LIFT Speaks Ep 18 with Erica Davis-Frimpong: Several Small Steps and One Giant Leap from Corporate World to Entrepreneur

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Erica Davis-Frimpong, owner/operator of Annie Admin, had her life planned, and it didn’t include running her own business.  However, after years in the big banking world, Erica took the leap and started her own business . . . and it’s flourishing.

Thoughtful.  Energetic.  Driven.  Purposeful. Erica has found her pace and her place in the entrepreneurial world.  Learn from her honest and raw stories about the decision process, the leap, and the unadulterated truth about the beauty and the pain of starting and running your own business.

I started my business because . . . I desired to do something I was passionate about that not only allowed me to make a decent living but continue to serve those around me.

The thing I enjoy most about my business is . . . Seeing our clients achieve freedom and growth they’ve never experienced before.

The biggest surprise for me as a business owner is . . . how lonely the journey can be when starting something new.

 My advice to women considering starting a business is . . . take the time to research and plan for your idea but don’t wait for perfection. There’s never going to be a perfect time to start this journey.

One question people should ask me is . . . How do I continue to have faith against all odds?

My older self would coach my younger self to . . .Dump the idiot boyfriend sooner.

One thing I wish I knew when I was younger is . . . You are perfect just the way you are.

Introduction

Catherine Miller: Hi. Welcome to LIFT Speaks. I’m Catherine Miller and I’m visiting today with Erica Davis-Frimpong. Erica is the founder and owner/operator of Annie Admin. The LIFT Office partners with Annie Admin to provide virtual assistants and virtual administrators for our customers. Erica, welcome.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: Thank you for having me.

Catherine Miller: I’m so glad that you’re here.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: Yeah, thank you.

Catherine Miller: I love your story, and I want our listeners to get to know you as well. Will you take us on the journey of prior to entering into this business? Because you started out growing up with a mom who worked in the corporate world and you worked in the corporate world too. Share a little bit of your story with us.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: I love coming here. Definitely check out LIFT if you haven’t already. But yeah, so I grew up – my mother worked for Xerox for 25 plus years. It was really all that I knew. It’s all that I saw growing up, just her really dedicating herself to this corporation that may not have always reciprocated. But, it’s what I knew. You do what you know. I really thought, OK, I’m going to graduate from college, get a business degree, go into Corporate America, climb the ladder and that’s just life.

Catherine Miller: Right.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: Got into Corporate America. I worked in banking and finance for some of the largest banks in the country and I really enjoyed what I did. I primarily worked with small business owners, helping them with their finances, their lending, their banking needs, things of that nature, serving whichever community I was in. It came to a point where things changed in life. I became a mother, a wife, a mom, and I had my kids. I have two boys, and your priorities shift. You don’t think that they will. But everybody tells you that and you’re like, “Oh, it will be the same.”

Catherine Miller: Yes.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: Totally shifted. The things that I cared about before, I didn’t care about. I climbed up relatively quickly. I was the youngest vice president for our company at the time at 28 and it was great. But –

Catherine Miller: So, you loved what you did.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: I loved it.

Catherine Miller: And you dived into it wholeheartedly.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: Oh, yeah, I totally drank the Kool-Aid, and I really enjoyed it. My customers are what made it so enjoyable. I love helping business owners really scope out how they provide for their families, how they provide for their communities, helping them grow as an organization. That gave me the most joy and so at the end of the day, with banking, there’s a lot of regulation, all these different things going on behind the scenes. But at the end of the day, what made me think “OK, I can keep doing this,” is that my customer would come to me and say, “Oh my god. What you did changed this part of our business, or like, totally changed our lives.”

I just didn’t take that lightly. I definitely treated that with the respect that it deserved.

Catherine Miller: Right. And, your business now with Annie Admin is very customer-centric.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: Yeah.

Catherine Miller: It sounds though that that’s your natural bent. That when you did that work before, what fed you and drove you was taking care of your customers.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: Definitely. I really get joy out of helping others, which is funny because that was the hard thing when I decided I no longer wanted to be in Corporate America. I didn’t know what the heck I was supposed to do with my life because I didn’t really think I was good at anything.

Several of my clients, they started companies because they worked for another similar business and then they went out and did their own. You can’t really go out and start your own bank. It just doesn’t really work that way.

Catherine Miller: No, that’s true.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: I was kind of panicked because I had no clue what to do. I just knew that I needed a different life. I needed to be able to accommodate my children and be present and be a mother when I needed to be a mom. That just wasn’t the case. I just felt like as hard as I was working, as far as I had come on paper, I really didn’t have any freedom to be there when I needed to be there.

Catherine Miller: Right.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: That was one of the things too with my mother. I know she loves me. She did anything and everything for me, but there are just some limitations when you work for a large corporation.

Catherine Miller: That’s right.

From Corporate America to Small Business Owner

Erica Davis-Frimpong: That’s just how it works. So yeah –

Catherine Miller: So how old were your children during this time?

Erica Davis-Frimpong: Nine months. I had one –

Catherine Miller: OK. You had one child. He was nine months old at this decision point.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: Yeah.

Catherine Miller: What was the tipping point? What was it that happened in your life that you said – or at the bank that you said, “OK, I definitely have to make a change now”?

Erica Davis-Frimpong: My son got very, very sick. He was nine months old. He was my first child. So, you’re like the helicopter mom on the first kid and he had hand-foot-mouth disease, which I had never heard of. It totally freaked me out because it sounds horrific and it really was. He broke out in welts all over his face, inside his mouth, on his hands, everywhere and he had to have breathing treatments every two hours.

I love my husband to death, but I called him. I said, “Hey, did you give him his breathing treatments?” and he said, “Yeah, I gave it to him this morning.” Well, it’s like 3:30 in the afternoon. I’m like, “Yeah, the doctor said every two hours, not once a day.”

I told my manager. I said, “Hey, I need to get home, and I need to go take care of my kid.” It was 3:30 in the afternoon. Well, we had a conference call scheduled at 4 o’clock, and he proceeded to tell me, “Well, you have a conference call at 4 o’clock. You need to stay here for that.” Well, obviously, if it’s a conference call and it’s 3:30, I’ve been here all day, I think you should be able to give me some leeway to go home and listen to the call at home. I wasn’t speaking on the call. So, it’s like I can listen from wherever I’m at. They just made really a big deal out of it, and it totally was like a light bulb moment. I was like, “OK, this is not going to work.”

Catherine Miller: Right.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: I started complaining, really. I would come home to my husband and complain every night. Finally, he said, “Enough. Figure it out. What do you want to do with your life? I don’t want to hear this anymore.”

Catherine Miller: Right.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: I was just so mad at him because I’m thinking, “You’re supposed to listen to me complain.”

Catherine Miller: And fix it.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: Yeah.

Catherine Miller: And fix it, yeah.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: He just wasn’t having it.

Catherine Miller: Which was a good thing.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: I appreciate it now because it really got me thinking. Like what can you do? So, like I said, I couldn’t open a bank. I had to really think through it and at the core, I knew I loved working with small business owners before I got into business banking. All my previous jobs were with small business owners.

Catherine Miller: Oh, wow.

Erica Davis-Frimpong:: So –

Catherine Miller: So, you could see that pattern in that.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: Yeah, definitely and I just decided, you know, “OK. How can I still work with this customer base in a sense and how can I best serve them?” I really just started talking with my clients when I was at work, when they would come in making deposits and different things, and when we were doing loan applications. I would ask them, “What bothers you? What keeps you up at night or what’s your irritation?”

Catherine Miller: Oh, good for you.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: And, a consistent answer was all around finding good help. They could never keep someone long enough or they could never even find the right person. A lot of my clients are husband and wife type business owners and one spouse doesn’t think the other spouse is pulling their weight or whatever the case may be.

Catherine Miller: Oh, wow. You were almost a marriage counselor.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: Yes. Yeah. Definitely. You should have a certification when you work at a bank. So, it was a really, simple idea in a sense that OK, I can provide this assistance. We can hire other women, and we have a few good men, to provide this assistance at a more cost-effective price because that’s the other side of entrepreneurship. When you’re starting out, you really can’t afford to just hire someone. But at the same time, you need help and you’re wearing all these hats and you’re just like trying to juggle it all.

Catherine Miller: Right.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: Inevitably, you drop something.

Catherine Miller: Right.

Light- Bulb Idea

Erica Davis-Frimpong: And it’s because you really should be focusing on your revenue-generating activities and not answering the calls, all the administrative backend. But it has to be affordable too. So, the beauty in our business is that we can serve multiple organizations with one assistant at a more cost-effective rate, and the job is getting done.

Their calls are being answered, and their appointments are being scheduled. Their calendar is booked and busy and they’re continually making the money that they need to make.

Catherine Miller: Right.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: Because that’s always the catch 22. It’s like, OK, I’m not busy. So yeah, I can answer my phone.

Catherine Miller: Yeah.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: OK. Well now, I’m busy and now I can’t answer my phone.

Catherine Miller: Right.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: It’s just this roller coaster.

Catherine Miller: Yes, exactly.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: Yeah, definitely.

Catherine Miller: Was your husband a stay-at-home dad at that point?

Erica Davis-Frimpong: No. What has been really a blessing in our family dynamic is he has always had a career where he can work from home. We had a nanny at one point and when that didn’t work out, we tried daycare when our son was really, really young. Initially, when he was that young, there was just a negative experience initially. My husband was like, “I will do this. I will take care of this.”

I was really nervous, and didn’t know how that was going to pan out. But it worked out. They have a super close bond because of it. Because he worked from home, he pretty much was with our oldest until he was about three, and then he’s in preschool. Then our second child, Winston, who’s two now, he was with him until he was 18 months, and now he’s in preschool too.

Catherine Miller: So that worked out nicely for your family.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: Oh, definitely. Yeah.

Catherine Miller: Where were you in business and life when you decided that it was time for you to take the leap, when you kind of looked in the mirror and said, “OK. I have enough information now. I know it’s time for me to take the leap,” and go from corporate world to be an entrepreneur? How long have you been running Annie Admin?

Erica Davis-Frimpong: I started the company December of 2014.

Catherine Miller: OK. Before your second child was born.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: Yes. I felt really crazy when I found out I was pregnant with my second child because I’m like, “I don’t know how I’m going to do this. I already had one that was under two.” Then we had two under two and starting a company, and I was still working fulltime.

When we first started, it really kind of got piecemealed together from times that I could be off or run over to the office and answer calls and do different things. Our part-time people could answer calls. It was such chaotic scheduling. But we made it happen, and all of our initial clients were people that I knew from my time at the bank.

No one that banked with me, but I was always out networking. I was always out in Keller, was always over at Fort Worth, parts of Dallas. I was very fortunate in gaining those initial clients from just knowing them through my networking and knowing their situation.

Catherine Miller: You’re talking about bouncing back and forth between jobs. You were actually answering some of the phone calls and doing some of the admin work as well and trying to build the business. You were doing it all at that point.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: Yes. I was working around the clock. Lots of Red Bull to get through it, and I just think when you have a passion for something, things that should matter don’t matter – like your sleep, your health, your everything, because you’re just so focused on making it work

Catherine Miller: Right.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: I was just intensely focused on finding a way out. The reality was we didn’t necessarily have the financial means where I could just say, “Ah, I quit!” So that wasn’t an opportunity.

Catherine Miller: You’ve decided to take a leap from corporate life to entrepreneur life. What is it like juggling it all? Business start-up is big. It’s very time-consuming. Exciting, very exciting, but it’s also a roller coaster ride.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: Definitely.

Catherine Miller: So how did you take that leap?

Erica Davis-Frimpong: A lot of prayer for sure. It has definitely been a faith walk. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done in life, but I think when you have a passion for something, you really just don’t focus on the things that you really should care about, like sleep or your health or anything of that nature. You’re just like, OK, I want to get this done. Like I want to make this happen.

It was in 2016, that entire summer, I didn’t do anything except work and family. I didn’t go out.  didn’t hang out with friends, I really didn’t watch TV. I was focused on what do I need to do to get out of this job by the end of this year.

Catherine Miller: OK.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: I’m obviously in banking. I’m a numbers person. I just worked backwards. Like, OK, what does it take? What will it take for me to walk away and know, OK, you can do this? We just did the math on that and worked backwards. OK. How many people do I need to get in front of? How many clients do we need to pick up? What does that revenue need to look like?

At the point that I walked away. It wasn’t that my income had been replaced by any means. It was just I knew we were trending in the right direction and we had a sustainable business model. I knew if I didn’t have that nine hours of my day where I was at the bank and running around town for them and I could focus those nine hours on Annie Admin, our clients, it’s going to work.

Catherine Miller: Right.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: So that’s really where that transition came in and on December 2nd, 2016, on my son’s first birthday, my youngest son’s first birthday, I said good-bye and we haven’t looked back.

Catherine Miller: You haven’t looked back, and it has been good.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: No. It has been great.

Catherine Miller: There is a roller coaster ride to it. We’ve been in business for ourselves for over 25 years.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: Wow.

Catherine Miller: In a small business, there is an undulating process of highs and lows that you have to learn how to ride out.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: Oh, yeah, for sure.

Catherine Miller: In fact, one of our members here, he showed me a graph, and I’m waiting to get a copy of it, but it was from some magazine article and basically graphed the emotions of a start-up company and it’s like, “We’re going to do great. There’s a million dollars. Oh no! We’re going to go bankrupt. Yay! we’re on the upswing.”

Erica Davis-Frimpong: Yeah.

Catherine Miller: Oh no! We’re going to crash!

Erica Davis-Frimpong:: Yeah.

Catherine Miller: And that is truth.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: That’s the reality.

Catherine Miller: That is the reality of a start-up business, and I’m sure you’ve experienced all of those emotions.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: Yeah, definitely.

Catherine Miller: And then you throw in on top of that two babies that you’re trying to love and take care of, and I’m sure there’s a big balancing act in all of that.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: There is, and I think the hardest part for me has been juggling that motherhood and feeding my other baby, this business. So, the part that I struggle with is that right now, I work more than I did when I was in Corporate America.

Catherine Miller: Yeah.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: I knew that would be the case. But at the bank, when I clocked out, I clocked out. Like I was done. The day was over. I didn’t have to deal with anything until the next day.

Catherine Miller: Right.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: I work at night. I cook dinner, feed my kids, give them a bath. We play a little bit and then I might get my laptop out, and they’re running around just going crazy while I’m still trying to work and do things. But the goal is that if I do that now while they’re still really young when they’re more aware and they really, really need me in that true one-on-one time, that I will be able to truly be there. I’m sacrificing quite a bit. I do miss some things now at this age – but I just know that it will be worth it.

Catherine Miller: Have you and your husband – because it sounds like it was a joint decision, – have you two looked at each other and said, “We’re going to do this. We’re going to jump, and figure it out.”

Erica Davis-Frimpong: Oh, definitely.

Catherine Miller: Do you still partner well on that process?

Erica Davis-Frimpong: Yes. He is definitely my biggest supporter in anything. He’s actually at the office right now making sure everything is going smooth.

Catherine Miller: Thank you!

Erica Davis-Frimpong: Yeah, thank you. He knows how to do any and everything. He has just been awesome, and I think the hardest part of being an entrepreneur is I found is that it’s lonely, especially when you’re starting a company because it’s really just you and only you that has all these things in your head and in your mind on how to do it, and you’re dealing with the highs and the lows. I’m fortunate and I’m thankful that I have him to talk things through, and he’s involved with me in the business because that really makes a drastic difference.

At the bank, people are coming in and out all day. I go out and meet clients at their place of business. I’m running around doing this and that. I’m always with people.

Catherine Miller: Right.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: And initially when we started out, it was just me. Then I have one team member and you don’t want to really tell the team member what’s going on in your mind because they’re going to be like, “This woman is crazy. I don’t want to work for her.” So you just – you keep so much in. I was just really thankful that my husband could be there and be a part of that.

Catherine Miller: So, he has been integral.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: Yes.

Catherine Miller: He has been key in your startup. Is he a partner in your business now?

Erica Davis-Frimpong: Pretty much, yeah. I mean he handles a lot of different things that I need him to handle and then we just work really, really well together. He has other companies that he runs on his own on top of his job. So, we’re a busy little bunch, but we both support each other very well. And whatever he needs, I will try to be there. Whatever I need, he tries to be there for that as much as possible.

Catherine Miller: That’s cool.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: Yeah.

Catherine Miller: It sounds like the toughest part, then, of being in business for yourself is just the initial leap, and the time and the uncertainties when you’re the one calling the shots. Sometimes, you don’t even know what the shot is that you’re supposed to call.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: Right, right. Yeah.

Catherine Miller: It’s guesswork.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: Definitely.

Words of Wisdom

Catherine Miller: Right? So how would you encourage other women entrepreneurs out there? What would you tell another mom who’s thinking about taking that leap and who’s thinking about a total shift like you’ve done?

Erica Davis-Frimpong: Yeah.

Catherine Miller: What would you say to them?

Erica Davis-Frimpong: The biggest thing is do your research. I think a lot of people, we have ideas. Like I have other business ideas in my head. But take the time. Spend the time to really understand your business model, your market, who you’re trying to reach, what it’s going to cost to do it. Be realistic, and also, be realistic on what your sales will be, and then skim that back even more because it’s never going to be what you think it is in the beginning.

But I spend a lot of time working on the business plan and talking to who my potential customer would be. I was fortunate that I had access to them on a day to day basis. But that, I think, is the biggest thing because then it gives you more confidence to actually go out and do what it is you want to do.

Also, really lean on your family for support. It can be scary sometimes to share that dream with someone else because you’re afraid of what they’re going to think about it.

Catherine Miller: Right.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: And even in my situation, I got a lot of pushback from particular family members that just didn’t understand. Why would you want to walk away from a good job and a good situation and do this when you have kids? That’s a totally valid concern. But you have to be very centered and stand firm on what your foundation is when you want to do something. And if you don’t know why you want to do it, then you’re not ready to do it.

Catherine Miller: Then you’re not ready to do it.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: Yeah. So –

Catherine Miller: You need to know your why.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: Right.

Catherine Miller: And it may be that the other pieces don’t line up.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: Yeah.

Catherine Miller: That it doesn’t make sense to do it.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: Right. I also think especially for women, me being completely transparent, I think we question things a lot more than men do. We question ourselves and we question our ability to do something as to like – well, you know, how could I possibly do this?

The reality is, you’ve got to start somewhere. I know so many amazing people in my life, women in my life, that I feel like if you would just go, just take that one step. I’m not saying throw caution to the wind. But start where you’re at. Don’t wait for perfection. Don’t wait for, “OK, I have to have this, this and this in place and then I can do that.” There’s never going to be a perfect time. You know, starting a business when you have little children or grown children is not a right time.

Catherine Miller: That’s right.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: You just have to make it happen. But don’t worry about step 20. Worry about step 1 and then get to 2 and just take those steps.

Catherine Miller: That’s wise advice. That’s real wise advice. What has been the toughest thing for you or a couple of things that kind of took you to the – that emotional scale of up and down? What has been a couple of things that kind of took your breath away, that you didn’t anticipate?

Erica Davis-Frimpong: Yeah. So most recently, I hired someone that worked for me previously when I was in banking, who I adore and still do to this day. We actually lost her back to another bank, a rival bank, because they offered her an amazing package that as our small business couldn’t afford. And that was painful – not just financially in the investment that I put into it – but emotionally.

It was very, very draining on me. It was draining on her too because those last two weeks, we both just kept looking at each other with a sadness because “Oh my gosh. She’s leaving,” and she’s like, “Do you want a cupcake?” I’m like, “I don’t want a cupcake.” She’s like, “But I feel like you need a cupcake.” I’m like, “No.”

That was really, really hard because I had envisioned so much that included her in the picture.

Catherine Miller: Right.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: Which might not have been fair to her, looking at it. But I had literally just ran with it. Like, oh, we’re going to do this together and we’re going to do this and then we’re going to go knock this out. When it came down to it, that’s just not how it played out. It was a learning lesson for me. It definitely was painful, and I had to quickly move on. I think that’s one of the hardest things is that you have to quickly get over things. You have to keep going because you cannot – you can’t just get stagnant and sink in your hole and stay there.

Catherine Miller: Right.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: I had a couple of days where I was really moody and not so nice. I just kept to myself and told myself, “You have to get over it.”  That was really the hardest part. But in general, it’s really just trying to juggle it all, trying to make sure my business is growing and thriving, and you always want to grow, grow, grow. But then, also, that I’m being a great wife, a great mom, a great friend, a great daughter, a great sister, all these things. That stresses me to no end.

I’m always trying to juggle something and I hear people talk about balance. I don’t really believe in balance.

Catherine Miller: Yeah.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: I think you’re winning at a certain area at one point and you’re failing over here or you’re just like maintaining it. And then at a certain point, you can come give us some attention. That’s just really what it is. But it’s never even. It just never is. My life doesn’t ever feel balanced. That’s for sure. So that’s the hardest part is just not feeling like I’m sucking in life. And other areas. It’s just the reality of it.

Catherine Miller: Yeah. And honestly, I understand that. In fact, there is a LIFT member. She’s a young professional and I asked her, “So what was one of the biggest surprises about business?” and she said the biggest surprise about business is that it’s a total complete lie about work-life balance. There is no such thing.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: There isn’t.

Catherine Miller:: I think you described it well. There are times where you may feel like all your buckets are pretty balanced, and there are times when they’re out of balance, and you’ve just got to wait and shore the other one up.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: Yeah.

Catherine Miller: At a later time.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: Yeah. My family and my friends are the most important things. At the end of the day, that’s really all that matters. As long as they know that I love them, I’m good. But there are just times where you feel like you’re not doing enough or you’re not able to be present to certain things and there are things, especially with friends, that I have to say no to. It’s not because I don’t want to. It’s because it really doesn’t fit in the dynamic of where we’re trying to go as a family. So socially, that has been strange because you end up saying no to a lot of things that maybe before you would have said, “Oh, yeah, let’s go.”

Catherine Miller: Yeah, let’s go.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: I can’t do it. So that part is a little strange sometimes.

Seeing the Fruit of Hard Labor

Catherine Miller: What has been most rewarding about starting your own business, knowing that, yes, there are stressors being a woman in business. But what has been the most rewarding thing about taking that leap and doing it?

Erica Davis-Frimpong: The most rewarding, I will definitely say, is having the flexibility to be where I need to be when I need to be there, especially for my children. Something happened at school. They get sick, they call me. OK, I can be there in 15 minutes. That wasn’t always the case.

Also, with my business, because it’s virtual, we can travel. I can really set up shop wherever I’m at and still provide the same level of service to my clients. That aspect I love because it just gives us the opportunity to move around and see other places, visit other places in the world and just make sure that our kids are being able to visit those other places.

I wouldn’t have been able to do that before. I really, really love that aspect of the business.

Catherine Miller: Yeah, that is cool. You have several employees here, right?

Erica Davis-Frimpong: Yes, we’re in Keller.

Catherine Miller: So they’re housed at an office. They’re not virtual.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: We do have two that are virtual, but they live in Keller-Alliance-Fort Worth area. Everybody is Tarrant-County-based, and we do have an office in Old Town Keller. Yeah.

Catherine Miller: So Erica, we’ve been talking about life as an entrepreneur. You’ve got a lot of hats you wear. You are a wife, an entrepreneur, a mom of two preschoolers.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: Yes.

Catherine Miller: And it’s busy. I mean we’ve talked about this whole time how busy that is. Really, it’s just a real messy ball of life, right?

Erica Davis-Frimpong: Oh, for sure.

Catherine Miller: So, what do you do to take care of yourself? What do you do for self-care, to make sure that you take care of Erica, so that then you can go and do your other jobs and work?

Erica Davis-Frimpong: I definitely take a day off at – at least a half day each week, Monday through Friday, just to de-stress and breathe and think about what I need to accomplish because sometimes it is hard to process your next steps when you’re in the trenches of it.

It just gives me time to step back and really just think through that. But then also on the weekends, we as a family do a lot together. That’s our reset time. I don’t really communicate with my friends and other family outside of the internal unit just because that’s our time to spend with our kids. We don’t commit to other activities that often. It has to be really, really important. So that we can just spend time with each other. We go to church on Sunday. We have a little ritual afterward where we go eat and my mom even jokes, “I can never get a hold of you on a Sunday.”

It’s just if I call her, she thinks something is wrong because I just – I literally focus on my family during that time. The weekends are definitely our refresher for everything.

Catherine Miller: You literally unplug.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: Yes, definitely.

Catherine Miller: You put phones away, computers away, and really focus on family time.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: Yes, as much as possible.

Catherine Miller: That’s cool.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: Definitely.

Catherine Miller: That’s great. Honestly, it sounds to me like you’ve done a great job in spite of the pressures. I know that there’s a constant pull and tug and you – my guess is that you feel like you’re behind at any one area and a lot of the times –

Erica Davis-Frimpong: Oh, for sure, all the time.

Catherine Miller: Right. It sounds to me like you’ve created priorities, that you’ve decided that this is how I’m going to make life work. You’ve done this for this reason, for your family, and also because you are passionate about helping these people.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: Yeah.

Catherine Miller: And when you line those things up, it falls into place and works.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: It all works out. It’s a chaotic/organized mess. It all comes together, and I think as long as we stay focused on the purpose, our purpose as a family, my purpose as Erica, and making sure that Erica is full, then it keeps working.

Catherine Miller: Yeah. Those are good words. I do think that a lot of times we must care for ourselves before we have the capacity to care for others.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: For sure. I’ve had to learn how to ask for help. Like no, I cannot do this on my own. I need you to help so that I can remain healthy. That was really hard for me because I usually am the type that I will just be like, “Just give it to me. I will do it,” and that’s just not sustainable. I need help on stuff.

Catherine Miller: You’ve learned some important tricks.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: Definitely.

Catherine Miller: Yeah.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: Definitely.

Catherine Miller: Erica, thank you so much for joining us today.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: Thank you.

Catherine Miller: I’m super excited about working with you.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: Yes, we are too.

Catherine Miller: And I’m delighted to have you as a part of our team at the LIFT Office. I think that the work that you do is hugely impactful on small businesses and start-up companies. It makes a world of difference in getting to the things that really matter.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: Yeah.

Catherine Miller: And I love the way that you’ve designed your life so that you can get to the things that matter for you and your family.

Erica Davis-Frimpong: Thank you. I definitely appreciate you, Catherine and everybody here.

Catherine Miller: Thanks.

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