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Kathy Marshack News

Minimize Stress by Creating a More Workable Schedule

Monday, March 11, 2013


Do you feel like there are just not enough hours in the day? It's a common complaint to hear someone say they need more time. And if you constantly feel anxiety and stress because you’re too busy there can be mental and physical health repercussions. By following a few simple time management tips, you might just be able to feel like you are accomplishing more during your day.


Here are a few simple strategies worth implementing:


1. Schedule your day thoughtfully. Write it out on paper or electronically. Distribute activities evenly throughout the day. If it starts to get too hectic, focus on the most important tasks and move the others to another day.


2. If you must reschedule, do it as soon as possible especially if it involves someone else. You want them to have the opportunity to shift around their schedule. This is just common courtesy.


3. Identify opportunities to multi-task. This requires creativity. Look for ways to merge tasks. Make phone calls while getting your car service...throw in a load of laundry and then run to the grocery store. 


4. Be flexible. Things come up, mistakes are made, and not everything goes as planned. When you are more prepared to go with the flow you won’t feel so out of control.


Creating more time in the day will give you a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment. If these strategies are just not working and you continually feel overwhelmed, you may need to learn stress management techniques. A mental health care professional can assist you in this regard. Contact my office to set up an appointment. 


Click here to learn more about Managing Stress. 

Entrepreneurial Couples - Navigate Successfully Through Difficult Conversations

Thursday, February 14, 2013


“I'd like to talk with you about something," she says.

"What now?" he asks with a sigh.

"Well I'd like to know what we are going to do about this problem," she says, starting to get frustrated.

"I'll take care of it. Stop pressuring me!" he shouts.

"I'm not pressuring you. I just want to help and I think we should talk about it," she says imploringly.

"I said I'd take care of it. I'm working on it. Why won't you get off my back?" he says emphatically.
  


Does this conversation sound familiar? If it does, then you are most likely married or in a long-term relationship. These types of conversations are even more typical when a married couple also works together. Even though they may be common in relationships, it doesn't mean they are healthy. In fact they are frustrating and can cause long-term damage.   


In order to change the course of these conversations, there are three things to keep in mindFirst, when couples live and work together there is an increased potential for misunderstanding. The more you are around anyone and the more you talk with that person, the more opportunity there is for miscommunication, misunderstanding and arguments. Second, when you work with the one you love, misunderstandings carry more weight than they might with someone you are not as emotionally connected with. You care more what they think of you and if they believe you care about them. Third, men and women problem solve differently. While men are competitive and want to prove themselves by solving the problem on their own, women strive to include others in the process of problem solving to come up with a group decision.


So if we take another look at the dialog above with these three considerations in mind, the miscommunication is much easier to unravel. First, the wife is trying to have a conversation with her husband about a subject that they have probably beaten to death, and with no resolution. She means well, but he feels like she is just shoving his face into the problem once again. Secondly, the husband also believes that she is accusing him of failing to solve the problem or to solve it quickly enough. In reality, she is offering to help him solve it. Third, the wife assumes that her husband understands that she is trying to help when she asks questions, but he can only hear that she is asking questions he cannot answer. (Click here read the reverse dialog when the couple understands these communication differences.)   


It may not always been this simple. It takes a lot of hard work to try to navigate communication pitfalls, but it can be done. The better you are at reading those subtle differences in style that can lead to tragedy or success, the more likely you are to be successful in all your communications in business. Set up an appointment with a marriage therapist/family business coach who can help guide you through this process.


For more information, take a look at my book Entrepreneurial Couples - Making it Work at Work and at Home.

Defining the Solo Entrepreneur with a Supportive Spouse

Thursday, December 27, 2012


What is an entrepreneurial couple? Since I wrote a book about entrepreneurial couples, I frequently hear that question. There are three types of entrepreneurial couples: solo entrepreneur with a support spouse, dual entrepreneurs, and copreneurs. It is important as an entrepreneurial couple to define which one you are. Let's now focus on one type: the solo entrepreneur with a support spouse.

 

Definition:

 

●  One partner owns and manages the business

●  The supportive partner helps out with the business part-time or psychologically

●  The supportive partner may be employed outside the business

 

Example:

 

Bob and Carol used to work together in their successful nursery and garden supply business, but Bob has since returned to his old employer leaving Carol to manage the business on her own, as a solo-entrepreneur. Bob has become the supportive spouse. He is employed elsewhere, providing emotional support to his wife’s business, but not really involved in the day-to-day management and headaches of running it. Carol, on the other hand, recognizes her talent as an entrepreneur and is much better suited to running the operation on her own as a sole proprietor.

 

Summary:

 

While each entrepreneur brings his or her own character, strengths, and weaknesses to the business, the supportive spouse also has qualities that balance with the qualities of their entrepreneurial spouse to create a specific relationship style and business. To learn more about the solo entrepreneur with a supportive spouse, download my eBook - Entrepreneurial Couples - Making it Work at Work and at Home

Entrepreneurial Couples: Making it Work at Work and at Home – Now Available for Download

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


A growing phenomenon are husbands and wives joining forces in an entrepreneurial venture to make their dreams come true. For years I’ve been coaching and writing about these "entrepreneurial couples." And what I’ve observed, and my research supports, is that becoming an entrepreneurial couple is risky both professionally and personally. There are many challenges that come with this lifestyle. It's not an easy road, but the payoff can be great. 

 

My book, Entrepreneurial Couples - Making it Work at Work and at Home - was written to address what it really is like to be an entrepreneurial couple. This book uses real-life examples to identify the challenges of this entrepreneurial lifestyle, as well as offer specific advice to help couples find the right balance at home and at work. It includes interactive questionnaires that help assess strengths and weaknesses in each area of the entrepreneurial lifestyle. If you’re a busy couple, this book is just what you need to help you design a more balanced, integrated, and meaningful entrepreneurial life.

 

Entrepreneurial Couples - Making it Work at Work and at Home – has just been made available on my website as an e-Book. Download this PDF and share a copy with your spouse for easy and convenient access via laptop or tablet. Take it with you on your next vacation or business trip! Click here to download your own copy for only $9.95. 

How to Avoid Communication Problems in Family Businesses

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Bad communication is a major pitfall for family businesses. If families in business together do not learn how to properly communicate, the business and more importantly, the family will suffer. Poor communication or miscommunication is commonplace because not everyone is a naturally born communicator. It is a skill that has to be developed.


Before a complete communication breakdown, there are usually a few minor missteps that occur. Consider a few of this missteps and how to avoid them. 


Using a filter.  Humans have the tendency to only hear what they want to hear. Our desires, our past experiences, and what we focus on are filters. Filters shape how we listen and how we respond. So, when in conversation, ask yourself if a filter is shaping what you are hearing and speaking. If it is, remove it.  


Complaining. If there is a problem that needs to be solved, don’t be a complainer. Constant complaining is like a nail on a chalkboard and it doesn’t accomplish anything but aggravate the people around you. If there is a problem, speak about the problem and how to solve it. 


Poorly chosen words. You have heard it a million times, but it must be repeated. Think before you speak. Words have the power to cause a lot of damage and it is hard to erase what you say. So instead of saying something you will regret, think about it in advance. If you need time to think, ask politely to resume the discussion after putting some thought into the manner. 


Families in business can learn much about proper communication by enlisting the help of a family therapistContact my office if you are interested in setting up an appointment. 


My book - Entrepreneurial Couples - Making it Work at Work and at Home – is also available for purchase and is highly beneficial for helping entrepreneurial couples to be better communicators. I’ve recently released it as an ebook. Download it and share a copy with your spouse for easy and convenient access via laptop or tablet. Take it with you on your next vacation or business trip! Click here to order your copy.

Entrepreneurial Couples - Don't Be a Divorce Statistic

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Divorce is all too common for entrepreneurial couples. If you are an entrepreneurial couple, you must make a concerted effort to save your marriage before the trouble ever starts. Simply, the best insurance against divorce is to attend to the relationship first, the business second. Sadly, the opposite seems to be what most entrepreneurial couples do. The pull of the business is strong, immediate and concrete. The pull of the marriage is strong too, but not as immediate and certainly fuzzy. Because it is easier to react and answer the phone call rather than remember to say something loving to one's spouse, the typical entrepreneur opts for responding to business needs first.

 

Business is about competition and marriage is about love. In business the goal is to compete, to win, to make a profit. In marriage there is no goal, but rather a process . . . that of exchanging love. Being loving and receiving love are the basics of a healthy marriage. How much work is love anyway? How much effort is there in telling your spouse he or she is loved? How hard is it to carve out one night a month to go on a date? Is it such an extravagance to bring home flowers for your sweetheart or treat him or her to basketball tickets? Along with all of the other e-mails you respond to each day, would it take so much of your precious work time to send an e-mail of appreciation to your spouse too?

 

To put it simply, put the marriage first by doing one loving thing each day for your spouse. You can do battle and conquer all day long in the business world, but at the end of your day, switch modes and have a conversation about nothing at all with your spouse. Don't search for the bottom line. Don't anticipate the close. Instead hold her hand, look into his eyes, talk a little, and congratulate yourself on how lucky you are to have a business partner who is the love of your life.

 

For more information, visit Marriage Counseling - Couples at Work and Home.

 

Available for purchase, Dr. Marshack's Book - Entrepreneurial Couples - Making it Work at Work and at Home  

 


Entrepreneurs – How to Cultivate a Good Relationship with Your Employees

Sunday, September 09, 2012


A key to running a successful business is to have a good working relationship with your employees. This responsibility falls on you as the business owner. When you’re an entrepreneur, you are dependent on your employees to keep your dream alive. The best way to do that is to cultivate a positive, productive, and healthy working environment for you and your employees.

Here are some tips to create a good working relationship with your employees:

Set expectations. When you hire a new employee, it is important to clearly define what is going to be expected of them. How can you expect an employee to perform the way you want if they don't know what it is you’re looking for? Help them to see why these expectations are important to you and your business.


Commend. Positive feedback is vital when it comes to encouraging your staff. Be on the lookout for opportunities to give sincere commendation. Your employees will feel appreciated which leads to increased productivity. This will also make it easier on you if you need to give counsel. If counsel is tempered with commendation, it won't be as difficult to take.


Communication. Speak with your staff regularly. Get their feedback and opinions. They are at the forefront of your business and are usually in the best position to know what is really going on. Don't just encourage them to talk to you make sure you talk openly with them. Think about what you know about the business and share it with them.


Respect. Treat your staff the way you would want to be treated – as a capable adult. If they feel respected, you will too.


Building a good relationship with your staff takes time and effort, but it will be well worth it! For more information, visit Entrepreneurial Life to learn more.

Having Trouble Making a Business Decision? Hire a Psychologist

Sunday, July 29, 2012


Many business owners are puzzled when their attorney or CPA suggests that they should meet with a psychologist before proceeding with signing a contract, structuring a reorganization or resolving a partnership disagreement. What's a psychologist have to do with business anyway? " I don't need a shrink," they say.

The simple truth is that getting a psychologist involved in a family business makes sense. Why?

1) Half of American businesses are family owned and operated. 2) Many of these businesses are run and staffed by family members who are not necessarily formally trained or educated for their specific job. They work for the business because they are trusted family members dedicated to the success of the family enterprise. 3) Many of these businesses have been around two or three or even four generations, which means that the children are growing up identifying themselves with the family business. What this means for many family firms is that the business is a part of the family and the family is a part of the business.

Recognizing that family businesses are really families with a business identity, a psychologist is able to get beneath the surface of some business problems to identify the emotional snags that are hanging up a business decision. There is nothing more frustrating or expensive than taking weeks and months to develop a new business strategy, only to have it sit there going nowhere because there is a family dispute.

Many family firms want to have open communication. They want to resolve longstanding family/business disputes. They don't like walking on eggshells around certain family members or avoiding sensitive subjects. In spite of good intentions, many of these family firms do not have the skills to address and resolve these problems. They need support and guidance by a psychologist who is trained in resolving problems within a family business system. They need education to learn these skills.

If you have a family business and live in the Vancouver, Washington/Portland, Oregon area, I would be happy to assist you. Contact my office to set up an appointment. For additional information, visit Entrepreneurial Life - Families in Business.

Entrepreneurial Couples - Use Differences When Making Decisions

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Often you will find that there are major style and personality differences between male and female entrepreneurs. These differences become even more apparent when a husband and wife equally own and operate a company. Management, decision-making, even operations are powerfully influenced by a difference in entrepreneurial style. The integration of a male perspective and a female perspective can be quite an asset. Often times a husband and wife get stuck because they do not recognize the dynamic that is going on.

An interesting dynamic between entrepreneurial couples is how they make decisions. One way I sum it up is that men make the first best decision, but women seek out the best-best decision. Women want to look at all sides of an issue before deciding anything. They value everyone's opinion in the process of moving toward a decision. Men on the other hand seek to move the organization along as swiftly as possible. Regardless of everyone's view, men tend to value the efficiency of getting to the answer quickly.

How does this dynamic work when a husband/wife team needs to make decisions together? If they understand each other well, then the decision-making dynamic is powerful. If they don't, then each party can feel very misunderstood. How can this be done effectively? When a husband and wife work together there is the potential to create a strong leadership for their organization. When a husband recognizes that his wife needs an impartial discussion with a variety of options before deciding, she feels understood and more inclined to move toward decisive action. When a wife recognizes that her husband has a need to get things done as efficiently as possible, she can refocus her energy onto solutions, even if she would like just a little more discussion.

Put simply, when making a business decision as an entrepreneurial couple, work to combine the wife's strengths and the husband's strengths. Take what you know about each other and use it to the fullest to take your enterprise to a new height and enlighten the world with your success.

For more information on succeeding as an entrepreneurial couple, pick up your own personal copy of Entrepreneurial Couples - Making it Work at Work and at Home. This book will soon be available as an Ebook for entrepreneurial couples on the go, stay tuned for the release!

Entrepreneurial Couples - How to Give and Receive Criticism

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


When couples work together they have the opportunity to work with a partner they love and trust most. They also have the opportunity to see the best and worst of their partner . . . day in and day out. Even with the most enlightened people, this constant togetherness can cause conflict. It's wonderful to have closeness, rapport, and regular praise from your sweetheart. It just doesn't feel as wonderful to have your partner know you so well that they give you regular criticism as well.

It is important to view criticism for what is really is . . . a critical analysis of your behaviors and an offering of advice on how to change, grow and improve yourself. If criticism is hard for you to take, try viewing it from this perspective. Criticism doesn't make you bad or undesirable. It is just feedback for your enlightenment. Everyone from time to time needs to check out old habits, rewrite some scripts, take a few risks, and try anything new to break out of a rut. If we don't attend to this we lose out personally.


If you are offering criticism to your spouse, here are a few things that you should keep mind. First, choose a good time. The right moment can make a huge difference in how the criticism is received. Second, be prepared to offer some sort of commendation along with the criticism. This will remind them that you do care and value them. Third, make sure that it is necessary criticism. It may be an issue that is really not that important or it might just be your inability to be flexible more than them needing to change.

Criticism is a vital tool that if used properly can make a person blossom for the good. For more information, read my article - Entrepreneurial Couples Can Transform Criticism into Feedback.

Want to learn more about the rewards and challenges of working with your spouse? Visit Entrepreneurial Life - Couples at Work and Home


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