“we were able to better understand where each of us was “at””
Three years ago my husband and I were struggling with stress under high debt and long working hours. Another friend suggested we try business coaching through Jim Boyer as it had helped him with his own business. We spent just over a year consulting with Jim and made some large and substantial changes during and after that time. Our biggest issues revolved around debt, time management, employees and our own personal relationship as husband and wife.
When we dealt with each of these issues the first thing we worked on was our own personal relationship. Jim helped us identify our own personal strengths and weaknesses both as self-employed individuals and on a more personal relationship based level. By recognising our differences (and there were many), we were able to better deal with the business problems facing us and we learnt the art of compromise!
Debt was probably our biggest issue and it caused many disagreements between my husband and myself. Jim helped us focus on what we wanted to achieve both in the near term and long term. We both agreed that debt reduction was one of our highest priorities and Jim helped us uncover what options we had to get our debt to a more manageable level. After instigating a number of changes we got our debt down to a position with which we were both comfortable and could manage without watching our business fail through crippling debt. It required thinking outside the “bank” box and looking at other options available to us, such as selling some assets to recover.
This was another big hurdle to overcome and it is still one we work on, on a daily basis. I have always been a fairly good time manager and I felt my husband needed to adopt my own methods to get things achieved and prioritised. But through Jim’s program it became clear that the way I managed my time would not work for my husband. His issues and priorities were different to my own and what worked for me would not work for him. However, Jim was able to help my husband clarify what issues and priorities were important to him and help him uncover the best ways to deal with them. Spending time with our children was always hard and we still work on it daily, but are aware that the demands of our business sometimes get in the way of being available for our children. As such, we always make sure that the time we do spend with them is quality time and try not to let the pressures we are under running the business affect our personal relationship with our children and each other. We often confused the lines between “business” time and “family” time before working with Jim, but we now have clear lines between the two and fully recognise that sometimes our children and each other must come first. It is still a learning curve, but one we now get pleasure from rather than pain.
In our business employees are always a problem, both finding good employees and keeping them. It wasn’t until last year, that we took steps to rectify our employee issues and now we have a trainee who is learning the business slowly and in time will hopefully be a valuable member of our team, but in the short term, he relieves some of the everyday pressures that my husband faces. We downsized our employee base and changed how and who we employed to make things both financially and practically better. Jim also helped us recognise the difference between being “friends” with our employees and being “friendly”. There is a line in an employer/employee relationship and it should never be crossed. We found that out the hard way and when we took on our new employee our boundaries and what we expected from him were very clear.
I touched briefly on our personal relationship earlier and will expand a little now. Before we retained Jim’s services our marital relationship was not in great shape. This was mainly because neither of us was able to recognise the other’s difficulties and challenges. Once Jim helped us recognise our mental and emotional differences we were able to better understand where each of us was “at”. I see and deal with things very differently to my husband and now I am aware of his personality type and working type I am able to work “with” him to achieve mutual business goals. It goes without saying that in doing so, our personal relationship has improved and we are better friends than before as well as being better business partners. Spending time together as a family is still challenging as our business is a 365 day a year business, but we do make time for each other and the children and recently spent a nice three weeks overseas as a family with business and its issues a long way away! And while we had problems to deal with when we came home, we did so without “world ending” thoughts! The holiday was priceless and the moments shared were special. It would be nice to have more time to spend with our children, but those “big” moments more than make up for it. We recognise that our business puts limitations on our ability to have “weekends off” like other 9-5 businesses but when we do spend time together it is real, genuine quality time.