When To Lead And When To Support

Understand when you should take the supporting role in your marriage

When to lead image

Have you ever felt like you were working you a$$ off, yet going nowhere?

According to Melanie Pinola of Life Hacker, you should consider quitting when you experience more frustration than reward.

That’s EXACTLY where I’m at and have been for the past month.  As an entrepreneur and an addict of innovation, I love learning how to create something, crafting a plan, and then bringing the idea to life.  Fortunately, up until this point, my business ventures have afforded me pretty instant gratification for my hard work and determination.

My Love/Hate Relationship with Content Marketing

That is, until now.  About five months ago I was introduced to content marketing, by marketing guru Neil Patel. 

What is content marketing?  The creation of content that can be shared on a variety of platforms such as video, text, podcasts, and social media, that’s intended to attract customers.

I though it sounded fun, challenging, and very rewarding to rank for keywords simply by providing quality content to perspective customers. 

I hit the books.  I began to study how it all works, best ways to growth hack, and all the tips and tricks to get Google to like my stuff. 

My personal struggle in all of this is the mind f*ck of not knowing and waiting.  Patience is OBVIOUSLY not my strong suit and I have never had to wait so long to see if a marketing tactic is going to pay off.

I know Gary Vaynerchuk would be screaming if he could read that I’m saying I’m frustrated with the process after FIVE short months and I agree, I’m being a bit of a baby (okay a BIG one). 

AND I’m really struggling, to the point that it’s affecting my mood and my roles at home (as you can see I’m a huge fan of words of encouragement—so when I hear nothing—it’s damn hard).

Go Ask Your Mother!

So I did what any adult in my situation would do, I sought out advice from an elder and long time entrepreneur, Donna Frechette (a.k.a., my mom).

My mom is the greatest person to go to for basically anything.  She cuts through the white noise and delivers sound practical advice (whether I’m ready to hear the truth or not).

Her advice was to step back and stop trying to force things.  She pulled in God because she seizes any opportunity to bring the Lord into the conversation (love you mom) and told me to trust in the slow process.

She stated that it’s my turn to take a more supportive role in my marriage because my husband’s business is about to take off to another level and that he needs me to man the home front and pick up the slack with the kids.  Spot on mom and something that I CLEARLY missed.

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I was reminded that Ryan (my hunk of a man) was 100 percent dedicated to launching not one but three of my books this summer.  And now it's his turn to shine while I help him explode into his next level.

Quite honestly, my mind was fighting hard against the point she was trying to make but my gut won out.  I could feel it to my core that my mom was right (as usual).  It was time to back off.

Exhale…

So how do you know when it’s time for you to back off from a fight (business wise)?

If you’re married and both trying to grow in your careers at the same time, things are going to suffer at home.  Just like Brad and Angelina Pitt take turns working on projects, you too have to play nice with your partner. 

Take turns climbing and advancing.  While one expands the other needs to get behind and pick up the slack. 

That’s what I was missing.  I forgot the importance of turn taking and the value of the supportive role.

My new action plan:

  • Take a break from growth hacking
  • Take care of the home front
  • Enjoy the $h*t out of my kids
  • Continue to be an incredible wife to a more wonderful man

Not everyone has an elder to call but you do have something very similar, your gut instinct.

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Take a moment to slow down and evaluate where you and your partner are.  Are you working on big projects or both advancing in your careers? 

Check the marital temperature and talk with your partner.  Ask if there is a way to take turns having the limelight and figure out who goes first and what it will look like in terms of switching roles when the time comes. 

Marriage and business have many similarities.  Great communication and having a plan are two of the top skills that you need to have in both arenas. 

Enjoy having the conversation with your spouse tonight and deciding what is best for the bigger picture rather than hyper focusing on the short-term struggles.

Jessica is the author of Back 2 Love and How to Start a Mental Health Private Practice.  She owns a private practice in Minnesota where she lives with her husband and two kids.  Join the conversation on Facebook.