Episode 91: Raising Luminaries: Creating Margin as a Family

May 19, 2022

TODAY, I WANT TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT CREATING WHITESPACE AS A FAMILY. You’ve heard me talk about creating whitespace in your business and I’ve walked you through my week to week strategies to have more whitespace so that you can show up consistently. I’ve also shared a little behind the scenes of my quarterly whitespace retreat where I go into visionary mode. Now it’s time to make sure you have that same intentionality with your family.

It is so easy to pack our schedules as people with businesses and kids. Between work stuff, and the kids’ school and extracurricular stuff, house that needs tending to, friends to see, and family to take care of, you may feel like you don’t have an ounce more to give. Trust me, I get it!

But the same way you might feel at max capacity in your business and the thought of creating some whitespace makes you uncomfortable (because you feel like you are not being productive yet you know it is literally the difference maker in the success that you’re seeking) the same reigns true for your family. 

This is not just a season, this is now a habit. This hustle, this hurry is a habit and the only way to have that connection, contentment, vision and thriving that you crave as a family is through the creation of more margin. So today, we’re talking about what that looks like, how to undo what might be a little bit broken at this point in terms of habits, and how to bring your family along with you.

Let’s raise them up right!


[2:35] It’s Not Just a Phase, It’s the Choices You’re Making

Growing up in the Christian church, there is the idea of taking a full day of rest and having a full day dedicated to prayer, family, connection and tradition, with no work, no distraction. 

When I started to get a little bit older and my sports would show up on the weekends, my mom despised when we’d have games on Sunday because that was our day to go to church and to be prayerful and to be together as a family. We would eat a long drawn out meal that went into the evening with all of my grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins and everybody together in the family. That was our margin. 

And now in retrospect, I completely get it. It’s so important to have that space to connect and grow. And I think the struggle I have is that I don’t feel like something is valuable unless it’s productive. When I first started implementing whitespace or margin into my business, it made me very uncomfortable because at that point I was maxed out on time. I was taking client after client and the idea of taking time away from clients meant less money in the business. But what I didn’t realize was to make the leap into my next level of success, I had to build that margin in. So, although it was very much outside of my comfort zone, I knew it was what had to happen because I was studying the leaders that I admired and that was the separator. That was what they had that I didn’t. They had space to think, create, rest, connect and pray and just evolve. It was serving such a deep purpose that I couldn’t see at the time. 

So, when you think about your family, how is it any different? When we pack our weeks, that’s a problem, and it’s not just a phase. It’s the choices you’re making. It doesn’t have to be this way. It’s how society says it’s done but it doesn’t have to happen like this.

[6:07] Prioritizing What Really Matters

Recently, I met an amazing homeschooling mom who has seven kids. And my first thought was: “Why are you so put together and why are your kids so well behaved?” I have three kids and only one of them is really in activities and I feel like I can’t keep up. She explained that her kids are only allowed to play one sport per year which they get to pick themselves.

I resisted this idea, I felt my body tense up when she said it, but then I sat with it for a day and I talked with Michael about it the next day and then we started talking about it in regards to our own family. We talked about it the next time we saw her and the reason she does it is so that they have enough margin to prioritize what really matters – family, faith, falling in love with learning and discovering what they’re really called to. Half the time the sports I played growing up I played because my friends were doing it. I didn’t even like it. The sports I actually loved were few and far between, but I was spread across a lot of different things and I wasn’t taking the time to really engage and think about what was speaking to me and what I wanted to do because I was so busy jumping from one thing to the next. 

[8:54] Be Unconventional and Intentional 

This is society’s model, and we have fallen into it. We don’t have that intentional time that we’re creating on purpose with our families. 

What’s the cost if we don’t do this?  

I’m challenging you to look at your life as it is and think about how you want it to look. You don’t have to follow the trends, you can choose a different path. You’ve chosen entrepreneurship, so that already puts you in an unconventional boat. Why not follow that in how you raise your babies, why not look for the ways that work for you to cultivate the values and the life and the lifestyle and the possibility and the connection that you really want? 

Is this “”phase” that you’re accepting into your life today, facilitating and getting you closer to the way you want to be living or is it robbing you of the possibility of it? 

Sometimes you have to sit down and shake yourself from it and disrupt and change the way you operate. Find what works for you, what works for your family and what does your family actually want? Find out how you can create and honor margin. 

[11:28]  Don’t Let Your Superpowers Become Your Limitations 

Do you even have space in your lives to play, create, talk, rest? We’ve opened the doors to our Raising Luminaries Co(op)  and it’s been amazing to see the conversations in there from the families of what is shifting in their world and the wake up calls they’ve had.

You want to raise leaders, you want your kids to be intentional and innovative and free spirited and critical thinking. You need to start creating that space and to honor it and to protect it because that’s the key. 

The first step is picking your margin rhythm. Is it each day? Is there an hour a day that you honor together as a family? Or is it something like a day a week? This depends on your family and how you guys work best. We do a little bit of both. We have periods of time during the day that are our margin and then we also have it once a week on Sundays, and we really live by it.

The second thing that can really help with this is talking as a family about why there’s value here. What’s getting lost in not honoring this and not doing this? What’s possible if you do honor this and do this? And then decide as a family what that time will look like. Also, remember that you’re the boss. There’s a problem if you’re an adult parent and your seven-year-old is dictating how they’re being raised. Because last time I checked, I’ve never met a seven-year-old who successfully raised a successful adult because they haven’t lived it. I like the idea of keeping it fluid and having conversations with the family and bringing them in and not being a dictator, but at the same rate, I’m leading this train and they have to put some trust in me. 

Finally, honor it and live by it. Model margin in your businesses and in your life. Teach your kids the power of margin: more creativity, more recovery, connection, prayer, fulfillment, peace. This might have to come from the top down. Mom and dad might have to learn how to work within these new parameters. Remember that your superpowers can also become your limitations if they take over that power from you. Without margin and the ability to have margin and the fear of margin, those superpowers are taken over and it’s time to take back that control.

I hope today’s episode helps you to breathe life into your family again, to breathe peace into your world again, and give your kids an opportunity that the rest of the world is not giving their kids because they’re not aware of the dangers of just going constantly, without any space.

If today’s episode spoke to you, make sure to subscribe and leave us a review. Come connect with me on Instagram at @elizhartke and if there’s a topic, a question or a guest you want to hear on the show or an idea you have for us, 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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