In today’s episode, S&J resume their recap of 2018, the good, the bad, and the future.
Jocelyn Sams: Hey y’all, on today’s podcast we recap 2018, the good, the bad, and the future.
Shane Sams: Welcome to the Flipped Lifestyle podcast, where life always comes before work. We’re your hosts Shane and Jocelyn Sams. We’re a real family who figured out how to make our entire living online, and now we help other families do the same. Are you ready to flip your life, all right. Let’s get started.
Shane Sams: What’s going on everybody. Welcome back to the Flipped Lifestyle podcast. It is great to be back with you again. Today this is part two of our 2018 year in review. On Tuesday this week we did part one, and we talked all about all the things that we got to do this year that were good. We really focused on the highlights of 2018 for us, and I hope that that inspired you to go back and look at your own year. You know, sometimes we forget how good the year really was, and we forget about things that we might’ve done like last January of February. I’ve got a friend of mine, and he always goes back to Facebook, and he looks all the way back into each month, then he writes down all of the great things that he did. So that he can kind of remember like, “Man, this was a great year. Yeah, there was one or two things that kind of stood out that might’ve not went right, but man look at all these amazing things that we did.”
Shane Sams: So go back and look at all the good things that happened to you this year. It’s really important to kind of reflect back on that.
Jocelyn Sams: I saw this thing on Facebook the other day where every week you’re supposed to write down the best thing that happened that week, and then you put them all in a jar, and on the very last day of the year you get them all out and you read all the cool things that happened through the year. I thought that was a really good idea, even for us, because we just are typically not very good about just looking back and remembering all the good things.
Shane Sams: But we also know that it’s not all sunshine and rainbows out here in the adulting world, and there were some things, there are always things that go wrong, or go bad, and it’s also important to remember those as well because you can reflect back and look at the mistakes that you made, look at the things that kind of went off the railroad tracks and ask yourself, “Did I have control over this? Are there things that I could do differently, or landmines that I can avoid in the future so that next year can be even better.” That’s what we’re going to focus on for today’s podcast is we are going to first look back at some of the bad things that happened. Some of the things that we did wrong, because we make a lot of mistakes, and we want to share those with you guys as a part of our journey and a part of your journey too, and let you know that you’re not alone.
Shane Sams: You’re not the only person messing up this online business stuff. Just today, I was trying to create the sales page for Flip Your Life Live 2019, which is on sale now at flippedlifestyle.com/live, and I had two tabs open and they were both the editor on the sales page. I accidentally saved the one I was not editing in, and I basically erased six hours of work writing copy for this sales page, because I closed all the tabs and everything else and I lost it. And I didn’t know how to get it back, so I had to sit down and do the whole thing over. So lest you think Flipped Lifestyle world is a mistake free world, you are wrong. It is not. We’ve made a lot of mistakes, and we want to talk about some of those today, and we want to also talk about the future. Some goals that we have for this year individually, as a couple, and some goals that we have for you and your future, and the future of your family as well.
Jocelyn Sams: Before we jump into this, what we call the bad things, I do want to preface this by saying that a lot of these are what people would consider to be first world problems. So if you’re listening to this expecting that we’re going to go into something really crazy bad that happened, you know I’m really …
Shane Sams: Some of them are. There are some bad things in there. There are some catastrophes as well.
Jocelyn Sams: But I’m really happy to say that most of our problems are the first world kind, but they’re still problems nonetheless. I think sometimes people wanted to shove those under the rug.
Shane Sams: Or trivialize them or something.
Jocelyn Sams: Oh that’s not a big deal, but they can be a really big deal, and we’ll kind of jump into that a little bit more. It can affect you physically, it can affect you mentally, which affects other areas of your life as well so I just wanted to kind of throw that out there. I don’t want to get emails and say, “Well, you think that’s bad. Well all this happened to me.” We’re not trying to say that our life is bad or anything like that. For all intents and purposes, we have an extremely blessed and fulfilling life, but there are things that do go wrong.
Shane Sams: The stresses do add up, especially when there’s a lot of little things happening at once, and we’re going to try to explore some of the causes for these stresses, and these bad things that happen in our business, and hopefully that will give you guys some insight into how to deal with some of these as your own. So one of the biggest problems that we had last year, probably as a couple. This one’s probably of the marriage variety, and I’m sure many of you will relate to this whether or not you’re in business with your spouse or not, but Jocelyn and I found ourselves not on the same page many, many times.
Jocelyn Sams: Most days.
Shane Sams: This year. I think we were most of the time in the same book, but definitely at times we were not even in the same chapter. That caused a lot of tension. We had probably the most marital tension that we’ve had in our relationship since we started our online business this year because so much changed so fast last year. We sold one of our businesses. Prior to 2018, Jocelyn and I had Flipped Lifestyle together, but we each had our own kind of things going on as well, and that kind of spread out the, what would you call it? Tension? Or spread out the opportunities for us to work together, I suppose. It created, I guess a little more individuality in the business, but once we stopped or sold off everything else, and focused all of our energy on Flipped Lifestyle, all of our energy on the Flip Your Life community, it kind of pushed us into this mold where we were used to making decisions about certain things on our own, and now we had to make every single decision together.
Shane Sams: That’s a business, that’s life, that’s parenting, and it happened so fast it created a new kind of friction in our relationship.
Jocelyn Sams: I think at the beginning, like when we were starting out, we had teeny, tiny kids for one thing, who didn’t even sleep through the night and all that kind of stuff. Some of you guys can relate to what I’m talking about right now. We had full time jobs. We were trying to do this thing in the evenings, and on the weekends, on breaks, and we were basically just in survival mode. We were just making it to the next day.
Shane Sams: We didn’t even have time to argue about things, because there was no time to argue. It was either make a decision, or don’t make the decision.
Jocelyn Sams: I think also at the beginning that our mission was really clear. Our mission was to make enough money to leave our jobs. Once we did that, I don’t know that we’ve ever done a really good job since then redefining our mission, because …
Shane Sams: Or our goals even. What’s the next level look like?
Jocelyn Sams: I just, I don’t know even know that I knew what my life today would look like. I guess it’s hard for me to look in the future and say, “Oh well, I’m at this level. Now I want to go to this next level,” because I don’t even know what that looks like. I think it’s just kind of hard. It’s like we have these sort of intangible goals, or goals that we don’t really talk about. Like maybe Shane has different goals than I have, and because we haven’t done a good job of talking about those goals, for whatever reason, we just have a lot of tension because our expectations just aren’t lining up.
Shane Sams: Yeah. It’s like, it’s crazy what you said about what your life could look like, because now we’ve kind of stretched to the point of the end and the edge of our imagination what life actually could look like. Because when we were establishing our dreams we were like, “Man if we could just make enough money to quit our job,” right? Well I can picture what that looks like. Jocelyn can picture what that looks like. You can picture what that looks like. I need this much money to quit my job. But then you quit your job and you’re like, “Well, I wonder if I could pay my house off in a couple years?” We can picture what that looks like. You can picture what that looks like. Okay, and then what? Maybe I can find my forever home, my dream property and I can have the place that I want to grow old and retire at, and sit on the porch and look at the sunset.
Jocelyn Sams: And go on so many trips a year. That was always our thing, and now we’re there. So it’s like, now what?
Shane Sams: What’s next? What does that look like? Because there’s only so much stuff that you can really buy. You know, I was talking to somebody the other day, and they were like, “Man, if I had this much money I would do all these things.” I was kind of laughing because I was like, “No you wouldn’t. That’s not what you would do.” That would be so unfulfilling what they were kind of describing. There has to be more to that. That’s really why we sold off our other business, and got rid of some other things that we were doing, because the mission of helping other people do this, other people working from home. Other people controlling the future outcomes for their kids, like in education, or just in their lifestyle, that really gave us a lot of purpose. But even that, we don’t know what that looks like yet.
Shane Sams: We’re still evolving, and still learning what the Flip Your Life community could actually be, and the impact that it could actually make. The stories that we hear are incredible, and some of the things that we kind of think this should look like are happening. We’ve talked about, on the podcast, how people are sending it in. They’ve quit their jobs. We’ve had multiple people now tell us they’ve made over a million dollars because they’ve been a part of the community, or listened to the podcast. We’ve had people, even recently, just we’ve only been home schooling now for a month, and we’ve had people say, “That gave me the courage to try it.” You know, so it’s like all these things are happening, but we don’t really have a firm grasp of what we really, totally want that to look like.
Shane Sams: That is not resolved, would you think, that’s not resolved. Would you say that’s resolved?
Jocelyn Sams: Definitely not. I mean, we kind of talk through it sometimes, but I don’t know that we’ve had an official thing where we say, “Okay, this is what we want, and this is what we’re going to do to get there because …
Shane Sams: This is the clear vision for the future.
Jocelyn Sams: I just think it’s still a little bit cloudy right now, so that’s something in 2019 that I think really needs to be a big goal for us. Just figuring out what are our goals, and now it’s more in terms of …
Shane Sams: Impact.
Jocelyn Sams: Yeah. How far can this thing go. It’s not so much about financial gain for us, I mean that is a part of it always because we’re not a charity organization, but it’s like when you reach a certain point, that’s pretty much what you have left is what impact can you make in the world. I think that’s the point we’re at, and we just sort of have different, what would you say, like different ideas of …
Shane Sams: Different paths to the same city on the hill. You know? What does it actually look like, and one thing that we struggle with a lot too is our roles in our marriage, in our business, in the schooling of our children, in our parenting because we just both have a lot of different opinions, and we’re both very different people. There’s no manual for the way that we’ve chosen to live our life. You know, one of the crazy things about the community is how many different people are in there, and how all the marriages look different. All the businesses look different. All the parenting looks, like everybody’s doing everything differently.
Shane Sams: Some people choose to really allocate roles. We’ve got friends who one spouse takes care of the kid, the other spouse is the CEO. That’s both ways. We have couple friends where the wife is the CEO and the husband is managing the house. We have friends and community members where the husband is the CEO and the wife is managing. It’s amazing watching people do it in different ways. We have people like us where, you know Jocelyn and I really strive for dividing and conquering our life in every area. So when we say we’re in business together, we literally say, “Okay, here’s all the things you do. Here’s all the things I do.” We run this business together. When we say we’re going to parent together, well I handle certain things and she handles certain things. We divide that up. Even our house, home school.
Shane Sams: We’ve been doing that lately. I’m focusing on these subjects. Jocelyn’s focusing on these subjects. We’re thinking about outsourcing some of the subjects. Math, need to hire someone to come in and do that please.
Jocelyn Sams: Please.
Shane Sams: Because it’s hard y’all. It’s hard to do math, especially that fourth grade stuff. But we’re really doing it that way, and there’s really no manual for it, and when there’s an opportunity to argue, or there’s an opportunity to go left or right, it’s really hard to make that call because we’re completely in unchartered territory, it feels like all the time. So I don’t know where this is going except just to caution you. One, be careful what you wish for, right, because it’s going to happen if you work hard enough to go get it, and two, be prepared for a lot of change and uncertainty as you pursue your goals in 2019. Understand that confusion is a major part of success. If we knew that going into it, I think we may have been able to maybe avoid some of these pitfalls a little bit in the last year, but it’s really hard to prepare for anything until you go through it. It’s been interesting.
Shane Sams: One thing that really changed though was after the live event. We were really, really, I don’t know how to say this without saying, we weren’t at each other’s throats, but we were really frustrated with each other a lot because of all the moving parts that were happening until the live event happened, and then I think we got a little bit of clarity and we could look back and say, “Holy man, we accomplished something there. How did we even do that, and what could we do going forward if we were more on the same page, had a clearer vision, and could get some of that tension out of the way?”
Jocelyn Sams: I just want to say that, I think for the most part, we do a pretty good job of navigating this. I mean, as you said, there is no manual for this. We’re just sort of going into it blindly, and doing the best we can, and I think overall we’re doing a pretty good job. We’re staying afloat. It doesn’t mean that everything’s always perfect, and that we never argue or fight or anything, obviously, but it just means that for the most part, I think that we’re going the same direction. We just have different, we have different ideas about what should happen. I think we’re both sort of controlling people, which is hard sometimes because you want to do things your way, and I want to do things my way, and sometimes we’re like, “Okay do it your way,” and the other person’s like, “Okay do it your way.”
Jocelyn Sams: But a lot of times we’re like, “No it’s going to be my way, or we’re not doing it.” That causes problems sometimes too.
Shane Sams: I think we’re both, there’s a problem too with entrepreneurs, we’re kind of both relentless. We dig in a little bit, and what’s crazy is, this is something that we’ve probably just realized in the last month. For anybody out there with getting your spouse onboard with your online business, or anything else you’re wanting to do in life, we’re kind of both, have realized that we’re both a lot of times right. There’s way more than one right answer. Success is so easily defined in multiple ways, and it’s not like we’re trying to pick the right thing. It’s just we’re trying to pick a thing, or maybe which thing we do first. Which thing we do second, and that’s where the confusion comes in. Because maybe at the beginning of 2018 it was more like, “I think this is the right way.” Jocelyn was like, “I think this is the right way.”
Shane Sams: There was a tug of war over that, but now, especially after the live event we’ve been more like, “Man there’s more than one right way. Look when you were right here. Wow you were right here. This would’ve been right if we’d done it this way.” Maybe we both tried a way, and they both worked, right? We were starting to realize that it’s really just more important to come to consensus, have a clear goal, have a destination. If you can agree on that, the ways you get there kind of melt away because if you take enough action it’s going to happen for you.
Jocelyn Sams: I think a lot of tension too comes from the fact is, that as you said earlier, we have to make decisions about all the things. So, people who work nine to five, and then they just parent together, and they have a relationship together. You only argue about those things. Theoretically, you won’t argue about your business unless you work at the same place because that person doesn’t have a dog in that fight. But because we do everything together, that makes it that much more difficult because we both have different ideas about everything. We have different ideas about work, home schooling, parenting, our relationship, whatever. It just makes it that much more difficult. So one of the things that we kind of talked about earlier in the year in 2018, was taking some of the stress off of us by hiring people to do some roles in our business.
Shane Sams: That’s what I’m feeling, more than anything else, as we kind of wrap up this year is decision fatigue was a major theme this year. There was so many things going on, it was overloading our brain, and the only people we’ve ever had to offload, and download all of our problems to was each other, right? So it started becoming this bounce back and forth feedback loop of all the bad things, and all the decisions, and everything was becoming extremely overwhelming. We just relaunched the live event, and we were commenting just this weekend about how easy it was because there were no decisions to be made. It was all kind of like, “Oh, well here’s what we did last year. Let’s just do that again.” It just worked so much more seamlessly.
Shane Sams: That’s what I’ve really learned from going through a very difficult and stressful decision filled year, is that once you do something once, it becomes a lot easier on the backside. If we would just stop reinventing the wheel it would become a whole lot easier. When you go to your job, when you go to work with somebody, a lot of decisions are made for you. Like when I went to school, it was decided when the bell rang. It was decided when we went to a staff meeting. It was decided what we were covering at the staff meeting. Heck it was even decided what I taught in class. I had a curriculum map, but now every single day is so full of decisions. If we don’t offload some of those, it’s going to lead to a short circuit and overwhelm.
Jocelyn Sams: So at the beginning of the year, well really even before that for me, but we started realizing we have made some poor hiring decisions, but instead of saying, “Okay let’s fix this,” well we sort of did say that. But instead of saying, “Lets try to find the right person,” we said, “Okay, well these people aren’t doing what we want them to do, let’s hire a manager for them.” Because that makes sense.
Shane Sams: Let’s hire more people for that person to manage, and I think in our heart we were like let’s offload a lot of these decisions. Let’s offload a lot of these tasks, and we started looking at all these other “successful gurus”, and they were saying, “Build your team. Make it huge. If you want to really run a company, you’re going to have 20 employees.” We saw other people that we thought were “successful” then when we dug below the surface they weren’t as successful as we thought. They had hired 20 or 30 people, and well that has to be what our success looks like. We’re so stressed out, that’s the solution is to go hire as many people as possible.
Jocelyn Sams: One thing that we realized that we really dislike, and still to this day dislike, is managing people. We just don’t enjoy it. We want to do the creative, fun visionary part of our job, and we don’t want to manage people to get stuff done. We just want them to get stuff done. So, to make a long story short, we decided to hire a couple of different people in 2018 to help us. So one of the things that we did is we hired someone to help out in our community, and then we also hired a manager to manage all of the staff members. I just want to say that these people are amazing. The people that we hired. There is nothing at all wrong with them.
Shane Sams: Great people. Great people.
Jocelyn Sams: They did a great job for us, and I don’t want to take anything away from them, but it was not the right choice for us to hire anyone. We needed to go back to the basics and figure out what we were doing before we started just hiring people to fix problems. Hiring people to fix problems does not fix problems.
Shane Sams: No you should fix the problem first, and once it’s working, then hire someone to take if off your plate. That’s probably the lesson that we really learned, but we don’t hear that in the business world. None of us know that. None of us in high school are trained on how to hire people, how to fire people, how to fill your team correctly. None of us are taught that in college. You have to go through that and almost figure it out on your own a little bit to know exactly what you truly need. We’ve actually cut our staff down to like three people now, and our small and mighty team is infinitely less stressful. Our business is growing faster than when we had a sales person, and a community manager, and an editor, and customer service, and a manager for all these people, and a project manager to manage the manager.
Shane Sams: Right? It just got so convoluted so quickly, that it actually slowed us down. It actually caused more stress than it eliminated. So that was a really bad thing that happened this year was we just hired too many people too fast. Grew too big too fast. Listened to too many “experts” tell us that we had to have a team, and we’d see someone on a YouTube channel saying, “I’ve got 100 employees,” and then we would say, “Well maybe we need 100 employees, and that’s what will eliminate all of our stress and tension because we won’t be doing it.” But that’s not true. That’s not what happened.
Jocelyn Sams: For us, more people is more problems. Now, I’m not going to say that’s true for everyone. There are some people who love managing a team. I have a good friend who I go to Mastermind in Cancun every March with. She loves managing a team. That’s her favorite part about what she does, but for us, it is not. We do not enjoy that part at all. So what we did is we decided okay, we’re going to scale down to three amazing people.
Shane Sams: As few people as possible.
Jocelyn Sams: Who absolutely know how to do their job. We communicated our expectations to them, they understand what we expect, they do what we expect, and everyone’s happy. So that is how we solve the problem. It was a very long, difficult, and expensive lesson that we learned.
Shane Sams: Yeah. Tens of thousands of dollars.
Jocelyn Sams: Again, I don’t take anything away from the people who were working with us. If they are listening to this, they did a great job. They did what they were supposed to do, but we …
Shane Sams: It just wasn’t working for us.
Jocelyn Sams: We had to take a good, hard look in the mirror and say, “What is wrong in this situation.” It wasn’t them. It was us.
Shane Sams: So I guess our lesson here is, and this is a lesson that we want to pass on to you is this, the first lesson from this podcast was get on the same page with people you’re working with. Whether it’s your spouse or somebody else, so that you all have a clear destination. The second lesson that we learned here is don’t hire people unless you’ve got it figured out. You know, everyone always comes to us when they’re stressed out in the community and they say, “Well, I’m just so stressed out. I can’t do everything. I need to hire somebody.” Then we ask them deeper questions like do you even understand the systems in your business?
Shane Sams: Because we didn’t when we started hiring people and that was a mistake. Do you have all of those systems documented? Because we didn’t, and that was a huge mistake in our business. Now as we’ve learned that, we’re telling you if you don’t know where you’re going, and know what you want people to do, and can clearly tell them their expectations, and have documented things that show them what you want them to do, it’s not going to work. Hiring people is not a magic bullet. It is not. It causes as many problems as you have now, they’re just different problems. So which problems do you want? That’s what you’re going to have to ask yourself when you’re hiring people. Don’t think for a minute that your success is totally determined by people that you hire.
Shane Sams: Because it’s not. Everybody’s going to tell you that. Everybody’s going to tell you you need all these gatekeepers, and you need all these things for positioning, and if you try to get a client, and you don’t have five employees, and you don’t have a secretary, and you don’t have an assistant that they’re not going to hire you. Don’t listen to all those things. We listened. We made the mistakes. We went through it for a year. Spent tens of thousands of dollars on it, and we’re telling you right now, go slow. That’s how you avoid the basically 2018 problems that we had.
Jocelyn Sams: On that same note, during the summer we talked about this extensively in our post live event podcast that came out probably in October of 2018, but right before our event we had several different things happen. So we parted ways with our manager for a variety of different reasons. Our editor and customer service person, they kind of had, I don’t know some kind of crisis mode in the summer. They were unhappy. We were unhappy. Just no one was happy, so …
Shane Sams: We had to let them go.
Jocelyn Sams: We parted ways with them in the summer of 2018 for a variety of reasons. Then, so you know we’re approaching this live event. We have just a very few people remaining on our team at this point, and we’re trying just to survive until the live event. We know that things aren’t really working the way that we would like them to work, but we’re like, “Okay we have this event coming up in September. Let’s not make any more changes. You know we’ve already had to let two people go months before this event. We really need to just keep the ship moving forward until this event is over.”
Shane Sams: Hang on. Just get into the parking space basically.
Jocelyn Sams: Yeah. We had a lot of pressure on us. We needed to perform at this event because this is our first one. Our first big event. We want to make sure we do a good job for these people who are coming, and we just really, really want to stay focused. Well, things were going okay until about two weeks, like two weeks to the day before this event, we get a notice from two more people and they’re like, “Yeah, we’re out. See yeah.”
Shane Sams: These were people that had already had jobs at the event. It was like, they didn’t even put in a two week notice. They just left. That was our last customer service person. That was our, we had another person on our staff that was handling like customer relations, some community management stuff, sales.
Jocelyn Sams: And things before the event.
Shane Sams: Things before the event. Yeah. They had things they had to create, and it was just gone. So it basically came down to me, Jocelyn, and one person.
Jocelyn Sams: And Kat.
Shane Sams: And our Kat, our assistant. Yeah, our executive assistant. The manager of the whole thing, which was awesome because Kat’s like 15 people in one. She’s amazing, but it just was crazy because all of that happened. And you’re standing there looking going, “Well we built this thing and we can never do it without them,” but we still pulled it off, and it still worked great. It kind of taught us that lesson that hey, you don’t need everybody that you think you do. But that led to additional stress, which led to lots of stress eating. We’ve been really healthy and good all year, and all of a sudden it just all fell off the wheels and we were like, “We need comfort food as much as possible.”
Jocelyn Sams: Yeah, so it’s funny because the only people who started and ended 2018 that worked for our company is me and Shane.
Shane Sams: I never thought about that before, but that is true.
Jocelyn Sams: So, I mean, things just it went crazy, you know? We’re heading into this event, and all these people are quitting. We’re having to fire people, people are quitting. We’re having to just basically just survive, I mean from day to day and figure this out. We’re still trying to put finishing touches on speeches, and get people’s shirt sizes, and make sure the shirts are getting there on time, and make sure that we have all the stuff for the event.
Shane Sams: While being married, and parenting, and getting ready for back to school. Just all the madness of life, though it was crazy.
Jocelyn Sams: So like a lot of people, I think, I tend to eat my feelings. You know, if I’m stressed, I’m going to eat a lot of food. So we had been doing so good. I started the ketogenic diet back in April of 2018. I was just doing so well. I had lost 17 pounds, and then all this stuff happened. So by the time the event rolled around, I mean I had gained back like five or six pounds. That is not good at all.
Shane Sams: Yeah, our health kind of went down there. We kind of let that go, and it’s funny because what I’ve realized from this, what I really learned from that episode was you’re going to break somewhere. In your relationship, you’re going to break. Yelling at your kids, you’re going to break. Your business is going to fail. You’re going to break in your health. If you just keep pushing against the wall, you go too far beyond.
Jocelyn Sams: Something’s gotta give.
Shane Sams: Something’s gotta give. So that was pretty bad. Our health, I feel like I’m, I started out the year really healthy feeling good about myself, and kind of ended the year not feeling so good about our health. So I’m going to do better next year.
Jocelyn Sams: We’re trying to get back on the wagon.
Shane Sams: We’re going to get back on the wagon. We’re going to do the New Year’s resolutions, so everybody jump back on the wagon with us and we will all exercise, and eat healthier, and be less stressed next year. All right, so another thing that we decided to do this year, because why not do some kind of drastic life changing thing on top of all of the other drastic life changing things, is we started to home school our kids this year. We’ve been wrestling with this decision for about a year now for a whole lot of reasons. We talked about this on a podcast recently a couple weeks ago about making the decision to home school, why we wanted to do that. We decided to just pull the plug and go for it. We were going to wait until 2019, going to wait until the second semester, but Jocelyn and I are not very good at waiting for things. We kind of want to see how things work.
Shane Sams: So we started home schooling and amazing and a catastrophe all at once. Literally the first day of home school, we woke up. Everything was going great from like nine to 12, and I got a phone call at about 11 o’clock am from my mom. Actually it was my mom’s cleaning lady. She had come over to help mom clean up the house, and my mom had fallen and broken her back. So, right in the middle of the day we took our kids out of school. We had just sent the letter to the superintendent. Everything was rolling. We had this massive catastrophe. Mom was laying on the floor paralyzed, in massive pain. I ended up going to the hospital with her. We rode to another city that was about an hour away. Met her there, and I ended up staying over there for like four days. So all of this fell on us right in the middle of managing home school, managing our business, and Jocelyn was kind of just like, I don’t think I saw you.
Jocelyn Sams: Kind of stranded.
Shane Sams: Yeah. For like a week.
Jocelyn Sams: It was funny because I really, so we took a vote. Shane was determined that we were going to quit school after Thanksgiving. I was determined that we were going to wait until the Christmas holidays, which was only like a few weeks in between those two things.
Shane Sams: We landed somewhere in the middle. It was a pretty good compromise actually.
Jocelyn Sams: We took a vote. We did go back after Thanksgiving, but then the next week he’s like, “We got to do this now.” I’m like, “Well, let’s take a vote. Who wants to do it and who doesn’t?” Well it was three to one.
Jocelyn Sams: I was the one in favor of holding out.
Shane Sams: We don’t normally give our kids equal votes in everything, but in this we wanted to make sure that they were ready to do it.
Jocelyn Sams: So, here I am, and of course I wanted him to be there for his family, but I’m like, “You’re the one who wanted to do this, and now I’m here by myself with them for like three days trying to figure all this out.” So you know, it’s just one of those things. I’m like, “Is this a sign universe, I don’t know.” But it’s worked out okay. I mean we’re still kind of getting a feel for it and figuring out …
Shane Sams: It’s only a few weeks down.
Jocelyn Sams: What we’re going to do.
Shane Sams: It’s a totally overwhelming experience to home school your children. It’s good. The kids have done great. I used to ask the kids all the time when they would get in the car from the bus stop, I would always say things like, “Hey, what’d you learn in school today?” They would both literally just say, “Nothing. I don’t know. I don’t remember.” They didn’t remember anything. I’ve continued doing that since we’ve started, and they actually, every day tell me some amazing thing they’ve learned, or they remember. So they’re retaining things better. They’re both much more well rested, and kind of more laid back a little bit because they’re not so pressured to be at school at 6:30 and all the stuff that goes with that.
Shane Sams: So its been a good experience, but its been really, really hard, and that on top of it, like Jocelyn said, “What’s the universe trying to tell us here?” Sometimes I think the universe throws you a big curve ball when you’re on the right path. It’s like somethings trying to scare you from a better future. Scare you from moving forward, and I was questioning it that way too. Like oh my gosh, this massive thing happened. I got to help my dad. Got to help my mom. All my brothers are pulling together. We’re trying to work this thing out, and thank God my mom did have surgery and she’s walking on walker now a few weeks later. So just a miraculous healing in our life and her life there, but man it was really, really hard. That was really, really probably like the most stressful week. The least amount of sleep. Jocelyn as the reluctant hero did an amazing job that week, but it was just really, really touch.
Shane Sams: So I’d say my moms injury and that experience was bad, but a lot of good things came out of and everybody’s going to get back on the right track. Sometimes you just got to deal with that stuff. Don’t let it hold you back. We didn’t send the kids back to school just because something bad happened. We fought through it, we toughed it out, and we’re going to be home schooling next semester. Something bad may happen again, but it’s just like your business. Just like everything else, you can’t let a few bad things, or a really, really bad thing stop you from moving forward.
Jocelyn Sams: All right, switching gears a little bit. We’re going to talk a little bit about something that some of you guys probably understand, and that is loneliness. I know that sounds really crazy. I mean I’m probably talking to like thousands of people right now, which is crazy. You know we have an amazing business, we have an amazing community. We have so many things that are going right, but sometimes this life can be very, very lonely. I say that because, especially in my personal life, there just aren’t a whole lot of people who can, first of all, wrap their head around what we do. It is very confusing to people in this area. They don’t understand working online. They don’t understand decisions that we make.
Shane Sams: Or like thought leadership, and having a podcast, and some people don’t even know what a podcast is.
Jocelyn Sams: A lot of people around here, it has never occurred to them to even think about doing something outside of their nine to five. It’s just ingrained in them that this is what you do. You do this until retirement, and you ride off into the sunset, you know? Any alternative way of thinking is just something that people, a lot of people in this area, just do not understand.
Shane Sams: And shy away from, you know? People have pulled back away from us, because of the way we structure, I guess our business, our marriage, our life. You know, when we pulled our kids out of school, I got word that someone was like, “I can’t believe they did that. Why would they do that? Are they too good for the school? Is the school not good enough for them?” This was someone I know personally, and is really somewhat close to me. So things like that happened this year, even in our business relationship, we had some friends really withdraw and pull back from us. It’s like the bigger we got, the more successful we got, the more some people pulled back. We feel like people are constantly coming and going in our life now at a pace that’s like not natural.
Shane Sams: You know, people come into our life. We’re really good friends for a while, then they flare out and go away, or people come into our life, and we go different directions, and it’s just it ends really fast. Normally that happens, like oh high school, college, business, and these relationship stay and were stable for a long time, but it’s harder and harder to do that in our life now.
Jocelyn Sams: Yeah, and I think that we’re just, we’re having to learn a lot of things the hard way. It’s just like we had to learn the hiring process the hard way. Now we’re having to learn that sometimes people want to be friends with you because it benefits them in some way. I like to think that we’re not that type of people, you know I mean …
Shane Sams: There’s reciprocity in all relationships. You’re going to be friends with people who do benefit you, but …
Jocelyn Sams: If that’s the only reason your friends with them.
Shane Sams: Yeah some people want to use you for different reasons like that. You know, when someone hasn’t called me in years, and all of a sudden they read an article about us in Forbes, and all of a sudden they’re like, “Hey, love to take you out for dinner and catch up old friend.” That really isn’t, and a lot more of that’s happened lately.
Jocelyn Sams: Yeah, we just have to, you know we just find ourselves being really overly cautious if someone wants to hang out with us, or whatever. We’re like, “Okay well why? Do you really want to be friend with us, or are you trying to get information from us, or whatever?”
Shane Sams: We understand that some of that’s a part of the deal. When you know something someone else doesn’t know that’s part of life. But it’s just this year has probably, we’ve probably talked to and interacted physically, and virtually, with more people than every other year of our life combined. I would say that’s probably true, wouldn’t you? Just live events, online, everything. The size of our audience. Everything like that, but then at the same time, it’s like our real relationships have shrunk. Our old relationships have faded away, and it’s like it’s become lonelier, and lonelier this year, which has probably compounded the problem of the tension that we’ve had trying to work together on everything. So now we really are all we’ve got in a lot of ways.
Shane Sams: Yeah, that’s been tough. It’s been a lonely year, but we’ve also developed more relationships with some people too, being closer with them than ever before, but they’re not here. They’re far away, so it’s like hard to …
Jocelyn Sams: Yeah, no I mean we have combated that in some ways. Like we go on trips with people now, which is really fun. We’ve done some things like that. I think last year we did not really travel a lot, which is how we meet a lot of the friends that we have. We didn’t do a lot of that last year because our kids …
Shane Sams: Just so busy.
Jocelyn Sams: And our kids had a hard time what in 2017, so we kind of shied away from going away for too long in 2018. So I think some of that definitely plays into it, and I think that also people change. I mean I think people even not in this space have that happen too. People just drift apart, and come back together from time to time.
Shane Sams: It just happens so much faster now though, than it used to in our life. That’s what got me is like I had to get used to this year, things will change every three months. Like everything in our life changes, it feels like, almost every quarter because we are in a fast paced business. We have so many of these things, moving parts, it’s just that’s what’s hard to get used to from a mindset issue is that the more successful you get, the faster things are going to go, and you better be ready to deal with it. You know the loneliness stuff wasn’t the only mindset stuff. We had a lot of old issue creep back up this year. One was uncertainty. You know, for four or five, about four years there we felt very certain in what we were doing, and then this year was just packed with uncertainty. Which is good, it pushes you forward, but it can cause some problems too.
Shane Sams: We had a lot of comparison, well I would say that, Jocelyn probably didn’t. This was probably more on me, I really fell into comparison syndrome at the beginning of this year especially. Was I doing what all these other people I saw were doing? Was I as successful as someone else? Was the definition we had written for our success as good as someone else’s success, and I think that led to a lot of friction and bad decisions on my part. Just a lot of doubt, like can we pull these big things that we’re trying off? Is the next level out of our reach? We couldn’t even imagine what the next level looked like before, and now we’re getting a glimpse of what it could be. Is that even possible? Are we up to the challenge? Who are we? What is our, I don’t know, what is the definition of what Shane and Jocelyn, and the Flipped Lifestyle podcast, and the Flip Your Life community is?
Shane Sams: We struggled with all these mindsets, and a little bit of imposter syndrome. Like who are we to be on stage for two straight days, right? And teach all these people, like all of those doubts that we thought we had put in our rear view mirror really creeped back in. It was just crazy how everything compounded, but you know what? Overall 2018 was a great year. Our business grew. We made some major decisions for our family. We watched the Flip Your Life community grow bigger than we ever could’ve dreamed possible, and you know it was just really good to think back about all the good things, the bad things, and just kind of absorb all of that so that we can get ready to do great things next year.
Shane Sams: That’s really what we do when we reflect back on last year, is we prepare for next year. So 2019 we are expecting some great things, and that’s what we’re going to wrap this show up with is looking ahead a little bit to the future.
Jocelyn Sams: All right, I’m really looking forward to the upcoming year for several different reasons. One of the things that I am really looking forward to is exploring some new options for creativity. I mentioned earlier in the show that I’ve been, for lack of a better word, a little bit bored with what we’re doing. Not because of anything to do with our members, or anything like that, it’s just because we do the same thing a lot of the times every single day. I’m looking into doing some different things like learning about some other business models. I have considered learning about selling physical products. One of the things that we are really working on right now is investigating different types of work from home opportunities to share with our members. Those are anything from working as a service based business, and not necessarily becoming a business owner, or like creating a digital product.
Jocelyn Sams: We want to start to explore some of those types of opportunities to let people know that there are other things that you can do from home. I have also even considered doing some brick and mortar marketing, like looking into some of that. So those are just some of the things that we are considering for the upcoming year, and ultimately what that means for our members is that we are going to be looking at making some new courses, and some new materials. For some of you guys who maybe you’ve been listening to us for a long time, and you think you know that sounds really awesome, but I don’t really want to start a website, or I don’t know what to make as my digital product. Well these will be some opportunities for you if you are in that position, and you want to work from home but you’re just not sure what to do, we’re going to be looking at some other ways to help you.
Shane Sams: And another big focus that we’ve been talking about in the last couple weeks for our business, for our family, for everything is saying no a lot. We spent a lot of energy in a lot of unfruitful places last year. We chose to do a lot of different things that really didn’t pan out, or really didn’t you know they looked like great opportunities going into them, and we didn’t want to say no to what we thought could be a great opportunity so we did them and nothing happened. So we’re going to really pick and choose our opportunities a lot better this year. We’re going to say no as much as possible. We’re going to stop trying to do what other people who we perceive as “successful” are doing, and not chase so many shiny objects.
Shane Sams: Whether it’s hiring new people. Whether it’s going to speak at certain events. You know, we’re not going to go out and pursue all these opportunities. All the opportunities that we have is right here in front of us, with our community, with our people. The more opportunity and success that we create for our members, the more opportunities for success that we’re going to create for ourselves. So we’re really going to say no to a lot of things this year, and just zero in and focus on the things that we really know work. We’re going to take all of that energy we save by saying no to all these shiny objects, and we’re really going to put it into our family. One of the things that we are going to do more of this year is we’re going to travel with just us again.
Shane Sams: I think our kids are a little bit older. The last time we went on a big trip our daughter kind of had a freak out, and I think we’re past that stage. I think we’re over that now, so we already have a couple of trips just for us, me and Jocelyn, on the calendar. We’re really going to focus more on getting back to each other, and focusing on each other. Not just in a business, not just in a life capacity, but as a married couple. That’s really, really important to us to do that. We’re going to take that extra energy from saying no to other things, and focus it on our kids. We’re pulled our kids out of school now. We are home schooling, so really this is the year that we’re going to learn that process. It’s not going to be perfect.
Shane Sams: It doesn’t have to be. We really don’t know what it’s going to look like by the end of 2019. We don’t even know what it’s going to look like at the beginning of 2019, but we’re just going to take that energy and push it right back into our family, and figure that process out this year. One of my personal missions for 2019 is to stop looking at what everyone else is doing. You know we used to do this in the beginning. We used to not look at anybody else, we did our way, and the farther we’ve gone, and the more complicated, and the more complex our business has become, we started looking outward again, and I’m pretty sure that caused more confusion than it actually cleared up. So we’re really focusing right now on what do we want everything to look like?
Shane Sams: What do we want to create? What do we want to make? What do we want our email list to see when they get our emails? What do we want our courses to look like? Everyone’s telling us don’t do this. Stick with digital products, that’s what got you here. We’re kind of like no, we want to do physical products. We want to do service based businesses. We want to do all of these other things, and we’re going to kind of get back to doing it our way, and stop, I don’t know, like almost asking permission from the people who are “more successful” than us to tell us how to do things, or what our things should look like. That’s really what we want for you in 2019. We want you to stop looking to the world asking permission. We want you to stop worrying about what other people are doing, or if you can do something, or if you can’t, and we want you to take action. We want you to go out there and make 2019 your best year ever.
Shane Sams: We want you to take charge of your life. To build the business that you want. It doesn’t have to look like the business that Jocelyn and I created. It doesn’t have to look like anybody else’s business out there. You don’t have to chase the gurus with their Lamborghini’s, and the big people getting off their private jets. You just have to create the life that you want next year, so that you can give your family the future that you want them to have. So one of our goals is to expand the trainings in our communities. To help more people figure out what their work from home, flipped lifestyle looks like. We want to make our trainings, and our community more accessible to more people than ever before next year. We want more people to be able to take our courses, and take all of these new trainings that we’re adding into the community, so that they can build the life that they want.
Shane Sams: We want more people in our community. More people talking in our community. More people asking questions, and connecting, and creating mastermind communities locally in the real world through the Flip Your Life forums. Just like we knew going into this year we were going to have to change some of our content. We knew we were going to have to change some of the things that we were doing in our marriage, and parenting, in our kids schooling, in our business, we know that means we’re going to have to make some big changes in the Flip Your Life community to continue to grow. So in a few weeks, we are going to announce some big, big changes to how the Flip Your Life community and the Flip Your Life blueprint work. Those changes are going to impact every single person that hears this podcast. We’re not finished with it yet.
Shane Sams: We don’t know exactly what the end product is going to look like, but we know we are going to make some huge changes in the Flip Your Life community. They’re going to make it more accessible, that are going to make it more affordable, and it’s going to make starting your own business easier than ever before. We know there’s a lot of reasons, a lot of hang ups, a lot of things in your past that are holding you back from going out there, from taking action and building the life that you want. Really chasing that flipped lifestyle. We know there’s things that are holding you back from working from home, from taking control of your life, and from changing your family’s future. We want to remove all of those obstacles from your path.
Shane Sams: The changes that we’re going to make to the Flip Your Life community next year are going to give you the opportunity to do so. If you want it, it’ll be there for you. If you don’t want it, you’ll find an excuse, but you’re going to have no reason not to take advantage of everything that we have to offer inside the community next year. So you’ll have to stay tuned for that because that is a subject for another podcast. We are going to wrap up this podcast right now. Jocelyn and I are packing right now because we are kicking off 2019 with a couples trip, without the kids, just us, and we are heading down to Florida for a week of sunshine and warmth so that we can relax a little bit and really enjoy the first week of 2019 together, and get our plans kicked off and going in the right direction.
Shane Sams: So we have to finish loading up our suitcases now. We’ve got a flight to catch tomorrow, and we will be back with you again next week for another episode of the Flipped Lifestyle podcast. We’ll get back into our normal format where we’re talking to a Flip Your Life community member and helping them take their online dreams to the next level. Stay tuned. We will be having more solo episodes like this next year, and we will be announcing all of the changes inside of the Flip Your Life community very, very soon, but until then we want you to kick off 2019 in the right way. Set a big goal. Dream a bold dream. Get out there and take action. Let’s do whatever it takes this year to flip your life. We’ll see you next time.
Jocelyn Sams: Bye.
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