Episode 62: What It Means to Be a Founder Family

February 7, 2022

WHAT WOULD IT FEEL LIKE TO FIND HARMONY between your ever demanding work life as you seek to take your business to the next level, and your even more demanding home life as you’re looking to raise leaders? 

A lot of entrepreneurs, who also have strong roots in their family, are expending so much energy trying to bridge that gap between these two separate worlds – business and family, when maybe that’s not the right way to go about it. You’re not a leader in two totally different arenas. By choosing both entrepreneurship and family, you are the leader of what we call a founder family. 

So today’s episode is really dedicated to helping you embrace this new identity, that’s going to bring you more purpose and profitability into your business and more peace into your home.

No more feeling like you’re split in two – we’re changing the way the game is done!


[2:25] More Harmonious World

When we first moved to Wisconsin, I was pregnant with our third child and I wanted to step into this new world. But coming to a new place without family close by or the village that we were used to having, our rhythms were changing very quickly. We went from having a structure in Boston to all of a sudden trying to figure it out as we go all day, every day. 

Soon, we found ourselves unconsciously adopting a new way of operating as a family. And up until then, we didn’t realize that we were being exposed to possibility. So, even though we wanted to keep structure around certain things, we actually started to bring our kids a little bit more into the fray of our business. We started to have conversations about our business around the dinner table. Before, those were things that we used to do behind closed doors when the kids would be with whoever was watching them. 

And we’re noticing that these conversations about our visions and dreams are being met with these cute little voices who chime in and ask questions or want to better understand it. We went from a world where we really were split in two to a more naturally harmonious world where we were a family business.

[5:51] Founder Family  

We are not just business owners who also have families; we are founder families. And it’s so very different.

A business owner who also has a family wears two different hats. They manage two different worlds, they feel split in two and they’re trying to find success in both of those spaces. That’s a tall order. You’re one person. 

What if we were designed this way? What if we had the faith and the trust that the mission placed on our heart to build a business and to lead our children weren’t two separate things? Coming into this life of entrepreneurship we have automatically chosen something different for our families. It’s not separate at all. 

So, instead of joining the circus as a juggler, trying to keep both of those balls up in the air, what if you took on the identity that’s been calling you all along – founder family? This is a group effort.

[8:42] Eliminate The Guilt 

As this came to me, I started thinking back on my childhood.

I was immersed in a family of entrepreneurs, people who were small business owners: my mom, my dad, my grandfather, some of my aunts and uncles. I was raised in and amidst founder families, founders of small businesses who proudly brought their children into their companies and that’s where many of my most valuable life lessons were learned.

So, what if we became proud of this identity and we owned it and we lived in it? What impact could that make for our children, for our family? How could it unify us and bring us that peace of spirit that we’ve been seeking and striving for? I can’t tell you how many entrepreneurs feel guilty because when they’re working, they feel like they should be with their kids and then whenever they are with their kids they feel stressed and guilty that they’re not working. This eliminates that. It doesn’t make all the problems go away, but it will help you find new solutions to the problems that you face.

[11:00] Embracing Being a Founder Family 

How to really embrace being a founder family instead of being a founder who has a family?

First, it’s no longer just about you. It’s no longer just about us as the entrepreneur, we are on this journey together as a family. Both you and me because we’re both in the same boat, but also us individually with our families. We’re not compartmentalizing those pieces of ourselves. We’re meeting them together with great purpose, with great vision. 

The second step is going from that compartmentalization and having to be two different versions of you split in two, to just being you – the leader that you’re called to be in both of those spaces.

[11:58] Family Behind the Mission

The third is family being behind the mission in whatever capacity that would look like for your family. What this means is that the vision becomes unified. It’s a family vision. It’s not mommy’s dream or daddy’s dream, it’s: how does this align with our family.

If this sounds like a struggle for you, I would challenge you and encourage you to do our True North workbook exercise as a family. It is literally the foundation of how we got to this place and why my family started to become so peace filled and purpose filled. If you haven’t done it yet, go to https://luminaryleadershipco.com/truenorth to download your free True North Workbook. 

[14:02] Lead in a Way You’d Be Proud for Your Children to Witness 

The fourth thing is to use this as an opportunity to really establish vision, values and priorities together. Are you creating goals, values and vision for your company on one side, but have different ones for your family? This is why you feel split in two and it doesn’t have to be that way. If you establish your goals and visions together, you will feel like a new person. Like the person you’re actually called to be in alignment with the people who matter most when you walk through this process. 

The fifth thing is to lead in your business in a way you’d be proud for your children to witness. Going back to my upbringing, I feel so blessed getting to witness what I did in my founder family. I learned so many lessons about integrity, ownership, generosity, kindness of spirit, compassion, love and just purpose by witnessing how they embodied it through the tool of their business.

So, lead in your business in a way you’d be proud for your children to witness because this is who you want to help them become.

[16:18] New Possibilities and Creating a Legacy 

Number six is new possibilities. When you become a founder family, when you embrace this new identity that you are called to, you open the door to possibilities that you cannot access when you are trying to do this alone. So, if you are craving that next level in business, if you are wishing that you were showing up better in your family, this is your ticket. 

Number seven is legacy creation. What if you went from being on the hamster wheel of just running a business into crafting a legacy? Something that is representative of your values, that’s representative of you. 

I don’t want to be remembered for my business. I would however really like to be remembered for how I lead across the board, in my family and in my business. It should be the same. 

[18:17] Leading with Confidence and Connecting with Other Founder Families 

Number eight is leading with confidence in your business and in your home. Do you ever feel like you’re floundering in both or one or the other? How would it feel to have a level of leadership where you had clarity and you were in sync? Part of the reason that you feel disconnected from your leadership and who you’re called to be is because you’re living out of integrity in one of those worlds that you’ve created. So, really embracing leadership and stepping into it fully, developing who you’re called to be is going to naturally support you being that person and leading in your home and in your business.

Number nine is connecting with other founder families. When you embrace that identity and you actually wake up to the fact that this is who you are and that this is a movement that you’re a part of. You’re not just building a business on an island and there are some other entrepreneurs out on their little islands and sometimes you cross paths and share notes. This is actually choosing to do life differently and realizing that this is a way of life. So, you start to naturally magnetize towards other founder families who share those values and realize that you don’t have to be an island just pushing for some business goals, but you’re part of a movement that holds potential for you and your family that cannot be found outside of entrepreneurship.

[20:22] Entrepreneurship Chose You

Finally, number 10 is shifting your work from something that provides for your family at the expense of your family. We all know so many entrepreneurs who get into business for the sake of freedom and for their family, yet what they have to do to run that business takes them away from their family or breaks up their family or comes at the expense of their family. You’re shifting into something that makes up the fabric of who your family is and the impact that they will make on the world. 

You didn’t choose this life. It chose you and you chose to say yes to it. God imprinted on your heart a call to raise a family as you also stepped fully into a mission He placed on your heart within the walls of your business, and you said yes. This can be a struggle that you face as a family or it can be one of the most powerful gifts that you give your family depending on how you play this card. 

If people would just embrace this founder family concept, they would understand the possibility, they would understand the potential of what it could look like for themselves, for their family and what they’re actually called to in life. Sometimes we try to go it alone and the path isn’t clear and there’s no playbook for this stuff. Except maybe now there kind of is…

[22:05] Camp Luminary 

On our next episode we are officially announcing something that is literally the first of its kind.

We’re putting together a camp. It’s a two day experience for entrepreneurs and the future leaders that they’re raising. It’s going to bring them together as a founder family and reconnect with what matters most and connect with other like minded founder families. 

I’m just giving you a taste now, but the next episode will give you all the details. Here’s what you need to know – space is super limited and we have a waitlist. Also, the transformation that you can expect from this experience is going from being spread too thin and dropping the ball to having clarity and vision, embracing this new identity and stepping into a lifetime of living differently. 

So, head on over to https://luminaryleadershipco.com/camp-luminary/ to get on the waitlist and join us in the next episode when we will officially announce it and share all the details.

Hopefully, today’s episode spoke to you. If so, make sure you download our free workbook True North at https://luminaryleadershipco.com/truenorth/ and join our waitlist for Camp Luminary at https://luminaryleadershipco.com/camp-luminary/.

Please leave us a review and be sure to hit the follow button so you don’t miss out on the next episode. Come connect with me on Instagram @elizhartke!  If there’s a topic, a question or a guest you want to hear on the show, just reach out and share that. We do this for you so the more you tell us, the more we can serve.


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