March 10, 2020

20 Balancing life in business, family & personal growth (and dealing with an eight year old daughter) with Jeremy Ames

20 Balancing life in business, family & personal growth (and dealing with an eight year old daughter) with Jeremy Ames

Jeremy Ames is 42, married and has 2 kids. He lives in Idaho in the U.S. and is a serial entrepreneur.

Jeremy’s current business, Guidant Financial, has helped over 18.000 entrepreneurs put more than 4 billion USD to work, mainly in small businesses or franchises. In 2007, Jeremy was honored as the National Young Entrepreneur of the Year by the Small Business Administration.

I like this session a lot because it’s mainly just an honest chat between two dads. Jeremy says his main challenge as a dad is balancing his time to feed personal growth, his desire to build businesses and spend quality one-on-one time with his friends and family.

I was intrigued to hear his strategies and experience shares coming from such a high-paced, driven individual. Jeremy is a brave man at heart and we had a powerful and valuable conversation about love, family, relationship and self. Jeremy opens up about his own family challenges and how he manages to keep his marriage healthy.

The most powerful takeaways for me as a dad where:

  1. Do not let your own ego and sense of validation get tied up in how others perceive your kids.
  2. Do an annual trip with only one of the kids and yourself - kids decide where to go.
  3. It’s difficult to engage with kids over activities outside of your own bias.
  4. Keeping appointments is a superpower.

Lastly: please do get involved in our mission to facilitate family success: share two podcasts - any podcasts - that inspire you to be a better parent with two parents you love today. Enjoy this session!

Philipp Hartmann (host): 

  1. Philipp Hartmann
  2. Philipp Hartmann on LinkedIn

Please share with other parents and please leave a review as I truly love getting that feedback from you. Thank you!

#dad #dads #entrepreneurship #entrepeurdad #fatherhood #parenting #relationship #supportsystem #father


[00:06:00] JA: [00:06:00] The best advice I could give to myself as a dad is to let go of my own visions for what my kids are going to be like and look like in the future. I think I have found. As my kids have evolved how much my own sort of ego and sense of validation gets tied up in how others perceive them and keeps me from just being present and appreciating them for who they are.

[00:06:39] PH: [00:06:39] Awesome. That's powerful,

[00:07:06] So I'm super stoked that I have you here with me and. Thanks, man. Hey, do you just want to do a quick intro about yourself, your business? Sure. Happy

[00:07:17] JA: [00:07:17] to do it. Jeremy Ames. I am 42 years old. I have a lovely wife named Jill. I've been married for more than 15 years and she is about to turn 40 this year. We have two great and completely different children and 11-year-old boys in fifth grade named well and an eight-year-old daughter, Sydney, who is in second grade. I've been an entrepreneur for a lot of years, but for the last 17 years I've been running a company called guided financial group, which helps people start small businesses using their retirement and pension funds.

[00:08:00] [00:08:00] PH: [00:08:00] okay. Cool, man. And what I really like about your advice to yourself in the beginning was that you very consciously seem to try to disconnect yourself from the view of others or the expectations about your kids and your family, I guess.

[00:08:19] PH: [00:08:19] Do you have an example for that? So different from me.

[00:08:23] JA: She really challenges me all the time. And I think I had these ideas of what my kids were going to look like and what I wanted their lives to look like going forward. And she has smashed all conventions relative to that. She's really special and really energetic and really unique. And at the same time as a dad, it is very challenging for me even just to communicate with her at times, because the way she communicates, how she processes emotions, it's just so different than how I think.

[00:08:56] So for example, my daughter has incredible anxiety about really going outside of the house. And I don't know how to process that when I can tell you is in the early stages of being a dad. My general philosophy was just to force it. If something needs to happen, then, you know, make it happen. And I think as I've gotten older and sort of let go more of what I think she supposed to be, it's, I'm finding I'm more able to appreciate her for who she is and see the sort of uniqueness of what.

[00:09:37] What she brings to the table, which, you know, frankly, I love my son to death. He's wired just like me, but he doesn't challenge me to grow in the same way that my daughter does.

[00:09:59] Yeah.

[00:10:00] [00:09:59] PH: [00:09:59] Yeah. That's powerful stuff because it's easy to, to be within any own bias. Right. If you sound exactly the same, then it's obviously more difficult to deal with. Totally different personality. Like your daughter. Yeah. Yeah. Can you give a concrete example on how, I mean, you said you used to force it and how do you know?

[00:10:20] JA: [00:10:20] Well, I'll give you two thoughts this weekend that are

[00:10:22] PH: [00:10:22] completely different. She doesn't want us

[00:10:25] JA: [00:10:25] as a family to frustration things together to get outside the house. And it always, or frequently turns into a conflict with Sydney because she doesn't want to leave. And so, we'll make these plans and we'll be ready to start going out the door and.

[00:10:43] It will turn into meltdown mode. And so, one of the things we did a few weeks ago was we just recruited some extra babysitting help and the strategy was going to be, Hey, when we get to that point, we're going to make sure we have a backup babysitter. We're not going to force it. She doesn't want to go. We won't make her go.

[00:11:00] [00:11:00] We'll have someone come over and hang out with her, but we're not going to let that stop us from doing some of the things that we want to do to get out of the house. Cause I think we were starting to get to the point where there was a bit of resentment building up at times, not just for me and Jill, but even for my son a little bit, who kind of felt like his sister's agenda was the one that was driving the day.

[00:11:22] So we had this babysitter lined up and the three of us Jill will. And I went to a hockey game on Friday night and we had a fantastic time and Sydney stayed at home with a babysitter and she had a fantastic time, and everything was good. And then Sunday came when we were scheduled to go skiing and we did not have a babysitter lined up and my wife had grown up.

[00:11:45] Skiing loves it. It's a part of her identity. She loves to get out there. None of the others of us in the family have skied. So yesterday was my third time going ever, and it was the same for my son, my daughter not gone even once. [00:12:00] And so we. Literally had to carry her kicking and screaming into the car and buckle her in to then drive out.

[00:12:14] So kicking and screaming, we get her in the car. We drive up to the top of the mountain,

[00:12:21] PH: [00:12:21] you know, stuffing. It's not a funny yet outside of town, just because I have to say

[00:12:24] JA: [00:12:24] when we get there Jill asked me where her stuff was and I said, well, it should be in the bag there. And next thing, you know, my wife is melting down and throwing things on the floor because she thinks I've totally forgotten all of Sydney's clothes.

[00:12:40] The pack of it turns out they were in the other bag. In the wrong bat. So, we recovered, and my daughter actually had a good time, I think, out on the slopes. I mean, once she got there and got in the gear, I mean, she's better at skiing. I would say that either will or I already, but it was such an emotional [00:13:00] battle.

[00:13:00] I was talking to Jill about it this morning and she had said to me, she's like, I almost quit three times on that one. And I said, I was just standing there waiting for you to ring the bell hunt.

[00:13:11] PH: [00:13:11] I was going to bail out.

[00:13:13] JA: [00:13:13] I just didn't. I just didn't want to be the one ringing it. So, I mean, that's, that's sort of the dynamic of what we navigate on an ongoing basis, as you know, we're just trying to figure it out as we go.

[00:13:24] We have a daughter who we know the anxiety for her is real. Like there is real pain and fear when it comes to going out in groups and doing things that she's never done before. My daughter is eight and still to this day, she has never been a part of sort of an extended class or sports team. We tried to force it a few times with a dance class and then with a soccer team.

[00:13:48] And it was miserable. We just bailed out on it. And that that's sort of one of the things I look at and go with it. If, if I look at what I think my kids are supposed to do, [00:14:00] if I'm this great dad that doesn't fit within that paradigm. For example, when I talked to Warren Russ stand and he tells me about all his Uber collegiate athlete kids to get 4.0 and go to all these great schools, I go sort of shrink a little bit inside because I feel like I'm somehow failing, but that's just, you know, it's not who my daughter is.

[00:14:19] And I'm just trying to do the best I can to. Embrace that about her and just try and be present because she's going to be amazing and do amazing things. I just have no idea what those are. I don't like can't even process her genius in my limited linear brain.

[00:14:43] Yeah. Yeah. Although I will point out one of the things that we've done for a law or like done for a long time is I do an annual. Daddy trip with each of the kids where I do one on

[00:14:52] PH: [00:14:52] business stuff that you do. And

[00:14:54] JA: [00:14:54] the intention of that is that the kids are sort of active in we're planning, something that [00:15:00] really aligns with what they're interested in.

[00:15:02] So for example, after a week and a half, I'm doing my trip with my son and we're going down to LA and we're going to two NBA basketball games in a hockey game because that's what he wants to do. My daughter would, would hate that. I think what we had talked about with her because usually I do hers in the fall is that this next year we're going to go to Seattle and visit a couple of her friends and go to the beach where she can awesomely catch crabs that she'll tell me she's going to take home.

[00:15:32] And then we negotiate so that we don't have to take up. So, what's that? Oh, yeah, you clearly don't know my daughter. That would definitely violate it. She doesn't believe in killing animals unless it's because she's put them in captivity and they're dying from love and affection, like bucks that are sitting in my garage and various contractors

[00:15:55] PH: [00:15:55] eat them, take them home.

[00:15:59] What a good idea.

[00:16:03] [00:16:00] JA: [00:16:03] So, so yes, go, go ahead. Oh, I was just going to say so. So yes, I try to do some things to connect with the kids individually, but the reality is with my son does not work at all. I don't even have to think about it. I'm sort of wing it with him. How do you find so, sorry

[00:16:22] PH: [00:16:22] you go, you go, you go

[00:16:24] JA: [00:16:24] with my daughter requires a ton of forethought to find something that I can connect with her on and not be totally disengaged.

[00:16:34] And. You know, I can only play Barbies for five minutes before I want to punch myself in the face. It just doesn't hold my attention. And then of course she sees that and sees that I'm not engaged in that doesn't accomplish what I'm trying to accomplish in hanging out with her in that connected time.

[00:16:51] Anyway, so

[00:16:59] yeah. [00:17:00] I think we both struggle with the same thing, which is she's, she's wired very much like me. I mean, she's been an entrepreneur for 18 or 19 years and you know, she's a very sort of logical thinker.

[00:17:14] PH: [00:17:14] in a few minutes,

[00:17:15] JA: [00:17:15] I'm very sensitive to emotions and don't like to organize things or games or be out. It's, you know, I think it's equally hard for her. Finding things to be connected with Sidney on, although she definitely has more patients' work than I do.

[00:17:46] Yeah.

[00:17:50] PH: [00:17:50] Yeah, I also, I have one, one of my sons, max. He is for me, much harder or was always much harder to crack. He's now slowly warming up, [00:18:00] but in the beginning, and he's much younger, he's only almost three, so he's not eight. And he doesn't say, I do want to do it, I don't want to do this. Or he does. If he wants to think he wants to sit in the car and drive and just drive like on my lap in the driveway.

[00:18:15] But back in the beginning, he would totally ignore me. Okay. What besides, where, you know, and like, here's just speak to the side nurse or love the night nurse and his mother and, and I'm like Maxine. It's like, no, and he just walks away. Okay. So, it's, it's weird. They're like, they all come in now it's better, but they are all completely different, you know, like Henry the other, other one, he just wants to be with me all the time and it doesn't matter what we do.

[00:18:40] He just wants to be there.

[00:18:42] JA: [00:18:42] So that's easy, like you said,

[00:18:44] PH: [00:18:44] But I can somehow relate to that problem, even though they're very different ages because I felt completely hopeless, you know, couldn't, I didn't know what to do. It's like, okay, if you want to speak to me, I'll try again [00:19:00] later. But it sounds like

[00:19:02] JA: [00:19:02] it's evolved over the years.

[00:19:03] And how do you

[00:19:05] PH: [00:19:05] scale?

[00:19:06] JA: [00:19:06] You've got a company that's growing like crazy sort of, how do you manage the ability then it

[00:19:11] PH: [00:19:11] has family

[00:19:12] JA: [00:19:12] and entrepreneurship a long time and your work trajectory

[00:19:15] PH: [00:19:15] as together. Do you have strategies for that? I think for you, I

[00:19:18] JA: [00:19:18] found that my superpower is that I'm really good at keeping appointments.

[00:19:25] And so I really leveraged my calendar. To drive intentionality in my life. So, I have a hard stop every day where my executive assistant knows not to book me anything. And then I just try to find things like recurring daddy dates or the trips I do with the kids each year or coaching a team to create some of those elements where it's already scheduled and has an intention of its own.

[00:19:55] Because I find. If I just wait to show up at home and expect [00:20:00] that I'm going to be a hundred percent engaged every time and ready to drive some cool, magical experience with my kids, it just doesn't happen. I think there was one point where Jill and I were having dinner. Yeah. And we were waiting for this other couple to show up.

[00:20:13] And this must've been, I don't know, five years, five, six years ago. And we're sitting there and I'm trying to communicate to her. Hey honey, I really feel like we should have a date night. Because I, you know, I'm really not feeling, I really like to feel a little more connected and she's saying to me, well, you know, here are the three things we did last month.

[00:20:34] And I'm thinking to myself, all those three things were with other people. It wasn't like you and I getting a chance to connect together. And then all of a sudden, she looks at me and says, why do you not want to hang out with your kids? I took a step back and I was like, what just happened? What did, what did I miss?

[00:20:51] And why do I feel so irate inside? And it turned out that from her perspective, she was feeling like I was trying to schedule [00:21:00] all these things in my world and wasn't putting a priority on the kids. And I felt a little blindsided by it. Cause I was trying to talk to her about her and I being connected.

[00:21:09] But. The good that came out of that conversation for us was instituting these mommy daddy nights, where, you know, we schedule a couple of times a month and then we would just alternate kids. And again, it was me saying, Hey, I know when something's scheduled and has an intention behind it, I'm really good at managing that and making it happen.

[00:21:30] But if I'm just hoping for some divine epiphany and motivation to show up on a Friday night to do something cool with my kids, it's probably not going to happen. And that's been at least historically with our kids a really important I guess, tradition. It's not only made it easier for our kids to.

[00:21:47] Comprehend when mom and dad go out together that that's an important sort of relationship building thing. It's been a really important thing for us.

[00:22:14] [00:22:00] Yeah.

[00:22:20] PH: [00:22:20] Yeah. Yeah, I love that. Yeah. Scheduling is really, really good at the problem is you have to, you know, stick to the schedule, but like, if you say, if that's your superpower, then that's your secret weapon because

[00:22:32] JA: [00:22:32] okay. The issue was how we were looking at time, my big epiphany coming out of that conversation.

[00:22:37] What did you do say she asked

[00:22:40] PH: [00:22:40] you, you know, don't you hang out with your

[00:22:42] JA: [00:22:42] kids.

[00:22:43] PH: [00:22:43] What's the issue that you didn't you have, did you have separate

[00:22:45] JA: [00:22:45] schedules for? She was coming in feminine from a time perspective. And from the time I was just not cutting it and the thing I was struggling with was based on that yard stick, she [00:23:00] was giving me, it felt impossible to do and be all the things I was trying to do and be. To be successful in business to be somebody who's taken care of their health and investing in my own sort of growth and development. And then to show up as a dad and my epiphany walking out of that was okay. I can't compete on quantity or time and expect to be able to do all of these things. So, I have to compete on quality of time.

[00:23:24] And that, that was really the thing that led to some of the scheduling pieces like, okay, well, it's not going to be that dad's here. 75 hours a week, but you know, let's make that three hours on a Friday night, super impactful because dad is a hundred percent engaged. We're doing something all about what the kid wants to do.

[00:23:43] In my only job during those three hours is just to try and be the best dad and the best friend and whatever I can be, rather than thinking about all the other things that need to get done.

[00:24:17] [00:24:00] PH: [00:24:17] Yup. Yup. That is very true. That's very, very true. Okay. Definitely one of my key takeaways right there. Okay. Good man. What else? Mm, I could share a bit on, I would be interested to hear from you what you think on this. I've got this one daughter. And she just goes, she's now four and a half, one of the twins and she just got into complete.

[00:24:50] JA: [00:24:50] I still have that. I got an eight-year-old.

[00:24:53] PH: [00:24:53] I don't even know what to say to complete.

[00:24:57] JA: [00:24:57] If I'm the person you want to talk to you for emotional support

[00:24:59] PH: [00:24:59] on that [00:25:00] from this non-cooperation

[00:25:01] JA: [00:25:01] most lady thing.

[00:25:03] PH: [00:25:03] Anything I ask her. She basically says no. Did you have that too? Was your, your children when they were younger?

[00:25:12] I really struggled with it. Yeah.

[00:25:15] JA: [00:25:15] W

[00:25:25] PH: [00:25:25] w Y. You're struggling with that. I'm struggling with that. I mean, I'm like Maya, everybody's so nice to you and normal. So yeah, I would really like to know what the issue is there and maybe I'll speak.

[00:25:48] What I would do now, because it's becoming ridiculous. It's kind of affecting the whole vibe in the house. You know, we have a nice dinner and then she throws it. It's even started a tantrum. She's just being rude or unfriendly. And it kind of changes the energy around the table and it is really annoying.

So I'm probably going to speak to a child psychologist and ask. What we can do, how we can, you know, support that because you know, I'm not going to put it in timeout and remove it. It's not going to help. So yeah, that's, that's my next plan. And then we've signed up for a pet because it's called parental effectiveness training.

[00:26:33] I just basically do you know, it. I haven't done it yet, but I've heard really good things about it. And it's basic, I've read a book on it, PET and it's a system really, actually just how you can communicate with your children better or in the whole family better, or just your partner. And it's very much about active listening and understanding the [00:27:00] emotions or the motive behind the behavior from the child.

[00:27:04] That, you know, often the title would say something. I don't know. I don't know, goal. I don't want to put the jacket on whatever it is, some random thing. And you would go, yeah, but you have to put a jacket on because it's cold. But the issue is really, maybe that. The chart knows it will be bullied at school because it sounds awesome with that jacket.

[00:27:25] I read recently that really, I tend to find out odd talk, so kids will listen. I listen. So, kids will talk. It makes a lot of sense to me. Okay. Now you put a different take. What am I not getting that book? Especially with me, Sukkot validation, completely different angle, kind of how you've viewed the situation.

[00:27:45] JA: [00:27:45] I'm thinking when I've taken the time and Ben in a good enough place to be sort of thoughtful and deliberate about when I see that frustration from her, because she doesn't want to put on her jacket, or she doesn't want to clean up or toys or whatever it [00:28:00] is that I'm asking of her. If I can be present enough to tap into the emotion that I'm seeing from her and communicate it back, Hey, I can see that.

[00:28:09] You're really frustrated about that. You know, about the idea of picking up your toys and if I can shut my mouth after that, it's been shocking to me how she'll just start to open up one of the other big takeaways I got from that book is as a, an aggressively curious I think, and shut down my kids from talking by how many questions I ask.

[00:28:34] And one of the things they're huge proponents of in that book is this concept of when your kids said something, instead of saying, well, what happened then? Who did they talk to? And you just say, huh, well, that's interesting. You just make these small statements and let them continue to talk. And I have been shocked when I do that, how much my daughter will reveal and how much it gets to much more underlying things like the dynamic of what's [00:29:00] happening with a particular friend at school.

[00:29:02] Who's. Feeling a little possessive and insecure, and then the trickle down that's creating for her in terms of anxiety stuff. That's coming out, I'm listening to her talk and I'm like, Whoa, this is way over my head. Even at second grade, I don't know what I'm going to do when she gets to high school. I'd be lost.

[00:29:18] Yeah.

[00:29:40] Yeah. Sounds like it.

[00:29:48] PH: [00:29:48] Problem. If you want to add

[00:29:51] JA: [00:29:51] for me

[00:29:52] PH: [00:29:52] book, just stop

[00:29:52] JA: [00:29:52] it. I can give you one tip in general.

[00:29:57] PH: [00:29:57] Another dad told me because

[00:29:58] JA: [00:29:58] when he's sitting in the back, it has [00:30:00] led to new conversations.

[00:30:03] PH: [00:30:03] I mean,

[00:30:04] JA: [00:30:04] Ben in a good enough place to use this system is exactly a mental effort for me. Same, same wiring. You do. It's really shocking.

[00:30:15] How, I guess you don't need it actively. Then after we'd been talking for a few minutes, the kids would do something like hug me and tell me they love me. And I'm thinking. Like usually this is the other way around that I'm realizing how much my kids just want to be heard, just like everyone else. And their dad just really sucks at letting other people be heard.

[00:30:33] So clearly that's something I need to work on that my kids are teaching me. That's probably going to help me just be a better human invasion. Yeah.

[00:31:11] [00:31:00] PH: [00:31:11] Amazing. Yeah, I had that issue too.

[00:31:15] JA: [00:31:15] Yeah. My, my wife and I have a joke in our family that came from an incident that complains about this. I don't remember the exact circumstance, but. We were upstairs in our bedroom document,

[00:31:25] PH: [00:31:25] but of course

[00:31:26] JA: [00:31:26] it doesn't tell you we're having a conversation about something.

[00:31:28] She does. My laundry was sitting right there. She's

[00:31:31] PH: [00:31:31] actually

[00:31:31] JA: [00:31:31] being, she thinks

[00:31:32] PH: [00:31:32] about something and I go, yeah, but that's one of my socks

[00:31:34] JA: [00:31:34] and this is me. And she's like, why don't you ever have. And I was, yeah.

[00:31:42] PH: [00:31:42] What she actually wanted to moments like

[00:31:44] JA: [00:31:44] definitely this moment I was in a particularly good and enlightened place, which I'm not usually, but at this moment, and it was just funny to me.

[00:31:52] And so I just laughed, and I said, honey, it's not about the surprise surprise. You might be surprised to hear it. Wasn't about the socks. [00:32:00] That was just the sort of outward frustration of what was really boiling under the surface. And so, in our house, it's. It's not about the socks, because most of the time, and you gave a good example earlier with your daughter and her jacket, the jacket it's about the underlying thing that the jacket represents or, you know, is that the tip of the iceberg.

[00:32:22] And unless you understand what's under the iceberg, you know, you can even empathize, or problem solve. And I think too often, we, as entrepreneurs, get so well-served in the early stages of our careers and journeys by being really great problem solvers. And then over time it comes to sabotage us. It sabotages us in our relationships and it even sabotages our desire to empower other people to lead and scale our businesses.

[00:32:54] And so. You know, I find for me, like when I read a book about [00:33:00] communicating with my kids, I learn as much about where I need to improve my communication when I'm working with any human that I care about sort of reaching their full potential. And that's, to me, what, you know, leadership is really about when it comes to business, it's, it's an empowerment game.

[00:33:18] Like how do you give people the chance to shine? And kids just really expose that in a raw way because you can't fire them.

[00:33:38] Okay.

[00:34:00] [00:34:00] PH: [00:34:00] Yeah, that's a good point. I'm going to remember that one. Yeah, it's true. It's true. I'm bad at that. Also. I,

[00:34:07] JA: [00:34:07] I absolutely

[00:34:08] PH: [00:34:08] go in and fix the problem. And then I understand intellectually that at, at because Yeah,

[00:34:15] JA: [00:34:15] employee, for example, busy, you worry about screwing things up with poor kids. Is that true? What you say? Fear of screwing things up. It's amplified times

[00:34:24] PH: [00:34:24] there. Isn't it letting them do it, but sometimes it's a fuckwit because it's your own business and you, you are going to item, actually suffer the consequences?

[00:34:31] So he audited how to talk. So

[00:34:34] JA: [00:34:34] kids will listen and listen. So, kids will talk,

[00:34:37] PH: [00:34:37] deal. Doesn't come through because someone makes a mistake, or they're not as invested as you are. Yeah, well, of course that's difficult.

[00:35:01] [00:35:00] JA: [00:35:01] How do we take family structures in the family?

[00:35:09] Family structures in the business.

[00:35:10]PH: [00:35:10] Cool. I put it in the show notes.

[00:35:12] JA: [00:35:12] Yeah. I always joke with people that I have

[00:35:15] PH: [00:35:15] two parents and

[00:35:16] JA: [00:35:16] you have

[00:35:17] PH: [00:35:17] certain

[00:35:18] JA: [00:35:18] family business partner

[00:35:21] PH: [00:35:21] systems. And so, found that

[00:35:28] they both

[00:35:28] JA: [00:35:28] taught you much

[00:35:30] PH: [00:35:30] about business and

[00:35:31] JA: [00:35:31] how to be in relationship with another person in a partnership. Because that's really what it is, right? Yeah. In terms of family strata, communicate, learning how to divide. Do you have sponsor abilities and accountability? Learning how to adapt those things is the seasons of life or the seasons of the business change.

[00:35:51] I mean, the, the corollaries are so numerous, even the idea of. How do you spend time together? As a business partner, if all I did was spend time with David, just dealing with the tactical stuff and the problems of the business, I can tell you our relationship would be really challenging. So, we have to be a little more deliberate, deliberate about spending some time together, just investing in the friendship because it's that basis of trust in who he is as a person that you know, allows me to.

[00:36:26] You know, be open and honest and candid and feel secure. And I've been part of the entrepreneur organization a long enough time to have seen a lot of partnerships fall through. And in my mind, it always comes down to that. If you lose trust. If you lose faith in the other, person's intent to look out for you and be there for you when times are down, then you're going to have a hard time sustaining the partnership, because as much as you want to believe in 50 50 at any given moment in time, no measurement is ever 50 50.

[00:36:59] And that's [00:37:00] as true in my family life with my wife, who I think when we walked into our marriage. You know, the way that we accounted for contributions was very different. Her contribution assessment timeframe was pretty short. It's like I expect it to be 50 50 within this very short window of time. And mine was very long and it probably led to some complacency on my part that I had to adjust to.

[00:37:25] And some flexibility on her part in terms of the fact that, you know, some seasons of your life or your business are just. Inherently challenging. Like when you first have kids, we call it the cave years because you're just trying to make it from one day to the next day with as minimal caffeine as possible.

[00:37:45] And everything is hard, but the hard changes, you know, right now it's not difficult because we're not getting sleep. It's difficult because we have kids who are evolving and dealing with more complex, you know, [00:38:00] emotional things going on, like my daughter and, and we've never encountered it before, and we're not equipped to handle it.

[00:38:05] And, you know, even as we read books and talk to psychologists and things like that, it's recognizing that every kid is so different. There's no one size fits all. It's just like in business, you can read a great business book. But you have to really get out there in the world and try some things and learn from it.

[00:38:26] What the sort of core tenants of success are for that particular business model or in this case for this particular kit,

[00:39:13] [00:39:00] PH: [00:39:13] Yeah, it's very true. We have to individualize, and I love that, though I have the same kind of situation in terms of business, my business partner. And I started, I don't know, 20 years ago we even studied together and Sydney. And before that, we started together in Munich. So, we've been married like you four.

[00:39:30] I don't know, 23 years. And I'm often told that we don't spend enough time doing the fun stuff. Exactly.

[00:39:38] JA: [00:39:38] And it's so has a growth mindset or skiing or whatever

[00:39:44] PH: [00:39:44] main needs to talk about

[00:39:45] JA: [00:39:45] business iterative

[00:39:47] PH: [00:39:47] kind of has changed our relationship

[00:39:48] JA: [00:39:48] a lot and it can really wear out our relationship on a stand.

[00:39:51] PH: [00:39:51] When you say

[00:39:52] JA: [00:39:52] that's what the conversation is always here,

[00:39:54] PH: [00:39:54] both of those sides, probably more even the friendship side. Yeah. Well, me

[00:40:00] [00:39:59] JA: [00:39:59] relationship with my wife has taught me to be more deliberate about that connection time with my partner and what my time with my partner has taught me about is investing.

[00:40:09] When you need some more,

[00:40:10] PH: [00:40:10] forget

[00:40:11] JA: [00:40:11] to have fun structures with my wife, to make sure that we're clear about the execution piece and not just winging it from day to day and just trying to survive because you know, part of. Getting to a better place as a family is the same logic we use in a business. It's like, let's really dig into the core issue of the problem.

[00:40:29] Let's try and experiment with some things, to find a way to address the core problem so that this doesn't have to be a recurring issue that keeps coming up over and over again, we can put this thing to bed and then, you know, talk about the next thing that we want to do together.

[00:40:59] Yeah. [00:41:00] You know, for, for a long while my wife and I took some components that we got from Like a one-on-one practice that you would do in meetings with an employee and. It was really helpful for us to start kickstarting some more in-depth conversations. I find sometimes that it's harder for me to talk to my wife about the real underlying things I'm feeling than it is for me to just talk about someone, with whatever that it's happening,

[00:41:28] PH: [00:41:28] way to look at things it just has

[00:41:30] JA: [00:41:30] to

[00:41:30] PH: [00:41:30] do with equal from business into families.

[00:41:32] JA: [00:41:32] My fear of acceptance comes from somebody that you're so close to and care so much about. You know, thinking highly of you. For a while, with our date nights, we had a structured list of questions that we would go through and then we would go do whatever fun thing we're going to do. But at dinner, we'd go through this list of questions and we only had one rule and the rule was when you're the one asking the questions, you only get to ask the question and you don't get to respond in any other way.

[00:41:58] And what was [00:42:00] power? Well, yeah, I mean, I had somewhere on my Google drive here, but. Some of my favorite questions were what have you been making me wrong about, which was an interesting question to think about sort of our own judgments that we're making about the other person? Well, I've been making you wrong about the way you're.

[00:42:24] Helping prepare when we're trying to get out the door. And here's what the story I've been telling myself and what I've been frustrated with. So, something like that, two questions, like what, what do you want to be acknowledged for was in a really powerful question.

[00:42:38] PH: [00:42:38] You ask any

[00:42:39] JA: [00:42:39] questions we understand from initiators for like, what is it right now that you're just really proud of or because that doesn't always come out or it doesn't always come out in a way where I have clarity on.

[00:42:53] You know what I really should reinforce that cause that's a really awesome and powerful thing she just did or said, or was a part of,

[00:43:07] [00:43:00] we had a set list of questions that we went through. And again, we did it for a time and it was a really good season for us from a communication standpoint, we don't really use that set list of questions anymore. But like a lot of times, you know, because you know, we're a part of this group called the entrepreneurs organization, and my wife has actually been in a spousal forum for 10 years.

[00:43:27] And so a lot of times what we'll talk about on our date nights is what was on our update sheets. So, what's your top 5% and your bottom 5% in your life. And how are you feeling about it? So that I think has become more common. System or language that we use when we're

[00:43:43] PH: [00:43:43] do you make up the questions every time?

[00:43:45] When do you have a set list of questions that you ask each other? Every

[00:43:47] JA: [00:43:47] time

[00:44:27] [00:44:00] PH: [00:44:27] Check-in. Yeah. Yeah. We've got a set check-in that we do regularly, actually in the evenings. And it starts with gratitude. So, thank you for, I don't know, taking care of the kids today, so I could go for a surf, just something to set a tone and obviously meaningless. And then you go personal lows or today's low something that happened.

[00:44:52] Today's high. Horizon on my horizon, this is happening and I'm not looking forward to [00:45:00] it or it's on my mind or it's, I'm looking forward to it, whatever it is. And then like similar to what you said earlier, very powerful acknowledgement. I've been working really hard on supporting this and this and this, or, and then the other person says, yes, I can see that acknowledge that.

[00:45:17] He's been trying really. So, thank you. And it works. That's really great.

[00:45:21] JA: [00:45:21] It sounds like it's in depth. I think one specific thing,

[00:45:27] PH: [00:45:27] I think it's probably

[00:45:28] JA: [00:45:28] can be similar to the chicken.

[00:45:30] PH: [00:45:30] You just get so comfortable

[00:45:32] JA: [00:45:32] with or whatever

[00:45:35] PH: [00:45:35] your kind of deviate stop

[00:45:37] JA: [00:45:37] pushing me a little bit in terms of this conversation.

[00:45:41] Relationships talk about that.

[00:45:42] PH: [00:45:42] And you often get the issue out of

[00:45:43] JA: [00:45:43] the way. At least I found and then help

[00:45:48] PH: [00:45:48] carry on.

[00:45:49] JA: [00:45:49] It helped me make us when I'm with other people. I don't need questions, prompts. I don't know them. So, I'm curious about lots of things. What's nice about it is that get together, we just figured it was no [00:46:00] that's already there.

[00:46:00] And the reality is

[00:46:02] PH: [00:46:02] when we

[00:46:03] JA: [00:46:03] read those more in-depth conversations, we're always learning something new about each other or some new wants about how we're evolving, because the reality is, we are fundamentally different people than we were 20 plus years ago when we met and. I think that the biggest challenge of any marriage is how two people stay in sync as evolving humans who are changing constantly dramatically.

[00:46:29] PH: [00:46:29] Yeah.

[00:46:34] JA: [00:46:34] Oh, the cave years you are totally in. The caveat is my business partner is as well. He's got an almost three-year-old, it's easier, not quite one and a half year old. And so, it's so funny when we get together. Listen, because we're just like, we're so empathetic and yet, so grateful to be past that.

[00:47:19] [00:47:00] PH: [00:47:19] Especially doing the cave. Yes. I liked that. Also, I'm in caveats brew because they'll show you, I'm in the cave.

[00:47:29] JA: [00:47:29] So hard, so hard. I tell people, this is why I still have to go to work is because at work people respect me.

[00:47:41] Yeah with your kids, man. Maybe it's just because I

[00:47:44] PH: [00:47:44] know you mean

[00:47:50] JA: [00:47:50] come out of there.

[00:47:53] PH: [00:47:53] Actually, both of them, the boast twins, the boys to both, they just scream at me like, okay, [00:48:00] Henry, if you scream. I can't help you because you're just going to scream again the next time. And so, ask me like a normal child. You scream again for like an hour. I know. I know it's going to change.

[00:48:14] Yeah, I know, but it's still hard. It's still hard.

[00:48:27] yeah. You can just say what you want, and someone will do it.

[00:48:29] JA: [00:48:29] Yeah. Brutally honest. They don't know how to hide her emotions. And that is a blessing and a curse.

[00:48:44] PH: [00:48:44] That's a great level of, Hey, on also a mirror, I guess, kind of, you know, and like what you said earlier, it challenges you to become a better person overall or helps you by thinking about these How to communicate [00:49:00] with your children and applying that to the workplace or elsewhere. I think that's very powerful and it's really true.

[00:49:06] You know, if, if you do want to do that, not everybody wants to do that, but if you do want to grow in that respect, it makes a lot of sense because children are

[00:49:15] JA: [00:49:15] kids too. So, I mean, you're, you're, you're, you're going to cover every communication spectrum with five different humans living in your house, that you have to learn the nuances of how to translate what they're telling you and how to communicate to them.

[00:49:27] You're going to be Superman.

[00:49:29] PH: [00:49:29] Yup. I like it actually, I mean, I said to him, I was thinking if I were to speak to people like my children, just saying, what is, it would probably not go down well with a lot of people in society. But with a lot of people, it would actually work really well. You know, like if, if they know that you're just,

[00:49:53] JA: [00:49:53] you're just, it's got to be some interesting dynamics to

[00:49:59] PH: [00:49:59] Are they

[00:50:01] [00:50:00] JA: [00:50:01] similar in some ways, but do they have to sort of create their own unique personality to have their own sense of self? How does that work?

[00:50:19] PH: [00:50:19] They already take different routes as super, super different. I mean, they communicated different styles, stayed. They are intense or not intense depending on how their mood is. And that goes for every single child and, you know, different things triggered, triggered them. And just because of twins and triplets, they are still very many individuals like totally a hundred percent.

[00:51:00] [00:51:00] so I spoke to another dad who has twins. And he said he intentionally let them fail at certain things individually so that he could set the other child on the path of that particular activity. So, for instance, I mean, I'm, I'm putting it very drastically, but like, you know, he'll encourage the one twin playing soccer and then it's suddenly, that was his thing.

[00:51:28] And the other boy would. I don’t know, it would really be into running. Actually. That was the example. He was really into running and suddenly they talked at dinner and wherever good this child was at running kind of discouraging the other boy and kind of pushing him towards soccer. I don't know if I agree with that.

[00:51:51] But I can totally understand how it works,

[00:51:53] JA: [00:51:53] you know, because he's the runner,

[00:51:56] PH: [00:51:56] you think he would be a soccer player. He's really good at running. It's just not, [00:52:00] I, I don't know if that's a good thing, but in a sense, you do develop their own

[00:52:05] JA: [00:52:05] paths,

[00:52:06] PH: [00:52:06] I guess. Actually, I wouldn't want to do that because your kind of.

[00:52:12] I think you kind of change the future of that child in a sense, you know, because that sticks, you'll never be the runner anymore ever. And I don't think that's good. What you have to do. And in my mind is you have to individualize with all the kids. So, they will tell you what they want to do. Like you said earlier, they know what they enjoy, and you need to make sure that I try that.

[00:52:35] At least it's challenging because I need to do it five times, but I try to

[00:52:40] JA: [00:52:40] get.

[00:52:42] PH: [00:52:42] One-on-one time and then do one activity with them. They issue literally, I can't even get out the door with one because then all of them want to come and everybody starts screaming because they find it unfair. But yeah, so, but the mission is to do one-on-one stuff.

[00:52:57] And even if I take two of [00:53:00] them, for instance, I've been going to babies, swimming for. With the twins since they were six months, they're not four and a half.

[00:53:08] JA: [00:53:08] The other thing I was thinking 

[00:53:11] PH: [00:53:11] is different. That's

[00:53:13] JA: [00:53:13] one of the fundamental challenges I find with dad say this time, this dynamic is

[00:53:18] PH: [00:53:18] completely different

[00:53:20] JA: [00:53:20] than my kids compliance speed.

[00:53:22] I need things to get though. I want to have

[00:53:28] desire for them to be the time. It's not like

[00:53:32] PH: [00:53:32] one of them go swimming separately and

[00:53:34] JA: [00:53:34] trainable capable of maybe interesting decisions. So they are,

[00:53:37] PH: [00:53:37] and. But

[00:53:39] JA: [00:53:39] I constantly find that my big challenge is trying to be deliberate about which decisions and approaches fall in which bucket.

[00:53:50] PH: [00:53:50] Yep. Okay. Jamie,

[00:53:54] JA: [00:53:54] otherwise we'll play some sort of time.

[00:53:57] Sun is shining, but

[00:53:58] PH: [00:53:58] just to be aware of time,

[00:54:00] [00:54:00] JA: [00:54:00] I crush it, but those days don't happen very often. So, most of the time I'm dealing with it. Some amount of deficiency in how I'm feeling or what's going on in my world. And that's what I find: the patience runs thin and I don't show up the best I can. That's why I really love what you're one dad had shared about saying sorry to your kids and even in the playing field.

[00:54:27] So I think that's. So true for your kids to just recognize like, Hey, just because we're parents, just because we're older and just because we're these authority figures doesn't mean we'd get any more figured out than you do. We've been, we're working at this too, and we're not always at our best. And sometimes we have meltdowns of our own that we have to sort of deal with when adversity strikes.

[00:55:18] [00:55:00] One thing I'm trying to work on Philip that you just made me think of is I am the Taurus for answering questions for my kids. Somebody will ask them a question. Hey Sydney, did you go skiing yesterday? And I'll say, yeah, she went skiing and she did

[00:55:34] PH: [00:55:34] great.

[00:55:38] JA: [00:55:38] I know,

[00:55:39] PH: [00:55:39] it sounds so annoying and

[00:55:41] JA: [00:55:41] stupid when you hear it out loud. But I do that, and I do it often. I miss finisher what you said earlier

[00:55:56] PH: [00:55:56] own

[00:55:56] JA: [00:55:56] because they don't usually

[00:55:58] PH: [00:55:58] make decisions.

[00:55:59] JA: [00:55:59] They [00:56:00] don't even always even heard or have acknowledged the question. I want them to

[00:56:04] PH: [00:56:04] do what I say

[00:56:06] JA: [00:56:06] and that kind of doesn't work to just shut my mouth and wait.

[00:56:09] PH: [00:56:09] So that's an interesting

[00:56:11] JA: [00:56:11] one, leads to a lot more interesting interactions and insight for my kids.

[00:56:15] Okay.

[00:56:39] Cut.

[00:56:54] I will not be at GLC. I do have many friends that will be there. So, should I have them look you [00:57:00] up and say, hi.

[00:57:06] Awesome. So, you're doing the, my track. Yeah. Got it.

[00:57:13] PH: [00:57:13] Yeah. That's powerful. Even if they come home from school,

[00:57:20] don't even get a chance to, to speak. Yeah.

[00:57:24] JA: [00:57:24] Oh, for sure.

[00:57:25] PH: [00:57:25] Yeah. Interesting

[00:57:30] thought. I would say we're at an hour here. I can see the time. 58 minutes actually. Thank you very, very much for being on. There was a lot of interesting stuff. It's a deal and it's very valuable for all of us. It was really great.

Jeremy AmesProfile Photo

Jeremy Ames

Jeremy Ames is 42, married and has 2 kids. He lives in Idaho in the U.S. and is a serial entrepreneur.

Jeremy’s current business, Guidant Financial, has helped over 18.000 entrepreneurs put more than 4 billion USD to work, mainly in small businesses or franchises. In 2007, Jeremy was honored as the National Young Entrepreneur of the Year by the Small Business Administration.