I’ve always wanted to be a paper planner girl. I have bought a dozen planners over the years, but can never seem to get past the first couple of weeks before I forget I own a planner. Maybe it’s because I’ve always had a really boring life? Who knows. Anyway, late last summer (of 2011), everyone started talking about this woman, Erin Condren, and her Life Planner. There was a gift code going around, so I decide to take a risk and I ordered my own. Even with the gift card, I still ended up spending roughly $40 because of shipping, but I figured the high price might convince me to use it.
Well, I’m a total convert! I’ve used it consistently throughout the whole year and definitely plan to order another. I’m excited to share an interview with Erin Condren, the woman behind the magic, as well as another special giveaway!
An Interview with Erin Condren
AN) What inspired you to create the Life Planner?
EC) My first job out of college was in Swimwear Sales and the company paid for my Franklin planner and a training course to learn how to use it. It was a very “vanilla” system that didn’t really appeal to my “colorful vision”, but it was helpful in developing time management skills. Fast forward to to when I started my home business printing stationery and stickers…I had a dream of someday creating my own Planner that could be colorful, inspirational, and of course, PERSONALIZED. My business partner thought I was nuts and told me that “everyone uses their phone/mobile device to plan their calendar!”
Well, we sold 50K Life Planners last year, so clearly I’m not alone
What advice do you have for budding women entrepreneurs? What do you wish you had known when you got started?
There is no “luck” in a successful business. It is endless hours with a business that never sleeps. It really doesn’t get any easier as you grow, it’s just that the challenges change and new obstacles appear. I work just as hard now as i did when I was getting it off the ground from my home. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE WHAT I DO, but it is very difficult to make that jump from having an “idea” as an entrepreneur to becoming a successful business person.
If you are going to make that jump, be ready to make many sacrifices to maintain a balanced work/family life. (Still trying to figure out that “perfect balance!”)
As the Queen of Planners, you must have some great tips on organization. As a wife, mom and business owner, how do you get everything done?
No one plans to fail, we simply FAIL TO PLAN. I’m not saying I plan everything perfectly or far ahead… I still consider myself very spontaneous and easy going, but each day (for the most part) follows a plan. Even if I write it down the night before, I have some sort of “script” in my Life Planner, my Oh, What a Week! schedule pad, or just a piece of paper in my purse. It’s amazing what can I can get accomplished if I plot the course.
What’s your philosophy on maintaining a work-life balance?
I do my best to live FULLY in the moment. This means when I am in the office, I maximize my time by setting goals for each day and making daily lists.
If I can accomplish my work goals, I can “put the phone down” when I get home and fully engage in my family life. I’m not saying I don’t check emails from time to time during a little league baseball game, but watching my 11 year old twins grow up overnight, I just don’t want to miss a beat with them right now. Having a business partner really helps so that we can take turns on vacation days and have uninterrupted family time that I live for.
One of my favorite things about the Life Planner is how fun and creative it is. Where do you find inspiration for your creativity?
Inspiration is all around us! I came up with a Holiday Card idea from the graphic on a box of crackers. My roots were in the Apparel Industry and I’ve always loved fashion and textiles. I also love typography and get inspired by words and quotes everyday.
What’s one upcoming thing in your planner that you’re excited to do? What’s one thing that you’re dreading?
We have a family vacation planned in December, leaving on Christmas day and will be away for 9 days…the longest I’ve ever been away since I started my business. As much as I am LIVING for that moment when my family and I board the plane, sooooo much has to take place before now and then. The next couple months are soooo busy with calendar season, holiday gifts and Christmas cards…we have 3 shifts planned so my business is buzzing around the clock.
While I’m so blessed to have a booming business in this troubled economy, the next few months of production are a bit more than daunting. Inevitably a few orders will have mistakes, and I truly “dread” a disappointed customer. We will do our best to deliver smiles around the world this season!
What do you hope to accomplish in 2013?
Honestly, I feel like this “party” is just getting started! We launch my custom built new website platform in 2013 and the sky’s the limit! We have plans to release a phone APP, a “home” collection of wallpaper and fabrics, and an even MORE customizable Life Planner among so many other things! As for a personal goal, I dream of having time to organize my photos! Perhaps in 2013 I will actually have prints made of images since 2007… I have not printed a single picture since going digital…bring back film!
Do you love Erin Condren’s Life Planner as much as me? Then enter to win a $25 gift code at ErinCondren.com! If you’ve already purchased your Life Planner this year, you can save the code and use it to buy your next planner, or stock up on lots of other fun items, like notepads and address labels!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
The winner will be announced on this weeks’ Friday Finds! And stay tuned for more People I Find Fascinating!
FTC disclosure: The giftcode is provided complimentary by EC Design LLC.