Pixie Dust and Profits is a podcast for small business owners who love Disney and want to sprinkle some of that magic onto their own businesses. Join your host, Nicole Boucher and Yasmine Spencer. As they explore the mouse’s $12.6 billion operation and break down exactly how you can apply these big scale concepts to your own.
Hi guys, and welcome back to another episode of pixie, dust and profits, you know, as adults, Nicole, and I go on and on about how much we love Disney, but you know, if you ask someone who’s outside of like our world, you know, the, the non-believers the people who think Disney’s just for kids, they might think that that’s exactly it. Disney is a theme park that’s catered to kids and it’s not surprising. I mean, sure. It has the characters and all of the magic, but does he take things an extra step? They go so much further in making the experience magical for the littles and sprinkling a little bit of pixie dust whenever they interact with the kiddos. So I think Nicole is going to kick it off with some of the amazing things that we’ve seen that Disney cast members do to enhance the experience.
Then we’re going to break it down to small business lessons for you guys out there. I know a lot of parents are dealing with kids at home and you know, that’s not feeling super duper magical. So we’re going to share our time management tips and how we’re getting done with having a kid who’s going through virtual school like Nicole or a baby who really wants to play with his mom all day while she’s trying to get things done. And hopefully that’ll help you guys manage this a little bit better. So Nicole, why don’t you take it away gladly? And my kid is about to go for his recess walks, or you might even hear him in the background because this is life in 2020. Y’all my kid is six years old and I believe he’s been to Disney world eight or nine times. I dunno, I’d have to sit down and actually tally it out.
And it’s mostly because we’ve become deceived vacation club and annual pass holders. And so they were easy trips to go to do to get away from home. And we live in Maine. So get away from the winter sometimes. We took a lot of trips before he was in elementary school because it’s so easy to know and bring them. And so we have a lot of little interactions. We have gone from potty training through like, I don’t know, people say the terrible twos. I think the twos were great. We had like the three meltdowns and men even older when he was like five. And there’s just, there’s more feelings and he’s, he’s getting bigger so he can actually hold me to, no, I don’t want to do that. And you can’t actually bring him anymore. You can’t physically carry him anymore. And just like going through the stages of being in a stroller versus, you know, standing and having to walk like there’s a lot there when you’re bringing a kid. And so there’s a couple of things that have just been magical experiences for us. So when we are on the bus, we’re having a little bit
Of a tough time, or he’s tired because we’ve been walking all day, it’s hot. Some of the bus drivers actually carry around collectible cards. And so you can start a little collection of these cars. I think they have Timone and Puma on it because they are their safety characters. Which side note Timone Puma being safety characters. I’m not so sure that fits fanatically.
This is a little bit reckless sometimes
Just a little bit. And so the best, I always have these collectible cards and it’s so small, but it really makes it so special because it’s like, Oh, I got a new thing and kind of goes with my pin collection and I can put them all together. And so they get really excited about that and they get to learn some fun facts about the transportation system at Disney world. It’s not just about the buses, it’s also about the ferry and the monorail and everything else. And then there was this one time that Laura Foote, who is our brand photographer for excessive profits, I had her come out and take photos of her family while we were staying at the Caribbean beach resort. And it was just like our annual take photos with the family. But we did on vacation this time. And the photos were absolutely gorgeous, some of my favorite pictures of the entire family together, but what you probably don’t know from looking at the pictures, which we’ll share one in the show notes is that we had torrential downpour storm that lasted for hours.
Now I’m used to Florida having like the afternoon thunderstorm, and then you go on and move on. But this was I can’t remember if it was a tropical storm coming through, but it, it was intense. It started at like six at night and didn’t end till the next day everyone was kind of hunkered down in their rooms. The parks closed early a little bit night shows were canceled, that type of thing. But anyway, we had about 15 minutes total to get photos with Laura done before the sky has opened and the thunder started. And so we were stuck in the lobby of the Caribbean beach resort with we could just kind of walk back to our rooms or we’d be soaked. And there were cast members at every turn you would like sneak your head this way. And there’d be two cast members over there and there’d be two more on the other side.
And they all add stickers in their pockets. And they were all just had Mickey gloves on their hands. They were giving out stickers, making the kids excited, just trying anything they could to make everyone happy. And that kind of crummy situation where you’re stuck in, you know, the dining hall area of the resort. And so there’s like little things like this that is that extra level of special that Disney does. And when you go to the parks, they’re designed specifically for families, not just for the thrill seeker, for the teenagers or anything, they’re just signed for families from the youngest to the oldest.
So another really cool thing that Disney has going for them is interactive lines. Now I like to think of myself as a bit of a fast pass princess. If it doesn’t have a fast pass, I’m probably going on it. And I actually schedule my day very strategically using my fast passes. But if you are waiting in the longer queue, Disney has these magical experiences set up on a bunch of the rides to make it a little bit more entertaining for littles. I mean, if you are waiting to go on Peter Pan’s flight, man, that’s like what often a one to two hour wait. And the line is like, nothing else I’ve seen. There are areas where you can sort of interact with like the shadows on the wall. You see Tinkerbell sort of running about here and there. And they do a lot to really keep kids engaged. We talked about this in a previous episode and Nicole, you have more experience with this, but Disney also has the play app, so you can actually play with your phone.
Yeah, that’s really great. I mean, little kids can use that too, but it’s probably geared to the maybe pre-teen and up crowd, but yeah, that the apps that you can play while waiting in line there’s also like hidden Mickeys. You can find everywhere, young kids, you can get them looking for hitting Mickeys and, you know, waste at least 10 minutes of time.
And seven doors, mind train. That’s one of the newer rides in magic kingdom that has a really great interactive, like cue in the ride. There’s like my favorite part is where you get to this like area where they have all these barrels and you can’t do this alone. You actually have to work with the people in like standing in line with you and you have to like spin them around all really, really fast. And if you do, it actually displays a projection of snow white and the dorms dancing on the ceiling. So there’s like cool ways of getting involved every time I’m there spinning because yes, I’m basic. I’m usually doing it with like a five-year-old and like a seven-year-old and a bunch of other little kids who were just like really excited. And sometimes they have like dad behind them helping them spin it a little bit faster without them realizing. But it’s, it’s such a fun way to sort of pass the time and, you know,
Realize they’re right. Like you’ve got grandpa and the kids all doing it together.
Yeah. And I remember when I was like your son’s age, I felt like a minute was for ever. So by incorporating all of these fun little interactions in the ride, Disney definitely helps the time, you know, fly a little bit faster for the kids.
Yeah. So what we’re really getting at here is that they do all these things, keeping in mind, young children, especially, and, you know, right now we’re all kind of stuck at home. And some of us are remote schooling. Like we are 100% remote school, but I think even more importantly for those who aren’t 100% remote school, and they’re doing some sort of hybrid approach where they’re in school two days, but out of school two days. And then the fifth day is a teacher planning day and you’re not actually, you know, in classes or anything, it’s a very difficult schedule to maintain. And so as a small business owner, as entrepreneur, you have that on top of the additional layer of probably client calls or deadlines or things going on in your business. And so we want to give you a couple of tips just to get you on track.
You may have been doing this stuff back in March when we first went into lockdown and gotten away from it. I know that I definitely like entered survival mode where I was just check, check, check, whatever needed to get done that day possibly got done. And so trying to get back into a flow, I think this is a great time of year where, okay, let’s all get a reset. The kids are probably going to be out of school for two weeks or so for the holidays. Let’s get some sort of back on track with running our businesses at the same time that we have kids home. The first tip I’m going to share is getting a view of your week before the week starts. And I know this takes planning, but it’s one of those things that once you start doing it, you’ll start finding yourself Monday morning, feeling like, Oh no, I don’t have my, my, my picture of the week done.
And so I suggest doing this like Sunday evening, maybe right after dinner, or before you go to bed, just opening up your phone app, if that’s where you keep your calendar. And just writing for the week here are all the meetings and the time they’re at, and I do this for myself and my child, I don’t go ahead and add my husband’s schedule in, unless he’s leaving the house, like he’s going to a doctor’s appointment or something like that. But for the most part, it’s just me and my son. And I put, you know, 12:00 PM recording, pixie dust, and 2:00 PM karate virtual, and all of that stuff on this weekly picture of you. And what that really does is I don’t need to do anything with that on Sunday night. But when I am in that mode Monday morning, Tuesday morning, and it’s just like, Oh, we have to have the iPad charged up for class, or we got to get to the bus or whatever it is.
I’m not also trying to think through what else I have to do that day. It’s already written down on that paper. I know the entire schedule for the day. What it also does is show me like what’s priority. What’s important. And so for something like this, where I’m recording a podcast episode, I can communicate to my husband and say, at this time we’re recording and he’ll know, okay, I need to make sure I either have that time off to go take our kid for a walk. Or I know that I need to find something that he can do on his own. And you know, just play independently, hopefully not knocking on the door to come in and interrupt the recording. If he does we just say hi and, you know, start rerecording, whatever we just said, but it’s really, really helpful to not be thinking both about what meetings do I have and how do I need to structure my day to accommodate that? I have those meetings. Like one piece of that entire equation is taken away by doing this one activity every Sunday night. And yes, you know, meetings get added to the calendar throughout the week. But it really helps Monday morning when you’re just thinking about, all right, how am I tackling today? You’re not trying to think about what do I have today and how do I tackle it?
Yeah, it’s such a helpful exercise. I mean, Nicole’s talked about it, but for us, I have my schedule. I have a one-year-old, so I got to stay on top of her naps when she feeds what she eats. And my, I work with my husband, so I sort of manage his schedule as well. And knowing again, when I have, I have two tiers of meetings, basically I have the absolutely do not disturb. So that’s more of a, you know, you’re on your own. If something happens, I trust you to handle it. And the, okay, if something urgent comes up, you can like, you know, come in and pause. And you know, obviously pixie dust, episode recordings are in the do not disturb category, but since Nicole and I talk on a regular basis when we’re meeting about other things, I hope that’s okay, Nicole, by the way my husband knows that he can step in if something urgent happens and he needs me
Same thing with my kid. He knows Yasmine from all the times we talking to each other. So he feels comfortable coming in and waving. And he actually doesn’t shy away from the camera anymore. Cause he knows that.
Yeah. So having like your week mapped out really helps. I think, I dunno if you do this, Nicole, but I also write down what we’re having for dinner because one of my biggest pain points is if I don’t have a plan. Yeah. If I don’t have a plan for like what we’re eating, we ended up defaulting to take out. And we’re trying to do a little bit of less of that lately. So
Stressful point here because like we start feeling hungry and we’re like, what’s for dinner. And then we start feeling like we’re eating the same things over and over years ago, we used to do like a monthly plan for eating. And now that I’m happy if I can figure out tonight, but yes, we do need to add dinner to that, to that weekly list.
It’s super helpful. It has a saved me from wasting food. And B it just helps me not stress about it though. There are times where we plan ahead and we just forget to defrost the meat. So we order out anyway. So I’m not perfect just throwing that out there. So another tip that we have for you guys actually came from one of our listeners Misty and Missy is actually part of the program as well. She is in the profitable and productive party and we will incur information down below. So thank you Misty for sharing this tip, but Misty just takes one thing that she has to do that day, right? So on a post-it note and that’s it, she doesn’t have a, to do list. She has that one priority for the day and once she’s done, she takes the post-it note and tosses it in the trash and for her. And honestly, for a lot of us tackling one thing versus a long to-do list, seems so much easier and so much less stressful.
It definitely keeps me motivated. I started doing this in the last few weeks after she mentioned it, because I do have a categorized to do list that kind of breaks out like, okay, this client, this and that client has this and pixie desktops that, and it’s helpful for organizing all of the things that need to get done. But I have found myself in survival mode, like I said earlier, where it’s just, okay, I need to get through the day and we need to be a happy and healthy family at that end of it. Hopefully that’s the goal. And so, you know, taking this approach of just writing each to do that, I’m going to do that day on a sticky note, put it on my monitor right in front of me. Then when I sit down and I have a few minutes of work, I’m not thinking, okay, where do I stop?
Or what do I need to work on first? I’m not looking at the overall categorize to do list of stuff. I’m looking literally at a sticky note that has two words on it, scheduled social, or, you know, complete Ascension model or whatever it is. And so those are the ones in front of me right now. And so I know when I sit down, that’s what I need to do. And then it feels really satisfying. I’m not going to lie to like take that sticky note and I put it in the recycles and here’s a tip for you if you do the same stick to a piece of paper. So it’ll actually get through the recycling feeders. So yes, yes. And so that’s like the stuff that I I’ve been trying to do lately, just to recognize myself that right now I’m in survival mode and I’m not in optimal mode.
I am not in the mind space or brain space for being like the ultimate version of Nicole that I can be. I am trying to do my best every day. And my best is a little different right now than it used to be. So the sticky notes have helped me over the last few weeks to regain momentum and motivation. And so I just want to encourage all of you that you might be listening to things, especially right now it’s, it’s December as we’re recording this. And there were probably a lot of talks out there about, you know, get your goals ready for 2021 and goal setting and planning and making milestones. And you know, right now remember that you might just be surviving. You might not be thriving and it’s okay to say, I’m not pursuing the ultimate version of myself right now.
Yeah. Give yourself some grace.
And I’ve talked a lot about having a child at home. Who’s going through school and I’d love for Yasmin to give some baby tips because she’s home with a new one newly one-year-old. And so that comes with its own set of challenges because I’m pretty sure baby’s probably, you know, starting to move and be mobile and get into things which makes it even harder for you to just like put her over there and work.
Oh yeah. One thing I learned about having a toddler, which is officially what she has right now is most of your day is spent trying to stop them from killing themselves. She is, she’s very mobile right now. She’s always trying to get into things. Right now we’re also in the process of moving. I move three days after this episode is recorded. So all of her stuff is sort of out of place. And you know, not the most babies safe environment. So we have extra eyes on her, but in a normal state, honestly, what’s worked for me is I have developed quite a big passion for Montessori as a way of educating younguns. And we implement Montessori at home. If you want to learn more about it, I actually have another Instagram that you can follow me on it’s at Montessori mompreneur, we’ll link in the show notes, but for my daughter, I found that keeping her engaged in independent play is key for me to get work done throughout the day.
My husband obviously works from home as well, and I’m fortunate in that regard, then he can step in and watch her when I’m on calls and meetings, but it’s not like out of the norm for her literally to be sitting in my office. I actually have a play area for her in my office so I can watch her while I type and why get an emails for while I work on things. So open-ended toys are big. I try and again, this is zero judgment for anyone who does use it, but this is just what works for us, but we try to stay away from what I call reactive toys. So these are toys that she has to like push buttons for, or like, you know, have lots of lights and music because I find that she’ll play with those for like two minutes, but then, you know, crawl away and reach for something else.
So we give her a lot of like age appropriate puzzles, wood blocks. There are Montessori puzzles and like sort of skill-building toys that we give her. And that has been a huge help. But if you don’t have the toys, I’m not saying you need to like run out and get them. I would say my key things are, give your child an activity that will engage them for awhile. It could literally be an empty plastic bottle that they just want to crinkle. Like that works too, whatever it is is great. You know, if you can handle the noise, some Tupperware and pots and pans from the kitchen covered, those are great baby toys too. The key is having them focused and safe. The second thing I would do is if you can have a safe place space in your office or where you work that might mean picking up your laptop and taking it to the playroom or the nursery or the living room, it might mean if you have a desktop, like I do creating a little safe place space, which is a mat from Ikea. And so her choice right behind me, so I can keep a close eye on her.
I’d also add to that. If you have a play space in your office, like having certain toys that they don’t get any other time, like you’re not bringing the toys she uses in the living room, into the office for her to continue playing with. It’s like, this is a special toy that I only get to play with when I’m in mom’s office.
Exactly. So I actually have a shelf of separate toys that are only in my office in books, and she just goes and reaches for them and picks out what she wants. And it’s not like I get like a solid 30 minute chunk with her you know, entertaining herself, but I can get like five to 10 minutes spurts here and there. And for a one-year-old that’s, that’s pretty big if they are obviously younger than that, and they’re not mobile. Oh my gosh, things are so much easier. I was so excited for my daughter to start crawling, but now I’m just like, you know, I wish she was a bit of a loaf again, because that made it simple. But, you know, she would just be on her tummy, playing with her toys on the mat and I could sort of work away and engage with her.
The one last thing I’ll add about that is I have work time with my daughter and then I have like focused time with her. So when I, I make a priority, like every morning, that is time that we really spend together for about half an hour, an hour at a time where, like I put my phone away. I’m not at my computer. I’m just paying attention to her. Cause I think that’s really important, but going back and forth, I feel like she gets her time to do her thing. It gives me time to work and she’s a happy baby. And encouraging those independent play skills early on, I find can be very beneficial because we started encouraging independent play when she was like six months old. And now she has no problem. Grabbing toys has like a little bin and entertain herself for 10, 15 minutes at a time.
Awesome. So we hope that this episode has been really helpful and helping you find some ways to continue to work with children at home, especially, but also to get remotivate it. Even if you don’t if you go to magic.pixiedustandprofits.com, you can download our business bundle and it’s free. And inside there you’ll find a content re-purposing worksheet to make it super easy, to get social done super quick, because we don’t have a lot of time on your hands, but you’ll also more importantly, find a time management worksheet. And this is a exercise and worksheet that we have for you to kind of see where you’re spending time. What’s good time. What’s probably not so valuable time. And that could be really helpful in figuring out what’s the one thing you need to get done today. And, yeah, thanks for tuning in today and let us know your favorite, small world moments. Thanks so much. And we’ll see you real soon.