Arise2Live Podcast

Transcript for Episode #157  ‘Stay on Course in Life and Business with a Couples Getaway’

Host:  Scott Weaver
Date April 20, 2022

Intro: Greetings from the Arise2Live Podcast. This is episode 157.
Sometimes business owners and their spouse drift apart. Today Scott talks about how a couples retreat can create focus time on your relationship and create harmony with your business so they both thrive.
Part of Arise2Live’s mission is to bring perspective for freedom in both your business and family life.

Let’s get creative.

Scott R. Weaver: 

In this episode we switch gears to cover an often overlooked topic, but one that is very important to smooth relationships. The topic is about business owners connecting with their spouse to be on the same page with your business by having a couples retreat or get-a-way. I’ll talk about the why and get into the hows that a get-a-way can create opportunities for your relationship with your spouse so both your family and business thrive. Thriving is a good thing.

Hello everyone, my name is Scott Weaver, the Arise2Live business coach and this episode hopes to bring business owners the clarity, confidence, and freedom to take full control of their business by connecting with life and family. The Arise2Live podcast has a family balance component to it and this episode is more on the spouse relationship side.

Before I go on, I would like to say that this podcast and other videos are now available to listen on YouTube. Just search for Arise2Live on YouTube and please subscribe. The current thinking for the YouTube channel is to have the future episodes be released there and slowly go back to release some of the more popular previous episodes. That means that past episodes are not yet on YouTube, but are available on the website or on the usual streaming services like iTunes, Spotify, Amazon,your phone app. Let me know if there’s a particular episode you would like to have on YouTube and please subscribe to the channel.

Alright, for you business owners I’m going to briefly put on my Captain Obvious hat and declare that the relationship between your business and your family is very important. It doesn’t matter if you are married or not, the family plays a significant role in supporting your entrepreneur efforts. Keeping your own family informed on what you’re doing and what your goals are allows them to provide better support on what you’re trying to do. Now most of the time I’ll be talking about married couples, business owners who are married, but the concept of having a get-a-way retreat applies to all business owners regardless whether they are married or not.

For you married business owners, your spouse is a business partner whether they are working in the business or not.  Having a common shared vision between your spouse and you, or at least have some harmony, is very important to living a fruitful and happy life.  However, getting to a common shared vision is a challenge because business and family are different entities, yet overlap in relationships and in finance causing tension and sometimes conflict.

One way for business owners to develop a shared vision with their spouse is by having a get-a-way or a retreat to a different place to think over and talk about where you are, what vision you’re striving for, and some of the challenges. This takes a page out of a power couple’s playbook: couples who work together for a common purpose can accomplish great things. That’s a common purpose, not necessarily a common goal.

The key to launch this shared vision is to be intentional about building your relationship with your spouse and family at the same time being intentional about building up your business. That’s a tough double to do, but it is possible to leverage each one to help the other. The family supports help your well being, your mental health, and your energy.  The finance stuff that the business provides helps the family. An intentional getaway has the power to set you on the path to success in relationships and in business.

So what is a get-a-way?  Well, first let me talk about what it is not.  It’s not some big strategy or complicated business thing.  It’s not some lavish vacation.  It is something in between, partially practical so you can review vision and discover direction, and partially enjoyment of time with your spouse. It can be anything from a lunch in the park, ½ day or weekend escape, or even a whole week at a timeshare. All these are places where your problems are left behind and you can gain perspective.

Other names for this get-a-away is a retreat or couples retreat, working vacation, reconnection time, meditation time, and more.

Going on a get-a-way is nothing new but too often business owners don’t find the time until there is a problem. People in other occupations often go to retreats. A quick internet search reveals many different types , such as retreats for military and police spouse support, marriage retreat, religious events, even places for parents of handicap kids, and many, many more.

Regardless of what it is called, a get-a-way is a time to be intentional to reflect, revise, and refresh your relationships with both your spouse and business. It’s a time to think about where you, your family, your business are all going, and how you are getting there.

For example, last year my wife and I went once a quarter on a ‘couples’ retreat, usually between three days to a week depending on the season. The main reason was because of our life’s complexity. You see, our current season of life is one of transition as we recently moved to a new state, kids launching into adulthood, and a growing business that has seen pivots and some setbacks. We have a lot of moving parts to keep track of and it became extremely important for my wife and me to set aside, dedicate time to talk about where we are and stay on the same page.  These get-a-ways gave us the space to think about things and the environment to talk about difficult things in the business and to strengthen our marriage.

Not everyone is in a season of complexity, but I do suggest that once a year have a get away from day-to-day life and take a look at the big picture.

Some How’s

If you have decided you are going to do this, (and I hope you do) here are some practical steps on how to get the most out of your couple’s getaway.  These are some guidelines and things to look for, but definitely not in the category of must do things. The key thing is to be intentional.  Intentional about your business, intentional about your spouse and family, and intentional about the inter-relationship between them. So please take these ideas and then apply them into your particular situation and into your life and business.

I can’t say what type of spouse-business relationship you have.  But they usually fall into three categories:

Separated: Business is business and family is family. The spouses works in one world but not in the other.

Together:  Both spouses run the business together. For them, the business and life are nearly the same.  It is a lifestyle business.

or as in my case a hybrid: business is sort of separated from the family but not exactly.

Each type has strengths and weaknesses.  For a separated business-spouse relationship, a get-a-way addresses the problem of the spouses drifting away from each other toward separate lives.  Regular getaways are the ability to create and keep a shared vision and can invigorate the business side.

For those spouses running a business together, the get-a-way allows them to escape from the day-to-day rut and to communicate their deeper purpose, to revisit their vision, and be in an environment, a safe space, to let out frustrations on how to do things better.

And for the hybrid case, like mine, a get-away is our time to stay on track, to clarify any confusion because hybrid is mixed, and resolve any misunderstandings as we go forward to our common future destination.

Your relationship will fall into one of those categories. As we go into some of the practical aspects of creating an intentional get-a-way, consider how you can apply them to your situation.

Preparation

A good get-a-way starts out with preparation, not necessarily in preparing things, but taking the first step of having a consensus to actually have a get-a-way.  As the football quarterback Russel Wilson says: “the separation is in the preparation”, meaning to win during game, you need to have good preparation.

Find time:

A big part of preparing is finding the time to do it.  There is always something that prevent business owners from going on get-a-ways. Work seems always busy and there is often fear of taking even ½ day off because that would cause harm to the business. I get it. Unfortunately, that means the short term urgency has a higher priority than long-term success. I encourage you to set aside the feelings of fear and not let the urgent things run your business. It does take will power to make it happen, but you can do it. When using a compass, if the direction, the needle, is just a half degree off course, after 1 mile, you are over ninety feet away from that target, after a couple miles, even more. This is a big deal if you’re sailing close to shore or you’re sailing your business without much slack. Likewise, it’s important for the business and life to stay on course.

With that said, it is best to wait to schedule a retreat until after your planting season or your harvest season in your business. In other words, when business is a little slower. It is winter time or in the growing season that you can best take advantage of a retreat.

Taking a short get-a-way is also good practice to prepare your company to run without you. Delegation is key to time freedom and short get-a-ways can be an opportunity to build up confidence and faith in a new manager or your staff to run things without you, at least in the short term. Or perhaps on the family side, expanding older kids’ responsibility to take care of things like cooking food for themselves and paying a bill or two, and so help their preparation to be an adult.

Anyway, the point here is if you are too busy to take one short get-a-way in a year, there’s a problem with your leadership and you need to take a good look at it. You are running too close to the edge.

Another important thing in the preparation for a getaway is not to surprise your spouse.

It’s been my experience that one of the spouses really is looking forward to it and the other one is not so excited. So, get buy-in before leaping to the next step. Definitely don’t book the place first without telling your spouse. Be prepared for some strange looks from your spouse.

The object is not to surprise or freak out your spouse about coming up with some 20 year life plan in a few hours. Instead, gently start the conversation to get an acknowledgement that taking some special time is needed to go over the business vision and its impact on your lives. This includes communicating a heads-up about what you’re generally thinking and what inputs you’re hoping for.

As a side note, definitely don’t plan to use the latest and greatest strategy tools. That makes it sound like you’re going to boot-camp instead of a retreat. Dreaming about your dreams should be fun, not an ordeal with your spouse.

Regarding logistics of a getaway

Pick a place where you can focus and have fun too. Me personally, I pick more outdoor places instead of theme parks. The great outdoors is quieter, has less people, and has more flexible hours than a tourist trap.

Of course, set a date that works for both of you, and for your family, and your business. Everyone is busy, so muster up the will power to make it happen.

It is a good idea to bring a few useful things along the way. From my experience, using a cloud drive to write to and save files to is a very good thing and easy to do because once you get home, it is right there in the cloud and you can easily access everything you’ve done. Also, bring a power strip and a lamp because so many hotels and condos are designed for sleeping or entertainment and lack enough light to work in.

If you are planning a little bigger one, about a week before leaving, tell your spouse a little of what you are thinking of talking about regarding the future, money, and how things are going. Then stop. Don’t say anymore because that is what the get-a-way is for. You are just trying to get your spouse to start to think about thing a bit. Many business owners are visionary and usually it’s not best to spring a huge future vision plan on unware person, especially your spouse.

The day before, if you are spending a weekend or more, set up a loose schedule or agenda, mainly determine when you and your spouse are going talk over the vision and how the business is impacting your lives. This schedule can be more of a starting line than a rigid day plan. For me personally, I like it on the first day, the first morning to get going.Then it is out of the way and then I enjoy the rest of the time. Often, my wife and I will work during the morning hours and then take a long break in the afternoon to enjoy the place we are staying at. Do what works for you and don’t be afraid to experiment with a couple of things.

During the get-a-way

Keep it simple and low key. The topics are huge but being simple and low key just makes it easier to get through it and to really see the clarity that you need. Just begin with the schedule you set up earlier and start talking and sharing over things with your spouse on the important topics. Carefully listen and be able to repeat back the major points, all of them. Look to have a mind-meld on the big things, like the future destination, and not so much on the little things.

From experience as a business owner, be prepared to get some negative feedback and areas you can improve on. I know how hard it is to set aside ego and pride. Nobody likes their blind spots pointed out, but humbly accepting another viewpoint increases the chances of getting where you want to go. And remember, you promised a safe-place for new ideas and improvements as you create and update your common vision of the future…so don’t worry over the how and don’t get hung up over the details as long as the future destination, the vision, is mosty the same.

And don’t forget to have a reward and celebrate afterwards. My wife and I have celebrated a special dinner and another times had home-cooked steak and wine at a condo overlooking a nice view.

The point is that you and your spouse have worked really hard on a shared vision and you deserve a reward. Definitely celebrate.

In closing, I encourage you to create get-a-way opportunities that allow for some focus time and to build a shared-vision with your spouse and to create harmony with your business so they both thrive. It is a time to look at future direction and for today in both your relationships and your company. A lot of good things can happen in the business when you and your spouse are on the same page—that’s what power couples do.

I will say that having get-a-ways does fall into the “soft” business skills arena, but the time to reflect, revise, and refresh on both the family and business front produces good fruit, and peaceful profits.

These things help build a strong business foundation and stronger family relationships with greater purpose and focus. Ultimately, a thriving business and family is the vision of Arise2Live.

Sponsor

This year has brought a lot of changes, but many business owners struggle to find focused time to update their future business destination and so start to drift off course. Your future business, your future company, and your employees are so important, you must have a solid vision to where you are leading your company. Scott has a vision story coaching package that speeds up the process and provides accountability on your focused time.  If you know that you need to update your vision and where you are going, don’t delay any more, please reach out to Scott at Arise2Live.com/vision and get your company on the right path.

#Arise2Live #Vision #VisionStory