If you’re an entrepreneur, by definition, you are not going to be completely sane.
If you would have known what you had to go through to be a successful entrepreneur, you probably wouldn’t have done it. It’s not all sunshine and roses; it’s more like walking into a boxing match and getting your face pounded in for a long time.
If you listen to Marketing Secrets podcast, I did an episode on this. I talked about the number one way I know if you’re going to be successful or not. It has to do with what your motivation is.. So if your goal as an entrepreneur is “I want to make money,” you’ll fail almost 100% of the time.
But if your goal is”I want to help or serve someone” and you’re fired up about something, then you’ll have the motivation to stick through the pain. Because you get beat up every single day. I saw Caleb Maddox just jumped on here. Caleb knows. Caleb gets beat up on Facebook on comments. I get beat up. It’s a brutal thing. You have to be so obsessed and passionate about the person you are serving that all that stuff just goes away. That’s number one.
Number two is burn out. Burn out is a huge thing, especially when you’re first trying to build something.
People always ask me, “Russell, how do you keep your life so balanced?”
Are you kidding me? Nothing good in life happens because you’re balanced. I want you guys to understand this. When I met my wife, my life was not balanced. 100% of my attention went to my wife, and everything else struggled. I kept doing wrestling, but school completely dropped off. You have to learn how to unbalance your life for a period of time to get greatness in anything.
When I was wrestling, my life became completely unbalanced towards wrestling so I could focus on it and master it. And everything else had to suffer and then it came back. It happens in my relationships, everything. The same thing happened in business. There is a time when life becomes extremely unbalanced, and you gotta be okay with that. And it’s going to snap back. If you’re trying to keep a balanced life, it’s not going to be okay. There’s going to be burnout.
But understand that when it starts burning out, that’s when you need to snap back to those other things. I had someone I look up to, he was doing a presentation one time and he held up a rubber band. He said, “Look at the rubber band. It’s interesting. If you just hold it floppy it doesn’t do anything. It’s useless. For some people, this is their life. They’re just there and they’re useless. Rubber bands are meant to be stretched. If you stretch them, they can hold things together. They’re useful when they’re stretched. But if you try to stretch them too far what happens? Boom! Snaps.”
If I don’t do anything I’m useless. I need to be stretched to be useful. But if I stretch too far, I’m going to break. So for me, I get unbalanced to accomplish something great. Then, before I snap, I have to come back into normalcy.
Then the third part of this question was about the spouse…
I’m a huge believer that you can only be as successful as your spouse will allow you to be. So if you haven’t picked a spouse yet, pick the right spouse is number one. Number two is if your spouse is not into this whole thing, then I would recommend sticking with your spouse and not this thing. That’s probably counter to what a lot of people say. But there’s a quote from David O. McKay that said, “No success can compensate for failure in the home.” And that’s true.
So if your spouse isn’t on board, it’s going to be hard for you to succeed in this business. So a lot of times it’s better to get back to what’s going to make you both happy because that’s much more important than all this crazy stuff we’re doing.
Number three if your spouse is on board, it’s still going to be hard. If I tell my wife in 15 minutes, or if I call her at 5:00 “Hey I’m going to be pulling an all-nighter tonight.” Guess what happens? She is pissed for a long time. But if I tell her three days earlier, “Hey, on Thursday night, we gotta stay late. Is it cool if I pull an all-nighter?” She’ll be like, “Sure.” So for me it’s all about setting expectations ahead of time.
If I say, “Tomorrow night I’m going to fly off to wherever.” If I just want to take off and do something that’s a horrible idea. If I tell her in advance, “Hey two weeks from now I got this thing.” Then she’s okay with it, she can prepare herself for it. That’s been big for me.
For any of you guys who travel as entrepreneurs, you will find this. You’ll be traveling and it’ll be so much fun hanging out with people, being in seminars and events. You’ll be taking pictures of yourself smiling, eating good food and hanging out with people. You’ll send it back to your spouse who’s home with your kids, stressed out. They’re drooling and puking all night, stuff that happens as a parent. They’ll see you having fun and guess what? They will resent you. It happens. It’s not just with me. I’ve seen it happen with most of the people I travel with in this business.
I found the secret one time I was on a trip and I was miserable. And when I messaged my wife I told her how miserable I was, she was so sympathetic when I came home. It was way better. So when I travel, guess what I don’t send pictures back of? The fun. Guess what I do? The stuff that’s hard. It’s a secret. Don’t tell my wife that. But I promise you this, it works.