65 Transcript: Balancing Motherhood with Your Need to Grow, Learn and Create (Tammy Cannon)

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J: You're listening to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast, episode number 65.

T: So I realized at that time, I didn't know how to ask for help. Being a mother of 3 young children wasn't something that was modeled for me. I mean, my parents were working, I was an only child so things were very quiet and organized. And I really needed the help, but I don't know if it was ego or just not having, you know, the modeling for myself, I just didn't really know how to go about it.

Intro: Welcome to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast, stories of vibrant women living happy lives. And now, your host, Jen Riday.

J: Hey there, welcome back to Vibrant Happy Women. I'm Jen Riday, I am so glad you're here. Last week, I spoke with Kirsten Tyrrel, all about how she shifted from having $26 in her bank account to making a 7-figure income, all through educating herself and shifting her mindset. It's kind of a powerful thought that we can change our lives simply by changing our thoughts first, but it's absolutely true. And if you haven't listened to that, go back and do so. Today, I'm talking with Tammy Cannon and she had 3 kids under the age of 3 and she shares how she needed to learn to ask for help. Now, Tammy's really inspiring because she's all about growing and learning and creating and pursuing her passions and she shares several nuggets of wisdom in this episode about being a mom and being an entrepreneur and what it feels like to live her passions. So let's go ahead and dive into that interview.

I'm talking with Tammy Cannon today and she's the owner of Cannon Social Media and helps creative business owners leverage online marketing. Tammy lives in Snohomish, Washington with her husband and 3 teens. And in her spare time, Tammy loves cooking, gardening, and hiking. Welcome to Vibrant Happy Women, Tammy.

T: Thank you, Jen, I'm so happy to be here.

J: Yeah, I'm so happy you're here as well, and I can't wait to hear the quote you want to share with us today.

T: Okay, this is going to be probably something different that your listeners haven't heard, but Dom Pérignon is a champagne, but he was actually a monk way back when who invented champagne. And the quote I have from him is, “Come quickly, I am tasting the Stars.”

J: Oh.

T: I know, it's kind of interesting. And what it means to me is just that, happy accidents can happen at any time and just to be ready for them, to be excited and curious about life because you just never know when something amazing is going to happen.

J: I love that quote actually. So do you have a bit of backstory on what happened when he said that? I mean, did he just… you know?

T: I know. I just was reading this beautiful book that I'm reading right now called ‘Beautiful Ruins’, it's a novel. And so I just was reading it on the airplane last week and it was a quote from… I didn't know he was a monk. I mean, I just thought it was a brand Dom Pérignon.

J: Mm-hmm.

T: But he was actually a monk and he was at one of the Abbey's in Champagne France…

J: Oh.

T: … and accidentally created the bubbles inside of the wine because, you know, all the Abbey's made wine way back and the monks were the ones making the booze. And so I guess it was a happy accident. So I just love that, “Come quickly, I am tasting the Stars,” you know?

J: Yeah, yeah.

T: It’s kind of fun.

J: Well, so have you noticed that quote applying in your life?

T: So I am a really curious person. I love learning, and sometimes I joke that I could be a perpetual student and, you know, a professional student as well. And so I just love life and being curious and being hopeful, whatever is to come.

J: Oh, that's great. Well, take us back then to your low point and maybe then you can tie it back with this quote know how you learn something from that.

T: Oh goodness. So I'm kind of embarrassed to say that this is a low point, so I'll try to explain. When I started having a family with my husband, I had 3 children under the age of 3. And so being an only child, I just didn't really know how to navigate those waters. And so while it was a super happy time and I have amazing kids, at the time, I was lonely but didn't realize it; I was overwhelmed but didn't really know how to get out of that. And so it was a… a period of time when I look back on it now that, you know, I wish I had done more things and I can get into that with you in a little bit. But, yeah, I would consider that my… maybe not my low point, but just like a lonely time and I just didn't really know what to do.

J: Okay. So I know most of our listeners can relate because anyone who's been a mom has been in that exact place. So I would love to hear how you found way out of that low point.

T: Yeah. So a funny story, I actually… I felt accomplished if I left the house every single day with all 3 of my kids. So it would be like 9 o'clock, “Okay, we're going to go to the grocery store,” or, “We're going to go to the book store running an errand.” And one of those days, I found myself driving through the espresso stand, the coffee stand, 3 times.

J: (Laughs)

T: And so I had to like take a step back and I know I… that wasn't the… I think that was the first time, but not the last time I had done that. And so I thought to myself, “You know, am I lonely?” like then the coffee stand person is my adult interaction for the day, you know, like, “What's going on with me? Because that's just not really usual, it's expensive, it's not very healthy either,” and, you know, or was I just overwhelmed and that's how I was getting my nutrition which I wouldn't consider that nutrition.

J: (Laughs). Right.

T: So I had to take a step back and really just kind of analyzing, “What in the world is going on with my life?”

J: Mm-hmm.

T: “I mean, it's too busy, too overwhelming.” So I realized at that time, I didn't know how to ask for help. Being a mother of 3 young children wasn't something that was modeled for me. I mean, my parents were working, I was an only child, so things were very quiet and organized. And I didn't have any relatives around me at the time to just kind of see what that looked like; until a friend of mine, she's a few years behind me and having kids. But once she started having her babies, I watched her really organize her life and ask for help when she needed it. So she got on care.com and got herself a house cleaner and a really good babysitter, and not just one, but a couple when that one, you know, couldn't make the time, she kept her date nights with her husband.

J: Mm.

T: And so I was looking at that and I just thought, “Wow, I just didn't ask for help.” I felt so sorry for the poor babysitter if I ever hired one to come and watch 3 of my kids under 3, I was like, “Oh, I'm just not going to do that to the poor babysitter.”

J: (Laughs)

T: I didn't recognize that I just really… I really needed the help, but I don't know if it was ego or just not having, you know, the modeling for myself; I just didn't really know how to go about it. So watching her really helped me to like go, “You know what? I do need some help cleaning the house,” or, “I've got an event coming up,” or a birthday party let's say, and, you know, it's a lot of work to cook and clean and also take care of your kids or if you're sick, having somebody on standby that can help you out and run an errand or come and watch the kids so that you can go out by yourself. I mean, I had another girlfriend at the time and we just thought going to Target for 30 minutes with a latte and just browsing was like such a game-changer and it was energizing just to have some free time for just that little bit. So I started to figure out what I needed and how to get it. And if anyone listening here is struggling with that, my advice would be just to ask for help.

J: Oh, right. And did you go on care.com like your friend did to get the house cleaner?

T: No.

J: No.

T: You know what I did? I just borrowed hers. So everything she did…

J: Oh!

T: (Laughs)

J: Smart!


T: I just like, “Oh, maybe I could just borrow your nanny for, you know, date night and your housekeeper,” and honestly that is what I did because I just didn't go out on my own. I was very private and personal so I figured, “She's already done the legwork and she trusts these people so I'm just going to latch on to that,” so it works out.

J: Oh, it’s so smart; that's great advice. Well, tell us something that's exciting you today or how you're living a vibrant and happy life.

T: So today, those babies are all teenagers now, so life looks a little bit different and I've got that free time that I was always craving back then. And so now, I'm able to put my creativity and business that I had put on hold during those formidable years, now I'm able to do that and help women be creative and have businesses online. And then when the kids get off the bus and they walk through the door, then it becomes family time and we enjoy some of those things you said, gardening and hiking and just hanging out as a family. So it's good; life is good.

J: Well, so you mentioned helping women be creative and have businesses online. Well, as you said that, I thought about several moms I know who, you know, create jewelry or they do these cool crafty little things and they kind of toy with the idea of selling them or doing something with Etsy or other things online. What advice would you have for them?

T: That's so wonderful because being creative is one of those things that it's something that you just have to do, and so I help women profit from those things. And before I had the business I'm currently in, I used to manage social media for a lot of small business owners; so people who owned restaurants and wine shops and clothing boutiques. And so a lot of my clients were women who were transitioning. So either their kids were going off to college and now, all of a sudden, they have this empty nest and they want to start a YouTube channel and do a web show. So one of my clients is doing that now and she's finally monetizing that business. But a couple years ago, it was just a dream of like, “Wow, I have all this time and I would like to have my own YouTube channel.” And her kids actually laughed at her like, “Mom, nobody your age has a YouTube channel.”

J: (Laughs)

T: And she's like, “Well, I'm going to be the first one to do it then.” So I think it's really important that we have the confidence to actually create the things that we love and maximize that time, but there's nothing wrong with profiting from that stuff and actually starting, you know, a small business, a side business, whatever it is to give yourself, you know, that time back to yourself. I mean, we give our time to our kids our family if we volunteer, you know, we're out about, but to really sit and be creative or to start something new just for yourself is pretty awesome.

J: That is awesome and I know that this what you just said is resonating with so many people listening. So if they want to learn more about what you offer or I know you mentioned before we started the interview that you have a free little digital freebie to share, tell us about where they could find you and…

T: Yeah, yeah, that's perfect. So I designed a little worksheet for people. So if you're wanting to grow something, whether that's starting a business or if you want to jump on social media and start figuring out how to grow that or even if it's just trying to increase the amount of time you want to work out in a week, I created this 5 steps to a growth mindset worksheet and so people can download that and actually fill it out on their own. And you can get it by texting the number of 44222 and then just typing the phrase ‘freeresource’, all one word, and you'll get access to the whole library. But this freebie will be in there for your listeners.

J: Wow, a freebie and a whole library (Laughs). That's really great!

T: Yeah. (Laughs)

J: Thank you; I think people will love that. Well, Tammy, share one thing you're currently struggling with. You know, you shared a past struggle, is there anything that you find challenging today? Although, you sound like you have it all together so maybe you don't. (Laughs)

T: No, I don't. And, yes, and I think people will relate to this too. Recently, I have discovered that I really need to set boundaries around myself and the boundaries are going to help me get more respect from my family and myself (respecting myself) and also confidence to charge what I'm worth and to follow through with those boundaries. So for instance, with my family, and I think your listeners could relate to this too. You know, you've got these boundaries and rules in your home. Like, for us, it's, “Take your shoes off, nobody wears shoes in the house,” and they all know that from, you know, being toddlers way back when; so that one's working. However, “No food upstairs and in bedrooms and all that…”

J: (Laughs)

T: … that one, not so well. And last week, I found peanut butter on the stairs. So…


T: They're not really following that rule, so I let it go though. You know, there's like, “Okay, well, yeah, you can go take that up,” or it's movie night and we're taking up stuff to them. But then, over time, it's just kind of you get resentful because you have let it go and they don't realize that. They're like, “Okay, I think this is fine now because she saw there was peanut butter and didn't say anything,” or whatever it was. And so I finally have just last week how does did everyone down and go, “Okay, I don't really expect a lot, but I do have these certain rules that I want you to help me stick with them. Let's do this together and not let things slide so there's no resentment going on.” And so I've had to really establish that with myself because I don't like confrontation. So if I've set a rule and a boundary and somebody broke it, I wasn't always quick to, you know, sit them down for yet another discussion, which could turn into, you know, something bigger than that. So I've really had to establish some boundaries around myself. And in business as well, charging what you're worth and not feeling bad about the fact that, you know, “Okay, spending 2 hours with me costs X amount of dollars. I need to respect myself and have the confidence that I know what I'm talking about. I know it can help people,” and then charging, you know, what you're worth based on those things. So that's what I've been struggling with, and I hope I'm on the right path to getting over that stuff.

J: Nice, that's really great advice. And so I'm curious, when you set your teenagers down, going back to that story, did they roll their eyes? I mean, did they participate willingly? That just sounds amazing.

T: Oh, no, they do the rolling of the eyes, but they do…


T: You know, they sound like they're aware… and it's really establishing that communication because, you know, my husband and I were like, “Okay, we… we haven't been consistent,” and that's such a big part of everything. And so this last, you know, a few days have been really good. And I feel like, with kids, the consistency is such a huge component, but then really communicating with them and admitting that you made mistakes as well, that goes such a long way for creating open lines of communication in the future. Because we've got a driver coming up; my daughter, my oldest, will be 16 and she'll be getting her keys. And so there's going to be a lot of communication and openness that needs to happen for us at that time.

J: Mm-hmm.

T: So establishing the rules and what's expected, what the consequences are, it's really important to have all that. Plus, they're getting out of school here in 7 weeks and 3 days; I counted it out.


T: I've got to get my ducks in a row before they're all home all day long. So, yeah.

J: Awesome, awesome. Well, we're going to break for a moment to hear a word from our sponsor and then we'll be back to talk about a few of your favorite things.

T: Wonderful!

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(Interview resumes) [17:09]

J: Welcome back and we're going to talk about some of your favorite things, Tammy. First, what is a habit that contributes to your success?

T: I love learning so I read a lot of books, a lot of blog articles, I take a lot of online courses. I just really love learning new things and learning how to apply them in my own life and then teaching them to other people.

J: Awesome. And your favorite easy meal.

T: My favorite easy meal is a quinoa salad. It's so super easy and simple and I can give you the recipe for your listeners if you want.

J: Okay, we'll post that recipe on our show notes page at jenriday.com/65; so you can find that there later. And, well, what's in the salad? I'm curious.

T: It's so easy, it's just the quinoa greens that you cook really simply and then you add red wine, vinegar, like a little vinaigrette to it. And then you can add… I do corn sometimes, red… and you just add your veggies and then let it sit in the refrigerator. It's great for potluck, for just a side salad, for everything. And my kids even like it because quinoa has one of those flavor profiles that you can, you know, add anything to it and it’ll take on that flavor.

J: Yeah.

T: So the red wine vinegar works really good for that. So, yeah, I'm excited to share it.

J: Yeah, that sounds great. And what's your favorite kitchen gadget, Tammy?

T: My favorite kitchen gadget. I just… I've been loving this thing for the longest time and then I'll forget about it and then I'll get it back or use it again and go, “Oh my goodness, I love this thing!” and it is a coffee grinder.

J: Mm-hmm.

T: And you can use it for more than just coffee. So that's what I'm… I just love it. I use it for herbs that I grow in the garden and I will just grind it up. I grow stevia that I dry.

J: Wow!

T: And then I grind it up in the coffee grinder and then you can add it to your coffee. I also roast portobello mushrooms and cremini mushrooms and then they get really kind of, you know, roasted and… I don't want to say dry, but kind of crunchy in a way, and you can grind those up to flavor meats and chilies and different things; so it's more than…

J: Wow.

T: … just a coffee grinder. Yeah, it's a great tool; everyone should have one.

J: So growing stevia, I mean, I… I've never even heard of that. What does the stevia plant look like? (Laughs)

T: Oh, yeah, it's just… so what you'll see in some of the… okay, it's like it.. Truvia, it's like sugar, but it's not sugar, it's all made from the stevia plant and then you… its way sweeter than…

J: Oh yeah.

T: … normal sugar.

J: Right.

T: Yeah, it looks just like a green plant. I don't know… they process it so much that it looks white and… when you buy it in the store.

J: Uh-huh.

T: But I just grow it, it's a green plant, you dry it and you grind it up and you can use it for such a long time.

J: Yeah.

T: Yeah, that’s right.

J: And so you keep them all the… is there a certain part of the plant that you keep, like the flower or the whole plant?

T: It's just like an herb almost. So there's really no…

J: Oh.

T: There may be some flowers like towards the end of the season, but you just take all the leaves off the stem…

J: Mm-hmm.

T: … and you just let those dry and then you grind them up.

J: Wow! I'm totally going to do that.

T: (Laughs)

J: I hope they'll grow here. Well, so… because they say how highly processed stevia can be.

T: Oh.

J: And so what does it look like when you grind it up yourself? Is it…. it's not white then?

T: No, it's just green, it's just like a green powder like you would think of Matcha tea…

J: Yeah!

T: … that you make, it’s exactly what it looks like.

J: I get so excited about the smallest things…

T: (Laughs)

J: …. but I’m totally doing this.

T: No, it’s great. Okay, I’ll send you a plant and see if it… and see if it grows.

J: (Gasps) Yeah! That would be so great; thank you. Okay and, Tammy, you said you loved learning, so if you want to share more than one favorite book, I'm cool with that, but, you know, it's up to you, what's your favorite book?

T: Well, right now I'm loving ‘Tools of Titans’ by Tim Ferriss. And I love it because I've been listening to his podcasts for years and years since 2014; my guess, that's only 3 years. But I had in my mind that I was going to go back through each episode and write down all the things that I learned…

J: Mm-hmm.

T: … from each episode, and basically that's what this book is. ‘Tools of Titans’ is distilled golden nuggets of wisdom from all of his podcast interviewees, and so that is a great one for life and business and exercise and all that good stuff. Now, for funsies, I have a bunch of novels from Liane Moriarty. She wrote Big Little Lies which is an HBO special with Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman, it's a great story that has been made into this TV series. And then she also has a couple other books that are just going to be major motion pictures. So she is a great author for just summer book reading, she is great. So those are a couple (unclear) [22:04].

J: And that was Liane Moriarty?

T: It's Liane like L i a n e, and then M o r i a r t y.

J: Moriarty.

T: Yeah.

J: Oh, reminds me of BBC’s ‘Sherlock’. So… and that TV series was called ‘Big Lies’?

T: ‘Big Little Lies’ based on her novel.

J: Awesome.

T: Yeah, it’s a good one.

J: Oh, that sounds great, Tammy, thank you; that's great. And then the best advice you've ever received.

T: Oh, the best advice I've ever received… and this is kind of sad for me, but at the same time, I hope it'll give your listeners a new perspective. I lost my mother 4 years ago to cancer, and at the time, it was a really bad process and she was in a different State so it wasn't there all the time. And when I got home after saying my final goodbyes to her, she was still able to text me and we were still able to talk a little bit before she passed away. And when I got back after that experience, I felt like I wanted to do so much in life because she wasn't going to get to do so many of the things that she wanted, and so I texted her and said, “You know, it's so strange going through this process. I'm not angry, I'm so sad of course, but it makes me feel like I want to live my dreams and I want to do everything possible in this life that I can do.” And she texted me back, it’s a lovely text, and she said, “That's the way it should be. We go through life not recognizing that we just need to dream big and go after it.” And so that is the best advice that I've ever received.

J: Wow, that is huge, and I… I'm sure you think of it all the time. And I know you're crafty, I know that about you, so I'm curious if you've posted that anywhere; if not, that's a great one, I like though.

T: It is a good idea, I should probably do that and distill it into a really good phrase because I think it's really a good one.

J: “Dream big and go after it,” yeah.


J: Well, everyone, you can find links to Tammy's favorite books and her recipe and everything else at jenriday.com/65. And now for a happiness formula. Tammy, if you were to create a 3 to 5 part formula of actions that really maximize your happiness, what would that include?

T: These are going to be probably surprising. So really just sitting down and breaking bread with friends and family is super huge to me, combine that with learning something new and a sunny day, and I am the happiest girl in the world.

J: Beautiful! And there's something, you know, really great about breaking bread, like you said; just being with your loved ones. Ah!

T: I love it; yeah, it's great. (Laughs)

J: Well, let's see… and that freebie you talked about, I'll mention that again, it’s at… send a text to the number 44222 with the words ‘freeresource’, all one word.

T: Yes.

J: And finally, let's have a challenge from you to our listeners and then remind us where we can find you and we'll say goodbye.

T: I would love for your listeners to download that freebie and fill it out, and over the next 30, 60, or 90 days, pick one big hairy goal, one overarching goal that you are trying to achieve, fill out the worksheet and then let us know what happened. I think you're going to be surprised at how the worksheets going to help you. And when you focus on just one thing over that time frame, you're going to see big things happen.

J: Awesome. Thank you so much for sharing that freebie with us, Tammy, and thanks for being on the show; I really appreciated it.

T: Thank you so much for having me, Jen, this has been great. And hello to your listeners and, yeah, I'll see you soon.

J: Thank you so much. Take care.

Thanks for joining us today and be sure to join us next week when I talk with Sanda Bernstein and Wendy Rappaport; yes, it's a double interview, 2 women, 1 show, and they are talking about their 40-year friendship. Now 40-year friendships are almost unheard of these days and I can't wait for you to hear all the tips they'll be sharing next week. Also, many of you have been asking me when the next round of Time Mastery for Women will be. Well, I had originally said September of 2017, but so many of you have been emailing, I'm going to open it up very briefly starting on June 15th, you can register, the course will actually begin on June 26th. Time Mastery for Women is the place to be if you want to learn how to manage your time and life, how to get your spouse and kids to be more helpful around the house, how to set up boundaries. It essentially covers everything you need to feel more in control of your life, and time and not just time management, but also the emotional components, the relationship components, and I would love to have you join us. So, again, that will open on June 15th; mark your calendar. You can even get on the waitlist by going now to timemasteryforwomen.com. Alright, I will see you Thursday for a happy bit, I'll see you Monday to hear from Sanda and Wendy, and I hope you have a fantastic week. Take care.

Outro: Thanks for listening to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast at www.jenriday.com.