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I’m really lucky that my wife is as supportive as she is in my entrepreneurial endeavors. However, it wasn’t always like that.

When I met her over 8 years ago, she was like so many other Americans. She was taught from childhood that the only acceptable path to success was getting an education, finding a job and spending the rest of your life bringing home a paycheck.

Now, don’t get me wrong, that is a VERY worthy endeavor and one that is suited to the vast majority of people on this earth.

However, I’m not one of those people and so I had to make sure she understood that from the get go. Oh, she paid lip service to it in the beginning. “Whatever honey, that’s fine.”

I’m sure many of you reading this right now can identify with what I’m about to say. Entrepreneurs are a unique breed of animal. We’re opinionated and self assured, in most cases. We’re adventerous and outgoing in many respects. We like to have fun, sometimes to the extreme. These are all qualities that are easy to “have fun” with in a new partner and even create a euphoric sense of awe in the person. Especially if that’s NOT what you are as a person. So, in the beginning, those qualities are what attracted her to me.

But then we got married. What was at one time “fun-and-spontaneous” Dan was now “Dan who-isn’t-finding-what-he-wants-to-do” and not “settling” into something for the long haul. That didn’t sit with her too well. I had just gotten out of the military after 12 years when we got married. Being the entrepreneur that I am, I had to see what was out there. Each job I took was a brick I was using to build my storehouse of knowledge to be unleashed on society at some point. Even when I was in the Air Force, I always had part time jobs. Not for the money, necessarily. I just wanted to experience how companies, in whatever industry I was working in at the time, created value in exchange for money.

But it was okay… because I had a little talk with her before we got married. I’m sure she remembers it and I sure do. It was a very serious topic and I made sure it had an impact on her because I needed her to understand it, 100%. First I gave her some background. I told her about my childhood. I was poor and every family member of mine had the mindset that many poor people have of why isn’t the government helping me and oh, woe is me… I can’t find a job… etc. Totally disregarding the fact that their lack of success was based on their own poor choices in life. My mom didn’t graduate high school and married my Dad at 15. She had me when she was 17. (No, we didn’t live in Arkansas… this was in California.) They both worked in low paying jobs. Neither had any skills to speak of and couldn’t imagine making more than near poverty wages. They divorced (twice) when I was very young. My mom’s been married 5 times and my Dad 7 times. I went to 23 schools in my 12 years of school from 1st through 12th grade. We lived in tents, trailers (single and doublewides) and even a run down shack (where I slept in a little “outhouse” room in the back yard.) Basically, I had a life that no one making good choices should have to live in America.

After telling her all this, I said the following… “I love you with all my heart and soul but you should know one thing. I WILL NOT SETTLE. I will ALWAYS be going after the golden ring. I will not get a 9 to 5 job and come home, drink beer and watch TV. I will be up until 2am researching and working towards success. I will go to sleep thinking about creating wealth and I will wake up thinking about it. I will waste a lot of money on what the world calls “pipe dreams and wild goose chases.” Sometimes you’ll be talking to me and I might be zoned out thinking of some way to create value in exchange for money. I will love you and the family that we’ll have but I will not, under any circumstance waste my energies on making someone else rich while I hang on by a thread, living for next week’s paycheck. Not because it isn’t worthy. We need people to do such things and there are plenty of people willing to do it and be quite happy at it. But that ISN’T me, period.

She agreed and although it hasn’t been smooth sailing financially, she has definitely stuck by me through thick and thin. The key is she knew what she was getting in to. And I think she’ll agree, it’s been quite a ride and it’s only been 7 years. We’ve been to the point of bringing our prescriptions to the Target pharmacy so we can get a $5 off coupon to be used in the store to making well over $20K a month.

I’ll close this post with a song you need to play for your spouse. The video is even better (it’s on the Country Top 20 on CMT right now if you get that channel.) It’s by Joe Nichols and the song is called, “If Nobody Believed In You.” It talks about a mean father yelling at his son when he didn’t play baseball as good as the father wanted. The money line in the song goes something like this, “Tell me how would you feel, you’d probably give up too, if nobody believed in you.”

The last stanza is the tear jerker (gotta have that in a country song.) It talks about our country and how we’re taking God out of our schools and public discourse, money… etc. Then he applies the same lyric to God… “What if God quit trying, he just turned away, tell me how would you feel, you’d probably give up too, if nobody believed in you.”

My publishing company is called “OneTeam Publishing.” It means my wife and I are a team. Have a conversation with your spouse about how you’re both on the same team. Then play this song. (It’s a snippet. You can buy the CD on Amazon.)

If you’re an entrepreneur, the world needs your talents to create opportunity and make the world a better place by the value you create. Under no circumstances, as an entrepreneur, should you “settle.”

God bless this great nation and your part in its greatness. (I mean that!)

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