We didn’t set out to be entrepreneurs.
In fact, when we were first married, we just worked the jobs we could find to make ends meet and pay off school debt, like so many other young couples.
From working in social services (where we met), to teaching English in Japan (both), to selling cell phone plans (Ryan), to taking in homestay students and tutoring in my kitchen (Stephanie), to database entry for the local Health Authority (Stephanie), to selling accounting software and eventually becoming a VP of Sales and Marketing (Ryan)… we’ve done a whole lot of things.
For Ryan, however, it became part of the plan to eventually own and run his own businesses. The dream for him started many years ago, around the birth of our second child, after his battle with cancer.
Through the jobs he worked, he considered himself to be a student of business, learning sales, accounting, marketing, management, and economics while working for other people (he always joked that it was better to learn on their dollar than on his).
For Stephanie, it wasn’t so simple. She was more scared, more hesitant, more fond of the straight and narrow job-security . She liked to play it safe.
Which makes it sort of funny that she launched her first website, Keeper of the Home back in 2007, having no clue that she had accidentally just become an entrepreneur in the process or where that path would ultimately take her.
So by the time Ryan felt he had the necessary experience under his belt, a dream in his heart, and a well thought out business plan on paper, she was finally ready to put aside her fears and say yes to taking that leap.
Away from the corporate world. Away from steady and predictable paychecks. Away from semi-normal work hours. Away from the status quo.
And so began our journey into the world of working for ourselves.
This has now been our full time gig for the past 5+ years and we honestly couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
Most of the best entrepreneurs are eclectic and rather, um, ambitious (probably the understatement of the year).
We like to keep ourselves busy. And so we wear a lot of different hats when it comes to the business endeavors we’ve got on the go at the moment:
This is Ryan’s baby and a local music school that he launched five years ago. It was our first real breakout into the world of keeping ourselves afloat, and it’s still running solidly to this day, although neither of us are as involved in the day-to-day operations as we used to be. Which we happen to think is pretty awesome, that this little school that could still plays a role in our lives but allows us the chance to pursue new ventures as well. It currently employs more than 20 dedicated teachers (a mix of part and full time) as well as 2 full time office staff. Though we don’t take as much as we used to, because we’re trying to invest into the future growth of the school, we still pull an income from Resound.
This is the natural-living blog that gave Stephanie her first taste of being her own boss and making money online, and seven years later, it’s still going strong. Today she runs it with the help of a group of fabulous contributing writers, as well as a pretty awesome administrative team that keeps it all going smoothly behind the scenes. It currently makes a respectable full-time income for part-time hours (especially thanks to Ryan’s help with optimizing our revenue streams – definitely his area of strength while Stephanie provides more of the vision and content direction for the site), as well employing a team of 4 regular part-time staff and a handful of contractors on an as-needed basis.
This is a more recent venture launched in the past two years, yet it is rapidly becoming more important for us and gaining a lot of traction and recognition in the niches we work in. Together with our partners Will and Erin Odom (of The Humbled Homemaker), we run seasonal bundles of digital products (like ebooks and ecourses), together with bonuses from corporate sponsors, at no-brainer prices for our loyal
customers. This has been a particularly fun and exciting project for us to collaborate on as a husband-and-wife team and we look forward to its continued growth and evolution into a more established company.
EntreFamily & EntreFamily Travels
Our newest endeavor and a true passion project for us. We cherish the life that we’ve been able to design – where work and family and travel and education all mingle into one, and flow together to create this beautiful, uncommon life we’re blessed to lead. Sharing our own journey together with all of you — what we’ve learned, how we’ve grown, where we’ve failed, what we’re still figuring out, and how we’re enjoying the ride – well, this is a dream come true and we’re grateful to be a part of this community of outside-the-box dreamers and doers.