We model our business core after the homeschooling method we discovered a little over five years ago. Thomas Jefferson Education is an educational method based on three phases of learning. Learning these three steps have had a tremendous impact on our family, knowledge, and business. There have been many times over the last year I have been able to determine where I am on the TJE model. The three phases of learning are Core, Love of Learning and Scholar.
Moving towards becoming a serious blogger and a social media manager kicked me into hyperlearning mode. There has been a ton I have needed to learn. Grammar, writing, platform policies, analytics and now fixing to code. I thank the Lord every day he gave me a husband who creates beautiful websites. He is gifted, and the sites he builds are cutting edge. If I were to pay him for what he has designed and fixed on my blog already, well, we would not be where we are now. Companies have worked with us because our site is professional. Mark is also able to help walk me through parts of the business I do not understand. Then there are other parts neither of us understands and requires one or both of us to research and learn it.
This time last year I bounced between core and love of learning. Trying to figure out who I was as a person, what our family is about and what our topics our blog would cover. I kept hearing, write what you know. What I knew was I was a child of God, a wife struggling to love my husband, a homeschool mom who felt trapped in her life as a mom and I had recently been freed by Christ to try things that scared the pants off of me. I also knew I love adventure and travel. To this day, this is my core.
When I discovered my core, then I was able to enter into the love of learning. Learning social media platforms and trying recipes in the kitchen. I started the social media breakfast in Albert Lea to allow me to continue learning and invite my community to do it with me. It was chalked full of learning.
This year I am in scholar phase. Continuing to learn and study to the best of my ability to become the best blogger and social media manager I can be. I am also committed to my families core and learning how family and business work together. I want to not only grow my business; I want to build my relationships with our kids. For my family and business go hand in hand.
I was able to use TJE as a guide map. I was able to determine the course of action I needed to take based on my phase of learning. Moments when I realized I was acting in the core, it helped to stabilize me so I could figure out what I needed to do to get to the love of learning and scholar. I didn’t want to skip any phases because each would hold essential lessons I would need later. Better to learn them now than have to go back and go through the process again. It allowed me to be kind to myself. It didn’t take away the frustration of not being where I wanted to be, but it gave me a map. It helped me to find a path to the next phase.
Keeping to our core has helped us stay true to our family and our business. I have been tempted to take on a product, service or experience because I knew it would help our blog grow faster, but when I talked to Mark and shared what I was thinking, he would say, it’s not part of our core. Every time I knew he was right. Then as if to confirm we were on the right track the Lord would bring us a product or experience that lined up with our core. As if to say keep going, you’re going in the right direction. He is a good, good father to reaffirm our direction.
When we go to business networking events, we get asked what our 90-day plan, 5-year plan, and the 10-year plan is is. You will hear us say our business goals line up with our family goals. We allow our family’s core values and dreams to help guide our business goals. We see our goals and our core as one in the same. Both are helping to steer us in the direction we are supposed to go in life. Our mission.
Anytime we have gone away from our core we begin to lose pieces of ourselves. We lose connections with our kids and soon other areas of our life is unraveling as well. It is a lot of work to stay true to your core, but it’s worth it. Many times I have wanted a faster route, but when you detour and take a shortcut, you miss the valuable lessons that go along with doing hard things. You lose character lessons, business connections, and God appointed lessons.
How do you find a business core? For us, it meant going to our focus, interests, gifts, and talents. We needed to determine what our spiritual goals are and what they look like for our family. We had to discover what made us tick, what we enjoy doing and then apply it to our business life. You will find our personal goals, and our business goals are similar because to us they are intertwining.
Staying true to our core has been one of the best decisions we have made. It has been hard, but worth it. I look forward to continuing exploring our business with our kids. Traveling the world and making the world a better, positive place to live. I look forward to watching the Lord call others to himself through our family. Together, we conquer the world.