I met Shauna Mack and Kevin Mack on an airport shuttle this week. Each of us were attending Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership Summit for small business owners. They operate a privately owned business in Murfreesboro, TN with about 15 team members. I immediately liked Shauna and Kevin in my brief interaction with them on the shuttle bus. I love to connect with business owners, so our conversation felt natural over our 15-minute ride to the airport. The main theme of my conversation with them was about how their business intersects with their daily lives.
I asked Shauna how she manages being a mother and working with her husband. “How do you find the time to fit it all in?”
“You have to treat your work at home the exactly as you would if you had to report to an office.” ~Shauna Mack
Shauna’s advice reminded me of a recent episode of the Dave Ramsey Show. Dave interviewed one of his Ramsey Personalities, Christy Wright, about “Living in the Tension” as a working Mom.
Here are 5 great tips from that interview:
- Face The Day: Make sure that you shower and get dressed in work clothes before the kids get up (no pajamas and greasy hair)
- Be Prepared: Treat getting the kids off to school just like an early morning conference call. Prepare the night before just like you would for any early morning appointment.
- Unplug: After the kids and your spouse are off to school, eliminate all distractions (especially social media). Turn off all devices (TV, cell phone, tablet, computer, etc.). Explain to friendly neighbors that you have an important appointment coming up.
- Identify Your Priorities: Take the first 15-minutes of your work day to brainstorm for just 15-minutes to identify what Stephen Covey calls your “Big Rocks.” These are the heaviest priorities that you have to start working at the beginning of the day to create measurable progress… movement!
- Open For Business: Set FORMAL working hours (even if you only work a couple of hours each day). When older kids, neighbors, friends and even your spouse stop by your “office,” explain that even though they can see you at home… you are really at work.
Kevin goes to the office every day, and Shauna works from home. I told Shauna that my wife, Courtney, and I often talk about a similar “Mom and Pop” set up. Courtney already holds an informal role which benefits my business immensely: both as a strategic consultant and often as a coach. Like author Chris Hogan says, I call Courtney my “home field advantage.”
I told Shauna that Courtney spent about 7 years working in finance before our kids were born. Courtney has great intuition, is well educated, and thinks practically. When we were ready to start a family, our family grew quickly as we multiplied from 0-3 kids in just 16-months (yes, the second pregnancy brought twins). Our friends lovingly say that we have “Irish Triplets.” Courtney would be valuable for any business, but she chooses the work of running our household and raising our 3 little children.
I asked this question, because one of Courtney’s biggest frustrations is that she is so busy all day long, but doesn’t get what she wants accomplished. Courtney wakes up every day and knows about 8 different things that she would like to make happen, but the “Everyday Chaos” of having a 6-year old and twin 5-year olds seems to always throw a few curveballs our way.
My biggest takeaway from interactions with Shauna and Kevin Mack, Christy Wright, and my wife, Courtney, was that YOU CAN MAKE IT ALL HAPPEN. You just have to protect what matters most. Your schedule MUST reflect what is most important to you. You have to cut out the unnecessary distractions if you are trying to operate a business while working at home. ~Kyle Malnati