Momentum Podcast: 103

Having An Affair
With Your Business

by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

It is not uncommon for an entrepreneur to hear “you are cheating on me with your business” from their spouse. As entrepreneurs, we have a hard time admitting it, but our spouse is the most important person there is to us. None of us wants to intentionally disappoint our spouse. We want them to be happy because we know it makes everything feel better for us. If you've heard this, I want to help you. If you haven't heard this, you don't ever have to. There is a process to how we get to the point where our spouse says this. There is also a process for you to walk yourself out of this.

Full Audio Transcript

I'm Alex Charfen and this is the Momentum Podcast made for empire builders, game changers, trailblazers, shot takers, record breakers, world makers, and creators of all kinds, those among us who can't turn it off and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy, and we are obsessed with creating momentum so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Sure, we pay attention to their rules, but only so that we can bend them, break them, and rewrite them around our own will. We don't accept our destiny. We define it. We don't understand defeat because you only lose if you stop and we don't know how. While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo we are the minority, the few who are willing to hallucinate there could be a better future, and instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters, clearly the most important people in the world because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent, positive human evolution and we always will be.

Are you having an affair with your business?

This episode is dedicated to making sure that you don't hear this, or to helping you if you have heard this recently from your spouse: I think you are cheating on me with the business. If you've never heard this, good. If you have, then you're not alone, even though I know it feels like you absolutely are. If you haven't heard this yet I think this information could really help you, because I don't want you to have ever heard this.

Because, here's the fact about us as entrepreneurs: for the most part we choose supportive spouses, people who actually do want to help us, who want our best interests, who want us to succeed. But, what happens is when a spouse feels like you're cheating on them with the business here's what that means ... And I want you to understand from my perspective of having talked to hundreds of entrepreneurs who've gone through this.

Here's what that means: that the spouse is saying they feel energetically out of the loop when it comes to the business. They feel like they've been cut out and that you are giving energy to the business that you no longer share with them. That they no longer understand. And let's be really honest, in most cases if you're willing to back up and be a slightly introspective and look at how you've been behaving and how you've been communicating with your spouse, ask yourself, have you energetically cut them out of the business?

Here's what often happens, and I'll share this pattern with you so that you can see how this develops. So if this has happened it probably started with something like this, like, you're very enthusiastic about the business. You love working. This is something that's really important to you. It's hard for you not to talk about it all the time, and as a result you used to share all the time with your spouse and they were supportive. Because, for the most part, again, we get around people who are supportive and you were able to share, they were supportive, they were a good sounding board, they listened to you, and then something gets said. Like, "I wish we didn't talk about the business so much," or, "Hey, enough about the business already."

Or what happens oftentimes is it's hard for us to recognize what's happening, and so we want to keep talking about the business and we start trying to and we get to this place where too many things are said and it said over and over again, and we stop being transparent with our spouse about the business because here's what happens: we are constantly talking about it, and our spouse feels energetically cutoff from it because once they start telling us they don't want to hear it all we tell them about is the good part. All we tell them about is the part that we want them to hear. All we tell them about the positive part. I call that selling your spouse the business.

Don't sell your spouse the business, because if your spouse is telling you that you are cheating on them with the business there's one thing happening. It's usually that you are now selling your spouse a business. You're not telling them what's really going on. And the second part of it is that you don't have any compartmentalize time. You don't have any separated time, dedicated time to your marriage. Or if you do, it's probably not enough.

When a spouse says that you're cheating on them with the business, or if you ever feel like ... your spouse has the right to say that. And here's what that means: that means you're not telling them what's really going on in the business. That means when you're not really telling them what is happening for you, what you're worried about, where are you scared, what are you wondering about yourself, where are you holding yourself back.

When you start telling your spouse those things, you will realign with them and they will be able to play the role they're meant to play, of supporting you, but maybe not without hearing about the business all the time, but hearing what's really going on for you. And if you share this with your spouse, here's what I know about people like us: we choose the person who's going to reflect back what we need to hear, not the person that we always want to hear from, but what we need to hear, and if we're willing to communicate and be real and be transparent and tell them both sides of the coin and share with them what's going on they can then support us.

And then the second part of that is: you have to give your spouse time where it's not about the business, where you don't have your phone, where it's just about the two of you, and where you can spend time together. There is process that you can add to your marriage easily to make it so that you don't get to the place where your spouse feels like you're cheating on them with the business. If you're willing to sit down on a weekly or daily basis each morning and the two of you review what you have going on for the day and talk through it with each other and then figure out where you can support each other or where there's overlap, and look at the weekly calendar so you make sure that there isn't anything coming up that's going to derail either of you. And, put a bit of time in upfront.

Then you're going to save yourselves a lot of pain in the long run and align as a couple automatically because you're putting the process in place that's going to make that happen. And, if your marriage is important to you take that time and put that process in place and spend that time together, and it changes everything.

Because, here's the problem for people like us: when your spouse feels like you are cheating on them with the business it is going to increase the level of noise you're dealing with tenfold, because the most important person in your world is going to be distressed and it's going to be hard for you to understand how to walk yourself out of that place. Because once you're there, you're at a place where you haven't given time to the marriage, usually for a long time, and you're at a place where the spouse probably has the right to say that in some way. If we're really being transparent and honest. If you're willing to fix this or if you're looking to fix this, you're going to have to be transparent and honest.

I've seen hundreds of entrepreneurial couples, and I've talked them through a lot of different crisis conversations and in 100% of cases there is a ton of responsibility on the entrepreneur side when something like this gets said. The way to get yourself out of this and to walk out of it is to put process in place and make sure that you are being real about what's going on in the business, because if you spend time with your spouse ... So, one is planning and then you have to figure out a time where you're going to be with your spouse or your family, your spouse and your family together, where you're not on your phone, where it's not about work, where you're not checking email, where you're just dedicating time to them.

And here's the hardest thing to see as an entrepreneur when you're first hearing this, because I know for some of us ... me included by the way, I had to learn this. This wasn't something that I had built in. This stuff's hard for me, like unplugging is very difficult, but now I actually look forward to the time where I get to unplug with Cadey or unplug with Cadey and the kids, and here's why: I've now been doing it consistently enough to know that there's this magic to it for people like you and I. There's this incredible thing that happens where you allow yourself to unplug and you give yourself the permission to unplug for a few hours. You give yourself the permission to unplug for a day or a half a day on vacation or a few days. You give yourself the permission to, like, just take a breath and not have to look at an App and not have to look at a phone and just spend time in the present and spend time focusing on breathing and slowing things down.

And what happens is it takes awhile to get there, but it is the fastest accelerator forward, because without fail at some point in the time where I'm unplugging and being with my family, that's where everything I've been trying to figure out for so long with the same type of energy pushing forward suddenly resolves itself, because there's a different type of energy of being in the moment.

Every one of us can access this. And so, these are two tactics that will help you and will change things for you, because if you haven't ever had your spouse say something to you like, "You're cheating on me with the business," you're lucky. You don't ever have to. But if you have, then I want you to know I know what it feels like. I know exactly what it feels like.

There was a point where in our business things got ... We had a ton of people. Cadey had just had a baby. She was feeling really sick all the time. She was having a lot of health challenges, and she actually unplugged from the business. I got to the place where I wasn't really communicating with what was going on, because I didn't know how to tell her. She was already sick and she had stopped working because she was sick, and I didn't want to stress her out. I did not know how to tell her what was really happening. So I was only telling her the positive and on top of that, because she was no longer in the business ... like, I didn't have a meeting on my calendar that said check in with Cadey not realizing that it was the most important meeting I should have.

And when I figured that out, or actually when ... I think this is mostly a lot of Cadey's driving it on the tactical part of me, on the recording it into a system part. But you know, driving that we actually sat down and aligned on a daily basis and that we understood where we were going and that we knew what was happening. We made decisions together so that we eliminated where 99% of problems come from: communication errors.

This will keep you from or walk you out of the place where your spouse feels like they're cheating on you, as long as you make sure you have that separate time for you and your spouse. Take my word for it. I've coached far too many people through this process of unplugging and spending time with their family so that nothing like this ever get said, and in 100% of cases time invested here eventually leads to some of the biggest business breakthroughs that person that has ever had, but more importantly, I don't believe it happens just because they invest the time. I believe it happens because they invest the time and the result is the noise levels in their life go down so far because they now are putting energy and time and effort and focus in the relationship that really is foundationally most important to them, and then the relationship with their kids, that is again, foundationally the most important relationships in their lives. No entrepreneur can anticipate how much that brings down the noise and naturally lifts momentum. It makes everything in their lives easier.

This is one of those keystone set of habits that when you're willing to put this in place, in a relationship, in a marriage, the aligning together and then spending separate time together where you know you're not going to be on the phone the whole time and you know you're actually going to be going to be present with your family and that it's scheduled. This will change everything for you because when the people who are around you most of the time feel connected to you and are in momentum with you and they get the time that they need with you in order for those things to be there, it is the most foundational thing that will lift you on your entrepreneurial journey.

It is the one of the ... It's hard to figure out if that or health is more important, but I would tell you that the relationships around you, the way that those are going to affect your health more than anything else. I've watched it my whole career, and when you invest this way with your family I want you to understand that in the focus you will have available and the abilities you will have available to do things in a better way, to see a better perspective, to see a shorter way to get things done, and to be more productive will pay back, and you will have this new level of focus that you just didn't know you could have. And you don't know if you can get there until you tried it for a while.

Here's the magic about this one, if this is one you're willing to lean into:

1. You're never going to hear, "You're cheating on me with your business."

2. You're going to naturally strengthen the relationship that's most important to you. Even if you just try it to see if it works, everything else is going to get easier and you won't see any type of operational drag here.

If you're willing to do this and you're willing to invest the time you're only going to see things get better over time, because as entrepreneurs if something really goes wrong in our marriage ... I can tell you from experience of coaching hundreds of people, of being proximal to people on the way through the billionaire code over and over again on the entrepreneurial journey, that when our marriage comes to an end or suffers catastrophic consequences or where we make a mistake that what if we had lower noise around us and if we were more connected to our spouse, we wouldn't have. When any of those things happen, that we jeopardize our marriage, it affects our business. It affects our health. It affects how we show up. It affects our ability to lead. It affects our ability to stand in front of people and move them in a direction, and it affects everything we do that makes us effective as entrepreneurs, and it also makes it a lot harder for us to see what direction we should go.

But when we can make those the strongest relationships in our lives; when we can put the right amount of energy and attention there so that we strengthen those relationships it may be the single biggest multiplier of success I've seen for entrepreneurs. And if you're single, because everybody always says, "Hey, you do a lot of married episodes. What about for those of us who are single?" That's an easy one. Sit down and write down the ideal description of the person that you're looking for and become that person. Then you will quickly attract that person, because like becomes like. If you're willing to do that, everything in your life will also change.

So, I want to make sure you never hear, "Are you cheating on me with your business?" So follow these steps. It's not that difficult and it will make everything in your life easier. And if you're looking to understand more about how to create momentum and align with your spouse, and understand the planning system that allows you to see where you're going next to that you can calm down the anxiety in your life and have confidence on the next steps you're taking, Go to Check out momentum masterclass. I'd love to be able to help you create more momentum next year and make it the most extraordinary year of your career that you've ever had. Because there are a collection of keystone habits there and strategies that will help everything in your life get easier.

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