Self Employed Parent Podcast with Joel Bower

Hi and Welcome to the self employed parent podcast. I’m Joel Bower, the Self Employed Parent and 3 times a week, I want to show you the amazing lessons and techniques that not only gave me the ability to balance that delicate line between being a parent and running a business, but how to actually thrive in both. Also, why being an entrepreneur can the best thing you ever do for your family. In this show, I’ll cover business techniques great for parents, such as starting an Amazon business, dropshipping, and affiliate marketing to help parents make money from home. I’ll also talk to parenting experts and entrepreneurs about everything from parenting styles, small business ideas, and business opportunities to help you open up new worlds and get more time with your family. Join me as I show you how, you too, can have the best of both worlds!
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Self Employed Parent Podcast with Joel Bower


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Now displaying: July, 2015
Jul 31, 2015

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.

Jul 29, 2015

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.

Running business for the non-business minded.

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.

Winning at business.

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.

Raise your kids to capture their hearts.

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.

"I love."

Keri is inspired by her love - her love of beauty, of her children, and of the moment.

How to reach Keri.

Find Keri and her products at or on social media as Savvy Boheme. Additionally, feel free to stop by the foundry and the showroom in Midlothian, TX Monday through Friday!

Do you have any questions about this episode? Ask them here!

Jul 27, 2015

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.

The Optimist

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.

The Friend

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.

The Partner

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.

Check out the episodes we talked about in this one!

Episode 31: 3 Toxic People you must avoid to protect your business and your family.

Do you have any questions about this episode? Ask them here!

Jul 24, 2015

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.

Managing the bad snack habit.

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.

Defeating self defeat.

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.

Family toys our listeners love.

People love these!

  • Bubble Machine.
  • Tabletop Ping Pong Set
  • Water Balloon Slingshots
  • Picnic Backpack

More on outsourcing.

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.

Getting started with custom goods.

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 this episode, we answered questions from…

Jul 22, 2015

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.

The Pessimist

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.

The Egotist

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.

The Drama Queen

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.

Check out the episodes we talked about in this one!

Episode 17: The 3 Most Devastating Costs for Taking on Horrible Clients, Especially when you are Struggling and Need the Business.

Do you have any questions about this episode? Ask them here!

Jul 20, 2015

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.

I understand the value of time.

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.

I’m used to making difficult decisions.

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.

I know when to trust my gut.

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.

I know when NOT to trust my gut.

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.

I can wear many hats simultaneously.

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.

Do you have any questions about this episode? Ask them here!

Jul 17, 2015

In episode 29, I answer a few great questions from episode 24 about outsourcing work without sacrificing quality and episode 25 about using personality profiling to better your business and all your relationships.

Freelancing preferences and skills

I use different freelancing sites for different projects. Elance, 99 Designs, and oDesk are ones I’ve used recently. Additionally, test out the sites to find freelancers with a lot of quality - and remember, price doesn’t necessarily indicate quality.

Take the DISC test

Check out Tony Robbin’s DISC test here!

Myers Briggs vs DISC

Realistically, Myer’s Briggs and DISC both work in four different types. Myer’s Briggs has more letter breakdowns, but they’re essentially just shades of the same personality types that DISC offers. DISC is also easier to use in every day life.

Other personality tests

Most other tests seem to be based on the DISC system. There are color codes, Myer’s Briggs, DISC, and others that all come back to the same place. Find a system that works for you

Do you have any questions about this episode? Ask them here!

Jul 15, 2015

In episode 28, I take a break from the serious topics to tell you about six awesome toys I really love and that I think you’ll love, too. I wanted to play with my kids more, and these were awesome ways to do that without having to break out the dolls or action figures. The best part? These were a way for me to spend QUALITY time with my family.

Lightahead® LED Projector Strobe flash Holographic Disco party Lighting Light Mini Portable Voice-activated Version with tripod for Club Dj Disco Bar Stage House etc (6 Patterns) (Black)

This is an experience-toy, where it gives our family a fun experience to remember together. This thing is awesome. Consider this: sneak it into your kid’s room to surprise them with a fun, new experience.

Chauvet Hurricane 700 Fog Machine

Another experience toy - the fog machine! This makes a great surprise, too, and is awesome for Halloween and other memorable events. Transform your home and their space into something really amazing.

LED Light up Balloons 20 Mixed color Party Pack

The final experience toy is the LED light up balloon. This adds a cool twist to something kids already love. The balloons glow from the inside. Fill a dark room with glowing balloons and have a blast!

Revolution 101 Balance Board Trainer

The balance board is an activity toy. It gives you guys a cool, fun, exercise activity you can do together, and it’s a ton of fun. My kids absolutely love this thing.

Trademark Innovations Metal Disc Frisbee Golf Goal Set with 6 Discs

This is a great activity to enjoy with your family. Golf isn’t necessarily fun for kids, but frisbee golf is awesome. This is a great way to spend time with your family outside. Set one up in your own yard or take your discs out to a course!

Xbox One + Kinect

Finally, this is a video game, but also an activity. The Kinect is a ton of fun and gets you and your whole family up and moving instead of sitting down with controllers in your hands.

Check out the episodes discussed in this one:

Episode 19: The Number one way to Prioritize your Kids and Still Crush it in Business.

Episode 24: 4 Steps to Successfully Outsourcing Work Without Sacrificint Quality or your Family.

Episode 25: Personality Profiling for Bettering your Business... and all your Relationships.

Do you have any questions about this episode? Ask them here!

Jul 14, 2015

In episode 27, we talk about how our kids pick up on what we say and do automatically, which means we may find them displaying unwanted behavior they learned by watching us. Here are four things we may be misleading our children about.

Family is most important

We all say this, but a lot of the time we spend way more time working than we do spending time with our families. Instead, remind them that time does not determine value and that the reason you work is so you can enable your family to get to spend more awesome, quality time together.

Eat healthy

When we’re busy, we tend to let ourselves slip on our healthy diets. Our kids watch us eat junk food while we tell them to eat their vegetables. Instead, find healthier snacks for yourself and explain to your kids what the costs are for you not eating well.

Don’t lie

We ruin this every time we make up an excuse about why we can’t make it somewhere, or when we tell them to tell the people at the phone we’re not home. It’s your prerogative to explain these to your kids to help them see what’s going on.

Don’t throw tantrums

Ranting about your job or a client is basically the same thing. When they see you get angry and unreasonable, they think it’s okay for them to do it, too. Find a way to make your rants constructive instead of just irrational.

Jul 10, 2015

In episode 26, we bring Chris Shaffer back to answer some of your questions about selling on Amazon. He covers how to handle having limited skills in writing and photography, how to set up a store without a lot of time, product varieties, and categories.

Check out Chris’s interview!

Before you go on, you may want to listen to the interview with Chris in episodes 21 and 22!

When in doubt, outsource.

Having high quality photos and copy on Amazon is important. If you’re in doubt about your skills, outsource. Check out freelancing sites to get these things done.

Focus on selling variants.

While many competitors sell a lot of different variations, focus your time on selling the variants you know that sell. Additionally, you can also try to sell the variant that stands out the most.

Build your products on each other.

Amazon is built to sell as much as possible to as many people as possible. If your products are closely related and in the same category, you have an increased chance of upselling from one product to another.

Learn more about selling on Amazon.

Check out The Amazing Seller podcast. Chris works with Scott and all the information is available for free on his podcast. Additionally, there’s a class for people who want to privately sell on Amazon. If you want to contact Chris, check out the Amazing Seller Facebook Group and tag him @Chris Shaffer.

Jul 8, 2015

In episode 25, we cover one of my favorite topics: personality profiling. I’ve been using personality profiling in my own relationships and business for years, and it’s improved my life immensely. Here are four ways you can use personality profiling to make everything in your life better.

Know yourself.

Determine what your limitations are so you can continue to move forward in your life (and business) in a way that suits who you are and in a way that works for you.

Know your family.

Figure out what they’re motivated by, what they really want in their lives, and how they respond to help build them up in a way that is unique to them as individuals.

Know your clients.

Understand why your client behaves the way they do, what they’re expecting, how they deal with potential conflict, and how to talk to them in a way that makes them appreciate and understand you.

Know your employees.

Make sure you have the right person working on the jobs you need and keep them motivated by knowing what they personally strive and aspire for.

Jul 6, 2015

In episode 24, I talk about how to outsource the work you don’t want to do, shouldn’t be doing, and don’t have time for successfully, which not only will help your business grow and thrive, but will give you back the time with your family you’ve been looking for.

Test, test, test.

Check out all the different freelancing and outsourcing sites to test out how outsourcing works for you and your company. Test both project type and different sites, as well as how you’ll manage the projects.

Qualify for ongoing projects.

It’s great to find someone you like, but even better if you can find someone reliable who can work with you long-term on bigger projects.

Make clear descriptions.

Know exactly what you want. If you give unclear instructions on how you’d like a project done, you can’t really expect the outsourced contractor to get it exactly right.

Reward contractors you enjoy.

By tipping and rewarding great contractors, you will build better relationships and set standards about what you expect from your freelancers - especially in their behavior, not just their work.

Jul 3, 2015

In Episode 23, we answer some awesome questions from the last few weeks, particularly about how to teach our kids to be confident without being cocky, how to manage and prioritize your family and business, and how to handle a client you hate that your partners may not want to get rid of.

Make money doing what you love.

Figure out what you want from your business, and work around those parameters to build a business out of your passions. Start off by finding an entry piece that other companies aren’t doing, offer that at a price they can’t turn away from, to build your clientele and trustability.

Compliment your kids on things they’ve done.

Focus on building your kids up about their own personal accomplishments. Show them that what they do, not just who they are, is amazing.

Your personal choices determine your priority sort.

What do you actually want to do in life? Prioritize things to get you closer to the life you want.

Handling bad clients when your partner wants to keep them.

Work it out with your partner where you don’t have to deal with the client as much as your partner does. Or, make a milestone agreement with your partner to drop the client when your business reaches a certain point. Today we answered questions from these episodes:

  1. Episode 20: The things we teach our kids could be destroying their chances of being self employed and also hurting your business success.
  2. Episode 19: The number one way to prioritize your kids and still crush it in business.
  3. Episode 17: The 3 most devastating costs for taking on horrible clients, especially when you are struggling and need the business.
Jul 2, 2015

In episode 22, I finish off the interview with Chris Shaffer, my go-to guy for all things Amazon, with a ton of great information about how you can start selling on Amazon today. Chris has done this for several companies, from break-out brands to huge products with massive audiences.

Private label versus retail arbitrage.

With private labeling, while more expensive, you have a little more security and don’t have to go into retail stores every week to find the items you need to sell.

What products to sell.

For private label, you want a product that can sell around 10 items a day for around 10 dollars in profit. Smaller products work better, as Amazon won’t charge you more for warehousing.

Sourcing products for Amazon.

There are several sourcing avenues you can use, from national or international sources. The interview covers how to do that, what sources are best, and how to select the right one for you.