This week’s Misfit Entrepreneurs are Adam and Kerry Anderson. Adam and Kerry are at the forefront of helping with one of the biggest challenges entrepreneurs’ face - how to create a successful relationship with your spouse and family while devoting yourself to and building a business. In fact, their business is called Whole Life Entrepreneurship, because that is what it takes to succeed on all these fronts, a whole life approach.
Adam and Kerry help entrepreneurs and their families work through the side of entrepreneurship and family relationships that most don’t want to talk about or deal with that eventually causes major issues in their lives.
In fact, they started Whole Life Entrepreneurship because they went through major challenges with Adam building his global business and eventually selling it. Everything looked good on the surface, but it really wasn’t. Their journey to regain their relationship and learn to thrive as an entrepreneur family is full of amazing lessons that I can’t wait for them to share with you.
The journey for Adam and Kerry started when Adam was building an amazing company that he was desperately in love with. And unbeknownst to him, at the end of the day, it was causing a number of ripples across his life that he wasn’t aware of until he and Kerry reached a breaking point. He didn’t realize that he had been a whirlwind of destruction. His years of building the business took him away from the business.
This focus on the business created anger and resentment with Kerry. The business was the sun and the other things, like family, revolved around it. Their marriage began to fall apart. Adam was traveling a lot and they couldn’t work on themselves until Adam had a breaking point and after a few years of working deeply on themselves together, they made their ways through and created the life they really wanted.
What was the darkest point of your journey that you had to overcome and what kept you together through all of this?
- Things were spread out. There was a time Kerry was ready to leave and had a plan (which is a bad sign).
- She had a friend take her to task and call her out. It was jarring to have someone ask her, “Are you sure you don’t have something to do with this?
- Kerry realized that the hateful, bitter person she had become was on her and she needed to do self-work.
- Kerry realized, she may not be able to change Adam, but she could change herself.
- After a couple of years of working on herself.
- Then one night, Adam got a little out of control drinking and Kerry got a call from a cop that told her if she came and got him, he wouldn’t got to jail.
- The fact that she showed up and helped – not scream or get angry, was a turning point for Adam.
- He was a successful entrepreneur and had begun to believe his own hype on his success and thought he was invincible. He was wrong and it was a big reality check.
- They both decided that if there was a problem in the family, that they both start with self-reflection, instead of blaming. They were not going to be victims of each other. When you are the problem – you are the solution.
- They decided to be “All in” together.
What is Whole Life Entrepreneurship?
- A community that is built around encouraging, supporting, and holding people accountable to building a life of success without regrets that is powered by business and directed by the family.
- You are called to make an impact through entrepreneurship, but it cannot be done alone.
- You have to look at how you measure success and make sure you do so holistically in your life.
What are the different challenges that entrepreneur families face?
- It’s almost like a military family.
- You have risky lives.
- You are expected to get up and take action as an entrepreneur and family.
- There is no “base” to live on, you are more alone.
- Entrepreneurial lifestyle for many is “Alone, Stressed, and Scared.”
- You don’t’ have predictability, you have financials strain; entrepreneurship is a high impact, high burnout occupation.
- And many times, everything on the outside looks good, but on the inside you are screaming and that comes home if you are not intention with dealing with it.
What are the things entrepreneurs should be sharing with their family?
- If you are not on the same page with your spouse, it is very difficult to succeed. You have to share the vision and build your business and family goals together.
- Do a standing “Family Business Meeting” every week.
- Talk about time – sync calendars
- Talk about money
- Talk about home, family, the kids
- Tell each other what you need help with and ask for help
What should the spouse or significant other be sharing with the entrepreneur?
- You need to break down the walls between your roles.
- You have to discuss how to share lives.
- Ask them how you can help them.
- Remember, you as the spouse are responsible for the same things that the entrepreneur is. If they were gone tomorrow, you are on the hook for everything they are. You have have to be an active participant and take responsibility.
At the 23 minute mark, Adam and Kerry talk about the board of directors for Family Inc.
- Adam is the Chief Energy Officer
- Kerry is the Chief Family Officer
What are the 3 C’s?
- Chill: How do you learn to connect with yourself again and love yourself. It’s all about rediscovering yourself and bringing it to your partner so you both can fill each other up.
- Communication: All of the skills necessary to make Chill happen without killing each other.
- Community: How do you get a group together to support you when you get tired and keep you going.
If an entrepreneur wants to implement Whole Life Entrepreneurship, where should they start?
- Check in with your mindset on what you believe and how you are showing up.
- Adam and Kerry have assessments that you can use to see where you are.
- You can join Adam and Kerry’s community
- Kerry has written a great book, In Bed with Business.
- Dip your toe and don’t go full in all at once, take your time.
Kerry, what are a few of the biggest takeaways from your book that could share with us?
- Awareness. You’re lifestyle is unique and you are feeling alone and others can’t relate – you have probably outgrown your current community. You need to get one that reflects where you are now.
- There is a huge iceberg of the entrepreneur’s life under the water. And you don’t see it. There is so much going on to build, create, and maintain a business that most don’t understand unless they do it. Be careful throwing shade on someone if you don’t know what that is lie.
Tell us about A.S.S.
- Alone - Entrepreneur life can be lonely, but it can be just lonely or more for the spouse.
- The isolation is very important to understand and work through.
- Stressed – Make no mistake, entrepreneurship is and can be stressful. If you don’t open yourself up and work through the stress together, it is much higher.
- Scared – Entrepreneurship is a riskier lifestyle and it does have times of fear and scared times.
What is the one thing someone can do today to get on the right path?
- Forgive yourself.
- Then give yourself the permission to take the next steps.
Best Quote: "If you are not on the same page with your spouse, it is very difficult to succeed. You have to share the vision and build your business and family goals together."
Adam and Kerry's Misfit 3:
1: Adam: Take care of yourself.
1: Kerry: Let it go. Stop blaming. Learn to let it go. You cannot move forward carrying the burden.
2: Adam: Take care of others.
2: Kerry: Look up from what you are doing. Look at how you show up and how you are working with those around you
3: Adam: Change the world.
3: Kerry: Be willing to share and be authentically yourself for you person, yourself, your people, and your business.
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