What is the #1 Way to Build Your Business?


You can build your business, increase your influence, and grow your income easily by growing one of your best business assets . . . your email list.


Your email list is one of the most valuable resources in your entire business. And, finding the right subscribers is as easy as making a few subtle shifts in your overall business strategy.

And people ask me all the time…

Do I REALLY need to work on building my list?  Even if I’m building my social media presence?

And the short answer is . . .



What if I don’t have a list?

Start building your list.

What if I already have a list of 10,000?

Build your list.

What if I already have a list of 100,000?

Build your list.

The answer is the same for EVERYONE.

The bottom line is, the health of your business (and my business!) is directly connected to the size and strength of our email list. 

And for the record…

We have worked directly with clients who have social media accounts with MILLIONS of followers.  And I can without a shadow of a doubt tell you this…

I would take an engaged email list of 10,000 over a Facebook audience of 500,000 (even if it’s an engaged audience) ANY day.

And I would take that same list of 10,000 over an Instagram audience of 1,000,000 as well.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are advantages to growing your social media audience.  But for direct sales, the email list wins every time.

So the next logical question is, where do you start with your list building efforts?

Here’s what I like to do..

Brainstorm a big list of external problems – as many as possible.

I would literally take out a sheet of paper and I would brainstorm a whole bunch of problems that your market is experiencing.  

Think about your potential customers looking at Google or YouTube.  What would they be typing in?  What are they searching for?  What problems are they seeking solutions for?

Brainstorm as many different external problems as possible. The bigger the list, the better. Aim for ten different problems, but if you can go beyond ten to twenty or thirty different problems, that’s even better!

Then. . .

Offer a high-quality piece of content that solves one of those problems.


All you need to do now is create an opt-in magnet, or lead gen tool, or list builder, whatever you want to call it – but it’s essentially something that will help to solve their problem and move them forward.  It’s all about helping them make progress.  And you’ll give them this opt-in magnet in exchange for their  email address.


Again, this isn’t super complex. First step is to take one of those problems. Create a P.D.F. document that outlines a solution – BOOM. There’s your lead magnet. And once you have one, rinse and repeat by creating multiple lead magnets for all the various problems you brainstormed earlier.

Make sense?

Now here’s another idea… you can also . . .

Create list building events.


Is there a way that you can bring the collective wisdom of a whole bunch of thought leaders in your market together to share some ideas around one core idea?

For example, not long ago, I reached out to some of my friends, who are online marketing influencers—people like Russell Brunson, Jeff Walker, and Amy Porterfield, and we held a live event called Marketing Forecast Live.


I asked two questions.  That’s all they answered. Then we combined their answers into one heck of an awesome P.D.F. document where we presented the experts view on the up and coming trends in marketing.  Next, we started posting and driving traffic to that through ads. And in the end, we raised a bunch of money for a great cause and ultimately added thousands of names to our email list.

Last and most important. You need to …

Be intentional about building your list ALL – THE – TIME.


You’ve got to be intentional about building your list. The reality is. . .  very few people do this on a regular basis, and so, I want to change that for you.

I want you to focus on building your list – and I want you to make time for it on your calendar.  The challenge is, if you don’t put it on your calendar, it will get pushed to the backburner – because list building is important, but not urgent.

Time to crank up the urgency.  Put it on your calendar.  Schedule time for it.

Take out the old calendar and mark a date on a particular month when you’ are going to have a new lead magnet finished.

As you begin thinking about your new list builder, I thought about how I could help make this even easier for you.

So, I’ve put together a checklist to help you think through ideas you can run with right away.  It’s called the 4 Step Checklist for Low Stress List Building. And you can get it free by clicking below.


P.S.  Yes… I actually do the things I suggest you do 🙂  That’s why I created this checklist… to help you jump start your list building efforts by mapping it out step-by-step.  Click below to get it TODAY!

What do you do when you feel like marketing isn’t your strength?

Even though you may not feel as though marketing is your greatest strength, there is one simple step that you can take to make it WAY easier than you may have imagined.

One of the best ways, possibly the world’s greatest way, to market your business, is by selling through stories.

Share the stories of your clients

When you and I become focused on helping our clients get results, that helps us to craft better stories.

This is not necessarily about marketing you. Share the stories and the transformations that your clients are experiencing as a result of the product or service you are providing.

I like to think of it as celebrating your customers and your audience. Celebrate the transformation that they are experiencing and the results that they are getting.


Better results = Better stories to tell

Better stories = Easier Marketing


If our clients get better results, then we have better stories to tell. And, that helps us with our marketing efforts.

Let me show you what I mean…

I’d like to introduce you to Patty Palmer.

While working as an art teacher, Patty started her own blog. She wanted a place to showcase the work of her students for their parents.

Over time, art teachers began to find her blog and they had TONS of questions for Patty.

‘Where did you get that?’

‘Can I have it?’

So, she started to sell one-off lessons to teachers all over the country.

This only resulted in even more questions.

‘Which product do I buy?’

‘What do I do first?’

‘Is there a course?’

Then Patty considered starting an online membership to help other art teachers.

I started to understand what a membership model not only could do for me, but how it could help all of my readers and customers.” ~Patty Palmer


Fast forward just one year and Patty had a thriving community of over 900 members.

Today, that number continues to grow as Patty helps teachers, all over the world, create an art program for their needs.

Do you see how that story might make someone want to start a membership site of their own?

It’s not just the story, but the way the story is told as well. There are a couple of things to note about selling through stories. Notice, that neither my name or TRIBE are even mentioned in this story of Patty Palmer.

There’s a clear distinction between a testimonial and a case study.


The first thing that is important to know is that a testimonial and a case study are two separate and distinctly different things.

A testimonial would say something like, “Stu is amazing. Stu is awesome!” or “TRIBE is amazing. TRIBE is awesome!”  (Which, by the way, it is.)

That’s a testimonial, right?

A testimonial will praise you and your product or service.

A case study, however, is about the person you are featuring.

It’s not about you. It’s about them.

Now, will they mention you and will they mention your product?

Sure, but it is a totally different thing.


It’s about them. It’s about their story and about their transformation.


That’s a really important distinction to make. When it comes to selling through stories, people are far less likely to share a testimonial.

However, people love to share a good story. And, if you make it easy for them to share through social media, it is even more likely that they will share it.

Most importantly, your clients and potential customers will resonate more with a great case study story.


People will resonate more with case studies.


You will notice that case studies are positioned differently.

They are positioned to sell the benefit of whatever we are selling, but it’s not positioned to sell the actual product or even to sell me as the creator.

It’s all about the client’s story. It’s all about creating connection points throughout that story that your audience would be able to relate to.

That is the most important thing when you’re selling through stories.

The fact is, when your clients get results, they have a better story to tell. And, better stories make it WAY easier for you to market and grow your business.

So, at the end of the day, if you want to market yourself and your products easily, celebrate the success of your customers.

You and I want to be focused on helping our clients get results.

If we do that, we’ve got better stories to tell. And if we’ve got better stories to tell about our clients, our marketing becomes a whole lot easier.

Check out Patty’s Case study to see this in action. I hope it gives you lots of ideas on how you can share the success stories of your clients. 

When it comes to achieving our dreams, the small things matter.  From my experience, the small details are the things that can lead to BIG results.


And the good news is, it only takes a few steps in the right direction to make a huge difference in your business, in your relationships and ultimately your life.

So the question is, what small things matter?

Before I get into this, just know that internally, you’re probably going to have the knee jerk reaction of “oh I know this”.  But knowing it and applying it to your life are two totally different things. So I encourage you to take it in and then ask yourself about how you could apply it to your business.


Ok let’s go…

1) You need to know what you want to accomplish.

Sounds obvious right?  

But if I asked you specifically what you want, would you be able to tell me?

Unfortunately, most don’t.  They may have a vague idea.  But it’s “fuzzy” at best.

Imagine if you jumped in your car and had no idea where you wanted to go?  What would be the purpose of getting in the car?

(for parents with young kids… you get a “pass” if you answered “to get my kids to sleep” LOL…. but that’s the only real reason you’d get in a car without knowing where you wanted to go).

Unfortunately, too many of us live this way in our business and in our daily lives.   

At best we have rough targets of what we want to hit.  Perhaps it’s sales or list growth or retention rates we want to aim for.  But they’re too broad.  It needs to be specific and clear.  They should be so clear that if I asked, you’d be able to tell me right away.  

And if I asked 3 months from now, you’d say the exact same thing.

So that’s the first priority – getting clear on what you want.  Without that clarity, you’ll constantly flounder.

The most important element I believe you and I need in place to achieve big things in our lives is a goal setting PROCESS.

The second most important element you and I need in place  is to develop a goal-achieving PROCESS.

2)  Have a goal setting process in place.

Many times we have clear and specific goals.  But we don’t have a process for accomplishing them.  

As business owners, the goals are not enough.  We also need a process for achieving them.

For years, I used the same goal-setting process over and over.  The problem was, the process was broken.  And my goals were terrible.

It’s why I used to get anxious towards the end of every year.   In fact, I used to hate December, because it would send me into a total tailspin.  I’d find myself reflecting on the year realizing that I hadn’t accomplished any of what I set out to do.   Naturally, I’d be in a bad mood and would feel awful about things.  Add to that the cold weather and grey skies of winter . . . it wasn’t fun.

But here’s the “duh moment”… even though I kept getting terrible results, I didn’t make any change to my process.  I kept doing the same thing I had always done.  I just told myself that I had to try and be more disciplined this year.  

It was the same thing over and over again.  I would start by writing down my goals. AND by doing this, I’d feel really good about them (and yes, my goals were SMART –you know, specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time-bound).  

But that was never enough.  Because fast forward to the end of the year and I’d look at the list and realize that I hadn’t accomplished anything that I had set out to do. Setting goals wasn’t the problem.  It was the process of achieving them that was completely broken.

One year it dawned on me… if I don’t fix this, I’ll continue to fall further and further behind where I want to be.  So I started to work on my process for achieving the goals I would set.

Today, my process is much different (and I’m getting far better results).  It’s thanks to a process that I learned from Michael Hyatt.  It’s designed to set you up for success each year, AND it helps give your goals more context and meaning.  Doing this made all the difference for me.

So here’s what my process looks like now . . .

Every January first, my wife and I leave our home and get a hotel room in Toronto.  

Now, don’t get any funny ideas (you cheeky monkey!).  We’re there to basically plan our entire year 🙂

Doing this away from home has been very important for us because it helped us “block the time”.  We tried doing it at home one year and we ultimately got distracted and it wasn’t as effective.

The whole process takes about six hours and we follow a specific set of steps guided by Michael.   We watch his videos and then he walks us through his Best Year Ever process.  Then after each video, he provides an exercise and a series of questions to answer.  We reflect individually first.  Then we share our answers and reflect together.

The crazy thing is, it’s been amazing to see what this has done for our marriage as well.  Reflecting and setting goals together has definitely deepened our relationship, because we’re having valuable discussions about our dreams, vision, and what we want to accomplish.  And through it, I’ve gotten clear on how I can best support Amy and likewise, how she can best support me.

Most importantly, it’s helped us get clear on where we were aligned with our family goals (and where we need further discussion!  LOL).  But it’s a far healthier way to come at it.

But as it relates to my career, Michael’s process has also dramatically improved my “success rate”.  Do I hit my goals every time?  No.

But do I have a higher success rate than before?  Heck yeh!

So what’s the takeaway with all this?

If you and I aren’t satisfied with the results we’re getting, then we need to look at changing the process we’re currently using (just like my old process was not working for me).  You’ve got to change it up.  You’ve got to find a process that DOES move you forward. Otherwise . . . you guessed it. . . your results are never going to change.

I look at that goal list now and it fires me up, because I realize we made so much progress this year.  And if I really dig deep, what I’ve realized is that reaching the goal isn’t always the thing that feels the best.  It’s making forward progress toward the goals.  That’s what brings the greatest satisfaction.  So even if I don’t accomplish the goals, I still feel good about them because I’ve made forward progress.

These are two small ideas… but they produce big results.

  1. Know specifically what you want to accomplish
  2. Create a goal achieving process that gives meaning and purpose to your goals

I’d love to know more about the processes that you use for achieving your goals. Let me know in the comments. If you have any questions about the process I use, let me know that in the comments too.

The fastest way to succeed in business, is to become known for solving a specific problem.  


Let that sink in, because this is SO important.


The fastest way to succeed in business, is to become known for solving a specific problem.


Becoming known as a specialist is the #1 way to create tremendous momentum in your business, even if you are a complete beginner.

Because when you’re known for solving a specific problem, it becomes very easy for other people to spread the word about what it is you do.

“Oh, you want to grow your YouTube subscribers? You need to talk to James Wedmore.”

“Oh, you’re struggling with managing a business and balancing motherhood? You need to talk to Kate Northrup.”

“Oh, you want to eat a plant based diet? You’ve got to check out Kris Carr.”

The point is, people can’t spread the word about what you do if you try to help people with “everything”.

This is especially important in a large market. Buyers are searching for answers and they are looking for someone who really knows a lot about that particular subject.

So, you (or your company) want to be known for solving a particular problem.  You want to be known as THE go-to expert (or resource) in a particular area.

Let me give you an example:

The goal with my business is to help all entrepreneurs. That’s my big “why?”.

I want to help entrepreneurs build a business that is high profit and low in stress.

Because, I believe when we as entrepreneurs have a business that’s high in profit and low in stress, we’ll be much more open to giving to the people and causes that we’re passionate about.  And when we do that together, we have the power to make this world a better place.

That’s my objective… but that’s a really big objective, right?

So, I’m not starting there.

I started in a particular niche that I’m knowledgeable about.

I serve entrepreneurs by helping them develop a recurring stream of revenue using membership sites.

By being known as the “go-to guy” for membership sites, I’m able to consistently help entrepreneurs gain high profit with low stress by using the recurring revenue model in their business.

So, if you want to become known as a top specialist, here’s what you need to do:


STEP #1:  Start with a specific niche you want to serve


If you want to gain the maximum amount of momentum, you need to first narrow down WHO you want to serve.

And, I “get it”.  You want to help everyone.  That’s natural.  But it’s VERY hard to build momentum trying to serve “everyone”.

So, narrow it down.

Do you help beginners in your market?  Seasoned pros?

Is there a group of people within your market that you serve?

You narrow down your niche the same way you honed in on your specialty.

For example, last night I had dinner with an entrepreneur that has seen her business grow like gangbusters over the last three years.  And as I began talking to her, I could understand why.

Her website is http://www.workingagainstgravity.ca.  It’s a site that helps create customized nutrition plans for people looking to live a healthy lifestyle.  They then have coaches that work with you to make sure the plan works and you get the results you’re after.

Ok, sounds good, right?

But then I started asking a few questions, and Adee (the founder), mentioned something that immediately grabbed my attention.

I asked, “Who typically signs up for your site?”

She responded, “We have a lot of CrossFit athletes who use our service.  In fact, some of the top CrossFit athletes in the world use our service”.

Stop right there.

Customized nutrition plans for people looking to live a healthy life is broad.

But, customized nutrition plans for CrossFit athletes, much more narrow.

So, what’s happened is that word has spread amongst the CrossFit community that this is the service you need to use if you’re looking to improve your performance and recover faster from your CrossFit workouts.

CrossFit athletes are driven people.  They are always looking to better their performance.  So, if these customized nutrition plans will give them an edge, they’re all ears.

And now, she can’t onboard coaches fast enough to meet the demand that she’s facing.  And, in three years they’ve grown the service to serve thousands and thousands of monthly, recurring members (gotta love that subscription revenue… yeh baby!).

The point is, when you narrow down your market, the word will spread faster.

Next, is to identify one to three major problems that your market is facing. Then, pick one of them where you can offer specific solutions that get results.


STEP #2:  Look for pain points


One of the strategies that I highly recommend is once you know WHO you want to serve, now start looking for specific pain points. What are the external problems that your market is facing? What are they going to Google and seek a solution for?

People are online everyday searching for answers. They are always looking for a way to solve their problems. One of the best questions you can ask yourself is, “What solution do I have for someone else’s pain?”

One way to do this is to research Facebook groups, forums, or other places where people gather online. What are they struggling with? What kinds of questions are they asking?  What frustrates them?  What do they want to do faster?  Easier?

You want to make note of the struggles and challenges they are reporting to their peers. The more frustrated they are, the more likely it is that they will be willing to connect with someone who can help them.

So identify the specific pain points that stand out.

Here’s the key…


I know.  It’s not sexy.  It’s not fun.  But this is the stuff that makes your marketing efforts 10X more effective.

So do the research.  Find the problems!


STEP #3 – Become a specialist at solving a specific problem


This is where it all comes together.

It’s very valuable to you and your business when you can become the go-to guy or gal for solving a specific problem. You want to be top of mind when somebody has that problem or when they have a friend who has that problem so that they immediately think of you.

So, for me, when anybody brings up the topic of membership sites or recurring revenue, it’s common that my name is mentioned.  


In fact, recently someone (Michael Lovitch) who hosts really high events for entrepreneurs, made a Facebook post and asked the following:

Do you see what happened?

Within minutes, I had LOTS of people referring my name.

Sure there were a couple other people that were mentioned.  But for a lot of people, my name was the first one that popped into their head.

I am the person that comes to mind and that’s where I’ve been building my positioning and my particular platform. As a result, I get requests every single day for coaching, consulting and all that kind of stuff based on people who have referred me, and the reason is because I’m known for something specific.


To sum it all up . . .


The fastest way to become THE go-to guy or gal in your industry is to become a specialist.

Select a particular niche that you want to work in. Then, search out and find the specific problems people in that niche are experiencing.  Then, make it your mission to become a specialist at solving a particular problem. That’s how you become the go-to expert and that’s how you gain the most momentum.



How do you know when to just give up on an idea?

Sometimes in business we get stuck.  And being stuck for a while can make you feel like a failure. It may seem as though you’ve had countless ideas, but no progress beyond that.

When this happens, we say things to ourselves like, “I’m trying to build my tribe. I’m blogging. I’m reaching out on social media. I’m trying all kinds of things and it’s going nowhere!”

It’s not a fun place to be. It makes you feel as though everything you’ve tried is coming up short.

Trust me when I say this, we have all been there.  The early stages of growing our business is hard!

It can be really hard. And those of us who have been in business for a while often forget just how difficult it is in the beginning to build momentum.

But, regardless of  whatever stage we are in of growing our business, the most powerful force we can have on our side is… momentum.

When you’ve got momentum on your side, everything becomes easier.  In fact, you can do things completely “wrong” in some cases, and still come out on the winning side – all because you’ve got momentum propelling your forward.

So the question becomes…

What’s the easiest way to build your momentum?

I’m going to tell you 🙂

You ready?

Write this down…

Help people with a specific problem.


The fastest way to build momentum

is to solve a specific problem.


One of the things that I always advise, is for you to first identify the specific problem that you are solving for your market.

Try to get really specific about the problem. How will somebody in your market describe that problem they are experiencing?

People are always looking for a solution to their most pressing problem. And when you become “the” person who solves that problem, guess what happens?  

You start gaining momentum… quickly.  Business starts coming to you vs. you trying to chase it down.

So what solution do you have for someone else’s pain?

And here’s a VERY important distinction…


Be sure your solution aligns with the client’s problem


More often than not, when it comes to identifying whether an idea is good or whether it’s bad, make sure that you’ve got alignment around the solution you’re providing with the problem that people are experiencing.

I have worked with clients many times where they’ve had a product that just wasn’t resonating with their audience for whatever reason. It just was not getting the traction that they were looking for.

That didn’t mean the product was bad. It meant that they were not marketing it in a way that resonated with the audience which they were intending to serve.

So, their messaging was out of alignment.


Use the language that people use to describe their problem


There are a couple of ways I look to get my message in alignment. I like to use surveys.  Then I look at the results and look at the words my market is using to describe their problems.  So surveys are my first choice.

If I can’t do a survey for some reason (like when you’re in the very early stages and you don’t yet have an audience to survey), I dive into the comments on related blogs or forums.  And when I’m combing through these comments, I’m looking to find the language that people are using to describe their problem.

For example, if I was in the “parenting niche”, one of the problems that I know young parents might be experiencing could be related to getting their toddler to sleep at night (ask me how I know this could be a problem for young parents!  LOL).

So I would do a simple Google search like this:

And from there I’d pick a result and starting digging.

In the example above, I could see a forum thread right away where someone was describing the issue she was having with her toddler.

So I clicked on it and look what I found:

There is SO much gold in that response.

This woman not only describes the problem she is having (took the dummy away… now child is not sleeping and is crying out “I need you Mummy”).

But she then describes the ripple effect of that problem (her day time sleep is messed up)… and she is taking over an hour to fall asleep.

Of which…

This woman said “I feel like I have failed her”.


But that pain is real right?

I mean I can totally relate to that tension.

And more over, as a parent with young kids I can TOTALLY relate to when she said “I am desperate to give it back to her but I know that is not right either”.


This forum post is ABSOLUTE gold.


From a copywriting standpoint, we have everything we need.

We have a description of the external problem (the thing they want solved).  In this case, “get my toddler to sleep”.

We have the “costs” associated with that problem.  In this example it’s her child not getting rest, constant crying, routines been thrown off and the time it’s now taking to sort it all out.

And we also have the “internal problem”… meaning, the mental and emotional costs associated with this issue (ex. “I feel like I failed her”).

Plus there are SO many other nuggets or marketing angles we could run with – all based on this one response.   

And this is where the magic begins…

When you start using this language to reflect back the problem to your market, they instantly feel understood.  And furthermore, when you describe the solution you’re offering using the same language, you begin creating MASSIVE momentum.

It almost sounds too simple right?

(and it is).

But most business owners NEVER do this kind of research.  They “assume” they know.  

Big mistake.

But if you take a little time on the front end to get intimately familiar with how your market describes their problems, you’re going to begin gaining momentum.  Because when they see your materials, they’ll be instantly attracted to it.  They’ll feel like “you know them” – which you do.

And they’ll feel compelled to what you’re offering because it solves their specific problems.


The right problem, with the right solution, described in the right way, equals a home-run, winning combination.


Now, if, after doing that, you find that things still aren’t happening, then you may want to look elsewhere.  That’s when you move on.  

Make sense?

Listen, it’s hard to move on.  Especially if you’ve invested a lot of time and energy into your idea.

But if it’s not a problem that your market is looking to solve, you’ll ALWAYS be fighting an uphill battle.

And at the end of the day, that’s not fun.  That makes doing business hard. And there are already all kinds of challenging things about running your own business.  So if you’ve got your messaging dialed in and your market is still not responding, then it’s time to move on.  You’re going to save yourself a lot of heartache and headache.

It doesn’t mean that you can’t actually help people in the way that you want.  But maybe you can do it by focusing on another angle.

I’m not saying that what you’re doing is wrong and I’m not saying it’s a bad idea. I said first you want to make sure that you are not out of alignment in the way that you’re describing your solution with the problems that people have.

But, if there is alignment there, and you’re still not getting traction, then maybe you want to move on to something else.

First and foremost, check to see if your message is out of alignment, because this happens a lot.

Adjusting the alignment of your message can make all the difference in terms of the traction you get when you’re marketing your products and services.



Before giving up on an idea, here are the things I suggest you do:


  1. Identify a specific problem to solve.
  2. Ensure there is alignment between the problem you’re solving and the solution you provide.
  3. Make sure your messaging is in alignment with the way your clients describe their problem – AKA, do your research and use THEIR language.

If you’ve taken these three steps and you are still not getting the attention of your market, it’s time to move on to something else.

Be sure to follow these steps first though, because so often all that is needed is to bring your solution and your messaging into alignment with what the market is seeking.

What steps do you take when you’re not getting the support from your spouse or significant other when it comes to your entrepreneurial path?

First and foremost, I’m not a relationship expert. But I can share with you my experience of being a happily married entrepreneur for 10 years.
In the beginning, my wife, Amy, didn’t have any interest in business. In fact, she couldn’t stand it when I would come home full of excitement regarding my business. She had zero interest in “talking shop”.
Now, it’s much different. She absolutely loves business and has swung in the complete opposite direction. For example, I’m talking shop all day long at the office. When I get home, I don’t always want to talk about business, but now she does. So, we are still trying to find the balance LOL. But I think we’re pretty darn close.
Here’s the good news…
We didn’t just “arrive” at this point. We intentionally took a few action steps that made a big difference.
Starting with action step #1…

1) Create space to pursue your individual interests.

In the early days of our marriage, one of the things that Amy and I did really well, was to give each other the space to pursue the things that we were passionate about – without judgment. This is SO important.
For example, Amy absolutely loves to travel. If she is in any one place for more than two months at a time, she starts to get itchy feet. That girl LOVES to travel (and rarely ever does she like going back to the same place!). And some of the places she wants to travel, quite frankly, I don’t want to go (no offense honey 🙂 ).
But, I know it’s important for her. So, we create that container of space so she can still pursue those interests. Every year, she has a “girl’s trip”. Plus, we plan out our family and couple travel well in advance so that she always has something to look forward to.
(and I will admit, she even let’s me pick one trip a year! I told you she was a keeper 😉 ).
Similarly, there are things that I’m passionate about that she has no interest in. For example, I’m a very competitive guy and have played sports all my life (even won 2 National Soccer Championships while at university… ahhh the glory days).
The thing is, I still love to play. And I’ll go to great lengths to play at a high level (I used to drive 140+ minutes round trip twice a week to play a 40 minute game of indoor soccer).
Deep down, she thinks that’s crazy.
Me? That’s absolutely normal! LOL
But here’s the important lesson…
She gives me that container of space to pursue my individual interests without judgement.
We give each other that freedom. And we know it’s important for each other’s sanity so we are intentional about making sure the other person is pursuing those things.
Which brings me to action step #2…

2) Create space to be together.

See how this works?
The first action step is for you to do your thing and your spouse or partner to do theirs.
Now I’m suggesting you also do the opposite by intentionally crafting time to do things you both enjoy.
Sounds obvious right?
But it’s not.
You’ve got to make time to just be a loving husband or wife doing things that you both enjoy together. That may mean turning your entrepreneurial brain off for a while so you can actually be with each other.
If your spouse isn’t supportive in your business adventures, they may be overwhelmed by you talking about it non-stop.
I get it.
When you are starting out, in the midst of growing, or even if you have a thriving company it’s all you want to talk about, right? It’s exciting. Things are happening!
There’s opportunities and there’s people you’re meeting and all that good stuff.
And I understand, when you’re excited, you want to share it with your loved ones as much as possible. But the reality of it is, if they’re not excited about it . . . it can just be too much.
This even extends beyond your spouse. It extends into friend groups as well.
It took a while for me to get comfortable with the fact that I can talk about certain things with certain friends and I talk about other things with other friends. That’s because I know that some friends will not connect or relate to some of the things that interest me but they may connect with other interests I have.
Same goes with your partner. If they aren’t into business, talking non-stop about business is going to drive them crazy.
So identify those environments and those groups where you feel comfortable and safe to have those kinds of discussions and don’t push it with the people who it may not be ideal with.
And most importantly, make the time to actually do things you both enjoy.
For example, remember when I said I love sports?
Well there is one sport that Amy does enjoy… downhill skiing. In fact, she’s VERY good at it and would kick my butt every time if we ever had an “official” race. So every year, we make a point to go skiing together. Even though I’m an average skier, she puts up with me on the slopes because doing it together and being active outside is where the connection is made.
Another thing we do together is help others in our community. It fills both our hearts when we can help others in need. So we regularly pursue activities within our community where we get to do this together (and with the kids). And doing this creates GREAT conversation and a joint sense of gratitude for what we have in our lives.
Now I have one final example for you… and this one is a duesy (we’ll see if you get the lesson behind the lesson). You ready?
Ok here goes…

Amy and I also love real estate. So another thing we’ll commonly do together is take a drive and look at houses. And when we do, guess what happens?
We start dreaming together. We discover what each other likes and doesn’t like. And through this conversation, the dreams start to come to life (HINT HINT).
And guess what happens when your spouse who doesn’t like business starts dreaming about possibilities?
The inevitable question…
“What would need to happen for us to make this a reality?”
That’s the ticket my friend.
That was the question that sparked the entrepreneurial bug within Amy.
Because once she began dreaming, she realized that the most effective way to bridge the gap between our current reality and the one we were dreaming about was through our business.
Now I’m not saying this will magically happen for you. But what I am saying is that doing things together gives you the opportunity to have conversation. And if you sprinkle in some conversation about what you’d like your future to look like… well… you just never know what could happen 😉
Here’s the takeaway…
You want to make sure that you A, allocate time together, and B, make sure it’s time sharing the things that you both love to do and talk about.
(and be sure to slip in a conversation about your “perfect future”… you can thank me later 🙂 ).
So here’s the third action step…

3) Surround yourself with people who are on the same path.

You should have an outlet where you can talk shop, trade strategies back and forth and build each other up.
I’ve been in a Mastermind in some form or fashion for almost 15 years.
Some were paid groups. Some were peer groups. Some were big. Some were small.
Some met more regularly than others, but it didn’t matter. The value of the Mastermind comes from being surrounded with people who you feel safe sharing your entrepreneurial experiences with. This is a group where you are able to ask questions and get feedback. They become your sounding board because they “get it”. They’re in the trenches too. And that support is necessary for you to be able to move things to the next level.
I can tell you that my business would not have grown anywhere near the pace that it has grown had it not been for a Mastermind in which I participated.
If you’re not in a Mastermind yet or you haven’t found a group of other entrepreneurs where you can exchange ideas, I highly recommend that you do so.
And it doesn’t have to be difficult.
There are plenty of paid masterminds (I run one called the IMPACT Mastermind). But if you don’t join a paid group, just get together with a peer group. The key is, you want to be organized so that you meet on a regular basis.
Trust me when I say, you need that supportive environment… regardless of whether your spouse is on board or not. That group of people will become your cheerleaders. They are going to support you and help get you to the next level.
And when that happens, guess what else will happen? There’s a good chance you can win your spouse over then too – especially if you’ve had that allocated spouse time 😉

Remember these steps for creating a supportive relationship with your spouse:

  1. Create space to pursue your individual interests. It’s important to take time to do the things you love to do.
  2. Create space to be together. You need time to just be together, doing things that are important to both of you.
  3. Surround yourself with people who are on the same path. This gives you an outlet to get support and talk shop without overwhelming your loved ones.

Your turn: How are you creating a supportive environment?

Entrepreneurship… it’s exhausting, right? 

It’s good to feel drained at the END of the day.

In the middle of the day, that’s not so good.

Oftentimes we need a “boost” to keep us going, especially when we’re working with deadlines and important projects.

So how do you boost your mental energy when it’s low?

I think everybody has different methods for this.

These are the ones that work for me:

Listen to Music That Pumps You Up

The fastest and easiest way for me to give myself a boost is to put on a good old dance song.

That can include going in the car and cranking up a tune that I can sing at the top of my lungs, or having a little dance party with the kids at night where we’re running around the house and we’re dancing to a song.

Dancing and music immediately energize me, so that’s one thing that I always do.

Read Feedback From People You’ve Impacted

The second thing that I do is I love reading testimonials or case studies.

I also enjoy reading comments from customers who have received value and gotten results.

This connects me to the “why?” of my business.

I’m doing this because I want to help people. I want to serve entrepreneurs.

Reading their success and the momentum that they’re creating in their business fires me up!

Connect With Your BIG “Why?”

What’s your big “why?” – why do you do what you do?

For me, my business is designed to serve entrepreneurs but my entire CAREER is designed to spend time with my wife, Amy, and the kids.

Sharing experiences with the people who matter most is what I live for. It’s my BIG “why?”.

It’s easy to second-guess ourselves as entrepreneurs. Sometimes we resent the responsibility that entrepreneurship brings and we find ourselves wishing for something more simple and stable.

When I’m feeling this way, I remind myself that entrepreneurship allows me to provide my family with so many freedoms and opportunities that I couldn’t if I worked a “regular” job.

Thinking about this brings me right back into focus. It energizes me and makes me remember why I’m doing this.

Right now, the opportunities for you and I are incredible. This is the greatest time ever to be an entrepreneur.

We have the chance to contribute to our family, to our community, and to the world in a much bigger way than we ever have before.


There’s probably a million little ways to give yourself a boost, but these are the ones that work for me:

  1. I listen to music that pumps me up. I sing at the top of my lungs or I dance with the kids.
  2. I connect with my customers and listen to their stories and the progress and the results that they’re making.
  3. And, most importantly, I connect to the bigger why.

Your turn: How do you boost your energy when it’s low?