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Episode 085: Full-Time Blogging As A Husband-Wife Team With Brian Johnson

In episode 085 we talk with Brian Johnson, a blogger who shares this business with his wife and knows about teaming up to be successful.

We cover information about how bringing a spouse on requires some thought and effort, what basic skills are good to learn and remember going into it that there will be growing pains and challenges but working through them is worth it!

Listen on the player below or on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast player. Or scroll down to read a full transcript.


Guest Details

Connect with Happy Mothering
Website | Instagram | Facebook

Bio
Brian and Chrystal have their main blog at Happy-Mothering which is a blog designed to help moms navigate natural living in the modern world. Happy-Mothering has focuses in 5 areas; Recipes, Beauty, Crafts/DIY, Homemaking and Family Life.

This busy couple who has two kids also are working on some future projects – Our Family Crushes (which follows their personal lives), PLR Content Hub (a great resource for bloggers), Keto Diet Mom (recipes, keto tips), Spiritual Wonderland (a great place for spiritual people to go spend some time), Crazy Dad Speaks, which is Brian’s newest blog focusing on the business of blogging and blogging for business. They have a couple other blogs they are planning to launch in 2020.

Takeaways

  • Write up a business plan and remember it’s ever evolving plan, growing, changing.
  • When you’re ready to bring a spouse to the business, make sure you have real work for him to do, not just crap work you can have a VA do for you better.
  • A spouse giving up a job outside the blog is in essence giving up their power to join you as a team. Give that spouse something specific that they will find fulfilling to do within the business plan.
  • An incoming spouse should take advantage of a lot of great, free courses available through Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest and learn about SEO so they can begin to understand the blogging world and learn how to contribute.
  • If the spouse wants to start their own blog instead of joining you, remember you have a lot of valuable skills to teach them so they can dive into a more successful blog than if they didn’t have your experience. This will help them make money and contribute to your household.
  • Know your why of why you and your spouse want to work together so you can find value in working together.

Resources Mentioned

  • Take every applicable course through Skillshop.

Have A Supportive Spouse?

Episode 042, Megan’s husband Dan shares about how playing a supporting role in the business of blogging is important.

Transcript

Click for full script.

Intro:

Welcome to Eat Blog Talk, where food bloggers come to get their fill of the latest tips, tricks, and insights into the world of food blogging. If you feel that hunger for information, we’ll provide you with the tools you need to add value to your blog. And we’ll also ensure you’re taking care of yourself, because food blogging is a demanding job. Now, please welcome your host, Megan Porta.

Megan Porta:

Food bloggers. Don’t forget to check out the food blogging forum style community that we started over at forum.eatblogtalk.com. Finally, there is one place that we can all convene and talk and that isn’t scattered all over Facebook. Here are the things that I am loving about it. It is free. It also allows for categorized discussions on all food blogging topics, and there’s a category for sharing successes, AKA self promotion. So no more holding back about discussing your big wins and things that you’re promoting. Also, everything is in one single spot. So no hopping around from group to group, and there’s an amazing opportunity to network and really get to know your fellow food bloggers in a single place. So come join the discussions that are going on over at forum.eatblogtalk.com. And I hope you enjoy this as much as I do. Don’t forget. Forum.Eatblogtalk.com.

Okay, Food bloggers. Have you heard of Flodesk, the new big email marketing rage? This is an amazing new option for managing your email subscriber list. It is super easy to use and it comes with gorgeous, intuitive drag and drop templates. And Flodesk does not charge based on the number of subscribers. So your monthly rate will stay the same from month to month. Everyone pays $38 a month or use my affiliate link to get 50% off and pay only $19 a month. You guys, this is a fraction of the price of other email service providers, and you’ll be blown away by the beautiful and intuitive templates waiting for you inside. Visit eatblogtalk.com/resources to grab your link. Flodesk, the stunning new option for email marketing.

Hello, food bloggers. Welcome to Eat Blog Talk. The podcast made for you. Food bloggers seeking value for your businesses and your lives. Today I will be having a discussion with Brian Johnson from happymothering.com. And we will talk about making blogging a full-time job as a husband-wife team. Brian and his wife’s main blog is Happy Mothering, which is a blog designed to help moms navigate natural living in the modern world. Happy Mothering has focused on five areas: recipes, beauty, crafts and DIY, homemaking and family life. They also have up and coming blogs, Our Family Crushes, PLR Content Hub, Keto Diet Mom, Spiritual Wonderland, Crazy Dad Speaks, which is Brian’s newest blog focusing on blogging for business, and they have a couple other blogs that they’ll be launching in 2020 as well. Wow Brian, you guys are totally immersed in blogging, and I’m super excited to have a conversation about all of this with you, but first give us a fun fact about yourself.

Brian Johnson:

Fun fact about myself. I am also a professional snowboard coach. I coach kids at the highest level of snowboarding. We live a mile away from the closest slope and a snowboard a hundred plus days a season too.

Megan:

Oh, where are you at?

Brian:

Big Bear Lake, California.

Megan:

Oh my gosh. I didn’t know that. So my mom lives in Palm Springs. I lived there when I was maybe 10 to 12ish and my stepdad at the time had taught me to ski as a kid. So when we moved to California, we wondered where we were going to ski? But then we found this place called Big Bear. So we used to go there all the time. He’d take me out of school and would say, hey, you can skip school today. Let’s go skiing. So that was our place. So that’s so funny.

Brian:

Oh my goodness. That’s amazing.

Megan:

Yeah, it’s crazy. And I love that you’re a snowboard instructor. I did ski instructing for many years and I live in Minnesota so we don’t have as long of a season as you guys do. I’m not sure but I love it. It’s getting out in the winter air and connecting with kids and it’s just invigorating and I can’t even explain it in words, but I love that you do that too. So cool.

Brian:

That’s awesome.

Megan:

Super fun to learn that about you. To start off our conversation today, we’re going to totally switch gears and talk about being a husband-wife team, and blogging. I would love for you just to start by telling us how you got started blogging with your wife and how that transition went for both of you.

Brian:

That’s a great question. Let’s rewind. I started blogging before I even met my wife. I was a date coach and taught guys how to date and I had a blog and it became rather popular. It was just this weird thing because I didn’t want to tell anybody. I would say, I’m not a blogger. That’s the weird thing. So fast forward to meeting my wife, we’re together. We have our first daughter, the first year she’s alive. I quit the blog after I met my wife, obviously. We’re both in the corporate world, shirt and tie world. We decided let’s quit this corporate life. Let’s move to South America and try to figure out what’s really, truly important in life. So we moved down to Uruguay and I revisited this blog thing.

I had all this attention from people and it’s really weird that I had all this attention, but there’s things called affiliates. I’m not really sure about them, but I know there’s a way we can make money online. I know there is, I was learning how to do SEO, like Craigslist ads and how to drive traffic. The company I was at, I learned how to drive leads in. I know there’s a way we can get leads and sell them, or there’s some way to do that. We can make a full-time living. So when we moved to South America, we’re very blessed to be in a position where we didn’t have to worry about working for a solid year and a half. So we decided let’s figure this out. So we started a blog together, just went into it together.

That’s how we learned how to work together. We took this course online, it was a blog course, we took it together and we sat down next to each other. It was putting my ego aside, her putting her ego aside. We start a blog while we’re in South America. Within our first month of being down there, we got pregnant. We kind of planned on moving every three to six months to wherever we wanted to go all throughout South America. We were in Uruguay, then we were gonna go to Argentina and over to Chile, up to Ecuador and have this plan, but we got pregnant. So we stayed in Montevideo. While we’re there, blogging was so new, we got approached to do a cookbook and we made a cookbook and didn’t make any money on it.

What really brought us together I think, was just the whole process of doing it together in the kitchen, cooking together and with the worst process photos you could ever see. So we put out this cookbook, the Ex-Pat cookbook of how to make everything from scratch, from sour cream to how to make stew and all this kind of stuff. The Ex-Pat cookbook. So we did this and it was a huge learning experience. Then when our second daughter was born, we said let’s move, where should we move to. My wife’s from Southern California. She wanted to be close to family, it’s a solid 24 hour trip to get to where we live from Southern California. So we moved back. We moved to Southern California to Big Bear Lake. During that time, while we were in South America, Chrystal started Happy Mothering, just out of the blue.

She started Happy Mothering is just an expression, as an outlet, just for her to write, just as a blog used to be back in the day. We moved back to Southern California. I get into the music industry and she’s doing Happy Mothering. It started to bring in a little bit of cash. We thought, this is cool. I was just supportive, it was bringing in cash. With us living in South America, it really got us used to that freedom lifestyle of we can do whatever we want whenever we want, which is pretty awesome. It’s addicting actually. I was realizing I’m just not having fun in the music industry. The bad times are definitely outweighing the good times right now. I don’t care about the money. The money’s great, but I just don’t care about it. I’m not happy. So I went full-time at home. The whole thing was for the next six months, life was amazing, I’m not doing the music. I’m chilling and having a good winter time, coaching the girls, doing everything. The next thing you know, my wife gets sick.

Megan:

Oh no!

Brian:

She was really sick. She had a gallstone back into her pancreatic duct, gave her pancreatitis, had emergency surgery. I was on tour for my own music. I was in Costa Rica when that happened. I flew back from Costa Rica, got back and what we’ve just recently found out, the doctors had poisoned her with antibiotics. Specialists believe that it was a combination of Levaquin and Flagyl that destroyed her body basically.

Megan:

Oh my gosh. That’s terrible.

Brian:

It’s so horrible. So what happened then is, I’ve helped with the blog here and there. I imagine like a lot of husbands do. You say, I can be your taste tester.

Megan:

Be my hand model. Yes.

Brian:

I’m always there to help my wife and the blog at that point was doing well so that I didn’t have to tour anymore. She’s been bedridden since. This is a couple of years ago now. So the whole entire blogging business fell on me. So that’s where I’ve taken over the whole thing. Until two months ago, for the previous 10 months, all the doctors thought she had ALS. So two months ago, no, you don’t have ALS, it’s actually poisoning.

Megan:

Oh my goodness, you guys, that’s a lot to go through.

Brian:

People go through so much worse than we do. We’re just lucky she’s not dying. I mean, seriously, at the end of the day, that’s the best news ever.

Megan:

Perspective, right?

Brian:

It really, truly is. Whenever I came home to work, it was not the intention at all for me to have anything to do with Happy Mothering, other than helping, because it was already doing well enough. It replaced my income. We do extraordinarily well with affiliates. We do extraordinarily well with sponsored content. This is awesome. So the whole thing was for me to start my own thing. My whole goal was to start a blog about motivation and live a positive life. A lot of men out there who are in the corporate world right now, this moment, they sit in a cubicle or they sit in an office looking at cubicles and they just sit there and they just shake their head. They’re in middle management because the people at the top make the dumbest decisions ever. You just say, no, that’s stupid. Why would you even think of doing that? You don’t even know what goes on here. When you’re there in an office, and you have those moments, your head just starts throbbing.

Megan:

I’ve been there. I hear you. It’s frustrating. Like you said, there are a lot of people in that and they stay in it because that’s all they’ve known. That’s all they’ve done. But I wanted to touch on real quick, before you move on something that you said earlier, which is, you guys moved to a different country and doing that gave you a new perspective on what you could have when you came back home. I think that’s so key because we get in the grind and this is all we see every day, day in and day out. When you’re placed in a new situation, you think, Oh my gosh. I think you use the words, it’s almost addicting. Wow, there’s so much more freedom than I could have ever known. I love that. Do you think that you would have ever gotten that perspective if you would not have moved out of the country?

Brian:

That’s a great question. So I was so fed up with the corporate world. I can’t even describe. The day my dog died, my little dog Brownie. I had a miniature Pinscher. She only had one lung that worked, she wasn’t supposed to live to be six months old. She lived to be six and a half years old. So Chrystal’s at home with Zoe, our youngest, on maternity leave. Zoe was just a little, little baby, and wasn’t even walking yet. I got the phone call, first thing in the morning. I have like a client meeting, a financially big meeting that needs to close for the company. I get the phone call. I live 10 minutes from the office. They say, you’ve got to get home, something’s wrong with Brownie, something wrong with her. Boom, I get home. Brownie’s already dead and Chrystal’s crying and holding the baby. So I take my tie off, I bury her, get back to the office. My boss is like, it’s just a dog.

Megan:

Oh no, you’re kidding. That’s it. That’s like the final straw. Right? I mean, come on. Not just what you’re dealing with, but you just had to go see your wife and she’s trying to manage your newborn. And you went right back to the office. Goodness gracious.

Brian:

Then I go in, I close this huge deal. So I say, Hey, I’m going to go ahead and take the day off. He’s like, why? I was like cause my dog died, my wife’s crying. I just made us a lot of money. The words that came out of his mouth were, Oh. I was just like, wow, I’m done. At that moment in time, in my mind, I thought I would just go work at McDonald’s. I will do that. I will start at the bottom. I can have my own franchise within a year or two. That’s it. That’s literally what was going on in my mind. I was thinking, I don’t need this job. I don’t need to work here. I think a lot of guys got there, but they didn’t have options.

A lot of men don’t have the options that I did. I was just so lucky I had the options. I ended up leaving. I left and I didn’t come back and I was done. We had already toyed with the idea of moving out of the country as kind of a cool idea, but that was the catalyst of everything, my dog dying. To get a better perspective on life, what’s truly important with life. Is it the almighty dollar that everybody is chasing? No, it’s not. It’s your family. It’s being with your family, spending that time, time you can’t get time back. It’s gone. I don’t care how much cash you have.

Megan:

Mm. I hear you. There’s nothing you can do about that. I’m so sorry about that corporate experience, because humanity, emotions and empathy is just stripped from so much of the corporate world. I’m not saying that that is like that everywhere, but I can relate. I worked in the corporate world myself for a long time, and I can tell you stories that would make me cry. I look back and I cannot believe some of the things that I went through and that happened. Our conversation before the interview started, I told you that our son has a lot of medical needs. So I was tied to my job for a really long time, because we had amazing health insurance through my job. I feel like they held that over my head for a really long time. Anytime I had an issue and I’d bring it up, they’d be like, well, Megan, you can’t go anywhere. Look at what we’re doing. These health benefits, you will not find them anywhere. I was like, you’re right. I won’t.

Brian:

Can you imagine going back into that environment after having this freedom?

Megan:

I will tell you, I drive by there a lot because it’s on a main interstate and every time I get even close, my entire body reacts. I’m not kidding. My boys remember it. So they’re like, mom, remember you worked there. There were days when I would go into work. I would go to reach for the door that led into the building and I would get physically ill and it was not a good situation. So even in the lean months, we have some times because we do all have lean months as bloggers, there’s nothing that could ever make me go back to doing that. That’s not the right decision for everybody, but for me, Oh, thank God for the freedom. I’m very sad that your dog died and that’s a horrifying story, just gut wrenching story. But I’m glad that you had something that propelled you in that direction and that made you make a big change. Sometimes it’s those tough things that do that for us.

Brian:

Thank you so much. The thing is, you know, Brownie was only supposed to live to be six months old. I’d take her to Helen Woodward. The best doctors are in Rancho Santa Fe, the best doctors in the country for dogs. She got to live a really wonderful life for six and a half years. So that’s wonderful. But it wasn’t just that, it was like, we also knew there’s a way to make money online because the internet was still in its infancy. That’s what people don’t understand. The internet is so tiny. There’s no competition on the internet at all. There’s so much room to grow. 3 billion people on the planet don’t even have access to the internet right now.

In the next 30 years, dude, the internet is going to be giant. So going into it with Happy Mothering, because you know, this is the breadwinner for us. It hasn’t been all roses by any means. We’ve had some fights, Chrystal and I have, because the thing is, one thing that I’ve always always, and this is what made Happy Mothering work so well, I feel, I’ve always kept my mouth shut completely on the content because Chrystal’s always been the content creator. It’s not me, it’s not my place. That’s where putting my ego aside, putting everything aside and just saying, Hey, that’s her and let her own that. I don’t need to.

Megan:

That’s so great. I love that. You knew that going in, just that’s your thing. I’m going to let you continue to do your thing. So I’m curious. When your wife got sick and you just decided, okay, I need to come into this full-time, what are those first things that you did for the business that kept you going? What projects did you start with, et cetera?

Brian:

Okay. So Chrystal, listen to this and honey, I love you. The majority of the content was crap. It was super fluffy, thin content. We went through the content deletion process. Deleted from 3,500, I think we have about 900 blog posts right now and are still cutting. Deleting, super, super thin content. Doing that, reorganizing the categories. I’ve always done like the backend stuff so reorganizing the categories going through rewriting posts so they’re not thin content, actually making them valuable content.

Megan:

A lot of work on the blog.

Brian:

Directly working on it to try to improve it. Then doing recipes, making recipes, shooting video. I do all the video content creation there, writing blog posts. I have a big social media project I’m getting ready to embark on right now. Also starting other blogs, just little cash ones. That’s what people I are missing out a lot on. PLR Content Hub. We don’t get a ton of traffic there, but every bit of traffic we get, the vast majority of people buy because it’s a very niche specific and that’s a super affiliate. It’s cash and they pay daily. You sell yesterday, you get paid today. It’s focusing on affiliates, getting good with our sponsored content. When we do our sponsored content, we really go above and beyond with our sponsors. We set up private because most of them don’t have affiliate programs, but we set up private deals with them and really push those affiliates.

Megan:

Just making sure everything’s going. So what advice do you have for husbands who might be looking to join their wives and really don’t necessarily have a background. My husband, if he were to join me in business, I don’t think he would be able to look at my site and say this content is thin. Maybe eventually, but I don’t think he would know even where to start. So what advice do you have for men in that situation?

Brian:

All right. So something that everybody and every single blogger in my opinion, needs to learn how to do marketing, sales and marketing. So the thing that every single person should do in my opinion is go take Facebook Blueprint. It’s Facebook’s free marketing course that teaches you how to do Facebook inside and out and teaches you how to run ads. It teaches you marketing. It teaches you what audiences are, teaches you what demographics are so you can really learn who it is. Then have the husbands sit down, husbands, you sit down and write out avatars. If you don’t know what an avatar is, you’re going to learn what an avatar is. Once he learns that, then go through, learn the blog, learn what the strong points are. Then YouTube and Google are going to be your friends when it comes to affiliate marketing. Learn what affiliate marketing is. With Facebook, you can really make money with affiliate marketing. A lot of bloggers I speak to, they want to do content creation and they don’t want to mess with marketing. Pinterest has a free course to take as well. I absolutely recommend taking Pinterest Academy. It’s 100% free that teaches you how to run ads on Pinterest. Pinterest is awesome.

Megan:

You are so right that a lot of us don’t want anything to do with sales and marketing because of the content creation. We love it. As you know, you said your wife, that’s her thing too. I think a lot of us, the majority of us can say that as well. So we really lack in that area. So I would be relieved to have somebody come in and just say, okay, I’m going to take over this. I’m going to research some things and get things going on that side. I loved your recommendation to just start with a free course, whether that means Facebook or Pinterest or Instagram or whatever it is. From there, things just gain momentum and you may find that one part of it might peak your interest and you can go in a different way. I think that’s such a great recommendation, just like starting at that one pillar spot and letting it take off from there.

Brian:

It’s an area where you can have complete control and power. That’s the thing is, I feel a lot of guys, they have their jobs and whatever it is, it’s their destiny. That’s their personal power that they have and to come back to the wife and it’s to say, Hey, look, honey, I know you’ve been doing this thing, but I have some ways I want to change stuff up. That’s not going to work. It’s not going to work. It’s going to cause some headbutts. With coming in when a guy gives up his day job, he’s giving up all of his personal power and it’s a blow to the ego. It really is. My wife has all the power. She has all the control.

She has everything here. She’s like my boss now. She’s not, but kind of, sort of, because you’re like, Hey, this is how things work and your teaching. So before, the husband’s at work and he’s running this, then he tells these people what to do. These people do this and everything runs and he’s able to support his family and feed his family. He’s able to do all of this, but now he’s giving all that up so his wife can tell him what to do and how to feed his family.

Megan:

Yeah, I can imagine. I can imagine that’s a huge blow to many men’s egos and getting through that is probably not super easy. So that’s one of the biggest challenges most men would face in that situation. But talk to us about some other challenges that you have faced.

Brian:

Video production, I believe every single blog post should have video. Working together with video, we’ve just had a few times we’ve butted heads on content. Where content should go, content deletion, should this go here? Should that go there? Because with Our Family Crushes, that’s all the stuff that needed to go off of Happy Mothering, but we wanted to retain it for memories and stuff. So that’s what needs to go where, content deletion, because it’s a very personal thing. Chrystal had at one point over 4,000 blog posts and it was a lot of time, energy and effort to put those up. It’s a blow to her ego to delete. She felt like they weren’t worthless because those were her feelings.

Megan:

I can totally get that, how that would go because I can relate. There’s so much that I’ve written and I’ve had to do that with myself. I’ve had to sit down and say, look, I know you put time and love and heart into this blog post, but that is not how the user and Google sees it. So it’s got to go.

Brian:

That’s the thing. I know you were feeling blue on this day when it was raining outside and you love listening to the water drop on the pavement and it’s the smell of the ozone. That does nothing for anyone though.

Megan:

Hilarious. I have plenty of those where I’m like what I was talking about, how the snow falling softly outside my window. Oh, goodness gracious.

Brian:

So I started going into these blog posts and here’s some other contention. I’m going into these blog posts with a recipe where she shares, when I make this recipe, it reminds me of my grandma. It’s 30,000 words of going to the fair story. I said, no, let’s talk about the recipe. Let’s put in some tips and tricks you can do? Can you use russet potatoes or does it need to be golden potatoes? We’re at a point now, we’re so smooth and cool with the way we work. But at first, and especially with her being sick, we both had all these feelings and emotions outside of the work thing.

But this stuff’s got to go. Before my wife got sick, my whole thing was not even to touch it. That’s one thing is, I got involved with Happy Mothering out of necessity. So one thing with a husband coming home, which originally was going to be my thing, was starting up my own thing. Another option for a husband is, if he wants to come home, you gotta ask yourself, do you actually need his help? Do you want his help? Or is it something you could hire a VA or somebody else to do? Really ask yourself that question, because at the end of the day, if he’s given up his personal power to come work with you, you have to respect that.

Megan:

That’s a really good point. So you do have to kind of think through that. What is the whole point here for me personally, I would like my husband to come work with me because of freedom. We love traveling. I have this vision that I have not shared with anyone, but here I go. I would love to just like one year take our boys out of school and homeschool them and travel. We can’t do that right now because we’re very limited because of his schedule. Even in our summers now, we travel, but it’s very limited what we can do and we have to plan it to the day. I would just love it if we could be more spontaneous. So do I need him? No, I could probably get things done just fine without him. Do I want him to be in business to me? Yes, because that means so much more freedom for our family.

Brian:

What specifically with your blog, do you want him to do?

Megan:

I don’t know exactly. He has a lot of skills and he’s very good at a lot of things. I just don’t know what that would be. I haven’t sat down and really thought through that. I do know that he would be able to find something. That blogging is so diverse or so many different parts of it, as you know, like so many moving parts, that there’s something that he could dive into and take ownership of. I absolutely believe that. I just don’t know what that is, especially to start.

Brian:

So what I recommend doing, for you, for anyone who’s thinking about having their husband come home, before you say work with me. Sit down and write out a plan. Write out a business plan for the next 12 months and for the next three years high level. Then one year is detailed, so over the next 12 months, month by month, what needs to be accomplished in this month to have you grow to the point where you need to be with the blog. Figure out where your husband can fit in. If it’s all crap work, if it’s something you can hire a VA for, hire local, hire some college kid. Have a game plan. Maybe with your blog, he doesn’t fit into the game plan. Maybe the whole marketing side isn’t the thing. Maybe he needs his very own thing. Because the thing is, who cares about the blog, who cares about your blog? You know how to take that out of the equation, take your content out of the equation. You know how to create an income online.

Megan:

Right. That can translate into so many other things.

Brian:

Maybe he needs his own thing. What is it, the vast majority of people shouldn’t be married. 50% divorce rate and the other 50%? How many unhappy couples do you know? I know a bunch that shouldn’t be married, but they are. Let’s be real here. A lot of couples, him staying at work is what’s keeping the relationship together. If he comes home for that freedom lifestyle, because before Crystal got sick, we’d say, let’s go to Mammoth. Let’s go to Santa Barbara. Let’s go wherever. The next thing you know, it’s addicting. It’s an addicting thing. So with him being at home, does he need to work on your blog or does he need his own thing?

Because if you two butt heads already, and I’m not saying you, I’m saying ‘you’ out there, if you already have that relationship and you’re like, dude, with him coming home? I don’t know if I could be around him that much. If you want the freedom lifestyle, you have to be around him that much, but doesn’t need to be in your business. You already know how to start an online business. It translates to other things. That’s something to consider as well. Regardless of how you do it, I’m a firm believer in business plans. After we get off this call, I’m going to go snowboard for a couple hours, come home, homeschool for about two or three hours. Then I’m going to get busy. I have two video recipes I’m shooting the content for today. Then well that’s dinner too. But that’s what my day is going to entail. Now, if I don’t have my stuff written down and I don’t write a plan out, I would never accomplish anything.

Megan:

I am with you. I am a huge advocate for planning. I do that for myself almost to an annoying degree. I don’t think anyone else does it quite to the level that I do for my life, but I’ve never honestly thought to sit down and write out a plan that involves my husband. So what advice do you have for me? Because I just think he gets probably hung up and I can see where a lot of other men would too, on finances. Blogging is so up and down that it’s hard to rely on the finances, but I think that also can be such an excuse. So what’s your advice for me? As far as like establishing a plan that involves him, when I really don’t know anything,

Brian:

A business plan will help your business period. Even if it’s a crap business plan, even if you don’t know how to write one and you write out a plan, it’s better than nothing. So writing it out; what your goals are and how to get to those goals. Then you look at where you need help? That’s the thing. So you write out what you want to do, how to get there, then you start drilling it down. Well, I need logo design here. I need this design there. I need whatever, I need to hire out for this. I need help with marketing. I need help with Facebook. I need help with all this stuff. Where do you need help to get to those goals? So once you write that business plan, then you go through and decide, hey, I can do this.

I need to hire out for this. I need to subcontract out for that. Whatever the case is and you fit in that business plan of where everything is that you need help with. Then husband, you kind of put a little blue star next to everything that he would be good at. Not the crap work, but everything he would be good at. Say, hey husband, I’ve written out this business plan. If it’s on the computer, print it out. People will do so much better with a piece of paper in their hand. Show him, this is my business plan. This is what I want to do. This is all the work that I need to hire out. Here are things as you see the little blue stars that I think you would be excellent at and you would enjoy. What do you think? Then shut your mouth because he’s gonna tell you what he thinks.

Megan:

I love that. Just filling in the gaps basically. So writing out the plan, which I do, and reviewing it and combing through it, seeing what areas you need help in and going from there. I love your advice about just printing it out because that’s so true, right? If someone hands you a piece of paper, you’re like, okay, I am going to take this seriously. If it’s just an email, I can so easily ignore it. So I love that little tidbit.

Brian:

Let me tell you, it’s like my wife’s bedridden and we’ve learned how to deal with it, but I’ll be on the couch in the front room and she’s in the bedroom. Instead of sending an email or a message. I’ll just call her on my cell phone. Hey babe, I’ve got a question about this. I can’t stress communications. What makes it work the most, talk, speak, actually have a conversation. Don’t email this stuff back and forth. Let’s sit down and talk about the emails. In the mornings we usually get up, we have a cup of coffee and we discuss the day. This is what it’s on the agenda, what we’re going to try to plan. Here’s the thing, business plans never ever, ever go as planned ever. So don’t beat yourself up when they don’t, everything always gets pushed back. We’re all way too ambitious. Every single one of us are. It’s an ever evolving thing. It’s not something you make once. It’s something you, you make and create. Then you adjust it every single day. It’s a living, breathing part of your business.

Megan:

I love that. I, I absolutely love that your business plan is a living, breathing part of your business. I love it. I think there’s so much power in that statement that people overlook so easily, right? We go day to day and we do all the things and we don’t stop to look at, where are we going? What are we doing? What, what is the plan here? And when we do that, you’re right. It evolves, sometimes daily. That plan we make for a year from now is trash and we have to redo it and that’s fine. But at least you’re writing it down and making a vision for your future.

Brian:

The thing is the plan, the vision in the future, it’s evolving. It’s like your children. Look at your children. They’re small and little and I just look at them grow. That’s what your business plan is. It literally grows. With our girls, I just want them to be happy at the end of the day, whenever they leave the coop, whenever that horrible day comes that they leave the house, they’re going to go out and they’re going to be able to take care of themselves in this world and be happy. I want to make sure that they have a couple of legs up, a couple of steps up on the ladder and be successful on their own, no matter what they do and be happy while doing it.

That’s my ultimate goal with them. So your business plan is the same as your kids. You want it to be awesome. You have this ultimate vision of a freedom lifestyle, just being able to do whatever you want whenever you want to do it. With that freedom lifestyle, your baby is your business plan. It’s not your blog. The blog can go away. What if Google went away? What if Pinterest went away? The blog can go away, but the business plan is there. I do coaching and one of my coaching clients, boom, sold her main blog because she just wasn’t passionate about it. So she cashed out on it. Now she has her passion project that she’s doing. So maybe the blog you have right now is going to be something you cash out on and go do something else that you’re more interested in. Your business plan is your baby. That’s going to lead you there.

Megan:

Passions can evolve too. You can start out loving, blogging, and eventually that might change and you can become passionate about something else. That’s our key takeaway here is to have a plan. If you’re wanting your spouse to come and join you in business, that is the first step. And I’m so glad you pointed that out to me because I’m such a proponent of planning. And here I am, I don’t even have a plan to present my husband. So thank you, Brian.

Brian:

If you had a plan in front of him, a plan gives him power because when he comes home, he’s given up his personal power.

Megan:

It’s just so fluffy when I mention, hey, why don’t you come work with me? That probably sounds like, wow, thin content. So unfortunately we have to start saying goodbye, but I just want to know if there’s anything that we haven’t talked about that you feel like would be really helpful in this area. As far as spouses coming over and working with their wives inBra business or husbands, if it’s the other way around.

Brian:

Yeah. Husbands or wives, spouses who want to come work with their significant other at home. I truly believe whatever you work on, you need to be passionate about. At the end of the day, if you’re not passionate about it, why do it? So if you’re not passionate about it, don’t do it; work on your own passion project. I imagine the majority of people listening to this are women and who are successfully blogging. So, husbands, your wife knows how to make money online. You don’t period. Put your ego aside, put it to check and listen to her on how to make money online. Maybe her passion project, maybe her food blog is not the passion project that you need to be working on. She knows how to make money online. So you can translate to your own passion project, whatever that may be. That said, empathy, compassion, and respect go a long way.

Megan:

Oh, that’s great stuff. I’m just so inspired by your story, Brian and wow, your wife being sick and you guys have just persevered. I love how supportive you’ve been of her over the years. It sounds like you’re just kind of encouraged her and you have found a groove together, which is so inspiring. So I thank you so much for sharing all of that with us today.

Brian:

No worries. Thank you so much for having me on and you have an amazing and beautiful day.

Megan:

You too. Well, I just want to say quickly that you have a list of resources relating to today’s topic. I’m going to put those on your show notes page. Brian, if you have anything to add for husbands who are thinking about joining their wives in business, send those over to me and I’ll put those at eatblogtalk.com/happymothering. Brian, tell my listeners the best place to find you online. I know there’s a lot of places, but what’s the best place?

Brian:

You can always go through Happy Mothering on our Facebook page. You can find me on Instagram, Crazy Dad Speaks or on Facebook, Crazy dad speaks. But if you want to talk to me personally I’m really easy to find online. Just don’t look at Brian Johnson. There’s over 10,000 of them. So Crazy Dad Speaks. You can get a hold of me if you have any questions or anything like that. You all take care and have a beautiful day.

Megan:

Thanks, Brian. And thanks for listening today, food bloggers, I will see you next time.

Outro:

We’re glad you could join us on this episode of Eat Blog Talk. For more resources based on today’s discussion, as well as show notes and an opportunity to be on a future episode of the show. Be sure to head to eatblogtalk.com. If you feel that hunger for information, we’ll be here to feed you on Eat Blog Talk.


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Megan
Megan

Megan started her food blog Pip and Ebby in 2010 and food blogging has been her full-time career since 2013. Her passion for blogging has grown into an intense desire to help fellow food bloggers find the information, insight, and community they need in order to find success.

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