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Having the support of your family is so important to your work-at-home journey and business, yet many people will go at it alone.
Just imagine what you could accomplish if you had your entire family on board to support you and actually discuss the path of your business.
That’s exactly what Mark Timm did. For anyone who doesn’t know who Mark is, he is the founder of twelve businesses, the CEO of Ziglar Family, and the co-owner of a top Amazon reseller.
Mark soon realized that in order to be a better parent, he needed to incorporate his family into his work life as well. From that point on, he began thinking of his family as a business — the most important business — and his success has been remarkable. Mark and his family are passionate about helping others do the same.
Ziglar Family helps people win at home just like they win at work. Zig Ziglar started Ziglar Family and he impacted 250 million people while he was alive and spreading his message about the importance of families. He wrote the books Raising Positive Kids in a Negative World and Courtship After Marriage. While he was delivering his message to thousands of people, he always yearned for the audience to include families.
Zig’s family was so important to him. Now that he has passed, his family is helping to keep his legacy alive. Ziglar Family focuses on helping families be more and do more so they can then have more of everything they ever dreamed for their family — because families don’t become families by accident.
According to Mark, we struggle at home because our business plan and family don’t coincide. We say we’re going to work at home so that we can do everything we ever wanted to do with our family, but then work starts to consume us, and we find ourselves spending less time with them or it interrupts the flow of the family. This happens all the time.
A lot of the families in Ziglar Family have the desire to work at home — whether it’s working at home for another company or for themselves. But they soon discover once they’ve started working at home that it’s having a negative impact on their family.
This is where it gets treacherous very quickly. Mark believes we weren’t put on this earth to be alone. We’re not supposed to do this by ourselves. Ziglar Family tries to bring clarity to work-at-home families.
It’s difficult to prioritize our families when we’re so focused on our goals. We’re unsure how to do it without sacrificing time spent with our family. Some have full-time jobs and they really want their side hustle to take off, but finding work-life balance overwhelms them.
a FAMILY BUSINESS
Mark admits to doing it wrong for quite some time. It really impacted him when he realized one hundred work decisions were easier than one home-related question. He questioned why a work-related decision was so easy, yet he struggled with a family question. He soon realized that family matters — matters more than his work — and yet he wasn’t delivering the way his family needed.
It hit him that he’d built many successful businesses, but his most valuable business was the business he was driving home to.
So Mark went out and incorporated his family. You can look it up online; it’s a real company. His youngest owns shares! Soon they started having family meetings. They discussed business-related concepts centered around the family.
He realized that everything he did and learned for work was actually so that he could apply it to his most valuable business, his family. Mark believes if you already realize that you own the most valuable business in the world, it makes everything else so much easier. It helps you keep priorities. It helps you decide where to spend your time.
I believe it’s all about priorities and knowing your why. A lot of people will tell me they want to work at home for the money. It’s not the money that you want. It’s the freedom, the joy, and the time you spend with your family, with the people that mean the most to you. It doesn’t mean you have to have kids. You might have a dog and a husband, and maybe you have a lot of friends too. It’s having the freedom and flexibility to do more and be more so you can have more of what you want in life and really live your life.
Mark says family meetings were the transforming aspect of what he brought from business to family because they hadn’t had an intelligent, intentional, and purposeful meeting as a family in years. They would discuss each other’s schedules. They would discuss where they were and where they wanted to be in the future.
Aside from discussing agendas, they also had a mission statement as a family. They did StrengthsFinder, the DiSC Assessment, and other various things Mark learned from work. His kids started learning about their personality traits and about the five love languages. If they didn’t have a family meeting, they’d feel it internally.
The family meetings offered a level playing field for all members with different personalities to voice their opinions.
Mark’s tip for starting your own family meetings is to offer a reward at the end. They had to bribe their kids to get them on board, like with ice cream and other treats they don’t normally have. This makes it fun for the kids and has them looking forward to the next family meeting. So make your family meetings fun and keep them short.
Ziglar Family has a course called Families that Win, and inside the course is an entire module on family meetings because it is so core to family success.
The Effect of Family Meetings on Work
The family meetings allowed Mark’s family to understand his work. His kids became interested in his work and had questions for him. His wife would ask him questions too. The more interested his family was in what he was doing, the more purposeful what he was doing became. He didn’t realize how connected our personal and professional lives really are.
So many of us keep them very separate. When he started being intentional about connecting his family to his professional life, just involving them, he started letting them come help him and be a part of it and understand what he did. It really impacted their relationship with each other.
Mark realized through this whole process that his job wasn’t to raise good kids. It was to raise good young adults, and he wants to be the parent that leads them into being an adult. As kids become teenagers, they’re not difficult because they’re teenagers. They’re difficult because it’s their job to test you and see if you have the strength to lead them into adulthood. When you realize this, you flip the script and become focused on preserving that relationship.
It really turns me off when people go into working at home with a me-centered attitude. I’m all for building relationships. I think a lot of people forget that businesses are relationships. They’re transactional. It’s value exchanged for money, and so if you can flip the script in your mind from thinking about yourself to thinking about other people, helping them get what they want, you’ll have everything you want in life too.
Mark believes many people make the “panic mistake.” They have strong intentions of working at home, and then they start panicking when they realize they don’t have a benefits package or have money coming in. They can have everything in life they want if they’ll just help enough people get what they want.
So what’s left is they have to figure it out. It’s important to stop panicking and break it down and focus on figuring out what the world needs and how you can help them.
I always encourage people to go a mile deep versus a mile wide. People get into a panic mode when they need to have a ton of money coming in, so they try to go out and get a ton of different clients or a ton of different skills all at once. Somebody might enroll in Work-At-Home School and try to learn everything in a week, and it just doesn’t work like that. Invest in yourself. Learn one skill. Get one client, and then you can grow your business from there. Start with your why, and then you branch out from there.
The First Step
For those who still need to take that first step toward working at home, Mark suggests sharing your goals and dreams with your family. Many people are afraid to share for fear of failure. It’s so important that your family supports you and is on board because then it becomes easier to handle the ups and downs of the journey.
Being open with your family is a great way to start your work-at-home life for sure.
Mark even finds that as you begin sharing with your family, you’ll find them sharing their own hopes and dreams with you even if they’re crazy or far-fetched. It’s definitely a two-way street.
It has a ripple effect. You can learn more about your kids than you ever thought possible. You can learn more about your spouse just by opening up and deciding to share. It starts with just one thing is what I like to say.
So now’s the time to start sharing with your family and getting them on board with your work-at-home journey. Get started with Work-At-Home School!