Season 2, Episode 7: Keeping All Of The Plates In The Air

Guest Marley McKenna is the owner of two restaurants and a catering offshoot, partners with her husband on a design-build company, works with her father in commercial and real estate development, and she co-owns a promotional apparel and branding company. On top of juggling all the things, she’s learning how to prioritize everything in her life and begin thinking about how to add “parent” to her list of titles.
Host Jordan Lacenski is the founder and Chief Innovation Officer at Brandboss Creative, and co-founder of SheWolf Collaborative.

Host: Jordan Lacenski

Guest: Marley McKenna McSchmidt


Show Notes:

Jordan starts the intro at 00:30 while the intro music is still playing.

  • 2:21 - “In the last year, we have really started to feel the pressure as the businesses grow, which is a good thing. But, as they grow and are more successful and we take on more employees, and more projects, and more jobs, it has felt like too much.” - Marley tells Jordan about the complications of managing several businesses that go through different ups and downs.

  • 6:06 - “We were trying to do all of these things, and basically, we stopped paying ourselves.” - Marley talks about how creating a great, supportive company culture can come at a cost to yourself, and the difficulties of finding a good balance as a business owner.

  • 9:23 - “I feel like I’ve been opening restaurants for seven years.” - Marley tells Jordan how she started and grew her Taco del Sol restaurants, and how crazy the restaurant business can be.

  • 12:54 - “My baby right now, they’re my businesses” - Jordan talks about the challenges of being a female business owner and leading a business, discussing and planning to start having children, and wanting to seek more connection to women who have children and lead their household.

  • 20:18 - “The role I play in my own business and also with like my partnership and also with my husband is that I handle logistics. So I’m always meeting with bankers, attorneys, new vendors, I’m setting up every system that we have in place for all of our businesses. ” - Marley discusses how she and her husband make the hard decisions in their businesses, how she manages her relationship with her business partner, how she manages as a solopreneur, and what she feels her specific roles are in each of those positions.

  • 24:45 - “Failure is my favorite F word.” - Jordan and Marley talk through the ebbs and flows of business and how challenging it can be as an entrepreneur and business owner not to feel completely guilty and responsible when things don’t go right, even when you’ve done all you can.

  • 33:15 - “They have to have the want, the skill, and the capacity because I feel like sometimes one of those is missing and it is a huge problem.” - Marley and Jordan talk through the trials and tribulations of finding the right partnerships, and how working with friends isn’t always a mistake, even if it’s against conventional business wisdom.

  • 34:37 - “A true leader or boss has to not worry about what other people are gonna say say, you just have to do the right thing, the right decision for your business or your life or your different business, whatever it is. ” - Marley explains how business decisions can become nerve-wracking and create disappointment in others, but ultimately as a business leader, she has to make the best decisions for her.

  • 37:44 - “The big thing I notice about working with men in my life is that they are just so willing and ready to give their opinion, whereas I feel like I’m like Do you want to talk about this? What do you think? Let’s talk about all the options.” - Jordan and Marley think about the differences between women and men in business, where the priorities lie for each, how we operate differently in business situations.

  • 43:48 - “If business has taught me anything it’s like just toughen up a little bit. We’re taught as women, as girls, that we should always be nice and care about everybody’s feelings and we should think about our feelings first, and all these things but ultimately it’s like, I like that I have a thicker skin, I like that stuff doesn’t affect me as much.” - Marley and Jordan talk about how they deal with negative feedback, which often can come more as an attack, and how sometimes that pain can help them to grow and develop into stronger, more confident leaders.


Spearhead Branding & Apparel: 

Taco del Sol: (Four Corners & Bozeman locations)

McKenna Realty: 

She Wolf Collaborative:

Brandboss Creative:

Also mentioned:

The Cut on Tuesdays Podcast: 


“I think that hiring people that you know and you understand how they work and how they function in the world is not a bad move - why would that be a bad move? … Tatum was my friend before we partnered, and my previous manager is one of my best friends who helped me start the taco shops, I work with my husband, I work with my dad. Those are really tight knit relationship and it’s always been, not without hardship to some level, but it’s always been the best possible fit in those scenarios.” - Marley McKenna

“People want to be part of decision making but very few people actually want to be the leader, because being the leader means you have to make the decisions, and it means people won’t like you for it. No matter what decision you make, somebody is not going to like you for it. And so I’ve tried to be like I’m not losing my ethical or moral compass but if I make a decision that some other person doesn’t think is right, that doesn’t mean it’s wrong for me.” - Marley McKenna