June 10, 2021
If you’re married (or about to be) and are considering getting into business with your spouse, you better listen to today’s podcast episode. Today we’re sitting down and talking with our good friends Jordan and Matt Dooley.
Jordan Lee Dooley is a National Bestselling Author, Speaker, Founder/CEO of the Own It Academy, and Host of SHE, a top-rated podcast for women. Her trajectory started with a small Etsy shop she started in college, and now her mission is to help women live their purpose and create a livelihood doing what they love so they can leave a legacy. She also sits on the Board of Advisors for Liberty University’s School of Business and has been featured on Forbes, Inc Magazine, SUCCESS Magazine’s 30 Under 30 List, and more. Jordan is an Indiana native, an advocate of working in your slippers, and happily married to her college sweetheart, Matt.
Speaking of Matt, out of college he was drafted into the NFL for the Steelers. Then 2 weeks before his and Jordan’s wedding, he got dropped from the team. He then started working for a medical company, which he then later quit to work at home with Jordan. For a season he worked with Jordan in her business before eventually splitting off to start his own consulting company. Now they work side by side as work from home entrepreneurs while being crazy in love husband and wife.
Today’s conversation is GOOD. We cover everything from the ups and downs of working together, navigating the crazy dynamics of being both married AND business partners, keeping your business relationship separate from your romantic relationship, figuring out each other’s work styles, and so much more. THEN we pivot into talking about finances and navigating the chaos of money and numbers as an entrepreneur AND a couple. It’s a doozy of an episode full of so much wisdom and encouragement for anyone working together as a couple or wanting to in the future.
You’ll walk away with loads of encouragement as well as tools, tips, resources, and more. We’re so excited for you to listen to Jordan and Matt and all their wisdom!
The transition to having Matt start working with Jordan in her business took a while for them to decide on. They had been seeing an older couple for counseling, seeking their wisdom and guidance through it all. They were at the point where they could see the value Matt could add to their household by helping Jordan steward and grow her business.
Matt felt like it was a better use of his time, but Jordan’s first response was, “I was scared because I liked the stability of him having a job outside of what I was doing”.
From the time they had the initial idea to taking the leap, eight months had gone by. When they had shared with their marriage counseling couple the fear behind making this step, this was their response to them. They asked Jordan what would be Matt’s big dream? Then vice versa, Matt to Jordan. They both answered, but then their follow-up question was, “have you ever dreamed together?”.
They hadn’t, they had always co-existed for their first two years of marriage in autopilot, trying to get by.
The perceived sense of stability can hinder a lot of people with entrepreneurial aspirations. You have this 9-5, you get your paycheck that you know the dollar amount that is going to be on it every other week. But if you have other aspirations, without realizing them you are wasting your potential. It’s an ascetic that keeps you there, that false sense of security. No matter how big the company is, you could still get fired next week, you could get laid off. That sense of stability is a facade.
Dream together. That is what Jordan and Matt did on a flight to New York. They sat down on the flight and had a dream date the entire flight. Asking themselves these questions:
What do we want our life to look like?
What do we feel called to?
They started mapping out what they wanted their life to look like. It can be scary but physically writing it down and creating a vision of your life and family, not necessarily a step-by-step plan, but more of what you want to work towards. Then reverse engineer that to what do you need to do now and what does that look like.
It made them realize they needed to do this now before kids and take these risks. It ended up being a great decision for them, not meaning there weren’t challenges but it was a big stepping stone in the journey that are in now.
It’s a touchy dynamic. One thing that seems insignificant, but can make a huge difference, is on date nights make sure it is a date night. If one of you tries to talk business, you have to stop it. It will be hard when that is your life together, and your business.
That is just one thing. Jordan and Matt admitted that there were a lot of times where they sucked at this. Wondering if they were business partners in that moment or husband and wife?
Other boundaries that they tried to set in different seasons were no phones in the bedroom, and use that time to catch up and talk about other things.
Try to make a valiant effort and that is all that matters. It’s not about knowing perfectly when your wife or husband hat is on versus your business partner hat. At the end of the day, the biggest challenge that can come with those lines getting blurred, is you start to operate as goal partners more so than lovers and best friends.
Know that if you struggle, that is normal. Jordan and Matt have been there and it is a matter of being a little more intentional and not being perfect. Being aware is the best thing you can do.
Learn each other’s work styles. Matt is the type of person who works in bursts. Works for an hour and then needs a break. Whereas Jordan can sit down and work for six hours straight. It’s like learning each other’s love language or enneagram and then using that knowledge to work best together.
There is no perfect way to navigate it, give yourself grace. And give each other grace. Set aside those intentional times, whether it is date night or an hour before bed. Make sure you are preserving your relationship as a married couple too.
When it comes to being home together it is communicating what’s on your plate for the day. Go for a walk in the evening and ask each other what they have for the next day. Have some order and routine to understanding each other’s work style and be intentional to ask what is on their docket today or coming up tomorrow. Just so you’re not shocked if they have a packed day or not super communicative. It will serve you both so well.
Matt and Jordan like to treat their businesses as if they are their employers. Both of their businesses are set up as their own entity and set it up that they get bi-weekly true paychecks from their businesses. Know they know exactly how much they will have each month, rather it be what do they need to pull out this month?
Try to function exactly like you would if we were working for another company or a 9-5. For two reasons: one to make sure that you are truly keeping our personal and business assets separate, and then secondly to make sure you are operating on a budget. It can be hard as entrepreneurs if you don’t have a system of how you are getting paid to take random withdrawals from the company accounts.
There are certain seasons where you may have to do that. That is one of the benefits of having your own business, but when it comes to everyday living, try to view it as a system in place. It will help you keep boundaries and clarity on what you have to spend each month. You can set that up with a financial advisor through payroll so it can take taxes out as well. If you are currently taking withdrawals from your business, consider talking to a financial advisor. Especially if you both own the same business or separate businesses. It makes it cleaner, to communicate and be on the same page when it comes to money.
You have to ultimately decide what qualifies as a big purchase. For some people that is $100 and for others it is $10,000. It depends on your situation. Outline that and then say anything over that amount you give each a heads up or is a discussion.
Matt and Jordan don’t have individual budgets within their personal account. Just an accumulative budget where are their expenses go first and then they go from there.
Make sure you pay yourself the minimum it takes to get all your bills paid, set that because if you’re an entrepreneur there are going to be months that you’re making more than that.
Decide what minimum cash amount that you are willing to keep in your businesses. Two months of business expenses if recommended to have as a cash base. When you have a bigger month, allocate that towards your cash base. So when you do end up in a leaner month and don’t make as much as you normally would you can still pay your normal salary. Then you can replenish that cash base in future months. Use those feast months to help feed the famine months to keep the consistent payment to yourself each month.
Learn to have financial conversations. As well as learning how each of you views certain things, such as debt or spending. If you can start doing dream dates those can help you both get on the same page.
One way to not have the financial conversation be so stressful is to specially setup dates that are to talk about finances. Not in a stressful situation, not in a moment where you’re like “Why did you spend that?”, cause that is usually how you start talking about it. Then it turns into a stressful thing.
Try to make it a monthly or bi-monthly thing that is an enjoyable experience. You sit down with coffee, or wine, or dinner, and you can look over your goals, review your numbers and get on the same page and make sure each of you is heard. You will start to look forward to those dates as you get to dream for the future together and how you want to improve. It will help you learn the other money language and style faster.
The book Know Yourself, Know Your Money, by Rachel Cruz is not specifically for couples but is all about understanding the financial household you grew up in. Why you view money the way you do, the habits it created in you, and how you work with it. There are four types of people when it comes to viewing money so being able to identify yours is again like a love language orEnneagramm. A tool to understand and guide you and your spouse to get on the same page.
A big conversation to have is what did your parents do in certain situations. You can do that and then choose the things you want to draw from both sides and create a beautiful hybrid.
Jordan and Matt dealt with this in their first year of marriage after Matt was cut from the Steelers, two weeks from their wedding. Even then he wasn’t officially working for her, but it was a season he had to humble himself. It is laying down your pride, but to nod towards the saying “bringing home the bacon”. It is a false narrative. To Matt God provides, so ultimately He provides so whether from him for a season or Jordan, it was from God.
We live in the day of age where women as the breadwinner are normalized. That is not bad, it may not be traditional, but not bad. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have to be sensitive to the fact that growing up it was more common for our husbands and the men we are going to marry that they were raised in a more traditional household. It was more common for the husband twenty years ago to be the breadwinner. Partly because there weren’t as many work-from-home opportunities and women were choosing to stay home with their families. Regardless of why the point is now, you can do both.
Honor the desire in our husbands and men. It can be easy to think as women they need to hear your roar, but we can also be sensitive to how that will make our husbands feel. What they are contributing does matter and how they are helping you does matter. That is enough, it’s not that they have to be making more money.
If you want to have success you have to have that mentality that you’ll scrub toilets if you need to. “Put me in coach” mentality. You’ll do whatever you can, you’ll do it. No job is too small because if you come in with an ego it is not going to be successful. You have to leave your ego at the door because you are a team and you’re working towards a common goal.
Intentionally honor the other. If your spouse doesn’t do something the way you thought they would or expected, learn to honor that work. If they were an employee you could correct them, but also as your wife/husband you don’t want to put them down and feel weird. You would never put down an employee but it is hard to critique somebody that you also have a marriage with. You don’t want them to feel reprimanded. Slowly learn to honor the work they did even if it wasn’t what you hoped or expected.
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WASSUP FRIENDS. We’re Evie + Lindsey, co-founders of this wild partayyy called The Heart University. Our goal is to empower entrepreneurs to kick freaking BUTT in their businesses, dive down into the heart of their why and how, and serve you with all possible tools you’ll need to up-level your business game and CRUSH those goals of yours.
Whether you’re coming to an in-person workshop, joining our online course, or soaking up all the strategies via this blog or our podcast, we’re STOKED you’re here + can’t wait to see you out there kicking butt.
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