"Can I give you a piece of feedback?" I ask my husband.
"No," he says, solidly.
I know why he's so adamant...
He continues to explain to me the crux of the online program he's building for teaching children's book and fiction authors.
Finally, after a few minutes, he looks at me.
"Okay," he says. "Now I'm ready to hear your feedback, but I want to preface this by saying that in the past, whenever I've shared my ideas with you, you've always seemed not very supportive."
In my way of giving constructive criticism, I realized that all of my words sounded much more like simply criticism than anything else.
I put my hand on his chest.
"I hear what you're saying," I explain to him.
"And, I totally believe in you! I simply want you to charge an amount that honors your knowledge and your time, and where you have it now, I feel like you're pricing your services too low."
"Okay," he responds. "I hear you. I also want to act in integrity that I'm newer to this, and I know that my target audience isn't the same as yours — most of these people are writing a children's book as a passion project, not as a means to get rich. So, they likely don't have the resources to invest. I want to teach them differently than all the programs I signed up for, the ones that were such a waste of time and money, yet sold themselves at price points that really took advantage of people."
"That's amazing," I respond. "I really see your approach."
And there it is. A completely different interaction than we could have had, even a few months ago.
How have things changed?
I went to a female entrepreneurial networking event here in Austin, and during the dinner, I met a woman who said that she leads a conscious couples program.
I immediately wanted to learn more.
At the time, my husband was out of town with our daughter, and I realized that something needed to shift substantially between us.
When my husband got back from his trip, I approached him about scheduling a session. I was hesitant, because we'd already tried a couples' counselor on Kauai, then another one when we got to ATX, to little avail. Yet, he agreed to it.
Just yesterday as we were both working from home, he shared:
"In one session with Brave & Megan, we've gotten more out of all the people we've tried to see about our relationship."
It's absolutely true.
Here's the thing:
Throughout your life, you MUST find what works for you.
I believe in counseling and therapy wholeheartedly, but I also believe that sometimes, you need to find a different way.
What's beautiful about Brave & Megan's approach with The Alchemy of We, is the fact that there are two of them working with us at once.
They're a couple and they have looked back at us to say, "Y'know what? What you've gone through is mirrored by what we've gone through."
That alone normalizes things.
It removes the guilt and shame that there's something wrong with us, that we're completely abnormal or unable to be saved.
It's not to say that everyone will have a happy ending.
But, it is to say that if you're willing to show up to do the work, things can be remarkably different.
What does any of this have to do with business-building?
It's simple — no matter what stage of your business or how big or small you'd like the profits to be, you will always be dealing with relationships.
The relationships with clients.
The relationships with your team.
The relationships that are impacted by the work you do, both personally and professionally.
If you can't get your relationships right, your life suffers. Simply think about how crappy everything else feels in your life, when your homefront is falling apart.
That's how much relationships matter.
Here's the healthiest of relationships for you,