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Caregiver Confessions from The Sisterhood of Care

Written by John Kuder

Table Of Contents

In this insightful interview, we delve into the inspiring story of Natalie and JJ, two sisters from a small town in Tennessee who have co-founded the popular podcast “Confessions of a Reluctant Caregiver.” Their journey is a testament to the power of family, community, and the entrepreneurial spirit that thrives within small family businesses.

Introducing Natalie and JJ: The Power of Sisterhood

Natalie and JJ are two of three sisters who have come together to share their personal experiences, insights, and resources with a growing community of caregivers. Their podcast, “Confessions of a Reluctant Caregiver,” has become a beacon of hope and inspiration for individuals navigating the challenges of caring for a loved one.

Growing Up in a Small Town: Family and Community Values

Raised in a close-knit community in Tennessee, Natalie and JJ’s upbringing was deeply rooted in family values and a strong sense of civic responsibility. Their grandparents, who ran a local hardware store, instilled in them the importance of serving the community and the value of hard work. These formative experiences would later shape their approach to entrepreneurship and their commitment to making a positive impact.

Lessons from the Family Business: Service and Responsibility

As children, Natalie and JJ spent countless hours at their grandparents’ hardware store, learning the ins and outs of running a small family business. They witnessed firsthand the dedication and resilience required to navigate the challenges of owning and operating a local enterprise. More importantly, they absorbed the importance of customer service, community involvement, and a deep sense of responsibility to their customers and the people they served.

These lessons would prove invaluable as the sisters embarked on their own entrepreneurial journey, shaping their approach to building a brand and connecting with their audience on a personal level.

The Journey to Starting a Podcast: Confessions of a Reluctant Caregiver

Natalie and JJ’s path to launching “Confessions of a Reluctant Caregiver” was not a straight line. After pursuing different careers, they found themselves in the role of caregivers for their mother, who has been living with Parkinson’s disease for 20 years, plus Natalie as caregiver for her husband, who was battling cancer. This experience, filled with both challenges and moments of joy, inspired them to share their story and connect with others who were navigating similar situations.

With a deep understanding of the emotional and practical aspects of caregiving, Natalie and JJ set out to create a platform that would provide support, resources, and a sense of community for their audience. The podcast quickly gained traction, resonating with listeners who found solace in the sisters’ candid and relatable approach.

Building a Brand with Heart: The Importance of Personal Connection

At the core of Natalie and JJ’s success is their unwavering commitment to building a brand that truly connects with their audience. By sharing their personal stories, vulnerabilities, and the challenges they’ve faced as caregivers, they have fostered a deep sense of trust and empathy with their listeners.

Their podcast, Confessions of a Reluctant Caregiver, has become a safe haven for individuals seeking support, inspiration, and a sense of community. The sisters’ authenticity and genuine desire to make a difference have been instrumental in the podcast’s growth and the development of a loyal following.

The Essence of Family Businesses

At the heart of Natalie and JJ’s journey lies the essence of what makes family businesses so unique and impactful. Their story is a testament to the power of family values, community engagement, and a deep sense of purpose that often drives small family enterprises.

The Power of Branding and Community in Business

Natalie and JJ’s success with “Confessions of a Reluctant Caregiver” highlights the importance of building a brand that resonates with a specific audience. By leveraging their personal experiences and creating a community-driven platform, they have not only built a successful business but also made a meaningful impact on the lives of their listeners.

Their approach to branding and community engagement serves as an inspiration for other small family businesses looking to establish a strong connection with their customers and create a lasting legacy.

Navigating Family Dynamics in Business

As sisters working together, Natalie and JJ have navigated the unique challenges and dynamics that come with running a family business. They’ve learned to embrace their differences, leverage their individual strengths, and maintain open communication to ensure the success of their venture.

Their willingness to be vulnerable and share their experiences with family dynamics serves as a valuable lesson for other family businesses, highlighting the importance of understanding and respecting each other’s roles and perspectives.

The Importance of Communication and Role Clarity

Natalie and JJ emphasize the critical importance of clear communication and role definition within a family business. By establishing a shared understanding of responsibilities and decision-making processes, they have been able to minimize conflicts and foster a collaborative environment that allows their business to thrive.

Their approach to communication and role clarity serves as a model for other family businesses, demonstrating the value of proactive and transparent dialogue in maintaining a healthy and productive working relationship.

Balancing Family and Business: A Delicate Act

As sisters and business partners, Natalie and JJ have navigated the delicate balance between their personal lives and their professional endeavors. They’ve learned to prioritize self-care, set boundaries, and find ways to nurture their family bond while also driving the success of their business.

Their insights on maintaining this balance offer valuable lessons for other family business owners who often struggle to reconcile the demands of their personal and professional responsibilities.

Embracing Differences and Strengthening Bonds

Natalie and JJ’s journey has been marked by their ability to embrace their differences and leverage their unique perspectives to strengthen their business and their personal relationship. They’ve recognized that their diverse backgrounds and skill sets complement each other, allowing them to approach challenges from multiple angles and find creative solutions.

By fostering an environment of mutual respect and understanding, Natalie and JJ have demonstrated the power of sibling collaboration and the transformative impact it can have on a family business.

The Legacy of Family Influence

Natalie and JJ’s story is a testament to the enduring influence of family values and the lasting impact they can have on an individual’s personal and professional journey. Their upbringing in a small town, their experiences in their grandparents’ hardware store, and the caregiving challenges they’ve faced have all shaped their approach to entrepreneurship and their commitment to making a positive difference in the lives of others.

As they continue to build their brand and expand their reach, Natalie and JJ’s legacy will undoubtedly be one of resilience, compassion, and the power of family-driven businesses to create meaningful change in their communities.

To learn more about Natalie, JJ, and their mission, visit their website at Confessions of a Reluctant Caregiver or connect with them on LinkedIn. And for additional resources and support for small family businesses, be sure to check out the Kuder Consulting Group.

Prefer to listen to the audio-only version? https://kuderconsultinggroup.com/podcast/confessions-and-connections-the-family-business-story-behind-confessions-of-a-reluctant-caregiver/

Video Transcript

John and Connie: Hi and welcome to another episode of celebrating small family businesses. And today we are celebrating Natalie and JJ. Now you’ve both got different last names. So I rather than mess up, I just went with first.

Natalie Elliott Handy: Oh, we’re totally fine with that.

John and Connie: Okay. And Natalie and JJ are hosts among other accomplishments are hosts of a podcast called Confessions of a Reluctant Caregiver. which we have had the honor of being guests on as well as listening to some. So it’s a very worthy cause that we are happy to, to celebrate and two sisters yes. Two of three sisters. So let’s start there. I’m an only child.

I, well, you uh, what’s it like being three sisters in, a little town in Tennessee was it?

J.J. Elliott Hill: a little town in Tennessee, I always jump in and say, I’m the oldest. Natalie would normally tell you that Natalie is the middle. And then we have a younger sister, Emily. So,

Natalie Elliott Handy: She’s the baby.

J.J. Elliott Hill: three of us. Yeah, she is the baby. And, uh, it’s. It’s been fantastic. Uh, I think we, we always say we’re thick as thieves and always have been. Uh, we always have had one another’s back. It’s kind of been interesting to always have a best friend or, or worst enemy sleeping in the bed beside you. I don’t know. So we always shared a room when we were little. So a big room. Uh, so it’s, it’s been fun. We were raised in a small town in Tennessee and, uh, have, I think it was good.

Natalie, what do you think? I mean, we grew up pretty good.

Natalie Elliott Handy: I mean, I mean, yeah, I’m like, yeah, I mean, I think we had, um, we were very fortunate to be surrounded by family. All of our family lived near each other and, um, we are, we had, uh, Our grandparents were influential in the community because they were small business owners and we’re from rural east Tennessee.

And so, you know, typically they were, you know, my grandmother played, uh, piano in the church and, and typically, you know, small business owners are typically leaders in small, especially in rural communities, business owners, uh, typically are leaders in other parts of the community. And, uh, that was no different with our family.

And so we very much grew up with a attitude, uh, of service and, um, rather it was a good service in, in the business side of the house or serving other individuals in our community. It was very important to our grandparents. And, um, that’s something that. Is it was instilled in us and that we carry over today?

John and Connie: Wow, I’m so glad you brought that out. That is a dimension we really haven’t talked about, but yes, the connection between, especially in the smaller communities, between, yes, the business owner and the, and their activity in the community, they, they couldn’t be, , invisible or, or disliked and expect to have a thriving business, could they?

So it really, they go together.

J.J. Elliott Hill: yeah. And I think there was also the aspect of social responsibility. I know we’ve talked about that. That was really important for our family. It was a poor coal town. There were coal mines, uh, up in the mountains above it. And so part of that social responsibility, I think, even before that was a, a, Uh, really politically correct or politically term political term was, um, they always made sure that the community was taken care of. Um, it was, the hardware was in business for, uh, almost 50 years prior to that.

My grandfather actually owned a business that was a, uh, a restaurant that was adjacent to the hardware. And, um, people always fed, but the hardware in particular, they sold kerosene, they sold coal and, uh, and that type of community, um. Money comes in in particular in the spring because people have crops in addition to their jobs in the mines.

And so when people needed fuel, kerosene or anything like that for the winter, and they didn’t have enough money for it, we had a cigar box and they would just go tear a piece of paper off the register and write down, you know, John and Connie, and they owe $4 for kerosene from back in December. And then in the spring they would come in and pay the, the cigar box.

Natalie Elliott Handy: Yeah, we ran that our grandmother they ran credit and so andit wasn’t like credit like people think now so But you know, everybody knew everybody and there was a lot a level of of taking care of each other I mean our grandfather used to drive people to go vote and um, they thought that was so important people had the right to vote and um, so I mean You Especially in rural communities, um, they tend, you knew your neighbor, you knew a lot about your neighbor. And, uh, and so, um, but you, you did. It was the right thing to do. I think that’s really where we, we come from is a right thing to do. mentality.

John and Connie: Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. That is so cool. So did you guys work in the, either the restaurant or the hardware store or both when you were young?

Natalie Elliott Handy: Yes,

J.J. Elliott Hill: Yes.

Natalie Elliott Handy: but no. Uh, so the reason I say yes and no is I will, I have no qualms in saying I was my grandfather’s favorite. So I, there’s 11 cousins and, we’re all very in ages, but we used to be dropped off. at the hardware because our parents both worked and, , we’d be dropped off and I would help. So I learned to count on the cash register when I was, um, four and five. I would, I would do, uh, get to ring up folks who would come in and that’s how I learned to count. And so, uh, and then I would count checks in the back when my grandfather was closing up and, and it was, you know, it was nobody, it wasn’t a perfect childhood.

Nobody has a perfect childhood. I don’t believe in those. I think everybody has normal things that ups and downs. We are very, our family, every Sunday, our family had, um, Sunday dinner after church together. I mean, we are very traditional. Uh, family, and I don’t want to say southern family because I think other families across the U.S. can relate to that is that it’s when families live closer together because you didn’t have as many distractions, um, technology and and people now people move farther away, whereas in rural communities, you, you stay. And I mean, if they, you know, we lived outside of Knoxville, Tennessee. And so, you know, we had one aunt who lived in Knoxville and that was the big city that was like 20 minutes away.

And so we’re like, Oh, they’re more affluent, like, you know, culture kind of feel like not even like rich. It was just, you get to see something bigger than the rural area that we were in, but we were very, very blessed to be a part of it. And again, it goes back to learning, like, How I live and how I manage as a supervisor in my workplace and how we operate businesses ourselves is based on how our grandparents and my aunts and our uncle, who also ran the hardware, um, and all of our cousins worked there. Um, I never got paid. I just was there torturing people.

J.J. Elliott Hill: Well, you know, but I think it also taught, you know, I say for us, it taught us a lot of customer

service skills. You know, we were kind of the greeters, but, you know, it’s, um, it was amazing. You know, Natalie talks about learning how to count. I worked with my grandmother, kind of at the desk area. That’s where she did invoicing, you know, or she learned to order.

But it’s interesting what as females as the girls, because there’s three of us, we were the girls, you know, I would go and watch how they shook paint on the old paint shaker.

Natalie Elliott Handy: Put your finger on it and it’s like,

J.J. Elliott Hill: Yeah, and I’d love to watch how they made keys on the old, so I’m, I’m that technical mind and they would go out and shovel coal or sand.

And like Natalie said, our cousin, uh, our cousins, the boys, they all worked there during the summer. Some of them worked after high school. It was just, and again, we don’t want to say it’s a perfect family, but it’s everybody learned their lessons. Um, it was, you know, I learned how to weigh things on a scale by weighing nails, you know, , it was a good childhood back when , I don’t think people will ever see what that kind of childhood is like anymore.

I think it’ll be hard to find that, but we learned a lot that we absolutely carry over with today.

Natalie Elliott Handy: Oh, and I straight up got in trouble for mixing feed. So I’m going to tell you, we had big barrels of feed that people would come in and I would just move all the seeds from, I’m like, cause it was a big scoop. And my uncle, again, I was the favorite.

J.J. Elliott Hill: Yeah.

Natalie Elliott Handy: I got away with a lot of things.

J.J. Elliott Hill: It was. It was grass seed and she would be mixing like Kentucky the bluegrass with different turfs and we got in a lot of trouble for that. It was mainly Natalie so, but she could run really fast, John, Connie, so it was okay. She was little.

John and Connie: It It was just really fun to play with

that big scoop, right?

Natalie Elliott Handy: Yes! There’s

John and Connie: And she was the favorite!

Natalie Elliott Handy: There

was something so therapeutic about mixing all the seed.

J.J. Elliott Hill: We We just let her think that she was the favorite, but I think it also taught us to be in awe of so many things that we take so many things. We, we were so lucky because when we went to school, there were so many things that we were able to see. And it’s kind of funny things like they had a very large safe and the, in the store. It was in the store. And so to be able to see the mechanics of things like that, and to watch, we were in awe. We had a Coke machine on the front of the street and it had Nehi grapes in it. And so, and Yoo-Hoo chocolates and Upper 10’s, like the back when RC was the thing, and we would get to go open the And so.

Natalie Elliott Handy: in it. Nobody told me that that was like a job. And I was like, can I put the cans in?

J.J. Elliott Hill: yeah. And so I think we lived in a state of awe , and didn’t realize how great our life was , but it was, and we learned so much from it. And I love to share the stories when we were kids, because it was, it was, we, we laugh and we say it was a Camelot of sorts for a small, well, it was a large East Tennessee family, but it was a very good life.

It’s a childhood that I’ll look back with a lot of fondness.

John and Connie: That’s wonderful! And, Gosh, I hear so much in there, but those family values that you were saying you learned so much from about customer service and how it influenced you later. And I’ve heard this story from multiple people is sometimes they, they pick, they learn things from a work culture, you know, that working in a, just happened to get into a place that really nurtures people.

Sometimes it’s family, but, but the, the people that go on and, and, start their own businesses and do well, seem to have something that they’re drawing on like that

from their past. And all those, different things of weight, practical, transferable skills, like weighing nails.

Natalie Elliott Handy: Well, and, and it was the hangout for The older people, so the hardware was the was, uh, people would come and sit and hang out. And that’s when people would hang out and you’d have all these older gentlemen who might be retired. They come by and they’d hang out. And I can remember that’s where I learned to really. You children learn by observing what’s around them. And so, and that’s, again, I, I never knew a stranger, but I got to, I got to stand on my little stool and work the cash register and take money and count change. And then, but I can remember. Listening to the gentleman setting around this huge is the only there was this big giant furnace right in the center of the hardware. And that was the way that the hardware was heated. And so everybody would come and sit around it. And you’d hear them telling these stories. And that is something like. I just, I love, I have, I’m very endeared to older people. I’ve always been very endeared and have just a high level of respect for my elders.

And that was solely because of the way we grew up in the church, the way we grew up in the hardware, being surrounded by, and you understood, like the next steps, you understood what you were doing at various ages, because we truly grew up in an intergenerational setting. And, and I think that is something that is also missing from our culture now is really learning from one another.

And JJ was older than me, but I had cousins. I mean, we ranged probably

J.J. Elliott Hill: Uh, Risa was in probably kindergarten and our oldest cousin had graduated

Natalie Elliott Handy: So we got about

15 years

J.J. Elliott Hill: from high school. So about all of

Natalie Elliott Handy: And then all of our aunts and uncles, our mom is one of five. Our dad was one of five. And so, and family is just, again, we’re a very typical rural community. You, your family doesn’t typically leave. Everybody lives within a 10 to 15 mile radius. And that’s exactly where we were. Yeah, what a different world. Yeah, it really was. It really was.

J.J. Elliott Hill: I got to say, I kind of liked it. I mean, I favored it. So I don’t know if I could go back there for

just a little while. I think I’d be okay with that.

John and Connie: Yeah, I think there’s a lot of people that would agree with you on that. Simpler times and,

Natalie Elliott Handy: Yes.

John and Connie: and, and tighter community. So that thread that you just mentioned about, the, revere for, for older folks, uh, that seems to lead into where you are now. So you guys, at some point, I mean, you’ve had careers, right?

You, you’ve each had your own career, separate corporate careers. Right. And, and then sometime, I want to say a little over a year ago. So I, I, I discovered you watching you speak from a stage, uh, in January at the,

uh,

J.J. Elliott Hill: don’t know how we got there,

Natalie Elliott Handy: When it’s

John and Connie: But you were, you were celebrating a year, about a year at that, I think at that event, which is, that is a big accomplishment, by the way, in the podcasting world.

Yeah. A hundred episodes in a year are both big milestones that say You’re ahead of like, I think 95 percent of the rest. Um, according to this one guy, he said, you know, that’s his cutoff. He calls it pod fade. Most, 97 percent of podcasts don’t make it a year.

And if you’re starting a podcast to make money, you’re probably better off just going and starting another business.

Odds wise, you know,

but like purely from the So,

having laid all that groundwork, sorry, I’m, I’m preaching. Um, how did you guys decide to do a podcast? And that’s your business today, together, right? Your family business.

Natalie Elliott Handy: Yeah. Yeah. So, um, JJ and I, JJ’s background is in corporate finance. And my background is in human services. Both of us have noticed the service piece of it. , we never left service. , and so I think that’s really and I know, even though JJ was in finance, we won’t hold that against her. Uh,

J.J. Elliott Hill: true. I was a banker for almost 20

years, but even after, yeah, no, I left, uh, and I’ll, I’ll interject that in there that after I left, I was downsized out of my corporate job and thought the world had ended. And then I decided I, with my partner, with my husband, we decided we’d open our own business.

He was retired. And from that, I, uh, So far, we’ve been in five small family businesses and sold two, but we just, there was something in there that said, why go back into corporate? And I always stepped out of larger banks. I got out of the corporate environment with large banks and always went back to a community bank.

So I think that’s really important when we talk about. Smaller communities, family businesses. That’s where I always found my heart because I knew the people better. I knew the owners and it meant something more to me.

Um, but the road that led us to this is, uh, I think Natalie goes back to servant and I think a really personal, intimate sort of feeling about what we owe people.

But that was what, two years ago?

Natalie Elliott Handy: Yeah, it was, it was, um, in 2022, it was, um, my husband was diagnosed with head and neck cancer. And so we, the sisters, who I always refer to the sisters, not Catholic, we’re Baptist, , The youngest sister came and Emily came and moved in to my house and stayed with my animals because we, my husband and I temporarily moved up to New York city for his cancer treatments. And then when we came back, um, felt like something was off, couldn’t figure out what was going on. And in talking with JJ and Emily about it, they said, you know, we also have these same feelings because at the same time, uh, that I was going through and working with Jason to go through the, his, cancer treatments, which were successful , we were also caring for our mom who has been living in with Parkinson’s now for over, well over 20 years.

J.J. Elliott Hill: 20 years

Natalie Elliott Handy: And our dad had passed away, , 13 years ago , this year. And so we supported our mom and we were going through all this stuff at the same time. Cause our mom was young.

Our mom was at that point , In her sixties, late, well, she’s still, she’s 69 now. And so I felt like there was something going on. Once we identified ourself self identified as caregivers, um, and talking to, and we learned more about it. It was like this whole world opened up and I saw on Facebook and advertisement to learn how to podcast.

And I was like, that’s a great idea. And I’ve done radio in the past. I’d, I’d looked at, it. Potentially going on to do radio. When I was younger, I had actually wanted, to be, uh, on radio doing counseling and decided not to, uh, not to do it. My mom was mortified because I kept joking with her just to get a rise out of her.

That was going to be Dr. Ruth on TV or on, on radio. And she was just like, mortified. Notice that good Baptist background. And so you can tell I’m the middle child. But I said, Hey, I think we should start a podcast. And they were both like, okay. And none of us had ever listened to a podcast. And so JJ and I immediately

J.J. Elliott Hill: that’s really important because I, I need to say, I didn’t know how to find a podcast.

Natalie Elliott Handy: I didn’t either. That’s what makes it so great. And so JJ and I put on our corporate hats and we were like, well, if we’re going to do this, we’re going to do it for real. And so I was so jazzed about this. I took the class, uh, and, uh. And so we were excited about it and, and JJ and I were like, Emily just follows along.

Emily will tell you, she’s just like, okay, just tell me what you want me to do. And so we were like, well, if we’re going to have a podcast, how are people going to know about us? So we thought, well, we’re going to need a website. And so we immediately went into, and then it was, well, we, if we have a website, then we still need to find people.

Cause how people find our website, we. We need social media. And so we took all of our background experiences and applied them to the podcasting world. And a lot of people told us we’ve done it backwards because we started everything in September and we launched in January of 2023. And so 2022 is when we started everything, we built our following, we wanted to do a grassroots kind of growth. And so we just, we put out this really ridiculous challenge, which aligns with mostly me. And JJ just says, yes, let’s do it. Um, we wanted to be the number one podcast on January 24th, 2023. And so we, we would call out people like Joe Rogan, you can take the day off. Michelle Obama, you can take, you know what I mean?

Like all these big national podcasters, international podcasters, and we’re like, make Carrie number one. And so we enlisted tons, like everybody we knew and we didn’t do too bad. I mean, I don’t think we were number one.

J.J. Elliott Hill: well, you know, it’s funny because at the first pod fest I went to, we had just launched two days prior. And so I was a little bummed Natalie didn’t go with me. I was, but I

Natalie Elliott Handy: Yeah, I was working. I had to still work.

We didn’t quit our day jobs.

J.J. Elliott Hill: Yeah. So I said to him, he said, I said, you know, we just launched and we, we wanted to beat Joe Rogan and he kind of laughed, he was like, Oh yeah.

You know, you just launched. And I said, we got a thousand downloads on our first day. And he looked at me like I was crazy. And he said, are you serious? And I said, yeah, so we only got a thousand. And he said, do you understand that most people on their first day are lucky to get five? And I was like, really? And he said, JJ, imagine this a thousand people showed up in a room. To listen to what you had to say. And at that point I was like, that’s pretty cool. I would never imagine that.

John and Connie: On day one without knowing what you, without any pre, you

know, uh, reputation for, uh, from

hearing from other people. My goodness. You

J.J. Elliott Hill: yeah.

So, but I think.

John and Connie: Amazing launch.

J.J. Elliott Hill: I think one of the reasons that it, it, it stuck and that it hit people and that day and those episodes, because it was so personal and we told our story and I think every business has to be personal. And I think that’s key to a small business owner. I know, um, If you look at it, it’s hard to look at a business and not say, how am I going to make money?

Okay. What is, you know, this is my drive. How am I going to make money? But if that’s your main goal in going into a business, if you don’t have a passion for it, that’s hard for me to ever do. Randomly what we opened, , we had a hobby shop in the basement of our house, , which was a terrible idea. , but it was for, Terrible. Um, but it was, , a saltwater fish hobby shop because my husband was really big. We love saltwater fish. And what happened was people kept on showing up at our house. And what we ended up doing was once I lost my job, we opened up just, we had some friends that owned a building and what that ended up being was one of the largest stores in the country in like Eight years, we were 10, 000 square feet, but we had such a passion for service.

You know, one of our favorite accounts was going to nursing homes. We did custom design work and things like that. And so that’s passion and that’s heart. And that’s finding the piece of the business that you love. And that, that goes out, people see that, and that’s how you make a business. And just like what we did, Natalie shared some of the hardest stories about her time with Jason, and they were hard stories, um, about difficulties with marriage and taking, um, That those cancer treatments, parts of the caregiving story that most people don’t share. And when people hear that and that authenticity, that’s what drives people to a

small business. You don’t get that. You know, you don’t want to call out the big businesses, but you don’t get that a bigger businesses. It’s hard to get that personal relationship because people just show up to work. There are nine to five. If you’re a small business owner, you’re living it. You’ve cleaned the

toilets. You’ve, you know, Not got groceries. So your employees can get groceries and, but you have such a passion

John and Connie: Mm hmm. Yeah.

J.J. Elliott Hill: and I think that’s what makes us different.

John and Connie: There’s a piece about knowing the owner too. Um, you know, when

you, when you’re working with a smaller business, you know, you, you, you know that, you know, the owner, and then you can go to that owner. And, and you know, the buck stops there where

when you’re working with a corporate, you know, you’re such layers and layers and you’re never going to talk to the owner.

J.J. Elliott Hill: they know us by name, you know, they know Confessions of a Reluctant Caregiver, but they also know it’s JJ and Natalie. We go by the sisters, but same thing with our small business. We had a name of our business, but they also called it, They would go to this 10, 000 square foot building.

They would go to Dexter and JJ’s. Dexter’s my husband. So it didn’t have to be, they’re going, they’re going to run over to Dexter and JJ’s. It was, it didn’t have the fish store name. So I think you’re exactly right that it is a very personal story. And as we get into, it’s that affiliation that I can know these people.

I relate to them very personally. I think that’s what the podcast, I think that’s what every business venture that Natalie and I are in, that’s what we want is that we want to. Be open about it. You get us. That’s what it is. And if you don’t, if you can’t see what our mission is, then it’s hard. We’re very, it’s very important to us.

I think that, that we align with other businesses as partners, as sponsors that share a common mission, a common goal, common values. It would be, it would not be. Thinkable for us to align with someone that didn’t share that, that,

Natalie Elliott Handy: Yeah. We’re not willing to sacrifice integrity for dollars. And so we, you have to align with us. And I think that’s really important. And, and ultimately, and this is what I saw in my grandparents, but then you got to understand our cousins, our uncles are all small business owners too. I look back at it now and I’m like, Oh, they did technically own their own business, whether it’s heating and air conditioning or our cousins, a chiropractor or, you know, whatever.

And then JJ having her fish dynasty, which I kept telling her she should offer up the sushi side of the fish store. Keep the other fish in line, but she did not ever align with that. It’s fine. Whatever.

That’s

J.J. Elliott Hill: that was a bad business practice,

Natalie Elliott Handy: like, you know, whatever it’s sushi, it’s fish. You want to, you want live, you want whatever. Um, but

J.J. Elliott Hill: bad for

Natalie Elliott Handy: yeah, so I think, um, I think you are the brand in a small business, like allowing

people to know who you are. And, you know, I think. I don’t understand like part of it for folks who choose to keep that separate. Um, and I think it’s just because of what I’ve experienced that it’s personal people.

It’s like church. You don’t go to church for the building. You go to the church for the people. And so when you, what is your experience? And so customer experience is so important and ingrained in us both. And so rather it’s through the podcast and what’s in it. That feel that we want to come across or what I do every day.

I’m a human service concierge. If I don’t know the answer, I am going to find it for you. And I am quick. I am quick under crisis because families for me, I work on the mental health side of the house for my full time job and I live this way. I’ve approached everything, whether it’s talent recruitment or foster parent recruitment or providing services and connecting families with the right services. It is about being responsive. It is about, they know they can trust me. And even if I don’t have the answer, they trust that I will get it to them. And they come back to me every time. That is building brand. That’s building brand loyalty and

I am an extension of the brand. And so for us, that’s what we do with the podcast. And that’s why we are, you know, We are, we are the brand for Confessions. It is not just the podcast. We are the brand and people are like, Oh, that’s a sister. That’s a, that’s a friend. That’s my girlfriend. Cause I always joke. I’m like, you know, we’re pretty, but we’re not too pretty. I’m like, we don’t want to be too pretty.

I mean, I nailed it today on this makeup, none. And so we want to be relatable. We want to be the girls next door that are your friends that are not intimidating and that they’re like, Oh my gosh, let’s just set up and we can just chat away. And that’s what we want people to have a sense and feel.

J.J. Elliott Hill: But I think even in our corporate careers, we dedicate and we have dedicated, I dedicated so much of myself to that personal relationship. I know Natalie does to this day. When you get to that point and you give that much to a corporate career, you have to sit back and go, wait a minute. I am a brand and I, my heart, I put it out on the line. I should do this for myself.

I could do this. Let me offer this for myself. Let me be my own boss. And that is a big step. Like there’s a, Canyon. You got to go across to get to that as a small business owner. But when you’re ready to take that leap and say, you know what, I can do this for myself. I do it so great for someone else. Let me take the chance and do it. Those people, they follow you. You know, they, they follow your, your mission, your, your personality, even with bigger, even with different types of businesses, that drive and that attraction. That’s what you have. It’s going to carry over into other business lines at the same business line. But to take that risk, there’s, there’s, something about it. Uh, I know Natalie and I love her like, all right, let’s, let’s do it.

John and Connie: And that, I’m trying to come back to the family part of it because it’s so woven into what you’re doing. It’s, it’s just this underlying assumption almost. And, and you know, your family feel, you’re talking about your personal brand, uh, and both in Confessions and in corporate, you’re bringing that those family values and that family feel to your personal brand in corporate as well as your podcast.

And it’s just, it’s just, it’s just part of who you are.

J.J. Elliott Hill: Yeah.

John and Connie: And

I think, you know, talking about the hardware store, that family business, you know, it was a gathering place. That was , a big part of the brand, I’m sure, was the, that gathering place and those men sitting around the stove and, and the restaurant next door and all, oh my gosh, yes, I mean that’s, and that’s very hard to compete with, I’ll say it that way.

A well defined brand like that, that’s based on a family or a person, very hard to compete with. and that’s what I think a lot of small businesses miss. Our family business, , was, , the citrus business. So it wasn’t as public, but, but my father was very, private. He wanted, you know, it w you don’t talk about family business outside the business.

And, and so that focus on privacy, I think was a limitation. I mean, it was protective, but it was also a limitation.

Natalie Elliott Handy: Hmm

J.J. Elliott Hill: I think about for us in the hardware and how, well, you know, your financial information, you kind of keep, you know, that was a Southern thing. Maybe it’s everybody, you keep that kind of tied to the belt. But, you know, I think about all that we had, my grandmother, we have pictures of us in this hardware. So you think about this 20 foot ceiling and these tin tiles, uh, that were part of the roof, but there, you know, if you remember Olin Mills, you know, those big, huge oil portraits. They, they lined, you know, see a five different families, five different children, and then all of their children. And so we have, you know, I remember that there were large, ornate framed photos of us. And so all of us were there on the very, you know, somehow they got stuck up there and this old hardware, which prior to being a hardware, that building was a stable. So it had, uh. Yeah. It had wood floors that were, you know, so it’s all this historical, like, you know, I think about it and my heart just is like full, but there are these, there were these big pictures of all of us, you know, it was like, Oh, that’s JJ, you know, when she was two and I’m, you know, 16 now. And, uh, but at that, you know, they knew us even when we weren’t there, they knew us.

And so,

John and Connie: And I remember when I was a little boy, there was a hardware in Winter Haven, Boland hardware, and wood floors and the high ceilings and the tin, you know, all the stuff you’re talking about, you know,

it’s, that’s, yeah, that’s an era. Wow.

Natalie Elliott Handy: So I think I will say this though. Um, we are sisters first and then we over here, and then we are also business owners together. And that is something that is different than it’s working with your family, but JJ and I are equal partners in the podcast. And so FYI, in case everybody thinks that we are like besties, like we’re sisters and sometimes we get on each other’s nerves. And so it is, it’s really funny because we’ve had some very direct heated conversations before, because JJ and I, I am very type A personality. JJ is also a type A personality, but we’re different. And I think the most unexpected thing that in going into business with my sibling. Uh, very different, I think, than going into business with your spouse.

Because JJ can speak to that, , because you can leave him and you don’t get to leave me. And so it’s, we’re super tight. You got to understand JJ and Emily and I are all two years apart. And so we’re super, super tight. But, we will argue at times like sisters but it is, our work is different.

So I, how I thought of JJ and how JJ works, like how I know her as a sister, her work is different and my work is a little bit different. And so in those first, I don’t even say months, year. It was, it is honing in on our strengths and being able to say, you do this, you do that, and not, um,

J.J. Elliott Hill: And then say, if you’re not the boss of me, I’m not doing that.

Natalie Elliott Handy: Emily has told me you are not my boss.

And I’m like, well then don’t act like a, like a staff member.

J.J. Elliott Hill: You know, that is,

Natalie Elliott Handy: It is so

J.J. Elliott Hill: interesting dynamics. Um, and one of the other things we would say with a small business is

John and Connie: We’re not leaving that, so I’m going to. come back, but go, go ahead.

J.J. Elliott Hill: Step away though, because what we find ourselves doing is that when we talk to one another, it’s da, da, da, business only. And there are those days. And our youngest sister is the one that called us to our attention.

She said, you never call and ask about me. You never call anymore and say, Hey, what’s the dog doing? Hey, how’s Brandon? Hey, how, you know, how is this? And that’s the thing I miss. And that was a call out. Like that was a step. Holy crap. We are, you know, this business is important. What we do is important, but how would you sacrifice that at the cost?

Would you, would you do that at the cost of your relationship? So you have to make sure that’s something you have to work at to make sure that there’s separation of church and state. There’s separation of sisterhood

and business.

John and Connie: Well, and family of these, yeah, so there’s, there’s the, the business, the family business, but there’s also the business of family and they’re, they’re intertwined, but they’re not

the same and they, there has to be a fluid balance, right? They’re, they’re going to be

there’s going to be seasons, right? when when you launched this, were preparing to launch this, it sounds like it was an all out frontal assault on social media world.

So, you know, there probably wasn’t a lot of time for, you know, sister, sister chats, but then you come back, right? So, so there are, there is, there’s always going to be temporary imbalances we can’t maintain. I

just, it’s unreasonable to think we could. Every day can be the same, Right?

But wow, you guys have, so I have typical questions that I ask and you’ve hit on them or answered them already, but I still want to bring them out just so we, you know, so one of them is, what’s a challenge that you’ve overcome that other small businesses could, could learn from in terms, you know, that you’ve overcome together?

So you talked about. And I really want to go to, if I may, and stop me if it doesn’t work, but the, where you talked about, you know, you fight and you argue and you, so you figured, I mean, that’s where a lot of families get stuck, right? They’re, they’re, they don’t know how to fight fair. They don’t know how to have those, the, the family battles or the family dynamics in the business and make it work for the business.

And, and, and find, I don’t know, clarify the roles. That’s part, I know that’s part of it, but, How have, so how have you guys, What have you figured out, And what would you share, For somebody else that hasn’t figured it out?

J.J. Elliott Hill: I can say we don’t always fight fair.

Natalie Elliott Handy: And we don’t,

J.J. Elliott Hill: You know, I think, I know, but, um, and I, I think for me is, um, with Natalie, you know, we, we had a heated, let’s call it a heated debate the other day. Heated, but in the end, uh, because here’s the thing, Allie’s type A and she says what she wants to say right then. I am the thinker. And so I have to think through my process and then I build up.

And when I explode, then she’s like, holy crap, why are you so mad at me? And she gets her feelings hurt. And then she cries or she’s like, I can see it well enough. I’m like, she never cried. She’s always so mean. But when we’re done with it, When we’re done, there’s this little, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to say what I said. It takes a little bit of time. You don’t have to regroup right then, but it’s like the next morning. I think you both have to be thoughtful and you have to be intentional about okay, what just happened and why did it happen?

Natalie Elliott Handy: yeah. And I would say this cause, um, Uh, I think typically what happens is that JJ and I are never mad at each other. It is the stress of things that are going on and

that’s actually what led to it. And it was this straw that broke the camel’s back. It might’ve been something so minute, like, well, I don’t understand why you didn’t do this. And it was all these other pressures that came in. And. And, um, and I’m about again, I work in the mental health field, so I’m all about relationship repair. I’m never going to run my relationship with my sister for anything. I’m just not.

And so it doesn’t mean that we’re not allowed to get into an argument because the other thing about it is that. And so we have a strong relationship bond, which means we take that for granted. We know that we’re safe to say certain things and that, um, and we have to be careful with that. You cannot just push that card to the farthest edge, but you know, sometimes you say, hurtful things to the people you love because you know that they’re safe. And so for us, um, we don’t, uh, we, we, we don’t typically get into arguments a lot. Um, we get frustrated about things happening and we’re like, Oh, and so she gets right in the car. Like we’re Thelma and Louise. When we get mad together, we’re like, Ooh, let’s just go. But, um, at each other is not common. At each other is not common, but it took us a minute to understand our skill sets to know JJ does this and Natalie does this like JJ will laugh at this.

She does not answer emails as fast as I do. And I find that exceptionally annoying. And so I’m like,

J.J. Elliott Hill: Every, like, five minutes? I mean, I mean, I might answer the email tomorrow. Someone sends it to me at noon

Natalie Elliott Handy: terrible customer service. and

J.J. Elliott Hill: At eight a.m.

Natalie Elliott Handy: So

John and Connie: That’s the difference between HR and finance. With finance, you hold all the cards. You can, you can afford to wait, make them wait.

Natalie Elliott Handy: That’s exactly right. And so, but, but,

does it, but here’s the thing, JJ, I know exactly what she’ll respond to and I know what she doesn’t, but I’ll also ping her and say, make sure you see this. Like, cause she, we get a lot

J.J. Elliott Hill: I say, I saw it.

Natalie Elliott Handy: She’s like, check. So before we even, for today, last night, the system sent out the reminder and I was like, don’t forget we have this at eight because I know she, she cuts off. Email so much better than I do because in my field, it’s always 24 seven. It’s like I’m available seven days a week because of, you know, children need foster homes or children need services. Or if you need acute, if you have an acute crisis, you have to be always on. And so I’m always eyeballing things on my email because that’s how I’ve operated for 25 years. Whereas JJ has been in positions that don’t require that level. And she’s, she, and I choose to do it. So you got to understand, I am not a martyr. I am paid, but I am, I choose to live like that. And so I had to adjust my expectations of her to not place my values on top of her professional values, if that makes sense.

Yes. Mm

John and Connie: Bingo. Huge, huge. I think, I think that’s. So important to call out because even in a family where we have, you know, there are a lot of shared values and there’s some assumption. I think there’s an excessive assumption probably in a lot of families that the values are shared, especially generationally, but and in the same order.

J.J. Elliott Hill: Mm hmm.

John and Connie: but but that recognition of different values. There’s a cognitive bias. We, uh, we kind of focus on cognitive biases. There’s one called fundamental attribution error.

And it’s where we assign a behavior characteristic to someone or , even a mistake that they make. We assign that as, as if it’s a character flaw.

It’s a permanent fixture of that person rather than something they did. And this, and the values is the same way, you know, that you’ve got the person that have got their values and they’re allowed to have different values. They have to be.

And, navigating that, recognizing that first and then navigating that is such a big differentiator.

Yeah, it really, we really had to work with that when his mom had, um, at least 14 different kinds of dementia. So, you know, you had to kind of know which one you were dealing with at the time and treat her still as an 85 year old woman who, you know, had run her life for a long time and be respectful of that.

Well, there’s other stuff coming in and out of the picture that you’re going, Ooh. What is this? And now what do we do? You know, so.

J.J. Elliott Hill: Yeah.

John and Connie: So, separating the two has been a a big eye opener for both of us. And probably saved us in a lot of ways.

And just in our marriage, I’m more of a detail person, and Connie’s more of a get ‘er done person.

And, you know, that’s a value, at core, that’s a value difference, right? It’s

J.J. Elliott Hill: Yeah.

John and Connie: And if you don’t resolve that and figure that out, it’s, it’s just like this all the time.

J.J. Elliott Hill: Yeah, I will say that, that because I worked with my husband in the, the other business, that was, there are definitely, there’s, there was definitely our, he’s the idea guy. It’s very funny. He, well, let’s do this. He’s kind of like Natalie, let’s do this. And then I’m like, do you know what that’s going to take to do? And I will implement it, but he has no idea. Like Natalie has these beautiful ideas. Let’s do this, this, this, this, and this on the website. I’m like, are you serious? If we have to pay somebody to do that, it’s going to cause this. And she’s like, well, I want to do it. This, this, this, this, this. And I’m like, do you know how long that’s going to take? She’s got these fantastic ideas. And that is, I’m like, Oh my gosh. But same thing with my husband. Our, we had to, it’s kind of funny. We had to share an office for a little while and, uh, in our very first building. And there were moments. I didn’t want to hear him breathe. I mean, he’s open to that. He knows. And he would say, Hey, do you want to, I’m leaving. Um, do you want to ride with me to the store? And I would be like, I would

rather walk to the store. I wouldn’t say that, but I would be like, I just want the 15 minutes in the car by

Natalie Elliott Handy: I remember she would tell me that too.

J.J. Elliott Hill: I mean, I would leave, but I would go a different route. And the reason is it’s hard to work with family.

And I think if Natalie and I were in the same town, because I’m in Florida, Natalie’s in Virginia. So we do a lot of remote work, but she did recognize really quickly that for my lifestyle, for the way that I work, I do have to cut it off at six o’clock. The expectation is we do have dinner together. We do things in the evening. And she, her, her life, her, the way that she and her husband work, it’s different. So, and it’s, they totally understand that, but you have to be respectful of those two, the way those two families work. And so, and I think that’s been a big thing for us because when she messages me at like nine o’clock and then she’ll call, she’ll be like, did you get my message?

Okay.

Natalie Elliott Handy: That was early on. Now I know

J.J. Elliott Hill: yeah, that was early on. Now she’s like, I’m not even going to call her. I mean, why would

Natalie Elliott Handy: she doesn’t really check her email or text message in any way, but I think it comes back to. If I’m texting you after a certain time, it’s going to be very important. I need you to know it, or can it wait?

And so with my position, I have to do a ton of stuff after hours.

And so, and my husband has, you know, basically is like. Job has the patience of job and, , to put up with me. He’s very different than me. And, , he knows how I work. I’m, I’m a 12 hour a day girl and I work. I only take Saturdays off because I typically work on Sundays. , and in the afternoon, and so I, I, but. That’s my personality. He knew what he was getting when he got married. And I try to make sure that I don’t take advantage of that. And the sisters will be like, Hey, FYI, don’t forget about your husband. And I’m like,

J.J. Elliott Hill: Who’s in there on the

couch? Uh, go in

Natalie Elliott Handy: But, but, but even, and then, but, but again, it comes back to communication, being open and transparent and being honest about it.

And even if you don’t like the answer, that’s okay. It’s still, it’s, Okay. I don’t like this, but I can live with that. If you

can’t live with something, then you better talk about it some more because it’s

going to build up into a blow up and it’s never worth your relationship, um, over what ultimately the argument, the arguments about so much more than what the actual issue at hand is,

John and Connie: Right.

J.J. Elliott Hill: You know, and that’s funny because our dad, when you say that, Natalie, our dad, our dad passed away at 58 playing softball of a massive heart attack. And you know, we say our mom had Parkinson’s, she’s had it for 20 years. But, We always thought dad would take care of mom. And so we inherited mom. We laughed about that on our podcast. We got mom, we didn’t know how, but, um, when we talk about the way Natalie works and she gets so furious when we say stuff, she works that hard all the time and we build up this anger. And then I say to her something like, I don’t want you to die like dad. And then she just, and so when we talk about things that build up over time, sometimes it is a really personal thing. And so. So that is when things come out at their worst, that is, you know, there’s so much care in there that, but that is when a blow up happens. And there’s just, there’s so much underlying care and concern for it as well in the family business. So,

Natalie Elliott Handy: I want to make sure we don’t fight all the time. It’s just.

J.J. Elliott Hill: Oh Oh my gosh, No!

Natalie Elliott Handy: But JJ and I really strongly believe in our own opinions. She taught me that. She said that one time she goes, I really believe in my own opinion. I welcome you to, to dissuade me.

John and Connie: Oh, I love that.

J.J. Elliott Hill: And it’s interesting in our business, my oldest stepson worked in our business. He was our store manager. And he, he had a saying, there are two rules in our business. Number one, JJ is always right. Number two, when in doubt, refer to rule number one.

Natalie Elliott Handy: And you can tell

John and Connie: Now, I’ve got to call out some, the language difference there, because that’s where we work, okay? So, the second one, the joking one, the two rules, that’s where a lot of people live. You know, it’s in the world of right and wrong.

If, if, if, we differ, you know, each person is in that position of, well, I’m right and you’re wrong.

And that’s a very difficult place to be.

Natalie Elliott Handy: Oh,

J.J. Elliott Hill: It is.

John and Connie: But when you, when you say it, like, I really believe in my opinion, you’re welcome. I welcome you to, to dissuade me or persuade me otherwise. What a difference!

What a different energy that is. Oh my God, that’s brilliant.

Natalie Elliott Handy: Well, and, and here’s the thing I am totally okay with being, , my solution, not, I don’t want to be right and wrong. I will, I am okay with allowing the idea to evolve and because I am comfortable enough in myself. That I don’t, it doesn’t have to be my way. And I believe JJ is that way. So we’ll, when we’re thinking about things like, how do we want to move forward with this? You know, I have this idea and I think this is the right way. And JJ comes back and we were in a meeting the other day and she was like,

J.J. Elliott Hill: That’s what I was

Natalie Elliott Handy: let’s, let’s not do this because of this. And I’m like, Ooh, even better. Because if you can, if you’re confident in your own ability, then. You’re going to be fine with allowing the idea to evolve because it was never about you in the first place.

It’s about the mission and what you’re trying to get across.

John and Connie: Right. Exactly.

J.J. Elliott Hill: It’s funny because we were in a meet. So in addition to the podcast, we do series, we do training, we do speaking events. So this is not always just a discussion about a podcast, just so you’ll know. That’s not just what we do.

And, um, but it was interesting. We were in that meeting and we were, we were planning to do a large series and training event with another company. And so this company, Natalie, Type A, she’s rolling out exactly what we’re doing. And I have missed two meetings. And so they’re all sitting there like, duh, they are just afraid to talk. I think I look at their face. I’m like, Oh my gosh, these people are not going to talk. And I hear it and I’m like, Whoa, that does not sound good.

And Natalie’s like, what? And I’m like, I think that we should have this person, this, this, and this. And then the other people are like, Well, that, that sounds like a good idea. And I’m like, these people are scared of her and they’re not. But it, it, I think that we work so much better as a team because it is safe for us to kind of, okay.

Yeah. I like this better. No, I don’t like this. I don’t like that. But our best ideas have come together when we work together and the ideas have

changed, but it brings out the best in both of us. And when we put those together, it’s It’s kind of like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I got the jelly.

She’s got the peanut butter. Put that together. And we’re like, wham, that’s the best

Natalie Elliott Handy: I’m pretty sure I’m jelly though.

J.J. Elliott Hill: you could be

Natalie Elliott Handy: I’m, I’m pretty sweet.

John and Connie: Ha, ha.

I can tell.

J.J. Elliott Hill: I’ll be the

peanut butter.

John and Connie: ha.

Oh my goodness.

Natalie Elliott Handy: the roof of your mouth,

John and Connie: And a little

J.J. Elliott Hill: you see the abuse I get?

I don’t even know how long this podcast

Natalie Elliott Handy: Maybe I’m, maybe I’m crunchy. You know, maybe you are jelly and I’m just, I appreciate that and a little nutty. Maybe I’m crunchy.

J.J. Elliott Hill: You’re like nutty peanut butter. You’re

John and Connie: well, we, we are at, at our normal, uh,

Natalie Elliott Handy: that’s

John and Connie: cutoff time.

J.J. Elliott Hill: darn it.

John and Connie: So we have had so much fun. And I, I can see we could do this two or three more times and still not cover everything. But you have brought out so many aspects of family. I don’t even want to say family business. I want to say family in business. Family working together that, uh, that aren’t often expressed and and not as eloquently as you have.

So thank you so much for being our guests on this. And I wish we wish you the very best. I know you’ve got other, you know, you’re still growing your podcast and you

got

Natalie Elliott Handy: We’ll

John and Connie: know, projects on the

on the stove,

but we will look forward to that. Yeah. And, and honor your grandparents too, because. They, they set the whole thing up in motion and what, wow. I’m so in awe of them.

Natalie Elliott Handy: They are, they were amazing people.

John and Connie: I bet they were.

Natalie Elliott Handy: to have them.

John and Connie: Cause, cause look at you guys. You’re, you’re a great result of that. So

J.J. Elliott Hill: I think they did that for our entire family that,

John and Connie: there you go.

J.J. Elliott Hill: 11 of us, 11 grandkids, their marriages, they’re my aunts and uncles. And, you know, still to this day, I’ll toss this out last my aunt June, which was my mom’s sister. She’s the 1st sibling to pass away. She passed away back in February. And while Natalie and I live distantly, um. The rest of them pretty much all live in the same community. But when we saw each other at a funeral, this is a heart, you know, you’re at a funeral and we haven’t seen them in some of them in years, 10 years, 15 years. And we see these people. It’s just like yesterday.

It’s just like, we’re like right back where we’re meeting up for lunch after church. And. You’re at this funeral, but you see these people and you’re so filled with love and so filled with the best memories. And that’s what, that’s what family is. And that’s why

a family business, it needs to thrive. It that’s what they built in us is just, that’s what it is. It’s it’s it’s family and it’s good and bad. They’re yours.

Natalie Elliott Handy: That’s

John and Connie: exactly.

J.J. Elliott Hill: so,

John and Connie: loved what you said about the, you know, your, with your sibling, you know, your, the business can can end, but the family can, the family relationship still goes on.

So, you know, that kind of, that’s helps people keep it perspective of what’s important.

J.J. Elliott Hill: Exactly.

John and Connie: Yeah. We always say you gotta have holidays with them.

Natalie Elliott Handy: Yeah, that’s exactly right.

John and Connie: You know,

plan for that. Exactly. There were times when, you know, I wanted to go

somewhere else, not be nice.

J.J. Elliott Hill: That’s okay.

John and Connie: But, but knowing that, um, we had to have a family dinner and that, that, and that was family time versus business time. And then the next morning I could go in there and

ream him a new one.

J.J. Elliott Hill: Yeah.

John and Connie: Which I did once

J.J. Elliott Hill: the turkey and by the way.

John and Connie: Uh huh. Yeah.

Anyway, this has been so much fun. Thank you

Natalie Elliott Handy: Thanks for having us. We

J.J. Elliott Hill: Thank you!

John and Connie: It’s been so much fun getting to know you and well, let’s, can we do this again?

Natalie Elliott Handy: Yes.

J.J. Elliott Hill: Absolutely.

Natalie Elliott Handy: Oh, trust me.

John and Connie: Good. Well, we’ll stay in touch.

Natalie Elliott Handy: Sounds wonderful

J.J. Elliott Hill: Thank you guys.

John and Connie: Thank you. bye.

bye.​

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