Oct. 13, 2020

The REAL Secret to Balancing Work & Family with Allison Hardy

The REAL Secret to Balancing Work & Family with Allison Hardy

On this episode of The Systems Made Simple™ Podcast, Courtney Elmer talks with business coach Allison Hardy about balancing work and family while growing an online business.

Do you have a strong desire to grow your business, but feel confused by all of the conflicting online marketing strategies out there?

Figuring out how to grow your business while balancing work and family can feel challenging, and today's special guest, Allison Hardy, is here to help you make sense of it all.

Allison Hardy is a woman on a mission to help entrepreneurs, especially busy moms, create thriving 6-figure businesses by teaching them online marketing strategies that help them simplify, automate, and streamline so they can grow quickly and easily while balancing work and family.

Allison Hardy has been featured by Huffington Post and was named one of Washington D.C’s most influential professionals under 40 by Washington Life Magazine, and it's no wonder! Her work is helping women everywhere learn how to grow their digital business while balancing work and family, and succeed at both. 


  • Why most cookie-cutter online marketing strategies are a waste of your time

  • Which online marketing strategies will help you gain more traction and reach more people, without requiring more effort

  • How to automate and streamline your business so that balancing work and family is a breeze, even as a solopreneur

Allison Hardy knows her stuff when it comes to online marketing strategies, and she has a soft spot in her heart for moms who are trying to balance work and family while pursuing their dreams. Whether you're a parent or not, you're going to learn a lot inside this episode that you can instantly apply to your business.

If this episode inspires you, leave a review and share your biggest takeaway with me. And while you've got your phone out, make sure to follow me on Instagram @thecourtneyelmer for more quick tips on how to streamline your business systems and spend more time in your zone of genius.





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You’re Listening to the Systems Made Simple™ podcast, Episode #39! 

Today I’m sitting down with Allison Hardy, my friend and business strategist, to talk about specific online marketing strategies that'll help you streamline and automate your biz so you can work less and keep growing, even when life gets in the way. We also talk about better ways to balance work and family while growing your digital business. If you’re sick and tired of wasting your time trying to make cookie-cutter online marketing strategies work for your biz, and you're ready to make your business work for you, on your terms, then stay tuned.


Allison Hardy is a woman on a mission to help entrepreneurs, especially busy moms, create thriving 6-figure businesses by teaching them online marketing strategies that help them simplify, automate, and streamline their business so they can grow quickly and easily while balancing work and family. 

Allison Hardy has been featured by Huffington Post and was named one of Washington D.C’s most influential professionals under 40 by Washington Life Magazine, and it's no wonder! Her work is helping women everywhere learn how to grow their digital business while balancing work and family, and succeed at both.

So often in this world of entrepreneurship, you’re told you can create a business by your design… but the more you learn, the more pressure you feel to conform to the way everyone else is doing it. What most struggling entrepreneurs never realize is that this is a broken way of thinking. Your business isn't going to automatically grow by re-using the same cookie-cutter marketing techniques as everyone else. And despite popular opinion, you don't have to sacrifice time with your family in order to build a successful business. Allison Hardy is here with me to show you her key online marketing strategies that help you stand out in a crowded marketplace, build a business on your terms, and make balancing work and family easier.

Allison Hardy will show you which cookie-cutter online marketing strategies to stop using, and which online marketing strategies will save you time, help you connect more deeply with your audience, and grow your business while balancing work and family.

You’re going to walk away from this episode with a whole new perspective on what you can do right now to create a business that helps you balance work and family first and foremost, and serves your clients and customers in a more meaningful way, too. 

Are you ready? Let’s roll the tape!


Courtney Elmer 2:32  

Allison Hardy my friend! Welcome to the show. I’m so excited for the online marketing strategies you have to share that are going to help our listeners learn how to grow their business while balancing work and family.


Allison Hardy 2:45

Oh, my gosh, thank you for having me. I'm excited too!


Courtney Elmer 2:51

I can't wait to dive into your story to hear more about your journey. Why don't you start by letting us know who you help and how you help them?


Allison Hardy 6:49  

Yes! I work mostly with mompreneurs who are looking to scale their businesses to six figures on their terms while balancing work and family. A lot of my clients come to me and they've tried many different online marketing strategies and had some success, but they've had an AHA moment where they’ve realized, I don’t know how to make more or have more success without working more. I don't know how to help more people or increase my income without putting in more hours. And I really don't know how to balance work and family.


Allison Hardy 7:18

For 99% of my clients, they don't have that luxury of putting in more hours because they’re busy moms who are working a limited schedule. Balancing work and family can be tough. So I work with them to help them ditch the cookie-cutter online marketing strategies and figure out a better business model so they can effectively leverage their time, and hit the six figure mark while balancing work and family.


Courtney Elmer 7:26  

When I found out about what you did, I thought, “Wow this is so aligned!” Because when you become a mom, or heck, even if you’re simply working a job and trying to grow a business on the side, your time gets really compressed. Balancing work and family can feel challenging, especially when you're trying to figure out how to scale a business but are operating with such limited time. I’d love to hear your own journey and how you got started teaching these online marketing strategies to busy moms to help them successfully balance work and family while growing their business. What inspired you to focus on mompreneurs specifically?


Allison Hardy 7:58  

I was laid off at six months pregnant with my first from my “dream job.” I was a faculty member at a local university, and with the way the college-level hiring process works, I was about a year and a half out from a paycheck. I looked at myself in the mirror and said, "Allison Hardy, nobody is going to do this for you. We don’t have any money, so you have to figure this out."


Allison Hardy 8:29

At the time, I had a part-time side-hustle doing personal training, so I partnered with an MLM to offer their nutritional supplements alongside my personal training services. By incorporating a few key online marketing strategies, I was able to scale the online side of my business really quickly and replaced my 9 to 5 income in just three months before my little guy was born.


Allison Hardy 10:39  

BUT - I was totally in a scarcity mindset. I felt like I didn’t have enough time, or enough expertise, or enough money. I had no clue how to balance work and family. As great as it sounds to replace my 9-to-5 income in the three months before my son was born, I tried to control every single aspect in my business because I was so afraid to screw up. I felt desperate, like I had to make this work. I was working 16-hour days and I had terrible self-care. After my son was born, I got hit with a hearty dose of postpartum depression and can remember sitting with Camden at my desk, with him sleeping on my arms, and I was doing the ugly cry with mascara running down my face. I knew what I was doing was no longer working. It was a terrible time.


Courtney Elmer 12:15  

So many of our listeners can relate to this right now. I have a background in MLM as well, and for me when I was in MLM, balancing work and family felt virtually impossible. So I'm curious, in that moment when you were holding Camden wondering, “Is this all there is?” Did something shift for you right then? What happened next?


Allison Hardy 13:19  

That next day, I was talking with a friend who said, “Allison, don't you think that other people are feeling this way? From what I see you post online, you've been successful. But you're telling me you feel like a total failure. Maybe it's time for you to be real and honest, and help people with this exact thing that you're dealing with.”


Allison Hardy 14:01

I finally saw that all of this had to happen in order for me to help other business owners make this not happen for them. I could teach them the online marketing strategies I knew to help them grow their business quickly, AND show them how to start balancing work and family while doing it. As soon as I announced that I had five 1-1 coaching spots open, they were filled immediately and I thought, “Why didn’t I just do this from the beginning?!” 


Courtney Elmer 14:53  

Yes! I always say, our businesses are meant to heal us in some way. The things you experience are there for a reason, because it helps you tap into your gifts and your strengths. Then you can turn around and help others through that exact thing you faced and overcame, like you've done by teaching other mompreneurs how to balance work and family and still grow their business by using the same online marketing strategies that worked well for you. So after you had these 5 coaching clients who immediately responded and said “yes! I want to work with you,” what did it look like from there? 


Allison Hardy 15:40  

For the first two years, I focused solely on one-on-one coaching. I was starting to feel burnt out again, and realized I was answering the same darn thing over and over again, which felt exhausting. I was using specific online marketing strategies like automation to help me save time, and I had systems in place, like training videos that I wanted each person to watch. So I thought, why not just sell these trainings? So I transitioned from one-to-one, to one-to-many. That’s when I started consistently making money, which made balancing work and family feel even easier because I was no longer in "feast or famine mode."


Courtney Elmer 17:17  

Absolutely. Since you’d had the experience of burnout before, you recognized the signs and knew that it was time for things to shift and change. And taking the experience you’d built your business on thus far, you were able to leverage what you knew and start serving one-to-many. So the thing I want you listening to get is that you don’t have to have it all figured out from day one. You don’t have to be an expert or have all the right online marketing strategies in place. You don't start out knowing how to balance work and family either. It's something you figure out as you go. BUT, it doesn't happen overnight. I think too many entrepreneurs know this intellectually, but they want success to happen so quickly that they forget it easily.

One of the online marketing strategies you talk about a lot is relying on automation to free up your time and energy so you can stay in your zone of genius. I know for a fact that balancing work and family feels much easier when you are working in your zone of genius. Tell us more about this.


Allison Hardy 18:59  

Your business needs to show up for you when you can't show up for it. Life happens. When you have kids, they get sick. Maybe you have a baby. Maybe your husband works crazy hours or it’s summer break. When you don't have systems in place, balancing work and family feels next to impossible. That's why you should have automated online marketing strategies in place that do the work for you during those times. For me and for a lot of my clients, one of these online marketing strategies is an email sales funnel that sells things for you. So that's the first online marketing strategy you need: some sort of mechanism that sells for you.


Allison Hardy 20:01

Second, you need to read the stats. During a stressful time, it’s easy to want to throw in the towel because you’re acting from emotion and not logic. So leaning on the stats -- the numbers and data -- is effective because it helps you make decisions logically instead of emotionally. Anytime you remove those emotional decisions from your business, the better. With data, you can look and see, hey, these open rates are great but nobody's clicking.


Allison Hardy 20:48

So what can we do to make people click? You can dig in with a fine tooth comb and make little improvements along the way for a big impact in the long run. You've done the work. You set it up. It's a system and it works for you.


Courtney Elmer 21:06  

This makes total sense. I'm imagining that some people listening right now might feel like, “but I’m not good at numbers!” And because they believe they’re not good with numbers, they feel like they don’t know how to look at their stats, and therefore they take no action. And, some people listening might have heard about funnels and other advanced online marketing strategies and are thinking, “I know I need this but I have no idea where to start.” Let's be honest, they're struggling with balancing work and family as it is right now so taking on something new might feel overwhelming. What would you say to those who feel this way? Where should they start? 


Allison Hardy 21:50  

If you're going to run a business, you need to lean into your stats, plain and simple. I can give you all the online marketing strategies in the world, but how are you supposed to know which ones are working if you don’t know what your numbers are? Instead of saying “I don’t know,” trade that for “I'm going to figure this out.” For those people who want to have a sales funnel but don’t know where to start, there are tons of free resources out there and also lots of coaches who can help you set yours up.


Courtney Elmer 23:29  

Yes! Instead of thinking “this is why I can’t do it,” look at it from a different lens and say, “okay, this is an opportunity for me to learn.” We all start somewhere, none of us have it figured out from day one. I feel this is a perfect segue into how you have created a business that helps women grow their own businesses while balancing work and family. Society conditions us to believe that we can’t have a business that serves us and I disagree with that. Let's lean into this more: how do you create a business that allows you to balance work and family without one taking away from the other?


Allison Hardy 24:45  

If you have a mission, if you have a desire to scale or even start this business of yours, it simply boils down to figuring out what’s most important to you. For me, in my business, I am big on creative time with my kids. Making art with my kids is highly important to me. We make art every day. Now, I may not make a home cooked meal every day. But for me, art is more important than a home cooked meal.


Allison Hardy 25:25

So you have to figure out what motivates you and make sure you do that first, so that when you sit down to do your work you feel filled in that area. Does that make sense? 


Courtney Elmer 26:37  

Yes, and even more importantly than figuring out the next online marketing strategy you can implement, one of the most powerful ways that you can navigate through stress & overwhelm is to take a closer look at the things that aren’t working for you right now. Culture tells you all of the things you “should” be doing, when that’s not what you need to do for YOUR life. It’s not about doing everything. It’s about asking: what's my next required action? Then focusing your energy and attention there. 


For those listening who are resonating with the idea of implementing these online marketing strategies like automating their business, creating sales funnels, and creating a business that allows them to balance work and family, what word of advice do you want to leave them with today?


Allison Hardy 29:54  

Number one, your business doesn't have to look like anyone else's. Your business only has to fit your life. Balancing work and family will look different for you than it does for someone else. Just because one really successful person succeeded one way doesn't mean it's the exact right fit for you. And, just because this online marketing strategy worked for one person doesn't mean that's the right online marketing strategy for YOU.


Allison Hardy 30:59

It's okay to try something and say, “You know what, that didn't work. I'm shutting that thing down.” It's a part of the process. Lean on the idea of being adventurous, being open to new ideas. Know it's okay to fail, because really that’s just an opportunity to pivot in a new direction.


Courtney Elmer 32:03  

Allison Hardy, I have one question that I love to end on every time we have a guest on the show. I'm curious to hear your answer, especially since you're a pro at helping people better balance work and family. The question is this: What is your definition of success?


Allison Hardy 32:14  

My definition of success is working with phenomenal clients, and spending time with my family all in the same day. To me, that's truly balancing work and family... having your cake and eating it too!


Courtney Elmer 32:26  

The best of both worlds. I know our listeners are going to want to connect with you. Where do you hang out on social media, and how can they find out more about you and learn the specific online marketing strategies you teach?


Allison Hardy 32:35  

Yes! I have a podcast Called the Six Figure Mompreneur Podcast and we dive into the online marketing strategies there. I also have a Facebook group called the Six Figure Mompreneur Community, and lots of free resources in there also for balancing work and family and creating a business on your terms with online marketing strategies like sales funnels and lead magnets. And on instagram at Allison _ Hardy _ and my website Allison Hardy dot com.


Courtney Elmer 32:46  

Awesome. We'll link up to all of that in the show notes. Allison Hardy, thank you so much for your time today. This was great.


Allison Hardy 32:51  

Thank you so much for having me.


Next week, we’re talking about all the different ways you can "niche" without feeling like you're boxing yourself in or excluding people you can help. So share this show with your entrepreneur friends and let them know that’s coming up next week. Until then, go live YOUR EffortLESS Life®  -- I’ll see you back here next time.