At TwoBrain, we teach that successful entrepreneurship creates freedom. Freedom means the ability to choose: will I coach classes today, or not? Will I sleep in, or get up early? Will I mop the floors, or will someone else do it?

 

But successful entrepreneurship also means freedom for the people you care about most.

 

I opened a gym because I had to. I wasn’t under the impression that it would be easy, and I didn’t even have the CrossFit brand to lean on.

 

In 2005, I was a personal trainer at a small facility. I worked with 6-12 clients every day, one on one. I was paid around $20 per hour. Go ahead and do the math.

My wife, Robin, had a great job. She loved her company and she was paid around 3x what I was. She liked her coworkers and she liked driving new cars around every day.

 

Then we had Avery. And built a new house out in the country. Life went from great too amazing. And then, when Avery turned one, it got really tough.

 

In Canada, new moms take a full year off work. And after a year, Robin went back to work. She struggled. I struggled too: I cried when I dropped Avery off at daycare, because she was a shy baby. One month after her return to work, Robin said: “I just want to be home with her.” And I realized that I wanted the same thing.

 

The problem was money: I didn’t make enough. After one 13-hour day without a break from coaching, I added up my share of the revenue and realized it wasn’t enough. I had no choice but to start my own business.

 

Keeping one partner home is expensive, but it also meant I could work 80 hours outside the home while she worked in our home. We both understood what was necessary. And we stuck to that schedule for YEARS.

 

Entrepreneurship isn’t easy. But it allowed both of us to get what we really wanted in life.

 

Smart entrepreneurs ask themselves, “What kind of lifestyle do I want?” and then build their business around the goal. They work backward from their “Perfect Day” instead of simply jumping out of the airplane and trying to build wings on the way down.

 

One of the greatest things a client has ever told me was this (from Sherman Merricks):

“My income goal is that my wife can walk into any store she wants, and buy anything she wants without looking at the price tag.”

 

Of course, he could have been talking about his kids, or his parents, or his coaches. But Sherman wants what I want: for my entrepreneurial labors to create financial freedom for the people I care most about. I want to have choices; and I want them to have choices, too.

 

Entrepreneurial success means that my loved ones have flexible lifestyles. Entrepreneurial failure means forcing my loved ones into the trap of martyrdom with me. There are more lives than yours on the line. Whose needs are you considering first?