Full-Time Entrepreneur Plus Homeschooling Three Children with Megan Pennypacker
Hello listener, I am so excited to have you here today to learn from my guest today. Her name is Megan Pennypacker. And I really wanted to ask you, but I read it on your website. So, I know that that is your real name. And that is so crazy.
Actually. Yeah, I used to be Evans, my maiden name. So, it’s definitely a transition.
Yes, Evans is so you easy. And while Pennypacker isn’t difficult. It’s just a really unique name I actually love it makes me think of like a bond woman or something, you know, a character on a bond TV show or a mysterious! And Megan, this is our first time meeting. We haven’t had a chance to talk before now. But I’ve heard so many good things about her from other people in my program, they recommend her highly and so I’m really excited to be able to talk with you today, Megan.
So, let me just tell you the official stuff about Megan. She is a Christian business coach who helps female coaches, consultants and service-based entrepreneurs market and attract premium clients, so they can grow their online businesses, create time and financial freedom and make a lasting impact. And I knew from the get go, that you and I were going to hit it off. Because when I read financial freedom, that’s a big thing that I focus on also is helping women achieve that financial freedom. So welcome, Megan, thank you so much for being here.
Thank you for having me on. I’m so excited to go through this interview and for your podcast. Thank you so much.
Oh, you’re welcome. So, let’s get started by having you tell me a bit about your journey. And what was the tipping point that caused you to dare to leap into establishing your own online business?
Great. So, I previously had a blog, it was just kind of a mommy blog from when I gave birth to my first child. And I’d had that a long time ago, that was in 2012, that I started that blog and kind of had written about that process. And then also would love to have found a way to work from home. But I couldn’t really find anything that wasn’t and MLM, which nothing against that, but, and I had tried that. But it just didn’t fit my personality. And yeah, so lots of other people can relate, I’m sure. And then also, I had found these online surveys that you could take and supposedly get paid for them. And I had seen them recommended by actual, like legit bloggers. So, I took some of those surveys and never really got paid for it or like never received the gift card that they were supposedly going to send, I don’t know.
I used it was just this kind of ongoing struggle. And it wasn’t that I needed the money. But it was something to where I knew I had skills that I could use that I used to use in the workplace before I became a mom. And I knew that there was something I can do. And I always heard about people working from home, but it was just seeming like it kind of never came to fruition that I actually would get paid.
So it started out that whenever I had that mommy blog in 2011, my neighbor who was a real estate agent, saw my blog and saw that I could write and communicated well through writing and he asked me if I would be interested in helping him with his blog, and also his social media, like his Facebook page. And I was really surprised. And I was friends with his wife. So, we knew each other in that way. It wasn’t just random. But I was really surprised that people had other people help them with those sorts of things. I never knew that existed. And so, I started helping him with that. And I never knew about the term virtual assistant. I didn’t know that existed back then. But I did start helping him with that. He kind of trained me on WordPress, which was, I just thought that was normal. Like, I didn’t realize that WordPress was kind of a bigger deal in the website space, or, I mean, now it’s kind of industry standard. But back then I didn’t realize what a big deal that was to get to learn WordPress. I was able to help him, write a few blogs and manage his blogs and format some of the blogs and kind of learn that way. And also learn how to manage someone social media. And it was only for a short while, but I was actually just doing it for free to start with.
And, again, I didn’t understand you could make a business out of this. But years later, I came across a YouTube video about a family that who lived in Costa Rica, they were actually from Australia. So, it was this desire to be able to have the freedom. And it wasn’t necessarily even so much of a financial freedom back then. I mean, it was in some way. But it was more of time, freedom or freedom to work from anywhere, or be able to spend more time together as a family. Because that was my main desire back then was just spending time as a family and not having my husband go off to work all day every day, and then come home after my kids had already gone to sleep. I was kind of like being a single mom in a way. And I just wanted more family time together.
So, I came across that YouTube video of this family. And they were recommended by another family living in Costa Rica, who has tons of kids, by the way, nine plus kids and they homeschool their kids. And they were able to take this woman’s program to learn how to become a virtual assistant. And so that’s the first term I heard about being a virtual assistant. I researched a lot and found a few other people who were virtual assistants who had not necessarily taking this woman’s program, but who had done it.
And I learned it through the Bootstrap VA. I don’t know if you’ve ever come across that book. So that was my first little toes dipped in the water. But being a VA and once I read that ebook, I was able to say, Okay, I can do this, I have a lot of these skills, I just didn’t know that’s what I was. That’s what I should have been called all along. And so, I took this woman’s course and was able to get clients really quickly and prove to myself that I could do this thing.
So, you dipped your toe into being a virtual, paid virtual assistant. And then how did you transition into what you’re doing today? Tell us what you’re doing today and how you transitioned into that.
So, I transitioned by people were seeing that I was a virtual assistant to start with I, I kind of kept up a blog of whenever, not the mommy blog. But whenever I started my business, I started my website MeganPennypacker.com. And so, I had a blog that went with it and was kind of just journaling my experience of becoming a virtual assistant a little bit. And all of what I just told you kind of the journey of how I found out that you could actually legitimately make money working from home.
And people had seen when I shared the blog and everything and they were kind of asking me how I was able to do it. And it kind of happened organically, I started letting people know how I was able to do it not necessarily like calling myself a mentor or anything at that point. But about a year later I did start offering mentoring because I was able to when I started working with clients getting paid for it, I was able to get quite a few clients from the get go and I had to start a waiting list not because I had tons and tons of clients but because I have been a mom this whole time and I only have so many hours a day.
So I had to hire a my own virtual assistant pretty quickly just a few months in and so I was able to show virtual assistants that it is possible and it’s so possible that you might even have to hire your own virtual assistant. So, I was really excited and I love teaching women that it is possible for them. And I became a mentor and then I wanted to start coaching them as well. So, I was a virtual assistant and a coach for a little bit, but I pretty quickly transitioned into helping women become service-based or coaches, consultants.
So, all those different types of things. And so I was able to help them learn those skills that they needed in order to start their own businesses, no matter what that would be, because it’s kind of the same process across the board, you can learn the marketing and those digital marketing skill aspects of running your business. So that started, I started my business in 2015. I mentor people in 2016, for the most part, and well and was a virtual assistant. And then in 2017, I launched my business coaching business.
Megan, you have just hit the nail on the head of something that I think most people don’t realize, before they have started an online business themselves, which is, when you start out as a virtual assistant, you are learning everything you need to know just like you said, on how to market whatever other business, you ever decide that you might want to go into coaching and mentoring and all of that, which is awesome.
Other people go into other businesses, it could be ecommerce, it could be membership site, it could be becoming an author, anything that you want to do online. As you just said, you could learn how to do as a virtual assistant and grow into that business. Thank you for sharing that.
Thank you. It’s exciting. Then women going through your program are learning those skills that they can use for life for any type of business.
Speaking of learning how to do things for life, let’s talk about the skill that a lot of moms need. I’m sure you have these skills, which are when they’re moms like you are and what age are your children? What age do they range from?
My oldest is nine. My middle one is five and my youngest is three.
Wow. Oh, my gosh, you have your hands full right now. So, what are the tips that you can share with other moms out there about how to help your children and you had shared with me that you homeschool. And right now we’re going through COVID. And it’s just getting ready to be time that kids are supposed to go back to school. And a lot of kids aren’t going back to school, they’re going to be still from home. So those kids, your children that you want to help so much. You’ve got them at home. You’re trying to build a business, you’re a wife, and all of the other millions of tasks that moms do every day, what tips can you share, to help moms figure all that out and try to get it all done? And still take care of themselves?
Yes, exactly. Goodness. So, my heart goes out to all you people who are in a season of transition right now. And specifically moms because you’re right, there’s so much to get done. You have upkeep of the house and taking care of the kids and making sure that they’re not feeling neglected in any way and really seen and heard. And then also, even aside from homeschooling, even when it’s summertime, my goodness, there’s just so so much to do, and then also taking care of yourself and making sure that you’re not letting yourself slip away and just losing yourself in the whole ordeal because there have definitely been times, especially since I started my business.
It’s sometimes so sedentary, such sedentary work that I did, like I lost sight of making sure that I made myself a priority to and so I gained some weight and I didn’t do all the things. And so really, in the last year or so I made myself just start having these habits like okay, I was going to eat this certain way. And I was going to do it for at least this long. And I just felt so much better when I was eating correctly and then making myself do at least 15 minutes of exercise. And it’s mostly just dancing. I’ve been doing that every day and I managed to get myself back to where I feel a lot happier and just more content. I don’t feel so much anxiety because I was having such anxiety when I was doing coaching calls.
It was just like it was unreal. It really helped with the whole thing and feeling better. And it’s also it’ll prevent you from putting yourself out there as much too from showing up if you’re not feeling your best, too. So, that’s one thing about being a mom, but also whenever you’re first starting your business, it depends on what ages your kids are. When I first started my business, I only had two kids. And my youngest was nine months old and she was a baby.
Wow, only two kids? The way you said that, oh, I only had two and one was just nine months old. You’re ready? Oh, it’s no big deal at all? No, that is a big deal!
Yeah, for sure. And so, I was dealing with still waking up in the middle of the night with those ones. And then even when I had my third, I had to deal with kind of like the pregnancy, I didn’t really get too much sickness or anything. But it was just kind of the exhaustion of that when I was going through my third pregnancy and everything and then being up again and the middle of the night when I had my baby. So, I definitely did take a maternity break. I advise anyone who is in that situation to definitely savor those moments of being a brand new mom, if you can at all if your client work allows for that.
But, yeah, being up in the middle of the night, doing feedings, changing diapers, all those things that can really take a toll on you as well. So, prioritizing your physical and mental health is one of the most important things honestly, and being a mom and having your own business, I would say. But aside from whenever it is time to whenever school is in session, and it’s not summertime anymore, then making time to maybe get up a little bit early. If you’re not going through those middle of the night feedings. That’s what I did. Whenever I wasn’t up in the middle of the night so much, I was able to wake up early and get some client work done for at least an hour and a half. And getting that done and setting my day up waking up and before my kids in instead of waking up to them like screaming or like coming and diving on you.
That can really help you feel more productive. I got this chunk of time. So really fitting in those chunks of time around your schedule. And you can fit your client work in just a little bit throughout the day. And then making sure you’re managing your time wisely and just not being glued to your phone. Because that alone can cause anxiety, no matter if you’re a mom or not. Just having all those notifications from all the people on social media, or all the people like who are your clients. And so maybe making two or three times a day to check emails or check notifications.
And don’t be afraid to turn those notifications off temporarily, if that’s what you need. Prioritize that, as well. And just sit in those chunks of work time in your in the focus of your day as best you can and make sure you make that time a priority. Growing up, I never had a bedtime, we were able to stay up as late as we wanted. And it was like No, like we never did anything badly. We just stayed up because it was fun. And but I’ve made sure throughout the time that my kids have, throughout the time, I’ve had kids that they did have a specific bedtime pretty much every night. And that way, I was able to fit in a little bit more client work.
But I was also able to have that quiet time for myself. And that is really something that I’ve needed, especially as an introvert, I can’t do the talking all day, I need some quiet time. And so if that’s you, even if you’re not an introvert, I would definitely just make space to do the things that you want to do and not lose sight of your passions as well in the process of being a mom, if you are a mom or even if you’re not, and also having your own business keep your passions in mind as well.
Yeah, because when you try to do everything, and you don’t keep yourself in mind, and get that rest and get that quiet time and I’m a total extrovert. But I still need quiet time to because I do talk all day long. My husband only knows that I don’t feel when I don’t say anything is when he knows I don’t feel well. He’s like you’re quiet, you must be sick. But I do still need my own quiet time. So that’s a really good tip, Megan, and lots of good tips there. Because what happens when you don’t do that kind of stuff?
You don’t feel your best for sure. And it kind of wears you down mentally and physically makes you more tired. When you’re not seeing yourself you would think, Oh, I’m going to save this energy and not exercise today. But then it happens. And sometimes you can’t fit it in everyday but it just wears you down and then you don’t want to show up for your own business or for your own clients in the best way that you know you could be showing up.
Oh, yeah, I love that. And like you said about your passion, how many I can’t even begin to tell you the number of times that I hear people say and just today several people said I was ready to throw in the towel. I was ready to burn down my business because they had allowed themselves to get so burned out.
Yes, burnout is a big big thing, especially in the online industry.
When you work for yourself. The problem isn’t Can I force myself to work? The problem is forcing yourself to stop.
Yes, walk away. From the device, yes.
So, thank you for sharing all of those tips. And by the way, you do not look like somebody, and you do not sound like a typical introvert. So that is so interesting that you do consider yourself an introvert. I don’t see any problems with introverts versus extroverts. I think everybody is awesome. But I’m always surprised by people who are, you’re just so outgoing and bubbly and all of that, but yet you identify as an introvert. I love that.
So, as a coach, I’m sure that you run into what I’m getting ready to talk about from time to time. And I’d love for you to give some recommendations on how to overcome this, which is, there are a lot of people out there, a lot of women, especially who have dreamed for a very long time, about having a business of their own. And they dream about it, and they think about it, but they don’t ever actually dare to make that leap like you did. What kind of recommendations and tips can you give to help people who have that dream, but they’re not able to actually make the leap?
I would say, remember the reason that you wanted to start the business in the first place, if that’s to not have to have the continuous cycle of just getting by every month financially or paycheck to paycheck, if that’s your reason, if you need a financial breathing room. And maybe that’s your reason, if you need time, more time to spend with your kids, if you’re going to work a nine to five every day, and you’re wanting that time freedom to be able to work from anywhere or play with your kids, and then do your client work.
However, it fits your schedule, I would remember those reasons. And also, if those reasons are important enough, I think you will find a way and I think that that will become the priority and you won’t be able to get it out of your mind. And you’ll do whatever it takes to get there. If that’s investing in your own coach going through a program like Kathy has, if that is just learning the skills as you go along. And starting somewhere, you don’t have to know the whole big picture. But you do have to start somewhere.
And remember that if it’s possible for someone else to work from home, it’s possible for you to work from home and work from anywhere you can take it with you once you learn the skills you need to know you can just take that with you and continue growing from there even just start where you are.
Yeah, great tips. Do you have any advice on when they’re just… Well, let me ask you this one because there’s 1000 things going through my head right now. Let me let zero in on the question, which is, what if their spouse, what if their husband isn’t supportive, but they really want to do it. Any suggestions on how to get their spouse on board or any other tips you have for how to make that happen?
For sure. So, my situation was interesting, because I had done an MLM before. And again, nothing wrong with MLM. But I had tried that out before. And it didn’t work for me, I’ll be completely honest, I didn’t know anything about marketing or attraction marketing or anything then. And I wasn’t the type of person to go out and be like in your face or hitting up family members and things like that.
So, I had failed MLM businesses, even though I love the MLM products themselves. And it just didn’t work. So, I didn’t have to convince my husband, and he did know that I had the skills. And he had seen that my neighbor had even noticed my skills, even when I wasn’t trying to make that into a business. And so if that is something that has been your experience, as well out there, and you have had failed attempts in the past to start businesses, if that’s why your husband isn’t on board, or your spouse isn’t on board, then you can use the skills and translate that into what you could do for a business.
So maybe you’ve worked in a specific area and the traditional nine to five in your past. And so maybe you can portray that to your spouse and really convey that you know that you can work in this certain area online because you’ve done it in the past and gotten paid for it. If you’ve gotten paid for it. That’s proof enough alone. But if it’s the case that maybe your husband is against it because of the time aspect that maybe he thinks it’ll take away from you keeping up with the house and I mean, that’s valid honestly, and also with the kids.
I’ve heard all of those reasons before for husbands saying no you won’t have time with the kids, you won’t have time for me, right?
Yes, that’s a big one too, making time, together at night. And so that’s part of you. conveying that I will even take a program, I’ll invest in this course if you need to, or I will listen to some YouTube videos on time management, so that I can be resourceful and know, before I even get started, how to manage my day best. And I will make sure that I fit in time for work. And I will set that aside, but then I will put it down and I will be able to do the laundry and the dishes, I will still be able to meal prep, I’m going to be more intentional with my time because we all have time, we all have the same 24 hours in a day.
And so, some of us are already on Facebook almost half the day. And you can know that, hey, I’m already on social media so much, but I’m going to actually get paid for being on social media. So, really being confident in your resourcefulness and conveying your game plan to your husband and asking him to support you not in a way that you necessarily need his permission. Because you’re your own autonomous person, but I understand that you want to be respectful of your spouse, as well.
And so, working together to create a game plan, and maybe he negotiates with you in some way, say maybe you could do this in three more weeks or something like that. Or maybe if you watch those videos, and tell me what your game plan is on your time management, how you’re actually going to make this work, and still be able to have the kids go into the next grade and not. If you’re homeschooling and not failing their school, then you can let me know how you’re going to do that and proceed. And then you can come together with an agreement. So, that’s my best tips for you.
Those are fabulous tips. I love putting together a game plan, sharing that with your spouse, getting his buy in negotiating with him as needed. All of those are great tips. Because that’s gonna get him buying in as a partner with you. Rather than you just saying, ‘This is what I’m going to do.’ Period done, you better get on board, that’s not gonna make a happy relationship there.
Yeah, and it’s not worth it to sacrifice relationship, in most cases for it. But also you could portray the benefits to him, how would it benefit him as well. Making sure that he knows that you’re not just doing this for some glorification for yourself, it’s for the entire family, it’s to improve your relationship, maybe you could go on more vacations per year. And it really wouldn’t take anything away from your relationship, you could just work from a different location. And he would benefit from that, the kids would benefit from that, and get his approval and that way as well.
Yeah. I love that. And then on the opposite end from the extreme that I said, of saying, Well, I’m going to do it no matter what the opposite end would be when you go to him, and he doesn’t even listen to you. He doesn’t want to hear your game plan. He just shuts you down. And I’ve heard this before, and says no, I don’t want to talk about it anymore. That would be hard. Have you ever had that said?
I’ve never had that situation. Thankfully, but I could imagine that that does exist often. And especially in certain cultures and certain regions, maybe Yeah, so I can definitely understand that. That could be the case. And thankfully, none of my clients I’ve worked with have ever had that. Because usually they had talked about it with their spouses before they get on the phone with me, thankfully, I would say to again, just pray for them and pray for your spouse. And then also if you need to invest in making your relationship just a priority, and then proving that first maybe that is what needs to happen in order to have that communication.
And having someone who can listen to both sides. And know that one person is not supposed to be unheard and unseen, there should at least be that open communication. So maybe that’s what needs to happen first and just trust that if it’s God’s plan for you to have this business, it will unfold in some way.
And it might not be right now that you get to start your business but what you can do is go ahead and learn those skills right now. Even if you’re not allowed, or not able to invest in a program to help you learn those skills, what you can do is start working on your time management like you have a business start working on your skills like you have a business and learn what would be most profitable for you for when the time does come. Just keep having the faith that the time will come if you feel that this is what it’s meant for you and that this is what your purpose is.
Wow. So many golden nuggets there that you shared. Pray about it, yes. Know that God’s will will be done. And if you believe that you can achieve that, and don’t give up and build your relationships so that it’s better. So that that’s not the environment that you’re living in. I love that too. That might be like the first time that you’ve experienced that, or maybe your husband is going through a rough time, and he’s not normally like that. And that allows you to say, Hey, honey, what’s going on? That sounded kind of unlike you.
Or maybe you’re now realizing that that really is what he’s like, and you need to work on your relationship. Like you said, Megan, that was great. And I love also love what you said about work now as if you already have your business, that is a great tip, because it will allow you to get ready you to start making those habits and for your spouse to see that you’re serious about this.
Exactly. That’s kind of like whenever your child wants a pet. I know when I was little, I wanted a pet so bad. And my mom was like, well, who’s gonna feed it who’s gonna take her for a walk every day, and I was like I will. So, you can actually start proving, and not that you should have to prove yourself to your spouse necessarily, it shouldn’t really be like that. But if that’s what it is, and that’s how you need to start out by showing yourself that you do have this capability and doing it for yourself mostly, but also when whenever you’re up leveling yourself, people around you are going to take notice. And they’re more likely to invest in you either emotionally or even financially, in that way to support you in some way.
Ah, great advice. Thank you so much for sharing that. Well, you just gave me goosebumps with all of those great tips. You’re lucky you don’t run into women that have that situation. Unfortunately, I do run into all those scenarios that we just talked about. And I really want to help women wherever they are right now in their lives, in their relationships, to be able to achieve those goals that you and I’ve been talking about. Not just dreaming about it. But take that next step. Thank you so much for all of that. In wrapping up, is there anything else that you want to be sure to share with our listeners that you haven’t already mentioned?
Good question. So, I would go into your business whenever you do launch, because I’m having faith in you that you’re going to be able to have this business that you have the desire in your heart to run and really see yourself as a business owner. And whenever you go into launching your business or growing your business, really see yourself expanding and being able to have a wait list of clients because it’s completely possible.
And just know that the skills, you’re able to provide that transformation you’re able to provide for that business owner, whether that’s freeing up their time, whether that’s designing them a beautiful website, or managing their social media, so that they can spend more time with their kids, know that that is of such great value. And don’t be under charging for your services, even when you’re starting out know that what you do is priceless.
And really go into growing your business in a way that you’re expecting these ideal clients to show up and really value you and respect you and not be walking all over you. It doesn’t matter where you’re starting out in your business, you’re still a business owner, you’re still on the same level that the entrepreneurs you’re helping out are if you’re a virtual assistant or virtual expert, and just know that what you do is helping someone else out so much. And they should make sure to set those boundaries so that they are respected and feel seen and heard in their businesses.
Yeah, thank you, Megan. I appreciate that. So. I am sure that there are many people listening to this right now saying, Wow, Megan is so inspirational. I really love her vibe. I love what she has going on. I want to know more about working with Megan. Tell us a little bit about who your ideal client is. So that they can self-identify, and how they can connect with you if they’re interested in learning more about you and what you have going on.
Perfect. Thank you so much for that opportunity. I help Christian women who are coaches, consultants and service-based entrepreneurs who are wanting to grow their online businesses, and they can find me at my website at MeganPennypacker.com. I’m on social media, you can find me usually by searching my name. I have different usernames because my last name is too long to fit on some of the handles, and everything. But if you just search for Megan Pennypacker, you’ll usually see my image come up. And you can send me even a friend request if you’d like to connect with me that way too. And I’d be happy to talk with you. But I appreciate you giving me that opportunity, Kathy, and I know that all of your listeners are so blessed to be able to glean from you on your podcast and also go through your program, those of them who are able to go through that, too.
Yeah, Megan, I appreciate it. And we have a wide variety of listeners, from moms and grandmas to corporate C levels, and office managers, and teachers. Anybody that has been dreaming about taking that leap into entrepreneurship, so I’m sure there are going to be some that are going to really respond to all the information that you shared and your heartfelt sincerity you just glow. You literally look like you have a golden glow around you.
That is a green light.
Thank you for making me laugh. I love to laugh so much. And that was so spontaneous. That was so good. I love it. All right, and we will have all the links that Megan talked about in our show notes, so you can be sure to reach out to Megan there. Megan, thank you so much for spending this time with me!
Thank you for having me on. I sincerely appreciate. Thank you so much.