How To Be A Present Entrepreneur

Ep. 87: How To Be A Present Entrepreneur

Sometimes your business ends up consuming more time than you would like. It’s hard to be a present entrepreneur – one that balances being an entrepreneur and a provider of the family. But it’s not impossible. Finding time for those family vacations and those business meetings are key to a successful life. The most important impact that you will ever make will happen within the walls of your own home. Join Ryan Englin as he talks to the founder of The Present Entrepreneur, Jordan Abaroa about balancing work and family life. Jordan helps liberate entrepreneur dads who want to gain more time with their families. Learn why your value is not tied to money as the provider of the family. Discover how to use time blocking effectively so you can have energy throughout your day. Find out some key assets you need in both your business and personal life. Start being the best entrepreneur dad/mom out there today!

How To Be A Present Entrepreneur With Jordan Abaroa

This show ends up being a little bit personal for me, being that I am a dad and an entrepreneur. Our guest has a business where all he does is coach dad entrepreneurs on how to create more time with the family while still being able to support the business. He got some great frameworks, ideas, and strategies on how to do this because many of us get caught up. While we think we are creating a business so that we can give more to our family, it doesn’t always work out that way. Sometimes the business ends up consuming more of us than we like and more than our kids like.

If you are struggling with time and being able to balance the time between the two, I want you to get ready to take some notes. I want to welcome to this show Jordan Abaroa with The Present Entrepreneur and his framework and strategies on how you can invest more in your family and get more time at home.

Jordan, welcome to the show.

I am excited to be here.

We met right before the show, and we had a great conversation. I’m excited to get into this and share some of your wisdom with our audience. You focus on working with dad entrepreneurs. What is the biggest myth we tell ourselves? I fall on that bucket too.

You have to break those two words apart. You got entrepreneurs and dads. We could be a dad and make money however we want, but as an entrepreneur, you combine those together. The greatest myth that’s out there is the lie that our value is tied to the size of our bank account. That is the biggest fricking problem and the biggest myth that we have out there now. As a dad, when we truly believe that, we start hustling and grinding to provide for our family because that’s the ultimate value that we have.

What we end up doing is we end up distancing ourselves from our family in such a way that we can’t be present, powerful, and impactful with our families. The biggest myth and problem I see right now is that we have too many dads that believe their value is tied to the size of their bank account. When in reality, the world needs more powerful dads who are present and impactful in their own homes. They are there. They are creating and leading their families in a unique and powerful way.

Your value is not tied to the size of your bank account. Click To Tweet

It reminds me of Simple Truths’ book. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen this coffee table book. It says, “To a child, love is spelled T-I-M-E.” There is so much truth in what you are saying. I can’t tell you how many times people came to me, and they were like, “Ryan, I need your help.” I say, “What’s going on?” They say, “I’m ready to sell my business, but no one wants to buy it because I’m the only one who can do all this stuff. I need help building a team and hiring better people.” I’m like, “When do you want to sell?” They were like, “Yesterday.” I’m like, “We are way off base here. We need five years to fix this.”

I love that you got that message because we can. Our value is not tied to the size of the bank account. I agree with that, but if you get this message early enough, there are probably things you can do about it. Why does this myth exist? Why do people continue telling themselves that their value is tied to the size of their bank account, and they forget about the family they got at home? This is what I see. They pour themselves into work to give their family more, but what their family wants is more of them, not more of what they give them from work.

It’s such a weird way of thinking about it because when we become dads for the first time, immediately we all have those sleepless nights and hard sweats where we’re like, “How in the world am I going to put food on the table? How am I going to provide? How am I going to do all that crap?” None of that is wrong because we wear that title. When we become a dad, we are a provider, a protector, and a leader. That is who we are when we do that.

The problem is that the way that the world has always evolved and grown is that the provider, whoever that might be, can get into all sorts of different ways, but the man has primarily been the provider. Therefore, they are the ones out in the field, working with their hands, bringing home the food, and doing all that hard work, which is great and fantastic. Don’t get me wrong. We need that. That is not to take away from that at all. Because of that, we get into our world and think, “We have to make money.” Money is how we provide, how we put food on the table, and how we take care of things.

What I have recognized with that whole thing is there are many other ways to provide that if we only limit ourselves to provide equals money, what we miss out on is our role as a father to provide emotionally, spiritually, and educationally. Financially is a part of that, but it’s only a part, not the whole thing. The truth is that when I worked for other people, Corporate America wanted you to believe that lie, too, because they get more out of you. It’s about profit right for them and these large corporations and these large businesses.

Present Entrepreneur: If you’re the provider in the family, it’s not all about bringing in the money. There are so many other ways to provide. If you only limit yourself to provide equals money, then you’ll miss out on your role as a father.

 

What I have recognized is there is this thing called profit, which is money, but there is this thing called life profit, which is my ability to live the life that I want and pour back into my family. That is where things have gotten off. You got Corporate America that wants you to believe that the value is in your bank accounts and you will give more to it. Traditionally, the man has always been that provider. How does that work? Make more money. That’s not how it always works, and that’s not how it should work.

The world needs more powerful dads nowadays. We get the statistics that come from an absent father. At least now, there are starting to be a few voices coming out, but few of us have started to look at and go, “What about a father who is there but isn’t really there?” I have started to coin this as the absent entrepreneur, the person who is in the home but is shunning their kids away because they are like, “I got to work now.”

I know this firsthand because when I started my business, I was that guy, 100%. I had no idea what I was doing. I started my business so I could pursue a dream. It wasn’t until my wife showed me a picture. She was doing it out of love and support. I was sitting at my desk in my home office. I had made it look cool. I was hustling, grinding, and heads down, working hard as I possibly could. Across the table from me was my little girl staring at me. When I saw that picture for the first time, it woke me the freak up. What was ever on that screen was apparently more important than my little girl. That was bull crap.

I got a little girl at home, and I still struggle with what you are talking about. I’m sure it’s probably a lot easier to say do it than it is to do it. My little girl came in and was like, “Daddy, I want to work with you.” I give her a little homework assignment to get little things. She sits at the desk with me. We worked together. A lot of the stuff she is doing is schoolwork-type stuff. It’s a way we get to spend some time together.

One of the most difficult challenges for me, and I’m sure a lot of guys do this, is I moved my office home so I can spend more time with them. That made it so much harder to disconnect. I see this happen a lot with people that leave corporate and go into entrepreneurship. They thought they worked a lot for corporate, but they became an entrepreneur and were 40 or 50 hours a week. I remember a part-time job. All of a sudden, we’re working 70, 80, to 100 hours a week. It may not feel like it because it’s not all the time, but you add it all up. I don’t know about you, but for me, I’m always thinking about work. Even being present and I’m with them physically, I may not always mentally be there. A lot of stuff goes into that. Your personal message is hitting home.

There’s a ton that goes into it. I love what you said there that you struggle with it. The truth is I still struggle with it. This is my whole business, message, and mission. You get this weird Imposter syndrome that pops up when you are talking about trying to be the best dad you can be and be successful at business. All of a sudden, I’m sitting there thinking about work when I’m with them.

The whole point of being a present entrepreneur, being more present and impactful, is not that we’re going to be fantastic at it all the time. It’s one decision and done. It’s a daily commitment. It’s all about the process and the journey, not the destination. I will never be the best dad in the world. It’s not a destination you get to, but it’s something I can wake up and try hard at now and wake up again tomorrow.

The whole premise of everything comes from a bible verse. I’m a faith-going person, and there’s a bible verse that I have always heard my entire life. It woke me up one day, and it was divine inspiration that hit me. It said, Joshua 24:15, “Choose you this day whom you will serve, but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” I had grown up with that. It’s in every Walmart in the world that you can buy it and all that stuff. I remember reading that, and I was like, “Which day is he talking about I’m supposed to choose?” I kept chewing on that and thinking about that.

This was a guy who was trying to do the impossible and take over for Moses. That is impossible. He parted the Red Sea and did all his miracles. I’m like, “How in the world was he supposed to do that?” This is later on in his life that somebody is talking about this, and he gives this answer. What I got from it, and what I gained from that moment, was he intentionally didn’t choose a day you are supposed to choose. What he’s helping us understand is to choose every day. If you want to accomplish the impossible, don’t think about the impossible. Choose every single day.

We’re going to have days where we struggle. We’re going to have moments where it’s hard and difficult, and we are not the best dads, but the best thing about this life is that we get a reset button every single night. Now I might have been the best dad in the world, but guess what? It resets. I can’t rely on that when I get to tomorrow and vice versa. Now, I could have been the crappiest dad in the world, but tomorrow I can wake up and choose again. I love what you said there, “Love is spelled T-I-M-E.” It’s as long as we keep trying those things, and sometimes we don’t have time because we are away and working. Love is spelled with time, energy, and money because we can invest all of those to create powerful moments with our families.

Love is actually spelled with time, energy, and money. Click To Tweet

I have to remind myself all the time. I struggle with this idea of being perfect. I can’t do it until it’s done. I tell myself all the time, “Progress, not perfection.” What’s more important is progress. I’m sure there are people reading going, “I’m not a dad. My kids are moved out. I don’t know how to apply what you’re talking about.” Let’s talk about some things that they can do to apply this.

I would imagine, correct me if I’m wrong, but it can go beyond your kids. It can make you a better boss and leader. You can have a better business. There are a lot of ways that this can impact your life if you’re not a dad or your kids have moved on. Let’s talk about a couple of actions that our readers can take 1 or 2 things that you were like, “Here is a step you need to take this week, and when you do it, you’re going to move towards and make some progress.”

I focus on fatherhood because I’m a father and need this, as I know many do. I have worked with tons of different businesses over my time and in my own personal business and agency. Not all of them are fathers, but the principles still apply. It’s important to recognize that our business is designed to serve us. Sometimes, we don’t get that. Sometimes we think that it’s designed to give us money, but our business is designed to serve as the three currencies of life, which are time, energy, and money. If it’s not serving us those things, we need to reevaluate it.

No matter where you are in your business, entrepreneurship, or life, understand that the work that you do should serve you. In fact, that is the first thing that I start with anybody I ever work with, whether it’s in my agency, our dads, dad groups, or whatever it may be. We start by recognizing, first and foremost, that time, energy, and money are the three currencies of life, and I need to get clear on how much I want of all of them.

Present Entrepreneur: No matter where you are in your business, in your entrepreneurship, or in your life, understand that the work that you do should serve you.

 

It’s not what your ideal work-life look like because we might not be working if we thought about the ideal whatnot, but what does the next level look like? Now we’re working 40, 50, to 100 hours a week, like we were talking about as an entrepreneur. What does the next level look like for you? I will speak for myself. I don’t start working until 9:00, and I’m done at 3:00. Why is that important? It’s because I want to take my kids to school. I want to have breakfast with them. I want to wake up and be there when they are there. I want to pick them up from school. From 3:00 until about 8:00, it’s family time because we got sports and gymnastics we’re running to. We got all sorts of things. I got clear on the work time.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m still working a good amount of hours, but between the hours of 6:30 when my kids get up, until 7:30 when they go to school, and a little bit of time with my family, clean up and do some things there. I’m not doing any work, but I might be up at 5:00, and that’s okay. I might be up at 8:00 or 9:00. We got some international clients in New Zealand. I’m up a little bit later so that we can work on those. I get it. I have gotten immensely clear on the amount of time that I’m going to devote to my family first. I made sure that I built walls around that.

It’s the same thing with energy. Energy is an interesting one because, to me, you can build and/or destroy energy. There are energy builders and energy drainers. I have gotten clear as I start my days and end my days, what things give me energy at work doing conversations like this? It’s teaching and working one on one. They build energy. I try and put those at the last part of my day before I transition to being a dad. I have more energy as I go back into it.

I’m terribly dyslexic, which means if I end my day trying to write out some content and I got to edit it, and I see that red squiggle line underneath it, I get pissed and frustrated. I don’t do that at the end of the day. Why? If I’m pissed and frustrated at the end of my workday, when I walk out to my home office to my family, I bring that energy to them. I try and build energy builders.

The most important thing for any business owner I work with is we have to get clear on the amount of money we want to bring home to our families. Why is this so important? I believe in building a business that’s simplest to the cash. We think that our value is tied to our bank account. We got to make $80,000 a month and be a $1 million business, if not more. The reality is, what does your family need? Let’s start there.

Build a business that is simplest to the cash. Click To Tweet

I work with dads. We talk about this. We talk about entrepreneurship. They were like, “If I could make $3,000 a month, that would be amazing for our family.” Let’s build a business that does that, then. Let’s not worry about $80,000 now. We can get there, trust me, but first, we have to start with what your family needs. That is one of the most tactical exercises that I do with anybody that I work with. From there, we can build out a marketing plan, fulfillment plan, or business model that all matches what those three currencies of life are and builds a business that serves you.

I used to be involved in EO, and I had a mentor there one time. He says, “Ryan, what is your business doing to fund the bank of Ryan’s family?” That’s how he put it. At the time, I was thinking, “I have no idea what you are talking about.” He was like, “This business exists to serve you, not the other way around. If this business is serving your family and you’re getting everything you need from it, you don’t need to have a $60 million a year business.” It was clear. Get your business to serve you and build a business to serve that. It made me rethink. I stepped away from consulting and moved into training and coaching because I could scale that easier.

We do a lot of things virtually. I don’t travel a lot because that allows me to be more home with the family. It was interesting when you were talking. It got me thinking this isn’t just about the kids. It’s not about being a dad in the family time. I could block time and say, “I’m only going to deal with customer issues during these times. I’m only going to deal with training my employees or dealing with employee issues during these times.” This is what I heard. Correct me if I’m wrong, but we could block our days in such that we know how to end a block. This was the most impactful part for me, so I go into the next block with the right mindset.

I frame everything through the lens of going and being a dad and a husband. I do similar things. I’m terribly dyslexic. I hate editing and writing stuff out because it drives me nuts. It comes back to that little perfection thing where if it can’t be perfect, don’t do it, and if I’m writing it, it’s not going to be perfect. If I know it has to be done, I can build an energy builder right before I do it. I bring some of that energy to it.

Whatever it is in your business, maybe it is dealing with customers, making some hard phone calls, or finances, that’s one that a lot of people don’t love, do something you love right before that, so you carry some energy into it. You will find yourself at least allowing that momentum to carry you through and take a little break. Usually, I will have some pushups, squats, or something around in my office too, where it’s like, “If it’s a long day of content, I will break up those segments by doing some exercise or something like that.” That is an energy builder for me, naturally. That allows me to keep moving through some of the hard things.

Present Entrepreneur: Do something you love right before you work because you want to carry some positive energy into it. Once you find your energy builder, you’re allowing momentum to carry you through the day.

 

There is so much around the way we think about our work and our place in it that impacts our ability to perform for ourselves, our team, and our families. There is so much that goes into this mindset component. I find that a lot of times, people are like, “I have heard it all before, but it’s too big.” We have that perfection mindset. That is a cultural thing like, “If it’s not going to be perfect, don’t do it.”

We talked about the idea of blocking the calendar and doing these energy builders before you move into the next section. What are some other things that we can do throughout the day or week that are tactical and practical things where I can do this and start seeing some of the results you’re talking about?

Some of the more tactical things I try to teach and talk about with my dad is building key assets into your business and home life. Usually, I talk about 3 key assets, and I do it 3 on the one hand and 3 on the other because there are 6 in total, but they are 2 separate categories. It’s three in our business. For me, the first is creating a client journey playbook. Tactically, what does that look like? In football, a playbook tells you what to do and when to do it to produce maximum success. You can measure it, and you can take it away. You can see things because you are intentional about the journey you’re taking or the plays that you’re running. In our business, we should do the same thing.

How does that look? What are some tactical things about that? I believe every business should sit down for at least an hour a week and look at numbers. It’s your marketing numbers first. How many people are hitting your ads if you are running ads? How many people are hitting your site? How many people are converting into a lead? It’s into your sales next. How many are getting into a selling conversation? How many people are buying? It’s basic KPI stuff or Key Performance Indicators. I’m not going to go deep into that, but have you blocked off an hour to look at those things? This is where people miss out. From there, do you have time blocked off now once you look at those numbers to strategize?

I’m going to give a framework here. It’s called SABER. The first is Strategy. Let’s block off time to look at numbers and strategize. As a football coach, I spent every Saturday looking at the past game and strategizing for our upcoming game. The next thing is Architect. Maybe the most missed part of a client journey playbook or people’s business is a strategy is a lot like Pinterest. My wife and I have built a couple of homes. Anytime that you go into building a home, it’s Pinterest Central with my wife. It’s all these ideas, but you can’t take Pinterest over to a general contractor and say, “Build this.” You got to take to an architect. An architect can take that idea that we talked about.

Let’s say our leads are hitting a page, but they are not converting to become a lead of ours. Let’s strategize. We could try a video on the page, an opt-in, a free download, or a webinar. Those are all strategies. Those are great, but now we need to turn that into tactical blueprints that we can build, whatever the strategy might be. You might think about this in your guys’ business. If you are having technicians show up to somebody’s house, and they are leaving, and the clients aren’t satisfied, how do we strategize about making that happen? We need to tactically put it into something, into a blueprint that we can implement. Architecture is a step-by-step process. For me, I like to draw it out. It’s this email, this task, and this to-do. We are going to wait five minutes and do this.

Present Entrepreneur: If your leads are not buying once they hit your website, you need to go back and strategize. Put a free trial or a webinar, those are strategies. Then you have to architect that into a blueprint.

 

It sounds like the guy that builds funnels or used to for a living.

I have built this type of process. It works whether you are going to hire software or a person. It still works. The most important part of this is we strategize. We have all these million-dollar ideas, but they die because we never architect them.

We have all heard this before, “Stop working in the business. Start working on the business.” That is exactly what you’re talking about here. We all talked about it with our friends, buddies, peers, and mentors, all these cool ideas, but then we got back to the office and were like, “I got 600 emails to reply to and 30 voicemails.” We have these ideas, but they never go anywhere. I love that. What’s after architecture?

It’s Strategy, Architect, Build, Evaluate, and Repeat. That’s the SABER framework.

That sounds a little like lean to me.

Going back to what we said before, time blocking it off. That is the key thing. How do we tactically do that? You do it. It’s action. Go block it off right now because we are all busy. Especially when we’re working for ourselves, we got clients and service, it’s easy to be like, “I don’t have time to architect something. I don’t have time to come up with new strategies now. I need to service my clients.” That is where we talk about a little bit of investing ourselves. Once we have blocked off our time, invest a little bit on the ends. Maybe I got to stay up a little bit later, and I got to invest a little bit more.

An investment is an exchange of something of lesser value for something of greater value. Invest a little bit of time to build those things in. If you’re struggling for time, I will hire some software to make your life a whole lot easier. There are amazing software technology tools out there that can help you manage every element of your business. Strategize what you’re struggling with. Look at your business and life, “I’m struggling with this.” Now you can go to Google and type in, “Software that does X, Y, and Z.” Everything will pop up. Hire that, and you will gain some more time back into life.

We talk to owners all the time. One of the cornerstone star programs is getting software and helping people with recruiting. People are like, “There is software for that?” I’m like, “There is software for everything. Yes, there is some good software to help you with that.” There are some great lessons in that. As I hear you talk, I’m picturing what this might look like. One of the things I say is I believe that the way you do one thing is the way you do everything. There’s this opportunity to create some habits here.

What I heard you say is, “Don’t go time block for your family. You got to time block at work.” Otherwise, there’s an opportunity for work to bleed into the time blocks you have for your family. You almost have to say, “I’m going to create this habit of time blocking and figuring out what is important, getting it done, and creating those opportunities for energy as I move from one block to the next. I can’t do it at home and at work. I got to do it in both places almost simultaneously.” It sounds like a heavy lift. I’m sure that there are some people going, “Jordan, this is awesome. It sounds great, but it sounds like this might be tough for me to get around or something like that.”

I know that you have some opportunities. If people like this and they are latching onto it, there is a way they can reach out to you. You got a group that they can join. You got some training coming out. Let’s talk about that for a little bit. How do people learn more about what you do? Tell us how to contact you if someone wants to work with you.

If anybody feels over overwhelmed at any point, get simple. Start simple. That is the key thing. The unique thing I try to always bring to the table is that football coach mentality where I’m dealing with high school-aged kids and college-aged kids. You have to keep things simple. No matter where you are in your life, business, or home, and if you feel overwhelmed, get back to what’s most important. Get simple and start there. We tend to make things way more complicated than they need to be. We are all guilty of it, but get simple. If you focus on that, everything starts to fall into line.

If you feel overwhelmed, get back to what's most important. Get simple and start there. Click To Tweet

As far as coming in and hanging out with us, we got a free Facebook group for entrepreneur dads. It is called The Present Entrepreneur. You can look us up on Facebook. Come join us. Come hang out with us. We are constantly doing training there. We got dads in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and everywhere in the world. In the UK, we got amazing people in there. The primary purpose of that group is for iron to sharpen iron. That’s the whole point of it.

We can come together as dads, entrepreneurs, and aspiring entrepreneurs. We got many dads in that group who aren’t there yet but want to be, and they are there to gain that support and that collaboration from other dads. You can come to hang out with us there. What we have realized in the group, and what I have realized, is that there is an appetite to learn the process that I found, discovered, and fell into. I’m an entrepreneur who never meant to be one. I saw that picture, and it woke me up. I had to find a way to be present with my family while building a successful business and putting food on the table.

There was a process and formula. I call it the FREE-2-IMPACT Formula that I found that has worked for me. It is what I’ve applied with all my agency clients and everybody I have worked with since that time. We are putting together an education arm now of our business. We talk about software and technology. We have been working hard behind the scenes to customize our own marketing automation CRM so that we can give that out to some of our dads.

The reality is all of that stuff can be found on our website, ThePresentEntrepreneur.com. You will find out more about the education, the agency, our software, and our whole mission of trying to help as many entrepreneurs learn to be more present and impactful in their homes because that is the most important thing. The most important and greatest impact that any of us will ever make will happen within the walls of our own homes. If you are worried about putting food on the table, you will never be present at it. We got to stabilize our business so we can be more present and powerful at home.

The most important and greatest impact that any of us will ever make will happen within the walls of our own homes. Click To Tweet

Jordan, thank you so much. I learned a lot. This was personal for me being a dad entrepreneur, an entrepreneur who is also a dad, or a dad who is also an entrepreneur. It depends on how we want to look at it. There are a lot of great takeaways and some things there. I will be joining that Facebook group because I want to learn more and see what is going on there. Thanks again.

Thank you so much. I love your mission. We need more blue-collar mentality in the world. I love what you’re up to, and I appreciate it. I enjoyed this conversation and this opportunity.

Thanks again, Jordan.

 

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