Most successful entrepreneurs are no strangers to chaos and stress, and Andrea Farr is no exception. Andrea and her husband, Scott, co-founded Nashville Geek several years ago and have successfully navigated a growing portfolio, new employees, and having two children!
That’s a lot for anyone to manage, so we recently sat down with Andrea to hear more about how she manages two full-time jobs, mother & entrepreneur.
PWBC: Running your own business is no piece of cake. Neither is raising a family. How do manage these two full-time jobs?
AF: I’m a third generation entrepreneur, so I learned a lot from my father. In this respect, I’ve had great mentors who’ve taught me a lot about running a successful business. I also received good advice from my mother-in-law, who told me to know my limits, start saying no, and don’t overcommit.
In general, I try to be aware of what “season” my life is in. By that I mean, when you have young children they will need more time and attention. And when you’re trying to grow a business, it will need more of your time. So you have to be aware of where you are in the grand scheme of things, you have to see what needs attention, and you have to schedule accordingly.
PWBC: It sounds like self-awareness played a big part in your success as an entrepreneur. How did you develop that skill? Or did it come naturally?
AF: I decided that I needed to make time for education and personal development as a small business owner. I was part of a program that gave me time and space to think about my business, to work on it rather than in it. I learned to focus on the important, not just the urgent. The idea of keeping long-term goals front of mind, while learning how to manage short-term issues is challenging for many entrepreneurs. But not having that focus can keep you from achieving success.
So, I learned how to be more aware of these scheduling needs – particularly after having my first child – and I learned to be a better delegator. If I wanted to successfully grow my business, I couldn’t do everything. I needed to be strategic about how I delegated the work load and I had to be smart about building the right team.
PWBC: Speaking of building the right team, Nashville Geek really is a family business. How have you made running a business together work for your family?
AF: Depending on who you ask, working with your spouse is either the greatest thing you could imagine or the worst thing that could ever happen to you. I really enjoy working with Scott; this has been a great adventure for us to take together. But, we do have to be thoughtful about creating space for family.
Scott and I have made it a point not to bring work home with us. Dinner time is for our family – even though technology is a 24/7 industry. We put our phones on do not disturb and focus on our kids. It’s been a hard learning curve for some of our clients, but those boundaries are important. Even though most people understand it, I sometime still feel guilty about having to say no.
It’s been great to build Nashville Geek into a family business. It’s more than just me & Scott, our oldest child is a ‘Baby Geek’, who is already learning to code and our nephew has been our intern this summer. We’re excited to have that opportunity and we’re looking forward to getting the new baby in here too.
PWBC: How has your world changed since having the second baby?
AF: I think I’m able to enjoy it a little more the second time around – even though it’s twice the managed chaos! Certainly, each child is a different experience. But they both do take you out of your routine. Your evening hours get eaten up with family responsibilities or just the sheer exhaustion of being a parent. So it really has to be all the more about balance. You have to be able to focus during the day, and you have to create space to be both a business owner and a mother. It’s been a fantastic journey, and as long as I remember to focus on the important, not just the urgent, I’ll be fine.
Learn more about Nashville Geek and see more of their work online at https://nashvillegeek.com/