Murray and I just celebrated our 10 Year Wedding Anniversary on the Croatian coast.
It was part of a 2 ½ month lifestyle experiment in Europe, seeing where we could productively live and work, while building more novelty and adventure into our lives.
(I’ll tell you more about our Grand Plan in Lesson #10 🙂)
This post is about the Top 10 Lessons I’ve learned from 10 years of work, love and life partnership — yup, we signed up for ALL of it when we said “I do” in the old bank of Louisiana on August 17th, 2013! 🙂
(one of my favorite photos from our wedding day in New Orleans ❤️)
Many of my entrepreneurial “sisters” have told me, “I want what you’re having” — they wanted the love and intimacy and creative partnership all rolled up in one good-looking package 🙂
And while it hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows, I wouldn’t be where I am without the love and support of this phenomenal man (and, women, it doesn’t make me any less strong and powerful to say that) and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
So here are the Top 10 Lessons I’ve learned from the balancing act that is a work/love partnership…
1. The Power of a Shared Vision
They say that the best relationships have a shared purpose — whether that’s kids or fun or a cause…
And I’ll say that our relationship was defined by launching our businesses together from Day 1.
Believe it or not, our first date was on the same day I launched Live Your Message. I launched our site on October 12th, 2011 and Murray flew into LAX that night, so we could drive to Arizona to attend Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Formula event together.
I remember he arrived, we went out to dinner, I tucked him away on the downstairs couch and the next morning I was walking down the stairs to the kitchen with my laptop tucked under my right arm at the precise moment he was walking upstairs to the kitchen with his laptop tucked under his right arm and we met in the middle.
He looked at me, scanned the situation, saw that we had the same morning routines and laughed…
We hadn’t even had our first kiss yet and he already knew I was the love of his life.
As for me? I never thought of myself as the marrying type — I never imagined I could find someone that would keep me interested for a lifetime… which brings me to Lesson #2:
2. Choose Someone “Infinite”
I remember stopping in Singapore for a night or two on a trip back from visiting my mom in Thailand… I ended up in a halfway house for young expats run by a friend of my mom.
(me and my beautiful mom last year in Thailand)
They quickly scooped me up and we were off on a series of adventures — starting with Sentosa, the amusement park right in the middle of Singapore, and continuing on into the bars and nightclubs.
One of the expats started hitting on me… and it was this bizarre experience where I could literally see the gears in his brain turning as he tried to think about what he could say to get in my pants.
And when he came out with it, it was all wrong… he clearly didn’t have a read on me or a sense of what would get me interested.
It’s like he was using the same tricks he’d tried with other women before me and it was a total turn-off.
But with Murray, I’m constantly surprised. I don’t know what he’s going to say or how he’s going to find amusement in the smallest things…
I can’t see where he begins and ends as a human. He feels infinite to me — like an ever-expanding universe… and I feel infinite to him. So we never get tired of each other!
3. Adventure, Laughter & Play
Another one of the reasons we don’t get tired of each other is that we’re constantly trying to bring new things into our life. Whether that’s going to new places, trying new foods, meeting new people, reading new books, discussing new projects and ideas… or even moving when we’re feeling just a little too comfortable.
(we moved from Los Angeles to Austin, TX last fall)
We get that new inputs create new outputs and — despite our love for home and stability — we seek adventure together.
(riding high this summer in Europe)
(fulfilling my dream of riding a Vespa side car ((Murray and I have been joking about a sidecar for over a decade 😂))
And when we can’t go somewhere new or do something new, we play. We riff off things we see in the world — whether that’s cute little dogs or the packs of deer that roam the streets of Austin — we give them desires and impersonate their thoughts and dreams. We make up stories about them…
We have a pad of Shower Notes where one of us will start an absurd story — usually about monkeys — with just a few words or a line and the other will continue it…
We’ll work on that story for weeks until it finds its natural conclusion. It’s silly and it’s fun and it brings us closer together when we wake up and get going at different times.
4. Dream Together, Dream Apart
Another reason I think our partnership has stood the test of time is that we’ve been able to dream both together and apart.
(look at these youngsters — one of our very first pics together — 10 years ago!)
Flashback to March 2011. We met at a Brendon Burchard event and chatted for 3 hours straight one night. I guess I made an impression!
Because the night the event ended, Murray sent me an email — the most charming and blush-inducing email I’ve ever gotten.
And in that email he “future paced” our entire relationship:
i thought i’d google your name and in this half-asleep state i’m looking at your photos of bangkok and brazil and laos and greece, seeing what you’ve seen, and thinking one single thought: how cool it would be to go traveling together one day – you with your camera, me with mine – once we both get our content businesses up and running and no longer have any good reason to stay rooted to one spot.
the only question that remains is …. where shall we go?
He painted a picture of what our relationship could be just days after meeting me and guess what?!!??? That picture became our lives together.
But, there have been times when we had different pictures for ourselves…
You see, Murray and I have different motivations for being in business. For me, business is a deep expression of who I am. While he likes more variety — he likes to continually build cool things for people. So he eventually outgrew working with me in Live Your Message and needed to do something new.
At first I was disappointed, even devastated. I didn’t know how I could “do” Live Your Message without him since he was there with me from that very first day. He even owned half the company.
But I didn’t want him to sacrifice his dreams for mine, so we figured it out. It was his time and I was going to support “him in doing him.”
Which brings me to Top Lesson #5:
5. Cycles of Growth
Over our 10 years together, we haven’t always grown at the same pace or at the same time.
There have been times where I was like — c’mon bro, we still here?
And times when he wondered why I let certain challenging situations continue at Live Your Message — times when he wanted me to pull the plug on relationships and situations that were causing me frustration. He wanted me to take radical action and I chose to play the long-game.
There have been times when he was spiraling and times when I was spiraling and sometimes those times stretched for months — even years.
But we trusted. And waited.
We understand that the teacher appears when the student is ready. That some lessons take years to learn.
We see each other for who we are and who we are becoming — not just the schmuck who happens to be showing up in the moment (or in the season) 😉
6. Close the Escape Hatch
When we got married, I didn’t think it would change things between us, but it did. Making that legal commitment and closing the escape hatch has changed the dynamic when we argue or when one of us is having a bad day or even a bad year.
No matter what’s going on, we’re all with each other… because true partnership is NOT a fad.
It’s not “convenient” and it’s not all about getting my needs met all the time.
There have certainly been times when I questioned things — even times when I wanted to bail. And vice versa.
But we didn’t. And we’ve evolved through the stuck points — until we hit our next stuck point lol 🙂
And along the way I’ve developed trust that we’ll be able to survive whatever life throws our way.
I think this is one of the reasons that, as a coach, I prefer “Action Guarantees” to traditional “30 Day Refund” windows in our bigger programs.
I’ve seen that when people come in with the mindset of “let me check this out and see if it’s for me,” their focus is on finding an “out.” Rather than focusing on doing the work and getting to Mission Accomplished. It puts their emphasis on the wrong thing.
I believe that real, life-changing commitment is about closing the back door and telling yourself, “I’m all in” — whether that’s in business or in relationship.
Which brings me to:
7. The Hat
OK, so I bought what I thought was a great travel hat because it rolled up. It was made of straw and it was one of those hats that was all brim and no top — perfect for keeping the sun off my face.
But, Murray absolutely hated it.
He told me I looked like an Asian grandma and he lost all sexual desire for me when I wore that hat lol 🙂
At first I thought, “Well, f* you. I’m going to wear what I want to wear.”
My dad happened to be visiting at the time and I told him about The Hat Situation… I expected him to reinforce my viewpoint, but he gave me what turned out to be a profound piece of life wisdom.
“Marisa, just throw away the hat. If he doesn’t like it that much, throw it away. It’s just a hat. Your relationship is far more important than that.”
Don’t you hate it when people are right when you don’t want them to be right?
I threw away the hat under one condition: If I hated something of his, I had “throwaway rights”.
He agreed instantly. In fact he loved it!
And then the real penny dropped — I get to do this too! 🙂
I quickly took advantage of my “throwaway rights” and tossed all the holey peak tech geek t-shirts he had since we first got together.
For the record, we both still actively practice our “throwaway rights.” 🙂
(NOT the hat in question)
8. Expensive Lessons
While a hat isn’t an expensive thing to let go of, we’ve both had some VERY expensive lessons along the way.
I’m not just talking about investing in coaching and experiences — which we do regularly — I’m talking about big mistakes that cost lots of money.
As NASA has proven over and over again, sometimes when you shoot for the stars, you burn up in the atmosphere…
My first $100K mistake was at our annual Live Your Message LIVE event, where we offer our 12-month Momentum program. I had a slide of our program booklets on the screen, and that prompted my team to think it was time to bring out the booklets…
As soon as they did, the entire room rushed the stage for the booklets and I couldn’t finish making my offer.
So, my audience didn’t realize that offer was only valid until lunch the next day and they weren’t prepared to make a decision. Our sales were way down, but worse — people who would have really benefited from working with us — didn’t sign up.
I learned from that mistake and — from that point on — we practiced the timing of the offer and exactly when to bring out the booklets…
Now, Murray’s also made some big mistakes in business… even a million-dollar mistake.
But what we’ve both learned is that those mistakes — as big as they seem at the time — are actually an inexpensive price to pay for the people (and entrepreneurs) we’re becoming.
True strength, wisdom and resilience is only forged in the face of challenge and failure.
9. Wife vs Business Partner
I’ve learned that — even though I’m an entrepreneur — when it comes to working with Murray, sometimes I have to take off my Business Partner Hat and put on my Wife Hat.
For example, that million-dollar mistake? It hurt financially. It also hurt my reputation.
From a business standpoint, it shouldn’t have happened.
And the smart business owner in me hated that I allowed it to happen.
I knew we should have pulled the plug sooner, but the wife in me understood intrinsically that we had to “allow” this to unfold for our own evolution as humans.
I somehow understood that Murray needed this to happen for him to become the man he is today.
(my love ❤️)
And that — in the grand scheme of things — a million-dollar price tag is not a lot to pay for the man I get to share my life with.
Money comes and goes but love is for life.
I’d make that mistake all over again.
10. Vision Forward
In Lesson #4 I shared how Murray and I have dreamed together and dreamed apart.
But one thing we’re committed to is co-creating both an amazing life and an amazing future…
Which means not just dreaming but creating a Vision for where we want to go — things we want to see in our health, lifestyle, finances, relationships and businesses moving forward. Even things we want for our parents.
And it’s our ability to hold onto a Vision that propels us into an Upward Spiral of Growth — of always seeing that our future will be brighter than our past.
That we’re growing together, not dying together…
And that we’re stronger together than we are apart.
I truly believe that our ability to cast (and hold) a Vision is what’s kept us going even when the current moment (or circumstances) may be challenging, because we get that we create our reality and this too shall pass.
Thanks for reading! And thanks for being a part of Murray and my shared purpose in the world!
It’s been truly an honor to devote our lives and our relationship to serving you… and changing the world one business at a time!
Let me know in the comments which lesson was most impactful for you… or share one of your own!
But before you go…
If you’re ready to start and grow your dream business… the overwhelm-free way… then you’ll want to check out my program — Live Your Message Lab.
It’s the low-pressure, minimal time commitment way to achieve your monthly goals. Each month, you’ll get the exact steps you need to take real action in your business so you can see real results. And you’ll get the coaching, support, tools and community you need to make it happen!
I hope to see you inside Lab. 🙂
Love it? Hate it? Let me know...
thanks for sharing, you look drunk on love, congratulations. I have passed 40 years married now and wholeheartedly believe in #4, dream together and dream apart.
Congrats on 40 years Helen! I hope to make it there… <3
Dear Marisa. I appreciate you opening your heart to share you and Murray life events. Honest communication and acceptance seems to be a key to your partnership success. As you state, change is natural and it is part of human evolution. Accepting each other’s future vision wrapped in your 10 years of love is an inspiration for me. Many blessings. Elaine
You are welcome! Thanks for reading. I definitely believe in honest communication in life, live and business 🙂
what a fun couple happy anniversary
Congratulations Marisa and Murray! Thank you for sharing! As a fellow female entrepreneur on my own and also with my entrepreneur husband of 29 years, you are right on. Love your message and all 10 tips but most of all, even after all the years – “We are growing together, not dying together” – that’s a good one!! And Also, “its just a hat!” Wishing you all the best! Jamie
You are welcome Jamie. It’s beautiful being supported so we can soar.
Happy 10th Anniversary to you, Marisa and Murray! I’ve enjoyed this post so much and am definitely going to integrate more of #3 as of now:-). But really, all points are great, thanks for sharing these golden lessons! My husband and I are planning to work together as of 2024 and I’ll keep this post at hand, so thank you. Here’s to many more decades of your wonderful journey together, impacting so many lives , mine included:-)!
Working with your husband is definitely a new dimension to add to your relationship! So glad you’re adding something in…
Thank you for sharing Marisa. It’s a lovely love story with creation that serves thousands of souls. It’s also so inspiring!
Congratulations to both of you and much more love and success for long years to come <3.
Marisa and Murray, congratulations on your anniversary! Your 10 lessons truly touch the heart. My husband and I have been married for 40 years, we met in the military. And as we get older, it seems like love gets stronger. Things that used to bother me seem so senseless to bother with. I am so happy to live life with my husband, I feel so safe in his arms. Now we have a grandson that’s growing up so fast. The grandson is a different level of love. When I look at him and our son together, I think, wow, God knit that handsome man in my womb, and then he used my son to help produce our amazing grandson. Living life with your Murray sounds grand, continue to do so, Marisa, love truly grows more than you can ever imagine. Number six resonated with me the most (Close the escape hatch). This day and time so many couples are choosing to live together versus committing a lifetime together. When I transitioned out of the military, I didn’t feel good about my identity; it’s like I lost it. I started looking at my husband a different way, like he was my enemy, like he was rising, and I was falling into the shadows. I am grateful to God for giving us wisdom, which has made our love stronger and brought excitement to our lives beyond my wildest dreams. Happy Anniversary! Here’s to a lifetime of continuing to cherish and nurture the love between you and Murray. May your bond only strengthen as the years go by! Loveyafan Fanny Minnitt, online course student
Fanny, kids is the one thing we didn’t sign up for together. But our students have become our surrogate kids. I can only imagine the love you feel for your actual kids and grandkids <3
Loved it and inspired by your authenticity . Both if you are SO talented. I love what you share online as much as i am always amazed by what Murray gives . Very different you both are yet so complimentary ! Congratulations on your anniversary! And hang in there no matter what ! Thank you so much for sharing .
Thanks Rita! It’s amazing to be partners in both love and work. We make each other’s things so much better.
Inspirational – Thank you for sharing! So many lessons in here for anyone to learn and you just shared the “shortcuts”! I only hope to experience the same love you two apparently have in spades! It’s a journey, but you’ve clearly navigated it with grace! Much love and abundance to you both!
You are welcome though I wouldn’t say we’ve always navigated with grave lol! 🙂
Thank you Marisa for sharing yours and Murray’s story wrapped up in these 10 life lessons. Your insights are invaluable, and I love that you stress that you signed up for the long game, which is important in both life and business 💕
You are welcome Roxanne! <3
And yes to playing the long game…
Marisa and Murray – Congratulations to you both. I love your lessons. All ten of them. And I hope you continue to share them and to thrive together. Thank you for being the magnificent duo that you are!
With much admiration!
I so agree with choose an infinite partner.. my words are different but I know exactly what you mean. My partner Duncan fascinates me and there is always more to discover about him, also our quirks on the whole fit each other, things that drive others crazy, are no big deal and are actually comforting to us.. for example we are both risk takers, into dreaming and growing.
A lovely post, and a good reminder to keep setting intentionality in our most important relationships. Thanks for sharing, Marisa!
I’ve been absent for a while, but now I remember why I used to love this blog. Thank you, I will try and check back more often. How frequently you update your web site?
I told Murray, the week before last I think, that he was a lucky guy to have you. Obviously, he could only agree. You get 10,000 XP for your Milestone. Happy Anniversary! I’m looking forward to your 50th.