Navigating Love and Entrepreneurship with Franchise Expert Meg Schmitz

Are You Ready for Divorce?

TAKE THIS QUIZ and Find Out. 

Minute Read

Episode Description

Navigating the intertwined paths of love and entrepreneurship can be as complex as a Brazilian Tango. But Meg Schmitz is an expert who shares the secrets to building BOTH a flourishing relationship AND a successful business.

In this podcast episode, Meg opens up about her own complex journey, which began when her then-husband purchased a franchise (without her consent) in an industry he knew nothing about. Six months later when his business was failing, Meg jumped in, took over, and turned the business around.

Unfortunately, she wasn't able to turn the marriage around and she ultimately got a divorce.  But the lessons she learned running this and other businesses became the foundation for her franchise consulting expertise. Today, she coaches other couples who are considering buying a franchise on how they can operate both a successful business and maintain a thriving marriage as well.

While we talk a lot about entrepreneurship and business, this episode is really about so much more. it's about the partnerships (both business and personal) that we choose to nurture and the lives we strive to create.

Show Notes

About Meg

Meg Schmitz is a franchise consultant, business owner, employer, podcaster and author. Her background includes a counseling degree from Northwestern, where she studied relationship dynamics. As a coach who helps couples get into business, she is acutely aware of the impact of business ownership on a marriage, having been divorced because of faulty alignment and missed expectations. Her point of view is based on reality, and keeping a relationship that works... working!

Connect with Meg

You can connect with Meg on her LinkedIn page at Meg Schmitz, her LinkedIn business page at The Franchise Guru, on Facebook at Meg Schmitz and on her Facebook business page at Meg Schmitz Franchise Consultant.  You can find Meg on YouTube at Meg Schmitz Franchise Guru, follow Meg on Instagram at Meg Schmitz and Twitter at Guru Franchise.  To learn more about franchising and how to work with Meg visit her website at Meg Schmitz and tune into her podcast Free Agent with Meg Schmitz where her guests share their own inspiring stories about Taking The Leap into business ownership, and discovering a sense of flexibility and freedom they don't get in their careers.

The best way to connect with Meg is via LinkedIn or text at 847-302-2601.

Key Takeaways From This Episode with Meg

  • Meg is a franchise consultant, business owner, and podcaster who helps couples navigate going into business together. She has personal experience with divorce due to misalignment with her ex-husband regarding business decisions.
  • She advises couples to consider how a business decision will impact their marriage, lifestyle, and finances. Issues can arise from misaligned expectations so it's important for spouses to have open and honest conversations.
  • Meg shares her personal story of her ex-husband buying a Great Clips franchise without fully involving her. When challenges arose, she had to step in and run the business which caused marital tension.
  • Even if only one spouse will run the business day-to-day, the other spouse should still be included in the decision-making process. Meg likes to meet with both spouses to read their body language and assess alignment.
  • Meg helps couples determine if business ownership is the right choice for them at this point in their lives. She is transparent that "no" can be just as valuable an answer as "yes." Her goal is helping people make decisions that support their relationships and values.
  • Challenges will inevitably arise in business ownership. Couples should have discussions ahead of time about how they will weather difficult times together. Meg makes herself available as an ongoing resource.
  • Meg emphasizes the importance of keeping your primary relationship the priority. She recently made the decision to step back from some other obligations that were detracting from her marriage.
  • In summary, Meg provides an outside perspective to help couples deeply evaluate if and how business ownership will serve their relationship, finances, and values. Clear communication is key.

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Navigating Love and Entrepreneurship with Franchise Expert Meg Schmitz

Meg Schmitz


entrepreneurship, franchise, divorce


Karen Covy, Meg Schmitz

Karen Covy Host00:10

Hello and welcome to Off the Fence, a podcast where we deconstruct difficult decision making so we can discover what keeps us stuck and, more importantly, how we can get unstuck and start making even tough decisions with confidence. I'm your host, karen Covey, a former divorce lawyer, mediator and arbitrator, turned coach, author and entrepreneur. And now, without further ado, let's get on with the show. With me today is Meg Schmitz, and Meg is a franchise consultant, business owner, employer, podcaster and author. Her background includes a counseling degree from Northwestern, where she studied relationship dynamics. As a coach who helps couples get into business, she is acutely aware of the impact of business ownership on a marriage having been divorced because of faulty alignment and missed expectations. Her point of view is based on reality and keeping a relationship that works working.  Meg welcome to the show.

Meg Schmitz Guest01:13

Thank you, karen. I'm so excited to be here. I love this topic.

Karen Covy Host01:19

Yeah, you've got a whole wide range of experience in so many different things and right now you work primarily with couples who are going into business ownership or thinking about it, or maybe already in business ownership, and you're consulting with them. I'd like to start, as Simon Sinek says, with your why, why do you do?

Meg Schmitz Guest01:41

 I love working with people and peeling the layers back and finding out what makes them tick. I love the Simon Sinek method there. What is your why? What do you do? How do you do what you do? Why do you do what you do, what I do? The why I do what I do is because number one I have been through the relationship dynamic of getting into business with my husband, who's now my ex-husband. I think any couple who is asking themselves about getting into business ought to know why are they married? Why are we having this conversation? What will it do for you? I'm a student of humanity and that really is my why I do what I do because I want people to take the leap onto something, into a new idea, a new landing pad, and do it successfully. I know that I can help people ask the right questions and sidestep the landmines that I can help them avoid.

Karen Covy Host02:50

Let's say there's a couple and they are considering going into business together. What are those landmines that they should be looking for? What would you recommend that a couple considering either buying a franchise or going into business together? What should they do so that they don't end up with a business but not a marriage, or vice versa?

Meg Schmitz Guest03:12

Well, I ask myself that every day because I'm married to my business partner and we've got five businesses together, so I'm living this on a daily basis. Just yesterday, I met with three different couples and I start every conversation with them talking about asking them about it's a rhyme your wife, your life and your money. How is this conversation going to impact your primary relationship? How's it going to impact your lifestyle? Do you have children? What are your activities, hobbies and interests? Your money going in, money in, money out there are some huge decisions about all of these things that, if they're currently working, let's make sure we're being honest and realistic about how this decision is going to truly impact each of those areas, because for a period of time, you're going to be money invested before you get money out, and that presents its own set of challenges. People have their own ideology about money and what it means, and so it's very important for couples to be honest with each other about the time and effort and impact it's going to have on them.

Karen Covy Host04:21

So it sounds like the couple. They have a lot of things to talk about. But let me pose a different scenario for you. Let's say one person in the couple is thinking of buying a franchise or going into business and the other one is not. Do they have? Does that couple have to have the same kinds of conversations than a couple that's going into business together, or is it different?

Meg Schmitz Guest04:46

Personally, my belief is any decision and we're women. I am a decision maker in my household. My husband is not going to make a big decision that is this impactful without me. By the way, my first one did, and that's why I do what I do is to make sure that couples, whether they're going to be business partners or not this lives inside the brain of the primary person pretty much 24 seven. It's like inviting a third person into your marriage. They really need to have an alignment on division of labor or collaboration and what that looks like, so that they again can preserve what is already working.

Karen Covy Host05:31

Well, tell me a little bit more, if you don't mind, about what happened in your first marriage. You mentioned that you weren't part of that decision and obviously it didn't go well. So what happened there? What's your story?

Meg Schmitz Guest05:41

So the story there to be very transparent and more accurate, my husband at the time went to a franchise expo in Chicago. I did not know that he had a latent desire to own a business and so when he came home from the franchise expo, he's just talking, chattering about all the different concepts that he'd seen. If people got to eat, if you drive a car, it needs to work. Hey, it's almost like Kearney had blinders on or a blindfold on when he said you know what? Everybody needs a haircut. I'm going to do this great clips thing Like whoa, whoa, whoa, hang on a second, I get my hair cut and so do you. But what do we know about that? We know how to. We don't know anything about that industry or who these people are or how to run that kind of a business. And he said pretty cavalier, late and not a quote, but it's a franchise, they've got it all worked out. You turn on the lights, you unlock the door and you're making money. He's very and, by the way, Karen, I don't mean to be flipping about this, but he's still that same way. So it was the start of a realization that the shiny, sparkly without the research was his MO. So he did tell me about it, but he did not do the research that he should have done to be realistic about who these employees are, the hours of the business. What did he need to know about the cosmetology industry so that he could quickly adopt the franchise system? Instead of fighting back on it, which is what he did, he fought the system. Why buy a franchise if you're going to fight the system? So this is another layer of why I do what I do because you have to ask the right questions in order to determine if this business is indeed a good fit for you, because it's not just the widget, it's the culture and the people who are leadership of the company and how they work with you. It's a multi-layered decision.


And he was cavalier to sign the franchise agreement and about six months after he got open, he found the real estate. He did the construction and hiring. At six months he was ready to lock the door and throw away the keys. He was beyond, had it, and I'm a terrier, I'm a fighter. I was like heck, no, that's a good $300,000 of our money in a year of our life, no. So I stepped in and that really created then a bigger rift between us because he realized he had married a strong woman, much stronger than I knew I was. But I uncovered that our manager was stealing and we had people dealing drugs out of the back room and I had to pull on my big girl pants right away. But as soon as we turned the corner then he resented that I had turned the business around, going back to marriage dynamics.

Karen Covy Host08:44

This is why you make these big investment decisions together, because at some point you're going to run into a brick wall or some kind of a challenge and you need to be in alignment to pull yourself out and keep a good marriage going strong 100% and it sounds like if I heard you write that there's a difference and I really want people to hear this there's a difference between him telling you that he did something versus including you in the decision making process, and it sounds like even if you would always recommend to someone, even if it's only one spouse that's going to actually run the business day to day, it's their business. They've got to include their spouse in this kind of a big decision.

Meg Schmitz Guest09:33

Every conversation I have with every candidate I work with. How is this impacting your wife, your life and your money? Let's be realistic with that. By the way, can I meet your wife? Would she be willing to either have a conversation with me one on one, the two of you together, on Zoom?


I'm inclusive because I want to see the eyes, I want to read the body language and I am honest in holding up my candidates then to say, hang on a second, we do not have alignment here. And until you have alignment you're going to go ahead in this research process. You'll get yourself all excited, but if your wife is anything like a spouse anything like I was when my husband was looking at great clips, you're going to get a whole lot of resistance and it's detrimental to your relationship to have to deal with resistance. It's much easier to have the for me to have that inclusion of the individual and address his or her fears and concerns. And if that's my psych degree and that's my counseling and my hospice experience is to help people address the scariest thing that's out there.


And if they can't get over the scariest thing, then why don't we hit pause on this? Let's let her him ask some more questions and get more acclimated. It's scary to do something that you're unfamiliar with. So how can I help? And if I can't, then we just set it aside. I don't want to be part of a decision that one or the other is making a mandate. Well, I'm going to do it. I need to step away if it's not in the best interest of the couple.

Karen Covy Host11:25

Okay, so it sounds like if a couple is considering, for example, buying a franchise, they would come to you to help them do the research maybe Correct and to also figure out whether doing buying this particular franchise is going to be in their long-term best interest or not. Am I getting it right?

Meg Schmitz Guest11:45

Yes, yeah, a lot of people have that American dream of owning their own business and becoming their own boss, and it's not the right decision for everybody to own a business. It's just like franchising isn't the right fit for everybody. So my process is a compare and contrast. Let's talk about why this is important and how your skill sets can be plugged into business ownership, and I take my portfolio of companies and scan through them in order to introduce like a good executive recruiter or a real estate agent. Let me introduce you to concepts that we can compare and contrast and see if this is a good fit.

Karen Covy Host12:27

Yeah, it sounds like I mean, you're helping them make the decision. Do we do this yesterday or no? Yeah, and you've got a process.

Meg Schmitz Guest12:37

And a no is just as valuable as a yes. Say more about that. People have a list. I wanna own my own business. I wanna travel the world. I wanna get married and have children. I wanna you have this bucket list of things that you wanna do. Well, phoning your own business is one of the things that's on your list. Let's have a conversation about the why, the what, the how, all the points that are relevant to achieving this dream.


And so, for a lot of people and a good example 2008 to 11, when the economy had gone to hell in a handbasket and people could not get a job, I had a whole bunch of outplacement resources who were referring their candidates to me because, well, if you can't get a job, then why don't you consider owning a business? It is not the right fit for everybody and part of my responsibility because I only work with personal referrals, I don't buy leads, so everybody I work with is a referral. I have an obligation to the referring partner to help this couple make the right decision, and if no is the right answer, then that makes everybody happy that we've avoided something that it's not the right time, it's not the right investment. Whatever the no is, People are grateful to have that answer.

Karen Covy Host14:03

So I'd like to go back to something that we were talking about and dive in a little deeper. You said that your husband at the time bought this great Clips franchise. Did you have a job then?

Meg Schmitz Guest12


Karen Covy Host14

So you were working a whole different job. He buys this business. Six months in he's ready to throw in the towel. You find out that all kinds of bad things are happening at the business that you didn't want to be part of. Tell me what you did like. How did you turn things around? Where did it go from there and how did you go from married and him having the business to you running the business and not having a marriage anymore.

Meg Schmitz Guest14:46

So in the world of franchising, there's a whole spectrum of investment opportunities. Some of them are a clear job replacement, where the franchise owner is working the business as their full-time job. Great Clips and others that are very similar to that are, as I say, you're employing the industry expert. I didn't know how to cut hair and my husband didn't either. We both had a full-time job. We were raising a family. My son was, I think, two or three at the time. He was three years old at the time that we got our first location open. They were both employed and raising a family, and that's how the business is designed. If you hire a good manager, then that manager will then employ other people who know what to do and where to show up and how to do what they do.


So theoretically, with some oversight, my husband should have been able to manage the manager, but he really didn't like the whole dynamic of creative women, hormonal creative women with scissors, and so for him it was very much a culture clash between who he preferred to manage in his job. He was managing men. These were all women at the time. They were all women. We did ultimately end up hiring some men. Some were straight. Some were not, but it was a real culture clash for him.


I'm more, as I said, a student of humanity, and so, as I'm watching this whole thing dissolve into a big waste of time and money and then him quitting, which was the start of a pattern that I began to recognize was truly who he is, I know he needed to step in, and so there was a lot of resentment with that. He then resented me because he became more of a full-time father, changing diapers and whatnot. Well, I'm out fixing a business after work, so I would go at the end of the day and I mean long story short I needed to follow the system. I asked for help from the franchise, and it didn't take long to identify what the problems were and know how to turn it around. But it created that rift. Then, or that rift, the divide, became enlarged.

Karen Covy Host17:28

Yeah. I'd like to dive into that for a second, because I've worked with so many women who, for whatever reason whether it was by desire or by default ended up being the primary breadwinner for the family right. And what advice would you have for someone who finds themselves in that situation, so that they don't end up having the resentment that existed in your relationship?

Meg Schmitz Guest18:00

Yeah, that's such an interesting dynamic to assess and so much of that goes into why did these two people get married in the first place and what expectations did they have about child rearing, career advancement? Were those discussions had before they got married? And so when my husband and I got married, the business was nowhere on the radar, and I think that's true for a lot of people with whom I'm working today. They didn't wake up one day and say, oh, I wanna be a business owner, but they probably also didn't start thinking about it when they were three years old Either. Those people tend to be entrepreneurial and they go through high school and college with a business idea in mind. That's really a different conversation than when you're dating somebody and planning a future together, because it's a known part of the persona and income generation. I work with a lot of people and I don't know why this is so true in Milwaukee, for example, a lot of female broad winners in Milwaukee, and it's not a problem, it's an understood. I've been really surprised how many of these couples just understand the division of labor with child rearing and career advancement, and it is an understood piece of it.


Now I am working with a husband and wife where this was not expected, and she very much resents being the breadwinner and being away from her kids. Her husband is also full-time employed, but Paul will spend more time than with the kids, where Erin is much more frazzled and stressed out because of her job, with that discussion where all three of us are on together talking about. For Paul, this is way too much of a stretch for him. Too much change, too much responsibility. But he loves Erin and he wants her to achieve this dream, to generate enough income that she can step away from her job. She is a primary breadwinner, so in this case we've got a super marriage. He wants her to be happy and he knows that owning her own business is going to give her that financial freedom and the control that she doesn't currently have. I can't step into a marriage, but I can step in and say this is not the right decision for you.

Karen Covy Host20:44

Well, it sounds like you've mentioned a couple of times now expectations and it sounds like it's really important for people. You know they might not have the same expectations, but they need to have at least a discussion about what those are. How do you start a discussion about that? Because I can just imagine if you go to your spouse and you say, well, what do you expect? I mean, that's not a great conversation starter, like. So how can people dig in and get to the heart of what they really want to know? What kinds of questions should they be asking themselves?

Meg Schmitz Guest21:25

I will ask a candidate if they have had any kind of discussion with their spouse, their partner, about owning a business. No, no, really haven't brought it up yet. This is just living in my head. Got to say, candidate, I think that for the health of your relationship, and can I just assume that you're happy in your marriage and things are going well, oh, yeah. Okay, then you must have this conversation with your spouse and let them know what's going on in your desires and why this would be important to you. No, no, I can, I'm going to make this decision on my own. Warning signs. Warning signs we're going to stop right here. So, again, I only work with referrals. So, for example, Karen, if it was you referring your sister in law to me and your sister in law said no, you know, my husband really doesn't need to be involved, okay, well, how's your marriage? Oh, it's fabulous. I need to stop and separate there, because I have a relationship with you and you don't need me advancing something that's in some way going to be damaging to a marriage.

Karen Covy Host22:38

Right, 100%. But it sounds like the expectation sometimes, sometimes, is just naive. You know, I don't think I care. You know, what do you say to somebody like I mean, how do you test their theories, so to speak?

Meg Schmitz Guest22:59

One immediate way is to find out how did they meet? Where did they meet? Are they? Are they from the United States? Are they immigrants? Tell me about your culture. Tell me about division of labor. Tell me about how do how do things work currently in your household? Example if you were going to buy a house or a car, tell me about that. How did the two of you make that decision together? Was it really just one of you? Who  made that decision? So I pull it back into other decisions that they have had to make as a couple and have them highlight for me how, how they create that conversational exchange in order to decide whether to move forward or not.

Karen Covy Host23:43

That makes sense. Let me let me ask you do you work with couples who are already in a business together? They already maybe own a franchise, or one of them owns the franchise. They're working it it's not working. Do you consult with those kinds of couples to say what do you do now? How do you turn that around? Because when the business isn't working and the money isn't coming in, maybe it's just all going out. That creates enormous stress on the relationship too, whether you want it to or not. So what would you say to couples who find themselves in that situation?

Meg Schmitz Guest24:20

Let's pump the brakes, let's pull apart what is going on. As a coach and someone who's deeply impacted by marriages that fall apart and I've seen the warning signs for me, it's extremely important to build that trust in open dialogue with the people with whom I'm working so that they will tell me and I've got a perfect example for you, working with a gal who her husband is a firefighter. She's an entrepreneur. She started a business and realized that it was going to take a lot more money than the two of them had if she was going to bring it to market. As she was looking for angel money, she realized that it really wasn't a viable platform to monetize. It's a great idea, but it was not a monetizable app, if you will. Having that back and having the conversation with her husband, she came to me and said well, we've already been looking at some franchises, but I think we need your help. We're really just struggling to figure out how to balance four children, 10 years and younger, a marriage and her entrepreneurial leanings. And so I did a full consultation with her. I asked if her husband would like to participate. He said oh, he's sitting on the other side of the desk and I heard his voice. He was in the room and I can see that she was making eye contact. I haven't met him yet, but at least he was involved in our initial discussions.


When I was preparing a list of companies for them to take a look at and we had a time booked, I started to talk to this woman about how excited I was with the opportunities that I found. And she said Meg, and her voice started to crack and I swear I need to tell you why my finances are such an F-dop mass. And her voice was cracking and I could see that there was a tear forming in her eye. I said I'm all ears, tell me what's going on. And so she unfolded a very complicated household situation that included the third person in their marriage was alcohol. And so I said okay, I'm completely taking off my consultant hat at this point. We are not talking today about owning a business at all. I need to know about you, the health of your marriage and how. How are you and your husband doing?


And we spent the next hour talking about what they have done, who they have met with, the counseling that they are in, the ongoing challenges, how they've come together, the things that they want to do and accomplish together. They realized that getting divorced was not an alternative. Although they separated for a while and they went to mediation, they were going down that path of getting divorced. So can you imagine? This is me, in the course of an hour, getting a whole new perspective. This is why it's so important for couples to talk to each other and then be realistic with someone like me about why do you want to do this and what will it do for you. Well, holy crap, this is for children, this is their marriage and everything else.


So at the end of the conversation I said okay, now I completely understand. I do need Michael to be on the next visit, on our next Zoom or whatever. That's really a perfect example of how I work with couples and taking them out of the process, out of the process. Let's give me a different perspective on this so that I can offer you the most caring and concerned attention to you, getting the best outcome. And if no, is the right answer. Are you okay with that? If I say no and they both said yes, meaning if we got into the process and it looked like this was not the right fit or the right time and I determined that they should stop. Was it okay with them if I said let's pull the plug on this and they both said yes to that? It's complicated.

Karen Covy Host29:06

It is complicated, but there is so much in there and I have a million questions right now, so you mentioned to them. You mentioned when you were talking to them. You know why do you want to do this? Right, and I think so we've kind of come full circle in the interview. When we started with what's your why, you're showing how important it is for everyone to ask themselves that question why? Why do you want to do this? What do you think it's going to do for your marriage, your life, your finances, whatever it is? Because that's the question that will start to unearth those expectations and it's about having the conversation.

Meg Schmitz Guest29:53

And you know from your career. Why, why, why, why, why, why, why. Keep digging? Well, why is that important? There are a lot of different iterations of why. Fill in the blank why does that matter? Why is it important? Why will this? Why will this vehicle get you to where you want to go? Keep asking the why question until you, until I get people to release their vulnerabilities. Now we're really going somewhere. Why is this important? I grew up the wrong side of the tracks. We were always poor. My dad was an alcoholic. You know it takes a long time to get to that point with people, right?

Karen Covy Host30:36

100%, yeah, and what you're, what I also want people to hear when they're listening to you, is that this is hard work and you often need someone with who's, with an outside perspective, somebody who's objective, who's an observer, who's not involved in your life, to help you find out the answers to the questions that you know. You already have this inside of you, but you can't dig it out oftentimes without some outside help, and this is why, when you're facing a big decision, it makes sense to get some coaching, because you can help them see what they can't see.

Meg Schmitz Guest31:16

This is why what you do is so vitally important for couples who say, well, that's it, I've had it, I want a divorce. Hang on a second. Give me the whole backstory on that. Let's figure out why I love the work that you do in helping people. It's very similar to what I do.

Karen Covy Host31:40

It's very similar. It's about understanding the decision that you're about to make. And then, if you assuming that for my clients, assuming they go down the path of divorce, how can you do that in a way that is in alignment with your values, in alignment with who you are? And if you decide to work on your marriage beautiful how can you do that to make it better? Because when people talk to me, if their marriage is good, they're not talking to me, so I can assume that, no matter which path they go down, getting some help to do it better makes so much sense. And the same thing is true, it sounds like, in your business, when you're working with couples who are thinking about business ownership. That is an enormous decision. I mean and you and I both know it because we've made that decision right there's a lot that can go wrong, and getting some guidance about what those things could be on the front end, so that you're prepared, can make a huge difference for how people do in their business and in the marriage.

Meg Schmitz Guest32:48

And you see this, I see this people make decisions without thinking about the consequences, and there are those that are predictable, but then there are the unintended consequences, and that's where your role is so important, and I believe mine is as well. I've been a business owner for 30 years. I've owned independent businesses, franchises, I've employed a lot of people. The list goes on. I've watched this movie before. You can think through only so much as what you can get information on your own. But then there are the people who've lived through it. You've lived through it, I've lived through it. That's where you learn what really happens, and that's why I love the work that you do, because I think for your clients, no is just as important as a yes 100%.

Karen Covy Host33:40

I tell people I'm not going to push you. My job is not to push you into staying married or getting a divorce. It's not my life. My job is to help you make a decision that works for you, for your family, for your marriage, for your situation. And it sounds like you have no problem doing the same thing with people. When you can assess, based on your experience, that this is not the right choice for someone, it sounds like you have no problem telling them I don't think this is good for you.

Meg Schmitz Guest34:11

Yeah, this is not my journey. This is your journey. I'm here to shine a light on the path ahead, so that you can see where the stepping stones are and avoid the mud or whatever else there is over there, but if I see you putting a foot in the wrong place, I'm going to tell you that you're going. Off course, I have had this belief throughout my career that getting paid is a benefit, but my primary purpose is to help people take the leap onto something, into something that it's truly the best fit for them. It's not my decision. This is your decision, but I will shine a light so you can see where you're going.

Karen Covy Host34:57

Yeah, and that's also what you said. I just want to make sure people heard that, because so many people want to say, okay, what should I do? And it's not  only can you not answer that question for them, but fundamentally it's their life. The only one that can make the decision is them, and it's not something you can offload onto somebody else.

Meg Schmitz Guest35:23

No, I also tell people. I usually hold up my phone and say listen, once you're mine, you're always mine, regardless of what your decision is. If it's a no, you can circle back to me five, 10 years from now. I'll be right here. I promise you got my number. If your answer is yes and you want to move forward and, ultimately, Karen, I make them prove to me. I need to hear the smile on their. I need to hear the smile in their voice, not just a smile on their face. You need to hear it radiating out of them.


Give me, at some point, business ownership is going to get tough. You're going to have a pandemic. You're going to have economic. You're going to have an employee like me who employees who are stealing. You're going to hit that wall at some point. But I've watched every movie there is in business ownership. I've lived every movie there is in business ownership. Call me, let's talk it through.


And I don't know that it's necessarily true that that some people have a harder time asking for help than others. That would be kind of stereotypical, but I do. I get as many texts from men as I get from women who say, holy crap, I hit that wall. Can I talk. Can you talk me off the ledge? And I welcome those calls. Now, a broker wouldn't necessarily do that, but you're consultative, I am consultative. They need to know that that lifeline exists so that after the decision is made, if there's an oopsie daisy, there's someone who can empathize and sympathize and help them figure out how to course correct and survive. Because when you carry that much weight too, it impacts your family life and your relationship and again those primary relationships have got to take front and center stage and these other decisions need to support that 100%.

Karen Covy Host37:17

This has been a great conversation. I'd like to sort of bring it around and ask you what I will admit out of the box is a totally unfair question, and that is what's the best decision you've ever made.

Meg Schmitz Guest37:37

Oh my gosh, that is such a hard question. I am a person who lives with very little regret, so I have made some epic decisions that were failures, that I'm appreciative for the experience. I didn't like it when I was going through it. I can tell you this the best decision I have made is a recent one where I was evaluating what was bringing me joy, fun and yes, the three words that govern my life joy, fun and yes, I was not experiencing joy. The best decision I made in that moment was that I got rid of some obligations, board roles, volunteer positions. I said to my husband this is so distracting because we're business partners. I'm going to choose my marriage over some of these other board roles that are important to me, but they're distracting and taking time away from us. So the best decision I made recently was that I chose my marriage versus being on a couple of boards with my husband. That was creating tension, and so it's important to keep your primary relationship primary.

Karen Covy Host38:58

I love that, I totally love that. And again, it goes back to understanding your values, knowing what's important to you and knowing where your priorities are, and it's again not a question of good, bad, right, wrong what's important to you. So it sounds like you are very clear on that and I am so grateful for this conversation. I think it's been wonderful and will hopefully help a lot of people. Where can people go if they want to learn more about you? Or maybe they want to buy a franchise and they want to look you up?

Meg Schmitz Guest39:34

So I have a website and it is my name All my contact information is there. I have a podcast and a blog and I'm very content heavy, not salesy, because it's not the right fit for everybody, but it's a conversation, so I welcome people to reach out through the website. There is a form there that they can fill out and reach out to me directly. That way I'm on LinkedIn and all the other social platforms. You can just put my name in there and you'll find me and the name of the blog or name of the podcast rather oh, the name of my podcast.


I have so much fun and you better come on. I want you as my guest because I have a whole nother point of view that I want to address there. The name of the podcast is Free Agent with Meg Schmitz, and you can find it on Apple Spotify.  I'm in my fourth season. I've had over 100 interviews and they're all such amazing people with real stories about owning their own business and being entrepreneurial and you've got a point of view and I want to have you come on and talk about your journey as well.

Karen Covy Host40:41

Well, thank you so much and thank you for being here. I can't wait to be on your podcast. I encourage you, if you're listening to this, if you want to hear more from Meg, go check out the podcast. Go check out her website, Meg. Thank you so much for being here and for all of those of you who are listening, who are watching. If you enjoyed this, if you like what you hear, if you want to hear more of it, please I encourage you. Like, subscribe. Definitely give this episode a thumbs up, leave comments and I look forward to talking with you again next time.

Head shot of Karen Covy in an Orange jacket smiling at the camera with her hand on her chin.

Karen Covy is a Divorce Coach, Lawyer, Mediator, Author, and Speaker. She coaches high net worth professionals and successful business owners to make hard decisions about their marriage with confidence, and to navigate divorce with dignity.  She speaks and writes about decision-making, divorce, and living life on your terms. To connect with Karen and discover how she can help you, CLICK HERE.


business advice, divorce and business, off the fence podcast

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