57. The Mother-Daughter Dynamic in Business: Vesta and Delaney Share What it’s REALLY like to Work Together

mother daughter in businessIn this episode, I had the privilege of interviewing Delaney and Vesta Hager, a mother-daughter duo who are not only business partners but also co-hosts of “The What’s Next Podcast.”  Their business venture and podcast aim to assist women in transition, guiding them toward their desired destinations and helping them shape the life they aspire to live.

During our conversation, Vesta and Delaney delve into the advantages and challenges of working as a family team, shedding light on the evolving boundaries they are discovering along the way. They share valuable insights, offer tips, and give advice for those entering or already engaged in business with a family member. Despite encountering some hurdles and the learning curve of working closely together, Delaney and Vesta express their enjoyment of working together. They enthusiastically encourage anyone presented with the opportunity to work with a family member to go for it!

Find more about Delaney and Vesta and “The What’s Next Podcast” here: The What’s Next Podcast. Find them on instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/thenextnestacademy/


Main Episode Takeaways

  • The dynamics of working together in a mother-daughter partnership. 
  • How and why Delaney and Vesta decided to get into business with each other. 
  • Respecting each other’s strengths and looking past each other’s weaknesses. 
  • The importance of establishing working hours and personal hours, especially when working in a family business.
  • The importance of boundaries when working within a family business.

Want to learn more about boundaries?

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57. The Mother-Daughter Dynamic in Business: Vesta and Delaney Share What it’s REALLY like to Work Together

Mary: Let’s talk boundaries. I’m here with Vesta and Delaney Hager, and we are discussing boundaries in a mother daughter business partnership. Thank you for being here.

Delaney: Yes, thank you for having us. 

Vesta: Thank you so much.

Mary: I’m so excited to get to talk a little bit about boundaries in a mother daughter partnership. Tell us a little bit about how you got to this place of working together. 

Vesta: I’ll kick it off and she’ll correct me after we start. I was starting to public speak and get out on the motivational circuit before 2020. And then of course, you know, all of the gigs were canceled and moved to virtual and she came out to visit. We were living partially in Virginia for the military for my husband and she was visiting and we started just talking on the long drive back from DC. I think we were somewhere in Maryland and we said, what can we do differently to get the message out that I want to, you know, encourage women to live their best life. And I believe it was Lainey that said.

Delaney: Well, we’ve been listening to different podcasts on the drive, whether they were pod quizzes or there’s this one that she loves that you try to guess the person and they don’t ever tell you their name. You just get all the clues about their life. Until the end and then you figure out who it is. And we were just listening. I was like, well, you know, we talk enough, we could make a podcast. And I just said it as like an offhand, not going to listen, we’re in the middle of, you know, Maryland going somewhere. And she goes, we should. I was like, whoa, whoa, wait, what? I’m sorry. This trip has now turned into a work trip. This was not meant to be a work trip. So, at the next stop, she jumped in the back seat, and we pulled out our iPads, and we wrote out everything we wanted for the next, like, six months. And then a couple days later, she drives me from where they were at the Air Force Base to the airport, which was about a 40 minute drive. And on that drive, we were like, okay, well, you know, when should we post? What should the first episode be? And we sat in the parking lot of the airport and recorded the very first episode. 

Mary: That’s amazing. I love that story. That’s so interesting. So tell us a little bit about, first of all, your podcast. Who do you help? How do you help them? Tell me more. 

Vesta: So we called the podcast, The What’s Next Podcast, because my ideal audience are women in transition from something that was keeping them from living the life they wanted to leave, whether it was responsibility, child rearing, a job they did, but maybe didn’t love, maybe a divorce, lots of things were maybe preventing them from living that life. So we are all about the what’s next and based on the story that Laney just retold, you can tell we’re doers. So if you are listening to us, we really want to motivate you to get out there and start making the changes and the actions that will move you towards that life. And that’s the goal. So we have a pillar system, three pillars that we rotate through for the podcast, dream, figure out what your dream is and go for it. Whether you’re dusting off an old dream or you have a new dream, decide you’re going to do it, which is the shortest, but often the most challenging for people to commit to. There’s a lot we talk about in that, in fact about how to have accountability buddies and things like that. And then the doing, which is the easiest for us, obviously, but I’m a firm believer that any choice you make towards your goal, even if it’s tiny steps, it brings in all kinds of other elements and influences that allow you to move forward into places and attract things you didn’t even realize you were doing. So that’s our goal. We have 2 guests a month and next year we have so many wonderful people that we’re moving to 3 guests a month. So we’ll kick off the first one of the month and we post right now on Friday. 

Mary: Awesome. So, here’s what we really want to know. What is it like to work as a mother and daughter team? 

Vesta: Let me just say this first part. When Mary and I met at the, at an event I said, Oh, boundaries. I know how to say, you know, no, I’m pretty good about my own life boundaries. But then we started talking and I realized this was an opportunity for us both. Delaney? 

Delaney: So here’s the thing. Kind of a great part about working with my mom is I don’t necessarily come into our office space with the same level of what would you call it? Enthusiasm? Well, that too. But I was going to say the same level of like professionalism because I feel like I’m at home. I don’t have to, you know, get all dolled up to come and work next to you. And the reason I love it and I do love it, I do love it as much as I complain and as much as I may roll my eyes. I do think there’s this added bonus in a way of I’m never feeling like I’m failing my boss. I may feel like I didn’t get something done. I may feel stressed, but I don’t ever feel like I’m failing, which for me as a very type A OCD needs everything to be perfect. It gives me that sense of I can still learn things and I can learn tools and skills without that feeling of I hate this. 

Vesta: For me, it’s hard because I don’t have a sense of, she’s amazing at everything, but there’s no sense of urgency. When I’m working with her things that I would, if I was working in an office and had an assistant, I would expect to be done immediately, it sometimes is a little bit more up to her discretion and we are actually working on some boundaries for how we communicate the information to ask how things are completed. Because for me if I asked you to do it, I expect it to be done already and her expectation is very different. And we, we discussed a little bit with another one of our friends who has a podcast about prime hours and ours are completely opposite. So that also impacts our ability to schedule and create those, the boundaries. And also when you’re working together, it’s very hard for a person whose love language is time, quality time, which is Delaney’s. She doesn’t count any time I spend with her if we’re working as quality time. So it’s very difficult to break and establish those boundaries. So we’ve tried to say from 8 to 12, we’re working. If we do anything after 12, that counts as fun time. And so it’s, it does make it a little challenging when you have different types of wor ethics and also styles. 

Mary: And if you could give advice to people who might be listening, who are working with a family member, maybe even a mother daughter team what would be maybe your top tip for them?

Vesta: I say go for it, start young. If you are working in a business, let them be involved, especially if, you know, you have a connection with your daughter, you know, I know a friend of ours has all boys and then one girl, you know, so if you have that opportunity to build that early, let them feel a part of your success. It really is, it just changes your whole relationship, and it instills a sense of responsibility and respect very early in the relationship. I know that if I can’t figure out something, if it’s as simple as my computer won’t talk to the printer, or I don’t know how to do something in Google Ads, she will just sit down and figure it out. And having those, the respect for each other’s balances, for me, on what you bring to the table, for example, is really so amazing to me. And I love working with her, eye rolling and all. 

Delaney: I think, for me, my big thing would be, as much as she claims I don’t have a sense of urgency, I’ve never missed a deadline that needed to be met. I may procrastinate something that has nothing to do with a time bound thing, but I think when it comes to it, you know, the biggest thing for us is you have to listen more than you think you have to listen. I think you think, you know, you know your mom’s voice, you hear it in the back of your head. She calls you by your sister’s name, you still know she’s looking for you. But there’s that sense of like, okay, she’s talking to me. But for us, I have like mom, and then I have like work mom. And I there’s a different sense in her tone. So you have to listen more than you think you do, because sometimes we’ll be talking about who’s doing the laundry and who’s cooking dinner. And next thing I know, she’s asking me about when the podcast went up and I’m like, whoa, whoa, whoa, your tone shifted. Hold on. I got to process this. So listen more than you think you have to listen. 

Vesta: That is such a good point. I didn’t think about that. But, you know, where, where you have deliverables for me, everything has the same level of turnaround time. You know, it’s like, do it when I asked you to do it, you know.

Delaney: It should have been done yesterday, even though I didn’t find out about it until 20 minutes ago.

Vesta: Okay. Not that bad, but, but definitely, I think that you’re developing a different level of respect. And I often will say to her, you wouldn’t be able to do that if you were in a different office. 

Delaney: And I say, I know, that’s why I work for you. I’m fully aware I could not act the way I act if I was in an office, but that’s the reason why I don’t work in an office.

Vesta: Oh my gosh, that is too funny. But I would definitely say value that time together if you have an opportunity. When we have our successes, when our, podcasts like tripled or quadrupled and downloads we got to celebrate that together for our efforts. And when we, when we’re able to reach women or, or provide an event, like we’re doing this weekend, we’re doing a retreat. It’s just so powerful to be working on it together and see that shared success really beam in both of our eyes. 

Delaney: And when one of us is just doing something and like, if she accomplished something that she usually asked for my help on and she figured it out, like I get to see her success in that. And she gets to see mine. So there’s individual success as well as group success. But for, because it’s your mom, you know, watching your mom succeed is like a different level of like love and success, like just excitement. And so it’s like, it’s just great to get to see that. But then also like we have successes together and I get to be like, I did that with my mom and like, it’s this fun thing. And no one believes me unless they know my mom. When I say I have a podcast with my mom, they’re like, why would you do that? Like, I don’t talk to my mom. I’m like, well, then listen, because I talk to my mom a lot. So go listen. And if they know my mom, they’re like, Oh my God, that makes total sense. You guys talk all the time. We’re like, we know we turned it into something productive. 

Mary: So that question that people might be asking and that you kind of referenced about like, well, why would you do that? I would love to hear your answer to that. So maybe we’ll start with you Delaney. Why would you have a podcast with your mom? 

Delaney: For me, it was always about, i, I mean, we were told probably for a solid year and a half before we started the podcast by many, many different people, oh my god, you guys should start a podcast, and we just you know, brushed it off because I didn’t really, in all honesty, want to learn how to do the work for a podcast. Because what it means when my mom says, let’s do this, it means let me figure out how we’re going to do it. I don’t, she doesn’t do the tech side of stuff, I do. So it’s a matter of how are we going to figure this out? And so one night I couldn’t sleep because my prime hours are 10 PM to 2 AM. So I was awake and I decided just one day to look up how hard it was to start a podcast. And I looked into our hosting platform that we host our website on, and I saw that they had a very easy way to start a podcast. And I went, okay, maybe this won’t be as bad as we think. So I did some more research, and then on that trip, the more we talked, the more I was like, we could help somebody with this. And I forget exactly what it was, but she said something, and I went, why don’t we tell people that? She’d asked me a question about college or the sorority, and I said, why don’t we tell moms how to talk to their daughters? And she was like, well, what do you mean? And that’s kind of when we dove into it, because I think for me, I was always like, I can tell my mom anything. But when I got to my sorority and college, everyone’s like, I don’t know my mom’s real name. I’m like, really? Really? We don’t talk to our parents that much even though we live with them? And so it was this whole idea of I had this relationship that no one else seemed to have, so I wanted to use it and I wanted to use it to help people. And so we turned it into something to help everybody. You know, it doesn’t just have to be mothers and daughters. We turned it into something that helps women and their children despite if they’re, you know, girls or boys, but it was one of those things of I really fell in love with doing it with her and doing this podcast because not only was it this idea of helping others, but it was this idea of I get to help people by using the relationship that I value. 

Vesta: That’s beautiful. I really thought of, well, I love speaking. So I was looking for platforms and I thought I’ll just make my own. But the reason that I love doing with Delaney is obviously, yes, I value and appreciate and depend on her tech side. But, I really wanted to model behavior for increasing the positive relationships and interactions as your children age up. And I think a lot of people continue to stay in a mother child relationship with their adult children, which creates a negative situation for most, most people, especially if the children haven’t moved out, which is a huge other issue, right? After college, she’s still in college, she can stay. But a lot of people are experiencing this trend because of the price of everything and the cost and the jobs that everyone are doing are so different that kids aren’t moving out, which is causing another whole section of issues. But in general, if you have a child that’s going off to college or going off to do whatever they’re doing after high school, it is very easy to continue to treat that as you need to call me on Sunday. You need to, we have one friend that was like adamant about all these rules and, and I really am about appreciating who the person is growing into and elevating those experiences. And that’s why it’s so great when we can model behavior. We had someone ask, you know, how do I do this? I need to tell my child this. How can I do it? So we’ll model. Leney will say, if I was this kid, I’d want to hear it this way. So we can provide some tangible options and solutions for people who are at a loss on how to, how to age up that relationship, but also how to just have conversations with someone who is your child, but now a young adult and hopefully not still under your financial responsibility when they’re out of school. Right? And so I think that was really important for me to have that opportunity to do that. And also, I really like, we really like being around each other. I’m very close with my mom as well. So I just feel like it’s, it was natural for us to do it together. 

Mary: Thank you so much. I really appreciate you being here and sharing your story. And if people want to reach out to you, what’s the best way for them to reach you? 

Delaney: Our Facebook and Instagram are always available. We have DMs and private messages as well as our website. Our Facebook page is the Next Academy and our Instagram page is the Next Nest Academy. Both of those have a link tree in their bio and that link tree will take you to everywhere you could possibly want to go. It is set up to take you to our podcast as well as any of the experiences and offers that we have, as well as anything that we have done together. And it can also take you directly to Apple, Spotify, Google, or Amazon if you choose to listen to your podcast there as well.

Vesta: And then look, our website is super easy, VestaTalks. So easy to remember, and we also would want love to work with women as we continue to launch retreats for women to get away. If you do not know what it is that you want your dream life or what you want to do next, please just join us on a retreat. We’re going to start planning the 1 for early next year. And we want a dream decide do what’s next retreat for anyone to attend. It’ll be probably three days and we’ll go over each of those sections and you will, you will come out with action items and accountability checklists so that you will be moving forward on creating that new life that you want to live.

Mary: Awesome. Awesome. All right. Your final thoughts. What’s your final thoughts for listeners about the possibility of working with a family member, maybe working with a mom or their daughter. 

Delaney: If you have a chance to work with your mom, take it because at the end of the day, it will give you experiences and lessons that you would never have learned otherwise.

Vesta: I love that. I would also say, take that opportunity because the wins are so much more impactful and special when you’re doing it together. But on the boundary side of things, I think it’s really great if you are going to choose to do that to establish some work boundaries in the sense of these are work hours, these are mom hours. And when I’m in the work mode and you’re working with me, these need to be the, you know, the work hours behavior and everything. But I think those boundaries are really important for you to be able to balance that, especially if you also live in the same house and work in the same office and you are together a lot. Those are so valuable. And what you do is so important. And we just, I really appreciate you having us on today. 

Mary: Awesome. Thank you so much.