Can you do and have it all while enjoying the journey? And what is all? All for Renee Harris is 9 children and a hobby that turned into a full-time business with her husband.
In this episode, we will answer the following questions:
Why it’s important to pay attention to all of you.
Is the “idea” of catching up a myth?
How trial and error can turn into a business.
In business, should we strive for perfection or good enough?
How can taking a simple work to solve some of your personal and business problems?
Can you do and have it all while enjoying the journey? And what is all? All for Renee Harris is nine children and a hobby that turned into a full-time business with her husband.
In this episode, we will answer the following questions:
Why it’s important to pay attention to all of you.
Is the “idea” of catching up a myth?
How trial and error can turn into a business.
In business, should we strive for perfection or good enough?
How can taking a simple work to solve some of your personal and business problems?
Renee Harris is giving our listeners a free lotion bar when they apply the code at checkout: WENDY
Connect with Wendy Manganaro:
Connect with Wendy Manganaro:
[00:00:00] Wendy Manganaro: Hi everyone. My name's Wendy Manganaro and I am the Host of the Wellness and Wealth podcast. I'm so happy to have you find us. And if you could take a moment and hit that subscribe button, I'd really appreciate it. This is the podcast where we believe when you show up better for yourself as a woman business owner, you show up better for your business.
So sit back, relax. And learn from the practical to the woo-hoo, how to best take care of you.
[00:00:31] Wendy (2): Today is our fourth show and we are talking to Renee Harris.
Little secret before I even read her bio, she has nine children and a successful business that in itself is a feat that most women are like I cannot imagine nine children.
So that alone, but having a successful business on top of it and what mindset it really takes to have your children engaged in that. I'm just gonna quickly read Renee's bio Renee owns six figure online business, selling a unique handcrafted skincare product, specifically for dry cracked skin.
They started as a simple farmer market booth and then took it online, her husband, and she had nine children. Yep. She says they're all hers and MadeOn skincare their full time gig. So I'm really excited. Welcome Renee. Thanks for being on the show with me today.
[00:01:21] Renee Harris: Thank you, Wendy. And I think I've got it so that the kids are not gonna make noise in the background now they're used to this. They're used to this.
[00:01:31] Wendy (2): Good luck with that.
So I'm really excited to have you on, because a lot of the onus on this show is on the mindset but because you deal with skincare too, I wanna talk about that because my big thing is that business owners, especially female business owners need to have to learn how to take care of themselves spiritually, mentally, and physically, and taking care of your skin is part of that.
So I do wanna talk a little bit about that today. I think that all over that women need to continue to stand into caring for themselves and not putting themselves last.
[00:02:03] Renee Harris: And if I can jump in on that, do you mind if I jump in on that?
[00:02:06] Wendy (2): Sure. Not at all. Go right ahead.
[00:02:07] Renee Harris: It's triggering this in my head. Even before I was a business owner, something that I tell people is that your hands in our case, because we sell a skincare product for the hands. Your hands are your tools.
And so for years I didn't take my hands seriously enough. I didn't take care of 'em so that I could cook so that I could change diapers so that I can take care of the things around the household. And I would get these deep splits and cuts in my fingers. And just put bandaids on and manage because I could never find that solution.
So, when you're talking about moms, business owners and so on, you gotta take care of your own needs, especially the ones that keep you in pain or that keep you from getting your job done for the day. And that's how I felt it was with my finger. So I'm chopping lemons and it would sting like crazy and I'm done.
So I'm yelling at the kids, cuz my hands are in so much pain. They're not even necessarily doing anything wrong, but because my tools are not working. It messes everything up for me and I'd have to call, my husband can you go chop these lemons for me? I gotta go, my hands are just killing me.
So it's true. Whether it is putting makeup on and feeling good so that you can interact with customers or at least feel better or not feel so sick and sluggish and taking rest in the middle of the afternoon, but you feel guilty cuz you have so many things to do.
All of those are so important, but for me, even before I was a business owner, I neglected my own hands. I wanted to throw that in there that I completely understand needing to take care of the tools because it affects everything around you as far as that frustration. And then you're yelling at everybody around you.
[00:03:43] Wendy: Right. And that's important part, right? Cuz, how you feel again, physically, has a lot to do with how you look at life in general, because if you're always not feeling good or if you can't do something that you think in your head, you should be able to do because it's uncomfortable. And then I don't know about you, but I think in general, women are taught to be like, well, I shouldn't be feeling this way.
[00:04:05] Renee Harris: Yes.
[00:04:05] Wendy (2): So we press on,
[00:04:07] Renee Harris: We push through.
[00:04:08] Wendy (2): Or we Could take care of ourselves so that we could actually just do things better.
[00:04:13] Renee Harris: Yes.
And I still struggle with that. I have not completely figured that one out. How many of us say can, if I just had two more hours in the day I can catch up.
And if there's one thing I feel like I've learned is don't try to catch up. There is no catch up because there's always, especially when you own your own business, there's always more to do. So it's more of put those boundaries of when to stop for the day and figure out what's most important and let other things go because it may not pressing.
[00:04:39] Wendy (2): Absolutely. I am a big believer in that too, we're not gonna catch up. It took me a long time to do that. I'd be in the mindset of I have so much to do and then it I'm stuck in the drama of it then actually getting done that doesn't make sense either.
I could stop talking about it and do something. Now you're telling me a little bit of your story though, about your hand. So how did this start, that you ended up having this business?
[00:05:00] Renee Harris: Yeah,
it was definitely not expected. I had no, no business background, no entrepreneurial, ah, I gotta be released and go do I didn't have any of that. I was just raising my kids. So I didn't think of anything business related at all.
And what happened was with my hands I just figured everybody has issues. I should just be grateful that I've got two legs and two arms. And so I just have finger issues. And what AM I complaining about. I just don't have a solution. So I'm just gonna go through my day.
And my mom always had the same kind of dry skin issues too. So we would swap stories of, have you tried this? We would put the Eucerin, we'd put the overnight gloves on at the end of the day, it was always bandaids, but when you're washing dishes and changing diapers all day long, I mean, I had babies pretty much every two years.
So you're getting a lot of hand washing and a lot of dry skin and so on. So she, and I would swap stories. And then she lived in Colorado and she called me and said, Hey, I found this bar of lotion at a farmer's market. And it's really helping my skin. You should try to figure out how to make it.
And she always called me Susie homemaker. She's like, you know how to make stuff, go figure it out. And so I was making soap for fun. And, so I figure, lotion, soap, it's the same thing. It turns out it's absolutely not. Lotion is a whole lot easier, but she told me about that and I decided, maybe I'll figure out how to. It helps her skin and I wanna try it for my own skin.
And so I remember Googling recipes online and couldn't quite find what she was talking about until I went into one of my soap forums and people share recipes there. And finally I found this thing called a lotion bar. And there were like 15 recipes and I was a little skeptical, but I thought I'll try the easiest one.
It was a three ingredient bar and printed it out. Thankfully I found the ingredients at a local health food store. So I didn't have to go ship away and have end up with too much of an ingredient or something I'd never use again and brought it home and I made it. It was super easy to make and follow the instructions.
And the next day I was able to try it on my own skin and immediately it felt better, but I'm still not sure this is gonna actually fix my skin. So I kept consistently using it. And then it was amazing. It was actually fixing my cuts and those splits were starting to get healed up.
And I was shocked that it could do something so easily. And there was a little bit of a learning curve cuz pump lotion. It's very fast. You squirt it on, you rub it in. But the difference was is it didn't feel like it stayed in my skin. And if you put lotion on and then you go and cook, you have to wash your hands before you wash it all off all the time.
Whereas what I felt with the bar, there's no water in it. It has bees wax in it and it felt like it stayed in my skin longer. And I think that was all part of the healing process at the time. Fast forward. I'm finally getting a fix for my skin and my son had seasonal eczema and it helped his eczema too.
And he would get every winter some really bad, rash and eczema breakouts and I didn't wanna put 'em on steroids. So that was cool thing. And then oh, this would make great Christmas present.
And so I wasn't thinking business wise at all. And then a few months later, were in a very small town and they were launching a farmer's market and looking for vendors for the booths. And I thought I could sell bread. I. At the time, I'm like, I can get my boys involved, we can try to sell something.
And it would just kind more of a fun thing. And I'm home all the time. It'll get me out. And so I was gonna do bread and I researched and found, okay, that's really complicated, because all of the laws that you have to follow and you can't even do it from your own home. You have to go rent a kitchen.
Okay, well, I knew enough about business to know that I would be spending more than I'd be making most likely. So I nixed that idea and, decided that maybe these bars, if I figure out how to do the packaging. It was so basic back then, it's funny. And plus now you have so many tools like Canva, you can create so many things on your own.
And, so we decided that let's just do a little table and a booth. It ended up being such a great market research opportunity for me. Better than any kind of college experience I could have hoped for, because it was me knowing my product so well, and then going out and trying to explain something that no one has ever heard of to somebody else and figuring out, I only have one product at a farmer's market booth.
How am I gonna do this? And so it was a lot of learning as I went. And thankfully, I didn't have the pressure of, I have to make money on it. I have to support my family, cuz that would've been hard to suddenly go into that without having some experience. But it was a great opportunity to really understand what people's needs were and to have people come back the next Saturday and buy more to me was wow, this is working for other people too not just me. And then the lessons that was teaching my two boys, they were my little sellers and we had samples. All the little things that they say to do. We were doing back then without really knowing it. Kind of a little bit of this makes sense to let people try it first. So we had little cut up lotion bars, and people would think it was cheese and they would, almost eat it.
I tell my kids don't let people eat it. Tell them what it is. Explain what it does and so on. So it was a great opportunity for them. And then, fast forward, a few months later, I enjoyed the farmer's markets, but it takes a lot of time and we would end up just trading more than we would make money.
But then we did a lot of trading cuz I wanted my boys to enjoy that experience. So we'd come home with jam and jelly and homemade swords and dog beds and all kinds of stuff but it was a great experience trying it out and then realizing, I think we might be able to sell this online.
If we then go to the next step. And back then it wasn't even really podcast, we were at the library, checking out books and reading everything that Seth Godin put out, because that was our one person that we could follow and figure out how do you do this? So that was the story.
It wasn't even like we had expected to start a business. But, within two years we made that a full-time income where I couldn't do it all alone and we're homeschooling our kids the whole time. So, my husband came on board and then we were able to just make this a full-time thing for us.
[00:10:47] Wendy: Wow. So let's back up a little bit. I wanna point out something to you, and this is actually a really great mindset tool that you talked about without even realizing it. You said I didn't have it all together. I didn't really know. We did a little packaging and then we tried it.
Right. And I can't tell you how many business owners don't do that. They're trying to get it perfect before they launch it. And it is such a hurtful mindset to do to yourself, right? I'm not saying that you put out garbage. That's not what I'm saying, but they try to get to perfect before they get to done and then they never put out the new package.
And so the fact that you not knowing was probably the best thing that could have happened. Because you were like, well, lemme go try this. Right.
[00:11:33] Renee Harris: And having access to so many things now is a blessing and a curse because now you know, more, but then you feel like you have to achieve to a certain level.
Whereas back then we didn't have, all we had were a couple of books that we can find at the library, but we didn't know anybody else who were business owners. We had nobody to compare notes with other than the other vendors, but that's it. And then once we went online, we definitely didn't have anybody else to compare notes with.
And now that you say that, I think of all of the projects that I still have. Sitting there that never did get developed and maybe they, those would've been amazing, but you get only so far. And then get distracted with something else or something else becomes more important that you leave it behind and then it's still sitting there.
And there's probably tons of people with lots of gold that they started to mine but they didn't finish looking for it. It's like this close.
[00:12:23] Wendy: And it is a common thread especially in entrepreneurship.
But whether it was purposeful or not, it was probably the best thing that you could have done. There was no I gotta get this right. Because you got it out and I'm sure you look at your past even I go back, I have a database of every client I've ever worked with and I see what I've done, in the beginning compared to what I could do now.
[00:12:47] Wendy (2): And it cracks me up because it's so different which is wonderful. And I didn't know what, I didn't know. So I didn't have the fear of not doing. Which I think we can get caught up on. So, I actually think that's a great backstory and one of the best mindset stories you can have is I tried it. It was gonna be
[00:13:07] Renee Harris: Yeah. My son made a little video for me, several years ago of our early days. He was one of them that was at the farmer's market with me and later he got into video editing.
So for mother's day, he put together all of our old pictures of us at the farmer's market. And I'm just looking at, I'm not even seeing that, oh, isn't this beautiful? Look at how brave we were. I'm looking at those labels are horrible. They don't match but at the time I thought
these look pretty cool. But when you look at some of the early stuff, you just go, oh, but it's okay. I mean you have to start somewhere.
[00:13:38] Wendy (2): And we look at celebrities and we never know the backstory.
It's that same kind of mindset. Like somebody could look at you now whose five years less in business and go, look where they are. Instead we see people where they're at when we meet them, we don't see the process that they went through.
[00:13:54] Renee Harris: The current struggle is sometimes kept under wraps. We don't always know what the current struggle is, even though it looks great on the outside.
[00:14:01] Wendy: Well, I'm a big believer that business is a journey period.
[00:14:06] Wendy (2): And so even within there, there's no, when we get here, because when you get there, you wanna do something else too. There's nothing wrong with that. Go do that next goal. But there's this idea well, when everything works out, no, that's not business. Business has so many ups and downs and that hence why it's so important to take care of yourself because.
You need the stick-to-itiveness to be able to ride the ups and downs and you can't, if you're not taking care of
[00:14:34] Renee Harris: Yep. That's literally what I had a conversation with some other ladies about yesterday because, we were all talking about some of the difficulties that we were having in our businesses and everyone was sharing.
And for me it was I will try something. I'll devote a lot of time. I will learn. And then if I don't get the outcome that I expected, I get frustrated and I set it aside and I go a different direction altogether. And they were saying, what about the journey?
What are the positives that came out of the journey of those? And it was after we were done talking, I realized, wait, I learned so much about that platform. Or this ad I put together turned out great. Even though didn't something really amazing what I learned in the process was fantastic. And now I have that to apply to something else, but sometimes you get so wrapped up in the failures along the way that you miss the bigger picture. And I'm noticing too, probably more this year than ever, is that things that take time.
Like, if you're gonna plant something, you're not gonna reap the harvest until way later, and you don't even know what that's gonna look like and the things you planted that you weren't sure were gonna take off are taking off and other things that you thought were gonna be great did not, but it's that journey.
If you can just, did you get to watch that a little bit of that growth and get excited when you did see some things grow, cuz that's where you have to remember to look and, wait till the end and some things will work and some won't, but, that whole journey part you have to enjoy that as well.
[00:15:57] Wendy (2): Yes! So, I heard you had two kids when this all started.
[00:16:02] Renee Harris: Well, no, we had more
[00:16:03] Wendy: I was gonna ask you how many kids did you have? I know you have nine now, but how many, when you
[00:16:07] Wendy (2): started this
[00:16:08] Renee Harris: We had seven when we started.
Seven when we started little farmer's market. And what's happened with this is that we were starting to gain some momentum online. We turned it into an eCommerce story about a year after the farmer's market. I was figuring out the marketing side back when mom bloggers were really making bank. And so we tapped into that and worked with a lot of mom bloggers online and they became affiliate for us.. So that was our way of getting the products out there so that it could be the stories getting told by other moms. And it was a great way to have that relationship and build our business up.
And my husband was still working his at home job in the tech field and we were also starting to see we needed to supplement a little bit more of his income because people were getting laid off. This doesn't look very good.
And then a lot of his coworkers were having to travel more. And so if you wanted to stick with the tech field, you had to be willing to be gone away from home, several weeks out of the year. And we didn't like that. So a lot of the things we weren't really happy with, we thought let's try to put some more time and effort into the business, and see if we can get that to go.
And so, pretty much, we got that to the point where it was given us a little bit of extra income every month. And then he got noticed that he was getting laid off. And that's when I, the same month that I was do with number eight . And so we had one month to make a decision. What are we gonna do? Because we live in Northern California, away from the big cities.
And so for him to stay in his field, he would have to move into those cities or at least compete in those markets. And we loved where we live. We had a lot of kids. We didn't wanna go to the big city. We like the freedom that we have, where we are. And so we decided, you know what we have little bit of a buffer with savings. Let's just throw it all into the lotion business. And that's what we did. So thankfully within, I think, six months to a year, we were able to replace his income with what we were doing at home, but it was a lot of scrambling and
Talk about mindset switch. I wasn't used to that at all. Me being the stay at home mom, doing what I wanted to do and things on the side to now, oh, there's a little pressure because I'm up there. And then for his mindset, there was a lot of mindset switch as well.
[00:18:17] Wendy: So that leads me to this question there is a lot of people who have successful businesses and they still, don't feel comfortable or they're waiting to get to some level to leave corporate America so I'm curious what ideas you've had to leave behind that.
Weren't gonna work for you going forward trying to do this business.
[00:18:43] Renee Harris: I think once we started to figure out that we could make the money online, that's when we thought, oh, someday we can make this a full-time gig. But we didn't see that as we would wait until it was comfortable for him to leave and do this full time.
So we just figured whenever that happened, it wasn't gonna be then. But then when we were forced to get into it, I think it was almost forced mindset switch. Like we had no, I shouldn't say that we had no choice. He could have decided to go find another job, but we knew that if that were the case, we wouldn't get to enjoy the same lifestyle that we had.
And if anything, it would slow things down because now we have to balance a new job, possibly him not being at home. Cuz I had a lot of advantages of him working from home. , I had a lot of freedom to go do other things. And if that, if he had to be away from. We would, it would be harder for me to run a business and raise kids.
So it was forced, change. And so I'm glad it happened. I have to say I'm really glad now looking back that it happened because it would've delayed if even fulfilled our dream of running a business together from home. So I think the biggest struggle though, that we had was switching it into, he is now having to rely on me.
To be the one in the front to make the money and he's supporting completely. We had to figure out what is his role in the business, because I'm the one reaching out to the mom bloggers. And he's figuring out that I'm a little bit of a micromanager. We couldn't just divide the rules. You do this. I do this. I was more no, you can't say that to that person because you don't understand her personality. So, that was probably the hardest part in our marriage to figure out. Now we are like, we have started a second business just because we enjoy the way that we work together.
And we have our strengths and weaknesses nailed down. We're used to it, but the biggest at the time was that switch. So in some ways I hate to tell people quit your job and go do your new thing, because it is a risk and you have to make sure you've got some buffer and you have some plans.
And what are you gonna do? Maybe part of it is if you do something like that, and you're pretty confident it's gonna work, just know that you're gonna throw yourself into those hours of work. And you'll have to do what it takes at the same time, as you're saying, take care of yourself because if you think that might last two or three years and you're working crazy hours, you will hurt yourself. A hard call to make for sure.
[00:21:00] Wendy: And I can see that and then add in parenting and not feeling guilty that you're working on your business.
[00:21:06] Wendy (2): I had that with one child. Where I felt I should be with them when I was working. But, how did you and your husband overcome that so that you have enough time for you enough time for family, and enough time for anything else that you want.
We were talking about this in a couple of my last shows this hustle mindset. How do you not stay in a hustle mindset?
[00:21:28] Renee Harris: I think once you get it into your mind that if you don't stop, it's gonna make it worse. Even if it's just for that day. I mean, sometimes it's well, I'm just gonna keep working, I'll wait till Saturday and then rest or Sunday and then rest.
But you have to build that into every single day of where and when your stopping point is, or just stopping and resting. So it is hard to stop. Like you can be in the middle of a project and then if you feel if I stop and rest, I know that I'm gonna have to go back and remember things or.
Pick up where I left off. I'd just rather just push through and then rest. And then you realize when you thought you were done, you're not done cuz there's another thing waiting for you. So we have found we have to get out and get in the sun.
I gotta get the dose of sun every day. So early on we definitely stopped and we would take our walks and the kids were old enough that we can keep 'em at home and take a walk. Or if we had a baby, we'd take the baby with us, but people would see us all the time like that in our neighborhood.
You can see Jonathan Renee taking a walk, but it was amazing to see how many ideas we would get, where we're walking. We're getting out because we're exhausted and stressed or whatever. And we're on a walk and then you decompress you're out in nature.
And then all of a sudden it's like, you know, that problem I was having this morning. Duh, why don't I just do this? So you've got this solution by getting outside and walking. And then the other thing that we would do is make the rest time. It would be always, and this is another habit building thing, lunch and then rest. And we always had, kids as soon as they're able to clean up take turns, with clean up after lunch, when we're done with lunch and I don't even cook lunch, it's the kids, we train them.
That was part of the process too, is you have to figure out what things you can train your kids to do. So you're not doing them. And so we can walk after lunch or rest after lunch because we have somebody in the kitchen clean up. And then when we get up from a break it's clean.
If you're a mom I know it's hard when you have little ones. I didn't have that where I had only little ones, like only a two year old. And then I have to balance. That's a lot of balancing and even though I have nine for the mom having just one, two year old, that's still tough. And I get that. That is hard because you're trying to figure that out of the, when and how, and people say, you should rest when the baby rests.
And then you realize, yeah, but that's the only time I have to get anything done. And so there's all of that. It is definitely a balance, but it's almost like you have to create a habit and then over time it becomes a habit. That. And then, oh, you asked about the kids, which is another big one too.
So right now, I still deal with that. My husband is the one that says, Nope, you go do your thing. I've got the kids under control, focus, whatever. There's a time when I would, we rented, office space in another city for me to go to just so I can have that quiet time because. I had too much, mom guilt on me when I was in the house trying to work.
Somebody would wanna ask me a question and I'd say, okay. Yeah, come and ask me real quick. And then it turned into, 10 minute question or whatever. And so for that time I had to physically leave the house. Now I'm better trained where I have my six year old will come in, but she has a little desk next to my desk and I'm printing her little coloring pages.
She is so into that. She becomes my buffer. I have trained her when it's not okay for the other kids to come and interrupt me. She's the only one that really would but there's certain times when I'll say, okay, Sophie, mommy's gonna be on a call. Make sure nobody comes in the room. Now she knows she can't even come in the room.
And on top of that, she gets to feel powerful because she gets to stop everybody else from coming in the room. And everybody knows let's make her feel really good, cuz she's got a role now. But those are the little things that you do that you figure out those little tricks to get your kids involved in a helpful way so that it's not, they need you.
And then, later on you can meet their needs, but there's a time when you have to train your kids to help meet your needs. It's a family.
[00:25:19] Wendy (2): I think it gives everybody something to do, and , you're teaching them respecting boundaries and time.
You're teaching them what is emergency that way or what isn't an emergency because you have them more involved in the process of, yeah.
It really helps stabilize the child and it gives them time to have quiet time too, because they're learning how to take care of yourself.
[00:25:41] Renee Harris: Yeah. It's all of that. And as you're raising kids and they're younger, you're not sure how they're gonna turn out.
You hope you're doing the right thing. And now we can confidently say that our older kids are doing really well at being responsible adults and the fact that they pretty much are all now self-employed. So it didn't always happen that way. Like one of 'em he's half and half, but, he's creating his own business after working for somebody else.
And it's in the same field, but now five that are out of the home now are all self-employed. And a lot of it is because they saw the whole process with us. It could have been the opposite. They could have seen the hard and the bad, and they could have seen us complain all the time. And would've said, no way, am I ever gonna be self-employed.
I'm gonna go to something that's stable, dependable. I wanna work for somebody else, but because they saw the good and the bad and because we also pay them when they help us and work for us. So they know that when times are good, they get more money or more work. And then when times are harder, they don't as much.
So they balance all of that. Because they have been raised with that now. That's what they're used to, and I'm glad that's the path they've chosen. We would've supported them with whatever, but I'm glad that they're choosing that that's an option to be self-employed and if they choose not to, but they go into the workforce, they know that they still have skills.
They can fall back on to make them self-employed if they wantto.
[00:27:04] Wendy (2): I love that. And actually, I was gonna ask you that question because, in our society up until probably the last 10 years, but really through the pandemic, I think people have been realizing the security of that nine to five job, especially after the pandemic is not as secure as what people have thought. I think for the last, probably 10 to 20 years, people are going we can reimagine. People talk about reimagining themselves so much more now than ever before, which is fabulous. Even in my generation, although I come from a family entrepreneurs, it was always safer to have a secure job. That's the ideology that a lot of people grew up with. So I'm curious on, and you talked a little bit, but if you could talk more about how did you give your children, the opportunity to feel like entrepreneurship was secure?
Because there's a sense of security knowing that it could work out, which is a mindset thing. And that it's not all horrible that there's a journey, but there's a possibility that there's almost an expectation because you've done it so well that they could do well.
[00:28:08] Renee Harris: They could do it
too. Yeah. So at the time when my husband was laid off. And we were trying to do the role figuring out part, he had to take on more of the homeschooling. And I had a background. I was a high school teacher before, I started having kids. And so I knew, I can teach no problem.
We'll homeschool our kids. And that was a decision we made from the time they were little. And I was doing that up until he got laid off and he said, you know like being self-employed and being an entrepreneur, you could think outside the box. And we applied that to the way that we were homeschooling the kids.
And he said, we don't have to just go through these textbooks and take tests. And because for him, he had a master's degree and he never really felt fulfilled in the jobs that he did have. And he went through different fields. He enjoyed the work he did, but he didn't have the freedom that he felt like I've got a lot more potential.
I could be doing this better for this company, but there was always that but you have to get past all the gatekeepers. Even before blogging was big, he thought we ought to be posting the things that we're learning and doing with our company and making that public so people can see and learn.
And so on. Now it's a normal thing. And something that he wasn't even allowed to do back then. So part of it was, he took on more homeschooling and we had kids that were start becoming teenagers at that time. So 10, 12, and he decided, you know what, I want each of my kids to not have to have the same struggles to get their degrees.
That's fine. We were not against having a degree at all, but it has to work. The kids' education has to work for the kid, not the other way around instead of having to fill. Different education buckets and fulfill all these different little requirements. Why not spend all that time that we have developing certain skill sets and talents that each kid is interested in to the point that by the time we're done with them, they do either have a business or they have a skillset that can get them into the college they want either by a scholarship or just by showing that they're really good at this thing, that the college is gonna want them for and they can pursue that. But either way, he made it more of a talent based education for the kids. And that's our second business I alluded to.
We have parent their passion.com is where we teach parents when kids are around 12, they've got all this energy. Are they gonna sit and, and play games on the computer all the time? Or are they gonna only follow TikTok for the rest of their lives? Or are they gonna actually build some kind of a skill set?
And even if it's coding or gaming, something related to that, there are still plenty of skills you can learn with the things that you're interested in, but we teach them young to start bringing value. So that's one of the big mindsets that we do with the kids. The time that you're doing with this thing that you're learning is great.
We support you in that. How is it gonna bring value to somebody. And it doesn't have to be monetary value. You could be helping somebody else out, so they get that mindset of, oh, I love even, it could be woodworking. I love woodworking. Okay. Then why don't you create something that somebody else really wants or needs and build it around that and find out all the skills you need.
Start building those skills up, get really good at it so that people know you as the woodworker guy and so that's really what happened to each of our kids. When people meet our family, they're like, oh, you have the kid, that's the artist or the drone operator or the videographer.
They have certain skills and talents that are super developed. And I credit my husband for that. He took that over and started to develop that within the kids. So it wasn't just that they worked in our business and became entrepreneurs. It was the thing that they got really good at, and then you feed history and art and math.
You cater it to that talent became really the focus. And by the time they're 16 or 18 people are coming to them for those skill sets and it's been amazing to see that process. So that's in a nutshell how the kids have developed it.
[00:31:47] Wendy (2): I think when we talk about entrepreneurship in general, I still think that up until this point we don't put enough onus that it's okay to have your own business. It's okay to develop that skill set. It's okay
to develop something. That's not in the realm of what everybody else is doing. And what a wonderful thing to do though, because when you do that, at least from my experience is when you are working in the field that you love you have the security to know that's a safe thing to. And again, not that business doesn't have ups and downs.
But that idea that you have that security in there that you can do this because you've become this expert in it. I think that's what life's supposed to be about. And we keep trying to put ourselves like square pegs into
[00:32:36] Renee Harris: exactly.
And it's so much more fulfilling. And even I asked my daughter yesterday, she's my artist. She does my graphics on my Instagram account where you can put the little highlights. And so she did that. She was doing that for me like four years ago. And then I had a new one I wanted to put out.
So I asked her and she gets it right away and she can read mind, because she's worked with that before. It's a safe place for the kids to experiment with that. And, you're dealing with kids who are like, oh, I can make a million bucks off this.
And mom you're in my way. You have to manage that, but it's better that than managing kids that are hanging out with the wrong kids, doing nothing going downhill, you see potential. And the kids are blah. And then struggling with that relationship with the kids, you're constantly at war with each other.
So I would much rather have the kid that says. Mom I gotta work till two on this project, cuz I told this guy I'd have it done for him. And I had some setbacks. I'm like, you know what, go for it. In fact, I will go make you a cup of coffee and I'll see you in the morning and not put that pressure on like you know, you're supposed to get your science done when you, we have more freedom with that. And it's great to have that working relationship with the kids so they know that they can come to us too. So everybody has struggles with their kids, their teenagers or whatever we all do.
We definitely do. But I think I'd rather have this kind of struggle than that kind of struggle.
[00:33:50] Wendy: I think that's fantastic. So this is how I've been ending. Questions of the show is mindful solutions versus practical solutions, meaning what can parents who are already entrepreneurs, do mindfully and what practical actions can they take to
inolve their children get them excited about the process?
[00:34:10] Renee Harris: Okay. I've got a good one for this one. I think a way to get the kids a little bit more on board and excited is to tap into now, this depends on the age of the kids, obviously. So you have to work with the age and sometimes the parents have to create something that may or may not be useful to the parent, but it's better if it is, but if it's not, at least you're gonna make it a teachable moment for the kids.
So you tap into those things that the kid is naturally good at. So for example, my little six year old will do this little song and dance, or she just likes dancing outside in the leaves or whatever. So I'll video her. And then I will show her because, oh, one thing I did, let me back up.
I gave her one of my products that we sell and I had her dance with it. And then I took a video of her. And then later I took that and made it like a short little gif. And it's on the thank you page. After people place an order, they see this cute little girl dancing, holding my product. So she's already bringing.
Value to me. And she's six now. I actually did that video a few years ago when she was really little and it was super cute, but now she already knows that she is valuable, and she likes seeing herself. She's like, oh mom, that's me. I'm like, yeah, you did that when you were little. So that's like the very youngest has a job.
And then you think about the other kids along the way. My 16 year old, he actually does a lot of podcast editing. That's what his gig is. And so he can put sounds together. He loves doing sound design. So when I have a video that I put together, I send it to him and say, okay, I need some captions for this.
And so then he does that, sends it back to me and then I show them oh, this is great. Or if somebody compliments something on a video, I tell him you know what? So, and so was really impressed that you were able to get that and it looked great. So I think big complimenting on anything that they do is super valuable because they wanna please, you, even if they're, even if they're acting like a jerk that day at the end of the day, they want to hear some affirmation from you.
And so if you find those things and what you would ask your eight year old compared to what you would ask your 10 year old might not be the same, cuz one's good at it one's not. But then you find that things that each is good at, I think they can see that they're participating in the business. And for us, Christmas season is super busy and the kids know that and everybody wants to do certain things.
They wanna go here and they wanna go there. So we have to carve in those parties and events or going and chopping down a Christmas tree or whatever. But we're also like black Friday until mid-December, it is around the clock. Super busy. But the kids know that they get paid and I always make sure to buy extra little gifts or of a sudden I'll show up with some kind of snack that they love or whatever it is just finding little ways to reward them because we are it's all hands on deck.
You guys, if we were farmers. We'd be out in the field right now, harvesting all these tomatoes or whatever, cuz we're doing this as a family, but let's go afterwards. We get to go do this fun thing together. And so finding those things to reward them. But then also noticing Hey, you are really good at this.
Can you do this for me? And then they'll do it and you reward them. And I think that really builds that part up that they're part of the family business as well.
[00:37:25] Wendy: I wanna say one thing because for the money mindset idea, I love that you pay your children.
And it, and it's not even about the amount it's about teaching them the value that there worth something and that they should be paid because what the first show we did was on pay equality and the fact that people don't ask for what they need. Because they don't know their value or, or perceived value.
So I, I think that's such an important thing to teach your children young, that they're valued. And in our world, the way that we do that, it happens to be with money. I mean that is the best way because then it sets up an expectation where they're not afraid to ask for what they're worth later.
And I think that that's so important.
[00:38:10] Renee Harris: Oh yeah.
I had one son that was 17 and graduated and he was working for us and he wanted a big raise and he did do a lot. He was doing really good work for us. And so he negotiated, it was great to hear him negotiate.
And it was almost like a double the amount paid, but he also said what his value was gonna be. And it was a situation where I think he wanted to get paid by the project versus by the hour. Cause he felt like, mom, when I'm getting paid by the hour, I'm just gonna slow down. But that's a whole work ethic thing to go talk through too.
So we agreed to do it that way. It worked out great. And I said, I don't care when you, as long as you finish it by these sort of deadlines. I don't care if you work at two in the morning, or if you work at two in the afternoon, doesn't matter. As long as it gets done. And I'm is easier in long run for me to pay him almost like a salary instead of by the hour and having to calculate all that.
And then at the end of the day, just to date, he's now living in Alabama, but he called and he had some tax questions. He's 18 now. So he had some tax questions and he needed to know what he made two years ago from. I gave him the amount and I said, you made pretty good for 16 year old.
He goes and that was mostly from you guys. I'm like, oh, OK. But I was glad that he could see that and then take that. And now he's, self-employed, he's an efficiency expert. He's created his own job title. He works with a certain kind of software that makes things run smoothly for business owners.
And he loves it, he's on the phone all the time. He works from home or the coffee shop, but at age 18, he's creating his own role, which 18 year olds, aren't thinking in terms of, I think I'm gonna do this and no one's ever heard of this title.
I'm just gonna create it myself and run my own business.
[00:39:45] Wendy (2): I think it's amazing. And I think changing that mindset out there of allowing kids talent to flourish they can really go,
[00:39:52] Renee Harris: And so many resources now that you and I didn't have 'em we were growing up.
So it's, they get so much that they can have access to.
[00:40:00] Wendy: Yeah. I was still in the either you go to college or you don't, your life is over type of thing, and I'm not opposed to college. I'm not, I have an MBA. I think that's wonderful. But I also think that I went to school for four years for criminal justice.
And I am not a police officer today too. So, I think there needs to be some latitude.
[00:40:20] Renee Harris: And I'm not a high school teacher anymore unless you count my own, but I'm not getting paid much for that.
[00:40:25] Wendy (2): Exactly. So I really do think that there's something to being able to look at what somebody's talent is and go with that.
So I could talk to you for hours more, but I do wanna ask, I think you have an offer for our audience. So how can people get in touch with you and find out about your products?
[00:40:40] Renee Harris: Yes. I would love for people to do is try our products. So the easiest way to do it is go straight to hard. lotion.com/wellness, a N D and wealth. And then that will give a free product. And I will put the coupon Kona on that page.
[00:40:55] Wendy: Thank you so much for spending some time with me today. This has been fantastic.
[00:40:59] Renee Harris: Thank you so much fun. And I thank you for just great questions. I love talking about this stuff, so thank you.
Renee owns a 6-figure online business selling a unique handcrafted skincare product specifically for dry, cracked skin. She started as a simple farmer's market booth and then took it online. She and her husband have nine children (yup, all ours), and MadeOn Skin Care is a full-time gig.