Episode #143 How to Balance Learning and Running a Business

December 2, 2022

Subscribe to Podcast Return to Podcast Episode Browse Podcast Library

 You are listening to My Freedom Grove podcast with Gretchen Hernandez, episode 143.

Welcome to My Freedom Grove Podcast, your calm space for practical help to get your dream business up and running while being authentically you and taking care of your mental health. I'm your host, Gretchen Hernandez. I'm so glad you're here!



Hi My Strong Friends. I missed you last week.  It was the first time I ever unexpectedly skipped creating a weekly podcast.  Emergencies disrupt even the best made plans.  My husband and mother were both hospitalized in the last 2 weeks with life threatening issues.  My husband was placed in a hospital 2 hours away.  I made the 4 hour round trip everyday for 5 days.  My mom was in a hospital 5 hours away.  That round trip lasted over Thanksgiving.  I got back just in time to take my husband back to the Emergency Room an hour away from home.

It’s a good thing I love my car.  I put more miles on it in the last 2 weeks than I have in the last 4 months.


Running a business as a solopreneur is a blessing and a challenge at the same time.  I was grateful that I had the flexibility to be there when my family needed me the most.

The challenge is to keep everything running.  Sometimes you have to decide which things to let drop momentarily.  I kept my most critical operations running.

Luckily, emergencies like that are rare.


The 3 tips to balance learning and running a business


Balancing different demands on your time are common though.  One of those balancing acts involves learning new skills while keeping your business running.

As a corporate employee, I faced this same balancing act. How do you take time to learn AND still get your job done?

I remember feeling pressure as a corporate employee.  Now that I’m an entrepreneur, the pressure is significantly more.




As a corporate employee, I would get a paycheck no matter how I spent my time.

As an entrepreneur, if I take time off from work, I may not create revenue.  No revenue = no paycheck.


I know you are feeling that pressure too.

That’s why I want to share my 3 tips to balance learning and running a business.

I’ve been at this for 3 years.  I have a great balance between the two.

1. Time blocking

2. Right time, right training

3. Indulgent Learning

Time Blocking

You need time to generate revenue and learn.  Time blocks on your calendar for both makes both of them a priority.

When you do this, consider your energy level.

Revenue generation takes a different type of energy than learning.  It’s not the same for everybody.

Revenue generation may have different parts.  Each of those parts may require different energy.

When do you naturally have that energy?  What days of the week?  What times of the day?


Learning requires energy.  It also is influenced by your surroundings, presentation format, and learning style.

First, consider the format of the learning material.  Is it something you read, watch, listen to, or actively do?

What surroundings are best for that format?

Do you need a quiet place?

Do you need to be alone?

Do you prefer to learn with others?

Does learning while you exercise or drive help?

Do you need to take notes?  How will you take notes?  Do you need a writing platform or an electrical outlet for your laptop?

Next, consider your ideal learning window.

How long can you stay focused and engaged without burning out?

What type of energy do you need to stay focused and engaged?

What days of the week and times of day are best?

I discovered that setting aside a whole day for learning was best for me.  For all business learning, I have Mondays blocked off.

I keep Tuesday-Thursday for clients.  Friday I keep for podcast activities.

When I was going through Life Coach certification training, I added in an additional day.  Here’s why:

1. Certification training was not business training.  Monday’s were already reserved for Business training.  I wanted to keep that part going.

2.  Life Coach certification included applying the materials to myself.  I was my own client.  I knew I was going to work on some emotional things.  I wanted a non-business day to hold space for myself. 

I made arrangements with my family for this.  I devoted Saturdays from 10am - 5pm for that work.  We negotiated boundaries that worked for everybody.

Time blocking is the ultimate exercise for boundary work.  The urges to do something else can get intense.  Interruptions and requests from others will also present as obstacles.

This is where mindset and process coaching are incredibly valuable.

When you can set & stick to your time blocks in business, you’ll be unstoppable!


Right Time, Right Training


Shiny object syndrome is real, my friend!  Not only will your brain freak out and think you have to learn everything right now.  You’ll also be presented with offers and opportunities at all the wrong times.

FOMO kicks in.

You’ll see the education offer.  Your brain will immediately scream “I need that!”

Do you need it?

Many times the answer is yes.  You need to learn that topic or that skill.

Do you need that exact training, in that format, by that teacher?

Hmmmm, maybe.

But what if that topic is not your priority right now?

Like most entrepreneurs, you’ll probably ask if there will be a recording.  That way, when you have time, you can do it.

Ugh!  It’s a trap!  Not a trap by the seller.  It is a trap you are creating for yourself.

It's a “Time Debt Trap”

It makes me think of a time I got into a lot of financial debt in my early 20s.  Wells Fargo had this great program.  Or so I thought at the time.  It was a Payroll Advance.  If you had direct deposit set up for your paychecks, you could get an advance.

For every $20 you advanced, you’d have $25 taken out of your next paycheck.

Fantastic!  This got me out of a bind so many times.  The problem though, was I got in an unending cycle.

My paychecks were continuously less and less.  Because the amount I had to pay back kept growing.

I’d advance $120. My check would be short $150 ($120 payback plus $30 fee).  I needed my whole check.  Plus more.  So I would pull out a bigger advance.  It would fill the $150 hole plus give me the extra I needed.

Of course my next check would be even smaller.

This kept going.

The hole kept getting bigger.

If you think of your time as a number you can see how this paycheck advance cycle is the same.

For any given 2 weeks you have approximate 80 working hours.  If all 80 working hours are already being used, you advance hours from the next 2 weeks for the extra learning.

Say the training you want is 6 hours.  Your next 2 weeks would have to have 86 hours available to complete it.

Of course, when that next 2 weeks rolls around, you just want to work 80 hours.  But then the next training is presented.  The urge is so intense, you ask again if it is recorded.  Then you purchase it.

Your time debt just got bigger.  6 hour training + another 6 hour training.  To complete them, you’d have 92 hours for your next 2 work weeks.

After a while your time debt gets huge.  All of the trainings sit there with dust.  This can include books, freebies, blogs, online courses, recorded workshops or webinars, and recorded group coaching sessions.

Your financial debt also grows.  You won’t have a Return on Investment unless you learn and apply the teachings.

So what is a better solution?

Only purchase when your time block is empty or will be empty soon.

I had to do that recently.  I really wanted to purchase Marie Forleo’s The Copy Cure.  I knew I needed to improve my copywriting skills.  I waited 3 years to buy it.  I use my Clarity Steps workbook and my business metrics to guide my decisions.  Up until now, I had bigger obstacles to resolve.  Now that all of the other obstacles were resolved, my learning time block was available.

It was the “Right Time, Right Training”.

Did I always follow this tip?  Lol.  No!  Of course not.  I’m human just like you!

How else would I know about Time Debt???

I have 3 really expensive trainings and a handful of smaller trainings and books waiting their turn.

I decided I wasn’t going to do that anymore.  I have a clear, sequenced learning path thanks to my Clarity Step Workbook.

The Clarity Steps can help you too.  To get your free workbook go to www.myfreedomgrove.com/goals.

Indulgent Learning



This final tip is so fun.  Indulge in learning.  When you look at your time block for learning, consider it as indulgent as a spa day.

Think about it.  The pressure to do business is off.  You get to be a student again.

The one working is the instructor or content creator.  You get to relax.

When I set aside my Saturdays for Life Coach Certification training, I made it indulgent.

I curled up on the couch in my favorite pajamas. I had a soft fuzzy blanket and a yummy cup of coffee.  I’d stay that way as I watched the videos.  I had my laptop and notepad on my lap.  One or both of my cats would snuggle up to me.  Petting their soft fur while learning was so cozy.

As the day went on, I changed into day time clothes.  I made a yummy lunch and poured a delicious glass of Blue Machine Naked Juice.  I took that out to my deck along with my workbook.  I’d sit overlooking the ocean, listening to the waves and the birds, and do the homework.


I looked forward to those Saturdays so much!  I miss them now.

I remember hearing either Marie Forleo or Amy Porterfield say the first couple of years would feel like College.  I was encouraged to enjoy college, because it would be over before I knew it.

It’s true.  Once you complete your Business classes and develop your skills, you’re done.  After that you are working 100% of the time.

You can create good times right now by having Indulgent Learning. 

What if There’s No Time to Learn?

If you find yourself in a spot where you have no choice but to run your business 100% of the time, what do you do?

There may still be a lot you need to learn.

That’s where 1:1 coaching can really benefit you.  When we partner together, you get to borrow my brain and skillset.  With a generous 2 hour weekly session, we do a lot of the business work together.  The teaching and doing happen at the same time.

Plus, at the end of the session you still get to feel as relaxed as you would from a spa day.  I have that calming effect on you plus mindset coaching when needed.

I have a couple 1:1 spots open.  To learn more go to my website www.myfreedomgrove.com/business journey

My friends, I hope you are able to go out and enjoy the sights and sounds of the holiday seasons this weekend.  I’m planning on attending a Lighted Boat Parade.  I love to see the reflection of Christmas in the ocean.

Have a great week.  I’ll talk with you soon.  Bye-Bye.


Thank you for listening to My Freedom Grove Podcast. When you are ready to make your dream business a reality and take care of your mental health, I invite you to join the Unshakable Business Co-Lab. This is the mastermind membership you've been waiting for. There's no limits on your imagination, nor your timeline. We're with you every step of the way. To learn more, please visit www.myfreedomgrove.com/join. I'll see you there!

Sales Funnel Simulation session

Schedule your free 1 hour Sales Funnel Simulation session. You'll get crystal clear on your funnel and determine the targets at each step to generate your Revenue Goals. Sessions Available through December 15, 2022

Subscribe to Podcast Return to Podcast Episode Browse Podcast Library

Life is Better When You Stay Connected

Stay connected with My Freedom Grove and be the first to know about new podcast episodes, courses and special live events.


50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.