

Leah is a writer, homeschooling mom of three, and a lifelong learner. She is constantly searching for self-help and self-development podcasts and blogs to find ways to better herself and be a good example for her kids. She has been homeschooling since her oldest was in kindergarten and he is now in 7th grade. She homeschooled him and his brother who is in 4th grade.  She also have a baby girl who is almost 15 months old.  She has been happily married to a chef for 15 years this month and is looking forward to the next 15 years!

She owns and operates Leah Stine Writing where she repurposes self-help and self-development podcasts into blog posts.  Leah also writes show notes for podcasts.  She has been writing professionally for over eight years and has a bachelor’s degree in Business Management and is an experienced blogger, ghostwriter, and content writer. Leah is also the author and illustrator of A Boy and His Butterfly, which stemmed from homeschooling her kids and incorporating nature into their daily life.

You can download Leah’s guide, 10 Ways to Repurpose Your Podcast, here.

Find out more about working with Leah on her website.

This episode is sponsored by eMeals

Listen to more interviews by visiting momownedandoperated.com and apply to work with Rita at ritasuzanne.com/apply/

Listen to the episode

Show Notes
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 mom owned and operated. I am Rita Suzanne. And today I have my guest, Leah Stein with me. And today we are going to talk all about how Leah is able to run her business, raise her family and remember herself. Thank you so much for joining me, Leah, please tell us all a little bit about yourself.

Leah Stine 00:50

Well, thank you for having me. I am a homeschool mom of three. I am an author of a children’s book. And I have a business called the assigned writing where I repurpose podcasts into blog posts and write show notes.

Rita Suzanne 01:05

And you’re homeschooling your three children and how old are they?

Leah Stine 01:10

I am 18 month old nine year old and an almost 13 year old.

Rita Suzanne 01:15

I mean, you know what I think about homeschooling and running a business and all of that stuff like you are definitely killing it. Because as everybody knows how hard it is to have your kids home and actually successfully run a business now everybody knows, right they can relate to what it’s like I have always said like, I never wanted to homeschool. And I think these past couple years just kind of reinforced that for me. So the fact that you’re able to do that is is amazing.

Leah Stine 01:48

So we no easy feat.

Rita Suzanne 01:51

Yeah, tell us like Do you have any tips on how to actually manage you manage all of these things?

Leah Stine 01:59

Um, honestly, sometimes it’s chaos. Sometimes it’s not. Um, but I’ve been working on some time blocking. So that tends to help where I tell the kids you know, this is what time we’re doing school or 930 to one that is my time, you don’t think you’re doing anything else, don’t plan anything else. Don’t try to do anything else. I have you for this time. And they have me for that time. I don’t check my email, I don’t do any work or anything. So that’s our school time. If we get done earlier, great. If we don’t great, but either way, one o’clock, we’re out.

Rita Suzanne 02:34

I love that because it gives you like some structure and it gives you that flexibility with your business so that you can actually get stuff done. Because I know that when my kids were home, it was I was working way too much. And I don’t even think that I was working. I was just you know, trying to work. And then I would be interrupted. And I would be trying to do the same task over and over and over because and they were just coming in and asking me questions, and wanting attention and everything. But I was so busy trying to work. So what did you do before you started doing this? Before repurposing blogs?

Leah Stine 03:18

Well, actually, I had my pet my business for three years, the first two years, I actually did what it’s kind of what I was comfortable with, which was marketing and working with real estate agents for their newsletters, and social media, fires, blog posts, things like that. I’m good at that. But it just was not my passion. I want to write and I want to help people get their voice heard. I want to help businesses who are trying to help people get more people get more clients through their door through their website.So I just relaunched in last August. But before that Igosh are so long ago, I don’t even remember. Man for that I actually worked as a assistant, a virtual assistant for few years. Mm hmm.

Rita Suzanne 04:07

And, and obviously that’s so hard. You know, virtual assisting is really hard. But doing the podcast management is is also I know that you said that you love certain types of podcasts to listen to because they help you in addition to having a business around it. So tell us more about what type of podcasts you actually love to work on.

Leah Stine 04:33

You know, I started out thinking oh, I just want self help self development podcasts and but then when you think about it, that really encompasses quite a bit, and I’m okay with that. So really, any thing that helps other people is what I want to work with. If it’s a business podcast, that helps other people try to get their stuff together. That’s great. If it’s a coaching business who you know she’s this person’s could a coach and trytrying to help other people. That’s what I want to work with. So I really just want to help people help people.

Rita Suzanne 04:44

Right? I’m like you though because I like to I’ll go through these spurts of listening to certain types of podcasts. And then I will say, okay, and I’ll, it’s almost like I come into full circle, right, I’ll start listening to this kind of maybe, you know, health and wellness stuff. And then I’ll start going over to business and marketing and, and then right back to health and wellness. But it’s almost like I get obsessed with this one topic. And then I want to move on.

Leah Stine 05:37

Right? I’m the same way right now I have business like in my lineup, I have like three business ones. And then I have a manifestation one, and then I have a self help one. So yeah, I totally.

Rita Suzanne 05:50

And obviously, like some of the stuff that you are taking away from the podcast, is it helping you to grow your business and to kind of like grow as a person?

Leah Stine 06:00

Oh, definitely. I love podcasts. And that’s, but I don’t always have time to listen to them. I actually had one that I’ve been working on but a half hour long, and I’ve been working on it for about three or four days. Yeah, because the kids talk a lot. Unless I’m working, I can’t have that quiet time to listen.

Rita Suzanne 06:17

So are you transcribing them? And then? Or are you just like manually having them transcribing, but listening so that you can do a good assessment and overview to rewrite the post, like, explain to us exactly how you do it? And what is the benefit of having someone do it for you?

Leah Stine 06:35

All right, well, I listen to every podcast, because I think that’s really important in reflecting somebody’s voice, because you can’t really do that without listening to it. So I listened to him. And then I take notes, as I listen, a lot of times, I have to listen again, to pull out the things I want to pull out the quotes or whatever it is. And then I sit down, I make an outline, just like in high school, you know, I’d make that outline of all my topics, and then my sub topics. And then I write from there. Adding in quotes, if needed or different things if I need to have any additional questions, if it’s something that I can’t find on my own, I’ll you know, reach out to the podcast and be like, Hey, what did this mean, exactly, or whatever. And then I give him podcasts or give the blog post. It’s just a time consuming it. Yeah, man takes me a good chunk of time to write a podcast, that means a half hour podcast, I’ll probably take two to three hours to write it. And that’s just writing it, it’s not going back over it and editing it, that’s not adding anything else. And you know, it’s, if you’re not a writer, a lot of podcasters aren’t writers.

Rita Suzanne 07:45

And that’s why that’s why we do a podcast because we’d rather talk, right?

Leah Stine 07:49

I mean, you know, but it’s really good for your SEO. transcriptions are okay for that. And you know, they are going to be keywords in there, but they’re not intentional keywords, they’re just there. So while you’re getting SEO from that, it’s not really the same thing. Right.

Rita Suzanne 08:06

And a lot of times when I know at least for me, when I’m using the show notes, and I’m just having the transcription come from otter, I’m, I’ll go through it and listen to it, actually, because there are a lot of mistakes in it and nobody is reading my transcription. I can’t, I can’t, I don’t think that anybody would sit down and read that, right. So if there was a blog post that summarize it, I like the ones too, that actually tell you the timestamp at this point, the person is going to talk about this subject, you know,

Leah Stine 08:39

I would be more in the show notes that like for me, I mean, if the client wants that, that’s fine. But for me, for the show notes, the blog post is more for a standalone thing, like, go to that to read it instead of having to listen and write. The show notes are where you’d put the titles and say, Okay, this is where the timestamp This is what time this was brought up. This is a time because you don’t want to go too much into it. It needs to be a standalone thing that says, you know, this is the whole story without the repetition of a transcription without the arms and the hands and buts in this and you know, all the stuff that’s in the transcription that you’re like, oh my gosh, this is so boring.

Rita Suzanne 09:20

I know it does, it definitely doesn’t translate the same. And so that’s what I love about what you’re doing because you’re summarizing it in a way that’s actually helpful and it helps take out all of that time wasted for someone to sit there and try to read through a transcript because i That’s why I’m saying I don’t think that anybody’s gonna read though and you know, oh, this was a great takeaway from me, but it’s good for SEO and so that’s why I tell people to include it.

Leah Stine 09:49

Yeah, their posts, and that wouldn’t even be bad to have in addition to the blog post, you know, hidden thing how you have it on your on your site. And, you know, the show notes that’s important too. You know, a lot of people don’t have good shownotes. You look, you can look in the read the title, but it doesn’t really say what it’s about it kind of touches on it. Or there’s like one sentence of a Shona, which, okay, if you listen to the podcast all the time, maybe that’s enough. But if you’re trying to do podcasts and you go in, and you’re trying to figure out what it’s about, with somebody with limited time, didn’t want to listen to 5-10 minutes of the podcast, so only to find out that it’s not what they wanted. And now, okay, okay, I’m never listening to that podcast again, because I’m not gonna be fine. What I want.

Rita Suzanne 10:28

I what I’ve seen is that a lot of people will have the summary of the post is basically like the title and the guest information. And then maybe their intro is the man.

Leah Stine 10:42

Yeah, like, where they copy like, their, their whole, over and over and over. Yeah, and that, like, I just don’t even listen to it, because I don’t have the time to play with it and figure out, Okay, what’s really what I want? Yeah. So that’s a very important for show notes. And I have a deal on right right now to show notes with blog posts.

Rita Suzanne 11:04

So and then they can decide what is going to be is going to work best for them. Right. And, and how much how valuable it is. Because I think that that’s important to a lot of people think, you know, I so the reason why I started podcasting was because I didn’t have time to write. And so I was thinking to myself, well, how can I create new content without sitting down to write because there was no way that I could focus on anything. And so I decided to do a podcast, but also for my personal business, what helped me was actually doing like walking around and doing like the voice notes and memo, you know, recording me speaking about a certain topic, and then I could take that and turn it into a post for social media, or even a blog, and continuously modify and add it to it.

Leah Stine 12:03

It’s so interesting, how different like we are like I would, I would never sit there and talk into a thing like that. I would never do it

Rita Suzanne 12:11

that would usually be like, in conjunction with me, like exercising, like going out on a walk. Yeah, and doing it while I was doing that. But a long time ago, one of my very first coaches, she taught me this technique that she calls active meditation. And so what it would be is like you would go out and do exercise. So for me, let’s say that I went to the gym and I wanted to just burn some energy off, I would run and listen to music at the same time. But I would be thinking about a certain topic that maybe I wanted to write about. And because I was always so blocked with my writing, I wouldn’t have time. So she’s like, Okay, this is what you do. So after I would run, then I would just sit down and I could either Voice Note it real quick, or I would I would be, I would no longer have the, the block the writer’s block. And it was almost as if that process of running, listening and focusing helped to move me forward. And so then I would walk, and I would have, I would be able to look at the bullet points that I got from the act of meditation and just elaborate on those. And that used to be my practice. But you know, I have a lot of kids now. And it just it makes it hard because if I even tried to go out on a walk, they want to come and walk with me and talk to me the whole time. So yeah, it’s just, it’s challenging. Hi, it’s Rita. I’m going to interrupt this episode and talk about today’s sponsor. This show is going to be sponsored by emeals later on. In the episode, I ask Leah, does she have a tool tip resource or suggestion for any new business owners? I think that this is actually beneficial to all one thing that Leah mentioned was a meal planning and how she found it hard to actually be on plan but she does suggest it if you can start doing that for yourself. And one thing that I’ve used that I really love is emails and the thing that I love the best about them is that you can pick a meal plan that works best for your family’s eating styles. You can then export that to a shopping list connect to your favorite grocer and then schedule a pickup or delivery. All of those things that just try to simplify your shopping experience. And so I love it and I hope that you do sign up and give it a try. If you do please let me know they have a two week trial right now and you can check it out by going to my link, ritasuzanne.com/emeals. But first, we’re going to go ahead and get back to the episode. So I want to know like, what does an average day look for you now that you’re time blocking? Like, tell us how is that working out for you? Is it helping you get more done and stay focused?

Leah Stine 15:27

So far, I haven’t done great with the time blocking I did it a while ago, and I did really good with it. But then I realized I was too structured. So I need to find a happy medium, right? Um, but as of right now, the school’s time blocking is great. The kids have to get their chores done by two, if they get it done earlier than two, great if they don’t, they don’t get allowance, right. So because they were taking just all day, oh,

Rita Suzanne 15:54

what I what I do with that I’m sorry. What I do is like my kids cannot have devices until they get their chores done. And that helps immensely, right? Because that’s a huge amount of motivator for the for them.

Leah Stine 16:07

My youngest likes TV a lot. So he is actually not allowed to watch TV unless he does well in school. Because the allowance is tied to the chores. So I didn’t want to have a tied to the electronics too. So but they’re not allowed to have any electronics till the chores are done anyway, every defect, right. So once they’re done with that normally when they’re doing their chores either, if the baby’s napping, I have time to work. If she’s not napping, then I wait till she naps and then I work. Right now she happens to be napping. So that worked out well. But every day is a little different with her naps, um, and so normally I’ll have anywhere between like, one o’clock and like four o’clock, I have time to work on and off and get my stuff done that I need to get done, whether it’s work or house stuff or whatever. And then dinnertime, and then I whisked the boys off to wrestling, drop them off. And then daddy brings him home at eight. So I have from seven to eight when the baby’s sleeping. Because she goes to bed at seven. So thankfully, I from that. I normally do the kitchen, and then I work till they get home. And then when they get home, it’s again, it’s a whirlwind of snacks and showers in that time. And then I go to bed and get up at six.

Rita Suzanne 17:30

Well, I what I’m not hearing is anything in there for Leah, like what is Leah doing for herself.

Leah Stine 17:36

You know, actually, I just just started focusing on this, I pulled my Sketchpad out and everything yesterday was like, I’m gonna paint this week, because that’s my me time. That’s, that’s my happy time. That’s my happy place. And I pulled it out. And I pulled up a picture of what I’m going to paint when painted, dear. Yeah. And I have it already. I was like, I’m gonna start this. So I’ve decided that I’m either going to do it one or two nights a week after the baby goes to bed. And make a point to make sure I get the kitchen and everything done before wrestling. Or I’m going to do it during naptime at least one or two days a week so that I can get that released, because it’s definitely my time where I could sit there and just think about all the things that I need to get off my mind and, or not think about them, right? Like and kind of just go in and out and go away.

Rita Suzanne 18:31

If you’ve listened to any of my podcasts, you know that sometimes my self care is locking myself in my bedroom. So, you know, I think that your self care just really depends on you know what you need. And, and I think that as moms, we kind of equate the self care to doing an actual thing, but sometimes doing nothing is the best form of self care that we can do.

Leah Stine 18:58

Actually, I did that. I did a couple weeks. Last weekend, the boys went to a wrestling tournament with my husband all day. So just be in the baby all day. And I literally didn’t do anything. I sat on the couch all day watch TV. I do journal everyday too. So that’s a lot of me time. Exactly. For you too. Yeah. But yeah, so that that definitely helps me a lot is journaling and sometimes I do a right before bed. And sometimes I do it first thing in the morning.

Rita Suzanne 19:27

So, do you think that some of the podcasts have helped, like instill some of the self care rich?

Leah Stine 19:34

Oh, yeah, definitely. Definitely. It definitely encourages me to do it more because I feel like you know, it’s the right answer. You know, I feel like I need to really start taking that internal care of myself because all of that feeds everybody else. Right. I wake up grumpy and angry and frustrated and stressed out. The kids are grumpy and angry and stressed out frustrated and you know And then it just a tornado uncle. Right, is terrible. Yeah. You know, it’s it’s hard, but I did have to do it. Right, the self help and the journaling really helps with that.

Rita Suzanne 20:14

Do you think that there’s any one lesson that you learned from starting your business that you can share with everyone?

Leah Stine 20:23

Yeah, I’m trying to figure out what you really want to do and take the leap before waiting till you do stuff you don’t really want to do for so long? Because I spent those two years doing something I didn’t really enjoy. To, because I’m scared. Right? And you know, when you think about what’s the worst that can happen is, what is the worst that can happen? I could fail. Okay, then I do it. I’m there’s a lesson to learn it. Right? Exactly. Then you do it again, you try something else, you take chances. And that’s, that’s probably my biggest advice is take the chance, take the leap. Do what you love, try to find what you love. So that when you do work, you like it?

Rita Suzanne 21:06

Right? I think that that’s the thing that a lot of people don’t realize, when they first start their business. They think that it’s going to be this way. But they have to, you know, almost always I see people pivoting within the first two years of starting their business, right? Because you start out doing this. And then once you start working with other people, you realize, well, I don’t really love that thing. So much. I actually enjoy this over here. But a lot of times we were afraid to pivot because that income can decrease, right? That whole new thing of like, well, I’ve been known, like, for instance, for me, like I’ve been known as a web designer for so long. And so for me pivoting into teaching is what I love to do. But it’s really hard for me to make a complete transition over here because I’m still trying to figure out like, Well, how do I make these two things fit together? Because they are related. But it’s it’s hard because you’re like second guessing yourself. Right?

Leah Stine 22:13

Yeah, I mean, honestly, I still have two of my own clients. But I’m okay with that. Because they’re, they’re not both real estate. You know, it’s one real estate. She’s been a longtime friend of mine. So I’m okay with that. You know, it’s just, I don’t want to take any on any new clients of that. caliber. Yeah.

Rita Suzanne 22:30

And I think that that’s a good tip, too, is like not to feel like you need to just abruptly rush into the thing that you’re transitioning to, but to handle everything. Yeah. Because that will cause a lot of stress. Right? There’s a lot of pressure inside of that. Okay, so if you met a new mom, this is our last question. If you met a new mom, mom, not a new mom, if you met a mom who wanted to start her own business, what other advice would you give her besides to like, leap into the new thing,

Leah Stine 23:05

make things easy on yourself, use your crock pot, you know, use this pressure cooker. In sometimes it just happens you take forget to take the meal out of the freezer, you know, if you can meal prep do that I don’t do that. But, um, because I forget. But like that’s a big thing is the the meals for me, it’s a big struggle and being prepared for them and having a meal plan. That’s like, huge difference for me being home with the kids all day. Because even if you’re not home with the kids all day, they’re still gonna expect this, they’re still gonna expect dinner, you know, you still have to pack their lunch or give them money for lunch, whatever it is. So meal time, I think is a big stressor that doesn’t need to be a stressor. And then the other thing is to take care of yourself, do the things that you want to do, don’t just focus on, you know, when you have kids, sometimes they take over your identity. And it might take a while to get back out of that, which it did for me. But, you know, it took me a while to find myself again. And but here I am. And I’m moving forward. So that’s a big thing to focus on, is try to remember who you were before kids and try to fit pull the things out that you really liked about that, and focus on those and grow them.

Rita Suzanne 24:19

Love that. And I love that it’s it’s overall, you know, helping you you know, helping other people to grow as like how we’re able to juggle all these things because being a mom takes over your identity, but then owning your own business can take over your identity. And a lot of times people use their business as this is, this is what I do. I enjoy it. I love it. And they think that that’s a form of self care, but it’s really not, you know, because even though you’re feeding into your purpose, you still need to feed into yourself,

Leah Stine 24:52

and you don’t have to be your business. Right.

Rita Suzanne 24:56

Okay, so Leah, where can we find you? And you know, where are you hanging out.

Leah Stine 25:01

Well, I am on Facebook and Instagram under Leah Stine Writing. And my website is leahstine.com. Um, I do have my book is on Amazon if you’re interested in that it’s called a boy and his butterfly.

Rita Suzanne 25:15

What is that about real quick

Leah Stine 25:17

that is about a monarch, but a monarch butterfly from egg to butterfly. But kids, we’ve always had a butterfly garden, and we’ve always raised the eggs. And so it was really inspired by them. And I actually did the art to cool and the character’s name is a combination of my boys names, which is no fun. And um, yeah, so it’s on Amazon cubes, working.

Rita Suzanne 25:45

And then your website is leahstine.com. And do you have anything free for the

Leah Stine 25:52

Oh yeah, I have a freebies for 10 ways to repurpose your podcasts that’s actually on my website. Also, you can just click on it on the top. And I do have a winter special going on right now for a few clients. So if you’re interested in that, that’s on my website also.

Rita Suzanne 26:07

Okay, thank you so much, Leah. Thank you for having me. 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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