Bringing another amazing human, mother and entrepreneur to you all for today’s episode! Heather Greco is the founder of Chaos N Cookies, where she helps business owners increase their efficiency and social media impact through her organizational and automation skills, Her main goal is to make sure you are working smarter, not harder!
Heather talks about starting her career in sales and marketing at an IT firm and how she found her way into health and wellness, which was right up her alley as she was a lifelong athlete! She then tells me about how she realized she wanted to help women get more organized and allow them to handle the juggle of life, health and relationships better. All of this lead her to the Chaos Manual — everything you need to know for your house and how to help you understand how your home works!
We then start to dive into how Heather realized her strengths and how she could use them to support others. She also talks to me about during COVID, when other coaches started reaching out to her about growing their online business as she was so successful and that allowed her to morph her focus into both home and business. Now she focuses on women who may find themselves on their own or need that extra time/organization for themselves. She finishes by telling me the HOW behind some of her great successes- building her email list and growing her Instagram boot camp course!
Heather is truly a wealth of knowledge and I am so excited for you to hear some truth and encouragement to many different aspects of your life! We also take a great detour and chat about enneagrams and how impactful they are with the people in your life — both professionally and personally. Heather was such a fun guest to have and I am so appreciative of how honest she was about her own personal struggles as well! Make sure to head to her site to learn more and check out her Instagram for endless pieces of knowledge and her bootcamp!
Bringing another amazing human, mother and entrepreneur to you all for today’s episode! Heather Greco is the founder of Chaos N Cookies, where she helps business owners increase their efficiency and social media impact through her organizational and automation skills, Her main goal is to make sure you are working smarter, not harder!
Full Transcript:Dana: Are you dying at the thought of missing a single one of your baby’s first would have no idea how you’d give up the security that your nine to five job brings. My name is Dana Graham and I had no clue how to escape that vicious 40 hour work week cycle either until I did, as the wife of a traveling husband and mom of two tiny humans, I made the terrifying and totally bizarre leap from health insurance broker to successful newborn and family photographer, all with the amazing craziness of a two year old and the newborn in tow. But I’m not the only one. I’m so glad you’re joining me as I chat with other moms who took the leap into entrepreneurship and created the ultimate best of both worlds life doing it all amidst the chaos. Welcome back everybody to another episode of limits the chaos, I am here today with Heather Greco and we have just an amazing inspirational story to tell you guys and I was just telling Heather I, well first off, welcome Heather, thank you for being here.
Heather: Thank you for having me. I’m very excited to be here. It’s gonna be awesome.
Dana: So I was actually just telling how they’re like, I intentionally don’t follow gas unless I am friends with him beforehand on social media or like I know obviously what she does and like a brief overview of her life but I intentionally don’t know every single detail because I found that the interviews are not as good because I assume that everybody else knows every intimate detail of your life like I did, if I was you know, basically cyber stalking who to interview yo so it’s gonna be great today because Heather has just a wealth of information to tell us and all kinds of, you know, because her entrepreneurial story is amazing so Heather give us a quick overview of what you actually do and about your business a little bit.
Heather: Sure, so my business is called chaos and cookies I have three kids that are seven six and four, and, you know, no matter what, like it’s always chaotic there’s moving parts and always moving and jiving and then cookies, not because I have a bakery, it’s because no matter how many kids you have and how much you clean there’s always crumbs everywhere all the time, no matter what, and I am an efficiency expert and social media expert so I coach, business owners, majority women how to use Instagram predominantly how to grow their business and also I do organizational skills and I help them with automation and making things smarter not harder, so you can balance, running a business, if you’re starting one and needing to get something going quickly, while also managing the home life.
Dana: There are so many elements of this that I just want to say why it’s so cool that you’re doing this interview with me today. First off, chaos and cookies, amidst the chaos like we both recognize that there is a large element of chaos when you’re dealing with tiny humans and running a business. Second thing, your business is not only like the fact that you’ve started a business and that’s the whole point of this podcast is to show people what’s out there in terms of entrepreneurial options. But what’s even cooler about that is that you are able to help somebody that’s already listening to this podcast it’s already an entrepreneur to scale and grow their business in a way on social media so it’s like a multi faceted offering of you going on here so I love that. But how did this even begin walk me through like where you were before you had kids what your life look like workwise, and then, you know as your family grew and how chaos and cookies evolved and came to be.
Heather: Sure. So, I am from Texas I live in Austin right now from Houston, or really Spring, Texas for those of you who are familiar, and I went out to University of Tampa, when I was 18 to go to school and I played soccer for a very short time and then got injured, and I’ve had some back surgery since then. And from there, my degree was an exercise science and Sports Studies. And so being an athlete just in sales and marketing it just makes sense because you’re very competitive in nature. And so after I graduated I started an IT firm, then transferred into legal services so I was in sales and marketing for 10 plus years I ran the state of Florida. And then I moved back to Texas to open up their Austin market. And so, in that again I’m I’m at my husband started having children. And so after having three kids, the business that I was working for got acquired and so I was able to exit and start my non compete, two year stint, and I’ve always worked and always been independent when it comes to finances and for the first time I wasn’t working. And I wanted to be at home plus I had three kids, three and under, and also I had some major back pain because I had that just that first surgery, so I wanted to manage that. So, from there I discovered health and wellness, there was an online virtual program and it kind of took me right back into my degree, and it was really great to help other women that maybe needed to kind of get back into things maybe they had kids and they’re having a hard time getting off the couch getting motivated, and from there I saw that since I was working for someone else, and they were doing so well. I was just thinking oh, the last time I worked. They were acquired, and I either had to make the decision to go with that company or not and I don’t have control over that firm, and they’re doing great. But if they decide to sell tomorrow, and all my eggs in this basket. What am I going to do. And so, from there, chaos and cookies was born because I really wanted to help women on the home front, to get more organized to juggle all the things and that would be either inserting the health and wellness piece or maybe it’s the business side of things. And at the time, I was going through some things with my marriage, and with the finances, that wasn’t my forte and there were things that he did that I didn’t really understand, and I really wanted to make sure that I could collect all of the information because I like to be self sufficient. He always traveled he was gone like every week of the month for the most part, so I was like the boss I ran that house like a business, you know I was changing the air filters I was dealing with any type of lawn maintenance or if there was a pipe burst so I was very good at knowing how my home worked and I thought it was very important for other women to understand how their homeworks and not just be like I need to ask my husband, or I need to wait for him to get home, or call someone, because if you’re in a bind you might be able to make a temporary fix to where maybe we can save some money or it’s like no, I gotta fix that now, and not get duped by by contractors that take advantage of moms sometimes that aren’t there, you know, sometimes they’d like to wait man it’s, it’s the reality of being a female I’m sorry but it’s funny when you, you know, there’s a story where there’s a plumber that tried to tell me that it was a $500 part and it was only at one store in Austin, and I’m like, oh, what’s the part number and I like looked it up I’m like this part 60 bucks on Amazon, great, I grabbed it was like. It looked at me like I had six heads I’m like you can’t get one over on me, so just being knowledgeable that you can do those types of things was important for me to also implement for women to be more self sufficient. And from there, my Chaos Control System was born, and so I wanted to provide a system where it’s like a manual for your home. It literally has every detail you could possibly think of from Kid pickup to behavior issues to what to expect if someone were to come in and help you, because maybe you need to leave a marriage, and you have to go back to work or maybe have to bring in some help because you’re juggling all the things, because there’s just more to do and so being able to have something more self sufficient, where, oh, it’s on page four, open it up. You can find out about it you know staples for groceries it how’s the health and wellness piece. So, I wanted to make like a manual or an SRP a standard operating procedure for your home because every business has that as well because you run your business like a home and take away, make yourself more suspicion and, you know, peace of mind for you too if you want to go have like a drink with a friend or go on vacation. How many times do you make lists, and then how many times you lose those lists and have to make them all over again.
Dana: Absolutely. I love that it’s like having in like this, knowledgeable, like, built in best friend, that’s just on a piece of paper always available like it’s right there in your guide that’s so so genius. So how did you really bring that into the world and reach a large enough audience that it made a difference what were like, kind of the first steps you took into building your brand and getting your message out there.
Heather: So I really wanted to make it feel like a home like my website I want it to feel warm and like you’re stepping into my house and really understand that I’m relatable I mean we all have our issues, and we all go through things that are extremely difficult that we don’t maybe share. And for me, a lot of has happened from the time I was 18 Till now and I’m 36 right now I’ve had two spinal surgeries I’ve had two staph infections. I’ve had three kids, like I’m going through our doors, lots of things. So, you know, I think that when you bring your knowledge and your experience to something, it’s really important to present it in a way where it can be helpful for others and not barking at them, or putting it on somebody, and I feel like it’s super important to get the message out that you can be self sufficient and that you can do things on your own, it might be, it’s extremely difficult, but there’s always a will in a way and there’s a way to prioritize your things and teaching others how to do that because it comes very naturally to me to multitask, I could do a million things consistently my followers and my clients are like I don’t understand how you do it you must have more hours in the day, like no it’s just natural, but it doesn’t come natural to others, to try to break it down and teach them different ways that will fit you know for them was important.
Dana: And so how did you realize that, like, because I think there’s so many people out there that have these like, like you said, it doesn’t come easy for some people but I feel like there’s so many women out there that have these skills that they take for granted. Right, right, they don’t know they don’t realize that other people don’t have that skill set, they don’t realize that other people are not as good as the critical thinking piece that you are or like the motivation and determination to keep going, going, going all day. How did you realize that you were different and that was a skill that you could then turn around and help other women, and also monetize as a business.
Heather: I think it was when I first started on social media because I was I was off of it for a while. And when I got back into it for health and wellness you know it was, it was probably year before COVID happened, and I was having to, you know, that’s how you market at this time of day, and it just had noticed that most of the ladies that I was helping on the health and wellness side were like I don’t have the time or making excuses, and it’s like you always have time, it’s just about carving it out and being creative with time management skills or setting timers for yourself. And when I heard that that wasn’t coming naturally to a lot of them. It was just like, oh that comes very natural to me, and learning that not everyone works in the same way, things that are difficult for me are really easy for others, like I am not an financial person like numbers and things like that, that doesn’t compute for me I have a paper pen type of gal like I have to write it down, I can see it, feel it, touch it. And I like to hands on do, but then there’s others that can just hear what you have to do and then go do it so it’s just your learning style, your Enneagram if you know what an Enneagram is, what are your three our three wing two I think is what it’s called. Yeah, projector. So, in my human design.
Dana: I’m a six, seven, so I’m a very strong and very loyal, like to a fault, it’s definitely a fault,
Heather: right, and I think loyalty is key, but yes there is some things that will loyalty will get you.
Dana: This is the podcast for a different day for another day.
Heather: I think it’s super important to know your Enneagram and your human design I never heard about it till I got into this business accelerator and I was like what is that and I was like, Oh, this is fantastic because it really taught me. Good things and bad things it’s scary when you read about your Enneagram because you’re like that’s really uncomfortable to read but it’s so true. Like that’s how I process it. But that’s also helped me like projected.
Dana: Yes, and it’s great to know the people that you work with every day, like what your spouse is what your best friends are, what your what you think, like, people are starting to like type kids now and it helps so much with just being able to understand the perspective that other people are coming from, like if you know their Enneagram number, and like what makes them tick and what makes them absolutely like lose it is so it can be so helpful in relationships and I think sometimes it gets a bad rap for being like hippie dippie whatever but like, I think it’s much more than that, I think it’s such an incredible tool especially for entrepreneurs too, right, like in the sales industry too and you’re trying to market to different types of people like you know like, what the majority of your target market whether any of our members like to could kill it and the you know advertising process for sure so sure because if you’re selling to someone that’s more analytical and they need numbers and hard facts and that’s what you present and if it’s someone that’s more relationship based. Like for me, I’m a projector I get my fulfilment by helping others succeed. And I also look for invites I look for the invitation to come and welcome or do what, whatever I don’t take the initiative that’s just how I am I sit back and I read it, I mean, with most things, I mean, there’s sometimes there’s like, Hey, I’m gonna do this, but most people, people pleasers and things so you have to know who you’re dealing with and it’s super key, especially like health and wellness and trying to get healthy or if you’re dealing with any type of person in business or in relationships that I think it’s very helpful. So, just a side note, I guess, go find I know
Dana: that was a great tangent I was very into it if you couldn’t tell. Okay, so at this point in the business you have your guide like your SRP happening that you’re getting out into the public, so what what did you do from there to continue to grow your brand and what was happening in your home, like Kid wise how old were your kids like were you planning to go back to work. I just asked you 15 questions.
Heather: No, you’re fine. I got them offline. No, I got them so at this time, when I started my business it was 2020 It was right before COVID Just shut everything down, and my kids were, let’s see if it was 2020 my oldest was OSI math. He was born in 2013 So he was seven, no. Oh, just kidding 2013 Yeah 2020 He was going to be seven so he was six. This way, and so they were six, and then almost three, almost four and almost two, I think is where they were at the very young. It was like he was in kindergarten, he didn’t get to finish his kindergarten year, all of a sudden everyone stuck at home but there wasn’t really virtual learning because no one knew what the heck to do at the end we never went back after spring break, I had two preschoolers where it was like who knows what to do with them. And from there it morphed into when I was doing my social media, and promoting things and showing different tricks of the trade of how to balance it now at home with three kids, and then all of a sudden, my husband was home all the time. Like, he was always on the road, and all of a sudden we’re all under the same roof, which we never spent that much time together ever in our relationship. So, just a lot of juggling. It was like a very delicate balance we moved, the same year, to a different part of town because I close my family. Yeah, what a great idea, this is what we do, right, this is just a big stuff on the same time. And so, read it is it’s just the way it goes like, oh, you know, there’s like the five main things of life, it’s like, I’m gonna do for the five, but let’s just, you know, marriage is like wedding death, moving. I think it’s like new job and have a kid or something. Yeah, it’s like, let’s just do it all. So when I was promoting my business and like starting to move and show different things to do. My followers were watching what I was doing on social, how I was posting so often how I was doing things so quick he’s, like, how do you have the time to post like six times a day and how did you create those videos and I was like, Oh, well, apps are your best friend and this like video editing tool I use it’s on the fly and I also do a lot of, you know, I practice a lot and I mess with things to really understand it, so it morphed into these, the health and wellness, Client, not even clients there were other coaches that did what I did, they were trying to promote their business on social and they were moms as well. And it morphed into Can you teach me how to do that, because I don’t have the time. Now I’m home I’ve got all this other stuff happening but I still need to promote my business and social media is now the only outlet, there’s like gyms or clothes. No, you can’t go, as most of them are fitness professionals, anyway. And so, that morphed into me teaching them how to do Instagram and do little tricks and fun things but quickly, so they could not be on it all day, or give up and miss out on their opportunity to do their business that they just started, and then pandemic kit, so it ended up morphing into that so my Chaos Control System has a business piece to it, but it ended up becoming Devitt dividing itself into home and business. So that’s where I was at that point and now where I’m at, is I’m morphing it back together where, say you have to get out of a bad marriage or a bad relationship or maybe a spouse passes away or has a heart attack and all of a sudden you’re in charge, then you need to be able to take that on, while also running your business. And so, what do I need to do or maybe you didn’t work and now you need to have a source of income for some rhyme or reason. And you need to get it up fast, so we’re going to get you up on social we’re going to automate your systems, boom, boom, boom, and we got to get your schedule up and running, and make sure that if you bring in help, or if you’re trying to juggle, or someone has to come in that wasn’t really familiar they can open up the book and be like here, like the set this section this is where martial arts. This is where all their bags are, this is what they need to do, because I have to go do this. So, is morphing into to the level of
Dana: efficiency happening here is crazy inspirational, like, I need you I need you to be my friend who right now. Okay, so this is something that I think so many people, you know, they start a business or they start, you know, a blog or they have an interest or whatever it is, and then people start asking them for their advice on something different, right, so that’s kind of what happened for you so you’re dealing with the home and you have all this going on, and then people like how are you doing this like how are you managing all of us at once, and obviously I’m sure you’re giving out tons of advice. Where did the line cross like where did it flip for you to be like hmm, I need to probably like monetize this because it’s a skill set that you have that nobody else does. So how did you come to that realization, and then actually monetize it like how did you make that flip because that’s a hard transition.
Heather: It is because especially if you’re just trying, like if you’re a projector you try to help as many people as you like. Yeah. And then you’re like oh my gosh like I’m not getting paid for it but I feel badly because it’s easy. So Christmas ish time of 2020. I was working for the faster way to fat loss which is the virtual health and wellness company that I have a coach for, and I was doing some sales and marketing for them and some lead gen and nurturing, and I had talked about at the conference we were in some sort of breakout room with a bunch of coaches and one of the sales, the VP of sales was like oh Heather I’m so glad you’re here. Like you could, you know, give us some tips on how to market online and this and that, and I had mentioned in the chat, of this room that I used to have this running list of people, when I was in legal sales I used to sell court reporting and record retrieval services to attorneys, and it’s very important building relationships, especially when you were doing, like, belly to belly in person sales I would take them out to lunch and happy hours and all these things. And it was, I had the ability to keep all the details up in my head, but at the very beginning I would write down the person’s name, I would write down what we talked about at lunch, or over our meeting and then something that I’m going to take away like something they mentioned like, Oh, it’s my son’s football game this weekend is the championship. I would put that down. So then what I would do is the next time I would see that person I would go back and be like alright, what did we talk about what was something I can ask them about that’s very personal, so Oh, his son had the football game it was a championship so when I went to lunch with him the next time I would say, Hey, what happened at the football game did they win, they’re gonna be they were like, they’re like summer. Yeah, they’re like whoa we haven’t seen each other in three months like how did you remember that and so I had mentioned I did this like lead tracking spreadsheet. And all of a sudden, I got these heavily, like all the comments was like Can I get a copy of that can I see what that looks like. The room ends that we go into like these bonus sessions and I get flooded with these other chats like hey I didn’t get the chance to give you my email to send it to me, blah blah blah and so I was like wait what spreadsheet Heather has a spreadsheet I want a copy and I was like, Oh, hold on, hold on. Whoa, I don’t have a copy of anything I was like sure whatever thinking like one or two people needed it, whatever. I was like, so I went to excel, I literally slapped, something very similar together in five minutes, and then just was like, Oh, I guess I’m gonna just put it up and say, Here, give me your email or put your email and like a lead magnet and you can go grab it. I grew my email list, whereby 100 People in three hours. Amazing, was something I slapped together in five minutes.
Dana: So was this conference was it a virtual thing was it were we in 2020 at this point.
Heather: Yeah, and so I was like, Oh, something is here and everyone then after that had started booking calls with me to ask me, sales, or lead gen or social media questions and I was like, oh I think I need to do something with this. So I created the Instagram bootcamp, using the lead generation and like the social analytics piece to be like let’s track your analytics let’s see what’s working, what’s not working, so then you can repurpose your stuff, smarter, not harder understand who you’re targeting, and also start keeping track of like your DMS, and your comments just like you would be having lunch with them. You need their information. So then when you reach back out to them, what did we talk about last time, what did I see them post like two weeks ago that I could be like hey I really loved your posts about XYZ, very personal touches you can put that into the spreadsheet, so it morphed into that. And that’s kind of how it was born.
Dana: Okay, did you hear that episode with Jacqueline Rogers from Green tap gifts, simply started to help her son experienced Christmas with angels and Santa has actually looked like him, she’s taken her idea to a new level for every person out there, green top gifts provide celebratory and holiday decor home apparel and stationery that brings diversity to any and all occasions. My personal favorite is the holiday and birthday wrapping paper with all the little faces you could possibly imagine on there, check it out at green top gifts, calm, and use the code chaos 21 at checkout. Happy Shopping
and it’s so true because and this speaks to everybody and I hate to like put like mom entrepreneurs in a box but I’m sorry, there’s a lot of crap that I have to remember every single day, like if I don’t have a spreadsheet like that as much as I do, absolutely remember so many details of my clients lives like, I don’t know that I could just give you like something that I could bring back up for every single one of them right off the top of my head I don’t know that I could, I a lot of them I can. What if I had a system like that and not, you know, not just for somebody who’s building a brand online, like that is so valuable for somebody who’s building a brand anywhere, like, really, if you’re in any sort of service based business that is so incredibly valuable i i love that. Okay so, when was this, that this was the end of 2020 Yeah, okay. Okay, and so how, what did you do from there you were like okay this is, this is perfect, like, are you going to keep, you know, creating additional tools for them. Did you turn it into coaching did you turn it into, you know group sessions or course, like, talk to me like where your mind was about what the next steps were for your business.
Heather: So the first thing I did was I did a, an Instagram bootcamp so I did a four week boot camp that I still run, I haven’t run one in a while I’m actually about to run one again because it’s been a little bit and there’s lots of changes that have been made. And so I would do anatomy of a post and content creation training for week one and then I do stories, like how to post a story or how to make them look pretty or do some fake. It’s the how to. I do a lot of tutorials because I feel like when you start a business, you hear all of these things like lead gen opt in freebie opt in and freebie are the same thing lead magnet, same thing, but depending on what nuances you’re hearing, you don’t know what those are. And if you’re new to the business world as a mom, and you’re trying to start this business and it’s all essential things that you have to do to get an email list going because that’s all that you really own, and your website you don’t own social media you don’t own any of that that’s rented real estate, they make water for the people in the back, if you are starting a business and you’re relying on social media only you are only hurting yourself.
Dana: Yes, correct.
Heather: It’s a great tool, it’s very powerful because now everybody does it need a PR company they can go out and go live and be somewhere YouTube all that, but if you and you don’t necessarily need to have a website, you could just have like a landing page which again if you don’t know what that is, someone needs to tell you, and break it down into more layman’s terms and I found that I was hearing all these things and I knew what they were, but they didn’t, and they didn’t even know how to do it so what set me apart from what everyone else was doing about just talking about what you need to do. I was doing, showing so I share my screen. I go like this is where the menu is this is where the settings this is where you go and I do very visual how tos I walk them through, like, oh, and at the time Rails was very early and new, no one knew how to use it so like doing a real tutorials like this is how you make the words move this is how you add music, how, what kind of music, what’s a hashtag, like I was noticed I was using Instagram when I started the health and wellness piece I wasn’t even on Instagram, I was on Facebook when it started got off combat on very easy to use, but Instagram was like for the generation that I was working with was about middle age too late. They’re typically kids that were older or they just left the nest and now they’re starting their business because they’re bored or they want to get back in, that’s typically the age but Instagrams for the youth as they say right and it’s like Trump and I took me a minute I asked my nanny at the time who was 21 Like how do I post on Instagram. That old but I was like I don’t know how to post. So, learning and teaching how to do that so I would run this boot camp. And then from there I moved into like a membership, a very inexpensive one where I could then do Canva tutorials like how to use Canva, what the buttons mean, you know how to make something super simple or look for a template and how to change the color. Very simple things that then they could play with and get used to, but then they’re not as intimidated and they don’t get analysis paralysis, as we call it, where there’s so much information it’s like they walk away, which doesn’t help you either, like, The whole point of view, starting a business and getting going, is you want to succeed. So let’s do it a little smarter, not harder, and let’s get you going, instead of you trying to figure it out for two, three weeks that’s all time that’s lost when you could just pay someone to teach you, and you learn it in an hour, you know,
Dana: absolutely, yeah, it’s all about efficiency and finding the right people to help you and I think this is like, especially for who I assume are your clients like there, there are things out there like this, there are like people who educate on how to use social media properly and like the how to have it there are people like it same as me, I’m not the only photographer in Northern Virginia, that’s, that’s just not how it is, but you are somebody that has figured out really how to make it work for them and I think that’s so crucial because you’re not just doing what everybody else has done, you’re saying okay let’s literally break this down and here’s the thing, so many people don’t ask the question because they’re embarrassed that they don’t know the answer. And you figuring out that people also many people had these questions and were too afraid to ask at the beginning like that capitalized so much on such an untapped market and I think that you can apply that in any sort of industry, like any sort of service based industry can absolutely do this exact same thing, and think more like your target audience and what you would be thinking if you were in their shoes and what you would be struggling with, if you were in their shoes, and I think that’s so cool. That’s so great.
Heather: I think the biggest thing too is when I started it was more for moms and home life and just like getting it together, which is very important if you’re in like the situation that I was in, but doing market research is huge and learning that when I was talking to business owners that were also moms, they were more willing to spend money on their business and coaching than on their selves and their homes because if they are in a situation where a they can’t go to their spouse and ask or they just don’t want to or they’ll say no, because it’s a home thing for coaching and how to get organized at home. It was less of a sell on my end, and it was like, I would be really spinning my wheels for a very small sale which I wasn’t doing it for the money it was more just to help, but you don’t want to be frustrated when you start that and then it becomes more of a hobby.
Dana: So you got to ignore that that’s totally fair like yeah I have to be paid for your services absolutely for sure.
Heather: And so with going this route, it’s, I’m still contributing my home life and things and people still ask me for that. So I think it’s more of, hey I have this system, maybe it’s going to be more of a book you can go grab it for cheap and I may or may not do like a I was planning on doing a group session where we would fill it out together because it’s 180 pages, who really want to have a system done like you’ve got to really have some time to really get it because what good of have is having a tool if you don’t use it, and it’s a really great tool we all think oh that’s great but then you get it you’re like, I don’t have the time to put that together, but it’s always smarter and I do need to put it on paper because if something happens to me, or something happens where I can’t because I had one client that I was helping her fill it out, she’s like, well my son’s allergic to nuts I say well okay, walk us through what it looks like when he has a reaction, or, you know where the epi pen is how to use it, she’s like oh I usually typically tell them how to use it before I go out and I go, say you’re dead on the floor or you hit your head, and he’s also having an allergic reaction because he right in the face while he’s having a seizure, I don’t know, like crazy. I know they do all the time, they don’t know what to do, they don’t know where to find it because you’re passed out on the floor with the only person in the house that has knowledge, let’s put it somewhere where someone can find it and I know that sounds super crazy but things happen
Dana: right tool for us crazy. It’s like definitely me like I’m a six I have a lot of anxiety like that is a big part of my life for sure, and, like, that is a tool that it sounds crazy, sure to people who don’t have those problems but for people who have that inner monologue of like what would happen if it like that is a tool that you need like that is something so valuable to them but I do, I do empathize with you and what you’re saying about people being willing to spend, and you didn’t say this exactly but the gist of it and the reality of it as a bit from a business owner perspective is that people are a lot more willing to spend money on something that is going to make them money, than to spend money on themselves.
Heather: And so right off. It’s a business people, if you’re listening, if you’re starting a business, you can write lots of things off as a business expense like training classes, all those things.
Dana: Yeah, yeah, but that’s the thing it is hard to convince somebody but to show them like how important it is to invest in yourself and even knowing that even me like literally saying that out loud on a podcast on an entrepreneur, podcast, saying that that it’s out loud, I still don’t do it half the time, like I still be like no I’m not gonna do that, I’m not gonna spend that money on myself, Like what is that like what this is just this horrible block that we have in our society and I, and I do think people are bringing that to light, like I do think that’s definitely a hot button topic right now are people like you need to invest in yourself, like don’t just spend money on your business like you need to invest in, in YouTube because you can’t run the business. Well, if you’re not in the right mindset and you don’t have your, your back end, you know, even just the back end of your house, taking care of, you know
Heather: 100% 100% Because self care I think became a big buzzword and mom was probably in most households, I’m gonna say I’m not gonna just stereotype but most of the like during pandemic and everything we were stretched the most, because if you worked to you all of a sudden we’re now teacher like I have young kids when they were going through this, like my parent, my mom is a reading specialist my sisters are principal at a, at an elementary school like they have the education gene, I have this sale gene from my dad and so I can help with homework, I feel like I would, I’ll thrive in middle school when I can help them with things but I’m not equipped to teach my children how to read and write, and do all the basic life skills of getting you through school and when I got put on like how am I supposed to teach that my mom’s like, oh, you know, when two vowels work together. The first one says his name I’m like, I don’t remember that rule like, I don’t even. Okay. I heard that in 25 years. Yeah, I’m like, Oh, great mom cool like can you come over and help me because I don’t know and I felt badly with a kindergartner, who was doing pretty well. But how am I supposed to finish that school and what does school look like for the next year, and preschoolers and then my. My middle child was going into kindergarten and I was like, oh my gosh like who knows what’s gonna look like that and I feel like we had to take it on as teachers, I mean, my husband at the time was. He had a go start working, and he was going stir crazy because he was used to going on a plane and going and do business that way and his main account is a hotel chain. So that was very stressful in itself because no one was traveling and no one was holding events at, you know, at these hotels and it’s like, that was his focus and then I was just put on with that I had my little virtual, you know, business and it’s like, you got to do it all, you know, you got masks got a mask up you got to do this. And you’re their soul, like, entertainment, too, cuz you have fun because you can’t have friends oh my friend.
Dana: Yeah, exactly. So how did you do that like day to day what has been kind of your saving grace, not only for the pandemic but dress as like a working mom in general like What have you done to really make it work for you guys because you have a lot going on, you have three kids like they’re all young and you have a thriving business. How did you manage that aspect of it.
Heather: So I mean I’m not perfect. I mean I am going through divorce pandemic did did put some pressure on it but I also feel like it was, you know, it highlights a bunch of things too and it really probably magnified more than what we knew, and then it kind of morphed into that and so I feel like being able to juggle it now is easier because I was able to take those factors that were extra stressors and eliminate those, and really focus on what’s important be very intentional with my time and understand that, yes, my business is important, but I’m also very transparent person and being authentic, on social media is essential. And when I came out, just last week with more of my personal side that I didn’t really speak about too too much but I really wanted to give a really nice clear, crisp background of really why I started chaos and cookies and why I have the SAP for your home, and to really just eliminate excuses for myself and other end hurdles because I think pandemic brought out a lot of the same similar situation that I was in to others, and just saying like empower you to, you don’t have to just stay or do whatever is comfortable like you can take the steps to make it to where it’s like, I can do this, I can go start a business, and you just have to know how to juggle and take some time and be okay with like, today I didn’t get that much done for my business and that’s okay. It’ll be there tomorrow. And if you’re authentic and you are on social media or presenting it to people, they’ll understand it, they’ll be empathetic towards you and not judgmental. And when I came out last week about, like, my situation, I outpouring of support shock and awe because I wasn’t being authentic in that in that scenario, but it didn’t feel good to me either not being authentic to a point and so when I was able to do that, it also helped free up my mind and be like, ah, like I’m not holding it in and hiding it and pretending like all is perfect and well in the world because I’m a real person. Yes, I have a great Organized Home and systems that work really well and things work like a well oiled machine, but you got to have your craft together in your head to be able to like not lose your craft.
Dana: Absolutely, absolutely. So, how okay so obviously so much of your message and I’m sure what you teach in your course has to do with being really authentic and bringing like your, your, whatever is happening in your day like bringing it to social media and not in a, in a complaining way, but in like, Hey, this is like how real life works and it’s a real, it makes you way more relatable so talk me through like how you came to talking to the world about was what was going on in your home because that has to be a really hard decision when like, it is not, it’s not a kitten, and I’m sure now I’m babbling but I’m sure you were able to be like hey there is some good that’s coming out of this, right, but at the same time you have to be true to yourself and like it sucks to, you know, so how did you make the decision of like okay I’m not going to, like, I don’t feel comfortable saying anything yet. And then, at what point did you go ahead and share with your audience because I think there are probably a lot of listeners who have businesses and they’re going through something really a big struggle that they don’t want to share because they think people are gonna think about them in a different way it’s going to shed a different light. How did that decision come about, and especially like the timing of it, really, like, what would you encourage somebody to do or what would you have done differently, looking back, and, and look by looking back, so everybody knows this happened a week ago so we’re still in it but still Hindsight is 2020 Even if you’re just barely out of it.
Heather: Sure and I started trickling it out to like trusted people before last week but last week I was like, I made a post about it, oufit on Facebook where I have almost 5000 friends like, oh, it’s all like, you know, high school people and like very people you don’t really talk to all that much. Instagram is more of the followers are your business and that’s how mine is and so what actually happened was, I was so visible on social. I was everywhere I have a podcast I had my website I was doing lots of promos for other people, and I was making myself very visible for a reason, because I wanted to promote my business. And it was an outlet, what ended up happening is, My followers started reaching out to me like something’s off, like, you look tired or there’s something that you’re doing that is not right, now then I thought I was it because like the content wasn’t good, or what I was talking about wasn’t good. But they noticed a change in me and either my voice, or the way that I was looking at the camera, and it was so clear to them that there was something going on but they didn’t understand it and I was like, like, whatever.
Dana: But it’s also real creepy.
Heather: Yeah, and of course it’s like, well, A it told me that they’re paying attention because they actually are invested in my journey and invested in what I’m teaching. And the other thing that fits it’s like you can’t hide something really really well now if there was like there’s a bunch of people that when I said hey, I’m going through a divorce and I’m single parenting it and it is what it is. I got a lot of shock and awe. On the Facebook’s I think they really wasn’t promoting too much of my personal over there and a lot of support was like Been there, done that, I’m so sorry, like you’re great, you’re strong, I’ve been watching you from afar, I just don’t really comment on your stuff and it back the fact that that there were people watching that don’t say anything so don’t ever think that they’re not watching whether it’s, so don’t gauge your likes and your comments and all of those things, and no one’s seeing it because people are putting their eyes on it. They really are. And I learned that last week that there was people that were coming out that I haven’t spoken to in years and like we’ve been I’ve been watching you you’ve been doing so great. I just been watching from afar, I’m here for you, it’s like, oh wow, and the people that weren’t paying superduper close attention was like, Oh wow, Like I’m shocked. This one woman, we follow each other consistently we would talk once in a while, but she said like, you just built a pool, and you have this beautiful house that you just moved into and sometimes what we do is we look at someone on social media and we create a narrative in our head on how their lives are probably going to be. And then when you say stuff that’s not that fits the narrative that we put you and we put you in that box. We’re like, whoa, like, not everything is perfect, not everything looks the way like just because she looks lives in a really pretty house With a nice pool and happy kids, doesn’t mean that all the pieces are put together. And so it’s just, it, it’s refreshing to hear that they learned that, and now they’re like I’m gonna be paying more close to like closer attention to see how you’re dealing with and see how I can help or maybe how I can support you or how I can maybe bring someone else to you, so they can watch you and help you, you can help support them. So the fact that I’m very transparent but they knew something was wrong. And then when I finally said something they’re like, it makes sense. You seem foggy you seem distant you didn’t seem like you you lost that spark, because I was going through something and I was tired and I was just a lot of emotion. And once I was able to free it up, I was like, I don’t have to hide the fact that I might have a crap day to day and I don’t post one day, like I usually post every day and if I miss a post, people are gonna be forgiving because, like she had a lot going on, or post. It’s like, I saw that already. It’s like she probably just need to do something like that she needed a man. Yeah, so I feel like, at least for me and I don’t even care if it’s something like, If what people care about grave they think I’m being lazy or I can’t keep up with the pace because I have drama, whatever, then go elsewhere, but for me it was more freeing because it’s like, it’s out. I don’t have to look so perfect. I don’t have to try to explain why I’m not wearing my wedding ring or why you’re not seeing my husband in family photos, Because that was another thing that my aunt was like hey I would love to see a photo of everyone and I’m like wow, you know, they were picking it up and I’m like, Well, you know, I know I’m trying to paint the picture of family and first and stuff like that but everyone’s family looks different. And when I was eliminating that I changed my name on social to kind of get that back into the groove and that was like a whole telltale sign, but that was my way of trickling it out where it’s like, I’m not saying anything but I’m saying a lot. Right, right, and so you have to be comfortable with what you’re sharing. I was on Jasmine stars podcast a few months ago, which was a huge bucket list thing for me amazing
Heather: yeah and I got to ask her a question which was, you know, how do you decide what to share about your business without affecting your like your outwardly personal life right because I’m not going to bring him into the narrative I’m only going to talk about my side, I’m not going to bring attention to it in a negative light because he has a job and all these things and I have, you know, we don’t want that, but how do you talk about it without being super super open and her answer was, if it’s a scar. Then you can use buzzwords, if it’s a wound, which is you’re currently going through it, you might not want to share as much as you want because you would open it back up, and it’s not there yet and you’re not going to be ready to tell it fully because if you’re still healing and still working through it. Yes you can share about the journey but you can’t really know exactly how it’s going to turn out if you’re not scarred up yet. But that absolutely
Dana: it totally does. And the other thing about that like the very very basic level of that is, once it’s out there, it’s out there.
Heather: Yeah, and out it might as well be me. Right, yeah. You know what someone’s saying, because they know about it, or they’re gonna put like, you know cryptic comments on your thing like I hope you’re doing really well been thinking of you when people are like why are they thinking about you like what’s wrong, like, and then they make their own things up in their head, so I feel like, and she said like you can use buzzwords, to share your journey without outwardly saying it to relate so you can use it like I have experienced with addiction. I have experienced with abuse, I have experienced with trauma buzzwords that doesn’t mean that it’s something I have done personally, or maybe it’s happened to me like it’s just you’re using those buzzwords so then people pick up on it like, oh, I can relate to that person and whether that was her with the addiction or somebody else with an addiction or maybe it’s someone in her family. Maybe you know something like that so you can use buzzwords to talk about the wound, without outwardly saying like, this is my situation right without going through. Yeah, and then you come out with it later or saved or you don’t. Or yeah, which was a huge thing because you can be authentic, to a point where you can share, you can also say there’s things I cannot share, it’s not comfortable, but I can relate to XYZ. Right.
Dana: I love that. I love that and it’s so true like to be able to not divulge every little tiny thing that happens and every little secret like there’s, but it also like kind of a power in that too and like it makes you feel more competent to that like you’ve done the right thing, you know like you haven’t, you know, spilled too much where you’re going to be uncomfortable later or your kids gonna be uncomfortable later like it gives you this permission to be like okay this was the right thing to do, and yet you’re still being super authentic and bringing the right information to your audience that you want it to, it’s, it’s amazing.
Heather: Share by trade, but, you know, then it’s like, kind of like the woman on a date. Like you don’t want to wear something too skimpy because you want to leave something to the imagination, always kinda wet I mean you know what, I’ll leave it at that like kind of thing but you know you, you pick and choose what you want. There’s only things they always say to pick five people in your circle. And you have to trust them implicitly and that’s it, you know, keep it very very tight, tight knit because everyone’s out for themselves, for the most part, right. We all are. I mean, last night, someone told me about their why like know their why before you decide what you’re going to do.
Dana: I love that it’s so true and there is a certain level of selfishness that comes with just life in general but especially if you’re building any sort of business or you know just for your kids like you have to be that person to really grow and I love that you give like a specific like the five people like, it’s great, have a tangible number of like okay, because I think a lot of people have like rings of trusted confidence and then they get certain levels of information, but to really like narrow that down and be like okay this is who really is going to know what’s going on. I think is such critical, critical advice. Okay, so talk to me about where the business is now like what’s to come in the next few months, like how you’re growing and what, what the planets.
Heather: Sure. Well, we’ll see, like, We’re just gonna go with it so the plan as of today, is that I am going to be running another Instagram boot camp here in October, where I’m going to revamp like I’m going to offer anybody that did my boot camp before for free to come back because there’s been so many changes since June, that when some of them because it has it used to be 30 hashtags now it’s three to five, two weeks ago it was between seven and 12 that you should be so lots of different changes reels is now established bills is now established so people like want to up their game and so I’m going to offer that out. I haven’t done one in a few months. The last one I did, I’ll admit I wasn’t present. I was going through like the nitty gritty and so I’m like, Hey, you guys get to redo it too, because I was like a terrible servant for You and I’m sorry for that and I want to make make it up. That’s just how I am. And so and also on the Chaos Control side of things, I’m either going to try and get like it as an ebook and offer it, or do something where it’s more of a support where I can start talking more about it and make it more of a passion project to where it’s like, you can grab this we can do a five week course on how to do all the calendar all the household stuff and get it filled out, and then that’s really it, there’s not really going to be an accent ascension model as we say like there’s not going to be a path for them to grow with me there but you’ll have like a nice finish thing that you can maintain. So I’ll have those two sides of the business, and kind of keep going with that.
Dana: Yeah, and then you have your pot, the podcast, too. So yes, it’s
Heather: about my podcast. Yeah, my podcast so I’ve had it, it’ll be almost a year. It’s called the Coulson cookies podcast I have lots of different guests that talk between sales and health and wellness, and I just had it I have book authors for kids stuff so it all runs in the mompreneur space efficiency organization, things like that to make things easier I do some solos, as well. And it’s a really fun podcast and I love being a guest on a podcast and sharing my sales and marketing experience and I’ve been on podcasts with like chiropractors where I talk about my back injury and that came back from that because I had the back of a 40 year old when I was 18 and working through that with kids and having my last surgery, my last was four months postpartum which there’s a four month, terrible idea. Oh, but the insurance was covered, you know like the deductible is covered because it had the babies so check that off purple time. Yeah. So lots of different experiences which is always super fun.
Dana: Awesome, well it’s been, I am giving you way too long but it has been seriously such a joy to talk with you. Tell everybody obviously we talked about your podcast but where can we find you like on Instagram, your website, all the other places.
Heather: So you can find me at the heather Greco, on Instagram or also chaos and cookies, and then my website’s chaos and cookies, calm, and I have the chaos and cookies podcast which is on Spotify, iTunes all the things so if you’re interested in, grabbing a boot camp spot or if you’re interested in describing a copy of the Chaos Control system you can go snag that or ask me how I’m happy to help.
Dana: I love it. Well thank you so much for being here and I’m so excited for everybody to hear this episode I think it’s going to be just so relatable for so many different I literally have a list of like I’ve three different moms in mind right now that are going to freak out over this episode for sure.
Heather: I can help. Thank you so much for having me. It’s so fun.
Dana: Oh, of course, well we will chat soon then.
Dana: I am so honored you spent any minutes of your day listening to me babble about living this entrepreneurial life amidst the chaos in any mom’s normal day to day. If you love what you’ve heard and read more snippets of knowledge about this mob boss life, head over to our website at amidst the chaos podcast, calm. For show notes and links to anything which you know today’s episode. If you’re really feeling inspired, it will mean the world to me and my family if you take the time to write in with you. Thanks for joining me, amidst the chaos.
Dana Graham Photography is a Northern Virginia Newborn Photographer, Family Photographer, & Child Photographer, proudly serving Falls Church, Washington DC, Arlington, Fairfax, McLean, Herndon, Reston, Alexandria, Great Falls & beyond. Specializing in Family Photography, Newborn Photography, Lifestyle Photography, Hospital Photography, & Fresh 48 Photography,