Podcast #16: Loving your business and your spouse (with Antony and Emily Bartlett)

Every once in a while, you meet other entrepreneurs with whom you just click.

That’s how it was when we met Emily and Antony Bartlett at a blogging mastermind retreat last fall. Together with five other EntreFamilies (and a whopping total of 24 kids), we all got vulnerable about what we’re currently working on in our businesses, what excites us, where we’re stuck, what we’re loving, and what we could use help with.

It was a pretty phenomenal time, and getting to know this amazing couple was definitely a highlight. Like us, they primarily work together on a shared business (though Emily does have a couple other irons in the fire).

Like us, they live this truly unconventional, sometimes exhausting, often exhilarating, quirky entrepreneurial lifestyle. And like us, they love it.

In fact, that was one of my favorite take-aways from this podcast… their genuine joy in how they run their business together, and how much of a passion project that business is.

For all the people who tell us “Oh, I could never work with my spouse“, can I just say how refreshing it was to talk to a couple who has differences in working styles, and don’t always see eye to eye on everything, but at the end of the day can say they love what they do together?

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You’re going to walk away inspired, both from their enthusiasm coupled with their honesty, along with wise insights into what makes it all work so well for them.

So grab those running shoes, that basket of laundry, or get the kids in the minivan, because the EntreFamily podcast is back. Oh yes, it is. Enjoy.

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In this episode you’ll hear:

  • How Emily and Antony balance three (count ’em — three!) businesses.
  • About learning to determine roles and strengths as a couple working together 24/7.
  • The details of their “date mornings” — Lycra, breakfast and business talk!
  • How Antony is overcoming FOMO. <— Do you know about FOMO?
  • How it was hard to just jump. (But how and why they did it anyway.)
  • “About growing to the size of your fishbowl,” and how scary it can be to try to make entreincomes work.
  • That they listened to their customers along the way, and how fine-tuning helped build their business.
  • How they shipped first and responded after: “You don’t know what perfect is until you’re actually driving the train.” ~ Emily
  • That being exclusionary doesn’t help anyone.
  • Chilling by cleaning the basement? What?! Or maybe traveling! 🙂

Resources from this podcast:

The Weston A. Price Foundation

Non-Nom Paleo

That quote: When the student is ready, the master appears. ~Buddhist Proverb

And another one:

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” ~ Henry Ford

Google Drive




As well as our ever-growing page of resources.

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Find Emily and Antony

Holistic Squid — Emily’s website

Real Plans — Antony and Emily’s meal planning service


Emily’s acupuncture business

Holistic Squid on Facebook

Holistic Squid on Twitter

Holistic Squid on Pinterest


“Isn’t the key that business is not a burden? That’s the whole point. This is just a fun thing. Real Plans is our love-child … We have this thing that we have in common which is very interesting and there’s always new aspects to talk about … and that actually forms the basis of who we are.” ~ Antony Bartlett

Go ahead and listen by clicking on the play button right here at the top of the post.

Or, listen directly through iTunes or Stitcher!

Thanks for joining us for today’s podcast!

Are you balancing multiple businesses? How have you defined your roles in each?

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Roots and Wings: How we’re choosing both this year…

I love my life.

I’m frequently in awe at my good “luck”; working with best friend (EntreSteph) every day, homeschooling my kids, and adventuring around the world with them.

When we first started traveling, one of our biggest motivations was that we wanted to give our kids the gift of an open mind. We wanted them to wrestle with new ideas, expand their creative palette, and learn to love other people and the differences they embody.

And while our traveling has definitely shaped them in that way, I’ve come to realize that our children need more than just adventure… they need to belong.

I first came to this realization when I heard this quote somewhere…

“The best gifts we can give our children are roots and wings. Roots to remind them where they are from, and wings to show them what they can become.”
– Hodding Carter… {kind of}

Turning a blind eye to the fact that my version above bears very little resemblance to the original quote, I was still impacted by the truth in it.

I realized that I had been focusing almost entirely on giving my children wings (read: a sense of adventure and possibility), and have been neglecting this deep need of theirs to belong somewhere; to forge deep friendships and shared memories. And if I’m totally honest with myself, EntreSteph and I need that too.

We’ve spent 19 of the last 36 months on the road, visiting 43 countries, and “living” in hundreds of different “homes”.

Throw in a big move to a new city and the start of a couple of new business ventures in the midst of it all, and you can see that our adventure quotient had been achieved with healthy margin. But our new paradigm requires a new schedule.

EntreSteph and I have definitely had “enthusiastic” conversations attempting to figure out exactly what that new schedule should look like, but we’ve come to an agreement on one that we believe will help us to nurture both that sense of belonging and adventure in our family (brace yourself…it’s not rocket science): For every 12 months, we’ll spend 9 months at home and 3 months abroad.

While we’re at home, we’ll intentionally invest in our community through church, EntreEvents, and kids activities.

And when we’re on the road, we’ll fully embrace the adventure; learning new languages, eating new foods, and taking on new challenges.

As simple as that sounds, it’s taken us awhile to be willing to “settle down” for any length of time, and it’s going to take some discipline on our part to stick with it.

I realize and respect that you may not be at a place where you’re able to spend 3 months abroad every year, and am so grateful that we’re even able to consider it as an option.

I’m also keenly aware that there are other ways to develop that sense of adventure and possibility in your family.

How do you find the balance between roots and wings in your family?

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Looking for more community yourself? Maybe with other “EntreFamilies” who get your lifestyle?

Join our brand new Facebook group and find a safe place (no trolls! 🙂 to connect with other entrepreneurial couples, share tips, talk about struggles, ask questions, chat with us, and stay up to date on what’s happening here at EntreFamily. See you there!

Your Weekly Brew

Do you ever just love what you do?

Coming back from a couple weeks off, the first vacation we’ve taken in quite some time, has been invigorating. It’s such a blessing to realize that for all that can be hard about it, I (and Ryan, as well) really, truly enjoy my work and feel grateful to get up and do it each day.

Perhaps that’s one of the best parts of being an entrepreneur. Steve Jobs once said, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

Now, I don’t think that’s entirely true (when we’re committed to pursuing excellence in everything we do, we can do great work even in areas we aren’t passionate about it), but I do agree that our very best work bubbles up from a deep love for what we’re doing.

What about you? Are you doing work that you love? (Or perhaps, working your tush off to bring you closer to the goal of being able to do that?)

I hope that some of these links inspire you this coming week in whatever work you’re doing!

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Is it Time to Upgrade Your Friends?

They say that you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. If that’s the case, then I’m in a good place, ‘cause 5 of the most generous, kind, enterprising people I know happen to live in my home.

When it comes to my relationships outside of the home, however, I’m not where I want to be. Although I’ve got some dear friends that mean the world to me (and I wouldn’t trade those relationships for anything), I’ve not always approached my relationships very strategically; I’ve kind of “drifted” into whatever relationships happened to come easily to me.

But the problem with these “easy” relationships is that they hardly ever help me become the person I want to be in the future.

At least for me, easy is lazy.

I’m not challenged and I pretty much stay the same person. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be the same person next year, or even next month.

So, about 6 months ago Steph and I decided to be more intentional about our relationships. If we want to become better versions of ourselves, then we need to spend more time with people who already have an abundance of the qualities we want in our own lives.

Read More
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