In today’s early morning chat, we’re going to dive into what it really means to have the home at the center of your solar system, at the core of your life. We’ll talk about what the definition of “home” really is, what it means to me, and what it means to you. In future episodes, we’ll dive further into this topic, learning how to really strengthen your home. But in this conversation, our focus is solely on defining the home so that you can properly place it within your solar system so that everything else orbits around it.
At the beginning of each episode, I’m going to start sharing quotes with you that have inspired me. So, we’re going to start out with an inspirational quote here. Today’s quote is by Confucius, and it says, “the strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home.”
The home is truly the foundation of any functional society. Let’s define what that really is. First of all, the home is your family. It’s your immediate family and who you live with. If you’re a child, then your immediate family consists of your parents and siblings. In my case, my immediate family is my wife and my two kids.
Next, the home is your physical house that you live in. And finally, the home is your core values and your core beliefs. Ultimately, it’s your identity. The home is your foundational place that anchors you and provides you safety and comfort, and your systems for living.
The home provides order in your life. Your routines, your schedules, your core place of learning and developing yourself is within the home. You can always come back to your home for certainty.
There may be other definitions that pop up along the way as we journey down this road. However, this covers the majority of how I define “home.” It obviously goes beyond the house you live in and the family you’re living with. But the most important definition for me is my immediate family that I live with. Everything else is part of my definition of the home and supports that definition.
Growing up, we all had various experiences and had a variety of different home situations. Some were good, some were bad. Some people didn’t have a place that felt like a core place of comfort, security, or certainty. But despite how you grew up and whether your home was a safe place or not, you can create whatever home you want now. And you should, because it’s important that you take a look at your home if you want to find success in your career and fulfillment in your life.
In a lot of different, obvious ways, the home is the center of my life. I work at home, my kids do their schooling at home, and my wife is at home. We’re home bodies. That doesn't mean we never leave the house, though. We are HOME bodies, not HOUSE bodies. While we do spend a good amount of time at our house, the priority goal is that we spend time together as a family, even when we’re outside the house.
Like I said in the show intro, for “Go Back to Bad,” entrepreneurship is a way of living, not just a way to make a living. My wife, my kids, and I are all entrepreneurs in that we are constantly innovating and improving our family business.
We have the actual business that’s earning money, but I’m talking about the family business of the Gravallese family. Our family operations are what we’re growing and improving through innovation and problem solving. This family business very much grows and operates like our business that earns us money. We have agendas, objectives, and goals.
I’ve experienced a variety of different homes throughout my life now. I always had my parents to go back to, even after they divorced. So, I still had a type of home, but it wasn’t all in the same space, the same house, like it was before. So I’ve had different versions of home throughout my life.
Love is the key to creating home. My family and I moved to Virginia for five months in 2020 to help my extended family out because of my mom’s passing in August of 2020. Because we were displaced from our house, that situation really opened up my eyes to what it means for my family to be my home. We were living with my extended family, we felt like vagabonds, but I still felt like it was my home because my wife, kids, and I were all together.
We were united in this challenge of moving across the country for just a few months, and then moving back. We realized that home is wherever we are physically located together in love. It’s the element of love that creates the home more than anything else.
Other aspects of the home involve me really embracing my role as a dad AND as a business owner. It’s fun and it’s challenging to be working at home while running a business when I’ve got kids who just want to play all day. But there are things I’ve done to make it work, and we’ll visit those things deeper in future episodes.
For now I’ll just say that I have allowed my kids in my work space, which actually makes it easier for me to focus on work. I do this by allowing my son Oliver for example, to work in my workspace with me. He can bring in his Legos or other fun toys and let him be productive while I am working. At first, I would just shut the door and lock it when I was working, but that didn’t work. He wanted to know what I was doing, and he wanted to come in.
We’ve created systems in our household where I am working, or I’m not working. And it’s important for me that when I’m not working, that means I’m REALLY not working. I had to learn to stop doing work if I wasn’t inside my office. It’s about learning how to turn off and close your business so you can really be with your family 100%. I’ll get more into the issues of being a Dadpreneur later on, but you get the gist for now.
Now let’s get back to placing the home at the center of your solar system. How do you do it? It’s easy to talk about it, but actually doing it isn’t as easy. If you picture a solar system, you have the sun and you have planets that revolve and orbit around the sun. Something you need to ask yourself is, “what are my planets? What is the closest planet to the sun? What’s furthest away?”
All of the planets, even the furthest ones from the sun are being influenced by the sun’s gravity. No matter how far away something is from the sun (your home) it’s still being influenced by the gravity of the your home. Your home is a very powerful entity.
If the home is in chaos and it’s out of order, and if you’re not putting focus into strengthening the home, then every other aspect of your life will not orbit correctly. It will fall apart, and your life will feel unstable. Your home is actually at the center of your solar system already, whether you like it or not.
The real question is: how do you take control of the home, and how do you put focus on it? How do you make it a priority so that the rest of your solar system is in order? Let me give you an example of my solar system so that you can understand how to handle your own. This is a great time to start taking notes.
What are MY planets? Obviously, the home is the sun, the center. Next is my health. After that, I’ve got my business and career. If I put my business and career first, then that sacrifices health. I’m not going to sacrifice my health to build a career. That’s one of the rules I set for myself early on. Too many entrepreneurs allow their health to tank in order to build their business, but they pay for it later.
The next planet in my solar system is money. Sure, money does tie into business and your career, but it’s also its own separate entity as well. Money CAN be a very spiritual and good thing, and we will talk about that more later on.
My next planet is our actual physical house that we live in, and it revolves around my home. The fifth planet is my neighborhood, my church, and my community. This planet is where I start breaking away from the people within my home and going out to my associations with other people. The next planet is about expanding out from my geographic location at a city and state level, and then my county and then out in the world as a whole.
In other words, people across the world are not more of a priority than my own family, or my health, or my business and career and so forth.
I just listed my priorities and what planets are the closest, then the furthest. Now I can get into some microscopic version of this, diving deeper into each thing, labeling all the moons and asteroids and so forth but we’ll save that for another time.
Now, my belief in God and my religion is something that I see as part of my home, so it is not its own planet. My involvement with my church is a planet because that involves other people besides my family and it’s a less priority then my family but my spiritual beliefs are a part of my home and our family. So whatever form of spirituality you have, that is likely going to be a part of your home too because it connects to your core beliefs which I mentioned earlier as one of the definitions of “home.”
And time is just the space that exists between planets. Time is literally dictated by the rotation of a planet, by how long a planet takes to revolve around the sun and rotate. Therefore, time is also not its own planet.
Time and space connect it all together. Time management and how we use our time and so forth becomes an important part of stringing everything together. This topic will eventually be its own episode.
So now we ask, how do we keep our home at the center? How do we keep it a top priority? Do you do this by spending all of your time at home? No. Here’s what really matters. The most important thing for you to do is to keep home at the center of your heart. It needs to be at the center of your body.
What does this mean? It means that the home is at the center of who you are. It’s an outer manifestation of your identity. Home is where you build your identity and where you get to know yourself as well.
Here are some examples of how I keep the home my priority. It starts with everything that defines the home. For me, that’s my wife and my kids. Their needs come first. I can’t address those who are single or who live with roommates, or other family dynamics since I’m not in those situations. But you can easily adapt what I’m saying to make it fit your current situation.
You also have to stay true to your core beliefs once you figure out what those beliefs are. I like to keep a document that lists out all my core beliefs about different categories, like politics, religion, life in general, health, and family, for example. You should do the same. It will always evolve and change, but having it written down helps you stay true to it overall. It keeps it in your heart and gives you more integrity.
I allow my perspective to keep expanding because that’s an important thing to do. Let people teach you and keep an open perspective. But never abandon your core beliefs.
Another way that I keep my home my top priority is by making sure that problems within the home are resolved first. If a problem arises, it gets addressed, and it gets solved before any problem outside the home.
Another aspect of keeping the home a priority has to do with where I wake up and where I go to sleep. The location where we start and end our day is important. This is especially helpful if you’re sticking to your routine. Of course, during vacations you can’t control this aspect. But otherwise, you need to make it a priority to live in your home.
If something goes wrong in my business, I always trace things back to how I can improve my home. I don’t look at the surface problem. If I begin to have issues, that means there’s something in my home that’s trickling up and affecting my business. Sure, there may be literal problems in my business that need addressing, but there’s always a connection to the home.
When I was struggling to find clients, I looked around, and my office was in chaos. My physical house was literally chaotic. There was a lot of unorganized clutter. I needed to go through our storage unit and let go of things I was holding onto. So, my wife and I spent a lot of time going through our stuff and letting go of things that were no longer serving us.
After we got the house in order, physically, we created more space for opportunities and more space for money. And it worked. I found new clients and I was able to get to the next stage of my business growth thanks to this newly found order, in my home.
Other times, there have been issues I needed to resolve with my wife, where crucial conversations were needed but I kept pushing it off. Ignoring this got in the way of our relationship, and that trickled up and affected my business, my focus, and my business’s growth. This is why auditing relationships within your home and how they affect things is important.
Further, any time I make an upgrade in my physical health and I eat better food and take care of my body more, it affects my business and everything else. It’s all connected. Audit everything about your planets, and your home, and then think about how you can strengthen and upgrade your home.
Putting better systems in place and better routines helps. Once I started waking up early at around 6:00 A.M., I had a deliberate entrance into my day. Then, once I started to create a schedule for the rest of my day, both my work hours and personal hours, my business started growing more. Never think that personal life and business life is separate. They’re intertwined. If you’re struggling to make money, look within your home. Look at all the planets we talked about today.
Sometimes we get so focused on earning money that we don’t take care of our health or our family. If you don’t look at your home and work on what can be improved within it, you will feel like a hamster on a wheel. You’re making little wins, but you’re super stressed and constantly worrying about things. There will be some kind of collapse at some point. You won’t have a steady, stable, safe, strong growth in your career if you ignore your home.
In summary, make sure that you are constantly auditing the foundation that you are standing upon. Now that we’re wrapping it up for today, I hope this conversation was helpful to you, and I hope you can try to start examining what you can improve in your home so that you can make some progress in other aspects of your life. I look forward to our next early morning conversation.