Why You've Got To Check Out Today's Episode:

  • Learn why having systems in place will help in your business and your personal life.
  • Learn how multitasking efficiently can help you work smarter, not harder.




[00:00:00] Kathi Burns:
Hi there. I'm board certified professional organizer Kathi Burns. I'm really glad you're here. This podcast is designed for busy entrepreneurs just like you, who wanna take better control of your business and move forward with less stress and more success. If this is your first time listening, then thanks for coming. The Organized Energized Podcast is produced for your enjoyment and show notes are found at ThePodcast@OrganizedandEnergized.com. Come back often and feel free to add this podcast to your favorite RSS feed or iTunes. You can also follow me on Twitter at Organized Energy and Facebook. All links are in the show notes. Now, let's get into the show.

Hi everyone, this is Kathi, and today I'm going speak with Heather Greco. She is the busy mom of three and the founder of Chaos N' Cookies. We're going talk about how to control the chaos in your life as a mom. Maybe you're not a mom, I'm not a mom, but hey, everything that she has to talk about is gonna be really good because we all need standard up running procedures for our life and Heather is a master at controlling the chaos. She has the chaos control system and she created it to equip moms to overcome their own objections so they can live the life they wanna live, and they can start the business that they have always wanted to start. And it's a tool every mama needs to save time and stress less when chaos is ensues, even if we're not moms. There's a lot of nuggets you're going to take away from this interview with Heather. So let's jump in and get started. Hi everyone, this is Kathy and I am back with Heather Greco. She is helping moms get rid of their chaos. She is known as a chaos coordinator and I absolutely love that. So welcome to the show, Heather.

[00:01:50] Heather Greco:
Thank you for having me. It's great to be here.

[00:01:52] Kathi Burns:
Absolutely. I love anybody that can help anybody eliminate their chaos in their life. Talk to me a little bit about your backstory. How did you get into the situation? Obviously you had some babies, but let's talk about how you got to where you are right now with your career.

[00:02:06] Heather Greco:
Yes, I have three kiddos. They're right now at the time it's either eight, seven, and five. So hands are full. And I have a marketing and sales background in the legal field and an exercise science major in college. And I wanted to start a business three years ago after jumping into health and wellness like a virtual coach and thought that I could help. The clients I was helping not just get, healthy in their nutrition and exercise and all the things that we think we need. It's also making time to do that, making the space to do that and not feeling overwhelmed and guilty like we all want as moms. And so that's exactly where it started. My ex-husband was always on the road and I was doing it all on my own or I had, my nanny that helped me and it was a lot of coordination between someone that's not my spouse and someone that can change an instant. Some, they come, they go when you hire help. And I really wanted to help, coordinate that effort too, so you're not reinventing the wheel every single time.

[00:03:13] Kathi Burns:
Exactly. And getting people that help you help yourself, especially when you have kiddos, I know is a task. Cause I do that a lot for my moms. There's something to be said about that and changing up the guard and having the people that you really trust and so on and so forth. Yeah. And I think you, you bring a really good gift to the world because you've been there, done that. Now, what do you feel your superpower is?

[00:03:35] Heather Greco:
Oh man, I like this question. I've gotten this before. I think it's the art of multitasking, to be honest. And not everyone can do it. It does not come natural to everyone. And for me, I can find a way to make it easier. There's always a way to look at something and be more efficient at it and have a better system. It might not be the first time, but you can really rework it and make it work. Smarter, not hard.

[00:04:03] Kathi Burns:
Absolutely. There's always a way to do it easier. And I don't, you find that when people are in their muck that they can't really see the way forward. They're like, ah, I'm just like that. And so I think you create a really valuable resource for people. So how do you actually implement it with a client? Give me a story about a client that you helped and how you helped her see the way forward through better efficiency and systems.

[00:04:27] Heather Greco:
So I had a client when we were going through her chaos control system and trying to really create the manual for her home and instructions, and there were some hurdles that we had to work through because we were filling out like her kid's section, and she's mom and she has everything in her brain. And the point is to put it down because if mom's not around, mom's busy, don't text her, check the book kind of thing. And her child has a very severe net allergy. And so I asked her like, as we're going through the health like allergies, and we put nuts. And I said there's, it's very specific and it's like, how severe is it? Can it be like they can't be in the room, they can't touch it, they can't eat it. What is it? I said you have to write it down because if I'm gonna come in and take care of your kid and I'm not gonna know the severity of it, and it could range. So we went through that a little bit and she then came to the what happens when he has a reaction? She goes he has an EpiPen. And I said okay, where's the EpiPen held? She was like, Oh, it's always on me or it's here and I said we have to be specific on where the person can find it and it has to stay there and making it a point to be very, It's almost like when, back when you're in third grade writing healthy papers like how to make a peanut butter sandwich and it sounds like dumb down, but you really have to give step by step, especially in an emergency situation because people, some people panic, some people are really, cool and collected it just depends and I said, once they have this pen, what happens? And she's Oh, I usually just explain this to them when they come in and before I go out. And I said, what if you're on the floor because you got hit in the head and you can't tell us. It has to be written down. And it's very specific cuz she's the instructions are on the Epipen. That's fine, but maybe, the instructions are on the EpiPen. It's best to do it X and her seeing the frame, it's hard to see the picture when you're in the frame. And she was really understanding Oh, I'm, I might not be able to tell them. And so it's difficult to get out of the mindset of I'm mom, I'm still let them know, how many times do we write lists for a babysitter or, if you're traveling and it's the pets then what happens to the list? Throw it away and you redo it. So just keeping it a system and once you put it on paper, I feel it becomes a more permanent fixture than in your head. Cuz you can always change it because then it gives it a system. It's almost like you get a manual when you work for a job, they tell you they're operating procedure.

[00:07:04] Kathi Burns:
Oh, that's a great story. And I think also it gives great comfort to the mom and to the helpers, and even to the kids that they know that they're gonna be taken care of. And once you think it through, you're like, Oh yeah, I didn't think about saying where the EpiPen might be if I'm not around. So That's brilliant. What's the one thing that your business has taught you as you've been going through and helping moms? What's the last thing that you've learned through this process?

[00:07:27] Heather Greco:
The lesson I've learned is that you cannot please everybody and you cannot appeal to everyone. It's okay not to be the solution for all. That's not our goal. Our goal is to help the people that really need it, and the goal is not to make money. Yes, of course we all need money, makes the world go around. However, it's if I can make their life easier tomorrow, that's a win. Or, Hey, someone discovered somebody through me. It's to become the change for them, and I've learned that you have to niche. I hate that word. It's so gross, the niche down, but you do have to find where you live and it's okay to live and be small when it comes to your reach.

[00:08:17] Kathi Burns:
I totally agree with you. I think it's important, and I think that oftentimes, I spend so much time setting avatar, who's your avatar, and I really truly feel that our avatar is us. Just like you're a busy mom, you have chaos, you have cookies that's the niche because you're gonna understand these people. The people I serve, I'm gonna understand them because they understand me. And, I think there's a lot to be said about not necessarily striving so much to be that avatar that you're not, or finding that client that you're not. I think I agree. I agree totally with you. And I don't mind saying niche, because I think a niche is a very important thing that goes right along.

[00:08:55] Heather Greco:
You do? I think it's a overused word.

[00:08:57] Kathi Burns:
Yeah, it is. It is. But stay small and serve who you are and then you know those people intrinsically because you've been there, done that. And we all have a little superpower that we can tell the people that are like us, and then that's what it's all about. Obviously you're super pros, efficiency and having someone as efficiency expert in your lane is hugely important. Tell me about a success that you've had during your career. And what happened and how did you celebrate it?

[00:09:29] Heather Greco:
Oh so I have, I love my podcast and I'm very proud that I've been able to keep it up as long as I have. And I get really excited when I land really big deal guests that are a big deal to me or my community. And I scream it, I get real, real excited and I'm just like, you'll never know who guess who I booked. And I tell my community and I tell post on social. I get the joy of others getting excited about it because it's something that I'm able to bring to them. And I landed a couple of pretty big names and one of 'em was Kids Eat in Color and she's got like 1.8 million followers and she helps picky eaters and moms that have picky eaters and nutrition and she's awesome. And she grew her business organically in three years just by posting these tricks on how to get kids to eat their vegetables. And it wasn't by hiding them in the food. And I had another one that I just actually did and it's trending still, it's the Macro Barista. It's for my health and wellness coaches and the people that I help on Instagram. And he does macro friendly coffees. That's all he posts is coffee recipes. People love him, they couldn't wait for it. And do I drink a lot of coffee? I actually don't. Moms do. And he actually said my base is moms and he is a 29 year old kid, , who just posts, he used to be a Starbucks barista, but he's like, Moms love my stuff. Then it caters and he knows where he sits and that's how it goes.

[00:10:56] Kathi Burns:
Yeah. And I really like your podcast for those listening. Her podcast is Chaos and Cookies. Definitely check it out. We'll put a link below as well, like it, like this one that we're on right now, and her, hers, and mine. Please, if you're enjoying this conversation. How do you celebrate? So once you land someone big, is there a celebration thing that you do? Do you do a happy dance? Do you shout to the world? Do you call your girlfriends What happens?

[00:11:21] Heather Greco:
I buy a bottle of champagne and pop it open. I love the bottle, I do. I'll just be honest. I don't care if it's, and it's usually a nicer bottle. I don't go crazy, but I think it's exciting. And if no one wants to share it with me or there's no one here, I'll cheers myself. Like I don't care. I think if you have a win, you should acknowledge it because then you'll never feel like you fulfilled, maybe fulfilled it, or you wanna give yourself a pat in the back.

[00:11:43] Kathi Burns:
Yeah, there's something about, just popping the cork and then you're like, ah, okay. I'm in celebration mode. I'm with you on the bubbly part of it.

[00:11:49] Heather Greco:
I drink the whole thing. Cause they're bubbles.

[00:11:52] Kathi Burns:
That's right. So your efficiency girl, what's your favorite organizing hack that you use that supports you throughout your busy day or your career?

[00:12:01] Heather Greco:
Oh, so my newest. I love this one and I'm finally, I taught people how to do it. I never really implemented it myself, fullest, to the fullest, but I have been doing it this year for school. I love this organization hack for my kids, where on Sundays or sometimes on Fridays, like if my nanny comes in and does it, cuz I'm single parent. I have to have help. Like I will always try to make it a way to, so it takes the pressure off of me. And so my three kids are in private school and all their PE days are different and their uniforms are, and they got like free dress. So there's so many to keep up with. And I literally still have to look at the sticky note on who has what. So instead of doing that or arguing with my child about what they're wearing. I live in Texas, it's hot and they wanna wear pants and long sleeve and it's you're gonna burn up. I don't have those conversations in the morning anymore and laying their clothes out the night before I could get the day mixed up. And so on Sundays I go and I bought this these shelves. It's the hanging one and there's the cloth, there's five. They're like the shoes and I label them Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and I put them all in there and in the morning they go and then grab the day that they need. Or at night I can just grab it and put it on their dresser cuz they're small. My youngest one, but it's there. Set it, forget it. I'm done. I don't have to worry about them. If you have a crazy soft day or like a weird theme week, you can put that out ahead of time. So then you don't, you're not that mom that's Oh, I forgot like my kid now.

[00:13:32] Kathi Burns:
I love that. I love, love, love that hack. I just helped a client do that for packing. She took her, she had a, the five, she actually had a seven divider and she could put each day in there, and then she knows that she's good to go and then she can repeat on the flight home. Absolutely loved them. They're a great thing. And I'll put a link to that below and I'll probably blog a little bit about it as well. So you can check that out. But yeah, that's fantastic. Speaking of links I know that you have something that you wanna offer the listeners here. What can they download from you or what can they receive?

[00:14:03] Heather Greco:
So I have a pocket playbook. So we have the family playbook and the home edition, which is like 181 pages. It's the full shebang. But if you want a free, smaller version and you can download it. It's called the Pocket Playbook. It's all the essential ones that you could get started with, and then as you have that information, you can start growing into the larger sections or the other sections that you need. And so you can download the pocket playbook for free and get started. And it's pdf. It's a PDF where you can print them, but it's editable, so you can type it and then print it, keep it, and then when something changes, you just have to go back in and change a little bit so you're not having to reprint and refill it out.

[00:14:44] Kathi Burns:
Oh, that's fantastic. Yeah, everybody makes sure to do that pocket playbook. And then if you wanna go further, obviously you can jump into the other products that are available. So as you're looking back at your life, what would you tell your 18 year old self? What nugget would you give yourself?

[00:15:02] Heather Greco:
So many life lessons lately, but if I had to pick one, I would say, To always make your own way and not to rely solely on someone for the things that you might not understand, you need to learn it yourself. It's a great tool. Cause you never know when you're gonna need to apply those or have the ability to, need to know, we all have, if you have a business, you have maybe an accountant, maybe you have someone that runs your website. It's really important to at least understand the basics to get by, because if that person is sick or that person, you have to fire and you have to do it. You need to know enough to be able to get by and to be dangerous a little bit. Not like you don't have to be an expert, but you should learn the ins and outs of everything. Why not even your home, where the air filters are, how to turn off the water if there's a, like the leak and your husband maybe does it and he's not there and he travels and you have a gushing pipe and now you don't know how to turn off the water, things like that can save you money time. And educating yourself that way.

[00:16:08] Kathi Burns:
Yeah, I totally am with you on that. You should delegate wherever you can, but you need to know what you're delegating in case that delegation person is absent. Am I sick? Or just doesn't help.

[00:16:19] Heather Greco:
Or recognize when they're doing something wrong and incorrect, or you being knowledgeable to correct them and say, this is not what I was looking for. This is what I want. Can you do this?

[00:16:27] Kathi Burns:
Yeah. And I find that's really true about bookkeeping and, knowing at least how your finances are flowing and how you are tracking them is so very critical. Not just delegated out to someone who might or might not be doing what you need them to do. At least you can tell whether they're doing it or not.

[00:16:44] Heather Greco:
You don't want anyone stealing from you.

[00:16:47] Kathi Burns:
A really good piece of advice you have there, Heather.

[00:16:49] Heather Greco:
Hey, I've seen it happen.

[00:16:52] Kathi Burns:
Yeah, absolutely. And you have to be, it's like control. Being in control of knowing what people should be doing so that you can know if they're not doing it, and if they're doing it really well, then you can applaud them and say, You're rocking it. I love the fact that you're taking care of me in this way.

[00:17:08] Heather Greco:
I love that you said that. When you relinquish control to someone, it's very hard to take it back. And so I guess that would be another piece of advice is to not ever relinquish full control, because it's very difficult to, It's almost like a bike, like I'm learning finances and things now. I haven't done it in a very long time. My ex-husband did a lot of it. It's like riding a bike. It's also a lot bigger 15 years later, and there's, I got kids now and so there's a lot of moving parts in relearning and educating. So I'm making sure I'm actually going through the process of doing my new version of chaos control system myself for my own household and doing a new SOP because things changed, different things are working that weren't working before, things like that. And so it's just, it's okay to evolve. But don't lose control. Like I will never give up control now just cuz I don't ever wanna try and get it back.

[00:18:06] Kathi Burns:
Yeah. I love the fact that you talk about SOPs cuz you know, I, we think about that in business. We all need SOPs in business, but you need an so for your family life as well if you have kiddos. For those that you out there who have never considered this, have that SOP for your family and your family life, it's gonna just control the chaos. Right, Heather?

[00:18:24] Heather Greco:
We all have one. You actually do. You might not think you do, but it's all, it's probably in your head. Or you just have a system or a way. A lot of clients and people that I talk to are like, I don't have a system. I need help. I'm like, You actually probably have a system. You just don't realize that you are. And if you put it down on paper, then you can see the gaps in your system. Maybe it's like, Oh, I didn't realize that this was happening and I could do it this way or not changing anything at all, but putting it on paper and solidifying it, it creates it as a process and then it's a system and procedure, and then it becomes almost like a rule to follow and check the book. We have manuals for our car. We have manuals for our computer. Earbuds, like you can have a manual for your house since the schedule for your kids. That's the manual for how they go out through their day and how they do their homework and when they go to bed and it's all there.

[00:19:10] Kathi Burns:
Yeah, and I agree when you put it on paper you can very easily see the gaps of, Oh yeah, I was just winging it during that period. Oh yeah, that was a wing thing that, for someone who needs to fill in the gaps for me, I need to tell them what I did during that time

[00:19:24] Heather Greco:
And do some timing, like time yourself. See how long it really truly takes you because you could be like, I could shave some time down, or, Oh, this is not enough time for me to do this. And getting a really good grip about your time management skills and you'll feel more productive and you'll also find that it frees yourself up more to do than what ever is you do wanna do. Workout take a walk, nap.

[00:19:47] Kathi Burns:
Yeah. We all need naps. I think you saw that gap as well. Instead of fighting with your kids every morning and what are they gonna wear? You're gonna fill that gap and on Sunday you're gonna do boom, line it up in a row, and then there's no arguments about that.

[00:19:59] Heather Greco:
Proactive versus reactive. You wanna be as proactive as you can. I get a lot of hard times actually, I, when I post stuff, I have a couple of friends that are like, Do you ever do anything spontaneous? Why don't you just fly by? I say I try, but it makes me very anxious because if I don't, this is weird. I see 16 steps ahead. I'm just trying to eliminate anything that I can control. Like I can't control everything. But the thing is I can, I will try and do.

[00:20:24] Kathi Burns:
Let's just create a system. Girl, I'm with you on the systems. Systems to back up and support us so that we can have fun. Actually, systems help us have fun without systems, good scrambling. And we, we are like, Oh my gosh, I'm so behind because there's nothing there to support you. There's no backdrop, no SOP, no system. Yeah, we are like-minded on that. In closing what should we have talked about or what should I have asked you that maybe we didn't cover? Is there anything that is burning on your mind that you want to tell the audience here?

[00:20:54] Heather Greco:
I think that it's just important that when you are doing your to-do list, you are trying to create the goals that you are for the day. It's okay if it's not just for your business. It's also if you have personal things and then taking the time to reflect at the end of the day when you get through your stuff. And if you don't get something done, it's okay. You move it to the next day and then you make that the priority. That way you don't keep knocking it down the list and thinking about how it makes you feel, and if it brought you joy. If you were like, that was such a pain, I really don't wanna do that, I'd rather someone else do it. Or I could have combined these two things and understanding exactly how it makes you feel. You can then reflect and then close it for the day and then move on. It's almost like giving yourself closure. Seeing, and just, it's a process. I think It's not just, I think we forget, like when we check our stuff off, nope done. You don't reflect I got my workout done. Cool. And to the next, it's how'd that make me feel? I'm like, Oh, I feel more energized. I feel better. I'm gonna now eat healthier because of it or whatever. Just reflecting on that is an important step.

[00:21:58] Kathi Burns:
I think the wrap is so important. When do you recommend that people do the wrap up and the reflection?

[00:22:04] Heather Greco:
I think whenever it's best for you and you can actually put thought towards it, and whether that be after the kids go to bed and you were sitting finally sitting down and trying to just decompress. I know I can't just put the kids to bed. Maybe they're having a late night or it's just one of those full moon and someone's sick, whatever. I still can't just go into my bed and go to bed. I need to take a minute. I need to wind down. I need at least like an hour. I don't care what time it is, and that's when I decompress and think about it. But it's whatever works for you, don't make it out to be. You don't have to do it like me. You do it. What works for you and how you can sit there and reflect. You only need five minutes. It's not a big thing, but it's important to acknowledge it.

[00:22:50] Kathi Burns:
Yeah, I totally agree with you. I like to do mine as I'm going to sleep, but it's my gratitude part of the day as well. I can be grateful for the things that really worked and then I can reflect on the things that I could have done a little bit better. And going to sleep, especially with the gratitude part is really critical for how you're gonna sleep and how you're gonna wake up. So that's a really good thought, Heather. I appreciate you bringing that one in. Awesome. Everybody check out Chaos N' Cookies. I'm gonna be on as a guest here sometime in the future. And if not before this one airs. Either way we are gonna play together, girl, and we're like-minded and I really appreciate having you on the show. Everybody makes sure to download this stuff. Also, I have a free gift on this side six steps to Organize and Energize your life. Make sure to download that as well. And if you like this podcast, please give it a thumbs up, give it some love, share it with your girlfriends. It might have kiddos as well that need to create an SOP. It's a really good. So thank you Heather, so much for being on the show. I appreciate your time and your energy. Love your energy, girl.

[00:23:50] Heather Greco:
Thank you so much for having me, and I'm looking forward to talking to you online.

[00:23:53] Kathi Burns:
All right, girl, I'll signing off for now. This is Kathi with Organized Energized. Heather at Chaos N' Cookies. We will talk to you and hopefully see you soon down the road at both of our podcast.

Hey, thanks for listening to this podcast. I hope you enjoyed this episode, and if you wanna hear more, feel free to subscribe on the platform of your choice. Also, if you feel so inclined, I would truly appreciate a good rating from you to me. Have a stellar day.

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