Everyone is looking for a good work-life balance, but it’s even more important if you’re looking to start a side-business where you have to juggle your job, your family… all your existing obligations… and now somehow find time for this new endeavor.
In this interview with Chris Cade, I get to ask him specifically about that. I also ask him, as single father, what impact he has seen that having a successful online business has had on his relationship with his son.
Sabrina: Hi everyone! This is Sabrina Truscott with Abundant Entrepreneur. Today I’m really excited to bring my super-good friend, Chris Cade, to meet you.
The reason that I really wanted Chris to share some of his insights with you, is that this man is so full of integrity and his family values. But also his commitment to being a dad and the way that he has been able to structure his business and time freedom around being a single full-time father.
Chris, every time i see you posting on Facebook, you’re at karate classes with your son; at acting classes; picking him up from school… I just see that you have this amazing relationship. While at the same time, being an extremely successful Abundant Entrepreneur in the Spiritual / Personal Development space. So I’d love for you to share…
How are you able to do that? How do you have so much free time and still able to be the dad that you are?
Chris: Well it started when I was in the corporate world. I was building this business as a part-time hobby, basically. In the daytime, I’d do my full-time job. In the evening, I’d spend time with the family. And then after they went to bed, I would work on building my business.
And I started like that for a few years. Until finally, I said, “Okay, I want to serve in a much larger way. This is important to me.” My heart was in it and I finally had enough courage and confidence. So I decided to delete the corporate world and build my business full time.
I didn’t have all the answers. Honestly, I didn’t know how I was going to generate the income. But I knew I wanted to do this. And I knew I had about two years worth of runway with what I saved up from the corporate world… between my severance pay and what little income I had coming in through my business.
And then over time, the right resources came into play. Working hard. I had to devote myself full-time to the business. And that let me down that path.
And eventually I became a single father. And that journey was probably the greatest challenge of being an entrepreneur. Because I had to find a work and life balance in a way that I never had before.
Before I could do all this work it was great to run and build my business. But then I reached a point where I couldn’t do that anymore. My son needed my attention in a way that felt important.
Yes, I could have gotten other people to take care of him. And do things to grow my business even further than I had. But what I wanted to do was to be there to take him to school.
So now, it’s really a lot of structure in the morning. I wake up at 6am. I meditate. Then, his alarm goes off 30 minutes later and I get him up. Get him ready for school. Get him off to school. And then I work for a few hours while he’s gone. Do the most important tasks that I can.
I don’t have a lot of time to mess around. But I do the things that make a difference.
Sabrina: And the meditation probably helps you have that focus and productivity on what needs to be done, rather than all the other stuff we can find ourselves doing…
Chris: And it grounds me as well, you know? Gives me that centering to start the day. And I find when I meditate in the morning, my days go much smoother. And when I don’t, there’s a little edge there.
Sabrina: Absolutely. And about what you said a few minutes ago… being able to totally quit your full time business — I had a line of work and a job and did the same thing as you. Started to go online during those extra times until I was able to fully transition over. Which is just one way to do it.
Sabrina: But what were those first steps that you took when you were starting to try having an online business. What was that like? The first three steps for a newbie that’s trying to model what you did.
Chris: First, you need to set the intention. Really. Set the intention. Because I wasn’t fully prepared for that.
I literally gave my employer a one-year notice. It’s nice for them in the corporate world. They don’t need a year’s notice. But I needed a year’s notice. So that I could get myself emotionally aligned. Prepared. And also know that I’m going to be taken care of. And put that forth.
So it was that intention that didn’t just say, “I want to do this.” It says, “I’m GOING to do this.” And I made myself externally accountable.
Sabrina: You said it out loud.
Chris: To the person who I’m dependent on for my livelihood. Not just a random person.
Not to belittle a spouse or a family member. But when it’s close to the vest, it’s easier to have a little bit of failure going. To be, “Well I didn’t go for it. It’s OK, it didn’t happen.”
But when I’m telling the person who’s cutting my paychecks that I’m going to leave. And I’m going to do it for this uncertain path (as it seems of entrepreneurship)… it’s cemented in me.
Like: “This is real. This is not just an idea. It’s not just a hope, or a dream, or a want. This is GOING TO HAPPEN.” And i put it out there.
So the first step is absolutely to put the intention out there. And do it in a vocal way. Where you can be accountable for it. Even if it’s not leaving in two weeks or four weeks. Just say, “I’m going to do this. Period.”
Sabrina: There’s something about speaking it. And writing it. I know that there have been times in my life that I kept those things to myself because if I didn’t do them… well, I didn’t want to look bad. And I practice more and more… saying, “I’m going to do this. I’m going to try it. I’m interested in this.” Don’t be afraid to to shout it out. Because the universe is listening.
Sabrina: And if we’re not saying that, then maybe we’re saying the other. You know, we’re always saying something. We can’t be quiet even if we want to.
Chris: Inaction is saying that we’re satisfied with the status quo. That we’ll stay comfortable in whatever limitation we have. In whatever fear we have. We’ll stay there if we stay quiet.
So the second thing, is to actually find mentors. Find people who have done it before. This is one thing my dad taught me when I was young. He would teach me how to set goals. And he would say,”Whatever goal you want… set the goal, map it out” — and then he would say, “If there’s anything I can do to help you get there then I’ll do it.”
Sabrina: What a good dad!
Chris: Oh, he was amazing. He would make me do the work. But if there’s a genuine blockage that I, as a ten-year-old, couldn’t complete… then he would try and clear that for me so that I could keep going.
And he always said, “Find people that have done what you want to do, and study with them. And tour with them. And if you can’t do that, hire them.”
Find a way to have the best of the best on your team to do what you want. And that’s what I did all throughout my life. That’s why I have so many successes.
And when I went to the online world… again… I was consuming programs, audiobooks… but the biggest thing that made a difference for me? You know, I had the ten dollar audiobooks and ebooks that I’d buy and they’d absolutely help me — point me in the right direction and help change my mindset. But it was when I put my money where my mouth was and invested in Jeff Walker’s product launch formula – a two thousand dollar product. I remember I couldn’t sleep the night before I was so nervous…
Sabrina: Nervous about buying it?
Chris: About buying it! I know I’m supposed to. But I can’t… I don’t want to do this. And I talked to my wife at the time and she’s like, “You’ve got to do this. This is what you’re supposed to do.”
But I was so scared. For so many reasons.One reason was that I’d never spent that much on anything. I mean, that’s like half of a car for some people. And a cheap car, no less. That’s like 3 or 4 months of rent depending on where you live. That’s not a small chunk of change.
And so even though I was successful in the corporate world, that was a large chunk of my salary. I was scared – financially. But I was also scared — and I didn’t see this until later… deep down — “What if I succeed? What if I change this life that I’m living?”
I didn’t know what a life of entrepreneurship could, or would, look like. I knew the comfort, safety and the limitations of the corporate job I had. And even though it’s comfortable and safe… that’s what brought in some uncertainty about doing this. But I knew I had to. So overnight, I couldn’t sleep, couldn’t sleep… but as soon as the buy button was available, I was in. I didn’t want to watch any sales videos. I didn’t have to read the page. I was like, “I’m buying that right now.” And I got it. And I implemented it.
Sabrina: You took action. First, you said it out loud. and then you took a big action.
Chris: Right. Exactly. And specifically found mentors. I think that’s key. Because if we’re taking the wrong actions, it’s useless. No matter how divinely guided we are — if the Divine is saying, “Here’s the action to take.” And we’re like, “Oh, no. You don’t know. Let me do it this other way on my own.” Then we’re not accepting that support. Similarly, with programs and resources and coaches and mentors…
It’s so imperative that we find that people who have walked the path we want to walk. And follow them.
Sabrina: Yeah. You and I actually met at a mastermind with our peers and mentors. It was at Glen and Natalie Ledwell’s event, in 2010.
Chris: Yeah that’s right. And if it weren’t for that, we would not be here talking today.
Sabrina: Honestly, most of my really best friends — that I feel understand my heart and my passion; and the way that I want to connect with my customers, with my clients; the way I truly want to teach and share — I have met in this community. There is such a support in the online world of people who want to share their passion.
Chris, one thing I really love and respect about you (one of the many things) is the way that you value your clients, your students, your customers. The way you speak of them with with such respect.
What do you get out of that and what does that mean for you?
Chris: First of all, I refer to them as my audience. Because that’s the best description I can use. A lot of people say “my list“, “my subscribers“, “my clients“, “my customers“, but I say audience because I think what I’m doing is… I’m sharing myself and sharing what I’ve learned along the journey. And they’re the people who witness that. And that’s what I think of in terms of an audience.
So these are the people that are on the journey with me. And I think it’s easy to get lost in thinking that either the teachers are gurus and super powerful and we could never be that, and who am I to teach? Or you can go the other way and just try and stay quiet and hide. And not let our light shine.
So for me, it’s that balance of seeing that these are people who I’m serving and who have walked paths. Important paths. They may not have walked my path, but they’re walking a path that resonates with mine. And I have something to share with them about my path. But they also have things to share about their paths with me.
I get emails all the time from people sharing their stories, and what they’re grateful for. What they’ve learned. When I share about my life, they have insights for me from their own experience.
When I was going through a really painful time in my life, I wrote about it. I said, “Look I’m going through a difficult time and I need support.” And those people in my audience, they wrote back to me and said, “We’ve got your back. We care about you. Thank you. We support you.”
Those who had things like energy healing, they would do that for me. Even when I wasn’t there. They would say, “I’m just going to send it to you at five o’clock on Thursday.” Or whenever it was.
And that outpouring of love back to me, is just evidence of why I love what I do. Because it’s about touching people and making a difference. And knowing that I’ve touched people in such a way that they want to have that ripple effect and give it out.
Whether it’s to me or other people.
I still remember this one story… I had a spiritual stories website (I still have it) and this one woman wrote to me and she said, “I was in church the other day. And I’ve been trying to introduce my daughter to spirituality and share your stories with her, and she just wasn’t interested. But I was in church the other day and my daughter comes up with a story that was from your website that another person in the congregation had given her.”
So there is this other expanded circulation.
Another woman would print things out and send them to people in prison because her son was in prison and he couldn’t have access any other way.
So, it’s stories like that that really remind me the “why” of what I do. Because it’s not just about this person in front of me. There is a ripple effect that when I change you… you change everyone around you.
And so that lights me up and keeps me going. Those stories… I love them. And one thing I find important in my journey is to always be touching bases with my audience. With the people who read my emails.
Even though i have an assistant who helps me… I still log in several times a week and just read those emails. See how people are responding. See what they’re connecting with. And reply myself.
Sabrina: Well, that makes such a deeper relationship and connection with you. And that to me is also very rewarding.
If you’re just at a corporation and you’re doing your job like you did before… you know that the product, or service, of the corporation is touching people. But when when you have your own online business (or your own products) and they’re actually speaking back to you… They might be your Facebook friends… the point is that we’re just real people and they’re just real people.
And I think the greatest thing is… as we both love to experience, we’re all one. There’s only this one-ness. So when I help you. You help me. And we help everyone.
I love that every single person is so uniquely them. And their message and their words can never come thru anyone else.
So everyone has something to share, and what you have to share that you think is just, “Oh, everyone knows that.” No, they might not.
Someone may need to hear exactly what you have to share in the way that you share it. And that’s what I love about everyone in this online community is that they are sharing their messages in their own unique ways and it’s not perfect.
It’s that raw tangible inspiring message rather than the raw reality TV show.
Chris: (laughing) Where the messages are edited and refined.
Sabrina: Yeah. So that was a lot of great tips for how somebody can get started online and what you think the most three important things are you. Can you recap those three things for us.
Chris: Yes. So, the first was to just set the intention. Be clear and get that intention out into the world.
Sabrina: Speak it!
Chris: Yes, speak it. It’s not just setting the intention but you’re gonna speak the intention.
Sabrina: Speak, Say, or Write.
Chris: And to someone who is accountable – instead of just your close circle. Be a little more vocal about it.
Sabrina: Like if you’re having dinner and the waiter comes over, you say, “I’d like a coke. And I’m going to be an Abundant Entrepreneur.“
Chris: You know… even though we’re joking about it… that would be awesome!
Because it puts that energy out and it makes it a little more playful. Which allows the aliveness to come forth. And then the energy to move. It’s not just this stuck, serious thing… “I’m going to be an Abundant Entrepreneur.” You know? It really has some aliveness to it.
So, yes. Speak it out loud. And speak it frequently. I mean, it’s a great thing when you actually are really programming your brain to go for it.
The second thing is to get a good mentor (or several mentors.) Find people who have done what you want to do and can take you there. Who can coach you. Who will watch you. Even if it’s a digital product that you buy — find someone who knows the path. And has mapped it out so that you can do that.
And then the third step is to actually do it. Right? It does no good to speak the intention and get the mentors if you’re not going to do what they say and walk that path. Because if you do those three things, the universe (as Paulo Coelho says) will conspire in your favor. It always does.
I can’t tell you the number of magical synchronicities that happened in my life as soon as I said, “I’m going to do this.”
The right resources came in, the right products, programs, mentors… I mean, it’s been magic. People like you walk into my life (laughing). We wouldn’t be here now if it weren’t for me setting that intention, speaking it out loud, finding mentors and then taking action.
So, those are the three steps.
Sabrina: Those are awesome.
Well, thank you, Chris, for taking the time to come and chat and help inspire al of those Abundant Entrepreneurs out there.
And I’d like to end this interview with a quote that I think you’ll really love by our good friend Joe Vitali. Joe likes to say that, “A good goal will scare you a little and inspire you a lot.”
So I hope this video has inspired you. And until next time, and until next time… Be Abundant.
Even though we all know we want to be “working our passion,” it’s not always practical for us to bundle EVERYTHING that we’re passionate about into our work experience. Some people have.. no doubt.
Some of my friends have built their whole business around their family life and that’s fantastic. But even if there are some passions that we have to reserve for our “off hours” it’s important to make sure that we allow time for them.
Whatever that entails.
Sometimes it means added organization or scheduling. Sometimes it’s joining a club or signing up for an extracurricular activity to force us to make that time. But it’s an individual and unique journey. It’s all about finding what works for you!
I wonder why it’s so much harder for us to take the time to take care of ourselves? When it comes to taking care of others, we’re on top of it. But when it’s us, we’ll let our own hopes and dreams slip by…
How about you? Are you able to enjoy all of your passions through your work? If not, how do you make sure that you make time in your day for them? Do you have any tricks that you use to make sure you don’t procrastinate with that?
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