Not Killing Your Spouse While Building a Business Together (HA 86)

Not Killing Your Spouse While Building a Business Together (HA 86)

Transcript:

Steven Butala:

Steve and Jill here.

Jill DeWit:

Good day.

Steven Butala:

Welcome to the House Academy Show, entertaining real estate investment talk. I’m Steven Jack Butala.

Jill DeWit:

And, I’m Jill Dewit, broadcasting from sunny southern California.

Steven Butala:

Today, Jill and I talk about not killing your spouse while building a business together.

Jill DeWit:

Gee-

Steven Butala:

What does that have to do with houses?

Jill DeWit:

I wonder how this topic came apart during the coronavirus, stay at home, pleasant period.

Steven Butala:

Pleasant period?

Jill DeWit:

I know. Don’t you just love spending that quality time, forced on house arrest with your family?

Steven Butala:

When Jill and I started Land Academy, in 2014, ’15 in the planning stages and then there was that time we got the first customer, and then the second customer, and then we were questioning ourselves all the way through because all the while we’re doing really well, buying and selling land on our own and spending half our time on this thing that doesn’t make any money and nobody cares about, and really trying to convince people that it works. And they’re like, “Yeah. No it doesn’t, because if it worked at all, you’d have some type of constituency.”

Steven Butala:

“Yeah, but customer, we just started.” So it’s just almost minute by minute that I talk about me more than Jill. I’m like, “This isn’t going to work and it’s stupid. Even if it does work, we don’t need this.” So that’s how you get to know your spouse really well.

Steven Butala:

And my final point is this. We went through all this, right? Jill and I actively were working together, but very separately buying and selling land. I was acquisitions and she was sales. And so the Land Academy companies now, the BuWit companies, we work together a lot more.

Jill DeWit:

It still happens and we’ll talk about it.

Steven Butala:

We’ve had five years to acclimate ourselves to each other. And I think we’re just starting to actually relatively get along more than we don’t get along. So I feel really bad. I’m not being satirical here.

Jill DeWit:

That’s funny.

Steven Butala:

I’m not being satirical.

Jill DeWit:

We’ve turned a corner. It’s 51/49. Thanks a lot. I like you 51% of the time.

Steven Butala:

My point is, and we can go on the show here, my point is that I truly feel for most people out there because this virus thing landed all in our laps. Jill and I had a choice. Most people now don’t have a choice. They have to work with their spouse or they have to spend too much time with their spouse without any real rehearsal or practice or anything. And so I’m really serious, if you get a pile of bricks dumped on your head, you’re not going to survive. You get one brick dumped on your head at a time, you have a chance.

Jill DeWit:

Where did you come up with that one?

Steven Butala:

I don’t know. I just came up with it.

Jill DeWit:

Okay. Wow. This is great. I can always count on you.

Steven Butala:

Before we get into it, let’s take a question posted by one of our members on the houseacademy.com online community. It’s free.

Jill DeWit:

That’s going to be my new saying. Was it one brick or was it several?

Steven Butala:

I think people come to the live event and they’re like, “Steve, you’re not the person that I see in my screen every day. You seem agitated and angry and you’re talking about real estate when I see you in person, and you’re a lot shorter.” They do, that’s what they say. I’m not this happy person. When we’re doing real estate deals, I’m not smiling and laughing and saying, “Bricks on your head.”

Jill DeWit:

Yep. Am I pretty the same?

Steven Butala:

You are.

Jill DeWit:

I think I am the same. Yeah. What you see here is what you see.

Steven Butala:

You’re very much the same-

Jill DeWit:

What you see is what you get. Thank you.

Steven Butala:

… in life actually, how you are on the show.

Jill DeWit:

Thank you.

Steven Butala:

Seriously.

Jill DeWit:

Thank you. Yeah, because if I have a poopy day, like a little bit yesterday, you’ll know I’m having a poopy day. It’ll come out.

Jill DeWit:

All right. Denver wrote, “Good afternoon. I work with my husband. We are both professionals, now working at home-

Steven Butala:

This is perfect.

Jill DeWit:

… with more time to do land deals. He has issues.” Denver, I feel your pain.

Jill DeWit:

“One of the reasons I joined-“

Steven Butala:

He has issues.

Jill DeWit:

He has issues. Oh, don’t they all? I’m just kidding. “One of the reasons we joined your group is that you two are similar to us as a working team. Any advice would do wonders. I hope.” Is this legit?

Steven Butala:

Yeah.

Jill DeWit:

Okay.

Steven Butala:

Is this legit? This is legit.

Jill DeWit:

Okay. Well, I’m just wondering, it could have been a crafted.

Steven Butala:

This is one of the reasons that inspiration for the show title.

Jill DeWit:

Okay. When was this written? Do you know? Was it just recently?

Steven Butala:

Recently. I only take questions from the last seven days.

Jill DeWit:

Okay, cool. All right. Well, we’re going to talk about it in the meat of the show. So, we ought to have some advice.

Steven Butala:

Okay. Today’s topic, not killing your spouse while you’re building a business together. This is why you’re listening on the House Academy Show.

Jill DeWit:

So, Denver, I feel you. And it is hard. I too remember when we didn’t work together and then we did work together, and it was interesting because there were times that we were working remotely, maybe we took a trip. There was one time in particular that we took a trip here to California before we lived here. We packed up our computers and we came for 30 days. And you were working on House Academy and stuff. It was really just dreaming it up back then. So this might’ve been 2013 or so, ’13, ’14, and I worked for a different company. So I would get up in the morning, be on the computer at 7:00 AM. Remember that? 7:00, 7:30 AM, I was on the computer.

Steven Butala:

I stopped listening a while ago because I work with you.

Jill DeWit:

This is part of how he does this, how he manages his sanity. Tune me out. Thanks a lot. My point is, we were working in the same residence basically, but we weren’t working together. So there’s a couple of different dynamics and we did that while I would get up, I’d get on the computer, I would take a break at ten-ish and I would make us both breakfast and I’d give you breakfast and you were in the dining room and I was back in, there was an office off the kitchen, I was in there working. You know what I’m talking about.

Steven Butala:

I do completely.

Jill DeWit:

Okay.

Steven Butala:

I can still see it.

Jill DeWit:

And then we’d have lunch together, quick. I’d take a lunch break, make us a sandwich, and then we had to think, wheels up at four o’clock, and then I have it all ready where, by the time I was done with my job, I would quickly log off and we would jump up on our bikes and go have some fun.

Jill DeWit:

And we had that down. And I know that’s probably what a lot of people are doing right now. One spouse has one job, one spouse has the other job. They don’t really necessarily work together, but they’re in the same space now. And that can be hard to get used to also. You’re bumping into each other in the kitchen. You’re used to having your alone time. You’re not used to sharing the shower at the same time. You’re used to them leaving the house at 6:00 AM because there’s a commute, and you had your space until you had to leave at seven or 7:30, because your commute was shorter, and now everybody’s like, “Uh oh,” and now you’re stuck at home and you’re figuring out office space and all that. That’s hard. And I understand that. Do you want to share?

Steven Butala:

No. No, it’s the Jill Show.

Jill DeWit:

So that’s one-

Steven Butala:

You want me to share?

Jill DeWit:

I do.

Steven Butala:

That’s a trick. Do you want to share?

Jill DeWit:

Well, it’s funny, you take a breath…

Steven Butala:

This is exactly what this is.

Jill DeWit:

You know you’re spending too much time together when you’re like, “You took a breath. Where are you going to say something?”

Steven Butala:

He’s breathing again. Why are you breathing like that?

Jill DeWit:

All right. That component is difficult. And I understand the component we’re even talking about is what we do, which is imagine that times 10, where not only are you in the same space, in the same office, but working for the same company, and it can be very difficult. So I have three things. These are my Jill things, and I know you’re going to have your own Jack things to share.

Steven Butala:

Jill things.

Jill DeWit:

These are my Jill things. This is how I don’t kill him. Number one-

Steven Butala:

I didn’t come prepared for this.

Jill DeWit:

This is good.

Steven Butala:

But I can come up with it though.

Jill DeWit:

Okay, good. Oh I did, because I think about this every day.

Steven Butala:

All right. I’m making my list.

Jill DeWit:

Here we go. Number one, for me, patience.

Steven Butala:

Wow.

Jill DeWit:

You’d better have a lot of patience. No, it’s not a bad thing. It’s a good thing. I normally have a lot of patience, but right now, especially with our kids at home too and not being able to get out and see my friends like I want to, go to lunch and have fun and just go shopping or whatever I like to do, I’ve got to have a lot of patience.

Jill DeWit:

Number two, boundaries. And here’s what I do. We are fortunate enough to have our offices in different rooms and not a lot of people can do that. I’d make a room, I’d say, “You know what? Everybody, our bedroom is my home office and when you see this sign on the door or between the hours of eight and four, please won’t come in.”

Steven Butala:

That’s really good advice, Jill. Seriously. Boundaries.

Jill DeWit:

Yeah, because I need my space. I’m setting up, I’m working, I’m in my zone. I can’t be interrupted. Because you need to brush your teeth and now you need to get your sweater and now you need to do… Or now you just want to bug me and talk because you have time. That’s not fair. You’ve got to set boundaries. And we do it with our kid by the way too. We realized him and his bedroom does not work, that spells sleep and spells disaster. So we set him up in his own office, a virtual office basically. And we can close the door and let him have his space. And we try not to interrupt him, except at lunchtime. That’s kind of it. Because I’m making a sandwich, I might as well make another one. That’s it.

Jill DeWit:

And then my third tip for you to not kill your spouse or any family member is, and we talk about this a lot, we talked about this just today, only do what you want to do for you, not because you feel like you’re going to get it back. For example, I’m making a sandwich, I’m going to make one sandwich, I’m going to make three sandwiches. Don’t make three sandwiches because you think those other two people are going to make you sandwiches the next two days. Nope, they’re not. And you can’t go into it like that. You need to do it because you feel like it. You see them working hard, you just want to do something nice. It feels good to you. It flat out feels good to you. And that’s how I roll normally. Most of what I do is because it feels good to me. People look at me like, “Why are you doing that?” You know what? I don’t want anything back from this. It just feels good to me. I just like to give.

Steven Butala:

You just eliminated half the people in any relationship. Forget about working together. You just eliminated more than half.

Jill DeWit:

Why?

Steven Butala:

Just trust me. Every guy out there knows exactly what I’m talking about. The vast majority of people I’ve ever met forget about sex. Male, female. Gender, I should say. There’s a scorecard.

Jill DeWit:

You cannot have a scorecard or you’ll lose your sanity.

Steven Butala:

I agree.

Jill DeWit:

You’ll be mad. You’ll be mad all the time if you do a scorecard.

Steven Butala:

That’s what I think. And I know you’re not like that and neither am I.

Jill DeWit:

Thank you. We have a thing, like making the bed, squeegeeing the shower. We don’t have a scorecard.

Steven Butala:

It’s called common courtesy.

Jill DeWit:

Right. You can’t. And if you walk around going, “I did it four days this week,” because I’ve gotten this. You slip sometimes. You find yourself saying, “I made the bed four flipping days this week.”

Steven Butala:

It’s only in some type of spat, where you just start pulling out stats from even five years ago.

Jill DeWit:

Well, I’m just saying sometimes you can find yourself saying, “I’m going to see if on day five they figure it out.” No, they think that this is now the thing, that you’re the person that’s responsible for making the bed.

Steven Butala:

I don’t have those issues with you.

Jill DeWit:

I know.

Steven Butala:

I’ve had them in past relationships, where there’s just a scorecard, and you don’t know about it. It’s not like it’s on the refrigerator and there’s a line in the middle of the sheet, and it’s like six for her and two for you. Because if that was the case, that’d be easy. I could work with that, or just eliminate it altogether.

Jill DeWit:

Right. So what’s your list?

Steven Butala:

I have a list of things that are going to make this bearable and possible. And this is a list, and I did it while you were talking because I can half listen to you.

Jill DeWit:

That would be patience. I’m going to refer to these this whole week patience boundaries and do it for you.

Steven Butala:

Sounds like a boy scout motto.

Jill DeWit:

Motto.

Steven Butala:

I was prepared.

Jill DeWit:

Patience, boundaries, do it for you,

Steven Butala:

Common courtesy. Anyway, cheerful, thrifty, brave, something like that.

Jill DeWit:

I don’t know why-

Steven Butala:

This is advice or comments from me to anybody who’s in a relationship. It’s not just working together. You have to have a common goal. Jill and I, without ever discussing it, ever, have a common goal. How she goes about it and how I go about it are dramatically different in my opinion, which is what causes a lot of the conflicts. But in the end, and I’ve used this to just stop it all, stop the conflict, it’s “Look, we have the same goal here. You’re going about it from an inspirational standpoint. I’m going about it from an informational standpoint. How about you handle this part of the deal? I handled this part of the deal. If there are any issues, we let each other know, usually not verbally, in the form of software like Skype or a CRM or email even, and we just call it that.”

Steven Butala:

This is advice now. If you and your spouse or you and your business partner have very, very similar talents and go about things very similarly, that’s a recipe for disaster. I don’t like the sales part of this. I love the acquisition part and the data part and all the computer parts of it. I have a tremendous, amazing amount of patience for computer problems and data issues and working things through like that, which is why we have a bunch of websites that generate money and help people do real estate deals.

Steven Butala:

If Jill were, and I’m not throwing you under the bus here, but if you were responsible for creating and managing ParcelFact, I don’t think that would have ever happened. I know it wouldn’t have, because it’s just not what you’re-

Jill DeWit:

By myself.

Steven Butala:

But I’ll tell you this. If I was left alone to do the all the sales and managing the staff and keeping them motivated, it wouldn’t have happened.

Jill DeWit:

Thanks.

Steven Butala:

So we have separate stuff. That’s huge.

Jill DeWit:

That’s good.

Steven Butala:

Number two, and I’ve said this on the show for years, very sporadically. The reason that Jill and I do really well together as spouses, not so much working together, is that we don’t talk about a lot of stuff seriously. I’ve known Jill for 11 years now. I’ve never had a super serious political conversation with her ever.

Steven Butala:

So this virus thing comes up now and there’s a lot of heads on the TV, talking and telling us stuff, so it’s forcing us to have a household conversation, like, “Hey, who’s going to go to the grocery store? Are we supposed to wear a mask? Should we buy wipes?” All of that. And so it leads to, “Well no we shouldn’t buy wipes. This is stupid.”

Steven Butala:

And I say, “You know what? I think that too.” So it leads to this stuff. So this is the most serious we’ve ever talked about [inaudible 00:15:40] other political stuff, which I’m not going to get into in here at all. Turns out, we have very similar opinions on our own about… That really, really helps. And then don’t talk about it.

Jill DeWit:

That’s true. It has brought up a few things, we’re like, “I didn’t know you felt that way.”

Jill DeWit:

“I didn’t know you felt that way.” And we’re on the same page.

Steven Butala:

And we have a lot of friends who their votes cancel each other out entirely.

Jill DeWit:

Yeah, it’s true.

Steven Butala:

All the time. So I feel lucky about that, Jill.

Jill DeWit:

Thank you.

Steven Butala:

It’s not something I planned. It was just an extra benefit.

Jill DeWit:

Thank you. Do you have another one?

Steven Butala:

Yeah.

Jill DeWit:

Okay.

Steven Butala:

I’m trying to read my own writing. I already covered it. Separate roles.

Jill DeWit:

Okay.

Steven Butala:

And same goal.

Jill DeWit:

I’ve got to ask. I have a question for listeners here. How many of you are Skyping and emailing when you’re either on separate sides of the living room or the or your one room away? We’ve been doing that for our whole…

Steven Butala:

For years.

Jill DeWit:

Everything. And I used to think, I remember going, “What the heck is this? That was always your way of communicating. I could see you. I could lean out and see you and say, “Hey.” But you’re like, “Skype me.” And it was not bad advice.

Steven Butala:

It’s very, very hard to be emotional when you’re writing instead of talking.

Jill DeWit:

Right.

Steven Butala:

And the cleaner that you write, without adjectives and adverbs like, “I am hungry.” Actually that’s an… Doesn’t matter. The less adverbs and adjectives that there are, the more they just keep the emotion out of it. Emotion is going to wreck everything.

Jill DeWit:

Yeah.

Steven Butala:

If you are emotional or your partner is over emotional, constantly, that’s just… And you know what? It doesn’t matter.

Jill DeWit:

I know.

Steven Butala:

If you look back in your worst moment together, look back two weeks from the time of that event, I guarantee everyone’s going to be like, “What are you talking about, we got in an argument?” That’s the way it should be.

Jill DeWit:

Meaning because it was on Skype?

Steven Butala:

No, it was just an argument.

Jill DeWit:

Right.

Steven Butala:

It’s not going to matter two weeks from now.

Jill DeWit:

It doesn’t matter.

Steven Butala:

The fact that you were supposed to go to the grocery store and you forgot shouldn’t be the cause of World War Three.

Jill DeWit:

I agree.

Steven Butala:

And you’re very good about that.

Jill DeWit:

Thanks.

Steven Butala:

Just cut everybody some slack, especially right now.

Jill DeWit:

That’s what I-

Steven Butala:

It’s real easy for us to sit here and say this stuff.

Jill DeWit:

Dude, we’re on the same page. I was going to say the same thing. I didn’t know you were leading to that last statement because I was going to say the bottom line is everybody should give each other a pass, a lot of passes right now because we’re all a little bit out of sorts and not in our usual normal frame of minds because of this dumb virus. But it will pass.

Steven Butala:

The other thing about you and I, this is my-

Jill DeWit:

And you guys will still be here. We’ll still be here.

Steven Butala:

Yeah. The other thing that I really think you and I are very good at, and I don’t see a lot of people who are the same is having conflict, addressing it very quickly, handling it and then…

Jill DeWit:

Oh.

Steven Butala:

If you and I get into anything, whether it’s deal related, it’s almost always deal related or work-related. It’s never really social.

Jill DeWit:

Yeah.

Steven Butala:

If there’s conflict, it lasts maybe 10 minutes and then it’s like, all right, we’re done with it and now let’s go have a drink. And then everything’s fine. Jill is very good at compartmentalizing stuff, and I know that’s hard for a lot of people.

Jill DeWit:

Thanks. Thank you.

Jill DeWit:

Happy you could join us today. Every Tuesday and Thursday, we’re right here on the House Academy Show. All this was not a house related topic at all, but it was very, very important.

Steven Butala:

We can talk about a house deal really fast here, if you want.

Jill DeWit:

Nah.

Steven Butala:

Okay.

Jill DeWit:

That’s what Thursday’s for.

Steven Butala:

Nah.

Jill DeWit:

Yeah. And by the way, Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays, we’re on the Land Academy Show.

Steven Butala:

Tomorrow, the episode on the Land Academy Show is called Real Time Info on Where to Invest During These Virus Times. You are not alone in your real estate ambition.

Steven Butala:

You know what? Everybody is, “It’s supposed to be all about real estate. It’s supposed to be about buying or selling houses and buying and selling land.” Buying and selling a house or a piece of real estate is easy, it’s all the other stuff that we talk about on these shows that will sink the ship.

Jill DeWit:

Like working with your spouse.

Steven Butala:

Yeah.

Jill DeWit:

That could sink the ship. Man, you know-

Steven Butala:

Or finding the right source of data.

Jill DeWit:

Well, you’re not on the same page about a deal.

Steven Butala:

Yeah.

Jill DeWit:

You’re not on the same page about a business, that’ll sink the ship.

Steven Butala:

That’s it. That’s why we talk about this stuff. It’s not just about the actual finding the data, getting the mail out, buying a property, and then shoving it off to your partner so she can sell it.

Jill DeWit:

Exactly. The House Academy Show remains commercial-free for you, our loyal listener. So wherever you’re watching, wherever you’re listening, please subscribe and rate us there. We are Steve and Jill.

Steven Butala:

We are Steve and Jill. Information-

Jill DeWit:

And inspiration-

Steven Butala:

To buy undervalued property.