A growing trend in the life coaching industry is spouses joining forces to work on a coaching business together. One spouse, usually a woman, builds their career as a life coach and then the other spouse leaves their career to join them.
The question is, how can a couple run a business together while still maintaining a healthy marriage?
To answer that question, I invited four life coaching couples onto the podcast to share what it’s really like working together, how it has affected their marriages, and if they would recommend other couples go down this path.
Listen in today to hear this super fun and enlightening discussion with four life coaching couples who took the plunge and haven’t looked back. They share the challenges that came with this shift, how it impacts their families, and their advice for anyone thinking of going into business with a spouse.
Check out the video of our conversation below!
What you will discover
- How each of these couples ended up in business together.
- The challenges of joining a spouse’s existing business.
- How doing business together impacts child care decisions.
- Why having separate offices is key.
- How to handle personal arguments while working,
- Their advice for couples who are thinking about working together.
Featured on the show
Brooke: You are listening to The Life Coach School Podcast with Brooke Castillo, episode 367.
Welcome to The Life Coach School Podcast, where it’s all about real clients, real problems and real coaching. And now your host, Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo.
Brooke: Hello, my friends. Today is a very big day. We have a lot of people on the podcast today because we want to talk about entrepreneur couples. This is a trend happening in our industry. It’s so exciting. One person becomes a life coach, typically the woman, y’all, and starts making a bunch of money and then her partner joins her, her husband or – it’s happened the other way too, of course, joins her and they run the business together.
And so, we wanted to talk about what it’s like to run a business with your spouse, with your partner, with the person that you live with and work with and raise children with, some of us raising children with. So, I invited some couples on the podcast to talk about this. And the way that I want to do it is I’ll introduce them. They’re going to tell a little bit about their story. And then we’re going to go back around and talk about some of the challenges of working together and living together and how these folks have solved some of those challenges, and maybe how they haven’t solved those challenges and how they work together anyway. So, let’s start with Jody and Jake Moore.
Jody: Right, hi, everybody. I’m Jody.
Jake: I’m Jake.
Jody: You want us to just give a quick summary of our story in a nutshell, Brooke?
Brooke: Yeah, or the long version. Whatever you think.
Jody: We won’t do that. We could take up the whole time. So, I’ve been a life coach now, certified life coach for over seven years. Isn’t that crazy? And started because I fell in love with the work and was using it to help myself and better my life. And Jake was always very supportive of me. As I fell more in love with it, I decided to go through coach training. And actually, didn’t really have big aspirations of building a business. I just knew that I was called to take that step and to learn more, to further my own development.
So, as I started building the business, Jake was working in healthcare at the time as an administrator. And it was good for him for a while, but after a while not so good. Do you want to speak to that, Jake?
Jake: Yeah, I had been working in it for probably about seven or eight years, at which time I was kind of ready for something different. And it kind of started out as a joke where I’d come from work and tell Jody, if she needed an assistant to grab her Diet Cokes, I’m her man, I’ll do it, whatever you need. And after probably six or eight months of joking about it, one time I said it and she said, “Okay, when do you want to start?” And at that point, I think it was probably from 35 days from that point that I had started after giving my notice in with my other company. And we started from there and it’s just kind of grown as far as what we do, our roles, and how we work together.
Jody: And I will say that in the beginning, I wasn’t making enough money in the business to support our family. We have four children. At the time, we had three, I think. I’m trying to remember. Anyway, we needed Jake’s salary. He was really supporting us as I built my business.
So, he sometimes tries to give me the credit for building this amazing business, but I remind him, we built this because you were bringing home the salary that was paying our mortgage and you were supportive of me and I really view it as something we did together in making our lives work the way we did.
And then, when it got to the point where we could replace his salary with the business, of course, at the same time the business was growing, I needed more help. We did a lot of thinking and praying and getting coached about it before we made that decision. But we’re so grateful today. We’ve been working together now for about four years, is that right?
Jake: Yeah, this will be four…
Brooke: Wow, that’s so crazy.
Jody: And it’s so much fun that we just have the freedom, the flexibility to work when we want, to make decisions about our lives and our business and our family. And we’ll talk later about the challenges, but we’re so grateful that we’ve been able to do this.
Brooke: Okay, so I’m going to ask you some super-personal questions, so hopefully you’ll answer. If you don’t mind sharing numbers, I think it would be helpful for other people maybe in that position, like, “Ah, my husband wants to come on or my wife wants to come on,” what was his salary? How much were you making? How did you figure out that it would work? How did you know that it would work?” Or assume it would work, I guess…
Jake: Well, maybe I’ll talk about from my standpoint, from the healthcare position that I was making, we had just moved, and actually it had been a pay cut where before it was a healthy salary. I was bringing home between 250 and 300 a year, base plus bonus, and that more than halved when we moved up to Washington to take this other opportunity, kind of needing a company change. So, from my standpoint, Jody knew what she was making in her business. I didn’t…
Jody: I didn’t tell him.
Jake: I just knew, if things ever got tight, she’d always come up with money, which is like, “Oh, great, okay.” Because I kind of joked about, “Hey, I’ll be your assistant.” And I was running numbers in the back of my head like, “Hey, well your membership is this, so when it gets to this point, you’ll be matching what my base is and then when it gets to this point, you’ll be matching my base plus what my bonus was. And so, I kind of had that running, but I didn’t really have a real strong grasp, like this is the exact number.
Jody: But I will say we went from – and again, Jake was making what I think is a very healthy salary at $200,000 to $300,000 a year. When we made the change, we were able to replace that with my business, but just barely. I was probably making $300,000 to $400,000 in revenue. And of course, there are expenses to running the business. So, we made that cut but then we just totally took off from there. Today we make several million, almost three million last year. So, that’s fun.
Brooke: That’s so fun. I love that. Okay, awesome. And then we’ll talk about some of the challenges that you face. But I just want to say, I think that decisions like this are kind of scary, yeah, to give up a real job, as they say…
Jody: It was. And like I say, we didn’t take it lightly, that decision. There was lots of thought and prayer and I got coached by you on it and so, it is a big decision. It is a big decision.
Brooke: Awesome, let’s go to you Erin and Steve. Why don’t you guys introduce yourselves and tell us a little bit about how it all worked out with y’all.
Erin: So, I joined Scholars, I think the very second month that you offered it. I was a huge fan. I used to listen to you driving to and from teaching yoga when I was doing that. And I became a coach in 2018. And I don’t know, I think Steve thought it was a nice little side business that I had and a cute thing I was doing as I was raising our very young children.
But last year, during master coach training, I think I told you, I want to make more money than my husband. I’m going to feel so good when I just show him that I can totally do it. And he had always been very supportive. But I think he just thought – and Steve, you can share your experience about this – that it was this kind of fun thing I was doing to replace yoga. And last year, I think our 12-month total right now, we’re at about 230 for our business.
Brooke: And how much was his salary that you were trying to replace?
Erin: Oh, well Steve, you might want to talk about that.
Steve: Yeah, so my journey was not as planned out as what Jake and Jody were talking about joining the business. So, I had one of those amazing tech jobs, so the salary was around 150. But the options were what were kind of changing our life.
Brooke: Right, the stock options.
Steve: Yeah, it put us in a position to not have to worry about whatever was going on. So, last year I cleared $800,000 including the stock. But that was the last year of all the stock vesting. So, I’m sitting here in this place where I’m like, “So, my salary is okay but now Erin’s ahead of me on salary.” So, I took some time off over the summer to spend with the kiddos because she was working and I’m like, “Hey, let’s not do the work-from-home with kids juggling thing.” So, I took some time off.
And when I decided to go back, it was because Erin said, “I don’t think we’re in a place where we can just stop. We still need your salary. You keep working.” So, I went back to work. Two months later, I was fired.
Brooke: Oh what?
Steve: Yeah, totally just got axed. You know, there was a whole – I put together a podcast for it, so if people want the whole story, they can check out the podcast. But you know, I was in one of those very secure jobs. I’d been there for four years. It was a great run. And then they just said, “Okay, your time is up.” And I said, “Alright, well I’m a full-time coach because I got certified six months ago…”
Brooke: I just love the universe. The universe is like, “What are you doing going back to work, Steve?”
Steve: That’s totally what happened. It was like, slap, slap, slap, go coach. I’m like, “Alright, I’m going to turn this into something great for people. I’m going to just go all in.” So, now Erin and I are full-time partners in our business.
Brooke: That’s so amazing. I can’t remember, Erin, how you were communicating with me. Maybe it was on Slack or something. But just being in a position where you can get fired from your job and she’s like, “we got this.” And there’s the coaching industry that you wanted to go in. So, you all have a little bit different of a situation. You’re both coaching.
Erin: We’re both coaching.
Brooke: You’re both coaching. I think for Jody and Jake, Jody is coaching. Jake, are you doing any coaching?
Brooke: You’re just coaching yourself?
Jake: Exactly. I just listen to your podcast and Jody’s… [crosstalk]
Brooke: Perfect. Okay, so how long, Steve, have you been in the business now?
Steve: So, as a coach I’ve been in the business for about six months.
Brooke: Okay, awesome.
Steve: And, you know, getting my first set of clients, getting my niche, working on all the things to kind of get the momentum going. But I’ve been interested in the self-improvement space. Erin and I met in a spiritual community. So, the foundation of life is here, for evolution, it’s for growth, it’s to create as much love as possible. That’s been part of my life for a long time, which is what kind of aligned me with coaching. It’s a great way to take that interest, bring it into the world, make a lot of money, change a lot of people’s lives, and so that’s what got me going. Plus, the fact that Erin was doing so well with it. I’m like, “Yeah, let’s do this.”
Brooke: Let’s do this. So, tell us a little bit, Erin, about the coaching that y’all do in your business.
Erin: So, we are relationship coaches for entrepreneurs. Because we…
Brooke: Perfect. We need them.
Erin: Yeah, we do need them. I’m sure we’re going to hear from everybody today just how it’s challenging when you’re learning how to do so many things for the very first time and try to keep that energy up and be the face of your business and not just leave your partner with the emotional leftovers at the end of the day. So, it’s been amazing. And just having our relationship kind of be the laboratory for everything that we teach. It’s unbelievable.
Brooke: I love that. That’s the best kind of coaching, when you go through it yourself and then you help other people go through it. Awesome. Okay, what about you, Jake and Whitney. Maybe you guys should remind everyone who you all are. Because you’ve been on the podcast before, back in the day.
Jake R: [crosstalk] Yeah. I believe I was the first person ever on Brooke’s podcast.
Brooke: Right, were you really the very first guest ever?
Jake R: I was the first I ever heard on here.
Brooke: That’s amazing. Welcome back, Jake.
Jake R: Thanks, it’s good to be here. And finally, my voice is on the air instead of just listening to Whitney on here.
Brooke: Yeah, so it was episode 50, right?
Whitney: 150, yeah.
Brooke: 150, yeah, the proposal episode. So, if you want to hear about that whole story of how they met and how he proposed, so good. You should listen to that. But now you’re all working together. So, tell us how that all happened.
Jake R: Well, our story is different, that’s for sure.
Whitney: Very different.
Jake R: We just jumped in together.
Whitney: So, I have been in Scholars since day one, when Brooke launched it. I was like – we were really poor, looking to get married with like the lowest budget as possible. And I was like, “Can we please afford this?” And he’s like, “Absolutely.” Because while we were dating, before podcast 150, we listened to your podcast all the time driving to see each other. And so, Self-Coaching Scholars was definitely a prayer answered. Are we double, triple diamond now?
Brooke: Yeah. Triple diamond.
Whitney: Triple diamond. And the whole time in Self-Coaching Scholars, doing so much transformative work from your coaching, you were telling Jake and I to stop doing our business idea, which was called Fit Bar. You were like, “What is Fit Bar? It sounds like it’s not going to work.”
Jake R: You said it sounds like it’s for lonely people. We’re like, “Dang, I think she’s right.”
Brooke: I’m so rude. Gosh.
Whitney: Yeah, you’ve made me cry a few times. And you were like, “You guys just need to start coaching together.” And we would laugh at that. And I think it finally took us a year and a half?
Jake R: Yeah.
Whitney: And we decided to coach together. So, we’ve been coaching side by side…
Jake R: Just like this. Just like you see us right now.
Whitney: Every client for the last two years.
Brooke: So, and I remember this because Jake, you were a school teacher, right?
Jake R: Sure was, for 20 years.
Brooke: Yeah, 20 years. It was very scary. We had a lot of tears, “Should he quit, are we going to be able to make enough money?” You guys went all in on it, huge risk, and it worked out, yeah?
Jake R: Sure did.
Brooke: I mean, Whitney will still tell you…
Jake R: I think it was one of the easiest choices I’ve ever made in my life. Like, I get to hang out with her 24/7 now. And I’ll tell you a secret that’s very cool about being a teacher. Replacing a teacher’s salary is not stressful.
Whitney: Unlike Jake Moore.
Jake R: Like, “Hey babe, I think we can make 30 grand. Let’s do it.”
Brooke: “In a week, we got this…” Amazing. I love it. Cool.
Jake R: Yeah. We did actually recently – that’s always my little measure because I remember how much I made. And then in two months that we’ve made my annual salary.
Brooke: Wow, that is one of the things that is so mind-blowing about our industry. Especially when you meet people who don’t understand our industry. And it sounds like when someone says, “I’m making $250,000 a year,” that is a high-level salary. But for us, the potential is so huge, our ability to make money is so huge that even obviously $30,000, that’s what you’re making per month now, what you used to make in a year. That is so extraordinary. I’m so happy for y’all.
Jake R: Thanks.
Whitney: Thank you.
Brooke: Alright, What about you Corinne and Chris? You guys are doing alright.
Corinne: Yeah. I started my business in 2007 before I met you and was making none of the money. Chris made all of the money. He was the one who was bringing in the income. But I really wanted to help people lose weight. I was just so wanting to do it. I would do it for free, all the things.
And in 2015, I met you and came through The Life Coach School and really started talking to Chris about how I wanted to take this – I called it the best weight loss charity on the internet, how I wanted to actually take that and make it into a business.
So, he was working a full-time job. He was an executive, 25 years in at a company. And about a year – we’ve been working together now, it will be two years this May?
Corinne: Yeah, this May. And the May previous to that, the business was starting to really take off and grow. And I always knew how talented Chris was at his old job. He just had skills way outside of technology. And I wanted him to work with me.
And I knew that if he came and worked with me, that the sky would be the limit for us. And so, I looked at him at the pool – we were in Vegas. And I just said, “What do I need to make in this business in this next year so that you can walk away from Captain D’s?” And that’s where he used to work. And so, he told me, and I set the goal…
Brooke: How much was that? Will you share with us?
Corinne: I think the businesses needed to be doing about two million. Because by the time you pay expenses and we were going to replace his income plus I wanted an income, I didn’t want to just replace his, I think we made about two million that next year. I had to go from $400,000 to about two million.
And I just doubled down and put my nose to the grind and was like, “Alright, I’m doing this.” And we did. In that following May, we literally were sitting at the same Vegas pool, same lounge chair, and we were toasting because he had literally put in his resignation and had left. And it took us that one year.
Chris: The funny thing about that is I’d forgotten about this one-year declaration that we made. And…
Corinne: We had probably had a few drinks. I’m just being real honest.
Chris: That’s true. I have my waterproof notebook for those situations. But I didn’t record this. Anyway, so I had forgotten all about this. And coming home from that trip, I was like, “You know what? I think it was last year when we said that I would be full-time in the business.” And she said, “Well no shit, I write it down every day. It’s a goal.” I just forgot.
Corinne: It was imprinted in my brain. I was shocked that he didn’t know it. But it was just really important because I knew that we would do great things together. And we have. We are now at 12 million and changing people’s lives every single day.
Chris: [crosstalk] for just perspective, people in that same situation. We always thought of it as it’s kind of like you don’t want all your bets to be risky. But you don’t want all your bets to be safe. So, you need both. And so, that’s how I always thought of it. I wanted her to try everything and be the risk-taker because that's when the reward would come. And then I would just hold it down steady with no risk – well, not no risk, but less risk. And until that paid off, we just kept making bets.
Brooke: Yeah, I love it though. A lot of people think that what we do is so risky. And it is, especially when you’re first starting up, you don’t know if it’s going to be that successful. But then you think about someone like Steve who’s in a job that he thinks is stable and it’s just gone. And so, when you really think about where is the biggest risk now, it’s like having someone else be in charge of your life, I think, for me.
I love, Corinne, that you’re just like, “Alright, how much do I need to make? Okay. 400 to two million, alright. Let’s go.” But I’m curious with you, Chris, so you have this kind of important job, if you’re willing to share how much you were making salary, like, you were an executive…
Chris: I worked there a long time. I worked my way up from an entry-level position to CIO and was there for 25 years. And yeah, I was making base salary between somewhere around 225ish and then about that again in bonus potential, in years we made bonus, which wasn’t every year. And then, I had a little bit of equity in the form of a profit-sharing pool. Anyway, so once in a while, you know, if another private equity firm bought the company, it would be a nice payday for those of us that were responsible for building up the margins and the profits for that sale.
But like you were saying, in the meantime, I’m at the mercy of probably the one person I officially report to and the nine people that could probably have me fired if they don’t like me, you know.
Brooke: Yes, but I’m curious. What’s it like for – you know, you’re this super-smart guy, executive at a company doing really smart shit that most people can’t do, making more money than most people in your age group. And your wife is on the internet charging $7 to help people lose weight. At what point were you like, “Wait a minute. This little hobby that my wife has could be something that I want to do.” I’m just trying to imagine how that happens in your brain. Because I’ve been with Corinne this whole journey and her, like, “I want to retire my husband,” crying all the time, like so excited and when she didn’t, crying some more. But I’m curious about what it was like for you. Because at some point, you were probably like, “Huh…”
Chris: Well, you asked what point. And that point for me was when it started. I mean, in all seriousness…
Brooke: See, now you’re going to make me cry.
Chris: Well, I really believe in this. And this is the way, my whole career, I’ve managed people this way and we do it now with the team. You just see what they’re really good at and believe in them hard enough and they start to believe in themselves the same way. I didn’t see any reason why it couldn’t work, because everybody she talked to was entranced with her message. And she had developed a lot of the concepts that you were so brilliant at putting names to and sort of putting it all together in a conceptual model. And that was consistent. And I just think that the potential was there. It would have been at one point or another.
Brooke: So, you believed in her and knew she would be successful. But was there a point where you started to see, like, “Wait, I do want…” because she wanted you to be a part of it. Were you like, “I’m in,” as soon as…
Chris: I mean, I feel like I was a part of it from the get-go. But not to the extent that I wanted to be, you know, could afford to be. There were little things that would happen, mostly just in the form of discussions about, “How are we going to do this or that.” And I couldn’t do the things, but I could give advice. But sometimes I would do the things. Like when she had her fitness camps and stuff, I remember going to pick up the food for everybody…
Corinne: I will say, there’s one thing Chris told me a long time ago. This was, I mean, probably in the early stages. We were just talking about him and work and what I do. Because everything that I do, it’s so clear that you’re impacting people’s lives and you hear it all the time. And he had shared with me that a goal for him was to be able to change people’s lives.
Brooke: Oh god, are you going to cry again?
Corinne: He’s always trying to make that connection at his job. And when you work in fast food, I mean, he worked his mind like a boss, I will tell you. But he really wanted to impact people’s lives. And I think when we really start talking about him coming to work for us, we had this shared vision that we were going to change people’s lives and we knew that together we could do that. And so, I think that was always important to him.
Chris: For sure. I mean, that’s striving to become your potential, that brings a lot of happiness. And seeing that gradual improvement, these are all areas of the business that I love. Like, my happy place is when we have something that kind of works and then now, we can just incrementally improve it. I love that. I just love that whole process.
Brooke: Yeah, it’s so cool too when you can be a part of something that has so much meaning to you personally and so much purpose. I love that. So, let’s go now – I’m going to come back to you, Jody and Jake. Why don’t you talk a little bit about your roles in the business, how you interact with each other, and then maybe some challenges.
Jody: So this is something we’re constantly trying to reassess. I feel like every year is just like, what are we doing? Do we need to hire out some of the things that either of us is doing as the business grows and changes? But currently I am the lead coach. So we have other coaches that coach as well but I do a lot of coaching and teaching and sort of the delivery if you will of the service we provide.
I’m also primarily responsible for the marketing piece. So that’s where I spend almost all my time is either creating or delivering content and coaching, or creating and helping to execute marketing. But then Jake steps in, Jake, you want to describe what you do?
Jake: Yeah, I’m more on the backend, in the shadows, making sure all the technology is working. I kind of act as a sounding board for Jody and a lot of things, like, she’ll run stuff past me and kind of get my two cents.
Jody: And then do whatever I want anyway.
Jake: Exactly. We’ll talk about the struggle in the next part, right? Yeah, so I kind of help with that. And then just as far as the compliance goes with working with our accountants and attorneys, making sure that everything is set up properly, just as we’re growing and as we’re making those changes that we’re doing them right, doing them properly, just making sure that everything is covered and done the way that it’s supposed to be.
Jody: We always joke because at our big live events, everybody’s so excited to see me and then Jake will be there helping and they’ll say now, who are you? And I’ve trained Jake to say I sleep with her. That’s his answer. But really, what he does is so crucial and it’s all this stuff that I’m not good at and don’t want to do. And so I’m so, so glad to have him leading it up.
Brooke: So you’re all in a house together working with your four children. I mean, you have employees you’re managing but also then you have the kids. How do you manage your time with the kids?
Jody: Well, the kids are in school sometimes. Not as much this year as we would have liked. But we also have childcare that we bring in to help watch the kids. And so if they’re not in school and we’re not going to be able to cover - there’s times when mostly Jake I should say, has to cover with the kids. But we have childcare. We don’t just try to do all of it.
Brooke: Okay. So you have someone that comes in and watches the kids in the house while you’re both in the house working?
Jody: Yes. That’s right.
Brooke: Tell me about that decision. I think it’s actually really important. Because I think a lot of times we think because we’re here, we don’t need help. The kids - I can still keep an eye on them. And I’m always warning people, please don’t do that to yourself.
Jody: Well, and even back before it was Jake and I both, Jake was gone at work all day and it was just me. And growing up and I have pretty conservative values and I had a mom that stayed at home with me, which I really appreciated and thought I wanted to do that for my kids.
But what I realized is it sounds so great to work from home so you can just be there with your kids and work, but it’s terrible because now you’re trying to do two jobs. You’re trying to take care of the kids and do whatever your business is.
And I just - for myself anyway, some people might prefer that but I didn’t. I was only half there for work and half there for my kids. And so I knew that that wasn’t serving me or the kids in the end and so even before Jake started working with me, I hired someone to watch my kids while I’m working. I considered that to be a really wise investment for me personally.
Jake: Part of that too is as far as the childcare goes, we have our designated focused workdays really are Monday, Wednesday, Friday. And we’ll see what happens that we need to do on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but just kind of based on the workload, Jody definitely has the heavier workload between the two of us.
She’s got priority on when she needs to work, and then I’ll kind of tag team those days off if the kids are around and they need to be taken care of. So I mean, there’s some structure that we’ve planned around that as well as far as just kind of knowing, hey, when we don’t have the childcare, how do we do this? But I definitely second what Jody is saying. I mean, those days, trying to work and watch the kids - I mean, you don’t get anything done. It takes twice as long.
Brooke: Okay Jake, so tell us something super hard about working with your wife.
Jake: I think for me, what was the hardest was there’s about a six-to-nine-month transition when I came into this job. And when I started it, I also went into it knowing too that I didn’t want to just take this job because it was something different than what I’d had.
When I was in my previous job, even though I’d taken a job in this area in Washington, I also kind of knew that I just don’t want to be in that industry anymore. I was looking for something else. But I didn’t want to jump into this just because it was something different.
I didn’t want to take what seems like the easy way out of I’m just going to get out of what I was doing and get into something different because I knew that I’d had enough experience that I ultimately would still end up feeling the same about whatever because of whatever my thought processes were. And I just didn’t want to find myself in that same position working here with Jody.
I think one of the biggest challenges was in my previous job, not that I have a need to be front and center, but is in the director position, even though I had department heads and other people leading a bunch of departments and other initiatives within the operations, I was still very much like, ultimately what I directed was what happened. And when stuff went sideways, I was ultimately the one in the group of people making that final decision.
And so it was a big change going from I was kind of making a lot of the decisions or at least involved in a lot of decisions, to where it’s like, hey, this is Jody’s. Not that I don’t make decisions here, but this is her business. So there definitely was a six-to-nine-month period where there was - for me it was kind of challenging like, do I have a voice? Or do I have anything to add to this?
So some of it was just kind of maybe some personal insecurities and just kind of working through that. But I think that was the serious challenge. I joked - Jody had me on her podcast and when that question - when she asked me that question, I said getting in my car after she drives. That’s the…
Jody: That’s the worst part about being married to me. Pretty good. That means I’m pretty easy to be married to if that’s the worst thing.
Jake: But I think that was probably the biggest challenge. And just kind of reconciling the whole thing of it’s not that what I have to say isn’t valuable or that she doesn’t listen to it. But this really is her business. She’s the one that brings all of her appropriate experience and all the training that she went through, through her job and through going through your training and what she’s been doing in this to build this, and I’m going to defer to that and I need to defer to that. So that was probably one of the biggest challenges that I faced.
Brooke: And did you feel like that was a shift from how you had been with her before, like in your family? Did you feel like maybe you were more - with your family together and you started it together, it’s a little bit different than then all of a sudden coming into her business that she had been working in and then you were joining.
Jake: Yeah, maybe a little bit.
Jody: I think when it comes to our personal lives, Jake and I are both very laidback. I don’t know that there’s a clear more dominant person if you will when it comes to decisions. We’re both pretty laidback about where do you want to go on vacation? Things like that.
When it comes to my business, I definitely have much stronger opinions and so I think that was an adjustment for both of us. If I could also just throw out one kind of small tip for anybody that seems like a little thing but really, I think has made a huge difference for us is when you live together and you work together, it’s tempting for both of those worlds to bleed into each other.
And I was definitely more guilty of this than Jake where we’d be brushing our teeth and I’m like, “Oh hey, did you remember to send that one email off?” While he’s brushing his teeth. And so Kris Plachy actually pointed out to me that that’s probably not a great idea and to have still scheduled meetings.
And I’m still not great at this. I still have work to do. But let’s have a time when we sit down and meet and talk about work things and we both take notes and we’re in that mode. And then other times when we’re just with our family. I will say this too, that Jake and I both love to watch TV and we were in the car with all of our kids recently talking about a TV show we’re watching, and I was like, “But I don’t understand. They transferred the money out but where did it go? Where’s that money going to go?”
And my daughter all of a sudden 10 minutes into the conversation took this huge sigh of relief and she’s like, “I just realized you’re talking about TV. I thought you were talking about work and it sounded like something had gone wrong and we’d lost all this money.”
Brooke: Oh my god, that’s awesome.
Jody: I still have work to do of not talking about work all the time. But that really does make a big difference.
Jake: If I could just add, it’s interesting that you bring that up because I was going to say the same thing and what I really find interesting is that you use the example of when you’re brushing your teeth to not bring something up. Because I think I specifically remember that instance when I was brushing my teeth.
Brooke: That’s awesome.
Jake: That’s definitely one of the top things on my list too. It’s not that we don’t talk about work stuff outside of kind of our designated hours. But any serious work stuff we absolutely - let’s sit down and let’s designate some time when the kids aren’t knocking on the door.
Brooke: So good. Okay, awesome. Alright, what about you Erin and Steve? What have been some of your challenges and maybe some tips on how you’ve overcome them?
Erin: My big challenge I think has been learning to let go. I’ve been an entrepreneur for so long that having this other very capable person who may also be a bit of an alpha step into my business and just having to consider things outside of the normally very loving relationship space, it’s been a challenge for me.
Brooke: And so how have you dealt with that?
Erin: Well, my coaches are all gainfully employed. Getting a lot of coaching.
Brooke: Good, yes.
Erin: So has Steve. And that’s actually - I think that’s a huge part of it but also, I’ve just had to get comfortable with admitting when I’m wrong, or admitting when I’ve just done something that doesn’t feel totally aligned with me. So when I’m grouchy or maybe irritable or I just say something that might be sharper than I had intended in a workspace, making sure that I always go back and own that.
Brooke: That’s actually super interesting. Because I used to work with my ex too and this is so horrifying to say out loud. But the way that we talk to our family members is sometimes so much worse than how we would talk to an employee.
And so when you’re in that - or you let your emotions kind of get the best of you sometimes. And so I think that’s actually a really good point. Like, when you’re working, being in - you guys would consider yourselves - I mean, Jody’s like Jake’s boss I think is kind of how we described it. How would you all describe it?
Steve: Yeah, so Erin is the CEO and as of right now, I’m not even a shareholding member of the company. I still have no title. We have to get that all sorted out.
Brooke: You’re an employee.
Erin: Yeah, he gets paid.
Brooke: He gets paid.
Erin: I pay him.
Brooke: Right, so it’s like you’re the boss and then all of a sudden then you’re the wife. That’s a shift. So I love the fact that - your awareness about it I think is super important and just being like, okay, we’re at work right now, be in work mode, now we’re at home, now I can nail you.
Steve: Totally. But the thing that…
Brooke: Never at work.
Steve: What’s interesting about that is even when things happen in our personal life, when the emotions have kind of settled, we’ll say okay, now what can we do with this? Let’s actually put all our tools to use, and then let’s turn this into something that we can then share with other people.
Once we’ve had it for ourselves and done the relationship, then where can this make a difference in people’s lives? And for me, one of the big challenges in joining Erin’s business, which is what happened, even though I have my own practice, she has her own practice, we have a group program that we’re doing as our together thing.
Who’s responsible for what, how are we doing this, what’s our voice, all the stuff of running a business. The big challenge for me has been as someone who’s like, well, I’m the boss, even if I have a boss, it’s like, well, I’m the boss. And suddenly my wife is my boss, and I’m like, oh, what a mind fuck at first. You’re just like, what’s actually happening here?
So part of the growth for me is uncovering all this stuff of I should be earning more than my wife, I should be in charge of it’s me and an equal. All these things. I’m like, oh, that’s interesting, let’s just open that up. And taking Erin’s feedback and asking for help and all of these things that wouldn’t be natural otherwise, it’s like this is our chance to grow in this way.
Brooke: Yeah, I love that. And that kind of refers back to what Jake was saying too. Like in the beginning, him having a little bit of maybe insecurity around that and making that adjustment. And I feel like my hat is off to couples who work together. I feel like the amount of vulnerability and pride you have to give up in order to make that work is huge. So awesome. Any other tips you want to add?
Steve: Just want to double down on the childcare thing. We have a nanny who comes in Monday through Wednesday and Friday. As the recording was starting, she brought our three-year-old in with a bloody nose. I was on mute and I said, “She’s got you, don’t worry, you’re good.” And so he was being cleaned up and now they’re back outside.
Brooke: Awesome. Okay. What about you Jake and Whit? What have you guys been struggling with if anything?
Jake R: Nothing but easy.
Brooke: Nothing but easy street. You forget that I coach her, Jake.
Whitney: Yeah. No, I think ours is a little different because from the time that we were married, we also started a business. And so we were a blended family, we were newly married, and now we have no income and we’re building a business that didn’t end up working.
Jake R: We made $18 that one day. We made 18 bucks.
Brooke: Oh, that’s actually really important. Your first round, first business, $18. Now, you could have quit and gone back to your 30K, which probably seemed like a lot at that moment.
Whitney: Yeah, it was so tempting. It really was. But I think since we’ve been Steadfast Life Coaching, my transformation through your work Brooke has been our marketing. And it’s just then figuring out - we knew that we wanted to coach together. Jake has extraordinary teaching skills and so the challenge was how do we coach together on the calls.
Jake R: With every coach that we talk to about it said don’t. Just do your own thing.
Whitney: Be individual coaches.
Jake R: It can be Steadfast Life Coaching and we’re like, no, no. We can figure it out. We can figure it out. And ultimately the shift was I call myself the world’s only assistant life coach.
Brooke: Yes, that is amazing. All of a sudden, I feel like I need an assistant who coaches with me. That is so awesome. I love it.
Jake R: I had been both head coaches and assistant coaches for tons of sports programs. And I was like, you know what, assistant coaches are awesome and it’s not like a promotion or a demotion really. It’s roles. And I was like, you know what Whit, I can do the role, I can step into that because let me tell you, when Whit is getting in your brain, it can be intimidating. She’s hardcore. Sometimes you need a little assistant coach to be like, hey, you’re safe.
Brooke: You’re going to be okay.
Whitney: When I was getting coached by you. An assistant coach to be like, Whitney, she doesn’t hate you.
Jake R: What she’s trying to say is.
Brooke: Let me translate. That’s amazing. So have you guys gotten into any fights or?
Jake R: Never.
Brookes: Struggles? Nothing?
Whitney: You go right in Brooke.
Brooke: How do you deal with that? Because sometimes I mean, allegedly, I’ve heard that sometimes people like to give each other the silent treatment or be mad or huff away, but you can’t when you’re working, right? So how do you guys deal with it when - if you do get in fights or arguments.
Jake R: Yeah, well, one of the things that’s cool, I think about it is that we notice that early on like, okay, we get in fights, it requires a lot of urgency, immediate attention. We don’t get to say, “Hey, let’s deal with it later” because we have a client in 30 minutes.
And so we’ve got to go and we notice that and we’re like, “Hey, do we want that or do we not want that in our life?” And we get to say like, you know what, “No, we want it, this marriage, the business does not work without this. It doesn’t. The whole thing falls apart.” And we’re like, good. And that way it forces whatever, choosing, do we prioritize the business or do we prioritize the marriage today?
Brooke: Oh, that’s so good.
Jake R: They’re one and the same.
Brooke: I love that. So one of the things I love about that for y’all is it just requires you to constantly be connecting and talking and being vulnerable and telling the truth, which will help, like you’re saying, not just your business grow but your relationship grow. Because one will stagnate the other.
Jake R: And Whit doesn’t wait around when there’s discomfort. It’s addressed.
Brooke: That’s amazing. I love it. So good. Any other tips you want to add for the people thinking about doing this crazy thing together?
Jake R: I just know for myself, what I noticed was that I really value being a teammate. I like being a good teammate. And a good teammate husband is different than a good teammate business partner. And so I had to know which one I was being, especially - I think a good teammate business partner sometimes is not a yes man. Did you consider this? Did you consider that? We might get in trouble here.
And then it’s like 7pm, and she’s got this idea, hey, I’m going to try this thing. Hey, that sounds like a bad idea for these three reasons, and that’s not a very good husband. So I just needed to figure out not only are we talking about work, not talking about work, but like, am I right now?
Brooke: So good. So good. I love this tip. Alright, what about you Chris, Corinne? What do you guys struggle with? And I’m afraid you’re going to say nothing so find something.
Corinne: I got two.
Brooke: Okay good.
Corinne: He may be like, “Oh, no, I delight in my wife at all times.” But my thing, I will tell you, the first year we worked together my struggle was aggravating him constantly. He got puffy.
Chris: Double down on that.
Corinne: I was just like, wagging my tail all the time, wondering when we’re going to have a chat, when we’re going to have a meeting, when we’re just going to talk.
Chris: Let’s think about this.
Corinne: Oh yeah, constant. And then it kind of mellowed out after - well one, he pointed it out to me. He was like, I can’t get shit done if you keep coming into the office all the time. And then year two, we always set these goals for our team and one of his goals was he wanted 4.2 hours a day, literally 0.2 where he could program and basically not be bothered. Just on his own.
So I was like, challenge taken. So I’m determined - I’m carving it out on the calendar when I don’t talk to him, all this other stuff. But what ended up happening was in year two is our team started growing fast because we’re getting bigger. I started seeing all the places where I was such a bottleneck to my own business.
So we’re hiring and I’ve never really led people - I’ve led people to weight loss glory but I hadn’t led people to running a business glory. So I had a lot of insecurities and started kind of pulling him in because he’s led big teams all his life practically.
So this year, the biggest struggle we have right now is me - I tell him all the time I promise I’m working on this, and when I bring you to a meeting, it’s for me to learn and I’m going to learn fast because I want to get you back out of this knowing that I want you in the part of the business where you’re uniquely qualified.
And this is an area I can learn and that I’m doing, so that’s our struggle probably right now is me kind of pulling him in again but not just because it’s all new, fun, and silly. But this year it’s like, pulling him into the areas where I’m seeing okay, I’ve got to grow here and I need to grow fast on this.
Chris: I think right now it’s getting to that size where we’ve got to really think about how we structure it and how we get the right people in the right role. That’s really what it’s about. And just being involved in some of these now is insurance against future panic moments, in the wrong role.
So that first year, speaking to people who are considering this or just starting, this lifestyle, yeah, that was hard. That constant wanting to - it’s going to be great, we’ll talk all the time, and we talked about the business a lot already. And usually I find that enjoyable. But when I can’t point to anything I actually move forward at the end of the day, that was hard for me.
And I think one thing that I would suggest is for couples working together, both people need to decide, “How, at the end of the day, am I going to know that I did a good job?”
Brooke: So good.
Chris: “What is my self-evaluation criteria for that?” And for me, that was building an asset of some kind. Something that could live without me turning the crank manually. And when I wasn’t getting to do that very much, that was hard for me.
Brooke: But you have to remember us entrepreneurs, we get lonely sometimes and when someone else comes into our business we’re so excited. We’re like, hi, hi, hi, hi.
Corinne: That was me. I was like that all that first year.
Chris: I understand that. So we eventually developed what I call the closed-door protocol. So if the door is closed and you think you need to talk, then…
Brooke: You don’t.
Chris: First of all, check yourself. Second of all, maybe knock.
Brooke: So that’s actually a really interesting point. So you all have separate offices within the house.
Corinne: Yeah. We actually ended up - it’s funny. We moved this office because we had a bathroom that separated us. It was so convenient to aggravate him.
Chris: That was my office. This is the master closet so it was real hard to stay away from her.
Corinne: So now I’m on one floor and he’s on another floor. So my lazy butt has to go all the way up the stairs if I want to aggravate him. That helped.
Brooke: That was actually super helpful for me and Chris when we worked together. He actually went to an office and he had a set - he went to work every day even though we’re both working in the same company. We found that to be really useful because then when he would come home, then work was off the table. We were now in a family…
Chris: I considered that too actually. But I felt like I wanted to figure out how to make this work.
Brooke: Yeah, separate offices.
Chris: Separate offices is a big thing. And then when I get the urge to come down and excitedly engage in a spontaneous meeting with her, then…
Corinne: When does that ever happen?
Chris: Oh yeah, that’s right. Doesn’t happen.
Brooke: Oh gosh, that’s so good. Okay, before we end, what I would like each of you to do is just share how all my listeners can get in touch with you. Talk just briefly about the type of coaching you offer and if someone wants to engage with y’all, how do they hire you? How do they give you money? How do they follow you? So let’s start with you Jody.
Jody: So you can find us at jodymoore.com. And we have a coaching membership there, it’s geared for women who have LDS values or Christian values. And we’re on Instagram, @jodymoorecoaching or Facebook as well.
Brooke: Okay. What about you Erin?
Erin: We are at revitalizeyourrelationship.com and Steve and I both coach one-on-one and we have a group program for entrepreneurs who want better relationships and to not essentially be exhausted.
Brooke: So do people hire you as a couple or do they hire you individually?
Erin: They hire us individually or we do the group together and that’s super fun.
Brooke: Okay wait, I meant that backwards. I know you’re a couple but if I’m a couple, do we hire you as a couple?
Erin: Yes, you can. You can work with us as a couple.
Brooke: Okay. So we both would come to the session is what I mean.
Brooke: And you would both come to the session?
Erin: I would coach one person, Steve would coach the other.
Brooke: Okay. That’s interesting. I love it. Okay, so what’s your URL again? Say it one more time.
Erin: It’s revitalizeyourrelationship.com.
Brooke: So good. Okay, what about you Whitney?
Jake R: We’re steadfastlifecoaching.com and we recently opened a membership.
Jake R: So we’re doubling down on the teacher in me, we’re calling it Trust University. So people can hop in there and learn to trust themselves, be consistent, so I get to contribute some of myself. We still do the weight loss, relationship, and business growing with Whit’s experience.
Brooke: Awesome. Love it. Alright, what about you Corinne?
Corinne: So I have the No BS weight loss program, it’s a membership for women who want to lose weight and you can go to nobsfreecourse.com and take my free course, kind of get into my world. You can also listen to the podcast, Losing 100 Pounds with Corinne and get a lot of cussing and a lot of straight talk.
Brooke: I love it. This has been amazing you guys. Thank you so much for coming on. I so appreciate it. I know so many people right now, so many coaches are considering coming in, being life coaching, maybe working with their partner. There are some challenges but ultimately, it’s amazing, yeah?
Jody: Do it.
Brooke: Do it. Alright guys, have a beautiful awesome week. Talk to you next week. Thanks everyone.
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