The Business of Business - Two Daughters & Their Dad

4-23: Striking the Perfect Balance: Work-Life Lessons from Entrepreneurs

October 30, 2023 Staci, Jennifer & Jack Dempsey Season 4 Episode 22
The Business of Business - Two Daughters & Their Dad
4-23: Striking the Perfect Balance: Work-Life Lessons from Entrepreneurs
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Navigating the challenging waters of juggling business with personal life?  Our father, Jack, shares a treasure trove of wisdom on this topic, bringing home the vital lesson of time management. Through candid conversations, we present real-life examples and discuss the importance of setting a firm example for your team and a reliable support network's integral role during tough times.

In this riveting conversation, Jen opens up about her personal journey and the struggle of balancing her business with her personal life. She shares her goals, strategies for staying organized, and how she learned to manage time effectively. We also delve into how a strong support network can be a beacon of strength during personal battles and a source of inspiration for your business. Join us as we share these invaluable lessons learned from our entrepreneurial journeys.

Email us at: TwoDaughtersAndTheirDad@gmail.com

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Jennifer Faith Dempsey has been in the beauty industry for over 10 years. For the last 5m years, she has owned J. Faith Hair Studio. She brings her experience on how she balances entrepreneurship and motherhood. Check out Jen’s blog.

Staci Joy Dempsey is an insurance agent, a mom, and a busy non-profit volunteer. She truly understands what it means to be an entrepreneur. Staci serves as the podcast's host.

Jack Dempsey is the dad who heads up this busy family. He is a founding partner in Dempsey, Weiss & Associates, an Elmer, NJ-based insurance and investment firm that began more than 30 years ago.

Staci Dempsey:

Hey there and welcome to the business of business podcast. Here we are, two daughters and their dad, seeking to inspire and educate you to follow your dreams of being in business by teaching you the business of being in business the good, the bad, the humor are all parts of our unique perspective as an entrepreneurial family. Hey everybody, and welcome back to the business of business podcast. Two daughters and their dad. I'm your host, stacy J Dempsey, and the J is very important because it brings a lot of joy. I have with me today, like always per usual, thankfully, I have them the dad, jack, and I have the other daughter, jennifer. Good morning to the both of you, great morning.

Jack Dempsey:

Good morning everybody.

Staci Dempsey:

Today we were before we hit record. We were going through just what is real life, what are some challenges that we are hearing from our clients, from the people that we work with, from our family members. And so today we want to talk to you guys and just start a conversation about how do you remain focused in your business when personal challenges occur, and then also, how do you stay focused in your personal life when business challenges happen, because that is the, that is the balancing act that we, as entrepreneurs, are always trying to have, and sometimes it leans more in one way than the other. And so today we want to start that conversation and hopefully share with you guys some ideas and some real life perspective on how to do all of that. Keep in mind that we do not have it figured out, so, but hopefully, from sharing our stories, you guys can maybe gain a little bit more perspective. So so, dad, I want to start with you today because, well, the balance of work or career and life and business and a thousand kids that you have no, there's like sex, but the millions of children that you have I'm sure that there have been many, many challenges of pop ups that have happened over the years and clearly you've done very well in your business. So there must be and all of your kids are doing really well, by the way so clearly there was some type of balancing that you had accomplished. So could you share with our listeners maybe your perspective on this and maybe what you've been hearing from some of some of the agents or clients that you've been working with recently?

Jack Dempsey:

I think one of the biggest things that I always tried to think about when running my own business is that how would I respond to situations in my personal life if I was an employee, so as if something came up and I worked for someone else, you know, would I be able to go in three hours late every day to work because I had to deal with things in my personal life. Now, you know, chances are you might be able to do that for a little bit, but after a while you know that would not work. And so you know, when things came up, because what I found and again, depending upon what type of business that you have and you know, your entrepreneur pursuit, a lot of people, even the significant people in your life, can sometimes look and say, well, you have your own business, so you have more time freedom than I do, or that you know, and so sometimes that can be, you know, construed as everything gets pushed to you to handle because you don't answer to anybody. So I've always tried to work from the mindset that if something comes up and I'm being asked of something, you know I would think about it. From what? If I was an employee, would I be able to do that. No, I have to go to work. You know I've got to be at work on time. I've got to put a good day's work in, you know. So now I say that, you know, with the caveat of one of the blessings of being in your own business depending on the business is that you do have some time freedom. You know, you do have some flexibility in your schedule and you do have some control of that. I'm not saying you take that employee concept too far, but you also have to be cautious. I always say, as an entrepreneur, you have to guard your time like a mother bear guards her baby bear, because people will easily try to come in and steal your time because they feel like you have the time freedom. So when it comes to when it came to personal challenges or things again, I'd always be asking that question. Now, with that being said, if it, you know, fortunately I never faced anything that would fall in the category of, you know, catastrophic. You know one of my kids being very sick and you know, or a spouse being very sick, you know to where. You know you were really in a tough situation because obviously that was something that you wanted to throw 100% of your focus into, because they were your family and your loved ones. But these other distractions that come up, you know, in your personal life, that kind of fall outside of that. Those are the ones you have to be careful with because people will steal your time. So and one of my so that's one suggestion is guard your time. Think about it as if you're an employee. Would I be able to do this with my employer? Find that this is okay. And then, because you also have to recall, remember too, as an entrepreneur, you're also modeling for your employees, you know. So, if you're a startup company, probably people know what's going on in your life. You know, and you know what's going on in their life. So, again, you want to make sure you're setting the example on how you're walking out these challenges on the personal side, in the midst of you know, running, operating and working in your business. The other thing is build a network of people. Now, if you're fortunate enough to have family that you can lean on during those times to help out, that's great. And I mean and I see it with my kids you know you're all my adult kids are all you know when things come up, you know you guys work together and help each other out, you know, to help that person get through that challenge of a day or those challenges of a week. So if you have family like that, that's, you know, that's a real blessing and you're very fortunate. But also just having a network, you know, just being a network of friends, neighbors, people that you know that you can lean on in those times to say, hey, you know, can you, you know, do this for me? You know, I mean, I have to go to work, you know. And so you know, having that strong network and the way you do that is also to be available for others too, to be saying, okay, you know, if there's anything you need, I'll help you when I can. So helping others, you know, then that way when you run into these situations, you can lean into your network, you know, to help out. So but, and then you know there might be things you have to make adjustments to in your business to accommodate these personal challenges, especially if they come on suddenly. You know you might have to, you know, make some, some other adjustments, you know, to figure it all out. But biggest thing is guard your time. And don't, you know, because I see it a lot, especially with families are dealing with, you know, aging parents and you know that. Now, all of a sudden, you know there needs to be care. And you know next thing, you know it's the self-employed entrepreneur, you know, child, that ends up getting a big front of that because all the other ones are going to work every day. They got jobs, they got to go to and that business owner they go. Well, you got time freedom, you got control of your time. You don't have to be, you know, you can take mom, daughter, doctor appointments, you know, and that type of thing. The only network of people would be my, my recommendation.

Staci Dempsey:

Yeah, and I think in listening to you share that you know. One thing that a lot of people who are not an entrepreneur don't realize is that, yeah, I might be able to take mom to her 9am doctor's appointment. Whatever I already had scheduled at 9am, it still has to get done. So it might be that I have to do this now at 9pm. So you know, in dad's sharing, guard your time. That might be an easy switch for me to do and something that I'm willing to do. But to your point, you know and I think about just you know all of the help that as a family, we have had to ask for aging grandparents, and you know to say, listen, I can't, I can't come and stay here for three weeks because I got to get back to. You know business and life and you know and although this is still important, let me reach out to people to come up with a game plan so that this still gets done. I'd rather be here, but my responsibilities as a whole are pulling me back in a different way, and so sometimes that's hard for people to understand, but that's that is. That is real life. So I definitely agree in guarding your, guarding your time, and especially if you are a giver, and I have found myself to be guilty of this that I have certainly said I can do that, I can do that, I can do that, realizing that I have maybe given a little too much of my time in one area that, although I wanted to do it, but now it's set me back in my in my time that I should be inside of my business and that really only made things a little bit, honestly, more difficult for me in the in the long run. So, jen, let me, let me jump to you, because we have we have some real, real recent things when personal life pops up and business stuff pops up and staying focused on both, and so, and in one instance, choosing the business and figuring it out and the other, choosing to focus on the personal stuff, and so I'd like for you to share what you feel comfortable with, just kind of those two situations where you had to make something happen for the business and then when you you know, to stay focused and accomplishing that versus a tough decision for the business versus personal life.

Jennifer Dempsey:

Yeah, but before I even jump into that, as I'm listening to dad talk, I was, you know, one of my big goals for this year was to become more organized and I think you know, especially having freedom of time, or a certain amount of freedom of time or control over your schedule, it's, you know, really essential to be organized with your time. And I'll give you an example. I felt like last year I was just a mess. I have a young daughter, so first year in school, and I was just kind of all over the place, I was dropping the ball in different areas. So, you know, come this year, one of my big focus was to try and be more organized. So when my daughter went back to school, I pulled up the school calendar and so I wrote down when does she have half days, when does she have half days, when does she have off, when does she have school parties? Right, because one of the things is she was upset that I was never at her school parties last year and so trying to find balance and trying to, you know, do it all being organized was really the only way that I was able to do that. So you know, control what you can control when it comes to your time, when it comes to your schedule, I'm good with anything that's six to eight weeks from now. I can maneuver things, I can move it around. But obviously those last minute things are really difficult because when you're an entrepreneur, you have a lot of different people counting on you, and one thing that I hate is canceling on people last minute, whether you know it's an employee or a client. I mean it really. It really is something that I hate to do. So that's what I focus on this year getting better at I think I'm doing a better job at just planning those things out and making your schedule around those things that you don't want to miss. But yes, of course there's things that come up last minute that you don't have control over and you're forced to make decisions, and sometimes hard decisions at that. You know, a couple weeks ago it was Saturday, right, just worked all week. It's the last day in our week in my business and four o'clock I had promised my daughter to you know, when I got done work I was going to take her to the park, and I think we're going to target, and she was excited. And four o'clock Saturday, something landed right on my lap and I was in the salon until seven o'clock that night and I could not do what I had planned with my daughter and of course she was upset and she's a little too young to understand right now. But there's situations like that inside of your business where you have to make decisions on what really needs your attention and needs your time in that moment. And one thing about me as a seasoned hairstylist is that I understand ebbs and flows of inside of my business so I can understand when do I need to focus inside of the business and really be there a lot and when can I pull back and focus more on my personal life. So this past summer I had a beautiful opportunity to pull back. Summer's not that busy and I spent me and my daughter had like one of the best summers ever. And now I'm inside of my busy time, so I'm in the salon maybe 50 hours a week. So I think being able to identify where your time is needed maybe from a day to day or week to week or month to month or even season to season for me really helps me find balance and saying, okay, listen, I'm gonna be plugged into my business for the rest of the year I'm not gonna be picking my daughter up off the bus, I'm not gonna be here on Saturdays, but come January that's gonna look different and I'm gonna change again. So I think that kind of balance has really helped me. So it's not. It's very easy for me to be work all the time. That's easy for me. What's not so easy for me is to pull back and really make sure that I'm taking care of the personal side as much. So, yeah, so we had a situation happen inside of my business where we had homecoming, so a full day of homecoming hair, if you guys can relate very exciting for kids in high school and it was also my daughter's fifth birthday that day, and so really like the last minute, the decision was or the challenge was that the business needed me to be there, but it was also my daughter's birthday. So I think this might have been like a really hard, probably the hardest decision I had to make since I opened my business, and so I gathered my team, I gathered the staff and I shared with them the challenge that I was facing and I was prepared either I'm going to close the salon and take my daughter on her birthday trip, or cancel my daughter's birthday trip and work. And thankfully I didn't have to make that hard decision because my staff stepped up and said you go and take your daughter on her birthday trip and we're gonna figure it out and don't worry about it. And so I'm so grateful for that because I did not actually have to make that hard decision. But I knew in my heart what it was gonna be, and I think when something like that happens in your business, what was going through my mind is I'm either letting down you know my clients homecoming I mean I'm gonna let somebody down, I'm gonna let somebody down on the business side or I'm gonna let my daughter and my family down. And so that's obviously not an easy position to be in but reality for a lot of entrepreneurs when things happen. So thankfully my staff stepped up and, you know, made that all happen and I was able to go on my daughter's birthday trip and everybody got their hair done for homecoming and it all worked out. But I was feeling the pressure in the moment when that decision came and saddled my lap.

Jack Dempsey:

And that's again such a critical point, you know, for our listeners is you know when you're facing things. You know communicate, you know to your team what you're facing, you know. So you know. There's nothing out there that says that you know, as a business owner or entrepreneur, that you have to have all the answers. You know, but if you're sharing, hey, this is what I'm up against. So if you're facing again something in your personal life where you know again, maybe it's a sick child, sick spouse, parents or something that's really you know, communicate with your team and say here's what I'm up against, you know, and let them see what ideas they can bring. Because what I found, too, is in these moments that not only do we see who has leadership potential in your business, who's gonna step up, but it's also it's in those moments where new ideas get born, innovation happens. Because now, all of a sudden, you know, when everything's going well, we're kind of find our rhythm and that's how we do things, and we're because nothing's disrupting it. When we have a disruption to the rhythm of our work, now all of a sudden we have to find workarounds and in those workarounds we find new ideas and new innovations that actually in the long term helps our business, you know so, even though nobody I'm not saying I welcome disruption, especially if it's disruption, you know, within my family or health issues. You know I'm not interested in having anything like that, but we also know that things do happen. So when they do happen, you know, at first the reaction is, oh no, what do I do? This is really gonna be disruptive, this is really gonna be challenging, this is gonna force me to make, you know, two decisions. You know I have two decisions from me. Neither one of them are great decisions, you know, but to please this side, I gotta do, you know, I gotta make a tough call over here, you know. But again, it's in those moments, you know, especially if we're bringing our team in, that's where ideas and innovations and new ways of doing things are get born that ultimately proves to be very beneficial.

Staci Dempsey:

Yeah, and I love Jennifer's point of organizing your time and I think what you know, I hope our listeners take away from that is you know, jennifer, you know, and even myself, I'm not picking my kids up from school every day. You know there's people that are in my family or in my network who are, you know, coming to help us with those things so that we can work late. You know that we can, you know, fulfill our obligations and so you know, and particularly as a mother, you want to be there for everything. But the balance of it is that either, as like Jennifer shared, there was a time in the summer I could pull back and I could spend more time in my personal life, knowing that, you know, come the busy season I need to. I'm not gonna have that as much time to be in that personal, you know, personal time doing whatever it is that I want to be doing and you know, I especially think it's a hard pull on moms because we feel like we should be the ones to be at everything or the kid is in my case, you know, if I'm in the office and one of the kids gets sick, okay, well, dad works from home, so dad can go pick up the kid. It doesn't have to be a nicks on my whole day. And I again, that's just my personal experience, that's just my personal take is and to dad's point, to have your network of people, that when tougher decisions come up, all right. What's the balancing act here that I can pull? You know, I can pull from my network my help to fulfill a need that's happening in the moment with my personal life, and then there's gonna be times when it's I need to pull on my staff so that I don't disappoint anyone in my personal life. But organizing your time, jennifer, you're a genius, she said. I know because you know what, and it's a good example. And it might not be the same example for all of our listeners, but the things that pull our time that we know aren't going away, like a kid's school schedule, like that's genius of let's pull that calendar, let's look at it for the whole year, let's plan where the fillings need to happen, that way when the pop-ups occur not that they're ever easy to deal with, but it makes life a little bit more seamless when you have, you know, I know some entrepreneurs. Their kids are in a lot of sports and a lot of sports and I know just from our family. When we were kids we got a lot of rides, right, we got a lot of rides with other teammates because, number one, you got a lot of kids, so they're going in different directions, but just using that network so that you can show up when it's super important. So, great information. Yeah, go ahead Dad.

Jack Dempsey:

Yeah, what's interesting is back when you know we started Dempsey Weiss and Associates. You know we had moved from West Virginia to New Jersey to start this and so, honestly, the biggest thing that made me nervous was not the business but the fact I just moved to New Jersey, moved it completely away from all my network of people. I had a seven-year-old, I had a four-year-old and twins that were just born Actually, they were born a month after we moved and that was what made me nervous is I have no network because you know everybody's six, seven, eight hours away. You know no family, didn't know anybody. And here I am with you know, this young family with you know, and starting a business. So you know it was challenging. You know because, again, there was a lot that you know. I was constantly trying to analyze and you're right, stacey, I mean I remember saying that you know I'm gonna work every Saturday morning. I'm gonna work every Saturday morning from eight to 12, just because I knew through the week there was gonna be some demands on me that was gonna pull me away. You know so at least. But that was already budgeted into the schedule. You know so. But you know, fortunately, over time, you know, you started building a network and it got easier pretty quick. But that was the biggest thing is, boy, you know there's a lot going on at home and here I'm out trying to build this business. So, as a matter of fact, you know, when you're looking at starting a business and venturing into entrepreneurship, that would probably be a very important question to ask yourself, you know, is what's my network? Do I have a strong network of family and friends around me so that if the demands outside of my entrepreneurial pursuits start to rise up, I can lean into that network? Because, again, you know, that probably will happen. So, again, that would be a good filtering question, you know, and determine whether you're ready to jump in, you know, to entrepreneurship.

Staci Dempsey:

Yeah, and just to piggyback off of that real quick, dad, if you guys go back to season one, when we had Misty Solomon on of Devour Dessert, she said you know, before I started my bakery, my candy shop, I went to my family and I said, listen, this is what I want to do, I am not going to be available. I got to pour myself into this for at least three years, probably five years, before I'm going to be able to take any real time away. And that's what she did and everybody kind of understood. Now her you know children were a little bit older than me, and Jennifer's kids, but she said it to her spouse, she said it to her kids, she told her friends, you know, her whole family, her whole network of family, that this is what I want to do. I need your support and I'm going to have to devout every inch of my time and energy and mental capacity to do this, to make it successful. But when I do, you know there will be, you know we will reap the benefits of it and I'll be able to pull back and you know this will be short lived. There's even an agent of ours that shared the story that when he was a kid his dad had an idea for I believe it was to manufacture some type of device that would monitor people's I think brain activity, and I could be wrong about that, but the point of the story was that when he was a small child, his dad said listen, I'm going to, this is what I want to do. I know it'll be successful, but I got to devout all of my time to this and I got to commit a lot of our money to this. So we're going to live simply. They moved, they kind of started over in humble beginnings and that gentleman's you know, invention was incredibly successful and his family reaped a large benefit financially, but also in his time that he was able to make that his dream come true and then walk away and spend a lot of time with his kids and his wife and even his brain kids once those small children became adults. So go back to season one if you haven't listened to Misty Solomon's episode, because it's a great one. So well, we hope that you guys have gotten some perspective, maybe some insight. These are real life things and they're going to keep happening. So we hope that you guys enjoyed this episode and we will see you in our next one. Thank you all for listening today. If you have questions you would like for us to answer on the podcast, please email us at two daughters that's T-W-O two daughters and their dad at gmailcom. And until we can be together again, please be kind to each other and, most importantly, be kind to yourself. We want to thank you for listening today. Please subscribe so you never miss an episode. Leave us a positive review, and we want to say thank you to our sponsors, dempsey Ways and Associates and J-Faith Hair Studio.

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