Monday, April 15, 2013

Getting Lost In the Pursuit of Your Dreams: How Not To Lose Your Family In Exchange

Soaring Dreams airship over Golden Gate Bridge
Soaring Dreams airship over Golden Gate Bridge (Wikipedia)
by Anthony L Smith

In 2003 I decided to form a Mortgage Brokerage partnership and Real Estate Investment company that demanded long hours and large sums of capital.

The overwhelming demands of my business, employees, and the strain on my bank account began to negatively affect my personal relationships.

As with many small business owners in this position arguments with your significant other will ensue; children misbehaving to get your attention and other factors can wreak havoc on your family life.

However, the one thing that I found strange was that many of these same instances took place even during times of financial abundance and great success.

For almost a year I pondered why this was and how I could solve this problem. After careful analysis and several conversations with my family, I discovered that the problem was me.

When my business was new everyone accepted the challenges and understood the requirements it took to turn it into a successful mortgage lending company. Long hours, cutbacks, and other sacrifices were expected.

However, when the business was well established I was still the person I was when I started the company. Although I wasn't spending 12-16 hours in the office, I was still working and discussing business when I was at home.

Even though there was more than enough money in my accounts to support our lifestyle, I began making financial decisions without discussing it with my wife and children. And the attention to my employees needs superseded those of my family which also required my consideration.

Realizing how my actions were impacting my family I knew immediately that I had to make some drastic changes. Here are a five practices that I put in place that helped to improve my relationships and allowed me to carry out even greater success:

Time management

Private time with your spouse, children and yourself is critical. Surprisingly, I recommend some quality private time with yourself before you spend any with your spouse/children.

It is almost impossible to be your absolute best self for others if you haven't been the best you can be to yourself FIRST. Once you are refreshed your spouse and family will find their time with you more enjoyable.

Draft a weekly/daily time management chart with your family that you will commit to. Your family simply wants to feel that you enjoy spending time with them as much as you enjoy spending time pursuing your dreams/goals.


Intimacy is an emotion that confirms to the other person that you are into he/she; that you value what this person adds to your life. Your family wants to feel that your dreams have not substituted the joy and excitement that you once gotten from them.

The smile on your face and the energy you express when you share your dreams is the same feelings they want you to have for them.

Sharing intimate nonsexual moments with your significant other reassure he/she that you have not exchanged the joy and happiness of your family for the passion and excitement of pursuing your dreams.


Allow your family to take part in certain aspects of attaining your dreams/goals. Is there a role that your significant other can do to help hasten your goal? Is there something that your children can do to bring this dream into fruition?

You'll be surprised to learn that people will do more for others than they will for themselves. Because doing for others makes you feel that you're part of something that's bigger than you. It's your way of giving back.

And what better way to reap the benefits of your family's love than to allow them to participate in your dream.


Make them feel that fulfilling your goal includes them. They want to know that it's a collective achievement and not just a goal that benefits you only.

The sacrifices they are making to accomplish your dreams are seeds sown towards a harvest that all of you will feast on for many years to come. No goal has ever been achieved without the collective efforts of a team. Your family are the other members of this team.

Expression of love

Show your gratitude and appreciation for their commitment to helping you bring this goal into fruition. Make them feel that you value the sacrifices (time, loneliness, fear that this goal isn't achievable, finances, etc) they have made to make sure your dream manifest.

During times of (emotional, spiritual, and financial) famine nothing brings about greater joy then for others to recognize that you appreciate everything that they have done for you and everything that they each mean to you.

Applying these 5 principles greatly improved my life, and I look forward to it doing the same for you.


P.S: Do me a favor and visit or to order your copy of "L.I.F.E. Intentional, Living In Fullness Everyday" and read the highly entertaining and inspirational stories of how my family and I overcame obstacles to accomplish great success in my life... and how you can too!

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