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My wife, Laci, joins me on a special-edition spouse episode.
She wants to talk to your spouse about money mindset and getting on the same page. Her goal in joining me on this show (truly, she came up with the topic!) was to help spouses of entrepreneurs understand your business investments even when it doesn’t seem to make sense.
When we streamed this episode live inside the Community, we had dozens of members listen live with their spouses and ask questions.
We hope this is something you can share and listen to together with your significant other to help stimulate the conversation about money and business investments when you work for yourself.
It’s not always easy and it’s especially difficult when you’re not the one making executive decisions. Laci helps give spouses of entrepreneurs a lot of clarity in what many members are already calling one of their favorite episodes of the seanwes podcast.
Highlights, Takeaways, Quick Wins:
- It may take time for your significant other to understand the importance of investing time and finances into your business.
- If your spouse wants to enjoy unprecedented results, they have to be on board with making equally crazy investments that they may not understand.
- When you own your own business, you have to get on the same page with your spouse and operate from a standpoint of trust.
- Live a simple life and make purchasing decisions on whether something aligns with your values.
- You can’t expect your spouse to understand everything you’re evaluating when you’re making investments and taking on risks—you just need their support.
- If you’re planning for an exception, you’re planning for failure.
- You either own your life or you owe your life—you’re the master or the slave.
- A lot of people think they’re communicating, but they’re just talking at the other person.
- 02:45 Laci: I recently had lunch with Kyle Adams’ wife, Danae. She said they were in a position where Kyle needed to purchase a new camera as a business expense, but he already had a camera. She was wondering why the other camera wasn’t good enough; why did he need to upgrade on that when that money could be put to something else? How do you handle your spouse needing to make business choices when you don’t understand them?
- 03:42 Sean: What was your advice to her?
- 03:46 Laci: She was basically asking me how I handled you making financial business decisions when it comes to our personal money. I talked about our past, Sean having the computer repair business and the web design business. I was working at Starbucks when we first got married, I wasn’t making very much money, and sometimes Sean wasn’t making very much money with his businesses. It was nerve-wracking to invest money in t-shirts or new camera equipment, etc. It was hard even a of couple years ago, when he stopped doing client work and spent eight months not making money so he could focus on Learn Lettering.
- 04:59 Sean: Going half a year without making money? “I thought Sean launched a successful course like eating breakfast in the morning.” That’s not how it went?
- 05:16 Laci: At that point, I had a better day job that was paying most of our bills.
- 05:33 Sean: I purposefully saved six months worth of income before I quit.
- 05:41 Laci: We had savings, but during the actual six months, Sean wasn’t making extra money. I was covering our bills, but anything else we needed came out of our savings. Being in these situations where my job is barely covering us and Sean’s not making any money with his business can be nerve-wracking as a spouse. I would look at that situation and think, “What am I supporting?” I told Danae that I didn’t really understand Sean’s mindset about money until recently. I’ve taken a lot of steps over several years to understand how he come at finances for us personally and finances for his business, but I especially didn’t understand it in the beginning.
- 06:39 Sean: Before the show, you said that you didn’t fully understand the until the Learn Lettering launch and the results of that.
- 06:56 Laci: Sean had been operating his own business since well before we got married.
It took me four years to understand the importance of investing time and finances into the business.
- 07:03 Sean: We got married in 2010. Brent says, “I’d love to hear a bit of a backstory of your guys’ relationship in terms of when you started working for yourself. Fears, hurdles, getting on the same page, and that sort of thing, or were you two always in sync?”
- 07:23 Laci: Not always and I think that’s partly upbringing. When Sean was trying to buy his first car, I thought cars should be debt. I believed you should only get into debt for something big. Watching Sean buy a car in cash and hustle to do that blew my mind.
- 07:52 Sean: It’s a common mindset. People say, “You shouldn’t buy clothes on a credit card and go crazy, but for a car or a house, of course you finance it.”
- 08:08 Laci: When we met at a church camp, I was 13 and Sean was 15; we were both homeschooled.
- 08:26 Sean: Laci was 15 and I was 17 by the time we started dating, and we did a four year long distance relationship. We lived 200 miles apart for the first four years of our relationship and we talked a lot. It was hard to try and visit you, and it might only be a few times a year. Eventually, I was driving to meet you almost every other weekend, but for those four years, it started with a ton of communication. All we had was talking, so we would talk about how we were thinking, how we approach things, how we do life, what our plans are, and I credit that communication as a strong foundational element to our relationship. Communication is really important.
- 11:32 Laci: I gave Danae our backstory to illustrate how long it took for me to understand what business investments need to be made and how important they are. I tend to have a mindset that if I save up more money, I’ll have more money. Therefore, if I don’t spend money, I will have more money. I felt like that was where Danae was coming from, too, so I could relate to that.
- 12:17 I told her, “First of all, keep in mind who you’re married to. You’re not married to an irresponsible person. He’s an entrepreneur, and he’s made good choices so far. He’s following what he’s passionate about, which are very good and healthy things for him to do for the family. Also, remember that you need to spend money to make money.”
Investments Vs. Savings
- 13:03 I couldn’t wrap my head around spending thousands of dollars on t-shirts, but then I realized how much of a long game Sean was playing. We’re not going to get thousands of dollars from t-shirts immediately or all the time. It’s great when you sell out and you do make that money back, plus some, but:
I felt like spending money on t-shirts or equipment for the business meant that money was just gone.
- 13:38 Sean: Laci thought that saving money equals having more money, and spending money equals “it’s gone.”
- 13:48 Laci: In my head, you should operate on the least amount possible, so business investments were not something that fit into that mindset. I talked with Danae about understanding that it takes money to make money, and she needed to realize that he’s not making a bad decision; the money he’s spending is going to better his business and allow him to make more money later. Understanding that principle was huge for me, because I didn’t understand business early on.
- 14:44 Sean: Referring to the Magic of 7, Garrett asks, “Has it taken telling Sean something seven times before he takes out the trash, fixes door knobs, or stops the sink from dripping?”
- 15:02 Laci: It’s the opposite—the Magic of 7 has worked on me when it comes to business investments and having to spend money when I don’t understand why. I probably ask Sean to fix things once, and then he’ll say, “I’ll hire someone to do that.”
- 15:43 Sean: The way I think about money is this: if we weren’t married, I wouldn’t make my own dinners. I would pay for food delivery, because I could go to the store and get ingredients to make a $3 meal or I could pay $25 to have food delivered to me while I use that time to make $250 or $2,500.
- 16:14 Laci: I’ve never operated that way in my whole life. I felt like I didn’t really understand time and money business investments until Learn Lettering, but recently, we had a long conversation about spending money. It distilled down to my mindset being a frugal, savings-based mindset. Saving and clipping coupons might take me forever, but I think that I will have more money because of it. Sean’s mindset is, “If we need more money, I’ll make more money,” not, “If we need more money, we need to save money.”
- 17:45 Until you started operating seanwes and being able to invest lots of time, effort, hustle, and hard work to result in really big, six-figure launches, I saw money as every penny I’m making per hour for years. I never thought I could invest in something and get a huge return, like you have done successfully.
- 18:51 Sean: That was such a productive conversation. You said that your mindset was to clip coupons and be frugal to save money and then we’ll have money, while I think that if we need money, I’ll make money.
I see focus as the fuel I need to make money.
- 19:14 If hiring someone to fix a leaky faucet or deliver food is going to give me focus, I’ll have the money I would have saved going to the grocery store.
Big Results Require Big Investments
- 19:29 The crazy thing is, the way this business operates is unlike any other business. There are plenty of similar businesses, but it’s unlike the vast majority of people in the world and their jobs. Suddenly, predictably, and reliably, we can do product launches where we’re making five or six figures in a matter of hours or days. I have it down to a science formulaically. I told her:
You can’t enjoy unprecedented results when you’re not on board with making equally crazy investments that you may not understand.
- 21:03 Someone was asking how you handle me making large business investments. For the first edition of Learn Lettering, I bought new Cannon 5D Mark 3 cameras that cost thousands of dollars. That was a really big investment. Redesigning seanwes.com is a five figure investment that I’ve made several times. Buying gear, hiring Justin, $50,000 on a chat system—what is going through Laci’s mind? I bet people also want to know, from Laci’s perspective, how I’m approaching her about making these investments?
- 21:59 Laci: Sean wants to make me aware of these investments so I’m not shocked when something happens, but he also needs my support. He doesn’t just want me to say yes so he can do this thing; it’s like he’s saying, “I’ve thought long and hard about this, these are the choices I need to make, and I need you to support me in these choices.” He’s not asking permission, though there’s nothing wrong with that, but he’s already thought long and hard, he makes good decisions, and he doesn’t act unless it’s been in his mind for a long time. He’s researched all the right things and knows exactly how much money he needs to spend.
- 23:03 Sean: The results are unprecedented—how many people do you know who can predictably say, “In 60 days we’re going to make an extra $90,000 on these two days”? Because the results are unprecedented, you can’t be surprised when the investments seem crazy.
- 23:28 Laci: In that conversation, I had flippantly said, “When we get $90,000…” and Sean said, “You can’t say that when you’re too scared to make investments to get to that point.” Every time he came to me with these big investments, he iterated that we are playing the long game, so we’re not going to get this money back right away, but we will. All these purchases he needs to make will help us do that, and he’ll be hindered if he doesn’t make those purchases. Realizing those principals makes supporting him come easier to me; that’s what I told Danae.
We have to operate from a standpoint of trust.
- 24:45 Sean: I have to have Laci’s support to continue. I need her support; I don’t need her to understand. I’m legitimately overwhelmed with everything going on right now. It’s not possible for anyone to comprehend what I’m dealing with without me sitting down and spending literally 30 minutes just describing everything, and that’s not even discussing them or solving a problem. I have so many things—it’s like I have a jet plane of controls in front of me, and it would take hours to explain to someone why I’m overwhelmed.
Get on the Same Page
- 26:39 People always wonder, “How do you work together? I could never hire my wife/husband.” It makes sense, because it is difficult for a lot of people to have the necessary compartmentalization to be able to operate in these two mindsets and be able to separate things. There’s a benefit to working with your spouse. When Laci came home from her old job, she’d share a little bit. She would be really stressed and overwhelmed, but for the most part, I didn’t know what she did.
- 27:29 I don’t know who she worked with, I haven’t really met them, I don’t know what her day looks like on a day-to-day basis, and we didn’t have the time to explain. If I were to explain everything I was stressed about or working on, it would take two hours just to explain it. The nice thing is, when we work together, we’re working on the same projects, so when we get to the end of the day we both know what we dealt with.
You can’t expect your spouse to understand everything you’re evaluating when you’re making investments and taking on risks.
You just need their support.
- 28:40 You can’t explain everything. You can’t impart all the nuance, context, and intuition you have from doing this.
- 29:13 Laci: I just had to resolve to not understand. I’m a person who needs to understand things. I want to know what I’m getting myself into. I want to know the research. At some point, I have to trust and let it go. Resolving to not understand was a huge step for me. I realized I needed to trust and support Sean in whatever he’s going to do, because he would support me in whatever I would do.
- 30:21 Sean: In addition to communication, this is the biggest thing: I’m unwilling and unable to move forward without issues in our relationship being resolved. If we have a flight to catch and we have an argument, we stop right there and resolve this issue. If we miss the flight, we miss the flight. I’m not willing to go on and have stress, anger and animosity between us; you just can’t do it, because it it’s toxic. It’s going to eat away at both of you and destroy the relationship eventually, even if you can live with it for a while. I always want to nip it in the bud.
We only move forward from a conversation once we’re on the same page.
- 31:24 You cannot operate with different mindsets. If one of you sees debt as a tool and the other is a no-debt person, you can’t operate that way. You have to resolve this. You’ve got to find some middle ground and a same page to be on. Work through this stuff. You’re not fighting against each other. You’re not trying to beat the other person or win at the game; you’re a team. It’s like sports—you can’t argue whose play to run because you’ll just run into each other and lose the ball.
- 33:35 Sean: Aaron says, “What is Laci’s biggest worry related to seanwes?”
- 33:41 Laci: Right now, my biggest worry is probably giving all our money away. It’s all business investments, but we’ve hired a lot of people. Recently, I wanted to buy $20 sandals. It’s summer, so normally buying sandals would not be a big deal, but because we are eagerly awaiting the Learn Lettering launch our personal money has been tight. We want to make sure our employees are covered.
- 34:39 Sean: The employees are our family, and we’re going to take care of them no matter what. I’m trying to take what I learned the hard way with my first business—delegation, hiring, and growing the business—and do it the right way. I had enough work for one guy, my first employee, and we had the perfect amount of work. If I advertised, we would have had too much work, and if I brought on another guy, we would have to pay him and train him for work we didn’t have. It was chicken-and-the-egg, and I never did anything. We stagnated, and I ended up having to sell the company.
- 35:23 This time, I’m looking at the trajectory and where things are going, and I’m going to raise the ceiling proactively. We’re investing when it hurts right now, and it’s resulting in us really needing to prioritize and focus on cash flow. We have people to take care of; we have payroll. There are projects I would like to do that are fun and are more long-term investment, but we can’t right now. Ideally, I’d like to have half a year’s worth of payroll just sitting there; that’s not money we use for investments. I would like to get to that point because I’d like to guarantee that our people will be taken care of.
- 36:09 Right now, I’m focusing on cash flow, but because we’re making all these investments, raising the ceiling, hiring and bringing people onto the team, the next big focus is Learn Lettering 2.0. That’s going to be a course that’s profitable. I want to do other courses, a free book, and give away value, because I love doing that, but we have to focus on cash flow. For that reason, we’re clamping down on extraneous spending, both with the business and with personal money. We fund the business and we take care of the business if it needs it.
- 36:50 Laci: I understood, but I was a little sad about my $20 sandals.
Operating Without a Budget
- 36:56 Sean: My mindset with money is like my crash course in no-debt mentality. I’ve never had a budget in my life. I start with my values, and I say, “Does this purchase align with my values?” If not, I don’t do it. I like to think of it like a house on a square property and there’s a fence around the boundary. The fence represents a budget and the house represents my values. My goal is to remain as close to the house as possible in the middle of the property. I want to stay as close to my values as possible.
- 37:57 To me, a budget is about the extremities and how far you can go without surpassing the budget. How much do I have allotted to entertainment, travel, or whatever? If there’s more allotted to a budget area, we can use it and we might as well. I would rather live a simple life, and make purchasing decisions on whether something aligns with our values, than operate with a budget. That allows us a certain amount of freedom. We don’t get eight coffees out in our budget for a month, but we have the freedom to go get coffee whenever we want.
- 38:49 Maybe we just say, “We’re out, let’s get coffee. Let’s buy some new sandals.” Maybe that month we want to go out to eat, and we can. We don’t do much extraneous spending, but we can. We might have purchased six coffees that month or even 12.
Because we’re so focused on values and a simple lifestyle, we never end up anywhere near our financial limit.
- 39:24 Laci: I remember attempting to operate on a budget before we got married, and I wasn’t living on very much money. I felt like I was always maxing out my budgets. The way we live now is an increased lifestyle from the way I lived in college, obviously, but my level of spending is lower now than when I was on a budget. I feel more satisfied. I’m satisfied with going to see a movie every four months, whereas when I was on a budget, if I had a $20 a month entertainment budget, I’d spend that and want to spend some more. Everything feels more like a treat.
- 40:36 Sean: That’s where I feel bad, because we usually have this freedom. If we want to get sandals, it’s no big deal, but this time we’re limiting ourselves because of the principal of clamping down on everything to focus.
- 41:07 Keshna asks, “Laci, what is your reaction when you see revenue fluctuate?”
- 41:15 Laci: Now I know it’s going to fluctuate and there are going to be ups and downs. I know that Sean’s hustling really hard to make sure that the ups are more of the norm, so I trust that he’s doing what it takes to take care of the company. Before, I would wring my hands over it. I said that my biggest concern was giving all our money away, but I know that hiring people is an investment.
- 42:00 I have this dream of buying a house someday, and someday we will, but we’re going to hustle now to make that money down the line to buy a house. In my mind, we’ve been married five years, so shouldn’t we have saved up enough money for half a house by now? We don’t have that money because we only take enough money from the business to cover our bills. We don’t take enough money for a house. We don’t even have a house-savings fund yet because we’re not there yet.
- 42:28 Sean: A lot of people feel like they’re making progress and getting closer to owning a house if they put money aside for it now, and in thirty years they’ll have a house. Whereas, you’ve been working hard for five years and you don’t have any money for a house, but in six or seven years we can buy one in cash. That’s how we’re thinking. Keshna also asks, “What did it take to get your mindset aligned with Sean’s? Or have you also had a no debt mentality?”
- 42:58 Laci: I have not always had a no debt mentality. I grew up thinking you shouldn’t have debt except for big purchases, which includes school, cars, appliances, and houses. Watching Sean buy his car in cash for the first time when he was 17 was a big deal to see because that wasn’t the life I had lived. That was my first baby step into the No-Debt Mentality. I was lucky enough to have my education covered by the government, but if I didn’t have that, I can’t promise that I wouldn’t have gone into debt because I wasn’t there yet.
- 43:52 Then it got to the point where I believed in no debt except for a house. We had been married a year or two when we had the conversation of saving for a house in cash. It comes from that mindset of making the money to have a house, unlike my old mindset of, “It’s going to take 75 years of us saving $10 a week to buy a house in cash.” That’s what I was afraid of. I thought I couldn’t have a house until I was retired, but Sean already had the other mindset though he hadn’t articulated it that way. We were starting with the value back then; the value was to buy a house in cash.
- 44:44 Sean: My value really is that I don’t buy things I can’t afford; I don’t spend money I don’t have. Someone earlier asked if my parents talked with me about money. No, my parents operate with debt. They use debt as a tool to do things, and they’ve had debt all my life. I’m an objective, logical person, and debt is not logical to me.
You either own your life or you owe your life—you’re the master or the slave.
- 45:32 I like being a master of my life. My value is that I don’t want to owe anyone anything. I don’t want to spend money I don’t have. People ask, “What if something happened to someone you love, and the only situation is that you had to borrow money…” They go to extremes to find where I would make an exception to the values. I don’t operate that way. There’s no answer to that question because I don’t think that way.
- 46:07 The way I think is, “What do you start with? Do you start with your values or do you start with money?” If you don’t think a client is right for you but they’re your second largest client and you’re worrying about losing them, what are your values? Are your values that you don’t discount or devalue your products, or are your values money? If you start with money, you’re going to go with that every time. I start with a standpoint of values: I don’t go into debt and I don’t spend money I don’t have.
- 46:49 I approach life by seeing the challenges. We start with values and anything that happens to us is simply a challenge. If I don’t have money, but my wife got in a wreck and we need to pay bills—to me, that’s a challenge, not an exception. It’s a tough, tricky situation. That would be very challenging for me, but I would have to figure out how to deal with that situation given what my values are. Exceptions are exceptions. If you have an exception, let it be an exception; don’t plan for it. If you’re planning for an exception, you’re planning for failure.
- 47:59 Laci: My parents were always in debt for a long time from some business decisions my dad made that put him in tons of debt, so we always lived in that mindset. Before Sean and I got married, we had $1,000 to our name; we had nothing. I remember Sean’s mom telling me, “You can’t live on love. I know you think you can, but you can’t.” I thought it would be fine.
- 48:36 Sean: We did sit on the floor, had a mattress on the floor, and one car that only I could drive because hers broke down. That wasn’t an exception. You can say, “You can’t go by your values. You can’t sit on the floor, you’ve got to have a couch. Finance the couch, be smart. She can’t drive the car? How’s she going to go to work?” Be creative. Are they values or are they not values to you?
- 49:15 Charla asks, “Laci, how much of the time do you try to get on the same page with Sean, and how much of the time do you take a step back and trust that he’s got it figured out?”
- 49:23 Laci: It’s probably about 80% trying to get on the same page with Sean and the rest is trust. I very much want to understand things. I need the logical side of things, the math equation, the research, and the answers before I can just trust something. It works because we don’t leave anything unresolved. We always walk away on the same page.
Leaving a Legacy
- 50:08 Sean: John’s wife asks, “Do you want kids someday?”
- 50:13 Laci: At this point, no, we don’t. I like how that question was phrased: not “When are you going to have kids?” but, “Do you want to have kids?” That’s the question I ask people now.
- 51:00 Sean: I’m the oldest of 13 kids, and I grew up taking care of them, even changing diapers. I have have this theory: every adult has to change a minimum of 1,000 diapers, whether you have kids or not. I’ve changed well over that number. I lived at home till I was 21, trying to be responsible and save up my money, before I got out of a house with like 10 kids. I had never experienced silence and I’m very introverted. I love my silence and my thinking time. I’ve loved having peace and quiet here. I was so done changing diapers and wanted to focus on my business. Laci was an only child, so I was freaked out thinking she was going to want kids immediately.
- 52:44 I also didn’t really get to do vacations. We might have had three family vacations in my life. It’s hard enough going out to eat with a dozen people, let alone travel anywhere. I want to get out and see the world and travel, and I never had that opportunity. I don’t want to come out of that situation and into another one where I don’t have the freedom to do that while I’m young.
- 53:12 Laci: Even though I was an only child and did get to travel some, I’ve spent a long time striving for something in jobs I could never get, and now I just need time to figure it out, time for my mental health. That does not involve having children at the moment. I’m totally okay not having them; I have this open-ended idea of what I want to do. I could spend the rest of my life trying to figure it out, but kids aren’t in that picture right now.
- 53:51 Sean: I strive to be the absolute best I can be at everything. I’m highly competitive and obsessive about things. If I’m going to play piano, I’m going to be epically good at piano. If I’m going to do business or lettering, I have to be the best. I’m going to pour everything into this. I know exactly what’s required of a good dad, and I know that I would be a good dad, but it’s not something I want to choose right now because I know what it would mean in terms of sacrifice. Right now, I’m really enjoying running my business. People want to impart their legacy onto their offspring, and the business and the Community are my legacy.
- 55:10 Laci: I’m 25 so people ask me these kinds of questions and I always say, “The business is our baby.”
- 55:34 Sean: Keshna asks, “Do you ever get impatient with Sean in anything?”
- 55:48 Laci: I’m not a very patient person and he’s an extremely patient person. I don’t feel like I have the right to say that I get impatient with Sean, because he’s way more patient with me than I ever deserve. If he’s explaining something to me and I don’t get it, I ask him to explain it another way, he’ll get halfway through the second round of explaining and I’ll get it and tell him to stop talking now. I get impatient when it clicks and I stop him and he gets kind of frustrated with that.
Schedule Time Together
- 56:29 Sean: Felippe asks, “Do you ever feel like Sean works a lot and doesn’t spend ‘much time’ with family? How do you deal with that?”
- 56:38 Laci: I do feel that way sometimes. We always talk on the seanwes podcast about how Sean’s love language is Words of Affirmation and mine is Quality time. Before we realized what those love languages were, we weren’t going to make it. I constantly felt unloved because Sean wasn’t spending time with me—he was starting a business and working 18 hours a day—so I wasn’t going to turn around and give him encouragement. We butted heads at that point in our lives.
- 57:17 Now we understand those things and we schedule time; we schedule dates. Now, we are always working to reiterate what the other person says. I’ll say, “Hey, I need a date with you. Can we go on this day and get this food?” Sean will repeat it back to me. There were times before when I would say, “I want to go on a date to Torchy’s Tacos at 7pm on Friday night,” and Sean didn’t respond to that, and it comes to 7pm on Friday night and I’m ready to go but he has no idea.
A lot of people think they’re communicating, but they’re just talking at the other person.
- 57:58 Sean: I realized we weren’t actually communicating. People can be either oblivious, tuned out, focused on something else, or they’re just waiting to talk and not really listening. I decided that the only way for Laci to know that I actually heard her and that we’re communicating is if I repeat it back to her.
- 58:32 Laci: We schedule time together. An hour before this show when we were writing outlines, I realized I hadn’t even told him the story about my lunch with Danae because we hadn’t sat down or really even seen each other since then.
- 59:16 Sean: By default, once we’re done with work, instead of talking, we end up talking and debriefing about work. It’s eating into our evening time, and I realized that we need to schedule debrief meetings during the work hours because it’s going to bleed over into our personal time otherwise.
- 59:55 Laci: We schedule date times and we have nice, fun times, and then we have work things we debunk, but there’s this in-between of talking about dreams and goals at a personal level that don’t get talked about because we really want to enjoy our personal time so then we just talk about fun silly things instead of deep personal goals.
Reconciling Work and Life
- 1:01:19 Sean: Keshna asks, “Laci, do you ever want Sean to pause seanwes? What happens if you decide to have your own business? What happens when you leave seanwes?” Laci is going to be leaving seanwes eventually. She isn’t going to work in seanwes forever, and we know this. She has decided to work here. I could hire someone else, but she wanted to because she wanted to help out. Also, she’s still trying to discover what she wants to do, to pursue. She’s said she might as well be helping out.
- 1:02:24 Laci: I chose to work for seanwes because I was getting really burnt out at my other job and the industry I was working in, so I really just wanted a break. I wanted to stop and think about what I want to do career-wise and what I want to pursue. I spent seven years with lots of jobs pursuing lots of positions I didn’t like. I learned a lot of things, but I needed some time to think and do something different, and that coincided with when you needed to start hiring people.
- 1:03:18 I don’t want seanwes to ever go out of business, but sometimes I get concerned that things are moving too fast with the network. The network happened really quickly. December 27, 2014 Sean came to me saying they wanted to make a network after a conversation with Aaron. I thought it would take a year or something, but we have a network now and it’s June. I feel like every week since that meeting in December, something big is happening. I feel overwhelmed for Sean even though I don’t have all that responsibility. That’s my only concern—pausing on some bigger things happening to give everyone a breather.
- 1:04:29 Sean: Brent says, “Anita is wondering how you separate yourself from your work when all you do is work and think about work?” It’s that whole work-life compartmentalization thing. People say they want to be able to get off of work and stop thinking about it. For me, because my work is so aligned with what I love doing and what I’m passionate about, I honestly live this. I go to bed thinking about it, I dream about it, and I wake up planning. If I’m going on a walk in the morning, I’m thinking about it. I get in here and I write. I’m done with work and I talk with people in the chat.
- 1:05:29 This is my life and I love every minute of it, but that’s because it’s my thing. I spent a lot of time and effort getting to the point where I’m doing what I enjoy. That’s not to say that I don’t need breaks; that’s why I have Small Scale Sabbaticals where I take off a week and I relax or pursue secondary passions. I change things up or go on a trip and change the scenery. For me, this is what I live. For Laci, this is a day job.
- 1:06:07 Laci: For you, that line is blurred. That took a long time to understand.
- 1:06:15 Sean: That’s a communication thing, because all you see is them at that desk in that office, working. All you do is work, you’re a workaholic! Back when I was doing lettering for clients, I would be doing lettering during the day and lettering at night. It took having a conversation where I told Laci, “It looks like I’m doing the same thing but it’s really the equivalent of you coming home from your job and reading a book or watching a TV show.” This is the thing I enjoy, and in my mind, I’ve shifted. I’m working on a different project, and this is for fun. Even though it looks the same on the outside, it’s not the same kind of work.
- 1:07:10 Laci: For me, it is a day job. Leaving my other job where I worked 60 hours a week, my choice was to help Sean and focus on myself. That sounds selfish, but after seven years of not doing that, I was ready for it. Right now, I have my own things I do and I have a good schedule down with Kristiana, who I’m training to do shownotes.
- 1:08:10In the beginning, when I felt like all I was doing were shownotes and I wasn’t super efficient at it yet, I felt like it consumed my life, and that was definitely hard. Now, I have a schedule down and I have my own things. I’m focused on my health right now, so I’ve been working out every day and cooking at home—all things I didn’t have time to do when I was working so much at my other job.
The seanwes Network
- 1:08:49 Sean: My long-term plans for seanwes are pretty big. Seanwes is going to be expanding as a network and a platform, and it’s going to represent much more than just me. Ultimately, I’m establishing seanwes as quality content from people who start from a standpoint of values. seanwes is going to be much more broad.
- 1:09:34 It’s not going to equal lettering or business. I don’t expect people to understand this, especially with the old site design. It doesn’t look like a network, and we don’t have courses and different shows, but eventually I’m selectively bringing people on and giving them the resources to produce shows and courses. I know the headache that goes into building infrastructure, and I want to empower the right people. I’m picking them selectively from the Community because these people get what we’re about.
- 1:10:10 I’m bringing those people in on this and giving them the resources to do what they love to do and provide value to people without worrying about the stress and headache of infrastructure. I see an opening for Laci in the future, say, if she wants to do a cooking show, or something like that—that would have a place on seanwes. It sounds weird now because people have a limited understanding of what seanwes is and what it means, just like four or five years ago people thought seanwes equalled lettering. I know I’m not helping that by doing Learn Lettering 2.0, but long term, it’s going to be more broad.
Finding Your Passion
- 1:10:53 Let’s talk about your focus right now, Laci, because someone’s wondering about the writing stuff. The last time you were on the podcast, we talked about how you wanted to do comedy writing. You have funny Facebook posts that people love and people have told you to start blogging and sharing more of that. Where are you at with that?
- 1:11:16 Laci: That was definitely a real consideration for me. It could be a possibility, but I’ve switched gears. Originally, I was going to start blogging and see where it went because I wanted to make people laugh, but I really want to do something in the food industry. That’s where my true passion lies and I recognize that, so I decided to not pursue blogging. I’ll stick with tweets and Facebook posts, but I realized that I need to turn my attention to food. I don’t know what that is yet; I’ve been focusing on other things, like health, right now.
- 1:12:20 Sean: Right now, Laci’s struggling to find her thing. That’s why she’s okay working at seanwes even though it’s just a day job for her, it’s not her total passion. It’s something keeping her occupied while she finds her thing. She’s going through these struggles: do I like this? What will people think of me? She’s trying out comedy writing and doesn’t feel like it’s her thing and her true passion has been food. Where should she start with that? Does she start with blogging?
- 1:13:15 Ultimately, Laci might love to have a video cooking show, a book, or have courses and teach people, but she’s also struggling with wondering whether she’s really good enough to teach people cooking. Meanwhile, we go to this baby shower for her friend and she caters the whole thing for 30 people. Everyone was taking photos and commenting on how amazing it looks, how they wish they could do things as well as Laci does and cook as well as her. They can’t even throw together chicken without drying it out; they’re in desperate need of help.
- 1:13:51 We’ve talked in this podcast about how you don’t need to know more than the masters to teach people, as long as you know more than one other person. We’ve had conversations where Laci has said that she’s heard me say this but it’s just now starting to sink in. When I look into the future, I see her being very successful at this thing, whatever it is. I see people loving her and loving what she’s doing.
- 1:14:49 How cool would it be to have a podcast called, Finding Your Passion or something like that, where Laci and I have these conversations? It could be kind of like Lambo Goal, where there’s this crazy big dream of buying a Lamborghini in cash and we talk about our struggles along the way. In our minds, we’re totally reaching that goal and we’re going to get there. When we get there, we’re going to wish we had shared the journey along the way, but by then it’s too late.
- 1:15:31 When you look back on your life, you don’t really remember things for what they truly are. Our memories are colored by our current perception. That’s why, when you look back at old blog posts or journals, you think, “Who was this person?” How cool would it be if Laci and I did a podcast on the journey to finding her passion? So many people could relate to those struggles.
- 1:16:36 Laci: I don’t want to commit to exposing my process of figuring out exactly what I want to do. I’d rather get to a point where I can focus and think about it and then just do it.
- 1:16:53 Sean: Keshna asks, “How do you feel about sharing so much of your personal life? Do you ever feel like ‘too much’ has been shared?”
- 1:17:06 Laci: It’s not that I’m not willing to share finding my passion. I’m sure people would relate to that. It sounds exhausting to me to commit to a podcast where I talk about finding my passion, and then I would be exhausted by it before I even found it. I’m already committing to something. I’m not committing to my passion, I’m committing to telling others how I find my passion, and that doesn’t sound fun to me.
- 1:18:08 Sean: I was talking to my brother Ryan a couple days ago, and I told him, “My passion is helping people find theirs.” It’s an utter shame for people to think that you should go through this life hating a third of it, coming home drained and living for the weekends. It’s not easy at all, but you absolutely can do something that fulfills you and supports you. I’m helping all these strangers every day. I’m pouring out everything I can into helping people with this, so what a shame would it be for me not to help out my own family? Ryan got in a wreck with his car and it was totaled, so he got some money from it, and he was saying that he’s thinking of buying a lesser car and using $2,000 or $3,000 in a starter business. I recommended he listen to Lambo Goal and told him that I wanted to help him. I help these other people; I want to help my own brother.
- 1:20:54 I also want to help Laci. I want her to be fulfilled. I don’t want her to work in seanwes because I care about seanwes. I want her to do what she loves. I want her to wake up and be fulfilled by what she does and be successful at it. That’s not to say it’s going to be super easy, but I want that for her. I want to have personalized conversations with her.
- 1:21:20 I’m going to do that offline anyway, but it’s not like we’re really purposeful about it. It’s not like we have check in points. If you were going to consult with someone about something, you would have accountability and show up regularly. What I liked about the idea of us doing a podcast is that it makes it a set thing. Regardless of the fact that it’s being recorded, we would never go more than a week without talking about this stuff. We also just happen to be sharing it, because so many other people can relate and get value out of it.
- 1:22:09 Laci: I’ll consider it. I appreciate your support.
- 1:26:21 Kyle says, “Laci has already helped and motivated Danae tremendously. If she begins sharing that infectious passion on a regular basis, she’ll go extremely far.” Thanks Danae!