Together A Bosslady Interview- Danise Sumner
NAME: Danise Sumner
BUSINESS: The Busy Bee Productivity Coaching
INDUSTRY: Coaching Services
SOCIAL MEDIA HANDLES: @busybeecoach and www.facebook.com/busybeeproductivityco
Hey there! I’m Danise. I’m a productivity coach, newlywed, dog mom, a third-grade teacher and UVA grad student. My mission is to empower women to reach their big dreams and live intently. I have private and group coaching services, workbooks, and weekly blog posts to inspire and connect with women around the world.
When I’m not a busy bee and have some downtime, you can find me on the couch watching my favorite reality TV shows or reading a good book! My husband and I live in RVA and love exploring the city and trying new places to eat!
- How did you get started in your field and why?
I started my business because as a teacher, I am passionate about teaching and helping others. After 6 years of teaching, I began to think of what else I have to offer the world, and how I could use my passion in a different way. Over the years, countless people have come up to me and said, “I just don’t know how you do it all.” Or, “You are always so busy; how do you manage grad school, teaching, a business and a social life?!” People at work often tell me, “How do you get everything done during the school day? You’re so good with your time!” I am happiest when I feel productive, purposeful and am helping others.
I started The Busy Bee Productivity Coaching because I’ve been a busy bee for as long as I can remember. My parents still talk about how I would wake up early “on a mission” to get things done. Over the past year, I have really focused on my personal growth and development. As I got married, bought my first house, and began graduate school, I began to think more about how I was spending my time and what my big vision was for my life. I realized that I needed to devote more time to setting goals and dreaming big. When I made that decision, I got clear on what I truly want for my life. I listened to every inspiring podcast, and spent hundreds of dollars on books! Because of the changes I’ve made in my life, the books I’ve read, and the workshops I’ve attended, I know that anything is possible, and it’s never too late to make a big change.
As I continued down my personal growth and development journey, I realized that many friends and colleagues feel stuck in their jobs, are unhappy in relationships, or struggle to step outside their comfort zone and get clear on what they truly want. Others struggle with time management, prioritizing their schedules, or staying organized! I began to realize that I could help! With a leap of faith and support from my husband, I started the Busy Bee.
- Why do you love what you do?
I truly LOVE what I do because it doesn’t feel like work. With Busy Bee, I am able to connect with others in a meaningful way, by giving them the tools and inspiration to effectively manage a “busy” life! I am able to show people that it’s never too late to make a big change or take action steps towards that big goal. You have ONE life to live, and I strongly believe that you shouldn’t spend it settling into a career, job or relationship that isn’t serving you.
- Give us a glimpse of a day-in-the-life of you. (i.e. walk us through your routine)
Every day is truly different. I still work full-time as a third-grade teacher, so I am up and out by 7:30 AM. I am at school from 8-330 and then I come home and prioritize my afternoon time. Since I have limited time during the school year, I truly have to decide what’s important and urgent, and what can wait.
Whether it’s writing the next blog post, having a call with a client, creating a social media post, plugging into a webinar, or working out, I usually have specific days for each task to keep me on track. I always stop and have dinner with my husband, and we usually watch a TV show together and relax before going to bed! Sometimes I can’t turn my mind off and am still doing small tasks on my phone or computer, but I have to remind myself that “you can’t pour from an empty cup” so I have to tell myself to unplug and take the downtime.
On the weekends, I usually wake up and devote the mornings to my business. I also use Sunday evenings for client coaching calls and to catch up on anything I didn’t get done during the week.
I listen to podcasts, read personal growth and development books and plug into trainings and webinars between the nooks and crannies of my day!
- What did you want to be when you grew up? Do you see any connections in what you are doing now?
Yes, as mentioned above, I have always wanted to be a teacher because I am truly passionate about teaching others. I am happiest when I feel like I am making an impact and helping someone else. With the busy bee, I am able to use my gifts in a unique way and help people who are truly open to making big changes in their lives.
- Coffee or Tea? What is your go-to drink?
Coffee in the morning and wine in the evening! I love the sweet cream vanilla cold brews from Starbucks, so that is my go-to when I have a busy afternoon and need a pick me up. I also love Arbonne fizzy sticks to keep me focused and on track. Pomegranate is my favorite!
- Sweet or Savory?
Sweet! I love everything chocolate and ice cream!
7. What is your favorite Dish?
I love pizza and Mexican. It’s hard for me to pick between those. I could eat both every single day and not get sick of it. I usually get sausage and pepperoni pizza and a chicken quesadilla at Mexican.
- What is your favorite Social Media Platform? Why?
I love Instagram because I am able to capture my brand, my business, and my personality through pictures. I LOVE taking pictures and sharing them with other people. I love how I am able to connect with people from all over the world and get inspired by what other boss babes are doing!
- Favorite TV Show?
The Bachelor/Bachelorette, Teen Mom, Real Housewives of Atlanta or Jersey, Sons of Anarchy, Grey’s Anatomy and Gossip Girl!
- What are you listening to when you are working? (music/tv)
I love listening to inspiring podcasts. My favorites are by Jenna Kutcher, Melyssa Griffin, Robin Sharma and Amber Lilyestrom.
- Favorite book(s)?
On Fire, Behind Closed Doors, The Final Girls, The Girl on the Train, Wonder, You Are a Badass, Success Principles, The Silent Sister, Breaking the Silence, Girl Code, Into the Darkest Corner (I’m a total book nerd!)
12. Most people don’t realize that I am…
I am also a graduate student at UVA. I decided to go back to school when I realized I needed some changes in my life, in the Summer of 2015. I graduate this December of 2017 with a Master’s in Reading Education (see I told you I loved books!) I am passionate about helping children love to read because I believe reading is power.
- One thing I want to do in the next 1 year, 5 years, 10 years?
Continue to make changes in my life and business, so that I can help other women do the same. I will focus on growing my business and continue to make a positive impact on the lives of women. The words that come to me when I think about the next few years are: educate, empower and inspire.
- Favorite female past or present?
15. In my previous life, I was likely a…
Singer. I’ve always loved performing and being in front of others. I sang in show choir in high school and still miss singing in front of an audience!
16. What is your spirit animal?
Nicki Minaj or Beyonce!
17. My biggest passion in life is…
helping others who are open to receiving it.
18. Favorite Cocktail (virgin or not)?
I am not into cocktails, my go-to is wine! I love pinot grigio and pinot noir.
- If I could live anywhere in the world for the rest of my life I’d move to…
Charleston. It’s my favorite city by far!
20. What is one thing you LOVE to see in other boss ladies?
Women living their dreams; the ones who push the negativity and excuses aside and go for it! It takes bravery and courage to step outside your comfort zone, and I know that because we said yes to our dreams, others are able to say yes to theirs.
21. What is one thing you admire about someone you follow? Who is it?
Jenna Kutcher- she is real, honest and herself! She doesn’t try to be something or someone she isn’t. Even though I’ve never met her, I feel like I do, because she is so genuine and real on social media. Her podcast has helped me in every aspect of my business, and the fact that she devotes her time to give these FREE trainings is absolutely incredible.
- Blog: Danielle LaPorte
- Podcast: Goal Digger Podcast by Jenna Kutcher
- Youtube Channel: none
- Facebook Group: Why Warrior Tribe- Amber Lilyestrom
- How do you maintain a work-life balance?
I am passionate about my work, but I know when I’ve reached my limit. I’m very in tune to myself and what feels good, and what doesn’t! I love spending time with my family, friends, and husband. Relationships are always my priority and I know that in order to make it in the long term, I have to give myself breaks and unplug! I want my work to feel GOOD, and for it to be positive. It’s not always perfect, but I have learned to prioritize my time and stay focused on what needs to get done.
24. What was one of your biggest challenges you had to face in your business to date and how did you overcome it?
I think the hardest thing is comparing my business now, to other boss ladies who have been doing this for years. I look at them and ask myself, “Will ever get there?” I find myself thinking, “Can I do this? Am I enough? Will I ever be successful?”
When I listen to podcasts and read books, I know that they were once in my position too. It’s one thing to have an idea, and to start a business. But it’s another to stick it out and know that it WILL grow if I continue to work and give it enough time. I continually have to remind myself that this is only the beginning and everyone had to start somewhere.
Melyssa Griffin is one of my biggest inspirations and she makes six figures MONTHLY! I would love to have that amount of impact on others and make that income, but I know that she started with a BLOG!!! It took time to get to where she is, and that’s what I have to remind myself. We all get stuck in that negative self-talk or an endless loop of icky feelings but it’s important to realize that it’s normal. Successful people are the ones who push through those feelings, not the ones who don’t have them. We all do! I overcome those feelings by positive affirmations, inspirational quotes, and vision boards.
- What is one piece of advice you would give someone starting out in your industry?
Believe in yourself and know that you are capable of achieving ANYTHING you want. Find a group of women that support you, encourage you and lift you up. Find an accountability partner and someone that will believe in you, when you don’t believe in yourself. Give it time and know that with enough work and a positive mindset, you will be successful! Set goals and be clear on what the big vision is for your life.
- How do you stay motivated? What makes you get out of bed every morning?
I am fueled by my purpose and passion. I know that what I’m doing is making an impact on the lives of other people. That fact gives me so much joy and purpose, even on the hard days. I want to show other people that they can do it too.
My husband is my best friend and always supports me and my business. When I need to vent, cry or laugh he is there to listen!
- What are your current business pain points you still struggle with today?
As a teacher, I don’t have a business background, so there is definitely a learning curve. Web design, graphics, social media posts, email lists, marketing, lead pages, course design…there is always SO much to learn. I am thankful for the opportunity to keep learning and growing through my business and I have loved stepping into my role as a female entrepreneur. I look forward to enrolling in some e-courses and networking with other female entrepreneurs to continue to learn and grow.
- What was one of your favorite business accomplishment(s) to date? Why?
My favorite business accomplishment was getting my first paid client, and selling my first product! It felt REAL, like “this is really happening!” I can do this and I can start a successful business because I have so much to offer clients who are looking for me.
- What is your favorite way to network?
How do you stay connected with other boss ladies? Facebook groups, networking events, and social media!
- How have you overcome feelings of inadequacy around competition?
See question 24.
**BONUS: Finally, give us one inspirational quote from the book of YOU:
If you don’t believe in yourself enough to make a change, remember that there are countless people out there, waiting for you to say yes to your dreams, so they can say yes to theirs. There is no limit to how many lives will change because of your decision to step outside of your comfort zone and say yes to your dreams. Be the catalyst for change and take action. There is never a perfect time to start- just think of what you can do right here, now, today, to make your dreams come true. It’s not always easy, but as entrepreneurs, we have to get through the hard times to show others that they can too.