How do you manage competing priorities of a business and a family you love? Jessica Rhodes, founder and CEO of Interview Connections, shares her thoughts on being a business owner and a mom of two littles, and the role that compromise plays in having it all.
“Having it all” takes a willingness to coordinate and compromise
It's possible to juggle running a business with managing a family, but it takes determination, coordination, and compromise. CEO and podcaster Jessica Rhodes joined me to talk about what works for her and her family.
How Jessica Got Started
Jessica’s business connects podcasters with podcast guests. Prior to that, she had a virtual assistant business she could do from home because she wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. While doing this, she helped her dad in his online work and scheduled his podcasts. This led her to launch Interview Connections.
Between the ages of 19 to 25, she worked at a nonprofit called Clean Water and loved working there. She knew at that point she had to be really interested and motivated to do whatever career path she chose. This decision inspired her to pursue her own career and business based on her interests and goals.
A Typical Day
In the past Jessica had a nanny that came to the house for approximately 30 hours per week. However, Jessica’s family has transitioned to taking the kids to a preschool/daycare during the day.
Jessica’s family wakes up around 6 a.m. and they have a few hours together to play and eat breakfast. She and her husband walk their kids to preschool around 9 a.m., then Jessica goes to her rented office space a few miles away while her husband works from home. One of them picks up the children around 4 or 5 p.m. and their evening is centered around spending time together as a family.
“You have to really like what you’re doing to be a working mom.”
Jessica enjoys having her office out of the home so she can separate work time from family time. When her office was in her home, she often felt like she was multitasking and trying to divide her time between being a mother and running her business. She feels she is more productive at work now that her office is outside of her home, and also a better mother and wife when she is at home.
“I don’t like myself as a mom when I’m trying to multi-task & do business at the same time.”
Jessica strives to make sure she and her husband are always on the same page. They both travel often and don't have family in the area to help with childcare, so they have to coordinate their schedules and they have to dedicate time to planning together.
Jessica and her husband share a Google Calendar and share upcoming events and travel plans. Her husband always tells her, “If it’s not in writing, it doesn’t happen.” They each add the other to events on their personal calendar so the other person receives a notification.
Compromise is a big part of making schedules mesh, and Jessica credits her husband for being supportive of her career choice and for working equally with the kids at home.
“People want to help, but you have to reach out and ask for it,” Jessica says. When she and her husband’s schedules are hectic, they have learned to ask for help from others.
The Parenting Rhodes
Jessica and her husband recently launched a new podcast called the Parenting Rhodes. Their motivation for doing this podcast is unique. They started the podcast as a hobby and a team project. Jessica considers the podcast to be an audio journal of their conversations about parenting topics. They know other spouses have things they need to talk through and figure out as they parent, and the podcast is a way to share the journey with other parents.
Productivity Tools Jessica Uses
Getting things in writing is important to Jessica, so she recommends using email not only for obvious purposes, but also as a way to communicate better with your spouse and to even send email reminders to yourself.
Jessica also likes the app Voxer, which is a walkie-talkie app that allows you to send quick voice messages to anyone else with the app. It's an amazing way to communicate with a spouse, children, co-workers, etc. You don’t have to worry about texting and driving. Jessica says it allows her to send a message faster than she could type.
What happens on a day you feel gets away from you?
On a stressful day when things are not going as planned, Jessica steps away, cancels calls, and has a “call out sick moment.” She's learned it’s okay to take a break and to go somewhere to clear your head. Self-care is so important; she cancels her appointments and will go get a haircut or go to a bay near her home to relax.
She says to be sure to tell the people around you that you need some alone time. It’s important to talk directly to your spouse and communicate what you need from them in order to get what you need. It’s necessary to take time for yourself.
“We aren’t going to get what we need if we don’t ask for it.”
What is on the horizon for Jessica?
Jessica is almost done with her book, Rock the Podcast, and is excited to see it get published. She has been traveling a lot and is hoping to stay home and to have a calm season for awhile.
Last Words on Making a Life That Matters
Jessica has learned that friendships with other women is so important and she encourages us to connect with other women because female friendships are key in feeling supported in all areas of your life.
“Women friendships are so, so important.”
Jessica Rhodes is the founder and CEO of Interview Connections, the premier guest booking agency for podcasters and guest experts. Jessica is the host of the hit weekly web TV show, Interview Connections TV, she’s the host of the Rhodes to Success podcast and co-host of The Podcast Producers, an audio series about the art and business of podcasting.
Jessica is a regular speaker at Dream Biz Academy and has shared the stage with dozens of top podcasters at Podcast Movement and Podcast New England. She is married and is the proud mom to a very busy toddler named Nathan and baby girl, Lucy.
Connect with Jessica:
Announcements & Reminders
- If you haven’t already done so, please join me in The Productive Woman Community Facebook group, a private group where we can meet up and interact more—directly ask questions, share info, insights, and encouragement—basically talk about productivity. Find the group on FB and click the “join” button. I’d love to see you there.
- Have you visited the Resources or Work with Me pages of the website? On the Resources page you'll find links to various free downloadable worksheets and resources I've created or shared on previous episodes, as well as links to other podcasts I've been a guest on. The Work with Me page shares info about The Productive Woman Mastermind groups. Check it out, and let me know how I can help you.
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