Taking the leap to become a full-time entrepreneur or freelancer can be scary, so it helps to know that you’re not alone. Kate Gremillion and Tallia Deljou wanted to foster a community to do just that. So the two friends founded Mavenly + Co., a career-coaching business geared towards millennial women, which offers one-on-one mentoring sessions, “mastermind” groups, organize conferences, and a popular podcast for independent professionals on the go. Their mission? Giving women the tools, courses, and coaching they need to work for themselves. Talk about #MotivationMonday!
We caught up with Kate to ask for some pro tips on how to reach professional goals, increase productivity, and find (and stay) on the right career path for *you.*
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Hi ladies! Kate and Tallia here. 👋🏻 We know some of you are new here, and we wanted to introduce ourselves and tell you about Mavenly + Co.! • First things first – we exist to give women the tools + resources they need to work on their own terms. Through coaching services, online courses, masterminds, and events, we work with ambitious and talented women who are ready for the next level in their careers. • We’re thrilled you’re here, and we hope you take a moment to message us, say hello, and tell us how we can help you work on your own terms. ✨
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So what does your typical day look like, Kate?
I’m an early riser. I love starting my day before most people are awake because I feel like I can get more done before the emails start rolling in, which helps with overall productivity. I’m usually up by 5 am and at the computer with coffee by 6–6:30 am. My first task is always reviewing my to-do list and deciding what is urgent, what is important, and what can wait or be handed to someone else. I start working on those tasks and, once I start seeing emails roll in, I will switch over to checking email.
I try to get away from my desk for lunch, and then I’m back to the computer or off to meetings. Because I start early, I try to have everything completed for the day by 4 pm. My co-founder, Tallia, usually takes over from there since she likes to start later, so she will work with clients on the West Coast in a later time zone or attend events that happen after hours. One of the many benefits of working as a team! In the evening, I try to stay off my phone and the computer and see friends, watch Netflix, or simply relax. Then I do it all again the next day.
Do you have any daily or weekly routines that have increased your productivity level?
Absolutely! We wouldn’t be able to operate without them. We follow a batching schedule when it comes to our work, which means we assign certain tasks for certain days, and we stick to that schedule. For example, we complete administrative tasks on Monday, we work with clients on Tuesday and Thursday, we create content on Wednesday, and we schedule meetings for Friday. You have to own your schedule or your schedule will own you. Set these expectations and communicate them to your friends, family, and colleagues, and you’ll be surprised how well people adapt.
We also work with a virtual assistant to help us with the day-to-day tasks of running a business like accounting, scheduling, and email organizing. We are big believers in hiring for your weaknesses, and working with a virtual assistant is the best money we’ve ever spent. Outsourcing tasks you either can’t or don’t want to do will drastically increase your productivity.
How do you keep track of your goals—and stay on track to achieve them?
Great question! When we have a big goal like to launch a new program or plan a conference, we have to break it down into smaller tasks immediately and delegate those smaller tasks to the right people. We use project management software like Monday.com and Trello to know who is in charge of each task and we check it every day. We also connect as a team once a week to check on progress – it’s a great way to keep everyone accountable because you know the rest of the team will expect you to have updates. It’s important to break your goals down into manageable tasks and not get overwhelmed by the size of the task.
You love to help women with their job search and career advancement. What advice do you give to someone who is unhappy at work?
I find that when we are unhappy at work, we tend to spend more time dwelling on how we are unhappy than we do actually trying to improve the situation. Most professionals are one small tweak or change away from drastically increasing their happiness.
The most important thing to do is to get really clear on exactly why you are not happy. Write it down, and ask yourself if that is the real reason you are unhappy. If it is, write down five possible solutions for that problem. Once you write it down – here comes the tough part – you actually have to do it. It could be as simple as a conversation with your boss or setting expectations with your manager. Heck, it could be turning your desk to face a window! The solution is almost always easier than we think.
It can be terrifying to leave your corporate job to start a company or freelance full-time. How did you work up the courage to start your own company?
For me, it was the insatiable desire to help the women around me do what I knew they were capable of professionally. Every day, I witnessed too many women playing small or simply existing in their careers rather than making their work for them and taking it to the next level. I was determined to solve this problem, and that determination stayed with me. It was by no means easy. I was nervous, but I took it one step at a time. I saved a nest egg. I made sacrifices in my personal life. I spent more money on business books than Starbucks. I hired a business coach. And I made it happen. It was all worth it.
How do you stay motivated with such a long to-do list?
Get hyper clear on the problem you are trying to solve. The passion and excitement will fade from time to time, and you have to remind yourself of the greater “why” behind your work and the problem you are trying to solve.
It’s also incredibly important to surround yourself with individuals who are crushing it and thriving in their business. Motivation is contagious, and if you are around successful individuals long enough, it will rub off.
What insight do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?
There is never a perfect time to quit your job or start a business, so start before you are ready. Break your big goals down into small steps and take one small step every day. Don’t rush, but don’t delay – it’s worth it.
Get more motivational tips on Mavenly’s Instagram—and let us know how you stay motivated in the comments below!