In episode 54, we cover some great project planning tips that even those of us who are totally impaired at project planning can use to make our lives so much easier.
Find the “sweet spot” where you can get the most done. If your project block is too big, it gets daunting and hard to get done. If you make it too small, it can be hard to prioritize what needs to be done first.
Get the difference between the two: the “clear” future is why you’re doing what you’re doing. The “exacting” future is really specific and difficult to achieve because it locks you into something that you may decide you don’t want.
This can make you feel overwhelmed by too many small things that need to get done, can confuse you on your priorities, and makes it hard to decide what will give you the most results.
If you know what’s most important about the project you’re working on, it’s easy to keep yourself not only motivated to get it done, but to remember what it will do for your business and your family to get you what you want.
No matter how small the project is, reward yourself. Don’t beat yourself up if it took too long or if it was more difficult than you expected. Make sure you and your family know how hard you worked.
In Episode 53, I answer great questions from my interview with Dana and Mark Hatjakes from SOSU TV, as well as amazing questions about how to really get the best of both worlds, such as how to shut down the stream of negative comments when it comes from someone you love and see every day.
If you work in an area that isn’t “kid friendly,” find creative ways to involve your kids without having to give them all the information. You can also just focus on the goals and why you’re doing what you’re doing, not necessarily what that thing is.
It’s definitely true that there are consequences when you start a business and have a family. Ultimately, changing the mindset on why you’re doing what you're doing and realizing you want more for your family than a 9 - 5 job can offer can help you make the jump.
It’s possible you’ve accidentally conditioned your loved ones to be unhappy about your business. Reframe the way you talk about your business to try to highlight the awesome parts and downplay the negatives.
None! It depends on how you define “best of both worlds.” You can find a business that suits your specific needs and gives you everything you want in life and more.
In episode 52, I talk about the biggest time-sinks in business that take you away from your family and what you can do to avoid them.
These are the people who just want your attention and keep you around as long as they can. Know when the line is crossed and you’re no longer involved in meaningful interaction and when you’re with someone who tends to take up a lot of your time with useless conversation that takes time away from your work and your family.
Do you check your email every hour? Do you respond to an email as soon as it comes in? By checking your phone, your emails, and any other communication all the time and immediately responding, you’re losing a ton of time! Turn those alerts off and try checking your email twice a day on the average day to cut this time off and focus on more important tasks.
By switching between various tasks - between checking emails or taking calls, working on smaller projects while taking breaks on bigger ones - can really take up your time. Instead, take an hour and a half to really dive into a piece and get it done completely before moving onto the next thing on your to-do list.
In episode 51, I dig into the meat of why I made this podcast in the first place: three steps you can take to make sure you get the best of both worlds without sacrificing your business for your family or the other way around.
You have to believe that you can have it all. It HAS to happen. When you make it absolutely essential to succeed, you’ll start making little choices that get you there.
There are always people out there who will think they know better than you do and who try to shut down your dreams. Don’t take advice from people who don’t get what you really want.
It can be really hard to keep going after you’ve made a few mistakes. You’ll mess up, and that’s okay. Learn from each mistake to move forward and not make the same mistake again.
In Episode 50, I talk answer questions from episodes 46 and 48 about business education and how to ensure your business really is the best thing for you and for your family. I also answer some general questions from my followers about parenting advice and inspirations.
I’m always looking for new information. The best way to start is to search for how to do things you aren’t familiar with. There are also free educational materials that lead into bigger webinars, and if you can get involved in groups that help each other in business, that can help a lot.
Make sure you’re only getting the most current information so you don’t have to dig through a lot of information. Play around with programs to get familiar with them before you really dig into the nitty gritty details.
Try out other kinds of businesses, like drop shipping or amazon businesses, to free up your time and possibly bring your family into what you’re building.
It’s not an all or nothing situation. Work on making your existing business something that will get you on the right track, or leverage the business you have now to build the business that gets you what you want.
In episode 49, I interview Dana and Mark Hitjakes, who work hard to help other small businesses thrive while building a video production business of their own. Mark and Dana also have two kids and have a lot of great things to say about balancing their career and their family.
Dana and Mark don’t just balance their work and home life - they integrate it. The two of them can’t really be separated.
Dana and Mark’s kids have seen it all - from the beginnings of the business to where the two of them are today, and that’s helped raise their confidence about what they can do when they grow up.
Children and having a family gives entrepreneurs a real reason to work hard and achieve their dreams.
Find Mark and Dana at their webite, SoSu.tv or on social media.
In episode 48, I talk about the big trap I see so many business owners get caught up in - a business concept they don’t think all the way through that will never give them what they want out of their lives, what they want for their families, and what they want for themselves. Here are the eight questions you must answer to figure out if your business is right for you.
If you aren’t going to love what you do, it’s going to be exhausting. If you love it, you’re going to be more excited to work on it and grow it more quickly.
If you hate being on call, or hate the idea of losing contracts and starting over, make sure your company doesn’t trap you in situations like that.
We usually start our own business to get out of a job we hate - and it would be awful if your new business is just another job.
An idea is great, but sometimes we don’t really think about what it’s really going to take to get the business big enough to support you.
Your family will have to give up something as you work on your business. Figure out what those costs are beforehand and make sure you’re okay asking them to do that.
Know what you want for your family, and make sure your business can get that for them. Don’t get trapped in a business that won’t give your family what they deserve.
Be careful to maintain a life you’re proud of. Don’t give up the things that are important to you, your hobbies or your passions, because of your business.
Write down a list of the things you’ll have to give up to grow your business. Is that okay with you?
In Episode 47, I answer some great questions from episodes 43 and 45 about business leverage, technology, and getting rid of guilt. If you’re wondering how you’re supposed to talk to your kids or how to take advantage of technology when you’re pretty technologically impaired, this is the episode for you.
When you do it right, you take the stressful tasks off your plate, which means you’re at your best when you do spend time with your family. It’s not just about time - it’s about the quality of the time, too.
You don’t HAVE to use technology if it slows you down. There are a lot of other ways you can leverage your resources. Make technology the last thing you leverage - and maybe leverage people to get someone who is good with technology to take it over for you.
There is not a single solution to this problem. Every family is unique. Overall, you need to make sure you’re clear on why you’re doing what you’re doing. Experiment with different ways to talk to your kids about it to see what works for you all as a family, and make sure to tie it all back to their lives and what’s important to them.
In episode 46, I talk about the importance of education in your business, both in how it helps you improve as a business person and take care of your family. Not only will it save you time and money in the long run, but it will help save your relationships with your family as well.
If you’re learning everything through trial and error, you’re going to take a lot of time and experience a lot of failure. There’s a limit to how much most people can give without getting results, and trying something new without educating yourself first can wear you out.
If you’re doing something that costs you money (such as running ad campaigns), educating yourself on the best tricks and tactics can save you SO much money. People have figured these systems out and you can take advantage of their knowledge rather than spending your money to test it yourself.
Education can help you make sense of what you’re doing to your family. You can explain things differently and more completely, and it’s easier to show them a clear direction on where you’re going and why you’re doing it.
In episode 45, I cover the really tough topic of how you can get your business done without feeling like you’re sacrificing your kids - and therefore, get rid of the stress and guilt about it. This episode talks about four specific actions you can take to make this happen, even when you’re working crazy hours.
Get your family’s opinions on things and include them on what’s going on with your business. Your kids may show you something novel and amazing you haven’t considered - and then they feel like they’re a part of your business and your life.
This is crucial. Give them reasons to understand why you’re so busy. Most entrepreneurs know why they’re doing what they’re doing, but rarely to they say it to their families. It’s hardly a surprise your family doesn’t understand your dream or vision.
Make sure your kids have a real connection with you and know you’re a real person with real emotions and limitations. This not only gives them perspective on where you’re coming from, but it gives them the freedom to be real people, too.
Don’t hold your guilt inside. Your kids may need to hear what you’re feeling, why you’re feeling it, and what you’re thinking about. This can also open up conversations and help your kids think about things more completely.
In episode 44, I answer some great questions from my interview with JV Crum III about how to find your calling and the steps you can take to be a more conscious business owner. I also answer questions about how to talk to your teenagers and how to avoid “buying” your kids’ love when you get them gifts and favors.
Every entrepreneur wonders if they’re doing the right thing. Often times, our businesses are “stepping stones” for us to move forward to what our real calling is.
There are so many nonprofits and movements out there, that it really just comes down to what you want to be involved in and what you like. If your business can donate a little bit of time, money, or recognition, nonprofits would love it.
The concept of buying love has to do with intent. If you’re trying to trade it for something, it feels like buying, but if it’s genuine and just because you care and not because you expect something in return, it feels like you care.
Teenagers have a lot going on. A lot of the time they have weird peer pressure to not talk to their parents. I let my kids know that I check in because I want to help guide them, not because I want to control them, setting the stage that checking in is not me trying to be invasive.
If you’re in an industry where it feels like you can’t, look for examples of people in your profession who HAVE balanced their life to get the best of both worlds.
In episode 43, we talk about how to leverage the people and resources in your life to get the most out of your business without having to work yourself to the bone. Not only will you feel less ragged and burnt out, but your family will appreciate the extra time they get with you.
Anything you use and develop for your business that allows you to do more for less. It allows your company to grow in ways you can’t accomplish alone.
Different people have different skillsets and you can really take advantage of what your partners and employees can do to grow.
Whether it’s the cloud or a phone service that helps you get things done on the day to day, technology can make your business so much easier.
By systemizing what you do every time, you speed through the things you have to consistently do. Systems also tie in everything and make the people and the technology you use more effective.
In episode 42, I talk to JV Crum III, who, among a laundry list of other impressive accomplishments, is the founder and CEO of the Conscious Millionaire Institute LLC and host of the Conscious Millionaire Podcast.
At 25, JV had just enough money to realize it wasn’t the answer. This stemmed his growth into the Conscious Millionaire.
It doesn’t come all at once. You have to work to give yourself time for you. If you don’t take the time to take care of yourself, physically or emotionally, you’ll never be who you could be.
JV has taken great strides to take care of his business as well as his health in his journey to balance his life between work and self.
In episode 41, I answer some great questions from our interview with Greg Lintz, as well as some questions about episode 39 about keeping your family happy during your business’s growth stage.
It’s common to argue with your spouse about your business. Try to avoid talking about negative things about your company to try to make the conversations easier.
It can be frustrating for your normally-employed spouse to be in their job. Continuously show them you care to show them you understand how hard it can be.
Systemize, leverage, and organize to bring your hours down after your business booms.
In episode 40, I talk about how to keep your family the biggest fans of you and your business by sharing your excitement, checking in with them personally, leaving notes and giving gifts, and keeping your family’s goals in your planning.
Keep your family involved in the business by sharing what’s exciting you and asking for advice on simple things like logo designs or color schemes. They’ll love and appreciate being involved.
By continually taking a few minutes of time to talk to each member of your family individually to ask about their day and show interest in your life, you’re showing them they matter.
This doesn’t have to be expensive, and in fact maybe it shouldn’t be. Little things like picking up your kid’s favorite candy bar when you’re in the checkout line at the store show them you’re always thinking about them.
Similarly, little notes in kids’ lunches or on the mirror for your wife in the morning show them that they matter and keep your family connected.
When you’re goal planning, don’t forget to add family goals into the mix to make sure your family and what they want is always prioritized.
In episode 39, I dig into an important topic: how to keep your family strong and together when your business is booming and you need to dedicate a lot of time to it. Learn to balance how to share in your excitement without upsetting your family and how they can share in the growth.
This sets the stage for the other six steps. You may know it’s started if business demands increase, your “must-do” list gets longer, and your family may be grumpy with you.
Figure out what effect this will have on you, your schedule, and your business. Determine how the growth benefits you and your family.
Tell them what’s going on from step two. Be open with them and don’t hold it back.
Show them how when the company wins, they win, and remind them that’s why you’re doing this in the first place.
Make plans that your family will love and make sure you stick to them! The last thing you need now is to let them down by being flaky.
When you’re excited about your business growing, share it with them in a way they understand that gets them excited, too!
In episode 38, I answer some great questions from our most recent episodes and interviews on what kind of hats parents should and should not wear, how to get the kind of “friends” you want in your life, and explaining a little bit about what a business incubator is and why one may be good for you.
There are two kinds of gut check: one where something’s happening now and needs to be addressed immediately, and one where you should give it a little bit of time, wait it out, and get more information before you act.
I feel like a friend is a particular support group - people who actually supported who you are and see the best in you and you see the best in them. A “friend” in this sense is not necessarily someone you’ve known for a long time or been through difficult situations with.
Build up a team who can really support you, educate yourself whenever you need to, and find a way to fill in the gaps for the information you do not have.
Don’t think of it as failing. Many of the things we see as “failure,” you can see as challenge, difficulty, or just a natural part of business.
In episode 37, I talk to Greg Lintz, who is married to an entrepreneur. Greg talks about the difficulties and challenges, as well as the great rewards, of being married to a woman who started her own business.
Greg is married to one of my business partners, and he’s got a typical job while she’s self employed. He and his wife have one child together, and Greg’s all about having fun and being active.
Greg was raised to believe that going into your own business was risky, scary, and insecure, and so it was difficult to figure out what it meant when his wife went into business for herself. On the flip side, his wife gets to spend more time with their son than the traditionally-employed parent does, and her income is potentially much greater due to the unlimited nature of it all.
Greg and his wife work together to keep the stress down when business is tough. Instead of working against each other, they talk it out and come up with plans and strategies together to keep their family and their life together.
The biggest win for Greg is seeing how happy his wife is at the end of the day, especially compared to how she was when she was traditionally employed. Without the stress, they’re both happier and their life is infinitely better.
Be mindful of the lack of control the standard-employed endure. Business owners have more control of their job and their day than those of us who work for other people. That’s stressful, and it can be easy to forget about that when you’re caught up in your business.
In episode 37, Norman Smith joins us to talk about entrepreneurship and parenting, specifically the biggest challenges and what it takes to succeed.
Norman has 30 years of experience in executive management, specializing in startups, cutting edge innovations, and international business development. He’s founded nine successful startups and assists young startups get going. He’s also has a ton of kids!
A willingness to consider and take risks, passion and love for what you’re doing, recognition that you don’t know what you don’t know, and surrounding yourself in experts.
Norman’s biggest win as a parent watching his children have clarity on what they want and where they’re going and thrive as contributing members of society doing what they love.
The remarkable, creative nature of human beings is Norman’s biggest inspiration. If there are 6 billion people on the planet, there are 6 billion ideas, and they all matter. People continue to try new things, and he’s inspired by how creative they are.
You can find Norman at The Cube at Midtown in Reno, NV. He’s one of the directors there, and spends most of his time mentoring companies. Email Norman at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hey SEP Family! There's no Q&A today because my family and I are on our family vacation! We're headed down to Lego Land. Be sure to catch the next episode, where I interview Norman Smith, a local entrepreneur and parent, about balacing his kids and his career.
Have a wonderful week! I'll see you next Friday.
In Episode 34, I interview Keri Lehmann, a self-employed parent who runs a skin-care product business, Savvy Boheme, while wrangling three amazing kids. Learn more about Keri’s biggest wins as a parent, as a business owner, and what she does to take care of herself in the midst of it all.
Keri knows what it’s like first-hand to start a business when you aren’t a business minded person. Business itself was a challenge, but her gut instinct drove her forward.
One of the biggest wins Keri’s had as a business owner? When her friends bought her products on their own. Another? Moving to a larger space to up her business game.
Keri believes in raising your kids to capture their hearts - where they listen and act well not because they “have” to but because they choose to.
Keri is inspired by her love - her love of beauty, of her children, and of the moment.
Find Keri and her products at www.savvyboheme.com or on social media as Savvy Boheme. Additionally, feel free to stop by the foundry and the showroom in Midlothian, TX Monday through Friday!
In Episode 33, I talk about the amazing kind of people you want in your life, from the optimist to the friend to the partner. These are the kinds of people that will help you thrive in business and make you happier at home.
This is the person who is the best to throw new ideas by. They get you inspired and they can see really great things happening in new opportunities.
I see my friends of fans of mine - and I am fans of theirs. We enjoy and believe in each other. These allow me to do more with them than I can do on my own.
This is everything you see in the friends - they believe in you, they’re your fan, and they see your potential - but this person also shares your ups and downs.
In Episode 32, I answer a couple of great questions about how to keep your kids from picking up your bad habits, such as snacking and self defeat, and some general questions about sourcing and custom work. I also talk about some cool suggestions our listeners had about fun toys to bring in to enhance the time you spend with your family.
This is a unique problem to every family. Maybe the kids have too much access to unhealthy foods, even if you eat well. Try talking to your kids like they’re adults to help them understand the consequences of bad food without talking down to them.
The best thing to teach your kids is that you mess up, too. Show them your consequences, what you’re working on, and make them a part of the solution. Help them help you adapt your behavior.
People love these!
Eliminate the fear of jumping into something new. Take off the burden to realize you’re doing the right thing. Find a small project to outsource to get your feet wet.
I’m not currently in this business - does anyone in the audience know how to go about selling custom made jewelry or clothing? Let me know!
In episode 31, I talk about something a little hard for some of us to do but critically important to keeping our businesses and our families happy and healthy. These three kinds of people usually cause more harm than good in our lives and should be limited to make sure we’re successful - both as business owners and as parents.
This person will kill motivation - theirs and yours. They see the world as unrelenting and horrible, and they want you to see it from their perspective. Note: many of them hide behind the phrase, “I’m just a realist,” but sometimes, these “realists” are really just negative people.
These people are so caught up in how they’re perceived that they will do whatever it takes to make themselves look good - even if they aren’t doing anything valuable at all. They do this in business and in personal relationships, essentially becoming unreliable.
Note: it’s not just the people who create drama, it’s the people who can create drama out of seemingly nothing. Managing this person or dealing with all the things they want to obsess over can drag you down. It creates a lot of anxiety and stress you don’t need.
In episode 30, we go over the five ways being an entrepreneur has helped me grow not only as a business person, but as a parent as well. These things have changed everything about the way I run my company and the way I interact with my family in the best ways.
When you’re “always busy” and never have a lot of time to spare, you really appreciate the time you DO get. The quality of the time I get with my family is amazing and I don’t take it for granted.
Entrepreneurs make difficult decisions all the time that affect the lives of all of the people around us. I’ve learned how to not freak out about decisions and how to handle them well and quickly.
Sometimes we have to ignore the “rulebook” for owning a business, which is essentially trusting ourselves when something feels off. Parenting is the same way. No rulebook will prepare us from everything and sometimes we need to trust our gut feelings about our kids.
On the flip side, your gut may not have the timing right. Remember to balance the gut feelings with what’s going on around you. The context around your can change your reactions, even if your gut is spot on.
The only place I’ve had to wear as many hats as I do in my business is as a parent. In both roles, you have to be several things all at once: a friend, a teacher, a disciplinarian, a confidant, a mentor... and many more.