Say hello to the 3C’s- the methodology behind Whole Life Entrepreneurship.
If you were to ask me on any given day whether I have a “good” or a “bad” life and relationships think that about 80% of the time I would say good. But what about that other 20%? When it comes to the relationship part It truly depends on the day and the circumstances of the moment.
Now, to be fair, the longer you’re with someone the more these things become a matter of perspective. There is a natural ebb and flow. Still, it’s a loaded question, because sometimes we don’t really know we’re in trouble until we’re in trouble.
So, how then can we take the temperature of our relationships as they are now and why would we even want to? Let’s start with the WHY first.
It’s important to keep tabs on the condition of your relationship, because it is often the widest part of the foundation on which the rest of our lives are built. Think about it; where you live, how your jobs fit in with each other, how you raise your children.
If hard times hit and your foundation is strong, you’re golden. If it isn’t some serious damage can be done. As business owners it’s prudent to be prepared for any number of difficulty. Not everything is a sure bet and there is often some level of risk involved in our lifestyle.
“Hard Times” can come in many forms. We have some friends who coasted through life together like it was the easiest thing in the world UNTIL……. their oldest became a teenager. They quickly discovered that they had divergent methods for how to deal with that particular “hard time”.
As business owners it’s prudent to be prepared for any number of difficulty. Not everything is a sure bet and there is often some level of risk involved in our lifestyle.
As to the question of HOW, Adam and I have thought about this a lot and we’ve come up with a very basic assessment tool that works for us. The 3 C’s- Community, communication, and chill- help us to evaluate where we are and how strong we feel as a couple.
We like to have this discussion on date nights every 3 months or so, just so that we stay on the same page. It’s a great little conversation (sometimes fight) starter.
Communication- do you know what is going on in your partner’s life and do you feel that your own needs are being heard. It’s easy to breeze past this because it’s often uncomfortable to discuss. I’ve even been asked by readers, “Why would I ask my significant other if they’re being heard and dig into communication when there doesn’t SEEM to be a problem? Why rock the boat?” Well, preventative maintenance. We get so busy in our day-to-day lives managing by the moment and putting out fires that we often can’t even take the time to dissect these moments. Then over time the build up causes a blow up that seemingly comes out of nowhere.
Also, as the wife of a busy business owner, I personally feel that it’s just nice to have Adam’s attention every now and then. It’s nice to hear him ask because it shows he cares.
When we discuss this we often rate communication on a sale of 1-10 (10 being the best) for both hearing and being heard- two separate scores from each of you. This is always interesting because I often feel like I always listen to Adam’s needs and I’m killing it as a wife in general, but I always rate myself higher on this than he rates me.
This is a great exercise. Not only because it gives us the chance to talk about things that could have been a fight outside of a fight setting, but also because it gives us the opportunity to explore how we could have appealed to our partners in the best way THEY receive information and teaches us how to better be there for each other better.
Good communication takes practice and effort. It’s not all just about mushy-gushy feelings. Regular Family Business Meetings can also help get in some good communication practice and eliminate common misunderstandings. There are tons of scheduling tools and home bookkeeping software to communicate some of those household affairs.
If you find that over time you still struggle in the communication area you may consider going back to the “Community” portion of the assessment and add a therapist to your list of support people. Adam and I have been known to go to a therapist just to have a mediator to help navigate tricky issues.
Chill- not, just Netflix and Chill, though that is part of it. The bigger work here is done inside yourself. What fills you up as an individual? Do you even know? Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Do you make self care a priority? Do you build in time for personal growth and development?
This is also an opportunity to look back on the last few months and see when you’ve had alone time; intimate time and just time to be BFFs. Again, two separate scores from each off you. Are you speaking each other’s love languages? Are you being intentional about your QT? Are you having fun and making memories together? Where can some space and time be made so that you can love and nurture each other? This is especially important for turbo families such as ours; we are all going 90 miles a minute, dawn to dusk. If we aren’t careful to block of some time together we grow dangerously distant from each other.
Community- who are the people who support you as individuals and as a family? This is a much more broad question than you would initially think. It means who you talk to and solicit advice from; therapist, best friends, mentors, pastors, masterminds, your sister. As entrepreneurs we have seen a lack of community support for people like us. That’s why we’ve built WLE. Now we have you.
But, it also mean what people or providers make up your family’s team; accountants, investment managers, personal trainers, tutors for the kids, administrative assistants, your mother-in-law, house cleaning services, dog walkers, handymen, etc. These are the people that make life possible. Often times when one or the other of us feels overwhelmed in an area we can look at the team and decide what new team member/s could be brought in to alleviate pressure in that area.
There’s no exact science to this assessment, no safe range for your scores. You will know if some improvements can be made. These regular little check ups are easy and necessary to stay tuned-in to your partner. These are just three little words, but they can make or break a relationship. Do the foundation work and you’ll be able to weather any storm. Together.