In this conversation, marketing professional Deedra Determan shared how she manages a thriving business and a thriving family.
Defining success on your own terms, by your own priorities
As a productive woman, you may find yourself struggling at times to keep your priorities in order. We’ve talked in past episodes about wearing many hats and trying to juggle everything, and Deedra Determan is doing just that — but in a way that puts the focus on her family and helping her innovative marketing firm, D2 Branding, thrive.
Deedra wakes up at 4:30 a.m. and does a bootcamp workout in the park year-round. She says this helps get her endorphins up and gets her going in the morning, putting her in the right frame of mind for the rest of her busy day.
Keeping herself healthy is a priority for her. She believes it’s difficult to build a productive life if you’re not healthy.
After getting her family up and ready for the day, she goes to her office and starts working with her clients from a variety of different industries. She’s worked at home in the past, but now finds leaving the home and going to a different location helps cut out the distractions of things like walking past the kitchen and seeing dishes that need to be done or other chores.
When she gets home, she turns her phone and computer off and goes into “mom mode” for the evening. She is usually in bed by 9:30.
Deedra says her biggest challenge is saying, “No,” and she’s learned it’s OK to say it.
She used to volunteer at her children’s school and as a homeroom mom, but it was tough trying to stay up late and work during her free time on weekends to do everything she wanted to do. She realized it wasn’t actually benefitting her family.
“I’m happy to be able to help, … my family, though, is the one losing here.”
About two years ago, she decided she wasn’t going do anything that didn’t positively affect her family anymore, and she put the priorities of her family and herself above everything else, and she says she’s a much happier person.
“I try not to do much in the evenings. … [My kids are] going to remember that more than they’ll remember me going to a school board meeting.”
Productivity tools Deedra uses and loves
Google Calendar — Deedra has her calendar color-coded to distinguish work and personal tasks.
She’ll look at her calendar in the beginning of the week to help plan for childcare and transportation, as needed. She schedules everything, including personal time, like playing tennis on the weekends. Even though, she says, tennis could be something she could drop to do something else that comes along, she puts it on her calendar as a scheduled task because it makes her happy. She also sets reminders so she can focus on what she’s working on without having to look at the clock and worry about what she has coming up.
Other tips for productivity
Keep distractions to a minimum by turning off notifications on certain communications, such as email or social media.
Deedra only checks her email three times per day: at the start of her work day, around lunch, and before she leaves the office. She glances at it before she goes to bed to make sure there isn’t anything that needs her immediate attention, as well.
It’s easy to get caught up in hearing the phone ding and feeling like someone needs your immediate attention. But most likely this will distract your focus from more important priorities if it’s a constant habit.
The most limiting factor is all the technology we have access to, which is very convenient, but it can be very unproductive.” ~ Deedra Determan
She has a rule of no technology after dinner. She believes it’s important to have family time without all that technology.
What happens on a day you feel gets away from you?
Step back and take a breather. Look at the situations you can control, as opposed to focusing on the ones you cannot.
- You can control your emotions.
- You can control how they affect you.
- You can control how you react. As a mom, remember you have children watching you and your reactions.
- When all is said and done, ask yourself, “Is it that big a deal?” Don't let a mistake or slip-up ruin your whole day.
About Deedra’s company, D2 Branding
Deedra started D2 Branding after finding herself being asked for marketing advice. She realized she could make a business out of it. Her company coaches a wide variety of clients and helps them with marketing plans, websites and graphic designs, social media, content creation and more — anything that ignites a company’s brand.
D2 Branding is a resource for anyone wanting to increase their revenue, which, she says, is never a bad thing to want — money pays the bills, after all.
Sometimes women have a hard time saying that their goal is to make money — they feel maybe guilty about admitting it — but there’s nothing wrong with that.” — Deedra Determan
Final thoughts from Deedra
Build a community of support around you. Your family, neighbors, spouse — find that support system. She couldn’t do what she’s done without her support system around her, she says.
That’s what makes you successful — if you have that support around you.” ~ Deedra Determan
Connect with Deedra
Deedra is a mentor at Thrive15, an online platform for people looking to plan or grow their business.
Receive a free 30-trial at Thrive15 with the coupon code MOM
- Deedra’s Thrive15 mentor profile
- Deedra on Facebook
- Deedra on Twitter
- Deedra on LinkedIn
- D2 Branding
Deedra Determan has 20+ years of marketing experience starting on the agency side at Ackerman McQueen Advertising Agency to 10 years in the television industry launching news at KOKI Fox 23, making it one of the top Fox affiliates in the country. She later consulted Clear Channel Television's stations across the country on marketing, promotions, advertising, social media, and website integration.
Determan went on to launch niche websites for moms, including 918moms.com, 405moms.com, and MoneySavingQueen.com, with over 100,000 moms visiting the websites each month. One year after launching, she sold the websites to Griffin Communications.
Determan then followed her true passion in launching D2 Branding, an innovative marketing firm igniting brands to be the market leader in their industry through marketing, public relations, social media, advertising, strategic partnerships, sales, website creation, search engine optimization, content creation, video production, graphic design, and more!
Deedra is married to Jarrett and has two kids, Avery and Jace, ages 12 and 11. She loves to play tennis, work out, and be active outside with her family.
Reminders and Notices
- I’m working on an episode that a listener suggested on meal planning for the productive woman. How do you streamline grocery shopping, meal preparation, and get meals on the table for your family? Do you have any favorite tips for expediting the shopping process or meal preparation, itself? Please send me your best tips, tools, and suggestions via email or by leaving a voice message using the button on the website or the Facebook page. I’d love to include your suggestions.
- I’m available to speak at your events — women’s retreats and conferences, productivity workshops, business teams, etc. Email me or call me at 972.638.0308 to discuss how I could add value.
- Visit the new “Resources” tab at the website. Links to resources we produce, like the project planning template, the digital toolbox, Emily Prokop’s weekly docket, the decluttering questions tool from episode 83, and a printable of the 13 Questions to Improve Productivity from episode 87. I’ll also be adding info about books and other resources I recommend.
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