Therapist turned Holistic Business Coach, Mom of three, Cyclical Planning Expert & host of The Shamelessly Ambitious Podcast.
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Introducing Shamelessly Ambitious with Ash McDonald
I am so excited to have Holly Haynes on Shamelessly Ambitious today! I met Holly in a mastermind that we were both in and since then I’ve been able to work alongside her, watch her grow and expand, and make so many massive life-changing moves in so many different ways. Holly is a mom and business owner who specializes in helping her clients structure their businesses so that they can run a full-time business on a part-time schedule. Today you’ll hear how Holly prevents burnout, overcomes her anxiety, and structures her weeks for maximum productivity.
Holly helps female entrepreneurs take back control of their time with proven productivity techniques, systems, and structure to create a business strategy that scales long term. An industry expert, host of the Crush the Rush Podcast and featured Thrive and Entrepreneur author with a 20-year business consulting background with Fortune 500 companies, Holly runs her strategic coaching business and the Crush the Rush planner company while raising her twin daughters with her husband in addition to working for a non-profit in Columbus, Ohio.
Ash McDonald (00:00):
Here. Oh my goodness. I am so excited today to have a guest on who I met in a mastermind who I’ve been able to work alongside and watch, grow, and expand and make so many massive life-changing moves in so many different ways. And of course, another mom and another business owner. This is Holly Haynes. I’m so glad you’re here. The thank you for joining me on shamelessly ambitious. Hi
Holly Haynes (00:24):
Ashley. Thank you so much. It’s such an honor. And it’s been so fun to see this podcast come to life.
Ash McDonald (00:29):
Yes, it’s so exciting. So I really just wanna start with who you are, where are you and who are your VIPs, which for those who do not know is your very important people, the people you do it all for.
Holly Haynes (00:40):
Yeah. I love that. So I’m Holly Haynes. I’m actually in Columbus, Ohio. I have twins who I would call my VIPs who are almost eight. I have a stepdaughter who’s 22, my husband and I have been married for 15 years. And I work full-time and run a full-time business, like very full-time business and a very full-time job. And I started my business in January of 2020 after a decent network marketing career and decided to pivot and then two months in COVID head, which is where actually, and I’m at in a mastermind and have just been like pivoting and managing all the things since.
Ash McDonald (01:23):
Yeah. So tell us a little bit more about that. Tell us who you serve and why I fundamentally believe that typically with women cuz we’re so passion driven, so empathetic, just this, this feminine nature that we carry that most of our, I haven’t heard anyone yet, but most of our businesses, the space of like deep passion going through something that now we want to bring someone else through or serve other I’d love to hear who do you serve and why?
Holly Haynes (01:45):
Yeah. So, you know, I’ll tell a story of how I got to who I serve. And that was, I was convinced that my role in life was to have this like big corporate career. I worked for some of the big five consulting firms for almost 15 years. I, and part of that, I got my master’s degree in business in international studies and I was like, yes, like these, this company’s paying for it. Like I’m doing the thing. And I remember like sitting in the class and Jenny from Jenny’s ice cream came to talk. I don’t know if you like Jenny’s ice cream, but she’s, if you don’t follow her, you should, she’s very inspiring. But, and she was talking about how she had this idea to start this business and it was different, right? Like if you’ve ever had her ice cream, it’s like these crazy flavors.
Holly Haynes (02:31):
And it’s like, you know, a pint is like $10 or something. Like it’s just a different model. And she was like, I, I wanna do things differently. And at the, be, this was, I don’t know, 12 years ago. So it was definitely like the beginning of her journey. And I remember leaving the class thinking like, well, I want to, like, I could do something like that. Like I’m creative. Like I have the skills, I have the knowledge, like why not do something different where I can make an impact? And if you follow her, you know, that she’s like very into helping small businesses and it’s more than just ice cream. So I, long story short, I was like ice cream inspired me and I was like, okay, well I’m gonna get through school. And then ended up having the twins. And I remember just sitting there thinking like something has to change, like something has to be different.
Holly Haynes (03:16):
So I didn’t really know like where that was going to come from. I ended up starting a women’s leadership group, like within my, the company that I worked for was sort of like sparked some energy around, oh, this is really fun. Like I can teach like what I’ve learned and like how I’m juggling now, newborn twins and working and people like really resonated with it. And, and then I sort of dove into network marketing by accident. Like I think most of us do and it kind of stuck. Like I ended up building a team and was making some money off of it. And I was like, oh, well this is interesting. Mm-Hmm <affirmative>. And people kept asking me like, well, how are you doing that? How are you? Like at this point, the twins were like two and I was doing a decent amount of work, both in my career and my business.
Holly Haynes (04:02):
And you know, I think everyone always has that like turning point. And for me it was sort of a mix of that, like sitting, listening to Jenny, talk about her inspiring ice creams and then thinking like, you know, five years later here I am with like a small business and kids. And I was like, complet burnt out. Like I was spending every waking minute working like, you know, you always hear like, well work in pockets of time. And so I was working at like midnight and 1:00 AM and getting up at four 30 and I was like, I can’t do this forever. Like it has to change. So in January of 20, I was like, you know what, I’m gonna give myself a year. I’m gonna, I created a challenge. I like a good checklist and a challenge and yeah, I’m gonna pivot and I’m gonna teach like what I was inspired by in grad school, like 10 years ago and say, you know what?
Holly Haynes (04:54):
Like I wanna teach women how to build a business without burnout in a way where they can build structures and system that work for them. And I have a 20 year consulting corporate strategy background. So I’ve been doing it for fortune 500 companies for years. So I was like, let’s just flip the model and make it work for small women businesses. And that’s what I did. So it’s kind of a mesh of like per personal experience burnout, and like, you know, really taking the time to figure out what you’re passionate about. Totally. And
Ash McDonald (05:28):
We will have Holly’s information in the show notes because you have to follow her. She, her and I talk a lot about the same things. Honestly, we have a lot of parallel belief systems, which is obviously a reason why I would have you come on here is because yeah, I don’t believe that at burnout is, is worth all of the, the things that we do to get there. Right? Like it happens, it happens to all of us all the time and there’s no preventing it per se, but it’s not something that we wanna like go as fast as we can running towards. Right. <laugh> it’s
Holly Haynes (05:58):
Not, yeah, you can’t sustain it. Like I, I remember sitting at my kitchen counter, like, Holly, you can’t do this for another five years. Like, you’re, there’s gonna be nothing left your kids. Aren’t gonna know you. And like, it’s not gonna matter if you have a successful business or not, because you’re not even enjoying like the small wins that are happening with it.
Ash McDonald (06:16):
Yeah. Oh, that’s so huge. So one of the big, big things we talk about on this show when specifically talking to guests is the concept of burnout. And so I’d love to hear just your experience, any insight that you have and, and really just help me to help normalize this topic and when it shows up and how it shows up and what it looks like for women based on your experience.
Holly Haynes (06:37):
Yeah. So one, anyone that tells you they’re never burnt out is a lie because I mean, I feel like you and I both specialize in not burning out and it still happens. <Laugh> so it’s definitely like a normal activity, I think. So I love that. You’re trying to normalize it for me. Like anxiety is a big thing. Like I never had anxiety before I, my business and kids and like I have trouble sleeping or I just wanna work more like for me, because I’m an engram three mm-hmm <affirmative> like working for me is how I deal with stress. And at some point like the work it does, it’s not gonna get you to the next level and it’s not gonna get rid of the stress. So those are like the warning signs for me. The other things I, I say are warning signs are the three SS is snacking S snacking snoozing and scrolling.
Holly Haynes (07:28):
Like, I will notice that my my time on social media increases because I’m like starting to compare and I’m like watching what other people are doing. And I’m just like scrolling, not intentionally, which everyone does once in a while, but it usually just increases more. I start to hit snooze cuz I feel really tired and overwhelmed. And I, I always say like, I feel like I’m walking through mud. Like I’m just like really exhausted scrolling and then snacking, like for me, like that’s like just, I, instead of doing, I should be doing, I’m like standing in front of the pantry <laugh> so when I see those things start to happen, I’m like, okay, we’ve gotta like dial this in a little bit. And I will say the, the biggest thing that I have learned in the last, even year in terms of dialing it in is like, I call it going off the grid, like, and it used to scare me so much to like, no, not be on social media.
Holly Haynes (08:20):
And I try really hard. And I know you do too to normalize, like I’m not gonna be on social this weekend and that’s okay. I’ll share some pictures, you know, on Sunday or Monday when I get back, if like what we did, but that typically will solve all problems for me in addition to sleep. Like if I can just get away from the social media noise and at a couple extra hours of sleep, I typically feel better. When I’m in like a really big burnout cycle, I try really hard to just prioritize. Like, what’s the most important thing that you can do right now. And I like to think of my business in terms of seasons. So like after a big launch, I tend to take a break. Like we just launched our new planners last week. So I’m actually going away for the weekend actually to Wisconsin in the middle of nowhere. So like my phone probably won’t work and that will be exactly that I need to like reset. I know that’s a really long answer, but that’s oh, I love that’s what I’ve
Ash McDonald (09:20):
Noticed. <Laugh> I love it. We totally speak the same, same language, everything that you were saying, I’m like, yes, yes, yes. I’m sure you may have seen just a couple weeks ago. I took a full week in Washington by I did overtreat. Like I just gotta getaway. Now I did have service. I did do some work stuff, but it primarily around restoration and the truth was I had so many people reach out that were like, how are you doing this? I can’t believe you’re doing this. Yeah. I didn’t wish I could do this. And I just wanted to take everybody and like shake ’em but you can and you deserve, I know it’s like it’s life giving and it’s necessary. I am obsessed with the three S I think that that is, it’s so easy. And every time that you, everyone that you explain, I’m like Uhhuh. Yeah, that’s totally me. I can, I can picture
Holly Haynes (10:02):
And you can probably pick one, right? Like for me, it’s standing in the pantry, like eating a bag of popcorn and I’m like, oh, you know, it’s happening again. Like I have to do something different, but it’s
Ash McDonald (10:11):
All of it, right? Because when we are scrolling on our phone and we’re not doing anything but aimless scrolling, it’s our way of avoiding whatever emotions are coming up for us. Right. It’s our way of stepping aside. And I do love, love, love, love stepping aside from social media on the weekends to clear my brain, because the truth is we can’t deny social media has been such a, a catalyst for so many of our businesses as small business owners and as women. And it’s powerful, but if we don’t hold boundaries around it, it can also steal so much from our lives. And I will say just like a tiny tip. I do my weekend recaps on Mondays. I have the highest view rate me too ever on those days. Yeah, me too. Right.
Holly Haynes (10:53):
So there, so it actually will work for you. Yeah. So my most, my readers or listeners work full time. Right. So like Sunday nights are like their thing. So I tend to go off the grid like early Friday afternoon, cuz I know that most people who are working are also doing the same, like no one wants to be scrolling then. And then I’ll come back like Sunday evening. And it’s like by far the highest views that I get. So it it’s a good strategy if you’re trying to like grow. And I think it’s, it’s setting the example. And I think that’s one of the things that we both do is like, you don’t have to be on social media all the time. Like you don’t have to share every single thing. And it’s healthy to take a break. Like it’s okay.
Ash McDonald (11:34):
Yeah, absolutely. So one thing that you mentioned was anxiety and I, again, I think this is one of those topics that really brings about a ton of shame for women, whether it’s shame in like the sense that they feel it or shame in like, not knowing if it is that or just the whole mental wellness area in general tends to carry a lot of shame. So if you’re open to it, I’d love to hear a little more of how anxiety shows up for you and yeah. What that, what that is just, I think normal idea for me is talking about stuff. Right.
Holly Haynes (12:05):
Well, I think like a, you know, even a couple years ago, I wasn’t even sure like what anxiety was like, people would say like, oh, I’m experiencing anxiety. And I’m a like, well, I feel like I’m stressed all day long. So I don’t know what, like this means. Yeah. But what I have found is for me, like my chest feels super heavy. Like it’s almost like it’s hard to breathe. And it doesn’t go away. Right. So like a lot of times it’s like when I first wake up in the morning or like in the evenings and it’s, so for me, that’s like a sign of like, okay, like what, like what is bothering you? And like how typically anxiety for me is like worrying about something that is about to happen or something that has happened in the past and trying to get past it. So for me, the way that I have dealt with it is, well, my husband jokes that I have a team, right. I’ve got like a mastermind, a coach, a therapist a nutritionist, like it’s crazy. Like, it sounds ridiculous on paper, but it actually really helps to have that like community to just talk through things. And I’m the type of person that I keep all of my emotions inside. Like it’s, I would just, I’ll just work through it. Like that’s how I normally respond three
Ash McDonald (13:14):
I’m with you there <laugh>.
Holly Haynes (13:16):
Yeah. So like having somebody that I know is gonna ask me, like, well, what’s really happening has been really helpful. And then journaling again. I would rather get up and just work because I have a super crazy schedule. It’s easier for me to just get up and work. But I make myself take that at like intentional time to just like brainstorm, write things out. I’m not like a huge writer, so I don’t have like pages of things, but just like trying to get out, like what’s in my head or asking myself questions, like, what’s really going on. Like, what are you re like, what is really bothering you? And like, how do you move past it? I love
Ash McDonald (13:55):
That. I think you’re right. Like having community and people around you is priceless. I was telling my trainer the other day and yes, I said trainer, I was telling him <laugh>. I was like, I don’t feel like I’m very bougie. And then I literally was like, I gotta go at my massage starts. And he goes, I thought you weren’t bougie. And I’m like, right. I’m bougie in the wellness way. <Laugh> right. I’ve got my team of wellness experts. My nutrition is all the things you said. I’m like, yes, I have that. Yes, I have that. But I think that that is so valuable, right. Because what we’re saying here is that it’s not simply about strategy in your business for success. It’s about strategy in your life and how are you taking care of yourself and how are you aware of the things that you’re facing? And yeah, I think if you don’t have those people right now, journaling is an incredible methodology for, with this. My favorite practice is to literally put a timer on music, candle, all the vibes, but then to journal, like pen to paper for eight, at least five minutes long. Yeah.
Holly Haynes (14:45):
I do a five minute time or two. Cause I like all my brain can handle, but I’m doing
Ash McDonald (14:49):
It. Yeah. Cause at that two and a half minute, mark, you’ve kind of lost that, that edge inside. That’s telling you, this is stupid. You don’t know what to say. You, there’s nothing wrong with you. All these things are you should be working. Right. All of a sudden your, your subconscious will take over and it will start to show you what is going on and like what you need to focus on and where you need support. So I love that. I love that. So I am super excited cuz one of the reasons why I had you on today was to talk about something that you talk about often with your clients, which is the three themed days to run a full-time business on a part-time schedule. And I’m just so excited to hear this. I know my audience is gonna just eat this up.
Holly Haynes (15:25):
Yeah. So I’ll start with, again, I work full-time and my business is also very full-time and, and so I have to be very strategic with what I’m doing and when, and at the beginning, my goal was to have, I would say an eight to 10 hour work week for my business. And when you think about that, you’re like, oh, that’s not a lot of time, but when you multiply that times 52 weeks a year, like that’s a lot of hours mm-hmm <affirmative> so if you’re super consistent with it, it really does work. So the way that I sort of set up my theme days is Monday through Friday, I set aside one hour. Now you can totally do more than this or less, totally up to you. Just an example. And then on Saturday mornings, again, mm-hmm <affirmative> because I do work full-time on before my kids are up, I will have a two hour session, which is like my CRE creative session where I am like not answering emails, but like thinking about strategy or mapping out my next launch or whatever those big things are.
Holly Haynes (16:22):
And then on Sundays I have one hour where I’m planning the week. So that’s how I like map out my work time. But then within that I layer in themes. So I know when I wake up like on Monday morning, what I’m focused on. So a lot of people talk about having a CEO day during their week, which I do. Mine is on Monday and for me, Sundays are really stressful because you know, you’re planning all the things to go into the week. Your kids probably are busy. You’ve got like a home hundred forms to fill out your packing lunches. You’re like trying to meal prep. It’s like everything falls on Sunday. And I was like, I can’t have this happen, like going into the week. Like I am like a, like a ball of stress on Sundays. So what I did was is figured out a way where typically on my CEO days, I don’t have a lot of meetings or I won’t have any.
Holly Haynes (17:12):
So if I can control role in my day job, I will even take it that far for my business. I try not to have any meetings. I will do a lot of like my content writing and basically set myself up for the week. So Tuesday through Friday are just execution days. So like if I have to get something to someone or create something like that is happening on Monday, I can plan for it on Sunday night, but I’m not actually creating it. So like taking that creation out of the weekend made a huge difference because then I wasn’t like stressed of all the things that I had to get done on the weekend in addition to life and everything else. And I knew that coming into Monday was my CEO day. So eight hour work week, one day is CEO day. If I had to pick three, I would say the next one is a client focused day.
Holly Haynes (18:02):
So this is where I am digging into my current customers or out how to better serve ideal customers. So it kind of depends on where you’re at with your business. But if I have like one on one calls or mastermind calls or whatever, I try to do them all on one day so that I know I can focus on that for that day. And I’m not switching between like, oh, I’m gonna do a podcast interview or I need to write content or whatever. And then the last theme day that I would choose and you can create whatever themes you want is I call it community day. So community day is where I am being an active member of my community. So I’m going in and maybe engaging in Instagram or I’m going into different Facebook groups that I like, or maybe I’m speaking on different podcast or pitching different podcasts.
Holly Haynes (18:52):
But it’s a way where I am sort of giving back to the community, right. Because if you think about how you’re growing and scaling your business, like you want it to be this like network and a circle. But it takes some, some brain power, right? So I know like, okay, Monday, I’m just gonna prepare and get all the things together. Client days. I know like where my focus is. And then community day is another example of a day that you can create. It doesn’t mean I’m doing it all day. It just means for my business hours, like that’s what I’m focused on. You can also create different days if those don’t work for you, like you could have a press day or you could even have, like, I have a couple clients who their business is just getting started and they’re like, I really just need to get my life in order. And I was like, okay, well have a CEO day. But your CEO day might look a little different than mine. Like maybe you are cleaning out your closet or going to the grocery store or whatever that is. It’s just strategically themed. So when you wake up in the morning, like, you know, like, okay, this is the one focus for my day when I have time to do it. That makes sense. Oh
Ash McDonald (19:58):
My gosh, it makes so much sense. And it’s so good. Cause our brains, you know, they take an average of seven to eight minutes to catch up when we change from one topic, one idea, one thing that we’re working on to the next, right? So if you are writing an email and then you look over on your phone, you are now seven to eight minutes delayed before you can really get back into focus. Garris. This is a big reason why we have to have like conscious effort into staying in one area. So these themed days are genius, especially when you’re trying to fit it in. So this is for women who are building businesses that maybe you’re a mom, full-time at home. <Laugh> yeah. Trying to manage, like where do I fit in my business? And it’s a, that nap time hustle, as you say, right. But it is two hours that you’re utilizing with a theme. I love it. Instead of sitting down thinking, what do I even do? What should I focus on? What would my intention be right now?
Holly Haynes (20:44):
Yeah. And I have some clients, you know, that maybe work from home or maybe don’t have a full time job. And they have their, their kids all day. And then they have one day a week where maybe like their grandma watches the kids for a couple hours. So I’m like, okay, on that day, what’s your theme for that day? Like maybe Wednesdays when grandma has the kids is business day, but Tuesday is like organize the house day and Monday. Maybe your CEO day is like doing an activity with the kids. Like you could totally flip it to whatever works for like you and your family. But when you consistently repeat it, it’ll, it’ll start helping you. Right? So like if somebody asks you to do something, you can be like, well, I can’t do that on Thursday because my mom has the kids, but can we do it way and stay instead? And that way you’re protecting your boundaries of what you’re doing. And the goals that you set to get done.
Ash McDonald (21:33):
Absolutely. I mean, I have chore days, so <laugh>, this is perfect. I have days that we do, we do kids laundry every Tuesday and every Friday, like yeah. Those days. So we know that’s first thing in the morning is we’re getting all these dang kids clothes in the washer, actually that just went into my laundry room and the dryer’s just full of clothes. And I, I laughed at myself cuz I just shut it. And I turned the light off and I went out and said, not today <laugh> I just, I can’t. Right. Some days you gotta say, but
Holly Haynes (21:57):
It helps you make decisions. Right? It
Ash McDonald (21:59):
Does. It does. It helps to simplify things. Ah, this is so good. Holly. I think that there is so much more that you have to give and that these amazing women who are listening need, I’d love to hear where are you? Where can they find you? Where can they binge you? I know you’ve got a podcast of your own. So talk
Holly Haynes (22:14):
About, yeah. So the easiest place is just to go to Holly, Marie haynes.com. You can download the podcast, which is called crush, the rush, which talks all about how to like get out of the daily rush and actually like focus on the things that matter. I also have a productivity quiz. If you’re into that, you can take the quiz and it’ll give you like curated results based on your personality. And we mix in some business strategy there, which is super fun. So the website is the easiest place, but I also hang out on Instagram quite a bit. And it’s Holly underscore Marie underscore hangs.
Ash McDonald (22:45):
Yes. And there’s so much good stuff there. Plus you have products I’m just gonna make you. I do.
Holly Haynes (22:50):
Ash McDonald (22:51):
<Laugh> cause I have,
Holly Haynes (22:52):
I’m so bad at this part. Yeah. So we came out with our quarterly planner. Oh good. Gosh, it’s almost a year old, but every quarter we have a new theme. And we just came out with a new theme a couple weeks ago. So yeah, they’re really fun. And they’re actually in home goods, if you, in Canada, the planners are in home goods in Canada in a very limited quantity. So you can go swipe one up or go to the website and they’re there too.
Ash McDonald (23:19):
That is so amazing. Congratulations. That is huge. So thank you because I’m like I covet celebration. How did you celebrate the fact that you have a product in home? Good.
Holly Haynes (23:31):
I, you know, I’ve done a really bad job of celebrating that cuz it kind of just happened. But we’re going on like a little mini family vacation this weekend. So it’s kind of a mix of like I tried to plan the planner launch and some of business goals that I had in the fall around fall in Ohio, which if you live in Ohio, basically after November, it’s like gray and dark. So we’re taking a, a family break and going to enjoy the season a little bit. So maybe that’s a celebration. I should do something more for real. It is.
Ash McDonald (24:07):
It’s a huge feel. I’m so, so happy for you. Well we have one final question. The question I ask every guest who comes on and that is what does it mean to you to be shamelessly ambitious?
Holly Haynes (24:18):
Yeah. I love this question. And one of my favorite quotes as of late is consistency. Trump’s te every time. And so for me, like, I mean running a business is hard. Being a mom is hard. Like it’s just, there’s a lot of hard things that are happening in the world right now. And I think the best thing you can do is set an example of how to be consistent in a way that’s gonna last you like long term. <Affirmative> so, you know, for me, that’s I get up super early every day. I’m really consistent with it, but I also go to bed really early. So it’s just like the little things that, you know, you’re trying to accomplish, but just remember like those small baby steps are gonna pay off if you’re consistent.
Ash McDonald (25:01):
Ah, I love it. So good. Well Holly, thank you so much for your time, your energy, just being here to all the amazing things that you put onto the world and your vulnerability, honestly, because it’s not always easy to talk about things like anxiety and burnout and face. So I think you have just made a massive impact just even on this podcast, but I know you do so much more outside of it. So thank you for your time. Especially being a mom of twins, running your own, working for a company, I mean you are killing it and I know everybody is so grateful. You were here.
Holly Haynes (25:29):
Thank you so much. This.
Hi, I’m Ash! Therapist turned Holistic Business Coach who merges psychology, biology, energetics, + intuitive strategy in order to help you unlock the spaciousness in your business to live life on your terms.
I believe that every woman I work with is layered & individually unique and therefore requires a personalized & multidimensional approach of coaching. I am here to help you break the mold and tap into your intuitive brilliance so you can have it all without doing it all.
You need someone who will get in your business with you, cheer you on, and ultimately remind you that the best way to do business is by doing what works best for YOU.
Simply put, I’m your girl!