Happy New Year everyone!
Yesterday I shared my 2018 performance review, scoring myself across 4 key areas of my life.
Today, I’m shifting gears to plan 2019. Specifically, in this post I’m going to be sharing my goals for Husband Help Haven in the year ahead.
For the first time in 6 years, my wife and I are planning no major life changes this year. No new kids, no moving, no new foster placements… We’re just staying put and living life.
Honestly, I’m excited for a little bit of monotony this year! I’m hoping to use this year to focus up and make some big improvements to Husband Help Haven.
Simplify The Mission of Husband Help Haven
For a long time, Husband Help Haven has had two missions.
- The first mission is to help men become better husbands and IMPROVE their marriage.
- The second mission of Husband Help Haven is to help as many men as possible survive marriage crisis and SAVE their marriage.
The site started as my personal pursuit of being the best husband I could be, which led me to the concept of husbandly leadership. That’s why the first thing you see on the home page is “Enjoy a happy, fulfilling marriage & feel like a man doing it”. Over the years, I’ve tried to spread the word about the importance of husbandly leadership and how to apply it to your marriage.
However, the reality is only a very, very small percentage of men find Husband Help Haven because they are proactively looking to improve their marriage… Instead, the vast majority find the Haven when their backs are against the wall and they need to know what to do RIGHT NOW to turn things around.
What’s the problem?
In a perfect world, with unlimited time and resources, I could work towards both missions equally.
Unfortunately, I don’t have unlimited time and resources, and I can’t do everything.
One of the hard lessons I’ve had to learn is that everything has an opportunity cost, even the good things. In other words, everything you choose to do means that you’re not able to do something else with that time. Every bit of time or energy I devote to one of these two missions means that I’m NOT devoting that time or energy to the other.
While it may not seem like it to you as the reader, these competing missions – improve marriages vs. save marriages – have resulted in a business that feels messy and tangled as the guy trying to run the thing.
What I’ve now come to terms with is that Husband Help Haven just can’t be everything to everyone. At least, not right now. Not as long as I’m a one-man operation.
So, here’s what I’m going to do…
For the duration of 2019, I’m narrowing my focus onto the mission of SAVING marriages.
By the end of 2019, I want Husband Help Haven to be the best resource on the planet for any man facing separation or divorce.
By definition, before you can improve a marriage, you have to save it, and the reality is that there aren’t many husbands out there looking to invest time or money proactively improving their marriage.
Now, to be clear, I will still talk a lot about being a better husband… After all, very few reconciliations happen without the husband making positive change in some form or another. Self-improvement is still the crucial second step of the 3+1 Separation Strategy; nothing about that has changed. It’s just that internally, 100% of my focus is now going to be on saving marriages and making Husband Help Haven the best resource out there for helping men do that.
Sub-Goal: Help 1,000 Men Save Their Marriage With Confirmation
To date, I’ve personally corresponded with ~2,400 men going through marriage crisis. More than that have bought a Husband Help Haven product, more than that have subscribed for free email lessons, and way more than that have visited the website to read at least one article.
These numbers are great and all, but I have no way of knowing how many of those men went on to save their marriage. I have neither raw numbers nor percentages.
Of course, I know lots of these men DID and DO save their marriage, because I consistently get new success stories week after week. But I never ask for testimonials, or results, or anything like that… All the success stories I get are freely given from men who independently decided to come back and say thanks.
Since the primary mission of this website is now to help men save their marriage, I really NEED to start tracking how many marriages are being saved. I don’t need to know every single success story, but I would at least like to have a better picture of the efficacy of my overall strategic approach separation and other marriage crises.
This year I will start looking for ways to more consistently follow-up with men who come through Husband Help Haven. My goal for 2019 is to see confirmation that 1,000 men save their marriage in part because of what they learn here on the site.
So, if anyone wants to report a reconciliation, shoot me an email and I’ll start adding to the tally :)
Eventually, my lifetime goal is to help save 10,000 marriages, and then eventually to save 100,000 marriages. But, you have to learn to crawl before you can run, so I’m starting with a relatively small (in the grand scheme of things), but still meaningful number of 1,000 marriages saved.
Develop Clearer, Better Free Resources For New Readers
There are about 80 articles published on Husband Help Haven, most of them geared towards helping men navigate marriage crisis. Additionally, I have about 14 email lessons and 12 bonus guides freely available for subscribers.
However, as often happens with a blog, many of my best free resources are buried in the archives.
In 2019, I’m going to perform a sitewide audit and sort through all of the various articles and content here on Husband Help Haven. Then, I will organize existing content and create new content to form a freely available foundation of knowledge for the most common types of marriage crisis I see among new men at Husband Help Haven.
- Emotional affair
- Physical affair
- Midlife crisis
My vision is for a new reader to be able to come to Husband Help Haven, see exactly where to start based on the immediate problem he’s facing, and then to follow a logical progression of content that shows him my overall best advice for his particular marriage crisis.
Here’s an example of how I see this working:
- New reader arrives on Husband Help Haven
- Reader sees a clear ‘Start Here’ page for anyone facing, for example, an emotional affair.
- From the ‘Start Here’ page, the reader is directed through a series of articles that logically advise him to “do this, then this, then this, then this.”
I already sort of have this type of linear content in place in the form of the 3+1 Separation Strategy and Emotional Affairs 101, but I’d like to clean those resources up and make them more prominently featured on the site.
Launch a Podcast
… Or possibly expand my YouTube channel, which currently holds a whopping one video.
I love writing. I’ve been publishing written content online, either for myself or for freelance writing clients, since late 2009. It’s a process that comes easily to me and that I’m very familiar with.
In 2019, I want to get out of my comfort zone. I believe that both podcasting and Youtube are great platforms right now, and this year I want to develop a meaningful presence on at least one of them.
As of now, I’m leaning towards a podcast. To me, a Q&A style podcast would be a great way to respond to reader questions that don’t require a whole 5,000 word blog post to answer properly.
Thinking about what Husband Help Haven needs to look like to help the most men possible, it seems logical that you would get the fundamental, big picture advice from the website, and get the more specific Q&A type advice from an ongoing podcast.
No More Ebooks; Instead A Single Online Course
This year I will be launching a comprehensive separation survival course, working title At Peace & In Control, which will replace both Manly Marriage Revival and Manly Separation Survival.
Manly Marriage Revival and Manly Separation Survival will no longer be available starting January 19th.
A revised version of Manly Marriage Revival may come back sometime next year as a resource exclusively focused on being a better husband, but MSS will be directly replaced by the new course.
As you can see in my mid-2018 update, I had really hoped to have this done before Lyon was born, but the last six weeks of Kalee’s pregnancy turned out to be pretty tough for all of us. So, in early September, I made the choice to prioritize my family instead of working extra hours to meet my work goal.
Why Am I Making This Change?
The two most common requests I get from readers are:
- Direct access to me to answer questions about a man’s unique separation. I already answer a ton of emails, but I get more emails than I can answer. Even from the ones I do answer, many men want more consistent, ongoing input on their separation than I can realistically provide for free.
- More interaction with other men going through marriage crisis. I frequently get requests for a forum or Facebook group for men to seek support and encouragement from other men facing similar problems. Again, this is something I’d love to do, but have never done before, and I simply don’t have the time to manage a massive free Facebook group or forum.
With Husband Help Haven in its current form, I have no sustainable or scalable solution to give lots of men more direct access to me. And I have no way, period, of facilitating Husband Help Haven readers to interact with each other. So, something has to change.
The Problem With Ebooks
Right now, the absolute best, most comprehensive advice you can get from me comes in the form of a couple ebooks.
I’ll be the first to tell you that Manly Marriage Revival and Manly Separation Survival are both excellent resources!
Countless men have used MMR, MSS or both to survive marriage crisis and come out the other side happier and more at peace, and many with a restored marriage. And every speaking gig I’ve done has been because someone read one of my ebooks and wanted me to come talk to a larger group about what I teach.
That being said, ebooks are fast becoming outdated. There is a ceiling to how much they can help a person, especially with such a deep, nuanced problem like marriage crisis. Many men email me after reading MMR or MSS with further questions about applying what they read to their unique separation.
Enter: The Online Course
Technology for online learning has evolved a lot in just the past couple years. In 2019, it is more realistic than ever for a one-man operation like me to create a comprehensive online course with reliable tech. to back it up.
Instead of offering multiple ebooks, I’ll be switching to a single very good, very thorough, very well-supported online course on the topic of surviving separation. Students of the online course will also have the option to join a private students-only Facebook Group.
I hope to run my first pilot group through the course by the end of January or early February.
This is the best way I can think of to address both of the aforementioned holes in Husband Help Haven’s business model.
The purpose of the course will be to teach a man everything he needs to know to survive separation and get the best possible chance at saving his marriage. In addition, it will give men a way to stay in touch with me, and to get support from other students through the Facebook Group.
Most of the content for the new course is done… Right now I’m in the process of making final revisions and setting up the tech. back-end to start letting people sign up. I don’t anticipate this taking much more than four or five weeks.
Looking Forward to 2019
So! There you have it. Big plans for 2019.
Again, like I said yesterday, these two posts are really more for those of you interested in following along with me and the site… They’re not as relevant for those of you who are most interested in purely the marriage- and separation-related advice.
Don’t worry — I’ll get back to the informational content here in the next week or two.
As always, if you have topic requests, feedback on any of the stuff I talked about here, or anything like that, feel free to shoot me an email.
Otherwise, Happy New Year and I’ll talk to you again soon.
Much manly love,
With much manly love,
I'm Stephen, the guy behind Husband Help Haven. I'm not a marriage counselor or a lawyer, I'm just a guy on the Internet who has talked to a loooooot of men going through separation... Over 2,000 in the past 5 years. My goal is to give men the tools they need to save their marriage from separation.