Spoiler alert: the Four Seasons is not a silver bullet
This originally appeared as a postscript to my weekly newsletter. Sign up here!
There’s a statistic that entrepreneurs have a 95% failure rate. Rationally, it makes very little sense to pursue that career path; you need a dose of ego and naiveté to believe that you’re in that 5%. *points thumbs towards his chest*There’s another well-known statistic that 50% of marriages fail and (a lesser-known one) that marital satisfaction plunges by 67% within the first year of a first child being born.
Don’t worry, I’m not making any announcements (thankfully) but for a long time I had that same healthy dose of ego and naiveté that our marriage would fall on the right side of that 50%. The reasoning was that I had the financial resources, the professional recognition, and was a nice guy with a good head on my shoulders. But that’s not enough, the “pull” between us fluctuates between closer and away, tracking that 50% with precision. And anyone with young kids is probably not surprised the 67%.
According to “love researchers” (i.e. psychologists), one of the core principles for a healthy relationship is how you respond to your partner’s “bids.” These are small requests for comfort, love, or empathy — a mid-day text message if they’re having a bad day or a few words of gratitude for covering your parental duties when you’re forced to work late. When your partner makes a bid, do you turn in, or away (or towards your phone)? Tending to these bids lets you tap into the 8th wonder of the world, compounding, to grow your emotional “bank account.” This bank account acts as a rainy day fund for when the going gets inevitably tough. Furthermore, if this bank account is in deficit, a vacation to the Four Seasons is an inadequate substitute. Good news, it’s cheaper. Bad news, no amount of money can buy you a quick replenishment.
So maybe the secret is the tried approach (that works in both investing and building your career): compounding small wins over a long period of time.