Season 1 finale features Cherissa Kell and her husband, Chris, as they recount the behind-the-scenes of how Cherissa juggled being a new mom and training for triathlon while living abroad and developing a new category of protein supplement. They talk about the challenges Cherissa faced as she had to reevaluate her priorities and make sacrifices in her training to better juggle being present with her family and starting a CPG company.
Introducing Cherissa Kell, Founder and CEO of NeoTEIN
Meet Cherissa Kell, a remarkable entrepreneur, inventor, and globetrotting visionary. In her twenties, she chased waves across continents, blending her passions for surfing, sailing, and scuba diving while exploring the world’s hidden gems.
In her thirties, Cherissa embraced the culture of Japan, calling it home, as she continued to seek new horizons. But her journey didn’t end there – fueled by ambition and a relentless pursuit of excellence, she trained rigorously in triathlon, aspiring to compete at the Olympics. However, her destiny had other plans.
During her intense training, Cherissa identified a void in the protein supplement market – a gap she knew she could fill with her innovative spirit. With determination and ingenuity, she brought to life a whole new category of protein supplement, revolutionizing the health industry. Her creation not only met the needs of athletes like herself but also provided busy individuals, including fellow moms, with a powerful on-the-go solution.
Today, Cherissa’s vision and dedication have transformed the lives of countless people, empowering them to stay fit, healthy, and energized. Her adventurous spirit continues to drive her, as she inspires others to explore the world while chasing their dreams.
This episode of Pearls onBoards was produced by Mix Theory Studios, a music and multimedia studio located in downtown Jacksonville, Florida. This show features original music written, mixed and mastered by Punchboi and DJ PM, the music production team of Mix Theory Studios.
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Read the Full Transcripts
Hi everyone, thank you for joining us for this week’s episode of Pearls on Boards. This is a unique and special episode.
Hi, everybody. My name is Chris Kell. I am the husband of the actual host of Pearls on Board, and she is going to be playing the role of guest today. I am incredibly excited and honored to be here and sitting with her.
I get to take everyone on a journey that she has actually walked as a mother of two boys and as a entrepreneur and as a CEO of a company and as a person living in this world.
So, hi, Charissa!
This is gonna be fun and awkward all at the same time. at the same time. That’s probably awkward.
lot of awkward.
We’re gonna just sip the awkward into our, into our cups here.
So, first of all, you don’t know her like I do,
Which is Making this more special because you get to learn about her And she gets super embarrassed talking about herself. So I am excited to be here to put her on the spot on a couple of things. So I think one of the most interesting things that attracted me to her at the bandwing was just who she is and how she became the woman that she has become over the past, you know, 38 years. So, Charissa, can you just give us a little bit about your background, where you came from? What was that moment
during, you know, the past couple of years that sparked you to drive on and become the CEO of a CPG company? What, What made you want to do it?
Necessity, what does that mean? Yeah I would never say that I, anyone who’s in CPG would probably never say that they, like, dreamt as a child of being in CPG. Maybe a few people. as But I’m not one of those people. seeing a I needed a product, and I couldn’t find it anywhere much to my dismay. And I’m an expert researcher, so like, if it did exist, I would have found it.
And because it didn’t exist, part of who I am is that I had to then create it.
So what was it? What, what didn’t exist?
Ah. So what is Neo Teen?
Uh. Neotene is a on the go. protein drink mix. It’s actually fortified with tryptophan, so it’s a collagen based protein that’s fortified with tryptophan, so it gives it three different benefits. It has electrolytes in it, it has a complete protein source, and it also has collagen. So, most people use all three of those things.
When I… Came up with the idea. I happened to be one of those people who was using all three of those things. It was the first time I really started using supplements. It was in 2019 when we moved to Japan. We had boys that were six months old and 18 months old at the time and Google Translate was my best friend and I was training 30 plus hours a week.
In triathlon with the aspirations of going to the 2024 Paris Olympics, and so I was really kind of stuck between a pickle and a hard place because in Asia, they don’t have gyms with daycare like they do in America, which was funny because when I started out in this endeavor of triathlon I was living in America where they had gyms with free daycare for like four hours a day.
So it was really like manageable to train four to six hours a day and take care of kids because you know, I had daycare. But In Asia, I didn’t have that luxury anymore, so I was getting up super early, and then I would finish a workout, and immediately have to feed a baby breastfeed a baby, or make cereal for a, you know, my other baby, and so I didn’t have time now to make myself.
Protein, which was my preferred choice to eat, like, real foods. So I was stuck now using protein supplements. And I really felt sad because I like to enjoy the food that I eat, and I like to enjoy my calories, and all the protein products on the market were high. in calories unnecessarily. They were full of a lot of carbohydrates, a lot of sugar, they were untasty.
So I felt frustrated that I had to sacrifice eating tasty food to get the protein that I needed. So I really just wanted something that was easy to travel with, gave me what I needed when I needed it, was low in calories. And I couldn’t find it. So I, I made it. As you know, that wasn’t just like, I had this idea and then I made it, that was 2019 and it didn’t hit. the market until It took a couple of years in R& D, and then a year of patent and manufacturing, and then we launched in May of 2022. So. I think I think you’re kind of like rushing through the process of how hard that process was. right? Cause There’s this whole idea that I can’t find what I want. And I remember you getting off the bike after like two hours on like a Saturday morning And you begrudgingly choking down a protein shake. And then, you know, kids are up and things are moving and and life gets crazy, especially when you’re trying to learn a new culture all at the same time and do the bureaucracy of like, going to medical appointments that you used to do all the time. Or figure out play dates with different language requirements.
So, the fact that you were able to kind of come up with this idea in that process is bizarre. Because my brain doesn’t work that way. So.
You came up with the idea and then you had to figure out how to take an idea and turn it into a thing. What was like the first thing that you did to try to figure out? Okay, how do I go from? A to B?
Well, my first thought was I have this brilliant idea for this thing that I need, surely somebody else has made it. Because I really didn’t have time. And I couldn’t find this product. And so I was like a little honestly like disheartened. Because… I was like, well, then now I have to make it, which is funny, I guess, because apparently a lot of people don’t just naturally think, well, this thing doesn’t exist.
I should just make it. I thought everyone thought that apparently that’s not true. So I then ordered a lot of like raw ingredients. So I ordered my first iteration of the product was to be a a tablet, like a noon hydration tablet with with protein. So I did a lot of research on, like, what that process looks like to make it, you know, because I was like, well, I’ll just start pressing pills in my kitchen here in Japan in the middle of the night with all my free time.
And so I ordered a bunch of, like, raw material from America. So I ordered, like, whey isolate, and I ordered pea protein and chia seed protein, and I started doing all this research. And I was really disheartened. And how I got to collagen was my, because I was disheartened, because I would mix it, and I quickly learned that the reason all protein powders suck is because the base protein sucks, like it doesn’t, it’s not highly water soluble it looks gross, you have to cover the grossness with like heavy coloring and like heavier flavors.
It smells funny. Like, there are just so many things that are, it’s just unpalatable naturally when you mix any of these protein sources in water. It’s just terrible. And so that’s why as a result, the protein powders on the market are terrible because they have to max the terrible with more terrible, which is usually in the form of carbohydrates, fruits and sugar.
And so then I felt frustrated and I was actually making you copy with and putting collagen in it because you needed collagen for. Your myriad of military gifts the have some damage from falling out of planes for a while and some other things and yeah, I, I, I used to take collagen. I still take collagen regularly ’cause of our product, but yeah, I used to take just a normal collagen isolate.
Yeah, peptide. So anyway I saw that it quickly dissolved into the coffee. There was no like residue or remnants. And also like that was flavorless. And I’m like, Oh, so I started researching collagen. Cause collagen is good for you according to peer review documents and scientific journals and all of these things.
Right. So I was like, cool. why is no one using collagen as a protein source? Well, they’re not using it as a complete protein source because it’s not technically a complete protein. But, side note to that, no plant based protein source specifically itself is considered a complete protein source either.
So, like, that’s why you look at a vegan protein and it has chia and pea and buckwheat. Like, it has all these different combinations of plant proteins because, one is not a complete source. So anyway the only essential amino acid, , is an amino acid that your body does not produce itself.
Which means that you have to get it externally and your body needs it to, or building blocks within your body.
So. it was missing tryptophan. So collagen has eight of the nine. The ninth is tryptophan. You needed it in a certain proportion to the other ones in order to now render it complete.
Because there’s like proportional things. So I was like, cool. Well, then I did a bunch of research and talked to different nutritionists and dietitians in various athletic and military fields. And, Learned that yes, you can in fact fortify collagen with tryptophan and now you have a complete protein source and I was like sweet Done because if I have that then I can have it be any flavor and the flavor can be tasty and so that was a long process actually just to getting to that point of like Determining that collagen would be the base of the product Because my vision for the product needed something I wanted it to be refreshing and sports drink flavors.
I like, I just personally hate that. Sweet flavors. After a two hour humid ride in the hot summer sun, I don’t want to chug a thick chocolate, warm chocolate shake. It’s just awful. So, I wanted something refreshing and that would taste refreshing, hot or cold, like, I mean, just room temperature or cold, and sports drinks are popular in sport for a reason, and it’s because they taste refreshing.
And so that’s what I was after. And having a refreshing sports drink flavor gave me the added benefit of of electrolytes, electrolytes, just the way that it was formulated. And so, once I had the formulation down and I had done all the R& D, which took about two and a half years done all that time concurrent to all this is in Japan, raising kids,
I’m gone like ten hours a day at my job, and you’re kind of traversing all that, and then COVID hits.
And then we have to move back after you have COVID in Japan to the United States and resettle in Atlanta. you’re still training and we’re navigating two different cultures. Like, approach the pandemic and everything else.
And you’re and you’re still juggling. How are you able to do that? I’m still wondering. how were you able to juggle all that stuff? Oh, yeah, right. Anyways. Um, how did you prioritize your time? Like, how did you manage, like, you’re a mom, you were an incredibly devoted mother, but you’re also driven to do other things and, like, maintain that identity of Charissa, right?
How were you able to be successful there? And what was hard? What were the hardest things for you?
I think a social life was hard. I would say that how I did it was with the training. I was like training early. I was up at four in Japan and I was training before you would leave for work when the kids were asleep. Yeah. I cherished naptime, and by cherish I mean I slept, I worked out during it, I trained.
So this is all like pre business, but I mean I just really utilized the children being asleep. So that when they were awake, I could do things with them. And that’s when I got my socialization in, was when they were awake. I was very intentional about hanging out with other women who I enjoyed that also had similar issues. age children. And then I had our kids clean with me and cook with me, so they were, so that I felt like I was still hanging out with them while I did chores that were necessary. chores that were necessary.
And then we, When we moved to Atlanta, I was still training and I was more in the business phase of the business where I was training and also doing business.
So I was doing the patent and doing a lot of like the gross part of business or like the nitty gritty parts which is like insurance and figuring out business licensing and like LLCs and patents and patents attorneys and and sourcing manufacturing and sourcing and all of these things and that was like time consuming.
And so, and also I lost a nap time when we moved back to Japan. So I had no more naps, had no no napping people. They weren’t in school yet.
So Still COVID. So what I did then was, I mean, I would wake up early and I would still train and then I kind of invited the kids into the process of a lot of things. So I tried to Set up things that they could do and I would have like intentional time with them so that I could then have Intentional time for work or I had a bounce house in our yard And I would you know turn on the record player with fun music and put up the bounce house and then I would work while they were bouncing on the bounce house or you know, I would train and they would, I would turn on a show instead of them having nap time.
I would let them watch TV so I could ride my bike. And they actually really loved that because that was for a while when the only time they got to watch TV was like when I was riding my bike. And then, you know, like I would have to test different products or like work on different things. And working on packaging design, I gave the Boys drawing paper and I would tell them we’re trying to create something and so I Invited them into a lot of the things that I had to do giving them tasks that were similar to mine obviously knowing that their level of what they were doing wasn’t Comparable to mine, but it made them feel like you know, we’re all drawing together
Yeah, they never really felt… I guess, when it comes to the whole process.
Cause you were very deliberate about including them and including the entire family.
Yeah, we didn’t have friends though. Like, when we first moved back to Atlanta, that was, was really hard. were lonely, just
Yeah, we moved back in, in February, so they didn’t have school until August, and so we kind of, like, didn’t. have community which was really hard. So in Japan, I, we had had a lot of community. So it was kind of just like us against the world for those few months of that once we did start having friends and we had play dates, it kind of was an awkward shift for me.
It was important for them to Be with friends, but for me. It was it was harder just to juggle all of those things. And I, I actually like had to give up training to have more friend time. So it started to kind of break a little bit. At some point when I launched the business, I had to just give up training altogether for a while because I couldn’t do it all.
I that’s like a really mature point though. And something important, right? like everything. costs something. Mm-hmm. There is a sacrifice involved. and No matter what
you do. And something I was really impressed with you, and I knew it was really hard. because I’d watched you training. I’d watched you winning. I’d watched you on the bike for hours and hours and hours And
I think that was one of the things that made me really…
Kind of in awe, I guess is kind of like a way to say it. Sometimes you awe me. right? Occasionally. You know, once every blue moon.
Is the fact that You stacked everything up. And you looked at the fact that you only have so much time in the day, and you prioritized the family and the business. And, you kind of deprioritized something you’d been really involved in, I know that was really hard.
But I think you saw the potential in it, and you wanted to kind of see what would happen.
So. Well, and I got advice when we started, there’s a Olympian, her name is Sarah True, and she’s a triathlete, Olympic triathlete, and I remember I was emailing with her at the start of my triathlon journey, and she was like, just enjoy the journey, and it wasn’t as impactful when she said it, it was kind of like, seemed cliche at the time, but it became much more impactful as the journey led me to create Neoteen.
And the journey led me to where I am today. I like, I definitely don’t regret stepping away. So, I stepped away from triathlon right as I qualified for nationals, which is like a huge milestone for me.
As a qualified for nationals, and especially in the journey to where I wanted to get to. That was hard, like it was very, like, hard.
It opened up, though, time for friends and relationships with people now that we’re very close to. So in that regard, like, I’m happy. Like, I never did any mom things with the kids school because I just didn’t have time. And I didn’t realize, like, how lonely it was to do all the things that I was doing, to train 30 some hours a week and work 30 some hours a week and then have kids.
But I just think I re shifted the, the goal. So, like, I still want to go to the Olympics and triathlon. Like, I’m not going to pretend that I don’t want to still do that, but I just think I kicked that down the road a little bit to where I have capacity again, and that’s just not now. And I think that’s the hardest thing when you’re trying to be a present parent and also be successful in something else.
Thank you. Can I only get to pick one thing? So I had to pick, I was talking earlier today on a podcast About that, like, I could be a good mom and a good triathlete, or I could be a good mom and a good business person, or I could be a good business person and a good triathlete, but, like, I couldn’t do all of them.
Like, it just was impossible. we, and, like, you know, we’ve talked about, like, we, we picked the kids, they didn’t pick us, kind of a thing, and so they were never gonna be, like, the sacrificial lamb in that scenario. So… Just because of how we wanted to create our, our life. Like that was never an option. So they were always going to be picked.
And so now I had to choose between a business and kind of a vanity thing, I guess, in a way. Like I think triathlon was, I needed triathlon,
In those first few years. And I was seasonality of, like, motherhood. And so there’s, like, seasonality of What you can do and triathlon like help kept me sane.
I would say like in having that goal and training for that thing kept me sane. I our kids are 12 months apart. It was really hard. We were living in Asia. We had no family. But triathlon gave me purpose like outside of just being a mom. And I think everyone needs that. I think every mom needs purpose outside of just being a mom because eventually your kids are going to grow up.
And like we were talking about this morning on the way home from dropping the kids off from school, like there’s going to be a day where Jack isn’t going to give me, pick me flowers. Like he might bring me flowers as a 40 year old male with his family, but there’s going to be a day where he stops like picking every single flower on the side of the road and like giving me a hug and giving them to me.
And I want to be.
Present for those moments and that requires. Me to like have something though when those moments are gone that still define me if that makes sense So like in order for me to enjoy those moments I also need to have identity outside of just being his mom because if I don’t I’m gonna like crumble When when he stops bringing me flowers and that’s not fair to him.
That’s not fair to me so I think that having business or sport gave me this like other sense of self so that I can be a good mom to him, so that when he finally picks flowers for a girl that’s not me, I’m not shattered. I, I really like that, and I, we talk about seasonality a lot, I think, as a couple. with our relationship, right? But more than that, it’s like, triathlon was yours.
It didn’t have anything to do with the family, didn’t have anything to do with the boys, didn’t have anything to do with me. Triathlon was your thing.
And, I don’t think I can ever understand, like, being a father and being a mother is very different. Like we, as a team, we’re this parenting team, but I didn’t build the dudes. in my body. I didn’t go through two traumatic surgeries to have them come out healthy. I didn’t Put my life on the line. for them. I I didn’t. That’s just not something that happened for me in this situation. so I think when you Put everything up front and you put yourself all of you on the line It can kind of become this All consuming thing and I might be wrong there, but it can almost seem like all consuming. like This is what your life has become. And I think when you started doing Triathlon, and you started really diving into that, I really saw you being better around me and the boys, too. Because I felt like you were more able to engage us in a way? Does that make sense? Yeah,
When you were Better, more balanced person when I do triathlon. Not just because sport is something that I always was, I guess. Like, I was That was like who I was before kids, I love. And, Just a better person. Yeah, and it was just something that I love and like I’m a, I’m just a better person. Like we discussed this, like if I don’t wake up and work out, I’m grumpy.
I’m a little grumpy today. I missed working out because I stayed up late talking to our youngest about this girl he likes in his class, which I loved. I loved and cherished every minute of it.
He better not pick her flowers, but I But like, I didn’t, I didn’t Workout, and I’m now working out not training and for me.
I think there’s a difference, too I think I’m a better person when I train versus just work out, but YEah, and I feel like even Business, like, isn’t my identity. It’s like something I’m doing. And it’s kind of like a third child in a way, right? So, like, my children aren’t my identity. They’re just something I bore. Whereas,
I felt, like, synonymous with triathlon.
Like with a triathlete. I just felt like I resonated with that community, like I resonated with that lifestyle, like it was easier for me to not have a glass of wine with the moms because I was a triathlete and so it was like not even a question and then I kind of went through a tailspin when tailspin when I chose to chose to lay that part down because I didn’t have like an anchor point of who I was anymore.
I felt like all of my hobbies were gone, all of it. Everything that I had worked my whole 32 years before, kids had like just dissipated and evaporated in that moment that I like walked away from triathlon. so I, I think that it’s important, maybe not to spend 30 plus hours a week training for something I’m trying to figure out what that looks like now.
I don’t have the answer to what that looks like, but I think it’s important to have your own sense of self and identity. When being a mom and also being a business person, I feel like those aren’t identities, like being a career woman isn’t necessarily usually an identity because eventually that will end, right?
But like, I think hobbies are kind of more identity builders Hobbies can be reading books or traveling or whatever they may be, but I just think having like a identity that isn’t going to leave when you change jobs or. They graduate from high school is important from like a grounding perspective. Yeah, like that ability to withstand significant change, right? Because you’re still got those core principles.
How that’s helped you kind of balance, because you’re, learning how to balance stuff as different priorities come through. And as you’ve continued to grow.
I should educate you on what we say on Pearls On Boards. We juggle. We don’t balance. Women don’t balance anything. It’s all a juggling act. Ha ha more balls in the
ha ha ha ha.
as you’ve been juggling all these different priorities, the business ball has gotten bigger, right? That snowball has been gaining momentum.
what do you think is going to be your biggest challenge with juggling? In the future, and what do you think is going to enable you to not let them all hit the ground? And I know this is this is a future state, and this isn’t like what’s going on. But like, what, how do you think you’re going to approach that as a mother, as a businesswoman, as an athlete, as a human. Yeah, as a human? think do a good job and I think that a lot of the successful women I’ve talked to do a good job with their partner. Like kind of discussing, you know, different roles and like, you know, who does what. So it’s just not my job to bear the weight of all of the things, right? And so I think that in order for me to continue to juggle the roles that I have.
Like, I need to have a partnership with you where you’re also doing things. And you we do a good job raising our children. We with but not always. So, but we do a good job raising our children together.
We’re on the same page. We have, like, kind of check ins of responsibility on heavier weeks or lighter weeks. It’s like… I Need an actual physical calendar that tells me what’s going on and you’ve done a good job at like adding to that so that we kind of are on the same page with things. So I really think that in order to like keep everything flowing like you have to have good communication with the person that you’re partnering with, be it a partner or if you’re a single parent, then you know the community that supports you with your children.
I think that. We have a house cleaner come twice a month, and I think that without that, like, we would be a disaster because we don’t find joy in cleaning our house. And so because we don’t find joy in it, it just takes us longer. And the amount of money that we spend having somebody else do that is Far less the amount of money we could have made if we had done it ourselves because it takes us way longer because we hate it so much.
But, so I think like doing that, like when you can afford help or how you can afford help, like figuring out ways to make your life easier and navigating those things, you know, so the house doesn’t fall apart.
I think that or how finding like intentional time. I was talking to another woman and you and I have talked about this.
Like you and I have become better. Recently about like spending quality time with each other and also the children and I think that quality trumps quantity every time and so having like intentional time with you, intentional time with the kids, like without devices, like My intentional time with the kids lately has been playing video games because I loathe them and they love them.
So it feels like really important for them that I do that thing at this season. And so they share like way too much information with me when they play video games and I love it. And they feel elated that I had that time with them. So then I don’t feel guilty, you know, riding my bike or running or swimming or whatever it may be.
I’m going to have to start traveling a lot. And, you know, having, like, games, built in quality time with everyone, I think, makes it so that when I’m gone, it doesn’t feel like I’ve just abandoned everyone. I think something that’s really good, I think something that’s been really good, though, has been the communication that you’ve had with everybody.
And we were really bad at communicating, I think, as a couple at the start. You think you’re really good at it, and then you realize, uh, no. We’ve got a lot of work to do. But I think the boys understand what’s going on. They know what you’re doing. Yeah, thEy, they understand what your schedule looks like.
Well, apparently Asher created nte, so we all just work for him.
Our oldest believes , our oldest, believes that it is his business and he created it and on days he’s frustrated. He’s just thumbed. He ever
I wish I never created Neoteen.
Sorry Asher, you put us on this this ride. We’re just, we’re just riding along. in your carriage here.
I think that’s been really good though. Because the boys know what you’re doing. You don’t hide stuff from them. You don’t also hide when things are hard. I think it’s been really good for them to see, like, their parents overcome struggle.
Because stuff’s not always easy. You know, we’ve had our ups and our downs and our failures and our successes. Both in the business and the family side. And it’s, it’s been good for them and helped them become more resilient as, as kids. And I think that will set them up for success in the future. to see their parents kind of overcoming hardship.
And it’s been super educational for me and good for me to see that as like a partner. Cause I, I could never do what you’re doing, right? I couldn’t, this is not how I’m, I’m functional in my brain space. But I’ve learned a lot on how to kind of emulate that a bit and do that. Do some stuff that you do, and I’ve tried to adapt myself to your stuff, and you’ve done a good job, like, adapting of stuff that I need, because I don’t have the greatest memory anymore, and you’re very good about reminding me of stuff.
Thanks, traumatic brain injuries. And it’s been, Really fun for me to kind of see how that has evolved and how we’ve kind of gotten more and more in sync with both parenting and business stuff and our own, our own relationship together. What is a bit of advice you would have For a mom a couple years behind you. right? But like, somebody that, a woman who has, You know, built her own identity, built her own, you know, internal headspace of who she is, and has, chosen, or you know, sometimes not chosen to become a mother, and is in the middle of trying to adapt to this new lifestyle, because it is a different lifestyle, and like trying to do a really good job, I think, people organically want to do a good job being a parent. what is one piece of advice that you might have for them, as they’re in the middle of it, when it’s really, really hard, and they’re trying to keep that anchor space someplace else, or do something along those as they’re in the middle of it, when it’s really, really hard, and they’re trying to keep that anchor space someplace else, or do something along those lines? I always actually prided myself before children on not, on not needing help. a life where I haven’t needed help. And I think I kind of got worn down, like, and I just needed help. In Japan, I think it was the first time I values me. learned the value of community, and I think that’s because that culture values community.
More so than we do in America.
And it was a really nice place to like be a new mom and be a young mom. I mean, I wasn’t young in age, but young in my children were young and be like a fresh mom, I guess, in an area that valued community, you know, and I There was like no expectation, other than maybe like I kept my kids alive and fed them, you know.
But there wasn’t any like judgment from the, the community that I had in Japan of moms, you know. I’m societally sure, but I didn’t care. I just hung out at the park with moms. And really learned that like, it was okay to, to, share snacks. Like, I didn’t have to, if I forgot snacks, there was another mom that was going to give my baby snacks, and I didn’t need to apologize or feel shame.
Like, I just really learned my house didn’t have to be perfect. We had people over all the time, and they were just happy to be together and, like, have a cup of coffee that was hot while the kids, like, were crazy, you know? And there was just, like, this shared life, and When you got sick and I wasn’t in Japan, like, I felt comfortable asking my friends to help you, or like, I really had to rely on them because I didn’t speak Japanese, and didn’t speak Japanese,
I needed to rush my kid to the doctor to get pills out of him, and like, there are just various times when I had no choice but to rely on the community that we had in Japan mostly because I didn’t speak the language and I had like little kids that do silly things, but it really broke down this like wall in me and I think that that’s something that needed to be broken down, but I think a lot of us, especially American moms, have like
have to do it all.
we have to do it all.
And I think the best advice that I have is, like, just ask for help sooner than later. I guess I, I build community, rely on that community, be somebody in that community that people can rely on. Like, I think that’s kind of how you do it. Like, the old tribal mentality that we don’t really have anymore I think was very special. can say we, we both have a lot of experience living outside the country.
And we’re the and the happiest people are the, are probably less individualistic, and as things like Americans are highly individualistic. And that’s lonely. It’s incredibly lonely.
And, that was one of the things that I think we both kind of struggled with when we came back to the States, was like we just kind of felt lonely before we were able to really like dig into a community.
And you did a ton of work to find that community, and we have a great community now. but, I remember Hiroko san helping us with a million different things.
And just being selfless in her attitude. And you being selfless with our home and with our attitude. And coaching a soccer team because we wanted our kids to have friends. And your idea to do that. And then the community kind of jumping in when these two foreigners are like, Hey, we have this idea.
No, we don’t speak really any Japanese.
Can we get a bunch of three year olds and four year olds and two year olds running around learning how to play soccer. And something that happened, which just doesn’t happen, is it brings out kind of the best in everybody. And we were able to like kind of share our culture. But we had these Japanese moms running around a field. Which you don’t see very often. Playing soccer with these young boys and girls.
And that’s something that you totally do all the time. And then, they brought you into their culture. And then we’re visiting shrines. And you’re doing tea ceremonies. And you’re , really being part of the family culture, and we felt safe. Right? And, I think we can be our best versions of ourselves, both as parents and business people, when we kind of feel safe in our social constructs that are around us.
And that’s kind of hard sometimes when you don’t feel that social constructs that Living abroad and then in a very safe culture and then moving back to America as a parent. It was very interesting like how much just natural stress we have just from being a parent in America. But there’s so much freedom and I think you can replicate that sense of safety through community like we felt that in Buckhead.
Like we, we did eventually have this community of, of people that I knew like. And we don’t live there anymore. We, we just left, but they still have my back and I know I could call them for anything and like that type of community gives you a sense of safety. And I think when you feel safe, like, and I see it in our kids, like when they feel safe, they try hard things.
Like when I feel safe, I’m willing to take risks in business and in like my personal life. And so I think that that’s my advice, like ask for help, find community and ask for help and community,
It did again. It did take a lot of work and effort though, and You didn’t always want to effort, though. You didn’t always want and sometimes you just got to do it. everybody, that is the end of this episode. That is the last time I’ll be on this show. Yay!