Today is Jan. 11, so that means we are 11 days into our 2019 goals and new year’s resolutions. How are you doing with yours? Did you even set any?
It seems to me like people are split down the middle about how to set goals. On one side, there are people saying, “Dream big, BIG dreams!” And then there is the opposite group saying, “I don’t make new year’s resolutions.”
But what if there’s a third option? What if there’s some middle ground?
On New Year’s Eve, Ryan and I dropped off the kids at my in-laws’ house and came home to plan his business goals for 2019. I wanted to start writing right away; Ryan wanted to watch some videos on it first.
“Ohhh-kay,” I groaned.
“Let’s watch some goal setting videos from Alex Charfen’s talk in Boise,” Ryan said.
“Okay.” I sat up a little straighter, still annoyed that we couldn’t jump right in, but willing to listen to what Charfen had to say.
I wouldn’t have agreed so easily a few months ago. I really didn’t know who Charfen was back then. I only knew his name because Ryan had heard him speak at a conference called Funnel Hacking Live in March.
Then in October, I attended a private ClickFunnels event in Phoenix with Ryan. If you are or your husband is an entrepreneur, you may have heard of ClickFunnels and its co-founder, Russell Brunson. He surrounds himself with incredible people, and Charfen is one of the top business coaches he works with.
On that last day in Phoenix, I sat in the audience and listened to Charfen speak for the first time. He talked about a range of topics, including time studies, scaling businesses, and even mom guilt. I was surprised at how easily he drew out the doubts and fears from inside of people. It was an emotional day, one that I wasn’t expecting to experience.
When Ryan and I sat down on New Year’s Eve and watched Charfen’s video, I also didn’t expect to hear a big reason why I’m struggling so hard with being married to an entrepreneur. It seems so obvious now, but I never understood it until that afternoon. Had Ryan and I known this earlier, I think we would’ve avoided some of our problems. Not all of them, but some.
Charfen specializes in working with entrepreneurs, people who have what he calls the entrepreneurial personality type. They are the dreamers, the people who see problems and try to figure out how to fix them. They are the people who don’t fit into the molds and systems the rest of the world follows. They are often viewed as quirky and sometimes crazy. They can set huge goals, fail over and over again, and still keep going.
But many times, their employees can’t. In the presentation, Charfen said that entrepreneurs shouldn’t set goals that are too big to reach, especially if they have people under them. Their employees work hard, but they often don’t have the same mentality as entrepreneurs. Not reaching goals can crush their spirits.
I thought, “OMG. That’s me!”
I don’t have the entrepreneurial mindset. I feel defeated when Ryan sets his goals too high and the business doesn’t reach its targets. He just keeps going, but it sets me back.
In February, we attended a conference together in Las Vegas. On the drive home, we talked about what we could do with his business and how we could grow it. We set financial goals and then discussed what that would look like for us personally. Ryan told me that we would be in a new home, although just renting, before Christmas.
I was beyond excited. I wanted to be able to host a Christmas party for our friends and a cookie decorating party for our kids’ friends. I wanted a big tree to hang all of my Christmas ornaments on. Things our current place wasn’t big enough for.
After a few months, it became clear that moving wasn’t going to happen. When Christmas rolled around, I tried to push the disappointment out of my head but I couldn’t avoid it. As I tried to budget to buy the kids some presents, I thought about what didn’t happen. I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
There was a span of time last year when I kept asking Ryan when he’d have some money to transfer to our account. “Two weeks,” he’d always answer. Two weeks would go by, so I’d ask him again. He’d reply, “Two weeks.” This happened several times before I just stopped asking. Money was reinvested into the business and we didn’t pay ourselves.
Our differences in goal setting isn’t unique to the business, either. He used to tell me that he’d be home in 30 minutes when he knew that it’d be an hour. He would tell me what he thought I wanted to hear when what I needed was something realistic.
After watching that video, I shared my epiphany with Ryan. He looked at me sheepishly and responded, “Yeah, you’re right.”
I’m not blaming him for all of this. You’d think that after a few times I would’ve learned my lesson. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. I wanted to believe him. I wanted to believe in him.
The good thing to come out of all this is that we’re finally learning how to talk to one another. I wish it didn’t take us nearly eight years of marriage and more than four years of building a business. We’re still working at it but at least we’re trying. Ryan’s always been an optimist, saying that everything was great. I thought he was trying to protect himself, but now I know that he was trying to protect me.
So thank you, Alex Charfen, for showing us the right way to set goals.