Hey, can you imagine trying to run a business while changing the diapers of your two-year-old son while he’s in a full body cast the first day after you quit your cushy six-figure corporate job to take a major gamble on supporting your young family?
Today you’re going to meet my friend Brad Pilon, and find out how he went from having that cushy corporate job to becoming a six-figure entrepreneur who gets to work at home, all while raising a family, being insanely productive, having an amazing marriage, and making me laugh.
How has your morning routine evolved over the years? What were some of the big evolutions for you?
- It’s taking control of your time.
- Figuring out that you’re going to get obstacles thrown in your way.
- Then you’re going to have control over your time eventually.
You can’t control everything; you can only control what you can.
How do you think that your scientific background helped your morning routine, and your time, and your productivity?
It all comes down to cause and effect and trial and error. It’s really just figuring out what is working for you, and admitting it.
How did you change your routine, and how you had to manage your day, when you had to start managing other people?
If you’re not in the office, and they need help, you’re useless.
Managing people is being a sounding board. Most of the time, it’s making sure they know what they’re supposed to be doing, and then just being there for when they have questions, or when they have gripes, because they need someone to vent to, and you always want them to vent up rather than vent down.
How did your marriage change your routine?
Heather and I have been together since like 16 so we know each other’s quirks.
The hard part of marriage, it wasn’t really marriage as much as it was sort of living together. Heather’s a teacher, so she had her own schedule that’s very different from a corporate schedule. I was traveling a ton, and so it was just managing expectations.
Again, it’s realizing that marriage is an agreement.
- Maybe you can’t be 100% egocentric all the time, and sometimes you have to compromise.
- Other times, you’re not compromising. You’re straight up losing on purpose.
Sometimes there’s something you really want to do, and you’re like, “Can’t do it.” It’s more important to the other person, what they want to do, than the little thing you’re trying to do.
Tell us about the communication strategies that you’ve had throughout your marriage that has been really beneficial.
I’m home a lot because part of my lifestyle allows me to be home. Even though I could go get an office, I could have a really cool place, I need to be home because I want to be present for the kids. I’m not always 100% present, but I’m there.
When Heather’s talking, I’m just waiting for something to say. A lot of times I interrupt. So I have to learn that when Heather is telling me something, it’s not just to fill dead space. She actually wants something from me.
What time are you getting up before you got married? What time are you getting up once you got married? And what time did you start getting up that worked when you had your first child and you had to be at work at 9:00 in the morning?
- It would be 6:50, 6:45am
- Then I got into a better balance, but it was always that sort of 7:00am wake up time.
- Then I would try like a 5:00 AM type thing, and then that was typically when then Briar would get up
But I always found that a 7:00am time was what worked best for me.
Then were you a night worker, or were you as soon as you got home, you were just all family?
- I would get home.
- I would hang out with the kids and the family.
- Our kids go to bed early so they’re in bed by 8:00pm,
- By like 8:30, 9:00pm I’m working, and I’m writing the next big book, or a blog post
- I would work until 10:00, 11:00pm, and then I would crash.
Where did you draw the line in terms of how much work? How much time is enough for Heather? And then how much time is enough for kids?
I was sitting in my office at that startup, and we’re doing really well. Things are going exceptional, and Eat Stop Eat is pretty much where it can get to with four hours a night. It’s just where it’s going to be.
I had to make a decision. I quit the startup, and then they sold it for millions.
Heather is an adult. She can take care of herself. But when you have two small kids, we are co-parenting.
How do you mentally get back on track when one of your kids gets sick?
I would always explain to the both of them that when you’re sick, the most important things are water and sleep. That’s how you get better.
They need to be getting better, and when they’re asleep, I can get stuff done.
What were some of your biggest breakthroughs as going from the worker to the dad at home entrepreneur?
The one thing I found out is that since people know you work from home, they generally think that means you don’t work. So, it’s a bit of learning to say no. We’re still working a lot, and we’re flexible, but sometimes those golden hours are the ones you have to protect.
It’s learning not to shrug people off, but just to balance them.
What are your high-performance nutrition and exercise tips?
- I can work out three times a week and still have a body I’m just very happy with. Monday, Wednesday, Friday while the kids are at school is perfect.
- My mornings are two espressos spaced out every day.
- I don’t do big breakfasts. Maybe like a shake, maybe some fruit, but nothing big.
Are there any other routine solutions that you’ve developed over times? Or anything that your wife has found that she’s had to cut from her schedule?
Groceries: When you’re shopping for a family of four, you can no longer just wing it and go to the grocery store.
What we find is then when Heather and I are not in sync, in a given seven day week there’s maybe 14 grocery trips.
How long does it take to do a 10-minute grocery trip when you have two kids?
It’s really 45 minutes.
When did you guys take your first kid-free weekend?
Our kid-free weekend was pretty early. We both had parents who were close by, so they were able to take the kids. We don’t do it too often. I actually take the kids with me on a lot of trips, and Heather stays home around report card season.
What are the marriage secrets that you guys have?
I think it’s more her than it is me. I think that you need to be a very special type of person to be married to an entrepreneur who is science-brained, but artistically, and likes to write. She understands the give and take of what my work entails
What is your opinion on, “Good marriages depend on the couples being best friends”?
I think it’s of paramount importance that you should be best friends. Heather and I do a date night every Thursday night. It’s nothing special. We go to The Keg. I have a Guinness. She has a white wine. They pretty much have it ready when we get there. That’s how often we go. We just hang out.
I think if you can’t do that, then you got to work on being able to do that, because we can just hang out.
How did you develop your philosophy on life?
I was raised well. I grew up in a good neighborhood, right? My first girlfriend ended up being my wife, and she has a great family, so I just had a good support system.
What I realized, though, growing up was about setting goals. I was really envious, rightfully or wrongfully, of the guys who knew exactly what they wanted. I’ve struggled with that for a while, and I didn’t really come to grips with it until I was maybe like 36 or 37.
I think you live a good life, and so what is your personal development strategy? Where do you look to grow?
I’m still working on listening in all aspects of life. I need to really focus on that with different people in different situations because they can have a different reaction to something than what I would have. That’s my main sort of personal development goal, is working on that.
What advice do you have for ladies to be a better partner?
I don’t even know if I can answer that. No, I can. It’s realizing that, without selling out every single guy here, after about 15, 16, we just get older, but we don’t necessarily mature.
But just realizing that sometimes we just want to play video games or nerd-out.
Got it. Awesome, Brad. Thank you so much. Thank you so much for watching and listening. It was a lot of fun. Brad, that was really, really helpful, dude. I took a lot of notes mentally for my own personal relationships.
What a fun show. It’s always best when I can bring my friends into my home and interview them like we were just chatting around the bar. I hope you enjoyed that one. I’d love to hear what you think of Brad’s success story. Please email me at Support@EarlyRise.com or send me a message on Instagram or Twitter.