This is how you operate outside of the work sphere: in your romantic partnership (if you have one), your immediate family unit, your friends and close community. It’s also about the way you contribute to society by giving back.
There’s a lot we cover off in this section of my book so we can’t share them all of them but here are two to get you started: the label of compromise and the importance of finding your tribe.
The concept of ‘compromise’ is one a lot of us struggle with.
The idea of ‘compromise’ is a big one for example when people are talking about parenting. For working mothers, their whole lifestyle is supposedly one giant compromise. Going back to work means a ‘compromise’ for your children. Or if you decide to stay home full-time with your babies, eventually your ambition whispers to you that you’re ‘compromising’ on what you’re capable to achieve.
There are a few inherent problems with the language of ‘compromise’. First, it automatically assumes that you have to choose between family and business. It makes it sound like you either have to love your business more, or your family more. And if a woman is playing a big game in business, she obviously must love her business more than her children.
“That’s pretty insulting. Of course all mothers love their children. Just because I run multiple businesses doesn’t mean I love my work more than I love my kids,” Tamara replies.
The second problem is that assuming we’ll ‘compromise’ forces a choice on us that we don’t necessarily have to make. It might actually be possible to choose both: to love your business and your kids. You don’t have to make the same choices as other people.
The reality is, you have no idea what’s going to work for you until you have children.
Of course having children changes you. When we say you might not have to compromise, we’re not saying you won’t have to give anything up for your children; that’s not living in reality. What we’re saying is that if you organize your priorities in accordance with your values, you won’t be compromising anything. If your values tell you that being home with your babies 24/7 is the most important thing in the world right now, taking a step back from work isn’t really a compromise. If you know that you’re making great contributions at work and you’ve got a trusted support network at home, delegating some of the “Mom” duties shouldn’t break your heart.
You might be surprised by your own capacity to handle both. Believe it or not, having a family has actually improved me as a business operator.
“It’s made me a lot more ruthless with my time—if I’m leaving the building at 2pm because I want to pick up my girls from school, I don’t have time to waste at work. I make sure I get to critical conversations quickly. Having children motivates me to be a more efficient leader because I don’t want to compromise time with my family or attention to my business. I want to do both,” explains Tamara.
Plus, Mothers are highly valuable to businesses because they tend to be highly organized.
So don’t let anybody tell you that having a family and having a business will mean that you have to ‘compromise’. You won’t know how family is going to change you until it does. But when it does, you might find that you can adapt without choosing one over the other.
You can’t control what the moms on the playground think of you. But you can talk about expectations with the people who really matter—your co-parent and your kids. If you’re feeling guilty because of a bunch of made-up expectations and lies you’re telling yourself, you have the power to change the way you think and talk about work and motherhood.
We can check in with our partners about what their expectations actually are, and make commitments to each other that work for our family. We can re-frame the way our kids see work and teach them to value it as part of who mom is. We can challenge our own expectations of what we have to achieve as a mother and what it means to love our kids.
The second experience share and concept Tamara provides in the book is around tribe verses territory. When we talk about ‘community’, we’re often thinking about ‘territory’.
We think that ‘community’ means knowing your neighbours or being on the PTA at your kids’ school. And if that’s meaningful for you, that’s great. But Tamara doesn’t think about her community in terms of how far away or close they are. She measures it in terms of the value people bring to my life.
Community means ‘being together as one’. It’s whatever makes you feel that.
A new way to experience community
People talk about finding your ‘tribe’. It’s just finding like-minded people who share your values. Tamara’s tribe is entrepreneurs.
“My tribe is about finding people who challenge me. If I’m not a little fish, I’m not happy. I’m driven by feeling out of my depth. So I’m probably not going to find my tribe in the street where I live. My people are all over the world,” explains Tamara.
It might seem like a difficult thing to stay connected, because of the distance, but Tamara doesn’t look at it that way.
“I think about travel time versus wasted time, the time you waste by choosing mediocre. I’ve set up my life so that my offices, my girls’ school, and the airport are all within ten minutes’ drive of my home. I’m not commuting every day like some people are. I refuse to commute because I can’t commit to spending two hours every day in transit. But I can bundle that time and choose to use it for travel time when it suits me. I can’t commit to a daily commute, but I can commit to travelling once a month or so. It’s just taking the same amount of time and energy that I would have spent anyway, and directing it more effectively.
“It’s similar to the way I grew my haircare brand, Hot Tresses. There are two approaches I could have taken. I could have gone down the typical route of selling it through hairdressers, and knocked on a whole lot of doors to get a whole lot of small stockists in Australia. It would have taken a huge amount of time and effort, and I probably would have grown it to a two million dollar business.
“But I always do the opposite of what everybody else is doing. Instead of going the normal route, I looked at the niche and the marketplace—globally—and decided I’d do better by sleeping overnight on the plane to LA, having those same conversations with stockists like Nordstrom, and growing it into a 30 million dollar business. It’s the same amount of effort. I just thought, “Do I want to sleep in my bed and wake up in Brisbane to knock on doors all day, or do I want to sleep on the plane and wake up in LA?”
“LA is also my favourite place to blend. Some of my closest friends live there, so my trips include great times with amazing dining and night life, quality conversations about business with like-minded entrepreneurs and exploring new opportunities for my brands. Some ‘me’ time without the kids and hanging with girlfriends is also good for my soul.
“So it’s the same with long-distance friendships. I’m seeking out the tribe that I want, and I don’t care where I need to go to get it. It’s the same amount of energy for a better result. I don’t care if they speak a different language to me, or come from a different culture, or live in a different time zone. I make it work. Friends don’t need to be geographically close. Just because somebody lives in my territory doesn’t mean they’re a good person for me to be friends with. If there’s no chemistry with your existing network, seek out something else. Forget about territory boundaries and think more about what kind of friendships match your values and meet your needs. Everything else is a detail,” Tamara explains.
If you’re in business, look at joining Tamara in EO or YPO. See if that tribe is your fit. Join our private group online at loehrblend and seek out those who you connect with but not necessarily easy to commute to.
When you make this subtle shift in your mindset there are endless possibilities for friendships, love, once in a life time experiences and journeys awaiting you.
So you have defined your values and things that fill your soul as part of the previous chapters. Now go seek out your tribe. They are out there and worth the hunt.