In entrepreneur’s circles, it’s often said that you simply won’t succeed in business long-term if you are not crystal clear on your “why”… that is, WHY you are putting in the grueling hours and sacrificing time, money and sometimes sanity to make your dream a reality.
While I believe that being clear on your why really is crucial (and by the way, my “why” are two little boys named Avett & Escher and a woman who is FAR too good for me, Claire), what I think is even MORE important is making damn sure that you have DEDICATED SUPPORT from whomever it is that makes sense in your life. In my life, it’s my wife, Claire.
Gary Vaynerchuck discusses this topic a bit in his most recent book, #ASKGARYVEE. When asked what the single most important factor in his success has been, Gary answered without any hesitation that it was the “air cover” that his was was able to provide that gave him the freedom to stick and move however he needed to to make things happen for the business. He was talking about his wife being the General when it came to the kids and the family, but he was also really focusing on how his wife provided a sounding board for him, and backed him up with unflinching confidence and reassurance that he was rock solid, and totally in the clear to do whatever he needed to do to grow the business.
To that end, I remember walking on a beach in South Carolina with my wife (and then fiancee), and having what I thought would be a fairly difficult talk with her about what my “makeup” was… how I was a born-and-bred, grinding entrepreneur, and how there were just a lot of sacrifices and risks that came with this kind of life. I was afraid that she might not really understand who I was or why I made the types of decisions that I do, and I suppose I wanted to give her an “out”, just in case. And I recall that she just looked at me and laughed, took a breath and said “I know” – and that was that. Today is Claire & I’s 9th Wedding Anniversary, and she’s continued to give me rock solid, special forces-style air cover that I know I require to flourish and be the businessman that I am.
And folks, that’s really my message today. Know your why, because that’s what it is all about. But make SURE that you have your support system dialed in and tied down. Be that person your spouse, girlfriend or boyfriend, or a network of close, trusted friends, foster it and grow it. Because at the end of the day when the bullets are flying and things are getting hairy, you’re support system is what will get you through to the finish line.