INNOVATORS VS COVID 19
Motherhood, Business, and the Pandemic
We talked to Rachel Lindteigen of Etched Marketing about helping moms build their own business to gain financial security.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Rachel Lindteigen: We’re good, thank you for asking. We’re lucky that we’re able to stay home and safe. There have been challenges, but everyone has some right now.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Etched Marketing.
Rachel Lindteigen: I’ve been in marketing for about 20 years now and have focused on digital marketing since 2009. I love digital marketing. I made a move to entrepreneurship about three years ago when my son was young, and I found that the career I loved and the family I’d always wanted weren’t really compatible. Initially, I founded Etched Marketing to help small business owners with their marketing because so much of the advice geared towards small businesses was wrong. It was outdated and based on strategies that don’t work. After being in the field for so many years and working for large agencies, it bothered me to see the small business owners get taken by people who didn’t really know what they were doing. I had too many phone calls with friends & family, where I said, “I know you paid them for advice but don’t do that because of X, Y, Z and do this instead” when asked about their marketing plans.
I found that I love teaching people and have evolved into offering more coaching and consulting these days. I work 1:1 with clients who want to start businesses (many of them are working moms who long for the flexibility and balance that I’ve found), so they can leave the corporate world and still use their experience and education. They’re looking to make a major career change and need someone to show them the way. I also have digital courses in creating a marketing plan, SEO, and building a business from scratch.
How does Etched Marketing innovate?
Rachel Lindteigen: My company is constantly innovating based on customer feedback. My clients are busy, most of them juggling work and family, and many are simultaneously starting side businesses. They’ve asked for bite-sized nuggets of information, training courses they can do over a weekend, and a course that walks them through how to start a business step-by-step. You’ll find that most of my YouTube and Facebook training videos are in the 10-20 minute range because that’s about the amount of time they have to focus on something at one time. My courses are to the point and don’t include fluff because they don’t have time for fluff.
I’m always looking for the best way to help them learn and grow. I love helping others achieve their goals.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Rachel Lindteigen: So, I’m a mom, and it impacted me greatly for the first few months. My son’s school closed for Spring Break in early March and didn’t reopen until August. He was at home with me for months. I had to adjust everything and cut my work hours back significantly to focus on him. He’s young, so he needed me to be there and present. We ended up compromising one 90 minute work block a day where he watched a movie and mommy worked. I ran my business for 7.5 hours a week for several months. Over the summer, we had part-time help for about three hours a day. It’s amazing how much you can get done in a few hours if you’re super focused. I’m using a lot of what I learned through that experience to help my students because they’re juggling as much, if not more than I am.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Rachel Lindteigen: I did. I had to choose to pursue growing my business or allowing it to slow down and focus on my family. I absolutely made the right decision. My son was 4 when everything shut down in March. He needed me more than my business needed to grow. I spent 90 minutes a day focusing on the activities that would make the biggest impact on the business. I chose not to take on any new clients for a while because I knew I couldn’t serve the ones I had and take care of him and take on new ones all at once.
I learned that I made the right decision. Sometimes, business growth isn’t the #1 priority, and that’s OK. Life has seasons, and some will focus more on business, and others will focus more on personal. During the pandemic, my focus needed to be on my son. We had a conference with his teacher recently, and she commented about him being on track now in kindergarten and that she can tell certain letter sounds he learned from mom because they’re slightly off. I tried, what can I say? But it made me feel good to know that I’d made the right decision. Did I take on new clients? No. I didn’t. Did I focus on ensuring my child was OK during a global pandemic and help him stay on track with his education? Yes, I did. And I’d do it again.
Now that he’s back in school and thriving, I can focus on growing my business again.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and Etched Marketing in the future?
Rachel Lindteigen: I’ve found that walking helps me deal with stress and anxiety, especially through the pandemic. I walk for about an hour each morning with a friend. Those morning walks help me focus on what needs to get done, clear my head, set the intention for the day, destress, etc. I highly recommend a daily walk.
I also took most of the month of September off to relax, recharge, and figure out my next steps. Once my son was back in school, and other personal life challenges were handled, I needed to create space for myself to think and be strategic. It doesn’t have to be a few weeks off, but just allowing yourself some space and freedom to think can help you determine the next steps and direction for your company.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Rachel Lindteigen: My competitors are other business and marketing coaches and online course creators. I’m not worried about them. There are enough people who want to make a change or start a new business or build the business that they have to go around. I know people will connect with us based on our personality and background. You don’t do business with a business, you do business with the people inside the business. I love to get to know my clients and build long-term relationships with them. I plan on staying in the game by continuing to be my authentic self and encouraging people to go for their goals. And I’ll remind them that sometimes it’s OK if you have to step back in one area of your life to focus on another. It won’t always be like this, and you’ll get back to it when you’re ready.
Your final thoughts?
Rachel Lindteigen: Don’t give up on yourself or your dreams even if you feel like you can’t focus on them right now due to the pandemic or another situation you’re in. It won’t always be like this. Focus on what’s most important today and do what you can towards your goals. If what you have is 90 minutes a day or 90 minutes a week, use them wisely. You don’t have to be the first to get to the finish line.
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