About the episode
In episode of the Mom Owned and Operated podcast, Rita Suzanne and Marisa Lonic discuss raising a family, running a business and remembering yourself.
Marisa Lonic, is the founder of Mama Work It. She’s a working mom of four kids, a native New Yorker and a California resider. A self proclaimed Time Momager, Marisa helps busy moms juggling mom life, work life, wife life, fill in the blank life via her books, courses, and coaching programs.
Her time management and goal achievement strategies have helped the most overwhelmed mamas turn their dreams into reality, even when they thought they had no time to make any of it happen.
Sign up for Marisa’s Time MOMagement Free 5 Day Experience-sign up here to join!
Listen to the episode
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.
I am Rita Suzanne. And today I have my guest Marissa on I don’t want to like butcher your last name. So I’m not even going to Marissa, please tell us all about you, your family and your business.
Marisa Lonic 00:44
Yes, thank you so much for having me. So I’m Marisa Lonic. It’s not that complicated, I probably would have been just fine. Yeah, I’m a working mom of four kids, their eight eight foreign to native New Yorker live on the West Coast. Now, my business is called mama work it. And really what we do is we support working moms, with the juggle of managing mom life, work life, wife life fill in the blank life. So we focus on time management strategies and business management strategies just really dependent upon where you are, what season you’re in, and what your goals are. Hmm.
Rita Suzanne 01:25
So are a lot of moms already established? Or are they just starting out and just coming to you and me like, I want to do this, but I cannot figure out how to do all the things.
Marisa Lonic 01:37
You know, it varies. It varies. So I’ve worked with moms who are working, you know, a nine to five their employees, and they really want to transition to entrepreneur, and they have not yet started that that plan of action. They’re still in the idea phase, I’ve worked with moms who have the side hustle going, who want to make it the main hustle. I’ve worked with moms who are just entrepreneurs, actually. And they’ve, they’ve, you know, been in that space for a while, and now they’re looking to grow or scale, or just get a handle on sort of the life of being a mom and an entrepreneur, which you know, that’s challenging.
Rita Suzanne 02:14
Right. What would you say is like their biggest struggles that they’re having, because I know I have my own struggles. But I am always so intrigued to hear what other people are struggling with.
Marisa Lonic 02:25
Yeah, I think for the mom entrepreneurs, it is that there doesn’t seem to be like a balance that’s sustainable. So they’re very ambitious and passionate about what they’re doing. Yet, they also want to be great moms. And they find that they’re not able to do both. And I think a missing factor always in that is that they’re not, they’re not putting themselves on the list at all of you know, people to take care of or things to do. And so they’re burnt out, you know, they’re feeling like, exhausted after putting all their energy and focus into their business and then into their kids as well. And they’re just like, this is not what I signed up for.
Rita Suzanne 03:08
Yes. So that’s one of the things that I talk about all the time to, especially to moms or even women in general, because when we start our businesses, then we put ourselves to the side when we become moms, whichever one is first, we put ourselves to the side. And so doing these two things simultaneously, inevitably, we’re going to put ourselves on the backburner, right. And I remember before I started my job, I was working in corporate, and I had this grand plan of First of all, I was going to be in the best shape of my life. Eight years later, I am not. Because I wasn’t setting boundaries. I wasn’t I wasn’t making the time for myself. And it wasn’t until I think when everything started to collapse for me that I was really able to see that this was what I needed to do. And recently I’ve just learned like one thing that I needed to do was instead of trying to manage all the things was I needed to let some of this stuff go and to really simplify and stop trying to be perfect at everything. Would you say like….
Marisa Lonic 04:32
many truth bombs.
Rita Suzanne 04:35
Would you say that? You know, I think that especially newer people like they are setting boundaries, like is that something that you’re helping them to understand why they need to set boundaries?
Marisa Lonic 04:47
Absolutely. And whether you’re a working mom and you know, the employee space or the entrepreneurship space, you know, you need to get comfortable with letting other people do things for you. And I think, you know, society paints the picture that moms do it all. So we feel this pressure to do that ourselves, right? Whether that be in business and personal life, all the things. And so we almost feel like failures when we decide to delegate out things or to ask for support or ask for help. Meanwhile, all those successful people you see out there, like all those millionaires and billionaires, they’re not doing that stuff all alone, right? Like, they’re, maybe it’s not publicly displayed, but a lot of people are managing a lot of things for them. And so I think getting comfortable being able to do that. And that comes hand in hand with boundaries. Absolutely.
Rita Suzanne 05:44
And I think that it’s really important to to start hiring help early on, you know, for me, I didn’t start getting help until a couple of years ago. And it would have helped me so much if I would have started hiring out help having a VA before him, but I just thought I could do this myself. And this is why this is why I have my business for freedom. And you know, like for this but I was also trying to control everything. And I was working nonstop and and then on a random Tuesday or Wednesday, I would just burn out and I wouldn’t be worth anything because I was trying to do everything.
Marisa Lonic 06:29
Oh, yeah, yeah. Can I share a quick story?
Rita Suzanne 06:33
I would love it.
Marisa Lonic 06:34
All right. So I am currently in the editing phase of my new book biz management, working moms guide to go from employee to entrepreneur. And in it I share a story about a business that I launched years ago before I was a mom. So I decided I was going to make baby clothing, like little cute onesies, little expressions on them. They were adorable organic. I mean, they were cute. And I took on every role in that business, right? As many of us do. When we do a startup, we’re scrappy. Right. So I was director of marketing, I was the tech person, my least favorite role, by the way, I was the designer, I was the actual supplier of like, you know, creating the, you know, putting the screen prints on, I did all of it. And then I found out as the business had launched, shortly after I was pregnant with twins, surprised. My whole world was like flipped upside down. We had to move we had you know, we had a high risk pregnancy, all the things. And what did I do? Because I was in charge of so much in this business, I let it fizzle out. And I look back at that experience. And I think to myself, if I had had more support in place, I would have been able to keep that going. So there’s a cost, obviously, to hiring support. And I think a lot of people that holds them back. But there’s also a cost to like a failed business right there. So just keep that in mind. You know, that’s one thing I want to share. And the other thing I want to share is, we need to get out of this mentality of like, well, I could just do it myself. Well, yeah, you could. Nobody’s saying you can’t, right. Nobody’s saying if you asked for help, that you’re not capable of doing it. It’s more flipping the script for ourselves of I couldn’t do it myself. But you know what I don’t want to.
Rita Suzanne 08:34
And plus not focusing on something that is probably not where your talent lies, right? Like you’re saying, like tech is not my thing. But I was still forcing myself to do the tech, I was still doing all of these things. And I think that a lot of times, just because we can do it doesn’t necessarily mean that we should do it at all. And in addition to like a failed business, like your can affect your health. You know, overall, I know a lot of moms get burnt out so badly that it does impact their health over time, because it’s a continuous cycle that they keep on falling into. And, you know, it just really depends and you got to just take care of your yourself and it’s just so hard for us. So, you know, what do you think is like the easiest trap for women to fall into, you know, while trying to grow their businesses and, you know, raising their families.
Marisa Lonic 09:38
Oh, what a loaded question. I would say it’s really an inner belief system. So I often hear the words come out of my clients mouths, just general people I talked to when we’re chatting about what you’re up to, you know, what are you doing? I don’t have time. And obviously, we live in a very busy world where things are moving quickly, you know, there is a lot going on, if you are a mom, a wife, an entrepreneur, you are juggling many things. And it’s not to say that you’re not busy. But when you consistently tell yourself, I don’t have time, for something that you actually would like to pursue, and do, you start to believe it. And all the things start to align in that way. So yeah, you look at your calendar, it’s full, you, you know, at night, you’re exhausted, like, all the things start to align with that. So you actually don’t have time. So I recommend flipping the script on that. Instead of saying, I don’t have time when something pops up that you would love to focus on. But feel you can’t start saying the words, it’s not a priority to me. So you had mentioned being in the best shape of your life, right? Your health, your physical health. So maybe that has to do with exercise. So you could easily tell yourself, I don’t have time to work out. And probably you believe it, and it sounds valid excuse. Or you could flip the script and say, You know what working out isn’t a priority to me. And something changes there. You either go one path or the other, and neither one is right or wrong. But they’re both better than saying it the other way. So in one way, you could say, well, you know what, maybe it’s just not a priority to me right now. I’ve got, you know, XYZ happening, or something’s going on with my kid or who knows, maybe I’m just not feeling my best right now. I’m recovering from something. And automatically, you let go of the guilt, the shame, you’re just like, you feel lighter. Right? As moms, the mental load is heavy and legit. We don’t need anything else crowding up space in there. That’s a win. If you asked me. The other way, it’s a win is you don’t feel good. When you say those words out loud, that working out isn’t a priority to me, you think well, actually, it is a priority, I’ve really wanted to make this happen this year, you know, my goal is to do this, I want to run a half marathon or whatever it is, Well, damn, I’m going to make it a priority. So you’re gonna shuffle things around, you’re going to wake up earlier, go to sleep later use, you know, a block of time during your day, you’re going to make it happen,
Rita Suzanne 12:14
right. And maybe part of that is hiring somebody to take over some of that work, so that you have the time. You know, and I think I just really cannot express to everyone how important it is to really get help as soon as you can. And I know what it’s like, though, when I started my business, I was definitely bootstrapping I was on a really tight budget budget, I was doing everything myself. But my business could have grown so much faster, if I would have hired help if I would have set boundaries. And you know, for me boundaries, were not working on the weekends. Like, to me, I just don’t work on the weekends. And, you know, in sometimes it means like taking the day slow and not starting to do calls or anything until 11 o’clock or not even, you know, turning on my computer until then, because I want to take a walk or I want to go on a bike. Right, you know what I mean? And so I think that that’s the freedom and the flexibility that we have when we start our own business that obviously we didn’t have when we were working in corporate most likely. Right,
Marisa Lonic 13:20
right. Right. Yeah. And I think just to piggyback on that, you know, I think when you people think of hiring help, or hiring support, they automatically think of like tasks to be done within the business. And while I’m a proponent of that, for sure, I have support in those spaces. I also think it’s good to think about hiring support in other ways, like hiring a business coach, or just investing in yourself to join some type of community or some type of program or a course house
Rita Suzanne 13:49
with your kids or something to, you know, like so having someone come in and clean for us. I mean, all these things. Yeah, to you know, if I could get someone in here, a private chef, I don’t know what I would do with myself, I’d probably be so ecstatic. I would know what to do.
Marisa Lonic 14:06
Have you read Rachael Rogers book, we should all be millionaires. No. Okay. Put it on your list. Absolutely. Read it, it should be required reading for any female entrepreneur, in my opinion. I love that it is so great. And she talks a lot in that book about, you know, how can you make time and space to be able to sit in like your zone of genius, as Hendricks says, and make more money in your business? And how do you do that? Well, you delegate out all these mundane things that you’re filling up your time and space and taking up your energy, your valuable energy that you could be using toward strategizing ways to grow your business toward working on your business instead of in your business. Right. And that isn’t only business related tasks, it’s all the things at home. It’s all the things at home, it’s cooking, it’s cleaning, it’s you know, driving your kids to school It’s practice, it’s childcare. It’s like wrapping birthday presents, it’s so many things that we’re doing, that we don’t even realize are taking up, like time and space and energy for us.
Rita Suzanne 15:09
Yeah. And a lot of times, you know, for me, like, I have four children as well. And I think it’s the energy right there a little energy, you know, they need so much and here we are trying to serve them. And they, you know, and and I think that getting help, in whatever way works best for you and your family is the most important thing whether, you know, not just business related. Yeah, so I love I love all of that. What do you think, though, is like the number one thing that a business has to do in order to succeed? Consistency, love that
Marisa Lonic 15:45
hands down consistency. So you know, you could view this in many ways, I think, from an outside perspective, you know, consistency, obviously, like showing up where you need to show up social media, newsletters, podcast, blogs, whatever your outlet, your media outlet is, get a schedule created front load content, if you need to, especially if you’re juggling a job and your business, you know, that can be challenging, some weeks, not every week is predictable. I mean, it’s not even when you’re just juggling your business. But it’s that much harder when you have that added element. So absolutely be consistent in showing up in your messaging. And be consistent for yourself, like develop the habits of the schedule, you work on your business, and you know, the output that you are setting for yourself on a weekly basis, you know, not to say that, as an entrepreneur, you have something very valuable you have that time freedom, you have that flexibility that you don’t have when you work for someone else. But in the same sense, you also need to be your own disciplinarian, you’re you’re your own boss, your own accountability partner. So really set up some good habits and good routines, so that you’re staying consistent within your own work ethic too.
Rita Suzanne 17:01
And I think too, like when you, for instance, if you hire someone to help you with your content, or your social media, and things like that, when you are not consistent, then they can’t do their jobs. So if you’re not consistent, if you’re not in the habit of being consistent, I think that sometimes hiring someone who’s going to schedule your social media, all of these things and actually will help you because now you have some accountability that you need to I need to give you her her thing so that she can do her stuff, you know, and actually helps you propel forward and move forward. Because I know that sometimes my VA will be like, well, I need XYZ from you. And I’m like, oh, you know, yeah, and here I go, you know, running around and making sure that I’m doing my part as well, because maybe I got distracted with another project that I was working on.
Marisa Lonic 17:57
That’s true. Yeah. I’ve had conversations with women who’ve transitioned into entrepreneurship from like corporate roles. And if they weren’t in leadership positions in their corporate roles and aren’t used to managing a team. Yeah, it’s it’s a tough transition to hire people within your business, because you don’t have that prior experience. So obviously, letting go of like that control factors important the comfort level of kind of delegating out, but also the organization behind that is important too.
Rita Suzanne 18:28
Yes, I love it. So let’s circle back around to my vote most important part is, you know, like, I love to talk about how we’re running our businesses, we are raising our families. But to me, the most important part is remembering ourselves. Right? So I love to ask other moms and my guests. In particular, what are you doing Marissa to remember yourself? Like, what are you doing for you?
Marisa Lonic 18:55
Oh, yeah, this is a great question. So I’m very diligent about having a morning routine. I think this is really, really important, especially if you’re a mom, with younger kids who need you a lot. My kids are young. So and they also wake up early, I understand. But you know, I wake up before them purposefully so I can get a morning routine in before my day starts before someone’s asking me for milk before someone’s asking me where their shirt is, you know, all the things. So I would I’m a high proponent of this, you know, this doesn’t need to be a lengthy one for you. You know, I follow lots of successful entrepreneurs out there who are like, I don’t do anything before my 90 minute morning routine. Well, that’s not realistic in my house unless I’m waking up at like 4am but, you know, even a 10 to 15 minute ritual that you do for yourself in the morning. You know, drinking a glass of water, doing a quick meditation, working out, stretching, yoga, anything really that’s just something you do consistently for years. Self before you are in that mode of juggling all the things so that would be, that would be one thing. And then the other thing is, I tell my clients this, it’s much easier said than done, but it can be done. Doing one nice thing for yourself daily. You know, even if you have this as a reoccurring calendar reminder, like a 15 minute block, you can fill it with whatever you need that day, some days, maybe that’s going to feel like you just need to step away from work and go for a walk outside. Other days, you’re going to want to go get like your favorite latte at the cafe nearby, you know, whatever it is, but just one nice thing for yourself, you’re so generous with your energy for other people, one small gesture you can do on a daily basis.
Rita Suzanne 20:46
I love that. Because it’s so hard to to be my boy, I remember, one of my first coaches, she told me, especially about the working out because it is important to me. But also the reason why she was such a huge proponent of it is because it will help you clear your head, right? It helps you perform better. And even if that means going for a walk or a run or whatever, you don’t have to go to the gym in order to do these things. But she told me, she said, Rita, that’s a non negotiable. That’s just something that you do. And I think that sometimes, especially as moms, we feel like like you said that I don’t have time. And she’s like, No, you have time. You just need to make the time. Yeah, make sure that you’re doing it and stop asking yourself, Do I have time? No, it’s a non negotiable go make it happen. And that’s always stuck with me because I realized that especially trying to do something creative when I am overwhelmed, then I’m stuck. You know, I can sit here and stare at my computer for hours and nothing will happen. No, there will be no forward momentum.
Marisa Lonic 22:02
Well, don’t you feel like your best ideas come when you’re not sitting at your desk?
Rita Suzanne 22:05
i Yes, yes. Because I especially when I’m what I like I love riding my bike, I love getting outside. And just being in nature, hiking, all of these other things are my moments. And I liked most of the time to do them alone. Because I’m able to reflect and think and like you said like, and especially if it’s a project that is really, you know, sticky. And even when I was developing websites and designing websites, whenever there was a code that I couldn’t figure out, I would just leave, I would walk away after probably an hour of like, I could get this I could get this, I would just walk away. And guess what the answer would come to me as soon as I would take that pressure off of myself. Oh, yeah. Yeah.
Marisa Lonic 22:52
I thought of the I coined the term time management in the shower. I get good ideas in the shower, too. I don’t know about you. Yeah. And then biz momagement on a walk pushing my baby in the stroller like
Rita Suzanne 23:06
I love that I came up with this is not not as productive. But I came up with mom owned and operated when I was like the name for it when I was laying in bed trying to figure out what I’m gonna do with my life. Because I was just so you know, my, my year had just been really a lot of pressure a lot of hectic and missed and I was like, I need to figure out how am I going to reconnect with other women and how and then I started thinking to myself, how are they do? How are other moms doing this stuff? How are they all doing this? I don’t know how they’re doing this. And then that’s when it came to me that it should this should be a podcast so that I can figure out how other moms are doing this and so that I could share with other moms how we’re all doing this. Because it’s so it’s so hard. It’s in it’s better to do it together than to try to do it alone.
Marisa Lonic 24:10
Yeah, yeah. And let’s just let’s just don’t get it twisted listeners. sleep and rest is just as productive as showering and walking.
Rita Suzanne 24:21
Definitely 100% Okay, so Marissa, where can everyone find you?
Marisa Lonic 24:27
Now the best place to find me is my website. So it’s mamaworkit.com. You can subscribe for free I send a weekly newsletter on time management business management tips. I have a free webinar on there right now. And then of course there’s the podcast, the blog that’s all available. And then I’m on social media, mostly Instagram and a little bit on Facebook too at the handle. Let mama work it. Love it.
Rita Suzanne 24:55
Thank you so much for coming on and telling everyone all about All of these tips so you know so that they can actually be productive and work it just like you’re working in. I’m, it’s been a such a pleasure.
Marisa Lonic 25:09
Oh, thank you so much for having me.
Rita Suzanne 25:12
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