293 Christy & Cody Burch: The Balance Myth

Christy and Cody Burch have three young kids, two businesses and a lot to juggle. Cody is the creator of the One Hour Funnel and Christy is the founder of boutique event management company Your Branded Event.

Learn how they set out to build businesses that fit a flexible lifestyle with lots of travel and time with their kids, and why they are constantly reinventing themselves and their businesses.

Melinda Wittstock:         Christy and Cody, welcome to WINGS.

Christina Burch:                Thank you for having us.

Cody Burch:                        Yeah, awesome to be here.

Melinda Wittstock:         I am so excited to have you on and I’m very curious about what’s inspiring you both right now, both as a couple, as you build a life together as entrepreneurs but also in your own businesses?

Christina Burch:                This is Christy here. This is going to sappy but I get inspiration from Cody, honestly, just seeing the way that he attacks his business and sets goals and crushes them and takes on new projects all the time. It’s very inspiring to me to keep pushing along in my business as well.

Cody Burch:                        Yeah, this is Cody here. I don’t know why we do this. As entrepreneurs I’m not satisfied. I can’t sit on my hands and ever feel like I’ve arrived. I feel like there’s always some new thing I’m going to throw in it. Last year I wrote a book and last year I started a podcast. This year I’m like, “Hey, let’s host a live event!” That’s Christy’s business. That’s her industry and we’re doing that. I don’t know why I can’t be more content with what I’ve done and what I’ve built and maybe you’re the same way. I don’t know.

Melinda Wittstock:         Oh gosh, yeah, I’m totally the same way. I think it’s “entrepreneurialitis” or something. There should be some sort of … We’re all such idea factories. I’ve come to the conclusion, I mean it’s true for me, that I just love the process. I love starting things.

Cody Burch:                        Yeah, I love to build stuff and see to watch Christy build stuff as well. To get an idea and to take to fruition and get really, really, excited about it. Now, obviously some ideas are silly or stupid. Eventually it’ll be like, “Oh, it’s a dumb idea” but we just keep going for it, right? We keep getting more at bats and swinging and then implementing things. Sometimes hey they work and it’s super fun. Then you do it all over again like, “Well, I got that part figured out. Let’s go mess this up. Let’s do this type of business now or get this type of client or invent this new product” or whatever. It’s a never ending thing.

Melinda Wittstock:         That’s awesome. Have both of you always … When you met were you both entrepreneurs already?

Christina Burch:                No. We met as children, I guess you could say.

Melinda Wittstock:         Really?

Christina Burch:                Yeah, about 8.

Melinda Wittstock:         Oh, that’s a long, long time ago.

Christina Burch:                Then started dating in college and got married in college. Yeah, we’ve started this journey together. It’s been really cool to do this together.

Melinda Wittstock:         Who took the leap into entrepreneurship first and what was the feeling about that at the time?

Christina Burch:                Surprisingly it was me that took the leap first. I was working with an employer and started planning his events and realized that I had a knack for it, had a passion for it, didn’t even really realize it. After a couple of years I decided to break off and start my own company and do it on my own. I got a good launch from my past employer who referred me to some of his colleagues and I was off to the races. Cody was shortly behind me.

Cody Burch:                        Yeah, she’s always been super inspiring. She said earlier I inspire her or whatever and I see it the opposite. Maybe that’s why we figured out this as couples together. Watching her go through that journey and that transformation of going from an employee of something to being on her own and adding massive value to people. Then within a year or two now she has this dream list of clients she gets to work with. It’s super inspiring to watch her transformation. I feel it was maybe six months after that happened I started to … I was in the same boat or similar boat.  I had a nine to five job and had had it for 10 or 11 years and really got the itch of entrepreneurship especially watching her succeed. She was the one on the other side coaching me through the fear and uncertainty that I had to drop that more certain thing of the six figure salary and the nine to five job and the civility to join her in entrepreneurship. She was on the other side of the canyon or whatever calling me forth, being like, “You’ve got this. Don’t be afraid. You can do it.” When I didn’t believe it myself she believed in me.

Melinda Wittstock:         Oh my God. I’ve got little kind of goose bumps on the back of my neck. That’s a beautiful story because all so often when one couple in a relationship becomes an entrepreneur the other one can be threatened and a relationship can split at that stage, right? Cody you stepped into it. I love what you said about fear and getting past the fear.

Cody Burch:                        I experience that a lot. I experienced that a lot, I guess, past tense. Christy, one of her main traits that makes her an excellent event coordinator … Events are chaotic. I’m sure you’ve been to a ton of events and it’s just crazy. She is cool as a cucumber. She never loses her cool. She doesn’t lose her temper. She doesn’t freak out over the catering is not exactly what happened or the registration table is too far from the elevator. There’s all these things that can go wrong. That’s what makes her so great at that and also what makes her so supportive with me.

I think part of the fear was I was the main breadwinner for the family and we have three young children. So putting all of that on the line to step into this is why I experienced so much fear. The same thing that makes her a great event coordinator made her an awesome partner through that transition for me.

Melinda Wittstock:         Oh, that’s amazing. So you guys juggle a lot. How old are your kids?

Christina Burch:                Our youngest is about to be eight and then we have a 10 and a 12 year old, all boys.

Melinda Wittstock:         Oh my goodness. How does all this work in practice? Okay I’ve got so many questions about this and how to juggle parenting with entrepreneurship. My own theory is that I’m a single parent with a 12 and a 15-year-old and I think, oh, man. They make me a better entrepreneur and being an entrepreneur makes me a better mom.  How do you balance and juggle and divvy up all the rules?

Christina Burch:                I have the utmost respect for you because I many times think like, I don’t know how in the world single parents do this, especially if you’re an entrepreneur. I would like to turn the question around back to you. In our scenario it takes a village. We try to coordinate our travels so that at least one of us is home but a lot of times we travel at the same time either together or to separate events. Whenever one of is home then we hold the house down, take care of things. When we both have to leave we either fly in moms or I have a really good friend that has children of similar ages and she is a champ for me and takes care of them for me. We pull from the resources that we have available to us.

How about you?  How do you handle it?

Melinda Wittstock:         I think there’s no such thing as balance. It’s like work integration. Here’s the funny thing. My kids see everything, the ups, the downs. I’m a serial entrepreneurial and seriously they both thought when they were they little that I ran the Cheerios company, right? In a way kids learn so much, I believe, by what we do more than what we say.

Christina Burch:                Absolutely.

Melinda Wittstock:         The reward for me is insofar as this is very much like to grow a business is to grow as a person. It’s a personal growth journey, at least that’s been true for me. Every step of the way when you have some new challenge in entrepreneurship there’s always something like where your own crap comes up and you have to confront it to let things go, all of that. My kids have had a ringside seat to all of that. I like to tell myself that that’s really good for them and mostly I think it is. The absolute reward was hearing my son play X-box with all his friends and tell one of the other players that he had to work on his mindset.

Christina Burch:                Nice. Nice.

Melinda Wittstock:         So I thought okay, something’s working here.  [crosstalk 00:08:49] I’m sorry.

Christina Burch:                I’m sorry.

Melinda Wittstock:         No, go ahead.

Christina Burch:                I was going to say, that’s certainly true for us. We’ve grown so much. Our minds have expanded just learning from all these awesome entrepreneurs that are out there and thought leaders. You do, you bring that home and you then teach it, pass it on to your kids. I think that’s awesome for them.

Melinda Wittstock:         I really do. Here’s the thing about entrepreneurship though, right? It comes with ups and downs. We all have challenges all the time. It goes without saying. What have been some of the biggest, if you don’t mind me asking, some of the bumps in the road? I want to get into how you guys deal with that. How do you deal with it when, say you both have a deadline at the same time or you both having pressure at the same time? Or does it seem to kind of even out? How do you deal with all of that?

Cody Burch:                        With Christy’s job it’s a little bit more seasonal. She has very busy seasons with the events business. There’s not a lot of events happening, there’s kind of a lull right now. She’s home a lot more and more home cooked meals and more of stuff. Some of the major challenges are when she gets really busy, typically in September. A lot of her clients have events, major events and so she’s preparing for those. In those ways that can be really stressful. I found that on those days when I have to the main caretaker or get to be the main caretaker, dropping them at school and picking them up from school, it eats up about 4 hours of the day that I would typically be working or being productive. Having to navigate through that, being present for my kids in that moment and like you said, everything with entrepreneurship.

Cody Burch:                        Number one, I agree, there is no balance. It’s just life. I’m not entrepreneur or dad. I’m an entrepreneur dad. They get all of it. It’s part of marriage and part of my parenting and part of my fitness regiment. The whole thing. That’s who I am. There’s no balance at all. Everything is erratically out of balance at different parts of the year. Whether that’s how much we have to go to the kid’s activities, Taekwondo and soccer and football and stuff like that, and then how we run the business. There’s ups and downs of all of that meaning, if there’s a season where they’re super busy in school, there’s super large amount of events at school and we have to balance all that stuff out, at the same time that she’s really busy or I’m under a deadline for an ad campaign and one of clients is launching something on the marketing side. It ends up being some late nights.

We’re really transparent with our kids in terms of problem solving. They know when we’re really busy they will understand that we’re solving lots of problems. That’s kind of the quantify and measure of how successful we, how well the business is, if we’re solving interesting problems. If there’s no problems to solve then we’re kind of out of business. We’re in the business of solving problems it seems like. They kind of get that. It takes late nights and early mornings and friends helping out, everything pitching in the business.

Melinda Wittstock:         Yeah, no it’s really true. It does force you though to think about, and one of the beautifies of entrepreneurship I think is being able to create your own life, to decide how to build a business around the life that you want to lead and be really intentional about it. Do you two sit down together at the beginning of every year or however often, say, “Okay, where are we going here? What do we actually want and how can we make our businesses fit that?” Or is it more about, “Okay, what does the business need and what do the kids need?” What comes first and second in that kind of dynamic?

Christina Burch:                Sure. We are definitely working towards crafting the businesses that will suit the lifestyle that we prefer that we dream for. At the beginning of this year we were very intentional about sitting down, having a planning meeting, writing out … We like to write out what our life is going to look like in 10 years as if has already happened.

Melinda Wittstock:         Nice.

Christina Burch:                Where do we live? What cars do we drive? How many hours do we work? What are our kids doing? What are they like? All of those kinds of things, just kind of imagine it as we would for it to be as it has already happened. One of the tools that we love and that we’re really using this year that has changed my business and my life, it’s called the Productivity Planner. It’s by the same makers as the Five Minute Journal.

Melinda Wittstock:         Yeah. Oh, so you’re into the Pomodoros then? You do the-

Christina Burch:                Yeah, absolutely. Yes and we love it. It’s really working for us. I would say being intentional has been my focus for this year. Instead of letting life happen to me and work and everything, all the kids stuff, just kind of, “Oh my gosh!” Reacting to everything on a day to day basis. I have more of an intention, more of a plan of attack. Of course that’s the best way to go. I’ve just never been a goal setter because I’ve felt as a mom you’ve got to be flexible. Kids are sick sometimes. You’ve got to cancel calls and this and that. Within that you can still have a plan and then go to plan B if you have to.

Melinda Wittstock:         Yeah. That’s so right. If you’re in reaction all the time it’s like you can be a human doing, like running in place.

Christina Burch:                Right.

Melinda Wittstock:         Faster and faster not getting anywhere. This happens to a lot of business owners who struggle to scale their businesses because they find themselves doing more and more and more before you even add in kids or any of the other things in our lives. Learning at the earliest possible stage to get into that intention and start thinking about outcomes instead of thinking about tasks.

Cody Burch:                        One super helpful thing for me, every week … This is kind of a newer thing. We’re always working towards growing and better. We’re not like masters of this thing, but every Sunday night we get together and I make sure I understand the schedule. That’s more for me as a dad and understanding with her business what’s important. What days does she have calls? What days to we have podcast interviews like this or what’s on the docket for kids and things like that. That avoids the instances where it’s like, “Hey, couldn’t help but notice you’re carrying some luggage and you just kissed us all goodbye. Are you going to the airport? Do you have a trip that you’re going on that I missed somehow?” Right?

I want to be intentional with the time when we’re here and honor her business and respect her business and let her have her priorities in her job. She’s doing such a fantastic job. She mentioned before we hit record she was just on a 24 hour trip and so we rallied the troops and we have a ton of fun with the boys and let her go and experience that thing and watch her shine. It’s really awesome.

Being on the same page has been super helpful with the productivity planner, with those weekly meetings, planning out the year. The same thing, I need to make sure I don’t book any events or trainings or my own stuff or client’s stuff around when she’s going to be really busy. That’s really, really, really helped. This is the first year we’ve done that. I don’t know why it took three years to figure that part out but that’s been really helpful.

Melinda Wittstock:         It takes a while. It’s all a work in progress, isn’t it? I think we’re constantly as entrepreneurs, we’re like alchemists.

Christina Burch:                Right.

Melinda Wittstock:         We’re solving problems for so many other people inherently and that’s why we’re in business but learning as we go and getting better and better and better at this. I love Cody what you said about letting Christy shine. That’s lovely. It sounds like you two are very, you’re really dedicated to lifting each other up in your own individual things as well as you together. That’s what’s coming across which is really lovely. That doesn’t exist in all relationships.

Cody Burch:                        I think that’s true. Thanks for saying that and for pointing it out. I don’t why we don’t believe in ourselves. I’ve already mentioned how much fear I was dealing with, making the transition where I was just so afraid or whatever. Then she saw it so clearly, wanted to just grab me by the shoulders and say, “What is wrong with you? You’ve got this and let’s go.” She had kind of the same thing. I remember we were talking in my parent’s house, in their backyard when she had just gotten back from a trip. I said, “Hey, you could do this as a job. You could quit your existing job that you have and you could go serve people in this capacity, have time for me, money for you and look at how happy you are when you do this.” She was like, “Do you really think so?” And you’re like, “Yes, its so clear.”

That’s why whether that’s to your spouse or partner or friend or mentor or somebody, it’s so important to have those people in your life that can see what you can’t see. Those are called blind spots. That’s why you have people that come along side you and say, “Look, you’ve got this” and lift you up when you can’t see it.

Melinda Wittstock:         Yeah, we’ve all got those, right, where we can’t see our own shadow?

Christina Burch:                Yep.

Melinda Wittstock:         And we do need people to be cheerleaders for us. Do you guys bounce business ideas off one another and use each other for validation all the time?

Christina Burch:                It’s probably more of a one way thing. Cody’s brain does not stop. Constantly he’s got a new idea. “What about this idea and that idea?”  I’ve got, some I’m honest and some I’m like, “Hey, that’s a really good idea.” He bounces them off me all the time. I do have some but I would say not … I have one for every five of his probably.

Melinda Wittstock:         Oh, gosh, that’s interesting because I’m one of these, maybe a little bit more like Cody and this is why I have so many ideas. I’m just like, “Okay. I’m going to write.” I’m getting self aware. I’m writing them all down, make sure I capture them all. Going back to that single parent thing, I have to prioritize. I have to be super, super, clear about what is the highest leverage activity that I can do right now that will have a multiplier effect on whatever I’m doing in my business or in my life, right? If it’s not a, “Hell yeah!” It’s kind of like a “Hell no” and getting better at saying no, getting better at those boundaries.  Is that happening your lives where you’re getting better at being able to prioritize? Okay, this has to happen but all this other stuff can drop?

Christina Burch:                Absolutely.

Melinda Wittstock:         It’s okay if the meal’s not perfect. It’s okay if the house is a little messy or whatever it’s going to be, you know.

Christina Burch:                Exactly. I was going to mention that earlier. You can’t be a perfectionist if you’re going to an entrepreneur and really just a parent. You’d lose your mind if everything had to be perfect and your kids had to look perfect and their grades had to be perfect and the house had to be clean. That would drive someone insane. You’ve got to be realistic about expectations. Prioritize, yeah, the things that are important, keep those at the top. Otherwise let the rest kind of work itself out. It’ll be fine.

Melinda Wittstock:         Oh, thank you for saying it. I see so many women on Wings where I interview female entrepreneurs all of whom, six, seven, eight, nine even ten figure business, but every single woman that I’ve interviewed and I will include myself in this group, is a recovering perfectionist. We all have this weird perfectionist gene which I don’t see as often in men, honestly.

Christina Burch:                I’m just going say that. I feel like women struggle with that more than men.

Melinda Wittstock:         Yeah, we do. Why do you think that is?

Christina Burch:                I hate to blame it on the good ole’ media but I feel the standards that we see out there for women have always been so idealistic and unattainable so we for some insane reason hold ourselves to that. I think that’s why there’s such a big draw now for people like Jen Hatmaker and Rachel Hollis. I love Sara Blakely. I follow her on Instagram because she’s an amazing business women, just crushing it but she posts the cutest videos of her home life. Her kids are crazy and they’re making pancakes. It’s like, “Oh my gosh. She’s just like me. She’s a normal person.” I think more and more women are getting out there and showing the real side of things. It’s making us more come out of that fog of like, “Oh wait. I don’t have to be perfect. I don’t look perfect. They’re doing it and they’re doing it. They look like great moms and they’re working and building their businesses. Maybe I can do that, too.”

Melinda Wittstock:         That’s such an important thing. I really think there should be like an AA for perfectionists. As women we think we have to do it all to have it all. It’s quite the reverse. Entrepreneurs should be good at leverage, right, by definition? How to have it all by doing less and less.

Christina Burch:                Right. That’s something. That’s a completely new and revelatory idea that I stumbled upon once I started this whole entrepreneurial thing is through Gary B, talking about how, “Hey if you’re good at one thing focus on that one thing and hire out the rest.” I used to always think like, “Well, I got to be good at everything. The things that I’m weak at I need to work on those.” No, it’s completely opposite. You have a strength for a reason. Follow that strength. Follow that passion and whatever you’re not good at hire that stuff out. That’s how it works.

Melinda Wittstock:         Yeah, that’s how I feel about the laundry.

Christina Burch:                Absolutely. Housecleaning.

Melinda Wittstock:         So Cody, what’s your perspective on this? I’m going to assume that you don’t have a perfectionist gene. I may be wrong. This is a question I have as a female entrepreneur to a guy entrepreneur. Is it always like the shortest distance from point A to point B, how can I can get there quickest, easiest fastest?

Cody Burch:                        I do think about that a lot. I think about that with my own business and my clients’ businesses and whether I’m coaching or teaching or thinking or writing or podcasting or whatever to encourage people to take the massive imperfect action, right? Take the next logical step. I see there’s lots of options here. Which one do you want to start with? What are we going to go with first and then what’s the finish line and how are we going to test it? That applies to anything. That could be, “What are we going to have for dinner tonight?” Which I would never apply to that. That’s obnoxious but you can apply that same logic in saying, “Well, let’s try this new recipe and let’s see how we like it. Then we can make it again later or we can never make it again. We don’t have to.” That’s a marketing campaign or a new lead magnet or a piece of content or an idea for whatever that we always come with.

I’m always telling myself and I have grown enough in self awareness I think that I will tell Christy, I nudged her on Sunday morning. We were at church and I was like, “Hey, I’ve got … This is going to be a game changer.”  She rolls her eyes and she’s like, “Give me your phone. Stop. We’re going to pay attention.” Then later I was like, “Well, here’s the plan” and I told her. Then she smiled and nodded and then I said, “And I know I can’t do that yet. I’ve got five things ahead of that.” I did capture it and I got it out of my brain so I don’t jump out of bed in the middle of the night with that idea.

I do try to think linearly, my favorite metaphor for getting any campaign or I do lot of Facebook funnels and marketing and ads and things like that, to think of it like dominoes. If you’re end goal is whatever it is, it’s to live in Hawaii or whatever, if that’s the last domino then what are the necessary steps you need to take to get there? I don’t know what the first one is but it might be, sign up for a frequent flyer account with an airline that flies to Hawaii or whatever that first step is. Once you do that then what’s the next step? Along the way you can picture that.

Part of that’s because I’m an engineer and a math nerd and analytics freak and all those things. I’m very data driven. I don’t feel like I’m a perfectionist but if we can take that next logical step and know that it’ll be imperfect and that done is better than perfect and perfect is a myth and all that stuff. Just get it out there and test it and then have an opinion about it and not fret over if it’s the right call or not.

Melinda Wittstock:         Yeah, no that’s great. I think there’s so many things that men can learn from women in business and that women can learn from men in business. I had this big epiphany. I was in the middle of the Amazon Rain Forest of all places that one is, right? I though, “Hmm. This is interesting looking around this rain forest. It’s in perfect balance and harmony. It’s got this give and take or yin yang.” I think about men and women in business as what we bring to it as this kind of left brain right brain thing, right? When we’re in our really feminine archetype, I guess, right, it’s all the empathy and the intuitiveness and all of those archetypal female qualities which are awesome when they appear in men. That’s when people talk about heart centered leadership and that kind of thing.

In men there’s so many things that men do really, really, well that women really do need to learn from. Like not being as attached to outcome or not taking things personally or not being a perfectionist or not thinking you have to do it all and these sorts of things. How does that balance? Are you guys conscious of that in terms of the masculine and feminine in terms of how you balance each other out in that way or different approaches based on your gender.

Cody Burch:                        Yeah, I’m not naturally super compassionate and empathetic with people so having Christy alongside and having …

Melinda Wittstock:         I love that you said that. That’s great. Thank you for admitting that.

Cody Burch:                        I have super powerful females on my team and that I work with and I love and admire, including my wife. I remember I wrote a short book last year about marketing and I was trying to explain Facebook pixels. I explained it as best I knew how as a math nerd, analytics guy. I sent it to my wife and I sent it to my office manager whose name is Allison. Allison’s like, “Hey, you totally lost me. This sucks. This isn’t good.” I’m like, “Well, that’s how you do it.” She’s like, “I know but it’s not interesting. There’s no story. There’s no emotion behind how to install a Facebook pixel and to track your conversion to optimize the blah, blah, blah.”

I was like, “Oh okay. I wasn’t even thinking about that.” I was only thinking about the facts of that thing. Well, if you’re going to write a book or create a piece of content a story would be much more interesting. Based on that feedback I had to tell better stories through my book and tell better stories through podcasts. Like I mentioned, I’m hosting my first event this year and I’m super nervous about that. Christy’s alongside thinking, “Well, how do we want people to feel when they walk in the room.”

I’m like, “Oh yeah, that’s a thing.” I’m thinking, “What am I going to jam in their heads right when they walk in the room, with knowledge. What bombs am I going to drop that they’re going to be like, ‘whoa’.” That’s only a small part off it compared to how they’re going to feel when they’re interacting with myself and with the brand and the event itself. It’s super obvious to me now where I’m deficient and where Christy comes alongside.

Melinda Wittstock:         Oh, that’s so, so, interesting. Christy what’s your perspective on all of that?

Christina Burch:                I agree with what you just said. I actually on String Finders and things like that am a very empathetic person. I’m very high on empathy and adaptability. I tend to be a little too persuaded by what people think and kind of a people pleaser. He has to give me pep talks to normalize and bring the logic whenever I’m dealing with a client or fretting over a proposal. That’s been a hard thing about entrepreneurship is setting a price for things. I’ve always signed up for jobs where they pay you a certain amount. I’ve never quoted my price and my value. That’s intimidating. I don’t if it’s just a female thing as well but it’s intimidating because I’ve never done it before. He’s always been the one to pep talk me and tell me, “No, no, no. You’re worth more. You can quote this. You can quote that.” I’m always nervous and thinking about, “What are they going to think.”  So yeah, it’s been good to have him as a sounding board for things like that.

Melinda Wittstock:         Oh, that’s awesome. That’s a really big service that men can provide women because I think often we don’t know our own value as women. It manifests. I see it over and over and over again. Certainly in my own entrepreneurial career but also in all the women that mentor and interview and whatnot that we tend to under price ourselves and over deliver. My partner who is also an investor in my business plays a similar role for me. “Come on, Melinda, you can do better. Charge more.”

Christina Burch:                Right.

Melinda Wittstock:         Right? But I have to be told. It’s so interesting and I know better.

Christina Burch:                Yeah.

Melinda Wittstock:         I do now. I’m getting better at that now. There was a study that most female entrepreneurs compared to male entrepreneurs in similar industries tend to under price by at least 30% compared to their male counterparts.

Christina Burch:                Oh, wow.

Melinda Wittstock:         No one’s doing that to us.

Christina Burch:                Right.

Melinda Wittstock:         We’re doing that to ourselves, which is curious. That’s definitely something to fix.

What happens when there’s a big crisis? It sounds like you guys communicate really well that you have very open communications and you’re dedicated, it sounds to me like dedicated to growing together. What do you do in the event of a crisis where you’re not seeing eye to eye about something? First of all does that ever happen and then how do you deal with it? Do have rules around it? How does it work?

Christina Burch:                Right. We are very big on communication. I am fortunate that Cody is a good communicator because I know a lot of … Well I hate to stereotype but I think that a lot of men struggle to communicate openly with anyone. I am blessed that he is the type to want to talk about things and get things out in the open. Maybe it’s because we’ve been married so long but it’s like the game’s just don’t serve us anymore as far as if we get our feelings hurt or if we’re stressed about something and closing down and closing off. That’s not helpful to anybody. We try to make communication our first plan of attack, not attack, get it out in the open. Whatever it is, if it’s a stress about business, if it’s something between us, let’s talk about it and get it figured out. Then we’ll take the next steps.

Something else that we have started just this last year and we wish we would have started sooner is counseling. There is no shame in marriage counseling or business counseling or any other kind of counseling. Getting that outside third party perspective on if it’s a business issue or a marriage issue or whatever is super helpful, especially if it’s something that we are in gridlock about.

Melinda Wittstock:         Oh, gosh. I love that you said that. It gives so many other people permission. It takes the stigma away from it. Honestly, in business I couldn’t really grow or scale a business until I got coaching. I was in Master Minds. I had mentors and learned how to ask for help. Similarly, in terms of personal growth or in my relationships. I love that because we can always be better. We always fears to overcome, subconscious ones or limiting beliefs which stand in the way.

Most business problems are, in my experience anyway, they’re just stuff where we hit our upper limits in terms of limiting beliefs, what we think we can do on a subconscious level and how to step over that from zones of competence to zones of excellence to really ingenious and dare to really go all in in that. There’s so many of these internal beliefs that can hold us back. Having coaches and mentors and counselors and all that is phenomenal. It’s much more of a guarantor of your success as individuals and together in my humble view.

That’s awesome. Cody, what do you think? What was it that make you think, “Okay, yeah, as a couple together we should be doing some counseling on a personal level with all the stuff you’re juggling as well as in a business sense?”

Cody Burch:                        I had seen it modeled. I went to an entrepreneur event in September of 2018. I found out … There was 150 people there and almost all of them mentioned some type of counseling or therapy. It’s called by different things. Even then it was still kind of a stigma to me. It crept up. I thought, “That’s too bad all of you are in counseling and I’m not.” That’s such the wrong way to think about it. I met a lot of people that were getting great results and they really recommended that that was really healthy. That was a pretty easy no-brainer. In fact it was my idea to recommend that we would start to do that. We had a great friend who had gotten great results with a counselor and therapist here in town. That was a no-brainer.

It was instantly beneficial. That first day which was kind of get to know everybody and this whole process, what that might look like. We went and had a great brunch after that and talked for hours and hours. I was like, “That might have been enough.” We still go but that was really helpful to give us the framework and the language to be able to speak and share together.

I want to tell you another quick story about crisis and how it’s handled in the business. What came up for me when you asked that is … A typical day for me, I’ll get up early, 5 o’clock or so and I’ll work for a little bit and try to get my most important work done. Often that means I’m awake before Christy’s awake. One day I woke up and I had a really angry e-mail from a client. I’d never had an e-mail like this before. It wasn’t angry. It was very professional. It wasn’t just flying off the handle but it was very professional. They said, “Hey, you have done this work for us. We paid you this amount of money to build this marketing system. We’re not happy with it. It’s not working and it’s not what we thought we were getting. Frankly we think it’d be best if you give us our money back.” It was thousands and thousands of dollars. Not tens of thousands but it was a disruptive amount of money.

Melinda Wittstock:         Man, that’s hard to, yeah, yeah.

Cody Burch:                        It had never happened and it hasn’t happened since. It was this first and last time. Maybe not the last time but it was the first time a client said this has happened. I knew in that moment the right thing to do was give them their money back but I don’t have the money in my account. I stewed about it for a little bit and paced around the home office. Then Christy woke up and I said, “Hey, this happened. I need you to know about. I’m a little nervous and fearful that this is a thing. I wanted to share that and be open and communicate that this is going to be disruptive and this happened.”

She kind of nodded and went about her business. I went back to the home office a few minutes later and my phone buzzed and I had a notification and it was from my bank. Christy from her business account without saying a word of shame or grace or forgiveness or anything, she just nodded and understood. While I went back to the office she opened up her bank account and transferred that amount of money over to me to cover that loss in that moment. I got emotional about it and thanked her and hugged her. In that moment I knew like, if this is the worst, which it may not be the worst, but if this is the worst thing that had happened so far in entrepreneurship and she’s got me that easily and quickly, number one through open communication. I didn’t have to hide that from her. I said, “this happened and I’m bummed out about it.” She said, “Okay.” And then I left. Then she took care of it.

I knew in that moment … She had every right to freak out. “What’d you do? How dare you do that? What are you going to do to make sure it never happens again?” That would have been very appropriate. It’s not how she typically responds to conflict but it would have been normal. That would have been okay if she had said those things. I’m like, “I know. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”

“How dare you?”

“I know. I’m sorry.”

“That’s our vacation money.”

“I know. I’m sorry.”

None of that happened. It was grace. I got your back, like she always has had. Through that you start to get this result that now when a little thing happens it glances off us like a boxer slipping a punch and going, “Well, that’s no going to stop me ’cause I know who’s got my back on this end. I’m not afraid of that situation happening.” It doesn’t seem so scary any more.

Melinda Wittstock:         Wow. That’s wonderful. I have to ask this question too because often we can get so stuck in the doing and these sorts of crises and things. We can be there for each other in business and friends and partners in supporting each other and dealing with all the kids. How do you prioritize time for intimacy? How does that work in your life?

Christina Burch:                Great question. We have really, I guess I’m trying to say submitted to the fact that you have to schedule it just like anything else. We’ve heard people say that before in the past before things were so crazy and felt like, “Oh, that’s sad. I hope we never get to that point in our marriage.” You know what, if you’re going to prioritize sales calls and certain to-dos on your list and things like that, what’s more important than your marriage? That’s the bedrock of your whole household and everything else. It made sense that you know what, we’re just going to schedule this in because otherwise we let other things take over our day.

It goes back to the being intentional. What are our priorities in life? Well, our marriage is one of the top absolutely up at the top. We need to be intentional about it and about our time together. Yeah, I guess we don’t technically have it scheduled in our phones but we go to plan out our week-[crosstalk 00:37:41]

Melinda Wittstock:         You make sure that you get down to business.

Christina Burch:                Of course we do.

Melinda Wittstock:         Getting down to business is good for business.

Christina Burch:                It’s important. It’s so important. That was part of our marriage counseling. She reinforced like, “Hey. It’s only a small portion of your day. You can set this time aside to make time for one another.” You have to. You’ve got to make time for each other. Your marriage is worth working towards just like your business, just like your kids, your family, whatever. You’ve got to be intentional and prioritize. That’s what we have kind of pre-recently as of this year we’ve started doing and that has really help.

Melinda Wittstock:         Oh that’s awesome. So, Cody how does that show up for you?

Cody Burch:                        I echo everything she said. It was something that … It comes up a couple times throughout the year. One of her clients has great events in great locations. They’re always in nice hotels and cool parts of the country. I do what I can to go on those trips because it’s some time away. It’s alone time. It’s time without the kids in a nice place. When we can we get there a day early, stay a day late. It’s an application of scheduling time alone where we can be together one on one. That’s some of the highlights of our year those trips we take together. It’s great food. It’s time way. There’s something about not being in your house and not eating out of a crock pot and all those things. Getting away. It really helps with romance and intimacy as well.

Each week, I was thinking as Christy was saying, we don’t really have anything scheduled but we do have a meeting scheduled on Friday mornings. We get together and we talk through our goals of the week and what happened. That way it helps everything else. When we’re understanding what’s happening in life and business and I don’t want to put words in her mouth, but when I can understand what’s happening in the household where one of my major goals each week is to take our kids to things. I wanted to got to the basketball practice and a game and it’s in my calendar. I’m not taking any calls. Everything’s interconnected so that helps with intimacy where she looks at me like an involved father. That makes everything else better to.  We’re as intentional as we can be about that and prioritizing time together alone, away from the kids, whether it’s working through he productivity planners together or traveling to cool locations for an event or stuff like that.

Melinda Wittstock:         Oh, gosh. I love that.  Where do you both see yourselves say in 10 years’ time? Paint the picture of what your life is going to be like together in 10 years?

Christina Burch:                One of my ideal dreams is to have a house out in the forest. Currently we’re in a nice little cookie cutter suburban neighborhood which I absolutely love, but it’s our dream to have a little bit of acreage and some trees around us and be out in the forest, have a little bit of privacy in a dream house. I plan to still be running events because it’s a passion of mine. I absolutely what I do so I have no plans to stop anytime soon. I’ll probably be traveling more and have more capacity to take on more clients then because my kidskin be older. I’ll be doing that.

I think our plan for Cody’s business for it to be even more hands off, maybe more live event based. We’re excited to do that this year, partner on something together. We’ve been entrepreneurs in our separate businesses but we’ll finally get to partner in something with his live events this year which I’m excited about. Yeah, I think traveling more. Like we said, we’re working toward a lifestyle of being able to travel as much as we want, still having our kids close and traveling with us here and there. Then still kind of rocking our businesses because we both love what we do.

Cody Burch:                        We’re extremely blessed in that this is it. I feel like I can do what I’m doing now for the rest of my life. My dad is nearing retirement. It’s top of mind. He’s retiring in the month or so. He’s been a police officer for 30, 35 years. It’s tremendous and I look at that and go, “Yeah, I can do this forever.” I love doing what I’m doing. I love watching Christy excel in her business. The people that she serves and the services that she provides is amazing. In ten years I want to be doing more of this.

Yes, as businesses grow in the different stages of growth I want to be a little bit less involved in the day to day and maybe less done for you at campaigns and clients and marketing and more influence on the speaking of leadership side. It’s fun to have Christy along side. We did this exercise recently. We’ve been married 26 years, right, in ten years? We’ve been married 16 years so in ten years it’ll be 26 years. Our oldest will be kind of getting out of college age, whatever the next ten years hold for him. The youngest will be going into college age years which is just insane.

Having time freedom and money freedom and that’s why we love entrepreneurship and love anybody listening to the show that is an entrepreneur. Maybe you’re thinking, “Yeah, thumbs up. That’s why I got into this.” Hopefully you have that time freedom and money freedom. If you are at a nine to five and considering making the jump in 2019 or beyond that’s what’s on the other side. That’s what I couldn’t see when Christy was calling me out. That’s what we see in 10 years.

Melinda Wittstock:         I love it. What a beautiful vision. I want to give the opportunity for everybody to learn a little bit more about both of your business and find out too how they can work with you. I know that I’m having my first events this year so Christy I should definitely talk with you.  Let’s start with you, ladies first, all about your business please and how people can find you and work with you.

Christina Burch:                Sure. My business is called Your Branded Event. I help leader entrepreneurs create an extra revenue stream for their business and connect with their community through live events. My website is yourbrandedevents.com. Then it’s the same thing for Facebook and Instagram.

Melinda Wittstock:         Fantastic. Okay, and Cody, funnels, funnels all the time funnels.

Cody Burch:                        That’s what I’m most excited about. The book that I wrote is called One Hour Funnel. The domain is Onehourfunnel.com. If you want a copy of the book it’s OneHourFunnelBook.com, for a free copy of the book. Yeah, that’s what the live event is about. That’s what my whole business is about right now. I love helping people dial in their marketing. I love helping them fire expensive marketing agencies like the one that I run. I’m trying to work myself out of a job with my side hustle of the One Hour Funnel stuff.

By day I do those things of things. By night I document the whole crazy journey on my podcast which is called Cody Builds a Business. It’s tracking this whole crazy journey that we’re on and having a lot of fun doing it.

Melinda Wittstock:         Oh, fantastic. I want to thank you both for sharing so authentically and honestly about what it’s like and shining a light and inspiring so many other people who are in the same position or thinking of being in the same position as both of you.

Christina Burch:                Thanks so much for the opportunity.

Cody Burch:                        Yeah, thank you so much Melinda.


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