You can’t have a successful side hustle without having a healthy family. At least not for very long.
Most of us like to think that we can compartmentalize different areas of our lives. You’ve probably heard something like this before: “whatever personal issues you have, leave them at the door of your office.”
But, the more we figure out about how we function as humans in our society the more we realize that keeping our personal life out of our work life and vice versa is impossible.
If you have problems at home those problems will carry over into your career.
So, if you want to have a really meaningful web design side hustle you have got to figure out how to have healthy relationships with your family.
Healthy Family OR Successful Side Hustle: You Don’t Have to Choose
Thankfully, it is possible to have both a thriving side hustle and relationships with your family that don’t cost a fortune in counselor sessions.
How do you do it? That’s the topic of conversation with this weeks guest on the Self-Made Web Designer Podcast.
We’re getting into the nitty gritty with Mrs. Self-Made Web Designer. That’s right we’re talking to my wife Sarah.
We are by no means the perfect couple. But, we work hard to make sure that we balance work and family in a healthy way.
Sometimes, we have to chat through some not so fun conversations. But, at the end of the day every uncomfortable chat is worth it, even if it means I have to humble myself and say two words that are not easy to say: “I’m sorry.”
The main things we’ve learned are that being intentional about our schedule and open about our own personal needs are a lifeline.
You might be thinking: “Chris, this isn’t a marriage blog/podcast/program.” And, you’d be right. But, I’d be lying if I said that I don’t owe a good deal of my success to my family.
So, sit back and relax. Here are some things we’ve learned to keep a healthy family while also having a successful side hustle.
- How to set up a schedule that works for your family and your side hustle
- How to figure out what’s really wrong when your partner is frustrated with you and your side hustle
- How to not take things personally but look at disagreements as a puzzle to solve
- How to incorporate your family into your side hustle
- How to arrange your schedule by tasks for maximum efficiency
- How to have tough conversations with your spouse about your side hustle
- How to be a good dad but still work a lot
- Thinking Fast & Slow Book
- Michael Hyatt’s Ideal Week
- Chris’ Ideal Week
- Sarah’s Instagram
- Sarah’s Facebook
Chris Misterek 0:02
What's up, everybody? Welcome to a special edition of the self-made web designer podcast. And this is going to be one that if you haven't been to the YouTube page, you might just want to go there and watch it rather than listen to it because we have a special guest on and she is just upping the hotness level of the show by about 100 times. Okay, and if you haven't figured it out yet, we are talking to my wife, Mrs. self-made web designer, Mr. Sarah Misterek. This is a family edition. We're gonna talk about some family stuff. We originally recorded this episode. Before everything happened with COVID-19
Sarah Misterek 0:48
We took our anniversary. We recorded for self-made web designers. And then everything we said was null and void right about a month later.
Chris Misterek 1:00
That's right because at the time our kids were going to school, I wasn't working from home. And so we thought we would come back and we talked about what life has been like as a married couple. With me working from home with our kids now being with us 24/7, we're their math teachers we're their English teachers we're their extracurricular cohorts if you will. And so it's gotten slightly more difficult.
Sarah Misterek 1:32
Yes, I would say mostly because every time we do PE, I pee my pants.
Chris Misterek 1:38
Yes. Her bladder is still recovering from the baby that we had was four months ago. Kudos to all those moms out there who gave birth to babies can do jumping jacks and can do jumping jacks during a quarantine, like all of those things together are fantastic. So it's gonna be a lot of fun. And we're gonna get down nitty-gritty. We're gonna talk about what are some things that I do as a work from home dad, who also has a side hustle that Sarah likes that she appreciates and what are some things that I do that she doesn't appreciate and how we've come to figure out a way to work together. That works for our family. So it might get steamy and not like and we're gonna make out with each other steamy, steamy in the sense of things might get heated, she might throw things at me. Raise your voice No, look at her. If you're watching this on YouTube, look at her. There's no way that is gonna happen. She's too amazing and too special for that. So, without any further ado, are you ready? Ready? Let's do it. One aspect that a lot of side hustlers or freelancers don't take into consideration is if you can't figure out the family dynamic, then it's not going to last long, right? You know, because in my mind, as a dad, my time is not my own. And anytime that I'm taking away from something that I'm doing from the family, it has to be a permission, it can't be a given. And, and we've spent a lot of time working that out what that looks like. And it hasn't always been pretty. It hasn't always been without argument or disagreement or frustration on both sides. But, but it has been worth it. Because I feel like we're finally coming to a place of like, okay, here's a rhythm for us. Right. And we're still growing. We're still learning but you know, we're not, there's not nearly as much struggle as there once was, right. So maybe talk about some of the things let's go to the good stuff first. Maybe talk about some of the things that I did that you thought were helpful. When it came to having a side hustle, being a stay at home mom, pitching in it or not pitching in, like all of those things together, like, what did you appreciate the most?
Sarah Misterek 4:12
Yeah, well, the thing that changed the game for both of us was pre quarantine. And that was when you realized that you needed to get better at scheduling your time and utilizing the calendar that we share, to communicate to me what your time is spent doing. And so if, if suddenly you're doing a podcast on the lunch break of your full-time job, that means that I can't call you or that means that if one of the kids is sick at school, you're not going to go pick them up. Really simple ways to communicate to me that wasn't being done before. I was just guessing and then not hearing from you and getting frustrated. All because I just needed to know that you were, you know, in the middle of podcasts when I would normally be able to reach you, things like that. And so we started a block calendar session every Sunday night. So we would have a bit of a rhythm where we would get together, we would, you know, we put a cold or warm beverage in our hands, often by the fire, which was nice because we started this tradition in the winter when it was chilly outside and we could light fires.
Chris Misterek 5:25
Now it is over 100 degrees here in Arizona.
Sarah Misterek 5:28
So I'm wearing a jean jacket. Yeah, but it's cute. It's because you're an Eskimo, huh?
Chris Misterek 5:33
I like it cold in the house.
Sarah Misterek 5:34
And so we, we started doing this, it took about two hours every Sunday night. But then, as a result of those two hours, we spent little to no time arguing throughout the week about scheduling or miscommunications or disagreements about the use of either of our time. And it made it very clear and it helps us prioritize your time and what your time is meant for the family.
Chris Misterek 6:00
Yeah, yeah, that's good. And I think it all goes back to on my side of things over-communicating. Because I tend to assume, oh, Sarah knows my lunchtime I'll reserve it in case of somebody scheduling a call with me or I need to work on a blog post or podcast. But taking that assumption out, and just having the conversation, I think was good. Another thing that I think was important for me to understand was that not every season is going to look the same, right? And you're going to have to adjust the amount that you're able to work on your side project when you're able to work on your side project. And so it all needs to be a fluid form of communication. And so why don't you talk about that a little bit because, at the very beginning, we had this idea that okay, You know, you're, you're gonna take on a lot of the family load, I'm going to do a lot of the side projects and you know, try to make some extra money and then try to build up self-made web designer. And then we found that didn't work out. So, talk about that and your experience with that.
Sarah Misterek 7:16
Yeah, well, we sometimes things that look good on paper aren't realistic. So not only did we launch Self-Made web designer, but you also signed up to be part of a triathlon. Which you finished.
Chris Misterek 7:33
I sure did.
FYI, I have gained all the weight back from when I first started. quarantine and nachos at midnight have not been good to me. I mean, they taste nachos taste great, but it's not good for other parts of my body.
Sarah Misterek 7:50
So outside of nachos, we had to decide was it going to be all in, go to the gym, biking to work, and all those things took additional time. And so putting 30 minutes on a block calendar for working out, wasn't realistic because you were training for a triathlon, and you were doing a side hustle, and you had a full-time job, and we had the kids in extracurriculars, etc, etc. So, we had to step back and go, okay, you're doing too much. How do we figure out a method so that when you say, you'll be home at five, you're home at five or when you say you're going to be home at six, you're actually in the door and ready to rock and roll with the kids at six. Not like hey, but I need to finish this one thing before I get started. Then I can have some extra time. I was realizing that I went from having lots of alone time, whether it was in an office or it was you know, just my drive back and forth to kind of decompress to having absolutely No alone time at all. And so we realize, okay, I need a couple of hours every day or every other day to just do whatever I want and have no nobody scrambling for me, for my time, and my attention. And so we had to lesson a little bit so that we could gain more in other areas. Essentially my mental health depended on it. And so we had to kind of reconfigure according to my needs, that we weren't putting into consideration because we didn't know I needed it. After all, I'd never been a stay at home mom before.
Chris Misterek 9:34
Yeah. Yeah. And I think one of the important things that I had to realize in the midst of that was that you know, it takes a little bit of time to figure out what is the sore spot that's being touched? You know, like, like, what is the thing that's causing frustration, you know, because at first, frustration just looked like frustration.
Sarah Misterek 9:58
It just looked like Why are you late? Yeah, it wasn't about being late at all.
Chris Misterek 10:02
No. And it and it's really easy to become dismissive of those moments and say, Oh, well, you know, they're, they're just being unrealistic or emotional or whatever. But I had to come to the point to go, okay? This, like Sarah's emotion is trying to communicate that something is wrong, right. And I know it's very simplistic. But when you look at it that way, then then it's a puzzle to be solved, right? versus something to be ignored. And you continue to cause frustration on both ends and some resentment that could potentially end up in you having to quit altogether.
Sarah Misterek 10:40
Right? And for all you enneagram lovers out there, I'm a two and typically that means that I love to help altruistic, that kind of thing is like well known about that personality type. And one of the drawbacks is that typically, we don't know we have needs until it's too late. So, like resentment builds long before that understanding of what the need is that is missing presents itself.
Chris Misterek 11:08
Yeah. And it's not like you should get frustrated and say, Chris, I need this from you. Right? It was, I'm frustrated and it's because of you. And so it's you've no idea why. You know, and in my mind at the time, I'm like, well, you said, I could work later if I wanted to, because, you know, like, you're gonna take on the majority of the home task, I'm going to work on these things. But I had to come to the point of like, okay, something is wrong. Let's try some different things out and figure out a method that works for the both of us, and that that took a lot of trial and error, and it was not a straight line at all. And there were some productive weeks on my end when I got a lot of stuff done for the side hustle. I did a lot of freelance work. And then there were some nonproductive weeks where it's like, okay, Sarah needs me to clean out the garage, because this is like her boiling point has come to as high as I can allow it to come before things go crazy. So So let's talk a little bit about some things that we had to figure out to shift during the quarantine, you know, because we had to do some major adjustments again, because we both figured out like, okay, there are some frustrations on both of our both of both sides of the table. And so what are some things that we can do? So what did that look like for you?
Sarah Misterek 12:41
One of the helpful things is we have a newborn, I mean, he's not new-new, but he's in his four-month sleep regression period. And I was realizing that I was like, I was irritable, I was frustrated with the kids and I'm not normally frustrated with things the moment I wake up, you know, that seemed strange. And, and we couldn't figure out what was wrong, except that I wasn't getting enough sleep at night, I was up every half an hour from two o'clock onwards. And so we realized that not only do I need a little bit of extra sleep in the morning so that I can function through the end of the night. But I also need a little bit of alone time, and so did Chris. And so, you know, at the beginning of the quarantine, you know, you had a lot of marriages going awry because they weren't willing to problem solve. And I think because we had started this problem-solving method when I was in my third trimester pregnant coming off of staff at a church and you were in a triathlon mode, starting a new business, we had to come up with ways and formats of communicating problems to each other. And so we will save those things up for Sunday. So we kept our same rhythm of Hey, let's, let's talk about our schedule. And when we, when we talked about our schedule, we would also talk about our needs. And what we found was I needed three hours a week where I had no but nobody needed me. I had no ties to anyone. Also, you needed the same thing. And because we were both fielding for kids at any given moment, and it was becoming a lot for both of us. And then it was harder and harder to communicate those things throughout the day because we were always with each other. It seemed like no, no time was convenient, oddly enough, and so. So we went back to Sunday nights, and we started talking through those things. And so Tuesday nights are my night off. Thursday nights are your night off, and then one night of the weekend. We take a date night and we and we focus on each other specifically and we check in with each other and when we eat something yummy and you know and we hang and that's been so So, so healthy for our marriage, and, and healthy for me to feel like I have some, like some light at the end of the tunnel, as well as when we flipped the way that we were doing my sleep schedule. You know, that was a huge shift for me. Not everybody listening has a newborn in the house. But you know, having no sleep at all, and then trying to be three little girls substitute teacher at any given moment was insane. I couldn't remember what two plus two equals, I couldn't remember the password on your cell phone the other day! I had no brain power left. Yeah.
Chris Misterek 15:40
And so that helped. So practically what that looks like for us is Sarah will take the majority of the night shifts that pretty much all the night shifts with our newborn. And then from six o'clock until about 1030 am is when I kind of step in. And so my workday starts at eight and my workplace ShowIt is very understanding and they've allowed me to bring the baby into meetings and phone calls and stuff like that. And, and Yeah, they're awesome. And another part of it is, you know, answering our daughter's questions on their schoolwork or figuring out how to get them logged into their classrooms. And so I figured out that I'm not super productive in the morning anyway, right? Like, it's, it's not a great time for me. And so, you know, we've we're slowly kind of realizing of like, how we operate best through trial and error. And so then I started figuring out Well, I work best from like four until six, like those are my primetime hours where for some reason, I just I don't get distracted as easily I'm able to like hone in on projects. So Sarah said why don't you work until it's time for dinner, and then come up for dinner. And then you can be done for the day. And so, so that's that's what we've done. And it's been really helpful. And I think, you know, going back to looking at it as a puzzle to try to solve versus taking offense at some things that might be said, you know, you mentioned the enneagram, but there's also the Myers Briggs and what's funny is that we are both extroverts. And we are both feelers. So you're a feeler, right? So you know, when you're a feeler, you tend to take something that somebody says to you, especially if there's even a hint of criticism in it and become offended. But in situations like this, where you're problem-solving, you kind of have to push the thinker hat and Just go and take all of the emotion out of the statement and hear what's being said behind what's being said, you know? So, rather than like being hurt that you're, you know, somebody said something offensive to it, you look at it and go, okay, what's the core issue here? And how can I speak to that? or How can I change things to really kind of fix the problem? And then the other side of that is both being extroverts. We realized we needed a little bit more alone time than what we thought we did, you know, because we are surrounded by people 24 seven, right, you know, at least whenever the girls were in school, and I was going back and forth to and from an office, we had moments where it's like, decompression, I can turn the radio on I can listen to a book I can sit in silence if I want to. And all of that was was kind of taken away. And so that's where the three hours of alone time came in. So why don't we flip it a little bit and talk about some things that I do that maybe you don't appreciate as much when it comes to being a freelancer or having a side hustle, and I'm gonna put on my thinker hat and, and not get offended by what you have to say, okay, maybe,
Sarah Misterek 19:17
Well, let's just call this our Sunday night calendar.
Chris Misterek 19:23
Yeah, this is a counseling session via podcasts. Okay, we're working out our marital problems together.
Sarah Misterek 19:33
Well, we've done a lot of trial and error, we have worked hard to be good at communicating with one another. And, honestly, the thing that has been the most, you know, frustrating or tense is when you're in the middle of multiple projects and interview for more because I will look at it and I go, Oh, he doesn't even have time to finish the second project he's just agreed to, there is no chance that anything that these people say to him is going to change the amount of time that he has in a day. And knowing what I know about Chris and how ambitious you are, and how creative you are with problem-solving, I know you will say yes, and then try to figure it out later. And there's nothing wrong with that. That's what's making you such a successful person in this industry. And, and so then it's my responsibility as your wife to come in and say, Okay, let's be realistic. If I took all of the family duties off of your plate for the next three weeks, could you get project one and project two completed? And if the answer is no, you can't take on any more projects because although you want to and although it's fun to make money and it's fun to solve problems for people and see people succeed, it's not fun if I'm a single mom. So I didn't sign up to be a single mom. Shout out to all the single moms making it happen though, man, you guys are rock stars. But I'm not one of them right now.
Chris Misterek 21:15
O r single dads.Yeah. Wait, it goes, let's not discriminate. I was one.
Sarah Misterek 21:18
Two years of that bro- boom. *fist bump* But that's probably the most annoying thing you do as a side house.
Chris Misterek 21:26
Yeah. And the funny thing is that this happened last week. Like a few days ago. So yeah, and I think there's a lot of good points in that if I can go on a little bit of a rant. You know, I think right now for me, especially with everything happening with the Coronavirus, like, I'm always trying to move forward and get frustrated if I can't. And so what in this what ends up happening is that instead of being reasonable or like listening to logic or looking at my calendar and realizing that it's already full, I start to get incredibly optimistic and think, Oh, I can, I can throw another thing on this. And so I've learned that about myself and realize I need someone like Sarah, to help me kind of work out and get realistic about my time and what I'm capable of and what I'm not capable of. And I think this is good. If you're a freelancer, especially if you're just getting started to kind of whatever you think you can do, like chop it in half, you know, so if you think a project is going to take you a month, you should probably schedule for two or three. Right?
Sarah Misterek 22:46
And that's, that's another thing is, you know, we always encourage people to be thinking forward and thinking into the future, and always set up your next project. There's nothing wrong with that. The problem is when all projects are due in the same month. And as a side hustler, we assume you have a full-time gig outside of your side hustle. If this is your full-time gig, there's nothing wrong with that you have plenty of time to complete all of your tasks. But when you're doing it with a side hustle and four kids, and a quarantine, that's where things get pretty tricky. And so it's not just about like, there's nothing wrong with interviewing for things, right? Because you don't necessarily know what they're going to say they could say that they don't need anything for six months. And in that case, that's a great gig to line up. But when they're, when they're right now I need it yesterday.
Chris Misterek 23:40
It's not gonna happen. Yeah. And, you know, I think you, you tend to associate doing more things with moving forward. And that's not necessarily the truth, right? Because sometimes the more you add on to what you're doing, the more it takes you back because all of a sudden you start getting negative feedback. back and you know, your reputation takes a hit. And so then you find yourself having to figure out how to recover. And so if you were just if you were patient and just waited for the right opportunity at the right time, you would have been much better off. You know, rather than taking something that's right in front of you in the middle of it. And this was a tough one. This was a high paying project that I had to say no to, no matter, no matter how high the paying of a job is, or how much it's gonna push you forward, you have to balance out, like how is this going to affect me, my family, my mental health. And I know that's that is kind of counterintuitive to a lot of what people are saying right now. When it comes to having a side hustle or having a business or being a freelancer. You know, it's all about Go, go, go, Hustle, Hustle, Hustle, stay up as late as you can. But everybody has limits. You know, like that's that is the thing that these people aren't saying, but it's the reality, you know, like, there's not one person who can go nonstop, and be 100% productive all hours of the day, you know, there, it's impossible. We're just not built that way. And so so you've got to figure out for yourself, what does that look like for me? And, and for my family and my season of life, and different seasons look incredibly different. You know,
Sarah Misterek 25:24
it's true. I think one of the things that when we go back and we go back to talking about what is working for us, and why is our marriage in a healthy place, and all of that, one of the things that took us about a year to understand is that we both needed cheerleader at different times. And if we can get a little vulnerable up in here, like when, when I am in the middle of the mundane, and I am in like a purposeless moment where I don't know I don't have anything that I have to do, but I feel like I have 100 things that I should be doing today. happens on like a Saturday morning. And I start complaining, I start venting and blowing off steam. And for a long time, Chris would get frustrated with me during that time. Until one day we realize I'm not looking for answers. And I'm not looking for him to be like a punching bag. I'm looking for a cheerleader at that moment. And once we realize that Saturdays are going to be tough for me. I need a cheerleader on Saturdays. Like it's changed everything. And I don't even need a cheerleader on Saturdays anymore for the most part, because it's not happening. We've been able to move past that. But it's the little things that turn into marital squabbles because we don't recognize what the other person in the relationship is asking for. Yeah. And at that moment, I'm asking for encouragement. I'm not asking for solutions. And for you. It's a little different. Do you want to explain?
Chris Misterek 26:52
For me, when I'm in the midst of a project that's just taking a lot of my effort or it's going as quickly as I would have hoped for it to go, I tend to get discouraged. And so, you know, Sarah's kind of learning that she's got to come alongside me, and be my cheerleader. You know, like, she's what she's saying, and encouraged me to keep going and remind me of the benefits of that. And, you know, eventually, I'm able to get out of that headspace, but it helps to have somebody to kind of bring me back to center and, you know, if you're listening and you're still working that out in your marriage, like, like, don't, don't get frustrated that your partner isn't doing that for you, right? choose to do that for them. Right, you know, like somebody has to take the first step. And this isn't a marriage counseling podcast. But you know, at the end of the day, the strength of your side hustle rises and falls on the strength of your family and the relationships that you have in it. That's right. So if you're not careful, you know if you're not paying attention to these, you know, mile markers or benchmarks. You could find yourself in a real tough situation.
Sarah Misterek 28:03
I'll say this as, as a mom, as a wife, and as somebody who's on the other side of the side hustle, the person who's making things happen in the background so that Chris can work hard and so that you guys can have access to great resources week in and week out. And, like, I am way more apt to make this happen with you because you're such a great dad and a great husband. And so you've poured a lot of time and effort and even like rhythms with the kids. And making that just as strong as your side hustle. And because of that, because we can kind of lean on the strength of the last few years of you as a dad and a husband. We know what to expect when you're not working. And that's been helpful for us as a family because The truth is, this isn't just our side hustle. This is also our four kid's side hustle. And there are days when they miss Daddy, and they make it very clear, they don't want me they want him. And that's okay. You know, because we're prepared to create opportunities for them to be involved. We're prepared to create a special one-on-one time with the kids, one of our girls needs one-on-one time. And probably once every two weeks. We have to make that happen. And we have to force it because it's not easy right now to do one on one when there are so many kids in the house. And so we know we're working all those things out as they come. But I always go back to Sunday night.
Chris Misterek 29:38
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, the scheduling and doing the hard work and it sucks. And listen, I am not and I've admitted this many times. I'm not a systems guy. I'm not an organized guy. I'm the creative type that just likes going and doing and wherever the chips fall, they kind of fall so this is a learned behavior, right? and I would say it's a lot like a junk drawer.
Sarah Misterek 30:03
And I would say I am not interested in the mundane. I am not much for housecleaning, I am not much for being a stay at home wife, and yet we can pull both of those things together, right? Because I understand the value of work and understand the value of this being part of the puzzle. And you understand the thing that you hate the most being part of the puzzle as well. And then, as a result, we find ourselves in like, a mostly happy marriage most of the time. No, mostly happy family. Like I would say, most of the time. Yeah, you know, there are squabbles, here and there, there's no perfect family. There's no perfect person. But really and truly, we are not struggling with the same issues that other people are, but because of the self-sacrifice, it's happening on both ends. Without that this would be impossible.
Chris Misterek 30:56
Yeah. And I think there has to be a lot of forgiveness on both sides from both partners. Because, you know, like, let's say you get into a situation where, you know, you have a deadline for a project and the client is getting frustrated, but now you need to step in and take care of a sick kid, you know, and then you miss your deadline because of that, you know, that that can undermine your relationship if you're not in it's nobody's fault. It's not like somebody didn't on purpose. But if you carry in bitterness because of that, or hold something against your other partner, because of that, like that, there's no way to move forward like like you just end up becoming more and more resentful and then that piles on top of more resentment and then all of a sudden, you know, you're having to sneak away to do your side hustle versus your partner knowing like, Okay, this is they're given time for doing that thing. So, and I say it's, you know, your schedule and the systems that you have in place are like a junk drawer, because junk drawers will get dirty, and then you clean them out. And then they get dirty again, and then you clean them out and then they get dirty again, like, this isn't something that like, you know, like right now in this season, we haven't been as good at sitting down in our having our Sunday night talk and conversation as we have been in the past. And a lot of that is is the changing nature of you know, what's happened with the quarantine and shelter in place. But a lot of that too is that it's overtime if you don't come back to it and go, Okay, are we doing the things that are helpful for us that are important, then they just have a tendency to be neglected or be forgotten about, you know, so, you know, we're in a season where we've got to get back to those things we've got to get back to the basics. So why don't you speak to You know, some of the maybe the non-side hustling partners that are part of the relationship, you know, like what have you found is, is helpful for you when it comes to perspective and thinking about what I'm doing with the side hustle that allows you to be so gracious and give me the time that I need or would ask for.
Sarah Misterek 33:25
Yeah, well, I think the first thing is that his side hustle is my side hustle. And I understand that I'm putting in more hours with the home. So for instance, in the beginning, you were talking about how my boiling point with the garage was getting too high because I was in my third trimester pregnant, nesting it like crazy hormonal, all of that. And you were like Yep. It's time to clean out the garage. Right and you know, it didn't have to pull out a trump card because you could read the room. I had asked you enough times, right? Because it was something I couldn't do anymore. But we were out of space. And we needed the space, right. And so I think with all of this as, as the non-side hustler of the side hustle family, you must communicate your needs as you figure them out and created a safe space between the two of you for you to be able to, to lay down that trump card and say, actually, this weekend, we need you more than we need your blog. This weekend. We need you more than we need you to finish that project. And here's why and not for irrational reasons. I don't take that trump card lightly. I barely ever use it, but the fact that I have access to say, notice something on Chris's plate. As a fan on behalf of the family. It actually empowers me to release him to do more, because I know when I'm at my end, and I know and he's at his end, and we work together within that. And so, if you're, if you're on the other end of the side hustle, and you're not getting what your needs are met, it's time for a conversation. And if that conversation isn't met with grace and mercy, take a look at yourself first. Because there have been seasons where I was a wreck, and it wasn't because of the side hustle. It was because I needed to manage my own time and energy, change the way I was eating so that I had energy for the kids when they got home from school. Leave really simple, minimal things that made a huge difference and added up to be what is now a healthy marriage. So when there's a problem in Paradise, check yourself first. I would say And and think about how your, your part to play impacts the greater good, which in this case is your bank account. I mean, is it worth it? For me to drop the kids off at soccer practice back when there was soccer practice 1000 years ago, which was only what two months ago.
Chris Misterek 36:20
I don't even remember now.
Sarah Misterek 36:20
It's worth it for me to be the one that drops kids off soccer practice so that you can work just like it's worth it for me now. So a pro tip for all of you families trying to figure out what to do with your kids while your husband or your partner or whoever is side hustling. We taught the kids how to cook and we told them that if they learn how to cook a meal, and they do it start to finish without a parent. They don't have to do their nightly chores that come they're not a chore and one of us replaces their part to play in the nightly chores and so it has worked like a dream. It's distracting them from the fact that they miss their dad and that is at home. work even though it's five because that used to be the conversation, and now it's okay, Whose turn is it to cook. And we're teaching them and you know, is our next side hustle is going to be like a master chef.
Chris Misterek 37:13
So we'll see, they've only been scolded a couple of times, on a frying pan, it's, you know, they'll recover. So going back to what you said, of having that mentality, that it's not just my side hustle, it's our side hustle. I think that has to be agreement and agreement that partners understand. And so if you are the side hustler like I am, that has to be a conversation and it can't be assumed, right? You can't just assume that well, because I have this free time that I'm going to fill it with something that obliges me that obligates me to do more work that's going to take me away from the family. So if you're in a season where there's been constant friction with your spouse, About your side hustle, it might be time to sit down and have a tough conversation that you might have been avoiding because you know what's coming. And Sarah mentioned this that I've given her a, you know, the trump card, which has nothing to do with President Trump, Trump card meaning she can say no, and it all ends, right. She can say it stops, and I stopped and I give that to her. You know, knowing that sometimes she's able to see things that I'm not able to see. And yeah, you know, I tend to get focused and, you know, kind of tunnel vision with what I'm doing. And so I give that to her because I respect her opinion. I respect her thoughts. And because at the end of the day, if if I build a good business, or a good podcast or a good freelance web design, side hustle, and I've lost my family Right. It's not, it's not worth it for me, like, like, I haven't, I haven't accomplished anything. And I'm gonna look back and go, what was I doing with my time? You know, and I think a lot of people that that start a business they find themselves looking back five 610 years down the road. And they think like, I'm no, I'm nowhere near what I wanted my life to look like, even though I've been successful and all of these things, you know, money's great like projects are coming in all the time. And so one of the most important things that I think you can do is, is have a mission statement, you know, and it doesn't have to be written down and I know a lot of guys do. And that's great if you do, but I just know in my mind, if if I build, you know, a six-figure side hustle, but my kids hate me as teenagers, even though no matter what I do, they might hate me. But you know, they resent me and my wife resents me and then like, I've not done what I've set out to accomplish. Like I'm after a better life and a better family. And that's why I'm doing this. And so if increasing my income, I lose the better life and better family, then I've missed the mark, and I'm not accomplishing what I'm trying to accomplish. So let's talk a little bit about productivity when it comes to having your full family at the house and trying to get things done and also have a side project and all those things on top. What are some things that you have seen me do that you appreciate when it comes to my productivity and what are some things that you wish I would do a little bit better?
Sarah Misterek 40:45
Okay, so one of the things that we both do now that have been successful for both of our productivity is we just called the big three where we pick three things that we need to get done come hell or high water and we work towards those goals specifically and whatever else happens in the day either that creates margin for family time or it or it means that we need to hustle a little bit longer at the end of the day. So one of the things that I appreciate about the way you side hustle is because we've kind of block our calendars in a certain way it optimizes the family time that the girls need at their age which is usually until about nine o'clock at night. So at nine o'clock, you start the clock again to start working because nights are really when you come alive, anyway but you give the best of yourself to the kids between 6:00 and 9:00 p.m.
Chris Misterek 36:33
Yeah. And I think there has to be a lot of forgiveness on both sides from both partners. Because, let's say you get into a situation where, you know, you have a deadline for a project and the client is getting frustrated, but now you need to step in and take care of a sick kid, you know, and then you miss your deadline because of that, you know that That can undermine your relationship. If If you're not, it's nobody's fault. It's not like somebody's done on purpose. But if you carry in bitterness because of that, or hold something against your other partner because of that, like that, there's no way to move forward like you just end up becoming more and more resentful. And then that piles on top of more resentment and then all of a sudden, you know, you're having to sneak away to do your side hustle versus your partner knowing like, Okay, this is their given time for doing that thing. So, and I say it's your schedule and the systems that you have in place are like a junk drawer, because junk drawers will get dirty, and then you clean them out. And then they get dirty again, and then you clean them out and then they get dirty again like this isn't something that like, you know, like right now in this season. We haven't been as good at sitting down in our having our Sunday night talk and conversation. As we have been in the past, and a lot of that is, is the changing nature of, you know, what's happened with the quarantine and shelter in place, but a lot of that too is that it's overtime if you don't come back to it and go, Okay, are we doing the things that are helpful for us that are important, then they just have a tendency to be neglected or, or be forgotten about, you know, so, you know, we're in a season where we've got to get back to those things we've got to get, we've got to get back to the basics. So why don't you speak to the non-side hustling partners that are part of the relationship you know, like what have you found is, is helpful for you when it comes to perspective and thinking about what I'm doing with the side hustle that allows you to be so gracious and give me the time that I have I need or would ask for.
Sarah Misterek 39:02
Yeah, well, I think the first thing is that his side hustle is my side hustle. And I understand that I'm putting in more hours with the home. So for instance, in the beginning, you were talking about how my boiling point with the garage was getting too high because I was in my third trimester pregnant, nesting, crazy hormonal, all of that. And you were like Yep. It's time to clean out the garage. Right. And, you know, I didn't have to pull out a trump card because you could read the room. I had asked you enough times, right? Because it was something I couldn't do anymore. But we were out of space, and we needed the space. So I think with all of this as, as the non-side hustler of the side-hustle-family you must communicate your needs as you figure them out and create a safe space between the two of you for you to be able to lay down that trump card and say, actually, this weekend, we need you more than we need your blog. This weekend, we need you more than we need you to finish that project. And here's why it's not for irrational reasons. I don't take that trump card lightly. I barely ever use it. But the fact that I have access to say, no to something on Chris's plate as a fan on behalf of the family. It actually empowers me to to release him to do more, because I know when I'm at my end, and I know and he's at his end, and we work together within that. And so, if you're, if you're on the other end of the side hustle, and you're not getting your needs met, it's time for a conversation. And if that conversation isn't met with grace and mercy, take a look at yourself first. Because there have been seasons where I was a wreck and it wasn't because of the side hustle it was because I needed to manage my own time manage my own energy, change the way I was eating so that I had energy for the kids when they got home from school. Change really simple, minimal things that made a huge difference and added up to be what is now a healthy marriage. So when there's a problem in Paradise, check yourself first I would say and think about how your part to play impacts, the greater good which in this case is your bank account. I mean, is it worth it? For me to drop the kids off at soccer practice back when there was soccer practice 1000 years ago, which was only what two months ago? I don't even remember now. It's worth it for me to be the one that drops kids off soccer practice so that you can work just like it's worth it for me now. So pro tip for all of you families trying to figure out what you with your kids while your husband or your partner or whoever is side hustling. We taught the kids how to cook. And we told them that if they learn how to cook a meal, and they do it start to finish without a parent, they don't have to do their nightly chores that comes they're not a chore and one of us replaces their part to play in the nightly chores. And so it has worked like a dream. It's distracting them from the fact that they miss their dad and dad isn't home from work even though it's five because that used to be the conversation. And now it's okay, Whose turn is it to cook? We're teaching them and you know our next side hustle is gonna be like Master Chef Junior.
Chris Misterek 42:51
They've only been scalded a couple of times on a frying pan. It's, you know, they'll they'll recover. So going back to what you said of having mentality that it's not just my side hustle, it's our side hustle. I think that has to be an agreement that both partners understand. And so if you are the side hustler like I am, that that has to be a conversation and it can't be assumed, right? You can't just assume that well, because I have this free time that I'm going to fill it with something that obliges me that obligates me to do more work that's going to take me away from the family. So if you're in a season where there's been constant friction with your spouse, about your side hustle, it might be time to sit down and have a tough conversation that you you might have been avoiding because you know what's coming. And Sarah mentioned this that I've given her a you know, the trump card, which has nothing to do with President Trump. Trump card meaning she can say no, and it all ends, right. She can say it stops and I stopped And I give that to her, you know, knowing that sometimes she's able to see things that I'm not able to see and you know, have a tendency to get really focused and, and really, you know, kind of tunnel vision with what I'm doing. And so I give that to her because I, I respect her opinion I respect her thoughts. And because at the end of the day if I build a good business, or a good podcast or good freelance web design, side hustle, and I've lost my family, right it's not worth it for me. I haven't accomplished anything, and I'm gonna look back and go, what was I doing with my time? You know, and I think a lot of people that that start a business they find themselves looking back five, 6, 10 years down the road, and they think like, I'm no, I'm nowhere near what I wanted my life. Look like even though I've been successful, and all of these things, you know, money's great, like projects are coming in all the time. And so one of the most important things that I think you can do is, is have a mission statement, you know, and it doesn't have to be written down. I know a lot of guys do. And that's great if you do, but I just know, in my mind, if if I build, you know, a six-figure side hustle, but my kids hate me as teenagers, even though no matter what I do, they might hate me. But you know, they resent me and my wife resents me and then like, I'm not I'm not really done what I've set out to accomplish, like I'm after a better life, and a better family. And that's why I'm doing this. And so if in increasing my income, I lose the better life and better family, then then I've missed the mark and have not accomplished what I'm trying to accomplish. So let's talk a little bit about productivity when it comes to Having your full family at the house and trying to get things done, and also having a side project and all those things on top. What do you what are some things that you have seen me do that you appreciate when it comes to my productivity? And what are some things that you wish I would do a little bit better?
Sarah Misterek 46:20
Okay, so one of the things that we both do now that has been really successful for both of our productivity is we just call it the big three, where we pick three things that we need to get done come hell or high water, and we work towards those goals specifically, and whatever else happens in the day, either that creates margin for for family time or it or it means that we need to hustle a little bit longer at the end of the day. And so one of the things that I really appreciate appreciate about the way you side hustle is because we've kind of blocked our calendars in a certain way. it optimizes the family time. The girls need at their age, which is usually until about nine o'clock at night. So at nine o'clock, he starts the clock again to start working, because nights are really when you come alive anyway. But you give the best of yourself to the kids between six and 9pm. And as a result, that releases me to just be part of the team and not be the captain of the football team right now. And, and so that's been really, really helpful because it took a while for us to rein that in and figure out best practices.
But I think we've really come a long way. I think that's been really really helpful.
Chris Misterek 47:44
Yeah. And, and I have a Google Sheet that is my days are blocked Monday through Sunday. And there are sections and I go over that with Sarah when we're doing well.
Yeah. So, you know, I'll put a link in the show notes and you guys can copy that and use it for yourselves. There's some other great people out there who also have this that they give away for free one guy named Michael Hyatt, who I've copied it from so it's, it's, it's pretty common with a lot of the productivity guys. So So that's, that's something that's helpful for me. And, you know, we've, we've talked about it a bit on the podcast as well, where you try to find reoccurring themes in the things that you're doing, and then batch all of those things on specific days. Yes, and I'm not great about this, but it's something that I'm working towards where, you know, Monday nights are for editing the podcast, and and we do that together so that it's ready to go. Excuse me, and we do that together so that it's ready to go Tuesday at midnight, right? And then the other days have something different. You know, like Wednesday, I try to reserve for pitching articles to different publications, Thursday's are, you know, contacting people for the podcast to see if they'd be interested in being interviewed. Like, there's all of these things that I can start to go, Okay, I'm doing a lot of this and a lot of this and a lot of this and it's all kind of mixed together. So why don't we separate that, and then put those into specific places in my day, or in different places in the week. So that's something that we've we found too, and I think, you know, it's something that I'm having to come to grips with now that all of our kids are in our house. And we're teaching them and you know, I'm working from home is that it's it's incredibly easy for me to get distracted. And I've been reading through this book, and Sarah and I were talking about this yesterday. It's called Thinking Fast and Slow. And it's an incredible question. incredible book. And there's this one concept called cognitive load. And that's if you're a UX designer, it's something that's not necessarily new to you. But cognitive load is this idea that your resources to be able to think critically about things are limited, like they're finite. And so the more separate or different things that you're adding to the cognitive load that you're putting in your mind to have to think about, the harder it's going to be to concentrate and focus and the more likely you're going to just toss your hands in the air and become distracted on Facebook or Instagram. And so or Tic Tok or Tik Tok is the new thing. Hey, we're in our 30s so who we aren't on there quite a ton, but our baby is so he has a Tic Tok channel. So, you know, I realized that having the cognitive load of knowing at any given moment I'm going to have to answer a seven-year old's questions about, you know, mathematics, or my nine-year-olds questions about, you know, science or whatever, like, it's adding to my cognitive load. And so I'm not able to necessarily think as critically or get as focused as I once was when I was just going to work. And none of that was in my mind, you know, like I was, I was reserving no space for my kids to come in and say, Dad, I need help with the problem. But that's all kind of changed. And so realizing that, you know, I've realized that number one, I need to be patient with myself. And know that it's not because I have a lack of will. It's not because I'm lazy. It's not because I'm easily distracted. It's because there's all of this pressure on my ability to think critically. That I'm just not I don't have as many of the resources as I once did.
Sarah Misterek 51:57
Can I interject here? Yes, please. One of the things that as a result of cognitive overload, you have to sleep more. Yeah. So he used to do a lot of late-night work and it and he was able to still accomplish like a significant amount of excellence even on sleeplessness because he didn't have to reserve any space for anything other than his full-time job when he was eight to five at Show It and now that there's a lot more cognitive overload, he has to sleep more which means he has to work on a side hustle less to make up for the lack of patience that's there. If you don't if you don't have a full night's rest and so that's been really important as well. Even going for runs at 6am which has really helped you kind of, kind of stay get focus have some alone time in the in the space where I'm I have to sleep because I've been up all night. So that's been really helpful as well for you. So yeah, those are some examples. Also, I had a cognitive overload last night. So I'm working out at home as most of you are. Now I was listening to an audiobook and doing chair step-ups as one does on my Ottoman. And I was thinking more about the book than I was about my form, and I twisted my ankle. And so Chris was where he got a website and he like, runs upstairs and he's like, what are you doing? And makes me ice compact. And we realized that was all because I was doing more than one thing that and I was thinking way too hard about what they do that I should have been focused.
Chris Misterek 53:54
Yeah. Well, and I think too, like, you have to realize and we mentioned this a little bit earlier in To show like, you have to realize you're gonna make more progress in certain seasons than you are others, you know, like, we just had a newborn. And so I'm not gonna make as much progress. We've got all our kids in the house during school hours, I'm not gonna make as much progress. Summer is about to be here. And not only will all the kids be in our house, but they're also going to have nothing to do. Right. And so I'm gonna make probably less progress. So I think, you know, there, there are some seasons where you just try to hold ground, you know, and that's discouraging for me because if I'm holding ground, I feel like I'm moving backwards. But But I hope I hope that this is encouraging for somebody because I think there's probably a lot of us who think, oh, man, I wish I could just get, you know, a little bit further down the road. And even, you know, early on into the quarantine, there was so much talk about take this time and really grow and really develop and I'm like, Who the heck has more time now? Then when your kids weren't going to school, you know, and so but at the same time, there might be some of you out there who don't have kids or aren't married, and you have plenty of time on your hands. And this might be a great season to move forward. So not every season is gonna look the same for everybody. And, and, you know, don't get discouraged if you see somebody out there who's making tons of strides. And you're just like, I'm just trying to hold it together. I'm just trying to get all these projects done that are on my plate, and my clients not be mad at me. So, you know, I hope that's encouraging for somebody.
Sarah Misterek 55:31
Yeah, I think it's really important to note that just because you're not investing into your side, hustle as much as you were before, doesn't mean that you're not investing into something. So I can't encourage you enough to just invest in what you can invest in. If you have to spend more time with your family, even though that's probably not what you were excited to listen to this podcast about. then invest in that time, don't just don't just throw it off like Like it's a nuisance, of course, there's parts of our day that are nuisances that we wish didn't exist. That's called being human. And we all get that day-to-day and we all want to yell sometimes and get impatient. But more than likely when we're head is in the game, and we're not making all about ourselves, but we're thinking about the bigger picture of our family as a whole. We are way more capable of emotionally supporting our kids through this season. And you know, there's so much on social media right now about how your kids aren't gonna, your kids aren't going to remember whether or not you can help them with their algebra problem. They're going to remember how you made them feel during the quarantine. And I think that as a side hustler, it's more important now than ever, that you're investing the time that you have no choice but to have with your family. Because you'll never get this time back. And like I said before, a lot of the reason this side hustle works so well for us is because of the difference You made before we even were side hustling. Yeah. And this is your chance as a side hustler to make those deposits so that when we're no longer sheltered in place, your family trusts you to take their, their needs into consideration when you're doing your side hustle.
Chris Misterek 57:16
Yeah, that's great, babe. You're incredibly wise. Well, we're grateful that you're here and a part of the journey with us working through it together. And I hope this episode has been an encouragement to you and wherever you out what whatever season that you're in, if you're if you're making tons of progress, or maybe even find yourself going backwards. I just want to encourage you not to quit because if you stop right now, you might interrupt may be a big breakthrough that you are hoping to accomplish. And of course, I think the biggest thing to take away from this episode is if you are if you have a side hustle and you have a family, it's not just you, that has As a side hustle, you and your family have a side hustle. So figure out ways to to make it work. And I know that if you take them on the journey with you, you won't regret it. And hey, I want to encourage everybody if you haven't yet we say this every episode, like and subscribe our video on YouTube, or subscribe on any of the podcast platforms and and leave us a review. It helps people find us and get the help or encouragement that they might need not just from us, but from all the amazing guests that we have had so and if they are interested in ways that we've incorporated our family into the side hustle, we'll leave some tech tips in the show notes today. Sarah is the person that does the show notes, so if you're thankful for all the links and for all the things that get transcribed, it's because of this lady. So hey, hope you have a great week. And don't forget, next Tuesday midnight, another episode is gonna, it's gonna drop. So that's gonna be on. We've had some great interviews.
Sarah Misterek 59:08
Yeah, they're really good. I know because I can hear them now as they're going right?
Chris Misterek 59:12
Because I'm right now working In what used to be our laundry room. So I hope you have a great week. Stay safe and we will see you soon. Don't forget if you don't quit, you win.
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