“Call Me CEO” is your master-class on innovation, creativity, leadership, and finding YOUR perfect balance between motherhood and entrepreneurship.

Have you ever considered buying a franchise instead of starting a business from scratch? In this episode, Camille welcomes Jean Colarusso, a mompreneur who recently decided to sell her franchise, Dream Dinners, after 13 years of being in business.

Listen in to learn how to buy and sell a franchise, valuable lessons learned from owning a franchise, and the importance of listening to your gut when you know that it’s time to pivot and make a change in your motherhood journey. Jean tells the story of how she started her business and made it through the 2008 recession and provides tips for balancing your time and energy between work life and home life.

I could tell when I needed to pass something off because it wasn’t in my strengths. So, I think that the ability to let things go and the ability to let other people take care of things, not even necessarily your way, can really launch your business in a better way.

—Jean Colarusso

As a pregnant mother of 5 (soon to be 6) boys, she shares her experience homeschooling in Costa Rica during the pandemic, how she plans on transitioning back to public school, and how she teaches her kids about business and entrepreneurship. Plus, she offers advice for moms dealing with depression and moms transitioning from being working mom to a stay at home mom.

I never lost the passion, I never lost the drive, I did work hard until the very end…but at the same time, I kind of knew that it would be better with new, fresh hands… It’s not an easy process selling something that you love.

—Jean Colarusso


Learn more about Dream Dinners: www.dreamdinners.com

Green Lights by Matthew McConaughey: www.greenlights.com

Create goals and stick with them with Qube Money: www.qubemoney.com/camille 

Interested in becoming a virtual assistant? Enroll in the 60 Days to VA Course: https://academy.camillewalker.co/60-days-to-va

Connect with Jean:

Connect with her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/jean.s.colarusso

Follow them on Instagram: www.instagram.com/cook_with_jean

Connect with Camille Walker:

Follow Camille on Instagram: www.Instagram.com/CamilleWalker.co

Follow Call Me CEO on Instagram: www.Instagram.com/callmeceopodcast

love your approach to motherhood. I think you've really learned how to not sweat the small stuff and that it's all small stuff.


CAMILLE [27:44]

Building a successful business takes a clear understanding of your goals and where you want to go. That is why I love Qube Money. It is an app card combo that allows me to assign a purpose to each dollar in my checking account. No more wondering where you stand in regards to your bills because with each transaction, you make a mental check in with your balance, create goals and stick with them in your lifestyle and business, so you can live more and stress less. Go to qubemoney.com/Camille to get started today. That's qubemoney.com today and make those dreams a reality.


CAMILLE [28:21]

What would be your advice now that you're at home? You told me before we started this call that you said you felt busier now than when you did when you were working. What is some advice or something that you've learned transitioning from a working mom to a stay-at-home mom?

JEAN [28:37]

It is a lot busier than I thought would be. I think it has to do with the fact that I'm always home, and so I'm always on. I think in the fall when my kids are at school, it won't be quite as crazy, but I don't know. It just goes and goes and goes. One surprising thing being home, I didn't realize how much I would be home. Sometimes there's days that I haven't left the house and it's so strange to me because I'm so used to being out and about. I think that's where I feel more busy now is because when I was working, I had my commute and I could run errands on my way home or something like that, but not anymore. I almost have to plan that excursion and if I leave the house, it's a big deal. I mean, I only comb my hair once a week now. So, it's pretty great.�

Yeah, but I do love it. I appreciate you saying that I don't sweat the small stuff. I actually think I do sweat the small stuff, but my husband doesn't and so he helps out to even that out. So, I do the big things and the big picture things and he helps it, so then we run smoothly around. And so, even in our marriage, we've had to be like, "Okay. I'm not good at this and you are, so I'm going to need your help." Otherwise, I just break down. I don't know.

A lot of people have their own struggles. I struggle with depression a lot, and so if I try to do things that frustrate me, not frustrate, that sounds entitled, whatever. But sometimes it rears its ugly head and I can't function. I have to be okay with that and I have to be really realistic that it's a part of my life and there are days when I'm going to cry all day long and my kids have to learn why that's happening. And so, we take a lot of time to acknowledge and educate that. Also, if I am losing my cool, I'm like, "Okay. Work here. We've practiced this. When mommy gets to this point, everybody run to your room for your safety."

It's all about like I said just being really self-aware and taking the good with the bad. I'm okay with the fact that that's a part of my life because I can still do good things and I can still make great things happen even though I have to constantly remind myself that depression is real. It's a part of me and it's okay.

CAMILLE [31:36]

Thank you for sharing that. I did not know that. Is that something that you've ever sought out medication for? Is it something that goes up and down with pregnancy and newborn? What tactics and tools have you used to help with that?

JEAN [31:50]

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. So, I take medication every day and at the beginning, I really didn't want to. So, I would take it and I would feel better, and then I would go off, and then I would crash and all of these silly things because I was like, "Oh, I don't need that. I'm a happy person." I am a happy person and I do love life and I have a really great life. But I would go off the medication, and then it would just come right back. And so, I've had to work with some doctors who are like, "It's okay. Depression doesn't define you. It's just a part of the journey for you. And so, you need to accept it and learn."

And so, now I take it everyday and I'm like, "It's okay if I have to take this every day for the rest of my life because it doesn't change who I am. It's just medicine and if I have a headache, I take Ibuprofen, so it's not anything different than that." And I have done therapy a lot before mostly if it gets bad enough, if I'm under enough pressure that it gets worse, then I've done talk therapy.�

That's usually after I've had babies. I�m feeling a lot more hormonal because then you have postpartum depression with your chronic depression and it gets pretty bad or even if it's just really stressful. I know my triggers now. And so, I have a really good team behind me with my therapist as well, so I feel like all of the lessons I learned in business, I apply in my own personal life. It makes me more successful to say, "Okay. I need help with this and that's okay. Good. I can pay someone to help me. Yay!"

CAMILLE [33:34]

I love that perspective that it's a team and if you had a broken arm or a headache like you said, there is no shame in having that team behind you and those things that are put in place to help us to live better healthier lives. I mean, I think it's something that we all need to hear more of, so I really appreciate you sharing that.

JEAN [33:54]

Yeah. You're welcome.

CAMILLE [33:59]

With coming into your sixth baby born, what would you do differently with this sixth time around? Is there anything?

JEAN [34:10]

I wish I could have had a girl. I think that would have been really fun to be able to have a girl, but I'm not sure what I'm going to do differently. It's actually been a pretty emotional pregnancy because I don't really want to have six kids. I never really wanted a big family, but here we are with six kids. I have to tell myself that it's okay that I can't love them all. Okay. I do love them all. Let me rephrase that. It's okay that I can't spend one on one time with one kid all day long because there's more love in my house because there's more people. And so, that baby is not only going to feel love from me and his dad, but his five older brothers who are so excited. The pie is big enough that there's going to be enough love in our house, even though there's six kids and I'm split in so many different directions, but it's going to be okay. But I don't actually remember what the question was, did I answer it?

CAMILLE [35:21]

Is there anything you would do different?

JEAN [35:24]

Differently. What do you mean?

CAMILLE [35:30]

I don't know. I mean, how often do we get to talk to a woman going into their sixth pregnancy, delivery, having a newborn baby? Is there anything that you've learned along the way, maybe for someone listening who has one or two that you're like, "Oh. I've learned this along the way?" For me, if I was having a baby right now, I wish I would have had a newborn photographer in the delivery room with me. That's something that I would have done differently that I didn't do before. I don't know, if there's something like that.

JEAN [36:07]

Okay. I think that if I were giving advice to someone who had two or three kids and they were still growing their family, I would say to trust your older kids that they are there to help and that they can learn and let them love on your kids. Before the baby came and this, I actually did with my fifth baby and I'm doing it again, is we talk about how to take care of a baby. We find other babies and we practice changing diapers together and I teach them and I empower them, so then it's not all on my shoulders.

CAMILLE [36:49]

I love that, yes.

JEAN [36:50]

So, yeah, that would be my advice and I'm doing it again this time. I don't know what I would do differently though, probably just not have a sixth kid. Yeah.

CAMILLE [37:02]

No, I love that because I think I have bene guilty of that with older siblings where I'll be like, "Oh, you're too close" or "Oh no, you've held her long enough," where it becomes more of this protective thing, so that it is me as the mom doing most of it.

JEAN [37:18]


CAMILLE [37:18]

I love that advice of, yeah, just teaching them how to change a diaper and the sponge baths and all of those other things that can be a lot when you have everything going on. I think that's fantastic advice.

JEAN [37:32]

Yeah. And whatever it is that is giving you worries. We talk about the shaking baby syndrome and don't put the baby on their stomach and all of those things. We live in a time now that there's so much easy, like swaddled blankets. With my first, I had to learn how to swaddle myself and their little arms would escape. And now, I just straightjacket them in with Velcro duct tape and it works awesome. Yeah.

CAMILLE [37:57]

Aww. Well, Jean, you are right in saying that there's enough love for that baby. My goodness, that baby is so lucky to come into your family. I love watching videos and photos that you share online of the things that you're doing together and what a lucky baby. You and your husband are incredible parents and I just am so happy for you.

JEAN [38:20]

Thank you. Thanks for saying that.

CAMILLE [38:22]

Yeah. Well, I'm sure people here would love to connect with you or follow you online. I don't know if you have a public forum where they could do that?

JEAN [38:32]

Yeah. I'm on Facebook. I'm just barely getting started on Instagram where I want to start sharing our travel adventures and our recipes that we have and stuff like that, so then I can go back and remember them. So, on Facebook, I'm Jean Colarusso and just look for the headliner with a bazillion children and you'll know it's me. On Instagram, I'm cook_with_jean with underscores. I'm cook_with_jean.

CAMILLE [39:01]

Perfect. Well, thank you so much for taking the time. It has been such a pleasure to spend time with you and you are incredible.

JEAN [39:10]

Thank you. Thanks for thinking of me and letting me come on the show. I'm excited.


CAMILLE [39:14]

Today's review comes from CourtCott. "Camille is such a natural interviewer. She knows the right questions to ask and dives deeper when needed. Such an informative and uplifting podcast, not just for CEOs, but for anyone!"

Well, thank you, CourtCott, so much for that review. It truly makes all of this effort worth it and I hope that you learned something from today's episode and if you did, please share on social media and tag me at callmeceopodcast. If you want to join a community of likeminded women who are there to support and rally behind each other, join our Facebook group at Call Me CEO community. I hope to see you there.

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