This blog post is extra special because it’s the very first in my new Friday series: Entrepreneur Highlight.
Starting this week, I’m bringing on entrepreneurs from different creative industries to share their businesses, insights, and talents with you.
One of the things I love most about working with my clients is getting to know so many different creative entrepreneurs who have created a unique business around their passion.
I’m always amazed at how each industry pocket and individual have fresh perspectives and unique approaches. And I want to share that with you, too.
My friend, Caitlynn of Rustic Oil Life, is joining us today for the debut of my new series, and I couldn’t be more excited to introduce her to you all.
In this post, Caitlynn is sharing how she is growing a side-hustle that fits her lifestyle—all while being a wife, getting ready for the arrival of their little one, and working a demanding, full-time job!
If you’re trying to find balance with your business and full-time job, or if you’re just hoping to get better at making productive use of your time, this post is for you!
Welcome, Caitlynn! It’s so great to have you on the blog today. I’ve been looking forward to introducing you to the Ponder Trail audience.
Share Your Story:
Introduce yourself and your side-hustle!
I am currently a working, first-time mom with a full-time day job and a new side hustle. I am using oils in so many ways to help my body and mind stay strong right now.
My husband recently heard the perfect definition for how my creativity works, and it’s this: I am very much a “migrating” crafter. There are at least 3 unfinished projects floating about our apartment right now.
Part of that is presently due to also expecting our first child in the spring, so I have so many cute things I want to make and not enough time!
I love being creative and learning new ways to be creative. I am a fair hand at knitting, crocheting, painting, clay sculpture and wood burning just to name a few of my varied interests.
I think I first really jumped into the crafting world with planning my wedding and doing all of my own decorations.
After that, I just had this burning desire to have my own Etsy shop full of handmade items. So shortly after our second anniversary, I launched Rustic Spunk Decor, a candle and home decor brand.
I had fun and learned a lot about myself and how to make excel spreadsheets. But after my day job went from being a 40-hour hourly position to a 50-hour salaried management position, I had to make a tough decision. RSD was put on hold so that my husband could work on his woodworking while I worked full-time.
Rustic Oil Life has grown from my desire to share all of the awesome things I have learned about healthy living through essential oils. I wish I had known about oils back when I was struggling to focus on creative projects and stressing over whether my ideas were good enough.
I want to share what I now know and have experienced with oils with other creative entrepreneurs and working moms. I have always enjoyed writing and teaching, so my Rustic Oil Life brand is a representation of those two creative sides of myself.
I’m creating a blog full of resources for the struggling, unfocused creative entrepreneur with knowledge on how they can leverage essential oils to help their body be its best version.
What do you love most about your side-hustle? And what’s the mission behind ROL?
I love being able to share knowledge that is relevant and useful for anyone looking to live a healthier, balanced life. All the recipes and projects I want to share are things I am making and using myself, so this hustle also keeps my proactive in my pursuit of a healthier lifestyle.
Oils are an amazingly simple way to support your body and mind every day, no matter who you are or where you are in life. I want to help others see the potential for oils to help them be their best selves.
What sparked your interest in essential oils and healthy living?
I think the moment that set all of this in motion was when my husband very pointedly reminded me that I was now part of the at-risk population of those with a compromised immune system. Realizing I was responsible for another human being in a very direct way was definitely the spark that caught.
The Daily Hustle + Getting it All Done:
How do you balance running ROL while working full time?
Careful planning is the key. I know I am going to fail or fall short some days, but I really want to have that structure in place so that even when I am not 100%, I can still put out 100% at both jobs.
My long term goal is to at least partially replace my current salary so that I can take a less demanding job and focus on growing with Young Living.
Goals are important; you prioritize what you are passionate about and what is important to you. Goals help your focus those priorities.
What does your full time job look like in terms of amount of hours and how much time it leaves for your business?
Right now, I am probably doing 47-hour weeks averagely at my day job. I know that number is going to go up as the holidays get closer, so I am trying to get systems and plans in place for coping with that while still managing ROL.
I usually have about 2.5 hours a night to dedicate to my business. I am focusing on personal growth and absorbing as much information I can and getting plans in the works for October. So right now, there isn’t much structure. I am just trying to spend as much of my free time as I can working on plans.
Days when I am off from my day job I try to focus on baby-related projects or plans with my hubby.
Describe a typical ROL workday or work-session.
I need to start making written lists, but usually I have a list of priorities in my head that I whittled down on my commute home.
Things that I have either put off or couldn’t get to another night come first. I then usually check in with my oil family for any advice or questions I may have. I have made so many new friends that it is hard to not get distracted at times.
After tackling some bigger objectives, I at least try to get the next day’s post planned and scheduled. My longest stretch of getting ahead was 3 days scheduled in advance. It was very exciting, but my goal is to have a month at a time planned and scheduled on a regular basis.
I have also found some books, blogs, and other information resources that I want to spend time absorbing whenever I can. I actually am trying to do this while eating breakfast in the morning as that way it can get my gears working all day on new ideas to write down when I get home.
Do you have any favorite tools and must-haves that help you stay focused and get it all done?
I am really liking the free Planoly app for scheduling my Instagram posts ahead of time. Since I am at work during the day, I prepare all my posts at least one night ahead of time. My goal is to get a week ahead and then a month ahead by the beginning of the new year.
My other must have is my Stress Away blend roller for focusing my emotions and or reminding me to take a step back when I am frustrated. My diffuser is a must for calming fall scents while I relax or for invigorating aromas for inspiring productivity. Also my Thieves blend roller for helping keep my immune system up to snuff while I hustle and grow a small human.
The oily tools are what I want to share with every creative entrepreneur and/or working mom who is reading this! I have some great recipes just for you to help you stay focused on those high productivity days.
Peppermint and Citrus Fresh is my personal favorite for productivity; it’s such an amazingly sharp combination. I also have a lot of DIY projects to share for you to use in your day-to-day routine that will help you support your mind and body so you can hustle away the day!
I am designing a web page to feature these Entrepreneur and Working Mom inspired blends and recipes for easier access!
Business Tips + Takeaways:
Do you have any tips for managing a part-time business while still working full-time?
Don’t forget to schedule time for yourself or time with your partner or family. You will lose sight of your passion if you don’t spend time with the people who matter to you and who are a reason for your hard work.
Find what works for you. For me, I say structure is the key. You can’t juggle successfully if you are constantly thrown off by everyday life. Find a schedule, and stick with it. Don’t slack off at your day job; it will just leave you feeling demoralized. Find a balance, and make it work until you don’t need that day job anymore.
How do you stay productive and motivated?
I am doing my best to stay positive and keep my eye on my dream of being able to take a less demanding day job postpartum with the income from my side hustle. I am setting achievable goals and doing a little every day to improve.
What are your best tips for staying and feeling focused on a daily basis?
I use a combination of oil blends to help lift my mood on rough days, to de-stress, or to motivate mental focus. Oils work on a molecular level and interact with the chemicals in your brain, and certain oils trigger certain responses. This has been such a helpful tool for me as I am easily distracted by all the stimuli online when I am trying to work on my computer.
Aside from the oils, I try to surround myself with like-minded, productive people who help me stay accountable on a daily-weekly basis. This is super important as we as human beings are social creatures. Even if you are introverted, you need at least one person to encourage you hold you accountable.
What are the biggest struggles you’ve faced so far as a creative entrepreneur?
I think self-doubt is always the biggest issue. Worrying what others think comes second but always rears its head. Wondering if I even have any friends who will think what I am doing is worth it is another big nasty thought. I was worried my hubby thought I was crazy and off on another bunny trail that wouldn’t last. TURNS OUT, he is super proud of me and of course very supportive, even if this all came out of left field a little bit.
Are there any lessons you’ve learned along the way?
After trying another business + day job already, I feel I know my limits much better. I know my strengths a little better, as well, and am more confident in my own abilities. This time, I can just focus on sharing about these oils I use every day and constantly learning every day. I don’t have to worry about product production, which for me, right now, is perfect.
What advice do you have for someone hoping to take the leap and start a side-hustle or business doing what they have a passion for?
Always learn from those who have gone before you. There will be plenty of opportunity to make your own mistakes, but you can always learn from others so you don’t repeat the same mistakes.
Do market research, especially if you are doing your own product creation. Make sure you find a niche that needs to be filled OR make something better than the competition.
Design a business plan as if you need to pitch it to an accountant: make a budget to factor in the initial costs of starting a business, and reign in your desires to go crazy on random purchases.
Pretend you have a board to answer to, or put your partner, sister, mom, etc. in charge of holding you accountable in some way so you don’t overspend.
Be realistic, but always believe in yourself and stay positive.
Rewards don’t come right away; you have to put the effort in consistently to make something grow.
Essential Oils + Their Benefits for Entrepreneurs:
How do essential oils benefit creative entrepreneurs?
I say anyone, whether they own a business or not, should harness the beauty of EOs for themselves. They can help you stay focused and alert, trigger positive emotions through aromatherapy, or help support your system while you hustle with whatever type of business you own.
Normal jobs are stressful, but being the owner of a business can be a definite strain on your body when you are 500% committed to your business. The EOs I use help me to balance a 50-hour management job, being pregnant, and hustling a side biz.
Goals + New Things:
What’s one thing you’re really working towards or working on with ROL?
My main goal is to be able to plan an entire month of Instagram posts and blog posts a full MONTH ahead by January 2019. This way, I can focus on day-to-day interaction with my followers.
My other big goal is to start hosting at least 2 classes, either in person or live, every month.
What’s in store? Do you have any new or exciting things in the works you’d like to share with us?
Thanks so much, Caitlynn, for joining me on the blog today!
I hope you all enjoyed Caitlynn’s story, tips, and insights. Definitely check out her blog in the coming months for some recipes geared towards hustlers and small business owners.
Stay tuned for next Friday for the next installment of this new Entrepreneur Highlight series.