Doing a business with your partner in life can be quite scary if you take into consideration of things getting out of hand and ending in separation. This view is not all new to Ken and Kerri. Sharing their struggles, they inspire people to be resilient in both their personal and professional lives. As first of the four-part series, learn the things you can walk into a business worth fighting for—getting closer to your spouse while having a better business. Go through the five phases every person encounters in any new position: excitement, education, reality, doubt, and clarity.
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Get Real: Why Fight So Hard, Part 1
This episode is sponsored by none other than Digital Footprint. I always sponsor these podcasts the month before Digital Footprint with Digital Footprint because it’s the right thing to do. I’m about to do a four-part series on Get Real, Why Fight so Hard? Why Not Get a Job? If the next four podcasts resonate with you and you think you find yourself in these podcasts and you might even find a nugget or two that helps you in these next four podcasts, you might want to find your way to Digital Footprint.
All of my loyal audience will attest to this, and I’ve never offered this, but if you know you need to get to Digital Footprint, which is at the end of October some time in Los Angeles and you cannot afford to get there, but you know you cannot afford not to get there, you have to go, but you can’t quite get there. If you buy your tickets, we pay for all your food, pay for all your drinks, your liquor, whatever you want. We pamper you and take care of you once you get there. You’ve got to get your own hotel room. Here’s the deal. If you know you need to get there, you know your business depends on learning at a faster rate and finding out truly exactly what these fast-growing companies are doing, email me at Ken@IncomeStore.com and I will cop you a ticket in. It will be a dollar.
When you peel back the black curtain of the business, it is definitely organized chaos. Click To Tweet
The title of this whole four-part series is Get Real, Why Fight so Hard? Why Not Get a Job? This came up because Kerri and I have noticed something. I guess we’ve always gotten this, but for some reason, we’ve been very tuned into this in the last few weeks. We have a lot of people coming up to us from the Los Angeles City Gala, speaking in Colombia, New York, and DC. We’ve had a lot of people come up to us, saying, “You live together. You’re married. You’ve been together for 30 years almost. You’ve been in business together for 25 years. You spend 24/7 side by side with each other. How do you do it? Number one, how do you stay sane? How do you keep your business together? How do you keep growing in this business?” Most people cannot comprehend the type of life that Kerri and I have. I want to throw some nuggets out there for some of you who are new to this podcast.
Kerri and I met in 1988. We were in business together since 1992. We got married in ’94. In 1998, we had a fairly difficult eighteen-month run. By that time, we had a number of businesses. We were running multiple millions in different businesses, but we hit a wall. We were 27, 28 years old and we hit this thing called entropy. An entropy says anything manmade or God made is built to go from order to disorder. We happened to have a chain of video stores at the time. Blockbuster Family Video and Hollywood Video moved next door to every one of our stores. We went from earning a net income of $10,000 a month per store to losing $3,000 a month per store in a seven-month period of time. Nothing we could do to stopping that landslide.
Looking back now, all video stores went under. There are none left. There are a few, but the reality is those are dying also. We didn’t see the wave of DVDs. We didn’t see the wave of direct streaming, Redbox, Netflix. You can’t see it when you’re in it. We got a financial annihilation. We spent eighteen months where each of our three main business accounts averaged a negative $3,000. It means that each account was under zero, less than zero, about $3,000. We were running millions of dollars, but you could never put a debit card or a credit card and a gas pump and know that it would work. It was fairly embarrassing. We went a year and could not take out a client for dinner because we couldn’t pay for dinner. It was exciting.
Kerri had a miscarriage. We had a sales rep of ours die of a heart attack in my arms. It was not a good time. Now though, we stayed strong. We kept staying business owners and we tightened the reins. We got serious and got focused on our main consulting business. Now we are a four-time Inc. 5000 company. Meaning out of eighteen million US companies, our company grows faster than all eighteen million over a four-year period of time. We’ve done that four times, so we know how to grow.
I’d like to talk a little bit about what somebody eloquently told me in Los Angeles. “What’s great is you guys are phenomenal onstage. Your books are amazing. Your podcast is amazing. From what we’re hearing, when you peel back the black curtain and look into your company, your employees think you guys are amazing and when you peel back the black curtain in your marriage, we can tell by your children and being around you that it isn’t chaos and pandemonium.”
Doubt is typically triggered by another person. Click To Tweet
I like that analogy. When you peel back the black curtain of the business, it is definitely organized chaos. When you peel back the black curtain of our marriage, it’s calm, serene, and surreal, even with spikes of anxiety. Definitely a couple of times a year around Digital Footprint because we want to do the best we can for the people who attend. Kerri and I get a little anxious, excited and stressed out. There are maybe a few times a year where there are pockets of anxiety, but for the most of it, our last five to ten years have been pretty surreal and pretty amazing. I put a four-part series together, starting with what I think mechanically other people can do to walk into this surreal life of getting closer to your spouse, having a better business, and having a business that wants to grow. It means your employees are with you. They want you to win because you want them to win.
Why not get a job? Why fight so hard as a business owner? Here’s one of the reasons. There are five phases that every person goes through in any new position. I don’t care if you’re a new plumber, a new author, or a new business owner, here’s the five phases you’re going to go through. Excitement, education, reality, doubt, and clarity. Let’s take a new manager at a new company. He leaves one company and goes to another company. In the beginning, he’s in the excitement phase. He’s in the honeymoon phase, no question. All of a sudden, he’s going to be told by his bosses, “You’ve got to get further education, continuing education. You’ve got to get more aware and more intellectual property. You’ve got to become an expert in this field.”
He goes to conferences or she goes to meetings and this and that. All of a sudden, because of the higher education, that person bounces back and goes back into the excitement phase. After the education phase though, the reality phase sets in. The reality phase is when they’ve gone through excitement, the physical emotions and endorphins have worn down, the day-to-day has set in. Then at one point, the person goes, “This is real work. This is tough. This is 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. This is 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM. This is what it is.” Then 100% of the people slip at some point from reality to doubt.
Doubt is typically triggered by another person. Somebody planted a seed with you that something maybe was negative about the company you’re working at or the product you’re selling as a business owner. Maybe somebody in your upline manager doesn’t care for you or didn’t like a piece of the paper that you wrote. Doubt sometimes can last only one minute, sometimes it can last a year. What happens is the people in doubt go one of two directions. They either get over the doubt for some reason and slip into clarity, they leave the company, or they shut down their business. They start with excitement. Then they go to the education phase. They get educated, so they stay excited. Then they go to the reality phase of, “This is tough.”
Then they go to the doubt phase, but then they get to the clarity phase. The clarity phase is when you know who you are and you know what you’re involved in. You know why you’re doing it, you know the price you have to pay, and you put the gas pedal down and kick ass. I want you to think back not in your current position, but the position before, the job you had before or the business you ran before and look at these phases and tell me you did not go through them in this order. In the beginning, you were excited, then you got educated even further. Then the reality set in and you started doubting something. You chose to put the gas pedal down and kick butt, then you grew so much you sold that company or you grew so much that you took a pension and got out of there. You either slipped into clarity or you left and you quit.
I want to hit this from an angle that I don’t ever hear someone talking about of why people should fight to be a business owner. Why should you fight to be an entrepreneur? Why should you fight to be a high-level executive to the point where they give you massive stock options, which means you’re a part owner of that company? Here’s the reason. In 150 years, there has never been a male Courtright carrying the name, the badge. For 150 years, my father, my uncles, my grandfather, my great-grandfather, my great, great grandfather, my great, great, great, great grandfather were business owners, 100% of them. That, in and of itself, is no big deal. Maybe that’s just the family culture. Maybe that’s just what we do so that in and of itself is not that amazing.
They want you to win because you want them to win. Click To Tweet
What if in 150 years there has never been a Courtright get divorced, even when my wife and I were dealing with the physical annihilation of what we built. We were watching it getting pulled apart. We had no money. We were bickering every day. I felt like a tiny ant because I couldn’t support my wife and kids. She felt insecure and there was no security. You know that women over 30 shift from maternal instinct to paternal security instinct. Protection mother bear, protect these kids. All they think about when they go to sleep is, “Do we have enough money in the bank? Is my husband’s job secure?” We should have gotten a divorce 25 million times in 1998, 1999. Why didn’t we? Here’s the stat.
If a couple is in a business together and the business generates just $1 of profit. It could be a side business. It could be Mary Kay, Tupperware or something like that. It doesn’t matter what it is. If they’re in it together, the divorce rate is over eight times lower than if they had a job. If you are in business with your spouse, the odds of you getting divorced is close to nothing. How much do you love your kids? Is it worth maybe having a job and then doing something on the side with your spouse for the one single reason of protecting your freaking family? That’s something to consider. This is titled Get Real, Why Fight? Why Not Just Get a Job? The main reason is you’re going to go through the five phases. You’re going to hit the doubt face. You better know why you’re fighting so you can slip into the clarity phase and stay there as a business owner. I hope this helps.