How to support the entrepreneur in your life.

The truth is that when you’re running a business – or being a Misfit Entrepreneur – it can be a lonely game.

Sure, there are Facebook groups to chat in and network events to attend, but the day-to-day of running your own business is generally mostly you, your laptop and your busy brain doing overtime.

One thing that can help mitigate these lonesome feelings is a supportive partner – a shoulder to cry on, an ear to fill with questions and a long warm hug at the end of a terrible day.

But not all partners are supportive of our entrepreneur dreams, and even if they are, it can still be a struggle to juggle family commitments and life with your business needs.

In this week’s episode of the Confessions of a Misfit Entrepreneur podcast I have a very special guest: my husband Hichem Moussa. We’re going to be chatting about how we work together, support each other and sometimes drive each other crazy.

 

Tune in to learn:

  • How Kate started as an entrepreneur
  • The truth about that tough first year
  • The struggles of having two entrepreneurs in one family
  • The solutions Kate and Hichem found for successfully working with each other
  • How to deal with an unsupportive partner
  • How Kate and Hichem handle their finances and their childcare arrangements
  • Whether Hichem is ever allowed in the Toon cave
  • How to stay happy in sickness and in health
  • All about Hichem’s appearance in The Bill

With contributions from Sharon Chisholm, Emily Rhodes, Lutfiye Tahseen and Brook Crawford.

Listen to the podcast below:

Or listen on iTunes or Stitcher

Buy the book:

Confessions of a misfit

Share the meme:

Misfit Entrepreneur support

About Hichem:

Hichem Moussa is the owner of VoulezVouloz, Australia’s favourite French teaching school, where the tutors come to you. Originally from Tunisia, Hichem’s previous careers include founding London’s first Tuk Tuk company, working as a massage therapist, training as a monk and a brief stint as an actor – he was in The Bill!

Now he has the honour of being the other half of the Moussa-Toon power couple, a great dad and all round awesome human.

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If you like what you’re hearing on The Confessions of a Misfit Entrepreneur Podcast, the best way to support the show is to take just a few seconds to leave a rating and / or comment over on iTunes or Stitcher

Transcript:

 

 

 

 

[00:01:30]

 

 

The truth is when you’re running a business or being a Misfit Entrepreneur, it can be a lonely game. Sure, there are Facebook groups to chat in and network events to attend, but the day-to-day of running your own business is generally a lot of you, your laptop, and your busy brain doing overtime.

 

One thing that can help mitigate these lonesome feelings is having a supportive partner. A shoulder to cry on, an ear to fill with question, or the long warm hug at the end of a terrible day.

 

Not all partners are supportive of our entrepreneurial dreams, and even if they are, it can still be a bit of a struggle to juggle family commitments and life with your business needs.

 

 

[00:02:00]

In this week’s episode of Confessions of the Misfit Entrepreneurs Podcast, I have a very special guest.

 

My husband, Hichem Moussa we’re gonna be chatting about how we work together, support each other, and sometimes drive each other crazy.

 

 

 

Hello, my name is Kate Toon, I’m the author of Confessions of a Misfit Entrepreneur, How to Succeed in Business Despite Yourself, and today I’m talking with Hichem Moussa. Hello Hichem Moussa.

 

 

Hichem: Hello.

 

Kate: Hello. I’m gonna read your bio now …

 

Hichem: What are you saying about me?

 

Kate:

[00:02:30]

Okay, Hichem Moussa is the owner of Voulezvouloz Australia’s favourite French teaching school where the teachers come to you. Originally from Tunisa Hichem’s previous careers include founding London’s first Tuk Tuk Company, working as a massage therapist, training as a monk, and a brief stint as an actor. He was in The Bill!.

Now he has the honour of being the other half of the Moussa-Toon power couple, a great dad, and all around awesome human. Welcome to the show husband. How was that? Did I miss anything?

 

Hichem: I don’t think you missed anything out. It’s …

 

Kate: It’s your life in three sentences.

 

[00:03:00]

Hichem:

 

In three sentences. Yeah, so thank you, apart from being maybe a tumbler at one point …

 

Kate: You were a tumbler? You fall over a lot?

 

Hichem: I do fall over a …
Kate: When were you a tumbler?

 

Hichem: No, just in my dreams.

 

Kate: In your dreams.
Then your a brief stint as a stripper.

 

Hichem: As a tumbling stripper.

 

Kate: An unstable stripper.

 

Hichem: That’s right.

 

Kate: So, today we’re talking about how to support your partner. I must admit, I’m really nervous about today’s podcast. I vaguely got the giggles.

 

Hichem: Why, you’ve met me before.

 

[00:03:30]

Kate:

 

I have met you before but I also feel like you’re breathing really loudly.

 

Hichem: Oh, I’ll breathe as loud as I like.

 

Kate: I don’t know why you have to breathe so loudly.
Hichem: I need air. I need more air than most people.

 

Kate:

 

 

[00:04:00]

Why would you need more air? Because you’re full of hot air.

 

Anyway, I guess I should start by explaining our setup. Hichem and I don’t actually work together. We both have our own businesses, but we both work from home and occasionally help each other out.

 

Just to be clear, we do not work together. We work near each other.

 

Hichem: Near each other. We used to have the same office.

 

Kate: We used to have the same office. So, you were fundamental in me taking a leap into running my own business. I was working for an ad agency. I was crying a lot I seem to remember.

 

Hichem: Yeah.

 

Kate: I do cry a lot.

 

Hichem: Yeah, yeah.

 

Kate: You were always saying to me that I should give it up and work for myself. Why?

 

[00:04:30]

Hichem:

 

Well, it was just taking up a lot of time I guess and just I figured The way I’ve been working for the last couple of decades is I have been trying to avoid working for someone else.

 

I kind of succeeded in small measures. Some occasions have been a bit stressful, some occasions wasn’t. I got to a happy medium and I figured maybe it was time for you to try to make some …

 

Kate: Yeah.

 

Hichem: Because …

 

Kate: I should just point out that naked chainsaw man is in the back garden again. He’s not in our back garden …

 

 

[00:05:00]

Yeah, so the thing is I never really thought about it at the time, but you’re a bit of a serial entrepreneur …

 

I don’t mean cornflake related, but you’ve had a few businesses. You’ve had the Tuk Tuk one that you started in London.

 

Hichem: But also, just generally …

 

Kate: You also worked for yourself as masseuse whereas I had always had jobs and always worked, and had a wage and stuff.

 

So, I was very nervous about giving up that wage as well.

 

Hichem:

[00:05:30]

It was just a habit that you had to break I guess.

 

Like anything, once you get into a bit of a habit it’s kind of hard to kind of look elsewhere.

 

I think I must have worked for the people, but also at the same time snuck in a bit of work for myself on the side. So, it kind of became more and more mainstream for me.

 

Kate: Yeah, when you came over here, like obviously for those who don’t know who haven’t read the book, we came over here, neither of us had a job and I got a job at ad agency and you started off VoulezVouloz.

At the beginning, you only had a few students.

 

Hichem: Yeah, so you supported me at that point.

 

Kate: I did.

 

Hichem: Because we had the …

 

[00:06:00]

Kate:

 

I had the money. I had the money. Then it didn’t actually happen until you got me pregnant.

 

Hichem: Yeah, then I had the…
Kate: You tumbled. You tumbled onto me.

 

Hichem: We tumbled and rumbled.

 

Kate: I know it was a long time ago when we used to do that kind of thing. Don’t do that anymore. Filthy.

 

Hichem: Only special occasions.

 

[00:06:30]

Kate:

 

Well, yeah, never. Anyway, so you got me pregnant and I had been working at the agency for about five months, but I was a contractor so I wouldn’t get maternity leave. So, I had to give it up basically to physically have the baby otherwise otherwise I’d have hat do have it at at work.

 

So, I started Kate Toon Copy when I was five months pregnant. I think you had about 12 students. So, you were earning about $300 a week. Our rent was $550.

 

Hichem: I had to do tumbling on the side.

 

Kate: If you remember, that first year was horrendous.

 

Hichem: Yeah.

 

[00:07:00]

Kate:

 

We had no savings. You weren’t earning anything. I was trying to earn things between boob feeding, and not sleeping, and it was pretty grim that first year.

 

Hichem: Yeah, it was pretty rough, yeah.

 

Kate: Really rough. I think, for the listeners out there who are listening, I hope you’re listening, I think often the story is that they all started all wonderful, and your parents give you a 20 grand and you get an office in Surry Hills. It definitely wasn’t like that for us.

 

Hichem: No, it was hard graft really.

 

Kate: Quite miserable.

 

Hichem: We kind of stuck it out and eventually, here we are.

 

[00:07:30]

Kate:

 

Here we are. I know, god.

 

So, apart from that first year which was pretty hard and you’re now 12 years into having a business and I’m now 9 years in, but we’ve also had some other struggles along the way.

 

I remember one of the big ones is that we both got into big tax debt. Do you remember that?

 

Hichem: We kind of couldn’t figure out how much we miscalculated the amount of tax we needed to give Mr Tax man.

 

Kate: I think it was more amusing than that because you refused to do your tax.

 

[00:08:00]

Hichem:

 

I’ll just leave it, I’ll just leave it.

 

Kate: Then we worked out that you owed something like $40,000.

 

Hichem: Yeah, I owed about half my body.

 

Kate: Half your body. We had to sell one of your kidneys. Then I was really down you. I was like that’s terrible. How could you do that? You’re a terrible useless person.

 

Then I did my tax and realised that I hadn’t done it properly and I owed a fortune. We had about two years where we had no money.

 

Hichem: It was all about playing catch-up …

 

Kate: For yonks and yonks. So, that was grim. Then, we touched on this earlier we used to share an office in our house. We used to have …

 

[00:08:30]

Hichem:

 

Back to back …

 

Kate: Back to back so we didn’t have to look at each other.

 

Hichem: We didn’t have to look at each other. We heard each other’s conversations with clients.

 

It was pretty rough.

 

Kate: Listen, when Hichem is on the phone he has a phone voice.

 

Hichem: I have like a honey …

 

Kate:

 

[00:09:00]

He pretends he’s French.

 

Well, he is French, but he puts on a fake French accent. He goes oooerrr yes, madame. He used to drive me around the twist and I’d be sitting there going stupid shut up!!

Also, the other thing that you did … It’s all about him, I didn’t do anything …

Hichem: You were an angel.

 

Kate: I was naked.

 

Hichem: You were an angel. You spoke in hushed tones and …
Kate: I was like, hello client …

 

Hichem: I could hardly hear you.

 

Kate: The other thing you did was breathe really loudly.

 

Hichem: As I am today.

 

Kate: You did though. I’d be sitting there and I’d be like ‘wheeze’ Like Darth Vader, coughing up phlegm on the other side of the room. Also, you got the good seat. You always had the window seat. I was staring at a wall.

 

[00:09:30]

Hichem:

 

You could have had a mirror and looked back at …

 

Kate: Looked back at my own face.

 

Hichem: Yeah.

 

Kate: How disturbing would that be, just staring at your own face. That was fun. Then the other thing that I think we did a lot of in the … Because I built your first website because Hichem was like, “I don’t need a website. Never had a website before.” You were a bit a of a luddite.

 

Hichem: Yeah, I wasn’t sure about a website, obviously it’s needed.

 

Kate: I used to sort of help you a little bit and do your SEO and do your copywritting and we used to fight like arrg. Itt just drove me mad.

 

Hichem: Yeah.

 

[00:10:00]

Kate:

 

I’d be like, can you look at this thing that I’ve done, and you’d be like yeah, yeah, yeah. Then three weeks later you haven’t looked at it. Then you be like, why am I getting any traffic.

Hichem: Well, websites at that point for me were like Chinese arithmetic. I was having a real difficulty comprehending what the deal was. I know them better now, but at the time …

 

Kate: Do you?

 

Hichem: Sort of. I know there’s pages.

 

Kate: There’s pages and pictures and things.

 

Hichem:

[00:10:30]

Pages and pictures and images. Recently I was like, “What’s going on now?” I had no real use for websites before previous companies.

 

Kate: I was trying to get Hichem to do social media. He was like, don’t understand, don’t want to be bothered. To do emails, don’t need it, don’t want to.

 

Hichem: It took a lot of convincing.

 

Kate: It did and obviously, this is my podcast, so I get to say what it want. It’d be a case of like do this, this is a really good idea.

You’d be like, no, no, no, no, and about three months later you’d go, “I should do this”.

 

Hichem: Yeah, forgetting that you suggested it.

 

[00:11:00]

Kate:

 

Yes, I’m so glad that’s on tape.

 

And so we kind of agreed, I kind of got to the point where I was like, I’m not going to help you anymore. You are my worst client.

 

Hichem: Yeah.

 

Kate: For a while I just left you to it, but we got a different plan now.

 

We’ll talk about that in a minute. I did try to do stuff for Hichem, I’m just putting that out there, but it’s really, really difficult working with your partner because he would maybe …

 

It was his business and he didn’t want to finish the thing that I’d sent in because he was busy doing other things. I’d be sitting there going, finish the thing that I sent you. It was really hard.

 

Hichem: Yeah.

 

[00:11:30]

Kate:

 

The problem that all small businesses have of trying to actually run the business, not spend their time on …

Hichem: Yeah, because there’s a tendency to put a lot of stuff on the back burner but maybe sometimes you would have the tendency of putting stuff which you really need to do immediately on the back burner.

 

Kate: Yeah, especially marketing …

 

Hichem: Especially marketing . Because you’re like, I’m doing other stuff.

 

Kate: That you need to do it all the time because I know all of sudden, anyway … I think a big challenge in the first couple of years was neither of us having a regular income.

 

Hichem: Yeah.

 

[00:12:00]

Kate:

 

Because our income was up and down, you know, some weeks we’d have good weeks, other weeks we’d have none, but we still always had the mortgage. Always had …

 

Hichem: Yeah, it was a kind of constant, kind of, yeah …

 

Kate: That was a lot of stress on you. Financial stress is like the pits.

 

Hichem: It does give you impetus that’s the thing, you know. If the flames are licking your feet, you have to do something about it.

 

You can’t just go, oh well …

 

I might do a bit of this.

You have to really push it.

 

[00:12:30]

Kate:

 

I think that’s really important because something we’re gonna touch on in a minute is that because neither of us had any money, we had to work really, really hard and push it and we had to keep going even when things were going bad.

 

I think sometimes people give up before they get through that bad bit because there were many times along the way where we thought we should give up.

 

Hichem: Well with I think with any business, this is all a learning curve, isn’t it?

 

Kate: Yeah.

 

Hichem: Because still to this day after 12 years we’re still coming across problems which I’ve never had before, but I’m recognising more and more problems …
[00:13:00] You become more effective with problems you’ve not had before but any new problems you kind of surprised but that …
You don’t lose … You’re not as reactionary or kind of shocked …

 

Kate: It’s not as calamitous.

 

Hichem: Yeah.

 

Kate: It’s like well, I’ve survived this long.

 

Hichem: In shock as much as you used to be. Before you were like, oh this has never happened, what do I do in this. Dodgy your customer or dodge your tutor or whatever …

 

Kate: Or competitor …

 

[00:13:30]

Hichem:

 

After a while you start to sort of reading between the lines and not quite taking certain parts, certain aspects of the business as seriously as you did before.

 

Kate: I think you kind of learn not to ride the rollercoaster so much.

 

You don’t have as many highs and you don’t have as many lows, you just try and go along and you have a great week.

 

You’re not like, oh my god, I had a great week. But if you got a bad week, you’re like, oh my god I’ve had a bad week.

 

 

[00:14:00]

So, let’s pass on some tips to businesses because there’s other people here who have partners who they work with or they have …

We’re gonna talk in a minute about people who have partners who have proper jobs as well as being an entrepreneur. I think some of the things that we’ve done well, some of the solutions we’ve come up with are that we kind of leave each other alone.

 

Hichem: Yeah, yeah. We crossover, but not in any sort of … Yeah, we crossover, but minimally.

 

Kate: What do you mean, we crossover?

 

Hichem: We crossover as in we kind of check-in, but not intensely.

 

Kate: We don’t meddle.

 

[00:14:30]

Hichem:

 

No.

 

Kate: So, your business is your business and my business is my business …

 

Hichem: Occasionally, we might ask each other bit of advice.

 

Kate: We don’t offer unsolicited … Because I used to in the early days. I’d be like, why are you doing that, I would do it like this. It just made you angry and it made me frustrated. You’ve never really … You have no interest in my …

 

Hichem: I was aware of what was going on occasionally.

 

Kate: Are you?

 

Hichem: Yeah, occasionally, I check-in and you check-in with mine it’s just kind of a …

 

Kate: What do I do?

 

[00:15:00]

Hichem:

 

What do you do? You cook.

 

Kate: I know I cook. What do I do for job?

 

Hichem: Recipe. You make, you come up with recipes.

 

Kate: Oh shut up. What do I do? See if you can describe what I do.

 

Hichem: Basically, you teach people how to set up businesses and kind of …

 

Kate: No, no.

 

Hichem: No, what is it then?

 

Kate: Oh my god!

 

Hichem: No. You basically teach people how to manage their websites.

 

Kate: Nope, nope.

 

Hichem: What then?

 

Kate: Oh my god!

 

Hichem: It’s you. It’s kind of all about …

 

[00:15:30]

Kate:

 

I teach people how to rank in Google.

 

Hichem: Yeah.

 

Kate: How to do copyrights.

 

Hichem: Yeah, manage their websites.

 

Kate: That’s good enough, let’s move on.

 

The other thing we do now is we don’t work directly together, so I obviously have a lot of online marketing skills I can help people.

 

I’ve learned that it’s not great for me to do that for you, so instead I kind of let my team help you. So, we have Leanne helping you, you have Marco, and we used to have Kate doing your design and that works better, I think.

 

[00:16:00]

Hichem:

 

Yeah. Having other people, other parties got involved as opposed to just us two sort of dishing back and forth.

 

Kate: Yeah, yeah, I think that’s much better. I think we still, like you just came in a minute ago and said you had computer issues and you’ve managed to lose all of your Google doodahs.

 

Hichem: Yeah, occasionally.

 

Kate: Yeah, but we still help each other occasionally, and …

 

Hichem: Something comes up and …

 

Kate: I’m like your IT person.

 

Hichem: I’m more of your moral support …

 

Kate: Yeah, you really are. You’re like my rock. Like my boulder.

 

Hichem: Your pebble.

 

[00:16:30]

Kate:

 

My granite. My dust. Maybe you are, you’re very wise. Doesn’t sound it, but he is.

 

Hichem: Moans.

 

Kate: Oh my god, what was that? People are gonna think you’re a weirdo. Okay, so I’ve got a question now.

 

Hichem: A question.

 

Kate: I’ve written it down. Are you ready?

 

Hichem: Right

 

Kate:

 

 

[00:17:00]

Now, one thing I should say when I’m talking about private partners, I’m not just talking about supportive husbands, I’m talking about supportive wives and vice versa.

I did ask in the group for opinions of both, but I didn’t get very many.

So, do you think it’s just expect … Like if I was not working on my own business, do you think it’s just expected that women will support their husbands?

That it doesn’t kind of often always work the other way around.

Do you know what I mean by that?

 

Hichem: There might be a bit of a tall puppy syndrome going on.
Kate: A stigma that blokes are blokes and …

 

Hichem: Yeah, bloke he’s like, oh yeah, I’m doing all right, but if the wife does all right fine, if she doesn’t fine.
Kate: Yeah, I’m the provider.

 

Hichem: There’s that kind of pride …
[00:17:30]

Kate:

 

Can you beat your chest in a manly way? Those pecks are hard as wood. I could swear you were knocking on my desk.

 

Hichem: Yes, it sounded like it, didn’t it?

 

Kate: Yeah, I mean, you’re … I was gonna say you’re not a manly man, but you are.

 

He’s a wonderfully manly, man.

 

This sounds really wanky what I’m gonna say it.

Have you ever felt threatened by me …

 

Hichem: Emasculated?

 

Kate: That the word oop, get you …

 

Hichem: Is it emasculated?

 

Kate: I think it is.

 

Hichem: No, not really. Just you gotta run your bits and pieces and I gotta run my bits and pieces.
Kate: Its never been a competition has it?

 

[00:18:00]

Hichem:

 

No. I don’t feel ..

 

Kate: We’ve never been in competition.

 

Hichem: It doesn’t feel that way, but I think I’m sure people that do feel a bit … Some blokes I think they so proud of their sort of …

 

Kate: Penises ..

 

Hichem: Their work and whatever.

 

If they feel the female in their relationship is doing well for herself there might be an element of like, but I’m the bloke, I’m the bloke.

 

Kate: Yeah.

 

Hichem: So it’s kind of …

 

Kate: Maybe you would have been like that if you were younger, but you’re so very, very old.

 

Hichem: Yeah, I am 102.

 

[00:18:30]

Kate:

 

So you know, that’s all gone.

 

You’ve lost all that.

 

One thing that makes our lives easier is that I’m in no way financially dependent on you.

 

Hichem: Really?

 

Kate: Let’s not go there.

 

Hichem: I give you a fiver every morning to get yourself a coffee.

 

Kate: Shut up. He really …

 

Hichem: Okay, I give you a tenner.

 

Kate:

[00:19:00]

See now people are gonna believe this.

 

Sorry the truth is actually that we’re … I don’t wanna … I often see women in groups having to check with their husbands about purchases.

I’m super grateful that I don’t have to do that and often I earn a little bit more than you. Let’s be honest.
You just said that you lend me a fiver. It’s not true, so that is awesome, because I never need to ask, not that I ever would ask your permission, but like if I wanna invest in something in my business, I can.

 

Same for you, you’d never ask me. It’s like …

 

Hichem:

[00:19:30]

Unless it’s a … I think we consult each other if it’s something for the house or whatever, but if it’s something like for your personal use or …
Oh, can I use this or can I use that?

 

Kate: We also, if we have to travel for business, obviously, then we’ll check-in with each other because the other one will have to look after the …
Hichem: It is more to do with the logistics.

 

Kate:

 

[00:20:00]

It’s not like permission. So that’s good.

 

Okay, one thing that people are often … Oh no, I’m just gonna talk more about financials.

 

Not to get too personal, but what we do for our financials is we have a joint account and we both put money into that each week, and then out of that comes everything.

 

Hichem: Yeah, it covers all your domestic stuff.
Kate: Our mortgage or shopping, and then sometimes if one of us is doing a bit better, we might treat the family to a holiday or a thing.

 

Other than that, our money is all right. I actually would not know how much you’ve got in your bank account and you would not know about mine, and that’s fine.

 

We’re happy with that actually.

 

Hichem: Yeah.

 

Kate: That might not be the same as everyone else, but that works for us.

 

Hichem: Yeah, a joint account works for any day-to-day stuff like getting the groceries …

 

Kate: Yeah.

 

Hichem: Yeah.

 

[00:20:30]

Kate:

 

So the other thing that people are often interested in I find quite unusual with us is our childcare arrangements.

 

Obviously, we both work at home which was a decision. We moved out of Sydney and we now work from our house which has it’s pros and cons.

 

Obviously, the big pro is we get to spend a lot of time with our son and we can take him to school and whatever, but I think people are often surprised at how we do it. I’ll explain it.

 

Hichem: It’s kind of split down the middle.

 

[00:21:00]

Kate:

 

Split down the middle.

 

So, it wasn’t always. Not first year you kind of were like, I know I want to do my business, I don’t want to do baby things, but after that first year, we agreed that it would pretty much be 50-50.

 

So the way that we do it is one day on, one day off.

 

So say for example, I’m Monday, on Monday, I’ll do everything. I will make my son breakfast, take him to school, I will pick him up, I will make dinner, I will bath him and the other person has nothing to do.

 

Then on Tuesday, is my work day and you do everything.

 

[00:21:30]

Hichem:

 

Yeah. Pickup, drop off, feeding, all that stuff. It’s kind of basically, we … That way one of us has a full day unobstructed.

 

To concentrate.

Then another day where they sort of work but the day is much shorter …
There’s a pickup and drop off sort of thing.

 

Kate:

 

 

[00:22:00]

Yeah, we’ve done that now, or son is nearly eight and a half.

 

So we’ve done that for like … It’s changed a bit.

 

Sometimes it might be Hichem needs two days because he wants to go into Sydney or I need extra days because I want to go and sneak an event, and sometimes we might switch up so like I did Monday morning.

 

Basically, it’s 50-50 and that works really, really well.

 

Hichem: It works because you can really focus on one or the other really.
Kate: Rather than feeling crap at both.

 

Hichem: One day you feel all right today’s a little more about our son and then one day is more about doing the business. So it’s kind of …

 

Kate:

 

[00:22:30]

Yeah, so we do one day on and one day off and then sort of Saturday afternoon and Sunday are family time.

 

That works pretty well.

 

It’s not to say that in the evening I sit in my office until 9:00 because it’s not my day, obviously, it’s a bit more blurry than that, but it’s a good principle.

 

It’s like I know I don’t have to think about dinner. I don’t have to shop …

 

So that works really, really well.

 

We do the same in school holidays. So on school holidays because obviously we both work for ourselves, we can’t take time off, so we do one day on, one day off.

 

Hichem: One day on, one day off.

 

Kate: We got some questions from the group.

 

Hichem: Ah ha!

 

Kate: I know. You ready?

 

Hichem: The group? What kind of group?

 

Kate: The group that you were in, but I threw you out.

 

Hichem: Oh, okay.

 

[00:23:00]

Kate:

 

The Misfit Entrepreneur group because you’re rubbish on Facebook.

 

Hichem: I’m a little bit of a Misfit am I?

 

Kate: Well, I thought you weren’t Misfit enough.
Hichem: Too misfit for the misfits.

 

Kate: You were rubbish on Facebook. I like tag you in really witty posts and you never respond.

 

Yeah.

 

Other husbands write things like, ‘I love you wife.’

 

Hichem: Do they? To you?

 

Kate: No. Hilarious. Okay, so the first question is from Sharon Chisholm. Do you remember Sharon Chisholm She came here.

 

Hichem: Sharon Chisholm, yeah.

 

Kate: That day before I got really poorly and vomited every where.

 

Hichem: Okay.

 

Kate: I’m not sure if that was Sharon was the cause. She says, “Is Hichem ever allowed in the Toon cave?”

 

Hichem: By appointments only.

 

[00:23:30]

Kate:

 

That sounds filthy Sharon. No, you’re not allowed in really.

 

Hichem: I have to book in advance.

 

Kate: Sometimes you come and bring me soup.

 

Hichem: Sometimes, yeah.

 

Kate: Yeah, but usually I sort of see him lurking at the window, and I’m like, ‘go away, go away.’

 

Hichem: Soup or an apple or a banana.

 

Kate: Yeah, throw one through the window. So, no he isn’t really. It’s my space …

 

It’s my domain.

 

I don’t go into his office because it’s filthy and it smells.

 

Hichem: Yes.

 

Kate:

[00:24:00]

It’s needs a good decorate. Okay, the next question is and I think this is a really good one. I wonder what your answer is for this one because we’ve had this issue too. Emily Rhodes says, about household mental load. So her husband …

 

Hichem: What does that mean?

 

Kate: Well I’m gonna say, I’m gonna explain.

 

Hichem: Oh.

 

Kate: Her husband is good, like he’ll play with the kids and do stuff. He’s supportive, but she’s the one that has to remember to pay bills, remind the kids it’s library day, remember errands, book appointments.

 

Hichem: Right.

 

Kate: We’ve had that sometimes like I’m like, our son, would never go the dentist if I didn’t remember. It’s like the …

 

Hichem: I think we both remember different things.

 

[00:24:30]

Kate:

 

Yeah, you’re good with bills.

 

Hichem: I’m good with bills. I’m good with like taking him to one or two things. I mean swimming …

 

Kate: Yeah, you’re good at all that.

 

Hichem: I’m getting payment out for …

 

Kate: Yeah, you’re good at that.

 

Hichem: Piano lessons, so basically we kind of …

 

Kate: We play to our strengths. I think it … We’ve been married for how long now?

 

Hichem: It feels like for 17 months.

 

Kate: No. It’s a while.

 

Hichem: No, it’s been a while.

 

Kate: We play to our strengths, so you’re not good at being mega-organised.

 

Hichem: I’m not good at …

 

Kate: Organised to my degree because I’m insane.

 

[00:25:00]

Hichem:

 

I think once for example, yeah, with birthday parties you’re kind of … We’re gonna get all these bits and pieces and make it a really fun day whereas I kind of forget til the last minute. Whereas the day-to-day, not that I …

 

Kate: You’re pretty good.

 

Hichem: We good at different things.

 

Kate: Yeah.

 

Hichem: So there’s no … We’ve kind of felt our way through. We haven’t given ourselves sort of you do this, and you do that, and you do this …
Over time we’ve come …

 

[00:25:30]

Kate:

 

 

 

 

 

[00:26:00]

 

It’s evolved.

 

My tip for Emily would be to split those things up and say, from now on, Mr. Rhodes is in charge of paying bills, 100% blank, and if a bill doesn’t get paid, Mr. Rhodes deals with the consequences.

 

So, that’s the other thing I have to do is, you know, I am a micro-manager.

 

I used to be a project manager, is to learn to let go.

 

So on Tuesday when it’s Hichem’s day, is everything done the way I would do it?

 

No. Hichem will make a dinner and it will be like, pasta crisps and bread with baked beans. I’ll be like, food groups, but it doesn’t matter.

 

My son’s fed, he’s happy, Hichem’s doing what he wants to do.

 

Then on my days do I do things the way Hichem would do them?

 

No. So you got to learn to let go a bit.

 

Also let the other person drop the ball.

 

Like if someone forgets the dentist appointment, then that’s their tough tit to reorganise it. Do you know what I mean?

 

Hichem: Yeah, you can’t be too robotic about the whole thing.

 

Hichem: Yeah, you come to the arrangement where you can sort of say well, you generally to look after this, this, and this.

 

[00:26:30]

Kate:

 

And I’ll look after this and I won’t remind you.

 

That’s the other thing, it’s up to you.

 

The other thing I do Emily is for my, more for my peace of mind, because Hichem is not an idiot, I sometimes just make little lists and say that here’s a list of things I would do if it was … Sometimes it drives you around the twists, but sometimes I think it’s helpful. I don’t know.

 

Hichem: Yeah, lists sometimes can be off putting.

 

Sometimes I really need your lists. Depending on what’s happening.

 

Kate: Like if I’m going away or something.

 

Hichem:

[00:27:00]

If you’re going away and yeah, you need specific things done while you’re gone, then it’s good to have a list.

 

Kate: Like feed the dog. Don’t let the dog die. That’s mainly the general thing because you’re mean to my dog.

 

Hichem: Yeah, yeah, let him starve.

 

Kate: You’re horrid. Anyway, the next one is from Lutfye Taseen I can never say your name.

 

Hichem: Lutfye Taseen

 

Kate: Ooh. You said it with a real Arabic accent. Say it again.

 

Hichem: Lutfye Taseen looks like an Arabic name.
[00:27:30]

Kate:

 

Anyway she says she’s lucky that her husband is a sport. He’s in IT department, and you’re IT department, and he supports her financially with his job.

 

She has also covered for him when he was unwell, so it’s a fair partnership.

 

Dealing with being poorly is really hard, isn’t it, when one of us is ill. It’s a lot of load on the other.

 

Hichem:

 

[00:28:00]

Yeah, that can be suddenly, because in your mind is okay today is my work day, but then suddenly no work day, it’s a day of looking after, picking up, and dropping off your child I suppose.

 

Yeah, you have to accept them as they come along.

 

Kate: You do and you know you have a kid and things and that’s what happens. It’s sometimes, I think, you need to leave enough space to allow for that to happen.

 

Like if you work every day up to the enth degree and you’re working 14 hours a day, then obviously if you take a sick day, it’s a catastrophe.

 

So, you have to accept that you can only do so much.

 

Hichem:

 

[00:28:30]

I’ve been going off a little bit of a tangent now that we’re dealing with sickness is quite hard, but also since to some extent it is quite good to know that occasionally you will have an off day and, therefore, just allow for that.

 

Also, I equate sickness with sometimes you just have to turn the mobile off for the whole day and that really you got to tell yourself, today is the day where I turn the mobile off.

 

No one can get hold of me, tough luck.

 

People will still be …

 

Kate: People are not gonna die.

 

Hichem: They’re not gonna die. It’s only a 24 hour thing, so you can let go of the ball for 24 hours and pick it ups the next day.

 

Kate:

[00:29:00]

Have a mental health day because we’re both quite driven and we both work really quite hard and sometimes we have to …

 

Like you’ll come in and you’ll go I feel rubbish today and I really and it’s almost like the other person gives you permission to go, well let’s just take the afternoon off and go the cinema because you’ll feel so much better tomorrow.

 

Hichem: Yeah.

 

Kate: Yeah.

 

Hichem: Occasionally it’s good to drop out just for … It’s your own business, so as long as you don’t drop out for a whole week just fine, it’s just like 24 hours work won’t kill anyone.

 

Kate: Exactly.

 

Hichem: That is really the benefit of having your own business.

 

Kate: It’s supposed to be.

 

Hichem: Ultimately.

 

[00:29:30]

Kate:

 

I think a lot time we forget that the whole reason we did this was so we could have freedom, but we actually often work harder than when you had a real job.

 

Hichem: If you had a real job you know if you have to take 24 hours off, you have to give an explanation.

 

Kate: You do, but also someone else covers your bum, or they just, anyway …

 

The next question is from Brooke Crawford who is a huge fan of The Bill.

 

Hichem: Oh really?

 

Kate: She wants to know who you were on set with and were you nicked?

 

Hichem: Oh god it was ages ago. I was like …

 

Kate: You were a car thief, weren’t you?

 

Hichem:

[00:30:00]

Oh yeah, I was a car thief and I got chased down the streets, yeah.

Just sort of, a couple of guys who got me …

 

Kate: Awesome. Was that in the script, so you had lines.

 

Hichem: Had lines, yeah.

 

Kate: Were they, bad swear words. Don’t say them because we’re on iTunes.

 

Hichem: Yeah, they were …

 

Kate: They were like F or S.

 

Hichem: We’re crude and rude

 

Kate: You terrible policemen. Get away from me pigs.

 

Hichem: Get your mittens off me you …

 

Kate: Filthy.

 

Hichem: Nah, I think it was 15 years ago.

 

Kate: You were like 42.

 

Hichem: I was like two.

 

Kate: Yeah, whatever.

 

Hichem: Yeah, it was fun but I couldn’t tell you which episode it was. It was quite early on.

 

Kate: There were a lot of episodes, but anyway that was his moment of fame.

 

Hichem: Early, early 2000s.

 

[00:30:30]

Kate:

 

You were in a few films and things as well weren’t you?

 

Hichem: Yeah, a few bits and pieces.

 

Kate: Now, he just acts the part of …

 

Hichem: I just act a fool.

 

Kate: Act a fool of the loving husband.

 

That was a terrible fake laugh.

 

So a question from Sharon which I think is interesting. It’s all about me. What do you think the biggest factor is in my success?

 

Hichem: In my success?

 

Kate: No, in mine?

 

Hichem: In my success? You’re mine.

 

Kate: Me, why am I successful?

 

[00:31:00]

Hichem:

 

Why are your successful?

 

Kate: God, you’re frustrating.

 

Hichem: Am I asking …

 

Kate: Sharon’s …

 

Hichem: Biggest factor in your success is your bubblyness, your ability to sort of ride the wave, and just pushing, pushing, pushing.

 

That’s kind of really having faith it will succeed sort of thing.

 

Kate:

[00:31:30]

Thank you.

 

I think that’s a compliment. Yeah, thank you very much.

 

What’s the biggest factor in your success?

 

I don’t know. You’re really good on the phone. People really like you and they talk to you. I don’t, but other people do, and you’re very affable, aren’t you?

 

Hichem: Affable? What’s that?

 

Kate:

 

 

 

[00:32:00]

Oh come on.

 

Likeable.

 

I should say that Carly Findlay, Jody Daniel, and Yael Keon also mentioned they have supportive partners, but a few people don’t have supportive partners, we’re being very lala positive now, but some people’s partners, I’ve known people who are like, if your business doesn’t turn a profit in this time, then give it up.

 

Then, obviously if the husband controls or the wife controls the purse strings then you’re very much, you know what I mean, to them.

 

Any advice if you had a partner that wasn’t supporting what you did?

 

Apart from just leaving them which is always a non-option sometimes.

 

Hichem:

[00:32:30]

It’s obviously a crack in the relationship that you can’t have someone sort of not supporting your dreams because that’s the whole point of being with someone, I think, to try and push them to their …

 

Kate: Their best.

 

Hichem: Their best, yeah, because if you’re gonna try to clip their wings and that’s already a bad sign of a …

 

Kate:

 

 

 

[00:33:00]

 

 

 

 

 

[00:33:30]

I think it must be hard though. I think … I do remember when I had a full-time job and you were running your own business, I did resent the fact that I had to go into work these hours a day and I had to support you.

 

I did resent it and I did sometimes come home and go well look, you’ve been home all day why haven’t you cleaned the house, or why haven’t you done, because I’ve been … It is hard.

 

I think the only time that I really started to get it was when I did it myself.

 

So the only thing I can advise to people who have a partner who has a real job is to really get them to understand what you do each day.

 

Like, even track your time and show them what you’re doing so that you are trying.

 

Also, I’d say it’s not unrealistic for one partner who’s helping the other out financially to say, what is the time lien on this?

 

What is your definition of success?

How long are you gonna do this?

You know what I mean?

 

Hichem: Yeah.

 

Kate: Because we’ve had some friends who were like one of them just like, I want to setup this company …
Hichem: Give yourself like five years to get some sort of …

 

Kate: Yeah, maybe like five weeks, five days … I think it has to have a time period and then you have to say well, now it’s your turn.

 

You can give up your job and go and do your thing.

It has to be, not tit for tat, that’s the wrong thing. Has to be fair.

 

Hichem:

[00:34:00]

Yeah, but I think partners to support the other when it comes to trying to push something new …
It’s not like your living … It’s not like it’s 20th century, it’s 21st century, and you have to, the roles have kind of blurred now and think you …

 

Kate: Yeah, I don’t think it’s just men? Anyway that sounds misogynist. No, not misogynist, what’s the other opposite of misogynist?

 

Maleologist.

 

Gynaecologist?

 

Kate: Well, that’s it. Thanks for being on the show.

 

[00:34:30]

Hichem:

 

Is it a show?

 

Kate: That’s it. So, as an example of the equality in our relationship, Hichem is now off to pick up our son.

 

Hichem: We have a son?

 

Kate: What time is it?

 

Hichem: Oh gosh.

 

Kate: It’s also your turn to make dinner.

 

Hichem: Oh, okay.

 

Kate: So, what are we having? Bread with pasta?

 

Hichem: Bread, pasta sandwiches.

 

Kate: Excellent. I look forward to it.

 

Hichem: With gherkins.

 

Kate:

 

[00:35:00]

 

 

 

 

 

[00:35:30]

Lovely, thank you darling, and thanks to you for listening to the Confessions of the Misfit Entrepreneur Podcast.

 

If you enjoyed the episode, please head to the blog post for the show and show a blurt of appreciation.

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Find them where you find good podcasts.

 

So, that’s it for this week Misfits. Keep on keeping on. You’ve got this.