Vanessa Bell Mumbition the Podcast


The Podcast By Mums & Co

Episode 29: Don’t let perfectionism hold you back, with Korryn Haines of Encore Admin Consulting

Korryn Haines

Founder of Encore Admin Consulting

June 14, 2022
Korryn Haines is the founder of Encore Admin Consulting. She has never been afraid to lay down the boundaries that help her achieve livelihood and well-being. Her unapologetic blending of business in motherhood is inspiring.Korryn joins us on Mumbition The Podcast to share an insight into the way her business runs and what she's learned over the last five years.Listen Here!


Korryn Haines

Virtually Yours

Kate Toon

Belle Evolution


Produced & Edited by - Morgan Brown
Interviewers - Carrie Kwan and Lucy Kippist
Guest - Korryn Haines

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Episode 29 Transcript

00:01:11:10 - 00:01:47:14
Today's guest, mum of two Korryn Haines recently started sharing it on her Instagram page her thriving business Encore Admin Consulting. Korryn has never been afraid to lay down the boundaries that help her achieve livelihood and well-being. Her unapologetic blending of business in motherhood is inspiring and important. Korryn joins us on my mission today to share an insight into the way her business runs and what she's learned over the last five years. Korryn, welcome to the podcast.

00:01:51:08 - 00:01:55:13
Thank you.

00:01:57:07 - 00:02:09:00
We're thrilled to have you here. And we love hearing women sharing their business story and pitching with confidence and clarity. So can we start by asking you to share yours.

00:02:10:08 - 00:02:39:17
Oh, this one's evolved so many times, but where I'm at right now is I help fellow mums in business and sole business owners structure and streamline the admin using tools. I started as a general VA and just found that everyone is either coming out of corporate land used to always having that tech person to bounce off.

So I'm moving more from the general side into just being most business owners, techie person that they can bounce ideas off. So that's where I'm at.

00:02:55:05 - 00:03:18:08
I know a lot of our small business community don't have the tech help desk and we don't have all our personal admins. It's almost like the glue that keeps things moving along and helps us to be more efficient and effective.

So I definitely love that. The other thing that I picked up when you were talking is that your story has evolved. That is actually something that continues no matter what stage of business that you're at. I think that your pitch can always evolve because you are always adding new products or services.

You just might get more clarity. Your consumers actually change, too. So thanks for reminding us that we can evolve.

00:03:54:06 - 00:04:30:11
Yeah, and this year especially I'm going through a big change with my youngest off to school next year. So I'm trying to find that new balance because, kids grow, schedules change, priorities change. So I found that with a lot of my clients, too, as they're moving through business their priorities are changing too. So that's what starting as a general VA made me understand that businesses are evolving so rapidly that the services they need change too. So I'm trying to help people keep up with that.

00:04:36:07 - 00:05:04:24
I think that's a really natural progression. And when you find your niche and you find your ideal customer and you get clear on the customer experience that you're trying to create and what values that you represent. So absolutely evolve away. And speaking of that, you started your business after the birth of your first child, an experience which is shared by about 30% of our community who kick into business start up mode whilst on maternity leave. What would be your first piece of advice for any new mum keen to do the same thing?

00:05:13:15 - 00:05:51:06
Probably put down the perfectionism. I absolutely just fell into my business. I was looking for temp roles because I'm an admin person through and through. And realising that it's okay that I don't have to do the normal nine to five anymore because I've got this little person that needs me more than you ever realise. But if you choose to go down that route, power to you I just could not bring myself to do it.

I just by chance fell into this idea of doing contract work with my first client. There was a lot of angst and guilt around that initially. So I really had to put down my perfectionist tendencies being an admin person. You know, dotting the I's, crossing the 's. Even though I'm a bit of a control freak and I'm organised and all those things and I'm sure as mums we are all just peak organisational ninjas at times. But learning to put that down lessens a lot of heartache. So that would be my number one. I'm by no means perfect at that.

00:06:43:09 - 00:06:46:03
We love the mission to not be perfect.

00:06:48:09 - 00:07:12:04
And I think that it's actually a great little segway to the next question I had for you, Korryn, because I love your business boundaries. Whenever I look at your Instagram page, I'm always like, this is someone who's completely in control of that aspect of business life. And we know that that's something that a lot of us struggle with, whether it's in a personal capacity or in a business capacity.

And I think as you become a mum and you have even more demands on your time, that can be even harder to establish. So I'm just wondering, I mean, your messages are just one of the examples that has that ability to create those boundaries as a business owner always come naturally to you.

00:07:34:02 - 00:08:07:01
No. My first two years actually my biggest learning and that came from having my second bub. I really had hit that crossroads and it was actually my conversation with my client when I said, “Oh, by the way, bub number two is on the way.”. She was actually the one that said to me, “You're going to try and juggle or what are you going to do?. Are you going to go on leave? What's the plan ahead?”.

And I was like, “Oh, yeah, I could probably try and wing it.”. And then she just looked at me and said, “No, you're not. Just put it all down. I will wait. Everything will wait. Just enjoy the time with your new bubba.”. And that was the first time I had actually had that moment of actually, yeah, I can put this down, I can put my boundaries in place.

I had a particular client over that time who was completely reliant on me. And they were, I guess you could say my problem child at the time. So I had to line up alternatives and all that sort of thing for them. But they also waited for me. And the minute I came back from leave, it was all systems go again.

Look, I had thought I was almost completely shutting it down and rebuilding from scratch. I had no expectations of any of my clients waiting for me, but they did. And so that was my first lesson in people wanting to work with you and if you put that boundary in place, they will be OK with that.

Because my first two years I was doing stupid hours at night, and really burning myself out. And that conversation with my client was probably at one of my moments of both pregnant hormones and tiredness. She was looking at me and went “No, I can see you're going to do that and please don't do that.”. Because she actually has three daughters and knows the juggle all so well. That was a really powerful conversation for me to have to learn, it is OK to set your boundaries and how you work and who you work with.

00:10:04:14 - 00:10:32:07
Absolutely. And what a gift that was for you. That's a pivotal moment for sure. And I mean, it is that idea that you become the gatekeeper of your business. That means as much as you want to be the person to say yes, you also need to be the person to say no to ensure that that quality of work and quality of life for yourself. So do you think that once you start saying no or you put in those boundaries, they get easier because you do read that?

00:10:35:17 - 00:10:57:03
Yes. Actually, I wish I could take credit for my out of office. I think it was actually Sheree from Digital Picnic who I first got that inspiration from. Alright, this is happening. Here's where you can find me if you need to. But don't expect an answer. And that was it.

It's just trying to find that balance. The first time I set that out of office, I was like, “Oh my God, people won’t like me.”. Oh my goodness that whole old judgement thing crept in. But as it's gone on, it's become more natural. Actually, this is what's happening and it's really good that the people who are going to be in touch with me, are like cool with when you get back.

And trying to work through school holidays is just a nightmare, as I've discovered. So I'm just like, that's a boundary that's going to have to be in place for the quality of my work for you.

00:11:41:13 - 00:12:16:20
Absolutely. So you mentioned to Carrie just earlier that your business started as a general Virtual Assistant business. And you've mentioned that that's evolved for you over the last couple of years in terms of your focus on tech and helping business owners with tech. Well, obviously, I was thinking the last couple of years with COVID has has really put that admin type service at the forefront of a lot of people's minds, like outside of the small business sphere.

So what do you think is sort of the most significant change you've seen in your industry over the last couple of years in that regard?

00:12:24:12 - 00:12:54:00
I'm actually a member of Virtually Yours, which is a community of virtual assistants, and it has been amazing seeing how many people are coming in and realising that as an admin they don't have to sit at their desk, 9 to 5 or 24 hours a day like I used to. So there has been a massive influx of new people figuring out, “Oh wait, I can do this as a business.”.

Also, everyone is realising suddenly that by not being at the office, how much they rely on that person. So that has been a big change in people appreciating how much of that admin work can just be bounced around and not having to be sitting next to them in a physical space. And also the reliance on tech. So many people suddenly were at home and were left to their own devices. You've got to get this installed and that's not working, what’s not working.

And so for me, my techie brain loves that. I find I shine the most in that troubleshooting space, and getting people up to speed. And suddenly all the in-person workshops became online. So people are trying to figure out how to keep up to speed with that. So there's been lots of change and in a lot of ways for the good.

It's great that people are seeking us out and realising that it's not just admin anymore and there's all different facets to it. But it also has created this space where there has to be quality. Not every man and his dog can do it even if they say they can do it. That’s also come to the forefront as well, quality delivery because there's so many balls that are in the air.

00:14:35:00 - 00:14:38:10
Thank you. Great answer. Really interesting.

00:14:39:00 - 00:14:56:22
It's interesting for me to sit among and see how I've evolved in five years among all the new people that are coming into the network and seeing all the new people in it. It's definitely a learning curve for a lot of providers.

00:14:56:22 - 00:15:01:00
So great. Thank you for sharing all that.

00:15:03:00 - 00:15:13:04
Korryn, if you could describe your relationship to business risk in one word, what would it be? And why?

00:15:14:07 - 00:16:01:17
I probably would say I'm a little bit risk averse. I guess because I'm so used to being that stable person for my clients. And I like to keep a solid foundation in some ways. I run on the theory of, if it's not broken, don't upset the apple cart and try to fix it. That's probably my biggest thing, is having that solid foundation first and then building on that. Over the last few years, a lot of people have taken on all the work because it wasn't there.

I sort of took a more measured approach with so much going on with kids being home, with hubby being home, sharing the office space and lots of things. I haven't taken too many risky moves, but at the same time, trying to keep everything level.

00:16:28:23 - 00:16:49:17
It's a fascinating concept and with all things as different perceptions I go, “Wow, you're stepping into the unknown. You're building something from scratch, you haven't got a brand yet.”. That is risky.

00:16:50:08 - 00:17:12:03
And that makes me laugh when I have friends who've known me for many, many years.They say, “ It's just amazing what you're doing.”. And in that way, I don't feel like I'm doing anything risky. I'm just putting one foot in front of the other. But, I don't realise, “All right. So many people don't even attempt it.”.

So that is another way to look at it. I sort of don't attach risk to it in that way.

00:17:23:04 - 00:17:48:24
That's always a fascinating thing for me. And I find it a lot of our community of women are actually very entrepreneurial. And that's literally the spirit of being a business owner. You are actually creating something from nothing and creating a revenue stream out of it and supporting your ambition and your and your livelihood.

But I think there is definitely a good balance because we always have this radar of risk around us. You know, as a mum, as a parent, we're always actually quite aware of how to minimise our kids from hurting themselves. I've got a five year old and he gets into things.Trouble finds him.

So you're very tuned in to this. And I think that that's an amazing perception that women have when they go into business. They're actually quite aware of what's going on and they're looking at all the elements that could go wrong. There's a lot that you don't know as well. So on that process now, you've got two children, you're a business owner. The days are rather full. What's something that you've had to decide that's no longer important either in the home sphere, work, something that's bumped off your priority list in order to make life work for you?

00:19:02:07 - 00:19:49:20
I have recently had to put aside again, it's that whole perfectionist thing. So doing everything all the time. One thing that has been my non-negotiable through everything is having my clean up. It's only once every three weeks and it's not crazy stuff, but that for me is the bottom of my list. I try to do a bit of everything else, but my one non-negotiable. Because it is just my absolute bugbear of having to do the mopping and the vacuuming and that kind of thing takes me forever.

And then I've had to really put my health and wellbeing up there. So I actually go for my daily walks after I drop the kids off at school. Now that's been a new thing. But again, that's that boundary of, okay, I've got this little pocket of time for me. I've had to really try not to fill that with work or with the kids. I've just been more strict on times with what I'm doing.

Even social friendships have taken a hit, but I think everyone's had that occur recently so I also have been very lucky. I'm actually very lucky that I've found some very good social friendships in my business circles. So that's kind of filled that up where previously I'd actually go out in social things but again, that's part of being a mum too.

00:21:16:17 - 00:21:39:12
I think there's an intensity, especially in the last couple of years, the intensity of what we've had to do has all increased in all those different parts. Even just looking in the bucket of child caring and when we were doing home schooling, the intensity of that, just quadrupled or even more tenfold.

00:21:40:12 - 00:21:41:01

00:21:41:02 - 00:22:03:03
And then looking after ourselves also quadrupled because we always had this constant state of uncertainty. Oh, we're in a snap lockdown or cancel those plans that we had changed. You're in that constant fight or flight mode and then work changes on so many different fronts as well.

So across the board I think just the intensity of everything increased. And I do think that if you de-prioritize having a perfectly spotless house, I think that's okay.

00:22:20:06 - 00:22:47:04
Well, that was just going to be a never ending battle, really, with all of us home. On the most part, though, I think I've kept things pretty organised. I've never really prioritised things over others. It's the organisational brain and having everything slotted in at some point.

00:22:48:00 - 00:22:55:02
I was thinking, listening to you, Korryn, that it sounds like you've got it's again those excellent boundaries in place. I think you need to write a book about them.

But to me it sounds like that everything still has a role and a place. It's all very important and none of it can come off the list, but it's how you're managing that and balancing that. And I'm actually in the middle of reading a really interesting book at the moment about the impact of really low grade but continual stress on our bodies and our brains and our capacity to problem solve.

And it's so fascinating just to delve into that. So thank you. Thank you for sharing all of that. Obviously, you've been running the business now for a significant amount of time, but what would you say is the biggest challenge at the moment for you and is there anyone that we can introduce you to in our Mums & Co community that might be able to help bridge that gap?

00:23:51:12 - 00:24:15:23
It's funny, this week I actually went to my first in-person event for well over a month. And I've actually recently just had what I'm calling a flat spot, and I guess it's probably the culmination of the last couple of years, to be honest. Because suddenly the light is kind of there at the end of the tunnel.

Look, I know what I want to achieve and I know how I want to help and I know how much I love techie bits and just finding my way to get it into the hands of the people that need it. So at the moment, it's really trying to find the articulation and the messaging around that.

So because you're sort of looking around and everyone doing courses and all this stuff and you can't help but get a little bit, “Oh, I need to be doing that too.”. So that's where I've hit my flat spot at the moment, which is proving to be an interesting conundrum for someone who desperately does want to help more people.

I've been through those iterations of the whole vibrato of, oh, do I build a team or get people to help doing all that stuff? And I very much realise that I'm quite happy being me and doing me. So I’m trying to find my way out of that flat spot of, okay, what's my next step in this? So for someone who's done a marketing degree, it's quite hilarious and I find it hard to market myself.

00:25:51:11 - 00:25:52:20
But it's really common, isn't it?

00:25:53:01 - 00:26:14:02
That's the thing. I laugh because we're so good at delivering for others, but when it comes to our own stuff, it's like, “Hello, roadblock, how are you going?”. So that's where I'm at.

00:26:18:02 - 00:26:36:08
It Is a really interesting one. I was just thinking, given that you've always had a virtual business and the impact of carving on online presence in general. Everyone's online now, it's not really a surprise that sort of question, like what’s next? Like where do I go next? The spaces is very crowded now.

00:26:40:08 - 00:27:07:18
It's very crowded. But I also very much am aware that the people behind the virtual businesses are human. So that's really what I'm trying to tap into is how do I translate what I can do to get to other people. So that's a fun one.

00:27:09:15 - 00:27:33:02
So our name is Mums and Co, and so the Co obviously relates to the men, the women, the family, the partners, the clients, the friends that support you. So who makes up your Co and how does it work, how do they support you to run this business?

00:27:35:07 - 00:28:06:21
Without a doubt, my husband. It's funny because he is our main income earner. My income from this business has always been the extra on top. So we've been very mindful of that because we didn't want to lose that balance of being available for the kids and looking after the kids. And there were times when I said I could probably go full pelt on all this and I'd be doing full time hours, multiple clients, all that sort of stuff.

But when we sat down with it and looked at childcare costs and all that sort of stuff. Neither of us really wanted to let go of that. So without a doubt, without him being in his full time role and doing what he does, I definitely would not be able to do what I do. Like I said, I was looking at temporarily going back to the corporate race until I stumbled across another way.

Without him holding steady on that front and definitely on the financial front, I definitely wouldn't be able to do it without him. I have a friend of mine who I've been friends with since kindergarten, and even though she's in corporate land, she's my number one go-to when things feel too hard. So there's a lot of virtual chats that go on between us behind the scenes.

But it's good to have someone who's not in business either because she gives a completely different take on things. So it's very easy to be in your own head so much that that outside person is also very helpful in that they aren't in the fray with you. Because I know a lot of people say the importance of businesses and being friends that get it and understand it, but I've also found that having someone completely removed from it too has been very helpful. So they are two main pillars of strength.

00:29:55:22 - 00:30:02:12
And in the spirit of women supporting women who are the ambitious women that you would like to say hello to?

00:30:04:20 - 00:30:40:17
Oh my goodness. I'm actually very grateful. I have a little circle of virtual business owners most of whom I have only met in person once. So Rosie Shilo, who runs Virtualy Yours, without that, I would not probably have any of my marbles left without.

We mentioned Kate Toon. I'm in her Digital Mastermind Membership. And yes, she brings a whole different side of business life that I didn't fully appreciate until I got into her circles. So she's another person who I absolutely just love seeing what she's up to next. The last person is relatively new into her space is Jess Snowden from the Belle Evolution I've never been fantastic at the whole Instagram friends thing.

So attending her events in person in Brisbane has really made business life much more fun for me. They're the main ones that I can think of.