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Tips on Blending Family Life into the Professional Setting

with Josh Felber

With guests Justin Brooks, Laura Sandefer, Todd Herman, Erik Van Horn, Drew Manning, Jake Larsen and Cassidy Phillips #MakingBank S4E47

On this week’s episode we got a ton of helpful tips and tricks about blending family life into the professional setting. We heard from seven top industry leaders about their unique takes on being present as a parent while maintaining a high level of professionalism. Considering the current situation, families are home more then ever and having to quickly pivot and adjust into a new dynamic of work, school, and play. We heard from Justin Brooks, Laura Sandefer, Todd Herman, Erik Van Horn, Drew Manning, Jake Larsen, as well as Cassidy Phillips on how each of them strive to balance work and family in a way that feels authentic to their mission. If you are now finding yourself in a similar situation this episode is a wonderful resource to jumpstart your routine planning. There is ample information to unpack so let’s get into this episode of the Making Bank Podcast.  


The Pivot 


Schools around the globe had to close their doors to students due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, this quick closure to ensure the safety of students and staff alike came with a unique set of challenges to both the students and the parents who are now tasked with being an educator as well. As a lot of conventional learning practices went online by way of virtual classroom settings parents had to step in and fill the gaps. So now not only are parents attempting to work from home, but also work from home with the kids present as well, that is no small undertaking. Luckily though we spoke with some super parent-professionals on how they manage to do it all.  


Choosing The Curriculum  


Justin Brooks was the first guest on this week’s episode and he dropped a ton of homeschooling knowledge. One of the many points he spoke to was the freedom of choosing the curriculum when homeschooling or un-schooling. When you’re in charge of the curriculum you know exactly what type of information is being put into a child’s mind, which can be very comforting to parents to have that kind of educating control. He had some very poignant remarks on how life essentially becomes school itself, for example he stated that a routine grocery run could be shaped into a math lesson by asking your child to tally up the expenses as you go through the store. That same grocery run can also be shaped into a health lesson by asking your child to read the nutrition labels and breakdown that information. These simple tasks are easy ways to implement a lesson into a normally mundane family activity.  




Present Parenting  


Drew Manning spoke to the point of being present around his daughters. Making sure to be in the moment when he is around his girls, by not checking his emails, playing on his phone, answering messages, or posting on social media. Being fully absorbed in the activities at hand can build stronger bonds and make for more memorable moments. Erik Van Horn had a similar message in saying that everything he does, he does for his family. Family is his number one priority; he strives to be a great father, a great husband, and an all-around family man. He stated he didn’t want to just provide for his family so they could have all these material objects, but provide for them in the relationships within the family, really be there for them. Business is obviously important to any family, business pays the bills, and provides the food, but business is no substitute for family. These two guys really stressed the importance of remembering what you’re really in it for, and for them it is always family first.  


Creative Parenting 


Todd Herman brought up an interesting take on separating his professional personality and his parenting personality. He began with pointing out that creative imagination is something that separates us as human beings from all other living beings on earth. We have this innate ability to create narratives and stories in our minds. So he uses this in his parenting methods, he used his creative imagination to find someone that was gentle and kind and modeled his parenting behavior after this ideal figure, for Todd that figure was none other than Mr. Rogers. By coming up with creative methods he is able to separate his professional personality from his parenting personality in a way that feels authentic to him. He spoke to his characteristics in his professional setting and realized he was a challenger personality when it came to work. This type of personality is great for running a business, but isn’t great when it comes to kids, kids just want to be kids, so he found his own unique way to separate from his challenger personality when he is actively parenting.  



Striving For Balance 


Jake Larsen shared some advice he received from a mentor years ago that was a great analogy for life. He really looked up to his mentor because he had the things that he wanted, a great family, great business, very active in his community and with his faith. This mentor compared life to plate spinning, so you have all these plates, one for family, one for business, one for social life, one for anything that is prevalent in your life. So you want to keep these all spinning in tandem, but sometimes one gets wobbly and needs more attention. This spoke to importance of prioritizing, eventually different aspects of life get wobbly like the plates and you will have to prioritize your attention on that sector, but you will find your groove and have all your plates spinning with dedication and focus. There is no secret formula for the perfect balance of life, everyone is different, with different family needs, and different business needs, but being able to prioritize what is really important to you will set you on the right path to blend family and business. Hopefully you can take some of these situations and adapt them to your unique set of challenges and keep those plates spinning.