Yesterday, Ellen and I celebrated 34 years of marriage. Add five more years of dating and we've been together for 39 years (how did we get so old?)

This year our celebration was much different than other years for obvious reasons.

We had dinner at our favorite restaurant, Insalata's, on their new patio. It was a beautiful night and the meal was fabulous as usual. Their new patio is spacious and they plan to make it a permanent fixture to the restaurant. If you're ever in San Anselmo, I highly recommend checking out Insalata's.

We usually go away to celebrate our anniversary but we decided to stay home this year. Weekends have been packed in the towns we like to visit so we decided to avoid the crowds. Winetasting in Napa in the summer is not fun for the locals 🙂

I spent a lot of time this weekend looking through old photos and thinking about the past 34 years.

It turns out, marriage is a lot like running a business. I've been running my own business for the past 25 years with a couple of short returns to the corporate world.

Lots of ups and downs. Lots of great memories. Lots of challenging times.

In marriage and business, you need to be flexible and adapt. You need to compromise. You need to be a leader and you must listen.

When I started my first business in the mid-'90s, I was setting up computer networks and getting businesses on the internet right after Al Gore invented it (old joke that still gets chuckles).

I was in high demand because not many knew how to set up computer networks. Very few network managers knew how to connect businesses to the internet which was not easy at that time.

If you've ever seen a product lifecycle bell curve, I was at the left side of the bell curve as an early adopter. Very few people had the knowledge I had.

Product lifecycles have four stages.

1. Introduction/Early adopters

2. Growth stage

3. Maturity

4. Decline

I was an early adopter in the computer industry, computer networking, the cellular industry, the coaching industry, and internet marketing.

In every case, I got in just before the boom and rode the wave to the top and jumped off as the decline accelerated.

I realized Ellen and I have experienced a series of similar cycles in our marriage.

When we started living together after we were married, we experienced the introduction stage. We learned how to live together, co-manage our finances and we bought our first home together.

This cycle has matured and we're at the peak of our curve financially. As we move into retirement in a few years, our income declines as we tap into our savings and retirement accounts.

Another cycle is having children. Our children are grown and officially off our payroll so that cycle is complete.

The next cycle with our children is marriage (still waiting for Mike to get on board with commitments) and having their own children.

Being a grandparent will be a brand new cycle for us.

As retirement and being a grandparent enter the growth stage, I'll slowly step back from my business when its time and end my career lifecycle.

My career and family lifecycles have followed similar paths and I look forward to what comes next as one cycle ends and another begins.

This is what we talk about in my Freedom Xcelerator Mastermind. Every week we meet virtually, learn together and help each other out.

1. Build your business so it fits your lifestyle and thrives in today's environment

2. Get your business past a plateau

3. How to balance business and family time

4. Market your business using LinkedIn, social media and online ads

5. Guest experts

Upcoming guest experts include:

- Juliet Clark - Build Your Platform with Integrity for Non-Fiction Authors, Coaches, and Speakers

- Dov Gordon - Creating Profitable Relationships

- Kevin Knebl - Social Selling in Today's Environment

Past guests include:

- David Perdew - Affiliate Marketing 101

- Don Crowther - Lead Magnets People Actually Read

- Marc Evans - How to Create Virtual Showcases

- Nina Cooke - Mindset Expert

The doors to the Freedom Xcelerator Mastermind are open for a short time. Give it a try for 30 days. You have nothing to lose.

About the author 

Ted Prodromou

Would you like me to help you?

I'm the #1 best-selling author of Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn for Business and Ultimate Guide to Twitter for Business. People call me America's Leading LinkedIn Coach.

I'm the founder of Search Marketing Simplified, LLC, a full service online marketing agency. The SMS team designs and implements advanced LinkedIn and social media lead-generation strategies for small to medium-sized businesses. SMS will set up and manage your marketing funnels using organic, social and paid traffic.

Did you know I've been working with the internet since 1991, long before Al Gore invented it?

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