Create systems for everything — Anything you do more than once should have a system. Whether it for work, your business, or even your home life. Optimizing your time and being efficient adds more time to your life thus reducing your stress.
As a part of my series about “How to Slow Down To Do More” I had the pleasure to interview Kelan Kline. Kelan is the co-founder of the popular personal finance blog, The Savvy Couple. Kelan and his wife Brittany started their blog as a side hustle and quickly turned it into a $10,000/month online business. They recently were able to pay off $25,000 worth of debt in only 5 months primarily using money earned from their blog. They have helped thousands of families from all over the world organize their finances, take control of their lives, and find their freedom.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us the “backstory” about what brought you to this specific career path?
This is one of my favorite questions to answer! Like most “born entrepreneurs,” I eventually hated every job I had ever held. I have never enjoyed other people dictating how to spend my time and seemed to have always gotten bored with every job.
After graduating from college with my Bachelor’s in Business Administration, I tried a few different career paths including insurance sales, UPS delivery driver, jail deputy, culinary office manager, and home inspector.
I quickly realized after trying so many jobs that I would only find happiness working for myself. I needed to do my own thing, set my own hours, make my own income, and create my own freedom.
At this point, I went back to school and became a licensed home inspector. At the same time, I was going through school, I came across these “normal people” making a ton of money via blogging. I was very intrigued and eventually convinced Brittany that we should start a personal finance blog as a side hustle.
Nine months of frustration went by and we still had not made any money. But we were having a blast sharing our story and helping others manage their money.
Out of nowhere, we had a company reach out to us and wanted to pay us $50 to place an ad on our site. It was the first time we made money with our blog and I was hooked.
A few weeks later, I asked Brittany if I could run our blog full-time. Of course, she said yes and I quit my job in May 2017 and the rest is history.
According to a 2006 Pew Research Report report, 26% of women and 21% of men feel that they are “always rushed”. Has it always been this way? Can you give a few reasons regarding what you think causes this prevalent feeling of being rushed?
I think it greatly depends on circumstances like the study shows. Women by nature are nurturing and very giving, especially moms. If you throw a working mother into the equation then it’s not surprising at all. They have a lot on their plate and from my own experience in our marriage, Brittany has a hard time asking for help.
Men, on the other hand, have the stereotype of “always being late” and again from my experience this is true for the most part. My dad was running late pretty often.
I have personally made a point to respect others’ time and make sure I am on time or early to everything I have agreed to.
Overall in the U.S., I believe we move at a very fast pace compared to other countries. We are a “go go go” country and always seem to be pushing the envelope on what can be accomplished within a 24 hour time period.
Based on your experience or research can you explain why being rushed can harm our productivity, health, and happiness?
I have found that being rushed hurts all three of those things. It can hurt your productivity because you might not be thinking straight and going for “good enough” instead of completing a task to the fullest. It can hurt your health and happiness because always feeling rushed is stressful. I’m sure I am not the only person but I hate feeling rushed and it is added unnecessary stress in your life.
On the flip side, can you give examples of how we can do more, and how our lives would improve if we could slow down?
I think being a business owner has given me a great perspective on this. For the first two years of running our online business, I was working in the business. Working long hours, grinding, learning, creating systems etc. It was time I needed to take to become an expert blogger. But it got to the point I got sick and tired of working in the business and not on the business.
I discovered that unless I slowed down and started being very strategic with our business, our growth would continue to stay stagnant.
Slowing down helped us figure out what tasks needed systems so we could outsource and focus on the high ROI tasks.
I now work less than 30 hours a week and I have never been more relaxed and happy in life.
We all live in a world with many deadlines and incessant demands for our time and attention. That inevitably makes us feel rushed. Can you share with our readers 6 strategies that you use to “slow down to do more”? Can you please give a story or example for each?
1. Read Work Less Make More — This book is designed to help you do exactly as the title says, work less and make more. It’s an absolute game changer in taking back your time and enjoying more of the thing that brings you happiness in life.
2. Create systems for everything — Anything you do more than once should have a system. Whether it for work, your business, or even your home life. Optimizing your time and being efficient adds more time to your life thus reducing your stress.
3. Find all the “time sucks” in your life — Find those things in your life that take up the most of your time. Ditch them like a bad habit. Freedom is the ultimate goal, so determining what is eating away your time is the only way to start to take your life back.
4. Write out three goals the night before — For business owners, this is huge. When you have a clear mind and are heading to bed write down three goals you want to accomplish the next day. When you wake up you will already have a clear path to follow and accomplish for the entire day.
5. Have one activity you do daily to keep you centered — Figure out that ONE thing in your life you refuse to give up. For me, it is getting at least 60 minutes of physical activity. If I go through a day and don’t have enough time for some physical activity then I know something needs to change. My life is out of balance. Have that one thing that centers you every single day.
How do you define “mindfulness”? Can you give an example or a story?
Mindfulness is being one with your thoughts, emotions, and health. I am a big believer in mindfulness and taking the time necessary to keep yourself centered. For me anytime I am feeling too high or too low I make sure to pray. Praying keeps me centered, focused, and humble.
I also am a huge fan of Wim Hof and his breathing exercises. His special with Yes Theory on YouTube was amazing!
Can you give examples of how people can integrate mindfulness into their everyday lives?
Figure out what helps you practice mindfulness. Is it prayer, meditation, breathing, yoga, a combination of a few? Once you find what helps you practice mindfulness create a habit and stick to it.
Do you have any mindfulness tools that you find most helpful at work?
There is nothing more powerful than prayer. No matter what mood I am in prayer always helps me put things into perspective and get me back to a healthy center. I also love doing a quick morning yoga exercise with some breathing.
What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources that inspire you to use mindfulness tools or practices?
My mother is actually a high school counselor and is getting trained to be a mindfulness coach. It’s really exciting and she is the one that introduced me to mindfulness.
Recently Wim Hof has really inspired me to be far more mindful in my life. When you can have full control over your mind and thoughts nothing can stop you. It’s a VERY powerful skill to learn.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
You must believe it to achieve it. I don’t remember where this came from; I might have even come up with it myself. I truly believe that if you want to make a drastic change in your life, you must believe it to achieve it. This is true for losing weight, starting a business, having a successful marriage, or impacting other lives.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
The movement I would want to start is helping families understand you don’t have to be stuck at a 9–5 job you hate to pay the bills and build wealth.
There are so many new opportunities out there to make money online in today’s society. If you want to work from home, spend more time with your family, and spend more time pursuing your passions, you can!
You are not stuck and our mission at The Savvy Couple is to help your dream life become a reality. Let us help you find your freedom!
Thank you so much for these insights! This was so inspiring!