December 8, 2022
Today we had the pleasure of sitting down with the incredible and iconic Shay Cochrane, CEO of Social Squares. We chatted about the LIFE-CHANGING concept of her 16-hour work week. Shay covers her story behind starting the 16-hour work week (hint: it’s probably not how or when you expected she started it) and her thoughts behind building and scaling a successful business while only working a couple of days a week. She spits FIRE on one of the biggest pitfalls for entrepreneurs – the mindset that working harder and more equals a better business or more happiness and success – and she gives a MINDBLOWING principle that will revolutionize your business and your work hours. We then begin to talk about how, practically, you can build and scale a business without working in it 24/7, how to manage a team when working minimal hours, and so much more.
Shay started her journey into entrepreneurship as a commercial photographer and product stylist and eventually founded what’s now known as Social Squares Membership where she puts her years of work as a commercial stylist and photographer into a highly curated stock image membership that supplies elevated stock images for female-owned online brands. Her vision is to enable more women to find greater success sharing their ideas and businesses with the world and she manages to do this in just a 16-hour workweek! She has been married for 15 years to her fellow entrepreneur husband Graham Cochrane and they call sunny Tampa, Florida home along with their two daughters.
Shay has only ever worked 16 hours from the beginning. The reason why was in those early days 16 hours was all the childcare she could afford. When they moved to Florida they had their first child, bought their first house and her husband lost her job. They were both trying to figure out different ways of income for them. Shay had to get childcare because she is not the woman who can answer emails with a baby on her lap. She started it from the beginning because she never wanted to do both things at once. Being a mom and business owner at the same time. From the beginning, Shay built a business with the 16-hour work week because she had to. That was the biggest catalyst for growth. And she still does that today.
A typical week for Shay:
She works two days a week: Tuesday and Thursday. Why Tuesday and Thursday? Because those were the days the childcare was open.
It is true, if you work more you might get more results. Growing at 16 hours a week has slowed down how much she can make, how much she can grow, and how many people will know her name. There is a lot that she has given up for the sake of building a life that she actually enjoys being in and her family thrives, her marriage, her health all of that thrives. So you will make sacrifices but that is going to be no matter what.
Most of what the average entrepreneur is doing is a complete waste of time. If you give yourself 40 hours of the week you will fill those hours with being busy or things that feel good and only 20% of what you are doing is actually generating revenue. More hours do not always equal more money. And fewer hours do not always equal less money.
The simple answer is, Shay has this all-in-one guide for you that will walk you through an 80-20 analysis.
You’re really going to apply it to two different things. The use of your time: what are you doing with your time? You will list everything from email to Instagram engagement, etc. Indexing every single thing you do for your business. Then you will identify what is directly correlated to revenue. Then you will automate and eliminate. The second part is you will apply that to the services that you offer as well.
The beautiful thing about this is you have ownership over the life that you build as an entrepreneur. The opportunity you have now is to decide what you want and if you don’t decide what you want the customers, industry, and clients will decide for you. If you thoughtlessly buy into that, then you will be a slave to it. Somebody has to decide. It will either be you or someone else for you.
Decide first. What do you want life to look like? That means the hours, what you want your work day to look like, the types of activities you’ll be doing, and how much you want to make. What is your enough?
You can do it, take the first step and decide. Challenge all the narratives that you are telling yourself. You CAN do it.
Invitation to Solitude and Silence by Ruth Haley Barton
Lost and Founder by Rand Fishkin
Profit First by Mike Michalowicz
Trillion Dollar Coach by Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg, Alan Eagle
If you’re in this to really try and grow a big business, you want to grow and scale a company. Know your weaknesses and be honest with yourself and others about them. Your company will grow and exhibit those same weaknesses if you don’t surround yourself with people who can see your blindspots and see where you are weak. Your strengths and weaknesses will be infused into your company.
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WASSUP FRIENDS. We’re Evie + Lindsey, co-founders of this wild partayyy called The Heart University. Our goal is to empower entrepreneurs to kick freaking BUTT in their businesses, dive down into the heart of their why and how, and serve you with all possible tools you’ll need to up-level your business game and CRUSH those goals of yours.
Whether you’re coming to an in-person workshop, joining our online course, or soaking up all the strategies via this blog or our podcast, we’re STOKED you’re here + can’t wait to see you out there kicking butt.
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