Momentum Podcast: 314
You Don't Get Over Bad Advice
by Alex Charfen
If you’ve been told as an entrepreneur to withhold information about your business from your spouse, I can tell you, it’s going to be a disaster. I have two rules for entrepreneurial success, the first one is your marriage is most important and the second is transparency in your marriage is absolute. If you’re a married entrepreneur that’s how you win. So often when I hear an entrepreneur say my spouse doesn’t support me in my business, it’s because they haven’t been transparent in their marriage. Are you giving your partner enough information to be able to support you? Be incredibly careful about the advice you take. Sometimes you never recover from bad advice.
Full Audio Transcript
I am in Toronto at Archangels with Giovanni Marsico and I just had a conversation at the end of a day speaking with a woman, has her in tears, and me completely frustrated and wanting to warn you sometimes you never get over bad advice.
I'm actually in the convention center. The event just shut down. You might hear some drums or some other ambient noise in the background that you don't normally hear from me. In fact, Eddie's recording the time lapse right now so this will be in one of my video blogs coming up. If you ever want to see one of those, you can go to charfen.tv and go to YouTube and subscribe and check out a lot of stuff coming out with the kids, and our vacations, and how I'm running a remote multimillion dollar company, and how we're homeschooling two kids, so we'd love to share that stuff with you.
But I'm up in Canada and I just spoke at Archangels, which was awesome. It's such an incredible audience here. At the end of not my speech, I actually ... I spoke as part of a panel of five speakers who ... I think four or five speakers that all spoke doing a full day today. I had a woman come up to me at the end of the day and she shared with me that she has gone through some really big frustrations in her business. I said, "Well, just tell me what's been going on." She said, "Well, I've had a lot going on. But what I found was, I need to stop telling my husband what's going on in my business." Ugh, man. Every time I hear something like that my heart kind of skips a beat, because I know what that equation does to a marriage. When you stop being transparent with your spouse, when you start holding stuff back from your spouse, you decouple energetically in that marriage.
When you don't tell your spouse what's going on in your marriage, you start making that marriage move towards where there's less intimacy. You are proactively making the decision to be less intimate with your spouse. What you have to understand is that that is one of the worst decisions you can make in a marriage, because eventually it will happen to you what has happened to so many of my clients, and so many people I know, is that your spouse is going to have the feeling that you're cheating on them with your business. In fact, spouses say ... I can't tell you how many times I've had a client, both men and women come to me and say, "My husband or wife has said they feel like I'm cheating on them with the business."
Here's why. You are. You are. If you are proactively no longer telling your husband what's going on, or telling your wife what's going on, if you're running a multimillion dollar company and your spouse doesn't know it's happening, you are proactively creating less intimacy. You are not telling them what's going on with you. You are putting yourself in the situation where energetically you are lowering the connection in the relationship and you have this whole part of your life that you're not communicating to the person who should be the most important person in the world to you. It's such a bad decision. I have two rules for entrepreneurial success. You've heard them if you listen to this podcast long enough.
The first one is, your marriage is most important. The second one is, transparency in your marriage is absolute. If you're a married entrepreneur, that's how you win. You tell your spouse everything and you get to a place where you put enough process in your marriage, where your spouse actually understands what's going on. Because you went and chose that person and here's what I believe about high functioning entrepreneurs. High level entrepreneurs, those who actually go out and change the world. We go out and we find the person who offsets us, but also is the reflection of what we need to hear, and is the person who's going to be real with us, and is the person who's going to be critical of us when we need somebody to. Yes, I know there are times where the spouse will not support you, but you also have to ask, "Do they have enough information to be able to support you?"
So often when someone says, "My spouse doesn't support me in my business," it's often because you haven't been transparent in your marriage. Now this isn't 100% of cases. Sometimes there's just spouses that are mean, and abusive, and aren't supportive, and are terrible people. You have to ask yourself if you're in that type of relationship and you should be holding things back, but if you're in that type of relationship you should get out. But if there's validity to your marriage, then you should be doing everything you can to create intimacy and transparency and connection, because that's what will make your marriage survive. Every single marriage is terrible at some point. Whenever I meet a couple and they say, "Oh, we've been married 20 years and we've never had a fight." I'm like, "I don't understand what type of alien person you are." Because I've coached entrepreneurs my entire career and I've never had anyone say, "I've been married for any length of time and we've never had a fight."
There's always fights, and disagreements, and conflicts, and issues, and challenges in real marriages. That's just how it works. The way that you get passed it is through transparency, through sharing, through telling your spouse what's really going on. I asked a bunch of questions after this woman shared with me that this was her new strategy, that she wasn't going to tell her spouse what was happening, and I said, "So, how's it been feeling to you?" She said, "It's actually ... There's been something there. I've been feeling frustrated with it." I said, "How long have you been doing it?" She said, "About three months." I said, "You are carrying the weight of your lack of transparency." She looked at me and she got tears in her eyes, because you know that's what's going on. You're proactively holding stuff back. You're doing things that you're really not explaining to your spouse. You're causing a separation. You're causing a lack of intimacy.
When you do the opposite of that, you strengthen your marriage. When you do those things, you weaken it. You just have to admit that to yourself. I said, "Where have you heard this?" She said, "Well, I've actually been to a couple of masterminds where women who I know well and who are very successful, they told me this is the strategy they're using." I said, "I need you to know something, it's going to be a disaster for them. They're just not going to say it from stage, or at a mastermind when they're showing you how successful their business is because ... " She actually asked me if I give this advice to male CEOs and I said, "Of course. I give this advice to all CEOs, but I just happen to work with a lot of women."