“t doesn’t matter how good at your job you are, if you can’t manage your personality, you’re never going to get as much done as you possibly could have.”
Leanne Woff

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And we’re back, starting the new year talking to one of my favourite humans.

Now I know raising one child while you build your business empire is tough. But I know that in all honesty, I have it easy.
Imagine having a second, third and fourth child (and more).
That’s so many more lunch boxes to pack, bottoms to wipe and arguments to resolve.

I honestly don’t know how today’s guest does it. She has not one, not two, but SIX children (and no she does not live in a shoe).

She has also been fundamental in building my business and has created her own Audacious empire.
How does she manage her time, her mental health and her to-do list?
Let’s find out.

Tune in to learn:

  • What Leanne’s family set-up looks like
  • How Leanne adjusts her parenting style for each of her kids.
  • How she has achieved an incredible sense of calm
  • How Leanne balances building her own empire and clients’ empires as well.
  • Leanne’s tips for time-blocking and outsourcing
  • The key differences between an Online Business Manager (OBM) and a Virtual Assistant (VA)
  • How Leanne deals with parent guilt
  • How to be more productive and the importance of understanding your bookkeeping

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If you like what you’re hearing on Six Figures in School Hours, support the show by taking a few seconds to leave a rating and/or comment on iTunes or Spotify.

Thanks to Anu Sawhney for her lovely review of the book:

“My current favourite business book would have to be Six figures in school hours, written by Kate Toon. She’s insightful, relatable and writes with honesty about things, decisions, paths we have to take to juggle parenthood, life and business. She understands the guilt of attempting to balance the two and strips that off to help you be an effective and successful business owner (without loosing your identity). It’s practical advice delivered with sensitivity, sensibly and with humour. I wish this book was around when I first started my business 4+ years ago. Must read for parents running a business (mums and dads).”

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“It doesn't matter how good at your job you are, if you can't manage your personality, you're never going to get as much done as you possibly could have.” Leanne Woff, Audacious Empires

About Leanne Woff

Circle with photo of Leanne Woff

Leanne Woff is an Online Business Manager and Integrator, an OBM Coach and the driving force behind the powerhouse operations, systems & growth agency – Audacious Empires. Leanne and her team have quickly become known as the empire builder’s secret weapon, delivering and implementing advanced & cutting edge business strategies and systems for their clients to achieve next-level growth & operations excellence. Leanne is on a mission to, not only, transform the way online businesses are run but she’s here to support the growth, skills upgrade and earning potential of OBMs and the industry as a whole.

Fun fact: Leanne has 6 kids including two sets of twins.

Connect with Leanne Woff

Useful resources: 

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Screen Shot of Kate Toon and Leanne Woff recording Six Figures in School Hours

Transcript

Kate Toon  

And we’re back starting the new year talking to one of my favorite humans. Now I know raising one child while you build a business empire is tough. But I know that in all honesty, I have it easy. Imagine having a second or third or fourth and more. There’s so many more lunchboxes to pack bottoms to wipe and arguments to resolve. I honestly don’t know how today’s guest does it. She’s not one, not two, but six children, and she does not live in a shoe. She has also been fundamental in building my business and has created her own audacious empire. How does she manage her time, her mental health and her to do list? Let’s find out. Hello, my name is Kate toon. I’m the founder of stay Tooned a busy business owner and okayish parents and today I’m talking with Leanne Woff. Hello Leanne.

 

Leanne Woff  

Hello Kate toon. 

 

Kate Toon  

Hello, we both have beautiful hair today. I’ll talk to you about Leanne’s hair in a minute. But first of all, I’ll let you know who she is. Leanne Woff is an online business manager and integrator and OBM coach and the driving force behind the powerhouse operations systems and growth agency audacious empires, Leanne and her team have quickly become known as the empire builders secret weapon, delivering and implementing advanced and cutting edge business strategies and systems for their clients to achieve next level growth and operations excellence. The end is on a mission to not only transform the way online businesses are run, that she’s here to support the growth skills upgrade and earning potential of OBMs and the industry as a whole few fun facts. We already know this. Leanne has six kids, including two sets of twins. Good grief, you also look about 12. So did you start producing humans when you were a small human yourself? I don’t understand.

 

Leanne Woff  

I would have been at least 14.

 

Kate Toon  

Let’s not get into this people. Two sets of twins, two other children as well. I mean, it’s a heck of a lot.

 

Leanne Woff  

It is there’s many, many children and they seem to come in pairs.

 

Kate Toon  

Yeah, it’s kind of good. In a way. I don’t know. Anyway, we’re gonna dig into this. So let me explain the hair thing first. The island I’ve been working together for, I don’t know, 18-19 years. I don’t know, our hair is fantastic barometer of how we’re feeling. If it’s down, and it’s fluffy, and it looks like we’ve actually washed it. We know we’re in for a good day. But sometimes Leanne has a side pony, and do not do not cross the Woff when she has a side pony. What is the significance of the side pony? What’s the significance of the side pony, Woff?

 

Leanne Woff  

The significance of the side pony is I have to get things done, and I cannot have pretty fluffy hair hanging around in the way.

 

Kate Toon  

I mean, really, we should both just shave our heads to be efficient, OBM beasts. 

 

Leanne Woff  

Yeah. 

 

Kate Toon  

Let’s do it. 

 

Leanne Woff  

Yes.

 

Kate Toon  

Maybe one day. So, look, first of all, you know, we joke about the children thing, but I think lots of people will be really interested to know how your family setup works with your business. What does the what does your average week look like? How does it all work? just blurt it all out for us.

 

Leanne Woff  

Blurt it all out. Okay. So I think the key thing to understand about my family setup is that it is not stagnant. So across the years of my business, we’ve changed the way that we work. And if we hadn’t have done that, I don’t think it would work. So we take things as it comes. So I have six little people, four in school two are not. My husband works in the city, had a big city job. He used to go into the city five days a week. And then as my business grew, and we had more children, I basically said, that’s got to change. I’m at home working in my backyard, and not having him around, even for, you know, the travel time. It’s like three hours travel time was too hard. So as we had more kids, we actually added more days of working from home for him. And that made life balanceable, purely be having another parent body around dinner time and things like that. Yeah.

 

Kate Toon  

Breakfast. yeah. But I mean, yeah, take me through your working week. Are you responsible for I mean, obviously, some of them are at school. So you’ve got the morning period in the evening period. But yeah, what does Monday look like? Take us through an average Monday.

 

Leanne Woff  

An average Monday is get all of the children up and then pretty much triage. So going around from child to child and making sure each one is ready and has what they need. And sometimes it’s smooth. Sometimes it’s so easy. They’re all like I’ve got them ready to go the night before if they’ve actually listened to me and they just kind of have to brush their teeth, eat their breakfast and go. But if they’ve decided today is a sluggish morning, it is fights all over the place. It is both me and John trying to get them all ready together and get them out that front door. And part of the key to getting them out the door is putting some of them in the car while the others are getting ready. So it’s like if you’re ready go in sit in there. 

 

Kate Toon  

You’re trapped a few of them in there. And, then right then you kind of gather the others.

 

Leanne Woff  

It puts the then the kids kind of self managed a little bit because then some are in the car. And then the other ones that are still inside faffing a like, we gotta go, the others are in there, and then they’re gonna get mad. And then they kind of take that responsibility for them. 

 

Kate Toon  

Yeah. So use a bit of peer pressure between them? 

 

Leanne Woff  

I do, mob mentality, yes.

 

Kate Toon  

Yeah, I love that. 

 

Leanne Woff  

Yeah.

 

Kate Toon  

And I mean, so you know, John now works at home a bit. You have other other family support. Where do you physically work? Do you work at home or?

 

Leanne Woff  

I work at home in my backyard in a shed that I converted to an office with my bare hands.

 

Kate Toon  

Yeah that’s a great idea, I’ve done that. 

 

Leanne Woff  

I know.

 

Kate Toon  

Yeah. You know, what I love about that is that you are there but you’re not there.  It’s the perfect thing. Because you know, you could go work in a co working space, you could go and rent an office. But even that little commute, and that little distance adds a layer of complexity, because at some point, you can dash into the house and deal with a crisis. And it’s actually better to be able to do that mentally than to have more separation, I find. 

 

Leanne Woff  

Yes. Yeah, I know. I totally agree. 

 

Kate Toon  

Yeah, yeah. It’s great that you’re able to do that. You know, obviously, we’ve worked together for a long time, and I see your business style. And I feel that it must be similar to your parenting styles, how would you describe your parenting style?

 

Leanne Woff  

My parenting style is adaptive. So what I mean by that is I parent each of my children differently based on who they are as people and what they need. And funnily enough, it’s very similar to the way I run my business. So with my clients, I adapt the way that I work with them to suit what they need and how they are as people. So it’s a little bit not cut and dry. And it is a little bit of thinking logically, in terms of Alright, if you’re doing this, why are you doing that? What do you need from me to be fulfilled in whatever this emotion is that you’re showing me? 

 

Kate Toon  

Yeah, and I like that, I don’t know, I think that’s slightly reductive. To just say that you’re adaptive, I’m looking at my little grid in my book, I’m gonna find a little grid, because my little grid is very illuminating to me. So this is in the Chapter, what is a good parent. And you know, the metrics that they use are responsible and responsive and undemanding and demanding. So it sounds to me, like you are the authoritative parent, you are responsive or adaptive. But equally you have boundaries with that. So there are parameters of that, right? 

 

Leanne Woff  

Yes, yeah. 

 

Kate Toon  

Rules and, and ways of doing things. So you will meet people where they are, but to a degree.

 

Leanne Woff  

Yes. 

 

Kate Toon  

Am I right there?

 

Leanne Woff  

Yeah, 100%, I think I always want to give whoever it is the skills to be able to successfully self manage as well. So it’s like, I’m here, and I will tell you why I’m doing what I’m doing, or why you should do it the way that you should do it. So there is that little bit of, I’m not just going to tell you, this is what you have to do go and do it. I will explain the reasoning and all that. And I find especially just with humans in general, it helps because people get the context then.

 

Kate Toon  

Yeah, I love that, like, you know, for me, you’ll be like often go, I think we should do it this way. And sometimes I have to take that on board and listen and reflect and then come back. And sometimes I say yes, sometimes I say no, the great thing about kids is often they can’t say no. Clients, unfortunately, then say no and say yeah, I love your opinion, Leanne but I’m gonna do it my way anyway. And then you can be well, okay, as long as you understand the consequences of that decision, and you’re happy to live those consequences. Again, you can see a lot of parallels between, you know, good children, naughty children, we shouldn’t use those terms. I’d also say that you’re incredibly calm and not unreactive, because that makes you sound like a drone. But you are calm and where does that sense of calm come from?

 

Leanne Woff  

I think that sense of calm. And it comes from looking at the purpose of everything. I’m very analytical in the way that I think. And so sometimes I put my emotion aside a little bit to just go right what actually matters here.  And then once I know what that kind of juicy good bit is that matters, really anything that happens around that doesn’t, you know, there’s always 17 different ways to do something or approach a situation. And so, as long as we’re sticking to, you know, getting that bit that matters happening, how we do the other things, really is just opinions. So if we can look at it, like, let’s make everyone the most comfortable to get to that goal, even if it’s not the way I would do it, as long as we’re staying on track, and no one is getting harmed in the process, or no businesses are falling over in the process, then it’s okay.

 

Kate Toon  

Yeah, I think it’s amazing that you can separate emotion from business, because I think that’s the downfall of a lot of business owners, especially tired parents that they do, they cannot be rational about decisions, and they cannot see multiple angles, they are in it, they are reacting to whatever is happening in the moment. And there is no separation between me myself and I. And I, I used to have a post it note on my screen that said don’t react, to just stop me responding to the silly comment or the daft email or the crisis. Now I’ve finally, that post it note has gone in at night in a true way that mantras are supposed to, and has become part of my being. But yeah, that’s something I’ve always really admired about you. Let’s talk about your business. Because the again, the weird thing about your business is you have your own business. And you also have clients. So often, you pick between the two, either you’re building your own empire, or you’re helping people build their empire, you are a supplier or you are somebody that has suppliers, but you straddle both of those, how on earth does that work? How do you, how do you split your time between the two.

 

Leanne Woff  

So really, I time block and love time-blocking. And I know that big goals are only achieved with small goals. And so the second where I feel like I have too much I get nothing done. So I very much focused in on, Okay, here is my client load, and here is what my clients need. And this is when I’m going to do that. And I’m blocked that in. And then around that I go, okay, so this is my focus for the week for my business. And here’s when I can do that. But even before I do any of those things, I have blocks that are red, that are very important kid things. So that means it’s not really movable, I have to go and do it, or I have to find someone who can do it for me. So if it’s a doctor’s appointment, or whatever it’s like, okay, if I then have something really important with a client at the same time, that can’t really be shifted, then it’s a Hey, John, I need you to do this appointment. And then I’ll do the other ones. But it’s having that quick visibility of here’s my immovable stuff, and everything else gets moved around.

 

Kate Toon  

Yeah, time blocking is the way forward, it really quickly illustrates as well, if you do use colors, that maybe are over egging one thing over another, like, you know, I use purple for marketing, like when I’m on a podcast or doing something that is going to get a return, but it’s a long return. And if I have too much purple in a week, I’m like, hang on, I actually need some, you know, less purple, because I need to do some gray, because gray is like on my business. You see the colors are quite important. 

 

Leanne Woff  

Like the hair.

 

Kate Toon  

Yeah, I use Sunshine Yellow for personal things. So I have to make sure there’s a good balance of that. So I love the visual of that. And also, you know, obviously you outsource within your own business. So you are the figurehead of your business you get the people in, but you’re not necessarily working one on one with every single client, you might do the strategy and the big picture. But then you have other people working for you. How has that built up over time?

 

Leanne Woff  

So I think that’s built up somewhat organically. I remember ages ago, there’s the book that is the it’s the E Myth book, but then there’s a bookkeeper version. And I read that bookkeeper version. And then out of that came, if you ever want to expand your capacity, do what you’re doing. And then once you kind of get to capacity, take half of it away and give that half to someone else. So something that’s already got established things you’ve been doing it for how long give that to someone else, and then you slowly you keep doing that in that cycle. And that’s really great way to train another person to then expand out and so I’ve always taken that approach, not exactly how it did it in a way that worked for me, but that’s how in my team when we go okay, there’s a lot going on. What do we need to do to create that capacity? And what is it that will shift over so we can continually shifting over and so whether that is okay, this is a consistent thing and we need to to hire another person or whether it’s a specific skill set, and then we get a contractor. And then really everything else gets managed in Asana.

 

Kate Toon  

Yeah, I love it. Asana is one of my favorites, it’s also a very iterative approach. One thing I really liked that you mentioned, there was some things that grow become daily tasks that become things that need to happen every single day or every week. And then you can get somebody regular to do that. And some things are projects and understanding that is really, really important. Because I think what people try to do when they start to outsource is get one person who can do everything, and fill them full of hours and then spend ages scrambling to find work for them to do. You know, when I started with a with a VA before you, it was only for two hours a week. And then I’ve added over time, and it’s not the same person, this idea that you can have one unicorn human who can be your designer, your developer, your accountant, your bookkeeper, whatever OBM is are amazing can do a lot of things bas are amazing and do a lot of things, but they will always come from one kind of background or discipline. Do you agree? Because I think that’s people hire VAs and they think, oh, they’re gonna help me with everything. And then they don’t know, they get disappointed. And then they’re like, oh, VAs don’t work. And it’s like, no, no, no, you’re misunderstanding in the first place.

 

Leanne Woff  

Yeah, no, I definitely agree with that. And I think that comes down to different humans. And I was talking to with someone a couple weeks ago, and they were saying, I have this person. And I really want them to be able to take over the operations. And they were telling me the types of things that this person was good at. And it was all things that were not someone who would have the skill to be organized and coordinate other people, they were very creative. They were great at all the design things they were, you know, very media focused. And I’m thinking that’s the wrong kind of personality. It’s not that the person isn’t like, good, but you’re trying to make them fit into another shell. And why try and make one person fit into a shell that’s not theirs, when you could get far more from them in their zone and get somebody else to be in their zone. I think you just get better results by spreading that out based on the qualities of people.

 

Kate Toon  

Yeah, I think people are reluctant to have so many different people in their business. And so they think, Oh, I just want one person will be so much easier. But I think again, you misunderstand what having a little gang of people can can do. And also that can be wearing OBM comes in because you can actually use them as a bit of a blocker between you and the rest of the people, they can be the ones having daily contact with all the other people. And you can just have contact with your OBM. And when you were working with me full time, that was how it worked for a bit where you were like the manager, the general manager, and I was able to step into that CEO or CFO was the creative director role. And you manage that team. So that’s somewhere an OBM can really help isn’t it? 

 

Leanne Woff  

Yeah, 100% it gives you get somebody else to kind of do the people and distribution so that you don’t have the disjointed trying to work on something. I think sometimes that takes our productivity more than anything else is the start and stop that we have to do. 

 

Kate Toon  

Yeah, I mean, you know, what we’re primarily is talk about parenting and business. But you know, obviously, outsourcing is, is your jam, we should do a whole episode about that on maybe on recipe. You know, I think outsourcing is an art and a craft and people don’t understand it. And one of the biggest misconceptions, let’s just do this one, because it’s an easy one is the difference between a VA and OBM? How would you describe that?

 

Leanne Woff  

I would just I would describe that as an OBM is somebody that is big picture, looking at all the moving pieces and pulling it together. Whereas a, an admin VA or graphic design VA is a piece of those things that they’re pulling together. They’re a cog there. So it’s the difference between someone who is directing and somebody who is given who is receiving direction?

 

Kate Toon  

Yeah, I think that’s it, I think like a VA will do what you tell them to do. And OBM will tell you what you need to do. And that’s what you want. And it might be quite challenging for a lot of people to think I don’t want someone coming into my business and telling me what to do. Like, I’m the boss. But you need that, you know, especially if you’re working on your own for a long time. You need that second opinion. Let’s get back to you and you and your life. What do you think has been the biggest challenge for you as a parent running a business?

 

Leanne Woff  

I think consistently the biggest challenge has been knowing or guessing what I’m going to care about in the future.  So knowing where to put my time and my energy, that I later on will feel like I did the right thing. 

 

Kate Toon  

Ooh.

 

Leanne Woff  

So I think I’ve always kind of seen it as I want my kids to be happy. But I also want me to be happy. So it’s that constant tension, I think.

 

Kate Toon  

Yeah, that’s really interesting. Because most people say, you know, guilt, I feel guilty and whatever, but anticipating what future you will think of current you, it’s like, pre-hindsight or something. 

 

Leanne Woff  

Yeah. 

 

Kate Toon  

Will I look back in five years time and go, Oh, I made good choices. And that’s really didn’t. Nothing big then. Because that was really, really hard, isn’t it? You know, I’m a lot further down the path and knew my son’s 14. And generally, I look back and go, I did the best I could with what I had at the time, I made the right choice for who I was and where I was at the time, but there’s a few things I would have done differently. Hmm, yes, good one.

 

Leanne Woff  

Yeah, I think because do its business has always been something that I have liked, it’s always been something that is for me, so not just for the family. And I think you know, your kids will always need more from you. It doesn’t matter. If you had 50 hours in a day, they’d still need more from you. They’re little people. So where do you find that balance? And how much do they really need to be happy and fulfilled, without it taking away any of your, like, you still need the time for you, and the things that fill your life up and who you are, which then makes you a better parent? So for me, it’s always been about how do I give them what they need, and still be committed to giving me what I need?

 

Kate Toon  

Yeah, I talk about this in the book, you know, that. It’s also how you frame your business in your mind, and in your kid’s mind. If you say, oh, you know, Mom has to work because I need to make money for paper things in the house, then your business becomes something that makes money and it also becomes the enemy. Whereas if you say, I really love what I do, you know, you love playing Minecraft, or you love playing with your Lego? I love what I do, it makes me really happy. And if I’m happy, you know, I’m happy all around all throughout the day. So you don’t turn your business into just like this beast, this enemy, you explain to them that you want them to be happy and fulfilled, but you also need to be happy and fulfilled. And as your kids get older, that gets easier for them to understand. And I guess that’s, you know, as you how you manage your parent guilt, you know, as long as your kids are generally happy they’re fed, they’re looked after they’re entertained to a degree that you can’t constantly sit looking at your kids feeding the muffins. Do you know what I mean? So how do you what’s your mantra on parent guilt?

 

Leanne Woff  

So, a while ago, I did the whole What am I doing? And how do I know I’m getting this right? And then somebody said to me, Leanne, look at all your children, they are generally-

 

Kate Toon  

All 52 of them.

 

Leanne Woff  

All 52. They are generally happy. 

 

Kate Toon  

Yeah.

 

Leanne Woff  

They know who they are. They like their lives. That’s it.

 

Kate Toon  

That’s it. Yeah.

 

Leanne Woff  

 Like that’s all you can ever ask for. And so now I go back to that, and I go back to every time I have those moments, I’ve maybe I should have done this, or maybe I’m doing this wrong, I look at them and go no, no, they’re actually confident they know who they are. They’re happy. They speak all of those things. And like, really, if that’s the baseline, we’re doing well.

 

Kate Toon  

Yeah, and all kids regardless of whether you work or you don’t are going to face problems and challenges, you know, with their health with their mental health with school with it doesn’t matter. Do you know what I mean is its end, you know, I think the problem is, is if you are busy parent, you often say, Ah, well, that happened. And if I hadn’t been working, maybe it wouldn’t have happened. But it probably would. One of the most freeing things I found from the book was talking to Jody Thornton. And she said, you know, parent guilt comes a lot from the feeling that we have control, that we are doing things that are massively changing our kids lives with everything that we do. But in reality, we don’t have that much control. They’re going to be who they’re going to be, they’re going to do what they’re going to do. It’s 50% nature 50% nurture. And also you are not the only human nurturing your kid, you’ve got your partner, you’ve got the teachers, you’ve got your family, you’ve got their friends, all those people are influencing your kid as well. So it’s Yeah. And being realistic about the degree of control we have is also really helpful, I think.

 

Leanne Woff  

Yeah, yeah. Agreed.

 

Kate Toon  

Now, obviously, you know, you and I, one of the things that we gel on and totally connect on is a way of working like it’s it’s a dream. We’re like symbiotic creatures. And we’re both highly productive. You know, we’ve had people join our team, and sit mouth agape, as they watch us work back and forth and how systems and processes, we get them in the same groove in the end, but in the beginning, they’re terrified. How would you, you know, what are some of your productivity tips? Give us two. I was going to ask you for one, but I think you being you, I’m going to ask you for two.

 

Leanne Woff  

Oh put on the spot Kate Toon, I think one thing is to know yourself really well. And this is, it doesn’t matter how good a worker you are or how good at your job you are, if you can’t manage your personality, and you know the style when you work really well, and when you don’t, you’re never going to get as much done as you possibly could have. The other thing I would say is knowing the things that you like, and I am totally guilty of this, I will go down the path of, ‘but I really want to do this’. So then I’ll go down that rabbit hole, and I’ll do that and I’ll explore. It’s not productive, I just find it fun. So I have to be aware that my tendency is to be very analytical and to map things out in detail. And sometimes that’s not what’s needed. And it’s true at least once a week, I’ll say Leanne, no no no, you’ve got to stop. Now you’re just going down that because it’s fun. It feels good, but it’s not actually useful. So it’s the knowing yourself and then actually setting some boundaries for you.

 

Kate Toon  

Yes, I love that. Knowing yourself and so important as well, like knowing you’re great in the morning and terrible in the afternoon. Do you have a tendency to do this? You know, where do you like to hide? I think is a good one. Yeah, I love like this morning, we’re running an SEO challenge at the moment. And there’s a little spreadsheet where we can we add people who join, and I did it this morning, there’s no need for me to do. We’ve got like three other people, I added all the people one by one. Because it’s easy, I don’t have to think about anything. And I should have been writing my book, I love to hide in admin. I love it. Because I am a frustrated OBM I should be someone else’s. But I would be a horrible OBM because I wouldn’t listen to them. What about, and you also mentioned time blocking as well. But that’s so far apart for you. Do you use the Pomodoro method? Do you track your time? I mean, you must have to to build clients. But yeah.

 

Leanne Woff  

Yeah. So generally I, I look at things based on capacity. And if you know your capacity, and you know the work that you do, then you set yourself benchmarks. And so when I’m mapping out my time, I do estimate how long something should take me. And I have an idea of what I want to have as an end result of that. So I’m going to spend 45 minutes doing this thing. And this is what it should look like at the end of that 45 minutes. And that’s where I measure, I also will then move things around. So if you don’t finish it, it’s not. You just keep working until it’s done. It’s looking at the impact of not finishing whatever you’re going to finish to see what needs to move and shift so that you’re constantly not behind. You’re still working to whatever the biggest priority is based on where you’re at. But it gives you the visibility of how things how long things really do take you.

 

Kate Toon  

Yeah, yeah, I think as well, like many of us create these ridiculous to do lists that we were never going to complete anyway. And then we beat ourselves up because we didn’t complete them. So we do have to do lists in our team. And we do vaguely try and divvy it up in two days. But really, it’s an ongoing, really long list. And we shift things around based on the day and some things like at the bottom of Leanne’s list. We’ve had something about where is it? There’s something about doing some statistics on something? Yeah, I think it’s the Toon stats. They’ve been there for five months. Got to it because other things have bubbled up, but they’re on the list, it will happen. And that’s important as well like putting things down. We love Asana, don’t we, and Slack, if it goes in Asana, and then every once in a while, probably it’s probably like every six months or so we will go through Asana and go, Are we ever really going to do this? Like you haven’t? It’s the, I’m going to call it the wardrobe method. 

 

Leanne Woff  

Yeah, yep. 

 

Kate Toon  

You know, if you find that thing in the wardrobe, and you haven’t worn it for six months, or a year, are you ever going to wear it? And should you possibly throw it away? Because if it really mattered to you, you probably would have worn it or done it by now. I don’t know.

 

Leanne Woff  

Yeah. Yes, I agree.

 

Kate Toon  

Okay, the wardrobe method, I’ll trademark it immediately. What about money? How are you on money and tracking your goals and profitability and all that kind of jam?

 

Leanne Woff  

Well, I, you know, have been a bookkeeper previously, so I’m quite good with numbers. And I always was with school, but money is fun to spend. And so there is an aspect that’s like, again, know yourself and know, the areas where you’re going to leak money versus not. But in terms of money, I think we spend a lot of time focusing on what we can not spend on or how we can make more of it. And then all of our own personal hang ups come into it now self worth and how much money is worth. But I think some things that people struggle with is the invisible, you don’t know what the outcome of doing something will be until you do it. And so a lot of the time, my theory is, I’m going to put my price up. If I know, like I have a general feel of the market, I know what’s going on, I know what an exorbitant price is, and what a really cheap one is. And so I’ll have my price, and then I’ll challenge myself to put it up, even if it’s just a little bit and I sit with the uncomfortable feeling of that and going, but would anyone really pay that? What’s gonna happen? And it’s not until you actually see somebody then go, oh, yeah, that’s great. But then you go, Oh, okay. And all of a sudden, it’s made your life a lot easier, just by having a little bit more buffer, and then you’re better at your job. And then that kind of feeds through to your different decisions, where you look at the different levers, you can pull, and maybe I can charge a little bit more for this, or maybe for a different kind of person. I can charge this. Yeah.

 

Kate Toon  

So you’re constantly reevaluating your value and how, Yeah, yeah, I love it. Interesting. And I assume, obviously, because you’re a bookkeeper that your financial records are all yippidy-do, you can track your profitability or revenue and all that kind of stuff. You’ve always been a great advocate of using bookkeeping software and staying on top of that, I mean, any advice for somebody who finds that totally overwhelming?

 

Leanne Woff  

Just get someone who can explain it to you explain what the basic numbers mean. And the ones that you want to look at, at the end of the day, it’s money in and money out, and you want to make sure that the money in is more than the money out. So as the you can get as micro as you want, that come back up, and that’s the highest level, you’ve got to grasp that fixed. Yeah.

 

Kate Toon  

Um, okay. Let’s finish up with some quickfire questions. How do you get your family involved in your business? Since you have so many children? You know, in the Victorian times, people used to make loads of children to kind of help support the family. So when are they going to start working for you?

 

Leanne Woff  

It’s good question. I had one of my eldest daughters, because they’re twins. She has these ideas to set up like 14 different businesses every day, it’s a new business that she’s going to set up. So I am more so wanting to give her insight into the internal workings of business. So I’ve started teaching her different business things and giving her little jobs. And it is more about their interest. So the kids will ask me about things in the business, and I’ll explain it. I’ll explain how business works. I’ll explain, you know, the things to think about and the things that might not work with that. And then based on the interest, then I say to them, Hey, do you want to come and do this with me? Hey, have you thought about this? And then some of them are just not interested in their job is just to run into my office and ask for a lolly. 

 

Kate Toon  

Yeah, well, that’s a great job. That’s what I do. I am your seventh child. And you know, when you’ve done all your business work, and you’ve looked after all your children, how do you actually look after yourself? What does self care look like for you?

 

Leanne Woff  

For me, it is very much just hanging out with people that I like, and not being responsible for everything. So for me, I am very irresponsible in my family. Then when I go and hang out with my mates, like I’ll go out for dinner once a week, or for coffee or something, and I make no decisions. I’m just like, this is my job here. And a lot of them will say, you choose you always make me choose. And I’m like, Yeah, I don’t want to think about it. 

 

Kate Toon  

 Yeah, I love that. It’s one of the few people that can be like that with as my partner. You know, where I can go and I don’t have to be the grown up, do you know what I mean? And it’s it’s lovely, you know, being the Alpha all the time making all the decisions being responsible is exhausting. So yeah, I agree. You also have your swing, of course, which is the do not talk to me space. Isn’t that people. Leave you when you’re on the swing, right?

 

Leanne Woff  

Yes, it’s true. And even if my kids want to be near me, I’ll sit on my swing. I’ll have my big fairy blanket and my coffee. If my kids come out there, there are a lot out there but they know they can come they can sit and they can be quiet too.

 

Kate Toon  

Yeah, they can join you but they have to join the vibe. Yeah, I love it. What do you think has been the biggest driver in your business success?

 

Leanne Woff  

The biggest driver has always been I think, and from very early on is I’ve treated my business like it is a business. I have looked at it very quite pragmatically and tried to detach what I think from fact, so, because I grew up in small business, I always just did what I’d sort of been taught to do. And I think that gave me a really strong foundation. And then coupled with that, I always treated by people like their people. Yes. So we can get very robotic. And we can see, sometimes, you know, business people see people as just assets or something that has to be moved around. But I think that to and fro, of saying that a human is a human, I think you get more from people, you feel more connected to people, your business feels better. And then it makes me feel like I have a whole support network, even if it’s a couple of people.

 

Kate Toon  

I love that. It’s funny, I was just talking to Amber, who is our VA in our in our business. And we are in the process of moving people from our clever copywriting school membership to our DMC membership. And it’d be very easy to look at the people on the spreadsheet with their email addresses, and then what they’re paying and go well move her from column A to column B. So instead, we’ve decided to call it project cuddle. And it’s we really want to make everyone feel whether they leave or they migrate, that they have left better than they were when they joined. Do you not believe them, but better than we found them. Oh, man, that’s so important. And something you do very, very well. I’d also say you were an extremely hard worker, and have a great work ethic. And, you know, I’m not sure where that comes from. But I do think that’s important. I think people underestimate how much hard work is a crucial factor in all of this success. We don’t talk about that, because we want to make it all sound easy and passive and fabulous. But to get to the ease takes a lot of hard work

 

Leanne Woff  

Yes, no, I agree. And I think too, part of it is the hard work, there’s always a carrot. And it’s part of that you can’t just ate all the carrots, but not do any of the planting of the carrots. And so part of it is that whole, even if I it’s not my favorite thing to do, I’m going to do it because I want the result. And it is that discipline. And I have always kind of had that self discipline, I think that’s just part of my personality

 

Kate Toon  

It helps, though, doesn’t it like to be that kind of person. And I think again, you know, in business, being a certain type of person makes it easier. If you already have good discipline, if you’re good at enjoying the planting of the character, not just the carrot, if you can enjoy the carrot and not make it all stick as well like yourself to death. But the whole thing is important. And a lot of it is what you’ve talked about throughout is knowing who you are and managing who you are, and accepting who you are in your business rather than railing against it. Let’s finish off with the big question that we always end up with, which is finally do you make six figures in school hours?

 

Leanne Woff  

Well, I do. But it might not be between nine and three.

 

Kate Toon  

Okay, what does that mean? A little bit of evening work a little bit of early morning, a little bit of.

 

Leanne Woff  

I shift things around based on what my kids scheduled needs. And so if that means I get a call in the middle of the day, and I had to go pick someone up from school, I’m gonna go do that. But it also means that later on, I have to do whatever it was I was thinking of doing. And that’s okay.

 

Kate Toon  

And you’re very transparent about that. Like, you definitely don’t hide the fact that you have kids and that you are a mom. And that was part of it. And, you know, I think people are very terrified of admitting that they are working with these different factors. And it’s like, it’s fine to say I can’t take calls at this time because I’m literally making dinner. I can take the call, but I’m not going to be concentrating. And if that’s a problem for you, please don’t work with me. And I generally whenever I’ve been honest, the other person on the line has gone. Oh, God, I totally agree. I’m the same, because most of the people you were working with will also be parents, even if they’re working for an employer, they will still you know, likely be have kids or know people with kids and they will get it. So yeah, I love your honesty about it. Well, look, thank you very much well for being the first guest on the show in 2024. Let’s finish up by telling everyone what you have coming down the pipe in 2024 and where they can find you. What’s exciting for you in 2024?

 

Leanne Woff  

Exciting for me in 2024 is I’m launching at the Audacious Empires Podcast, which is the sister podcast to the Audacious OBM Podcast.

 

Kate Toon  

Cos everyone needs two podcasts, everyone does.

 

Leanne Woff  

Everyone does. So I’ve got one for people who want to build empires and one for people who want to be badass OBMs and that’s a big thing for me doing that is a big thing. That’s what I am excited about. And just seeing, I think that OBM industry change watching more people get access to training that gives them the skills to be really good in the OBM industry and seeing that rise. Yeah,

 

Kate Toon  

It’s something to be proud of, and you are a pioneer. So thank you so much for coming on the show. You can find out more about the more by checking out the show notes We’ve included links to Instagram her Facebook, LinkedIn and her website audacious empires. Thanks very much Woff. 

 

Leanne Woff  

Thanks very much Toon 

 

Kate Toon  

just want to be honest and say that through that podcast I had about 12 different people in my back garden and tradies. Dogs barking, absolute mayhem. So if I came across as a bit all over the shop, that’s why I’m juggling. I’m struggling, you know what it’s like. Anyway, thank you to the lovely Leanne Woff, who is literally, you know, on a minute rock, my I was gonna say my egg, which makes no sense, but she’s amazing. Anyway, thanks, Wolf. And also thanks to Anu Sawhney, who is a lovely member of my Digital Marketing Collective community. She has a website Bidiliia and she has said, left this lovely review of the book have you bought the book, she says my current favorite business book will be six figures in school as written by me Kate toon, she’s insightful, relatable and writes with honesty about things decisions paths we need to take to juggle parenthood, life and business. She understands the guilt of attempting balancing the two and strips that off and stripping off to help you be an effective and successful business owner without losing your identity. It’s practical advice delivered as sensitivity, sensibility, and humor. I wish this book was around when I first started my business four years ago, a must read the parents running a business both mums and dads. Thank you very much Anu, and thanks to you for listening. If you enjoyed the show, please don’t forget to leave a five star rating, or review and review on iTunes or wherever you’re listening to the podcast. As I said, you can get the show notes for this episode at Kate toon.com. You can buy my book on my website or on booktopia, Dymocks, Amazon, you name it. And you can follow along the six figures journey on Instagram at six figures in school hours, you can also come and join the Misfit Entrepreneurs group on Facebook where there’s lots of other busy business parents during the day. So until next time, thanks for listening and happy juggling.