When you get in a car on a first date, and your date has to move Amway training tapes out of your way, you have a decision to make. Get out and run. Go on the date and never return another call. Or pay attention to all that caused you to say yes to the first date, and see if there is something to learn.
17 years ago, I decided on the last option. This intelligent man who loved (loves) God passionately and seemed (seems) crazy about me and is thoroughly committed to living life to it’s fullest – he was also committed to the Amway business. What I thought that meant at first was that he sold soap – like Vern the old man who used to peddle at my parent’s house. What I found out was that it really meant I was falling in love with an entrepreneur – someone who at age 16 committed to having multiple income streams and working for himself.
I could write an entire post on how our marriage (a few months later) was fully blessed and grew so much because of our years committed to our Amway business – maybe I will sometime – but this isn’t what I’m here to share today. But you need to understand that when I married Marc, I knew this about him – and knew that it would have an impact on all of our Life Together.
Fast forward 15 years. 3 kids, many moves, several jobs. Marc was approached to run a political campaign for someone we felt passionate enough about to support – in an intense way. It was a crossroads at a perfect time. Marc had been building thefundraisingcoach.com since 2003. There was insurance for our family, so we went for it. It was a risk, a calculated risk, a big risk. But when I married my Amway tape toting man, I knew that there would be times when we had to take a risk (I’m NOT a risk taker, not like that anyway). As much as Marc had stayed in life-sucking, demeaning jobs to serve my need for stability, I knew it was my turn to serve and trust him to make this jump.
The political campaign ended that June – badly and sadly and sooner than we expected. Marc did the cleanup, and we spent the next few months making the best decisions we could. Marc put out feelers to employers, and went to work in earnest at thefundraisingcoach. Each month there was enough. Sometimes just enough. But enough.
That fall we faced some business upsets and some painful learning experiences with a home renovation. We lost a lot of money – or poorly spent a lot of money depending on how you look at it. Money that wasn’t ours to mess with.
As things came to a head last December and I cried to my husband that I just needed to know we weren’t going to lose the house, I also became aware of how split we were. We were looking for a job AND building thefundraisingcoach.
Prayer, crying, and maybe some foolishness led to “Let’s give it a year”. If the business isn’t growing and supporting us by next December 18, then we will earnestly look for employment, and close this chapter.
We cleared our mental desks of any other options and we have worked hard – Marc making cold calls, writing, speaking, traveling, cold calls, coaching, writing, speaking, traveling, cold calls, consulting, traveling; and my doing whatever I could do to support this business, with ours kid (you know we homeschool, right), stepping into new roles, taking on more than I thought I could.
It’s December 18. We did it. I’m tired. I’m proud of Marc, myself, our kids. And I’m so, so, so glad that we are an entrepreneurial, self-employed family.
Thank you Hatch’s, Hankey-Sugden’s, and Pat Michaud for cheering for us, crying with you, checking in with us. Thank you parents for not telling us how crazy you might have thought we were. Many other folks were online and real-life support – thank you.
Thank you God for loving us so recklessly and trusting us with so much.
Congratulations, Fundraising Coach. I’m so proud of you and can’t wait to see where in the world the next 12 months will take us.
Fundraising Coach Kids – you rock. You have no idea how much you motivated and gave to the business this past year. And someday you will be faced with similar decisions – I pray we have walked our path in a way that inspires you to make courageous (scary, crazy) choices.