Ep 014

The Family Board Meeting Framework, Tech-Fasting, & Unforgettable Date Nights


Jamie & Jim Sheils

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Inside This Episode

When I first started Triad, there were a lot of unknowns. But one thing was crystal clear in my heart: I refused to build a business that would come at the cost of my family.

I wanted to create a company that not only thrived but also freed me up to cherish life’s most precious moments with my wife and kids.

So many advisors fall victim to the idea that in order to succeed, those important moments have to take a back seat.

The truth is, the “I’m doing it for my family” narrative is completely broken. Your kids, your spouse, they don’t care about your business or the money in your bank account. They just want you!

No resource has made that clearer to me than The Family Board Meeting by power couple, Jamie and Jim Sheils.

Their “Board Meeting” strategy has helped approximately 300,000 business leaders worldwide succeed at home.

I have personally gifted their book to countless friends and co-workers, and I have seen firsthand how their framework has saved marriages.

While there’s no perfect playbook for being a parent, The Family Board Meeting has been instrumental to my success as a Dad and husband, and today you’re going to see why.

3 of the biggest insights from Jamie & Jim Sheils

  • #1 The 3 guiding principles to holding an effective Family Board Meeting and the impact that one-on-one quarterly’s can have on strengthening your relationship with your kids. 

  • #2 Discover practical strategies to regulate device time, revitalize family dinners, and connect with your kids on a deeper, more meaningful level.

  • #3 Unlock the secret to unforgettable date nights and reignite the passion that first brought you together.


  • 07:04 What is the Family Board Meeting?
  • 10:38 The generational impact of The Family Board Meeting concept.
  • 15:28 Empower your kids to conquer obstacles and chase their dreams. 
  • 18:09 The fun Aunt/Uncle concept.
  • 22:55 The 3 guiding principles to an effective Family Board Meeting
  • 27:45 Tech Fasting strategies for combating the adverse effects of technology on your family.
  • 44:23 The uncomfortable conversations that lead to saved marriages
  • 47:24 The entrepreneurial lie of “I’m doing it for my family”—and how it leads to broken relationships in the home.
  • 52:45 Building a business around your life–not the other way around.
  • 55:00 Why dating your spouse should never end.

The Sheils family with Tim Tebow at Triad event

Jim Sheils family board meeting





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  • I don’t want to build a business and sacrifice my family. That was one of the reasons that Triad exists today; To build a model where that was possible.” – Brad Johnson

  • Scaling will never come before the foundation of our marriage and our family and our friendships.” – Jamie Sheils

Brad Johnson: Welcome to another episode of the Do Business Do Life Podcast. I’m here with my friends Jim and Jamie Sheils, live from Costa Rica. So, welcome, y’all. Thanks for carving out some time on your adventure to have a conversation.  


Jim Sheils: Well, thanks for having us, Brad.  


Jamie Sheils: Yeah. Thank you so much. And with you saying, “Welcome, y’all,” and immediately I said y’all earlier today and I thought, “I wonder if they have any idea what I’m talking about around here when I say, “Y’all,” because that is a word I love to use a lot.  


Brad Johnson: Yeah. It’s a warm version. I’ve got relatives in Texas. Of course, y’all is like every third word down there. And I feel like it’s slowly worked its way up through Oklahoma and Kansas a bit. Is that a Florida thing?  


Jim Sheils: Southern hospitality.  


Jamie Sheils: And I’m a big, “Yes, ma’am. Yes, sir,” kind of thing. Like, even the young teenagers at like a movie theater, “Yes, ma’am.” It’s just such a habit.  


Brad Johnson: Yeah. Words matter. And it’s crazy how one little word can make all the difference in a sentence. So, with that, I’ve been looking forward to this conversation for a long time. Had the pleasure, Jim, obviously you or you were on my previous show and The Family Board Meeting, the book. So, for those that don’t know Jim and Jamie Sheils, you’re in for a treat today. This is not cliche. Their teachings have made a massive impact on my life, my wife’s life, and my relationship with my children, each of our three kiddos, and I feel very fortunate. I think our oldest was maybe four or five when I first stumbled along the concept of The Family Board Meeting. And thank God I did because it’d be like one of those deals where you look back when they’re 18, “I’m leaving the house,” where you just go, “Ugh, where was this nugget of wisdom that I wish I would have had a decade ago?” 


So, Jim, thank you. Jamie, it was awesome to have both of you presenting at our Founders Retreat in South Carolina. And then you kind of took it up a notch and we talked about kind of the perfect date night with the question. And Sarah and I were both there with, I think it was 25, 30 other couples in the Triad community. And that was a magical evening as well with some great food, some great conversation, a little bit of great wine. And so, I just want to say thanks for all you’ve contributed to me personally and also to the community at Triad. And I just love to surround myself with people that just live life very intentionally. And that’s how you show up. So, I’m excited to dive in today. I don’t know if we just want to kick it off and dive right into the board meeting. If there’s any other thoughts on your side, which is you’re living life in Costa Rica, you’re hanging with the family. You’re kind of practicing what you preach. So, I guess what’s new and fun in the Sheils world?  


Jamie Sheils: Well, first, thank you for that because we did have a wonderful time with you and Chad when we were in South Carolina, right? That was a lot of fun. And I’ll tell you, we referenced that night quite often because there’s always breakthroughs at date night with a question or there’s always breakthroughs when Jim speaks. And because we speak about things that matter and about things that are so deeply connected to our own hearts, I think it’s hard to not connect naturally with somebody else’s heart. It’s just who we are. I think being vulnerable and there was a couple there that night that we often refer back because it touches us back. It’s like this full circle of wish to help and to share. And it does that. And then when others share with us the way you have been sharing with us, I think, gosh, it makes it so beautiful to like walk along the path with these people. And so, thank you for having us at your event and allowing us into the space with these people to help make a difference because it really does further feed us to do more of what we do.  


Brad Johnson: Yeah, it’s a beautiful thing. I’ve experienced that obviously coaching financial advisors over the years but it’s a beautiful thing not only to share the coaching and the frameworks and the thought processes but then to see them actually play out in action. Yeah. I know you all have been in a number of groups, Mastermind Talks with Jayson Gaignard, Front Row Dads with Jon Vroman, which was where we first connected, Jim. And just to see like the iterations like we just said, I’ve got a teenager in the house. He’s 13 now. And seeing the rhythms of a family board meeting and what that has personally done for our relationship and the incredible memories that’s created, I have to just believe that’s incredibly rewarding on your side, where you can take some of the stuff that’s worked for your own family and put it out into the world so it benefits others.  


Jamie Sheils: And that’s really close even. I’m sorry I keep cutting you off. I’m just excited to be here. So, because you might not say this about yourself but, actually, on Jim Spellman he goes, and anytime somebody tags us or The Family Board Meeting and shares pictures of their children like you’ve done for years. So, I feel like we’ve grown up watching your children grow up. And so, every time somebody posts one of these amazing pictures with their child like, “Thanks, Jim Sheils,” and it tells about the wonderful day or the breakthroughs or whatever. Jim has all of those screenshotted in a folder on his phone. And I know that he goes back to them and it’s just such a reward and a gift. It’s kind of like watching our own children grow up or like our grandchildren because as weird as that sounds, it’s like, “Wow, our friends are out there doing amazing things with their children,” because we stumbled upon something that worked well.  


Jim Sheils: We thought it was going to be too simple. I’ve always told you that. I mean, I’m like we didn’t think this is even a book-worthy. I didn’t think it was necessarily talk-worthy even. And you get those nudges and then you get the results and that’s been pretty humbling for sure, you know, people like you and so many others. But it’s like, gosh, this one simple little concept with powerful principles around them last the span of a decade plus now, and it seems like it’s picking up speed, not losing steam, which is really exciting.  


Brad Johnson: Yeah. And I would love to because there’s probably some listening in there like, “What’s the family board meeting?” Please. Like, the suspense is building here but what’s the quote? “Necessity is the catalyst of invention.” I just butchered that. But basically, this was born of you all needing a solution to like a real-world family issue that was going on for yourselves. What I love, Jim, the first time I heard you share that is a very authentic, vulnerable place that you went. You said, “Hey, we were in a tough spot and we had to battle through some stuff and we kind of stumbled across this family board meeting and it made all the difference in the world. So, if you wouldn’t mind, I would just love that story in your own words and I think that will take us right down the path of what is the family board meeting. 


Jim Sheils: Yeah. So, gosh, this is going back 12 years now, 12, 13 years now and Jamie and I, when we met, we fell in love pretty instantly as one of those things that you hear about but it was quick. But when I was falling in love with her having two young boys to come with, Jamie was divorced with full custody of two beautiful little boys, you know, I had gone through difficult times and come through it. Here is this little seven-year-old and five-year-old vying for a father figure. I’m running two real estate businesses just coming out of near-extinction from ’08 and I don’t want to mess this up. And we just came up with this concept that first Christmas together of saying, “Hey, let’s start…”  


Jamie Sheils: Jim coupons.  


Jim Sheils: Jim coupons. It was before they called me dad.  


Brad Johnson: Is that what they were called originally?  


Jamie Sheils: Jim Day coupons.  


Jim Sheils: Jim Day coupons.  


Jamie Sheils: Jim made four coupons on a piece of paper and he wrote on it “Good for one Jim Day.” And so…  


Jim Sheils: This is very early on before they asked me to adopt them, before a lot of things, and before they called me dad.  


Jamie Sheils: So, it was about seven, six months in to us knowing each other.  


Jim Sheils: So, I said, “Okay, here’s what we’re going to do.” And so, they’d cash them in and we’d have these days and as you know, especially for my oldest, who’s now we were just out fishing with him this morning. He’s gaffing 40-pound tunas and stuff and doing his thing. You know, he had really struggled especially at a young age of things outside of Jamie’s control. And that was tough but he had a miraculous turnaround in that first year, Brad. And I always tell the story of the year before we started these days together, he was close to failing the second grade. He was having night terrors every night, which is an awful thing. Your kid wakes up screaming and you put on the spectrum of autism at school. There are some heavy things. And, Brad, within that year as you know because you’ve known me over a decade now, we saw a shift and there were just these days of just distinction of spending one-on-one time were just shut away. 


And within a year, his night terrors were gone. They retracted the diagnosis of autism. He got the most improved student of the third grade. And this is where I started to tell the story. Oh, my gosh. I just took the time to spend one day a quarter with this little boy who we got those results without medication and without therapy. And there’s a time and a place for both of us. Absolutely. You know, and that may come later down but that focused attention, I think, just made a difference that we started to share with others like you very vulnerably saying this is very uncomfortable to talk about but it made a difference. And this system of spending this day one-on-one every quarter with just a few principles lined up to support you is now being used. We’ve kind of calculated roughly, Brad. We think there’s like over 300,000 families using this.  


Brad Johnson: Wow. Well, I can tell you and then we’ll recap it so that everybody listening here has the playbook. And what I love, it’s simple. You really can’t screw it up. The only way you can screw it up is not put it on the calendar. That’s the only way. And I was just out in Vegas. I don’t think I told you this. I was out in Vegas for those listening in, Taylor Schulte, great advisor, has a really cool group, Advisor Growth Community, that he kind of oversees of 150 kind of independent financial advisors out there. And like we like connected on Twitter, done a few like podcast things together, but I never actually met him in person. And so, we connected out there and somehow actually his wife came up. She was out there with them as well. And we started talking about the family board meeting and she had just gone on a family board meeting that day with her kids. And what was funny how we connected. He made a post on Twitter, this is years back and said, “Hey, like, this is a real struggle of like the work-life balance.” And like it was a very vulnerable post where it felt like it just kind of not hitting the mark where he needed to be as a dad. 


I sent him your book, The Family Board Meeting, and he immediately implemented the quarterly meetings and he’s like, “Dude, thank you so much. That changed the whole trajectory.” His wife said thank you. And now he’s gifted it to a number of, you know, the Advisor Growth Community. So, it’s like the gift that keeps on giving. It’s like it’s a book that multiplies. And I was just sharing before we went live here. One of the things I like to do, we’re on video for this listing and this is out on YouTube as well, I usually like to get a copy of the book and hold it up. So, I was going to go grab a copy because we always keep some on hand. And so, I went over to the DVD library and we’re out because we just keep giving them away because every time I hear somebody that’s struggling with that kind of balance, I’m just like, “I’ve got the recipe. I’m going to send it to you in the mail.” So, it just works. That’s the only way I can put it. It just works and it’s so simple. You just have to do it. And then I’ll get off my soapbox here in a bit but you do the first one. 


The parent doesn’t have to request anything from there on out because typically the kid, my four and five-year-old, when I started them, we called them Daddy-Braun days, Daddy-Nash Days. That was our version of it. They’re like, “When’s the next Daddy-Braun Day? Daddy-Nash Day. Daddy-Nelly Day?” And they’re like, they want them to be more frequent. So, oftentimes we’ve done more frequently than every quarter. So, what’s like a favorite story or two with 300,000-ish families going through this of just like a before and after, that was just transformational. And any of them out there? 


Jamie Sheils: There are so many.  


Jim Sheils: There’s a lot.  


Jamie Sheils: Well, and what’s interesting, I’ll tie it back a little bit to something that you said a little bit ago, that you would have been saddened if you found the book later and the children were grown. And we do hear that a lot when grandparents get a hold of it and they think, “Oh.” But you know what’s really cool? They then implement it with their grandchildren or aunts that maybe don’t have children of their own or uncles but then they implement it with their nieces and nephews. I think the favorite, you hear all the big transformation stories, but the parts that I love so much is when I hear it becoming like multi-generational or people who start after that 18th summer who realized, “Gosh, I can still make the most of the time that I have. Even if they’re not in the home, well, I can return back to intentionality and connect with my children, my grandchildren.” And I think it’s never too late to begin doing that.  


Jim Sheils: Yeah. For me, Brad, speaking to you, there are so many that comes up. But I remember the one time you brought me in to speak and there was someone that you worked with, and she was having a real struggle with their son and they literally went home in the next day to the board meeting and there was like a transformational shift. They said they’ve both been busy out of the house. The dad had been away more than even her. I don’t know if you remember then. She sent me this line.  


Brad Johnson: I remember the exact story.  


Jamie Sheils: I know exactly this one too. 


Jim Sheils: His behavior changed in a day, like in a day.  


Jamie Sheils: Because they were hearing, like, daily daycare notes, right? I know exactly what you’re talking about.  


Jim Sheils: And they just put… 


Brad Johnson: If I remember right, their child was suffering from night terrors as well because I remember you told that story and she was like, “Us, too.”  


Jim Sheils: Yeah. Yeah.  


Jamie Sheils: But it’s so powerful that all three of us in this room like that was years ago, like maybe five years ago because it was pre-pandemic. And this is how much family matters and this is how much everybody that listens matters, and everybody that we wrote that book for matters like your kids matter. Like, we’re sitting here on a podcast saying, “I remember her son.”  


Jim Sheils: Yeah. Well, and I remember see, too, I want to go over real quick. I remember there was someone in a mastermind group with us, Brad. He was getting a divorce. His business had gone really bad and he had two twin daughters. And he went, I mean, he was down and he went on it. He spent a day with each of them. And he came back to me and he said, both of them said separately like, “We don’t care about the business. We just want you.” And he says today, that’s still changed how he rebuilt his business, he got remarried, and was a much better husband. But his daughters had that space to say, “Don’t you realize we weren’t wanting this big business or all these extras. We wanted you and that’s all we want.” And that gave him a second lease on how he was going to move forward. So, that one always sticks with me. 


And lastly, not to be self-serving here, but again, we probably doubted this thing and this was just a simple thing. How do I stay in line? But we were just here in Costa Rica for our next book, working with one of our editors, and they’re interviewing our sons and the stories in the book because you’ve read it a few times. Our one son who was afraid of heights and I go up in the lighthouse and I tell the whole story of that day of the board meeting, well, he now has a gutter cleaning business and so he’s on roofs every day. And I didn’t put this together. I’m like, “Oh yeah, wait a minute.” And then Alden really has overcome huge things and he’s doing great in pursuing his passions. Well, he has his own charter fishing business. I mean, who would have thought 12 years ago spending a day fishing with this little…  


Jamie Sheils: Because that was his passion actually is fishing. Now, he runs a charter fishing business and he got his captain’s license at 18 years old, which is the earliest you can get to receive a captain’s license. See, how they kind of light the path when you get to know them and you let them unfold during these days, you really get to see kind of like guideposts or little breadcrumbs along the way.  


Jim Sheils: We’re like the movie and they’re like, “Oh, that’s how it was going to play out. That makes total sense now.” Who would have thought a decade ago like, oh yeah, spending these days, letting him go deep in his passion of fishing is actually going to get him the direction of success and happiness? But it did. And it has. And we hear those stories more and more like I got clear that they were really passionate about this, that they really cared about this. And I was able to support them in that. And that’s a common theme and thousands that I’ve heard from, which is really, really inspiring.  


Brad Johnson: Yeah. Testament to the work you all have done and how you’ve poured into the family. And I know, like what I also love is the realness. You’re like, “We’re very imperfect. We screw this up,” and we all do. There’s no perfect playbook to being a parent. But I’ve met both of your sons. You brought the whole crew to South Carolina, the bigs, the littles, as you call them. And I will tell you, you’ve raised two great young men, the type of guys that look you in the eye, give you a firm handshake, don’t shy away from an adult conversation. And this was really cool like you talk about Alden’s love for fishing. My boys are 13, well, now 13 and 11 but about a year ago, they’re out on the dock, and Alden’s over there teaching them how to fish just like a big brother. And I remember a concept, Jim, that I borrowed from you. You call it the fun uncle concept.  


Jim Sheils: Yeah.  


Brad Johnson: And I’ve experienced this where as a parent, obviously, you want to mentor and pour into your kids and it’s, “Hey, don’t forget to use your manners. Don’t forget to look people in the eye, shake their hand, all that,” which they’re like, “Yeah, yeah, Dad, I know. You tell me all the time.” But then Jim Sheils or Jamie Sheils shows up, I guess I should say the fun aunt or uncle. And you can tell them the same thing and now they’re like, “Oh, I really like that Jim guy,” and they actually listen to you. They don’t resist the message, you know?  


Jim Sheils: But we’re not immune.  


Jamie Sheils: Nothing drives us easier than when somebody thinks their dad is cool.  


Jim Sheils: Yeah, but they thought you were cool.  


Jamie Sheils: Yeah. they think you’re cool.  


Jim Sheils: When you razzed Leland for hard flexing with Tim Tebow in that picture, he still talks. He’s like, “Brad’s funny.” He’s like, “He caught me flexing and he called me out.”  


Brad Johnson: Hey, Charlie, if you’re listening, we need to throw that in the show notes. Let’s find that picture for those that weren’t there. So, we had Tim Tebow come out to that founder’s retreat in South Carolina. And so, everybody had a chance to do a meet and greet. And Leland works out like he gets after it and he’s pretty well put together. And he legitimately had a full flex where he’s like flexing off versus Tim Tebow, which, by the way, I would not recommend for anybody.  


Jamie Sheils: Leland had far less sense than he has muscles. His sense of humor is comparable to none really.  


Jim Sheils: He has a good sense of humor.  


Brad Johnson: He is a funny kid for sure. Yeah, go ahead, Jim. Sorry.  


Jim Sheils: I was going to say the fun uncle, fun aunts. We have always tried to get our families involved in things like when we went to with Triad, and you’re like, “Can you come up for the week?” And I was like, “Yep, I can.” Because we just know whenever we go there, you’re going to get around value-driven, like-minded people.  


Jamie Sheils: Similar core values.  


Jim Sheils: That you’re going to learn something and our kids just thrive from it. And so, kudos to you to having a community where you involve family because that’s something we always wanted to do. If we can get our kids to meet people like you and others, well then they’re going to listen. They’re going to spread their wings more. They’re going to be…  


Jamie Sheils: They’re going to see what’s possible.  


Jim Sheils: Open. Yeah, see what’s possible.  


Jamie Sheils: Higher caliber of people.  


Jim Sheils: Big part.  


Jamie Sheils: Sure.  


Brad Johnson: Well, our mission here at Triad is do business do life. We want to do business with people we want to do life with. And for me and for our community, that’s basically a core principle to many of them. I don’t want to build a business and sacrifice my family. And that was one of the reasons Triad exists today is to build a model where that was possible. And so, when we do the Founders Retreat, we’re like, as an entrepreneur, you decide. You want it to be a business retreat? Come solo. Do you want it to be a couple’s getaway? Great. Bring your significant other. We had more children there, you were there, than we did adults. And it was really cool. It was not like chaos where kids are running around like, wow, that was like they had some cool experiences. We had kids club, we had scavenger hunts, and then we did business sessions and it just felt like a beautiful blend of everything, all there together.  


Jamie Sheils: The best I’ve seen of a family-integrated event. I mean, that was…  


Jim Sheils: Yeah.  


Jamie Sheils: Your team did a phenomenal job.  


Jim Sheils: They did. Yeah. That was very well done. We’ve been to a lot.  


Jamie Sheils: We had a blast and our children had a blast.  


Jim Sheils: You know, that speaks both.  


Brad Johnson: So did we. Well, hey, come back. Come back anytime. You just let me know. Well, I want to make sure we give the recipe to the actual family. What are the bullet points to hit that basically, we can say this is a board meeting?  


Jim Sheils: So, let’s put this right on the back of a napkin. It’s that easy. So, every quarter, each of us has a board meeting with each of our children. What is a board meeting? When Triad leadership teams getting together, what do you do, Brad? Well, you assess the last 90 days and then you look ahead to the next 90 days, right? You regroup the team and then you look at the next 90 days. That’s what I think our entrepreneurial business is, what a board meeting was about. And I thought when these two young boys came, I said, “I want to do that with them. They’re the most important investors and clients and team members in my life.” So, that’s what we started to do. Every quarter I’d have at least 4 hours, so at least half a day with them only following three guiding principles. That’s it. And the first principle is the most important, one-on-one. One-on-one is the most overlooked strategy that could save so many marriages, so many families. If people hear nothing, Brad, and you know I say this all the time, you got to get one-on-one. If you will separate the parts, you will strengthen the whole. That individual time is so important and it so rarely happens. 


Like, I joke all the time, I come from an Irish Catholic family, which means I have like 4,000 cousins. And that’s great. But it’s the one-on-one time when you get below the surface, where you have the more meaningful conversations, where you’re more present and you see something that might need to be discussed or something of interest and talent that you can help develop. One-on-one time is the best way to strengthen the family as a whole by doing it with each of the members. So, every quarter I’m one-on-one with each of my children. On this day that I get one-on-one with them, I’m doing a tech fast. There is no electronics. I don’t bring my phone. You have a team. They don’t bring their phone. We don’t realize how much the devices can get between us. So, I don’t want them between us on these days because nothing says I don’t respect you or prioritize you more than something else than you’re in a conversation or playing with them, and you stop and you take three texts or that quick phone call or look at the Facebook thread that you didn’t even need to read. So, every quarter it’s one-on-one and I’m doing a tech fast. The phones are off. There is no electronics. You’ve got to disconnect to reconnect. 


And the third thing is just go all in on what they’re going to do. I know from following you for years, you were not necessarily going from your football background, a Pokémon guy. But you became a Pokémon guy because it was a young interest of theirs and they wanted to have a Pokémon day. So, you go all in on what they do. They get to build the day. People support what they help create. So, we’re always pointing our kids to what we think they might want to do. I let them design the day and go all in. When you go all in, it’s called, what we call fun activity with focused reflection. Fun activity with focused reflection is a hidden abbreviation of experiential education. And that gives you the chance to go deep with your child, really get into the trenches with them. And what happens at the end of the day is something called decompression where you can discuss the day, you can have a little bit more of a step back to assess your overall relationship. And one of the best ways to keep moving forward that I find happening, Brad, is a sincere apology or a genuine apology. And those are two things that our children are missing today, sincere compliments, genuine apologies, because sometimes as busy entrepreneurs, advisors, we give ourselves immunity. We steamroll over them and we don’t want to do that.  


Brad Johnson: Yeah.  


Jamie Sheils: Three steps.  


Jim Sheils: Three steps. One-on-one.  


Jamie Sheils: Without electronics. Fun activity.  


Jim Sheils: With focused reflection.  


Jamie Sheils: That they choose.  


Jim Sheils: That’s it. Every quarter, quarter in, quarter out, year after year. And now you’re going on a decade almost now, Brad, which is pretty exciting.  


Jamie Sheils: It’s amazing.  


Brad Johnson: It’s magical. Man, that sounds so simple. So, if you’re out there listening, you’re like, “That’s it?” That’s it, just do it, and watch the magic happen. You said a few things there I want to go back to. I’ll hit the last. Well, on the tech fast, this is one thing, it’s an epidemic right now in our society and all you have to do is go out to your next time you go out to eat as a family and just look around the restaurant and look at how many families are there physically but not mentally. They’re not checked in. And it’s sad. How it will play out, maybe you all have studies you probably do with the work you do but COVID did not help with the connection, although everybody was there but I feel like there’s more disconnect now than ever. What does research show? I’m sure you have some statistics or two with electronic devices and quality time and connection, but how have you seen that get in the way? Because I think that is a really big, big thing going on right now.  


Jamie Sheils: Absolutely. So, and was it the 50s or the 60s, this dinnertime? We actually started…  


Jim Sheils: 1960.  


Jamie Sheils: 1960. The average family mealtime was 90 minutes. And recently, in recent years…  


Jim Sheils: About four years ago, the average time was…  


Jamie Sheils: 12 minutes. 


Jim Sheils: 12 minutes.  


Brad Johnson: 12?  


Jamie Sheils: 12. So, from 90 to 12 minutes. And the difference being, one, I mean, everybody’s running off to do something, an email, Twitter, some other form of connection that’s not there with the family. They’re running to some device but no longer is family participating in preparation of the meal. No longer is family sitting and discussing, well, “Hey, what went on with your day?” A deeper discussion and decompression and then consuming a meal in a manner in which is actually nourishing to your body, where you’re focused and you’re taking your time. And it’s just such a huge difference. And we kind of combined a couple of things because with this tech fasting, we had started in our family putting, it was 2 hours a day, no electronics. We just kind of picked like 4 to 6 p.m. or 5 to 7pm and we started that when the older boys were young teens because we were seeing their brain needed a decompression point of the day and we wanted them to have a time in the day in which we were fully available. And we needed to know a time in the day in which they were resting and kind of recovering from the world, if you will. 


And although we had time constraints on their devices and even though there were parental controls and all of those things are great but we all need a time of complete fasting and a moment in which we can rest and heal honestly. And so, during these 2 hours, we didn’t sit around and like stare at each other. We didn’t have to talk or play a game every day or whatever it may have been. We just knew that that was a family core value. The phones all kind of hung out in the same place and we were usually doing something separate from one another but we were kind of in that collective space of a pause. We then evolved that once we heard this dinner time gap that’s happening and we moved it to cover, which I guess it kind of did before the hours in which we prep, consume, and clean up dinner. And so, we started calling it the Dinner Time Challenge. And we added into that our friend Joey Coleman, mutual friend, Joey Coleman.  


Brad Johnson: Yes. Yeah.  


Jamie Sheils: They came to visit us once and introduced us to this idea of Best and Weirdest. And so, that’s how we start conversation at our dinner table as we do. What was the best part of your day and what was the weirdest part of your day? Now, since now we’ve heard variations of it becoming freakiest, funniest part of your day, best, worst, weirdest thorns and rose, there’s all sorts of things.  


Jim Sheils: Whatever gets the conversation going.  


Brad Johnson: Have you heard of Happy Crappy?  


Jamie Sheils: Yes! Yeah, yeah.  


Brad Johnson: Our families run with that one a bit. Yeah.  


Jim Sheils: I like that one. 


Jamie Sheils: And so, we do that every night at dinner and it’s just a great way because there’s so much that you don’t know that happens in your spouse or your child’s day that comes up during Best and Weirdest. And oftentimes, it’s a great way to start laughing as well. On birthdays, we do big family dinners every Sunday but on birthdays and they’re always on Sundays as well, we go around the table and you have to say the best and weirdest thing about the birthday person. And that is always a lot of fun too.  


Jim Sheils: The goal here, Brad, is to get conversation going and distance from tech because like you said, when we heard that everyone’s rushing back to something else and it’s normally a device…  


Jamie Sheils: What if we removed that?  


Jim Sheils: To try to communicate? Yeah, what if we remove that? And the severity of that really came, we’ve had a gentleman on our podcast named Dr. Kim John Payne. Simplicity Parenting, incredible book. He has a huge following. He taught us a lot. He was a medic relief in the war-torn areas of Burma. We’re talking very highly militarized, dangerous areas, just a lot of destruction. He was working with the children. He was trying to help the children there. He was a psychologist and help them with PTSD. And this always stuck with me. And he was there for several years. He went back and he had a practice, I believe, in both the Australia and the United States for children. And he had done all these studies on PTSD working through Burma. And he started to get confused and say, “Are my wires getting crossed?” And he went deeper into this study with the children that he was working with…  


Jamie Sheils: Who were presenting the same…  


Jim Sheils: Presenting the same symptoms of PTSD that he dealt with children in Burma. He said it was like identical. And the big aha that he was coming up with the children that were showing these same signs of PTSD were on electronics significantly.  


Jamie Sheils: And overstimulated by it. 


Jim Sheils: They were over-stimulated. So, there were no restrictions, especially from electronics. And these children in the first-world, safe countries were showing the same symptoms of PTSD as a child in Burma who really had reason to be absolutely afraid and suffering PTSD.  


Jamie Sheils: And electronics is a part of that, as well as like over-scheduling.  


Jim Sheils: Over-scheduling.  


Jamie Sheils: Like delving too much into the day and not leaving space for decompression, communication, regulation.  


Jim Sheils: Yeah.  

[Text Wrapping Break]Brad Johnson: What was the age ranges of these children, just out of curiosity? 


Jamie Sheils: I want to say like 8 to 12, 6 to 12, something like that. 


Brad Johnson: I was at a comedy show in Chicago, Second City. Have you all ever been, kind of the improv comedy? 


Jim Sheils: I’ve heard of it, though, of course. 


Brad Johnson: But great show. It was around the holidays. And I remember a joke, and there was this couple that was talking and the skit that they were doing, and they said, “Hey, honey, did we get the babysitter?” And they’re like, “Oh, I think– oh, no. It’s right over there. Yeah, yeah, the kids are with the iPad.” And of course, everybody laughs. And I’m like, but there’s so much, unfortunately, there’s truth in that. And I mean, we’ve all been guilty, I think, of you have a crazy day, and then sometimes, it’s just easier to just get, okay, let’s just let them be on the iPad or the iPhone for an hour or two. But there’s this stimulation, this constant stimulation. It’ll be crazy how it plays out. That is like what you’re just talking about. 


And I know, like all the parents I know, they want to be the best version of parent they can be, role in perfect, but I just love that we’re talking about it right now because you have to start to assess it. And I love it, like you recognize. And by the way, I see it, I’ve got a 13-year-old. All his buddies are on it. They’re FaceTiming each other nonstop. And you kind of want to start to create the space. It’s like, “Oh, okay, let’s start to pull everything back here where we’re back to center where it needs to be.” So, any other frameworks or rhythms you all get in as a family, they kind of go down that path where you’ve had success with that. 


Jim Sheils: I think dinner time and these quarterly board meetings are super important when it’s a day and also time for Jamie as you got to experience. Date night is just monstrously important. It is so important to keep dating your spouse, to have that reconnection. Love your kids, but man, you need some space from them to just have the two of you. I mean, that is so necessary. So, the rhythm of date night, I think is, again, so overlooked and so misguided. That is an easy one to get back into the rotation, which we can talk about. And we’ve been watching that, not only in our own relationship, make waves in a lot of other relationships. And it’s so doable. It’s so doable, especially if you follow the framework. 


Brad Johnson: Yeah, well, the truth is, if it’s not okay between mom and dad, I’ve seen it. I can think of a real-life story. Great couple, incredible parents. And what I saw was just– and this is easy to do. You have kids. You’re running around the sports activities where the focus shifts from each other down to the children and you’re basically roommates driving your kids around. And I’ve seen a few relationships over the years where they were incredible parents, but they forgot to keep dating and loving each other. And then what happened? Divorce. And now, how are the kids impacted with that, where now, here’s this weekend with mom, this weekend with dad? And if you don’t keep that relationship solid and strong, then it cascades down to the kids. So, I couldn’t agree more with that thought process. 


Jamie Sheils: He gets it, it’s important. It’s a hard thing to say and it’s a hard thing for some people to hear, but the children know that our relationship will always come first, like we are the primary and we were here first. And then, we kind of fall in line from there the same way that we also communicate with our children. You’re not rich, your parents are rich. Like, it’s not your money, it’s our money. Our relationship is first before our relationship with you and just kind of laying that boundary and expectation out of, like this is really important, our regulation together, and then it makes us being loved and supported by such a strong partner makes us incredible parents. 


I think all the time, he’ll say all the time, “Gosh, our kids hit the mom jackpot.” And I think, gosh, I couldn’t be mom jackpot if I didn’t have such a great support and father that loves to have fun and be silly and then rubs my feet at night when I’m exhausted. This whole balance of like, how much of your parents support you. 


Brad Johnson: Jam, you’re making me look bad over here. 


Jamie Sheils: I just made that up to make him look good. 


Brad Johnson: Okay, cool. Cool. 


Jim Sheils: Brad, you’ve been around this enough to hear my bad jokes. Believe me, there’s plenty of deficit I have, so. 


Jamie Sheils: But just starting with the primary, I think, is really important. 


Jim Sheils: Yeah. So, if you want to talk… 


Brad Johnson: Yeah, let’s shift. I’ll close kind of what we call The Family Board Meeting chapter. I want to share something that was super meaningful to me. And I think what’s really cool is once you get this rhythm, and I’ll just say it one more time, I can think of a guy we both know. He was at like his second or third Front Row Dads retreat. And I remember what happened was there was a group that implemented that concept the first time you spoke, and then it was like another session or two. And these were happening every 6 to 12 months. 


And there was this group and this was all dads. They were like, “Oh yeah, I meant to do that. I had that my notes and I just didn’t get it done.” Just put it on your calendar, like a Saturday, four hours, it’s not unattainable. And that one-on-one, at the moment you do it, it just unlocks this whole part of your child’s personality that you didn’t know. I guess, assuming they have a sibling, I should say that you didn’t know existed. 


Jim Sheils: Either way because sometimes, especially for busy dads, but normally, it’s the busy dad, it can go either way, right? And the son or daughter might feel closer to the mom and open up and talk to them more because they’re more used to it. It takes away that option to have that crunch. 


Jamie Sheils: That’s safe to your company. 


Jim Sheils: Yeah, well, it’s just that magnifying glass. 


Brad Johnson: That’s a solid point because my daughter was attached to my wife’s head for the first four years of her life. And I remember when we did the first board meeting, it was a little hike, and all of a sudden, she was just jabbering with me and I’m like, “This is magical.” So, that’s such I’m glad you brought that up. 


But let’s just go to where it’s evolved. So, I just did a coming of age trip. He brought a Pokémon. So, my middle son Nash is like, he could tell you every set, every character, the price. He’s like a little encyclopedia of these things. And so, we just spent a few days out of the Dallas Card Show, which is the second largest card show in America, like 700 tables. 


And so, we just kicked out. There was no bedtime because he was with dad. So, it’s trade night. So like midnight, one in the morning and the last night. So, we were there Thursday night, Friday night. This was Saturday night. We were all into the hotel room. I think it was 1 a.m., so sorry, sir, if you’re listening, but we rolled into the room and he had just set up his own little– it was like a lemonade stand except for cards where he was doing these trades, making these deals with 25-year-olds. It was awesome. And so, he crawls into bed. We’re both tired. Lights are off. He’s in one queen bed, I’m in the other. And he rolls over and he goes, “I love you, Dad.” 


Jamie Sheils: Oh. 


Brad Johnson: Unsolicited. I wasn’t like, goodnight, buddy. He left the bed. I share that and just like it makes me want to cry, tears of happiness because that space was created where he was seen, we were doing something he was really interested in, and that was love for him in his language. And that is where that bond deepens and connects. And because of that, that’s why I say, get it on your calendar because once you do as a parent, it’s like the most intoxicating, addicting drug as a parent. And so, I just want to share that story because it’s life changing and I want people out there to hear it and run with it and implement it because once they do, they will never look back. 


Jim Sheils: Well, when they hear that from you, brother, they know the authenticity. They want that same situation the same way I want it. And you wanted it and you had hit the biggest plus and the biggest minus. How am I going to do this? It sounds so simple. Put it on your calendar. Why is the number one reason, the number one reason why this strategy fails? You don’t put it on the calendar, that which we schedule gets done. So, you’ve hit the nail on the head saying this is how special it can be and this is why it will work and why it won’t. And I couldn’t have said it better myself. 


Brad Johnson: And hey, as a dad, Jamie, you’ll have to let me know if it works the same way with moms. The truth is, us dads, we’re just big kids. And so, I had as much fun, those two or three days. I was right next to Nash. I’m doing my deals over here, right? And I think it’s like also an opportunity as a dad, I get to relive a childhood and I get to be a kid again. And that’s fun too as a 42-year-old. So, it’s awesome on both fronts. 


Okay. Well, let’s save some time because also your date night framework is magical. So, I want to spend some time there. So, I believe you call it date night with the question. And I was going to ask this before, but we kind of went down The Family Board Meeting. You had mentioned there was a couple at our DBDL founders retreat. Obviously, let’s not unveil identities or anything. But I’m curious, you said there’s a couple there like you still talk about. What kind of went down or what– because I think that’s a great lead in to the power of this. 


Jamie Sheils: That’s good. So, we had a couple that, at the end, honestly, like during the talk, you could read that body language. 


Jim Sheils: Yeah, you can read some happenings. 


Jamie Sheils: And I could tell that there was a couple in the room that were there because they thought they should be there, maybe. Maybe that’s the way to describe it. And at the end of it, one of them came up to me and was emotional and shared, “Thank you so much. We really needed that.” And then like, completely shared their heart of maybe what had been going on and the distance that had been created in their life and where they were trying to go, like how they were wanting to save and repair this marriage, honestly. 


And I remember, one of them felt this way. The other one was standing there like, “Shut up now, it’s over. Let’s go.” Honestly, it was still the body went like, I’m so over the shed, I don’t want to talk. I mean that it was so hard and so hurt and so over it. And the one partner, though, had been cracked and had been reached and was like, “Wow, I want this.” And then the next day, so fast forward the next day, the next morning, they both came up to us and they were both emotional and both sad. We stayed up into the wee hours of the morning talking about things and connecting in ways that we haven’t in so long. You may have saved your marriage. 


Brad Johnson: Wow. 


Jim Sheils: Yeah, they saved it. And best conversation that had happened a decade and over a decade. 


Jamie Sheils: And the spouse that was hardened was softened as well because he– I’m sorry, and I’m giving he/she, but the one spouse that had buy-in straight away, I guess the humility and the desire to help and to change and to work through it really showed up because then the other partner thought, okay, you’re stepping in, I’ll step in, too. And then I don’t know, I would be curious to hear if they kept up on their weekly date nights and how that’s working for them. But I know that was a pivotal moment where they could take back their family and their marriage. 


Brad Johnson: That’s awesome. I hadn’t heard that. So, hey, that’s why we brought you in, like that right there, that story, that makes– if it was just that couple, which, by the way, there were a lot more couples than that that you all impacted. But yeah, I’m going to hit something and then we can come back to the date night. Jim, you shared this one time. I don’t know if it was a conversation or what, but it’s this entrepreneurial lie, this is what I’ll call it, of I’m building this business for the family, like I’m providing. And yes, there’s an aspect of making a living to support the roof over your head and all of that. 


But the truth is, there’s a lot of spouses and kids that start to resent and hate the business because it steals the person that they love from the family. And what you just shared there, Jamie, that’s what it reminds me of, it’s like I don’t want more money in the bank account. I don’t want another car. I want you to be present in here. And you all have seen that play out in a lot of different ways. But what’s the additional color commentary? Because I think that’s the lie that, specifically males, myself, I’ve fallen victim to that, that we live sometimes. Yeah, like… 


Jim Sheils: As well, because I would do that. I think. Brad, it’s easier to be a good businessman than a good husband and father. And we bury ourselves with business sometimes consciously or unconsciously because it’s too damn hard to be really good at all, and so, we think… 


Jamie Sheils: Well, it feels like it is. 


Jim Sheils: It feels like it is. And then we have this, well, we’ll get back to them and they’ll understand. And if I get this going here, then all the other things will just fall into place anyway if we get the business from 2x to 7x, right? Then that’s going to be the point where it’s just euphoria and everything’s fine and everyone understands and that’s just someday never comes. Someday, I will be able to slow down and get to this. You hear the Steve Jobs story I tell where Steve Jobs on his deathbed with Walter Isaacson who is a biographer was doing final interviews to explain to his family why he wasn’t always there for them. 


This is a guy who had a huge following, murals, and candlelight vigils from the business community when he died. But he had a lot of regret and he talked about it with his biographer and his biographer said to him, “Steve, are you glad you had a family?” And Steve Jobs, who had a reputation for not being a great guy, but I think we get clarity at the end of our life. And he was there and he said, “Man, it’s 10,000 times better than anything I’ve ever done.” And I think we keep lying to ourselves of, yes, we’ll be able to slow down. Yes, once we get to this benchmark, but we keep moving the goalposts or we keep putting more of a deficit, or where do we borrow this time from or this effort of the spokesman? Oh, we’ll take it off of spouse time or children time. We are… 


Jamie Sheils: You bark in that it’s okay because you’re providing something else. 


Jim Sheils: Yes. 


Jamie Sheils: Like, oh, well, they get to go to the best schools or oh, well, she gets to drive a nice car or whatever it may be. 


Jim Sheils: But the connection… 


Jamie Sheils: The connection is lost. 


Jim Sheils: … is very, very dead. 


Jamie Sheils: And one thing, we’ve had our ghostwriter here in town. We are publishing the third edition of The Family Board Meeting next week and we have a book coming out at the end of the year as well. And we were working together. And one of the questions he asked us this week was, “Do you know when it’s enough?” Like money, he was talking to us about money. Like, what is your number? Or what is your end game? You guys work hard and you strive hard and you– and what is what? His thing was what or how much. 


And Jim and I, at the same time, we said, “Gosh, there’s not a number. There’s a how.” Am I still doing date night with my wife? Am I still connecting with my children? Can I still cut out to go grab a four-wheeler with the kids before they go to camp? Am I showing up at all of the dance recitals and baseball games? And do you know what I mean? That’s… 


Jim Sheils: Do I have time to do podcast interviews with friends? Like, it’s the how. 


Jamie Sheils: Were we still getting to work out? Are we still getting– like all of the things, it’s not about how much money we can make, it’s about… 


Jim Sheils: How you’re making it. 


Jamie Sheils: Yes. And the impact that we’re making along the way, first in our own family, but then exponentially, how can we serve? And if we bottom out in those parts that matter to us that we bottom out in our family, then we actually… 


Jim Sheils: We lose. 


Jamie Sheils: Absolutely lose. But we’ve done a practice. We do this about once a year, and forgive me, but it’s called The F*ck-It List. And this is what we do when we decide, okay, so if it gets to be too much and we say f*ck it, what can we do with our streams of income? Because if we say we just want to be done with work tomorrow and only play for the rest of our lives, what does that look like? And that’s a practice that we have in our life because never will scaling come before the foundation of our marriage and our family and our friendships. 


Brad Johnson: It sounds like a perfect conversation for a podcast called Do Business Do Life. So, we should probably flip that though. It should be Do Life Do Business. We probably got that in order. If one of the things we coach on which, by the way, you’re hitting something, I mean, I feel really fortunate I got into finance at the age of 26, and most of my clients were almost twice my age, 40s, 50s, 60s. 


And I remember when Sarah and I had our first child, universally, don’t take this for granted. It goes so fast. Be present. Be there for the stuff that matters. And I was at least aware enough in that moment to listen. And I didn’t do it perfect, but I was really fortunate because I had people 10, 20, 30 years further down the road than I was. And there were some of them that had those regrets. And that’s the saddest thing in life is to have regrets. It’s like I missed my kid’s high school days because I was busy building a business. And what you just hit is something we coach on a lot because business creates red-line behavior. I think we have a mutual friend, Simon Bowen. 


Jim Sheils: Oh, yeah. 


Brad Johnson: From Australia. You remember his futures model, red-line, green-line behavior? So, the red-line behavior is just build a business and burn yourself out. Like, I know what you’re talking about, Jamie, just do all the stuff you didn’t just mention and do business first. And then green-line behavior is kind of Covey’s 7 Habits, start with the end in line and retrofit your schedule. And we call it big rocks on our Johnson family calendar. 


Jamie Sheils: Yeah. 


Brad Johnson: The pillars of the stuff that matters, the family trips, the vacations, the kids’ sports, and then you retrofit everything else. And granted, sometimes business things, you do have to do a trade-off. None of it is perfect, but at least if you start with the intention first of what is the higher priority, because what I’ve seen is I’ve seen a lot of business owners and advisors flipped that where we just had a coaching call the other day. And this guy with the young family, and it’s like, I’m missing my kids’ sports, I’m missing their games. And guess what? All the money in the world can’t buy that back five years from now, just not possible. So, I love that mindset. It aligns 100% with what we talk about at Triad. And with that, our time is limited, so we never have enough time. 


Jim Sheils: Let’s just end with dating your spouse should never end. And when it doesn’t end, man, thing is, we just look so forward to that, just like our kids do. You were saying your son marks off the dates and, Brad, Wednesdays 5:30 to 8:30, I’m like, giddy. I’m like, yes, it’s hump day. We’re going on a date. And it’s almost a board meeting. It’s just the two of us. My phone is not invited. And we plan something and there’s great conversation. We do it the same bat time, same bat channel. This is the biggest hack for all of your financial advisor buddies or any of us, your buddies. 


Jamie Sheils: In fact, what we’ve been on, I was having a hard time clearing date night. 


Jim Sheils: Date night popping up on the screen. 


Brad Johnson: Am I getting into date night? 


Jim Sheils: No, no, we’re in Costa Rica timing. Brad, you’re good. 


Brad Johnson: Okay, okay, okay. 


Jamie Sheils: So, in Florida, it is date night right now, but not in Costa Rica. 


Jim Sheils: Not yet, not in Costa Rica. So, we choose the same day, same time, every week. That way you can get sitters and has permanent rotation. You’re not trying to squeeze it in. Like, oh, how about Friday next week? No, I can’t. Or how about Tuesday? I don’t take calls or I barely ever travel on a Wednesday, like we just have it down. And the hack of hacks, Brad, and I hate the word hacks, but this really is, we set all that in place and then we are not allowed to go there and say, “How was the kids’ school today?” Oh wow, the weather’s getting warmer because it’s summer, all those drab, boring, non-Casanova romantic questions. 


We have a deck of cards that we design and then we create new ones once we’ve gone through it. And one or two questions we ask per date, something deep and below the surface, that’s not surface level. Then it gets you to know your spouse better, date them. I mean, you saw it. There were people when we chose a question out of our deck and went around and had the conversation, there were people 25 years married, they didn’t know these about each other. 


And I just get so excited when I’m doing one or two questions a week through a whole year of how better I know Jamie, how much I can support her, fall in love with her more. And that’s the hack of our date night. We do the same time every week. We bring one or two powerful questions, and that’s what we focus on instead of what are the errands we’re going to run tomorrow or what was the kids’ grades at school. That stuff can wait. This is about us. 


Jamie Sheils: Yeah. And to be honest, Brad, because you love us because we’re real, sometimes we will have a little tension through the day. Or maybe there’s something we’ve been trying to work out for a couple of days. And maybe I don’t really feel like going on a date. I don’t think Jim ever feels the same, but sometimes, I feel that way. I’m like, eye roll, I got to go get all pretty for this guy that’s getting on my nerves. 


But I will tell you, within just the very first few minutes of the date, maybe 30 minutes, like he reaches over and he grabs my hand or he opens the door or he asks me some question that I thought there’s no way he noticed. How did he even notice that? Or how did he notice this has been on my heart? And it totally resoftens me again. And I am reminded every single time we go on a date, I’m like, this is why this guy is here. Even in those moments which you feel like maybe I’d rather not show up, the fact that you have it scheduled and you have a rhythm, you do show up. And when you’re showing up, it’s half the battle, right? And then it just goes from there. 


Brad Johnson: It’s like going to the gym. It’s like just show up and it’s amazing. Work gets done, right? I want to hit one thing you shared. It’s funny. It’s just like the board meeting stuff. Same thing, Sarah and I have gone through these rhythms of life. I forget, it was advice given to us by somebody, was like a family friend that had been married 50-plus years. And he’s just like, “Date night once a week.” There’s wisdom in that, right? 


And I remember with travel and work, we were like, “Oh, we can’t do it Thursday. Oh, we can’t do it.” But to your point, if you have a set night that is your night, okay, so it works four out of five weeks. And now, that fifth week you’re traveling for something, okay, well, it’s easier to reschedule and move that one week than every single week to constantly be looking at the calendar, trying to sort things out. So, I love that that it’s the same time every week. It’s that rhythm you’re talking about where you can just depend on it. And then when it does have to move, okay, you move the one week, not every week is a new week sort of deal. So, I’m assuming you all have dealt with that as well. 


Jamie Sheils: Oh, yeah. 


Jim Sheils: Very much. 


Jamie Sheils: It also gives the children an expectation because now, they know which night is date night. And so, they have something to look forward to. They have a sitter, they get pizza, they get a show. It’s special to them, too. Like, I really am excited that our children are going to grow up and know that they, too, need to have a date night a week. Like, they’re going to know. 


I want a man for my daughter. Daughter is so excited to show up and go on a date with them. Or I want my sons to date their spouse. I just think it’s just such a tone to set such an example to lead by to. 


Brad Johnson: Yeah. Well, one thing on the question because I remember the exact question. So, when we did the date night in South Carolina, the question was the teacher, mentor, coach that had the biggest impact on your life. And Sarah and I had been married 17 years at that point, learned something new that night about my wife, and she learned something new about me. And it was cool because there were 25 couples around that table. And I’m just looking around observing because we’re hosting an experience. I want to make sure to sit at home. And just the conversation, you can tell when people are surface level and you can tell when they’re deep. And these were deep conversations going on all the way around the table. So, I love the intentionality. 


You’re reminding me we need to bust that deck back out. It’s sitting at the house. So, thanks for the reminder. And you hit one other thing that night, as we’re getting towards the end here, I would love for you to share. You shared and you said this a little earlier. There is a framework that you walk through that is a– I think you call it a sincere compliment, which basically how you compliment another individual. Is that what you call it or am I butchering that? 


Jim Sheils: Yeah, it was actually designed by Patrick Lencioni, the famous business author, but he used them for executives. 


Jamie Sheils: Genuine compliment or sincere apology. 


Jim Sheils: So, we call it an SBI, specific situation, behavior, intention. So, I can say, and it’s because if you say, “Hey, Brad, you’re funny,” it’s your child or your wife, they’re kind of like ah, BS. But when you tie it to something specific, I made you feel more inspired you to do. That’s what we talk about giving a sincere appreciation. We call it the SBI. And that’s something I forgot we went through with you that night. 


Jamie Sheils: Authentic gratitude. 


Jim Sheils: But those are three pieces. And I can explain it real quick if you want. 


Brad Johnson: Yeah, I mean, I’ll start your date night off, right? If you don’t mind, if you want to share an example with Jamie, I think, because obviously, I’m in a business of relationships. Obviously, when you express gratitude to another human, that always deepens the connection. But the intentionality, like the way you framed it, it’s like you can’t BS your way through it to your point. So, if you wouldn’t mind just kind of sharing an example and then kind of deconstructing it that I think there’s a lot that– by the way, this works in marriages, relationships with kids. It also works in business. Patrick Lencioni is an incredible business author. So, I think there’s a lot of applications for it. 


Jim Sheils: So, this is me giving Jamie. So, I can say to Jamie, “You’re such a good mom,” and that has some merit to it, but not as much as to say, “Gosh, sweetheart, every time I see you with the kids, it’s just so incredible, but the other day when you were on the four-wheeler with Maggie at your back and Gloria in the holder and you’re smiling and driving with them and they’re both waving at me, it made me feel so excited and proud to be your husband.” And what that inspired me to do is not to be uptight, like, hey, she’s got two kids on her on the four-wheeler going, no problem. Maybe I need to loosen up. So, thank you. 


So, right there, that’s a real example. We’re always on four-wheelers down here in Costa Rica. She’s got one kid in the back and one in the front. She’s riding all relaxed. I would have been the more nervous Nellie. And I can say you’re such a good mom. She’s like, “Why?” Well, the specific situation, here she is riding a four-wheeler like a champion. How did it make me feel? Like, looking over, I just felt so proud and excited to be married to her. So, she knows she brings that out in me. And what it inspired me to do moving forward my whole life, relax, enjoy, be more present. And so, that’s the difference between saying, “Gosh, you’re a good mom.” A clarity and specificness is really about it. 


Brad Johnson: Thank you, Jim. And Jamie, I’ve got to ask you now. You know the framework, you know the playbook. Does it matter? Like, I felt that on my side and that was between the two of you. Like, how did that feel to receive that on your side? 


Jamie Sheils: Oh, my God, it’s so powerful every time. And I think one thing that I have learned to appreciate, I think, sometimes people think because you schedule it, it loses its magic, or because you follow the framework, it loses its magic. Oh, well, if he has to schedule it, then he doesn’t want to do it. Oh, if he has to figure out the three steps to it, he doesn’t mean it. It’s quite the opposite. It really gives you a framework to then relax into. So, for Jim to think, okay, so I’ll share with her a specific thing and then help me, like, wow, that’s magical because I think he took the time to put it into those things and he immediately had something that he thought of. 


But I mean, I’m super lucky and he does often compliment and apologize. And it’s something, just like any other intentionality, the more you do something, the more you do something, and it never loses its power, just like every single date night. I get more excited doing it weekly than when we used to do it once a month. It’s just the thing that there’s an expectation to live up to, I think, and so, when he’s giving these sincere compliments or genuine apologies, I just think, gosh, that makes me want to keep being that good. 


Brad Johnson: Yeah, one of my mentors told me, “Show your work.” Like, whether it’s in a relationship, business, partnership, whatever, oftentimes we think people can read our minds. And what I just saw happen there is Jim showed his work because you’re probably sitting there just writing the formula around, hanging out with the kids. And he kind of let you into his world of how he experienced that through his eyes and how that impacted him. That’s really powerful when you can let somebody else in on your world. I’ve completely put you on the spot and you crushed that. So, thanks. 


So, hey, that’s a good start to date night. Well, with that, I don’t want to take you too much longer. I love the conversations we have. I always have high expectations, and then you just blow them out of the water, so. 


And, Jamie, it was fun to have you on. I love the female perspective. I need to get more of that. There’s a lot of middle-aged white dudes in finance. I love that you brought that perspective to the show. So, I just want to say thank you. Thanks for the impact you’ve had on the Johnson family. Thanks for the impact you’ve had on our Triad Partners community. And if you all will come back, we’ll have you back any time. I just love to have you in our community and just hang with you and connect and do business and do life. 


So, with that, I’m just going to close with one last question. You experience South Carolina. Our mission here is to help our team and our Triad members do business and do life. So, I’m curious, what is your definition and feel free to have your own independent definition of if you were to define what Do Business Do Life means to you, how would you put that into words? 


Jamie Sheils: So, I’m going to jump and use our favorite vocabulary. Integration. I’m going to steal your answer. Integrating one into the other. So, for me, I don’t ever want business becomes so big that it leaves a shadow on my family. And likewise, I do know how important business is to provide that epic legendary life for my family. So, I think the integration of doing life and doing business together is just a really beautiful kind of weaving. 


We get to be here together right before we got on the podcast with you. We were out fishing with our big boys this morning. When we close this computer, I’ll be picking up the two little ones and dropping them off at boxing, and then I’ll be just popping off a couple of emails in between there and then– do you know what I mean? And so, it’s just this constant dance of top priorities and always being available for the magic moments while also providing the funding for that, I guess, but integration is here too. 


Jim Sheils: Yeah, integrate and just the how. That was a big thing for us. How are we getting there? When’s enough enough? Well, I’ll keep making money and keep doing business as long as I can take a week to go hang out at the Triad events or I can be in Costa Rica or I can give to these causes that I care about or I can write. It’s the how. If I’m enjoying it and I’m still integrating those things, then I want to still be working and creating and doing new things in entrepreneurship, but it’s the how. If I’m doing it where I’m burning the midnight oil, I don’t see my family, I’m miserable, my health is still in the hell, I’m developing a bad drinking habit just to deal with the stress, like, no thanks. So, the how, it’s the how, Brad. It’s how am I doing it and that’s going to be the determinant. 


Brad Johnson: I love that. Well, I think that’s great advice to end this conversation with. Enjoy. date night. Enjoy Costa Rica. Thank you so much for carving out some time to share here with the Triad community, the DBDL audience and listenership. 


Jamie Sheils: Thank you for having us. 


Brad Johnson: So, until next time. 


Jim Sheils: Yeah, we love to do that. 


Jamie Sheils: Thanks for having us. 


Jim Sheils: We love seeing you, too. 


Jamie Sheils: Tell the family hi for… 


Brad Johnson: I will. Tell that son with the massive biceps hello. 


Jim Sheils: We will go. 


Brad Johnson: All right. Well, hey, until next time. We’ll see you. 


Jim Sheils: Thanks, Brad. 


These conversations are intended to provide financial advisors with ideas, strategies, concepts and tools that could be incorporated into the advisory practice, advisors are responsible for ensuring implementation of anything discussed is in accordance with any and all regulatory and compliance responsibilities and obligations. TP05232928351


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