Finding Time For Work and Sex

2772452526_9ebc7f3f1e_z

There is an audio version below

Life is busy. Most of the time, it feels like we could use an extra two hours each day to get everything done. During the chaos of life, different areas of our life suffer. One of the major ones ends up being our sex life.

I know this all too well. For 12 years, I worked a horrible job 60 hours a week. Every day on this job it felt like I was dying inside. The job was also very physical. At the end of the day, I wasn’t thinking about sex. I would have gladly traded that pleasure for a hot stone massage.

My wife and I had a ton of sex when we married. We couldn’t keep our hands off each other, and always found a creative place to display our love. There wasn’t a day that went by without us making love at least twice a day.

The hours—and years—on this job wore on me. What once was a thriving sex life, turned into sporadic and painful memories of what we used to experience. My life was out of balance and my relationship suffered.

Finding time

Each of us has 168 hours each week. Studies tell us that the average workweek is now 47 hours. When you spend that much of your week doing anything, it will have an effect on the other areas of your life. The problem becomes compounded when you’re doing work you dislike.

The stats tell us that 13 percent of us like our work. When you spend day in and day out surviving work, you get depressed and suffer from a lack of motivation. These emotions end up trickling into your relationship and sex life.

There are a lot of things you can do to make time for sex. You could schedule everything out hour-by-hour or plan a time for sex each week. It sounds different, but some of us are wired this way. You also could just make a conscious effort to tell each other a few days ahead of time. And, of course, your animal urges will take over from time-to-time.

The bottom line is we make time for the things that are important to us. Life will always be chaotic, and there will always be a good reason to put off sex, but sex is important to the survival of your relationship.

There will be times when you just have to do it. You may lack energy, but take a cold shower and muster up that last bit of energy you have inside you. Sometimes those end up being incredibly sexy experiences.

Get honest about your work

Life is short. There is no guarantee of a tomorrow. All we have is right now. I realize we have bills to pay, but at what cost? Crappy work affects your life and drains the little bit of time we have on this earth.

The economy and job market are bleak. We’ve seen enough horror stories that scare too many of us into complacency. While we should be grateful for the work that pays the bills, we should never settle.

Our work can affect our sex life and every other area of our life. It’s too hard to leave what happens at work there. We can rationalize it, we try to pretend we’re happy, but the truth has a funny way of rearing its head at the worst moments.

Your work should do more than just give you a check. It should fulfill and challenge you. It should compliment the kind of life you want to live. Your work should fit into your life, not your life into your work. The life part has to come first.

Finding or creating work you love is not easy, but it is possible. It will take time and determination, but it will be worth the struggle. It starts within our mind; so get honest about your work. Figure out what you want from your work, and start formulating a plan to make your dream a reality.

Audio version:

Has your work affected your sex life?

This article originally appeared on The Good Men Project.

This week’s articles

5 Business Lessons I Learned From Starting a Company
Entrepreneur Magazine

This week’s podcast episodes

How to Vacation for Less in Hawaii with Josh Elledge

Flickr/Ed Yourdon

5 Things No One Tells You About Being a Parent

IMG_0263There is an audio version below.

I can clearly remember how excited I was when I found out I was going to be a daddy. I was 18 years old and a newly wed to the love of my life. I was on cloud nine and we both thought we would have this parenting thing in check.

I was 19 when our son (our first child) was born. It took all of 30 minutes after getting home from the hospital for us to realize we had no freaking clue what we were doing. We hit the panic button on our phones and were crying to our parents.

We did get our bearings and figured out a few things about parenting as we had two more children. Our oldest is now 15 and in high school.

Parenting can be incredibly rewarding or a pain in the you-know-what. There are some things that life experience will teach you. Here are five things no one tells you about being a parent.

1. There will be times when you can’t stand your kids.

We all know those parents who say parenting is always wonderful, but I think we’ll agree they’re a little off. Parenting is a joy, but sometimes our kids make us want to scream. They hide things, they lie and they fight. They do one or the other everyday. There is no off switch and you have to be on guard.

There will be more times than you can count when you’ll need a vacation from your kids. There will be times when they do things that will have you scratching your head. The only thing you can do is try to remember how we were when we were kids, and try to guide them to the right decision. Our responsibility as a parent is to teach and guide our children to embrace what makes them special. (more…)

What’s Your Escape?

4744890986_b3d2889703_z

There is an audio version below.

In the years leading up to 2011, I was a TV addict! I had a DVR that was loaded with every variety of show imaginable, and I watched every episode. TV was my escape to a different life—a life much better than the one I was living. I worked 60 hours at a job I hated, and TV was a way to forget about the life I was living.

In 2011, I realized what was going on. I realized that if I was going to work on my dream, something had to give. I had a lot to accomplish. I had HUGE dreams, but the same amount of time to get it all done. When something had to go, TV became the obvious choice.

Giving up my favorite shows was hard. I had fallen in love with the story lines and characters. It didn’t go easy, but over time, I cut my TV viewing down to a few hours a month, that year.

I used that time to write, and build my business. I used that time to lose 170 pounds, eventually quit a job I hated, and move our family to Maui, Hawaii.

When I thought about giving up TV, I realized something: TV was my escape. It’s where I could go to forget about the sucky life I was living. It was what I used to continue to live a complacent and “good enough” life. I became consumed with it because it distracted me from the reality of my situation.

What are you using as a distraction?

Distractions come in many forms. For some, it can be sports. It might be a team you’re on, a team you coach, or a professional sports team you follow. There’s nothing wrong with liking sports, but there’s a line that’s crossed when it’s your way to distract you from what’s going on in your life.

If I ask you about your favorite team, and you can tell me all the stats and so on, great. But if I ask you about the changes you want to make in your life—and you make excuses—then sports has become your distraction and escape. (more…)

The Day After My Wife and I Separated

2015-03-01-5140213820_d212b84857_z-thumb

This article has been shared over 70 thousand times in two languages.

It was love at first sight–well, almost. The first time I saw my wife, I felt something I couldn’t describe. I was 17 years old and working at Burger King. She was a 19-year-old manager.

She tried to show the employees who the boss was, so many of our co-workers couldn’t stand her; I saw past her bark. We started off as co-workers, but quickly became friends; that friendship turned into something more. We were married six months after we met.

The success rate of marriages today isn’t very high, and the numbers are more depressing when you get married young. We got married the day after I turned 18 not realizing how hard life would be for us.

Family and friends told us getting married that young was a bad idea, but we didn’t care. We were head-over-heels in love and ready to take on the world together.

The first few years were OK. We fought every now and then, but nothing major. I started a service business at 19 that quickly grew into six-figure career in a year.

I didn’t know anything about business, however. So I completely mismanaged it. In April of 2011, we were $180,000 in debt and fighting constantly over money problems.

After fighting for most of the beginning part of that year, we decided it was time to split up, and possibly end our marriage. I replay that conversation often, and it still brings tears to my eyes.

The day after we separated was one of the worst days of my life. Waking up at a friend’s house, and not seeing my love sleeping next to me was unbearable.

I cried. I yelled. I thought about committing suicide. I thought my life was over and that our children would end up seeing me as I saw my father after my parents divorced. Thoughts of someone new entering her life sent me to the bathroom throwing up.

There is hope.

That year, in general, was rough. There were the money problems, there were our problems and I was 170 pounds overweight. The day after we separated was my wake up call.

After crying my eyes out that day, I woke up the second day determined to radically change my life. No matter what it took, I was going to do everything it took to live a life of no regrets. (more…)

3 Ways to Keep Your Dream From Hurting Your Family

13957587077_5dffcefc62_z

There is an audio version below.

Have you ever gone out to dinner with your family and looked around the restaurant? I’m guessing what you would see are children talking to a parent (or parents) looking at their cell phone. With all the updates and things to keep up with online, society is glued to their phones—me included.

Life is busy these days and especially if you’re chasing a dream. Chances are you are chasing this dream on the side, which means hustling in the in-between. You have to learn how to use those free moments wisely.

In our effort to use time for our dream, we end up pushing our family to the side without even realizing it. It could be looking at your phone during dinner, or ignoring them while you’re watching a movie together at home. They could be talking to you, but you’re distracted, or a thousand miles away—thinking about all the things you have to do.

At that point, your family starts to hate your dream. You drove them there without putting two-and-two together. Your dream should fit into your life, not your life into your dream. The life part has to come first. Your family has to come first. Here are three ways to keep your dream from hurting your family.

1. Learn how to turn the dream off 

I’m all for hustling to make your dreams a reality—I made my dream happen that way. However, I did it all wrong. I was always ON, even when I should have been there for my family. They would talk and I would smile while not listening. I turned it on and had no clue how to turn it off. (more…)

3 Struggles We Are Afraid to Admit

8533481232_142e3a7e85_z

There is an audio version below.

Too often, we want to feel and appear strong. We’re men and women for Pete’s sake! There are things we struggle with, but do a good job keeping to ourselves.

With the rise of the Internet and social media, we get a glimpse into each other’s lives. Since it’s public, we want to share the best of what’s going on in our lives. While we celebrate each other’s victories, we know there’s something missing. No one’s life is always that good.

I’m not saying that we have to share every detail of our lives, or only share the bad parts, but being honest about the bad with the good would help everyone. There are friends and family that would cheer and be a shoulder to lean on through hard times–if we let them.

Overcoming struggles starts with admitting they are there. Here are three things we struggle with, but are afraid to admit to themselves and others.

1. Hating what we do for “work”

Work occupies a large part of our week. We try to leave work at work, but when you spend that much of your time doing something, it’s hard to keep all those emotions in a box. Whatever struggles and emotions you experience will spill over into the rest of your life.

Our economy in the United States is still recovering and a good job isn’t easy to find these days. Because of the circumstances, we tell our self that we should be grateful for the job we have. While we should be grateful, we can’t confuse gratefulness with complacency. You can be grateful for a job, and still look for a better one that suits the kind of lifestyle you want to live.

The stats tell us there are very few of us that like or get fulfillment from the work we do. Too many of us stay quite while we struggle through a job we hate. Life is too short to live this way, and it is having an effect on other areas of your lives. Admit that you don’t like what you do and look for something better. It’s not just a job, this could apply to a business you have. You have the power to get a better “work” situation for yourself. (more…)

Life Is Too Short to Die With Regrets

regrets

There is an audio version below.

If I had died four years ago, I would have died with one major regret. I had big dreams, but I would wake up everyday and talk myself out of doing anything with them. How could a bread man from Milwaukee change the world with his writing?

I love to write. My earliest memory of writing was in second grade when I wrote my first love letter. I can’t tell you if it was good or not, but the stick figure drawings were killer.

As I grew up I wrote novels, poems, songs, even the inauguration speech I would give one day when I was president. I was fearless in my writing back then and I had no doubt writing was my future.

I wrote consistently until I was seventeen years old. I grew up in a strict home, and at that age I didn’t feel like following the rules. At seventeen, my parents said if you don’t want to follow the rules, get out, so that’s what I did.

I was homeless for six months, living on my friend’s couch. During this time my dream of writing died.

I got “jobs” to pay the bills and settled for a “good enough” life. It wasn’t until the death of my father 15 years later that I found writing again. During one of the lowest points of my life, with nowhere else to turn, I fell back in love with my first love.

I tried to start writing again to make money, but that was a colossal failure. During this failure I got a simple email from a young man saying my writing was helping his life. That was all I needed.

I don’t write for money. I don’t write to get noticed. I don’t care if no one reads this. (OK, that’s not true, I want a FEW people to read this.)

I write to prove that anyone, anywhere, in any situation, can live the life of their dreams. I hope my little words are the inspiration that motivates them to take action. (more…)

Losing Weight Doubled My Business and Changed My Life

6347264660_0e886871e5_z

There is an audio version at the end of the post.

For 12 years, I delivered bread to groceries during odd hours—I woke up at midnight. When I woke up, it felt like my “morning” so the first thing I did was grab breakfast. Since it was midnight, the only places open were fast food restaurants.

My breakfast consisted of a super-sized family meal from McDonald’s or Taco Bell. I would then wash it down with a 44oz of Mountain Dew from a gas station. It didn’t take long for the pounds to start piling on.

In 2008, my brother asked me to be the best man at his wedding. When the pictures were posted, I was horrified to see how big I had gotten—I was 132 pounds over what I wanted to weigh, 200 pounds.

After the wedding, I went on a crazy diet where I only ate 1,200 calories a day and exercised at least four hours a day. I lost the 132 pounds in six months. No Joke.

Since I didn’t learn what it meant to live a healthy lifestyle, I gained the weight back the following year, plus 38 pounds. I let my weight go until 2013.

In 2012, I started getting serious about my writing and speaking. I wrote for 50 different blogs, and was a guest on 80 different podcasts. I spoke 36 times that year, all over the world.

When I travelled to speak, I was reminded of my out-of-control weight. I couldn’t fit into the airplanes seats—stupid airlines! People laughed and stared. When I was speaking on stage, people would tweet about how big I was—it hurt seeing those tweets.

In 2013, I realized I needed to lose weight for my business and my sanity. This time around, I realized I needed to figure out what it meant to live a healthy lifestyle.

It took over a year of eating right and running, but I lost 170 pounds. I have kept it off for six months now. I feel so much better. I have more energy and perspective. (more…)

Starting a Business Almost Ended My Marriage

kimanzi

There is an audio version of this article below.

I met my wife at my very first “real” job at the age of seventeen. We both worked at Burger King. We hated each other the first time we met. She was a manager, and I wasn’t, so she did everything she could to show me who was boss.

You know how it goes. Right? What started off as hate, slowly turned into love as we got to know each other, and worked with each other everyday. Six months after I met Tanya, we got married.

After getting married, we got our own place and had grown up bills to pay, this meant me getting a higher paying job. I got a job as a delivery driver for Pepsi. The job paid well, but over the next few years I upgraded to many different jobs that made even more money.

At the height of my career, I was making $60,000 a year. My wife was happy, our bills were paid, and we had good benefits. It was during this time that I told her I wanted to start my own business.

That conversation, and many conversations after that, didn’t involve a whole lot of talking; yelling would be the better word. She didn’t understand why I wanted to leave a perfectly good job for the uncertainty of entrepreneurship, and I didn’t understand why she couldn’t “see” how good this would be for our family.

It took some hard lessons to wake me up to some truths that ultimately got her on board with my vision. These days, it’s gone beyond supportive to her being an invaluable part of the business.

If you’re thinking about starting a business, think about these truths before you turn your business dreams into a marriage-ending nightmare.

Realize that starting a business isn’t for everyone and she might be right

Look, we want to soar free, and starting our own business is a good way to do that. I love being a business owner and the time freedom it provides. I recommend starting a business to those whom it is right for. (more…)

Why I Chose to Start an Online Business

IMG_3870

Haifa, Israel. There is an audio version below.

When I thought about what I wanted for my life—and especially from my work—there was one word I couldn’t shake: freedom. I wanted to live life on my own terms; I didn’t want to answer to a boss or company. I wanted to set my own schedule.

In 2012, I traveled the world speaking in cool countries like Israel, England, France, Australia, but had to do it on the weekends because I had a day job. All week I was a bread man, delivering to grocery stores 60-hours a week. Once Friday afternoon hit, I was on a flight to speak at a difference conference. It felt like I was living a double-life.

When I first heard someone talking about making money on the Internet, I thought they were lying. I was a blue-collar guy who never touched computers, I thought you made money from your hands.

When I self-published my first book and it made no money, I was convinced my initial thoughts were correct. It took eight months before I ever saw money from what would become my online business. I remember getting that first real check from Amazon; it was a little over $2,300. I was speechless and so was my wife.

That check helped tame the doubt, fear, and voice of some negative people in my life. I finally had proof I could make money online. I had proof that my dream was possible. I just needed to work hard and make more.

What do you want for your life?

In 2013, I was free. I made enough in 2012 to quit a job I hated. I was living the freedom I worked so hard for. When I traveled to speak in 2013, I made money passively from my online business. I did coach people, but there were books and products on my website that people bought 24/7. I loved it and still do!

I had the freedom in my schedule to do the things that were important to my family and me. I had the freedom to work as hard or as little as I wanted. After trying several things, this was it.

An online business is my dream, but it may not be yours. If it’s not, you shouldn’t try to force it because passive income and traveling—while making money—sounds easy and cool. Too many people waste time on other people’s dreams.

Not everyone is meant to be an entrepreneur. Some people are better suited to work a regular schedule and get a steady paycheck. If that’s how you’re wired, great! I’m happy if you’re happy. You can create freedom in a 9-to-5 job. Tim Ferriss talks about it in, The Four Hour Work Week. (more…)