Peter Awad of the Slow Hustle podcast joins us today. Peter’s mission and goals are similar to the 2 Cent Dad podcast in his focus on family and business and life’s mission. Here is what his website says
Business is hard. It’s fun, exciting, crazy and also stressful, depressing, debilitating. It’s the ultimate of roller coasters. Theme parks have nothing on it. After talking with dozens and dozens of entrepreneurs, I realized I am not the only one feeling these extreme emotions. They are actually universal and seemingly part of the entrepreneurs’ handbook (which doesn’t exist).
Listen up, Peter has some great things to say.
Why don’t you give us an intro to you
- Full blown Egyptian guy, immigrant parents.
- Parents started a grocery story.
- I started working at the grocery store very young and loved it.
- Learned about hard work, and gained a natural interest in business.
- When to school for mechanical engineering.
- Started my first ecommerce business in 2001, and worked on that from midnight to four in the morning.
- My siblings are also hard workers. I think we learned that at the store, and that’s translated into different careers.
- When you grow up in that environment and see what that takes, you put it in.
- So now i’m married and have 4 kids, ages 2 to 9, and we’ve had a lot of ups and downs in the business.
- Being in the automotive industry in a recession isn’t a great place to be. I learned a lot about myself, that my identity was tied to financial success, and I learned that I couldn’t carry the burden home. I realized that I was at home, but I wasn’t present with them. And I realized I couldn’t do that to my family. At that’s when I wanted to put family first.
- Gary V. says his family is #1, but that he works all day every day. That can’t be.
- My friend Arel Moodie says what’s the point of being a public success but a private failure.
I think a lot of people buy into that Gary V. narrative that you can do it all. But at the end of the day, you’re going to be prioritizing one over the other. Based on your podcast, what have you learned?
- I think it’s all about habit, and fencing the time off that’s most important to you.
- I love the grunt. I want to create things until I die. But that’s not the only legacy I want to leave. I didn’t start a business so that I could grind until I die.
- I had a guest who worked hard and flew everywhere, and one day he came home and his wife was gone. I don’t want that to happen to me.
- So you have to be good with how you spend your time.
> You start off saying yes to everything because you kind of have to, because you don’t know what your purpose is. But the problem is that we continue to do that and we don’t have any margins or space left. 12:00
You either need to say hell yes or hell no when an opportunity comes up. If your answer isn’t hell yes, then you need to say no.
People who have clarity, and pair that with an excellent scheduling habit then have the time to be the best husband, father, and friend.
Why do you catch yourself when you say balanced life?
- Because it doesn’t exist. There are counterbalances. I have become attuned to when I am approaching burnout. When my time is filled up too much. Then, I have my counterbalance. Counterbalance might be clearing my schedule for the rest of the week and instead do stuff I know will make me feel better. Like spending time with my family. If I need to feel like the business is moving forward, then I have activities I do that make me feel like that’s happening; like sending emails.
- It’s not balance, it’s counterbalance.
I feel energized when I have a lot going on, but then I do eventually approach burnout. So tell me about your transition from the auto industry to becoming more self employed. What did you and your wife talk about around that time?
- The automotive business is my ecommerce company. I haven’t taken a job since I graduated college. Those difficult conversations were around recession time when I said that I don’t want the business to go under, which means I’m not going to pay myself for a year and we’re going to live off savings.
How do you have those conversations and receive that support from your spouse?
- It was tough, but that decision has paid dividends. We talked to each other and talked to mentors, and have had a lot of success since. And failures. But we’re in a good place.
Your upbringing was very entrepreneurial, but your siblings went other ways. Now you have a hustle thing, you’re traveling in an RV, tell me about the things you’re doing and what you’re trying to instill in your kids.
- I’m from florida, my wife is from Iowa. Florida boy in Iowa doesn’t do well in winter, so we ended up traveling a lot in winter. Now with the kids, I want them to feel comfortable in the uncomfortable. I want them to know what to do when they’re the new kid on the block over and over and over again.
- Being able to make friends fast is a great skill. We go to a park, and my kids always have new friends by the end.
- We homeschool, ask me in 5 years how we’re doing with that. I like it because it gives us flexibility to move around. This works for us because my wife feels like she’s meant to be home working with them. There are kids out there who are much better suited to be at school.
- If you have the opportunity, it’s hypocritical of me to not allow them the same flexibility I want for myself. They’re learning incredible stuff that they wouldn’t have been able to learn in school.
- I recently started my company, I had lots of interviews and no one asked me about my schooling. They all asked me about my business, because it was what I was doing. I want the kids to be able to have these experiences.
So that’s built into the lifestyle that you guys are doing. What are some of the habits that you guys are doing?
- One of the things I do is having scheduled one on one time. It’s a big deal for me because we have so many kids. I don’t want to lose an intimate connection with them. It’s fun to see them unrestricted by their siblings.
- Time to get to know them more as a human being. They call it selfie time.
- Another habit is scheduling a babysitter so that me and my wife get some alone time.
It’s like face time versus shoulder time
Yeah it’s like are you and your spouse on parallel roads, or do you really know what’s going on with them?
Just pay attention. Try to get more of what’s working and get rid of what’s not working.
Slow Hustle Podcast