Oh the “inexpressible comfort”

In last week’s teleseminar I responded to the avalanche of questions regarding “What’s Holding You Back?”  In addition to lack of money, fear, procrastination, and no time – I received an unexpected category – that of no spousal support. 

Comments like this:

— My problem holding me back is my husband. ….When I want to do something, I take off running, deal with the problems when they arise but my husband is the most negative person and always picks apart everything and tells me all the reasons why it won’t work. I think I have some very good ideas but he won’t even listen. I am 46, deep in debt and he says my ideas are stupid.

Not having the support of those closest to you is a major deal.  I know this may sound cheesy but the most amazing thing I’ve ever done is to marry the women I married.  She’s my biggest cheerleader – she’s given me the freedom to try and fail – and yet continued to love and support me.

We got married very young – and our first home was an 8′ x 42′ foot trailer.  Our first child was born while we lived in that trailer – I built his first bed over the wheel well in the middle room – which was really just a hallway.

At 17 years old, shortly before we got married, Joanne gave me a little romantic book with this quotation highlighted.  It became one of the important reference points for our many years together:

Oh, the comfort – the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person – having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.   Dinah Craik — A Life for a Life, 1859

Years later when I lost everything in business and we owed hundreds of thousands of dollars – Joanne reminded me that we were totally happy in that little trailer and if we needed to go back to that it would be perfectly fine with her.  That attitude and unconditional support has been invaluable in allowing me the freedom to really find my path – and the ultimate success we know today.

I say that as a way of acknowledging that lack of spousal support is a major deal.  When I work with guys who are going through transition – and they get excited about something innovative and non-traditional – if their wife is not on board – I encourage them to just go find another job. 

Now – that being said.  What can you do if spouse or family and friends are not supportive of your new ideas and the direction you’d like to go.

One of the hallmark characteristics of highly successful people is that they spend time around people who are already performing at the level at which they want to perform.     

Some quick tips:

  1. Join 2-3 organizations with like-minded people.  Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, TEC, Inventors Group, BNI, are just a few of the possibilities.
  2. Form your own mastermind group.  I have a group that has been meeting every Wednesday morning for over 8 years now.  We share ideas, study books together and support each other in many ways.
  3. Read good books.  You can open the door to positive, exciting ideas and environments immediately.  Here’s my Recommended Reading List.
  4. Seek out a good counselor.  Even if you have to go by yourself, find a compassionate listening ear to provide feedback and guidance.
  5. Be the person you know your were meant to be.  Don’t pass blame on anyone.  Hold your head high and be someone who exudes confidence, boldness and enthusiasm.


And yes, that’s Joanne and me on the RR tracks.  We took our oldest grandson on a train ride last week and were showing him the best way to walk the tracks (holding the hand of someone you love and trust) – as he was taking our picture.

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3 Responses to “Oh the “inexpressible comfort””

  1. Suzanne Says:

    Hi Dan,
    Its not that my husband doesn’t support my ideas from an emotional level. The reason I am unable to pursue my passion, my dream, is because frankly, he is unable to support us financially. Throughout our 17 year marriage, he has been unable to hold down a job for any substantial length of time. This is due to a trauma he suffered as a teen, where he lost his entire family. I have had to be the bread winner for the most part and it makes it that much more harder to just up and quit my secure government job, when we have three children to support and a mortgage to pay. Admittedly, I have felt resentment here and there over the years; perhaps sadness is a better word; I’m no longer angry…
    His credit is appalling and he has a lot of psychological issues. (Its a very long story..) The point is, each year, I feel like my dream is slipping further and further away. I am reading your book “No More Mondays”, and I also purchased your 48 Days book as well. I do everything possible to encourage myself; pray, journal, read, come up with ideas and ask God for clarity…. I just feel like it may never happen.
    I want to open my own yarn shop; not just any old yarn shop; this one will have an Australian flavor to it (which is where I hail from). It will have a tea house, a book store, and a very big emphasis on helping women and teens in the community, along with various charities. I have had my eye on this boarded up building in my neighborhood for the past two years, and every day when I drive by it on my way to and from work, I pray over that building. No, I won’t give up the dream, or my faith or my hope… but I cannot help but wonder, where do I go from here? Thank you for your work; your encouragement; and your inspiration.

  2. Jason C. Place Says:

    I married my best friend and supporter too! Great Picture!!!!

  3. Robert C Says:

    This is a very encouraging article. I started my own business a little over four years ago. I am now about ready to file bankrupcy. My wife supports me when the business is going well, but when things are hard, she says it’s no worth it, and wants me to quit. It’s very frustrating indeed.

    I know with God’s direction, we’ll get through this, with or without the business.

    Thank you for the article

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