Our Third Pillar: meditations on success as a couple

This is Part 1 of a 5 part series. To see the whole series, read the introductory post.

Our third pillar. Imagine a three legged stool with only two legs. It doesn’t work well does it? Sure, you can sit on it. But it requires effort. It requires a constant attention to balance. Sitting on a two-legged stool means you are never quite comfortable, never quite relaxed. When Faye and I sat down to figure out what was important in the future, we realized that while we had a great deal of success in our lives, we were sitting on two legged stool when it came to us a couple.

Many things are important to us, but as we sat down to take stock of today, we quickly realized that there were two things for which we were eternally grateful. First and foremost was the fact that after almost 20 years together, we are still each other’s best friend. Our marriage and our focus on us has been a cornerstone of our lives and will be as we succeed in the future. Acknowledging and respecting that as a powerful component to our success strengthens the relationship today and our success in the future.

The second piece was our physical fitness and overall health. Both Faye and I have struggled through the journey to physical health. While that’s a journey that is never done, we’ve both reached long standing physical goals in the last year and feel that we have a solid basis on which to go forward. Our physical fitness is a vital part of a future where I’m doing Ironmans and Faye is jumping competitively as we reach the ripe old age of 70. It is key that our marriage is strong and reciprocal so that we both have the time and space to pursue our passions. And it is vital that we both have a physical outlet that strengthens our mental state which reinforces our marriage.

The third pillar, though, is that of finances. While I would never say that we are not on a solid financial footing, what we don’t have is consistency. Having chosen to live outside the daily 9-5, we have chosen to rely on ourselves for any and all income. While that sounds obvious, it is a fundamental shift from the foregone conclusion that money will arrive in your bank account once or twice a month. The knowledge that if you don’t get out and sell, there’s no income. That if you don’t get out and work, there’s no income. That if you can’t figure out how to efficiently run a business, there’s no income. While we’re not alone in this, the strain of those responsibitlies is draining.

We realized that, like sitting on a two-legged stool, that single missing leg was taking away from comfort that the other two should be providing. We realized that our own baggage when thinking about wealth was sabotaging the hard work we’d put into our marriage and our health. So we have committed, and are investing in, shoring up that consistency. Ensuring that we are a solid base gives us a place to build the future we can see before us.


Jon Holt

A coach, an entrepreneur, and a no-bull advisor in growing small businesses through the use of practical strategy, light-weight governance and sitting back and thinking about running your business, regardless of what you do.

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