Kathy: [00:00:00] hi, I’m Kathy rushing host of the podcast committed the entrepreneur marriage. If your middle name is restless and you identify with words like innovator, dreamer, changemaker, creative, independent, or you are married to an entrepreneur or having helped you. You’re both entrepreneurs. This podcast is for you.
The entrepreneurial journey can be a little wild at times like uncharted territory. Join me as I talk with others who are at various stages of the entrepreneurial process, we’ll explore the wisdom and insights they have gained while navigating the ups and downs of the entrepreneur journey. You’ll discover that there are many couples who have found ways to thrive in both their marriage and business.
Strong-willed competitive people thrive for 33 years of marriage by wrestling. Of course. Yep. That’s what they said. Nathan and Diane Baxter joined me today. And boy, did we cover a lot of ground? Their career paths seemed to be an unlikely fit when they fell in love. But as luck would have it, they found they had more in common than they realized.
Nathan started his career. As a youth pastor then began to focus more on life coaching. After 20 plus years on a church staff, he launched lead self lead others, a coaching and consulting business. Diane has successfully built a Mary Kay business. Fueled by her passion to empower women, to achieve their potential, their shared passion for life coaching culminated in the recent release of their book, real coaching success, what it takes to be an excellent coach and build your business, Diane and Nathan share insights about how they found ways to stop fighting against each other and get on the same team.
They talk about communication, scheduling, parenting, personality differences, and finding a rhythm when working from home, which they’ve done for at least 20 years now, many thanks to our mutual friend, Mike Lumis for introducing us
Nathan and Diane Baxter. I want to welcome you to committed the entrepreneur marriage podcast. How are you guys doing today?
Nathan: [00:02:56] We are great because this is the last thing on our agenda, and then we’re free for the weekend. Whew.
Kathy: [00:03:04] It’s one thing that makes Friday different, I guess, you know, anymore. It’s like, you know, people have joked about buying underwear again, that has the days of the week, just so that we know the days of the week, because one just rolls it to the other.
Awesome. Well, I I’d love to get a little snapshot of the Baxter family. How long have you guys been married?
Dianne: [00:03:27] 33 years.
Kathy: [00:03:29] Awesome. That is fantastic. And do you guys know many couples that are in your cohort?
Nathan: [00:03:38] We know one or two, not many, most of our friends are on their second or third marriage, but we do have. Two that are still married. So we’re only been married too long.
Kathy: [00:03:58] Exactly. We don’t want to start over and tell us about your family.
Dianne: [00:04:07] So we have two grown boys. Our oldest is Will and he is married to Emily and they have a one and a half year old daughter Hadley. Our granddaughter had any Jane Baxter and then our other son, Connor is married to Allie and they have three-year-old little girl, Ramsey, Ramsey, snow Baxter, boy gunner, cov Baxter, and both boys and their wives are expecting babies.
This coming April and July. So we have brand maybe number four, number five on the way.
Kathy: [00:04:43] Oh, that’s, that is a wonderful place in life. And did they live nearby?
Dianne: [00:04:49] So we’re in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and they both live in the Dallas and Frisco area. So basically four hour drive from us, which is not bad.
Kathy: [00:04:57] Okay. Yeah, it could be worse.
Have you guys been able to see them during the pandemic?
Nathan: [00:05:03] We have we rarely go a month to six weeks without going to Dallas. I’ve got business down there. We love staying with them so they can go out to dinner and we can hang out with the grandkids. We’ve had them here during COVID they’ve actually come up and just worked out of the house with us.
So we’re very, very fortunate that it’s only four hours.
Kathy: [00:05:26] That’s so great. And I think you said y’all live in Tulsa, right? How long have you lived there?
Nathan: [00:05:33] We are lifelong Tulsan we both graduated from high school here. We went to college, just down the street an hour. And then most of our career has been in Tulsa.
We had an eight year stint in Kansas city, but for the most of the time we’d been right here. So we love our little town and it’s been, we know just about everybody. I think
Kathy: [00:05:54] that’s great to have that long-term community. Yes. So I’d like to shift to a couple of questions that I have found a fun way to get to know you both.
If your team, I’m sorry, if your marriage was a team sport, what would it be?
Dianne: [00:06:14] So my answer is wrestling. Goodness. I know people wouldn’t expect that probably, but both boys wrestled Connor went even wrestled into college. I love it. It is a team sport that. You know, arrest or gets out on a mat against his opponent.
That’s the same way. It’s a level playing field. And if he wins, then he contributes points to the team. So in my head, my coaching style is very different than Nathan’s, but it’s just as important and whatever I do contributes to our team results, just like when he coaches in a very different style that still contributes to the team results.
So that’s kind of how I saw that. Yeah.
Kathy: [00:06:59] Okay, great. How about you, Nathan?
Nathan: [00:07:03] Well I pick the same sport
Kathy: [00:07:07] y’all really are on the same team?
Nathan: [00:07:09] For very different reasons. I picked wrestling because it reminds me of our marriage in the past where we, we really did wrestle against each other. I wouldn’t say we had rough years, but we had ongoing tension throughout our marriage.
And we finally, we realized we’re wrestling against each other instead of doing something together. So we really started working on how can we not compete against each other. And so when I think a restaurant, I know that those guys are out there trying to pin the other one in, which is exactly what I was trying to do in the early years.
Now. It’s kinda more like, she’s my sparring partner. So we’re different. We push on each other, but we sharpen each other. We make each other better, but we’ve had to learn
Dianne: [00:08:00] to appreciate each other’s differences.
Kathy: [00:08:03] Yeah. What, was there something that was pivotal in that realization?
Nathan: [00:08:12] I wouldn’t say it wasn’t any one thing that I, I do remember.
Both of us saying we’re tired of getting tired of disagreeing. It’s getting old and it can be anything from how to discipline to sandwich. I mean, we were just so different. We, we rarely get on the same page. So we’ve started going to marriage conferences, marriage blocks. Our pastor helped us and we really worked hard at communication.
And that’s when the ship got turned in the right direction. Yeah.
Kathy: [00:08:54] When our daughter was little, I often tell this story, I would read very tales to her. And how did they end up. And they lived happily ever after. And I would look at her and say, sweetie, that’s not really how it goes. They worked very hard at their relationship.
And it sounds like you guys were insightful enough to recognize that along the way, part of how you got to 33 years, what is a book or a person that has affirmed your approach to life, including marriage, parenting, friendship, all of life. So there might be more than one book or person.
Nathan: [00:09:41] Yeah. Two people for me.
One guy named Dave Jewitt you’re one degree.com is his ministry, but Dave, in my mid twenties Took me out for breakfast. I thought I was in trouble cause I was a youth pastor, youth, pastors are always,
but he just took me out to breakfast. I wanted to be a friend he’s 15 years older than I am. So I, I just knew I’d done something wrong. But and, and we tell the story in the book that he just wanted to be my friend. And so that was 30, some years ago, we still meet we, we chatted this Monday, we’re reading a book together.
And so he was very influential in self-leadership spiritual vitality interviewing for jobs, marriage, birthing children. He’s been there through my entire life. And then our pastor brother Paul was very helpful in our marriage because he, he was very straightforward with us. He recognized our, our, our radical differences.
And matter of fact, before he would marry us, he made us work through some very tough issues or if he wasn’t gonna do the ceremony. And we, we had a couple times there where we didn’t think we were going to come up with the right answer. So and then after that, he was just such a great mentor to our marriage after that.
Dianne: [00:11:07] Okay. So I’m going to pick two, two first is I’m going to say my parents. My mom and dad are fortunately still with us. 63 years. Marriage strong has been a constant role model there. And then they affirm us all the time have through the years, whether it be our parenting encouraging us when we would want to step out and do new things, start this company.
They were always our number one support, and I’ve always affirmed us. And then kind of thinking back, like you were saying, honey, early as young marrieds, we start a small group Bible study. And to this day, two of the girls from that study. So we have been walking like probably 30 years, my two best friends, Donna and Lisa, we call each other, the Yas, we all live here and we make time for each other.
And we, you know, we spur one another on and how we are doing as wise parenting now, grandparenting and affirming each other to, you know, keep the high road, keep the highs standards that we live by biblical principles. And so to have those two women in my life is very special.
Kathy: [00:12:26] That’s very rich too, to have both of you to have friendships that are that long lasting, what three words would you use to describe your partner?
You’ve said Nathan, that. Y’all are so different. So how do you describe each other?
Nathan: [00:12:46] For me independent is one of the qualities I fell in love with and instill in love with that. She has her own life from ideas, her own goals, or, you know, and then we have our, our, our mutual, but I really like an independent person.
And Diane for sure is that she’s extremely kind. And it doesn’t matter who she’s in front of. She’s going to be kind to that person. And then she’s little wild, little fun, little crazy. Everybody thinks I’m the nut job, but what they don’t know is half the time, it’s her idea, or so she, she, she loves spontaneity.
She asked, she loves saying, why not. She’ll try just about anything I throw at her and that’s, that’s a lot of fun.
Kathy: [00:13:35] And is that one of the areas where you guys are different?
Nathan: [00:13:38] Well, I’m pretty sponsoring. She was well, and cruisey I’ll answer that
Dianne: [00:13:44] because it goes into my career.
Nathan: [00:13:46] There. We definitely are different.
There’s no question.
Dianne: [00:13:49] And so for example, a word to describe Nathan would be organized. Disorganized are totally different. His is always clean by the end of each work day. My piles just keep piling around the house. I am a moving desk. I move around the office around
Kathy: [00:14:11] the house
Nathan: [00:14:11] to work in this new house. We have, she had a wonderful office that she never used.
She just used the kitchen. I don’t know why.
Dianne: [00:14:21] Well, or I’ll yeah, I’ll change up where I sit with a computer and a phone. And then Nathan, I also would describe him as strategic. He’s just strategic in anything he approaches. He can take something chaotic and come up with a game plan and a step-by-step. I mean, that’s why he’s good with the executives that he coaches and things.
So it was very strategic. And then I thought of the word creative too, because he thinks about creative ways. He does not want to do something just because that’s how it’s done. Maybe there’s a different way to do it. Maybe there’s a better way to do what if we did this? What if we thought about that? You know, and he just gets creative.
Kathy: [00:15:09] I think that’s. A fundamental characteristic of many entrepreneurs. And maybe you didn’t even realize that early on Nathan, but we’ll get into that a little more. Well, thanks for sharing those things. I think it helps us just get a picture of you a little more before we now dive into your story a little bit.
And I’d like to hear a little of your back story. You guys have been married 33 years. And so when you were first married, what type of work were you each pursuing at the time?
Dianne: [00:15:44] So for me, my degree was in marketing and I worked at a company in your marketing department. I thought I was going to always work and be a corporate career woman.
I loved wearing the suits, the briefcase, the heels. I was going to be the corporate career woman. So that’s what I was doing.
Kathy: [00:16:05] And what were you doing, Nathan?
Nathan: [00:16:06] Will you also,
okay, so this is one of the things I thought was cool
Dianne: [00:16:13] about it. So, yeah. So when we want to start a family, I knew I wanted to be home to raise children. So I started in the entrepreneurial piece was I joined Mary Kay cosmetics. You know, I have built a, I’ve been doing that for 30 years now. So I’ve run 13 career cars.
I’ve been, you know, successful in that maybe not the career path with that. So that was something I got to build on my own and really empower women in that
Nathan: [00:16:43] respect. But you also did it in college. I did. Cause I remember when I first met you, you were telling me about it. I didn’t college.
Dianne: [00:16:52] And then I stopped doing it cause I was going to do the corporate thing and then I thought, Hmm, I want to have babies and I want to be home with babies.
So I’ll go back and do
Kathy: [00:17:01] Mary Kay again. Awesome. So Nathan, you had a little bit of an, a picture of what you were getting into. What about you, Nathan? What were you doing when you guys first
Nathan: [00:17:13] married? Well, I was going into the ministry. I was a business major, but I, soon as I got through college, I was going to head to seminary in Texas.
And so when we fell in love, that was a real problem because she was, she really wanted to go corporate. She wanted to work anywhere in the world. She and her you entertained Japan for awhile. I thought our whole relationship was done and I was headed to seminary. Non-negotiable so when we start dating, I wanted to expose her to the life of ministry.
So I would take her around the state where I would speak and let her just get exposed to that type of world. And it, it was received with mixed. Emotions. She was not too convinced. She wanted to marry someone in the ministry. And plus she wasn’t interested in going to seminary with me. So we, we butted heads pretty quickly.
Kathy: [00:18:10] Yeah, it makes sense. Now why the man that married to saw these very different career paths and 33 years ago, it was a little heart. I don’t know that it was harder, but there weren’t as many role models of women. What they career, especially married to a man in ministry. That’s right.
Nathan: [00:18:37] Yeah. We were, we had a lot of, we had some challenges over the years with the, the, what they thought Diane should be like.
And she wasn’t that at all as a pastor’s
Dianne: [00:18:49] wife,
Nathan: [00:18:51] as woman.
Kathy: [00:18:54] So, how did you guys navigate that?
Nathan: [00:18:58] Oh, we said, thank you. And just kept turning around and kept going. I mean, we’re, we’re so independent that we, we were very comfortable in what we were doing. And leadership is all about criticism. Well, understood.
Kathy: [00:19:14] Yeah. Back up to before you got married and you’re heading to seminary and she wants to go to Japan as an option. How did you negotiate?
Nathan: [00:19:25] Arguments, tears distraught, because we were in love, but we neither, one of us wanted to cheat the other person of their dreams. And so it was just a real tough. No, we’re trying to be polite and considerate, but we wanted to get married, but I was going to love she was going right.
Dianne: [00:19:49] I, yeah, in real life, through prayer for me, I realized, okay, I don’t want to go to Japan. I’ll find a job here in Tulsa. Cause you had started as a youth pastor and we’re going to do seminary St Paul’s and do seminary OBU through Southwestern Baptist seminary. That scenario, we figured out a way for you to work in false and me to work in Tulsa, you still start your seminary and that’s how we could start our life.
Nathan: [00:20:19] And we both felt good about that.
Kathy: [00:20:23] So you found a way to really get to a win-win it sounds like. Yes. Well,
Nathan: [00:20:29] what happened was is the seminary opened up an extension program. And so that immediately became the solution. We saw a way out at that point, but up until then a little rough.
Kathy: [00:20:46] And you all have just released a book called real coaching success, what it takes to be an excellent coach and build your business. So clearly your career has evolved. Nathan, tell us a little bit about how did you begin to see that you were an entrepreneur?
Nathan: [00:21:11] Yeah, I think I’ve always been an entrepreneur.
If you look back over my track record as a pastor, some of the things I tried were, high-risk no guarantee. You know, I drove some of my, the guys in my church nuts. But I didn’t know what to call it back then. I just thought I was being resourceful, but definitely an entrepreneurial bent, but I was in ministry for 28 years, full time and somewhere.
You know, in a reflective moment, I, I admitted to myself, I don’t think I can do this another 20 years. There’s so much about church work that I did not enjoy. And I just couldn’t see myself doing it with integrity for another 20 years. And that began a two year conversation with Diane and I about, so what would you do?
And I had no answers, but I just knew it wasn’t this. And so where we landed on is I really want to have conversations with leaders. That’s what I enjoy the most to try and encourage them, guide them, challenged them, be a confidant, trusted advisor. So we said, okay, how can we do that? And actually pay the rent, you know, do people pay for this?
Or, and so over the two year period, we just started experimenting. We go into that in the book where it was just something I did for free. It was never meant to make money. It’s just something I was passionate about. And then we ended up saying, well, maybe we can charge for this. And then the rest was history after that.
So we launched the business and within three or four months, we had generated enough revenue that we felt comfortable resigning. So we went to the elders, we explained the whole story and they were, they were our number one fans. They even gave us four months paid salary and insurance to help me launch the business.
Kathy: [00:23:15] Very gracious.
Nathan: [00:23:17] We were, we were floored. We were very generous, so we stayed in the church another year just to make sure that there weren’t any miscommunications or misunderstandings and we wanted to be a support to them. The business really took off. Once we know once we got serious about it, it just flourished.
And we haven’t looked back since.
Kathy: [00:23:40] Yeah. Again, that affirmation so important. When you find what really lights up your your purpose and get up every day. You talk a little bit in the book about starting some coaching. You met with a lot of different people. It sounded like, but did not charge them and coming from a ministry background where most, well, let me back up, Mark and I started in ministry also and his dad was in ministry and there’s kind of a mindset of poverty.
Yeah. It’s not okay to make money now. Not all denominations are that way, but that was our experience was we, we wanted to serve and help people. So I would love to hear a little more about what that transition was like for you guys to begin to affirm your own worth in terms of I can make a living doing this.
I can charge people. Tell us a little bit about that journey.
Nathan: [00:24:52] Well, did you read the whole story? Cause it’s kind of humorous in the book, you know, so it was a big issue for me. You know, I think of the money changers in the temple and Jesus got after him pretty strong cause they were making a buck.
And I thought there, you just cannot charge people when you’re using your gifts. That doesn’t, that doesn’t mesh with me theologically, but I was doing it because I was, I loved it. I was good at it. People were getting helped. So I just kept doing it on the side until an incident happened where a man said, I’m going to pay you, pay for your services.
I told him why I don’t charge, but he gave me an envelope and he insisted that I, that I take it. And it was a check for 500 bucks. And that, that blew my mind. And, but what he told me, he said, look, guys like me, Hey guys, like you, and we can’t find enough good ones. You’re good at what you do. You’re fair gave me sound advice and you probably made me a lot of money.
So there’s nothing wrong with charging people, a fair price for a fair product or a fair service. And that, that something happened in my mind. It clicked because he said I’m going to hire somebody so might as well be you. Right. And that’s when I began to understand the market and the, the industry that I was approaching and that, you know, you can be fair.
You can have integrity and maintain your Christian values. But that was one incident where I like flipped the switch for me. Yeah.
Kathy: [00:26:31] Have you helped walk some other people either of you? Cause you’re both coaches also. Can you think of any stories where you’ve maybe walked someone else through that struggle?
Nathan: [00:26:44] Yeah. We’ve got nine on our coaching staff and five of us are former pastors or current pastors. So I’ve had to have this exact conversation with them and I, I get it and I respect it. And I’ve had to help them understand that there is a market for this. But, but I, I get their dilemma. It took me a while to get, get over it.
Kathy: [00:27:09] Oh, that was going to be my next question was, do you ever still struggle with it? Awesome. How do you make space and support each other? You, you mentioned earlier wrestling being an example of a sport that might represent your marriage. And you started this company. How many years ago?
Nathan: [00:27:36] Lead self lead.
Others was formed? No, that’s when we launched it, the company started two years prior to us resigning the church. So it’s been out making money for 12 years, but we went out on our own in 2010, January. Okay. Okay.
Kathy: [00:27:56] And tell us a little bit about Diane, how you became involved as a coach. Also, you said you have a very different coaching style than Nathan and you are very successful with Mary Kay.
So I’d love to hear a little bit more about how you became a coach.
Dianne: [00:28:18] For me, I think it just evolved through my Mary Kay business as women would be a part of my Mary Kay organization. And there would be those who would say, I want to really feel a full time, Mary Kay business, cause most do it part time, but when they voice, they want to build it more so to become a full time like how I have run it.
It took some coaching I needed to really teach them. What they need to do what that looks like it because it changes what their daily, you know, intentionalities look like. And how do we do this and build your business while you’re still a mother, a wife bring the family long, you know, not Amy, Nate. So I just really began coaching my key players, my key people through the years.
So that’s where I spent most of my time. And so that’s very relational. My style is very relational. I really, I really want to know her. I want to know her dynamics in her home with husband, with kids, because all those things are pulling on her. As she’s also trying to add this new piece to her daily life of building a Mary Kay business and the angst that can go with that.
And so, and I love when I love. Empowering women. That’s a heart beat for me too. It wasn’t even ministry. I ran the women’s Bible studies or, you know, I love encouraging women
Kathy: [00:29:53] on their roles. So were you, did you find yourself coaching even before Nathan was, or did this develop concurrently or,
Nathan: [00:30:05] well, she’s been coaching almost from day one, in my opinion, almost from day one.
We just didn’t call it that, but now that I really studied what coaching is and I, I take that framework and I looked at what she did, that’s exactly what she was doing. I was doing it in church, inside the church, but with my leaders and my staff that worked for me of always trying to develop them, always try and challenge them.
So we just didn’t find the coaching word.
Dianne: [00:30:35] And so I was always coaching. What would call it volunteers? I mean, I’m coaching women in Mary Kay that, you know, sometimes you were coaching people, they were employed and paid to the other hand, listen to you. They had the
mine down, they, you know, it’s their own business. And
Kathy: [00:30:58] so there’s a lot more motivation and it’s certainly easier to coach someone that wants coaching. Right.
Nathan: [00:31:09] I put that in the book as well. So much staff member said, why do we have to meet with you so much? I don’t want to do this.
Kathy: [00:31:20] Yeah. I noticed in the book that you use the Berkman as a way to have a clearer picture of kind of what How a person is wired. Did you look at other profiles or how did you come to use the Berkman?
Nathan: [00:31:37] Well, I was familiar with Taylor Johnson desk StrengthFinders, and a few others. And I, I didn’t pay that much attention to assessments, to be honest with you.
But my pastor, when I was an executive pastor came to me and he said, you really need to grow professionally. You’ve got some blind spots. And so he hired a coach to work with me and the coach took me through the Birkman. So I was three pages in and a very serious insight came through the pages of the Birkman about my personality and it, it unlocked a lot of relationships for me.
And so I think I flew down three months later to Houston got certified myself. It was that much of a life-changing experience. And so then I just started, you know, anybody that worked for me, but we were going to interview if I was discipling someone, I would take them through the Berkman experience.
And then it’s just stuck with me all these years. Do
Kathy: [00:32:41] you use it also Diane, or do you have a different tool that you use?
Dianne: [00:32:47] I don’t have different tool if I use an assessment. It is the Birkman. Okay.
Kathy: [00:32:52] Hi, I’m curious how it impacted your relationship with each other. When did you take it at the same time?
Diane. When they took it back from
Dianne: [00:33:03] being certified, when we went to Houston and get certified, I was like his first Guinea pig. Hey, let me have you take it and let’s talk about you and That was good and bad. I mean, you tried to coach me. Yeah.
Kathy: [00:33:17] It’s in dental work,
Nathan: [00:33:21] better sensor right here. But we seriously, that tool took our marriage in quantum leaps because you can mix the
Dianne: [00:33:32] reports. So it helped me understand him better and it helped him to understand me better. So when we did this other column mixed reports, that was
Nathan: [00:33:40] well is what I tell couples now. Cause we’ve done hundreds of couples.
This will help you have a guided conversation with someone you’re very close to talking about topics you normally don’t talk about, but that it’s all embedded in our relationship. We just don’t know it. So the Birkman isolates different components of your personality and it explains to you in detail.
And so you have slower conversations, understanding conversations about the person you ask questions, you never asked before. And so your, your understand of each other and just for us anyway, it grew quantum leaps
Kathy: [00:34:24] can either of you think of an example of something that was a bit of an aha moment for either of you.
Nathan: [00:34:35] I think you should tell her about when you, when one of your very intense needs was to be alone and that kind of rocked your world. Yeah.
Dianne: [00:34:45] So I think of myself as a people person, no, I can walk into a room and I don’t know anybody, and I’m going to go around and introduce myself and meet people and converse that the Birkman explained.
And it’s like, it’s something that I knew, but I didn’t know how to put words to it that. When I’m going to be around a lot of people for length of time, I actually need to have alone time prior to that, and then post that or else I get really exhausted. And then I get irritable, you know, so I, I really had to learn how to make that kind of time for myself and not feel guilty, even expressing I need some alone time, even when we vacation.
We now know my, one of my favorite things is to have one full day to just go walks, shop coffee, shop, you know, I just want a day to myself to re contemplate X, go around and just explore the town. It’s fun. And then I want as much of that time with him, but I, I need that.
Kathy: [00:35:58] Well, and that’s so important to have that awareness.
What, this is a hypothetical question, but what difference do you think that would have made at the beginning when you knew that you were very different? What would it have meant to your relationship to have those insights earlier? I
Nathan: [00:36:21] can’t even imagine. I can’t even imagine if, if we could show your reports, you would just visually you can see these two people.
Wow. There’s no way they could work together or live together or be together. Here’s just so, so
Dianne: [00:36:41] different. Here’s a great example of early in our marriage. He’s a youth pastor I’m working my corporate job. I would get up and leave the house at seven in the morning. He hadn’t left yet, for sure. So I would always leave before he left for work.
And then I would get home. What, five 36. Make a quick dinner. And then I’m always at the church, you know, youth groups, sleep overs, all the youth stuff. I’m trying to be at anything and everything. As the youth, pastors, wife, and one Sunday morning, he got up and I said, I’m not going to church. And he’s like, what?
Kathy: [00:37:13] go,
Nathan: [00:37:14] I’m not going, I’m tired.
Kathy: [00:37:16] I don’t want to
Dianne: [00:37:17] talk to anybody I’m done. I just do it that it, and I didn’t know either, but I just knew that’s how I was feeling. But had I known this about myself, we both would’ve known for me not to be at every time the church doors were open. I did not need to be there, but I was
Kathy: [00:37:35] that works for some people.
It didn’t work for you and it didn’t make you a less spiritual person.
Nathan: [00:37:44] Yeah. But I think I said the opposite at first. Okay.
Kathy: [00:37:56] And then she puts you right back in your place, huh?
Nathan: [00:38:02] No, she just, she didn’t go to church. So after four weeks she could only have the flu so long. No, Diane is. And you went to bed and he said you are a fool. Yeah. So finally I went to get some counsel, told him my passion, his whole story and what her problems were and, you know, she needs help.
I don’t know how to help her. And I was done. He just said, you are the dumbest man on the planet. That was his exact words. You’re the dumbest man on planet earth. And so, yeah, I forgot about that.
Dianne: [00:38:36] We’ve hired you, not your wife. She does not need to be there every time. Something’s going on with the youth or church?
Kathy: [00:38:43] a smart man. I wish there were more pastors like that. Oh my goodness. Well, you’re your work now with individuals is transformative. I know for many people and you’ve addressed that you, you do work with some couples. So tell me a little bit, or let’s talk about, is there a role for coaching couples in their relationship and what does that look like?
Nathan: [00:39:11] For sure, like I said, we’ve at a minimum probably have coached a hundred couples. I’m 58 in my mid sixties. That’s probably what I’m going to focus on is coaching couples using this Berkman tool? Right now I’ve got so much stuff going on in consulting and with executives. I don’t want to make space for that, but that’s because it’s so much fun.
No, when you do a workshop, you’ve got 10 couples out there, poking each other in the ribs and they’re laughing, but then they’re, they’re crying and you’re watching their, their marriage get healed or enhanced or repaired. That’s very, very rewarding work.
Dianne: [00:39:51] And in the meantime, we might try that podcast.
Nathan: [00:39:54] Yeah. Yeah. We’re thinking about the podcast to kind of demonstrate our differences, but also share how we’ve been able to make it work. You know, we’d been kicking around the idea.
Kathy: [00:40:06] Cool. Yeah. So when you’ve worked with couples, it sounds like it’s maybe more of a workshop
Nathan: [00:40:13] setting all the above the, my favorite way to do it is privately.
And because you get so much more story conversation, your, your impact on their relationship is so much more powerful. So the way I do it is I work with. One spouse. They helped him really understand themselves. And then independently, I work with the other spouse, same thing. And when I feel like they’re ready, I bring them together and we swap notebooks.
And then I began to say, I want you to ask him about this, and I want you to ask her about that. And I kind of know where to point them at, and I guide their conversation around those areas. And it’s, it’s, it’s very powerful to watch people who love each other finally have some tools to kind of get some breakthroughs.
Kathy: [00:41:08] Yeah. And how do you assess, like, let’s say a couple approaches you, how do you assess whether they need counseling or coaching?
Nathan: [00:41:22] Counseling the couples that I have sent to counseling or ones that are stuck and they’re still stuck in the past and they can’t get unstuck. They can’t, unlive something. And a counselor needs to do the work to go in and do the repair. My, my role, it comes into place where they’re not stuck, but they just need some guidance on how to make it even better.
They need to set new goals. Think about the future. Coaching really is reserved for a future thought versus repaired of the past. So we always at leads help lead others. We always have three or four counselors that we’re in relationship with so that when we sense that they’re not ready for coaching, we get them to see a therapist.
Kathy: [00:42:16] That’s a good clarification. Have you guys always worked from home?
Dianne: [00:42:26] Well, I mean, once you start the company we have, once he left the ministry to S you know, start late, because I’ve always worked from home with my business.
Nathan: [00:42:38] Yeah. Let’s just say it was a little crowded at first.
Kathy: [00:42:43] So what were some strategies that you guys found worked for? You may not work for everyone, but what, what are some things you did to create space for each other and honor your workspace?
Nathan: [00:42:57] Well, the one thing we had to get down is we had to communicate schedules. Yes. Who’s cooking. Who’s going to the ballgame. Who’s getting groceries. Who’s cleaning. Who’s got a PO I mean, We got very aggressive on would literally go into a coffee shop, pulling our calendars, and we would go day by day, communicating who’s got, you know, giving out different assignments and negotiating assignments.
That’s the first thing I would tell a couple is if you’re having children trying to run businesses, you better become an expert communicator on schedules, or you will back into each other very, very quickly like we did, or
Kathy: [00:43:43] everybody goes hungry. I thought you were cooking dinner. No, I thought you were cooking dinner.
Dianne: [00:43:52] My other thought too is just some strategies to deciding when the office is closed. Know, are you on right now? Or are you off, you know, and you have to be able to just kind of mentally shut off work. Now it’s just family time
Kathy: [00:44:12] right now. Right? Or can I interrupt and come to you with this question?
Nathan: [00:44:20] Awesome. Yeah, it’s it’s first of all, I recommend it. I love working with my mate in the same house, but it is not for the faint of heart. You, you have to really take your partnership to the next level, unless you just want to fight all the time or never talk.
Kathy: [00:44:40] Yeah. The store close means I don’t want to talk to you, but honey, it’s been closed for a month.
Well, and I think the challenge of the time we’re living in is that so many couples are finding themselves at home and that was never their desire or their, maybe there’s some cracks in the relationship already. And this. 24 seven with no way to leave and not no way. I mean, we have a few ways to leave, but some of the ways that we would just get our own space or time with friends, a lot of that is just close to us right now.
Nathan: [00:45:28] you know, one of the things that made our little story a little more challenging is pre COVID. The nature of our businesses, both Diane and mine is people come through our front door. So we have people in our house every single day. Yeah. Our neighbors all think we’re doing something weird too.
So she would have women sometimes up to six women come over for, to deal with skincare or makeup issues. I’ve got a client over here on the other side of the house, and I may have five in one day. And she’s got customers coming in and out of the door. So in addition to working together, we also have to manage, we got visitors in our house.
Yeah. Yeah. And are you going to be over there? You’re going to be over here because you can’t fight in front of your customers. Not cool.
Kathy: [00:46:24] What are some things that you guys have done over the years to keep the fun friendship and intimacy in your marriage?
Nathan: [00:46:36] Well
Dianne: [00:46:37] we love to travel. That’s what first comes to my mind, you know, in the early years, that meant going when my in-laws lived in angel fire, New Mexico, where we could stay at their beautiful home free, you know, I mean, it looks different through the years, but now, because we both work from home, we’re in the home to travel.
We love because you get out of your world, you get out of the house. Sometimes we call them a workation somewhere else, but we agree that we’re going to be there for five days. Two of those five days were working. Yeah. The three are going to be play. And sometimes it’s nothing but pure vacation, but we’re empty nesters.
Of course. So that opened that some time. So for example, for me a year ago, I chose to start golf because Nathan loves golf and I thought I’m going to pick up golf. So I took lessons and I love the game. It’s competitive. We love position things, but now that’s a new dimension for us. We love to now travel and take our golf clubs and play beautiful golf courses all over.
But that’s a new thing for us and he’s thrilled, you know, he always wanted to do that. And now that’s one more thing we’re doing together. We cooked. We love COVID. I think a lot of people were all probably cooking even more. So we’ve always loved that. We love crank and the music cook together, dance in the kitchen.
Kathy: [00:48:11] What time is dinner?
Nathan: [00:48:12] Pre COVID. One of the things that we did and looking back was a smart thing we did at the beginning for survival, but we have faithfully met at least once a week formally to review goals, review schedules, planning, but we have a formal planning time and we still do that. Now we do it just about every day in the mornings, but to communicate well, we had to create space.
Where we could just be together and over an hours time, maybe you might get 10 to 15 minutes of really solid communication. And the rest of time you just stumbling around. But we got into a rhythm of always meeting at least once a week in a formal communication session. And that was, I, you know, I, and all of our family knows about it.
So they, they joke about, you know, you guys have your business meeting, that’s what we call it. And then the, what we’re doing today is like she said, we agree at what time we close the office. And that means both of us are off together. Otherwise I just work all the time or think about work all the
Dianne: [00:49:23] time.
Sure. Picking your cell phone, you know, no cell phones at the table, dinner table, things like that, you know, just, you can do that social media stuff. And it, it really interrupt quality family time.
Kathy: [00:49:40] Right, right. It’s gotten to be a bad habit. I think for a lot of people, like put their cell phone away and they really think they can’t survive without it.
Nathan: [00:49:53] Well, we, we actually negotiate. So we like, if we go out by the fire or on the front porch, we’ll say, are we doing cell phones or no cell phones. Okay. So we, we, we say it out loud and if one of us starts getting on their phone, we call each other out and say, are we, we didn’t cell phones are not doing cell phones.
And we just say it. Or if she needs to have her cell phone and it’s supposed to be no cell phone time, she’ll say, Hey, look, I’m expecting a call or I need to text my mom, but she’ll let me know. She just, not over there doing something, but she’ll communicate that to me. And that makes it so much easier.
Kathy: [00:50:33] Yeah. I hear a pattern that’s evolved over the years of being very respectful of each other and not assuming anything, you know, by verbalizing things, saying it out loud, we, we can have a much clearer understanding, no room for wondering. Yeah. Have you guys been able to travel at all since COVID? I know you said you go down to Dallas area, is that the extent or,
Nathan: [00:51:07] Oh
Kathy: [00:51:07] wow.
Nathan: [00:51:11] We did. We did. We, we travel every other month. That’s our with them. Because we, we go stir crazy working in living from the same four walls and our, our, we have learned that our edge and our impact. Diminishes significantly if we don’t travel about every other month, sometimes three months, you know, COVID threw a wrench in that, but yeah, we just can’t work from home.
I think it’s important to get out of your space, even if you have to work, just go work somewhere else. So we, we stayed true to COVID up until three weeks ago, we finally went to Cabo for a week.
Kathy: [00:51:55] Fantastic. And have you done your coaching online then? Or do you do any in-person or
Nathan: [00:52:02] a hundred percent Zim? I say that I’ve got three guys that are coming over, but a lot of my businesses across the United States anyway.
Okay. So. We’re we’re pretty zoomed up at the moment.
Kathy: [00:52:19] It gets old too. Doesn’t it? So thank you very much for accommodating this, you know, one more virtual meeting, but I sure have enjoyed visiting with you guys. And before we wrap up today, is there anything we haven’t covered that you would like to add?
Nathan: [00:52:39] You know, I would say of course I’m thinking of my two guys who are new in their marriage. You want me to go first? Okay. What I was thinking is I just, you know, as parents, she kind of be, have to be careful with your words, because if you say too much, they don’t hear anything. So you kind of get strategic there.
One of the things that I keep the positive to my guys is marriage is everything that you put into it. So keep investing in your marriage. I keep preaching that to them, invest in your wife. And it will pay off because someday you’re going to be on a front porch, like me, your dad. And you want to actually like the person sitting beside you and that’s not going to happen.
If you don’t consistently invest it, it pays, I think, long marriage, not everybody unfortunately has been able to have one, but the friendship we have is truly, it’s the richest thing I own. I think it’s, it’s just a great friendship and it’s all those years of arguing and not talking to each other and crying
Kathy: [00:53:50] button heads.
Well, I might,
Nathan: [00:54:01] right. Yeah. So that’s great. That’s so great. What were you going to say?
Dianne: [00:54:07] Well, I was thinking more of legacy. What you do now, when you’re raising kids, you know, your kids really are watching and they’re really picking up on how you handle yourself, how you do honor one, another respectful toward each other.
And then there’s very intentional parenting course that we do all the while. So, you know, now it’s, it is so much on seeing our boys who are above very strong leaders, very entrepreneurial minded.
And it’s just fun to see them loving them, loving their wives and being intentional in their own marriages and intentional in their parenting.
And it’s just a, it’s a sweet, sweet season for sure. Now just you, you kind of see like, Oh wow. They did, they did catch on some of those things that we worked hard to implement and train and lead by example. And they’re leading themselves well, Yeah, they’re leading themselves. Well, as well as their wives.
Kathy: [00:55:11] Great to hear. Do you, and looking back, did you have a lot of intentional conversations with the boys about relationships?
Dianne: [00:55:22] Well, life in general, cleaning relationships
Nathan: [00:55:25] are one of the things that I was pretty committed to was I didn’t want the guys to see me one way outside the walls and one way inside.
So I worked really hard at being very authentic, even in my, when I wasn’t looking so good. Yeah. Authenticity. And I think they both commented now that they’re older and actually have some good feedback. That’s one of the things that have been complimentary on Diane and I is that we, they have genuine parents.
And so. They would watch us maybe get upset with each other, but they would watch us repair it as well. Yeah, we didn’t, we didn’t hide things from the public world. Right. Do the same people don’t remember talking about being committed to that principle
Dianne: [00:56:16] and we would call family meetings. So what we call them when we really had something important, we needed to discuss as a family and want their input and wanted to have a conversation about important.
We would call a family meeting and it was kind of fun that as the boys became high schoolers and college age, they would come home and they would call a family meeting to really discuss, Hey mom and dad, we need to have a family meeting. We’re like, okay, what time? And where, when it’s usually in his office and you know that they have something heavy on their heart or very important, they really want the entire family to chime in on and price through.
And so we still have versions of that even now, as they’re married, that we, we engage as an entire family unit when there’s, when any couple have a big decision to make, they include all of us in that. And we have family communication regarding big decisions that kids have to make, which is really neat.
That starts we’re young and our home.
Kathy: [00:57:15] Yeah. Oh, I love that so much. There’s some things I learned that I’d like to have a do-over, but you know, you know, you don’t get a do-over, but we can learn in this way. Right? Well, thank you guys so much. And I look forward to talking to you again,
I don’t know about you, but I am encouraged by every interview I’ve done for this podcast. I love Nathan and Diane strategy of traveling every couple of months to break up the routine of working from home. I’m going to have to talk to Mr. Mark about that just as soon as we can travel again. Hey, if you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and give us a rating.
Share an episode with someone that you think would appreciate the topic. It all helps get the word out. Next up is a series of conversations that Mark and I recorded as we consider a business. This would be a first for us. So stay tuned. We’re learning a lot together. You’re building a life together. Make it a great one.
See you next time. .