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Balancing an Entrepreneurial Mission and Growing a Family

Small Biz Buzz hosts Crystal Heuft and Derek Harju are joined by Odeen Domingo, founder and owner of CO+HOOTS Coworking in Phoenix, Arizona, who discusses his experience being an entrepreneur, a husband and a father and how he balances it all.

“You're a team. A family is just not a family. You have to work together,” said Domingo. “For me, I feel like you have to have the introspective of what you want in your life. We go through stages where your business is everything. Then you have a family and then your family is everything but then you'd still have a business.”

Domingo believes if you're trying to be a family person, that's all you can do. If you're just trying, that's perfect. As a business owner, or someone who wants to be a business owner or entrepreneur or a startup founder, you learn that your time is valuable and that time blocks are critical.

“Any time that you can give to your family, even though your business is taking over your life, that's perfect. It's fine. As long as your child knows that you love them, that's all they really need,” Domingo expressed. “As long as you're trying, as long as you're being intentional about it and everything else, it's perfect.” Tune in for more.


Derek Harju (00:00):

Howdy listeners, as we all know, planet earth has 7.5 billion people and 7.4 billion of those people have small businesses. Now to be fair, numbers that size can be hard to envision and to be even fairer, most of what I just said is entirely made up, but I'll tell you what isn't made up, Keap. Keap is the all in one client management software designed specifically for small businesses. Keap takes the most annoying and laborious parts of running a small business and metaphorically tosses them into the sun. Stop grinding yourself to death with busy work and repetitive tasks. Let Keap integrate your customer followups, messaging automation, next level appointment setting and so much more. Head over to keap.com and start your free trial of Keap Grow, Keap Pro or for those looking for something beefier, talk to one of our coaches about Infusionsoft, the product that started it all. More business. Less work. That's Keap. Just go to keap.com to start your free trial. That's K-E-A-P.com. One more time. That's K-E-A-P.com.

Odeen Domingo (00:58):

Like this?

Crystal Hueft (01:08):

It is. When someone tells you, you're like, "Ah, it's uncasual now."

Odeen Domingo (01:12):

Yeah. Am I doing it right?

Crystal Hueft (01:15):

Yeah, you should be good. Perfect. Also, we're already recording.

Odeen Domingo (01:19):

Perfect. And also, I don't know. Whatever. I might shift.

Crystal Hueft (01:23):

You'll be okay.

Odeen Domingo (01:24):

Yeah, he's doing a TikTok.

Derek Harju (01:28):

Right on. So howdy everybody. This week it's Derek is filling in for Scott who is currently doing other things elsewhere right now and that's his-

Crystal Hueft (01:40):

Hopefully cool things that he can come back from.

Derek Harju (01:42):


Crystal Hueft (01:42):

I just thought of that.

Derek Harju (01:46):

Do we want to get into that? So if you're listening to this and the world hasn't ended, cool because things are weird right now. Let's just be real about it. Things are a little weird.

Crystal Hueft (01:58):

We're recording like there's a future.

Derek Harju (02:00):


Crystal Hueft (02:01):

However, it may not be one where you can travel anywhere.

Derek Harju (02:03):

Yeah. We might still be fine, but you also might have to cancel some vacation plans.

Crystal Hueft (02:10):

So Scott if you've made it back to the home office, we're glad you made it back, buddy.

Derek Harju (02:13):

Good luck to all of the folks from Keap who are currently on spring break vacations with their families to places that are not America, and that's as deep as I feel like I want to get into it today. So I'm Derek Harju. Our guest as usual is.

Crystal Hueft (02:29):

Crystal Hueft.

Derek Harju (02:31):

And this is Small Biz Buzz and this week we are talking with Odeen Domingo. Do you want to introduce yourself Odeen?

Odeen Domingo (02:37):

Yeah, sure. You already said my name. Thank you so much. I'm Odeen, my wife and I started and run CO+HOOTS Coworking in Phoenix, Arizona, first coworking space in Phoenix we founded in 2010. We do all kinds of things. Not only are we coworking space, we're definitely more that. We do a lot of educational programming, really focused on what we call untapped communities or emerging communities that don't necessarily may have the access or the opportunity for contacts and we help them in their entrepreneurial journey so we try to help them navigate through that.

Derek Harju (03:16):

You guys have a slogan that's up in your break room. Do you remember it offhand?

Odeen Domingo (03:20):

Yes. So we are definitely a purpose driven workspace. What's graphically designed on one of our walls in the break room us says entrepreneurs, and you don't have to be an entrepreneur, but that's what it says. Entrepreneurs no matter your gender, socioeconomic status, your sexual orientation.

Derek Harju (03:37):

Age, economic background. Yeah. The idea being that your existence and the circumstances under which you exist in this world should have very little bearing on whether or not you can be a successful entrepreneur.

Odeen Domingo (03:50):


Crystal Hueft (03:51):

The idea is come as you are.

Odeen Domingo (03:52):

Correct. No matter who you are, no matter where you come from, that CO+HOOTS is a safe place to launch failing scale. And when I say no matter who you are and where you come from, oh man, I don't know if I could say it. I was going to say, unless you're a Nazi, if you're a Nazi you are not welcome. But everyone else. Perfect. 100%.

Derek Harju (04:11):

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this podcast is-

Crystal Hueft (04:15):

Nazi free.

Odeen Domingo (04:16):


Derek Harju (04:17):

Yeah. Not a fan. Let's go out on a limb.

Crystal Hueft (04:22):

I would go out on a limb and say against Nazi behavior.

Derek Harju (04:25):

Yeah, I feel like we're at that place in 2020 when we can all agree that Nazis are bad.

Crystal Hueft (04:29):


Odeen Domingo (04:30):

I wasn't sure if this was a family friendly podcast. I could say things like that.

Derek Harju (04:35):

We try to keep a clean tag, so please no swearing, but other than that, yeah.

Crystal Hueft (04:38):

But I've also sworn.

Crystal Hueft (04:42):

You're going to survive no matter what happens at the end of this.

Derek Harju (04:44):

You get one. Everyone gets one.

Crystal Hueft (04:47):

You're basically going to make it at the end of this podcast, regardless of what you say.

Derek Harju (04:51):


Crystal Hueft (04:51):

We only ask cool people.

Derek Harju (04:54):

Yeah. We've had a lot of cool people so far.

Crystal Hueft (04:57):

We have.

Odeen Domingo (04:57):

Oh, I'm sorry you broke that streak.

Derek Harju (04:59):


Odeen Domingo (05:00):

Oh well, I'm here. You're welcome.

Derek Harju (05:02):

Part of the reason, aside from the fact that I personally love CO+HOOTS although I'm biased, part of the reason that we have you here today has to do with your adorable child.

Odeen Domingo (05:13):

Oh, yeah. My God, I was going to say nepotism, but yes, it still relates to my adorable child.

Derek Harju (05:21):

For those who are, why would you know this? Odeen and I are effectively cousins. If you look up my head shot and Odeen's head shot, you're going to have questions, but we're effectively cousins and Odeen is also an amazing dad to an amazing daughter who is so amazing that she's actually part, I'll just say it out loud, is part of the reason that I have a daughter.

Crystal Hueft (05:44):

Well I was just going to ask is she as cute as your daughter because if she is then those are two cuties.

Derek Harju (05:49):


Crystal Hueft (05:49):

His daughter is really cute too. I've seen her on Instagram and she's adorable.

Odeen Domingo (05:51):

She's amazing, oh my gosh.

Crystal Hueft (05:53):

She looks like she has such a personality.

Odeen Domingo (05:54):

She's a fireball.

Crystal Hueft (05:55):

Yeah. She looks adorable.

Odeen Domingo (05:56):

I love her so much.

Derek Harju (05:58):

Your kid was the first child that I was ever like, "Oh, babies are cool." That was the first time that has ever occurred to me.

Crystal Hueft (06:06):

That's a lot of pressure on her shoulders to be that cool.

Odeen Domingo (06:10):

She just rolls with it. The only thing she carries is her bag and swagger so that's it.

Crystal Hueft (06:15):

That's awesome. That's all she should carry.

Derek Harju (06:18):

The reason we asked you here is you have a massive day-to-day workload and yet you are also a full-time father. And we want to talk to you about how you balance entrepreneurship and running a business with being a parent and some of your insights on that. I'd love for you to talk a little about how when you guys were first talking about having kids or when it was obvious you were going to have a kid, what were some of the discussions you guys had about, okay, what happens to the business now? What happens to our plans now? That sort of thing.

Odeen Domingo (06:51):

Yeah, for sure. I do want to go back, this is a little personal but we do want to talk about this because it's something that not a lot of people talk about, right? So even before we had our daughter Ada, we really struggled to have children. I've always wanted to be a father growing up. I just come from a big family. We're very loving and supporting and Jenny, my wife really teases us about that. She's like, "What is wrong with your family? You like being around each other and why are you hugging each other all the time? Strange."

Derek Harju (07:20):

Yeah. We roasted you two weeks ago, Jenny and I roasted you over how not messed up your family is.

Odeen Domingo (07:29):

It's a burden that I'll carry for the rest of my life.

Derek Harju (07:33):

What do you mean you guys like each other. Why when you hang out are you all smiling and having a good time?

Odeen Domingo (07:39):

Exactly. Like what is this? Yeah. So before we had Ada, we did have a miscarriage about a year before having Ada, which it's just devastating. It's devastating. And just the dynamic of not only your family, but because Jenny and I are in business together and with each other and the things that we do with CO+HOOTS and a couple other things that we do whether it's on the side or along with CO+HOOTS, it just rocks everything.

Crystal Hueft (08:12):

For sure.

Odeen Domingo (08:12):

And so I just wanted to talk about that because it does happen. Not every family is perfect. Not everything that happens is perfect so that's just part of the story of when we did have Ada, what we wanted to get out of this life and out of this family and the businesses are obviously important. That's how we feed ourselves, that's how we feed our daughter, that's how we make a living, that's how we are able to do the things that we want to do, which is not only the extracurricular things that we do as a family and as people and in life, but the impact that we want to make in the community. We only have one. So what can we do with that life? What can we do with this family, with this daughter? What are the things we are teaching her with the things that we do in our business and that we are able to, yeah, sure. Maybe she isn't reading at the level that she is but we're not worried about that stuff.

Odeen Domingo (09:18):

We're worried about whether or not she is growing up to be an actual caring, empathetic human being. So those are the kind of conversations that we talk about. Because it was so hard, it was so hard for us to even have her. And then even when we were pregnant, when Jenny was pregnant, those nine months, because Jenny's placenta was in front, we didn't even really get to feel Ada move around. And that was, oh my God, that was so hard to do that because we are always worried. Every single day was hard for us. We had to get a heartbeat monitor just to make sure that she's okay because we desperately wanted this child to be with us and to grow up and to be raised.

Odeen Domingo (10:10):

So when we talk about the conversations that we're having with, okay, what is this life dynamic going to be like? One, it's whatever we're going to do, we're going to do it in the way that it's going to make impact. Whether it's going to be us with our daughters as well as our businesses. And we knew that we are so into our business as business owners. And not only taking care of her own business, but because CO+HOOTS is a coworking space and because of the programming we have, and because the purpose that we want to I guess deliver and everything else, we're also kind of responsible for other people as well because we have all of this programming, we have all of these communities that we see that we also not necessarily that they need help or anything like that, but we're there for them.

Odeen Domingo (11:12):

And so when we talk about all those things, which is a lot, and there's a lot to pull together, but when we look at how we're so into our business but also having a family that we talk about just integrating that and how are we going to integrate that life? And so Ada goes to school, yes but when she's out of school, she spends time at CO+HOOTS. She literally grew up in CO+HOOTS. Her first four months she stayed at home, but after that she was there almost every single day. She would take naps, people would care for her. When she, when she was very little, we were very scared of clipping her nails.

Crystal Hueft (11:59):

That is terrifying.

Odeen Domingo (12:01):

I know. I was like, I don't want to hurt her. She's so little. But we had members/friends who was like, "Oh, I've done that. I got it. I'm a boss at it." And so we just would have members like, "Amy, she needs her nails clipped." And clipped nails. So just integrating her into that and integrating her into community and just teaching her those lessons of surrounding yourself with like-minded people and surrounding yourself within a community where we're all living our own lives, we all have our own projects, we all have our own companies but that doesn't mean we can't help each other. And so that back and forth and having her grow up in an environment like that was important to us because that's obviously one of the things when we look at what we want to do with our lives, that's what we want to do is to make sure people find the community, make sure that when they're within that community that they're affecting each other's lives and impacting each other's lives obviously in a, in a positive way.

Crystal Hueft (13:04):

I just want to say I'm sorry for your loss, but also I want to celebrate the point of view you took from that loss. I just recently had friends that had a miscarriage and it's not easy. You see good people that want something that other people don't even want and sometimes get. And it's crazy. It's not easy to go through, but I think it's really cool to hear how you've actually used that to look at your family and make sure that that's what comes first. So just wanted to address that because I think that's really cool.

Odeen Domingo (13:36):

Thank you. Yeah, she's our little miracle baby.

Crystal Hueft (13:39):

That's awesome.

Odeen Domingo (13:40):

I'm sure Derek has witnessed me like, Oh my God. Anytime I could be with her, anytime she's around me, I won't let her go. And it's like, she wants to get out but she can't so too bad.

Derek Harju (13:54):

That actually leads really well into, so you work in an entrepreneurial space, you work in a sector where your day isn't 9:00 to 5:00. You can set your schedule, but your schedule is based on other things that are outside of your control. And so with that sort of hectic schedule, how do you balance your time being a father and being in charge of not only being an entrepreneur yourself, but all these other people's entrepreneurial missions? When it's five o'clock and the plumbing goes out or something at the coworking space but Ada has soccer practice, what happens then?

Odeen Domingo (14:38):

Yeah. And that was also part of your first question. So I apologize for going 10 minutes without even addressing that. But thank you for reigning me in.

Crystal Hueft (14:48):

He's got that.

Odeen Domingo (14:48):

Yeah. I live and die by my calendar and that wasn't always the case. That's something I had to learn as we come up with our business and all the things that we want to do, but now I literally live and die by my calendar. If it's not on my calendar, it's not happening. So we use a task management system called Asana Ding and hopefully that's a thing where Asana sends me some money because I mentioned it all the time. You're welcome Asana. And if that task isn't there, then it's likely not going to get done. And as Derek has said, there's so many things that are firing off at once, right? Maybe there's something wrong with the space.

Odeen Domingo (15:39):

God forbid the internet goes down or again, a plumbing issue or whatever or the 4:00 or 5:00 back to back to back meetings and then I got to pick up Ada and then yes, if she has soccer practice or gymnastics, which is tonight, you just do what you can do and I've had to live with that. You have to live with that because otherwise you're going to go crazy. Otherwise the only thing you're going to do is work and not take care of the other things. I was actually having this conversation with Jenny the other day where it's like, okay, it's hard for me to do everything and do everything I want to do for work and do everything I want to do for her and do everything with Ada. I wake up at 6:00, I'm the one who prepares Ada's breakfast, I am the one who makes sure she changes. If you guys don't know my wife, my wife is a powerhouse. She's a super woman. She does a lot of things for a lot of people.

Crystal Hueft (16:41):

And the community.

Odeen Domingo (16:47):

And the community and everything else. For me it's like I can do all that stuff I do for work, but also I need to do all this stuff for my family and let just Jenny at least get some semblance of rest. So she wakes up at five minutes before we leave the house and then I just got to do everything I need to do, and at 5:00 PM I pick up Ada, we go home whether or she goes to gymnastics or whatever extracurricular activities she has. I cook dinner and make sure everyone eats and then after dinner it's 10 minutes of play time or 10 minutes of reading, and then we're like, in bed and I go to bed at 9:30.

Derek Harju (17:19):

This all sounds very familiar.

Odeen Domingo (17:22):

Yeah, I'm sure it does.

Derek Harju (17:25):

You learn as a dad that the difference between, especially if you're a dad who takes on some non-gender stereotypical roles, which I think we both do in a lot of ways because both of our wives are, you know.

Crystal Hueft (17:38):

And to be frank, all men and women should take on non-gender roles.

Derek Harju (17:42):


Crystal Hueft (17:43):

Because there's a lot you learn by stepping outside of what people think you should be doing. So I think it's great you both do that. But more of you men out there you should be doing the same thing.

Derek Harju (17:51):

By the way I want to be clear, happily.

Crystal Hueft (17:53):


Odeen Domingo (17:54):

Oh my God, I love doing all that. I love it.

Crystal Hueft (17:56):

I hear you talk about your family right now, it's definitely happily, I'm just saying it's good to do that I think.

Derek Harju (18:02):


Crystal Hueft (18:02):

It's good for me to get out and pull the weeds every once in a while, you know? Do people expect me to do it? No. But I think it's good to step outside of the gender roles because we're all kick ass and we can all do a bunch of things we didn't think we could.

Derek Harju (18:14):


Crystal Hueft (18:14):

Although the weeds sometimes win, I'm not going to lie.

Derek Harju (18:18):

At least I gave up and hired some.

Crystal Hueft (18:19):

I do too.

Derek Harju (18:20):

Lets be clear, reaffirming what we just talked about Dulce called a gardener and was like, neither of us are dealing with these weeds, so I'm going to pay someone and get it done.

Crystal Hueft (18:32):

Yeah. I pay someone to get it done most of the time now too.

Odeen Domingo (18:34):

Yeah. And then going back of just what does that day to day look like? There's so much things to do. There's so many tasks at hand. There's so many you know, programs that we want to do. There's so many educational resources that we provide. I get tons and tons of emails a day, and so just trying to get to as much as I can get to that are at each level, at the ground level of all the little things that needed to be taken care of right, from that to the middle level of, the sales process. Because I also do things for our, we don't have a sales team and I don't feel like calling it a sales team because we don't sell our space.

Odeen Domingo (19:23):

People either select in or they select out. We are who we are and that's how we're able to cultivate our community that way and then up to the strategy. As long as I'm hitting each and every level and things are still going and now we have actually a pretty awesome team for CO+HOOTS enabled to delegate that, delegate some things and make sure the training it has been done and making sure that they're okay and then obviously they have questions. And so as long as I'm hitting each and every level while still being a good husband, which I don't know if I'm really good at that, you might want to ask Jenny, I'm still being a good father. Just try to get to all the things you get to some deadlines are obviously more critical than others so setting priorities.

Crystal Hueft (20:17):

That's what I was just going to say. How do you, because I think a lot of entrepreneurs that I've spoke to probably a lot that you've spoke to have a lot of what you're talking about right now. It's so much to get done and then you also have a family. So how do you establish more priority? How do you bucket those things out to make sure you're keeping the bare necessities for yourself met? So what things do you look for to determine what things are a priority?

Odeen Domingo (20:45):

Yeah. So before we started CO+HOOTS, Jenny and I were in the journalism industry. So deadlines, right? Deadlines were everything to us. For me, I was a little bit more of a procrastinator because I was a writer or a journalist then we gather the information in a day. The newspaper needs to print at 7:00 PM so our deadlines at 5:00 PM. So we write three articles a day off of this one event. And so we're very good at the last three hours just doing the best we can but obviously we're just busting content out and just doing our work. And so when we think about, okay, what are their priorities? It's deadlines. That's why we have Asana Ding. That's why we have those management systems and everything else.

Odeen Domingo (21:36):

When we look at that, as you guys probably do at Keap as well, obviously those team stand ups and everything else and where we update each other and we set each other's priorities. Maybe my top three things aren't actually the top three things that need to be done that day. And so as a team when we stand up, we talk about that. Obviously we don't have all the time in the world, but we stay on top of things. If something needs to change there, then we can change it. If we need a pivot in a certain area then we'll do that. And so looking at the deadlines, looking at what's coming up, looking at what we need to get out. That's just how we set just our priority level.

Crystal Hueft (22:21):

So like Derek was saying, sometimes we'll say the internet goes out versus the plumbing because hopefully it's not plumbing. But yeah, the internet can level a building these days. If the internet went out here, we'd all go home. What's the point of being here?

Derek Harju (22:33):

Yeah, just shut the lights.

Crystal Hueft (22:35):

If the internet were to go out and it's not just a simple reset, how would you determine, if you looked at that kind of problem that pops up because problems are popping up all day every day for entrepreneurs, and everyone thinks they're their problem or their issue is the most important. So if something pops up that's not on your task list, it's not on the calendar, how do you assess? Does this take priority over what I already have on my plate? What's the thoughts that go through your mind to determine? I'm sure it all happened very quickly for you, but what are those things and how do you evaluate that?

Odeen Domingo (23:10):

Yeah, for sure. When you look at just the basic lower, the basic needs that people have like internet, plumbing. If we don't take care of that, especially as a building, as a coworking space, we either just don't take care of those needs. They don't care if you connected them to this big project that they might get $10,000 a month on. If they're in, it goes down, they're not able to respond to that project.

Crystal Hueft (23:36):


Odeen Domingo (23:37):

So any of those basic needs if they are crumbling or something goes wrong, we just take care of them right away. It's just all hands on deck and all those things have happened like CenturyLink, their node goes down. Sure it's not our fault but we're responsible for the people who are using our amenities, that are using the things that we are providing them. And so we have a process for that, who we go to the message that we put out to our community and then the numbers that we have to call and the steps that we have to take. It's sad when you have a process that means that you've had to deal with that before. But at least when you have that, that those are just the steps that you take to it.

Odeen Domingo (24:29):

If sending those priorities just looking at just the basic needs and if those go down and like it's all hands on deck. We have a shower at CO+HOOTS and one day our member, for some reason the water started to back up from the drain and it flooded one of our hallways, one in the kitchen and everything else. It was like, "Oh, well I can't send this email to a prospective office lead because we're about to go swimming." So it's like throw the papers all over my shoulder and go in and do what I need to do.

Crystal Hueft (25:06):

It seems to me like, looking at both when you speak about your family and about CO+HOOTS, it seems to me like how you really are able to stay grounded to both of these is I think you have a mission and purpose to each of these things. You have a mission and purpose to what you want your family to be, you have a mission and purpose of who you're serving and what you want CO+HOOTS to be. So I think when you keep going back, I can see you working through it in your head and it's almost like you're asking yourself, "Is this going to affect our main purpose as a family? Is this going to affect our main purpose as a business owner?" And I think that's what aligns Clate speaks about mission, values, purpose, all the time around here as well.

Crystal Hueft (25:47):

And I think if you're really aligned to what the purpose is of your life, your goal here at work, your goal as a family, they actually seem very aligned. So you've created a business that's around the way you feel about your life. So I think if you can do that as a business owner, you can cut through some of the BS and you can actually keep what's important at the forefront. So I don't know if I'm right about what I'm saying, but it seems like when you are thinking about these things that take priority or family or at CO+HOOTS, you stand firm in who you are and what you're trying to accomplish in both places and you can quickly assess that and move forward because you know who you are.

Odeen Domingo (26:28):

Yeah, no, that is definitely on point. I just again had this conversation with Jenny where we're so into the business, we're so into all the little things that happen. And so there are some times, we're human, have feelings and everything else and we get fired up on some things and then sometimes when Jenny gets fired up with certain things, I have to talk to her and be like, "This isn't hurting what we do as a business really, this isn't hurting our family situation and sometimes this isn't hurting our bottom line." So really if we look at that you get perspective. We could just let that go. Just let it go. We don't have the time. We don't have the head space. We don't have the emotional capacity to hold on to those things with all the things that we're trying to do as a company, all the things we're trying to do as an organization and as a family.

Odeen Domingo (27:26):

If it's not hurting our, again, going back to just our basic needs as human beings and people what we want to do with our lives. All those things it's just noise. It's just noise. You just shut that out. We only have, again, I go back to just having one life. The blocks that we put in front of our face don't exist. They only exists when we put it there. And so when we clear that out and we just think of what we want to do as a human being and impact the five foot radius around us and whoever else is in there, at least that's how I try to think of things and I had to learn that. But as I think about how I want to live my life, that's kind of just how I go through my priorities.

Crystal Hueft (28:14):

That's awesome advice.

Derek Harju (28:16):

Very cool. So I think it's about time for a break. Do you want to kick us off into the next segment, Crystal?

Crystal Hueft (28:20):

Yeah. While Derek runs to the other mic to go record with Dusey the Worst Business Ideas in History. Hang tight guys. We'll be back right after you do that, right Derek?

Derek Harju (28:31):


Crystal Hueft (28:31):

Get running.

Derek Harju (28:37):

Howdy folks. I'm Derek Harju.

Dusey Van Dusen (28:38):

And I'm Dusey Van Dusen.

Derek Harju (28:40):

And this is Worst Business Ideas in History.

Dusey Van Dusen (28:42):

The show where we look back at some of the most brutal missteps, failures and flops in consumer history.

Derek Harju (28:47):

And make fun of it.

Dusey Van Dusen (28:48):

But also learn something.

Derek Harju (28:49):

Nope. It says in my contract, I don't have to learn.

Dusey Van Dusen (28:52):

Fine. The rest of us will learn something and you can just mock people's misfortune.

Derek Harju (28:56):

Sounds good.

Dusey Van Dusen (28:58):

Welcome to the Worst Business Ideas in History.

Derek Harju (29:03):

Hey everybody, this is Derek Harju.

Dusey Van Dusen (29:05):

And Dusey Van Dusen.

Derek Harju (29:06):

And today we're going to be talking about Kellogg's Breakfast Mates.

Dusey Van Dusen (29:10):

All right. A breakfast mate, is that somebody that you eat breakfast with?

Derek Harju (29:17):

That would be be fun. I'm a big fan of breakfast in general, especially on the weekends. I love a Sunday breakfast. I love going to breakfast with my friends, making it last. I'm usually a person who's like, "Come on, we got to go get stuff done." But when it comes to breakfast, I'm like, "Let's hang out. Let's have a leisurely Parisian cafe experience."

Dusey Van Dusen (29:39):

Yeah, exactly. Feels sophisticated.

Derek Harju (29:42):


Derek Harju (29:43):

Let's make these waffles last until noon.

Dusey Van Dusen (29:46):

There you go.

Derek Harju (29:47):

The Kellogg's Breakfast Mates, I'm a big fan of cereal. Most of us at Keap our inundated with cereal, whether we're fans or not, there's a lot of cereal.

Dusey Van Dusen (29:58):

Oh, yeah.

Derek Harju (30:00):

Kellogg's Breakfast Mates was an attempt to merchandise an existing product. So most of you remember as kids, you would get those multi-packs of cereal and they would come with Frosted Flakes and Fruit Loops.

Dusey Van Dusen (30:16):

Yeah. All the tiny little boxes. The little mini boxes.

Derek Harju (30:20):

Yeah, absolutely. And they were rad right up until you got down to the plain Rice Krispies and Wheaties and then you will make your parents buy you another multipack and eventually you had a cupboard that was just filled with tiny boxes of Wheaties because no one would eat them.

Dusey Van Dusen (30:41):

Are these still even a thing? I'm trying to think. The last time I've seen these, they're probably at the grocery store and I just walked right by them.

Derek Harju (30:46):

Yeah, they are. I'm 90% sure that I saw a multipack in the store. I'm like, "Good, good, good, good, gross. Why do you put that in there?" There's always one in there.

Dusey Van Dusen (30:59):

I do remember when, I think it must have been when I was a kid that they first came out with these because we got them a few times. We would do it for trips and stuff but it just seemed fun to have these little mini boxes of exactly the one you wanted, like you said then there's the leftover ones that nobody wants.

Derek Harju (31:16):

Yeah. That's not a terrible idea. Little boxes of cereal. People like little versions of things. They're adorable and they're useful and they're single use. So especially if you have kids, you're just like, "Here's a box of cereal. That is the amount of cereal you're going to get. I'm currently busy with other things this morning."

Dusey Van Dusen (31:36):

And you now have a card, tiny cardboard box that you can play with when you're done eating.

Derek Harju (31:40):

Sure. Yeah. Carry this box of Cocoa Krispies around the house. We will definitely get ants but I'll get 10 minutes of peace.

Dusey Van Dusen (31:50):

Worth it.

Derek Harju (31:52):

So the Kellogg Breakfast Mate's not super far away from this idea. They just took it a step further. So what you've got is a little hobby kit like Lunchables. You remember Lunchables?

Dusey Van Dusen (32:03):

Yeah, those are definitely still a thing. My kids always want those when there's going on a trip or something. Yeah.

Derek Harju (32:09):

Yeah. I remember begging my parents for Lunchables. They bought them for me exactly once and then never again. Maxima, can you come out of there? For those of you, I'm not yelling at my toddler but I'm projecting to my toddler because she's across the room and she's about to unplug the router. Maxima, could you not unplug the thing that makes this podcast possible? Come here. Maxima, can you come inside here? Can you come inside? Can you come inside? Can you come over here, please? Okay. She's moved away from the router at least. So moving right back in like nothing happened. So the Breakfast Mates what they are, is there a single serving of cereal in its own little plastic bowl. And then right next to it is a little single serving of milk, basically shelf stable milk, which is a thing that is more prominent in other countries than it is in America.

Dusey Van Dusen (33:08):

Yeah, I spent some time in Spain and you'd buy boxes of milk and they would just be sitting on the shelf, not refrigerated.

Derek Harju (33:14):

Yeah, totally. I've been to Japan and stuff. It's a super ubiquitous thing in other parts of the world. They're like, "Why do you bother refrigerating milk? You can just put it through this secondary pasteurizing or whatever process and just stick it on the shelf and it's fine." And we as Americans apparently are like, "No gross. We want our milk cold and perishable."

Dusey Van Dusen (33:34):

I want it straight from the cow. I don't want my milk any other way.

Derek Harju (33:40):

So it's like a little like you've got everything you need there. It comes with a little spoon, you pour the milk in, you got your little bowl, it's good to go. It sounds actually like a great idea in concept. Well the problem was they didn't account for Americans only wanting things a specific way, which is to say, say you buy a few of these little breakfast mates and you bring them home and your kids are like, "Oh okay cool, this looks cool." Well then they use it in practice and it creates a situation where they have a choice of one or two things. You can put all of these little packs in the refrigerator so that you still have cold milk which is what Americans are used to, and you also have cold cereal now, or you put it in the cupboard and now you have room temperature milk, which most Americans find abhorrent. So that was the biggest problem is just people thought it was gross to either eat cold cereal or drink warm milk.

Dusey Van Dusen (34:42):

It might solve a portability issue so, again, kind of the travel thing. But at home it's probably not that big a deal to just pour yourself some milk.

Derek Harju (34:53):

No, and here's the thing, they definitely accounted for this, they're like, "Oh, this'll be fun. Kids will put it together." These people had clearly never seen a child try to make a bowl of cereal for themselves. If you tell any kid under the age of 10 go make a bowl of cereal for yourself, what you actually just told them is, go spill cereal all over the counters and the floor and then proceed to spill milk all the way from the refrigerator to the bowl, around the bowl and then all the way back to the refrigerator and then don't clean up any of it.

Dusey Van Dusen (35:32):

Yeah. We recently had a child accidentally drop a full container of milk and those can crack when dropped hard enough apparently.

Derek Harju (35:40):


Dusey Van Dusen (35:40):

So that was fun.

Derek Harju (35:42):

So in practice people will bring these things home and they're like, "Here you go." And they turn around two seconds later and they've had a breakfast explosion at their counter. The other problem was they were like, "Oh well people don't like lukewarm milk, so we'll put these in the refrigerator section." Well people don't look for cereal in the refrigerator section, so when they're buying cereal, especially if you go to the store and you know if you're a parent, a lot of times when you go to the store, the child wants to come with you so they can pick out stuff and mostly they want to hang around mom and dad and do grownup errands. Well when you pick out cereal, you're in the cereal aisle and then once you're out of the cereal aisle, cereal decisions have stopped being made.

Dusey Van Dusen (36:30):

Exactly. You come across one of those end caps with stuff on it. No. We already got the cereal.

Derek Harju (36:38):

And the other people are like, "Well maybe they'll see it in the refrigerator section and they'll buy it there." It's like, no, no, no. That's not how that works. What happens is you go through the cereal aisle with the kid, the kid picks out the cereal that is either the worst for them, which means it's delicious or, at least when I was a kid, or it has a toy inside it. I don't even know if cereal comes with toys anymore. I'm super old. I genuinely think that this was a good idea that suffered from just a death by 1,000 cuts where it confused people, people probably bought it once for their kids and then they were like, "I'm never getting you this chore creator for me again."

Dusey Van Dusen (37:24):

Obviously the warm milk side of it and then having, if you don't want warm milk, you've got a bunch of storage space in your fridge for cereal. This seems like this could have been a good way to introduce people to shelf stable milk, but it seems like some other introduction, some other sea change would have had to happen before for this to be successful.

Derek Harju (37:47):

I absolutely agree. And also, I think that that actually opens up an interesting question for a later show which is, I would kind of like to do a couple of episodes about products that should be successful in America and are not.

Dusey Van Dusen (38:08):

I already know what's at the top of my list on that one.

Derek Harju (38:11):

What is it? Is it shelf stable milk?

Dusey Van Dusen (38:13):

That's a good one as well as unbleached eggs. But in these times that we find ourselves in, I see that look on your face, unbleached eggs.

Derek Harju (38:22):

I'm going to be 100% honest with you, I didn't know they bleached eggs.

Dusey Van Dusen (38:28):

Oh yeah? That's why they're all white. Otherwise it would be a mix of things of white and brown and whatnot. Yeah.

Derek Harju (38:35):

That makes sense.

Dusey Van Dusen (38:37):

They bleach them so then they have to be refrigerated. It takes all the salmonella off the outside. And a lot of other countries, they don't take the salmonella offsite. They do a wash but not the strong bleaching wash so they're shelf stable. You don't have to refrigerate your eggs in other countries. But you do got to be careful though with how you handle the outside.

Derek Harju (38:54):


Dusey Van Dusen (38:56):

That's a whole other tangent. But yeah, I was going to say bidets are another one that would be a great answer.

Derek Harju (39:01):

I want to talk about, here's the thing, given our current adventure that we're going through as a world, I think that you may see bidets become adopted on a much larger scale than we've seen previously in America.

Dusey Van Dusen (39:18):

I'll tell you what, we've been planning on getting one for a long time and that made us pulled the trigger.

Derek Harju (39:22):

Yeah. We have them in our house. We've been obsessed with them ever since we came back from Japan. Not on the topic of this show at all. But if anybody at home, buy a bidet for your house. It will be super weird the first three times you use it and after that you will never go to the bathroom the same.

Dusey Van Dusen (39:42):

Well on that note, Kellogg's Breakfast Mates.

Derek Harju (39:48):

Well I've been Derek Harju.

Dusey Van Dusen (39:50):

This is Dusey Van Dusen.

Derek Harju (39:51):

And we will talk to you guys next time.

Dusey Van Dusen (39:53):


Derek Harju (39:54):

Keeping ever expanding client info straight, sending the same emails hundreds of times, scheduling and rescheduling appointments over and over. Who enjoys this nonsense? No one except my cousin Brent and Brent is the absolute worst. Keap is the premier all in one CRM. Just head over to keap.com. That's K-E-A-P.com and start your free trial today. Get the busy work out of the way so you can focus on what's important and make your small business grow with Keap. Start your free trial at keap.com. That's K-E-A-P.com. More business. Less work, that's Keap.

Derek Harju (40:38):

Well we're back from the break. We've been talking about food for an indeterminate amount of time.

Crystal Hueft (40:42):

Too long probably.

Derek Harju (40:44):

We've got our guest Odeen Domingo from CO+HOOTS Coworking. So I wanted to ask as an entrepredad, that's not going to trend at all. Nobody's going to say that word again.

Crystal Hueft (40:55):

Just put a hashtag in front and you can start.

Derek Harju (41:01):

We talked about how to balance being an entrepreneur while you're a dad. But what about the opposite? When you're presented with all these challenges of running a business, how do you maintain being a good father? What are some of the challenges you've experienced and what are the solutions you've found?

Odeen Domingo (41:22):

Yeah, for sure. And I apologize, I forgot to say thank you for having me.

Derek Harju (41:27):

You're welcome.

Odeen Domingo (41:28):

It's very nice. I appreciate it.

Crystal Hueft (41:29):

The pleasure's ours.

Odeen Domingo (41:33):

And instead of entrepredads, I don't know if I just came up with it or if it was out in the ether and I saw it. We actually say dadpreneurs.

Derek Harju (41:39):


Crystal Hueft (41:41):

It does have a ring.

Odeen Domingo (41:42):

Yeah, a little bit.

Crystal Hueft (41:42):

Yeah, it does.

Odeen Domingo (41:43):

It rolls off the tongue a little better. I was actually a speaker at Phoenix Start-Up Week a couple of weeks ago where I came up just with the idea because they asked me to come up with a topic. I was like, "Oh, I don't know, dad. Being a dad and an entrepreneur. I think I could talk about that." So I actually did a panel on this exact topic and I had Jeremy Whitaker who also has his own business but he's also a Mesa city council person. And Mike Alonzo, who has served up a couple of different companies as well, and they have their own children and it was great. So we talked about being a dadpreneur, life lessons and how do we be a dad while still doing all the things we want to do with our companies. And I go back again to the calendar and the sauna. We use that for our business, but we also literally use that for our life. Bills that need to get paid, get togethers that we needed that we committed to.

Odeen Domingo (42:45):

All the things that as a parent or as a dad, that I need to do like bringing Ada to soccer or gymnastics, all of that is in my calendar. We have a personal project that we call personal in Asana and we list all of that out. Again, you only have so much head space for all of these things. If you can just place it somewhere else that will just remind you the 20 minutes before you actually have to do that is something that you can hack and that you can do it. A lot of times even I scheduled playtime with Ada. Jenny does that as well when Ada doesn't have school that day. We schedule on our calendars, like Jenny and Ada time or mommy and Ada time or daddy and Ada time. This is my turn and this is your turn.

Odeen Domingo (43:39):

And sometimes we forget that she doesn't have school we have to remind each other. It's like, "Hey, it says on your counter, she's off tomorrow and you're taking her to the science museum." So it's things like that where as an entrepreneur again you're just doing so many different things, but obviously you have your own life and your own family. So what are the things that you have a process for business that you can bring it into your family life and if that works for your business, why wouldn't it work for your family?

Crystal Hueft (44:11):


Odeen Domingo (44:12):

And so we've done that and that's how we can do then. Again, just scheduling and it's not just that. It's not just, oh, it's my turn to do it. Actually I scheduled playtime for Ada so I guess I got to go do that. It's more of, this is our time to be with her because yes, we work nights and yes, we work weekends and a lot of times I feel really bad and really awful that I'm not able to spend the kind of time I want to with her. And so when that happens, I'm all in. This is it. And maybe sometimes I am checking my phone for messages or making sure I'm not missing a call on my calendars, that just happens. But when I'm with her or I'm with obviously as a family altogether and not just her but with Jenny as well, just be present and all in. There's lots of things that you can do as well when that happens.

Odeen Domingo (45:18):

You've had a long day. You're tired. I can't read to her because I'm tired and she's just going crazy. So some of the things that I learned to do is how to parent horizontally. You're tired and so what games can you play with her that you're still spending quality time with her but you're actually resting while she's still having QT with you.

Derek Harju (45:49):

To be clear, when you say playing horizontally, that's not a buzzword. You literally mean your body is in a [inaudible 00:45:56].

Odeen Domingo (45:57):


Crystal Hueft (45:58):

Okay, thank you. Because I thought it was a parenting word I did not understand. I'm not a parent so I was like, what is parenting horizontally? I've heard of the helicopter parent.

Derek Harju (46:07):

You're literally talking about laying down on the floor and being like, "Oh, we're also playing."

Odeen Domingo (46:13):

Yes, for sure.

Crystal Hueft (46:13):

Like when you were sleeping in your Instagram post a while back.

Derek Harju (46:17):

Yes. Which happens a lot. Max plays on me a lot when I'm sleeping.

Odeen Domingo (46:20):

Yeah. So it's all like, tuck daddy into bed.

Derek Harju (46:25):

That's my favorite game. Max is super into it's time for daddy to sleep. And I'm like, "Cool."

Odeen Domingo (46:31):

Perfect. Let's do this. She's turning six in May and so it's a little bit more beneficial for me now. But having her balance on my back and walking around where when she was doing it at three, I was like, "Oh, this is fine I guess." But now when she has a little bit of weight on her. It's like, "Oh, this is amazing." So not only are you getting the benefits of being a great father, but you're also getting a great massage, which is amazing.

Crystal Hueft (47:01):


Odeen Domingo (47:03):

We'll play ninja games where I lie down, closing my eyes, I swear I'm awake and then she has to sneak past me and if I hear her then she has to start all over again. And games like that though, it's a little iffy because she's very competitive.

Crystal Hueft (47:21):

Me too.

Odeen Domingo (47:21):

She wants to win every single time.

Derek Harju (47:23):

Are you saying she cheats?

Odeen Domingo (47:26):

Sometimes she does, but it's more of like, she's a five-year-old girl and there's emotions that are happening. So the tears just come out and she's like, "No, you didn't hear me." And I was like, "Okay." But again, it's going back to that and then when I think about that, it's also teaching her lessons because she wants to be perfect because she's like so competitive. It's also what I think, I don't know if this is actually happening, but I feel like I'm also teaching her failure because that happens. That happens in business. That happens in life. If you can teach children those kinds of things while you're playing with them, those kinds of life lessons, that's only going to benefit them.

Crystal Hueft (48:09):


Odeen Domingo (48:10):

If they're totally getting a participation award all the time or you let them win all the time. They are learning something. They're learning that they're God's greatest gift and if something doesn't happen for them that they think should happen and everything's coming down, they're going to do the things that they're going to do. So I push her a lot. I make sure that she's learning that, she's one, not always right all the time because those conversations always go well. And two, that when she fails and she's going to fail, okay, what do we do after? How do you do it better next time? And so trying to do that while parenting horizontally as well as having quality time and everything else, when I think about what I do with her those are some of the things we do.

Derek Harju (49:01):

So I'm hearing you talk a bit about blocking off time as a father the same way you would block off time for a meeting at work. And I can hear a lot of entrepreneurs being like, "That's easy to say, but if work comes up, I got to work." So my question is what would you say to those people who say they can respect their time that's blocked off for work but they don't respect their time that's blocked off for family?

Odeen Domingo (49:27):

Yeah. I think, at least for my personal experience, because Jenny and I are in business together, we are able to rely on each other. If she really needs time away, she needs to go to the coffee shop or she needs to go back to CO+HOOTS at night or whatever, then we respect that for each other. If she needs to go then I will stay in and she needs to go and then vice versa. If I really need to get something done then I will go. And I love working at CO+HOOTS because I've got my monitor and everything else. So it's a lot of that teamwork and back and forth. And I believe even if you aren't in business with your partner I believe that you can still do that.

Odeen Domingo (50:16):

You're a team. A family is just not a family. You have to work together. And so when you think about things that, yeah, it's easy to, you schedule time and do that. For me, I feel like you have to have the introspective of what do you want in your life. And we go through stages, right? We go through stages where your business is everything. Then you have a family and then your family is everything but then you'd still have a business. Some people their business is the life and blood of the things they want to do. And that's okay. I believe that's okay. The business taking over your life even though you have a family, and if you're trying to be a family person but you're just not able to, but you're trying, that's all you can do. Just know that, yes, maybe in the back of your mind you're not spending the time that you need, but if you're just trying, that's perfect.

Crystal Hueft (51:29):


Odeen Domingo (51:30):

Whatever your life situation is, that should be what you should be heading toward. That's what you should tell yourself. That's perfect. Any time that you can give to your family, even though your business is taking over your life, that's perfect. It's fine. As long as your child knows that you love them, that's all they really need. They don't need presents, they don't need all those things as long as they know, as long as you tell them, as long as the time that you have with them that you are giving them you and they know that. I believe any situation is perfect. As long as you're trying, as long as you're you're being intentional about it and everything else, it's better.

Odeen Domingo (52:17):

For me, I'm just lucky. I'm lucky that I have a wife who's great, who respects me and I respect her and we respect our family time and we've had to learn that. It's six years of this. We're not perfect. We're not a perfect family. We don't spend all the time together. Our calendars get mushed up and messed up. But we know within ourselves that we're giving it as much as we can give.

Crystal Hueft (52:46):

That's awesome.

Odeen Domingo (52:47):

And that's just how you have to think about it. Because again, you're going to go crazy.

Crystal Hueft (52:51):

So considering all of that, we've got all these small business entrepreneurs listening to this show, what would be three things you would tell them to do if they really want to focus in on being a better father, a better mother and an entrepreneur at the same time? Three really take home for them to do if they're feeling like they're out of balance.

Odeen Domingo (53:12):

Yeah. I think you go back into writing why are you doing it? We talk about this conversation all the time of, what is your why and then what is your how. And that may seem too high level but it's really everything that you do is that those are your reasons. And so for me it's I'm doing it because one, I want to make impact in the community, two, I want to have an impact in my daughter's life. And so everything I do that's where it comes from. And so I could balance that.

Crystal Hueft (53:51):

Okay. So align to a purpose. What's two? Now we're getting to the tweetable part, right?

Odeen Domingo (53:56):

Yeah, for sure. Two is again, just going back because as a business owner and or someone who wants to be a business owner or entrepreneur or a startup founder or whatever, you learn that your time is valuable. You can't spend eight hours of the day doing one thing or doing all the little things or whatever. In our businesses, it's just schedule, schedule, schedule. Yes. You may not have a team yet and you may not be able to delegate all of those things. But that means that you really need to hone in on your process and you really need to hone in on that schedule. Because if you don't have that, it's chaos. You don't know what you're doing. You don't know what purpose you're serving. You may have a mission you may have written it but you're not heading toward there because you don't have a plan.

Derek Harju (54:49):

Yeah. And if I could interject real quick with something I've learned, the time blocks are critical. People will all the time whittle away their day because they're like, "I was working on this project and it took all day." The truth is most projects, no matter what you think, they don't take as long as you think. What actually happened is you tried to make them perfect over eight hours instead of making them good enough over three.

Crystal Hueft (55:09):


Odeen Domingo (55:10):


Derek Harju (55:10):

And then moving onto something else that is also important.

Crystal Hueft (55:13):

Okay. So we've got aligned to your purpose, if it's important to you, schedule it. And the third tip you would give.

Odeen Domingo (55:20):

Yeah, third tip also aligns with what Derek just said is just do it, just start. Again, yes it doesn't have to be perfect, you don't have to work eight hours a day to make sure that messaging is right or that logo's right or the website looks great or whatever, just do it. Make sure if it's part of your task or it's in your calendar, just start. Don't think about it because that's where you get in the weeds. If you just do it, put in your calendar I'm going to have family all the time. Have that family time. So those are kind of just the three things. And just going back to, you're never going to have enough time for family. You're never going to have enough time for your business.

Odeen Domingo (56:08):

If you're a dad or a husband or whatever, if you're giving yourself as much as you can give to each and every thing that's the important aspect of your life, then that's all you can give and that's really hard to think about and really a really hard lesson to learn. And I speak from experience obviously, and it's really hard to do, but when you get that introspective and you really tried to make sure that you're telling yourself that literally every single day, that's what you can do.

Crystal Hueft (56:43):

I think that's a great tip. So the fourth bonus tip was really just do your best. Right?

Derek Harju (56:48):

Always try your best.

Odeen Domingo (56:49):

There you go, tiger! You got it, champ!

Crystal Hueft (56:51):

That's a good one though. I think sometimes it's easy to forget that one, especially if you're in that entrepreneurship mindset where you always are trying to be competitive, be perfect. I think it's such an important thing to remember is that at the end of the day I'm never going to have enough time to do all of what I want period so I'm going to do the best wherever I am. I think that's great.

Derek Harju (57:11):

Well I think that we're just about out of time.

Crystal Hueft (57:14):

For all of you entrepreneurs out there I would say whether you have kids or not, I don't know how you do it, but for the ones that have kids and are making it work or unbalanced or you're probably always going to think you're a little out of balance but I think you're probably nailing it so keep going.

Odeen Domingo (57:30):

Thanks everybody.

Derek Harju (57:31):

All right. Well Odeen thanks for joining us. This has been Small Biz Buzz. I've been Derek Harju.

Crystal Hueft (57:35):

Crystal Hueft.

Derek Harju (57:36):

And we will talk to you guys next time.

Crystal Hueft (57:37):


Derek Harju (57:38):

Thanks for listening to Small Biz Buzz. Please take a second to subscribe to the show and leave a five star rating. It helps keep the show going. And if you need a hand with growing your small business, head over to keap.com, that's K-E-A-P.com and get started. More business. Less work. That's Keap.

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