Designing Your Workflow

Designing a Work Flow That Works for YOU in Your Online Business

When I decided to take the leap and work for myself, I spent several years thinking about what my life would look like. What would I do for fun? How would I get work done? How available would I be to others? Basically, there was a list of questions and concerns that I needed to address. They also were a reaction to what didn’t work for me in my 9-5. In this episode, I’m going talk about how I work a 10 month year, maximize my time and earnings per hour and take breaks often in my business.

*In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please read my disclosure and privacy policy here.*

Thinking about starting your brand website?

It’s pretty simple to do and cheap! Start with Siteground and With this winning combination you’ll own your own website by the end of the day. Siteground has easy to follow tutorials to help you with setting up your site. Create a website that you own. I recommend using Siteground to host a (self-hosted) website where you can own your own content and design your online brand. They even have tutorials on how to set up your website. Be clear about the products and services that you’re selling. I recommend using Canva to create marketing materials that “wow!” Thinkific is the platform that I use to create my tools and courses.


Grab my “Do It Ugly” toolkit today.  Perfect always gets in the way of done. If you’re looking to get started on your blog, podcast or other digital components of your business grab this kit.

Listen to the Show

Related Episodes

  • Shida’s On the Loose-Creating a brand for Black women needing help with the logistics of taking an adult “Gap Year”

Show Notes

  • I’m a HUGE fan of Amy Porterfield. In fact, it’s my goal to end up on her podcast before July 2022. I love that she provides incredible content and is also one of the few white online digital influencers who continues to share POC voices on her platform after the rush to be inclusive during the summer of 2020. She’s the real deal and yes, I said that out loud. Recently, she shared that she and her team are testing out a 4 day work week and I thought that I would share how I designed the work flow of my business and both during the week, monthly and yearly. I highly recommend listening to her episode and will include a link in the show notes.

  • When I first started working for myself online I worked…A LOT. It seemed like there was always something that I had to do or wanted to do. And, let’s face it, when I first started my business I was broke and paying off debt so I had to hustle all the time. And, I was really figuring out my business.

  • Even though I was working all the time I did do one thing right in regards to my business at that time.
    • I worked from the mountains about every 6-8 weeks whenever possible. I’m obsessed with a beautiful hostel in the town of Breckenridge, CO. It has a hot tub, it’s super clean and at the time offered delicious breakfasts as part of the cost. I would spend about $150-$200 bucks to work in the mountains for 3-5 days. I met interesting people, went hiking and soaked in the hot tub. I would work most of the morning and then enjoy myself for the rest of the day. Then have a glass of wine and sit in front of the fire. Doing this highlighted lesson #1: You can work on your online business FROM ANYWHERE. You just have to be disciplined. This business opened a new location in Telluride, CO and I just returned from working from there for the past week (am vaccinated)
  • Lesson #2-You’re likely most productive at the beginning of the week. When I worked my old 9-5, my favorite work week was Monday-Thursday. At the time, they hired me that way because that was the amount of budget and work that they had. Then things changed, business grew and I worked Monday-Friday and a lot of weekends. It sucked. With my business I began to notice that it was very easy to do deep thinking work at the beginning of the week.
    • Work from a place that allows deep focused work.
      • Coworking Space-I use a product called Deskpass that allows me use different coworking spaces throughout the United States. Denver has a ton of co-working spaces (including one with a put put golf green) so, I schedule work from those spaces typically on Mondays and Tuesdays.
      • Libraries-I love working from the library so much. They are QUIET. No one talks to you and you can just get sh$t done.
      • Patios-I typically will work from coffee shop patios after I’ve gotten most of my deep thinking work done.
  • Lesson #3-Know how much you would like to get paid for your time. If you’re doing coaching work, selling courses, freelance or copywriting, etc. What is the value of your time? You don’t have to communicate this to other people. But, understanding how much you would like to make hourly, daily, weekly will help you understand how your work week should flow. For me, I would like to make $300 an hour. With that information I’m able to work through how long it takes me to do a project, coach someone, or sell a course at that rate.
  • Lesson #4-It’s important to decide your work boundaries and stick to them. This is the lesson that I find many online entrepreneurs struggling with and it negatively impacts their businesses, energy and ability to show up authentically. Here’s what to consider.
    • When do you show up at your best? I NEVER schedule meetings with anyone before 10:00 am MTN time. I’m not a morning person, so to schedule a meeting time where I’m unable to show up at my best makes no sense.
    • How quickly are you able to email people back? I email within 48 hours depending on the email. I use autoresponders and revisit them throughout the year so that they’re accurate. Autoresponders are great because they help people understand what to expect from you.
    • What are your people facing workdays? This includes:
      • When do you host webinars? I’ve decided that I will only host webinars during the week with the exception of product launches.
      • When do you record live content for social media? Monday-Thursday and pre-recorded content for the other days.
      • What days would you like to have meetings, record podcast episodes, etc.
  • Lesson #5-Batching your content and your work creates a boundary buffer! I’d never really considered this until I was able to go weeks not having to work directly with clients unless I opted to.
  • Lesson #6-I use the Paid, Post , Pitch Method-Anything that is paid to me by clients is worked on first. Then I make sure that my content is posted always leading with just 1 piece of content a week. More content is just icing on the cake. Pitching is the last thing that I work on. Pitching looks like the following:
    • Pitching for coaching clients-getting them into my funnels. This is ongoing.
    • If I’m doing freelance writing-pitching for projects-I don’t do this too often to be honest as I have plenty of work.
    • Webinars and other people facing content and action.
  • Lesson #7-Define your front facing year-What on earth do I mean? I work a 10 month year. Basically, I push hard from January through the second (ish) week of November. Then I take a break from about the second week of November through the second week of January. How does this work?
    • I front load my work year. Similar to The Ant and the Grasshopper, I work really hard during the summer especial in preparation for slower times during the year.
    • Talk about my 10 month year often enough that people BELIEVE and understand how my time works.
    • Review my numbers. Basically, I know what I need to earn as a minimum each month for the months that I take a break.
    • Announce the break! My friends and audience are used to me taking a break at the end of the year.
    • Create headers, etc. in Canva that share that you’re on a break and when you plan on returning. I place these headers on Twitter/Instagram/and Facebook.
    • Take advantage of the holiday season. It’s a great time to decompress because most people are focused on other things.
    • I do easy work behind the scenes and prepare for the New Year during that time.

Lesson #8-Let Other Platforms Build Your Brand. If you’re worried about getting in front of people and attracting them to your brand and products, focus on how you market YOU. Even John Lee Dumas is a guest on 20 podcasts a month. He sets aside a day and records 20 15-20 minute episodes AS A GUEST in that day. He’s clear about his time boundary with the hosts. Then those episodes are out there in the world. You could also do this with vlog content, etc. Basically, content that someone else edits, records, etc.

What is the point of creating and running a business that runs you? I’m often amazed by how many online business owners are uncomfortable, reluctant or scared to set clear boundaries within their business and for themselves. Setting these boundaries and creating space allows you to:

  • Make better business decisions
  • Think with clarity
  • Pivot faster
  • Recognize what actually moves the needle in your business.

You will need to reevaluate your systems quarterly or a couple times a year as your business ebbs and flows.

Lesson #9-It’s impossible to always be available to your community. I’m right now in the process of looking for a virtual assistant to onboard. There are just certain aspects of my business that I can no longer manage and grow my business at the same time. In fact, in my 9-5 I was able to grow that position significantly by shifting certain tasks, responsibilities, etc. to other amazing people. What does this look like?

  • Alternating when you’re available for meetings. There are times in the year when I’m only available two weeks a month for in-person meetings. That includes my free 20 minute coaching calls.
  • Email responses-I plan on shifting my business emails to my virtual assistant.
  • Saying “No”
    • This year I’m saying “no” to speaking gigs. I just don’t feel like doing it. I’m only speaking at one event during the Fall at Joshua Tree, California in front of a VERY small group of people.
    • Saying “no” to my “Money on the Mountain” financial retreat for women. I just am unable to host it this year.
    • “No” to anymore unpaid guest posts where I’m writing a ton of content. I do say “yes” to podcasts though because they’re easier to do energetically.
    • “No” to projects that just don’t make sense of aren’t the right fit.
      • Group product sales-They take too much energy and never work for me

Lesson #10 Always schedule the non-negotiable. What on earth does this even mean? Every Friday, I have a walking date with my mom. I make sure that my work is done and organized before we meet so that we can enjoy our time together.

  • Dance class-I attend a weekly dance class and that’s pretty much non-negotiable.
  • Yoga class
  • Meeting with friends-I’m starting to phase this in now that we’re all vaccinated
  • Hiking-I hike a lot from Spring-Late Fall.
  • Errands and cleaning the house-Some of these errands are now done via HelloFresh/Blue Apron or Instacart.

Schedule Your Free 20 Minute Coaching Call

Sign up for your free 20 minute coaching session or to ask me questions about the program at the following link. Make sure to click on The Brand Building Lab coaching call as the reason for the meeting.

Buy Me a Coffee

Was this information helpful to you? Are you looking for a lowkey way to help me continue to share useful insight, tips, and more without starving? Buy Me a Coffee. I love working from my favorite coffee shop patios (especially during COVID). But coffee and running online platforms can get expensive. Your donations help me keep the digital lights on. The Brand Building Lab content is all the extra information that lives rent free in my head that I didn’t want to share on my Michelle is Money Hungry personal finance platform.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *