Good morning to all you fabulous people! Can you believe it’s November already? I don’t know about you but when I flip the calendar to November I immediately feel the holiday excitement. We know there is good food, parties, great friends and maybe more than a little chaos in our future!
What we have in our present, our today and our morning is another form of excitement I look forward to each week-that’s right it’s Mom-spiration Monday! I’ll be talking to some new amazing moms this month-Ladies that will inspire you, make you laugh and in the case of many of them-help you with some of that holiday chaos! Let’s jump right in!
I want to introduce you to Kendall Patton- a partner, a mom of 3 and a businesswoman. Kendall loves a good story…and so do I! We both love to be inspired and believe in the “power” of a story as Kendall so eloquently put it. Stories do have power-hearing an incredible one can change our point of view, drive us to take on a new challenge or even just to have a open conversation about something we have never talked about before. The business she has started makes sharing stories easier, it helps get them out to more places to reach others.
Please join me now as I talk to Kendall about building a business, maintaining a work/life balance and motherhood:
Tell me about yourself and your family:
“I am a heart wife, which is to say that we have actively choosen not to be legally wed on principle. However, we are very much married in the true sense of the word and we have three children- two boys ages 5 and 3 and one girl who is 4 months old. (We have one angel baby as well). We live in North Carolina and have been in our current area for nearly 4 years. I lived in North Carolina previously for 20 years after moving here with my family from Utah. I later moved to Pennsylvania for graduate school, where I met my husband, and now I’m living back here again.
When I’m not working or building my business, I enjoy taking the littles to parks and spray parks or community events. I also really love adventuring in the mountains, forests, lakes and rivers with my family. We have also discovered that we actually like camping, which is really fun! For myself, I enjoy crochet, self discovery, and podcasts. Like many other moms I also enjoy self-care stuff like talking with a good friend and long showers alone (which don’t happen often)!”
Tell me about your business:
“I’m a transcriptionist and virtual content developer, which means I turn spoken stories into words and repurpose content in order in order for those stories to be share d more widely and more people can learn, be inspired, find community, build businesses, and so much more!
I fell into the job of transcription as a contractor about two years ago. A few months back, I decided to open my own transcription and content development business. Currently this is my only business. However, I have blogged, though I haven’t written in a couple of years (due to lots of interruptions and grief), and I will return to it one day when I’m ready to write again. I would also like to build a business around my crochet, making practical yet beautiful items for boys.”
“Honestly, I started this transcription and content development business because it made sense as a natural evolution. One day, I literally was doing something mindless (probably dishes) and had the thought “Why am I working for pennies when I can do this on my own and spend more time with my family?” I begin building a site within a few days of this thought.”
Why are you passionate about it?
“I’m passionate about transcription and content development because of the stories. I absolutely love stories! I believe in the power of a story! With a background in social work, and in some ways, this process of listening to others stories and helping to share these stories is an extension of social work, to me. I love what I hear from the stories of clients and I make sure to always give space, honor, and voice to those stories through transcribing the stories and content development.”
Can you tell me something about the behind the scenes of your business that others wouldn’t guess?
“Transcription takes way longer than you think when it’s done by an actual human. A single 10 minute audio or video recording can take up to 30 minutes just to transcribe, then creating content from that piece, of course, takes more time. Also outside of time, your energy has to be in a good place to do good work. I offer packages, which are a cost-effective way for clients to consistently create new fresh audio or video content while I consistently provide them with written text or that content, plus repurposed content that can be used over and over again. The best part is the packages all have reasonable time frames. Currently, I have packages for all business sizes, from 30 minutes to 600 minutes and this makes it easy for entrepreneurs and small business owners to send as many files as they need.”
Tell me about a typical day and how you organize it:
“Organizing my day mostly looks like this:
Up before the children (between 6-7 a.m.)
A short reading and some journaling
Working for a few hours
Making breakfast or brunch for the family
Spending time with the kids, going to a community event or activity or running errands
Usually a little work in the afternoon (or social media)
Cooking and eating dinner
Attempting to put the boys to bed (they don’t often stay asleep),
Working a few more hours
Working more then spending some time alone (or semi alone) listening to something enriching and/or crocheting
Bed for me around 1 AM or so
This isn’t ideal, but it’s what works for now and despite the sacrifices (like a well cleaned and tidied home), I have a passion and a drive for my family. Besides that, this current routine feels pretty good and still allows me to have energy and space for most things.”
What are some challenges of your business?
“Sometimes the biggest challenge is that I’m connected with clients and consistently online visible. Visibility has always been a bit of a struggle as I’m much more private, which is why I operate under a pseudonym. I struggle with the ever elusive balance between motherhood, homemaking, self, business, and life’s challenges.”
What are some benefits of what you do?
“The biggest benefits for clients of having text version of what they recorded is that it allows for their story, their content, their message to be “found” in search engines (yep SEO). Between the content development that I create and transcribe, clients can continue to repurpose their content in quick and easy ways.
Each transcript I provide, comes with quotes, memes, and at least one piece of content ready for social sharing. I also turn your transcript into blog posts or articles, worksheets, workbooks, and more!”
What have you learned about yourself or your business along the way?
“I have learned that it’s OK to just be me and that there is no ideal that I need to live up to our achieve. I’ve learned that going slow is also OK and that I can adjust if/when I need to without guilt or pain. I’ve learned that the power of transcription isn’t widely known in today’s digital world, despite it’s ever increasing importance because we are so digital.”
Do you have any tips or advice for a fellow mom starting a new business?
“Go at your own pace. Do what feels good to you. Discern what you learn and make sure it fits/feels right inside. Also, don’t listen to everything you hear. Your path is your path. Oh, and if you have to go slow in your season, then honor that and just go slow.
As an example, I literally squeeze in working on my business and with clients amongst contract work, which I do about 39 hours a week of still. Then, of course, there’s family and self that I also need to put a significant amount of time and energy into.”
What are your goals as you continue with this business?
“My initial goal is to eliminate the need for the contract work. What this will do is allow me to spend more time with my children and to get back to some the other things I do less of because of the contract work, like baking, cleaning and adventuring more.
The goal of my business outside of this though, is to really help other entrepreneurs and small business owners to build their businesses and the life they want by affording them less time working in their business through the ease at which additional and re-purposed content is created.
In the future, I’d love to expand my services to include a planner/calendar system that is different from almost all of the ones available today, yet still be affordable and customizable even for non-business owners.”
Best memory of a successful moment doing what you do:
“Every time I receive a new client or get to share what I do and my story with others. Every. Single. Time. In other words, I consider most things a win/measure of success in business.”
Tell me about the biggest surprises, joys and challenges of motherhood for you:
Behavior is my biggest challenge. Also fitting myself in. For awhile I lost myself in motherhood and that was much more surprising than I ever thought it would be. The greatest joy is the sounds of happy play. The look on the kids’ faces when they learn or they find something new and the excitement they have to share things with me.”
If you were offered a helping hand in your life, what would you choose and why?
“I would most want help in motherhood. I, unfortunately did not come from a positive home environment and though I’ve done a lot of my own recovery and healing around that, motherhood is often so incredibly daunting and baffling to me. I’m constantly fighting old stuff as I work hard to grow my children in ways I believe are important without scarring them too much.
To that end, outside of online communities and slowly building personal relationships with other mothers, I have no positive role models to lean on, ask questions of, share strategies and ideas with, etc. This is my biggest struggle and the place where I would be more than happy to have direct help with as I continue to learn and grow and need support to create a warm, positive, inviting, and safe environment for my children.”
What inspires you?
“Cliché answer, but my family. I want for them things that I didn’t have. I want them to grow up with the opportunity for exploration of self, business, life and more. I want them to have confidence and trust in themselves.
Also, the stories I hear and work with inspire me. Stories inspire me! I love learning about people, I love hearing about their struggles, transformations, wins, and different ways of living. And downtime helps to fuel me and my creativity, as well.”
What would you want your children to know about why mommy does what she does?
“I want my children to know that they are more important than others and that’s why I’m home with them. They are, in some ways, more important than I am to myself. However, I also want them to know that there’s always a balance to life and that balance is ever-changing, which is why I have this business.
Plus, knowing that there are so many ways to be creative and fostering that in oneself is hugely important in this world.”
Many thanks to Kendall for sharing her story with us! I am so honored by her candor in talking about her motherhood experience especially. Ladies, we don’t have these conversations enough! We need to talk about our struggles just as much as our triumphs. I love that she equally shared both!
I’ll see you right here next week for Mom-spiration Monday and the next awesome mom joining me to chat. To all my fellow mamas out there until we meet again I mama Hunger Games salute you “May the odds be ever in your favor.” Janet