I wanted to take a moment to explain #forrealfriday, the in-group post we do on Fridays and encourage the group to join in on. It is often about something happening in our lives that may be less that ideal or picturesque. I speak specifically of the recent grotesque pic of sun poisoning on my feet, but sometimes it’s just meant to be something that reminds us that we’re human. The truth about business, and life in general, is that it is not all fun-and-games or Instagram perfect.
Several years ago, a fellow bizwife and I were commiserating about the fact that we were struggling to connect with the people we’d known all our lives. This was, in part, because they couldn’t relate to our entrepreneurial lifestyles. It felt like we had no one to talk to about the issues we were facing because they were just problems that others couldn’t imagine. Each family, each business, each situation is so different that there is no standard to give context to help socionormatives understand.
I distinctly remember a conversation that I had with a family member after Adam and I had gone through a particularly difficult time with the company. We’d recently lost a 2 million dollar contract that really endangered our livelihood. I was scared. I was looking for comfort. But all I got was “Must be nice to have 2 million dollars to lose”. I’ve also heard, “Well maybe he could just go get a real job” and “I don’t know why you all do this!” “Why do you put up with this?!” This was when I learned to stop taking my problems to other people and find help from more appropriate places.
Similarly, I know people who own restaurants or gyms. They spend 70+ hours a week at their business locations. They’re not home for dinner. They miss holidays and family events. Their partners are often running the homelife singlehandedly. And the at-home partners don’t feel like they can ask for help or support from others because they worry their person will be judged too harshly as being an absentee parent/spouse. They don’t live the typical 9-5 lifestyle. How could others possibly understand that that business is something that whole family committed to? They can’t express money concerns without fear of hearing “well, they spend every waking hour there. How come you’re not rich yet?”
#forrealfriday is more than a good excuse to complain. It’s a built in opportunity for a relatable moment with people who “get it”. It’s a reality check for where you are in the thick of it- good and/or bad. I want to be able to look back 51 Fridays later and see how far I’ve come. Last week I posted a picture of myself with my daughter on community day at her school. It’ll be good to look back and remind myself of my priorities. Whether we’re KILLING it in our businesses or weathering a rough patch, life is still happening.
AND it’s our chance to be vulnerable and authentic. This is even more important for those of us who are always the boss, always the decision maker, always the grown up. We get to lay it down for just a second. “Be strong enough to stand alone. Smart enough to know when you need help. And brave enough to ask for it.” If you’ve ever felt isolated because of this lifestyle you are no longer alone. This is a resource for all who are brave enough to ride the roller coaster.
The beautiful thing about Whole Life is that it is relevant for all types of business owning families. We take all kinds here. We have families whose businesses are secondary incomes to their families. We have families whose businesses make $60,000/year. We have families who have multiple million dollar companies. The message is the same. We all sacrifice for a collective dream. We are all taking risks. Whether your businesses is your day-to-day life or you are only “married” to it and somewhat removed. And we all deserve a safe place to be real and get support.