Christine Maziarz and I connected a year or so ago during a Teachable Summit and we’ve become friends, cheering each other on as we build our online empires.
Christine is Your Empty Nest Coach and is probably most well known for her very successful podcast, where she just published her 106th episode!
We were both super excited to finally get around to this interview!
Lauren: In your own words, what do you do for a living?
Christine: I am an empty nest success evangelist. I also have a full-time day job that allows me to build my business. In that role, I am an administrative coordinator.
Lauren: If you wear many hats in business, which of these do you love most, which takes most of your time and which brings in the most income?
Christine: I wear all hats in my business. I enjoy wearing them all, especially the tech ones, but nothing gives me more energy than coaching women. When my clients and podcast listeners identify obstacles they’ve created in their life and discover how to create positive momentum in their life – that is my happy place.
Lauren: Why did you decide to become an Entrepreneur?
Christine: Entrepreneurship has always been in me. In my teen years, when I received my babysitting certification: I created events for the neighborhood children to attend to market my babysitting business. I forgot about that!
Since then, I’ve had multiple careers where entrepreneurship is helpful: a performer, a consultant as a programmer/analyst, and even a balloon artist.
Lauren: What prompted you to start your own business?
Christine: Coaching had been on my radar for about ten years. It took me ten years of watching others stepping out, and for the timing to be right for me to have the confidence that I would serve others well. My life circumstances naturally led me to my niche.
“In our life’s toolbox, we want to keep only the tools that serve us well; that make us feel happy and lovingly create progress forward in our life.” ~Episode 89
Lauren: Who did you have in mind? Who do you serve?
Christine: I serve mothers who have lost their identity while raising their children.
They may have given up a career to raise their children or juggled raising their children while working full-time and managing to attend all of their child’s school events.
The empty nest ahead freaks them out – they have questions such as:
- What will I do with my time?
- Will my partner and I get along?
- And who am I, really?
Lauren: Is this your first entrepreneurial pursuit?
Christine: It is not. I’ve had a few.
One of my favorites is that I had a balloon twisting and decor business for a bit when my daughter was elementary-school-aged – my daughter gave me my stage name back then: Miss Balloon Heart!
Lauren: Aw, cute! How did you come up with the idea for this business?
Christine: Empty nesting is something I wrestled with myself, so the idea came naturally.
Lauren: What has been the greatest challenge for you to overcome in your career?
Christine: My thoughts. Thoughts are what I spend the most time helping my clients with, too.
Our thoughts have the power to move us forward or to stop the momentum in our lives.
For me, I had thoughts like:
- I’m too old to start a coaching business.
- I’m not qualified to do this.
- It will be too much work to start from scratch now.
- It will take too long to build the business.
I had to, first, notice these thoughts, and then work to change them.
Lauren: What has been the number one highlight of Motherhood for you?
Christine: Witnessing our daughter diving into her passions, and standing her ground when she knows what is right for her.
Lauren: What has been the greatest challenge for you to overcome as a Mother?
Christine: Finding other mothers going through precisely what I was at specific times has always been challenging for me—realizing that my peers at a point in my life may not be local at all was something that took time to understand.
Our daughter has had a unique educational experience, and barely any of my IRL (in real life) friends and family could relate to it.
When I would reach out to friends and family for an ear and then was told that they couldn’t possibly make the same choices we have made (and here’s why) – well, it wasn’t super helpful.
I’m thankful for the few who listened without judgment and for the online friends I found that I desperately needed.
Over time, I realized that online friends are just as valuable as my IRL friends (sometimes they are better).
“What does your child need? They need to know that you love them and are there for them. They need to know that you will listen to them. They need you to be the best version of yourself that is possible for you.” ~Episode 81
Lauren: Has it been tricky balancing work and home life?
Christine: Sure, it can be tricky. I prefer to think of it as a game.
I only have so many hours in the week – and they are the same hours that everyone else has.
I ask myself daily, “What are my top three priorities in each area of my life?”
Then, I schedule them out on a whiteboard that I have in my home office.
I don’t watch much television or Netflix.
Outside of that, doing the thought-work to remove drama in my life has provided me with hours in my days that I didn’t have five years ago.
I can’t forget to mention that my wonderful husband has helped pick up duties around the house that I used to do, to assist in my business building.
Lauren: What do you love most about being a Mom Entrepreneur?
Christine: I love that by living in who I am called to be, that I have had the privilege of inspiring others to do what they are meant to do.
Lauren: All things considered, do you feel it was a good decision to become an Entrepreneur?
Christine: Yes! I have an INFJ personality type, and that type says a lot about thriving in a non-corporate environment. I produce well in almost any role and environment – but what the work situation does to my energy is the difference.
A day of entrepreneuring (is that a word?) and I am full of energy – ready to tackle twelve more projects.
That isn’t always the case when I’m working in a corporate environment and doing some other work – even work that I’m really good at doing.
Lauren: Where do you work most days?
Christine: For coaching, I have a home office, which has become the office for my day job, as well.
I’m there most of the time, but sometimes I mix things up and sit on the couch. Ha!
Lauren: How many days per week do you work, on average?
Christine: In building my coaching business, I typically work seven days a week as I’m doing it around my full-time day job. I enjoy every second of my time working on my Your Empty Nest Coach business- it energizes me!
Lauren: How many hours do you estimate you work per day, on average?
Christine: I work a lot on weekends, so it averages out to probably four hours a day.
Lauren: Do you have any daily rituals to maintain a work-life balance?
Christine: I do! I have a life purpose statement that I say to myself every morning.
Most days, I indulge with coffee outside on my deck (weather permitting) for about 30-minutes, where I read something that has nothing to do with my business or my day job – it feels indulgent with all on my plate, but it grounds me.
Setting times for lunch and dinner have been super helpful, too!
Lauren: Do you feel you are living your passion?
Lauren: Do you feel you have already created your best work?
Christine: No, quite the opposite.
Lauren: What advice would you give someone just starting out as an Entrepreneur?
Christine: I talked about this in one of my recent podcast episodes, and my BEST piece of advice is one that I haven’t heard anywhere else – at least that I can remember. However, it does have a bit of a GaryV vibe.
Once you find the entrepreneurial business that is right for you – whatever it is – determine what point in time in the future that you imagine that business thriving.
Can you see yourself peaceful there?
Now, take that amount of time and double it, then double it again and triple it.
Ask yourself if you reach your goal at that new point in time do you still want it?
Is it still exciting for you?
How would you view your journey differently?
This is an unbelievably tough exercise and question to ask yourself, but the reality is that if you are starting from scratch, your business building will most likely take a lot longer than you expect.
If you find peace with a tremendously long time to get there, you’ll be ready for the ups, downs, circle backs, speed bumps, roadblocks and power-ups that are ahead in your life.
Better yet, when you are prepared for the long journey, you won’t rush to give up at the first opportunity.
If your answer is still, “Yes, I can’t wait to get there!“ Then live in it and work for it with your first time frame as your goal. This exercise doesn’t mean that you slow down your work; it means you won’t allow setbacks to derail you.
Lauren: Wow, awesome advice. Thank You for sharing. Is there anything you know now, that you wish you knew when you first became a Mom?
Christine: I would tell younger me to “trust your instincts more.”
Lauren: Is there anything you feel you gained by becoming an Entrepreneur?
Christine: As an entrepreneur, you think about every aspect of the business:
- customer service
- marketing your service or product and how to improve it
- how to educate your clients
- and well, everything
It has made me appreciate businesses that do these things well.
Lauren: Which tools of the trade have been enormously helpful for you?
Christine: If I had to pick one, it would be Trello. Trello’s setup works well for me.
I log ideas in it, create checklists, and have organized my boards in a way that allows my mind to stop focusing on things once they are logged into it, which enables me to focus on my current task at hand.
Being able to work at my day job focused on that, and then, over a lunch break, pop into Trello to see what I can do in the 30 minutes of free time that I may have has been fantastic for me.
Lauren: Fab tip, Christine, Thanks! I’ve heard Trello is brilliant but have never used it personally.
Who has been enormously helpful to you? Do you have mentors in business?
Christine: I have had mentors in past businesses, and through them, I have gained the knowledge to know what works for me and what doesn’t.
At this moment in time, I am primarily using my future-self as my mentor.
She knows me best, after all, and knows how I got to where she is.
Sure, I search out experts in areas where I need to learn more, but as a mentor, I’m trying this for now.
Future Coach Christine has been serving me well, and by doing this, it is the only way I can be sure I’ll be uniquely me rather than a copy of someone else.
I also ALWAYS look outside of my current industry for ideas, knowledge, and assistance. I view it as one of my secret powers.
Yes, I’m a coach, but I like to look at non-coaching businesses for marketing and business ideas.
I’m also lucky that I have a network of people in my life who tag team the mentor role (whether they know that or not) – most are personal friends whom I trust whole-heartedly.
“I want you to do amazing things in your life, and until you understand how much power you are giving away to the world by not understanding what is within your control, you will continue to limit yourself.” ~Episode 93
Lauren: Are there any courses or studies you feel have been essential to your success?
Christine: Too many to count. Most may not be available anymore; it has been a slow build for me over my lifetime.
- books in my late teens
- attending college
- seminar classes on how to market yourself as an actor
- programming skills
- building websites when people asked me, “Why are you on that thing called the internet?”
- conventions I attended as a balloon artist
- and much more
It is funny, but the first thing that came to mind was a course by John Abrams that I purchased on how to become a school assembly performer (back in my balloon business days) – his marketing advice has stuck with me all these years and applies to any industry.
I have no idea if it is still available. It was a long time ago – but his website is Amazing School Assemblies. He certainly is amazing. And that word (amazing) has stayed with me. I end every podcast episode reminding my listener that they are amazing.
Lauren: If there was anything I could help you with, what it would it be?
Christine: To tell others about me: my podcast, my free training or my website!
Lauren: Who is your target market? If I were to give you a referral, who would I be looking for?
Christine: Mothers who are freaking out about the empty nest ahead are my target market.
Connect with Christine Maziarz – Your Empty Nest Coach
Visit Christine’s Website: YourEmptyNestCoach.com