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10 min read

S2 Ep28: Family + Business (July 22, 2022)

Jul 22, 2022 8:00:00 AM

Is a work-life balance really possible when you're an entrepreneur? In this week's episode, Chris shares his perspective, based on his personal experience being raised by Kent and working alongside his family. If you want to "have it all," listen up!



Full Transcript

Hey guys, Chris Clothier here with The Grind Podcast, coming to you with another episode. I'm super excited about this week's episode. You may have noticed, I'm excited every week about our episodes. But this one I'm not 100% sure we've even mentioned. We've been doing this now for—over a year? Almost a year? Right at a year? Somewhere in there? And we haven't talked yet at length about this topic.

It hits home hard for me as an entrepreneur, because I've been married for 25 years. I've got five children at home that are in all different stages of their lives—one who's an adult, one who's close to being an adult, one who's a teenager, one who's close to being a teenager, and then I've still got a little one, who's young [and] in school. I've got this wide range of kids and family and responsibility at home. But I also am an entrepreneur in a business, where my partner happen to be family. And we get a ton of questions. I mean, this is like one of those things that we get asked a lot at different conferences or whenever we're meeting clients or even other investors, other entrepreneurs. They always ask the questions about family, like how do you do this as a family person? Then the questions always take that route into how do you do this with family? So, here you are, not only are you partnered with other family members, but you have family at home.

So, how do I navigate the world of finding partners or being partners with people who are my family? And then, how do I make sure that I'm not robbing time from my kids or my spouse, I'm making sure that I'm balancing? I've got some takes on this, and some of them are—I would not say they are unique, but they're probably not widely held. I've heard this and been mentored by others as [an entrepreneur] and I'm going to espouse some of their thoughts on this. I'm sure they got these thoughts from someone else too. It's not like any of this is going to be wildly unique, but it's definitely something I don't think you hear a lot about. 

Let me, with that intro, dive right into it. Look, I was raised in an entrepreneurial family. What I mean by that is my dad in 1983, I believe,  became a full time entrepreneur. Left the job he was at, him and my step-mom at the time, and they began to build out companies as they saw fit. They no longer wanted to take a check from someone else. They wanted to go out there and blaze their own trail and build their own path. He did not have a ton of mentors in front of him who had done that. Most of his mentors were definitely the business-minded mentor: this is how you start your day, this is how you hold people accountable, this is how you hold yourself accountable, this is how you get result or track that result, this is how you move the needle, the numbers, whatever it ends up being. He had mentors that showed him how to do that. Now it was his to turn to go out there and apply that to his own businesses. 

I grew up in this household where, especially early on, I remember I would ride the bus in the morning, then I'd ride the bus home. I would get home, and I would get picked up by my step-mom. We would drive out to the store, cause we were in the grocery business. My brother and I would spend some time generally stocking shelves, using price guns to label prices on items. We would front the shelves. We would sweep the store. We'd mop the store. My brother would go and help, try to cut his hand off with the butcher in the back, which—that's a true story. He sliced his hand open one time. I'll let him tell that.

And I don't need any emails from anybody talking about child labor. This is not the case. This was forty-fricking years ago, so let's be clear on this. This was kids doing what they were doing. We were working.

I remember working. When I wasn't doing these things, I was older, I was bagging groceries. I was taking groceries out to the car for the shoppers. I was running the carts back in. I vividly remember this. I remember, on the weekends—because as my dad grew his businesses, he went from owning one grocery store to owning two, to owning several, then to owning convenience stores. I remember, on Saturdays,  if I had a soccer game, I went to the soccer game. When I was done, I would go to work. My work, a lot of times, consisted of hopping in the truck with another employee of my dad's, and we would go to the grocery store and shop for the convenience store. We would shop [from] the shelves and get the things that we needed to supply an order over to the convenience stores, to make sure their stores are filled. 

So, what does that have to do with this? I was raised in this environment [in which] family time was often work time, and work time was family time. It was kind of a mix of both. 




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