Hi guys, welcome to our weekly Facebook live show. I'm Jen Berson, the founder of generation PR and the creator of this profitable PR pros community. Welcome. We have quite a few new members of our community, um, that have maybe seen some ads that we're running right now for our path to profitability training series. It's going to be awesome. We start on September 16th, it's a three part live training series, and it's like probably my favorite training that we do for the whole year. Um, it's really good. And it is my goal here to teach you and give you the tools and strategies that you need to be able to create a business that you love, create a business that supports the kind of life that you want to live. Okay. I'm gonna wait a minute here because I really do love this topic and we plan our content really far in advance.
Um, anyone who knows my integrator Miranda is like on it and we have a workflow for everything. And in order to get everything there's a lot that goes on behind the scenes in order to get everything planned, like promotional graphics and emails written and podcasts scheduled and, um, blog posts written and all of the things that go into creating this live content and then putting it through our process to leverage the content we plan it really far in advance, like probably six weeks in advance. So this topic, um, about how you can successfully grow an agency and have work-life integration. We, um, added this to the calendar about, I dunno, probably two months ago, but I have something to share that kind of happened for me personally yesterday. That will highlight why this is so important for me personally. And for me to share with you, um, to help you achieve this kind of full work-life integration.
Okay. So welcome. Let me know who's on here. I feel like I've kept for that. My nose. That's why I'm like rubbing my nose. My cat is right there. Um, on the ground you can kind of see him like right here. It's hard. I'm backwards here, but there he is right there. Um, so welcome. And uh, yeah, I'm gonna dive into this topic and share what even this means. Let me know who's here. I can see you guys. I can see the comments when you write them. It's a little delayed, like probably 10 seconds delayed. Um, and I'm going to try to get through today without like, you can see my eyes. I was like totally crime last night because of what I'm going to share, kind of just happen for our family. Hi, destiny. Welcome. Um, and so it was just like all kind of unloaded on us yesterday and we're still processing.
Hopefully I can get through today. Um, but let me just dive right in. I was hoping more people would be on, I don't know. Oh, here we go. Some more people are finding us. Okay. Well welcome. I'm so happy that you are here. Um, we are going to talk about work, life integration. So why am I saying integration in the first place? This was my big theme for, it was actually supposed to be last year, but with COVID it kind of shifted, but my big theme for the year for myself, and to try to, um, bring to the group was about work-life integration because we're not using the word balance balance is unattainable. Um, some of the things we see online about like these perfectly curated lives and women that run businesses and their family life is impeccable and they throw Pinterest parties and give me a thumbs up if you know the type.
Um, I happen to be a very, very creative person. I love crafts. I love all of that, but there I'm not throwing Pinterest parties. That's just not what I'm going to be doing. I have better uses of my time. I'd rather sit and do a craft with my kids. One-on-one on a weekend, spend time with them or bake something. I'm not like putting it out there, that everything is perfect, which is why high TZ thinks. Okay, great. Which is why. Um, I went on Instagram yesterday and I was like, you know, because I really think that it's helpful for other families that are going through challenging situations to share what they are, um, rather than keep all that stuff hidden because it's helpful to see somebody else in the weeds with you and to know you're not alone. Um, so I'll dive more into that when it's appropriate in this kind of presentation for today, but we use the word work-life integration because balance is kind of unattainable.
And when you strive for that, it's really not even ever possible that inquire, uh, implies equilibrium. We're not going to get that. Sometimes work demands more of you, sometimes your personal life demands more of you. Um, and so I look at it like integration. So the other thing too, just like the last point on balance and why I don't use it is because I believe that it sets you up for disappointment for feeling less than because it's an unattainable standard. So if you're not perfectly balanced, then you're a failure. You know, no, that's not what I want for myself or for anybody that I support in their businesses. I want you to feel like you are creating a business that will support the kind of life that you want to live to me. That's, work-life integration and that's my goal. And that's what we're going to talk about today.
Hi Nelson, thank you for being here. Like always my, my rider dies. Um, so why is having work-life integration so important? Um, you know, we're going to talk about setting boundaries and creating a vision for your life and your business. And if you don't have these things in place or don't have an awareness or clue of what you're working towards, you're going to end up burnt out unhappy, um, unhappy as the leader of your business, unhappy as the CEO of your PR agency. And I know this to be true because this is how I run my business. You don't have to kill yourself to be successful. You shouldn't have to work all hours of the day and night and on the weekend, responding to clients at the drop of a hat, you absolutely should not. Um, and you don't have to do everything all the time in order to find success.
You don't have to offer all the services or say yes to everything that clients or prospective clients are asking you for, um, or being available at all times. I have said this before. I just mentioned it on the podcast, the pitching powerhouse podcast available anywhere you listen to podcast, leave us a review. If you like, what you hear it anyway. Um, I haven't been bothered by a client really after hours or on weekends in years, like D like a decade longer. I've been running my business for 16 years. I had one client that would just message me all hours, day and night. And my heart would just jump out of my chest. Like, what did she need? Why was she upset? Um, you know, what, what is she disappointed in me for? And it was like this horrible, like gaslighting, terrible relationship. And one day I had the realization, you know, what, if this client goes away, my business will still be fine.
I will still be fine. And that work for one reason or another after 11 years, finally, we just kind of grew and went our separate ways. And it was the best thing that ever happened. I like triple R tripled our rates. That's another discussion altogether, all about niching down and leaning into your expertise. But I promise you, you do not have to agree to be bashed and battered. Um, you're in charge of how you want your business to feel. So have your clients match that feeling. You know, we work with really cool, really nice clients, appreciate the work we do. And you can tell, we have all kinds of content inside the agency accelerator around like red flag clients and what to look for. Um, you know, like how to charge your rates, which also has like a kind of secondary effect that attracts better clients.
When you have a higher retainer, it's just true. Ask Nelson. He will agree. Um, and I say that because he's been practicing PR for many, many, many decades, and, uh, not to make you sound old, but you did post in our group that you are not old, but you are very experienced and we all know it's true. The more you charge, the better you're treated. Okay. So you have to have yeah. Clear boundaries and it'll help you, um, be more efficient and effective and you'll avoid burnout. Um, so do you have a clear vision for what you want your ideal work-life integration to look like? Um, I had, I interviewed, uh, Brandi Sims yesterday on the podcast and was so interesting to hear her story. It was always her dream to start her own PR agency. And she did at the beginning of the pandemic, she left her nine to five job where she was underpaid compared to her male counterparts.
And she was like, that's it I'm doing my own thing. Went out on her own and immediately landed five clients, but she was making really no money. She was undercharging. Um, and she was kind of killing herself and realized that she was going to burn out faster than she could keep up with the work. And then she joined the agency accelerator and she, I think she said within a week or so within a week, she brought in a new client on a six month retainer for an extremely healthy retainer, um, client didn't bat an eye. And she finally realized what she's worth based on the value she brings. And that's her right now. And her business is thriving, you know, because of it. So you have to have a clear vision for what you want, your ideal work-life integration to look like. So is it spending time with your significant other, having the flexibility to live your best mom life?
And I'll dive into this, having time to travel, um, between running your business and being a parent. Um, no matter what you love, having real work-life integration, lets you prioritize it. And having times with the things that matter most to you, at least for me, that is my definition of success and that should be your definition of success. Um, so I'll kind of share a little bit about my story and how I got here and my hope is not to be like, here's all about me. It's to show you the kind of like mental shifts and transformations that I went through. Um, how I redefined success for me and what that did in my life, um, and where I am now and why this is especially important and relevant to me right now. Okay. So many of you know that I was an attorney, so around the age of 27, I started dating my husband and I was still practicing law.
And I started thinking about my future. You know, it was kind of clear. We had this amazing connection and I wasn't entirely ready to stop dating. I was like out on the town in LA and I had my own place and was making good money. So I could like go out and do what I wanted to do when I had time, which was very rare because I worked so much and my law firm, um, crazy billable hours, but I met my husband and I was like, okay, this guy's different. You know? And so I started thinking about my future. And one thing I'll suggest to you is when you want to do something, you want to accomplish something in your life, find somebody who's done what you want to do and then have them mentor you or ask them, you know, how they can support you or do what they did follow their steps, which is why we created all of these resources so that people have like a roadmap to get where they want to go.
Okay. But I started looking around to see if there were any role models, any female role models that had the kind of life that I wanted, like a woman who was partner at my law firm who had kids and she was able to be present in their lives. Hi angel. Um, and started what I started to realize was that the path that I was on was not going to lead me to the life that I wanted. It was really apparent to me. And I'm telling you, this was like 16, 17 years ago. I know it's been a long time. I'm coming up on my 20 year law school reunion later this month, 2001. Crazy my God crazy. Um, I, you know, I just knew that if I was going to make partner, which was the goal when you're at a law firm, that if I had kids, I would be paying somebody else to raise them.
I would probably not be able to attend their daytime school activities or be room mom or go to their, you know, their sporting events or whatever. Um, because that's what I saw. These women became moms and then they either were phased out or, um, you know, they were on part-time schedule kind of phased out over time or they were partners and they never saw their children or they didn't have children. And I grew up with both of my parents, um, having their own careers, my mom sold real estate. She also has a master's degree in elementary education and reading improvement, which is going to be very helpful for my family right now. I'm about to get to it. Okay. Um, and my dad is, is a car broker. He's always just been at, you know, at the last 25 years or more have been self-employed and there around.
And that is what I always knew was like family dinners. And your parents can pick you up from school and their home when you get home from school. And I wanted that for my kids, but I'm not ever going to be a full-time mom. I can't, I just can't, that's not. I think that that's the hardest, hardest job is being a full-time stay-at-home mom, hardest job ever hands down. Um, I love working. I love connecting with this community. I am never going to give that up. That is a huge part of who I am. It's a huge part of how I, how I feel I'm contributing in the world. I mean, unless you mean it to, uh, Jamie Kern Lima's book, um, believe it, she's the founder of it, cosmetics. And, um, you know, she's talking right now about how you shouldn't like make yourself small or diminish your success.
I have a vision for connecting with people all over the world and through this content coaching community, everything we've created, I've been able to do that and I want to change people's lives. I want to do that. And I, the feedback we get is that it's happening and that is me living my purpose. Okay. So before I even knew that that would be on my radar, I knew I wanted to have the kind of career where I could be a present in, checked in parent for my kids. Um, you know, and then I just did not see that as a possibility to have work-life integration as an attorney. So I changed it. I realized that 27, my life is my own and this is my one shot and this lifetime, and all I have to do is find a path to make myself happy. I don't need to make anyone else happy.
Um, the people that love me will feel happy and satisfied when I'm happy and satisfied. So as hard as it was to walk away from that career, and that was really time intensive to get to really expensive, really hard, to walk away from that salary. And I had a mortgage payment. I wasn't married, none of that. I gave myself six months to make this work. And I, and I did, you know, 16 years later here we are. And in that decision, the biggest shift for me is that my number one factor for success, my definition of success is being in control of your time. And, um, you know, when I very first started out, my definition of success was like having a prestigious job, making really good money. Um, something where people you would say, well, my parents cause they, my daughter's a lawyer and their friends would say, oh, you know, they, they understood it, right.
It was like clear that that was, you know, she must be smart. She must be making good money. You must've done something. Right. You know? Um, and I felt like in that career, it should have been a career for me. It was more like a job. It felt like a job. I would just go every day. I never felt like I was investing in this long-term career growth. I would just get there, do the work didn't care was miserable, set the life out of me and leave when I could and just do my billable hours. It wasn't a career. Um, and it wasn't something I could see myself doing longterm and loving every day. And I wanted to feel happy on Monday morning to get up and go to work. Now, my commute is literally like four steps up to my office. Love my office.
I'm so happy here. I feel inspired. Um, you know, I am so happy and I still love my business. Um, I want to do something that I, I always wanted to do something I could do. Long-term um, where I could feel inspired and do things that are creative, something that was a better fit for my personality. So I started my PR agency. And back when I started, I struggled with boundaries and I allowed, like I said, clients to come into my world whenever they wanted to, when they said jump, I said, yes, how high when now got it. You know, wheat, weekends nights. Um, I always want it to be the most responsive. And if they emailed me nine o'clock on a Friday night, even if I was out, I had to text them back. So they knew that I was like the most responsive and giving them the best service.
That's not. Okay. Um, when I started to put boundaries in place, that's when I started to experience true work-life integration. Okay. And I know that you deserve to have this positive work-life integration as PR pros, we work so hard to get amazing results, provide stellar services. We're in this business where it never ends. There's just never like a stopping point, you know? And so for some of us, the stopping point is when your eyeballs feel like they're going to fall out, give me a thumbs up or a heart for that. While I drink my iced latte and Nelson, I know I kind of blew it with that date. Um, it, like I said, at the top of the call, we have so many things in motion and it would be impossible at this time to change the date. Um, you know, it's going to be recorded.
It's the first day of our path to profitability. It's going to be recorded. We will send replays. And I'm so sorry that I did not catch that. That was a Jewish holiday. Um, it's affects me too, but I have a commitment and I'm gonna show up to it. Um, yeah, let me know guys, like when we do our service, we just keep pitching and pitching and pitching and there's always one more outlet and there's always one more pitch and there's always one more angle and you can keep going until your eyeballs feel like they're going to fall out. And so it's really challenging in a business like ours to, um, nobody else feels like this. Are you kidding me? I can't believe that you guys are just all like, yeah, I know when I can stop. And I feel like I've wrapped up for the day.
I just feel like it's hard, especially when you work for yourself or you work from home to set those boundaries. So, um, you know, you can do this. You can provide amazing results, generate results for your clients and grow your business. And I believe that you need to be intentional so that you can grow your business. That should 100% support the lifestyle that you've always wanted. You don't want your business to run you. You want your business to support your goals and bring you joy. Shanah Tovah. That means that happy new year for anybody it's Russia, Shauna. So it's the Jewish new year. Um, so yeah, you want your business to support your, your goals. And this is exactly what we teach inside the agency accelerator, and actually saying I'm struggling to set boundaries with my very first client. So this is a great reminder.
Yeah. And I know you're just starting out and you're eager to please, and I know Ashley, you also have a personal connection to your first client. Um, so it's hard, but you can still be effective and you can still crush it and get amazing results and make your clients feel like they're the one and only without leaving all your boundaries open so that they can just come into your life. Whenever I know you have a little line, um, I know you have another job and you're starting school. Like you have a lot going on, you need to have boundaries. And, um, you know, it's how you enforce them. It's just being a consistent about it and not emailing nights and weekends and not responding when they do, you can let them know if you send an email after these hours, I will respond first thing in the morning or within 24 hours, you know, whatever it is.
Um, angel saying, it's definitely hard. I have six distractions around me now that my oldest is out and out the house. Um, I always forget, I cannot, I have like a mental block angel. And how many children you have? Do you have seven children and your oldest one just moved out. I keep thinking you have five to seven. Like I can't, I'm so sorry. I cannot process it. It's like I have a block after three, two is a lot, especially six. Okay. Wow. So your husband's the other distraction. Yeah, I get it. I got one of those too. Um, yeah. So this is what we teach inside the agency accelerator. I want you to be intentional. It's like roadblocks, not roadblocks stepping stones. The husband is the distraction stepping stones. Hi Marlesha. Um, thanks for being here. Um, yeah. Okay. So we're going to teach that inside of the agency accelerator.
It's also part of what we teach inside this path to profitability, which is this free training series. Um, you know, you need this career that brings you the life you want and balance, and you don't need, here's the one of maybe the big ahas and maybe dial into this Ashley. Um, there is a story you're telling yourself that you need to work endlessly to be successful. That's a story. And you can rewrite that story in your head. Hard work is important. Absolutely, but this hustle culture gets it wrong. I promise you that is a recipe for serious burnout. We don't have to spend every single second working for clients or trying to grow our business. You will burn out. And what good is that going to do for you or your husband, your children, your business, or the kind of work that kind of life you want to have.
Listen, if you want to feel like your work is soul sucking and you want to be stressed out and not find joy in what you're doing, why go to the effort to have your own business, just go get a job and clock out, you know, but that's not what I want for you. I want you to experience, um, yeah. Adrian work smarter, not harder as they say, it's work intentionally strategically realize that everything you do is stepping stones, bringing in a team, hiring for your weaknesses. So let's talk about bringing in a team. This can help you start experiencing work life integration. Um, yeah. I had to realize that in step back, I was stressing and up all night when I have alone time. Yeah. And like, you need your sleep. I sleep, you guys, my kids sleep. So I sleep like, I don't know, 8, 9, 10, sometimes 10 hours a night.
Sleep is really important. I did not sleep all last night. Um, and I was crying. So I have like bags, but I'll fill you in on this at the end. Cause I want to get through everything and show you what this is gonna mean for me right now and how important this is. So, um, one of the very first things, my early one of my early mentors, um, who was the head of entrepreneurship at USC business school, I went to USC law school and my husband was in the business school. Um, but he told me less Jen equals more money. And that I was at a plateau in my income until I brought in help. And I was like, but I need all the money and I don't have enough. And dah, dah, dah, dah. First of all, you have to charge enough. So you can bring in support and a team to help you execute on these services.
So that is going to allow to focus on income, generating activities, work on the business rather than in the business. And when you set up your agency, um, and you have a team that supports you and you know how to charge for your services to be able to bring in this team that will help you execute. You're going to experience such a shift towards a more positive work-life integration. And you can work only on the things that light you up that you're good at. That's your zone of genius and outsource the rest. I think about this. There are things in my business that are like $10 tasks, you know, like creating graphics or not $10 tasks, but you know, a $20 tasks, let's say it's my time or $20 an hour. Absolutely not, no freaking way. Like, and also in the agency accelerator, we teach you at the beginning how to set a goal and back into it and understand what your time is worth, what you're actually making, what your goal is and what you have to do in order to accomplish your revenue goal.
Um, and I've done this with some people when they first join and they realize they are making less than minimum wage because they're not charging enough. They are working on projects that had, oh, I know angel, I'm so happy angel just joined. We kind of like, enrollment's close, but we've been talking to her a really long time. And we like made it an exception. We're opening enrollment later this month for our fall cohort. Um, you know, but angel, I, I hope you dive in and, you know, maybe use your nights to listen to me. We'll be hanging out a lot. You'll hear my voice all the time. And I know it's a little annoying. That's okay. I'm talking about good stuff. Um, but yeah, like you, um, you, uh, bring in the stuff that lights you up, you work in your zone of genius and you, um, and you work on the things that are going to move the needle on your business, move your business forward.
And well, I've, I've worked with people who have figured out that they're making less than minimum wage and it's very eyeopening for them. But the key is also, um, project-based services that just go on and on scope creep, you're losing you're hemorrhaging money when you don't structure your agency the right way. So, um, when you work on things that light you up, you outsource the rest, um, and you're attracting your dream. High-end clients. You end up working with clients that you would adore that love what you're up to. They're willing to pay what you're worth. And we talk about this to establishing this deep expertise. We're going to work on this in our path to profitability. Totally for you guys. I'm going to put a link here in case you don't, um, if you haven't signed up yet, um, hold on. I will Marlesha, I'll answer your question at the end.
Kay. I think I might've just stopped posted this twice anyway. Um, I did sorry guys. Um, yeah. Wait, where am I on my notes? You guys know I have notes. Um, clients will want to work with you because you are the go-to in your niche and you're working in a niche. You're passionate about. I work in beauty and cosmetics and baby and kids. Um, you know, I have kids, so I love the industry I've been working in baby and kids for 16 years. I just got a lead through LinkedIn based on our reputation in the industry. Um, you know, really reputable company. I love cosmetics. I just do. And I, to this day, 16 years later, just love working with any brand that's skincare, haircare color, cosmetics tools I have, uh, led, oh, they're over there. I just want to see it. Hold on.
Yeah. You know, you're upside down, you know, you're jealous of my omnilux led face mask, the leading the leading led device company, um, for in-office treatment now has this available at home, the results are mind boggling. So I, you know, better know that I'm using that all the time. There's one for the neck and chest one for the hands, love working with them, gave them our retainer fee, did not bat an eye. Um, I'm still passionate about these niches that I chose 16 years later. I want you to love your business down the road. Okay? So in the agency accelerator, we walk you through the steps you need to take to have this kind of work life integration. And what I have experienced in loving my business 15 plus years. I want you to have that too, but it's an intentional process. It's strategic decisions, small strategic decisions that you need to make in order to do that.
Like stepping stones, it's intentional. So if you're going to work all hours of the day, discount your services and be in reactive mode, like your hair's on fire all the time, like client email, you know, and not everything is that urgent. You know? Um, like I said, if you feel like you are going to have to work like that in order to grow your business, just go get a job. And then at least you can have job security, you know, and at least there's a cutoff point at the end of the day. Um, but as a PR pro, you deserve to have your absolute dream vision of what your business could be in your life. Like, I want that to come true for you. Um, that's what we talked about with Brandy on the podcast, which we'll release later, probably later this month, she said, when she was 12 or 13 on her MySpace page, top 10, she said, someday I will own my own PR firm.
And now she's living her dream and she's making it work because she's intentionally growing her business. She has two kids, five and seven. She is in the weeds like that is, those are the ages like starting school, leaving nursery kindergarten, like yes. And she did it in the middle of a pandemic and is charging what she's worth based on the process we walked her through. So I want that for you too. Um, in this training thing that we're doing, it's totally free. It's really good. Um, I'm gonna share this exact framework with you that you'll need to kind of check into and understand. It's like really simple when you understand it in order to find success and really experience this true work-life integration in your PR journey. So jump into this three day path to profitability training series. There's like a whole workbook. Um, we've worked really hard on it and it's my favorite training to do the whole year.
It's the only time this year we're offering it live. So I put the link here. Um, yeah. So Marlesha, um, jump into either the pitch lab, which is totally inexpensive. It's like $97 after two months, you'll have the entire roadmap for how you pitched the media. Um, hi Jennifer. Okay. Awesome. Jennifer signed up. Um, I can't wait to have you. Um, but you know, it just depends what you're trying to build Marlesha and we can help you. There's actually a quiz that you can take on our website, profitable PR pros.com. I had to think about that. Go to profitable PR pros.com. There's a quiz. And I think that it will help you select into what program or resource is the right thing for you. We can teach you how to do PR, give you monthly pitch ideas, coach, and support you through our pitch lab program, and then teach you how to grow and scale launch grow and scale your own profitable PR agency through our agency accelerator. Like whatever you need, wherever you are. We've got you. The go-to profitable PR pros.com take a quiz. It's super fun. We made it really fun. Um, so let me just get into this like little quick personal thing. I've never, um, you know, hidden the fact that I have a son who's on the spectrum. Um, uh, yeah. Reach out to [email protected]
Alisha and my integrator Miranda will, um, get in touch with you. Okay. And she'll help you. She'll help you out. Um, okay. So my 11 year old son, um, it's a process. It's not like you wake up one day and you're like, kid is all the way there and then they're not there. And you're like, oh my God, they caught autism. It's not like that. It's an evolution of discovering a figuring out of learning, um, who to call what to do. And it started when he was 11 months old and now he's 11 years old. I got an official diagnosis when he was five. Um, we made the decision based on all of the challenges that he was experiencing to help him out with the right medications. Some people may find that, listen, it was not an easy decision. It's not like, yeah, just, you know, give my kid all the pills.
It's not at all, but it has really helped us. It's helped him. It's helped him find focus and happiness. So that was a decision we made. Um, we had to Sue the school district many, many years ago to get him in a special program. And that was kindergarten. He has. Thank you, Sally. Um, he has, since he repeated kindergarten and now he's in fifth grade, so he's 11. He should be going into sixth grade and we have psychiatrist, a psychologist, an occupational therapist. We have group therapy group, um, social, emotional therapy for him. He sees a therapist at school. He gets adaptive PE, um, and he gets resource, but we're in a public school district. The pandemic was a complete nightmare for all of us, absolutely. With distance learning for my son, it was the literal worst possible learning environment for him. He has ADHD.
He has anxiety. Um, and he really fell behind. He really struggled. And he also had a teacher that was not empathetic in any way. Ashley, thank you. Wait till you hear. So, um, we have been on this evolving process of finding the right team. And I've mentioned this before, because I am 100% certain that if I was still a litigator or doing billable hours, and this was my family situation, we would not have caught it. I noticed because I was in a mommy and me playgroup at 11 months old that my son was missing milestones. You know, he's not pulling up. He's not, when I go in his room, he's not sitting up in his crib. I set him down. He doesn't move. He has, you know, he doesn't try to go for toys. Um, he doesn't sit up, he doesn't pull to standing. He's not crawling.
I knew I knew it. And I trusted my instincts as a mom. I knew it. We had him tested and he was delayed and we got services through regional center. And we, you know, we've gone through multiple waves of like, okay, like it's a lot. So give him a little break. So, you know, I knew all along and I fought and fought and fought, um, all these tenures I have, you know, and I, I, I fight with a big, nice smile on my face. Cause I'm so grateful to have everybody on his team. Like we have an all star team and, um, we are getting ready to gear up for the next fight. Our, um, our team recommended that he get a neuropsych evaluation and it was a really extensive process. Eight hours a day. Yes. I have read Peter Shankman spoke. And I tell my son, he has a super power that his brain processes faster than normal.
And I've known Peter for many, many years. I remember when he wrote the book like on a plane flying to Asia because that's like how he focuses, cause he's on a plane work and he'd go, um, thank you, Nelson. I'm going to pick it back up again. Um, ADHD is like the lowest of the issues on our priority list. Um, we did this comprehensive neuropsych evaluation, um, and I'm going to be very candid that that test was multiple, multiple, multiple thousands of dollars, like close to $10,000. And we talked to many different teams and they all had the same price. Cause they there's only like six teams in California that can do it. So they all, you know, they all talk about it and they all share their rate anyway. So we have spent tens of thousands of dollars on therapy for him out of pocket.
Um, and Sally, they know it's interesting because they don't even really call it dyslexia anymore because my son was just diagnosed. This is what kind of came up yesterday with multiple learning disabilities. I'll tell you what they call it because it's right here. Um, specific learning disorder with impairment in reading, reading, fluency, reading comprehension, specific learning disorder with impairment in writing clarity or organization of written expression, developmental coordination disorder, dysgraphia and dyspraxia, and a whole list of other things too. So when I mentioned dyslexia, she's like, they don't even say that anymore. Kind of like they don't say Asperger's anymore. It's like spectrum disorder. So it's learning impairment. Yeah. Yeah. Um, so we were waiting for this test to come in. We did, he did four days intensive, eight hour, um, eight hours total. So two hours a day, he's 11. And um, he goes to meetings and therapy.
We go to OT, we go to psychiatrist. We go to so much stuff every week. Um, yeah, that's part of what's his challenge too. Um, so I, I knew the neuropsych evaluation. They would help us kind of decode his brain. Um, but I was expecting, and my husband and I were both expecting to figure out his like learning modality, what was the best way to get through to him, to learn and then uncover like his hidden, hidden something, because there's not a lot that we can do with him. There's not a lot that interests him. There's not a lot that we can connect with him on. And it's very hard. And what we learned was that there just wasn't at this point, there wasn't anything there. Um, that confirmed he's on autistic and said that he sees the world in a very black and white way.
He cannot process gray information. He cannot process feelings of others. Um, and I see him to be a very empathetic person, but he doesn't read social cues. He doesn't understand expressions on people's faces. Thank you, TZ. Um, he's been in a special program for autism for six years now. He is reading he's in fifth grade. It's supposed to be in sex. He's reading at a second grade level. He's falling so far behind. Um, he has generalized anxiety disorder, depression, which is heartbreaking. And I see it and he has ADHD, which we've known about all of these things, but the way that they put it for us is that he struggles in every single aspect of his life. Every encounter, every task, every situation is hard for him and gives him a level of anxiety that he can't. It's like he's constantly trying to manage the anxiety.
It is pervasive and overwhelming and it's caused by the autism. They said the core of the artichoke is autism and that it's not chemical. The, um, you know, anxiety, depression. It's not necessarily chemical it's situational. He sees he doesn't fit in. There's a disconnect. People are always saying you're so smart, but then every single thing is hard for him. He can't write, he can't read. So how does he qualify as smart when everything's hard? Why are people that he doesn't trust what people are saying to him? Because he doesn't feel it or see it, see it himself. So there's so much to this. It was a 35 page report. Um, but the recommendation was that he cannot be mainstreamed any longer. He cannot be in public education any longer. And we have to make this change immediately, which means, you know, I need to find the right program for him.
There's a lot of like, you know, it's like finding out the private school, uh, what's going to be the right approach to learning for him. Um, getting an advocate, getting an attorney to help us. I mean, we are tens and tens of thousands of dollars into this just for this year. None of it reimbursable through our insurance yet my husband is working on that. And the private schools that they're talking about are, you know, you look at that as post-tax income it's um, yeah, thanks angel. We should talk about this stuff. Um, it's, it's, it's overwhelming. And so I'm gearing up for battle and putting on my battle, armor again and fighting for this kid. And there's a couple things here. Um, number one, my business is going to survive. I'm going to be able to go to IEP meetings, to take calls with lawyers, to go to our schools.
No problem, no problem. My business will thrive. You know, even if I'm surviving, the business will thrive. And I built, I built that. I built it that way and I can take him to the therapies he needs to go to in the middle of the day. I can give him the time support and the focus that he needs, you know, and I have another son too. Thank you, Marlesha. I have another son and you know, he's starting to like sense that this is a real problem and it's affecting him too. Um, the other thing I'll say is that I am extremely proud of myself for trusting my instincts. I've always known that, you know, there's more that we need to be doing. I knew there was something wrong. I knew he was delayed. I sensed that he was on the spectrum and all along, everybody just wants to tell you everything's okay.
It's all gonna be okay. And it is going to be okay, but you have to work at that. You have to intervene and make it happen. And you know, I know that we were chosen to be as parents because we can go to bat for him. I know that. And thank you guys for all of your support here. Um, you know, but in the beginning when people were like, he's fine, everything's fine. No, he'll catch up. He's a late bloomer. That's not helpful. It's not helpful. Yeah. And the IEP meetings are long. Oh no. We've had an IEP angel for seven years. I've been in all, all the meetings. I've been at mediation with LA unified, with my lawyer for 10 hours a day, fighting for what he needs. And we're about to go to battle because I mean, just to be really candid, the schools that they're talking about for my son are $60,000 a year, $60,000 a year. That's a hundred thousand dollars in pre-tax income and he's going into he's in fifth and he's going into six. So he's got, you know, eight years of this so we can fight and see if we, you know, it's insane. It's absolutely insane because it's a low, it's a small class size, small student to teacher ratio. They specialize in learning disabilities and kids on the spectrum.
Thanks, Nelson. Um, you know, and I just to bring it back to this conversation, um, my business will not suffer when I'm going to bat for my kid, when I'm taking him to all of the things that he needs to help him and support him and get them on the right track. Um, yeah, I mean, we did public school at listen. I'm educated through public school. The whole time I went to great college, I went to a top law school, you know, um, my husband too, my husband has a degree from UCLA and he has an MBA from USC. We're both public school educated. We believe in it. We believe in it, even LA unified, the tad, all their challenges. We believe in public school education, but we've made the real elevation that he is going. He has fallen so far in the cracks. We're talking about an almost 12 year old that's reading at a second grade level and writing at a second grade level.
And they've just moved him through because he already was retained in kinder. They can't keep him back again. He's, he's already the oldest in his grade. One of the oldest, I should say. So, you know, to bring it full circle. Um, I'm so proud of this business that I've built and the ability to see what's happening with my children and fight advocate for him or his brother, um, get him what he needs, you know, and also there's the being able to afford it factor. It's going to be really, really hard. And we hope we get some kind of support through insurance or through the school district, but I've built a successful company that allows me the ability to give him what he needs, both time-wise and support. So, um, that's a huge deal. You just don't know. I never would have known that this is what life was going to throw at me, you know, and I'm a little bit, um, extra emotional, I think, because we've been fighting and we've thought we've been on the right path for 10 years. And I know the intervention has helped him, but I feel almost like we're starting over, like we're starting from scratch and that's really hard. I know we're not, I know that we're not. And I know we've done all these things to help him, but this was like a crazy, I thought I was prepared, but I wasn't prepared to hear what we heard yesterday. And it really hit me hard. And my husband too, he was crying.
You know, it's just mourning the loss of the parenting experience you're expected to have and leaning into the one that you are having. This is a great kid. This is a great kid, and he's going to, he's going to be great. An angel. It's hard for me to be on here and crying cause I try to be really positive. But, um, and you guys, I don't care. It's a little embarrassing, but I think that it's helpful. You know, I know that you having a child who, you know, has a neurologist and, and I know several others have multiple children with issues like this, um, and are still running businesses. You need to see this, you need to see this.
I appreciate that. Um, he has so many people that love him. And so do I, and we're so we're so lucky and he'll be okay, it's just, yeah. To stay sane. I just feel like, um, I share so much of my business. Good, bad, ugly. All of it. Thank you. Thank you, Jennifer. Um, that this is also part of it. It's like, look, we're building these businesses that have to support our lives. And right now this is the biggest thing I have going on in my life. And I'm going to battle. I'm going to bat and the business is gonna keep, keep on going and pay the bills and bring me joy and bring me purpose. And so that's why for me realizing that work-life integration, um, that the business has to support my life and what I want. What's important to me, that's my definition of success. And I feel really grateful and really fortunate that I find myself in this situation and I'm in the best possible situation to help this child and get him what he needs.
Yeah. So I really appreciate you guys being here. Um, sticking with me through the, through the, through the black blathering, but I don't even have the words Fest. Um, let me know if you guys have any questions at all. Um, I know that I'm gonna feel, um, I wish I didn't have to go right now, but your current courage and strength as a mother has inspired me today. Thank you for being vulnerable with us. Thank you for saying that. Ashley. That means a lot. I guess all the under eye bags are worth it. Oh, please do Sally say a prayer for my son. He's awesome. He's seriously such a sweet, wonderful kid, but he's really, really hard. It's really hard. Um, you can't even imagine just the minor things we try to do on a daily basis are just it's it's so hard.
You know, we can't go to restaurants. We can't, he has to, his, his world is it's described to me as being through a very small lens. He needs structure. He's extremely rigid. He doesn't really eat anything. So we can't go to restaurants. Um, he doesn't like to be away from home. Social settings are very stressful for him. So he always wants to be home and we're like active. We're like, go getters, thank you. We're go getters. And we want to like hike and we want to go on vacations. And he cannot like, we go for a bike ride. If you turn left, instead of right, he loses his mind. He cannot have anything deviate. No, he can't cook. He, everything is disgusting to him. He only eats nuts. His diet's pretty healthy. He eats carbs, which is just bread. He will not eat pasta, nothing like that.
He eats pizza. He eats nuts and he eats fruit, but not all fruit berries. So thank God for the nuts and the berries. He eats like a little donkey, like a little Billy goat, but he doesn't cook. He won't cook. He doesn't want to be in the kitchen. When I cook, it's all disgusting to him. He won't touch the food. He has like a sensory. It all comes with sensory stuff. And we've had years of therapists trying to work with him. And now it's like, I can't criticize his eating. I can't. It's like a battle that I've lost at this point. We're not ready for that. Um, I mean, I once paid a therapist to sit on the floor with him for like four hours to get him to lick a piece of cheese. And then he threw up, he ate one being at a Mexican restaurant and barfed all over the, the table next to us.
It was mortifying. I felt so bad for him. They wheeled out the bucket and the mop, my husband and I were like throwing, you know, money. We're so sorry. We'll buy your dinner. We're so sorry. We're so sorry. They ran out it like splashed one. I'm not exaggerating to you. One Pinto bean. And he barfed all over the restaurant and we'd go there all the time. And they see us on there, like, hi, um, and think good for him. He'll go back. You know, he still goes back. But, um, you know, obviously there's so much that's psychosomatic, but it is deep with him. And when you say, why won't you eat that as, so that will make me die. I'm gonna die. Um, what did I offer to his brother the other day? And he goes, Jack, don't eat that. It's gonna make you die.
And I was like, why would I feed Jack something? That's gonna make him die? And he goes, Jack, don't eat that. I'm like, are you kidding? I don't know if he's kidding or not, but he says it pretty often. So there's some part of him that believes that food is going to harm him. Yeah, I know. Um, so we pick and choose our battles, you know, and I don't make a deal about it. I don't want to embarrass him at a restaurant. He'll just eat the bread. He'll eat chips. That's it. Or pizza meat. A lot of freaking pizza in this house. So much pizza, Jennifer. Thank you. Oh, you're so sweet. Thank you.
Tell me about that, Christine. I don't know what that is. I'm going to look through it. How do you, what is that? Oh my gosh. To fed. Oh, hi sweetheart. Uh, man. I'm so sorry. It's so hard. Parenting is so hard. It's so hard. You know, even for neuro-typical or kids without any disabilities, it's really freaking hard. And I'm so sorry to learn that, Christine. You're an awesome warrior mama. I don't know how hard you're working. Um, and that's why I come on here and cry my eyes out. Like what did you mean? Uh, oh, okay. I will look that up. Um, I just got into your videos and your life. Yes, I am live. Hi. Hi, like Lakita, L L Q, right. Um, hi. Thanks for being here. Yeah. Um, so that's why I share all of the, this is what work-life integration. Um, so hard.
This is what work-life integration allows you to do. You know, I could be a full-time mom. I could be the full-time advocate for my son and be the like PTA president. And you know, I've been room mom and art docent, and I've done all that stuff. Um, my kids don't care at this point, so it's like why to put myself through it, but I, a sensory issues are pervasive. It's just everything. Um, but I need to work for my own sanity. I love it. It gives me purpose connecting with all of you, gives me such a feeling of purpose. You have no idea. When I realized why I am meant to connect and share what I have to offer, what my programs are, allowing people to do the kind of feedback we get from people every single day, I send them to my husband. I sent it to my mom and I send it to my team. Every single bit of feedback that we get fills me with such a sense of purpose. And I know that I'm meant to be here to share this with you. And part of that is sharing the troubles too, because you need to see there is someone out there who had no contacts, no experience, no training started a PR agency commanding five figure monthly retainers, working with billion dollar brands. And I'm doing that while I'm a mom to two boys. Last year, we homeschooled two boys, you know, distance learning. And my son has autism.
No, I need to check her out. Thanks for the recommendation. I'm going to write it down in my notes. Um, so you need to see that, you know, if I can show you any one thing, it's that it's possible for you to, uh, Sally, she said your program changed my life. I'm going back through the agency accelerator class. Now that I know my target audience. Awesome. It is designed to do that. It's designed to be a resource. So it's there for you to revisit content when you need it, revisit lessons that you're a little fuzzy on. You own it forever. And it's freaking awesome. We've been working on it for years. The amount of resources in there everything's searchable. It's mind blowing, honestly. Like I'm so incredibly proud of it. And people like Sally having their lives impacted by it. I know I'm living my purpose.
So I'm here to show you, you know, the kind of business that you can have now I can really rock it. Awesome. Come back on our calls to Sally join. Are you in, plus I can't remember if you're in plus, um, so you can come back on the calls even more than I have now. Awesome. Yeah. I'm so pumped for you. It's like, so eye opening to finally niche down and like have that realization. Um, well I'm going to go because I actually have quite a few phone calls to make. Um, I have quite a few phone calls to make, to our lawyer, to, uh, educational specialist, got to book some appointments at schools to find the right school. We have to get a plan in place. I need to call his psychiatrist and his therapist to figure out how to explain this to him once we know the plan, um, because it's very hard for kids to hear that they are different because they think that that makes them bad or worse off or not smart or dumb or a loser like this is that age group now where it's like, well, he left, he's a loser.
He's dumb. He must be stupid. You know, and I need to know how to share with him because he's obviously not. Um, but his brain has a hard time processing. So, um, yeah. That's where we are. Thank you guys so much for being here. Uh, sign up for our path to profitability. I'm gonna leave it right here in the comments yet. Again, I appreciate all of you so much. You have no idea. Thank you for being part of this community. And for those of you who are in my programs, thank you for joining us in those. I'm here for you. I'm here for me and I'm here for my kids. Of course. So I got to go get to that. So thank you for letting me cry. I really appreciate you. I'll see you next week. Oh, that's when we kick off our training series next week. See you there.