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Two Birds, One Stone

Two Birds, One Stone

We all know the phrase, “Kill two birds with one stone.”

(Also, don’t throw stones at birds, that’s really a jerk thing to do.)

But in general, efficiency is a good thing and we can all look for ways to accomplish multiple goals with one action in various aspects of our lives.

The rewards from certain tasks and activities are often naturally twofold. For example, when our family of four makes 100 bags of cotton candy together, that’s definitely a bonding experience and can qualify as “family time,” but it’s also a lesson in business (and an exercise in willpower for our youngest – how not to eat all of your own product).

But I cringe when I see the “two birds, one stone” concept abused, when people shortchange the relationships in their lives because they’re too focused on that other bird that they’re also aiming for.

Grocery shopping isn’t date night. (Unless you do some SERIOUS flirting in the produce section).

And buying something you really want, then pretending it’s a gift for your spouse – lame.

As parents, we’re guilty of this too. Taking your kid to the playground but then staring at your phone the whole time – you may tell yourself you’re killing two birds with one stone, but I’d bet anything that your kid would rather you put the phone down and be present.

CJ, the GRIT trainer, encounters this a lot in the fitness world. Thinking that you’ve exercised because you walked to the post office, instead of truly working the body. While every step and movement is good, that’s not getting two birds with one stone, no matter how we might try to convince ourselves.

I used to do this by reading a book while on the bike at the gym. I told myself it was two birds with one stone. Now I see that I would never make any real physical gains by continuing along with that routine. (But did I get the reading done? Check!)

I believe, for the most part, that it comes down to being honest with ourselves. If it’s been in the back of my mind, bugging me, there’s probably a reason.

On the other hand, I feel like the way I’ve structured my morning routines is a good example of this principle. Not only do I accomplish my workout and other things that are important to me, but I set myself up mentally and emotionally for a good day to come.

Efficiency is great… as long as we’re honest about our actions and their impact. When all is said and done, the relationships in my life are more important than the number of items I cross off my to-do list.

Join The Community!

Join our Facebook GroupJoin the quest for “The Sweet Life.”  Request access to our Facebook Group.  Let’s learn from each other!  GO HERE

Free Audio Book Download

Full Unabridged Audio Book “Vagabonding With Kids” by AK Turner!  GO HERE

Take The SWEET LIFE Assessment

See how you score? Identify your strengths. Discover areas in your life you want to improve. GO HERE.

Giving Back

Amanda and Mike launched an Impact Club in their hometown of Boise, Idaho in 2017, and have had a blast gathering like-minded individuals, families, and organizations to make significant impact in our community, raising over $200,000 locally and over $1.5 million nationally.  

Join Our Next Monthly CHALLENGE

Every month Amanda and Mike pick a month-long challenge that pushes us out of our comfort zone so we can grow, learn, and become better versions of ourselves.  Sometimes we design our own unique challenge and other times we join pre-established challenges. Email us to find out about our next upcoming challenge. [email protected]

About Us

Our Story | Mike and Amanda TurnerWe are Mike and Amanda Turner, founders of “The Business of Us.” We are fierce advocates of helping entrepreneurial couples and families improve their lives, livelihoods, and legacies… READ MORE

The Sweet Life Retreats

The Sweet Life Retreats

When we decided to organize killer retreats, one for couples and one for writers (but both designed for positive, growth mindset-type people), we knew what we were getting into.

Sort of.

We know how to exceed expectations.
We know the town of Todos Santos and how best to experience it.
We know what makes a great itinerary – just the right balance of awesome & downtime.

What we didn’t know was if people would sign up.

I’ve written before about how “If you build it, they will come” is not a good business strategy. We’d do well to remember that it’s really just a cheesy line from a Kevin Costner movie.

When it comes to what we’re building, in the first iteration of The Sweet Life retreats, we have Couples Camp and Writers Camp coming up in June.

Within 24 hours of emailing our contacts that registration was live, we had a couple sign up for Couples Camp. These are long-time friends of ours and I couldn’t imagine better people to spend a getaway with. But they weren’t prospects by any means. We never tried to sell them or even contacted them directly about it. But they receive our emails and they raised their hands. It came out of the blue.

Having one couple sign up might not seem like much, but it is when you consider that at this retreat we can only accommodate a max of 7 couples. So now we’re down to 6 spots.

Within 48 hours of that email that went out to our contacts, we had two writers commit to Writers Camp. One was unexpected, but a very good friend. The other was someone I approached directly as I knew she was looking for this very thing (an acquaintance and client whom I’ve never met in person).

We haven’t started running ad campaigns yet or really even announced publicly – beyond that one email – that registration is open (by the way, registration is open), though I’ve sent the link to a few who’ve expressed interest.

It is both exciting and nerve-wracking to see how this plays out. We know we have killer retreats lined up and again, we know we’ll exceed expectations. Now we just have to focus on filling registration to be sure we at least break even.

Advertising has never been my strong suit. I can create (books, presentations, retreats, you name it), but dear lord don’t ask me to sell it! In the coming months I’m going to have to change that – interact with people I don’t know (gasp!), and communicate the value of what we’ve created: an off-the-beaten-path, unique, luxury experience of a lifetime. This may not be my comfort zone, but I’ve also never been one to shy away from a challenge.

Wish us luck. And if you’re interested in checking out an off-the-beaten-path, unique, luxury experience of a lifetime before we take this out into the world, I’m posting the link here.

Join The Community!

Join our Facebook GroupJoin the quest for “The Sweet Life.”  Request access to our Facebook Group.  Let’s learn from each other!  GO HERE

Free Audio Book Download

Full Unabridged Audio Book “Vagabonding With Kids” by AK Turner!  GO HERE

Take The SWEET LIFE Assessment

See how you score? Identify your strengths. Discover areas in your life you want to improve. GO HERE.

Giving Back

Amanda and Mike launched an Impact Club in their hometown of Boise, Idaho in 2017, and have had a blast gathering like-minded individuals, families, and organizations to make significant impact in our community, raising over $200,000 locally and over $1.5 million nationally.  

Join Our Next Monthly CHALLENGE

Every month Amanda and Mike pick a month-long challenge that pushes us out of our comfort zone so we can grow, learn, and become better versions of ourselves.  Sometimes we design our own unique challenge and other times we join pre-established challenges. Email us to find out about our next upcoming challenge. [email protected]

About Us

Our Story | Mike and Amanda TurnerWe are Mike and Amanda Turner, founders of “The Business of Us.” We are fierce advocates of helping entrepreneurial couples and families improve their lives, livelihoods, and legacies… READ MORE

On Work

On Work

I’ve had a lot of jobs in the past thirty years. Some are fairly typical: babysitter, hostess, waitress, office-type work with its accompanying office politics. The less common employment includes Bingo the Clown, farmhand on a farm in West Virginia, a short stint commercial fishing in Alaska, scouring remote islands for hardware for the set of a television show, and representing a toilet paper company at charity fun runs.

Plenty of my jobs have fallen somewhere in the middle: bookstore clerk (loved that job), bartender at an Irish pub (fun at times but ultimately not a very healthy environment), managing a real estate office (not my first choice in employment but I had a crush on the owner – also, he’s my husband).

Before I switched to writing full-time in 2012, one of my favorite jobs was cleaning houses. That’s not a job that most people would want, scrubbing other people’s toilets, but I loved it.

I’m good at cleaning. Bringing order to a state of chaos makes me feel happy and calm. Which is why I spent the better part of yesterday cleaning my house. I am undeniably affected by my surroundings.

Cleaning houses had other benefits too:

I was in business for myself.

The work required constant physical effort (as opposed to other jobs which had me sitting all day long).

The results of my efforts were immediately apparent.

And I didn’t have to deal with so many people (I can take them in small, controlled doses).

I’m sure lots of people would look at cleaning houses and think it a low point, but I think it’s one of the best jobs I ever had. It’s a good reminder to me that sometimes we need to honestly examine the benefits of something, rather than letting our thoughts default to the conventional, stereotypical thinking.

If you had a job that others scoffed at, but which you really enjoyed, I’d love to hear about it.

Join The Community!

Join our Facebook GroupJoin the quest for “The Sweet Life.”  Request access to our Facebook Group.  Let’s learn from each other!  GO HERE

Free Audio Book Download

Full Unabridged Audio Book “Vagabonding With Kids” by AK Turner!  GO HERE

Take The SWEET LIFE Assessment

See how you score? Identify your strengths. Discover areas in your life you want to improve. GO HERE.

Giving Back

Amanda and Mike launched an Impact Club in their hometown of Boise, Idaho in 2017, and have had a blast gathering like-minded individuals, families, and organizations to make significant impact in our community, raising over $200,000 locally and over $1.5 million nationally.  

Join Our Next Monthly CHALLENGE

Every month Amanda and Mike pick a month-long challenge that pushes us out of our comfort zone so we can grow, learn, and become better versions of ourselves.  Sometimes we design our own unique challenge and other times we join pre-established challenges. Email us to find out about our next upcoming challenge. [email protected]

About Us

Our Story | Mike and Amanda TurnerWe are Mike and Amanda Turner, founders of “The Business of Us.” We are fierce advocates of helping entrepreneurial couples and families improve their lives, livelihoods, and legacies… READ MORE

The Falsehood of Definitions

The Falsehood of Definitions

There’s a presentation I do at writing conferences called “Success, Failure, and Other Myths of the Writing Life.” People get so caught up in words like “success” and “failure” and their perceived meanings.

No one would argue that Hemingway was a success, but he also took his own life, so what does success really mean if that’s where it leads you? Commercial “success” does not erase pain.

Plenty of other success stories (from Harper Lee to JK Rowling) have struggled with feelings of failure. The literary greats you revere? They probably also felt feelings of failure at times. We can’t let definitions of these pin us into a corner. They are not absolute.

I was talking once with some friends of ours who really served as a model for us when we entered the world of parenting. We loved how they interacted with their kids. Our instincts were good because now their kids are grown and they are phenomenal people.

When their kids were young, I was talking to the dad and he expressed his frustration with people always asking kids, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” And the answer was always to focus on a career. Astronaut, football player, actress, baker.

The dad said, “Instead of being invested in what job a kid will work toward, how about focusing on what really matters? How about letting kids know that when they grow up, what we really want them to BE is happy, healthy, and kind?”

That conversation has always stuck with me and it’s a great example of re-examining the conventions of society and the definitions that get drilled into us.

“Happy, healthy, and kind” sounds like a legitimate recipe for “success” to me.

Join The Community!

Join our Facebook GroupJoin the quest for “The Sweet Life.”  Request access to our Facebook Group.  Let’s learn from each other!  GO HERE

Free Audio Book Download

Full Unabridged Audio Book “Vagabonding With Kids” by AK Turner!  GO HERE

Take The SWEET LIFE Assessment

See how you score? Identify your strengths. Discover areas in your life you want to improve. GO HERE.

Giving Back

Amanda and Mike launched an Impact Club in their hometown of Boise, Idaho in 2017, and have had a blast gathering like-minded individuals, families, and organizations to make significant impact in our community, raising over $200,000 locally and over $1.5 million nationally.  

Join Our Next Monthly CHALLENGE

Every month Amanda and Mike pick a month-long challenge that pushes us out of our comfort zone so we can grow, learn, and become better versions of ourselves.  Sometimes we design our own unique challenge and other times we join pre-established challenges. Email us to find out about our next upcoming challenge. [email protected]

About Us

Our Story | Mike and Amanda TurnerWe are Mike and Amanda Turner, founders of “The Business of Us.” We are fierce advocates of helping entrepreneurial couples and families improve their lives, livelihoods, and legacies… READ MORE

No Such Thing As Stuck

No Such Thing As Stuck

Last year we helped our daughters start a business. They’re The Sugar Sisters. They make and sell cotton candy for birthday parties and other events. We also had pop-up cotton candy sales downtown on a few Saturdays. That was one hell of a sales lesson for my girls.

Emilia’s first sales pitch was to basically bully people. She’d get right up in their faces and demand to know if they’d buy. “You want to buy some cotton candy? Do you? DO YOU?”

I’ve never seen so many adults get scared of a twelve-year-old girl.

We gently suggested she try a different approach. Then she turned into a carnival barker. “Get your cotton candy. Right here, folks. Gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free. But NOT sugar-free.”

My other daughter is much more reserved, but she eventually got out there, singing out “Get your cotton candy!” She’d hold the last syllable for an extended note and then strike a pose, complete with jazz hands.

There were many times throughout those experiences that people would just pass by and the girls would say, “It’s not working.” But we made them get back out there and keep trying.

I believe there’s no such thing as “getting stuck.” There’s always opportunity to evaluate, innovate, implement, and improve. But if you don’t have that mindset, then it feels like circumstances are what they are – and you’re just stuck.

Which isn’t to say that I always solve a problem on the first attempt. Maybe it will take me 8,459 tries to answer a riddle. I think that’s the important distinction – knowing that the quest for improvement is endless and that I’m going to keep trying anyway.

Also, if you’re in the Boise area and have any cotton candy needs, I’ve got connections.

Join The Community!

Join our Facebook GroupJoin the quest for “The Sweet Life.”  Request access to our Facebook Group.  Let’s learn from each other!  GO HERE

Free Audio Book Download

Full Unabridged Audio Book “Vagabonding With Kids” by AK Turner!  GO HERE

Take The SWEET LIFE Assessment

See how you score? Identify your strengths. Discover areas in your life you want to improve. GO HERE.

Giving Back

Amanda and Mike launched an Impact Club in their hometown of Boise, Idaho in 2017, and have had a blast gathering like-minded individuals, families, and organizations to make significant impact in our community, raising over $200,000 locally and over $1.5 million nationally.  

Join Our Next Monthly CHALLENGE

Every month Amanda and Mike pick a month-long challenge that pushes us out of our comfort zone so we can grow, learn, and become better versions of ourselves.  Sometimes we design our own unique challenge and other times we join pre-established challenges. Email us to find out about our next upcoming challenge. [email protected]

About Us

Our Story | Mike and Amanda TurnerWe are Mike and Amanda Turner, founders of “The Business of Us.” We are fierce advocates of helping entrepreneurial couples and families improve their lives, livelihoods, and legacies… READ MORE

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