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Hello Seven Podcast with Rachel Rodgers | Marriage, Family, and Entrepreneurship with Dediako Rodgers

094 Marriage, Family, and Entrepreneurship with Dediako Rodgers

I have something special for y’all today. I’m here with my husband, Dediako Rodgers, and we’re talking about marriage, family, and entrepreneurship, and answering your questions about all of it. We’ve been together for 17 years, we have four children, and we work together without driving each other wild, so we know a thing or two about how to make this arrangement work.

We’re answering your questions about business and wealth-building, parenting, marriage, how it’s all evolved over the years, and how we have grown into playing to our strengths as individuals to make a successful business.

Tune in this week as my husband Dediako and I answer your questions on the podcast. We’re discussing the mindset shifts we had around me becoming the primary breadwinner, how we take care of ourselves and our different interests while having such intertwined lives, our investments and budgeting, and pretty much anything else you can think of.

How come you’re not a millionaire yet? Whatever is standing in between you and having more money, I want to help you clear those blocks out of the way. Click here to join The Club where you get an education, you get coaching, you get a community, you get everything you need to remove those roadblocks and start making more money today.

What You'll Learn from this Episode:

  • How our business has evolved and the point at which Dediako started getting involved directly.
  • What Dediako doing our customer service has taught me about how society values a man’s time over a woman’s.
  • The mindset shifts we had to make as a couple when I became the primary breadwinner while he assumed the role of primary caregiver.
  • Why it’s so important to remember who you are as an individual outside of a marriage, job, or family.
  • How the two of us keep moving forward without fear when it comes to making major decisions as a unit.
  • Why support is about more than just saying “yes” to someone all the time.
  • How we balance our self-care and different interests while working together and raising a family.

Listen to the Full Episode:

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Transcript

We're honest about resentments, when we have resentment we talk about it. We talk about expectations. And I think part of it is letting go of expectations. And I truly think that the key to success is constantly forgiving each other. Like you just have to forgive each other every day. Like at the end of the day, even just making it a practice to be like, whatever I just decided to be salty about, I'm going to let that go. I'm going to snuggle and go to bed and wake up and not even think about it.

You want to make more money? You are in the right place. Welcome to the Hello Seven Podcast, that’s seven as in seven figures. I'm your host, Rachel Rodgers. On this show, it’s all about you and your money. We talk about how to maximize your earning potential, how to make better financial decisions, and how to find your million-dollar idea, that genius business idea that’s going to make you a whole lot more money. I’m here to show you how to expand your income and expand your confidence, power, and joy.

If you are a woman, a person of color, a queer person, if you’re a person living with a disability, or you don’t fit the stereotypical image of what a millionaire is “supposed” to look like, this show is for you. No matter who you are or what you do for a living, you could be earning a lot more than you currently do. Your journey to wealth starts right here.

Rachel: Hello, hello. Welcome back to the Hello Seven podcast. I'm here today with my husband, Dediako Rodgers, and we're going to talk about marriage, family, and entrepreneurship and answer your questions. So I'm very excited for this conversation. And who knows what's going to come out of my husband's mouth? So it's going to be very interesting.

Dediako: Really? I’m the conservative one, thank you.

Rachel: I disagree. All right, we're going to get this party started. We'll give you a little bit of background for those who don't know much about us together. We've been married for 17, well we've been together for 17 years, married for 14? 14 years. And we have four children and we both work in this business together.

Dediako is the CFO and I am the CEO, and we have been working together for a very long time now. I want to say, I mean, I guess you could say the whole time. I feel like in the early days and when we were strictly a law practice, you—

Dediako: I did a lot less.

Rachel: Yeah, you did a lot less in the business, but still have always been an advisor and sounding board, really. And Dediako was an entrepreneur before this business started and was flipping houses and doing real estate stuff in New York for several years, which I helped you with that, right?

Dediako: Yep.

Rachel: Like I helped install backsplashes and countertops.

Dediako: And destroy cabinets.

Rachel: You know, all those things. That's because he wanted me to stand there and hold the tools. He'd be like, “Stand there and pass me the tool when I need the tool.” And I'm like, “No, I'm going to use the tools, okay? I'm not just going to stand here and pass you tools. I don't know what you think this is.”

Dediako: It’s like broken cabinets.

Rachel: I definitely destroyed a countertop immediately. Like as soon as he gave me the tool and showed me how to use it, I used it and destroyed the countertop, we had to go get another one. So that's women's empowerment for you.

Dediako: That's what you call winning.

Rachel: All right, so we're going to dive into those questions that y'all have for us. All right, so first we're going to talk about, we're going to start by talking about building wealth in business. And then we've got parenting and family, and marriage. Should we cycle through the three topics or just go in order? Cycle through? Keep it interesting. Okay.

All right, so the first question that we have is somebody asked, the transition to both of you working in the business, how did you make the decision? And how do you make it work without driving each other wild? So I think originally, what happened?

Dediako: I was bored and I wanted my own money. So I was like, “Yo, I'm going to nursing school.” And she was like, “Why are you going to do that when you could just stay here and help me?” And I was like, “You know what? You're right.” Boom, CFO.

Rachel: Well, that's kind of what happened. I think it was a transition over time, and like different things would happen in the business. I think, again, as I said earlier, when it was a law practice he was mostly staying home with the kids, our kids were really little at the time. And I was working as a lawyer, basically a solo, right? I didn't have any help.

And then I had a couple different virtual assistants. There were times where things shifted in the business and I didn't have any help and he jumped in to help me because the kids were, by that time, in preschool and he had more availability and so he jumped in to help and he was answering emails which is not, email is his least favorite thing on earth. He does not like writing emails. He hates reading emails. And he was like doing customer service.

But I will tell you, I mean, the way that we never had a problem collecting money when he was doing customer service, what is it? Like if I sent an email saying, “Hey, you owe me money,” right? It would be hemming and hawing and all this back and forth. And I'd eventually get my money, but it would be a lot of back and forth.

With him, he sent one email saying, “Hey, you owe us money.” They'd be like, “I'm so sorry.” And immediately pay. I'm like, what kind of bullshit is this?

Dediako: I was going to send the goons.

Rachel: He was not going to send the goons, but it's just so interesting that as a society we are trained not to waste a man's time, was my takeaway. But we are absolutely trained to waste the fuck out of a woman's time. So nothing has taught me that more than customer service and him doing it versus me doing it, and versus other team members doing it.

Neither of us do customer service now, but that's kind of how it started with him entering into the business. I needed help, he was available, he jumped in and helped. And then it transitioned over time.

And I think what was happening too, was that we started getting other help in the business. And then also, I was always really bad at paying the bills because I just, I'm not good at all of these little details that need to be done. I want to stay big picture, like creative, you know, coming up with plans and strategy, those are my gifts. Making sure the Is are dotted and the Ts are crossed, that's not my gift. But that is his gift, right?

So he had our household running like clockwork, it was like timers going off all the time. I'm like, what is this timer for? That's the laundry done. What is this timer for? It’s time to go get Jackson from preschool. What's this timer for? It’s time to start dinner. Right? Like it was like military, and he's not been in the military. But it was like military with all the time. All of our bills were paid on time, everything ran like a well-oiled machine in our household.

And so I was like, can you bring some of that energy into this business? Because I need help and this is not my gift, and it is your gift. So can you bring that and make sure our bills are paid on time and manage our expenses? And I'll make the money come in and you make it go out and make sure it all runs the right way. And so that's what he came in to do, and still does today for Hello Seven. So I think that answers that question.

Dediako: Yeah.

Rachel: Awesome.

Dediako: That answers it.

Rachel: Okay. So let's move on to a question about parenting and family. The question is, what were the mindset shifts you and Dediako had to make with you becoming the primary breadwinner and him becoming the primary caregiver? And how did you both reinforce these mindset shifts? What do you think?

Dediako: All right, so for me, once Rachel became the primary breadwinner, I always said to myself, what would I want if I had a wife that stayed at home? And then that's how I would act.

Rachel: Yes, meaning that if you were the one that was out working and I was the one staying at home, what would you want? So can you give examples of what that was? Like what you did that you thought was what I want?

Dediako: No. I didn't know what you wanted, I was like, what would I want?

Rachel: I see what you mean. Okay, so what did you want, right? What did you want that you actually did?

Dediako: You know, the house taken care of, dinner made, the kids fed and bathed and well looked after. I don’t know, I think that was it. I mean, there's probably other stuff I can't think of off the top of my head.

Rachel: Yeah, but your thought process was like if I'm going to be a stay-at-home parent, I'm going to be the best stay at home parent.

Dediako: Right.

Rachel: Yeah, and I love that, that's awesome. And I agree, I think if you're going to do something, you might as well do it to the best of your ability. And for sure, I mean, all of that pressure was taken off of my plate and that meant that I could focus my energy on making sure that we had the resources that we needed to run our household.

Dediako: You know, that is a good point. That really was the focus, it was keeping the kids and the house off your plate.

Rachel: Yes, exactly.

Dediako: So whatever that entailed at the time.

Rachel: Right, and that does not look like me not parenting. I still had to change diapers, I still had to wipe asses and spoon feed children. It's not like all of the parenting is off your plate, but like I don't have to worry about laundry. I don't have to worry about dinner most nights. I don't have to worry about getting the kids to preschool, right? Like a lot of the logistical labor of parenting was taken off of my plate so that I could focus on resources.

And I think that that is a great way to approach everything, marriage, with your team, right? Divide and conquer, what are the different skill sets that are available to you right now on this team, right? And then how can we divide and conquer it and use, like I'll use my skill sets to do what I'm great at and you do your skill sets to do what you're great at. And we're freed up from being responsible for the other party's stuff, you know?

Dediako: Right, that's huge.

Rachel: Yes, I agree.

Okay, so a question about marriage, how do you each build self-care personal interests into your lives?

Dediako: I don't, I do whatever she wants me to do.

Rachel: That is actually not true.

Dediako: I think so. I don’t know, let me think.

Rachel: So we have very, very different interests which we're constantly reminded of and rediscovering. And we spend a lot of time together because we work together. And he has his own office, I work up here, I work outside of the house, and he has an office that’s in our house. And so it's not like we're together all day long, necessarily, but we do spend time together during the day. And then, you know, we're hanging out all weekend, we are mostly together.

My interests are like, I love to travel, he does not like to travel. He will enjoy himself when he gets there, depending on what it is. But usually, the idea of leaving is not what he wants. He likes to be at home with all his creature comforts, with his gym, with his dietary routine.

He loves and thrives on routine, and then married an Aquarius, who I'm like if the day is the same for like three days, I'm like, I'm bored now. I will literally drive a different way home just to see something different and have different scenery. So that's the example I give to show that I need variety, otherwise I get bored.

And so one of the ways that I think that's been resolved in some ways recently is I go on a lot of trips with Robert and Susan. So I have good friends and we travel together. So we'll go on like a weekend trip and visit one of the three of us, or we'll go spend a weekend at our beach house, you know, things like that. So I feel like that gives him alone time and then I get to go be my extroverted itself and see something different and be with friends. So that's a balance.

And I mean, it's something like we still fight about it to this day. It's not like it's like completely resolved. I mean, he'll be like, “Why are we going on this trip? I don't want to go.” Or, you know, my favorite, and by favorite I mean my least favorite is when we're supposed to go somewhere together and then five minutes before we're walking out the house, he's like, “I'm not going to go.” And then, of course, I'm instantly pissed about it.

Dediako: Yes, but I had to think about it. I think I don't want to go now.

Rachel: So usually that's a fight. Sometimes he winds up coming, sometimes he doesn't. And, you know, whatever, it is what it is. So I think we do a good job of taking care of ourselves. We actually work out in the morning typically. He's better at making sure he always works out, I usually do, but if I come back from travel I give myself a couple days off. Which is where we're at right now. We just came back from a trip, he's been in the gym today, I did not. But I did go for a walk, so that's good.

So we'll work out and lift weights. He's teaching me like how to lift weights. You know, we're in there at the same time in the morning. We take time for ourselves in the evening, so we put our kids to bed early, like 8:30 at the latest.

And even if they're not asleep, that's fine, get out of here. I'm done feeding you. I'm done giving you things. I'm done answering your questions. I'm done watching your shows. I’m done playing on the floor with you. Like go to bed and now it's parent time to hang out. And sometimes we hang out together and sometimes we do our own thing, usually it's together.

Dediako: Yeah, I think that the self-care part is really important. And that’s something I'm still working on because I don't do as much of it as I should, as I think I should. Like there's a lot of things I won't do because it means leaving my family which is, I don't know, I feel funny leaving them. So I don't do a lot of things that take me out of the house for longer than a few hours.

But I think I'm going to start, you know, taking trips and stuff like that because it's important to remember who you are outside of this marriage.

Rachel: Yes, and outside of being a parent.

Dediako: And outside of being a parent, and a husband, a wife. Self-care is very important.

Rachel: I agree. And alone time is important.

Dediako: It's very important.

Rachel: He needs a lot more alone time than I do.

Dediako: Yes.

Rachel: But I have actually become a little bit more introverted as I've gotten older and like have discovered that when I'm surrounded by people for days and days, I'm just like, “Everybody out.”

But I think one of the biggest pieces of self-care that we actually don't talk about and people don't talk about enough is our house. Our house is truly a sanctuary. It is a magical place.

Dediako: I never want to leave.

Rachel: It is beautifully designed, there's beautiful art, it functions really well, it's always clean. We have, you know, amazing people helping us in our house and taking care of us, you know, feeding us making sure our house is well run, you know, doing homeschooling with our kids during the day. So I think where we have invested heavily in our self-care is the way that our household runs.

And that is huge because that takes so much stress off of our plates, we get to just wake up in the morning, spend quality time with the kids, sit and have breakfast with them. We have almost every, yeah, every meal. Every now and then, like today, we're recording this podcast, it's around lunchtime right now so our kids will probably eat before we get back. But we have every meal together, which is really nice.

So I don't know, I think that that is something, like your environment, right? Living on this ranch, being able to go for walks. Like earlier today, I was going to go for a walk, and then I saw somebody who I would have to talk to. And I was like, no, so I went on the trail instead on our private property where I know I'm not going to run into nobody.

Dediako: She did get lost.

Rachel: I did get lost on our own trail, which is, it's very overgrown right now and you couldn't see. I was distracted. Okay, I think we've answered that.

All right, so back to building wealth and biz. Here's the question, how do you develop your investment strategy together? Assuming that there is a fair amount of liquidity to invest so you still budget? I'll let you answer the question, do we still budget?

Dediako: Yeah, but it's loose.

Rachel: Yes.

Dediako: I mean it's just loose. We do budget, but we do what we call we pay ourselves first. So that means any monies that come out of the business, we invest first and foremost, and then we can have some fun.

Rachel: Yes, exactly. So we do prioritize investing. We're at a place now where we don't really, like our bills are paid, they're all automatic. We don't really have to think about them, they just automatically come out. And so that's happening in the background. And then any excess, the first set of excess we invest.

And by invest we really mean just investing in the stock market, putting it in, you know, index funds, things that are relatively safe. We are not trying to lose this money and we just want to see compound interest over time and just building up a nest egg and a portfolio. That is essentially, I guess, our retirement, but also just a place where we have some cash for safekeeping, basically.

Dediako: Yeah, and just FYI, the market isn't that great now, but you just got think it’s long term.

Rachel: Yeah, it's a long-term thing, we're not planning to take that money out at all. So that's the first thing that we do. We also invest in a lot of real estate and we have different ideas about investing in real estate. My preference is to buy beautiful luxury properties that we can do short term rentals with, we can enjoy ourselves with our family and friends. And then we can also host retreats, and host clients, and employees there.

And so we do all three of those things with like the ranch, for example. Well, not short-term rentals right now. But like the beach house, we do short term rentals with that. And so I like buying properties like that, that tend to be expensive but they're in prime, prime locations and they have the opportunity to generate a good amount of short-term income. And they're places that I want to spend time and I want to make memories with family. Not just our immediate family, but also our extended family.

So that's what I get excited about investing in and I'm usually the one having to kind of pull his arm a little bit about doing that. Tell them your ideal real estate investment.

Dediako: My ideal real estate investment is commercial property, probably some sort of strip mall, long term leases guaranteed. They're also expensive, but the returns are great and they usually pay for themselves, if I didn't take any of the profit they would probably pay for themselves in five to 10 years. So that is my idea of real estate investment.

I do like the luxury home short-term rental business, but I would only do a few of those, I wouldn't do many of them. But I'm not going to lie, I would do as many malls as my pockets could afford.

Rachel: Yeah, it's kind of like, I think with commercial real estate the way that you evaluate that is just it's not an emotional investment. It is completely just a calculator and a way to do the math to make sure that it works. And it's a long-term thing, it doesn't cash flow a lot. Which I don't love, I like a cash flow business. So I like real estate that cash flows every month, whereas commercial real estate may not cash flow in that same way, not right away, maybe in the future.

But it is the kind of thing that when you sell it in 10 years, 20 years, you're going to add a lot of capital to your net worth and I think it's smart and it's kind of a retirement strategy in my opinion as well. It's similar. It's similar to investing in the stock market long term.

Dediako: What I'm learning about it too is that these investments are, when you're looking to sell them, the wealthy come out the woodwork to buy them because they are tax havens.

Rachel: Yes.

Dediako: And so the returns, that's actually what I'm looking at in the long term, like easy to sell, easy to liquidate if I had to. And they do cash flow, they do pretty decently. So yeah, I think that commercial real estate is good too.

Rachel: Yeah.

Dediako: I think they're both good.

Rachel: I think they're both good. And the point is to have a variety, right? Like to invest in different types of things and different types of places and to not have all of our eggs in just one basket. So obviously a big part of our portfolio is Hello Seven, and then we have real estate, and we have investments in the stock market. And we've also done some angel investing.

And that’s investing in mostly tech startups. And, yeah, I mean, those are riskier, those are more like let's see what pops kind of thing. They’re a small portion of our overall portfolio, we're not going to invest a ton of our money. But we have one investment that is pretty large amount that is angel investing that we really believe in and that we think in 5 to 10 years that company is going to pay dividends.

And those are the ones where they're high risk, but there's also high reward if that company IPOs, for example. So we're excited about those opportunities and we're willing to do some high-risk things. And then we have a lot of things that are pretty safe.

And the thing is just I'm willing to take a bigger risk and more risk than he is. He's a little bit more risk averse than me, but I think you're still very supportive of the risk that I want to take. But, you know, you have to make your case. Like I have to present my case of how I'm going to make this work, why I think it's a good idea.

And I have to say, the last investment that we made, we bought a beach house last year, and I mean we're getting calls, people are calling us to try to buy it and say like, we will give you X, basically we could put it on the market for any number, definitely double what we paid for it right now if we wanted to. We’re not going to do that because I love this beach house and I enjoy going there with my children in the summer.

But yeah, so I feel like a lot of the investments have panned out, but there's going to be times when it doesn't. And that's why you always have to have things that are really safe, that make you feel secure. Like when I'm worried and I feel like things are tumultuous I can look at our portfolio and be like, okay, I feel good because I know this pocket of money is safe. And it's something to fall back on if shit were to ever hit the fan.

And when you've been broke, like both of us have, when you’ve grown up without a lot of resources, he grew up with even less resources than I did as a child. And you've been broke as a young adult, right? Like when you've had those experiences, you’ve got to have that safety net, you know, you got to have some safety net that you can rely on.

And of course, we also have the safety net of our skills. Knowing how to build a business is a very valuable skill set that we could go start a new business tomorrow and know that we have the skills to make it a seven-figure business within 12 months, and probably more. So I think that's where a lot of our financial security comes from, actually lies in our skill sets and what we know we are capable of.

Dediako: Yeah, interesting. Now that I think about it, you’re right.

Rachel: Thank you, I like it when you say I'm right.

All right. So gosh, I forgot, was that? That was a biz and wealth. All right, so going on to family, how do you all keep steadfast in moving forward and not let fear or doubt get in the way when it comes to making major decisions as a unit? 

Dediako: That is a good question, let me think. I think it's energy. And that might sound weird, but if she's excited about something and I'm not, I look at it as it's probably my money mindset, fears coming into play. And so I’ll just step back and I let her take the helm and I follow her lead. And that's just really how I play it. If she's into it, I support it and that's just it.

Rachel: I love that, and that's actually panned out for you.

Dediako: Yeah.

Rachel: I mean, that's the thing, you want to look at your track record, right? I obviously have a track record of trying to convince my husband to do things with me, or agree to do things, moving states.

Dediako: Starting a business.

Rachel: Starting a business, making investments, lots of different things. And when you have a history of those things working out, and I know me too. The thing is, if I'm convincing my husband to do something that he's apprehensive about doing, I got to make sure that I'm coming with the effort and the energy and the focus to make sure it's a success, right? And not that I'm on my own, he's going to definitely support me and be a part of that. But I got to be willing to put in that work.

And so I'm not going to convince him to do anything that I do not have the energy to do. And we had something like that. We had an investment we were going to make that I was really excited about, he got on board and was excited as well. And then over time we were like, you know what? I actually don't want to do this, this feels hard, it feels like too much work. I'm less excited about it now as time is going and I think we should pull out.

And we were in a position where we could pull out without losing anything, which is not always the case. But even if we could pull out with only losing a little bit, I will pull out of a deal. Because sometimes you have to pay just to get the deal, that opportunity for the deal, right? There are a lot of deals as you start to build wealth where you can't even have a conversation until you put down a certain amount of money and that money is not coming back if that conversation doesn't go well.

And so I think we're willing to, I think it's communication. I'm communicating and saying, hey, this is what I think. And we're having conversations over time. And when something happens in the deal and one of us gets nervous, we talk about it. So I think lots and lots of communication is how we tackle making big decisions and not letting fear get in the way.

And we coach each other, right? When I'm getting scared. He's like, nah, man, you can't operate from that space of scarcity. And if he's getting scared, I'm coaching him. So I think that helps us being willing to admit like this is making me nervous right now and talking about it a lot gets us to the right solution most times.

And also we're not afraid to make mistakes, and I think that is so crucial. And you really taught me that, not being afraid to mess something up. Like that is a part of life.

Dediako: Right, you're going to fail, that's how you learn.

Rachel: Exactly, yes. Agreed. Okay, so marriage, let's see, how do you both work together in the business and support one another's dreams and goals?

Dediako: That’s easy, you just support it.

Rachel: You just do it.

Dediako: Oh, that's what you want to do? Go ahead. And support isn't like yessing someone to death, right? It's like you have to be critical and you have to let them know when you see something, a potential problem that comes up, that's support.

Rachel: Right.

Dediako: Because you can get their eyes on it and maybe they can make a different decision or pull out of the deal or whatever they're going to do before it happens. Support isn't saying go do it, go do it, go do it. And then when it fails, you’re like you shouldn't have done that.

Rachel: That is not supportive. I agree, and I actually will get mad at him because sometimes he'll hold back. Like he'll see something going awry and he'll be like, let me just see how this goes and not saying anything. And I'll be mad at him for not telling me sooner that he saw it turning into a mess.

Dediako: No, no, no, no. I always say something, it's whether I'm heard or not.

Rachel: Well, it's whether you say something like this, like a whisper, or you say it like, you know, loudly so that somebody can hear it. I feel like sometimes he says things so subtly that I miss it. And then I'm like, yo, why you didn't tell me? And he's like, yo, I told you. And I'm like, when did you tell me? And he's like, you know, it's sandwiched in between 17 other things that were going on. I said one sentence and you didn't catch it, that's your fault.

Dediako: You’re not listening. Sometimes I am too subtle, so that's something that I am also working on. And I would do that because I don't want to doubt your dreams, right?

Rachel: Yes, yes. And I feel that and I do, I agree. And also, you're older than me and I think there is something to that, right? You're seven years older than me, so there are some generational differences and there are some, you know, like you have wisdom that I don't have because you've been here seven years longer and you've had certain experiences longer than I have.

And I think if you have close friends that are younger than you or you have like a sibling who's younger than you, you understand that there are certain things that they are lessons that they are learning right now that you've already learned and you can't prevent them from learning it, right? Like you can't prevent them from going through that experience and just figuring it out the hard way because that's just what we have to do sometimes, you know?

So I think you do allow for some of that and don't try to prevent me from making my own mistakes, having my own experiences, blah, blah, blah, even if you see it's a potential problem.

Dediako: Yeah, because what's going to happen when I'm not around?

Rachel: Yeah, exactly. I agree.

Okay, so here's another question, curious how you both navigated any conversations, expectations, resentments before you landed in the place you are now, particularly with Dediako being the primary caregiver as your situation has changed over the past couple of years, with you being more visible and high profile? Was your husband always on board or did he need to be convinced along the way? What were those conversations like?

I mean, I think we touched on this a little bit, but yes I do, I think that there were times and especially early on, I think being, you know, in heterosexual relationships the man being the primary caregiver is still, like it's so much more popular than it was even when Riley was little 10 years ago, right? But it's still, it was like radical at the time or just felt like none of our friends were doing that, you know? None of the people we knew.

And I felt like people were trying to have, they were making their issue our issue, right? So a lot of siblings and family members and friends, you know, just asking questions like, you're really okay that he doesn't work? Your wife's really okay that you're not working? You really like staying home with the kids? You don't want to be out working? You won't be in this house with these kids all day?

You know, it's like suggesting that something is wrong with it, that you're doing the wrong thing. And it's like we talked about it, again, lots of communication, always talking about it when stuff came up and we were starting to feel uncomfortable about it. But I do think those influences really had an effect. And I do think they had a negative effect on our relationship for a while.

And it's interesting, we moved away from close family members and I think that's when we had less stress because those outside influences and voices weren't constantly in our ear trying to make us feel like we're doing the wrong thing. Because, you know, they’d make me feel bad for not staying at home and make him feel bad for staying at home. And just, it's their own crap. It's other people's stuff that they want to bring into your relationship.

And I'm pretty hardcore about it, I will cut somebody off in a heartbeat. I'll be like, listen, if you talking nonsense and trying to create challenges in my relationship, even as a family member or close friend, I will cut your ass off because I take my family very seriously. And anybody who's not for us, you're not cheering for us, you're not trying to support us as a unit, you got to go. That's how I feel about it. So I'm pretty harsh with it too.

Dediako: Yeah, it's you really have to just say fuck you to people.

Rachel: I mean, you really do.

Dediako: You nothing to me.

Rachel: I mean, I wouldn't say that. I mean, you do, I do think there is some mourning of those relationships, right? Somebody else asked a question of like what do you guys do about outside, there was another question, what are some of the ways you implement boundaries around outside influences on your marriage? Well, we cut people off.

Dediako: Yeah, with a quickness.

Rachel: We not having it, okay? We will stop calling you and we will lose your number and we will stop answering your calls. So because of that, because of that track record and because of how seriously we take any negative outside influence to our relationship, people don't try us anymore.

So I feel like people either come with major support or they back right up off us and they don't even try to be a part of this situation. You know what I mean? And I'm talking about friends and family members, right? Like people keep their distance, and you just let them keep that distance. Because if they're not for you and they can't support you, sometimes there's jealousy, especially as you become more and more successful, there's stuff that comes up. And that is normal and you're going to experience that as you build success.

And I think that can be navigated and those can be conversations. And I've had rocky moments with friends or family members that then continue to turn into great long-term relationships. Every relationship is going to have challenges, but it's about communication and working through it and everybody being on the same team. If you are not on my team, then you're not on my team and I'm not letting you in the inner circle.

So I'm pretty serious about that. And I don't play games. So that's that on that, I think you just have to have boundaries around your relationship. And y'all have to be on the same page. And really, you know, be very honest about any threats to your relationship.

And the thing is too, is like we're not always in agreement, right? Like if he has a friend that I think is a negative influence and trying to convince him that something's wrong with our marriage and doing harm to our relationship in some way, then I will tell him that. And he might not decide to cut off that friend, but we can make an agreement that that friend is not allowed over to hang out with us.

Like you could go hang out with him on your own if you want to have him be a friend. But he's not a family friend that's allowed inside our home and in the inner circle because he done played himself before.

Dediako: Wait, I know who you talking about.

Rachel: Yeah, I know you do.

Dediako: Cut it out.

Rachel: So anyway, that's how we handle those. I think we just answered two questions at once. But yes, there's always conversations.

We're honest about resentments. When we have resentment, we talk about it. We talk about expectations, and I think part of it is letting go of expectations. And I truly think that the key to success is constantly forgiving each other. Like you just have to forgive each other every day. Like at the end of the day even just making it a practice to be like, whatever I just decided to be salty about I'm going to let that go. I'm going to snuggle and go to bed and wake up and not even think about it.

Because overall, right, like if you think about it overall, over however long a huge period of time we have majorly supported each other, and been there for each other, expressed nothing but love and support for each other. So if we have a day where somebody has been selfish, whether it's me or him, or we had an argument about something, it's just like that is not—

So here's the question to ask yourself, here's the filter that I will use. Am I going to leave him over it? If I'm not even going to entertain the idea of leaving him over it, might as well just let it go. Let it go right now. And also address it, right? Have the conversation if it needs to be had.

But I honestly feel, and I'm curious what you think, I don't think everything needs to be a conversation. I think sometimes somebody just played themselves and you just got to let them play themselves sometimes. They played themselves, I'm going to play myself next week, we all do it.

Dediako: And the need to be right is overrated.

Rachel: Oh, yes. Yes, that is the other thing that I do too now, is like when I'm sitting there seething about something that he's done, I have to ask myself like, how could I be wrong here? Am I wrong? Like I'm stress testing my arguments before I present them.

Dediako: It's usually an opinion that we're talking about, so for me it's not a right or wrong thing. It's just do I need to come out on top in this conversation? And it's like, no, you have your opinion, I have mine. I'm like, cool, we don't agree and just let it go.

Rachel: Yep, I'm in agreement with you.

Dediako: Oh, and that comes from therapy, lots of it.

Rachel: Therapy, highly recommend.

Dediako: Highly recommend.

Rachel: We've had lots of therapy. I mean, individually he's had more therapy than me, he's definitely team therapy. I've had therapy, but more coaching than therapy, which he's like I disagree, you need therapy.

So anyway, we've done both and we've done marriage counseling as well. Oh yes, our tip that we give every couple before they get married is go to premarital counseling.

Dediako: Yeah, take it seriously too.

Rachel: And not just like, I mean, I think there's different types of premarital counseling, the kind we went to was we literally got a packet of worksheets, about everything from chores, to managing money, to in-laws, to sex, everything. And you had to like individually answer these questions and then you'd go to a therapy session and exchange notes and see what your partner answered and have discussions around it.

And I thought it was incredibly useful. And it just shows you, what are the things that are going to come up? And how are you going to address them? And let's talk about them now. And it's also even giving yourself a chance to discover any potential deal breakers. You know what I mean?

I think that's a great way to do it, and I would even do it before you get engaged. Like if you're serious about marrying somebody, do the marriage counseling before you have the pressure of an impending wedding, in my opinion.

That's kind of what we did. I mean, we eloped. So we actually did not have a wedding. But we did, I feel like we did marriage counseling before, I mean, we had a wedding, yes. But we didn't have like a big wedding, there was no attendees, it was just us. I have zero regrets about that to this day.

Okay, so another question, how do you, this is hilarious. How do you tackle conversations about your husband being outside of his zone of genius? This is interesting because it suggests that I'm never outside of my zone of genius. But how do you handle, how do you tackle conversations about your husband being outside of his zone of genius?

I think they mean like in terms of working together, if like there's a little bit of like, stay in your lane. What do you think about that?

Dediako: Oh, that's a good question. You know what? I know what I'm good at and if I see a problem outside of something I'm good at, I'll bring it to her attention, but I don't try to enforce it. You know, I don't think that, I think I stay in my zone of genius. And I think that's a good skill that I have, if I don't know something I stay away from it because I don't need to talk just to talk.

Yeah, I think that's really what it is. Really what it is. What do you think?

Rachel: I agree, I think it's like if you're self aware, then you know what you're good at.

Dediako: Yeah.

Rachel: And we've also done, we've done strength finders, we've done different assessments. We've done Disc, we've done Kolbe, so it's almost like you're studying your partner, right? I think we do that on teams, we should definitely, marriage is a team too, you should definitely do it in a marriage.

So we've done a lot of assessments so we're well aware of where our zones of genius lie, and we pretty much stay out of each other's lane. And honestly, if anything, I'm probably the one that tries to get in your business. And then I'll be like, hey, what's happening with this? And did you take care of that? And what's going on with this?

And you'll be like, stay out my business. Literally that's what he'll say and I'll be like, you know what? Why am I worried about things that's for you to take care of? Let me go get back in my lane and worry about what I got to take care of. So I think we're just direct.

Dediako: The only time you can get in my business is if I need to write an email because I’m not doing that.

Rachel: Oh yeah, because he hates writing emails. He writes emails all the time, he just does not enjoy them. They're very short. And honestly, that's what everybody has been trained to do now, right? Write brief emails. Don't write lengthy emails, if it needs to be lengthy, maybe make it a, I love a voice memo. That's my jam, is a voice memo.

Okay, so another question, how do you balance the business, parenting with young children, and lifing together?

Dediako: That's a good one. Well, they're all intertwined, right?

Rachel: Yep.

Dediako: I think that's just how we balance them, we don't try to separate them out. They all go hand in hand, especially and I notice that you've been doing that a lot.

Rachel: What?

Dediako: Like business events. You know, you’re always inquiring about whether the kids and I should come or how that would look, the logistics. There's no separating.

Rachel: Yeah.

Dediako: There's no separating because we don't turn off business at five o'clock.

Rachel: Right.

Dediako: Right, and so we just manage it. And I think that's what you have to do, you have to manage it well.

Rachel: Yes.

Dediako: You have to have time for each other, you have to have time for the business, you have to have time for your kids. And you have to have time for three at the same time sometimes.

Rachel: Yes, and it really is an integrated experience, right? Like there are times when we're taking business meetings and our kids are all sitting there eating breakfast, you know? And we've got Zoom and we're sitting there, and to me, I want them to see us do business. I want them to see us leading and making business decisions.

And they've met our leadership team, they've met various team members, they will come to certain events. Like we just integrate it in a lot of ways. And then the other thing is, we have a lot of help. I feel like we should talk about the help because people always want to know like who all is helping you.

Dediako: We’ve got a lot of help.

Rachel: Like who are you delegating to? We have a ton, which includes family and employees. So we have our house manager/chef who is-

Dediako: Slash nanny.

Rachel: Slash nanny, I mean, she's amazing and she runs our personal lives.

Dediako: Yep.

Rachel: And we really struggle to function without her. I mean, we are incredibly spoiled.

Dediako: Weekends suck.

Rachel: Yeah, she's not here on the weekends and we're always like, “We got to fend for ourselves now? Damn.” But yes, she is a member of our family and, you know, she cooks, she runs the household, she runs all of the sort of contractors that are here. All of the things that need to happen inside the house, like things that need fixed, landscapers, interior designer, all of that. She is actually in charge of all of the household staff.

So we have a barn manager who takes care of our horses, who's amazing. And she also does writing lessons with the kids.

Dediako: Grooming lessons.

Rachel: Grooming.

Dediako: Horsemanship.

Rachel: Yes, and she's going to be helping out with the farm too, that we're about to start working on. And then we have our homeschooling teacher, who is also managed by our house manager. And she is there every day nine to five during the week during school with the kids because they're home schooled.

And then we have, we have a new housekeeper who's full time. This is the newest role that we've added and it took us a year to find this person. But she's also amazing and just handles a lot of things that need to happen around the house and the property. This is a large property and there's a lot of things that go wrong and there's a lot of things that need to be maintained. And so she helps with that as well.

And I feel like he is sort of like the overall ranch manager in terms of deciding what work needs to be done, do we need to get generators? Like, you know, work around the property, like a facilities manager is kind of how I see you, making sure everything works and making sure things are upgraded when they need to and all of that.

So yeah, so that's our household and it's awesome, we have a lot of help. And then we also have, you know, my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law live nearby. My sister-in-law leads physical education with the kids twice a week. My mother-in-law, you know, the two of them will watch the kids. Like if we go away on a trip, they'll be there, they'll stay at our house with them for the week.

So yeah, I feel like we have a lot of help.

Dediako: We have a ton of help.

Rachel: We did not have a lot of support in the beginning because, first of all, we couldn't afford it, we didn't live near family members. And so like for the first year of my daughter's life, she was either with me or him or the both of us. We literally never had a moment where one of us wasn't with her in her first year. But then after that, I mean we got better about asking for help, hiring babysitters. I think that support is incredibly important.

I feel like when you have family, especially if you have multiple kids, you got to feed everybody, you got to take care of everybody, you got to take care of yourself. In order to have time for all that you've got to get some help in the door, however little. I mean, we've done HelloFresh which was like the boxes where you get all the food and then you just do the recipe, you know, so at least you don't have to think about what's for dinner and all the ingredients are right there.

We've done babysitters, we've had different nannies over the years.

Dediako: The chef that would cook for us.

Rachel: Yeah, we tried a chef who was like just making meals and dropping them off. So there was stages to it, right? Like Instacart, like we used apps, TaskRabbit. Oh, and I have a personal assistant, I forgot to mention that.

Dediako: That helps out a lot.

Rachel: I mean, she is absolutely amazing, both with personal and business stuff. She's my executive assistant and she's amazing. So that's kind of the crew that's here in North Carolina with us. And we did not always have that and we just piecemealed as much as we could. And we tried to give each other breaks. And we, you know, asked for help when we needed as much as possible.

Do trades if you need to, my sister is great about trading with other moms and saying, you pick them up on these days, I'll pick them up on these days. You take them to sports this weekend, and I'll take them next weekend. So that's how she's managed it as a single mom.

So yeah, I think where there's a will there's a way and it absolutely takes a village and you need to ask for help, and you need to pay for help. So those are our recommendations on managing it all.

Dediako: Yeah. And also, if there's not a structure in place for the help you need, you can create it.

Rachel: Yes.

Dediako: That’s important because just like us reversing, not reversing, but me staying home as the primary and Rachel being the breadwinner, just how that was new at one time, the system you create for yourself can be new and other people can take it on. So always be innovating.

Rachel: Yes, I agree, totally. Okay, so let's see, there's some good ones. Here's a quick question, do you have a written agreement as to what the working relationship hierarchy would be?

Dediako: Oh no.

Rachel: No, we do not have that.

Dediako: But we did have that conversation maybe a year or two ago.

Rachel: Yes, we did and our roles are documented. So like what the CEO does, what the CFO does, what our COO, Brittany, what she does. So like the three of us are the executive team for Hello Seven and we document our roles so we know what everybody's job is. And that's important for the team to know.

And then, you know, we just stay in our lanes, like we said. And there's times where there's overlap. And I am often seeking his advice, and he seeks my advice too, we seek Brittany's advice. So we all rely on each other and we kind of have a we're all in this together kind of vibe.

But I think it's important to document the roles and everybody just do their job, and don't try to do other people's job. And don't try to like, if you get into like micromanaging your spouse, you're going to be in trouble. It's not going to go well.

Dediako: It’s not going to work.

Rachel: It's really not. And also let them do what they do, right? Like they're in that role because they're probably good at it, so let them do what they do. And if they need help with it, hire them a coach, get training. You know, we can all get better at our jobs, so I think you have to be open to that. But there's no real question about the sort of hierarchy. We're just all on the same page.

Dediako: I look at it like this, everyone's a leader, right? But we all have to follow sometimes.

Rachel: Yes.

Dediako: Get good at knowing when to do what and you won’t have any issues.

Rachel: Yep. So true. So true. I look for opportunities to follow. I don't always want to be the leader.

Dediako: Me neither.

Rachel: It's exhausting running things all the time. Exactly, you got this? Great, I'm going to let you have it.

Dediako: You know how to do that? Okay, show me.

Rachel: Exactly. How can I support you in taking the lead on that?

Dediako: That’s right.

Rachel: I'm delighted by it. I'm not going to fight you to run shit.

Okay, so here is a fun one, what is the best way to keep romance alive while building together?

Dediako: You tell me.

Rachel: You don't know?

Dediako: I don't know. I haven’t figured that one out.

Rachel: Well, I think you do pretty well. You should share some of the things that you do. You're like, what do you do?

Dediako: What do I do?

Rachel: You buy me nice gifts for holidays and birthdays and things, like thoughtful gifts that took some effort, you know? And I do the same. He doesn't always like my gifts, but I have nailed it recently. I have to say, I have been getting-

Dediako: You’ve been on a little bit of a roll.

Rachel: I've been on point because he's the type that he's just like, just take me to get exactly what I want. Do not deviate, don't get me the different color, don't get inspired and shift it.

Dediako: Don’t be thoughtful.

Rachel: Get exactly, buy me this exhaust for my GTR that has this code on it and this coding and whatever. And I'm like, he always wants technical gifts that are stressful for me to buy.

Dediako: Yo, buying thoughtful gifts are stressful for me.

Rachel: It's true.

Dediako: But I do it.

Rachel: It's true. So I think gift giving, I think spending quality time together. Sending our kids to bed at 8:30 is key.

Dediako: I'm not going to lie, now that you sort of dived into it, when we are away together it just feels so much different. Our relationship feels, I feel like I'm married. But when I'm home I know I'm married, but it doesn't necessarily feel like it. It feels like something. When we’re away I’ll be like, that’s my hubby. Hubby? That’s my wife and we have fun.

Rachel: Yes, so I agree with that and I think it's important to go away. So we have made a commitment to go away together like almost on a quarterly basis. I mean, we're not dogmatic about that, but we pretty much make sure that every couple months we're going somewhere together alone, overnight without children.

We just came back from a week that we spent for my 40th birthday and Valentine's Day and that was amazing. So we just make sure that we get alone time.

Dediako: What about the two days in Atlanta? I thought that was amazing.

Rachel: That was super fun.

Dediako: It doesn’t have to be long.

Rachel: It doesn't have to be.

Dediako: It’s quality, not quantity.

Rachel: Exactly. I mean, we spent literally it was 24 hours.

Dediako: 24 hours and it was awesome.

Rachel: It was so awesome, we had such a good time. And just, you know, went out to eat, went shopping, hung out, had conversations, you know? And we do that at home too. It's not like we don't do that in between, but I think, just like you said, there's just nothing like getting away from the business, from kids, from all responsibilities and just having fun together, I think is very important.

And I feel like we do it though, even outside of that. Like we'll work out together and we have fun doing that. I'll just be like, “Hey, I don't have meetings for a couple hours. Do you want to go to lunch?” And we'll go to lunch together and just have good conversation. Or he'll be like, “I want to go see this motorcycle.” And I'll be like, “Okay, I'm rolling.” And we just go see a motorcycle together. Whatever it is, right?

And sometimes it's literally going to Target, but Target is a date when you're married and you got mad kids. So go to Target together and have a good time, you know?

Dediako: No kids.

Rachel: Exactly, I agree. So I think those are some of the things that we do that we're willing to talk about publicly. Obviously, we have other things that we do, but we're not telling you that so mind your business.

Okay, the other thing is another question, and maybe we'll end on this one. Where did you and Dediako meet? And I think this is an interesting story. You don't want to tell this story?

Dediako: Sure.

Rachel: Well, tell them where you first met me.

Dediako: I think it was Thanksgiving at my stepmother’s house.

Rachel: Mm-hmm.

Dediako: Yeah.

Rachel: No details?

Dediako: Thanksgiving at my stepmother’s house.

Rachel: That's all you’re giving them? So he was with someone else at the time and I was what 18? And you were like 25? And so yeah, so I met him and his girlfriend at a family gathering. Tell them how I wound up being there.

Dediako: That I don't know.

Rachel: Well, what was our connection? What was the shared relationship?

Dediako: Oh, my brother was dating her sister.

Rachel: Yes. So his brother, his older brother was dating my older sister.

Dediako: Right.

Rachel: And so my sister invited me to go to, I think it was Easter, not Thanksgiving.

Dediako: Okay.

Rachel: And so we got together for Easter or something and I went to the family's house and was there with my sister and her partner, who was his brother. And so that's where we first met and I don't think we paid any attention to each other, really.

Dediako: No, I did, I was just with somebody.

Rachel: He paid attention but he kept it to himself, very disrespectful. There was nothing, nothing happened. And then literally years later I think it was that they had broken up, my sister and his brother got married and I had broken up with somebody. So we just happened to be single at the same time at my sister and his brother's wedding.

And so he drove me home from the wedding and then he called me, we had a conversation. And I think that was it, right? Like then I was like, I was like, okay, there was something there. Let me find an excuse to call him. So I called him to say, “Oh, I'm going to return the tuxes. Do you want me to return yours?” I knew he didn't want me to return his, I just needed an excuse to call him.

So I called him, he didn't answer. And then when he called me, he was like, oh, I already returned my tux. And I'm like, okay, well just play along. Obviously, I'm interested in you.

Dediako: I didn’t know.

Rachel: Yeah, and so we just wound up having a conversation. And then we had like a couple conversations that week. My brother, it was my sister and his brother are literally on their honeymoon in Greece and we're just having conversations at home. And then we decided to get together and we went on a date. And we went to see a movie and went to a diner.

And that was it. Like then we were just kind of attached at the hip after that, and just was seeing each other all the time. And it was kind of weird, like the other siblings in the family, like his two sisters were like, this is weird. I mean we're not related in any way, to be clear, right? Like two sisters and two brothers, there's zero relation.

So anyway, that's how we met. And, you know, then just started dating and were very much attached at the hip. We were living with each other in less than a year. And, you know, we were married in three years.

Dediako: Boom.

Rachel: Boom, still together. High five. Nailed it.

Dediako: 17.

Rachel: 17. And his brother and my sister have since gotten divorced and they actually are, I'm very impressed with the way that they co-parent, their children. They're like, good friends with each other. Like they're great friends and they have a great co-parenting relationship. And they both have other partners and it's like, all good.

So it really worked out. Worked out for everybody.

Dediako: That’s right.

Rachel: All right, y'all. Well, I hope this was helpful and gave you some inspiration and some ideas about running a business with your partner and managing marriage and family. We didn't hit all your questions, there were 36 of them. But we hit like, I think we got like at least 10 questions in and we hit all the different topics.

And I think that we answered pretty much everybody's questions, even with the other questions we were answering.

So anywho, please enjoy. I hope this is helpful. And we did do an episode like this several years ago. What are you laughing about?

Dediako: My husband is my CFO and constantly talking about business.

Rachel: How do we not talk, okay, one last question. I did mean to answer that one. So the question is my husband is my CFO, constantly talking about business? How do we not talk about business?

Dediako: That's tough. We constantly talk about business.

Rachel: We do.

Dediako: But it's an integration, right? So we'll talk about business and then veer off into something else. And it might lead back to business or an insight that we have. You don't necessarily want to cut those conversations off because there's a lot of little nuggets in them.

Rachel: Yes.

Dediako: And maybe you don't want to make the conversation strictly business, but it's your marriage and the money you make is integrated into your business, it's going to be hard to not talk about it constantly.

Rachel: I agree. I think there's a, so we talk about the life lessons we're getting throughout, you know, our days. And those life lessons usually translate into some action that we need to take in our career, which is related to the business.

So there is a lot of business talk, but I think also we can tell, like sometimes I'll be going on and on about something and I could tell he's like losing interest. He starts responding with uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh. And so I'm like, okay, you don’t want to talk about this no more. Let's watch a show, let's go watch TV, let's go watch a movie. Sometimes we'll like play cards and just play music, you know, just trying to do different things.

But I think that if you find that you're talking too much about business, find something else to do. Like do puzzles together. Get like a really boring hobby that you can do at home that's not dramatic or requiring you to like leave the house and do all this extra stuff. But like a boring easy at home hobby, like a puzzle, or playing games or whatever. We play cards, we play Phase 10, Uno.

Dediako: So boring.

Rachel: I mean, but it's entertaining. We play music and then we just chit chat, and sometimes we'll drink wine.

Dediako: Yeah.

Rachel: It's delightful.

Dediako: Or we play with the kids and they cheat.

Rachel: Yes, they definitely do. Our kids are cheaters.

All right, y'all. Well, thank you for listening and we wish you all the luck and success in your marriage, family, and business. Bye, y’all. 

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