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Not naturally organized or skilled at time management, Jennifer learned through experience, trial and error – helping her neighbors declutter their home offices, owning and operating two coffee drive-thrus, and purging 80% of her belongings to exit an abusive relationship. When Jennifer’s world was in chaos, organization and time management became the control she needed to change her life.
Now, as The Time Optimizer, Jennifer draws from her expertise to help child-free solo business owners find work-life alignment and more time to do what they want – freedom, travel, try a new hobby, or just enjoy more sleep.
We are talking: Being childfree, setting boundaries, creatively living life on your terms, self-care as a caregiver, and dealing with your own health.
Connect with Jennifer HERE
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So just as being child-free as a choice, , choosing how you do your business also is a choice. Yes. Certain things do work better than others. There’s for different people. But at the same time, you’ve got to figure out which of those things work for you. It’s just taking the pieces from all those other things, and then figuring out which of those work for you and your business.
You’re listening to feed your business with love with jet and dragon neck. You are about to experience a tsunami of self-love in your life and business. Too much magic inside to just be a ripple, let go of society’s standards. And those gurus who leave you burned out, put aside any imposter syndrome feelings and ask yourself, what is it you really want?
Because success starts from within rediscovering yourself, builds confidence in your message and who you are. Your tribe will follow. Let’s unleash the magic inside by being our true, authentic self. Starting podcasting for your soul in 3, 2, 1. Welcome to the podcast, Jennifer. Thank you so much for having me.
I’m so excited to be here. I’m really excited about our conversation, but I always like to start with my favorite question, which is in this moment, in this time, in your life, what does that thing that’s lighting you up?
Just because I’ve had so much in my life going on over the past few months right now, it’s feeling like I’m coming out of the other side of that. And finally starting to get back into my business again, because I really missed it so much. Yeah. , and I know that, like we had a little conversation before this and cutting back into your business and there was some of this struggle about putting.
And talking to your ideal audience. Can you tell us a little bit about , discovering that niche and what’s changed since discovering it? Yeah, so I’ve been to this, that’s been seven years in the making off and on, and a lot of life stuff has happened health wise and just life in general over the years.
And. All along. I’ve kind of wanted ever since I’ve fully made the decision to be child-free by choice. I’ve always wanted that to be my ideal client. And I always, I just didn’t want a bunch of people judging me or feeling , I was leaving anyone out kind of thing, because as much as I can help parents being.
W when you don’t have kids, it’s a very, very different lifestyle. And I just rather talk to people who really get that. And in the time management productivity industry, it’s like, there’s really, it’s all mainly focused on parents or. Or men who write these productivity books. It’s so it’s not realistic for women in general.
And then it’s all about parents. It’s like, okay, well we need structure to, as child-free even though, yes, we want to create all this freedom. We might have a lot of extra time, but we have a lot of stuff that is fulfilling in our lives and we can get overwhelmed. And so we need to make time and plan our day and things like that as also.
So I just wanted to help fill that gap. And now that I’m finally embracing that I’m even more excited about my business than I’ve ever been, and I’ve made even more amazing connections. And I think it was my child-free posts that, , You saw and then asked me to be on the podcast. And I was really excited about that.
So I definitely knew I was on the right check and it felt so much more lines when all that happened. So that was really great. Yeah. I remember that post because I was like, oh, somebody needs to talk about this, , as a child free, mostly by choice. I’m going to say mostly because there are some medical things that, , probably would hold it back, but I chose.
Pursue to have children. I find that as a business owner, as just a woman in life that I’m judged for it. And I’m assumed that I have all this extra time to take care of everyone else’s kids, which is great. And I love the child. I love the time with the children that I spend time with, but I think that people don’t understand like what you were talking about.
That being overwhelmed as a child free woman. It’s people that our parents don’t understand that. So that’s why , this conversation is like near and dear to my heart because we can get so overwhelmed and I’m, it’s so cool that you’re supporting this, this leash, this group of women, because we are powerful, but.
Sometimes we feel bad. I don’t know if you see it in your practice, but do other women, other than me feel bad about saying no to things, because they’re so busy because we don’t have kids. Is that something that you see, there’s this like kind of guilt and shame like, oh, we should have more time.
Some, but not as much as I thought, or at least not the, not the people I’ve talked to so far. Yeah, they’re just very, they get to a point where they, they get sick and tired of people assuming they have all this time and they have to, I guess, fill in for all the parents. And they just get to a point where they get completely sick and tired of it.
And then they kind of blew a gasket about it and it was like, I’m done. Like, you’re just ready to say no to everything at that point. So it’s putting healthy boundaries in place and yes, it’s going to feel aggressive and scary at first, but the more you do it, the more empowered you fill in the more you’re going to be respected too, because , people will see that, Hey.
, they, their time is important too. You gotta teach people how to treat basically. And that’s where boundaries come in. Oh, boundaries, boundaries, and the child-free woman. I want to know more about that. What boundaries do you think are the, some of the most important that we should set or that you see as most important in your life?
I see a lot of toxic relationships with families when someone is child-free and maybe the family will assume that you’ve got extra money and you’d have to buy all the kids present, but you don’t get anything yourself kind of thing. Or. You’re just basically expected to do everything for the kids, or you’re supposed to free up your time to help out with the family and everything.
It’s like, no, I got my own life and yes, you might be jealous of it. And, but. But yeah, I get to do these things and I want to do these singles and that’s kind of why I chose this lifestyle. You chose to be a parent. I it’s just a different choice. That’s all. And everyone chooses their own path in life, but you got to just fully embrace what that is.
And sometimes you just got to cut those people out family or not. It doesn’t matter if your blood, if it’s just too toxic, you don’t need that in your life. Just cut them out. You have to, as hard as it might be. It’s so freeing. And just because you don’t need that. And there is such a big child-free community now, so it’s getting more involved with that.
And it’s finding communities where they’re not like kid bashers really. That’s been a big thing of trying to find my own child-free community. There’s a lot of communities out there who are, who bash a lot on parents and kids. And yeah, maybe I have some thoughts like that once in a while, but I don’t want to be around that kind of toxic community either.
This is our lifestyle. I want to talk about our lifestyle of what we get to enjoy, not what we’re missing out, missing out in quotes on it’s like we got a fully embraced what we can do and not worry about what everyone else is doing. , oh, that one hits home that one’s , Ooh. Yeah, feels good all the way in.
We’ve got it. Regardless if you’re child free or whoever you are. It’s that focusing on your choices in your life and starting to release some of those outside expectations of everyone else. And I love that you’re finding the communities and you’re seeing like, here, like I can find this child-free community, but it’s so toxic because it’s mashing someone else.
Instead of focusing on that, there is so much joy about, , being child-free, there’s a lot of freedom. There’s a lot of things that come with it that I’ve experienced.
And that doesn’t necessarily, and that doesn’t necessarily mean we have all this extra income. I mean, that’s one of the perks we’re able to have that income, but it’s assumed that we have all this extra money it’s , and then people expect us to spend that money on them and the kids and everyone else.
, it’s my life. I’m dying a little every day. I am going to enjoy my money while I have it. And maybe if my niece is in a brat, hopefully she’s not, I love her to death, but, I’m going to spend my money now. So no one better expect to have any money later, basically. So yeah, I, like I said, I just, I love this conversation because it’s something.
Well, first we haven’t talked about on the podcast yet, but second is a struggle that I come up against and I never would have even thought of a community of child-free women that are. You know, focusing on the positives and focusing on the cool things that we can do. If we want to, like you said, if you don’t have a bratty niece, you can take the time and spend time with them and spoil them and then send them home full of sugar, full of sugar.
Oh yeah, for sure. And I just, I love this whole like boundaries and embracing the child praise. So. I know that you’re, you know, in business and you’re helping women embrace this child free. Can you tell us a little bit more about like how you’re supporting the child-free women right now? Just being there, being a soundbar, just someone who really understands that I’ve been lucky enough that my family hasn’t given me a hard time about not having kids.
I don’t know if that’s because my sister does have a child or what, but I’ve never really felt the pressure of that from my family, from my boyfriend’s family I have. But, , they finally get it now that we’re not having kids and that’s just the way it is. So they finally accepted it. So they don’t bother me about it anymore.
But in public, I don’t know if it’s just how much the times have changed or the way I say no. When someone asks, if I have kids, they just don’t even try. To say anything else about it at that point. So I’ve been lucky enough to not have to deal with that really, but I know a lot of people who do have to deal with that.
So that just means even more boundaries and getting help with ideas on how to nicely tell someone to leave you alone, basically. , so we work on boundary, just figuring out. And distinguishing between society’s expectations and what, what do you really want yourself? Not from all the pressures, but what do you actually want in your own life for your own work-life balance?
Which really isn’t balanced. It’s more for me, it’s more alignment. So how can we get you aligned with that lifestyle you really want to have with your business and outside of your business? Because it is intertwined, no matter how much we want to think it’s separated and there’s no true 50 50 balance.
It’s just varies day to day. So alignment over balance. Oh, I love that. So what does alignment look like for you and your life and business right now?
Just doing more things that make you happy. , like one of my goals is to one day I want to move to the mountains perfectly before I retired. I don’t believe in retiring to begin with. I guess I don’t want to enjoy, it’s important to save and things too, but when you die, your money’s not going with you.
So I want to enjoy that while I’m still here and experience that life. And then hopefully have some really, really good healthcare at the end of life because people always ask us, who’s going to take care of you when you’re older, but. From what I’ve from the statistics I’ve seen in her. Child-free people actually have more, slightly higher percentage than parents that actually get family and care.
Yeah. So only like one, one and a half percent of children actually take care of their parents. It’s pretty bad. Holy smokes. It’s pretty bad. So it always boggled my mind. Why? Because I did home health care briefly for stint, and I know a lot of nurses and it’s just crazy to think that people will assume that their children are going to take care of them when at the end of their life.
First of all, caring for anybody. Whether it’s a child or an elderly parent is a lot of mental, physical work. People don’t understand how big of a toll that takes on you physically and mentally. And the only person I want to take care of like that as my boyfriend and vice versa. So it’s a lot. So as much as I do love.
My, my dad and everything. If he’s go, probably I’ll get him a really nice nursing home and make sure he’s really well taken care of, and I’m going to go see him. But, um, for me physically to take care of him, I don’t even know if I’ll be able to because my own chronic illness. So then that throws a wrench in that as well.
Oh, that is something I’ve never really thought about is like, well, I have in a way thought about like, well, who’s going to take care of me when I’m older and that expectation of, well, I’m a parent they’re going to take care of me. That is such a low statistic of kids that actually take on. But I can only imagine I’ve never been a caretaker.
I have a dog. Does that count as a caretaker, but that’s that’s as caretaking as I’ve ever had in my life. I can only imagine. It sounds like from your experience in the care-taking with a chronic illness, I can only imagine what that does to like physical and mental health. It got pretty bad. I did it for a year and a half.
Don’t get me wrong. I loved it. , but at the same time, like for the pay for how much it takes a toll on you, the health people in healthcare, they do not get paid enough. That’s all I got to say. They do not get paid enough for the amazing people that they are and what they do. And so I just do, I’m only physically able to do a part-time job as a cashier and then.
So I do that in the afternoon and evenings. And then in the mornings I work on my business and just kind of go from there. Hopefully I’ll be able to do it full time, but until then, it’s kind of nice. It works for me for now. And I just, I mean, , I really want to honor you and hope that you’re honoring yourself, that you’re finding this, you know, like you said, there’s no balance, but that’s this pendulum swing of, , it goes one way and then it has to go the other way.
That’s how I see when the people say work-life balance. I’m like, well, it’s not really a balance. It’s more like a pendulum that swings back and forth and how you’re taking that time. And setting those boundaries like, Hey, I can’t do this, but when it comes to the point, I want to get the best care for them and then go visit.
That sounds amazing to me. Yeah. And then even for my own, it’s like, I gotta have, I know I got to have really good health care and make sure someone takes care of me and then make sure they get paid well, too. So I wanted to be able to. To do that. It’s been interesting. It’s like a lot, usually you think about end of life and wills and things.
When usually parents think about that sooner than maybe when we don’t have kids, but it’s something I’ve always kind of thought about. Because people do ask, well, who’s going to take care of you. , I am going, I’m building a business. So I’m going to invest in making money and make sure I’ve got enough to take care of me, to be able to take care of me later on.
I’m not going to expect. I’d never want to expect my family to take care of me, even if they want to. I don’t ever want to expect anything from other.
That’s , setting yourself up for that kind of lifestyle, but it’s from day one today, the end of the day. And I think that. How you are looking at life and at money and setting yourself up to live in the mountains? Uh, yes. Please sign me up, put me by a mountain or put me by the beach. I’m a happy girl.
Put me in a city, you know, but I like that you are starting to think long term. Child-free woman, like, okay, here’s what I need in my life. Here’s what my end of life care looks like. Although we don’t always like to focus on that kind of things, but I think you’re right. There’s the will for the parents because they’re immediately trying to set up that generation coming up behind them.
And I think it’s really cool how you’re setting yourself up. Yeah, it’s, it’s something I already started thinking about when I was doing home health care. And then, , after losing my mother recently, it even became even more important than it already was. So , it’s been interesting for sure
that. As you’re trying to manage your time. And this is one of the things that you are like specialist and I am the worst at time management organization. Any of those things don’t sign me up for anything that has to do with that, because it’s not going to happen. Can you tell us a little bit about like, how you’re organizing and doing, I know you had a story that I think I saw it in a post about how organizing and changing the way that you were doing things really changed your life.
Yeah. So it’s mainly, self-awareness more than anything. That’s what it really comes down to. It’s noticing, especially now with the chronic illness, cause I didn’t always have it or it wasn’t as near as pronounced and just really learning to listen to my body, figuring out what I can and cannot do.
What are my energy levels throughout the day? I know I’m most productive. First thing in the morning. If I have. Go to bed and get up at a certain time. I’m just not as productive. So it’s being super aware of all those little things, and then it’s a lot easier to figure out. Okay. So where does my time really go?
And it’s making time for things that you want to do. Yes, we’re , very passionate about our businesses. So maybe we start becoming a workaholic, but at the same time, , wow. Maybe I just need a rest today and not feel guilty about it kind of thing. So it’s just kind of day-to-day, but not that going from one extreme to the other, if you don’t want to get work so much, you burn out and you don’t want to have that vicious cycle.
So it’s making sure you have that white space in your calendar for downtime or for when things do come up in life. So that you can rest or take an extra nap or take a spontaneous, we can trip kind of thing. So it’s just leaving space for more joy and being able to shift things around. So you can still hopefully meet that deadline, but without feeling so restricted, but you still have that structure in place to keep you on track.
Oh, I’m like those rest days without guilt. Ah, that’s one of those things I need to work on is being able to honor those rest days, , when you need them, you know, even with, or without chronic illness, I don’t know the lifestyle without chronic illness cause I have chronic illness, but I can imagine even people that don’t struggle with.
Rest days are so important and it’s just a way to regroup and go forward and do all the things. So on your rest days, when you, , do you just allow yourself for extra naps? Are you talking about it like a rest day of , I’m just walking away from my computer. I’m going outside. What do you mean by a rest day?
I guess it depends. What my body’s doing that day. So that could be anything from going to the mountains, which I did recently and really needed that for mental health. It could be playing video games could be watching anime. It could be, I like a really, I’m a huge homebody. So just anything that’s quiet and chill or go check out a coffee shop.
Or just anything real chill and easy.
I get that. I like the slow light. I think a lot of people with chronic illness like this slow life, not that we don’t like to go out and do things, but. Just relax and be with nature or do something that you really enjoy. That’s something that you keep bringing up is knowing what you want and knowing what brings you joy.
What are a few of those things, other than the mountains and video games that really fill that joy need in your life. Spending time with my little pet bunny.
And just doing everyday things with my boyfriend, like just running errands, we just like riding in the car and spending time together. That’s awesome. And I love that you’re, you’re allowing us to understand how simple joy can be. It doesn’t have to be, I have to create this expensive travel vacation and it has to look like this.
It’s it’s enjoying those little moments that you can have every day, a bunny snuggling up on your feet. Sounds so amazing. I would like a vacation too. I haven’t had a vacation in a long time, in a really long time, so that’d be nice too. But yeah, it’s just finding that gratitude and just really being in the moment.
Yeah. That being, being in the moment is so hard to get. It’s so powerful. Yes. The only time I can get my brain to shut off. That’s how I know I’m truly present is when my brain’s not going a million miles an hour,
the brain, , I don’t know if you have the brain fog that comes with your chronic illness, but I’m looking, man, when I have those cluttered thoughts and the brain fog at the same time, I have no idea what’s going on up there. That’s why I’ll always have a pencil and paper so I can brain-dump and then take a nap that way I can get it out of my head and then just rest and then come back to it.
What a great tip. I have little notepads everywhere, and that is like a saving grace. I’m like, okay, it’s got to come out. Just get it out. Let it be, try not to obsess over it.
And I also have to continuously reminding myself to not feel guilty about wanting to have a different lifestyle than everyone else. And it’s okay. And just because it’s different or they see me as rebellious or black sheep or whatever, , I’m not doing anything illegal kind of thing. It’s , I’m not a bad person.
It’s just, I want something different that people aren’t used to.
Yeah. It’s their own beliefs projecting on to you. It’s not you. It’s not, you it’s them.
For sure. And I love that you’re, , you’re sharing that, that it’s , it’s their mirror. That’s showing that not, not, it’s their reflection of you. It’s not who you are. And I love that you’re embodying, this is who I am. This is what I want. And even though society didn’t tell me to do this, I’m not going to break from what I desire.
In my life, I’m going to make sure that my life looks like what I want. Yeah. And that’s all comes back to alignment and it just feels not necessarily easier, but more at ease and having more ability to be in the flow of things and just. And what you want can change, especially as when life happens, your values and beliefs can change.
And I think that’s something that a lot of people don’t realize is these things can change. You get to choose, you get to choose. I mean, that’s the biggest thing. If you don’t take anything away from this, it’s you get to choose the lifestyle you want. Yeah. Because you’re the one living that life. You’re the one having to put a roof over your head and spending the money to create this lifestyle.
So unless someone else is doing that for you, they absolutely have no say they don’t know what you want and why. So it doesn’t matter. It’s a lifestyle you get to choose to have. And a lot of people don’t realize you get to choose that just because that’s what society has dumped on us, that this is the way it is.
Yeah. Society standards. I feel put a lot of boxes on people. That I’m just excited. So excited that you’re breaking free from those boxes because man, those boxes are restricted. Yeah. Like even like with school, I dropped out the first time or I dropped out of college the first time. I never plan on going back.
Life happened 12 years later, I went back to school full and got a degree. Never thought I’d do that. If I was going back to school, I might as well make it really worth my while at that time. And so I got a business degree that time. , oh no, my boyfriend’s 10 years older than me. There’s just a lot of things that I’ve done in life that haven’t been like on the societal schedule and that’s been kind of fun.
’cause it’s, I’ve been able to live a life and enjoy my life more because unfortunately, I see a lot of parents kind of lose their identity, lose themselves because they get so consumed by their children, which I understand. I mean, Michelle comes first at that point, but don’t lose yourself to at least when we’re child free.
We don’t have to worry about that. , Yeah, I I’d rather have I prefer to have pets than not. So I don’t mind that kind of responsibility. That’s to me, that’s different. I do see my bunny as a child , but I know it doesn’t come close to an actual child. I would never want that kind of responsibility, but it’s just.
It’s just the lifestyle you want. And that’s all there is to it. Yeah. Oh, I just I’m loving, , I love that. You’re like, just embrace yourself. What, even if society tells you to do something else, just be like, no, this is what I want. This is what I’m going after. This is my choice. Here’s how I’m going to show up and just embodying and just really saying , here I am, take it or leave it.
Yeah. That’s pretty much how I, it is for me. It’s , you like me? Great. If not, oh, well doesn’t bother me any. Yeah, and I love that you’re helping other women that are in the similar, that I don’t even want to call it situation. Cause it’s not a situation like we’re choosing to not have kids.
That’s not a situation. Situation sounds like something sketchy you get yourself into, but I love that you’re helping other women in brace this bliss lifestyle, because it is, it is so different than what society has told us to do. Yeah. Even if it’s someone who isn’t ready for kids yet, they just don’t have kids at all yet.
Even if they’re thinking about it or they’re on the fence about whether or not to have kids or even being an empty nester, because you kind of have to learn to find yourself again after being so consumed with having children. So it’s so empty nesters and being child. Similar in a lot of ways, not saying they all are, but in a lot of ways it can be.
So I like to, for them in there too. So if someone is struggling or wants to reach out and connect, where can people find you? You can go to my firstname.lastname@example.org and you can find all my social. Services and courses and all the, everything is on there. So it’s all in one place. So you can, , while you’re there, you can even, , grab a free consult with me and we can check.
I love that I might, , I may need to grab a free consult because I need it, all the things I need, all the, , all the support that I can and trying to organize and boundaries and all of that. So my final question for you is if someone were to walk away with just that one mic drop moment or that one nugget, what would you want someone to leave with?
It’s your life and no one else gives you the right to tell you any other way. I mean, as long as you’re not hurting someone and you’re following the law, I don’t see anything wrong with doing whatever you want.