Making Sound Decisions Through Your Inner Adult

My wife and I have participated in marriage counseling throughout our entire marriage.  We are both “growers” and we think that in order to be the best for our kids, we need to be better ourselves individually and to each other.  An interesting subject came up in our most recent session that applies to Family First Entrepreneurs. 

When we are having intense feelings, about basically anything, one of three “people” will show up within us to deal with those feelings; a child, a parent or an adult. To break it down, lets use the feeling of betrayal.  Betrayal is a feeling that can show up and affect a business.  The child will kick, scream and throw a tantrum.  The parent will reassure and help to deescalate the feelings while suggesting good choices. The adult acknowledges the feelings, deals with them,  and moves forward with decisions based on what they know to be the truth.

The adult is the best person to have show up when emotions are charging.  However, far too often, the kid shows up, flies off the handle and makes poor choices based on feelings.  This is when we have to “self parent” and reign the kid in so that we can make adult decisions.  

I find that Family First Entrepreneurs often describe themselves as passionate people.  Passionate people experience intense feelings.  Learning to deal with those feelings has been a lifelong journey for me in business and in life.  Remember, feelings make bad business decisions.  Sound business decisions need to be made from what you know, not how you feel. 

The key to sound decisions when you’re experiencing heavy duty feelings is to give yourself a second before reacting.  Check in with yourself and see whether it’s the adult or child who is calling the shots.  If the kid shows up, call on the parent.  The parent will be kind, reassuring, and give options based on fact.  Then move forward as the adult.  If you struggle with this, like I do, you will find as you practice this skill more and more often, the adult will show up first instead of last.   

The Entrepreneurial Rise and the Struggling Economy

I have said it over and over throughout the last year or so; this troubled economy is growing the entrepreneurial spirit across our country. With so many people loosing their jobs, many are being forced to take financial matters into their own hands.  I love to see parents doing whatever it takes to make sure their families are taken care of.  My goal, through ONO and the Family First Entrepreneurial movement, is to inspire people not only to take advantage of the financial freedoms that entrepreneurism presents, but also to see how it can create the opportunity to devote time and energy to their families first.

Below is an article that was written yesterday in the Wall Street Journal showing statistics of how Americans are attempting to overcome this perfect storm of the current economy with entrepreneurism, will and determination.  


Entrepreneurial Activity Climbed As Economy Worsened in 2008

The Wall Street Journal

April 30,2009

By Kelly Spors

Last year’s deepening recession churned out more entrepreneurs, but not necessarily ones who will produce high levels of income, according to a new report.

The Kauffman Foundation today released its annual “Index of Entrepreneurial Activity,” a comprehensive report that tracks U.S. entrepreneurship rates and trends. It shows entrepreneurship rates rose to .32% in 2008 – meaning that an average of 32 of every 100,000 Americans started new ventures each month. That’s a slight increase over 2007’s 0.3% rate–and the highest rate since Kauffman started tracking new business formation rates in 1996.

An interesting revelation in the new data is that the percentage of new entrepreneurs starting businesses deemed as having “high income potential”—such as accounting, real estate or high-tech firms –decreased slightly last year, while those with low- or medium-income-producing potential rose. That suggests that more people are turning to entrepreneurship out of necessity in today’s bad economy, meaning they have limited job opportunities and start businesses to generate income rather than to chase a hot opportunity. In recessions, the numbers of “necessity entrepreneurs” tend to rise given lagging job markets.

“The total business creation rate increased over the past year, but this masks diverging underlying trends,” said the report’s author, Robert Fairlie, a University of California - Santa Cruz economics professor. “Entrepreneurship rates increased only for low-income types of businesses and not for high-income types, which may be early signs of how the recession is impacting firm formation. The continuing effects of the recession on business creation are important because entrepreneurs contribute to economic growth, innovation and job creation in the United States.”

The construction industry, which was among those that shed the most jobs last year given the sector’s woes, saw the highest level of entrepreneurial activity, the report said. The services industry saw the second highest number of new entrepreneurs.

The report also explores the educational achievement and demographics of new entrepreneurs and finds that immigrants continue to form new businesses at significantly higher rates than the U.S.-born. Latinos showed the biggest increase in entrepreneurship rates of any racial group, a trend that started in 2005. By contrast, African Americans’ business creation rate fell slightly in 2008.

Entrepreneurship among both men and women continued to increase, though women’s entrepreneurship levels returned to their 2005 levels of 0.24% after declining the past few years. Men continue to have a much higher entrepreneurial rate – 0.42% — than women.
Older adults surveyed, ages 55 to 64, saw the biggest increase in new entrepreneurship rates in 2008, climbing to 0.36% from 0.31% in 2007.

Another interesting finding: Americans who never graduated from high school were far more likely to start new businesses in 2008, compared with those with a college degree. Business formation rates for those without high-school diplomas rose to 0.48% from 0.42%, while they dropped to 0.30% from 0.31% for college graduates.

Overall, Kauffman’s data suggests the recession is helping spur entrepreneurship, but not necessarily for the best reasons. Necessity entrepreneurs often face an uphill battle, since they don’t always have the financial resources and risk tolerance or innate entrepreneurial drive of self-selected “opportunity” entrepreneurs. Still, some of the best ideas can be bred out of necessity.

Given that the economy only really started to nosedive in late 2008, next year’s Kauffman index should be even more interesting.

Fulfill Yourself and Your Community Through Volunteering

Last night I helped out in the “Snack Shack” at the baseball fields where my son plays T-Ball.  Everything and everybody associated with the league is supported by volunteers and donations.  Even the equipment and facilities are supported by fundraising drives.  It has no paid employees. 

I was talking with the gal in charge and I told her that we were honored to do our part to pitch-in. She then said that she was having great difficulty getting folks to help out this year (she’s been doing this for a long time).  She felt like maybe it was due to a shift to a more selfish society.  I then explained to her why I thought she was wrong.

In my opinion, the financial pinch that people are feeling right now has caused them to stay focused on surviving more so than ever.  Boise is one of the top areas hit by the popping of the real estate bubble.  Our big companies are also laying off a lot of folks.  This has caused a higher percentage of people to do double duty to stay afloat.  I don’t think it’s about willingness to help.  I just believe that more people are maxed out and are in complete survival mode. 

I have felt this same pressure in my own life.  However, when I still go ahead and volunteer, I leave not only knowing that I did the right thing for my community, I also come out of it feeling uplifted on a spiritual level.  As an extra bonus, when my kids do it with me “in thick and thin,” they get to learn by example.  Not only that, but they really enjoy it.  Pitching-in can be a very self-fulfilling exercise, and for Family First Entrepreneurs, it can be a great way to lead by example.  Do it with your family in tow and you will get more out of it than you give. 

It may sound weird, but if you find yourself stressed out and depleted, find ways you can help your community.  I think you will find that it refills your battery as opposed to depleting it.  It doesn’t matter what you give your time to, find a charity in need that you can relate to and find a way to help.  Equally important as giving of yourself, is giving with the ones you love by your side.  The time you spend together, in service of others, will be both fulfilling and full of opportunities to learn.  


As I move forward from the ONO book launch, the shift in focus has bogged me down a bit.  We have been working so hard, for so long to have the launch and it’s specific goals be met, that now it feels like I’m floundering around in the sea of change. 

What I have done to solve this feeling of uncertainty is to use a white board and put down, in ink, a new daily focus for me and the ONO and Family First Entrepreneur team.  White boards are awesome tools to recalibrate focus.  They represent a targeted push with an end in mind and it is there for everyone to see.

As we move forward, post launch, the goal will be to embark on an awareness campaign both on and offline.  We will be building awareness for ONO and for The Family First Entrepreneur.  ONO has become the handbook for the entrepreneurial side of Family First Entrepreneur.  Family First Entrepreneurism is my true passion, but having options, not obligations, is a key element to structuring your life to support keeping family first. 

If you have an active mind like mine, and you find yourself unable to focus, use a white board to pull it back together.  It not only creates a targeted goal list, it creates a visual picture of where you are going and why.  The “why” part is critical to identify because it is what you are trying to manifest from your to-do list.  Get a white board and write down where you’re trying to go and then list the best ways to get there and prioritize. 

ONO Launch Recap and Pictures

I just wanted to thank you once again for all of the help and support that you have offered during the ONO launch. I can't express how much I appreciate everyone who stood behind me throughout this process.

I thought you might like to hear a report on how we did yesterday with the global launch. We ended moving up the Amazon sales rank from 180,000 to 300 in 24 hrs. Yesterday, ONO was the second largest mover out of the millions of books that are available on Amazon. ONO wound up ranked #2 in both the "Entrepreneurial" and "Motivational" book lists. The only setback we had came halfway through the day when Amazon was showing that ONO was out of stock. I soon found out that it was just a glitch in the Amazon system, but it still created some confusion for many buyers. Overall though, we are very happy with yesterday's results.

The final thing I ask of you is, if you did buy the book, once you read it, go onto Amazon and write a short review on your thoughts of ONO. If you still haven't bought ONO, it is not too late, it is available on Amazon (no matter what they say).

Though the launch is over, the journey is far from finished. There are millions of people that need to hear the message of Family First and we are going to continue to spread that message. Your support and prayers are always appreciated.

Thank you again.


Also, I thought you might like to see some pictures of the different events throughout launch week. Enjoy.

      ONO Launch Party


      "Family First Entrepreneur Week" Proclimation with Governor Butch Otter


      ONO Headquarters on Launch Day