She’s a savvy business owner, a wife and mom, a serious source of joy and encouragement, and today she’s hanging out with us for the #welldesignedlife series! We are so excited to have Heather Crabtree join us today and we can’t wait for you get to know and love her like we do!
Let’s start off with an introduction! Tell us about yourself. Roles you play and what you do.
My name is Heather, but I also answer to H, HC, Mommy, Wifey, and my dad used to call me Ralph (as I shake my head.) I am a Business Strategist for Creative Entrepreneurs in my current business, Heather Crabtree LLC (I know…very creative, right? :)) I create strategies for women entrepreneurs to help them take their company to the next level and I implement systems for them so they can run a more efficient, effective and profitable business.
I have a wonderful husband, Cole, who I have been married to for over 10 years. I have two amazing kids, London and Lane. My journey has been a crazy one, but I believe I am right where I am supposed to be, even if it took me a little longer than I had planned to get here.
What accomplishment are you most proud of in life so far?
One: marrying my husband. We have been married for 11 years and he is an amazing husband and father.
Two: Raising two littles. Being a mom is my most challenging and most rewarding job.
Three: Building and selling my first business and again starting and building the business that I have now.
Tell us about your big dreams. Where do you want to go, what do you want to do, and why?
I want to travel to Europe and other locations again with my husband. My goal is that in two years, once my kids are a little older and my business is bringing in consistent passive revenue, that I will be able to travel a lot more with him to these places we love so much.
What are some struggles you’ve faced in achieving your dreams so far? Have you learned anything from them that you want to share?
You name it and I have probably struggled with it. Building a business, being a mom, having a business partner and losing control over part of the business, hiring and firing team members, miscarriage, time management, being a good mom, wife, sister, daughter, business partner, and a whole lot more. I have “failed” at a lot of things, but I have also had a lot of successes. This is my journey and I learn lessons every day. I love sharing the problems, issues and “failures” with others to use as examples of what not to do. Overall though, I wouldn’t change anything. Each win or lose has gotten me to where I am today and I like the person I have become. I finally feel like I have grown into my own skin.
Do your dreams look different now than they used to? (5 years ago? 1 year ago? Yesterday?) If so, what changed about them?
My business goals have definitely changed.
I started my professional life in the legal field. Long story short, I wanted to be an attorney most of my life. I received my business management degree from Indiana State University and then I attended law school in Oklahoma. As the third year of law school began, my life quickly changed. My father died suddenly of cardiac arrest and my world turned upside down. My love for law died a little and my life was put into perspective at 23 years old. That same year, I met my husband at law school. With the saddest part of my life also came the happiest 🙂
After working for a law firm for a little over a year, I knew I couldn’t do it for the rest of my life. I gave my two weeks notice and opened my wedding planning company in Arizona. I had no knowledge or experience in the wedding and event industry, but I was motivated to make it happen. I worked my butt off and the business took off right away. Fast forward four years later after I had just had my daughter and I sold half of my planning business and gained a fantastic business partner. Since then, we have added on more planners and we just celebrated our 10 year anniversary this year.
In 2010, my business partner and I started coaching other wedding business owners how to run their company more efficiently and effectively. That part of the business grew rapidly as well and became our main focus while we continued to manage the planning company. A little over two years ago, right before I had my son, I started to think about having something of my own again. I was ready for a change, especially since a new little one was on the way. I took Marie Forleo’s B-school and my world was changed again. I realized how I could take all of the skills and education I had gained over the past ten years and use it to help other businesses in the creative world and www.heathercrabtree.com was born.
If you could go back and visit yourself at any age, what would you tell your younger self? What kind of encouragement or wisdom do you wish you had at that time?
I would go back to the year my father died and say “You will get through this. It is going to be hard, but you will do it.”
What three daily things can you not live without?
Hugs from my husband and kids, my iPhone, and my Day Designer
What is something you strive to be intentional about? How do you design it into your life?
Something I am very intentional about is staying on my own path and focusing on what I want to achieve. If I focus on my work during the “work time” that I have, then I can spend quality time with my husband and kids. That is most important to me.
How do you create balance in your life?
Balance…what’s that? For me, I choose doing my best. There will never be true balance in my world.
What does your daily routine look like? Is there anything that helps you feel most successful at the end of the day?
I am a mom to a 2 1/2 year old and a 7 year old, so my day begins around 7 am. My husband and I get up and feed them breakfast and get them ready for the day. He usually takes my daughter to school and on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, my son stays home with me. On Tuesday and Thursday, he goes to daycare and I do all of my coaching sessions, webinars, client work, and all of my other business tasks. Since my son is too young for school, I love having him home with me. I usually don’t get much work done during those days, but I work at night after they go to bed. Once he gets older, that will change and I will get back to regular business hours, but since he is my last one, I am soaking up every last drop with my littles before they get to big to not want to hang out with me. I pick my daughter up from school everyday and then come home and help her with homework and get dinner ready (or my husband does.) The kids are in bed by 7:30 pm and then my husband and I usually eat dinner and watch a show or movie and then I go work for a few hours. I also have a office manager, who I call my Director of Happiness, and she helps me manage the day-to-day in the business as well.
What checklist(s) do you live by?
I use my Day Designer for my checklists. I usually have a personal and business checklist. I try to stick only trying to accomplish three major tasks a day. Sometimes I do more, sometimes less, but it works for me.
What do you wish you had more of in life? What about it makes it so special?
I wish I could spend more time with my mom. She lives in Indiana and I live in Phoenix, so I only see her a few times a year. We talk on the phone all of the time though.
What do you wish you had less of in life?
Stress. I know it is something that is a choice. You can stress about it or you can choose not to stress. I try to choose the latter. Sometimes being a mom, wife, business owner and the 17 other hats that I wear can get overwhelming and stressful, but I am better about seeing the big picture now and finding a little bit to breathe, focus and do the things that need to be done instead of stressing about it.
Are you willing to share a story with us about a time in your life when things felt out of control? How did you get back on course?
I felt out of control after I had my first child, London. I was running a business by myself and working a lot. I thought I could do it all. I had her early and after I got home from the hospital, I was scheduled to have an event that weekend. (I knew better the second time around.) I was on pain pills from giving birth and on the phone all day trying to put out fires for this event that I couldn’t be at. My mom finally looked at me and said “Heather, you just had an adorable little baby girl. What are you doing?” She was right. I was overwhelmed and didn’t know what to do. Luckily I had her, my sister and my husband to set me straight and make sure I rested and just snuggled London. It isn’t something I am proud of, but it is the truth. I learned quickly that I needed a better system for my business if I wanted to keep doing it. I was also taken back to that day that I lost my father. I know how precious life is.
Do you have a life motto?
“You can do anything, not everything.”
If you could share one thing with our readers, what would it be?
Do you! Don’t compare yourself to others…as a student, as a mom, as an entrepreneur, as a human. We all can fall into the trap of comparison-land, but if you start to slip into it, get out quickly!