Busy Much? | The Art of Being Un-Busy and Having Enough Time
Hi and welcome to a new episode of the Mom Bosses Abroad podcast. We are here today with Miki Maruko. And we are going to talk about how we can stop being so busy! How to have enough time! And this is a topic that definitely has perked up or ears here in our studio because that is the story of my life and I think Des as well, so welcome Miki to our podcast!
Thank you. Thanks for having me. Here.
You are a multi-certified Business Mentor And Life Coach and you bring along 15 years of business and people strategy experience, five years of entrepreneurial mistakes and an in depth understanding of psychology, neuroscience and mindset. So, Miki helps ambitious women grow their online service based or coaching business in a way that is simple, sustainable, and aligned with their values and desired lifestyle. She is a city girl at heart but now she actually lives in the mountains in Switzerland, along with her husband and three children where they enjoy being out in nature as much as possible. That sounds absolutely beautiful. Yeah, so Miki, welcome.
Yeah, so where exactly in Switzerland are you now?
Well, as you said, we live in the in the Swiss Alps. So in the mountains, we're in a tiny village in a very rural area of Switzerland. Sort of an hour's… it's about, we're quite lucky because it's right where France, Switzerland and Italy meet. So, within an hour we can be in Italy. Or we can be in France or somewhere else in Switzerland, which is a really, fun place to be
Then you have the best of all the worlds pretty much.
Yeah, we do. Yeah, we get to well, you know, except in the last year so, my travel’s been a little bit more difficult. We generally have been able to get out and see other places fairly easily. That makes it an interesting place. Yeah.
You're definitely far from the cities.
But that's nice. You know, to have that connection with nature. We seem to have lost in a little bit in the chaos of everyday life and we seem to now more than ever, with all the travel restrictions, we're also not able to go out into nature or travel to places that offer that opportunity. So, I do feel you lose a little bit in a sense, right? When you're not able to do that, to have that real contact and step a little bit away from the everyday, you know, busyness of life or modern society, if you will.
And Miki, one of the first things that really caught my attention from reading your biography is that you mentioned that you have five years of entrepreneurial mistakes and I love that because not a lot of people are so forthcoming, pointing out that they have been not finding necessarily failures, but finding ways that did not work, right? To put it to put it in another way. So tell us a little bit about what that has been like. And I'm sure that that is part of the journey that now helps you as a life coach to work with service-based entrepreneurs so that they're able to really scale and grow their businesses.
Yeah, absolutely. That is, you know, those five years is a lot of what helps me along with those in my 15 years of corporate experience, I guess, the both combined. But I, you know, when we moved to Switzerland, I left my corporate career behind. I was always someone who worked and who enjoyed working and I came to Switzerland and I became a full time mother at the time of two children. And not only had I spent all my lives in the very biggest cities of the world, you know, like London, New York, Hong Kong, to then I moved to the Swiss mountains. So that was a huge shift for me.
But then, I also went from having worked full time for 15 years to being a full time mother. And so the combination of those two really, really knocked me out_ like I had a whole identity crisis of like ‘who am I? what am I about?’ like, ‘is this now my life?’ And it was it was a really tough transition. And I started going in- I started my business really as a way of moving out of that finding a way to work, but raise a family at the same time. And I think that now, especially we as women and mothers, have so much more opportunity than ever before, to be able to find a way of working as well as you know, being the mother that we want to be and you know, having all these other priorities in our life, but also fitting in something for ourselves.
So I did. I started out as a Conscious Parenting Coach, I worked with parents to help them bring out the best in themselves and their children. And I did that for five years and I started out offering classes and workshops in person. And then in about 2018, I moved the business online, really for myself, because I couldn't, because I live in a small rural village. I was traveling to, you know, the bigger cities in Switzerland to give these classes and that travel time, obviously took time away from my family caused a bit of stress for everyone. And so, I decided, like I need to, I need to move this online. And now it's possible to do that. already. You know, in 2018, things were really shifting in the online space. But it was a lot of mistakes. You know, I was really good at the coaching and I knew, you know, all the families I worked with had amazing results and amazing transformation and, you know, the parents and the children and, you know, for me that was incredibly rewarding because every family that you can impact, you know, has a generational impact in future years.
But, but in terms of growing a business and growing one online, I had no idea what I was doing. So, it really was, you know, a slow process. I, you know, up until that point, I'd never been on social media personally, I was very, very late to the game. You know, so it was like learning all about social media and learning about networking for yourself rather than you know, for a company which was what I was used to. Just, yeah, how to how to, how to sell..like there was so many things I just didn't know and I made so many mistakes in those five years. But got the business to a point where it was consistent. I was I were, you know, had clients pretty much all year round. I had products that sold automatically, you know, like on evergreen. So, I really felt like I had found a way to make it work. And in that process what I found is that a lot of women and a lot of mothers are coming to me saying, ‘hey, you know you're growing a business online, like how did you do that?’ And, and so I found that more people were asking me about the business aspect, then the parenting, you know, just in normal conversation everyone's like how you doing this business thing online and how exactly does it work? And you know, do you think it's possible for me? So I gradually shifted into this space where I was coaching women more on growing their business and starting and growing a business online because I think there's so many as I said before, so many possibilities for us as women but as mothers especially where we are juggling so many different things and priorities, but maybe you know, we don't want to work full time for someone else. Maybe we want to you know cultivate something of our own. And so that's what I help women do now.
That is amazing! And I can't believe how similar our stories are, actually. And you have made so many decisions based on… like it just all sounds so familiar. It's exactly what I have gone through. I know what Iva has gone through as well. And then now coming to the point where we first of all, we know we have been working ourselves all of our lives. We want to continue doing so we love our children so much and be one to be there actively to raise them. However, there is that little part of us that needs to do this like chase our own goals and our own dreams right ,and make that a part of us our identity like you said you went for a search for your identity again. And what I love as well I, you know, I don't even consider what you've done like mistakes because these are probably what got you exactly to where you are right now. You know, if you wouldn't have gone through this journey of like thinking ‘oh my God, I have no idea what I'm doing’ but there's a point we all need to start at. That's the beauty of evolving in our own business, as our own person and I think it's a beautiful story. And that's amazing that you have found this new path of actually helping others kind of shifting into that: How do I grow business? How do I make that work for me? And it's similar, isn't that Iva? Like, we were just talking about that too. It's same we are passionate about something but many people are actually asking us now as well: How do you make this into a business? How do you monetize? And so we're also focusing a little bit more about teaching people how to do that part. So interesting. I'm just so amazed of how similar our stories are.
And I'm very curious to see a little bit when you when you start working with these female intrapreneurs and you go into the space of well, the topic at hand specifically, how we can stop being so busy? What is what is the opposite of busy? Is it being purposeful, is it being intentional? How do you replace busy with what is it that really is at the core of having that satisfaction? In that crossroads between you know, I want to be my own person, I want to fulfil certain career dreams of sorts, but I also want to raise my family and I also want to be present. So, can you tell us a little bit what direction does that that look like from your experience with working with these women?
Sure. I think the first thing is that, when, is to look at sort of how and why we get so busy in the first place, right? So, and I think a lot of times it is unintentional, like we become a mother and as women, we are generally conditioned to put other people before ourselves and especially when you step into that role of motherhood, then you're thinking, ‘okay, my child is a priority or my children are the priority or the home or whatever else.’ And I think we feel this pull because of this conditioning. And we unintentionally fall into the space and I think a lot of this happens to a lot of women where they become busy, not necessarily, it feels very much not out of their choice, right. It's not in their control that they've just their life has just gotten more things in it. So, they were working before, they maybe had a partner. Now, they've got kids and you know, it's just adding on every stage. And, to some extent, it can feel really good to be busy, right? Like especially if you are high achiever and you know then you're getting stuff done. You're doing a lot of things. It can actually feel good on a certain level in quite rewarding for us to be busy, because we feel like oh, we're getting so much done were so efficient. You know, it's a really strange thing. And yet, we on the other side, we can feel maybe a little bit resentful that we're not paying attention to ourselves or not fulfilling our own dreams, or we can feel exhausted or we're always we've always got that pool of like, oh, I don't have enough time I there's all these other things I want to do.
And for me, I have seen that. I sometimes have been in those moments where the day ends and I get to finally sit down, and with my husband he would ask, ‘so what happened today?’, and I honestly cannot tell him what happened. I know everything happened. And I know that I did a million things, but I can't for the life of me, remember a single one that is worth mentioning right, within the whole span of those 24 hours. I'm just like, ‘I have no idea. I know I woke up and then life happened and now I'm sitting here’ but as you say, it's sometimes even doesn't feel like ticking all the boxes. It feels like I did so many things that were not even that impactful in any way. And here I am just wondering why I'm so tired.
Yeah, and it is exhausting! Like we are running around all the time. And I think if you and then as I said, it's so easy just to fall into that space where you're running around, you're doing all the things and you have no idea what it is that you're actually doing and those big things that you know the things that lead you to your dreams or your goals or you know, just even, you know, like most mothers want to sit and read a book maybe sometime or get to their own projects. You know those always get left untouched. And so it is about being intentional. And I think unfortunately, that's had a lot of over usage recently. But it is really thinking about what do I what? What do I want for myself? What do I want for my life? What do I want my life to look like? And unfortunately, the side effect of having been so busy especially if you've been doing it for so many years, is that most women, at least that I know that I've spoken to, don't actually know anymore what they want. Right? Especially like if your kids are like maybe five or older. You've gone through this period of time where you're so focused on raising your kids and maybe juggling work as well and being busy. That you don't even know why you're doing it all anymore. And so I think a lot of women end up in that space where they don't even know: ‘what do I want to do with my time if I if I wasn't doing this? if I had all the time in the world, what would I do?’
When you mentioned like, we want to sit down and read a book_ oh my God, I just went through that. I don't know when the last time I actually picked up a physical book and a book that had nothing to do with self-development or anything that I'm currently trying to achieve and conquer. I just wanted a girly sort of fiction book that I don't have to think, just pure entertainment. I actually went to the bookstore, and I got it and I was like, ‘This is cool. It was recommended to me I'll do it.’ But when I was at night trying to read, I felt so guilty because I shouldn't be doing this. My time is so limited. It should be doing something else_ productive. And it was so like what you said, so crazy about thinking intentionally ‘What do I want to do with my time?’ I felt extremely guilty for just wanting to read a purely entertaining book for myself. So how do I tackle that kind of situation or that kind of thinking?
Yeah, and I think so that's such a common feeling, right? That guilt obviously we talk about mom guilt, but we do feel guilty for wanting to do things for ourselves. And I think the first question is to ask why. Right? Why am I feeling guilty? What am I.. you know, what am I thinking that that implies? If I sit down and read a book, what does that say about me as a mother, as a businesswoman, as a wife? You know, because it's you're making it mean something more than just ‘I want to sit and read a book for me because it's enjoyable’. It's you know, it's a bit of mindless entertainment or whatever you know. And oftentimes we make it mean, you know, we do have this thing of like ‘I should be doing something else’ or ‘this is not a good use of my time.’ And I think that's stemming from two different things: ‘I should be doing something else’ is like, I believe that, that if I did something else it you know, the there'll be more meaning to it. right? Like it'll have more of an impact if I did something else. And ‘I don't have enough time,’ it's really from a sense of believing that you don't have enough time. You know, and I think that's one of the biggest shifts that we can make in terms of thinking about time is knowing that it really is a mental construct, like you know, there's so much talk about like, we all have the same hours in the day, and you know, like Success takes time, but we have so many, so many things that we've grown up with and it’s just so common to hear.
The time management, so managing your time correctly. And all of these thoughts, right,
Exactly. Yeah, but it really is just how you think about time, absolutely impacts your experience of it. So, if you feel like I have plenty of time for everything I want to do, or for the most important things that I want to do in my life, then that's how you're going to experience it. But when you're thinking, I don't have enough time, there's never enough time, I'm always rushing, then your brain is going to make sure… your brain wants to be the most efficient as possible, right? Our brains want to exert the least effort. They want us to stay in their comfort zone. And so, it also wants to prove our itself true all the time. So, it's always when we're thinking something our brains always looking for evidence in the world, that what we're thinking is true. So, when we're thinking I don't have enough time, your brain is going to make sure that you experience life in a way that proves yourself true because it doesn't want to be wrong.
And Miki, can there also be an element of lack of clarity within the ‘I don't have enough time’ because then if I don't have a clear direction of what really moves the needle, not necessarily just in terms of work, but also in terms of how you want your home life to look like or how do you want your relationships to look like, or your social life or showing up in any area of your life for that matter, that lack of clarity leads to, whatever comes up in the moment, is going to take precedence because as there's, you know, the certain analysis where people say, ‘you know, something can be urgent, but it's not necessarily important.’ So then we get caught up also in that trap of, ‘oh, yes, I would love to go on a coffee date with a friend that you haven't seen in a while and it just came up that she's available.’ But also, I because I don't have in the forefront that I might need to be finishing something that is moving the needle towards a project that I want to do, then I accept the coffee date, but then I realize that I don't have enough time because yes, I am allocating it in a way that is not, it doesn't have the clarity, for the end result that we set out for ourselves. Do you think that can also be at play for some of us?
Absolutely. Yeah. And I think this goes back to, you know, knowing what it is to want for yourself, how you want to live your life_ what is your desired lifestyle? What are the elements of the life that you want to live? And also getting really, really specific on what you want time for, right? So, when we think ‘I don't have enough time, I'm always rushing. I'm too busy...’ Do you want time to have that coffee date with a girlfriend? Do you want time to read a book? How much time would each of those things take? Because we will often be like ‘oh, I want to read that book’, but we don't say well, how much of that book do I want to read? Do I want a chunk of time to finish the whole book? Do I want to just read 10 minutes a day? Would that be enough? You know, getting really, really specific on how much time like_ not only what it is that you want to do_but how much time you need for that, is really important because then you start to see, actually I do have time for these things. Right? Like if I just want to read a book for 10 minutes in the day, I can find those 10 minutes. Let me just make it so nebulous and be like, I never read a book. I want to read my book. Then your brains gonna be like that's too hard.
I know. You've got to be super intentional about it and really make it a part. This is what I'm going to do and like you said if you just in a way, schedule it in a little bit and make it super intentional that that is what you're going to do and you're going to consciously do this for yourself. Even if it's just a few minutes a day, is actually good. Yeah. So fast forward to my book story, I actually did finish that book. I truly enjoyed it. And I got another one. But it's like it took me a while to be okay with that. But then I realized how good it made me feel and in a way a bit of an accomplishment because it's been a while since I've done that for myself, you know, so yeah, it's interesting when you have that shift of mindset.
Yeah. And I think that's the shift, is that oftentimes, especially as women, the things that we're not doin,g the things that we're forgetting to do for ourselves or that, you know, whether it's pursuing our goals or activities we want to do or just as you’re simply meeting up with a girlfriend_ we've gotten so used to not doing them that we forget how good they feel.
So what is another tip that you can give us maybe to help us shift to feeling a bit more time abundant?
Yeah, so I think, you know, firstly, prioritizing: getting really clear and spending getting quiet with yourself. So one of the things that happens when we get really busy and we're rushing around, is that not only does it feel really good, as I've mentioned before, but it also helps us avoid stopping and sitting in a quiet space and thinking about what it is that we really want for ourselves. And I think a lot of us avoid that. That quiet space because it feels so uncomfortable. Right? It can feel uncomfortable like because we think ‘oh no I've always known what I've learned for myself.’ But if you've been raising kids and being rushing around and being busy, you may have forgotten or you may have changed and you may not know. So when you sit and you go, ‘Well, what do I actually want to do if I had more time?’ You may find that you don't know the answer to that. I found a lot of women just don't know any more: ‘I don't I don't know what I'm interested in anymore. I don't know what would light me up’ and, you know, would make me excited and all of those things. So, getting a little bit of quiet time like stopping for yourself and maybe journaling would help or just reflecting on like, do you know what your goals are? Do you have some goals for yourself and things that you want to do for yourself? That's the first thing is getting that clarity, that a lot of us are lacking. The second thing is then to really prioritize to get quite ruthless and how you prioritize and say you know what is really important versus urgent as we're speaking about before. You know what is really important to me? Because those things and I'm sure many of your listeners heard it before, but those things have to come first. Yeah, like you have to schedule it, and you've got to put it in your diary and it's like that doctor's appointment that you wouldn't miss. You know, like if you want to read 10 minutes a day, put it in your diary and make sure you do it. You know earlier in the day so that you're not falling into bed exhausted and your eyes are closing and you know you can only read half a page, because you've left it so late. It's like no, this is really important to me, and I know it'll make me feel better. And so, you know, that's one of the other things is that we fall out of the habit of doing things for ourselves, pursuing our goals of, you know, dreaming big and we forget how rewarding it is. So, you know, when we get a glimpse like you reading your book, you know when you did it finally did it again. You remember it like ‘wow, I really enjoyed this. I'm going to do it again.’ Yeah, so it becomes easier to make a priority but to begin with, know that it can feel really hard to prioritize the things that are important to you because you have forgotten how good it feels, and how important it might be to you.
Yes, and to your point, we also tend to forget that life is happening now to not only in the future, not only in those goals that we're trying to achieve, but also in the now. And to use Desiree’s example in in the book that we want to read in the now. Not in five years when we say ‘Oh finally the kids are out of the house. I can finally pick up that book that I that I wanted.’
But also I love how you play on the idea of and, we've also discussed it in previous episodes, that we have to be aware and conscious that, as we are juggling all these balls in the air, that some are rubber and some are glass and so we need to be very aware that some things we don't ever get to get back right? Like for example our children's childhoods, and missing out on most of it. For a lot of us that's a big pain point. And that's why we sometimes go into entrepreneurship because we find that that is the way that allows us to be more present and to not miss out on those life stages that happen to go very quickly. And others can definitely wait a little bit more, right? We have the rest of her life to to really pursue those careers and dreams and putting that perspective of saying ‘well, if I wait a little bit more, it doesn't mean that I won't get to do it ever.’ So having a little bit of that short term and long term vision at the same time. I'm playing with him as we go through our days.
Yeah, absolutely. And I think there's as you know, as with anything, there's no right or wrong, you know, everyone has to make their personal choices but if you're not feeling fulfilled, so if you make that choice of like my kids are really, my kids are young and they're only at home for a certain period of time, I want to be with them, I'm going to put off you know, starting my business or working or whatever else is you want to do, but it doesn't sit right with you and you still feel a little bit of this nagging feeling, or this bit of resentment bubbling up, that's the sign that maybe you should look at why you're putting that expectation on yourself? So, perhaps you grew up with a mother who was home all the time and so you have this idea that that's what mothers do.
Or some people are completely the opposite. They grew up with, you know, full time working mother. And they felt ‘Oh, I always when I become a mother, I'm going to be a stay-at-home mother because I never had that,’ you know, can go either way. But is that influencing your idea of motherhood? The other thing is that so many of us come into motherhood with these thoughts about what it is or what it should be or who we should be as a mother. And we never really stopped to question like, are those thoughts true? Do they help us in the way that we're living today feel good in in how we're living our life? Because if we're putting this pressure of like, ‘I have to be with my kids all the time, but I don't. I feel a little bit resentful about that’, then that's your cue to dig into the some of those thoughts a little bit more and saying like ‘why do I feel that way?’ You know, is it true that like, does it really take away from my kids if I work a little bit or I have a bit of time for myself and pursue other things? You know, there's no right or wrong but I just say like, the way that you know, every person knows within themselves, how it's sitting. And if you feel like ‘I'm busy, I'm rushing around all the time. I'm never doing anything for myself.’ You feel a little bit of resentment at the end of the day. You know, you don't know what you've done at the end of the day and you fall asleep like those are all cues, I think that you know, look into is this- the lifestyle that I want because it is also about now, right? Tomorrow is not guaranteed, unfortunately, for any of us. So, yes, we can put off things to the future. But I think it's also important to think like this is the present and as much as it's important to be present with your children and be there for your family, is also you in the present and looking after yourself.
These are powerful, powerful things to always keep in mind. Because yes, they do require as you say, that intentionality so that we don't get caught up in the middle of the busyness that we seem to fall prey to. And Miki, as a life coach, you have a freebie for our listeners to help them Create More Time Masterclass. You have a master class to help create more time. Can you tell us a little bit more about that?
Sure. Yeah. So I was thinking about this actually, because it's a little bit ironic, because you do have to spend about 45 minutes to watch the masterclass. So, it does take a little bit of time. But I think that's like with anything that we've been talking about today. You do need to invest a little bit of time upfront to create time for yourself afterwards. So, it is a masterclass. It's about 45 minutes long and it's going through, you know, a bit deeper on what we've talked about today about how do you get intentional about your life? How do you create more time in your life? And that feeling of expansiveness that you have plenty of time for anything that you want to do or the things that are most important to you, rather than feeling like you're rushing around blindly in life? So yeah, it is available to your listeners absolutely free. They're welcome to go and watch.
Fantastic. Thank you. Thank you so much.
You are also currently working on a few exciting things, including a Business Accelerator Program and all of that. Can you tell us a bit more?
Sure, yes, I have a Business Accelerator Program where I help women grow their business_ start and grow their business. Most of most of the women who come to me have already started trying to grow their service business or coaching business, but they are making all those mistakes that I made in those first five years. You know, they're really struggling, they're finding it hard to get clients and finding, you know, maybe they've gotten one client but then, you know, for the next couple months, they don't get any clients and they're really feeling the roller coaster of entrepreneurship. And really feeling the pull of needing to do all the things: be on social media all the time, and it's starting to impact their life, so they're not present with their kids. They're feeling like they're so time poor, that they've they're working in the evenings instead. of hanging out with their spouse, you know, all of those sorts of signs are showing up in their life and yet their business is not growing the way that they want to and those are really the women that I help simplify everything back down. So, we get really intentional we ruthlessly prioritize and, and really, I help them grow their business in 20 hours a week or less, to, you know, sort of the five to 10k months.
This is fantastic that whoever is interested, can approach you to talk a little bit more about how they can start working with you.
Yeah, absolutely. And I think it is about, you know, there's so much information out there. So, it's just someone giving you that roadmap that you can follow so that you're not thinking, you know, in the time limits that you have, like what am I going to do today? What's the most important thing? You know exactly what you need to do. Every day, even if you only have five or 10 minutes to grab, you know, to work on your business?
Yes, so that everything you do actually counts or you're not frantically scrolling for looking for answers on Google that might or might not help you at the end of the day. Miki, this has been so fantastic for you to be here with us sharing this these amazing tips and also putting a perspective on how we are conducting ourselves and, as you say, really thinking about whether we want to continue down that line of just being busy for busy sakes, or to be really more intentional in what we're doing. So, thank you so much for being here with us today. And if you want to connect with Miki, you can always find her on Instagram @iamMikimaruko and as well she has her Facebook page and her website, And we're going to be sharing all of those links in the show notes, including the information on her freebie masterclass and her Business Accelerator Programs. So Miki, thank you so much.
Well, thanks for having me. It's been so much fun talking to you both.
It has been wonderful. It's always so nice to be other really like-minded mob bosses who are making it work.
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Miki Maruko is a multi-certified Business Mentor and Life Coach and brings along 15 years of business and people strategy experience, five years of entrepreneurial mistakes and an in-depth understanding of psychology, neuroscience and mindset. Miki helps ambitious women grow their online service-based or coaching business in a way that is simple, sustainable and aligned with their values and desired lifestyle. Although a city girl at heart, Miki lives in the mountains in Switzerland along with her husband and 3 children where they enjoy being out in nature as much as possible.
Create More Time Masterclass
Other offers : The Business Accelerator Program. It’s a combination of business mentoring and tailored 1:1 mindset coaching to help women grow their online service business to their desired revenue levels whilst having it be just one part of the extraordinary life they are creating and living.