The Three Bucket Strategy for Doing It All without the Guilt

Jenna Kutcher 

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February 15, 2021


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You deserve to be the CEO of your life. That’s what Suneera Madhani teaches to her growing community of career women, female entrepreneurs, and powerful mothers. As Suneera believes, being the CEO of your life means running it with a clear vision and intentional systems to bring your vision to fruition, and an unwavering commitment to level up.

Suneera is proof that having it all isn’t an audacious, outlandish, unattainable fairytale — She’s got the systems and advice that can help you develop what having it all means to you while staying aligned with what matters most.

I’ve been following Suneera’s story on Instagram for a while, so I am so thrilled to welcome this mother, innovator, CEO, and “having it all” expert to the show.

Where it Began

Growing up the child of immigrant parents, the entrepreneurial life was a necessity, not a “sexy” choice that we see on Instagram today. Suneera shared how her parents created a business to support their family so she and her brother could get an education and live better lives. 

When she entered the corporate world, living the dream that she thought was the right path, Suneera accepted the fact that she truly wasn’t happy in that role. She saw an opportunity to uplevel the payment processing industry with a subscription service, and that’s the simple version of how Fattmerchant was born. 

“It was a rejected idea,” she explained. “It got rejected over a dozen times.” But Suneera went after it anyway, “And I’m glad I did.” I could hear the smile in her voice as she said it.

Starting and Scaling

“Every single day felt like a mountain,” Suneera explained. Although she was able to beautifully summarize her journey of starting Fattmerchant into a few minutes, it was not as smooth and quick as it seemed. 

She wanted entrepreneurs to know this: “As we grow, that definition of success changes, our challenges become bigger,” and each day Suneera reminders herself, “Today, I’m running an even bigger company than I did the day before.”

Suneera didn’t go to school to be a CEO. She didn’t have the experience. But what she did have was sheer will to make it happen. 

What Female Founded Businesses Need

Suneera is a major proponent of partnering with people who have skills that you don’t, who are smarter in different areas than yourself, and who can strategically add greater value. 

“That’s where I’ve seen most women businesses not make it to the greater levels,” Suneera explained. 

Suneera’s greater mission in business these days is to help women hit the million dollar revenue mark in their business because she didn’t have that example for herself. “We don’t even dream bigger, because we’ve never been taught to dream bigger, because we’ve never seen other women succeed,” she shared.

Hiring often feels like a risk to many women founders, but in Suneera’s view, “We can’t grow if we don’t bring in bigger talent.”

Being All Things at Once

“I kick myself every year for signing up for way more than I can chew,” Suneera laughed, “but it’s just how I operate.”

Can you relate to that overachiever life approach? Suneera has navigated her entire life and career this way, and she’s found ways to “have it all”. She calls it the Three Bucket Principle.

Hit play on this episode to hear the full walk-through of this principle in Suneera’s own words. Essentially, humans can only do three things and while those buckets may change in different seasons, there are generally three things that are most important to us. If an opportunity, task, or idea doesn’t fill any of those three buckets, you have to say no.

So what happens when one bucket falls out of balance? Zoom out your week and consider how you can proactively plan to fill each of those three buckets in a balanced way each week, even if you can’t balance them perfectly every day.

More from Suneera Madhani

Hit play on this episode to hear the foundation of Suneera’s entrepreneurial journey, how she saw entrepreneurialism first-hand as a child to immigrant parents, and what she means when she says, “I had a lot of confidence around me, but I wasn’t confident in myself.” Suneera also digs into her mission to bring more women into what she calls the “2% club” and why it’s such an important endeavor.

Connect with Suneera (and watch the Reels that made me follow her!) at @suneeramadhani on Instagram and learn more about The CEO School.


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Before you get any further... Hi! I'm Jenna Kutcher!

A small town Minnesota photographer, podcaster, educator and puppy rescuer, my happiest days are spent behind my computer screen sharing my secrets with the world. I'm glad you're here.

I’m an expert at online marketing, a nerd when it comes to the numbers, and my obsession is teaching others how to make a living doing what they love (without it taking over their life). 

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