Communication & Boundaries

Better Relationship Podcast Episode #026

Communication & Boundaries  with Jeff Brown

Show Notes: (by R. Pumphrey)

Jeff Brown is the host of the wildly successful business podcast, Read to Lead and admits he’d work 12 hours a day if he didn’t set boundaries!  Jeff chats with Susie today about how recognizing when he is working too much, getting comfortable with setting boundaries in his business, and improving communication skills has led to a more understanding, more fulfilling marriage with his wife, Annie.

Jeff’s Bio

  • Jeff has spent the last 28 years earning his living behind a microphone, first as an award-winning broadcaster and now as the successful podcast host of Read to Lead, a 2-time nominee for best business podcast.
  • He loves introducing people to books they may not have discovered and his commitment to his audience is that he won’t waste their time with a ‘less than 5-star book from a less-than-stellar author.’
  • Jeff has interviewed business greats including Seth Godin, Brian Tracey, and Gary Vaynerchuk.
  • As a podcasting coach, Jeff draws on his own experience in media and specializes in helping clients understand how to leverage the intimacy of the podcasting medium, along with techniques that have allowed him to stand out in the crowd.
  • Jeff has been featured in,, The Tennessean and multiple other sites and blogs.

Challenges of Being an Entre-spouse

  • When the podcasting and coaching really took off for Jeff, he had to make a concerted effort to create better communication with his wife, who also works at home in her own business.
  • When Jeff gets immersed in a project, he gets tunnel vision, which lead to him putting off or forgetting to tell Annie about important things, and even forgetting plans and promises.
  • A great strategy they both use now is syncing their digital calendars so they both have access what is going on in each other’s lives.
  • Not only does this keep them ‘on the same page’, but it’s a good reminder for Jeff to intentionally engage in Annie’s life and business. Jeff shares some creative tips for doing this with your spouse.

Communication and Boundaries

  • Adjusting to new ways of communicating did not happen automatically. Creating better communication skills required intentional effort and ongoing conversations.
  • A turning point came when Jeff recognized he needed to set more boundaries when it came to his business.
  • Using a digital calendar, Jeff started analyzing various appointments that he accepted and determined exactly when he was going to allow time for his clients.
  • Jeff and his wife, Annie, plan out events, as well as discuss and decide together what is/is not going to be okay when it comes their work schedules. Otherwise Jeff would probably work from 8 to 8 every day!


Time Management for Entrepreneurs

  • When Jeff first started Read to Lead, he had on overwhelming need to try and accommodate every potential client and interviewee.
  • But, Jeff often found that entrepreneurs can be too accommodating and need boundaries on their time.
  • Also, trying to accommodate everyone meant that Jeff hurt his wife’s feelings because his clients’ needs came before hers.
  • Discussing boundaries and time with Annie led Jeff to shift his mindset about his business structure and fees.
  • It took Jeff some time to get comfortable with putting a price on something he created, but now his outlook is “You are paying for my experience”, which goes beyond a flat hourly rate.
  • Jeff has reached a point where a client must work within his schedule and not the other way around.
  • Having a structured schedule really allows Jeff to better fit everything in-a lack of time structure actually leads to tasks taking more time than they should


What Would His Wife Say?

  • Annie would probably like it if Jeff’s profession took him out of the house more!
  • She has been working from home for the last 7-8 years, and he began working from home 2 ½ years ago.
  • That was a major disruption for Annie, because her job as an artist can be noisy, while Jeff’s job requires quiet most of the time.
  • The synced calendars, boundaries and communication have been three keys to their navigating being EntreSpouses well.


What is his Superpower?

  • Professionally, he is a really good listener
  • At home, he’s the best spider killer in town!

Where You Can Find Jeff

His website:

His email:   

You can also find his podcast, Read to Lead, on iTunes and Stitcher

Susie’s website:

Susie’s book: