Show #358: Be the CEO of your home!

Show #358: Be the CEO of your home!

Today we bring you a show on home life, and a special guest. Parenting and family are the primary topics, but while we want to be altruistic and love others well, we’re also all very selfish. Or at least I am. I want my home life to be peaceful, harmonious, joyful and rewarding. When it’s not, there is a cloud over the rest of my life. I go to work less than inspired, and have less to look forward to after work.

We’re going to talk about success at work vs. success at home, and I’ll lead off by posing the question, “Can you be as successful as possible at work if you are NOT…at home?” Though you see the depiction of the corporate rock star whose home life and relationships are a wreck, stats don’t showcase that being the norm.

Thomas Stanley, who wrote The Millionaire Next Door, cites that nearly 95% of millionaire households are comprised of married couples who stay married to the same person.

Then you, of course, at the end of life have such a high percentage of people who devoted all to career and work and didn’t invest enough in their family and relationships, and the regrets are often dramatic.

Today, we’re going to hit this head-on with a concept brought to us by a guy who has done some amazing things on his home and family front.

Our guest is Mark Timm. To introduce him, I’m going to play a three-minute clip from his website’s video intro. Then we have Mark and Tom Ziglar live with us, and we’re going to dig in.

Here then is Mark Timm:

OK, I trust your curiosity is piqued, and Mark has five proven practices to make us all better, more confident parents, and help us win at home like we win at work. That is what got my attention. Mark’s premise is we already know the principles to succeed; we use them at work every day. We just need to harness them at home.

Mark started off the video mentioning his success at work, though he didn’t mention what he did. Mark is the President and CEO of a company he co-founded 15 years ago called Cottage Garden, Inc. []. They are the #1 supplier of musical gift products in North America. In 2009, Cottage Garden was named runner-up as the National Small Business of the Year. Now they have over 200 sales representatives in ten countries, and their products are found in tens of thousands of retailers worldwide.

Mark has had significant success in business, so let’s see how he applied that to succeed at home. You can find Mark at, where you’ll want to go right away to get his eBook, Win At Home Like You Win At Work.

OK folks, I’ve just brought Mark Timm and Tom Ziglar on with me live. Mark! I’m excited about this topic, and I admittedly have some perspectives I want to turn upside down and shake out with you. But welcome, and thank you for being here. I’m leading off by asking you about your personal Zig story, as it’s pretty cool.

> > Hear Mark’s Zig story and the complete show, right here:

Mark, right away in your biography you led off with some perspectives that, well, I think most people can resonate with in significant ways. You say, “There were days that I would make more than 100 decisions in my business with confidence and clarity, but I would struggle to make the first three decisions that hit me as I walked in the door of my own home. I also struggled with my leadership role at home. At work there was a clear structure and chain of command, but at home the structure was fuzzy and the chain of command was anything but clear. Thankfully, that chaos ended for my wife and me when I discovered a way to bring these two worlds together by incorporating the most valuable business we will ever own, our family.”

I know a lot of guys, specifically, who feel very impotent at home.

Before we get into the HOW, I want to ask more about the WHY. What are some of the long-term risks associated with allowing this reality of “success in business, but not at home” to exist? People enjoying success and approval and belonging and fulfillment at work, but feeling incompetent or impotent back at home, what are the risks?!

> > In the show, Mark shares, “Our children are sponges, they will be led by someone or something. TV, Internet, video games or something. If you’re ok with that, then stay at work. My kids were being led, but not by me.”

Mark, you were already a success at work. Now you go after success at home. But how did this focus on success with family wellness conversely affect your work? Was it a nice luxury “to-do,” since your work could afford it? Did the health at home take away from, or add TO, your work success?

> > Mark shares that it DID take away from quantity of time at work. But applying what worked at home improved his work also. He utilized what he learned to become more of a family at work as well. He trusted, embraced and connected at work better. As he took his family more seriously, it spread to his team at work.

So your main premise is “being CEO of a business, your family. The most valuable business you’ll ever run.” And you need to “Leverage business success to win at home like you win at work.” On one hand, that sounds exciting. On another…a little concerning. It can almost bring to mind the military guy who comes home and treats his family like his platoon, which doesn’t sound too enticing. At business and work we strive for an expected desire and outcome. That doesn’t sound so loving and relational. I’m sure that’s not the case, so will you flesh that out a bit for us?

> > Mark shares the initial resistance from his family for the meetings, and how he had to bribe them with a tub of ice cream. This ultimately transformed to him having to curtail the length of the beloved meetings.

Mark, you say that after implementing the principles, you and your wife have clarity and confidence in your parenting strategy. Thomas Stanley wrote that “Love should be the basis for a long and happy marriage. But even deep affection can be tarnished if a couple does not share the same goals and objectives.”

My experience is the vast majority of parents don’t HAVE a strategy. Nothing very concrete, if anything. And they often haven’t “come together” in a parenting plan. So I have two questions: What was your wife’s initial reaction to all this? And, did you guys really even have a parenting strategy, per se, before this?

> > Mark shares his experience that most parents’ definition of success with family is, “We’re surviving.” His goal is thriving.

OK, your five practices. I want to try and hit on each one briefly, though again, folks, go to and download his free eBook, Win atHome Like You Win at Work”

Practice One - Incorporate your family as a business
You are actually literal with this, aren’t you Mark?

> > Mark shares that he has literal “shareholder meetings” with his family, and each family member has equal equity in the business.

Practice Two - Create a family brand
This brought to mind our recent interview with Andy Andrews, where he discussed defining the standards one lives by. So Mark, by brand, I bet your focus isn’t a snazzy name and logo. Tell us more.

> > Hear Mark’s response in the show

Practice Three - Conduct family meetings
This resonated with me right away, as we used to do this more in my family, though not consistently. From your inspiration, we recently did it. We ended up talking about behavior with each other and fruit of the Spirit. Loving each other well. If we have time, I’ll share some specifics. But I’m sure some people hear this and it sounds…uncomfortable. Tell us really quickly about the initial challenges of starting this, and how it played out in your family,

> > Mark cites these meeting as, “critical, glue.”

Practice Four - Employ family accountability
- The big “A” word that is daunting. I’m not sure anyone likes the thought of accountability at face value. How do you do this, Mark, and how is it a benefit to you as parents, and to your kids?

> > It’s about intention and being clear, Mark shares.

Practice Five - Maximize family resources
Well, that just sounds like a dream, Mark. How??

> > The family currency for the Timm crew is…marbles. $.50 per marble. The holy grail? Praise another sibling. And…”family court.”.

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