It all started when…
(Don’t you hate when stories start like that? Alright, I’ll change it up)
So let me tell you about the day I almost got divorced.
Well, sort of. More like un-engaged, since we hadn’t actually gotten married yet. Our wedding was planned for the fall of 2008.
We had just graduated college a year before in 2006. Bought our first home less than a year after that. Had to fund a pretty large wedding, not to mention home improvements, a new (ish) car, and caring for pets.
All this was churning through my brain that day when Tom came home and told me he spent $7,500 on a real estate training. On multiple credit cards.
At first, I couldn’t even process. I couldn’t comprehend that he would do that, without consulting me!
I thought we shared everything together. We were a little weird in that aspect I guess. College sweethearts since freshman year, we had ALWAYS shared money together and made big decisions as a team.
So what happened?
Well, I’ll tell you. I got too comfortable. I didn’t see what was really happening behind the awesome-ness we were currently living.
Tom wasn’t happy. Not truly.
Sure, we had a great life. From my eyes, I saw our amazing wedding fast approaching. We had a great little house, 2 cats & a dog. We both had good jobs. Had a ton of friends, which of course meant we were hosting lots of parties at our new place.
But I was oblivious to Tom’s inner struggle, which was him HATING his job. And he wanted to do something about that.
He had always had that entrepreneurial spirit. In college, first making extra money with an online poker website, and then an even more profitable venture selling used books on Amazon.
But I guess I always thought of that more as his hobby? You know, a way to make cash on the side in college (to pay for beer, mostly. Typical college student)
What I never realized (and what he never TOLD me) was that this habit of his was something more. It was deep-seated in his inner being. He was different.
So that brings us back to where things got rocky.
That real estate training could have gone 2 ways, as I see it.
It COULD have pushed our relationship towards the beginning of the end. With us both on two very different paths. Me continuing to ride the more “traditional route”, and Tom driving in the direction of bigger things. All the while us drifting slowly apart.
2. It could stop us in our tracks, with a bit of a wake-up call. Forcing us to have a tough conversation (or a few). Making me realize once and for all that Tom was destined for more than a “job”, and pushing him to include me in this inner struggle of his so we could come up with a solution together.
Thankfully for us, we went with option #2!
But in no way was it an easy option.
We sat in our living room many nights, and talked, and argued, and cried. I’m talking serious, long into the night discussions. We didn’t always come out of them happy, but we were closer to being on the same page.
It took another year for Tom to finally convince me that he was serious about the real estate thing, and he and his cousin bought the first house.
And full disclosure? It probably took me another couple YEARS to really understand how much time he was spending working on these houses. And of course, our families didn’t get why he had to miss all the parties & get-togethers.
It was as I began to explain to them, over and over, why he had to do this, that I truly started to gain clarity.
And I CHOSE to be supportive in his ventures. It was one of the harder decisions I had to make, but I knew if I didn’t become a part of it that our relationship was doomed. And I loved this man, I wanted him to succeed.
One of the best things Tom ever did during this time, was to have us start writing our goals.
We each sat down, on our own, and typed up what things we wanted in our life in the next year, 2 years, 3, 5 and even 10.
And then we would share them with each other. Awkward at first, because all of my goals tended to orbit around lifestyle, family and emotional things, and Tom’s goals were around how to get him out of a traditional job.
But a funny thing started to happen.
Over the years of doing this, our goals started to inch closer.
We had our first child. Started our second business.
Still did goal planning. Even more necessary now, for both businesses to be successful and to raise a happy healthy child.
Then we simultaneously had our second child while starting our third business.
Now we do yearly, quarterly, monthly and even weekly goal planning. (Read: Our life is chaos).
And as crazy as it may sound to some, we are more on the same page than ever before. We communicate as much as possible. About everything. Even when it’s uncomfortable…Most importantly when it’s uncomfortable.
So what are the takeaway lessons here?/
Marriage is hard.
Being an entrepreneur is hard.
Being a parent is hard.
I’m guessing if you are reading this, you probably fit into one (or more) of these categories above.
ANY ONE of these things on their own is difficult enough. I don’t think I need to mention what starts happening when you add more on…
So do yourself a favor, make your day-to-day a little easier.
Jump on the goal planning train today.
It will change your life!
And lucky for you? We have created a FREE 7-day video training to take you through the complete goal planning process that we use.
Hundreds of entrepreneurs have now used this process to get clear on the life they want and to determine the steps that they need to take to get there.