301 Ali Skylar & Jamie Greenberg: Opposites Aligned
Ali Skylar and Jamie Greenberg have been in businesses together for most of their long and successful marriage. They share how they are two parts of a whole, their very different traits in alignment on mission and purpose. These days they are most passionate about A Brand You Way – a company Jamie founded to help entrepreneurs capitalize on their creativity. Jamie ran a successful entertainment agency for years while also growing and selling a multimillion toy company, while Ali, also a lyricist and songwriter, produced plays and musicals. She is also creator of Sucky To Soulful, a website dedicated to helping parents transform “Ahh Crap!” unto a “Wholy Shift!” with tools, blogs and courses guaranteed to catapult people into personal growth at the speed of life.
Melinda Wittstock: Ali and Jamie, welcome to WINGS of Inspired Business.
Ali Skylar: Hey, Melinda. Good to be here.
Jamie Greenberg: Hi Melinda. Wonderful to be here.
Melinda Wittstock: I am so excited to talk with you both, because you’ve been doing this couplepreneur thing together for many, many, many, many years.
Ali Skylar: Many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many years.
Melinda Wittstock: Many years, right?
Ali Skylar: Yeah.
Melinda Wittstock: And I have to think you’ve learned a lot along the way about juggling. You know? How do you do it? You’ve got another business now, A Brand You Way, and we’re going to talk about all the history, and everything that you guys have done together, but you’ve got this business. You’ve got kids, you’ve got your life, you’ve got all this stuff going on. How do you do it?
Ali Skylar: Do you want to start, Jamie?
Jamie Greenberg: I will start.
Ali Skylar: I’m going to say something. Sorry, I’m interrupting already. It’s interesting that you said we juggle, because Jamie, when he started out, when he was much younger, was a juggler. And so, when you brought up juggling, it just brought out all these memories of him, many, many years ago, doing all of his-
Melinda Wittstock: Now how did I know that? I had no idea, but that’s pretty funny. I just assumed you’d have to be good jugglers to be able to do what you guys have done.
Ali Skylar: He’s an awesome juggler.
Jamie Greenberg: I think the key to learning how to mesh your life and your business together, especially if you’re working at home, is that you have to have a very deliberate schedule, and you have to do an incredible amount of anticipation, so everybody gets their needs met, and you can still be facilitating your business on a high level. But I have to defer to Ali on this because she is the master organizer of family and business stuff. My brain, for some reason, is too myopic, and small, and male. And I think the female … just, I’m enamored with the female brain. It’s just such a beautiful brain on how they can do so many different things, and nurture so many different things. My brain is just more tunnel. I don’t know if that’s … I think that’s a male thing.
Melinda Wittstock: This is interesting because this has come up before in many conversations where women tend to be able to have this ability to compartmentalize a lot of things, or actually fuse a lot of different things. We can say, “Okay, we can be working on the business, we can be thinking about the grocery shopping, we can be doing this for the kids, we can say, ‘Oh yeah, and your socks are over here,’. Right? I don’t know. We just seem to naturally be able to do that. But it’s interesting, ’cause when … I don’t know if you’ve noticed this Jamie, but women bring that ability into a more male business setting, it can sometimes be seen as lack of focus.
Jamie Greenberg: Well, it’s interesting, because in our particular situation, I think Ali has the faster brain. I think, when you’re multitasking, I think the quality of time that you’ve spent on your business is a little bit more focused. When you don’t have that much more time, I think you make the most of it. You’re just a lot more efficient and productive. I think, I just, even though this working … when I did my little corporate stint also, there’s an incredible amount of time wasted. So when I watch her in her organizational efforts, it’s an incredible vision of productivity.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, I think women get a lot done.
Ali Skylar: They get a lot done.
Melinda Wittstock: We get a lot done.
Ali Skylar: Yeah, we do.
Melinda Wittstock: And I don’t know how many venture capitalists would tell me, because I’ve so many women in technology, for instance, come up with business models that are like our brains, right?
Ali Skylar: Yeah. We can do this, and this, and this fits to this, and that fits to that, and whatever. And the male VC says, “Honey, get some focus.” And you’re like, “Excuse me. I am focused.” It’s just that we’re focused in a different way.
Melinda Wittstock: Yes.
Jamie Greenberg: Yes, yes.
Melinda Wittstock: Yes.
Ali Skylar: We’re a lot more like the internet, where you can have five windows open at the same time.
Melinda Wittstock: Right. You should-
Ali Skylar: We can work on five windows at the same time. It’s really an incredible … it’s like you said, I can be working and I can be having a little laundry going, and I’ve got the timer on, and I run down and do the laundry, come back up. Back at business.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, I’m like that, too.
Ali Skylar: Two minutes before this interview, I’m walking up the stairs, and my dog is in his cage chewing on this pork rind, which I have no idea where he got it from, but probably my son’s room. And I’m grabbing it out of his mouth as I’m running up to the stairs to get ready for the interview. So yes, we tend to do a lot. But I also find that as … I find it very exciting, and I find it very stimulating. But I find, too, that sometimes you can get really pulled into this vortex of multitasking that you get trapped by. That sometimes, it’s important to pull back, and step back, and slow down a little bit as well, because I find it can be very draining. It can be tiring. And I think you need to find that balance between slowing down, and also being able to have those five or six windows open and do it at the same time.
And I think that’s where Jamie and I balance each other very well, because he takes more time, sometimes, to focus on something. Whereas, if I’m very fast, I might miss something. And if I run it by him, then we have that combination of very quick thinking, and somebody who takes a little bit more time, and may pick up that one little thing that I may have let by, in my quickness. In my desire to get everything done. And knowing that these things have to get done by the end of the day. So that’s where I find the two of us really work well together, and that because we have such different brains, we tend to balance each other out. I think if we were both moving the way that I was moving, it could very stressful. It could get a little too hectic.
Jamie Greenberg: And if I can add on that for one second.
Melinda Wittstock: You may.
Jamie Greenberg: The thing that I love about working with my wife is when you get to witness somebody for so long, they understand your strengths and your weaknesses. And so we have a really slick division of labor, based on our innate talents and our abilities. So we really get the sense of working as one, because I have the tendency to be more visionary and big picture. Then she’s able to compartmentalize the different sections of that, so that we can really function and prioritize. So I think for couples, it’s important to be able to listen and look at exactly what you’re good at, what the other person is good at. List those things, and then be able to fold that into a productive-
Ali Skylar: Experience.
Jamie Greenberg: Experience. A way of working. So you’re getting the most out of each other.
Ali Skylar: I think, too, that we have … our goals are the same. We both have very clear goals and intentions on how we want our business to run, how we want to interact with people as part of our business, how we want to parent, how we want to live our life. We have very similar taste in movies and food.
Jamie Greenberg: Spirituality.
Ali Skylar: Spirituality. So, I think once you find that you have similar goals, where you’re going towards the … you’re walking on the same path, it’s just that you have different ways in which you’re walking, but you’re doing it together. And I think that’s important. If we had very different visions on where the business should go, I think there would be problems. But because we’re both in sync with what we want to accomplish, how we want to accomplish the integrity with which we want to accomplish it with, the values that we hold that are important to us. I think because there’s strong similarity there, we can work well together, even though we work very differently
Melinda Wittstock: Right. It’s interesting. If you look at-
Ali Skylar: The phone’s going to pick up there.
Jamie Greenberg: Yeah. Go ahead.
Melinda Wittstock: I love what you’re saying, because there are two different perspectives to look at this. And one of them, if you look at any really successful founding team, there’s one person on that founding team who is a visionary. There’s another person on that founding team who is known as an integrator. The COO. The person who is really in the weeds of the operational detail. And in your relationship, it looks like you have that balance.
Jamie Greenberg: Yeah, that’s a great way of expressing it, Melinda. That was excellent. The integrator and the visionary. I’ll give you another example, too, though. Ali just recently wrote a musical. She’s a-
Melinda Wittstock: You just wrote a musical?
Ali Skylar: I just happened to.
Melinda Wittstock: That’s a little crazy.
Jamie Greenberg: She’s an incredible songwriter-
Ali Skylar: It’s been a four year process.
Jamie Greenberg: And writer.
Melinda Wittstock: That’s wonderful.
Jamie Greenberg: Lyricist. Which-
Ali Skylar: It’s great.
Jamie Greenberg: We have to send you a couple of tines, but-
Melinda Wittstock: Yes.
Jamie Greenberg: This was a big, huge project with readings-
Ali Skylar: Developmental workshops.
In New York. We did a showcase. We have a very high profile director, and a beautiful musical arranger. And now, we’re in the thrusts of trying to find investors, or the right producers. But she had just headed this project. I mean, this is completely her project. And I had to move into a completely different place of supporting her the best way I could, in a number of different jobs. So, we have flip-flopped a couple of times-
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, that’s true.
Jamie Greenberg: Where, depending on the project we were moving towards, so it’s important to understand each other’s goals and aspirations so you can be there for each other, when another project comes up.
Jamie Greenberg: This is really important. In these couple relationships, it’s important that when somebody’s leading the thing, and just somebody’s supporting the other person, there’s a tendency for the person supporting to get resentful. And sometimes, they don’t express that because they’re just in the supporting nature. They’re not getting their thing acknowledged, where their arrow has to be shot into the woods. So, it’s very important for each other to look at what each one wants to do. Where’s everybody’s inspirations so everybody can be a little bit of the star, sometimes. You know?
Melinda Wittstock: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yes. I think the other way to look at it, too, though, is the balance of the masculine and the feminine. So, we were talking about the difference between the male brain and the female brain.
Jamie Greenberg: Yes.
Melinda Wittstock: I don’t know, I had this epiphany not so long ago that we are, as individuals, at our best when we’re leveraging with the higher degree of consciousness. The best of each archetypal energy. You know?
Ali Skylar: Yep.
Melinda Wittstock: A lot of women in business fall into masculine energy because men were the only role models we had, so we thought we had to be like dudes to succeed, and sort of forgot our feminine. Or too much feminine, and we’re not really getting anything done, right? And the male brain, if it’s too linear, there’s the relationship stuff that can be left on the table. How do you two approach, just as individuals, as well as in your relationship and in your business, that balancing between those archetypal energies together, but also, as individuals?
Jamie Greenberg: That’s a good question.
Ali Skylar: That’s a good question. I was just going to say that. I’ve got to think about that for a second.
Jamie Greenberg: You want to go first?
Ali Skylar: Balancing the feminine-
Melinda Wittstock: She wants to think about it.
Jamie Greenberg: I have my answer.
Ali Skylar: You have your answer? Go ahead. You go ahead, and I’m going to capitulate, or whatever. I’m going to think about it as you … I have to get my brain around that one a little.
Jamie Greenberg: Part of my spirituality work, I’ve always been conscious of my feminine and my masculine sides, and I’ve always tried to do a balance of that. So, on the feminine side, you want to maintain a nice sense of empathy and compassion to whatever you’re doing. On the male side, you want to have a little bit of your warrior. Your focus, and the desire to really accomplish. So, I think when you mesh those things, and you’re conscious of your male and your female, it’s easier to integrate with your partner who’s, hopefully, in a male and female consciousness like that. So, it’s a consciousness that you have to adapt to first, and then I think things have a better synergy when you’re working, and in your marriage.
Ali Skylar: You know, it’s funny ’cause as I’m listening to Jamie, and I’m thinking about this, I think there have been a lot of fluctuations in terms of which side of me, feminine or masculine, takes precedence, depending upon what I’m doing, who I’m with, what the activities are. I find that I’m constantly shifting between the feminine and the masculine. And that it’s a very fluid experience. And sometimes, I may get more into the masculine mode, and I’m very aware that it’s getting too much, and I need to pull back and get more into the feminine mode. Get more into my heart, get more into relaxing, receiving, as opposed to doing and acting. So for me, it’s a constant balance that I am always working on, I would say, on a daily basis, because it’s like light and dark. Every day you have light and dark. It’s just a balance between the two.
And I think between us, I’ve noticed in our relationship, because we’ve been together so long, is that we’ve shifted. That sometimes, I think when we first started, I think there was more feminine energy on my side, a little more masculine on Jamie. And as we’ve been together, I think things have shifted a little. He’s become a little more feminine, and I’ve become a little more masculine. So, I find that as we grow and change, too, different sides of us get triggered by the other, and develop because of the other, I think, as well.
Jamie Greenberg: Energetically, just from that energetic, spiritual place. Just being able to tap into your feminine and masculine energy. Especially, I mean I think this is part of the healing of the whole world right now, is that it’s such a male dominated environment that we need more feminine energy into the whole mix, because females don’t behave like males behave in a lot of leadership roles, even running countries and things.
Melinda Wittstock: You know, it’s so true. So, take me back in time to when you guys first met, and what it was like working all this stuff out at the beginning. Because obviously, you guys are on a personal growth journey, and a journey into consciousness, which obviously makes all of this so much easier when you both step into that light of consciousness, and you’re working on this together. In the early days, though, did you have that? Did you find it together? What was it like when you were just starting out?
Ali Skylar: I think Jamie was more … I was definitely much more uptight, more conservative. I really didn’t have the vision of being able … I never thought about doing my own business or working for myself. It was more a track of, you go to school, you get your degree, you get a job. And then, when I met Jamie, he was an artist. He was a performer. And he just a totally different world, and a totally different perspective on how to live on planet Earth. And I think he, in a lot of ways, opened up my vision and perspective in terms of how I could also pursue my passion and dreams as an individual. As a solopreneur, as opposed to always having to find a job, and that’s where I was going to, quote-unquote, make my living. I was much more about surviving, I think, than I was about thriving. And I think the personal growth came in later for me. I would say, maybe four or five years after we were together, I had some health problems as well, so as many of us know, once you have these health problems, it opens your world up to a whole new way of living and doing life.
So, I would say that Jamie was very instrumental in helping me to open up my entrepreneurial pathway, and find a different way to be more happy and more fulfilled, and pursue my dreams.
Jamie Greenberg: It’s funny because when I met Ali I was seeing a doctor for a while, and I had these terrible allergies, and he couldn’t figure out what it was. And finally, we nailed it. I just hated working at jobs that I hated.
Ali Skylar: He was allergic to working at jobs he hated.
Jamie Greenberg: I was really allergic to working at jobs that I hated. I couldn’t last. And then, I started to get committed to my passion and what I really wanted to do with my life. And as that started to develop, I realized I had the creative curse. And I had to start getting disciplined in the learning how to do both the creative and critical parts of running a business, because you have to learn the business of your business. And if you want to make it more than a hobby, you have to turn it into a business.
And then, when I met Ali, she supplemented a little bit of the structure. Just some of the organizational skills that-
Ali Skylar: Well, I had learned. I had developed over my career. I was more corporate, kind of.
Jamie Greenberg: She just had … she has a marvelous left and right brain, and I had to learn how to really develop my left brain, just as a … because if you’re going to be in business, you just have to learn how to organize, and be productive, and be-
Ali Skylar: [inaudible 00:31:30].
Jamie Greenberg: In your thing. And that’s what, actually, my whole program now is based on working with the creative, and then getting critical so you can move your stuff into a successful business. So I think that was the integration of our abilities.
Ali Skylar: So, to answer your question, I think really early on, we really both picked up on our strengths and weaknesses, and then supplemented them with … balanced it with the other person. Jamie was more of, again, visionary and a dreamer, and I was more grounded and daily operation’s kind of person, as much as I was also creative. But I just had developed a lot of skills in that daily operation’s area.
Jamie Greenberg: It’s like you said, the visionary and the integrator. I love that.
Melinda Wittstock: And so, when you guys had business … because the entrepreneurial roller coaster is, exactly, a roller coaster, right? There’s always something unexpected. There are always demands, something goes wrong. I like to call them, fail forward moments, but you never really … it’s not predictable. It’s not stable. And then, on the other hand, having kids, not predictable, not stable. I mean, not … right? There’s all these different dynamics. A lot of people … you see, sorry. I’m just going to pick up there. A lot of people really struggle with change and uncertainty. And yet, to pull off what you guys have for 30 odd years, you have to have a healthy appetite to be able to embrace the concept of change or uncertainty.
Ali Skylar: Yeah, well you know, I’ve written … I write these things called, Shiftittudes, where I take words, and I write these cool acronyms that help me make sense out of them, and give me a little bit more of an uplifting feeling about the word. And the word, change, was always hard for me. I mean, change was difficult for me, and that’s where Jamie came into my life, and was opening up my eyes to different ways to do things. And so, change used to be, Can Have A New Gross Experience. And I changed that to, Can Have A New Great Experience. So, when you start to look at change in a different kind of way, and you see the opportunities in it, I think that, that makes a big difference when you’re doing the kind of work that all of us are doing, you included, entrepreneurial, like you said, it’s a very … who knows? From one day to the next.
Jamie Greenberg: And your fail forward is a great-
Ali Skylar: Yeah, it’s a great term. I love that, too.
Jamie Greenberg: A great term, and what triggered in me was the ability to learn how to react or respond to the moment of what’s going, because like you so eloquently said, when you’re an entrepreneur, and you’re having kids, life is generally … has some unpredictability, as much as you try to organization your day, there are always things that are going to be coming up that need attention to. So, you can either get pissed off at what’s going on, or you can just graciously figure out, “How am I going to respond without getting pulled out of my stream? Out of my good feeling place?” Because the most important thing that we’ve learned is that we want to feel good as much as we can, all the time. So, we’re always looking for the better thought, and the better place to be, so we consciously choose that. And you’ve got to do this, moment to moment, and be present in your life and your business. You can’t let your business dictate on how you’re going to feel. You can’t let your kids dictate on how you’re going to feel. You can set that up for yourself.
Ali Skylar: And many times we have to remind each other. Sometimes, if one of us is going into a tailspin-
Jamie Greenberg: Yes.
Ali Skylar: Downward, we’ve asked each other to say, “Look, you’re going down. What can I do to help you uplift and get back to balance, and get back to a place where you can shift into being calm and have some piece of mind?” No matter what’s going on. So, we try to do that for each other, so instead of when one person’s going down, the other person goes down with them, we try to help each other get back up.
Jamie Greenberg: Yeah, but you want to have your co-creative energies going on the same level because it’ll happen quicker, both on your lifestyle and your business, if you can keep that vibration high, because that is what is likened to itself is drawn, so if you’re in that joyful, faithful, clarity mode, you’re going to be getting more of that stuff.
Ali Skylar: And I will say, too, when you were asking about balance, it’s funny because my musical is all about that. It’s about a woman in her 40s who is having such a hard time. She’s just given most of her life to her family, and now she really wants to pursue her dream of writing a musical. And then, it’s all about, when she starts to do that, how her family goes into this chaotic mode because her role as mom has disappeared all of the sudden. Everybody gets waylaid. So, balance, I think, I would say that balance is the most challenging thing to accomplish when you’re working and you also have a family. I think that’s the biggest, biggest element that women deal with nowadays, because everybody’s working, whether you have your own business, or whether you’re in a job. And I think for dads too. Dads are much more inclusive, and much more involved in their families than they were 25, 30 years ago. It’s a very different kind of relationship now.
So, I would say that balance is probably the thing that most of us strive for on a daily basis.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. Balance is a tricky thing, because I find that my life gets out of balance periodically just because the business demands more in that moment, or my kids demand more in that moment.
Ali Skylar: Right.
Melinda Wittstock: But over time, it’s balanced. It may not be on a day-to-day basis.
Jamie Greenberg: Right, right.
Melinda Wittstock: I think just being very intentional, though, about how we want to spend our time. So, we can go into business and create a business that we serve, or we can create a business that serves us.
Ali Skylar: Yes. Very well put.
Jamie Greenberg: That’s good. I like that.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh, good. We’re sharing all these little-
Jamie Greenberg: That’s a good sound bite.
Ali Skylar: That is a good sound bite.
Melinda Wittstock: Well thank you very much.
Ali Skylar: We’re into picking up sound bites. Write that one down, Melinda.
Melinda Wittstock: Write that one down? Okay, well, it’ll be in the transcript for everybody. I’ll have to use it as a pull quote to promote this podcast. How about that?
Ali Skylar: Yes.
Melinda Wittstock: But I think, though, in talking to all the entrepreneurs that have been on 10X Together so far, also as part of the new Couple-preneurs segment on WINGS of Inspired Business, I have this theory that if anyone was going to work out this mythical work/life balance that stresses so many people out, sends so many people into overwhelm, or causes disagreements with couples because they’re too busy to get busy. Or they’re just not really serving each other anymore, they are so distracted with so many other things that we’ve got to do in our lives, I think if anyone could work it out, it had to be smart entrepreneurs.
Ali Skylar: Yeah, that’s a good point.
Jamie Greenberg: This is a great topic, and I think as more people either transition from corporate to entrepreneur, because when you’re starting, or even as things start growing, there’s a tendency to want your spouse to support you, either whether it’s emotional, whether it’s being part of the business or growing into the business, and I think this is just a great, great topic.
Ali Skylar: I would have to say, too, if you’re a solopreneur, it’s very different than if you’re an entrepreneur with a team of people. If you’ve got a team of people working with you … but if year a solopreneur, and I was just thinking about when we put our whole symposium together this last couple of months, that … and Jamie was really sick. It was great that I could step up and keep things going. If you’re really sick, you know this, too, I mean, it’s just hard sometimes when you’re doing your own thing, you don’t have a whole stable of people. You can have a couple of people, but just to have somebody that really cares about you, and just has your back, and knows what needs to be done, it’s really a very supportive, uplifting feeling to know that you’re not doing it, quote-unquote, alone.
Jamie Greenberg: And Melinda, it’s really important to take time to acknowledge the efforts with your partner, because there’s a tendency sometimes, we don’t celebrate even the small, little things. We just glide over them, and just keep working.
Melinda Wittstock: Right.
Jamie Greenberg: If you don’t take time to celebrate each other, and give kudos to each other, it just takes the fun out of it. And we all need that. We all need that witnessing and acknowledgement-
Melinda Wittstock: Yes.
Jamie Greenberg: Of who we are. And especially entrepreneurial work can get lonely sometimes.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. So, you both just launched this really cool thing called, A Brand You Way. And I was so honored to be part of this amazing lineup of people that you brought for your online summit. And tell me a little bit more about all the things that you plan for that, and other things in the future. What’s the next 10 years look like for you guys?
Jamie Greenberg: Well, our goal right now, we have been in the process of moving from a one-on-one consulting business, taking that, all those processes and programs, and moving them online so we can do … we just can get out to more people.
Ali Skylar: Groups.
Jamie Greenberg: Groups. Because we felt that our methodology that we’ve created is very strong and proven and now we want to get it out to a bigger audience.
Ali Skylar: And the methodology is to help people take their idea and turn it into a business. Take their idea, their originality and make a business out of it. So, encouraging people to really have faith in their ability to manifest their creative ideas.
Jamie Greenberg: Yeah, I mean, we have a … it’s a four step process. First, I found out that you cannot go into entrepreneurialism without understanding who you are and what you want to do, and then be able to really anchor your personal brand with your vision, and how your purpose supports your vision. Because I’ve found that once you have your vision, your purpose automatically births itself. And that’s what supports your vision and your passion. It gives you a reason to wake up in the morning and do what you do. So the vision, the purpose, and the passion. And then, once you have those anchored, and working on clearing the fear. All of the stories that you’ve identified with, all those patterns of entrenchment, those habits of thought, once you start to identify those things, and shift the vibration into more joyful expectation, faith and clarity, you get a better anchor and flow from your intuition, and your inclination, and inspiration. And that, starts to form your originality, so you can start to get to who you are, and how you’re going to stand out amongst everything in this world.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. That’s such good advice. And so, for the men and women who are at this early stage, I know so may entrepreneurial couples who’ve come on this podcast, and they haven’t had kids yet. I know. Right. Exactly. Okay? And it’s all good. They’re traveling the world. Their digital nomads. Everything’s awesome, right? It’s great. So, what advice would you give them about what’s coming? And how best to handle those years?
Jamie Greenberg: I’m going to start here because I just got a flash. I can remember this perfectly because when I was on … We had a child, and we didn’t want to put it in childcare. And now, I was on the road performing, and Ali was doing a lot of the administration, still writing music for the show, and doing all the-
Ali Skylar: All the booking.
Jamie Greenberg: All the sales and the booking, and she was nursing our daughter-
Ali Skylar: While I’m on the phone.
Jamie Greenberg: Doing this whole thing together.
Ali Skylar: Selling the show and booking the show.
Jamie Greenberg: So, it was an extraordinary thing to watch.
Ali Skylar: Can I interject?
Jamie Greenberg: Yeah, go ahead. It’s just-
Ali Skylar: I don’t want to interrupt your [inaudible 00:44:56]-
Jamie Greenberg: She’s saying, “What advice would you have?” I just said-
Ali Skylar: I have the advice, though. Well, I think for us, that it was very important to have help. And we didn’t have a lot of family help, so we had to hire help. So, I think the first thing I would say is just acknowledge that you are not going to be able to do all of it. And that you are-
Jamie Greenberg: Yes.
Ali Skylar: Going to need help, both professionally and personally. I think it’s very, very important. I tended to be like, “Oh, I can do everything.” Again, getting back to your first question where we were talking about women and multitasking, and being able to do these certain things. And I think that was not a wise choice on my part. I think I needed to step back a little bit and say, “Hey, I can’t do it all. I can’t have it all and I can’t do it all at the same time. I have to have a little bit more planning in terms of being conscious of what I want, but knowing that there’s steps and stages, and that it’s not all going to happen at one point. So I would definitely recommend that if people are going to do a business and have kids, that they get prepared to have help in both areas of their life. I think that’s very, very important. So, us instead of … I did not want to put my kids in daycare, so I would have people come into the house, and they would be … excuse me, taking care of my kid while I’m there, so at least I’m there. If I needed to nurse, I could nurse. I could be there for those moments that I wanted to be there for. So that, was very important to us.
So, I think acknowledging the fact that you’re not a god, and that you’re not a superhero, and that it really does take a village. And being able to create a village for yourself, even sometimes before you start having kids is important as well.
Jamie Greenberg: And you must remember, as an entrepreneur, you’re not doing something nine to five, so you do have your whole canvas as … your time is your canvas. You can carve it up the way you want. So, there’s a lot of creative, inventive ways that you can appropriate your time for your family and your business.
Ali Skylar: Right. You can work on Saturday and Sunday all day.
Melinda Wittstock: That’s right.
Ali Skylar: Take off Monday and Friday, you do have Saturday and Sunday to make up for that during the week.
Melinda Wittstock: That’s right.
Ali Skylar: If you need to take a couple hours off with your kids, or you need to go to the doctor with them. Or-
Jamie Greenberg: I really-
Ali Skylar: They’re sick.
Jamie Greenberg: I still find that today, that you have to use the time efficiently, so sometimes you have to work on a Saturday, but you could take off Monday or something, because that day might be slower, and you might need that Saturday. So, you have to carve it up and look at it like you’re an artist of life, and time is your canvas. And you can design it anyway you want.
Ali Skylar: Nicely done. Very nicely done.
Melinda Wittstock: Beautiful. Well, I want to thank you both for sharing all your wisdom on this podcast. It’s so, so important because I think we all, in being the … I don’t know. Kind of in the Petri dish, right?
Ali Skylar: Yes. That’s right.
Melinda Wittstock: So, I want to thank you both for taking the time to really share on this. I think as couple-preneurs, we’re sort of in the Petri dish, and we can help illuminate so many other couples to a more conscious path, whether they’re entrepreneurs or not. And I love the fact that you took the time to chat and share, and I just really wish you all the best.
Ali Skylar: Thank you so much. And thank you for having us. This was really a pleasure. And it’s nice, when you do these kind of things, you get a chance to really, even like your questions, kind of stimulate us, our thoughts in terms of what we’ve done and how we’ve connected. So, thank you for that as well.
Jamie Greenberg: Melinda, I just want to give you kudos for just sensing the importance of this topic. And I just would love to see you even develop a talk or a workshop. I’ve never seen anybody do something like this. I think it’s a right subject with a real need for people to explore this and even give them the tools on how to operate this-
Ali Skylar: As a couplepreneur.
Jamie Greenberg: Thing. We’re all trying to figure it out, but if there’s some kid of methodology or way to put this together. I think it’s brilliant.
Melinda Wittstock: Wonderful. Well, you just gave me an idea. That’s great. And by the way-
Jamie Greenberg: I’d like to work on that with you.
Melinda Wittstock: Well that’s wonderful. I mean, and also, I’m having a magnificent event for male and female couple-preneurs this December. December 8th through the 15th.
Ali Skylar: Oh, fantastic.
Melinda Wittstock: In Costa Rica, at a really beautiful place called Rythmia.
Ali Skylar: Oh, awesome. I’ve always wanted to go to Costa Rica.
Melinda Wittstock: Right.
Ali Skylar: Put those dates down, hun.
Jamie Greenberg: Yes.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, put those dates down, because you’re both invited, and many more besides. Everybody will hear more about this event on the podcast, but for a whole week of just really beautiful, healing, and TEDx-style talks. A lot of talking circles. A lot of collaboration and co-creation. A lot of healing.
Ali Skylar: I love it.
Melinda Wittstock: Beautiful, organic farm-to-table food. Beautiful turquoise Caribbean ocean. Lovely weather. Really, there’s no excuse not to be there. So-
Ali Skylar: Love it. I love it.
Melinda Wittstock: Anyway, December 8th through the 15th.
Ali Skylar: All right, cool.
Melinda Wittstock: Mark it down.
Ali Skylar: We just have to see if we can have somebody help out with our kids and our dog now. Now, that’s going to be … see that’s the thing, as an entrepreneur, too. When you have kids and a dog, it’s like, figuring out-
Melinda Wittstock: See, that’s another business for somebody, to go and figure that part out. Right?
Ali Skylar: That’s right.
Melinda Wittstock: Exactly. All right, well Ali and Jamie, thank you so much again.
Ali Skylar: Thank you, Melinda.
Jamie Greenberg: You’re welcome.
Ali Skylar: Thank you so much.