When his wife told him she was pregnant, Joel took a hard look in the mirror, and didn’t like what he saw.
He couldn’t stay up to the wee hours of the mornings and get up the next day to go to a job he didn’t like.
He started on a path of minimalism.
He removed some of the toxic relationships.
He started saying, “No.” more
He started thinking about the example he wanted to leave his children.
He quit his job shortly thereafter.
He opted out of “being busy” and figured out what was most important, and determined a more important path.
This change has affected his wife as well, and she is the rock to keep him grounded, the counter-balance to his flight.
The only way Joel was able to make these changes in his life was to be frugal originally with his corporate job, and had saved enough to keep his standard of living for over two years without any additional income from these entrepreneurial pursuits.
Now, with planning SimpleRev, he works 40 hours a week, M,T,Th,F, and there is no mixing Work Joel with Papa Joel.
There is only one Joel, and he wears the uniform of Joel, which benefits being a work at home entrepreneur.
Joel doesn’t switch his personality to fit the situation or person or mood. He communicates the same with whomever might be in front of him.
We as parents spend so much time just schlepping our kids around to events, and many times don’t even ask our kids or stop to consider if this is the best use of our time.
Any parent out there who thinks it is impossible to be both a parent and an entrepreneur needs to read ZenHabits.net. Leo Babauta has 6 kids, and is now one of the most influential online parent entrepreneurs out there.
Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist also has 2 kids, and he started slow, but was committed, and built his business.
I had all those same excuses of not having what I needed, or I had too many things to do, and once I let go of that, and just accepted that it might take 3 years instead of 3 months, things started falling into place.
Mary: What is the one action a Parent Wantrepreneur can take right now to step closer toward a simple life of a Parent Entrepreneur?
I am a systems guy, not a service guy, so I need systems to do that.
Here are my Power Tools:
For example, I have ScheduleOnce on my website for potential clients to schedule time with me, and instead of sending emails back and forth to schedule interviews or conversations, and this simplifies that process.
Find what you do “one-off” and find a system that can make that more simple.
Use TextExpander to extend abbreviations of words into the full word you write quite often.
Use FreeMind as a free mindmapping tool if you are a more visual person, but everything I do is in a spreadsheet in MS Excel.
One more resource is a TedTalk that will help you overcome the excuses, or using anyone else as a shield to stop us from doing or being anything we want.
We need the mindset, and use our children as motivation instead of shield to do the work we love.
If you still can’t get rid of those excuses, you can email Joel directly, or connect here: