If you’ve wondered “How does she do it?” when you see another mom running an amazing business, A Day in the Life of a Mama CEO, is for you.
(And if you dream of traveling the world and running your business, this one is especially for you.)
Tiffiney Lozano is bent on living wildly. She sold her house to sail around the world, but a detour to Mexico offered a different adventure (for now). Being a Mama CEO gives her the location-independent lifestyle she dreams of and lets her help others tap into their passions to live wildly too.
She’s a creative entrepreneur: writer, owner of a boutique film production company with her husband, and a Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map facilitator with workshops online and in person.
Tiffiney is mom to Jaxon and Serafina. This summer the idea of a road trip turned into a move with her family from northern California to Oaxaca, Mexico. They expect to call Oaxaca home for a year to 18 months. Her online home is wildchildtravels.com.
Our days change a lot, but right now while we’re in Mexico, my husband, Diego, and I usually get up and make breakfast and lunches before we wake the kids at 7 AM.
One or both of us walks them to school. (Both of my kid are attending a local Mexican school—that’s the only way I get anything done!).
We are switching schools, though, which will mean driving instead of walking, but the new Montessori school is a better fit with our beliefs—largely play-based and learner-led learning. For now, while one of us gets the kids to school, the other goes for a run up the stairs behind our house.
8:30 AM – 2:30 PM
With the kids off to school, I have 6 hours to run my little empire, which at times feels like I’m chasing my own tail. I’ve learned to pare my to-do list WAY down, and focus on no more than three or four things.
I came to Mexico to build a new brand called WeCreate.global, for writers, makers, thinkers and doers looking to create not only a living, but also a lifestyle from their creativity.
I feel like I’ve hit the lottery in being able to work so closely with Lisa Sonora, an American artist and author of The Creative Entrepreneur, and Christine Gilbert, a photographer, documentary filmmaker, writer, and one of last years National Geographic Travelers of the year.
We are in the process of transferring the current courses we offer over to Udemy, and building out new curriculum to host not only on Udemy, but also offer through the community college system in the US. In addition, we’re building a facilitator training program to train others to do this type of work.
What does that look like in my daily life? Recently with some of that kids-in-school time, I’ve been:
- turning our tiny AirBnB rental into a video studio
- writing curriculum or hosting a group workshop call
- creating graphics
- taking an educational webinar.
Sometimes I feel like I’m ruling the world, others I feel like I should pack it all up and go home where things are straightforward and simple, and someone just gives me a paycheck every month.
I love the pace of life here in Mexico. After school we often stop in the large park at the center of town for fresh potato chips or popcorn. In their current school the kids typically ride their scooter and skateboard home and it’s about a 20 minute walk. Sometimes Diego or I will stay home to try and finish something up, but I love the days we all get to share at least the walk home.
Typically we stop in the market on the way home to pick up a few things for dinner and the next day’s lunches. Everything feels a bit like an adventure, even a routine trip to the store, because we are foreigners.
This is a challenging part of the day. I’m typically trying to get to the finish line on a project, settle the kids down with any work required for school, and then get dinner ready and meet everyone’s emotional needs too. I’ve heard others call this the witching hour, and I can certainly relate to that!
I make dinner and we all sit down on our outdoor patio and enjoy a meal al fresco. With the view from our patio, I feel like we’re doing something exotic, even though it’s the same routine everyday. Sitting down to dinner with my family is my favorite time of day. At that point, whatever I’ve gotten done is done, and I completely let go of anything that I wasn’t able to complete. We do a gratitude ritual with dinner every night, and it allows me to really take stock of the day and enjoy whatever I’ve accomplished. Wine is common with our evening meal, as is laughter and silliness.
We are still perfecting bedtime in our house. It’s my least favorite time of the day! I’ve started playing the Oprah and Deepak meditation series as the kids fall asleep. It serves two purposes: it keeps me calm and I sort of get to mediate, and it puts them right to sleep within 20 minutes! Thankfully we’ve sort of outgrown this stage, but for Mama CEOs still living the terrible bedtime years, go easy on yourself.
Typically after we put the kids to bed, we find ourselves headed in the same direction! Not very exciting, but true! Our time together is typically during the day while the kids are at school. I have way more energy during the day, and it’s one of the perks of working from home.
Making It Work—Schedules, Lists and Getting It Done
I try to do high level strategic planning once a month to layout my projects, then week by week, with lots of room for rescheduling during the days. In the end I typically hit my goals for the week, but often things get moved from one day to another.
To get it all done, I make lists ( I know, totally unsexy), put deadlines on calendars, and set reminders with my phone. The reality as a mom is that there are interruptions constantly. Interruptions often drive me crazy, but it’s what I have to work with, and so I try to focus on the positive.
One of my favorite tools I use is the Desire Map Planner, it helps me focus on my day in a more holistic way. By laying out first how I want to feel that day, I then schedule my tasks and try not to expect to complete more than 3 or 4 big items a day. There of course there are a million, insignificant yet important pieces that any mother completes on any given day, but having just a few tangible goals, leaves me lots of room for the unexpected variables, that inevitably rise as a mother!
My daily mantra, has become “Done is better than perfect.” I don’t have the luxury of perfect anymore, if I want to accomplish all the things I want to see, do and experience, I have to do the best I’m capable of in any given moment, and move onto the next things.
When Things Break Down
We have been traveling and living in short term living situations for 3 to 4 month chunks of times for over a year now, so I often feel off kilter until I find a routine in a new place and situation. Trying to manage everything only on-line, leaves me feeling flighty and disorganized, so I’ve learned to carry a hard copy calendar and whatever I’m working on with me in my makeshift briefcase.
Even when we lived out of our camper van for a month during a road trip to southern Mexico, I had to have my binders and calendars with me. I admire people that can manage their entire life and business online, but I’m afraid I’m a little old school in this arena.
A Take-Away Tip from Tiffiney
I believe in forgiveness and self-compassion! And reminding myself that my relationships are truly the most important thing at the end of the day.
It’s really easy to compare ourselves on our worst day, to other online entrepreneurs on their best day. Failure and setbacks are totally part of the overall success.
It’s so common to hear people, particularly entrepreneurs, talk about work/life balance, and I honestly think it’s a myth. Most of my close friends who have successful small businesses, are constantly fine-tuning the self-care aspect with all the roles they play.
With that said, without a doubt, making sure I get at least 20 minutes (preferable 40) to meditate, go for a run, or art journal are my lifesavers. When I think I don’t have the time is when I need it most. I’ve spent days chasing my tail, because my mind was in tizzy. As mama we have to maximize short hours to crank out projects and being focused is our best weapon.
Thank you, Tiffiney, for sharing a glimpse into your Mama CEO life!
If you’re ready to live a wilder, more passionate life—whatever that means for you—check out Tiffiney’s virtual session of the Desire Map workshop in November. The course is a little slice of sanity and self-care for us Moms during what can be a draining season filled with expectation and chaos.
Need a little mama inspiration? The anthology Mama Said: Wit & Wisdoms for New Mothers is due out in November. Get on the mailing list to be notified when it’s released.
Tiffiney and I actually went to high school together in tiny town in Northern California. She and I loss track of each other over the last 15 years, but reconnected in a facebook business group a few months ago. I admit, I’m kind of obsessed with Tiffiney’s blog and travels. If you’re dreaming about new destinations, check out this video of their road trip from California to Mexico.
Is picking up and relocating your family and business appealing? Where would you go? I’d love to hear in the comments!
I loved this post Megan! THANK YOU… So many concrete tips to make life more exotic as a Mama CEO even if you don’t lead a nomadic lifestyle… curious to know, though – how can you be nomadic, uprooting family every couple of months when your kids are in school? Hmmmm
Our lifestyle is probably a crazy thought for a lot of people. It’s not always fun or easy!
To answer your question about moving while your kids are in school, there are a few different options.
One is to homeschool, and there are some great resources out there. But the one we most often use, is we enroll in local schools, which means it’s best to stay in one place for an academic school year.
Last year my kids were only 3 and 5, so it was really quite simple. This year however, my son is in first grade, and thus the decision to stay in one place for at least year.
One my business is able to support me without as much time invested, I will take on homeschooling my kids so that we can travel freely.
I wrote a post here about our last school transition: http://wildchildtravels.com/the-truth-about-kids-and-transitions/
Really lovely to connect with you and all the superstar Mama CEOs! Thank you again Megan for all your wonderful resources and for sharing our story.
I love the idea of location-independent lifestyle in theory, but truth is I love being rooted in my community and home. Still fascinating to read about others adventures. Thanks for sharing a glimpse of your life, Tiffiney.
We get to stay in one place for three years, so not quite as adventurous, but nevertheless has its ups and down. So far its been Egypt and Peru. Working for myself is the only way I can have even a hint of a career, and I’m starting to love it. Always good to hear how others do it. Thanks for the inspiration Tiffaney!