Elizabeth Hill is a busy mom, business owner, and lawyer who is trying to make the best use of her time, while also being careful to make time for herself. In this week’s episode, we discuss how she manages her multiple roles and her tips for starting a small business.
Focusing on your mindset for maximum productivity
Elizabeth Hill is an entrepreneur, attorney, former counselor, and mother of four. In addition, Elizabeth recently launched the Legit Endeavors Podcast, focused on small businesses and entrepreneurs seeking to start or grow their business. Elizabeth is passionate about helping other entrepreneurs and small business owners level up their business by making sure it is done in a legit way. The Legit Endeavors Podcast focuses on small business strategies, as well as making sure that the common legal pitfalls are addressed and avoided.
In addition to recently launching Legit Endeavors, Elizabeth owns her own solo practitioner law firm, as well as a winery, bistro, and vineyard, Burklee Hill Vineyards. Elizabeth enjoys public speaking on various matters, including small business and entrepreneurial issues, women’s empowerment, and wine.
She tackled law school as a non-traditional student, starting her law education at age 33, after finding herself as a single mom with three young children. Tackling law school while raising her children taught Elizabeth valuable productivity skills, which have carried over into her career and different business ventures. Elizabeth enjoys being involved in her local community in the Texas panhandle and spending time with family.
A typical day
Elizabeth’s days vary greatly throughout the week but typically they start with her getting up and getting herself ready. She then makes sure her two youngest children are up and getting ready for their day as well. After everyone is dressed and ready to go, she takes the children to school and heads to her law office to begin the day.
Elizabeth considers her career as a lawyer to be her “day job”, but she does have days where she will go to the vineyard for a half or full day, depending on what may be going on. Elizabeth spends her days working on cases with several businesses or working towards an ever-present deadline.
After she is done with her day, she might have meetings, staffing interviews at the vineyard, a child’s volleyball game to attend, or other activity.
On the weekends, Elizabeth likes to go to the winery and help work the floor so she can get to know the customers on a personal basis and help the staff out. Whenever possible, she will also squeeze in a podcast interview or blog post.
In the evenings, after her youngest child has gone to bed, Elizabeth tries to do some mindset work because it helps her to focus on what is most important to get done, whether that be for her law practice, podcast and blog, or winery. She finds that even if she has her days perfectly scheduled and a focused to-do list, her mindset is what really makes all the difference. She also journals and writes down affirmations in the present tense of what she wants to accomplish. She has used affirmations in the past to develop skills and improve her productivity. Elizabeth likes to take her journal to work each day so she can review her goals throughout the day.
Biggest productivity challenges
Elizabeth’s biggest challenge is dealing with unexpected events that detour her from her plans. For instance, when she needs to pick up a sick child in the middle of the day or if something comes up at her bistro.
Another challenge is dealing with distractions and trying to avoid multitasking so much. Elizabeth finds that she is much more productive when she doesn’t try to do too much at once. Focusing on a single task takes intention, purpose, and practice, which is something that we all struggle with. As Elizabeth is working, if something urgent pops into her head, instead of tending to that task right away, she will write it down in her notebook so she doesn’t get distracted from her current work. Writing things down makes her feel better because she knows she won’t forget it and can tend to it later. She also likes to take big tasks and break them down into smaller, more manageable parts, so she doesn’t become overwhelmed.
Resources and tools Elizabeth recommends
For her law practice, Elizabeth likes to use a soft wear program call Mycase, an all-in-one billing, filing, and calendar system, which she keeps open on her computer throughout the day. She also sets reminders for herself in the program to stay on track. Elizabeth has an assistant, who assists her with various tasks such as mailing client invoices and scheduling.
Elizabeth also puts her personal appointments and tasks into her business calendar because then she only has to focus on one calendar at a time and knows which parts of her day will be devoted to business or personal matters. She does keep a separate master calendar for her winery, containing events, entertainment schedules, and reminders.
Elizabeth uses Trello for her personal life and for her podcast, which allows her to communicate with others and assign tasks, all while keeping these important conversations out of her email. In the past, Elizabeth has been skeptical of certain task-tracking software programs but she has really enjoyed Trello.
Elizabeth’s tips for starting a business
Do your research. Elizabeth first recommends focusing on research. There are so many different areas that are important to know about before starting. You need to know the scope of the business you are wanting to start, whether that be small or big.
Make your business official. Every time you create a business, you need to keep those finances separate from your personal income. Elizabeth often deals with business owners who have only created sole proprietorships, which is not legally separate from your personal finances. This has opened her clients up to lawsuits and she has had to defend them in court. It’s always best to establish an actual business entity (limited liability company, corporation, etc.) to protect yourself from lawsuits and possibly exposing your own personal assets. Elizabeth finds LLC’s to be the most simple and flexible entity to set up, which she speaks about in further detail in her Legit Endeavors podcast.
Elizabeth’s tips for staying productive while working remotely
Have a dedicated workspace. Elizabeth recommends setting up an established workspace in your home, separate from your other living space, which will allow you to focus on your tasks without interruptions.
Establish specific work hours. Working from home may not look like your typical 9-5, so it’s important to have set work hours when you know you can focus on your job. Be flexible with yourself and build in time for your lunch, regular breaks, and possible interruptions or other things that may arise throughout the day. Try to get outside during the day for fresh air and exercise as well.
For more tips from Elizabeth on productivity, check out her blog post on the Legit Endeavors website.
What do you do to get back on track on a day when everything gets away from you?
When this happens to Elizabeth, she focuses on prioritization and doing only the tasks which will most benefit her business, whether that be her law practice or the winery. When it comes to her Legit Endeavors blog and podcast, she tries her best to post regularly and record podcasts, but she gives herself grace. She continues to work towards her goals but doesn’t beat herself up if she can’t get everything done on her to-do list.
Elizabeth’s last words for the listener
Take care of yourself and make rest and rejuvenation a priority. Don’t forget to do mindset work, using journaling and enriching podcasts to nurture yourself.
Connect with Elizabeth
- On the Legit Endeavors website
- Listen to her podcast
- Join her at her vineyard and bistro
- On Instagram
- On Facebook
- On Pinterest
- On Twitter
What do you think? Questions? Comments?
Do you have questions for Elizabeth or me? Please share them in the comments section below or in The Productive Woman Community Facebook group, or send me an email.
Resources and Links
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