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Welcome to episode #59 of the Morning Upgrade Podcast. In this week’s episode, I spoke with Ebony McGee, the owner of a web design company. She loves traveling and helping non-profit organizations. 

Top Talking Points

  • The importance of delegating work rather than trying to do it all yourself.
  • Balancing your IQ and EQ.
  • Practicing gratitude will help you be happier.

Resources & Links

Share Link for this episode

Connect With Ebony at misstweakit.com

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Thank you for listening to The Morning Upgrade Podcast this week with Ebony. If you enjoyed this episode, please be sure to subscribe and leave a review. Thank you!

Episode Transcript

Ryan 

Hey guys, it’s Ryan real quick. So my mission with the Morning Upgrade blog and podcast is to raise the awareness of morning routines and personal development. And I now have two products that are also helped me with this mission. The first product helps you start a 20 minute morning routine. And the second product is a book that outlines how to use personal development to upgrade your life and business. You can get full details on both products over at morning upgrade.com. Thanks for letting me share and now on to the show.

Announcer  

Welcome to the Morning Upgrade podcast with Ryan Cote where we feature casual conversations with entrepreneurs about personal development and growth.

Ryan 

Hey, Ebony, welcome to the Morning Upgrade podcast. How are you?

Ebony  

I don’t want to know how are you doing?

Ryan 

I’m doing very well. Thanks for asking. It’s sweltering here in New Jersey. But I know you’re from Texas, so you have no pity on me. So…

Ebony 

I feel you I understand where you’re coming from.

Ryan  

So let’s start off by just introducing yourself you know, spend a minute and tell us who you are what you do for a living, maybe some of your hobbies just so my audience can get to know you a little bit better.

Ebony  

My name is Ebony, I actually own a web design agency. I’m a big nerd. I love love, love, love technology. I focus on providing websites for small business owners, entrepreneurs, and nonprofit organizations. I live in Texas, but I love to travel. That’s what I know right now with the crazy time in the world, I haven’t really been traveling. But as far as some of my hobbies. I enjoy volunteering. I enjoy helping nonprofit organizations. I also enjoy spending time with my family, friends, as well as my four-legged baby also known as my first baby.

Ryan  

What kind of dog is a key part of people.

Ebony 

I don’t know.

Ryan  

To be determined to be determined? Well, let’s talk about your morning routine. I know like before we start recording this, you said you don’t have a very intense routine. But that’s okay because I like to show the variety of morning routines. I’ve got some guests that have just like really intense morning routines take hours, and then some that are more casual. Of course, your morning routine can evolve over time. But what does that look like for you right now? How do you start your day off?

Ebony 

Typically I try to get up at seven o’clock in the morning, I first thing I do after I just get myself together, I try to take my dog out and then plan for the day. My, I’m not much of a morning person I’m trying to do better. Because typically I stay up pretty late. I’m working on that. But ideally, I am trying to have a better routine that actually focuses on me during a short workout. And as well as having a nice healthy breakfast. And just spend some time to just at the moment because I realize some days that I’m just so busy, I just some I just jump out of bed and just like Go Go, go go. But I’m really focusing more on setting up in practicing gratitude and just appreciating what does appreciate appreciating what I have today.

Ryan  

When you walk your dog and then you’re going to exercise so you’re spending time with your dog and getting exercise do you listen to audiobooks while you listen? Are you more just in solitude and you’re in your own thoughts? Sort of like a light form of meditation? What does that look like for you when you’re walking your dog.

Ebony  

I don’t listen to audiobooks because I where I live, it’s quite a few people walking around. So typically, is a casual stroll. And I’m able to talk to people in the area and I let my dog meet other dogs. So I really try to be in the moment and not be on my phone or, or any type of technology because I know I’m going to get my that’s what my day is going to be full of when I get back to the office or when I met the house.

Ryan  

Yeah, and you said something before to that like you. Like I think a lot of people are like this, especially young entrepreneurs. But really everyone is kind of addicted to being busy and going from here to there. And so having that time to kind of slow down. It takes work. I think we’re all wired to, just to I don’t know what it is but I’m not gonna go on a rant here but like, you know, notifications and social media and just like all the stuff always coming at us, requiring us to be always looking for that next thing and busy, busy busy. And I know I personally deal with it and I’m trying to like to slow myself down and I see signs of improvement but I feel like it’s for most of us it just takes work and effort. You know, I agree. So, and speaking of being busy, he said you have multiple businesses. And so it sounds like it feels like a good transition to go to that. Let’s talk about your businesses in terms of, are there any challenges that have come up with your business? And how have you dealt with that mindset, or, anything you could share along those lines.

Ebony  

As a business owner, I do like to have control. My challenge is actually delegating some things because I’ve had my company for about five years. So I’m used to being the one that always has my hands and everything. But I’ve learned is important to understand what people’s strengths are, and use those strengths. And that helps me delegate and makes me makes my company and my team more effective.

Ryan  

So putting people in the right spots, like terms of the memory of their strengths with what the, with what you’re needing to do.

Ebony 

Yes, I’ve been doing well with picking the right team members, and I fully trust them. So it’s, it’s been working out very well. But initially took me some time to realize I needed to do better about delegating tasks.

Ryan  

Have you ever delegated to the wrong person? And how did you handle that hard commerce? hard conversation?

Ebony  

Yes, it happens. I have delegated tasks to people that were they weren’t able to complete the task or had a hard time getting it done. And the key to that is communication. And let them know that you know, I appreciate their efforts. But I’m going to take it from here and get it done. Because basically, as a business owner, you have no choice. But to get it, you can’t just let it go. But I would say it’s important to communicate, and let that person know what he or she did incorrectly and how he or she can improve. And it has been times when I work with people and I wasn’t able to work with them any longer because they didn’t do a good job.

Ryan  

Do you struggle with having hard conversations? Are you okay with it, you can just tackle it head-on?

Ebony 

That’s a tough question. And the reason is, is difficult is because I actually have had the pleasure to work with some people who are my friends. And I’ve known them for years in it’s different. You know, when they say don’t take it personally as business, I mean, I definitely understand that. So it can be noticed, it can be a challenge to give my a friend of mine, like constructive criticism or like negative feedback is more difficult for me to tell a friend and it is a complete stranger, someone I’m hiring like, for a particular position. So it is difficult having those tough conversations, but it’s just part of the job.

Ryan  

It’s something I struggled with personally. And it’s I’m getting better with it, I found what’s worked for me is honestly, like, there’s like no magic button, it’s more just putting in the reps. Like if you want to, if you want to like, like bodybuilders, they build their muscles, you know, by putting in the reps. And so I feel like it’s like public speaking almost, you know, it’s, it’s awful the first one or two times, then it starts to get easier and easier. And so I feel like it’s the same thing and anything hard, it just takes reps unless you’re naturally wired to not have emotions or whatever, you know, but just the reps.

Ebony 

And I have a bit of I can be a little bit of an emotional person, I have a lot of empathy. And sometimes it’s, I have to like step away and come back to the situation and trying to take the personal feelings out of it. But it is it’s a constant battle. I mean, we’re all human right? No one’s perfect.

Ryan 

And then you touched upon a good point I don’t think we’ve spoken about this on the show is as a business owner, you have, you know, the IQ, IQ and EQ, emotional intelligence versus like, you’re like your brain smarts or whatever. I think, as a business owner, you need to have, oh, this is my opinion, you need to have a nice balance that it’s tough to or at least have like, if you’re high in IQ, and low and low and EQ to find someone to bring onto the team that has the high EQ. I think it’s important to have both.

Ebony  

Yes, I agree. It is important to have both, especially when you’re being in a tech space. I mean, there’s like an I just think a lot. I mean, it’s just the way I am. And so sometimes because you’re really focused on thinking you can come off as a little not nice or too stern, but it’s not. It’s like you’re focused on something you’re not trying to be mean or be rude but you’re just like, Okay, this is what I’m focusing on. So having that balance is very important and it’s about building relationships with people and understanding how people like to be treated, you know, something like, for example, some people like to communicate by text message, some people like to communicate by email, or they want a phone call. So it’s just it’s a matter of understanding how people have no strong relationships with people.

Ryan  

Yep, I agree. So let’s talk about some of your habits. You can answer these personal habits, business habits are your choice. What are some habits that you’re proud of that you can share with us?

Ebony 

I really like lists, I love to create lists, I’m the type of person that’s going to create a list of a list of the list, I need to hurry. And it really helps me feel very organized in something else I like to do is time blocking. Time blocking is so powerful because when you create, a list of items you want to get done for the day, those little bitty tasks can end up taking a big chunk of your day when you add him up. So what I do is, when I create a list for business, as well as for, like, if I have something going on, on the weekend, I try to put it all figured out the amount of time that the tasks will take. And I put them on my calendar. And they helped me understand what I can get accomplished in one day, two days, or three days. So it really helps you have that work-life balance, which is very important.

Ryan  

Yeah, reminds me of his name is Shawn. He runs a podcast called Business School. And he was talking about how he recommends and he does some coaching, too, and what have you. And he recommends that do instead of a to-do list. Basically, if he has something to do, he’ll put it into his calendar so that when that time slot comes, he’s actually going to work on it, as opposed to a to-do list that just grows and grows. It sounds like you do something similar.

Ebony  

Yes, that is I like my list. It’s just that’s just me to very satisfying crossing off the thing and put it on paper actually use and something else to that I started using it. It’s and it’s really interesting because you wouldn’t think that I would love it as much but using a paper calendar. Yes, I do. I have a digital camera there as well, of course. But also like using a paper calendar is something about when you’re writing it down. It’s just the way you’re, it’s in your mind, you’re able to focus more and also being to cross things off. That’s very, extremely satisfying.

Ryan 

Paper, if I think if I showed my kids a paper calendar, they would be like, what is that, like we teleported back to 1985? Do you know?

Ebony 

It is well. I know that’s probably the kid in me. But I like the stickers as well. It makes it fun, it makes it like it makes it relaxing in a way, instead of you can come out and get a look 10 When you’re trying to plan your day, at least I do sometimes. But when you just make it fun and make it a fun experience. I look forward to it.

Ryan  

In terms of building lists. I use G Suite and somebody in Gmail, they have a little to-do list. So you get your to-do list right next to your email. And so it’s all very efficient. I’m sure there are better apps than that. But that’s what I found to be useful. 

Ebony

Yeah, I like that. I’ve used that tool before. I like it as well.

Ryan 

Ebony, I’ve got one last question for you. And then we’ll wrap up with you sharing like your either your contact information or website if someone wants to learn more about you or your business. So my last question for you is sort of a big topic, but I just want to hear your thoughts on it. Maybe your definition of it, or your approach to it, but happiness or fulfillment? What’s your definition of that and, or in your approach to it?

Ebony 

Practice gratitude. Something I always remember when I wake up in the morning, thinking about what you have, and someone else has less than what you have and is happy. So it’s like I have no reason. I like it this way, I have no reason to be happy. And also I like to make other people happy as well. So when you walk out that door and you have a smile on your face, the other person can’t help but smile.

Ryan  

Very true. It is contagious, right? Yes, it is. For everyone listening, like think about gratitude. And we’ve spoken about that a lot on this podcast because it is a personal development slash business podcast. But it’s I know it sounds so simple, but it really likes we really need it. Our mind is wired to look for the negative to protect us. And we just have a lot coming at us with all the notifications and just the busy lives and so it sounds so simple, but don’t, don’t discard it. Just try it for an extended period of time and I feel very confident saying that it’ll help a lot in terms of increasing your happiness and just your overall positive outlook. I agree with me this was great. I’m really We had a good, I’m really happy we had this conversation. If someone wants to connect with you or learn more about your business, what should they do?

Ebony  

The best way to connect with me is just to go to my website www.misstweakit.com that’s www.misstweakit.com.  And you can just submit a contact form here or send an email at info@misstweakit.com.

Ryan  

Perfect. And we’ll link up both the website and the email on your show notes page. I really appreciate your time. Good talking with you.

Ebony  

Thank you for your time. Talk soon.

Ryan 

Bye, everyone. Thank you.

Ryan 

Thanks for listening to the Morning Upgrade podcast. Please subscribe and review. And don’t forget to visit us at morningupgrade.com for more content.

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