“We’re going to do things wrong, but we’ve got to learn and grow from it.”: A conversation with Jackie and Stephana Bledsoe of HappilyMarriedCouples.com

Released Tuesday, 21st August 2018
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There are plenty of companies, coaches, et cetera, who don’t seem to be able to take their own advice. You probably know a few, the financial advisor who lays out a plan for you to get out of debt, while they themselves are drowning in it, the marriage counselor who’s been divorced multiple times, or the business coach who shares how to increase profits while they themselves are unable to run a profitable company. Now, these are all generalizations, and I understand that it’s not fair to paint everyone with the same brush. But my point is this. When you see someone who’s living out the same advice that they’re giving, it makes you stop and pay attention.

Sometimes you just have to have those hard convers…Tweet This
This is a story of intentional decisions, of saying no to the good things, and yes to the best things. Because that’s the question right – can you be a successful entrepreneur and still have a healthy, growing family life? Welcome to Home For Dinner, a series focused on exploring that very question. Maybe you can have it all, or maybe not.

Episode Highlights

1:51 How Jackie and Stephana are using their mistakes to help others

3:16 Do you really have to choose between your family and your business? This answer may surprise you

6:12 “It sneaks up on you” – what to do when you get into a rut

6:50 The 15-minute rule, and how to implement it

8:34 “We’re not going to do this again” – the commitment Jackie and Stephana made after a hard conversation

9:42 The single most important word that takes back your time, grows your business, and serves your family

12:06 How Jackie and Stephana prioritized their speaking engagements

13:03 The events Jackie and Stephana never miss

17:47 Jackie’s advice on building your business without sacrificing your family

19:10 Stephana’s advice on success, even when you miss your routine

22:34 Quality versus quantity: Jackie and Stephana Bledsoe weigh in

26:00 The story behind the business: why Jackie and Stephana are passionate about building successful marriages

29:05 How Jackie defines success

32:27 How Stephana defines success

34:20 The resources, podcasts, and conferences that Jackie and Stephana recommend to help you crush it work and thrive at home.


Find quiet, quality, uninterrupted time.Tweet This
Special Thanks for Shelbyville Pharmacy for Sponsoring Season 1 of Home For Dinner.  Check out their website, or see what’s happening on Facebook!


Read Full Transcript

Philip: There are plenty of companies, coaches, et cetera, who don’t seem to be able to take their own advice. You probably know a few, the financial advisor who lays out a plan for you to get out of debt, while they themselves are drowning in it, the marriage counselor who’s been divorced multiple times, or the business coach who shares how to increase profits while they themselves are unable to run a profitable company. Now these are all generalizations, and I understand that it’s not fair to paint everyone with the same brush. But my point is this. When you see someone who’s living out the same advice that they’re giving, it makes you stop and pay attention, especially when it comes to a couple who has worked together to build a successful family business that’s built around encouraging other marriages, especially when they’ve navigated homeschooling their kids, coached sports, and are involved in their church.

Philip: But this isn’t a story about how to squeeze more time out of your day, or productivity hacks to make you more efficient. This is a story of intentional decisions, of saying no to the good things, and yes to the best things. Because that’s the question right – can you be a successful entrepreneur and still have a healthy, growing family life? Welcome to Home For Dinner, a series focused on exploring that very question. Maybe you can have it all, or maybe not.

Philip: Jackie and Stephana, thank you guys for coming on the show. You guys have spent the past couple years encouraging couples with a business that centers around marriage and relationships. Can you tell me a little bit more about that?

Jackie: Yeah. It kind of started several years ago with the blog and just really built out of our mistakes, and the things that we went through in marriage, that we messed up on and learned from, and ultimately that God’s grace helped us to get through it where we can thrive and we can share with other couples and help them in their marriages who are in the same state or similar states that we were in.

Philip: And real quick for our listeners in our Home For Dinner audience, this is a special interview because we’ve got Jackie and his wife, Stephana. We’ve got the spouses’ perspective on either side. And I knew both of you guys are integrally involved with your business, so this will be a really neat perspective to hear on how you guys do everything. As entrepreneurs, I’m an entrepreneur, you guys are entrepreneurs, we hear stories of Steve Jobs, the Elon Musks, the Richard Bransons, all these entrepreneurs that are literally changing the world. But we never hear about their families. And that’s cause for concern. Right? How have you guys managed to succeed in your professional life without sacrificing your family life? Because I’ll just real quick from my perspective, a lot of times I’m looking at things and I think it’s an either/or. And I think maybe that’s a false dichotomy. Can you guys share a little bit more about that?

Jackie: Yeah. And I think sometimes I feel that way too. It’s like it’s hard. You focus on, one, family is a passion for me. And so everything that I want to do, I want to involve my family, so I think I may be different than other entrepreneurs in that respect, that I would rather have my family involved in entrepreneurial ventures or whatever it may be. I want to be involved in coaching the kids and teaching the kids. I’ve homeschooled. I’ve been a teacher in homeschool, so I think that is me, just my makeup. But I don’t think it has to be that way. I think there are ways where you can benefit. You can still grow in business, grow as an entrepreneur, grow in your career, whatever it may be, grow in ministry. And at the same time, your family not suffer and your family still be as important.

Jackie: But I think that it is a delicate balance. And I think it’s something that you’re constantly … There is a tug of war. I think you’re constantly trying to figure it out. And seasons change, so we’re in a different season right now. We have two Little League baseball players. And anybody knows that if you have Little League baseball players, you know how much time that can take. And then we’ve got, like Stephana said, a 17 year old that we’re trying to get prepared for college. We’re at probably one of the busier seasons. Would you say, babe?

Stephana: Yeah. I think it’s busier right now. But when we had infants, it seemed crazy busy too, just a little bit more rested, I guess now, than we were then. But I would say one thing that we realize is that we often have to reset. Sometimes you get in a pattern and you’re doing things, and don’t even realize that you’re working yourself into a rut. And you kind of have to step back and say, “Okay. Let’s prioritize what is important,” and kind of try to eliminate the things that we can.

Philip: I want to go back to something you said, Jackie. You said you want to do something with your family that involves your entire family, your business, and all of that. Right? And so Stephana, I want to kind of ask you this question. Were you always on board for working with your husband? Or was that something that you kind of had to grow into? How did that all work out?

Stephana: I think that I’ve always thought that I was on board to work with Jackie. What in my mind looked like us working together and what actually plays out sometimes is not exactly the same. But I enjoy it. Ideally, that seems perfect to me to have a family business to work together well. But it’s a lot harder than it sounds like.

Philip: You mentioned being in a rut and hitting that reset button. And that kind of reminds me of a question that I ask a lot of people. How do you know you’re off track? How do you know that you need to hit the reset button? Can you share some indicators that you guys have learned over your 17 years working together as a family in a business? What are some things that you’ve seen where you said, “You know what, it’s time to hit the reset button”?

Jackie: I think it sneaks up on you, almost like marital problems do. You don’t decide divorce, all of a sudden something big happens, you’re out of it. But over time, you’ve done that. And I think we’ve been in those situations before. And typically, I think one spouse recognizes it before the other. That’s the way I think it’s been in our relationship at least. We’ve been in this baseball rut before. There was a season … I think that first time we recognized at the same time. It just wore us out. I think one is, the best way to recognize it is to have regular communication. We talk about having at least 15 minutes a day with each other. We don’t always do that, just us alone talking, no phones, no distractions, no kids, none of that.

Jackie: I think when you’re consistently doing things like that, when you’re consistently getting weekly date nights in where you can have conversations, and you can kind of check the pulse of where you are in your relationship, and also check the pulse of where you are in your family, I think then you can kind of ward off and recognize it. When you don’t do those things, it kind of blindsides you. You kind of find yourself tired. You kind of find yourself short with each other. You kind of find yourself missing things and running behind and all those different things. But you can kind of head it off. I think the best way to do that is with regular communication and spending that quiet, quality, uninterrupted time together.

Philip: Quiet, quality, uninterrupted time. That’s good. That’s good. With the reset, now you mentioned some quick tips there about the weekly date nights, the 15 minutes together uninterrupted. And we will talk about some fantastic resources that are going to be available at the end of the show. But are those date nights and that kind of thing, are those the reset buttons? Or is there something specific that you guys do that is like, okay, we’re in the baseball rut, we’ve got to reset? Is there a specific tactic or something that you do specifically for that? Or does it depend on the situation?

Jackie: The baseball rut that I mentioned those few years ago when we were doing baseball, both boys, kind of the first time we’d gotten really full fledged going into it, both of them. And we were doing fall baseball. And it was like both boys had multiple games on a Sunday. And we just looked up and we realized that we haven’t been to church. We haven’t spent any downtime. And that reset button then was that we came together and we both agreed. It’s like, we’re not going to do this again. So we committed at that time to never do fall baseball again. And we haven’t done it since. And we committed to take that season, which is August, September, early October, and to not commit to any of the sports or anything like that. And to this point, I don’t think we have done anything during that season. Have we?

Stephana: Yeah, I think we’ve been consistent on that.

Jackie: Yeah. To that, that was a reset where it’s just a drastic measures. Sometimes just having those hard conversations. You’re like, “Look. We’re doing too much in this one,” and you’re not always in agreement. One person may be like, “Well, I think we’re good. We’re good, and we can make it. Or this is okay. It’s almost over.” And the other may be like, “Look. We have to shut this down, or really, really rethink it.” It’s not a cut and dry answer, I would say, for us or for any other couple, I would think. But it really comes through communication. And sometimes it’s got to be some compromise and some sacrifice.

Philip: Yeah. Yeah. Stephana, what about for you? Is there a specific situation that comes to mind, where you said, “We’ve got to hit the reset button,” and some corrective action you took?

Stephana: Yeah. I think that what I recognize most is when we don’t have any margin. We don’t have any time outside of running from this thing to the next thing on every single day of the week. And that begins to be … It just wears on you. It feels like things that are important to you are not getting done. You come home, and you can’t really relax because things are out of order at home. Meals are not as they should be, preparation for being away from home, meals are not … It just gets hectic. And I feel that in all areas, it just feels like there’s no margin for anything. And so for me, it’s like I’m saying no. I might not be able to make this game. It’s important for me to go home and make sure that dinner is ready, or at least started, or groceries are picked up so that we could at least have something when we come off the baseball field. So it sometimes is not what I necessarily want to do because I don’t want to miss the games, but sometimes one of us has to.

Philip: Yeah. I don’t know if you were trying to talk about our life right now, Loretta and I’s life, but when you talk about no more margin and things at home not getting done because you’re always gone or running from here and there, I know I can relate to that right now as we’re recording this. And I think it’s a constant battle, constant struggle. I did also want to ask. I know you guys and I know a little bit about your business. But I think for our audience, they may not know what it means to be an author, a blogger, speakers, and travel. If you go on your website for 2017, you guys were on the road a lot speaking at conferences. You just mentioned a full schedule with your family. And you guys are both involved with that. How did you guys managed to keep your family together while you have this full calendar of business engagements as a couple?

Jackie: Yeah. Great question. Sometimes we don’t know. I think really, at the end of the day, it’s your commitment. What are your priorities? What’s most important? And the trips that we did, the traveling that we did, the work that goes into writing and speaking and all that, it can take time. And it can sometimes wear you down. But I think the biggest thing is we commit to our family and coming back. And we also learned some, I don’t know if you want to call them hacks, or tips, or anything like that, but a mentor of mine who also speaks on marriage, shared that he ran into that early on in his career. And one thing he tried to do is create some margin like Stephana said, by blocking off a day before, day after the trip where you don’t do any work or anything like that, so you come back and reconnect and spend time with your family. We’ve done that and we really try to schedule as best we can around things.

Jackie: I don’t think we’ve been gone a birthday. We’ve never been gone on a birthday. And some of that has been in our control. Some of it hasn’t been in our control. But at the end of the day, your priorities come, and they will service what you spend your time and your money on is what’s most important to you, so we make sure we come back. And we miss our kids when we’re gone. We’re gone too many times in a row. I think the first time we were gone, it was like two months in a row we were gone back to back weekends. And we were like, “Woo. I don’t know if we can do this.” Ideally, it’s kind of played out this where we’ve got about one speaking engagement a month, with the exception of the summer and December. Even December, we’ve gone as well. And that has been manageable for us. But it’s not a piece of cake to do it. But little stuff like that, taking that day of kind of refreshing and getting back together, I think it’s helpful as well.

Philip: You said something just kind of off hand, it sounded like. But you mentioned being home for all the birthdays. And some of that was not in your control. There was nothing booked then. But some of those you said were in your control. I’m going to take a stab here. But are you saying you turned down opportunities in order to be home for their birthdays? Is that accurate?

Stephana: I think we have.

Jackie: Yeah. I think we have, or asked them to reschedule. We’ve got one this year. I think this may be the first time where we will be gone, but we’re working it out where we can take the kids with us, which will be the first one. It’s on one of their birthdays. And it’s going to be at a bigger city than we’re in, so we’re expecting it to be fun and all that type of stuff, so it’ll be different. And my heart, my desire is that our kids can go with us on these speaking engagements and experience it, and when they’re able, run the camera or run the book table or something like that. But just give us some extra time when we go on certain speaking, not every one of them, business occasionally some of them where we’re able to incorporate them into it, and also incorporate some fun.

Philip: I like to tell people when they say, “Philip, what do you do?” And I say, “Well, I’ve been piecing my income together for the past four years through real estate and marketing on the side and all kinds of different things.” I’ll say, that’s a tough decision you guys made to say no to an opportunity because as a business owner, as an entrepreneur, you always have to hustle. You can’t just rest on your laurels. And so saying no to an opportunity, a lot of times means saying, frankly, saying no to money. That’s really admirable and I think really inspiring.

Stephana: I think if you decide in your family what is a priority, what your priorities are, what your foundation is going to be, then it makes the decision a little bit easier when it comes up. We know that our kids and our family, and knowing where they stand, what their place is in our lives, is more important than anything. The time together is more important than money, all of that. I think that helps us when it comes time to make a tough decision. And we don’t say it cut and dry to the person that’s asking us. But I think, thankfully, in most situations, people have been willing to even move their dates. So I don’t think it’s necessarily been a thing where we’ve had to. And I believe that’s the Lord’s favor for us honoring what he’s instituted in our family. To this point, thankfully, we’ve not had to lose an opportunity per se, or lose money. But things have been able to be rearranged or rescheduled so that we can still be a part of it and not miss out on what’s important to us as a family.

Philip: Man, I love this because you guys are the real deal. You say no or you rearrange things, whatever it is. You say, “Hey. We can’t do this. Can we work something else out?” Because of your priorities, it is so encouraging to hear some of the struggles and the tensions that you guys have, but also how you guys manage those and really live out your priorities, which is easier said than done. So thanks for sharing that.

Jackie: Yeah. Our pleasure.

Stephana: Thank you.

Philip: What advice do you have for the listeners, for the men and women who want to make it home for dinner, who want to crush it at work, and are not willing to sacrifice their families on the altar of career success? Is there one or two pieces of advice that you guys would have for them? I’d like to hear from you, Jackie, and I’d like to hear from you, Stephana.

Jackie: I think one of the biggest things is just consistency. I forgot that quote. I’ll probably mess it up. How do you eat an elephant? It’s bite by bite or piece by piece. So you’re not going to be able to hit the home run and knock everything out. It’s just consistently doing stuff over and over, whatever the main things for your business that make that engine run, do those consistently over and over and over again. And I think that’s more manageable. And you’re able to kind of … I don’t know if pace yourself is right word or not. But just manage the time. You can do small things every day. If you do something every day towards your goal, then you’re going to get there. And you don’t have to just spend the whole day trying to crunch out one major goal and miss out on time with your family, or one week and miss that time with your family. I think that’s one of the biggest things.

Jackie: And for me personally, and I go in and out. I’ll be completely honest and transparent and say I’m not as consistent with this as I want to be, but I think that’s your routines. And that kind of goes along with what I just said. Your morning routine, your evening routine, there’s certain things that get your day started right and get you on the right track and the right focus. And for me, that’s a morning routine. And to almost the same degree is an evening routine as well. Sometimes I’m on it. And then there’s seasons where I’m completely not doing it. And it’s reflected in my business and my family as well when I’m not. And when I am, it’s reflected as well on the good side. Those are two big ones for me.

Stephana: I think that’s good. I would just add being intentional. Sometimes it’s not going to play out exactly as you desire for it to, but if you will put some intentionality in whatever you’re doing, maybe you don’t make it home for dinner when you thought you would, but be intentional about making that phone call, making the family know that, hey, I really regret this. This is not what I want to be doing. And try to find a way to be intentional in making it up or making the time special when you do get back together because there are some things that we share with couples that we think are important to do that you can’t do perfectly every single time. But if you will be intentional in looking ahead and planning when that’s not going to work out, it will make a difference.

Philip: I’m Philip Devine. Stay with us. You’re listening to Home for Dinner. Hey everyone, a quick thanks to our sponsor, Jason Underwood and the team at Shelbyville Pharmacy. Entrepreneurship has this certain glamorous appeal to it. In Silicon Valley, people talk about red lining, seeing how long and hard you can go before you have to stop. Needless to say, it’s not good for your body, and it’s terrible for your relationships. What about if you’re not in the hub of entrepreneurship? What if you’re located in central Kentucky and want to provide a service to the community? Jason Underwood, the owner and pharmacist at Shelbyville Pharmacy, doesn’t go red lining trying to see how far past exhaustion he can go. But he does work a lot.

Philip: I wanted to hear what Jason’s wife, Catherine, had to say about the schedule and the commitment. After all, she works full-time as a teacher during the day, and works as a tech at the pharmacy in the evening. She said a big part of keeping it all together, meaning her career, the pharmacy, and the relationships with their two boys and Jason, is knowing that there’s no other option. And you can’t just give up when it gets hard, even if it means she had a rough day at school, but still needs to spend three more hours at the pharmacy while their two boys are in the back. I also asked about meal times, and spending quality time together. And it came as no surprise that the easiest way for them to spend time together as a family was when they’re at the pharmacy, since Jason has to be there from open to close. And he’s usually there before and after.

Philip: But what stood out to me the most was what Catherine told me at the very end of our talk. She said they both enjoy helping people. That’s why she’s a teacher, and that’s why Jason’s a pharmacist. And the pharmacy allows both of them to help others together. Special thanks again to Jason Underwood and the team at Shelbyville Pharmacy for sponsoring this season. Make sure you take a minute to stop by and say hello. For more information on Jason Underwood and the team at Shelbyville Pharmacy, check out their website at www.shelbyvillepharmacy.com.

Philip: I struggle with quantity over quality, or quality over quantity with my family. And I oscillate between the two. And I was wondering what you guys think about that and how you guys handle that as well, as far as time spent.

Jackie: Yeah. I think it’s both the quality and the quantity are important because I think you really can’t get the quality unless you do spend enough time together. You have to get that quantity time together. We give a formula that we share with couples. It’s small interactions plus shared experiences equal your love connection, so basically you’re getting those small interactions, that’s kind of like the quantity. And then you’re getting those shared experiences, that’s kind of like the quality. You’re getting more deeper experiences together. And that, when you add those two together, you get a connection. In marriage, that’s your love connection. I think the same can apply to your family with dad and kids, mom and kids, and vice versa. Both are very, very important. It’s hard to get that quality without the quantity. Any relationship that you have, you have to get some time together so you can get to the quality conversations and that deep connection that you want to get.

Stephana: I think that, like Jackie said, quantity and quality is important. But to me, quality is more important than quantity is. And the reason I say that is because there was a season where we were at home together all day long, the entire family. We were homeschooling. Jackie and I both were working from home. And so the quantity, the amount of time was there. We were hardly ever apart. We were always together. But the quality of the time that we were having together was not very intentional. And I don’t think I recognized that until our lives changed, and we didn’t have that same amount of time together. I missed it. I felt like I missed something opportunities while we were all together that could’ve been really great. Now I’m sure everybody feels like they could’ve done a better job, and misses this or that. But I just feel like that the quality of time that you have, even if it’s small, if you are intentional with it and it’s a good time together, it’s not a bunch of time and you’re spent arguing or just passing each other in the house, it means a lot more.

Jackie: Yeah. I want to piggyback on that because I think that goes into a good … When you think about family businesses and entrepreneurship, working from home, especially in today’s business world where many people work from home and can run businesses from their computers. Yeah. We’ve spent a lot of time together, and we may have been working together some of those times. But that quality time really in the relationship I think is what Stephana was missing. And we’re just kind of going, and [inaudible 00:25:13] was like, “Yeah. I seen her all day. We had meals together and everything.” I think that’s a kind of a tough line right there and something that probably, something that’s listening to this right now maybe can relate to if they’re home, as a homeschooler at home, as an entrepreneur running a family business together, you’ve got to still be intentional about that quality time.

Philip: It’s clear that you guys are passionate about marriage and family and relationships. And I’m curious what sparked that desire, because it’s stronger in you. Maybe we just see it more, but it’s definitely an important thing, enough so for you guys to build a business around that. What sparked that in you guys?

Stephana: I think that Jackie and I came into marriage … I don’t think, I know that we came into marriage the wrong way, came into it a little bit cart before the horse. Is that what you say? So we just really didn’t know what we didn’t know. And because of that, our marriage was rocky in the first few years and really difficult. And it was very possible that we wouldn’t be here today 17 years later because of us not doing things the way that God designed to be done in marriage. And so because we struggled and saw other couples struggle too, we became passionate about, first, how to make it. Just how are we going to stay married? How are we going to stay together for our kids and so forth? And then bigger than that: How are we going to model this relationship for our kids and for anybody else that’s watching? Because this is a blessing from the Lord, and he designed it to be an example. And so we realize that this is bigger than us just trying to make it. But we have an opportunity that we can be a blessing to other people just by doing what we’re supposed to do in our relationship.

Jackie: Yeah. And I’ll say for me, family’s always been very important. I say my dad and my grandfather were very much family men, if you could put a tagline on them. And I think I followed suit in that. Stephana mentioned the cart before the horse. And our daughter, she’ll be 18 this summer. And we’re just turning 17 in our marriage, so that she was born before we were married. That’s where she said we did things out of line. And at that time, we weren’t really sure that … We weren’t engaged and committed like, yeah, we’re going to be together forever. We weren’t thinking, talking about marriage or anything. But the minute she was born, I know something sparked in me. And I was like, “I want a family. This is my family. And I want this to work and I want to be a dad, and eventually want to be a husband.” And we made that decision when she was 10 months old, or we got married when she was 10 months old.

Jackie: But from then on, I don’t know if it’s that Bledsoe man gene or whatever kicked in. And I made plenty of mistakes then, still making mistakes now. But majority of my decisions are based on what I think and I’m believing is best for my family. And I do it the best I can in that regard. And I think my dad and grandfather did the exact same thing. But it’s always been in me. I talk about being on the baseball field with my boys. My dad was the same way with me and my brother, so I kind of see some of those things repeating. I think I watched it, and that ingrained it in me. But then when we had our own family as well, we learned something things that I didn’t know before about how to be a husband, how to be a father, and how God has set this thing up, and try to model as best we can in that regard.

Philip: Now with all of that, Jackie, how do you define success?

Jackie: One is that we are living out what God’s will for us is in our life. And I think one of that is we are going to make mistakes. We’re going to do things wrong, but we’ve got to learn and grow from it. I don’t think there’s a dollar amount. But I think if I am loving my wife as Christ loved the church, and I am teaching, raising my kids that they know in the admonition of the Lord, I think that is a successful thing. As far as business wise, and I am serving people and to the best of my ability and not focused just on me and what I can get out of it, but giving something to them first and making that my priority, making that my business or my ministry.

Jackie: I don’t know. I don’t have a one liner for you. But as I think about the things that make me feel successful, spending … There’s a line in Lecrae, one of Lacrae’s songs, he says something about a daddy picking up his kids from school. And I forgot what he said before that. But that’s my thing. I pick the boys up from school every day, take them to school. That’s successful to me. That’s a big deal to me. Being able to be there when we take, Jaicey, our daughter, to school, college. That’s going to be a big thing. I think it’s several things that kind of add up.

Philip: I think kind of the overarching themes of what you just shared about how you define success are those foundational aspects of your life. You’re not putting a dollar amount on it. You’re putting a value on it that’s beyond dollars, like you said, picking up your boys from school, dropping them off. Being able to take your daughter to college when she’s ready. All those things, it’s not about the money. It’s about, this is what I value. This family is what I value, and so if I can dedicate my life to that, then everything fits around that. That’s a good definition of success.

Jackie: Yeah. I’m just being transparent. It’s not easy. And dollar amounts do come into play, like man, if we could just get it, we’d be a little bit better off. But at the end of the day, you have to have that foundation and that reminder. This, what we have is great. There’s kids without parents together. There’s spouses that aren’t together and different things like that. So we’re thankful for where we are with that. I’m still striving. For the entrepreneurs out there, it’s like, oh, I’ve got to hustle. I’ve got to grind. Yeah. You’ve still got to hustle. You’ve still got to grind. And you’ll continue to do that. The competitive nature in me is always going to do that and always try to learn. Always try to get better and see something new. Once you see something new or you learn something new, your mind is expanded at that point. You can’t go back, I feel like. I’m still striving and working for those things. And I’m not just content like, oh yeah, we’re cool right here. But there is a delicate balance. But you can’t let that one outweigh the other is what I believe.

Philip: Yeah. That reminds me of a quote from an earlier interview. The entrepreneur said, “You go 110% all day at work. And so when you come home, you need to go just as hard with your family,” instead of thinking, well, I’m home now. I need to relax. No you’re home now. Keep going. And this time, the energy’s about your family, not about your job. And that’s good. Stephana, what about you? How do you define success?

Stephana: I was just thinking about it as Jackie was talking about it. And I think when I think of the word success, I think about stewardship. And I heard a pastor one time talk about stewardship and it being that a good steward doesn’t … How did he word it? A good steward does not consume everything, but they multiply everything. And so if we can steward what God’s blessed us with in such a way that it is not consumed by us, that it’s not all about what we need and what we want, but we leave something for our kids to carry on and we give them good examples in how to walk this journey of life in a way that pleases the Lord, then I think that we’ve succeeded. We’ve left something for them to continue on and given them a good model to follow.

Philip: Yeah. That’s part of legacy. That’s part of the legacy you leave, not just a financial legacy, but a legacy that allows them to live well based on what they saw modeled. That’s awesome.

Stephana: Right.

Philip: All right. Now you guys are published authors. And you speak at a bunch of marriage retreats and conferences. And it’s on our bucket list for 2018. I don’t know if we’re too far in to go see you guys speak. But what resources, books, and conferences do you recommend for our listeners? And I’ll say this for you guys, yes, the book Seven Rings of Marriage is a great resource. That will be available in the show notes. But go ahead.

Jackie: I read a bunch of different books. And I’m a big audiobook and podcast listener as well. But one of my favorites, I’ll share a few. One of my favorites is, I’m a big Zig Ziglar fan, so sometimes I’ll get into modes where I’m just listening to Zig for a month straight, where I’m just, every day I get in the car, I’m putting on one of his audio books. And I’ve got one audio book where it’s like 15 hours, so I can go through it over and over again. But I also, I realized recently that I get into the stories, entrepreneurs, almost like the … I don’t read a whole bunch of biographies, but I do get into them. I’m reading one right now, or listening to it, actually. It’s called Shoe Dog by Phil Knight, who is the founder of Nike, and just his story and just what he’s gone through. And just hearing the struggles and the challenges that entrepreneurs go through.

Jackie: You don’t hear those stories often. Of course, the media talks about what they’ve done, so many amazing things, and the numbers and where they are now. But a lot of them started just like us. All of them started just like us, from pretty much nowhere, and grew and made mistakes and learned from them. And had things that break them and destroy their families and all that type of stuff. But those are two big ones.

Jackie: And I’ve got a couple others too, that I’ll share. Soar by TD Jakes. It’s one of the recent books. Well, actually I read it end of last year, beginning of this year. But it’s kind of his story too. And it’s more entrepreneur focused. You think TD Jakes, he’s going to be preaching and stuff, but it’s really his story and how he views himself as an entrepreneur and what it took to get where he is, and what it takes now to make it in today’s world of being an entrepreneur. Books like that, I really, really get into. Anything that tells a story of failure and how that turned into success and what they learned from it because you find yourself in that story so much. So those are the big ones for me.

Philip: You mentioned podcasts real quick, Jackie. What podcasts are you a fan of because this is a podcast, so you know.

Jackie: Yeah, yeah. I’m kind of the opposite of podcasts. When I listen to a podcast, I listen to more how to doing certain things in my business. One podcast that I consistently listen to, and I listen to audio books more than podcasts, but is Amy Porterfield’s podcast. I think it’s the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast. But I really like the ones that break down a how to when it comes to podcasts.

Philip: Perfect. Growing your business and your family, good stuff. What about you, Stephana?

Stephana: Yep. Jackie covered the resources, so I was going to talk about the conferences. And there’s one that if any of the listeners are local or close to Indiana, we love Committed for Life. That’s a marriage retreat that’s been going on for 30 plus years. And it’s the first weekend in June annually. And it’s a really good, solid marriage retreat, where you’re going to get good, solid teaching. You’re going to have a weekend with couples all the way from newlyweds to married 50 plus years that are there not just as speakers, but are there to have their own marriages poured into. We really highly recommend that marriage retreat.

Stephana: And then one that we hope to go to, we haven’t been to, but we’ve heard so many good things about from people that we respect their marriage, is the Weekend to Remember. And I think that’s all over the place. So for your listeners that are not local, you can probably find a Weekend to Remember that is nearby where you live.

Philip: Thank you. And we will have all of those in the show notes so that if you’re driving right now listening to this, you don’t have to worry about writing it down. We’ll have it in the show notes for you. Jackie and Stephana, thank you guys so much for sharing authentically the ups and downs of your 17 years and then some, still going strong marriage and your kids and your business and keeping it all together. You guys are an inspiration and an example. And thank you for helping us all make it Home For Dinner.

Philip: Home For dinner is produced by Devine and Company. This episode was written with help from Rachel White and Anna Tran. The music you heard in the show came from hooksounds.com and [Madismueller 00:38:38]. I’m your host, Philip Devine. Thanks for listening to this first season of Home for Dinner. Whether it’s a nugget on how to prioritize what’s important to you, or simply knowing that there are other entrepreneurs out there who are in your shoes, I hope what our guests shared in this first season was valuable to you. We’re working on season two of Home For Dinner, which is focused on boss ladies, women who have build successful companies without throwing their families to the wind. Here’s to crushing it at work and thriving at home. See you next time on Home For Dinner.

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