Live Q&A: Building the Foundation for your Career with Colleen Kelly
I'm your host, Tiffany Souder, and this is scared, confident. So today we're doing another coffee over microphones, and these are always prompted when somebody reaches out to me kind of saying like, Hey, I've got some questions for you, Tiffany. And one of my reasons for doing this podcast is that I, as a young woman, young professionals, Trying to imagine what my life was going to look like long to reach out to people who are at a different stage of my life.
And to share these conversations with others, because our questions are not unique ever. And so Colleen is joining me today. She did just that she reached out and said, Hey, I have some questions. Let's chat. And so we're going to do that. So kind of excited. Yeah. This is going to be fun. Yeah, I'm so excited.
Seriously. I, when I like slid into your LinkedIn DMS, I was like, there's no way she responds. There's no shot. And so I was so excited that you actually run, responded and said, yes, Well, I think the first time you DMD me, it was after I had my fourth daughter. And you are from a family of girls. I'm the oldest of three.
So I feel like that was really interesting to me. I did not grow up in a single gender family as far as like all the siblings being the same. I have brothers. And so knowing that my kids are going to have a really different experience, I was all, I'm also interested to learn. You're lucky. I think all girls households I'm biased, but they're the best, like I am so, so lucky.
So what are, what's a one very significant memory from your childhood with your sisters? It was when we were moving houses, actually. So we moved when I was maybe like 10 and so my youngest sister was five and then my middle sister. Seven. And so we had moved houses and we did not have any furniture in our new house.
It hadn't been delivered yet. So we were sitting on basically just couch cushions that we fashioned into our own couch. And we were all three. I was reading a chapter book out loud to them because. Are very dorky, all three of us. And we read all the time, like did not grow up, watching a lot of TV. And so there's this picture and I can picture it.
So clearly it's all my mom's desk. And it's the three of us sitting there with me reading to them. And it's just very much a representation of what it was like to grow up with them. They're always looking up to you. They're always watching. You're always together. Can't get rid of them. That's really cool.
Okay. So talk to me about where you're at in your life. And then we can kind of go. Perfect. So I just graduated back in may, literally just necklaces, 1999. Were you born in 1999? I'm like dying right now. I get so mad when I wear this necklace. They're like, you're making us feel all that I know. I'm like, there's no possible way.
You're a grownup, but it's true. That was 22 years. Yeah. Yeah. Oh my word. Okay. So Ms. 1999, you would tell about where you're at right now in your life. I just graduated back in may. I also started my first ever full-time. I work in sales, which I've never done sales before. So first job for sales job, and I work for a company that sells sales, consulting and sales training.
It's a great team and I'm really happy with where I'm at, but I'm still in this weird transition part of my life that like nothing feels really solid yet. And I think in that stage of life, you're still learning what your brain even does. Yeah. You know, I feel like I remember that, like just not knowing what I was going to be good at because I was good at school, but that is not like the same as being good at a thing.
I also think the thing that is hard at that stage in life is there's kind of no validation. Like there's no test scores, there's no grades and you're really actually not good at anything yet. And you know that, but it's really draining. A hundred percent. It definitely feels like I've had to tell my boss.
I'm like, I just need to hear that I did a good job and she's so good about it now, but like I'm a person that really needs reinforcement. And I just need to hear that I'm getting, doing a good job. It's not necessarily for me like a monetary compensation thing that I need to know that I'm doing a good job.
It's definitely for me, like, I need to hear that from people which like in school, you hear that when a teacher gives you your paper back, but in the work world, I've come to find, at least you'd have to ask for it and people will give it to you. Like. All she had to know was that I needed that. And so I guess that's something that I am glad I did.
So asking, I think is something that I'm really working on. What makes you asked for it? Like how did you even know that you needed that? I think so rare. It's honestly, probably I got my first person to sign up for these events that we host that are at the core of our sales cycle. And I was so excited when that email hit my inbox.
And I felt the need to share that with my boss, knowing that she was going to say, oh my gosh, Coleen, great job. And as more people started to register for this event, and I kept telling her, I realized I'm doing this because I need to hear that. So in a one-on-one I just said, I think this is the type of person I am.
That is how I will feel valued, is hearing that I'm valued. And so she's. Really conscious about it ever since. So it was definitely kind of like a weird thing to ask. Just kind of like, tell me I'm doing a good job, which feels kind of awkward to do, but for me to like keep going, especially in sales sales, you get a lot of nos.
So I need to hear that I'm doing a good job when I do get those yeses now. Super courageous. So when you were a little girl, I don't know if it was 10, but like what did you dream of being. I'm just kind of curious, like, you're here, you are like, I went to college and now I'm in the business world. Like, is that what you picture?
No, I wanted to be on TV. I want it to be a news reporter. I actually almost went to journalism school at Mizzou and I thought I wanted to be on the morning news. And I think I kind of realized senior year when I was like applying to college and stuff. I didn't actually care to be the one talking. I liked to be the one writing what they people were saying.
So that kind of shifted. My focus, it kind of became, I like to write, but I don't really know what to do with that. But yeah, I used to really want to be on TV, which is probably a little conceited. I think that we get, uh, we are like, sort of. Drawn to things that are interesting to us or that we sort of as maybe part of what's in our own heart.
I certainly have people like that in my life where it's like, I don't know how to explain it. I just feel like I'm drawn to what you are becoming or a certain part of your character. So I'm just curious, like what about my sort of adjectives and nouns is connects with you and then let's sort of talk about.
I think, honestly, you kind of first resignated me with this post that you posted, right? When your fourth daughter was born and I paid attention. Cause I saw the picture was like all girls and that I was like, oh, that looks like my family. So I took the time to read the post. And then hearing you talk about being a mom, a wife, business person, a friend, all in one post.
Those are all the things that I want and hope, hope to be. When I look at you, I see a lot of things. I feel like I'm trying to lay the foundation for right now that I'm trying to get myself to a point where I'm a mom, a work of a good friend, I'm a good wife and you seem to be doing a good job at all of it, from what I can tell.
Yeah. Well, I think you, I appreciate that. It takes like everything work, you know, and we're, we're like kind of bad at things before we're good at them, but it is definitely a process of continuing to learn. So I would love to know, like, what did your, did your mom stay home? Did she work? Like, what did that look.
I would honestly say you and my mom like have similar paths because she has a really, really full life too. So my mom is a full-time attorney. She stayed home for about two or three years when my last one, I, third sister was born and she was really bad at being a stay at home. Mom. My dad says that she used to call him like multiple times a day because she was bored.
So she was not good at it. So she went back to work. So she worked pretty much my. Childhood. So she worked at private companies, so she had a little more flexibility than like a law firm, but she's the type of mom. She, she picked me up from school pretty much every day. I honestly don't know how she did it, but she negotiated a lot of flexibility into her job, which you don't really think of when you hear a lawyer.
Like my dad was not, my dad did not have that. So she just really prioritize. Being a mom in addition to having her big career. And now that we're all almost graduated, my little sister's a senior in high school. She's like trying to revamp up her career again. She didn't put it on hold. She was still doing it, but she says that if she hadn't spent so much time and energy, as she thinks she would be in a different place, she's not a place she wants to be in, but she's kind of starting to ramp up again, which is going to be a really cool kind of phase of her life to get to watch on my part is she kind of took a little bit of a backseat and now she's.
Getting in the driver's seat, which I think is really, really cool and exciting for her. So what, um, what did you, one of the things I'm so curious about in 20 years is to be able to ask my kids, like, what was it like to grow up in our household? Because my mom stayed home with us. And so I lived something totally different than what my kids are.
And so I'm curious, like, what are the things that you remember. About your ma did you guys have like nannies or sitters or anything like that? Yeah, we had a nanny for a really long time. Yeah. And so was, she is part of family? Same, like that's what, yeah. And she's like part of the family in jam and then like a real way.
Did you know you want it to work always or do you ever think about staying home? No. I told her that I would stay home. Oh yeah. Cause I know it's like. I don't know, maybe other people would have said they didn't think I would stay home, but I think because my mom did, I, that's what I thought I would do. I, I really didn't have a example of a professional woman in my life for a long, long time.
And that's not to say it's sad, but I grew up in a really small town and the, the women who worked had jobs, not careers. Yeah. It just, wasn't a thing. And usually. If both parents were working, it was that they were socioeconomically like kind of struggling. They needed yes. Needed it. And it was not because they were excited or driving things for like throwing away.
And so that was what I grew up around, like just environmentally in rural Indiana. That's what it looks like. And so I didn't really have a vision that this could be a thing. And so I've had to learn a lot, which is why I think I feel so passionate about like sharing it because it was really. School of hard knocks to like get here.
At what point did you decide, like when you started having kids that, that wasn't going to be for you? Well, w when I had my first one, I would be interesting to even hear your mom's perspective. Cause I have a suspicion had I ever gone home? I probably would have boomeranged back kind of like your mom, like, what am I supposed to do?
I don't understand. So with my first one, I was like, well, there's just one. Like I don't, I can't like what. I can't imagine what I would do this many hours. So I was like, I'll wait until we have two and then I'll stay home after I have to. And then we had a second one and honestly like, I love my kids and I am really, I think people around me with Sam really intentional about quality time with them.
But if I'm honest, when I get quantity of time with them, and I don't mean this in a way that I don't love my kids, I lose energy. I am just like, not on point. I'm not in that is I sort of like read my own. Makeup of like what I needed to feel like I had a ton to give them. Yeah. And I really feel like being my job.
I'm going to say that instead of like doing it, like, I literally feel like this is just part of me. Yeah. And the thing I was like put on this earth to do, I have so much more creative energy to give them. I have so much more kindness to give them. I have so much more. I think even I'm just smarter as a parent because I've been leading people for 20 years.
I don't actually feel like I screwed up my first two and got it right with my second two, which I think parents feel that way because you're learning how to lead and how to steward. And you don't know. And I really feel like I have had a chance to practice a lot about how do you get a human being from who they are to what they can become.
And we do that in parenting, but we also do that with people that work for us. I think I'm better at that. I think I'm a better teacher. I think a more, a better listener. I think I better understand their talents and makeup because I had a chance to lead people from a really young age. So that was really where I was like, maybe this isn't, what I'm supposed to do is stay home.
And I think I had an, an inference of expectation from. My, like my mom's at home, my grandma stayed home. My aunts all stayed home. Like I think I had any inferred, the expectation that I stayed home, that that was the right thing to do, but nobody ever said that to me. And everybody was very supportive when I, I don't know if they were supportive, nobody cared that I was working.
And so I think for me, it was just about reading my own energy in the same way that your mom, I think was like, I just don't know if this is for me. I also see some of my stay at home, mom, friends, and maybe this is just like selfish. They worked so hard and they're like super involved in school and all this stuff, like for free, I'm like, holy crap.
If I'm going to have to like, do so much stuff, I'm going to figure out how to make money. I just, selfishly I feel like that creates a more abundant environment for me. I can sort of have resources. And so I like the scoreboard. Of the financial part of business, because it helps me know if I'm getting better or not.
Did scoreboards ever like stress you out because scoreboards stress me out. So here's what I had to understand. Scoreboards used to stretch stress me out because I was afraid I was going to lose if there was a score. And so I was, I would say sheepish about wanting one or establishing goals because I didn't want.
People to know or me to know if I'd want her lost and keeping it really vague, kept me a winner. You know what I'm saying? Like in my own head and when you create really clear goals and have a really crisp articulation of what good and bad looks like you are vulnerable. And that was hard for me to understand somebody said results or personal feedback.
Results are personal feedback is not. And I used to live in a world where feedback was personal and results were not like I was the victim of what happened instead of accepting the fact that literally I am in control of everything that happens around me and feedback either from a scoreboard feedback, from a person feedback from a colleague feedback from a client feedback is only refining.
So that I can take more explicit accountability of the result I'm trying to drive. Does that make sense? Yeah, absolutely. And so I've, I, now my 41 year old self I'll say loves a scoreboard. I dunno, my, my colleagues might be like, what do you really? I really, because it keeps me on track because I am a million ideas every single day.
And I don't know what I'm running at. I can get really distracted and feel like I'm doing a lot of good. But it's not actually furthering anything. It's just sort of being nice to people's. That makes sense. Like, things need to work. Things need to be productive. Things need to be an economic engine.
Things need to be that to be sustained, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it is the result in and of itself. What I mean by that is. Element three's purpose is not to make money element three's purpose is to foster growth in people in business so they can change the world and we have to make money to do that, to do that.
And I had to learn the relationship between those things is there has to be incredible diligence to the scoreboard, but it doesn't in and of itself. Have to be the outcome. No, that makes sense. I think for me, what I struggle with with like scoreboards and like being in sales, like my KPIs is that I think I tie a lot of like, self-worth into like hitting those numbers.
If I don't hit my number of meetings, some of those stuff, I don't hit the revenue I'm supposed to close in a month. It makes me feel like a bad person or like a failure. I just think I tie a lot of myself into those. So if Brian and Stephanie talked to you about IRC, No, you just talk about this. Okay. So let's talk about this, cause this is a really big thing.
I learned it in sales training, which is, I think it's very acute in that world. So I, our theory is I is your identity and are, is your role. So you, Colleen. Our person, you have an identity. And that person is that you have a set of values that you abide by, right? You, I don't know. Let's say it's I show up on time.
I'm a good friend. I am caring. People would call me empathetic or I don't, I don't know you that well, but like, there are things that are you and that's your identity. And then you have roles that you play. You're a role as a sister, your role as a daughter, your role as an employee, your role, like your role as a fellow, like you have roles that you play and you can be terrible in your role and your identity remain totally intact.
So an example that I've used on this before, My husband. I love him. He's he's great. He's funny. He's smart. He's awesome. That's his identity. I love those things. And the role he plays in his ability to be able to be the handyman in our house is tragic. I can relate. So is my dad's terrible. He's terrible at it.
He's terrible at it. And I can, I'm going to say, use the word I can hate. His performance in that role and still love his identity as a person, if that makes sense, sort of. And so when you think about when you have bad IRR theory, I'm gonna say bad when it's, when it's weak. I are theory, meaning I allow my performance in my role to touch the way that I think of myself and my identity.
I had a terrible IRR theory at the beginning as well, which is why I know so much about it is if I had a good day and I sold something, I felt huge and powerful and smart and confident. And only when I performed well in that role, did I allow my identity to be that when I started to understand like, no, that's who I am, I'm confident.
I'm outgoing. I. I'll say funny, I don't know things. You shouldn't say myself, but like, these are things I am. And even if I lay an egg in my role at something, or I'm starting something new or whatever, that doesn't change who I am. And so practicing that mentally, like literally there's not like anything you can do, but just practice the muscle in your head.
If I'm not going to allow this to start the negative self-talk cycle. Of making me less than what I am on my best day. Cause that's actually who I am. Yeah, no, it's also like very comforting. I will say to hear that you had weak, I, our theory at one point, because sometimes I feel like I'm a little hard on myself, which I like expect perfection at things.
I'm like I'm 22. I've actually never had a job before. So yeah, that's a good reminder that. Everyone always needs. I needed a lot to be more patient with yourself. I think that our, our education system. Kind of builds it in, unfortunately for us to have week. I, our theory as like Americans, because if you get good grades, guess what you get to do.
You get to walk across the stage and get honor society. If you get good grades, you know, you get to hear your name on the announcement. If you're the team captain, you get to stand in the front, like we only put people in the front once they've in their role. They've accomplished something. Those are some of the things I feel like I have the ability to parent and my kids that had I not grown through all this stuff.
Professionally is like, how do I not just reward their performance, their grades, their kindness, et cetera. But yeah. Parents the motives of their hearts, because that's their identity part. So maybe you failed, but if you showed up with compassion, but you still weren't able to like be successful in it, that's a win, like that's your identity.
And so that, I don't know, I'm saying a lot of words, but that, that is really critical that we don't let our performance on task, particularly when we learning and trying things to get us to shut down. In our identity because we have to be able to stay strong in that you seem like how you talk and what I see on LinkedIn.
Like, you seem very passionate about element three and about what you do every single day. How did you go about figuring out that was where your passion lies? Because right now I feel like I'm in a place where I've had a lot of good jobs. I've had a lot of good internships that I liked. I like my job. I haven't found something that like lights me up.
Yeah. And sometimes it feels like. I'm like not going to find that. And it's just like, I'm just going to go through life and know how a bunch of jobs that are, that are fine. That are good. That pay well, that support like think, but nothing is really going to ever like fill me or fill my cup in that way. I would say I'm still learning what it is that I totally believe about this idea of passion.
But I think it's kind of oversold as it relates to setting people's expectations about like, what it feels like to live in your crosshairs of your ex, like where you're really supposed to be. And I, again, like what I'm saying, I'm still, I think I'm still figuring out what I really believe about this, but what I would say today, my 41 year old self is I feel like it's a little oversold and what I would say about my own journey with past.
Is that I think I'm good at finding the things I love about the place I am. If you would have asked me at 25 years old, if I do love marketing, I would have been like, all right. I mean, I don't know. Not really. Yeah. If some, if you would have asked me at 29, do you love being an entrepreneur? I think it would have been like.
I don't know if I love it. Like, I don't know. Not really like, but I've learned, I've practiced finding the things that I love about it to a place where I authentically love it. Now, does that make sense? So marketing. Sure. I mean, I don't know. I think I also could have been a really passionate about sales.
I think I also could have been really passionate about a product that I sold that I love. Like, I think. But what I've learned, I love about marketing is that we get to go in and meet all these interesting people in all these companies and learn about all these interesting things that they do and these corporate stories and how they got to this thing.
And it's like complex and kind of hard. And it's like really fun because my brain is always challenged. Like I love the idea of building a team. I love finding people and I have found what I love. In where I am instead of, I think having to feel like I needed to change place, to find what I love. Yeah.
It's almost kind of like, like learned passion, I think from, and it's like, well, does that mean it's contrived? Like, I don't think it, I don't think it is. It is. Yeah. Cause I feel like sometimes passionately just in the business relaxing, sometimes it seems like it's like, God gave you this passion. Like he dropped it on you when you were born and that's your one and only your so it's, I guess it's kind of comforting.
I think that there there's a lot of different passions that I could have. I just like haven't figured them out yet. I haven't been exposed to them. Yeah. I think the first 10 years of your career are about discovering and understanding your unique ability. The only things I really know how to do. Is make things simple and talk.
It's like really all I know how to do. And I have had the learn to like step in and practice my unique ability and to find opportunities to be able to do that lots of times. But for a long time, I had the. Right marketing plans for a long time, I had to be an account executive basically for a long time.
I had to do sales calls for a long time. I had to manage our pipeline for a long time. Like there's a lot of things I had to do to get to this job that I have today. I've always run element three, but the functional aspect of my role. Was very different when we were in the early days. And it is now like, my title was the same.
It looked like I was in charge, but mostly I was just running accounts. You know what I mean? And so I had to go through, I think all those practice cycles to learn what I'm really good at is making complex things simple and getting people to understand and care about them by talking about it. That's kind of all, I really know how to do so now I'm at a place.
I get to do that one thing a lot more often, and I've learned what the peel off my plate and add to my plate based on that discovery of my unique ability, but it's not like, you know, I was pants on fire, just passionate about marketing and being an entrepreneur and a working mom at 25, such that I had this vision in my head.
I didn't see any of it, but I think I was patient. And paying attention to the ingredients that were sort of in the bucket I had and was able to pick out the things I like authentically loved and connected. Well, now I'm in catching myself doing a lot, which my boyfriend gets mad and tells me not to do it is I keep saying like, oh, I'll be so happy when this piece of my life happens.
When I get married, I'll be so happy when I buy a house. Like, I'll be so happy when I sell my first six figure deal. Like things like that, a trap I've been falling into. I don't know if you've ever been that I that's totally, to me, totally been a rehearsed head game thing of, I used to say. People say, how are you doing?
And I would say, my response is I'm so busy. And I was like, nobody cares. First of all, like literally nobody cares a B everybody thinks they're busy, whether they are they not. So who cares again? Who cares and see isn't it? What I choose, like, isn't it of my own making. Isn't it actually what I prefer? Like, why am I pretending to be a murder?
And so I have started saying things like. I love the roles I play as a mom, a wife and a entrepreneur. I love those roles. I choose them all. And I accept the chaos and complexity that comes with that, which is a totally different lens than like I'm so busy. It's like, oh, my word, you must be, you have four kids.
And I say now, like, it's my choice. I love it. I'm not going to even let their responses, put me in a victim mentality of like, you must be so busy. It's like, I mean, I'm as busy as I want to be. And I love it. And it turns the narrative, even for me, and not allowing the sort of social expectation of me being exhausted and run ragged and just like, you know, sort of dragging through my life reluctantly.
And it's like, it reframes your energy towards it. When you literally say to yourself, don't I love this and love this. Why am I acting like I don't like. I was listening to a different episode where you're kind of talking about this, about this idea of like it's unbalanced by society standards. How do you decide what things are, the ones that you're going to prioritize and how do you say no to the things I don't like without coming off that you don't care about those other things?
I discover what I like in the rear view mirror. When I was trying to figure out what I liked and what I didn't. I would like read my energy before I went to bed. And either like, if I was like, I'm still kind of jacked, like, what did I do today? Who did I meet? Like, what happened? Why am I like cranking inside?
Like my brain is working, I'm loving it. And I was sort of start to look at like, what was the makeup of my calendar? Like, what did I get to do today that I have so much energy? Conversely, I would look at like the days where I was going to bed, like within an inch of myself and just like, you know, lumbering, I would be like, what, what happened today?
That just sort of like took it out of me. Why is that? And just like reading what it is that gives you energy and what doesn't, I think is a way to uncover. What we'd like for me, my best days are when I'm just like balls out all day long. I love it. I love being 45 seconds late to everything I love. Like I just love, I love it fast and crazy.
And at the end of those hardest days, I have the most energy when I have like 45 to 90 minute gaps between everything. It's like slamming on the brakes for me. I just want to rock and roll and like, Ooh. And I'm like, Ooh, let's do it again. And I have more energy at the end of my craziest days. And I do on the days that are like, and so I just have had to learn.
I love that. As far as deciding what doesn't get my time, it's trial and error. Sometimes you do something and you're in it. I don't know, I'm not really digging these people and not really digging this place. I'm not really digging this mission. My advice, if you're 22 and you're trying to figure out what you, like, I would say yes to everything, like get your reps in, like get exposed to people and to things.
My advice is like, go hard. Don't relax right now. You've got time for days. You might not think it, but you've got are having babies. And then when do you relax? So I don't need to, huh? It's not a critical expectation that I have for my life. I care too much about the things that I want to do with my time and like, and the experiences I want to have with my people that I don't need.
And that doesn't mean that there's not times when I like sit on my couch with my kids and like chill, but I have found that like unstructured days where I just get to like, kind of do what I want. It's not something that I need. And that's not saying other people don't, I'm super extroverted. I get filled by experiences.
Not by time, on my own. I don't want to like poopoo arrests. I have just learned, I don't need nothing going on on Saturday. I just don't need that. That doesn't mean that sometimes it's not nice, but I just don't. I just don't need that. Well, I think learning not, I used to feel like I should rest. It's like, I don't really, I know I'm good.
I, I sleep. I am a seven to eight hour a night girl, and I tell people I sleep a lot more than I think people think in that if I keep control of that, I can rock hard a really long time, but I have to sleep. I cannot, my I'm not wired where. Sleep four or five, six, not maybe once a month, but I don't do well.
And so I've learned to protect these minimums, my sleep and my workouts. And if I do that, I can go, I can go. You can go baby. So those are like your hard, like things that are non-negotiables. Okay. So I know your husband used to own a business. My boyfriend just started a business. So you guys. Talk a business I've heard like weird advice saying like, don't talk about work after work with your significant other, but like that's such a big, I mean, my husband is one of my most trusted advisors and I think he would say the same of me.
We have such complimentary talents when it comes to business. He is so strategic. Yeah. I, that that's bananas advice from my perspective, our family culture Jr. And I, his couple culture is that. He knows a lot of details about what's going on in my business life. And he brings me into like the things that he really feels like I can help him with.
So I love that Jr. And I have a shared intellectual knowledge and passion for business. It's bright. I think just a lot of richness to our marriage. I know there's people who have. Spouses are in totally different. One's a doctor in one, you know, this is like really separate and they really just play together.
That's on us now, Jr. And I don't think could ever. Be in the same thing together. Like we would never, probably successfully like start a business together. I think there's couples that also do that well, and that's a totally different model, but we, I don't know. I think like I like to be in charge. He likes to be in charge.
I think it could, we could struggle. I think we would probably both admit that wouldn't be great for our relationship, but man, I respect his brain a ton. He's so good. At some things. And then I feel like he really leans on me on like communication and how to articulate things well, and just like having more empathy in the way that he thinks I really help him strategically with that.
So I don't know. I think that's, if you guys have a shared interest in passion, I think that's bonkers, but I am a data point. So you get to take in all the data points and then you can decide what you want for your life. But I would say that's bonkers. It's hard to avoid. When you were starting a business, how did you guys prioritize and like make time for your relationship as you were both in this really busy season of your life?
I think being really clear with yourself about what do I need from this other person to feel. And then in the same way that you were really clear with Stephanie, that like, I need you to compliment me for me to know I'm doing a good job. And she's like, oh, I've got one thing to do to fill your cup pretty much to the max.
It's like the same thing. It's different. Cause you guys are boyfriend girlfriend. We were married when we were both entrepreneurs, but, um, we both understood the big picture of what we were trying to do and that the odds were like massively against. We are both starting businesses. We both don't really know what we're doing.
There's fun. Ton of financial risk all the way around it. And big picture. If we pull this off, this is going to be really cool. And if we don't, then we'll go to plan B, but we both recognized it was going to take a lot of time and an atypical amount of investment to do that. And like taking and. I mean, I don't know.
We like experiences. We don't like need a lot of hours together to feel full. I would say quality time is important. My husband loves it when we like go away for the weekend to a different city. I'm super like mentally available when we like get away from the house and stuff. So we learned, we have to take really try two trips together a year, once a weekend and once a week.
And that really fills us up and we have a chance to. Just play and experience each other and just like have fun, you know, doing something new. We love to explore cities. And then we also did like Friday nights. This is so cheesy. I just remembered this. We would go to Chili's and get the, um, like unlimited chips and salsa and eat tons of chips and salsa and like maybe a margarita and.
And we would just like deep kind of rehash the week and get like reconnect that way. I mean, it was probably $7 that we spent, but Friday that's what we did Friday nights we would meet at Chili's that's the funniest location. So I was not expecting that to come out of your mouth. Chili's is totally chilies.
There's nothing cool about that, but that's what we did. It was cheap. We didn't have any money. We have any. I think that's the other thing like you, 22, 25, 28 year olds, everything's been so fancy your whole lives. And we have money. Things were crappy. We had crappy cars, we had like crappy stuff and we had to live real cheap and it was a great for.
Things we're not fancy. We would buy, you know, the TV show, 24 Jack Bauer. we would buy the season sets. They were like a hundred dollars or 59 or something like that. Cause there was no streaming. And so we would get a new one of those.
And that was like the equivalent of going on a vacation. It was like 50. I don't know if they're like 59. It was like a whole season. We could watch as many in a row as we wanted to. And it just felt so indulgent. And those were like our super fun things.
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