ChildCare Conversations with Kate and Carrie

Episode 174: Are You Trying to Do Too Many Things at Once?

October 31, 2023 Carrie Casey and Kate Woodward Young
ChildCare Conversations with Kate and Carrie
Episode 174: Are You Trying to Do Too Many Things at Once?
Show Notes Transcript

In this podcast episode, Kate and Carrie discuss the challenges of multitasking and the importance of focusing on one task at a time. They share their personal experiences in the childcare industry, emphasizing the need for clear service offerings and the right qualifications. They also discuss different management styles, the importance of authenticity in coaching, and the need for time management.

Carrie and Kate advise against constantly changing careers and encourage individuals to seek coaching and therapy if needed. They emphasize the importance of focusing on one's strengths and passions, and warn against seeking support from individuals who claim to be experts in everything.

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Marie (00:00:01) - Welcome to child care conversations with Kate and Carrie.

Kate - Okay, Carrie, these people are driving me crazy. I mean, I know we have a tendency to want to chase the shiny object, and we are so guilty of being passionate and really want to share, like, everything all at once to everybody. But seriously, you cannot do everything at one time and you can't be everything to everybody. So today we're going to talk about what we can mean.

Carrie (00:00:31) - Let's see, there was that time when I was running three schools and our training business and homeschooling my kids and working on a college degree. I did all of that.

Kate (00:00:40) - Yeah. And so how does that make you feel?

Carrie (00:00:44) -  I mean, didn't Sleep a whole lot, and I probably wasn't my best at some of them. Um, and, and I think that's what we kind of want to talk about is if you're trying to do eight different things, you're not going to do six of them. Well. So you might get two of them that are still at a level of excellence, but the other six are kind of, um, they're not doing a great job.

Kate (00:01:08) - Not only that mean I want us to talk about I want to start with our book. Right. So from overwhelmed, I got this. In that book there is a chapter about management styles. And if you aren't sure what kind of management styles. So I'm not talking what color are you. What is your letter? What shape are.

Carrie (00:01:26) - You are.

Kate (00:01:27) - Yeah. You know I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about management style. And we keep it really simple. In the book we identify four. We identify entrepreneur, integrator, producer, and administrator. And as entrepreneurs you all, we all, we have a tendency to want to do all kinds of things. Now I'm not going to go over everything in the book, but I will tell you if you are a traditional entrepreneur, which means that you like to start new things all the time, that doesn't mean that you should be doing that in childcare. It doesn't mean you should be doing it with childcare clients, because if you have to keep rebranding yourself and it's been a year and nobody's really sure exactly what you do mean, we've been there, we've done that.

Kate (00:02:15) - We had an issue where we changed our name partially for legal reasons, and then we've had it because we've grown and or we've stayed really specific to Texas. And so when you start to brand yourself as a director, are you a person or or a program? So if people are associating you as the director with ABC childcare, then that's who you are. And, you know, maybe there's a couple of other ways you can can market yourself. But if you start trying to be everything to everybody, somebody at some point in time is going to call you out and go, really, what do you do? Well or how desperate are you?

Carrie (00:02:51) - Right? Because if you're the director of the child care center and you also run a parent coaching program because you're you're really good at getting children to sleep. So you're a parent sleep specialist, an infant sleep specialist, and then also your an adolescent parenting coach because you're really good at helping people parent their adolescents without anybody going screaming into the night. And you're a master trainer and you're a podcaster and you also are a background actor and, and, and what are you actually doing? Because a lot of those things don't go together.

Carrie (00:03:38) - If you want to do multiple things because you're a multi passionate person, you either have to have them completely divorced from each other or they have to fit well together. Like um.

Kate (00:03:50) - Okay, before we even get into that, just want to talk about time. How many hours in a freaking week do you have mean now as somebody and if anybody knows me, and if you've listened to our podcast at all, you know that most of the time during the time that Carrie and I have had Texas director, which is now over 22 years, I have almost always had a second going to call it side, but it's not really a side hustle because Texas Director was really more our side hustle. But I often had a job and Carrie had centers when we first started, so we were always doing something and then we had Texas Director. Now to us, the podcast is part of Texas Director. So if you're listening to this and you're going, well, Kate and Carrie do that and they do that and they do that, we do.

Kate (00:04:38) - But even my day jobs are traditionally not early childcare related in my role. So if I was the executive director of the Early Childhood Association of Oklahoma. So yeah, it sounds similar, but my day job was all about finding sponsors and planning conferences, right? I wasn't interacting day to day with parents and. Yeah.

Carrie (00:05:00) - I mean, I was trying to think of an actor or, you know, some famous figure that has two radically different careers. Um, the guy who played Reynolds. No, I was doing Hannibal Lecter. What's that? What's his. What's his name? She's just laughing at me, guys.

Kate (00:05:19) - Because I'm like, go on. Ryan Reynolds. He considers himself a full time business person and a part time actor. That is true.

Carrie (00:05:25) - So he's more current. But I had the whole he's an actor and he writes, um, operas and things.

Kate (00:05:34) - Hopkins.

Carrie (00:05:35) - Anthony Hopkins. Yeah.

Kate (00:05:36) -He worked for Google.

Carrie (00:05:38) - Writes very large musical pieces in, in formal classical music. And he, you know, is an actor.

Carrie (00:05:47) - But Ryan Reynolds, yes, he is an entrepreneur who got his seed money for running Mint Mobile and his booze company and whatever from acting, which is not what most people do. Most people are like, I will work a 9 to 5 and get enough money to open my business. He was an actor to get enough money to open his businesses, but he focuses on one thing at a time. While he was building his acting career, he focused on that he wasn't while he was trying to build his acting career, also trying to start a mobile phone company. He took a break from acting in three movies a year in order to start another business. He would do a little bit to keep the flywheel running in the acting, but that wasn't his focus. We need to do the same thing. You cannot be a full time content creator and a full time director and a full time parenting coach, and this and and also, I don't know, maybe have a personal life of your own and potentially your own family.

Carrie (00:07:03) - Like you're going to burn yourself out and you're not going to do anything really, really well.

Kate (00:07:09) - All right. So in addition to Carrie and I having our own clients that do this, we have people who have that perception that perhaps we walk the line, but we also know that there are people in this industry actively trying to sell you as a childcare director or owner, their services. And we've got some who have never owned a child care center and been a director. They have owned auxiliary businesses. Um, they have been hired by child care centers, but they themselves have not walked the walk to talk the talk. And that that has been in Carrie and that gets in our craw mean we're talking for probably the last ten years. And we are constantly trying to figure out, you know, do we call these people out on it, mean we are trying to be gracious on some levels and just go look, do your homework just because somebody says they've helped a childcare centers ask the pointed question. If you've got somebody who you're paying three grand a month to to be your business coach, if they have never actually opened a childcare center and run a child care center and grown a childcare center, you need to ask yourself, what makes that person qualified to help you? And I'm going to say the same thing with being a public speaker, being a trainer, being a coach mean I have a coach, I am a coach with a coach, and the coaches I have make seven figures.

Kate (00:08:41) - Okay, so do I do business coaching? Yes, 90% of my clients are in the childcare industry now. I do not go out of my way to find other coaches, other or other clients. They usually get them by referral. But you have to ask yourself, how are you getting your clients if you are scrambling and your child care center is not profitable, how are you coaching other people in the industry? If your family is a wreck, how can you be a parenting coach? Yeah, I mean, you know, if you love infants and you have awesome infants and your parents all think that you walk on water and you're an infant teacher and you're the director and you do infant coaching or, you know, any of those things, those things. I can see how that all works together. So don't get too excited. Don't go chasing all those shiny things. Put it in a notebook, stick it up on a shelf and come back to it when you've got the time and the money.

Kate (00:09:43) - Okay? I'm off. I'm off my soapbox.

Carrie (00:09:45) - Yes, Kate was definitely on a soapbox there, but I mean, this is a conversation, right? And I knew exactly who Kate was talking about. Two different people she just vented about. If you want to know their names, email me at But the thing is, we think that coaching is important. I pay coaches, Kate pays coaches so that we can be better versions of ourselves and so that we can do our job better. And could we blow up Texas director and make it as big as some of the national child care coaching organizations? Probably. But would we be being true to ourselves? We are taking some of our coaching, some of our courses, and offering them to people who don't live in Texas because we've been asked to, but we're not creating events that are basically a two day sales pitch to get you to sign up with us, to give us 500 to $3000 a month for the rest of your business life to work with us.

Carrie (00:10:57) - And yes, it can be really cool to go to a destination for a two day or a three day conference is what they're almost always called. But the some of them are not conferences. They are a glorified sales pitch. We've been to them.

Kate (00:11:17) - We are in every industry.

Carrie (00:11:18) - Yeah. I mean, Kate and I have been trained by Tony Robbins. We know how to do those events, but it is not authentic to who we are. We could 100% do one of those three day events, and we can tell you exactly when the sales pitch will happen, because they've all been trained by Tony Robbins or people who were trained by Tony Robbins. So if you don't want to hear the sales pitch and you go to one of those three day conferences, do not go in the main ballroom right before the lunch break on day two. And if you don't believe me, think back to the last time you went to one of these events put on by one of these nationally known childcare coach people and think back.

Carrie (00:12:04) - And wasn't the sales pitch to get you to spend to be on their their group coaching plan? It was on day two right before lunch. Occasionally they do day two right before dinner, but it's always on day two so that they have another day to have personal coaching sessions with you. That is a sales process that is not a conference designed to give you the information you need to run your business. Yes, they are giving you information to help you run your business. It is important information and that is part of what they're doing. But their goal is to get you to give them 500 to $3000 a month for the rest of your business career. Their goal is not to get you to a point where you have outgrown them, and you don't need them as a coach anymore. You need a different type of coach,

Kate (00:13:00) - Which is wrong. I mean, as far as I'm concerned, to be a successful coach. First of all, if you don't know, go read our page about our coaching philosophy.

Kate (00:13:08) - We are International Coaching Federation coaches. There is a code of ethics and in reality, if you haven't, if your coach hasn't helped you outgrow them, then there's a there's a problem, right? Like then that is not a good fit either. They're really acting as a consultant, which is different. And if you're not sure, think we've got a blog on that somewhere. But if they're they're trying to tell you what to do instead of helping you get there yourself, then they're not really a coach. They're a consultant using that term. And so, you know, again, that could be a whole other soapbox. And I think it has been. Yeah, but we just want you guys to make sure that if you are working hard within your child care center and within your industry, whether you're creating privatized custom curriculum because you have six locations and you're tired of giving your money to a curriculum company every year, awesome. And once you create that, if you want to go sell that, awesome.

Kate (00:14:04) - But you know what? Here's number one thing. Go get people to do it. Don't do it yourself. You don't have time. You need to stay passionate about what you're passionate about and find that administrative producer, that person who loves the checkbox, that person who's going to get the job done. Give it to them, tell them what you need done, and then let them go. Do it. If you have to micromanage, that's not for you.

Carrie (00:14:28) - So mean if you have if you're multi-passionate. And again Kate and I are you have to figure out what is your focus. And then how do you have other people running the parts of your global empire. That is not what you're currently passionate about. If we're taking our Ryan Reynolds example again, right, he's probably going to build up his booze company and his mint, his mint mobile. And I think there's a third company up to a point where he has. Management that he trusts and respects, and then he will turn it over to them and do something else.

Carrie (00:15:05) - Oprah Winfrey this over and over and over again.

Kate (00:15:09) - Mean he sold meant mean. He's like a billionaire now. Right. So it's kind of like Michael Michael Jordan selling off, you know, basketball teams and becoming now you know a billionaire. He sold meant to like.

Carrie (00:15:22) - Own basketball teams who Michael Jordan doesn't own basketball teams.

Kate (00:15:27) - He did. He sold the Hornets and he's now a billionaire. Um, so, um, but in the meantime, you've got Ryan Reynolds, who sold mint to T-Mobile. And, you know, now he's, you know, he's got a soccer team. And then him and another actor actually bought into a company with no money. Okay. So this is one advantage of being a name people know they bought in entirely with using who they were. So I don't think Dwayne Johnson's done that yet. But he's pretty close. If you're ever really curious, go look up Shaquille O'Neal. Because did you know that Shaquille O'Neal actually owns the right to Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe? And like seven other, including David Beckmann? So all rights of their persona is actually owned by Shaquille O'Neal.

Carrie (00:16:15) - Yeah.

Carrie (00:16:16) - And again, they were passionate about different things at different times. Shaquille O'Neal for we keep doing basketball because I'm a basketball person. And Kate knows I'll get more excited if she talks basketball. Um, you know, for a good period of time. Shaquille O'Neal was very passionate about being the immovable object on a basketball court, and he was really good at it. And he has the gold medals and the championship rings to prove it. But then he was like, cool, I did that, I'm whatever, 32. I'm retired. And he went and did something else. So if you are a director and you want to do multiple things, one has to be your focus and then the other things are for giggles, like I write children's books for giggles. There are people who writing children's book is their whole spiel, you know, it's everything that they do. They're very passionate about it. They go tour schools all year long. I write books because I wanted those books as a teacher.

Carrie (00:17:19) - Okay.

Kate (00:17:19) - So you're telling me that I can change careers? I'm a director. I own a child care center. How do I change careers? I don't understand, I thought I had to do all these things at once.

Carrie (00:17:29) - You don't. You know, you can build it up to the point where you can jump ship. So the the phrase. And I don't know where I originally heard it, but I know I heard it on the Dave Ramsey podcast, um, ten years ago was bring the boat close enough to shore that you can jump onto it. So if your island is I'm a director of a child care center, and the next thing you want to do that you want to be your full time thing, is, is being an infant sleep coach, right? You get a couple of coaching clients, you bring it closer to you so that you got not quite enough money to replace your money as a director, but close. And then when the boat gets very close, you jump on to the other one and then you wave bye to being a director.

Carrie (00:18:20) - We will be sad to see you go. Your staff and parents will be sad to see you go, but sometimes you have to leave because you've gotten very passionate about a new thing. But if you're doing that every 3 to 6 months, I'm going to tell you, you not. You need maybe both a coach and a therapist in six months. You are changing your whole dang career. You should not be changing your whole dang career every 3 to 6 months. You shouldn't have a new thing that you're super passionate about. Every 3 to 6 months, Kate and I have a podcast for Texas Director and Child Care Coach, which is the not just Texas version of it, because we talk to each other all the time and we were like, hey, people would probably find these conversations interesting. We're not super passionate about podcasting. We're not monetizing this podcast. This is not our next career. This is just something that we're doing as part of our marketing for Texas director and for the child care coach, and we don't.

Kate (00:19:28) - Even do that very well. I mean, if you if you haven't figured it out, we don't we haven't figured out how to use this as a marketing tool. That's the intent and that's our goal. Um, but really, what Carrie is trying to say is, you know, we had our time in the classroom and in the business, and when we had that time, we had some other things we did, but that wasn't we knew we weren't going to do that in our 50s and 60s. And, you know, we both, at different times in the last 22 years have had. Have the opportunity to go do other things to see if that was what we liked. And then you know what? We seem to always come back here, um, helping those who are in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s find their passion for for running a child care program. That's actually what we love to do. And so how do we figure out how to help you? Well, the first thing is to help you go, this is what I'm going to do.

Kate (00:20:23) - And to stop squirreling if you if you're more of an up and you're a Doug and you're a dog and you like to go chase the squirrels or whether you're the shiny object, um, either way, if you're a business owner and you're an entrepreneur, we know that you've got those tendencies. We know that you're excited about that. And that's where you get the great director. So if you're the owner, go get a great director to run that program while you get to go find your next shiny object. If you're the director and this is you, then you need to kind of figure out how much of that is a boat. You know, you're getting prepared for your retirement versus how much of that is maybe you aren't as passionate about childcare as you thought you were.

Carrie (00:21:01) - So I hope this was helpful to you. If you are feeling an urge to try to be 15 different things to 15 different people, please stop. Take a little bit of an inventory. If you're trying to find somebody to support you, please try to find somebody who supports you, who has one singular vision and one area of focus, not 27 areas of focus.

Carrie (00:21:27) - If they're trying to help you with your onboarding for your new staff, and they're trying to help you with the marketing, and they're and they're trying to help you with your business systems, and they're trying to help you become a public speaker, and they're trying to help you build your training empire. That is too many things. Don't chase the shiny object with them. Let them figure out what their thing is and when they have it figured out, then you can use them as a coach or a consultant. But if you've got somebody who says, oh, I do everything, please turn around and run away. And I will say this as a person who has said, I can train you on anything, and yes, I maybe could, but I shouldn't. And I've gotten much better at focusing on the types of trainings that I can do better than anybody else. And there are some for classroom teachers, and there are a lot for administrators. But I don't teach anybody about SIDs and shaking baby and infant brain development anymore, even though I have the knowledge, because that is not an area that I have any passion for.

Carrie (00:22:39) - So I focus on the areas that I can do well and you should too.

Kate (00:22:45) - All right, we'll see you guys next week.

Marie (00:22:46) - Thank you for listening to Child Care Conversations with Kate and Carrie. Want to learn more? Check out our website at TexasDirector.Org and if you've learned anything today, leave us a comment below and share the show.