Are you a tradie wife? – Part 1

Are you a tradie wife? If you’ve previously come from a different role and are now working in ‘your husband’s business’, then you will relate to this! Angela knows first-hand the trials and tribulations of a husband-and-wife duo working in a trade business.
Tackle change in bite sized topics, personal stories and relatable lived experiences that will have you nodding your head. This is a must listen if you want to be uplifted, energised and master YOUR role in YOUR trade business.


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You are listening to The Tradie Show. This is the podcast for trade business and contracting bosses like you who wanna lead with confidence, make more profit, and create a better lifestyle.

We’re your hosts, Andy and Angela Smith, husband and wife team, and co-founders of Lifestyle Tradie. Are you ready to have some fun?

Hell yeah.

Welcome to a special edition Season of The Tradie Show. So glad you could join us. Over the years, Andy and I have authored a few books on how to be awesome trade business owners. And because you all love The Tradie Show so much, we thought you would love our audio books too. So instead of going on a break like we normally do between seasons, we’re going to be releasing my audiobook in bite-sized episodes. It’s called Trady Wife: Why Winging it isn’t Working and Breaking Old Habits will Help. Starting from today, we’ll be releasing a new chapter every few days to Tide You Over until we get back to our regular programming of The Tradie Show. This book written and voiced by myself with guest contributor Dr. Gina Cleo, is crafted specifically with tradie wives and partners who wanna feel more confident co-leading their trade business and life with their partners. It’s packed with relatable lived experiences, practical evidence-based tips, along with advice from Dr. Gina Cleo, who is a leading habit researcher to help you gain your wings in life and business. So make sure you subscribe to The Tradie Show wherever you listen to podcasts so that you don’t miss a beat. Now it’s time to kick back, listen and enjoy.

Tradie Wife: Why Winging it isn’t Working and Breaking Old Habits will Help. Written and narrated by Angela Smith. Introduction, the annoying little habits, driving you nuts. Like many of you, I quit my job in the corporate world to help my husband in his trade business. I could see he was drowning in paperwork, swamped by admin, always completely knackered, and to be perfectly honest, clearly not coping with the relentless demands of a growing team. What started as simple table talk at night to solve the issues of the day turned into something much bigger. We were building an empire. It was almost a no-brainer. I left behind my senior marketing role with a high profile brand to jump into something new. I’d managed teams and multi-million dollar campaigns. How hard could it be with a strong sense of my value and ability? I assumed the transition into the plumbing business would be pretty straightforward. I would have more flexibility to work and raise a family. I would feel good about supporting Andy and growing our trade business together. It would all fall into place, right? Heck no. I never imagined it would turn out to be such a wild ride. Pushing our marriage to breaking point. We had come together in a romantic relationship. As the stress piled up in our lives, the love and warmth between us snapped into anger and resentment. We couldn’t even have a conversation without arguing. The sense of oneness we once had became a whirlwind of fighting and distance fueled by a cycle of frustration. All I could think about was how invisible and unimportant I’d become. You know what? He later told me, he was consumed by helplessness too. We were both deflated and defeated and pretending everything was okay when really it wasn’t. If you look at the love science in this situation, the emotional center of your brain is telling you you’re experiencing a code red emergency. This prompts your body to get ready for fight or flight and shuts down unnecessary functions like rational thought. Deep down, you both want to do the right thing by each other. We definitely did for sure. But you are caught in a pattern of action and reaction, like a blame game until you identify and change this pattern. The cycle of misery continues, one important way, you and your husband or partner can say goodbye to this soul destroying narrative and nail long-term happiness. As both romantic and business partners, it is to start new habits. Research shows habits are the only proven method to achieve sustained behavior change. When your brain signals a code red emergency, you can’t depend on self-control or motivation to steer you in a more harmonious direction. According to habit change researcher, Dr. Gina Cleo, at least 45% of our daily behavior happens out of habit. When I started to understand more about her work and what she teaches, I immediately knew she’d be the perfect person to help all of us tradie wives. Let’s talk about that phrase later. Learn the skill of habit change. The cycle of misery between Andy and me in the early days of both of us being in our trade business was amplified by his annoying little habits. It was like hearing fingernails on a chalkboard, unpleasant and uncalled for, these annoying habits would include calling me the admin girl in front of our team. Speaking over the top of me in meetings, questioning the amount I’d spent on a marketing campaign when I’d previously run a marketing department and the cherry on the cake casually asking me why the house was messy when he arrived home from work. I’d been wrangling a baby and the business’ books all day. They might be annoying little habits, but they had a big impact on our relationship with each other. Thankfully, Dr. Gina Cleo agreed to share her research and expert knowledge with us in this book to teach us how to use the power of habits to create an environment in which both of you will thrive. What is it about habits that give us hope we can stop winging it and begin enjoying the work and home life we’ve always wanted? Think of it this way. Habits are actions, thoughts or behaviors that happen automatically, every habit is triggered by something else. For example, putting on your seatbelt is a habit that’s triggered by sitting in your car. Habits are mindless and happen without deliberation. They don’t require conscious thought. Some habits are good for us, but many are holding us back from reaching our goals. Once a habit is formed, it’s pretty resistant to change because repeated behavioral patterns become imprinted in our brain. Dr. Gina Cleo says that trying to do something different is difficult because habitual behavior is regulated by an impulsive process. It is elicited with minimal cognitive effort, awareness, control, or intention. It is similar to when there’s a stream of water running down one part of the sand. The water continues to follow the path of least resistance. When we run out of energy, motivation, and self-control, we rely on habits. You don’t need an alarm to put your seatbelt on, do you? In the words of Dr. Gina Cleo, habits are the invisible blueprint of our everyday life. Being able to fall back on healthy habits in your relationship is the ticket to unchaining the cycle you are in. It begins with breaking or creating one habit. Try this experiment. Next time you are driving to work, pick a different route and see what happens where you still head straight to the tea room to put the kettle on, then switch on your computer and quickly scroll through social media before opening your emails. It is automatic, isn’t it? When you drive to work the same way every day. You are following the same trail in your brain. When you break that habit chain, you create mindfulness rather than being swayed by your routine. Consider this book to be your intervention. It is your cue to live with more intention and less tunnel vision. It’s about giving you the wings to fly high in your trade business alongside your husband instead of falling back on the habit of just winging it. It is time to stop just going through the motions every day and instead, take ownership of your life. Only you can take a stand and make this happen. Today, you are going to start creating the life you really want to live. The following pages will provide you and your husband with practical ways to break old habits with intrinsic rather than extrinsic motivation. When you are intrinsically motivated to make changes, it comes from within, aligns with your personal values and promotes a positive emotional return. Because you are doing something for all the right reasons, not through obligation, research shows you are more likely to persist and achieve lasting results. Dr. Gina Cleo will tell you most of us set goals that are way too big, way too many, and way too far fetched. In this book, we will tackle change in bite-sized topics supported with personal stories and relatable lived experiences. You will also follow some exercises to uplift and energize you to be a kick-ass trade business leader and ultimately deliver systemic change in the trade and contracting industries. Are you ready to stop being a Jill of all trades and start mastering your role in your trade business while mostly being the best version of yourself in every part of your life? I promise you, this book will help. You’ve got this. Ange Smith.


“Consistency is the secret source to habit change”. Dr. Gina Cleo, PhD. Habit Scientist, Angela Smith, founder of Lifestyle Tradie. Angela Smith is a co-author of Startup Scale Up Sell Up, co-host of The Tradie Show, together in Trade Business Podcast. Co-founder of award-winning Dr. Drip Plumbing and co-founder of Lifestyle Tradie, the number one education hub and community for trade business owners, where she generously shares her knowledge and lived experiences to help others. As the owners of Lifestyle Tradie, Angela and her husband Andy, have been able to help members fast track their freedom. Their programs explain how to get the trade business model right through tried and tested strategies that can be copied, modified, and applied for immediate, long lasting, profitable, and positive results. More than 20 years ago, Angela left her senior marketing role to join her husband Andy at Dr. Drip. After navigating many unhelpful habits and potholes along the way, including hitting rock bottom financially, Angela understands firsthand that winging it doesn’t work. Her mission is to educate other women that there is a better way.

Dr. Gina Cleo, founding Director of the Habit Change Institute, assistant Professor of Habit Change. Dr. Gina Cleo is one of the world’s leading experts in habits and is passionate about translating scientific evidence into simple, actionable strategies to help improve health, wellness, mindset, lifestyle, and business related habits for the long term. Gina has a PhD in Habit Change, is an assistant professor at Bond University and is an accredited dietician. Gina’s Habit Change Research has been published in medical journals globally and she has appeared on over 150 news outlets including ABC News, the Today Show and Studio 10. She’s also a regular keynote speaker and expert panelist at National and International Conferences. When she’s not geeking out on new Habit Research, Gina is running courses through her Habit Change Institute and obsessing over Chai Lattes.

Website: Instagram: @drginacleo. Thank you to the following five wonderful women in trade business who have shared their own stories and perspectives with us. You will love hearing more about their stories throughout the book.

Naomi Stevens, AC Plumbing. Naomi Stevens is office manager at AC Plumbing based in North Brisbane, Queensland. After leaving her own 10 year career in retail management to join her husband, Corey in the business to tackle marketing. Naomi has since stepped into a more strategic role, which has helped grow the team from two to 17 staff. For Naomi, being in business with Corey has made their relationship even stronger because they’re working towards one goal together. Purchasing new business premises through their self-managed super fund has been a major win recently, along with outsourcing parts of her role to give Naomi more scope to drive growth. “One thing I wish I did earlier is take ownership of the business and see it as my own ”. Website:

Bridget Pare, Repare Electrical and Air Conditioning. Bridget Pare’s office manager at Repare Electrical and Air Conditioning in Queensland. Going from the family breadwinner in her own IT career, Bridget left behind an executive salary to help her husband Richard, and achieve more flexibility to care for their children. The movement that they had to make it work or they’d fall into a financial heap. Bridget is proud of what she and Richard have created together. Recently, they’ve purchased a warehouse, completed a mini renovation, and moved the business out of the family home. Bridget is now in the process of stepping back from the day-to-day operations and has hired a general manager to continue the business’s growth. “He just came to me one day and said, if you don’t come in and help, I can’t do it anymore”. Website:

Felicity Motycka, Ghostwood Landscapes. Felicity Motycka is a landscape construction apprentice under her husband Blake, and manages the administration for Ghostwood Landscapes based in the New South Wales, Southern Highlands with a background in customer service business and people management, training and marketing. Felicity’s skills have been easily transferable. Her love of numbers, spreadsheets, and all things business compliments Blake’s skills. She’s in the process of creating an organizational chart, factoring in the growth of the business, and assigning responsibilities and tasks. Felicity and Blake’s kids are involved and can’t wait until they’re old enough to join the team. “I’m officially the apprentice. Unofficially, I’m the real boss”. Website:

Christie Baran, Voltair AirConditioning. Christie Baran manages sales and administration for Voltair AirConditioning in Canberra. She jumped into business with her husband Steve, from a senior role in the public service, and started wearing lots of hats from the start. Christie loves implementing new things into the business and making everyone’s life easier. For Christie, the pandemic has prompted a great reset. She plans to move away from her frontline position and outsource key tasks and responsibilities to achieve better work-life harmony, and give her brain a much needed break. Even so, the business remains her pride and joy and the ideas to improve it continue to flow. “Your time is precious. You can’t put a dollar figure on that”. Website: au.

Stacey Yeadon, JDY Electrical. Stacey Yeadon is manager at JDY Electrical, based in Goulburn, New South Wales, formerly a childcare educator. Stacey transitioned into the business with her husband Jack after he had a health event that changed the course of their lives. Since then, Stacey has thrown herself into the back office work and learnt many new lessons on the way. Despite having struggled with a stereotype of being a woman in the male dominated trade industry, Stacey is exactly where she belongs. With clear work home boundaries now in place, after leaning on her mentor Angela Smith, Stacey is nurturing what started as Jack’s baby to become equal co-leaders in a thriving regional trade business. “This is our business, our livelihood. If this ship sinks, we both go down with it”. Website:

If you’ve got any questions based on this chapter or want to fast track your business, head to or click the link in our show notes to book a free strategy session with Andy. Together, let’s transform your trade business and create the lifestyle that you deserve. But don’t just take it from me. Have a listen to what our Lifestyle Tradie members have to say.

Member’s Testimonial
Don’t wait. These guys are very honest and open. They share so much information, personal as well as, um, business. Uh, it’s a holistic approach to life, not just, uh, how to run your plumbing business.

Yeah, definitely joined Lifestyle Tradie, the amount of support and knowledge which, which is within the program is valuable. Um, the other thing is, uh, The community that Lifestyle Tradie has developed is amazing. There’s been so many times where I’ve learned on the community’s advice, where we’ve had certain issues that we’ve been able to bring up in our, you know, Facebook group. You get plenty of answers that you can actually action. You don’t know what you don’t know.

Lifestyle Tradie has a huge sense of community, just a great group of people just hanging out. Helping everyone out and they help you out. Just hanging out after the events is always fun as well. Some great speakers come along and definitely always, always learning stuff from every event we go to.

Do it. Like don’t hesitate every year that you put it off, there’s just an extra year that you’re losing. You don’t get this time back. That’s one thing that we can never buy is time. So, need help? Get it.


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