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How to Balance Work, Business, and Family Life

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How to Balance It All

This is a common question I get, and while my husband and I certainly don’t claim to have mastered this art, we’ve discovered a few tips along the way that really help. The life of an entrepreneur is often busy and stressful, and the life of a parent is often busy and stressful. Combine the two and you very often have a life that is both doubly busy and stressful.

Yet, we are firm believers that not only do neither of these things have to suffer (family time or business) but in fact they can help each other thrive.

But First, a Story…

In the early days of our business, I promoted a summit and won a ticket to a small and informal mastermind (basically a support & sharing group for entrepreneurs) in California with other business professionals. At that point, the idea of a business trip and meeting other professionals sounded like fun, but I had a 7-month-old baby who needed me every few hours for food. So, we did the logical thing and hopped on a plane with her for the mastermind.

Our plan was that both of us would attend the mastermind and I’d hold the baby in there while she was good or sleeping and take her out if she got fussy.

The problem was, on the first day, the person facilitating the mastermind (not the host) asked us to leave because it was distracting to have her in there… even though she wasn’t being loud.

At first I was mad, realizing that in many (even informal) business settings, babies are frowned upon. Even perfectly quiet sleeping or nursing babies. Of course, it was a private event and they had every right to make this request, but it still hurt that we weren’t able to attend the rest of the event.

The Silver Lining…

In hindsight, being “kicked out” of a mastermind was one of the best things that ever happened for us and our business for two reasons:

  1. We became determined to win at business in a family-friendly way. This experience made us realize that many people become successful at the expense of family time. But, the two don’t have to be mutually exclusive. We resolved after that experience to become even more efficient and successful at business and to do so while keeping family always the first priority.
  2. We started our own mastermind founded on the idea of family first… and it has been amazing. The second amazing thing that happened as a result of this experience was that we decided to create our own mastermind that didn’t just allow kids, it required them. We formed a group of a handful of families and we now meet twice a year… with our kids. We’ve become lifelong friends and our children have become lifelong friends. And our businesses have all evolved and are thriving over the years of meeting together.

Clarifying the Focus & Priorities

The beauty of that experience was that it helped us clarify our priorities and realize that business was always going to be second priority to family. At the same time, our business was how we were able to feed our family, so it was important too.

We realized that in order to do both, we’d have to be very intentional about focusing on the most effective parts of each.

It helped us narrow down our focus and figure out how to not only balance, but integrate the two.

80/20 Your Life

The first step of figuring out how to balance family life and business life without sacrificing important parts was to take inventory of the most effective and important parts of each. Many times, in business and parenting, we all seem to tread water or exist without any intentionality, just doing things as we’ve always done them.

In any aspect of life, taking stock of the most impactful things we are doing and increasing those while reducing the distractions and unimportant activities will lead to improvement. Tim Ferriss popularized this idea with his book The Four Hour Workweek, but it really applies to all aspects of life: from cleaning to cooking and from business to investing.

If you aren’t familiar with the concept, the idea is that in any given aspect of life, 20% of the input is responsible for 80% of the results… and this seems to work both ways. 20% of customers are responsible for 80% of profits, while an inverse 20% are often responsible for 80% of customer service headaches. Additionally, focusing on the 20% that is successful in any given area and working to duplicate the results of this segment improves the business across the board.

How to Figure out the 80/20 Rule for Your Life

This idea seems easy to apply in most business applications because things like profit, conversions, and clicks are easily trackable and it is easy to find the top 20%. It gets a little tougher in life because, for instance, it is hard to accurately measure the 20% of parenting that makes the biggest impact on our kids, at least in the moment. The results are often clear in 20 years but hard to see at the time.

For family life, this was our process of trying to narrow down the 20%:

  • We made a list of clear and measurable skills and experiences we wanted our children to have before leaving home. Then, we worked backward with a timetable of figuring out how to teach or give these skills/experiences in the years they have left at home. This led to some interesting discoveries, including that we wanted to travel a lot more than we had originally planned, and that we needed to create some kind of system of mentoring them in business while they are young. More on this in future posts.
  • We looked at family activities that everyone enjoyed and that also had a bonding or teachable aspect and increased these. Family camping trips and extended travel both are great for learning, family bonding, and enjoyment. Movie nights, while fun, aren’t as good. We honed in on family activities that we could do together that everyone enjoyed and doubled down on these. The result? A lot more camping, travel, Jujutsu classes together, baseball games, and helping the kids with entrepreneurial projects they love.

Clear and Measurable Goals

So many times in life, we set goals that are not specific or measurable. This makes them almost impossible to track and to even gauge if we are succeeding or not. In fact, I’d argue that for many families, parenting is the biggest glaring example of this.

We want to raise “good kids” but what does that mean and how do we define “good”?

We want them to be “successful adults” but how do we measure success?

In a world where memorization and traditional school subjects are becoming less important and adaptation and the ability to learn new skills quickly are becoming vital, we felt that it takes much more intentionality to raise great kids.

We created trackable and measurable goals for business and family so that we would be able to hopefully achieve them. We created:

  • A detailed list of practical life skills we want our kids to have before leaving home. (still working on these)
  • Detailed goals for each business that we wanted to achieve by a certain point. (We accomplished these and are working on the process again with new measurable goals.

Acting Intentionally

This single step can make a person drastically more successful in any aspect of life. When we sit back and evaluate how many things we do a certain way just because we have always done that a certain way, the results can be astounding.

It seems that even when a person is excellent at acting intentionally in one area (like business), he or she has gaping holes in this in other areas of life (parenting, cooking, cleaning, etc.). Acting intentionally in all of these areas has the potential to drastically reduce stress and improve productivity.

At this point, I should mention that we both strive under structure and routine, so this method works really well for our family. If you are a more spontaneous type who despises structure, you may have to adapt.

Reducing Mental Stress with Routine

We’ve found that by having intentional systems for most aspects of life, we could reduce the stress of actually doing them. For instance:

  • Meal Planning: Having a strong structure for meal planning that included shopping lists gets rid of the daily mental stress of figuring out what to cook at each meal. It lets us plan ahead and even cook ahead and eat healthier without extra work. This is the way I’m able to cook 3 real food meals a day every day without going crazy.
  • Cleaning: Having a structure of when we do laundry, who does each chore and when and how the household gets clean gets rid of the stress of nagging the kids to do their chores and keeps us (the adults) accountable for doing things too.
  • Family Time: We are big believers in kids having lots of independent play time and being bored to bring out their creativity. We aren’t the types to entertain our kids all day, but we do have times reserved for family fun activities like swimming, hiking, camping, family game nights, and other activities.
  • Email: Email can take over your life if you let it. Heck, it can take over your life if you let it. Conquering email clutter has made the biggest difference in our mental free space and free time. The rules? Check it 1-2 times a day at most, don’t answer emails that don’t need an answer and unsubscribe from everything possible.

Family Breakfast & Dinner Are Non-Negotiable

Again, it is easy to say family time is a priority, but often daily actions don’t reflect this. One easy way we’ve made sure that days start and end with family time is by making breakfast and dinner always family activities. Of course, there are extenuating circumstances that occasionally make this not possible, but when we are home, we eat meals together whenever possible.

Family meals are the perfect time for conversation and we all have to eat anyway, so they are easy to schedule in every day:-)

The Bottom Line

There is no simple checklist for effortlessly balancing family and work, especially when both are growing. Balance is a moving target and getting even remotely close to hitting it requires planning, foresight, and intentional action.

The list above is what worked for our family… what works for yours?

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Bill Gates: Third Shot May Be Needed to Combat Coronavirus Variants

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With more than 40 million Americans having received at least the first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, a third dose may be needed to prevent the spread of new variants of the disease, Bill Gates told CBS News Tuesday.

Gates’ comments come amid growing concern that the current vaccines are not effective against the more contagious Brazilian and South African variants.

Pfizer and Moderna have stated that their vaccines are 95% and 99% effective, respectively, against the initial strain of COVID. However, some scientists have questioned those statements. Additionally, the World Health Organization and vaccine companies have conceded that the vaccines do not prevent people from being infected with COVID or from transmitting it, but are only effective at reducing symptoms.

Gates told CBS Evening News:

“The discussion now is do we just need to get a super high coverage of the current vaccine, or do we need a third dose that’s just the same, or do we need a modified vaccine?”

U.S. vaccine companies are looking at making modifications, which Gates refers to as “tuning.”

People who have had two shots may need to get a third shot and people who have not yet been vaccinated would need the modified vaccine, explained Gates. When asked whether the coronavirus vaccine would be similar to the flu vaccine, which requires yearly boosters, Gates couldn’t rule that out. Until the virus is eradicated from all humans, Gates said, additional shots may be needed in the future.

AstraZeneca in particular has a challenge with the variant,” Gates explained. “And the other two, Johnson & Johnson and Novavax, are slightly less effective, but still effective enough that we absolutely should get them out as fast as we can while we study this idea of tuning the vaccine.”

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is funding the studies being conducted in Brazil and South Africa, CBS News said. The foundation has also invested in the AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and the Novavax vaccines, which are being tested against new variants. Once the AstraZeneca vaccine is approved, the Global Alliance for Vaccine Initiative or GAVI, founded by Gates, will distribute it globally.

“Gates continues to move the goalposts,” said Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., chairman and chief legal counsel of Children’s Health Defense. “Meanwhile the strategies he and others have promoted are obliterating the global economy, demolishing the middle class, making the rich richer and censoring vaccine safety advocates, like me.”

Kennedy said that the exclusive focus on vaccines has prevented the kind of progress required to actually address and recover from the pandemic:

“From the pandemic’s outset, clear-headed people familiar with the challenges inherent in the vaccine model have understood that the path out of crisis would require multiple steps. Those steps would need to include the development and/or identification of therapeutic drugs, the sharing of information among doctors to hone improved treatment models that reduce infection mortality rates below those for flu, and the kind of broad-spectrum long-term herd immunity that protects against mutant strains and that only derives from natural infection.”

Instead, Gates and vaccine makers are proposing a lifetime of boosters, supporting insufficient testing to determine safety and failing to address the inadequate monitoring of vaccine injuries, Kennedy said.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Children’s Health Defense.

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Young nurse suffers from hemorrhage and brain swelling after second dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine

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(Natural News) A 28-year-old healthcare worker from the Swedish American Hospital, in Beloit, Wisconsin was recently admitted to the ICU just five days after receiving a second dose of Pfizer’s experimental mRNA vaccine. The previously healthy young woman was pronounced brain dead after cerebral angiography confirmed a severe hemorrhage stroke in her brain stem.

Her family members confirmed that she was “breaking out in rashes” after the vaccine. She also suffered from sudden migraine headaches, and got “sick” after taking the second dose of the vaccine. At the very end, she lost the ability to speak and went unconscious. The migraines, nausea, and loss of speech were all symptoms of a brain bleed and brain swelling, something her family did not understand at the time, and something nobody would expect after vaccination.

While on life support, neurologists used angiography to image the damage inside the brain. They found a subarachnoid hemorrhage, whereas a bulging blood vessel burst in the brain, bleeding out in the space between the brain and the tissue covering the brain. The ensuing swelling cut off oxygen to the brain and caused brain death. On February 10, 2021, Sarah reportedly had “no brain activity.” Some of the woman’s organs are now being procured, so they can be donated to other people around the world.

Doctors warn FDA about COVID vaccines causing autoimmune attacks in the heart and brain

Experimental COVID-19 vaccines may cause inflammation along the cardiovascular system, leading to heart attack and/or stroke. This serious issue was brought forth to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by Dr. J. Patrick Whelan, M.D., Ph.D. and further confirmed by cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Hooman Noorchashm, M.D., Ph.D. The two doctors warned that a recently-infected patient who is subject to COVID-19 vaccination is likely to suffer from autoimmune attacks along the ACE-2 receptors present in the heart, and in the microvasculature of the brain, liver and kidney. If viral antigens are present in the tissues of recipients at the time of vaccination, the vaccine-augmented immune response will turn the immune system against those tissues, causing inflammation that can lead to blood clot formation.

This severe adverse event is likely cause of death for the elderly who are vaccinated despite recently being infected. There is no adequate screening process to ensure that this autoimmune attack doesn’t occur. The elderly are not the only people vulnerable to vaccine injury and death. Pfizer’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine could be the main cause behind the sudden death of Sarah Sickles, a 28-year-old nurse from Wisconsin. The Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System has captured five permanent disabilities in Wisconsin, 58 ER visits, and eleven deaths in just one month. This is the first case in Wisconsin of someone under 44 years of age suffering from severe COVID-19 vaccine side effects and death. There are now more than 1,170 deaths recorded in the U.S. related to the experimental mRNA vaccines, a reality that the FDA and CDC continue to ignore.

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Powering hypersonic weapons: US armed forces eyeing dangerous 5G tech

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(Natural News) Much of the conversation surrounding the benefits of 5G is geared toward the consumer side of the technology. People will be able to download videos at lightning speed and will be more connected than ever, proponents claim, although there are serious questions regarding its safety. However, some of the most important 5G applications are not civil at all – the technology will be used extensively in the military domain.

Some of its military uses are outlined in the Defense Applications of 5G Network Technology report, which was published by the Defense Science Board. This federal committee gives scientific advice to the Pentagon. Their report states: “The emergence of 5G technology, now commercially available, offers the Department of Defense the opportunity to take advantage, at minimal cost, of the benefits of this system for its own operational requirements.”

The 5G commercial network that is being built by private companies right now can be used by the American military for a much lower cost than if the network had been set up exclusively for military purposes.

Military experts expect the 5G system to play a pivotal role in using hypersonic weapons. For example, it can be used for new missiles that bear nuclear warheads and travel at speeds superior to Mach 5. These hypersonic weapons, which travel at five times the speed of sound and move a mile per second, will be flying at high altitudes on unpredictable flight paths, making them as hard to guide as they will be to intercept.

Huge quantities of data need to be gathered and transmitted in a very short period in order to maneuver these warheads on variable trajectories and allow them to change direction in milliseconds to avoid interceptor missiles.

5G for defense

This type of technology is also needed to activate defenses should we be attacked by a weapon of this type; 5G automatic systems could theoretically handle decisions that humans won’t have enough time to make on their own. Military bases and even cities will have less than a minute to react to incoming hypersonic missiles, and 5G will make it easier to process real time data on trajectories for decision-making.

There are also important uses of this technology in combat. 5G’s ability to simultaneously link millions of transceivers will undoubtedly facilitate communication among military personnel and allow them to transmit photos, maps and other vital information about operations in progress at dizzying speeds to improve situational awareness.

The military can also take advantage of the high-frequency and short-wavelength millimeter wave spectrum used by 5G. Its short range means that it is well suited for smart military bases and command posts because the signal will not propagate too far, making it less likely that enemies will be able to detect it.

When it comes to special forces and secret services, the benefits of 5G are numerous. Its speed and connectivity will allow espionage systems to reach unprecedented levels of efficiency. It will also make drones more dangerous by allowing them to identify and target people using facial recognition and other methods.

Like all technology, 5G will also make us highly vulnerable. The network itself could become an attractive target for cyber-attacks and other acts of war being carried out with cutting-edge weaponry. In fact, the 5G network is already viewed as critical infrastructure and is being carefully protected before it is even fully built.

While the focus on 5G’s dangers to human health and the environment is absolutely warranted, it is also important not to lose sight of the military implications of 5G. After all, it is not just the United States that is developing this technology for military purposes; our enemies, like China and other countries, are also making great strides in this realm.

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