Join Dana Malstaff as she shares about how she met her bff and how she is helping moms who are building businesses and taking the time to nurture their families and while remembering the importance of a balanced life including maintaining and nurturing those relationships that meet the needs that are not meant for your children, your business or husband to meet.
On today’s episode, we are joined by Dana Malstaff from boss-mom.com. She is a mother, an author, a business and content strategist, she podcasts, she coaches and in the midst of taking care of her children and her husband, she also finds the time to nurture her relationship with her bff. start taking some notes and just begin to think about how you can do all of these things that you want to do and at the same time maintain and build on your relationship with your bff, your sister, your best-friend.
Dana Malstaff runs a blog called Boss Mom and she basically helps mom-entrepreneurs raise and nurture businesses and babies at the same time because she raised and nurtured her babies at the same time. When she decided to finally be an entrepreneur, she got pregnant at the exact same time and ultimately it lead to a brand, a book, a movement that has become her business and her life. She is the ultimate boss mom that is trying to be out in the world and letting women know that we can not feel guilty about having businesses and babies at the same time and live in that space where we can raise kids, to know that you can accomplish anything and when we do breakdown, we have the space to connect and support each other.
since she was a kid, they moved every two years until she got into high school and when she got to college, she really did not have one of those sort of amazing connection groups of girls because they just moved around too much. In junior year, she decided to study abroad and that happened to be actually be 9/11. Obviously the flight was cancelled, everything was delayed for two weeks before she actually got to fly to France where she was going to move for the year and almost everybody in the program dropped. there ended up being four people from the entire program that went. It went from a massive group down to four people and one of the girls there, her name was Laura, they basically met the first week when they were in Paris, on the way to Dijon where they lived and they just instantaneously connected. They ended up travelling all over together and just becoming amazing best friends. They separated to do their own thing after college and about 6 years later, Dana was in Chicago and had gotten the opportunity to live in this apartment that she could not afford, she needed a roommate so she called Laura up and told Laura that she needed to sell her house in Virgina, quit her job and move to Chicago with her. She got a call from Laura two days later and told her that her house is up for sale and she’s moving to Chicago. They were roommates for two years. They since now live on other sides of the country but their sons are four days apart and their daughters are less than two months apart. She was there when Dana met her husband, she was there when Laura met her husband. They were playing volleyball when Laura met her husband.
They were friends because they both made decisions that sometimes did not always make sense but were based in adventure and experience.
They are so very different but there is just something about personality and the way they enjoy life, the way they experience life that is similar and there is that connection. the way they communicate with each other is what really works and they are open with each other.
Dana describes herself as a massive extrovert who loves to talk everything out while Laura is an introvert in the sense that she loves people but she could sit and read a book for all day long never talk to a single soul and be perfectly fine. Extroverts and introverts sometimes pair really nicely together because they can give each other things they don’t have but connecting and communicating in a relationship just takes a little nuancing and over the years we learn that holding a space for our sisters is more important than us giving them advice.
Launching her business, brand and movement, Dana was pregnant with her second child. She doesn’t keep a lot of friends, she has a very close knit group of friends. So when she was in the midst launching, she had a lot of conversations with her friends who were not even entrepreneurs to help her through it. in some ways all of the endeavours and stress of having babies and starting her business and movement that drew and kept them closer. While her friends were in corporate America, doing their own thing or deciding to stay at home with their kids, she realized that there was a need for some really close friends that were not just parents but were also entrepreneurs so that was what opened for her now. She has some people in her circle and then she has the boss mom community. It is the close connections that she has that share both sides of her so that it doesn’t get left out and that it has actually strengthened her relationships with her oldest friends because its not asking them to connect with her in a way that is just not their place to connect.
we have circles of relationships that we go to for certain things, so for instance for business, you should never have more than 3 people that you go to, to help you make a decision on one aspect of your life otherwise you get decision fatigue. Not everybody is going to have the same answer for you and it actually becomes more stressful to make decisions. life gets harder when we question our decisions and so in her friendship circles, Dana sees them as kind of segmented in terms of how they connect. for instance if she’s having trouble with her pregnancy or her babies or something, there is a finite number of people where she can truly be vulnerable with those people in that space and her group, her community as a whole kind of helps allows her to be more open in that space. When she talks about business and money and those kinds of things, there is a group that she feels really connected with and her two oldest friends are ones that she can share anything with, it crosses the spectrum and they will love her, accept her and talk her through it but as her group has grown, as her community has grown, as her friendships have grown, she looks to that like they share with each other, aspects of their lives but there is probably a finite number of people that know every part of her that they can know. It feels good to have that little privacy to ourselves even in our friendships.
social media has become so dominant in our culture until a lot of times people are allowing that to become their first place of relationship instead of face to face, people to people and then these communities become the surrogate best friends of sorts. It is such an interesting topic because in some ways we need that community to get feedback to say that we are not alone. being on social media just helps us feel not so alone even when we are surrounded by people. when we get online we are sort of auto segmenting ourselves in to what we care about so it is easier to find people. there is actually room to make really authentic connections in those spaces. we overextend ourselves and we end up creating a big amount of sort of haphazard relationships. in our effort to connect with everybody we don’t really truly connect with anybody. we have to find a few people that are really our sisters and get to know them, to connect even further with somebody you can really see that there is a connection with because you cannot be friends with everybody. There is just not enough of you to go around and at some point you have to make a decision about the things you are going to only share to the people that you love and care about
there seems to be less of a communal desire among women to actually have close female friendships and instead people are opting for the kind of relationships that they have on social media and for example, you know like if you are on the elephant in the room, and it is your birthday then you get a message on your board and all of a sudden you have one, two hundred people writing happy birthday on their board but how many of my friends called to say happy birthday as opposed to all of these numbers and what ends up happening, these online relationships meet any but we all know that friendships push you in areas that are not always comfortable because friends are supposed to be there for your growth and for your celebration, for your encouragement and then sometimes as friends, we push each other the wrong way, we kind of get on each other’s nerves once in a while but the true friendship is being able to hang in there as opposed to unfriending or leaving the group.
Those 200 comments, would we want it to be there if we lost our jobs, if we are getting a divorce or if we have miscarriage, if we were losing money in our business, if we are just having a really horrible day, if we got in a car accident. those are the things where if you can’t immediately think of at least one person that is not your spouse that you would call and connect with or cry to in that space then you are missing out because that is what we need the most, its the support that we need the most, its the space that we need the most, where somebody can be there, that can hold us, that can love us in a way that is not your husband, or your boyfriends, girlfriend, or whatever it is and not your kids but somebody outside of the circle. I would imagine if you had bad news to share. Who would you share that with? if somebody in your circle came to you and said this terrible thing is happening to me, that you would not feel put out by dropping everything to be there for them and that is when you know a relationship is really strong. if you needed to actually prioritize to be in their life more, would you do it with love or would you do it with hesitation. a good indicator of really strong relationships is when it is not even a question of I am going to clear my plate, I am going to be here for you because that is important. That is when you know you have those relationships. if those names for both of those scenarios don’t come to mind then you are not living a full life because we need those kinds of people and there is not a single person in the world who is going through the world without needing that from somebody And so you are going to find yourself lonely and crying a lot more than you need to unless you go out and make real connections.
If you are going to connect with people online, strive to do things that actually connect. You can connect virtually, you can create relationships virtually that become other things. If you are just creating relationships virtually that will always be virtual then I think that you are kind of pigeon-holing yourself. The connection should be there and it should become a phone call, a visit or a coffee or whatever it is depending on where you guys live or a skype, it should always be “how am I advancing this relationship” and is it worth advancing?
While Dana is focused on growing her business but from the boss mom brand they are always considering the way women live as moms or as people who are intending to be moms because it is built differently. they work with people that really only empathize with that, like the kids could come home sick at any minute or maybe they are at home and they are trying to build something on the side. They approach business differently because they know that the moms’ life is different. She wanted to create a space wherein they talk a little bit of best practice in their business but the rest of the time they connect and they plan and they brainstorm together because relationships are born out of conversation of how can I be helpful to you, to give what you need, the connections are made by talking about things we care about and what we are doing and how we are doing it and that’s where we start finding commonalities and so they created an event, a retreat to maximize how people are connecting with a ton of people so that the end, they can make decisions about who they really want to be with.
Dana wanted to create a space where women can meet as many people as possible and connect in as many ways as possible and so they can actually start to hone in on the people that are really to be the ones that you want to connect with and collaborate with and be friends with and go on other adventures together with and start businesses together or read books together or whatever that is. You know, have play dates together because the more that women connect with people in that space, the more confident they can be in in the decisions they make about the friendships they are going forward with.
in a circle, people are talking about their aspirations for their business, the challenges that they have, the planning that they are doing, going forward. sometimes when you are in the moment of doing that, something hits you, maybe it might seem like a challenge that you can’t at all figure out how you are going to over come it in and it shows on your face and being in that circle you get more than the information that is coming at you from the speaker, you begin to get all of the information and the feelings of the other people in the circle which will make for a very different dynamic.
In just meeting in person, there is a big difference between that and the virtual aspect of the world that we live in. you might be friends with somebody online and using their quotes online and then you meet them in person you haven’t had time to curate their comments, they haven’t had time to decide what they are going to say or not going to say and what they decide to care about or share more so it helps us tell a lot about other people but it also helps us a know a lot about us, online we can hold views and ideas and thoughts, though we have time to measure and when were in person, some of those conversations and things just come up more organically and more in more real time and so we discover just as much about ourselves as we do about the people we are surrounded by and who we want to continue to surround ourselves with which is why such events whether it is business or not can be really important for us because it sort of steps us out of comfort zone. We should strive to do things that make us uncomfortable because that is what helps us understand more of us and the more we understand ourselves the better friends we can be, the better spouses we can be, the better people we can be and the more in tune we can be with are we surrounding ourselves with the right kind of people and the right kind of friends, they are going to help us be the people we want to be and get us where we want to go.
Dana thinks that the reason why Boss Mom Academy has been so successful because it is a marriage of both business and family. about 80% of the time they talk business and about 20% of the time, its like how do I get over this hurdle that is I don’t have time, I dont have space I am in survival mode and when you are in survival mode the hierarchy of needs, your friends are like in the 3rd or 4th circle, they are often the ones that get neglected because you know you are trying to keep yourselves alive, your kids alive and then your business is like your baby and its the place where it helps everything else survive so those three things become it and part of the academy is how to create enough momentum for you and success that you can open up and make sure you are giving all these other parts of your life a level of importance and just reminding everybody all the time too that its way easier to build things that are successful no matter what you do when you incorporate the self care and when you incorporate other people connecting with other people that you really love. Those two things actually help you not the did you build that opt-in page and that sales funnel and build you anything else until you do that yeah, that needs to get done but so does that date with your husband and that phone call with your best friend you havent talked to in 6 months. You have to make times for those things because those are the things that make you feel like you are actually living a life as opposed to searching to moving down the path to try to attain the life that you want and that is when they say you are missing the moments that actually create what is important to you if you are just focusing on the thing that you have to get to do to get to the next place.
I believe strongly that females need female friends and when we are trying to be wife and mother and boss of whatever kind I just think that somehow or another whether our circle is big or our circle is small that we need to be able to have someone in the circle other than our business, our spouse and our children because there needs to be somebody that can get with us.
we have to find people that get us and that changes sometimes. Dana has friends that she is not close with because they just stopped being in the same place like love is not just looking at each other. Its looking at the same direction. That applies for friends too. Sometimes we just move apart not because we don’t care about each other but just because we are in different places and we stopped getting each other and that is okay. Some friendships are not meant to be for life like some friendships are and some friendships are meant for the time that you need each other and you connect on a deep level like a butterfly you let each other go and connect with the nest person. That is really going to be helpful because friendship should be helpful and uncomfortable and can celebrate, cry all those things, but it should meant to be something truly positively valuable for each other and when that stops happening, sometimes you let friendships go and you find other friendships and you kind of know which ones to do which with.
we love the way we like to be loved, we love others how we love to be loved but what we have to recognize is that these other people and their love to us is being valued, showing that you value somebody. Its one of the core parts of love. So in business, you love your clients, you love your community, in friendships, it is the same way. We need to start to get good in recognizing how the people you are with, your friends and everybody else in your business, in life how they need to be valued and how that really resonates with them so you can do those things because we subconsciously love others how we want to be loved and that doesn’t always work with other people so if you want to be better at being friends, being better at being a boss, better at having clients, having a community, get an understanding of that you can start recognizing how people are valued and speak to those things and do those things and ultimately helps relationships thrive so much better and that is what business in a regular standpoint
We need to have those relationships where you can giggle and have a good time. I want to leave as a pearl of wisdom for you as your thinking about and reflecting on this podcast, about the importance of knowing the difference what we get from “social relationships” as opposed to the eye to eye relationships. Remember, that it is meaningful to have a friend that you can look in their eyes and see the pain that sometimes their voice will mask friendships are great friendships can be challenging and you need that challenge in order to become who you should be come. You are not finished. Your personality is not completely finished. Your goals, your aspirations, they might look finished but there’s always another level, layer that requires some attention that you might not see and so relationships that live only online can take you but so far its almost like events and conferences, there’s a conference going on that I know will also be livestreaming, I will opt to be present as opposed to watching online because there’s something in the atmosphere at the place that I miss if I only watch it streaming. I want to encourage you to have eyeball to eyeball relationships and not just streaming relationships let us not lose the art of communicating and connecting. Here’s your call to action, please share the podcast very simple. Share the podcast just send it to someone encourage them to download on to their digital device and listen to it. Subscribe to it. Building A Better Sisterhood.
Yes, you can quote our “Pearls of Wisdom”
Holding a space for a sister is more important than us giving her advice. – Dana Malstaff
Being on social media just helps us to not feel so alone even when we are surrounded by people. – Dana Malstaff
You have to make a decision about the things you are going to only share to the people that you love and care about. – Dana Malstaff
A good indicator of really strong relationships is when you are willing to clear everything on your plate and be there for your sister – Dana Malstaff
Balance includes maintaining and nurturing relationships that meet needs that are not meant for your children, your business or husband to meet. – Cecelia GreeneBarr
It is meaningful to have a friend that you can look in their eyes and see the pain that is sometimes masked in their voice. – Cecelia GreeneBarr
Great friendships can be challenging and you need that challenge in order to become who you should be come. – Cecelia GreeneBarr
Call To Action:
Please share the podcast, just send it to someone, encourage them to download it on to their digital devices and listen to it and subscribe to it.
Find Dana Malstaff on the following platforms:
Facebook group: www.boss-mom.com/facebook
Free Trello Training: www.boss-mom.com/trello