I Do. It Means More Than You Think.
OK, this is going to go in 15 different directions, but like a Tarantino Movie, it’ll all make sense in the end...
Let me start with a clear statement: It’s weird to have fans and followers, it’s very weird.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not delusional, I am not some major celebrity, I am a business owner, a CEO, an artist with entrepreneurial tendencies that developed a small following because of the brand I’ve created. I don’t have billions of followers nor millions of followers, but I have hundreds of thousands of followers and that’s pretty cool... and weird, did I mention weird?
It was never my intention to have any of this “fame” or be a “celebrity” in the space of entrepreneurship and business, it just happened. But it happened because I was intentional. No, I wasn’t intentional about becoming a leader in the space, I was intentional about building my business. I was intentional about sharing the journey. I was intentional about sharing 95% of my life with the public because I knew the value of sharing the journey. Gary Vaynerchuk taught me that and it’s incredible.
So, back to the title of this blog…
Marriage is like a business, there is a leader, there is a manager, and if you have kids, there is a team. Just like a business, marriage can be turbulent at times, frail at times, even the best relationships can feel the strain of everyday challenges.
Does Happily Ever After Exist?
I’ve been mostly happily married to my wife, Allison, for nearly 25 years. Yes, I say “mostly” because we’ve had our rough times, every marriage does. But none are as tough as when you are launching a new business... that’s when the business of marriage is put through one of its toughest tests.
Allow me to go back a few years to paint a clear picture...
It was a sunny Monday, March 6, 2017, when a I saw a post in a Facebook group. The post was simply a cry for help from a young marketer struggling to convert customers with his Facebook Ad. I did what I always do, I helped him. In just a few minutes, I explained why the Ad wasn’t working and re-wrote it in the comments section of the Facebook post. Essentially, that single act started a new business.
Starting a business when you’re young, single, and unattached, I imagine, is way easier than when you’re 49 and have five children. Starting a new business is a lot easier when you have no responsibilities. But, imagine trying to start a business while running another company and being a dad to five children, two of which are special needs...
For those of you who aren’t familiar with my story, you can learn a little bit about it in my book Jab Till It Hurts. My wife and I fostered 19 children and adopted three. Yes, three of my five children are adopted. No, I’m not a saint, I don’t want your accolades or praise, in fact, let me state publicly how uncomfortable it makes me when people tell me what a good person I am for doing this. No, I’m not. My wife and I just felt like it was the thing that we needed to do. We felt drawn to it. I wouldn’t change it for the world.
So, this new business started by accident in a Facebook group and over the course of about six weeks, it starting to grow... out of control, rapidly!
My wife was very understanding, at first. We didn’t know if this thing was going to even become a business, whether it would become self-sustaining, if it was just a blip on the radar, but I had to find out, I had to explore it.
At the six week mark, Ad Zombies had at least one customer on every continent except Antarctica. As of the publishing of this article, we still do not have a single customer in Antarctica and it still pisses me off. As I was saying, we were growing and the time I spent locked in the office was growing too. During the first year of business’s growth, my family suffered greatly for it. A workday of 5 AM to midnight became the norm for me.
My tolerance for distraction, disruption, for my family, became unbearable. The business of marriage was, I felt, on shaky ground. Then, one day, it happened. Allison walked into my office and sat down, the pressure had been building for both of us, and we both started to cry. While she recognized that I was growing something remarkable, the neglect our marriage had suffered combined with the pressures of growth, caught up to both of us.
We found ourselves sitting together in a therapists office, it was time for a reset. By the way, there is nothing wrong with going to a therapist. Throughout our marriage we have gone in for what we call a tune-ups. Yes, you could equate it to a tune-up you give your car, but this is a tune-up for our marriage.
We both voiced our concerns, we both spent time thinking about our relationship, and we both knew that our marriage was stronger than the strain this new business was putting on it. Yes, we course corrected and at times, I need to be punched in the face, figuratively not literally, to make sure I stay on task when it comes to the business of marriage. Our marriage could have ended, our marriage could have been destroyed, but because we had already been through so much in our time together, we were able to work as a couple on the things that were broken.
Why do I share this information with you? Why am I being so public about something so private? it’s because, if this story impacts one person, one marriage, one relationship in a positive way, it serves its purpose...
In Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas, a wise James Patterson writes, “Imagine life is a game in which you are juggling five balls. The balls are called work, family, health, friends, and integrity. And you're keeping all of them in the air. But one day you finally come to understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. The other four balls… are made of glass. If you drop one of these, it will be irrevocably scuffed, nicked, perhaps even shattered.”
Marriage, part of the family ball, is a fragile ball indeed. Don’t let it slip through your fingers.
Having a strong work ethic is one thing, having a strong work ethic that jeopardizes the love and support of the people around you is another. Make sure as you grow your business, you continue to work on the business of marriage, relationships, or friendships. They are too valuable to let drop.
ken ‘spanky’ moskowitz
founder & ceo