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Shoemoney On Work Life Balance


Jeremy Shoemoney Schoemaker

Jeremy Schoemaker, known by many as Shoemoney, is one of the most recognizable names across the blogosphere.

Shoemoney is well known for his success within the ringtone niche and also developed, and subsequently sold, an eBay auction ad network known as AuctionAds.

But beyond all of the affiliate marketing expertise, the healthy AdSense checks and a home office that will make you drool, Jeremy is also a husband and a father.

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Jeremy about his thoughts on work life balance and what that has meant for his family as well as his career.

Can you please tell me a little about your family? How many kids do you have? How old are they?

Sure. I have been married for almost 4 years. My wife works full time as a Anesthesiologist. We have 1 child (so far) , Juliet - 17 months born June 23 2006

Can you provide a little bit of background on your career and professional interests?

In 1995 I got a job with a internet service provider who was going to offer dial up internet access. I started at the ground level. I did phone support for years until I decided I wanted to go back to college…. then I decided I was finished with college and found a niche as a system admin for banks.

In 2001ish I moved to Des Moines, Iowa and took a job with Wells Fargo Financial at there help desk. Within 2 years I worked my way all the way to be the lead Unix server security administrator. Shortly after reaching this position I met my wife in Des Moines. We date for a while then she moved to Omaha, NE. Our relationship continued long distance for the next 18 months until I was fired from Wells Fargo but quickly got a job with a company called Commercial Federal out of Omaha.

About 2 years after that we got married… but then I lost my job and started working on my company full time. 2 years after that we had our child Juliet.

How would you define work-life balance?

I don’t really… I always have my treo on me which sends me alerts and email. Whenever I get a second I am always monitoring emails and messages. Sometimes I just have to turn it off.

I would say I am pretty bad about letting go about business stuff. When I get to spend time with my daughter I just leave my cell phone at home. Its not like its a scheduled thing…. I think the key is to have people in place you trust that can handle things if it hits the fan and you are not available.

Do you feel that dads have a harder time achieving work-life balance than moms? If so, how?

I can only speak for our family and I can definitely say in our family my wife has a much harder time with it. Being I run my own company I am very flexible and fill in for dr appointments and what not. My wife many times is on call and her schedule is completely inflexible.

What do you personally find is your biggest struggle to achieving a healthy work-life balance?

Mentally letting go of frustrations. I am very obsessive about my work and one little thing unfinished will take away my focus from my family… I have to just send myself a email reminder and let it go. I have gotten much better about this but its still a struggle.

What do you remember from your own childhood with regard to your dad’s work-life balance? Was he around or always busy working? How has that influenced your own views on the subject?

My father was a 9-5 labor worker. He was very big in the UAW and held a position there for a while. He always tried to make time to do stuff with his kids. Unfortunately he had to work out of state from the time I was 11 years old until I was in my mid 20’s so he was absent a lot of my childhood.

How have you learned to identify when your work-life balance is too far out of balance in one direction?

I have and also my wife will make me aware when I haven’t. Its something I am always trying to improve on.

What is one of the biggest mistakes that you have made with regard to work-life balance?

Trying to think I could do something productive (work wise) while being the primary care taker of a infant ;)

Have you faced any stigmas or criticism for focusing on your own work-life balance? Do you think focusing on your family has impacted your career? If so, how?

Without a doubt it has impacted my company(s). The most profitable time in our companies was right up until the birth of my daughter then it took a major nosedive for about 7 months until I came up with the AuctionAds idea. That really turned the ship around.

I have never been a good manager… of myself or others. Good structure and management skills I feel can help pull you through times like these. As we prepare to make more additions to our family I feel I am much more prepared now.

What is one thing that you wish you knew at an earlier age with regard to work-life balance? That is to say, what is one piece of advice that you would give to a new dad as he struggles to find his work-life balance?

Don’t worry about things you can’t control. Get an office outside the house if you do not have one already. That was really key for me.

How has your work life balance changed since you had kids and do you think it has changed for the better or worse?

At first it was way way worse but now its much better. I also feel my overall management and leadership abilities have improved along with those.

Do you think your work life balance has changed as your kids have gotten older? How?

Its still really to early to tell.

How important do you think it is to find time for just you and your spouse without the kids?

Oh god, crucial. Once a week we go out and have date night and get dinner and a movie. Its really nice.

What tips do you have to “unplug” from work? Can you completely unplug?

Really its about having a good foundation and people in place you can trust can handle things. If you have that then you can truly let go.

What activities and/or interests do you pursue as a means of relaxation?

This probably sounds sad but I get 1-2 hours a night I love to just lay in bed with my wife and hit the TiVo.

Jeremy, thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts on work life balance and what that has meant to you as a husband and dad.

Thanks for the interview!

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    On November 28th, 2007 at 7:08 pm, Wendy Piersall said:

    Really excellent interview, Derek! And thanks again to Shoe for graciously indulging us with this great stuff! :)

    On November 28th, 2007 at 7:21 pm, Derrich said:

    Nice interview, Derek. It’s great to know that despite a busy schedule, he still finds time for his daughter.

    On November 28th, 2007 at 9:55 pm, JLow said:

    A “working model” for me to emulate & work towards!

    On November 28th, 2007 at 10:16 pm, John Loch said:

    Normally, I’d take the piss and sit back for a chuckle (on shoes blog). Its a shame he has comments disabled, because for once in quite a while, I can relate at multiple levels, and he REALLY deserves a pat on the back for this interview (which he clearly wrote himself :).

    For me, the father of 2 delightful kids, (daughter 5, son 2.5yrs) the learning curve has been dramatic.

    Kids do, and always will find new ways to make demands of your time. Knowing how to manage that, and having people in place to take care of business is in my books absolutely essential. But getting there, to that point, and knowing what to prioritize is a never ending challenge.

    There’s never (IMHO) a consistent way to balance business with family. You’d think the more money you make, the more successful you become, the more demands you can offset to others.

    Trust though - thats the biggie. Like Jeremy, my mind never stops. Ideas come and go, concepts are run past people, technologies tested, and prototypes developed… but you NEVER stop asking yourself, have they got xyz right, should I perhaps add/work on this ?

    Should I wait up until midnight to hookup with xyz in timezone X to ensure the project is proceeding as expected, or should I be in bed, asleep..

    I wish I could get out for dinner once a week without the kids tho. Now THATS success ! :)

    Oh, and just in case Jeremy reads this..




    On November 28th, 2007 at 11:05 pm, Kelvin Kao said:

    Wow, I’ve never seen any post that uses the phrase “work-life balance” this many times. I wonder what this blog is about. ;)

    On November 29th, 2007 at 12:23 am, Affiliate Unleashed said:

    Great interview! Thanks Shoemoney!

    On November 29th, 2007 at 12:31 am, o2smedia.com said:

    Great post…about how to take of things at home..Im not married or have kids..but i do see myself gettin to caught up on something and just avoiding friends, GF, family ect.. and its not healthy. Great article and makes you think…

    On November 29th, 2007 at 1:09 am, 30 Day Man said:

    A very good read guys, really interesting to see how Shoey gets by with wife and bub.

    This point was the killer for me:

    Don’t worry about things you can’t control. Get an office outside the house if you do not have one already. That was really key for me.

    I have only just worked it out, and getting so much more done away from the homefront.

    On November 29th, 2007 at 8:17 am, Hustle Strategy said:

    Good read. Getting the right people in place is key.

    On November 29th, 2007 at 8:51 am, BloggerDollar said:

    Nice interview,
    Showing the human side of a guru :)

    On November 29th, 2007 at 9:23 am, Tom said:

    Dont suck up to much fella’s . Shoe is a nice guy sure but some of you are drooling over him far too much

    On November 29th, 2007 at 9:37 am, Derrich said:

    Well said, John Loch…at least the bottom two-thirds of your comment. ;) Clearly Jeremy “wrote” it. Derek interviewed him, so…

    On November 29th, 2007 at 10:40 am, TDave said:

    I definitely agree with the part about getting an office away from the house…or at least detached from the house. If I am at the house my family just does not consider me at work….and I can’t get the time I need.

    On November 29th, 2007 at 12:03 pm, Elizabeth said:

    I love this interview, thanks!

    I have learned so much from Shoe over the past few months, I’m a fan!

    On November 29th, 2007 at 4:03 pm, minyak lintah said:

    Great interview. But i also agree with no.11 (TOM). Some people are idolizing him too much.

    Mentions on other sites...

    1. Interview On The Dad Balance - ShoeMoney® on November 28th, 2007 at 8:28 pm
    2. 5 Killer Reads from eMoms and eDads - eMoms at Home - The Internet Home Business Blog for Moms & Dads on November 29th, 2007 at 12:48 pm
    3. Best Place To Work :: Home Office Or Outside Of Home? | Dad Balance on November 29th, 2007 at 4:52 pm

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