We had the good fortune of connecting with Akilah Thompkins-Robinson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Akilah, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
I don’t believe there is work-life balance, instead, I think of it as work-life management. There will never be a perfect balance but instead focusing on how you manage the competing priorities in your life is the key.
This become really important over my years in business and creating a business that worked with me, not just me working for it. When I first started my business I was single, had no kids, and working on the side of my 9-5. At that time, I could work uninterrupted for hours on client projects and I was able to take on a lot more client done-for-you work.
Now years later I’m married, 1 kid, and only recently left my 9-5; I have less time, more to juggle, and the time I have is disconnected jumping from home stuff to biz stuff, to kid stuff. As a result, I now offer more 1- to-many programs, membership, and weekend intensive courses because they are much more scalable for my time and fewer last-minute emergencies. This is also how I started doing SEO, I wanted to learn ways to market my business that didn’t require daily maintenance and keeping up with schedules, learning how to create content and get found in the search engines with longer-lasting results has really helped me to run my business in a much more sustainable way.
Work-life management doesn’t always look perfectly balanced, it’s about prioritizing, focusing on the thing at hand, and showing myself a lot of grace.
An example would be when I was writing my book I woke up at 5:30 am to head to Starbucks to write before going to my 9-5. Most days I got a good 2 hours of writing in before most people even started their day. I don’t recommend this long term, but I knew to get a big project like that done I needed to take some extreme measures and find the time.
Work-life management could also be things like:
– scaling back clients to give extra time to help with homework
– not jumping on every new social platform to avoid adding more to your plate
– giving kids a set bedtime so you can have dedicated evening time to work or relax
– or even going to work at Starbucks early mornings for a few hours on the weekends (while dad handles breakfast) so you can get dedicated work time before hanging with the family Saturday afternoons.
That is Work-Life management to me, sometimes you have to give and take to hit your goals and achieve any form of balance.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My company is a Business Development and SEO Consulting firm, Girl Get Visible. At Girl Get Visible we focus on helping online entrepreneurs to use their knowledge and skills to attract and convert the right customers and clients for their business through their website. What sets Girl Get Visible apart is we aren’t just a done-for-you SEO shop, the goal at GGV is to teach entrepreneurs to use their voice and expertise to drive traffic and sales. In addition, to our coaching and consulting services, I’m also the Founder of SEO Assist (formerly My SEO Writer) which is a MarTech SAAS platform designed to reduce the time and work it takes to implement good SEO. This is a productivity tool that helps you take what you know and turn it into the content you can get found for.
I started Girl Get Visible from another company Online Boutique Source in 2018 and have since published my book My SEO Writer, grown an award-winning podcast, The Girl Get Visible Podcast, YouTube channel, and as I mentioned above founded a software as a service company, SEO Assist.
I created Girl Get Visible and SEO Assist based on working with clients over the years and seeing where they struggled in marketing and showcasing their business to the world. I combined my knowledge with my 15 + year Technology career to create systems and tools that made the work a lot easier and obtainable for the average business starting out.
I’ve had 2 major challenges through the years growing my businesses. First, has been making a way in a male-dominated industry. In my career and in my business I’ve often dealt with being in a space where I’m the only one who looks like me and often having my expertise and authority questioned because of it. Instead of shrinking back in times like this, I’ve learned to assert myself and use my unique approach to help educate and other women and men understand the “techie” speak that many people in tech unknowingly confuse people with. I make it easy.
In doing this I’ve helped to uplift other women in the space and in business.
My other biggest challenge has been opening people up to different ways of doing business and using technology. I teach and preach building sustainable business and marketing channels and doing things the way big businesses are doing it. This isn’t always the popular opinion in the current climate of social trends and quick money fixes. Although getting people to consider doing business differently can be a challenge, when people see the longevity I’ve had in my business and the ease that my clients have running their businesses it’s a lot easier to open them up to the idea of doing business a different way.
Being an expert in search I know for a fact there are billions of things being searched for every day, and there is someone out there who wants the knowledge I share and wants to learn what I teach. This is has contributed to my biggest lesson in business, “e yourself and share what you know and want to be known for”. Even if it’s not the latest trend or shiny object there is still someone searching for it.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
When I visit Atlanta I really like staying and around Buckhead, I love the shops and ever change food spots. If I was to set up a trip there one of the first things to do would be to find a good brunch spot because Atlanta brunches are legendary. And while I was in the city I would definitely set up some meetings and dinners with some of my dope entrepreneur friends because there are so many amazing black business owners in the ATL area.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d like to shout out, my husband he’s always so supportive and helpful in juggling all of the things, my close family, friends, and sorority sisters of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority who always cheer me on, come to events, and speak my name in rooms I would be in. And my mom who barely know what I do but she’s always here for it LOL
Other: My software company’s website SEOAssist.com
Denise Washington- DeNicole Photography