Jan. 19, 2023

This paid piece is sponsored by First Nationwide Wealth Administration.

Small-business homeowners Karen and Mike Bankowski each have an entrepreneurial spirit, however elevating two youngsters whereas constructing their companies requires stability — and cash.

On the newest episode of First Nationwide Wealth Administration’s podcast, “Widespread Cents on the Prairie,”™ these highschool sweethearts get sincere with host Adam Cox about juggling work and household, surviving the results of COVID on small companies and funding the passions that turned their livelihoods.

You’ll be able to learn a recap of their dialog beneath, watch the complete episode on YouTube or hear in your favourite podcast app!

Adam: In the present day, I’m joined by Mike and Karen Bankowski. Karen has been an entrepreneur and small-business proprietor since 2009, and most not too long ago, she turned a Realtor and joined 605 Actual Property right here in Sioux Falls. In 2014, Mike pioneered the house well being care supplier Affluent House Well being and, extra not too long ago, Affluent Robotics. He’s additionally the CEO of Mild Run, an organization targeted on serving the growing older inhabitants and veterans who want assistive know-how to dwell extra fulfilling lives. Mike and Karen are highschool sweethearts with two rising youngsters and a canine.

So each of you might be entrepreneurs, small-business homeowners residing a dream that you simply’ve had for some time. Nevertheless it wasn’t all the time that method. When did that change, and why?

Karen: I labored on the Conference & Guests Bureau right here in Sioux Falls after school. I labored there for just a few years, after which we had our son, Max. And after having him, I feel I spotted that working 40-plus hours turns into a little bit little bit of a difficulty as quickly as you begin to construct a household.

So Mike and I sat down and talked about cash and if we’d be capable to make it work if I left that job and pursued pictures alone — realizing that that first 12 months is perhaps tough. That was a choice that Mike thought was necessary too, that I might have extra flexibility staying at dwelling with Max, and it simply labored out.

At that time, I feel that’s actually after we began this — I don’t know what you’ll name it — any person picks up the strings at totally different instances.

Mike: Yin and yang!

Adam: That’s the magic of your story. We dwell in a generally egocentric tradition, and it may be all about us on a regular basis. And once you’re married, generally it could possibly’t be nearly you — it needs to be in regards to the different particular person.

So Karen, you bought to go first creating what you are promoting and scratching that itch, and Mike, I’m certain throughout that point you had been able to go too, however you didn’t. Why did you wait, and was that arduous for you?

Mike: Properly, I bought to leap into it with Karen. I bought to assist her on the enterprise aspect of pictures. Now, she didn’t essentially take heed to any enterprise data that I had. (Karen bursts out laughing.)

Adam: I used to be in enterprise class with you. I can respect her resolution. (All snort.)

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Mike: And I’ve all the time thought that Karen is a greater enterprise proprietor than I’m as a result of she’s a lot extra open than I’m. So to have the ability to assist her within the background — be that assist particular person entrepreneurialwise — was superior. However I additionally realized that I didn’t essentially know what I needed to do.

It took my mother passing away; she was a nurse and was like, “Michael, your future is caring for the aged inhabitants.” It took her passing away and her saying that to me, after which what actually shoved me over the sting was when my older brother died in a automotive accident.

Karen was three years into her enterprise, so we type of deliberate at that time, “All proper, I’m going to begin making some strikes right here. And in some unspecified time in the future, I’ll be going off alone.” So we type of knew that was down the street, and we might put together and save up for it.

Adam: That’s the factor about small-business possession and being an entrepreneur — it’s a lot extra than simply an 8-to-5. It may be all-consuming, particularly in the event you’re each doing it. That’s a troublesome stability to strike, being a enterprise proprietor and a breadwinner and never essentially having that paycheck on a regular basis. How have you ever saved that every one collectively?

Karen: In our family, we take a second every week with the youngsters and take a tally. “What’s the week appear like for everyone? Dad has a giant proposal on Wednesday. Mother has a closing on Thursday. Sophia has robotics Monday, and Max has soccer Thursday.”

After which, we divide and conquer. “Tuesday, I’m free for dinner, so I’ll cook dinner dinner that night time. Mike has a giant proposal Wednesday; Sophia, do you wish to cook dinner dinner?” Everybody in our household has to participate.

Adam: So, Karen, inform us about what occurred to the 2 of you in April 2020.

Karen: We had been in all probability in the identical ballpark as lots of entrepreneurs. , you construct what you are promoting and your life and every little thing as much as the place you assume that it must be, after which a pandemic occurs. That March when faculties closed, I feel all of us had been on this, like, “La la, oh nicely. It’s two weeks off. All the pieces will probably be high quality.”

However then April of 2020 got here round, and I do not forget that Mike was paying additional time to lots of his employees. I used to be, at this level, transitioning into doing actual property. So rapidly, it’s this realization of: “He’s having to pay all this extra cash in payroll. I’ve nothing coming in. What are we going to do?”

It was actually exhausting for us feeling like we labored to this monetary safety, and now we didn’t know the place we had been going to be. We didn’t understand how we had been going to pay our mortgage. At that time, it was actually a come-to-the-table second; we wanted to itemize each single invoice we had. Since then, we’ve actually prepped ourselves in financial savings and made certain that that safety is there.

Adam: Financially talking, what’s most necessary to you at this level in your life?

Karen: I’m going again to safety. After going via a time like April of 2020, I simply wish to really feel like that can by no means occur once more.

Mike: My huge factor now could be having that cushion so I can innovate extra. Innovation takes cash, and it takes time — particularly now that I’m doing two medical system startups. I’ve one patent, however I’ve six upcoming patents which are all going to wish funding.

That’s what actually drives me greater than something now. I’ve all the time needed to assist individuals, however once you get into an innovation — a tool that may assist tens of millions of individuals — it’s a only a complete totally different stage. And we’re so near having the ability to self-fund lots of these improvements. I feel 2023 goes to be an unimaginable 12 months for us.

For those who loved this dialog, ship Adam and the staff at First Nationwide Wealth Administration a notice to allow them to know! Or, take a look at the episode “Small Enterprise Success with Jodi Schwan” to listen to one other entrepreneurial success story:

Any feedback, insights or methods mentioned on this article are supposed to be common in nature and, subsequently, might not be appropriate for you and your state of affairs, no matter that could be. Earlier than appearing on something written right here, please seek the advice of along with your lawyer, CPA and/or your monetary advisor.

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