Balancing All Those Hats We Wear! by Robyn Peake

Robyn PeakeSuccess is never certain, Failure is never final; Life gives you what you accept, so set your expectation high, and rise to the occasion! After a conversation today with a dear friend and business associate, I realized that I’ve had some definite life experience working on creating the balance among the different hats I wear, and others may benefit from the same information. My professional background had been in the social work field, but I left it after beginning my family. My husband and I discovered the network marketing industry when our daughters were seventeen months & four months old and we needed to create an option in business for my husband. His boss had made life obnoxious, and we saw this industry as a release from the weekly paycheck tension as well as the emotional harassment at work.

Sure enough, we built our business hard for eight months and created an income that replaced what the job used to provide. Dale came home to work our business, and our lives changed forever!

 NULL My husband is my best friend, so we excitedly anticipated the future we would create together, but one piece we didn’t see ahead of time was the simple fact that because his job had been so demanding, I had my own daily routine with the girls. Now that he was home full time, I felt like we were tripping over each other, and he was there with new expectations on how to spend our days every time I turned around. I vividly remember calling someone in the business who had also made this same transition, and saying in exasperated tone “what do you do with your husband all day??” Just as the job had become a thing of the past, so had my routine. It’s a joke to us now, but was a very real issue we had to work through. The insight that has come from living it firsthand these past twelve years affords us lessons we can share within our team, and now with you as well. *Every couple will need to develop their own roles Each couple creating a home-based business finds themselves in one of three categories: having a negative spouse, having a supportive spouse or having a partner spouse. A negative spouse is just that: negative. They don’t want to hear about the business or have anything to do with it. The worst ones even try to sabotage the success of the worker spouse.

Love on them and encourage them in life as much as possible, but respect their space and earn a check to help open his/ her mind to your business.

Make it a point to let them know you aren’t working this to get away from them & the family, but rather building to create new options for the family. With a supportive spouse, one of you makes the contacts and develops the business as the “builder”. The other spouse doesn’t have the interest in taking an active role, yet plays a vital part as the cheerleader. This spouse finds his/her role as caring for the kids- including sports activities, paying more of the bills, or doing more of the meal prep & household responsibilities.

In short the supportive spouse makes it possible for the builder spouse to do what needs to be done.

S/he has an encouraging word as the other heads out the door to present the business, s/he asks how things went at the event & complements the effort invested. This is not to say that the supportive spouse is fair game to “dump on” with all of the chores, but simply that s/he picks up the slack to make it feasible for the builder to build more easily. Never ever, ever discount this role, or speak words that make this spouse feel unimportant in the business development process, but value this role, recognizing the importance of your partnership and appreciating the sacrifices in schedule made on this side of the fence as well. My favorite is the active spouse, since that’s what Dale & I have: an active partnership. We work our business as a team, and we love it! The challenge faced here as a couple begins, is that you will go through trial and error to find proper division of responsibilities: who prefers what activities, who is more skilled at what part of the process, and whose schedule is more conducive to certain events & activities.

Good news: whatever method you use to divvy it all up, as long as you are developing the business goals you’ve set, and are both fairly happy with how it flows, is right!

No one can tell you it’s the wrong balance when it works for the two of you! *Today’s balance will need a new solution next season Because I have a twelve year successful history in the industry, I can tell you: enjoy the balance and schedule you create this season, work with it as long as you can, and go into it knowing it will eventually change. Change is inevitable! You will grow personally and develop your skill set, allowing you to incorporate new methods and activities. Your kids will have school nine months of the year and be home all summer. Sporting seasons will come and go. Parents may need assistance. You may move, or have a new baby. A full time job may disappear- or you may “retire” from it. All these factors influence your balance in any given season. Picture a mobile, with seven brightly colored pieces hanging from different contact points. It moves, but sways in a gentle, repetitive pattern- you know what to expect. Suddenly you remove a piece, and what happens? The entire mobile is thrown into chaos and the movement is wild and unpredictable- until it gradually slows and adjusts to the new balance, and a new swaying, rhythmic pattern is established. It’s like that with schedule changes in our lives as well. It’s not wrong. It just is.

Knowing what to expect as a couple or family group, because of healthy communication patterns, allows for a much smoother and shorter transition time.

Changes will stretch you, some more than others, but when you understand that transition is ok and a new balance will develop for the new season, you learn to bend and sway with the motion instead of remaining rigid and risking the change break you, setting you back instead of exciting you and giving you internal enthusiasm to propel you forward. *Make goal-setting & building the business a family affair Dale and I don’t build our business in spite of our family, but rather for our family. I’m guessing that you do the same. With that in mind, include the family in discussions of schedule & activities, goal setting and building a dream board. Our girls were very small, as I mentioned, when we began. Their attention spans were very short, unless it was naptime where I had a block to work with. When they were awake I could pop in a twenty minute Veggie Tale and run through three to four calls, then play with the girls twenty minutes before picking up the phone again. A few years later we added baby girl #3 (the benefit of having two stay-at-home parents!) So, three children under age five, a team of several thousand people, and a goal to move leadership levels within our company, gave us a full plate to work with. For the first time in our careers, we sat down and made a dream board. We discussed the situation as best we could on the levels of our children. The changes they would see were more phone calls and more time with our regular sitter so Mommy and Daddy could get a new pin. Their role was to play nicely while we were on the phone, and not fight when Alyssa was with them. That way we could do it all together. The reward for them was that they would be able to come with us to the convention, come up on the big stage with us, and when we returned home we would make a special trip to Toys R Us to buy them the item they picked out of the catalog and had posted on the dream board.

We didn’t build our business in spite of them, but for them and their future.

The result? If you ask them to this day, they will tell you WE hit that goal, not just Mom and Dad. Now their level of understanding has developed, but the s
ame principle applies. Their responsibilities have grown and so have the rewards they select as family or individual goals are accomplished: they like souvenirs from special places we all visit, like the St. Louis Arch or Hawaii, getting a cell phone for making honor roll, or redecorating a bedroom for reaching a special reading goal. *Switch hats

Keep the lines of responsibility clear, for yourselves, your family and your team.

We each play many different roles in our lives. For example I am a wife, a mother, a business leader, a ministry leader, a daughter, and a friend. Not every friend is in my business. Not every family member participates in my ministry. To my mother, who is in my business, I must switch between daughter and leader. In order to reduce opportunity for misunderstanding, not only do I mentally “switch hats” but I verbally tell the person I’m in conversation with, “ok, I need to switch hats from friend to upline now.” It keeps us on the same page, and allows for increased understanding that my love for them as a friend is not affected by the business situation we need to talk over. I encourage them to do the same with me. * Put the big rocks in first Dale and I run our schedule from event to event. If you picture life as a jar, we “put the big rocks in the jar first” to make sure they fit, then the smaller rocks, the sand and the water. If you have not seen this demonstration, it’s powerful! The big rocks represent the “must do’s”, the most important things in life. For example, we pull out our calendar and block off time for convention and other big events, including events on the girls’ calendars- I won’t miss their opening night play performance. Church is scheduled in each week. From there we fit in other important pieces, like blocking off lunch meetings and blocking time for initial calls and follow-ups, the smaller rocks, but very important. The sand is the equivalent of things we would like to do if we can make it work, (hey, so-and-so invited us to go camping, can we do it?) and the water is either routine household items, like shopping & laundry that can be fit into any unscheduled time slot, or things that come up spontaneously, like a friend calling to grab us and the kids to go out for ice cream. Without the big rocks in first, the jar fills with sand and water. While that’s all fun and games, and kids definitely press us for those activities, it eliminates the forward movement toward family and business goals, and limits the future activities by hindering our financial growth now.

The key is moving forward toward our goals with balance and enjoying each stage of the journey as much as possible!

It matters not whether you use a time-blocking approach (I’ll make my calls from 10-11) or an activity-blocking approach (I’ll put my phone call time here today, but tomorrow it will work better there) to get those big rocks into the jar, what matters is that they fit! My goal here is not for you to copy-cat everything presented, but rather for you to be able to take the information presented and work with it, spring-boarding from it to create your own satisfaction while balancing the multiple roles you play and hats you wear.

Success is a journey, not a destination, and those of us who have walked this path owe it to our teams to equip them as best we can to minimize needless detours and maximize potential and growth.

Always remember: Success is never certain, Failure is never final; Life gives you what you accept, so set your expectation high, and rise to the occasion!

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