Michelle knew what I needed to do and spoke on it. Her suggestion was exactly what I needed to do. The question is, did I do it?
My son Trey is a lot like I was when I was his age. He’s 9 years old and he’s got a lot going on. I’ve mentioned many him and our troubles in raising him many times on my Tuesday podcast The Truth About Being an Entrepreneurial Dad/Husband.
He’s a good kid overall. Perhaps this is just me over analyzing things. It’s sometimes really hard not to. He’s my son. I often call him Mini-Me. He’s a replica of me (personality wise) but he looks totally like his mother.
The funny part is that he’s got all the same character traits that I had when I was his age.
Shy (when I felt uncomfortable)
Craving my dad’s attention
All of these things were EXACTLY who I was. I was the oldest of three. He’s the oldest of four. I was named after my dad and so is he. I wanted to be like my dad to a T. He was my hero and everything he said made total sense to me.
He’s the same damn way.
So you’re probably thinking, what’s the problem here Fred? I don’t get it.
My problem is that I’m too involved in my business and I haven’t devoted enough attention to him or his sisters for that matter. And it’s really my fault. I’ve placed an incredible amount of demand on myself and it’s taken its toll with increased stress levels. So I’ve been more likely to snap on the smallest things than I was before.
One day, my son mentioned about using something of mine that was located in the garage. Something small but I responded by snapping at him and telling him no way dude. I’ve lent you guys (the kids) my stuff too many times for you to only destroy it the same day. NO. SORRY.
That ended that. Or at least I thought it did. This is where Michelle put me in my place. As I came back from the garage, she gently massaged that I need to stop what I was doing and go and hang with my son. She mentioned that he was upset with me for snapping at him and it made him mad and now he was pouting.
This could’ve had two different outcomes.
Father Knows Best - Ego
I could’ve easily went back to what I was doing and told my wife that my son was overreacting. I mean at the time, I was cleaning the garage. A chore that could easily wind up taking a week based on the junk level that has been compiled over the winter.
I was focused. I didn't have time to give him attention. I was too busy thinking, dude, when is the next time I’m going to have this kind of opportunity to clean the garage with no real interferences?
I say this is the ego part because many dads in my situation would’ve said the same thing that I would've said. I’m busy bro, I want to get this shit done. He’ll be fine.
That outcome would’ve been a brick on the wall. And that wall would’ve kept building and building and building until he decided on his own to shut me out. And perhaps I would've wanted to talk to him later when he was a teenager but the wall has already been built and now it’s reinforced with a security system to his inner feelings.
All because my ego of myself was too big to give him some time.
Father Takes Wife’s Advice
One thing that we don’t do is take our spouses advice. This is why it’s key to have the proper spouse in your corner. I’ve said this often: you can’t fight the world's problems and your spouse and win in life.
It’s too much to overcome mentally.
But when you have the right spouse, she can let you know when you need to do something. And that’s what Michelle did. She pulled me aside and spoke the truth to me. She told me that Trey admired me and looks up to me. She also mentioned to me that Trey thinks the world of me.
I had to stop myself and think about what she was saying. I had to understand that Trey was the young man that I was. He was the sensitive young man that wanted all of his dad’s attention. My problem was that my dad worked too much but also gave his friends more attention than me. And that meant going out to the bar and hanging with them until the sun came up.
I had an ugly flashback of how that looked when I was young. It broke my heart. What the fuck am I doing?? I don't want to replicate what my dad did? I gotta stop this shit.
And that’s what I did. I decided to stop cleaning the garage and pull out the football to run routes with him and teach him about the game of football. Yes, he watches it on DirecTV NFL Sunday Ticket with me but now he really wants to play tackle football.
And now I have to teach him the basics. I will be coaching in Sandpoint this fall 2018 and he will be a part of the team.
So to get out in front of that, we ran a few drills and did some route running. It was the best 1-½ hours that I spent with him in a long time. We bonded out there with our experience. It was something that I wish my dad would’ve done with me. Memories that I prayed to have were memories that I was now creating with my son.
The garage is still dirty. And of course the work is always there for another day. But the key is that I stopped and made a decision based on my wife’s insight to see that I needed to change my attitude.
I wrote about Michelle constantly saving me from myself. She is such an important part to my entrepreneurial journey. She is the unseen and quiet superhero that you don’t see. If it wasn’t for her, I would've kept going.
This is why I say it’s important to have a coach in your life. As good as I am as a mindset coach, I still need a mindset coach. I still need people that are able to see my flaws and to call me on them.
Make sure that your spouse is someone that can call you on your bullshit or fuck ups. Be sure your spouse supports all aspects of the family and isn’t looking to sabotage situations for personal gain. A good spouse will always help you see things that you absolutely cannot see. It’s up to you to recognize the suggestions as help as opposed to allowing the ego to get in the way of the proper decision making.
Having a Supportive Spouse is Key - YouTube LIVE, Dec. 27, 2017
Michelle and I will begin #1 Mindset Couples Coaching in a few weeks. We will help entrepreneurs take their relationship to the next level. It’s all about having a relationship that’s looking to build and grow together to secure a future.
Without Michelle’s help and advice, I would have messed this one up badly. Thanks Michelle.