I’ve Never Stopped a Fight for A Selfie!
11 years ago, on Halloween in 2007, Monique and I were married in beautiful City Hall in San Francisco.
I can’t quite believe where those years have gone. In that time, we’ve lived in India, China, San Francisco, London, and LA. We’ve traveled around Africa, Asia, Europe and across the United States. And we’ve created two amazing little people along the way.
We’ve built a thriving business – and a community of high performing coaches and leaders. And the book I wrote with my friend Steve Chandler has sold 50,000 copies.
Monique performed across the world and even for Quincy Jones! Her 3rd album debuted at #2 on the Jazz charts on iTunes, and her one-woman show won an award at The Hollywood Fringe Festival.
FINALLY STARTING TO GET IT…
Last year Monique wrote a post on Facebook:
“Wedding day. Ten years ago. I think I’m finally starting to get this thing called marriage…”
STOP COMPARING HOW YOU FEEL ON THE INSIDE WITH HOW THEY LOOK ON THE OUTSIDE…
If you’ve ever followed us on Facebook, you’ll have seen lots of happy, smiling photos over the years.
We actually both try to share pretty honestly and openly about the ups and downs of our relationship.
But we’ve never yet taken a photo in the midst of an argument!
When tears are running down our faces, neither of us has yet suggested, “Let’s do a Facebook Live!”
And we’ve never stopped a fight for a selfie!
[We were out for lunch when I told Monique about this article. She said let’s create the world’s first argument-selfie!]
So you could get the impression that 11 years of marriage has been a breeze.
And it hasn’t.
In the past 11 years together we’ve laughed a lot and we’ve also cried a lot.
We’ve been together through births and deaths and fun and heartbreak together.
We’ve had great adventures. And we’ve had nights we didn’t even want to get in bed with one another.
We actually separated for a while in 2008. (If you’ve been to Monique’s one-woman show, she shares that interesting part of our story quite openly).
We’ve faced a bunch of challenges, we’ve shed more than a few tears, we’ve shouted at each other (but never thrown anything) and we’ve definitely used a lot of bad language over the years!
[At San Francisco City Hall for our wedding in 2007]
BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
Once the doors close to our house, I am very grateful that you will never ever see the ‘little boy’ in me who shows up, every time he feels “disrespected.”
In fact, I’d be mortified if you ever saw that side of me.
SUCCESS IS VISIBLE. FAILURE IS INVISIBLE.
One of the most insidious problems with Facebook is that we end up comparing the WORST moments of our world with the VERY BEST moments of everyone else’s.
We FEEL our relationship challenges (DEEPLY) but we SEE everyone else’s happy, smiling photos with their partners.
We FEEL our business challenges (DEEPLY) but we READ about everyone else’s wonderful business successes.
We’re not comparing like with like and we don’t know it.
I’m sure I’ll find an exception one day, but I’m yet to meet a couple who are many, many years into a relationship who haven’t navigated hardships, conflict, anger or frustration as part of their relationship journey.
Likewise in business. I’ve coached some of the most successful leaders and entrepreneurs out there. And to a person, they all have stories of struggle, challenge, and failure.
In fact, they didn’t succeed DESPITE the challenges, they – more often than not – succeeded BECAUSE of them.
For most of my dating life, I was always the one who bailed on relationships.
It was very hard for me to stay committed.
However, I’m embarrassed to admit that it wasn’t easy for me to leave relationships (read No More Mr. Nice Guy if you are curious) and I’d often just make things so uncomfortable that my partner would leave first…
But something changed when I met Monique.
I made a decision to be ALL IN.
I was not going to bail.
I’ll be honest, I’ve been close a couple of times.
And so has she!
But I somehow knew that this time I was fully in.
NO MATTER WHAT
Inside both of our wedding rings we had a few letters engraved – the first letters of the words: “We Agree To Stay Connected No Matter What.”
I made the same decision with coaching.
I was fully in.
I sold my house in London to fund the first two years of my career. I very consciously burned my bridges. I am not necessarily recommending it but I knew that I didn’t want a way back.
I made the same decision with 4PC – my community of high-performance coaches and leaders – because I have made a deep, personal commitment that I am all in on for 25 years. We’re about to start Year 5, which means we’ve barely scratched the surface.
Can I guarantee that I’ll be a coach to top performers in 20 years?
Or celebrating my 20th wedding anniversary in 2027?
Or celebrating the 25th anniversary of 4PC in 2040?
Well, results are always out of our control.
But commitment. That’s on me.
And I’m committed.
And 11 years in, I think I’m finally starting to get this thing called marriage, too!
What are YOU willing to COMMIT to for the next 25 years – no matter what?
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