Episode 66: Feeling Split in Two? How to Stop Compartmentalizing Parenthood and Business

February 21, 2022

DO YOU KNOW WHAT THE MOST COMMON THING I HEAR MY LISTENERS AND MEMBERS OF MY PROGRAMS SAY, as already successful entrepreneurs? I feel split in two. 

Being ambitious and excited to pursue your dreams in business, but also feeling this pull to your family is such a tough feeling to navigate and definitely one I can resonate with. 

How can you ever be enough to lead in two separate worlds? You can’t. Does that mean that you can’t be an incredibly successful entrepreneur in the same season that you are a present parent, raising incredibly well adjusted  and happy children? 

Well, there’s a secret that not a lot of people know and it’s something I learned as a young girl witnessing my mom, my dad, my grandparents, aunts and uncles in entrepreneurship. I want to share that secret with you today because it’s going to change not just your business, not just your family life, but how you live. It’s going to take the pressure off of you and it’s going to open up space and possibility that you dream about but think is too far away because of the demand that comes with feeling split in two.

So, if you’re ready to breathe that sigh of relief and step into a new way of living, let’s get to it!


[2:52] Split in Two and Spread Too Thin

Over the last few years, we’ve surveyed many of our followers and our client base which is primarily made up of entrepreneurs who were also called to raise a family. We asked them what their biggest struggle was, and time and time again we saw the same two phrases: Split in two and Spread too thin. 

This is how people describe the feeling of being called to entrepreneurship, while also feeling really compelled to do an incredible job raising their kids. Nearly all of these entrepreneurs and small business owners subscribe to this common school of thought that the way you find success in multiple areas of your life is to compartmentalize it. You’ve heard some version of this: you’re supposed to put your “you hat” on in the morning, do your morning routine so you can fill your cup; then you put your “parent hat” on before you shuffle your kids off to school; then you quickly switch to your “business hat” because you’re an entrepreneur now and you have to sit down and try and cram as much as possible into this window that you’ve dedicated for work before the kids get back home; hopefully you squeeze some time in to dust off the old “spouse hat” at some point later in the day when you’re too tired for anything other than mindlessly watching TV together.

This is not something that is just happening by chance. It’s being taught. There are so many conversations around having boundaries and blocking your calendar to only focus on that one thing –  business or family. This mindset that you are stepping in and out of different worlds can be so disheartening and can put so much pressure when it doesn’t feel like there’s enough hours in the fricking day to do it all, let alone do it really well. And I know you’re different. I know you are like me, it is not good enough to be good enough. 

[6:20] Don’t Separate Your Dreams from People You Are Bringing Along

So how does it all work? How do you show up boldly and powerfully in both worlds? 

You don’t.

Those who try to live successfully in two different worlds, business and family, will forever be splitting their time between two different worlds; they will forever be split in two.

But what if it could be so different? What if you could experience a feeling of harmony, where you let go of the notion that you have your feet in two different lands and instead you conquer just one? The one where you are you. 

You live by one set of values, not a set for your company and another for your family. You create spaces and opportunities for entrepreneurship and family to support and work together. You stop trying to draw hard lines between your work and your kids. You don’t set one vision in your business and another in your family. There’s one vision, where everything and everyone works together to achieve it as a team. You don’t have your personal dreams that you work tirelessly for in your business and then other dreams as a parent. You have aligned dreams together. 

This is not me telling you you have to give up your dreams. But don’t separate them from the people that you’re bringing along for this ride.

[8:38] Give Your Kids The Gift of Knowing

My upbringing and growing up with small business owners as parents deeply affected my life, my worldview, my values, my vision of the world, my vision of myself. 

My mom is such an incredible example of what it means to be you, in business and at home. So many of my life lessons were learned sitting around the conference table in my mom’s office as I did my homework and witnessed her work ethic or going along with my dad who was a real estate appraiser, and watching how he paid attention and did everything with such care.

This showed me what it looks like to be a small business family, to be an entrepreneurial family and it showed me the gift of sacrifice and hard work and what it means to have a vision and work towards it.

Now, especially in the world of online entrepreneurship, there’s so much less of that. We lock ourselves away behind closed doors and we don’t give our kids the gift of knowing what they are a part of. We compartmentalize it, we lock them out and we think we’re doing them a favor. Instead of helping them see that they are a part of something different. We block them out of the vision, the dream, the process,  the learnings, the struggles, the beauty, the sacrifice and all the things that come with being an entrepreneur. 

[12:47] The Shift

Everything shifted during the Industrial Revolution. 

Before that, the husband was at home. Work, family and different elements of life were centered at home. Kids were schooled at home, families ate together at home, kids played at home. They also witnessed their parents work at home. Many people were farmers so, the kids got to see their mother and father working hard for that family. Many times those kids were involved in that work, learning those skills and learning those values from a really young age. 

Then the Industrial Revolution comes along and starts splitting up the family. It was an attack on the family. Dads then went off to work in the factories, moms stayed home and took care of the household and kids went off to school all day. Those kids stopped witnessing the gift of hard work, instead they were put in schools where for generations now kids are being taught what to think, not how to think .

But you are an entrepreneur, whether you work physically out of your home, or you work out of a different location or you travel. There are so many opportunities for you to teach and gift your children the values that come with being an entrepreneurial family. You are not all separate people going for your own separate goals. You’re working together.

[15:04] Coming Together As a Family 

So, where can you start? How do you go from broken down segregation of the family where everything is split up and there are strict boundaries to really becoming a founder family. 

The first step is coming together as a family. And to help you with that, we have created a free workbook that you can download at https://luminaryleadershipco.com/truenorth. This workbook was born out of necessity, out of this feeling of being split in two as a family and it’s going to help you really peel back the layers on the “how” and get you crystal clear on your values that you bring into both your business and your family, on your priorities in this season, the vision for your future together as a founder family.

[16:45] Setting Boundaries and Breaking Bread 

The next piece is having boundaries around the things that would take you out of integrity with your values. For example, cell phones are something that I strongly encourage really strong boundaries around. When you are done with work for the day, they should stay in the office. Don’t let it be a distraction.

At the same time, be open with your boundaries to your family experiencing and seeing you in your mission. Maybe your kids are young like mine and they’re not working for you or with you, maybe your spouse isn’t even directly involved in the business, but by closing yourself away and not communicating the process, you’re doing them a massive disservice.

One other way to bring them into the fray and to open up the discussion as a family is to break bread over the vision and the process. A lot of times as entrepreneurs we come to the end of our day with our stressors, and then we sit down and we have dinner and the kids witness us complaining or just venting about those stressors. But what if instead, you talk about the stressors, but you talk about it from an angle of problem solving. Bring your kids into the discussion and see what ideas they might have or what your spouse might think. Talk more about the vision of what this business can become and its true mission and how they’re directly playing a role in it even if they’re not directly working within it.

[19:32] Embracing Your True Identity 

The next thing is embracing your true identity. 

You’re not an entrepreneur who is also a parent. You are a founder family. You are in this together, whether you like it or not. It’s a team effort, no matter what the roles may look like.

I grew up proud to be raised by small business owners. I learned so many life lessons by witnessing my parents and my grandparents and many of my aunts and uncles in business. My life was different from the other kids and I knew it. I knew I wasn’t like the other kids because my parents said “yes” to entrepreneurship. They were aware that they were bringing us along for the journey. We were a founder family in it together with a mission that we were connected on.

[22:01] Camp Luminary 

Here at Luminary Leadership, we thought about the most powerful way to support families in integrating their two callings; their callings of business and raising their family well. We put our heads together, and we came up with what we think will be one of the most powerful ways to do it. 

If you listen to Episode 63, we officially gave the big reveal of Camp Luminary! It’s the first of its kind and is specifically designed to help you step into becoming a true founder family. It’s coming this summer with limited spaces and it’s the first camp ever to welcome entrepreneurial families, entrepreneurs and small business owners and their spouse and their children and bring them into the fray. 

We’re going to have incredible guest speakers and presenters supporting both entrepreneurs with scaling and growing their businesses so they do have more freedom of time and more possibility. Giving them the resources and the tools to raise leaders, but also supporting the little luminaries who range in age from first grade up through high school and giving them the tools and resources to step into entrepreneurship, to learn about leadership and to get something that they’re passionate about off the ground and to really understand what they’re a part of as a founder family.

So, head on over to https://luminaryleadershipco.com/camp-luminary/ and get on that waitlist because when the doors open to it, they will likely close the same day because we have such limited space available. This is an investment in your family, in your children, in your business and in your future. I’m challenging you as a leader, as an entrepreneur, as someone who’s also raising children.

If you’re ready to stop splitting yourself in multiple worlds and step into the one “you”, the one leader, the one life that you’re called to, head over to https://luminaryleadershipco.com/camp-luminary/ and make sure to get on the waitlist.

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.


Add a comment
+ show Comments
- Hide Comments



The 30-minute, step-by-step guide to gain clarity, get out of the weeds of your business, and get more needle moving things done in way less time.

get me focused!

On the Air

The Luminary Leadership Podcast

We take the guesswork out of unlocking your full potential as an entrepreneur. We'll give you the secrets to make more money, create more freedom, and have more margin, all while still making your family a priority...

tune in

Our Services

We love serving ambitious entrepreneurs like you who are ready to break through to their next level of potential in business, leadership, and live. This is how we do it!


Browse By Category

Business Strategy




Emails people are clamoring over and talking about... 

You're no ordinary leader. You're building your dream differently — with your values and family in tact, and your potential uncorked! This is the spot where I share the super personal stuff to the behind-the-scenes of what works (and what doesn't) in our business. It's also where we can chat!

See ya in the inbox!

Join the No Ordinary
Leader Community


Creating Influential Leaders in Entrepreneurship: BTS + big news only shared to my insiders!