Find Peace In Systems – Reimagining Hustle with Phylicia Pough

My big takeaway:

Systems bring peace. Trust that.

Phylicia Pough is a mom of one and founder of Mom CEO Suite and podcast. Phylicia shares her entrepreneurial journey and discusses strategies for creating a successful business while maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

This episode is a great resource if you’re looking to transform their mindset around hustle and prioritize peace, ease, and intentional actions.

Links from the show:

Show Notes:

Roxanne: Podcasting from under my blankets. So it’s quiet enough to hear me. This is re-imagining hustle, a podcast for entrepreneurial parents, creating a life or business and parenthood live peacefully in the same space. I’m your host, Drax and market, a mom of two micro business coach and serial entrepreneur on a journey to prove that. It really is possible to do what you love. Without sacrificing all of your precious time. Let’s do this.

Welcome back to Reimagining Hustle. I’m so excited for my guest today. I have Phylicia Pough with me. Phylicia, how you doing?

Phylicia Pough: I’m great. How are you?

Roxanne: I’m very good.

This is gonna be so fun. I know we’re, we’re kind of running similar worlds. I was sneaking a peek at your podcast earlier and, and we’ve got a lot of really similar conversations we’re having, so I’m so excited to just like crash our worlds together and have this conversation with you today.

Phylicia Pough: Yes. So excited.

Roxanne: Thank you.

So, Phylicia, will you tell us about you, tell us about the work that you do in your journey to get there.

Phylicia Pough: Oh, wow. Okay. I’ll give you guys the short version. So, I’m Phylicia, definitely glad to be here. Um, I’m a wife, a mom of one. My daughter’s 18 months at the time of this recording, and I’m an entrepreneur and so my life kind of is this mashup of all of these different things. Um, my entrepreneurial journey actually started before I was a mom, and this was back in like 2016.

I was working a job, you know, no shade to the job life. You know, keep your nine to five if that’s what you need to do. But at the time, I, um, you know, I just knew it wasn’t for me in that, in that season of my life. And so I ended up leaving. Long story short, I ended up leaving, um, and. , you know, it’s been since 2016, since I’ve had a full-time job, it has not been an easy journey.

I will say that, you know, because I wasn’t prepared when I left. I was just leaving without a plan and actually talk about this, um, some of my podcasts, that if I could redo entrepreneurship, there’s so many things that I would do differently. So I feel like now I’m starting again. Long story short, I’m an entrepreneur, started in uh, administration, working behind the scenes in businesses. That kind of turned into system strategy systems and automation strategy.

And now through the mom CEO Suite, which I’m the founder of, we help mompreneur service providers be able to be positioned for their first hire. And it’s through our sustainable systems framework. And so I’m really excited about that. We’ll be launching a membership pretty soon. We have a podcast. So there’s this whole synergy around.

Um, the intersection of motherhood and entrepreneurship through the Mom CEO suite. So that’s just a little bit about me and what I do.

Roxanne: I love it. So you really focus on systems on, on getting those in order. So talk to us a little bit about like what does that, I feel like systems is one of those things that. Like you, unless you’re in it and you know what it means, it feels a little buzzwordy. So will you talk to us about, cuz I imagine many of my listeners are sitting here going, yeah, yeah.

System, system systems. I get it. But like, what is it? What does it mean?

[00:03:08] What Are Systems?

Phylicia Pough: I love this question because it is a buzzword, right? And everybody, when you say it, different things come to mind, right? When you say systems, for some people they think of software, but for me, when I say system, I’m really meaning your process plus your people, plus your tools and all of those things combined equals the system.

And so you can have a system for various parts of your business. So you can have different marketing systems, uh, sales systems, client experience, but it really starts with what’s the process, which is really like just the step-by-step of how you do anything in your business. So thinking of it as like a recipe, what are the steps that you need to take to get to this end point?

And then once you have your process, you can look at it and say, okay. , where in this process can I implement automation? And then where in this process can I have people to help me to execute this process? And so that’s where the tools come in for the, uh, for the automation. And then your people are, you know, it can be a va, you can hire full-time employees, contractors, whatever.

But for me, when I say a system, I mean your process plus your people, plus your tools.

Roxanne: That’s such a great breakdown and you just made it so simple and so doable. Thank you for letting me ask you to clarify that one. I appreciate it. So, so you left your job in 2016, kind of have spun around and, and did you get right into systems and then have you kind of revamped it or what did that look like for you?

Phylicia Pough: No. So when I first left my job, I really had no clue what I, what I wanted to do at the time. I actually had a nonprofit organization, uh, back in my hometown of Philadelphia where I’m from, which was a mentoring program for teen girls. And at the time, that was my focus. I really wanted time to be able to grow that.

But with that, you know, nonprofits funding and didn’t have any systems, so it was really challenging to keep it going. And so we ended up shutting that down. Then I’m like, okay, I just wanna help women reach their goals. I was very vague with what I was trying to do, and so it shifted kind of from that to doing some VA work.

Uh, then the VA work was kind of focused on admin, um, administration.

Roxanne: Got it,

Phylicia Pough: And then from there it shifted into systems and automation strategy.

Roxanne: got it. That makes sense. And that makes sense too, that that would be kind of the learning process to get you where you’re at. That’s, that’s really cool. So through all of this, you had your daughter as well. , how did that change things for you?

Phylicia Pough: So I just had my daughter, uh, what, a year and a half ago. And so I’ve been in entrepreneurship for a minute now. 16. You know, it’s been a minute.

Roxanne: Yeah, eight years or so. Uhhuh.

Phylicia Pough: Yeah. Don’t ask me to do mental math. Clearly I’m not good at it.

Roxanne: it’s early in the morning here. I know it’s late at night there. It’s all right.

Phylicia Pough: right.

Roxanne: I’ll, I got you.

Phylicia Pough: So, you know, I knew things would change, but I just didn’t know how and how much they would change. And so I think when I, when I first had her, I took my little three month personal maternity leave and then I thought I was just gonna jump right back into doing things how I normally did them. And that was just like a rude awakening because I was trying to really like fit her into this old schedule that I had this old way of life and it just really wasn’t working.

Um, and so once I’ve kind of shifted my mind to say, okay, I need to create a business and a lifestyle around my daughter instead of, you know, trying to fit her into this business that I had before she was here, things really began to change. I really had to get, um, on a, like a regimented schedule to. , um, just have routine for both her and I, and I created boundaries for the business where, you know, I only was, uh, working during these certain hours, which I mean, still now are her nap times.

And so I have less time to do work, but it helped me to be more productive because I’m super focused and, you know, it’s like, you know, you only have this amount of time to get things done and so you’re not lollygagging doing all these other things. And so while there were lots of challenges with like time management in the beginning, it did um, just kind of help me to be more productive.

And it was a learning curve, but. I think the more you do it and if you have a plan and a routine, it becomes easier. But there’s also this thing where once something starts to feel normal, it changes. And so just being really flexible, more flexible than I’ve ever had to be and for life at all, um, was just another change that I had to deal with.

Roxanne: That makes a lot of sense. It’s almost, I mean, it comes back to those systems again, right? It’s like you had to completely revamp the system. So what does success look like to you now versus maybe when you got started a couple years ago?

[00:07:54] What does success look like?

Phylicia Pough: Yeah. So for me, success is like a lifestyle success. It’s not just about business. It’s, yes, I wanna have a thriving business, but I wouldn’t want a thriving business if it were, um, Hurting the relationship with my husband and my fam or and my daughter, right? And so it looks like being in a space where business and life works together well, um, and where I’m able to keep my family first, right?

That’s really the essence of the Mom CEO suite. And why I started it is because I do believe that business and life can work together, and you don’t have to sacrifice your family for the sake of your business. And so for me, that’s what success looks like. And then it’s being able through the business to also support other moms in business who are seeking to do the same thing and really just having an impact in that area. Um, so for me, that’s what it looks like. There’s no real, like I know some people have dollar amounts attached to it, you know, not saying I don’t wanna make money, but for me it’s more about, um, just having a business that fits within my lifestyle.

Roxanne: Hmm. I like that. I like that definition a lot. So I asked you a little bit about how being a parent through this entrepreneur journey changed kind of systems, and it did change the systems, but how has it changed you as a person, as a human?

[00:09:08] How has it changed YOU?

Phylicia Pough: Oh goodness. Um, I think I, I, so I learned a lot about myself. I learned that I like to have control of things, and when you are a parent,

Roxanne: Yeah.

Phylicia Pough: there’s just no control. Like you just can’t control things. So I had to learn how to, you know, it goes back to that flexibility piece that I was mentioning. Um, just had to learn to let go of controlling things and having to have things done the way that I’m used to having them done or the way that I wanted them done.

And just kind of going more with the flow and being more sensitive to, you know, in, in the case of motherhood, the needs of my daughter. But then that does translate into business as well because you just are able to be more in tune with people’s needs and the emotional side of things. Um, so for me, I think that was the biggest thing, um, is really just letting go of control because man, when I say I really like things done my way, and I mean, I’m a systems person, right?

And I like boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. And it’s, it’s not like that, you know, sometimes the routine or the schedule that I. , it doesn’t work because my daughter may need extra attention or, you know, whatever the case may be, um, something in life might happen. And so I think that’s how it’s changed me as a person, just being more flexible, but then also just being more in tune with, with the human nature of life.

You know, I think sometimes we get caught up in just our day-to-day and getting things done and uh, checking things off of our to-do list. Um, but this. I feel like I’m more present now than I, than I was before being in the moment enjoying moments. You know, before we came on, we were talking about little baby toes, like

Roxanne: Little baby toes. Oh, , yes.

Phylicia Pough: Like just enjoying the moments because time does move fast and you know, we can get caught up in the whirlwind of business and, and life just happening so fast. So I think for me, just being present, being flexible and just being in tune, I is how motherhood has changed me.

Roxanne: Hmm. That’s, Ugh. I love that. I love that. So you’ve been a mom for 18 months. Have you experienced the mom guilt yet? Do you experience guilt around being a parent and an entrepreneur?

[00:11:26] Mom Guilt?

Phylicia Pough: Honestly, I haven’t,

Roxanne: Okay,

Phylicia Pough: I know that I, I haven’t. because I think I kind of went into it knowing that’s what I wanted to do and I was kind of preparing myself for it. Um, and I knew that it would be something where I would need to split my time. Um, and I never, I mean, I, I, I struggled a little bit. in the beginning, but it wasn’t a thing where, um, it was in excess of me having to work so much where I felt like I wasn’t giving my daughter the time and the attention that she needs.

And so I, you know, you know, I know everybody’s journey is different. I, I didn’t really experience the mom guilt too much, I’ll say yet. You know, I don’t know what might happen. Um, and I’m perfectly good with going away and getting my space and time away from her. Um, so not yet, no, I haven’t experienced.

Roxanne: a, there’s a line from Ted Lasso that I’m thinking of right now that says, I don’t think you know how psychologically healthy that actually is. So . That’s awesome. That’s awesome. It’s it that for me is such an interesting question to ask because. . Um, I would say probably like 90% of my podcast guests are like, yeah, absolutely.

Guilt. Absolutely. And then there’s been this 10% and I’m like, how? Like, tell me how there’s no guilt in your brain. But I think I, like you said, like you went into it knowing this is what you wanted. I think that’s really, like, that’s, it’s inspiring to me, so I love that. Phylicia, what do you wish people knew about being a parent and an entrepreneur simultaneously .

Phylicia Pough: That is doable. It’s hard, but it’s doable. Um, you know, we have this saying in the Mom CEO suite, motherhood gets hard, entrepreneurship gets hard, but together we can do hard things. And I think sometimes we end up in silos. I know I did in entrepreneurship and a little bit in motherhood too. Um, cuz you have this feeling like what you’re going through, nobody else in the world has, is going through it or experiencing it.

And so we kind of get in these silos or. , again, going back to getting wrapped up in the day-to-day, we can’t really see how the vision that we have is going to come to fruition, and so we kind of get stuck or discouraged. And so I think just knowing that it is possible, you know, it, everybody’s journey is going to look different.

Um, we can’t compare, you know, our journey to someone else’s. You know, I told, I, I did a lot the other day and I was talking about how I was reading this. I was reading something and the lady said she was in labor for 60 hours

Roxanne: 60? Six-zero?

Phylicia Pough: 60. Yes. And I had a very short labor. Yeah. Yeah. That’s that. That was my reaction.

I had a very short, I had a very short labor and delivery. . And so we both were in a situation where, you know, the end goal is to give birth, but the process looked very, very different. And I knew, you know, I can’t handle 60 hours. She, she was able to do that. She was able to handle it, and I can’t compare my experience and my journey to hers, right?

So everybody’s experience and journey is going to look different, and we can’t look at somebody else and say, because they did it that way, or it happened for them that way. That’s how it’s going to happen for me, or I can’t do it right. . And so I think just being very, um, laser focused on your own lane and your own journey, but also not in like being in a silo in that lane.

There’s, there has to be like this healthy balance, um, and getting in community. I think that will help to kind of thrive at this intersection of motherhood and entrepreneurship because I believe it’s possible.

Roxanne: What a great way to illustrate that point too. I mean, I feel, I feel like with that story, like I feel that deep in my gut, right? Of like, oh yeah, okay, that’s, but there’s probably mom’s listening who are like, yeah, you know, I, I can relate. I can feel that. So that’s what a. , what a beautiful way to illustrate that point.

Phylicia, I wanna ask you a question about the name of the podcast. Now, I know we’ve talked about this a little bit, but I’m gonna ask you point blank. So, the name of the podcast is ReImagining Hustle. And I, the reason that I named it this is because when I started my entrepreneur journey, I also was not a mom like you.

And I really bought into the hustle culture. It felt real good. You know, the hustle, hustle, hustle, go, go, go work hard. Play hard, but there’s never any playing cuz you’re working all the time. And you know, just that like single track, like we’re after the, you know, the seven figure business and it’ll be whatever, all that nonsense.

And then I had my daughter and my whole world stopped and I instantly knew my world would never be the same and what I was doing was not sustainable. So I’ve been on this quest to reimagine this idea of hustle since then. So I would love to know how do you reimagine hustle?

[00:16:15] How do you reimagine hustle?

Phylicia Pough: Yeah, I totally relate to that as well because I was, I was a hustler as well. You know, late nights all the things

Roxanne: Yep. Yep.

Phylicia Pough: you know, you don’t, I think you don’t really know your hustling because I think we all love what we do and it’s just like, oh, I gotta get it. I can do more and more and more. Right. Whatever,

Um, so for me, reimagining, reimagining hustle, um, I. Looks like peace, like seeking peace instead of seeking the next thing or checking all these things off of the task list, or having to be everywhere and doing all the things it looks like. Seeking peace in every decision, in every situation, and just being intentional with how we do things.

Intentional and strategic. Yes. Um, but not in a manipulative way. Um, but just being intentional, strategic, and seeking peace. Like if I don’t feel peace about a thing. I don’t care what it is, I’m not doing it. And so I think for me, that’s what re-imagining hustle looks like. Um, and then I think it’s just transforming the mindset to say, I don’t have to hustle.

Like, why do I have to hustle? Who says I have to hustle? Who said that? Why? You know, I think social media just kind of pushes that narrative, um, and everything is so fast in the culture. Who said that has to be it. That doesn’t have to be my rule, the rule. That rule doesn’t have to apply to me.

Roxanne: Yeah.

Phylicia Pough: for me, that’s what it looks like.

Peace, ease, strategic, intentional actions.

Roxanne: I don’t know that anybody has answered that question this way before and I am, it’s almost like I need time to kind of process this and it’s so interesting that you ask like, Who told you you had to hustle? Because I have asked that question about I, I mean with my own clients, right? Like I ask ’em like, who told you you had to parent that way or who told you you had to do it that way?

Who told you? Like, that’s that for me, one of my favorite questions to ask people, and I have never asked that about Hustle, so I love that you basically just like threw that one back at me. Like, Hey, Who told you? Like, who told you you had to do that? That’s such a powerful question and a powerful reframe.

Ooh, I I love that. I love, I’m, I’m like jotting down notes over here and I’ve got peace underline like five times. That’s Oh, that’s so good. Phylicia, you’re fantastic. Just absolutely fantastic. Uh, before we, uh, we, I mean we need more of you. Before I ask you all those details, will you please give us just a quick 30 second pep talk for other moms on this entrepreneur journey who maybe need a little pick me up.

[00:18:51] Pep Talk

Phylicia Pough: Oh my goodness. Yes. So the other day I was looking through my, um, I was looking through my phone. Of course, we all have tons of pictures of our. It’s in our phone. And as I’m looking through these pictures, I’m remembering all of the things that were going on during the times of from when she was born up until now.

And I’m like, oh, I remember she wasn’t sleeping through the night. And we got through that. Oh, I remember when she wasn’t eating X, Y, and Z. And we got through that. Oh, I remember where we had when we moved and it was hard and challenging and we got through that. And so, . I think my encouragement is whatever you are experiencing right now, you can get through it.

I don’t think anything lasts forever. Um, and if for some reason something is lasting forever, I think that as you go through it, you get stronger and you learn just how to, um, deal with the challenge or navigate it better. And so it’s not always going to feel as heavy. But I do think that you need support. So for me, asking for help was a big thing as well.

And not having this, I can do it all by myself. Having that whole super mom thing, um, no, you’re going to need help. And whether that looks like helping your business or help at home, help with your child, children, ask for help. You know, it doesn’t diminish who you are as a mother or an entrepreneur. Um, but yeah, I think.

we’ll get through this. It was a reminder to me as I was looking through those pictures. We got through it and now we’re onto new things and looking back, it’s like, oh, it wasn’t too bad. In the moment, it feels super heavy, but then once you get through it, it’s like, oh, that wasn’t that bad. I made it through that so I can get through this.

Roxanne: Mm mm. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Phylicia. Tell us more. We need to know where can we find you online? Tell us if, especially for those who are looking for help with their systems and their business. I know that’s where you specialize, but also your podcast. Tell us everything. Give us all the details

Phylicia Pough: Yes, absolutely. So you can find me on Facebook and Instagram under my name Phylicia Pough. And then if you wanna get connected with the Mom CEO Suite, we’re also on Instagram there. And the website is the mom ceo

Roxanne: Awesome, and we’ll make sure that we link everything in the show notes. Felicia, this, it’s in the morning where I’m at. This has been a great way to start my day. I appreciate your time and, and your wisdom as well. Thank you. Thank you for, for the gift of

Phylicia Pough: you. Thank you for having me. This was such a great conversation.

Roxanne: Really glad.

Thanks for listening to Reimagining hustle with Roxanne Merket. If you like the show and want more, check out reimagining and please leave a review wherever you get your podcasts. We’ll be back next week with another episode. See you soon.