Ronnie Nijmeh interviewed Marc Warnke, the Family First Entrepreneur earlier. Read Part 1 of the Family First Entrepreneur interview.
Interview with Marc Warnke
Q: You say that you’re a “Family First Entrepreneur.” What does that mean?
A: I think that this is best explained through an excerpt from my book.
The Family First Entrepreneur
In the introduction, I mentioned that I was on the path to being a Family First Entrepreneur. These three words came from a brainstorming session I had while on a road trip. I was trying to come up with a “simple idea” that cut to the marrow of how I see myself as a person. When I voiced the words, “Family First Entrepreneur,” I realized I had created a statement that was simple enough and powerful enough to create a movement.
A Family First Entrepreneur is someone with an entrepreneurial mindset who keeps his or her family first.
As we look more deeply into this definition, we must acknowledge that when business people put their families first, those two elements—business and family—affect one another in profound ways. For example, when I want time with my kids, that choice relates to and has a direct effect on the time I spend on business and other endeavors.
Family First Entrepreneurs make business choices based on the potential impact they will have on their families first, and on business profitability second.
People who align with this principle realize that their families’ ability to function properly also affects their businesses. There is nothing like family trauma to make a day at work both unbearable and unproductive. They realize they need a healthy marriage and family life to be their best while producing a living. At the same time, making a good living is part of keeping your family healthy and safe, so a successful business is one of the best gifts you can give to the people who depend on you. Family First Entrepreneurs need a healthy work-life balance, because the two are so interconnected.
Lastly, Family First Entrepreneurs have an attitude about wealth creation that puts the goal of building wealth for the enhancement of their family first and for material possessions second.
Whether you’re an empty nester, a single person, or have chosen not to have children, you still have a “family.” If you are someone who puts your family first, who wants work-life balance, and who would enjoy creating wealth entrepreneurially, I welcome you.
Q: How can we all start to live as Family First Entrepreneurs or family first working moms and dads?
A: Creating options instead of obligations is one first, big step. Families can do that right away by limiting lifestyle (spending less) and creating a surplus. Time is the biggie and that has to be bought. We all want to do the right thing as parents; the problem is that many of us don’t have the choice because we can’t afford the time. Having ONO is about creating the possibility of those choices in your life which support keeping your family first.
Q: What are some common problems people face in their quest to achieve balance in their lives? How can we overcome these hurdles?
A: Balance is a hot topic with today’s families. Not only are we having to work harder in today’s world, we are scheduling ourselves for more things. Many of our days move at a fast and furious pace. Why? Not enough time. I hate to sound like a broken record, but it constantly comes back to that. Time considerations must be a part of every decision we make.
Making decisions about our time is about valuing time as our most precious commodity. We only have 3700 weeks in our lives. A fact that is even scarier is that we only have 900 to spend with our children at home. We can’t give that time away because of inefficiency, poor planning, and silly spending. When we spend our money, we can buy less time. So I always ask people, “Would you rather drive a new car or have an extra 50 weeks’ worth of time to spend with the people you love?” With me, it’s an easy choice.
Balance requires making a plan and executing that plan. It doesn’t happen on its own. When family leaders develop a strategy to create balance with timelines, contingency funds, goal lists, and so forth, it becomes much more doable.
Q: As a professional speaker, author and coach, how do you put your family first when you have obligations coming at you from all directions?
A: I set ground rules for myself that keep me in check. I fight greed and my love of work. To keep those tendencies in check, I abide by certain rules that keep me engaged with my family. I quit work at five and pick up again, if needed, after the kids go to bed.
I have breakfast with my family, and we get up early so we have about two hours with one another before the day starts. I have most lunches with them, as well. I also work out of a home office which allows me to go up several times a day to see them. Lastly, when I travel I try never to be gone more than one night and two days.
With my personal fun time, I choose only quality time to be spent in pursuit of my own activities. This is the one that still has room for growth; I have a hard time with feeling selfish when it’s just for me.
When I limit myself with rules like these, they help to keep my family first.
Q: You have a series of seminars which deal with a variety of topics. Can you briefly talk about what kinds of seminars you provide?
A: Family First Entrepreneurism is the core focus of my presentations. I speak about entrepreneurism with the goal of supporting the family and how family life and its health can impact business. The title of my new book is ONO, Options, Not Obligations. In line with that concept, I also conduct seminars to help families create options in their lives as opposed to obligations.
Another topic that my readers are demanding and that we are now developing is how to teach entrepreneurism to children. We are going to call it Jakenomics. There are stories in ONO about my oldest son Jaken learning from Dad, and as it is with most children, Dad learning a lot from Jaken, as well. Those stories and the ones on my blog have been very popular with my readers, so we’re developing the Jakenomics seminars to assist them.
We also have a corporate product and service to help corporations become Family First businesses. We have systems in place and presentations that help corporations manifest core values within the company setting. We help them hire and keep more productive, balanced, long term employees by helping make a mental shift so that they consider staff members as people rather than as employees.
Q: You also have a new book; tell us a little bit about it!
A: Well, I figured it’s easier to provide you with the introduction to my book, ONO below. It sets the stage and will give you a little taste of what to expect.
This is not just a book about making money. It will help you become financially successful, but it does not stop there. The goal is to help you succeed in all areas in your life. When you combine financial and personal success, you will be in a better position to fulfill your intended purpose here on earth.
I believe in loving the people in my life more than any other thing. ONO: Options not Obligations is the story of how I discovered this simple truth. It took me awhile; in fact, it was not until I held my first child in my arms that I realized that all my wealth, all my possessions, even my life itself, would never mean as much to me as my wife and children. So, I evolved from an entrepreneur into a Family First Entrepreneur. It was that simple.
Sam Walton’s deathbed epiphany story is one of the high-power examples of what I think are the truly important things in life. Walton, the founder and creator of Wal-Mart, muttered the words, “I blew it,” on his deathbed. This was a man who contended for the title of richest man in the world, and these were his last words.
Sam Walton started the largest retail chain in America from the ground up. He had true financial wealth. He could buy anything he wanted, anytime he wanted. So, what did he mean when he said that he blew it? What could he have possibly done wrong?
Walton was referring to the fact that he regretted sacrificing too much of his time doing business, making money, and gaining power. He realized that it would have been better to spend that time with the people who were important in his life, the people who were gathered around his deathbed. Though it did not come until the end of his life, Sam Walton, an American business icon, finally realized the importance of the really juicy things in life—giving of yourself, putting your family first, building solid relationships, and helping others during your journey.
When I read Walton’s last words, I was overcome with two emotions. The first was sadness. It is very sad that a man who accomplished so much in the business world, a man so highly respected, was personally and emotionally unfulfilled.
The second and stronger feeling that this story brought to me was motivation. I vowed never to let the tower of success cast a shadow over the most important thing in my life: my family. Our friends, our families, and most importantly, our children all spell love, “T-I-M-E.” I have learned to prioritize my time. I always keep my family at the top of the list.
I am also a spiritual man, and I believe there is a divine plan for my life. I believe all things happen for a reason and valuable lessons are there for those who seek them out. I want to teach you to be a seeker. I want to inspire you to find your “Higher Purpose” here on earth and to remain on the lookout for ways to achieve it. That’s where the inspiration to write this book began.
I said earlier that this is not just a book about making money. But, what you’re about to read in these pages will give you the tools to create abundant wealth. I know the principles of ONO will work for you because I’ve used them successfully throughout my life.
- I have earned at least $200,000 a year entrepreneurially for the past 10 years.
- I made $1.5 million—in one year—when I was 35.
- I have never worked more than 9 months a year in my adult life.
- I have the luxury of employing a full-time personal assistant.
- Shortly after my first son was born, I was able to “retire” to savor every moment of being a hands-on dad.
- I have not needed to look for a regular job since I left college.
- I have the time and money to indulge my passions—spending time with the people I love, enjoying the outdoors, and traveling the world.
While all these things about me are true, this is not a book about me. This is a book about the idea of building wealth entrepreneurially with the intent to make a difference in our communities and families. ONO is the secret to the financial freedom that will enable you to be a Family First Entrepreneur.
In this book, I will be introducing to you both a lifestyle and a path to follow that will allow money to create wealth and produce positive changes in your life. When we don’t have fears about having enough money, we are free to focus on things greater than ourselves. We can devote energy to a Higher Purpose: spend a lot more time with our children, volunteer to do church work, help kids learn to read, donate time, effort or money to a favorite cause, or even shovel rhino poop at the zoo. Whatever it is, we all have some burning desire to do good deeds.
My goal is to make that decision possible for you. This book, along with my goal to launch two moral, spiritual, and prepared sons into the world, is my current “pay it forward” attempt. I want you to find that same motivation and passion. I believe you will benefit from and love what I have written, and I can’t wait to share it with you.Tags: family first entrepreneur, interview with experts, marc warnke, ONO, options not obligations