Imagine finding out you will be supervising your new bride just ten feet from your corporate desk. How quickly could that end the honeymoon?
We hear words like balance and boundaries, but implementing those traits in your life can be one of the most difficult things to do.
Enter Alex Sanfilippo. Entrepreneur, business executive, and podcast host – Alex tells a real-life story of trial and error to help you learn bits of gold on creating a thriving marriage when both of you have entrepreneurial ambitions.
- One tool… already on your phone… that creates balance between personal and professional responsibilities
- What everyone that’s stuck in a job they hate is waiting for (and no, it’s not the lottery but even harder to get)
- How unexpected challenges provided the perfect trial run for today’s success
It may be Alex’s story, but every turn holds principles you can apply to your life today.
Thank you for listening and please share the link.
- Text “Connect” to 1-904-299-8992
Alex Sanfilippo 0:04
There's never going to be a magic moment in our lives. We're just like, oh is the perfect time for me to stop working my job, I have everything I need. I can take two years to build this business and still go on my vacations and do all that. The truth is, that doesn't happen. We're going to have to challenge the status quo and be willing to give up a comfortable situation.
Alex Sanfilippo 0:25
Hey, everybody, welcome to today's episode of the Forward with Joe Pomeroy podcast. We have Alex Sanfilippo. He is a leader podcast host business executive host a top 20 entrepreneurship podcasts creating a brand and you've also been married for eight years. And you and your wife are both entrepreneurs. Right, Alex?
Alex Sanfilippo 0:44
Yeah, we definitely are, you know, actuallygoing into marriage. I didn't really know that that was gonna be the case. Neither of us were when we first got married. I'd say maybe it was in there for us a little bit, but like neither of us were acting on that at all. So it was really interesting.
Joe Pomeroy 0:56
That's funny. Well, so how did that come up in your marriage where it was like, hey, I want to try this. And oh, well, but I want to do my thing. I mean, was there ever any conflict and in the two directions you guys wanted to take?
Alex Sanfilippo 1:06
Yeah, maybe a little bit. It was kind of one of those things that we just we'd been in corporate America, we actually it's funny before we were married, we worked at the same company for a little bit. She had a background in retail, she was upper management with the clothing company Express. She'd go from store to store training staff and setting it up the way it's supposed to look and all that. Anyway, she got tired of that. And she got a job in aerospace in the same company I was at. It was really funny, we got engaged. And then a few weeks later, they made some shifts in the company and I ended up acquiring the department that she was in. So then she ended up working about 10 feet away from me, which was never part of the deal. But I say that having most people like Ooh, that would not work my wife and I have person that the personalities that really go well together. We had we had one issue in like two years or whatever it was like we're she had to take me outside and she was like, Listen, you cannot talk to me like that here. You know, like, so one time.
Joe Pomeroy 1:54
That's pretty good.
Alex Sanfilippo 1:55
Yeah, one bad it was really good. Other than that, but um, a couple years in, we both kind of have like felt the need to do something for ourselves that the big corporate life just wasn't going to be for us long term. And I was a senior leader in the company. And she was, she had a pretty important role. But it was a project based role. And she actually finished it up and she decided she want to get back into retail. And that for her meant starting her own boutique. That's something that she always wanted to do women's clothing, and really just had a dream to do that. I had some dreams as well. But I feel that for me to be a good husband, I needed to help my wife follow that dream that she had. And if it meant for me putting myself on hold and keeping the income coming in, while she explored kind of that passion area, then that's what it meant. And I had to do that. And so we really talked about it, we communicated really well about it. And that's what we did. We let her jump out of aerospace and into starting her started off online boutique ended up in store and end up doing really well. So that's kind of that part of the journey for us.
Joe Pomeroy 2:50
That's cool. Well, so you talked about you staying on the path that's going to keep that income coming in. So when you guys originally got married you were a two income household. I love that you said you talked about it. You had good conversations, because it seems very clear that that was a mutual decision that you guys made together. And that's incredibly important. But was it just a smooth Hey, I want to do the sweet go for where there's some anxiousness. They are going from A to income home to one income home. What was that transition Like?
Alex Sanfilippo 3:18
Yeah, of course, there was. I mean, you're used to, you know, I think all of us, we live a little bit above our means, right? Like what we actually need. But when you get more money, you spend more money, right? And not trusting. We're bad at budget or anything like that. But we knew we were making this much money. So we can go out a few times a week, we can go have fun with friends and go on a few vacations every year. These were all things we could do. Because we had two incomes, and very low cost in our lives. At that point. I'm very thankful for that. We had paid off vehicles, we had nearly a paid off mortgage even at that point. It was really we've been very blessed in that area. So when we decided to do that, yes, it was a conversation and I was definitely like, hey, let's do this. Let's go for it. And I did voice that, hey, I have a dream to do this one day too. So I hope that eventually we'll make enough that we can kind of trade roles here. Long story short, the conversation was, yeah, hey, we're going to make some changes. So we had to sit down and look at the budget together, we were extremely intentional with this, the transition, I'd say was about six months before we actually did the entire thing. So maybe longer than it should have been. Some people would rather just kind of pull the trigger and go for it. But we want to be really strategic with it to make sure that wasn't going to negatively negatively affect our marriage first, but also the lifestyle that we had, what were we going to be willing to give up and change? And yeah, it caused for some, some discomfort, if you will. But in general, it was a very positive experience for both of us, especially with that initial switch.
Joe Pomeroy 4:34
I love that. See ya, I'd argue that six months is a long time or that you didn't take longer than you need to because both of you have carved out very successful paths. And so I think the larger risk is, you know, entrepreneurs, they'll feel that bug, they're in a job they don't like they're under a manager that's really coming down on them and they just, they're kind of in a not so happy place. And it's like you know what, I've always wanted To do business, I'm just going to go for it. And you can't approach it like that. It needs to be the conversation. It needs to be this process that you guys talked about. So okay, so she's doing, she's done her thing. You guys have transitioned to that. But you still have your your corporate income. Now, what was it like when you went from like, Okay, well, you've done your thing. Now I'm ready to launch out and do my thing. What does that look like?
Alex Sanfilippo 5:22
super scary. If I can just give you a couple of words, right. First off, the first thing I'm gonna mention here with all this is you have to be willing to challenge the status quo and embrace discomfort. I mean, you have to do that. There's never going to be a magic moment in our lives. We're just like, oh, it is the perfect time for me to stop working my job. I have a million dollars in the bank, right? Like, and I've got everything I need. I can take two years to build this business and still go on my vacations and do all that, or you know, never have to have a rough conversation with my spouse. Like these are things that maybe all of us dream of, but the truth is, that doesn't happen. We're going to have to challenge the status quo and be willing to give up a comfortable situation. You know, there's There's a lot of talk about this. But sometimes you have to get rid of the good to make room for the great. And this was one of those situations in our lives, we had to say, hey, we've got a really good right now, like we could ride this for years, and just live what we can, at that point believed to be the most ideal version of our lives. When we sat down and really reflected together, we realized we wanted something different. We both wanted something different. And we want to make sure we're doing that together. So years later, my wife she actually sold that boutique. It was actually I guess it was fall 2019 just before the crazy Christmas hole deal, and she had the opportunity to either stay till the end of the year, or get out a little bit early. I'm like, can you please get out early so I can have a wife over the holidays? Because for a few years, I didn't have that. Obviously. It's just crazy with retail, you know, the day after Christmas, and she's like, I can breathe. I guess it's only on Christmas day after Christmas as returns right? So anyway, there wasn't much but she had the opportunity. They're like, yeah, we will train the staff. We'll do all that. So anyway, she sold the boutique. In that point. They had a storefront as well, which now I'm very thankful for 2020 has had quite a few challenges. With storefronts, right, so it was really great timing for her. And she left them in like a really good spot too. So I don't doubt that they did great after she left. But anyway, that point, I had still been in my corporate job. And I wanted to begin working my way out of that. So the way that we decided to do this is a little bit different than than last time, she didn't go back and get another job. What I had her do is come on as like the first staff member of creating a brand, which is the podcasts that I run, and the business side of it behind it. So she actually runs all the administrative work, which enabled me to continue to work the job that I've had, I'm a senior director in the aerospace industry, we're a parts manufacturer. I'm not anything fancy, like a skydiver astronaut or anything like that.
Joe Pomeroy 7:38
You just make it possible for them to go skydiving and fly into space and stuff, right?
Alex Sanfilippo 7:42
I make sure they're making money and doing it very efficiently. That's that's my job. So But anyway, so I've been able to keep that job while we're doing this because she's been able to run so much of the business side of things which is actually been just a really cool spot for us. It's something I've really enjoyed because she's using she has an A gift for for administration. If I put something on a calendar, sometimes I put it on the wrong day. She doesn't do stuff like that. So it's been really helpful. But it's been a really fun transition for her going from owning your own business to now actually working with me, and enabling me to keep the job while she's able to just take on more of the responsibility of the day to day job of what creating a brand is.
Joe Pomeroy 8:18
You know, what's cool about that is the first part of your story when she was working 10 feet away from you, that created an experience and an opportunity for the two of you to work together. Yeah, so a lot of time when I talk to married entrepreneurs, they're like, Oh, yeah, no, I, I need to do my own thing. I don't want to mix business with personal and, and but there's this whole idea of having this integrated life. I mean, that's a lot of what what I preach to people is that you can't have a business vision and a personal vision, because eventually they're not going to mesh you need to do that together. So it's really cool that you guys had the opportunity to do that earlier. Do you think that had any influence on your ability to succeed with that in your own business?
Alex Sanfilippo 8:58
Yeah, I mean, that's a great thing. perspective that you're bringing in question here. It really has like it set us up for a win for success because we've learned how to communicate both in a professional atmosphere and also in a personal one. And they really do kind of go together. Actually you did an episode recently on finding alignment in your business and family with to remember his last name, but I know his first name was Jason I don't know how to say a mess it all up. But anyway, Borowitz bro, it's okay. Very powerful episode. By the way, anyone who's listening today should go back and check that one out if you haven't really good. And he just you know, he's talking about how you find that like alignment? Well, the thing is, if you can get out and test it a little bit, that's really nice, because you can find areas that you can improve. And what it all came down to, for me was the improvement area I needed was communication. I wasn't always great at communicating. And if you can figure out how to communicate work and personal life and they're becoming more connected and reformed, everyone's worked remote at some point throughout 2020. Right. I mean, most of us have been in that same room situation, which I've been in it for four months, even with a corporate job, I now work from home. My wife and I work about 20 feet apart now which is you even safer distance. But it's been really great for us to have that previous experience because we just understand, hey, like, we're all working hours. And then outside of that is when we're not actually talking about working or going to transition that we're both they're respectful of that. We close the laptops at a certain point, we turn off the phones. And that's just we know, okay, this is now time for us, because we are still people. And we have things that we love to do. And it's not all work. But finding that balance and making sure you communicate really well has been really key for us.
Joe Pomeroy 10:28
That's cool. So when you were talking about your backstory and and how your wife was working 10 feet away from you, and it was kind of like, Okay, well, that's not part of the deal. At the time, I would imagine that felt like something that I don't know how this is gonna work out. This isn't really what we plan. It's not what we talked about. And yet the experiences that you're able to learn there because you brought up a here's a core principle that's important for everybody is boundaries. And you had an opportunity to establish boundaries in a safer environment where you both had a steady income. You're both Figuring out what was going on, you both had your own separate projects that you could work on, and you develop those things. But it wasn't part of the plan. It wasn't what you expected to do. And now years later, you now have practice at those boundaries. And you can now implement them in a less safe environment where you're working on the same things together in a situation where it's like, hey, if we want to keep this income growing, then we need to have this figured out. So it's amazing how different challenges in life can be turned into opportunities to help us move forward.
Alex Sanfilippo 11:34
Yeah, you know, you mentioned balance there. When we were working that corporate job together, we found that balance really quick because at first we're like, ooh, we can just adjust our schedule a little bit. We actually ride to work together and ride home together. Bad idea that that didn't work. We found our limit. We love each other and all but my goodness, that was the limit where it was just there was no break ever and we need that time to decompress. It was only about a 1520 minute drive home there and back, but we work different hours. So She got there an hour before I did and left an hour before I did. And having that time alone at the home and during your commute was really good for us. Because Yeah, we're like we're married. But we're individual people as well as individuals, we need that time, like we might be extroverted. But at the end of the day, what we need is we need to be able to also decompress and really think about what happened that day. If you just get straight in the car, go straight to work straight home, there's no real disconnect, and everyone needs that own personal time. And so that was one of the things we had to learn the hard way because at first we're doing this you know, riding together and quickly we're like, Okay, this is not okay. And then just being respectful of each other's You know, when you're spending that much time together again, love my wife, and it's awesome, but you know that you need friendships in your life as well. So we intentionally took at least one or two nights per week where we would spend time with with friends. So I'd go out I was part of a men's small group at that point, which I guess I still am, but at that point, I had just started getting bigger into that and she was with a women small group and then we just go out with with friends one on one, and then we do stuff together with friends as well, but making sure we have that balance and didn't just put ourselves in our own little pocket. really helped keep the relationship strong, especially back then people were like lining up to ask us how we were doing that and how we weren't fighting each other and things like that. But it really just came down to finding that balance, finding that happy medium with everything, right? And it's trial and error. And it all comes back down to that one thing communication, you have to be willing to talk about it and really just tell the truth about your feelings and where you're at.
Joe Pomeroy 13:19
I love that. It sounds like you guys were very intentional with the plan that you created and the decisions you made. Yes, that's awesome. All right. So I want to go back to something you mentioned earlier where you talked about, we need to be okay with being uncomfortable. And one of the things that I was noticing and you talked about like okay, we'd gotten used to a certain lifestyle and there's there's lifestyle creep or in business there's scope creep, you know, the manager comes and gives you a project or client comes in hires you to do something and then all sudden there's these little add ons and like, Oh, it's not a big deal. It's only take me an extra 10 minutes and then another little add on and so there's scope creep with business. There's lifestyle creeper, which you described about where you know, you get used to going out to eat So many times we're going on certain trips or vacations. And then there's also marriage creep. And it can go either way. It's Oh, well, tonight is one of my night with the guys. And no, I'll just take another night with the guys. She doesn't mind that one. So I'll do this one or, you know, not helping around the house or pitching in the same. So, if we're not intentional, we can find our boundaries slipping in any area of our lives. So what are some things that you do whether in business, personal life, marriage, whatever it happens to be? How do you catch yourself and make sure you stay intentional?
Alex Sanfilippo 14:34
Yeah, Joe, again, I'm a huge fan of yours and your podcasts you because I think you just asked such powerful questions, man, like it brings out great responses. So I appreciate that. Yeah, no problem. You can edit that out if you want.
Joe Pomeroy 14:47
You know, keeping it in.
Alex Sanfilippo 14:51
As pod catchers, man, we love it. Um, but yeah, the first thing I mentioned that I'll mention is the calendar. I learned how powerful a calendar is. It makes For that you put things in the calendar. And because I used to be the guy who would just be like, Hey, I'm going out tonight. And that makes people not feel as valuable when you're doing that. Yeah, whether it's your friends, your wife, or whoever it is, anyone in your life is going to feel less valued, because that you didn't feel the need to prioritize them or to tell them what was happening until it was happening, right. And so the first thing I really learned we both did is we got a shared calendar, we use Google Calendar, we both have our own personal ones, we have one that's together, and we can both see exactly what we've got going on. And we always just communicate beforehand. So when like, hey, on Thursday to go out with these people, or in two weeks, I'm gonna go do this and see if you can book something that night. If not, I'll try to switch it around. So we make sure that we're doing you know, when we're out, not one of us is just sitting around, right? We're both extroverts. So we have to make sure we do that or we get jealous. So that's part of us, but uh, yeah, for me, the first thing was really learning to just keep a good schedule and make sure that I really looked for the balance in it, because it's easy to overdo it again, as somebody who likes to be out with people, I can devote far too much time to that and Yes, there is a such thing as too much time for play, like you have to do some of the hard things at times, right, you have to do the work, you have to be very intentional with, with what you're trying to build for yourself, your company, whatever it might be, or even your sleep, right, you can't get rid of those things as a part of it. So it really helped me stay very focused with where I wanted to go and make sure that my wife was kind of going in a healthy direction. And that's something we implemented immediately to really be intentional and kind of along with that, something else that that I preach, and I'm realizing that it's a it's a really big problem right now, especially people that have like an entrepreneurial mind, or a business mind is you can be hanging out with somebody, including your spouse, I mean, anybody and you can realize that that person you're talking to isn't actually there. You can look in their eyes when you're talking to them or when they're talking to you. But you can note you can tell they're looking off into the mountains or I'm in Jacksonville, Florida. So the beach, you know, they're looking off into the waves, and you're kind of like, they're talking to me, but I feel like they're not here and people can feel that. And because our minds just run on our businesses or run on what's next or what we're moving into. And some of the best advice I got was from someone I consider a mentor in my life. He's the founder of BSI, Ivan Meisner, and he said, Be where your feet are. And just those words spoke to me so much be where your feet are. And what that means is wherever you are in that moment, if you're at work, if you're at home, if you're with your friends, if no matter where you are, be in that place. And remember that nothing like worrying about it doesn't help anything or thinking about it. You're going to miss your whole life if you don't focus where you are in that moment. And that's something I've really taken, taken to heart because I used to be the guy that was, you know, I'd be talking to you right now, Joe, but I could be in another world a few years ago. I mean, this would have been a terrible interview. But now I'm here I'm giving 100% attention to this because this is where my feet are right now. This is where I'm going to be. I think that if more of us did that. We'd have happier more intentional lives just from that one point alone.
Joe Pomeroy 17:51
That's really powerful. Because there's, there's so much about being present when you're present. When I was in corporate world, and worked in a business where we provided in home caregivers for individuals with special needs. And we'd tell the care providers like, you know, Hey, stay off your phone, you know, you can tell when you're sitting next to somebody and maybe your maybe your client or the individual you're working with, maybe they just want to watch a movie. And it's, it's the same movie they watched for the last four days, but they want to watch it again. So you watch it with them again, that doesn't mean whip out your phone. I've already seen this, we've watched the same thing last days, I'm gonna pull out my phone, like, there's so much that we can sense and feel, whether you want to call it energy or connection or spiritual thing or vibes or frequencies, whatever label you want to put on it. You can feel that when you're with somebody you can feel when they're connected to what's going on. And that has a huge impact on marriages in particular, but also, you know, like you mentioned with in business too, when you having a conversation with the client. I mean, have you ever been guilty of having a conversation with one client you're Thinking about another client
Alex Sanfilippo 19:01
or sending an email at the same time? Yeah. I definitely have sorry to anybody who's worked with me. It's listening. I've there.
Joe Pomeroy 19:09
It wasn't you. If you were the one I was focused on it was the other it was the other one. Yeah.
Alex Sanfilippo 19:15
It was the other guy. Not not you remember?
Joe Pomeroy 19:17
Exactly. Alright. So I find it interesting. You mentioned and this is actually a cool point. So you mentioned one of the things you do about being intentional as a calendar. And there's two things I want to talk about. Related to that. The second one spontaneity, so help me remember we'll come back to that. But the first one is, you made a comment earlier, that your wife helps you in the administrative aspects of your business, because you're the guy that puts the event in the wrong date in the calendar. You caught that. So here the calendar is something that you focus on to be intentional, but you also recognize that you're not perfect at it. So I'm assuming there's been some challenges you've tried to be intentional in making time for your wife and for the business and Being where your feet are. So what have you, what do you do to overcome those challenges? What do you do put something on the wrong day or you forget to share that event with your wife? What do you do to overcome some of those hiccups when they happen?
Alex Sanfilippo 20:12
Yeah, we've gotten really good about her being the one to input most things if that makes sense. So I'm not trying to delegate everything,
Joe Pomeroy 20:20
sweetie, I'm going out with guys if you'll just add that to my calendar.
Alex Sanfilippo 20:23
Sometimes I do that Not always. But I will usually send like a confirmation text or beforehand if we're not together, or if I am like, Hey, this is like this night and can you check it make sure it's on the calendar and she'll like look at it she like yet it's there. I've gotten much better about this. I used to be real bad. When I first started using a calendar. I was literally booking three things at the same time. I'm like, Alex, what are you doing, man? You know, like, I look back, I'm like, you literally said yes to three things on a Friday night that like you can't do all three of those. And part of it was really big with me was learning to say no, that's the first thing I had to do. Like I was saying yes to everything. So it was just all on you when the calendar was the same day, same time. I've learned to get really good at saying no to To the things that don't drive my life and the direction they need to go. And then when it comes to that the things that go on the calendar are really important. So I make sure that my wife and I are both able to see it that it's happening on the right day, the right time. And occasionally, I still make a mistake. But for the most part, I've gotten pretty good at it as Google has gotten easier and easier to use. And Siri, when you speak it, it's hard for it to get messed up these days, you know, so like, I've just been using the tools are in front of me. And I've recognized that I have a little bit weakness there. So I double check, triple check to make sure that I'm actually doing it correctly. And I've gotten much better at it over the years. It's one of the things of repetition, eventually, you're going to get at least decent at it. So yeah, so it's kind of us helping each other as well. If it's something we're doing together, she always enters in the calendar and checks to make sure there's no overlap or anything like that, again, I'm blessed to have somebody in my life that is very administrative and able to do those things a little bit higher capacity than I am.
Joe Pomeroy 21:47
That's cool. You speak about, you know, you acknowledge that it was a weakness and there's two approaches to weaknesses that are healthy to take. And I think it's a it's a dual approach. It's the you know what, I recognize that this isn't my forte or that I struggle with this, but it's important, and I need to do it. And so I'm going to continue to work at it. And I'm going to put in checks and balances to help me with that. So maybe three, three prong one, I'm going to work at it to I'm going to put checks and balances in three, I'm going to have somebody that this is a strength to them, and that is willing to support me in this and I'm gonna have them on that journey with me. So I'll say that's really that speaks really, really well to your wife. Because there have been times in my relationships where my wife has reached out to me for support, and I'm like, oh, what am I your babysitter like, you know, really bad attitude about it. And it's just and it's purely selfish stuff or purely whatever's going on with me. And you and your wife, both being highly successful and very skilled at the things you do would be very easy for her to say, Alex, come on, dude. It's a calendar like click the button hit save. Come on.
Alex Sanfilippo 22:51
I have heard that before. In a while, but I've definitely heard that before.
Joe Pomeroy 22:56
All right. So she's not perfect, but she's
Alex Sanfilippo 22:58
no she's perfect. She might listen to this Joe. She's definitely perfect.
Joe Pomeroy 23:01
Alex Sanfilippo 23:02
Alicia, if you're listening, you're perfect.
Joe Pomeroy 23:05
So but still to have that, that patience and support and say, Man, Alex, you're phenomenal. And I'm so grateful that I've got you. But I know that this is something you're struggling. It's not a second thought. It's this is how we work together. This is how we meld our marriage. This is how we succeed and working in our business together. And that's a really important attitude to have in relationships in business and in the perspective that we take to others, and how we see others and seeing them for individuals, and how can we support them? Rather than some someone on a pedestal someone that, you know, don't should on people, you should do this, you should do that. We just need to cut that out.
Alex Sanfilippo 23:44
Absolutely, man. 100%. With that, I mean, it's, you've always got to be looking at things as we're a team. This is with your friendships to anybody in your life. If you don't have a team mentality and what you're doing, then I think you're thinking that all wrong. It's not a it's not a I go 50% you go 50% we both go 100 percent we help each other get better. And you know, people always like Alex, you have such great friendships is because I have this perspective, if somebody has a shortcoming or something they need help with, I'm not the guy who's like, you should be doing this. I'm more So hey, let's let's help do this like that's in here. I'm really I'm good at helping you, you find that vision from within let's let's get that out together, you know, and, and so, you know, without my relationship with Alicia, it's really important to make sure that we both remember we're both giving 100% we're both going to help each other get better and level up at any chance we get. And honestly, you know, I'm making jokes about all this, like the scheduling and stuff like that. I'm actually really, really good at it now. Like, yeah, I still make the occasional mistake, who doesn't but I'm actually a lot better than the mass majority of people. If you look at our calendar, most people be like, Oh my gosh, how have you guys been able to do this? It's just we've been able to encourage each other and build it up over time.
Joe Pomeroy 24:44
And that over time is the key you kept at it. It wasn't something that you like, well, let's try a calendar for a week. And it didn't go according to plan to like, well, that's another failed tactic, mark that guru. Just keep at it. So the second aspect to the calendar work that I want to talk about is the spontaneity Because one of the arguments with keeping a calendar and having that schedule and knowing what's going on is where's the room for spontaneity? Where's the room to sweep your spouse offer offer fee and do something amazing, or? Well, we'll just leave it at that. So how do you guys make room for spontaneity while sticking to the schedule?
Alex Sanfilippo 25:19
Yeah, initially, when I first started getting into calendar, we both were like, let's put everything on there. Like let's book it out. 24 seven, right. And we stopped doing that. So more so we put the things on it that really matter. But we leave room intentionally for being spontaneous, if that makes sense. Like we're not putting on the calendar saying okay, wherever you spontaneous it like from eight to nine, you know, like, nothing like that will purposely be like, hey, let's not let's not plan anything this weekend. But let's just not do that. For me. Something that helps me do this is I actually have like a one page little I'm looking at right now like piece of paper that are just things that my wife enjoys. And one of those things is being surprised and being able just to do something at random, she loves that. So I have to remember that I'm not the most spontaneous person Naturally, I'm more so enjoy the structure and order of things. But sometimes there's like, hey, let's not throw in the calendar, whatever happens happens, but we're going to be intentional with making something happen. So it's not just going to sit around and do nothing. It's like, okay, we have nothing to calendar, let's go do something and then we'll kind of decide what sounds like the most fun right now just summer in Jacksonville, Florida. The beach is always like, where we end up, and something that we love doing but usually something outdoors like that. But yeah, we leave room for that intentionally. You can't really time block for and things like that. Because then again, it's not really spontaneous if you're planning it right. But we make room that we say we're going to go do something during this time, we're not just gonna leave it blank and sit around watch TV. Now we're actually gonna get up and do something cuz there's nothing on the calendar. Let's go be intentional with being spontaneous, if that makes sense.
Joe Pomeroy 26:44
It does make sense and because I think where the misconception comes out, is that oh, well, if we block out this weekend, quote, unquote, do something spontaneous, well, then there's nothing spontaneous about it. Well, sure it is. You come up to your Friday evening or whatever. time it's going to be or let's say, my wife and I, we're going to go on a date, we've got three little kids and we know we've got a babysitter, but we still want it to be some kind of spontaneous, whatever date Well, we still have to get a babysitter. But maybe it is spontaneous as to you know, let's just get in a car and drive. We're not going to make reservations, we're not going to, you know, have a plan or an idea. We're just going to spend time together and go figure out whether it you know, we've got a lot of sand in Arizona, too. There's just no ocean associated with it. So you know, but we might go on a hike or just go walk around a park or something like that, you know, it's just be intentional about the time you spend together, but you can still be plenty spontaneous with the things that you do. She might know that we're going to go on a date, but she didn't have any idea she was going to get flowers, or whatever it happens to be. There's all kinds of things like that. So Hmm. Awesome. Yeah. Well, what is one of the lessons that you've learned, as you've transitioned into and you're building your business and you've got your podcast? What is one of the lessons you learned that really surprised you? Maybe you weren't quite expecting to have happen.
Alex Sanfilippo 28:02
Yeah, I'd say it's probably the power that other people play in what you do. I think a lot of us more thing about starting our own business, it can feel really lonely in an entrepreneurship space, right. I think that many of us are like, wow, it's really, it's tough, because I'm not really sure where I'm going, what I'm doing, I've found that we actually go a lot further a lot faster when we're together. There's actually a great quote by Helen Keller alone, we can do so little. But together, we can do so much. And I've always loved that. And so for me doing this little startup, it's just me. I mean, I'm the podcast host. I'm the host of the community that goes with it. We've got a SAS project that's going with it as well. So these different things that we're working on, they're kind of all me, if you will, right. But doesn't mean I have to do it alone. So I'm reaching out to people to collaborate. And when I started really learning that other people actually want to help you succeed, and they want to see you succeed. I started doing so a lot faster. Like with the newest SAS project we're doing, which is you mentioned earlier, but pod match.com is our latest project. We haven't done any traditional marketing. We've only been telling about it. And they're like, Well, I know like 30 people that would love this. Let me go talk to them about it. Let me share it here. We had one, one guy who I talked to just asked him for a little advice. He had a 200,000 person email list, and most of them are podcasters, like 90 some odd percent of them. And he's like, oh, I'll just send it out to my email list. I was like, Okay, I'm like, and I told him, I made it really clear, like I didn't like, that's not why I contacted you. He's like, No, I know. He's like, I just want to help somebody out that that's doing the right thing. It's out there to serve other people. So it's one of those things that like, I've just learned over time that it doesn't have to be as lonely as it seems. You should be able to collaborate and network with other people. And honestly, it makes it so much more fun and fulfilling in the process.
Joe Pomeroy 29:36
You know, what's cool is I feel like I could have when I asked that question, I was like, Well, that was that was an abrupt change in conversation. I'm not sure how, I hope you did with this and you did awesome. But I feel like I could have asked the same question. But instead of it being about business, what's something about marriage? What's something about relationships that maybe you didn't expect or what or maybe even what's a principle about relationship that you have found most beneficial, what we learn about relationships and how much those core principles at top tie into what we know about business. And it's marriage doesn't have to be lonely just because you have a disagreement. Or oftentimes couples, maybe they feel connected with each other, but they feel disconnected from the rest of the world. I mean, you and your wife have specific, intentional choices that you make to go spend with people, that it's the power of connection, the power of being with other people has such a large impact for business and for personal and for married life, all that jazz.
Alex Sanfilippo 30:34
Yeah, for for me, I'd say something that's been really important is we remember that we we fight for resolution not to win. So we fight for resolution not to win. Not that we fight extremely often because I believe we're really great at communicating. But when we do we make sure that Okay, we're not fighting so that I can be right or you can be wrong, we fight because we want to be able to make the resolution and bring the relationship back to where it should be. And somebody gave us advice really early on and we've just both really stuck with that. It's a good reminder that okay, like, we have to make sure that we don't let our emotions get the best of us in a moment, we have to be willing to do that. And yeah, going back to like, kind of tying into entrepreneurship, because that's where we are, it can get real easy to disagree on things like the direction of something, how much time you're spending on something, should we go to that conference? Should we not? Should I go alone? Should you come with me? Is that too much money, all these different things that go through your head, you have to really think about it. And I think something early on that somebody told me is that, that your relationship when you get married or anything like that it's get any more serious in relationship, it's gonna maximize whatever the good or bad is, I think it's just really understanding your differences as well. So for us, we both think extremely different. I mean, Alicia, and I could not be more different when I said we are complete opposites in almost every single way. But we've learned to use that to our benefit, to help grow a business to help also grow our relationship. I understand that have some weak points. She understands that she has some weak points, but she also has some really strong points and as to why and by seeing that and knowing that and making sure that we're on the same team all the time, we're able to win in the game of life, you know, that we're chasing after, with Unity coming Victory is a quote that I absolutely love. And we try to make sure that we're a unified team, always as often as we can be, and keep on driving forward with what we're doing.
Joe Pomeroy 32:07
You know what's cool about what you said, and it ties into that previous podcast episode, you mentioned about finding alignment and business and family. But you talked about how you and Alicia are so different in almost every aspect. And you know, that might cause somebody say, well, then how can you be successful working together? How can you have a successful marriage? And oh, well, you mentioned you're both extroverts. But if everything else was different, how does that work? And the way that it works is that at the core, what you guy, what the two of you desire, that's the same, how you go about it may be completely opposite. But if you can both sit down together and say, Hey, what do you want in our marriage? If 20 years from now, you want to look at it and go, you know, Alex, at least we've got the greatest marriage. I just feel so much joy, I look back I feel so happy about what we've accomplished. What would that look like for you and you if you have that same outcome, or like you talked about you argue for Resolution. If you look out and you say that's when my life concludes, when my as my life or as my life develops, that's what I want to see, as long as the two of you agree on that, how you go about it can then be worked to complement each other.
Alex Sanfilippo 33:14
You know, it actually reminds me of something that I've said quite a bit I think was actually Dolly Parton who made it famous. But you can't change the direction the wind, but you can adjust your sails. I think for many for Alicia, we kind of look at life is okay, wherever it takes us from the circumstances are fine. But today we're going to stay true to our core, which ultimately for her and I that's our foundation that's found in Jesus. That's what we ultimately believe that's who we live for. And that's one of our main core components of who we are. But when as long as we stay true, that core, the direction we go in is really fine. Because we know that at the core of who we are, our identity never really changes and it makes a lot easier to enjoy life when you're really strong in that sense.
Joe Pomeroy 33:49
Absolutely. All right. So two questions I always ask guests at the end of the episode. The second one is how can we get ahold of you? The first one is I don't know why I did it backwards this time, but There you go.
Alex Sanfilippo 34:01
Because I'veheard your podcast before. So you felt the need to shut up throw me off there. I gotcha.
Joe Pomeroy 34:05
I guess so I just getting crazy. So the first one is if there's one core principle that you would like listeners to walk away from after hearing this episode, what would that be? And then again, the second question, how can they get in touch with you?
Alex Sanfilippo 34:19
Yeah, so the first one here is actually a quote that I love. The best time to plant a tree is 25 years ago, the second best time is today. I think that many of us we look at our lives and maybe we feel that our relationships aren't strong enough yet or not far enough in our careers but not enough money. There's all these reasons not to do something that's really in your heart that you're desiring to do. But the truth is the best time you can start it is today take a small step even and get started whatever your dream is. And for many of us, we get started something immediately we're like I wish I would have done this so long ago. I know that I said that for a long time and yes, the best time to plant a tree would have been 25 years ago but the second best time with without any any other thought in it is today is the next best time because As in 25 years from now, it'd be something beautiful. So I think whatever it is that you're thinking about doing, don't wait. Just start today with what you have with where you are, start communicating about it and take small steps, I think you'll find that in 25 years from now, it could be something really beautiful for you.
Joe Pomeroy 35:14
Awesome, perfect. How do we get a hold of you?
Alex Sanfilippo 35:17
easiest way, and I'll make it really brief here is everything I do is at creating a brand calm, it's a really easy place to find me. If you want to make it even simpler. You can shoot a text message to a phone that I have, text the w ord connect to 19042 998992. And it'll automatically send you an invitation to listen to podcasts, but also to my private entrepreneurship community, just where we help each other go further, faster. It's completely free. It's just a place where I love to add value and help people but that is me. And that's where you can find me.
Joe Pomeroy 35:47
Perfect. We'll have all that in the show notes. Alex, I really appreciate your time. Thank you so much for being on the show and everything that you shared powerful man.
Alex Sanfilippo 35:53
Thanks, Joe. This was an honor to be here today. Thank you so much.
Joe Pomeroy 36:00
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