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When All Else Fails: Navigating Divorce and the Chance for Reconciliation

Episode #843

Are you struggling with the thought of divorce looming over your head despite putting in the effort to save your marriage?


In this episode, we delve deep into the complexities of marriage on the brink of collapse. Join us as we shares insightful strategies on how to navigate through the toughest times in a marriage, including when divorce papers have already been served. Discover the importance of doing the work for yourself, not just for your spouse, and how becoming the best version of you can change the dynamics of your relationship.

Learn from real-life examples and expert advice on how to keep pushing forward, whether you aim to reconcile or prepare for the next chapter in your life. Doug emphasizes the value of consistency, personal growth, and the power of authentic communication in transforming relationships.

Tune in to find out how you can reclaim your power, lead with confidence, and either revive your current relationship or step into a new one with a fresh perspective and newfound skills.

Don’t miss this episode if you’re seeking practical tips and heartfelt encouragement to help you through these challenging times.

Hungry for more?

Head over to our BONUS page for special access to some of the deeper tactics and techniques we’ve developed at The Powerful Man.

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Doug Holt  0:00  

Basically they’re saying to me, forget this man, I’m not doing any more of this work. I say, No, no, that’s not the right way to think of this. You shouldn’t be doing the work for her anyway, you should be doing the work for you. And when you do the work for you, you become better. When you become better, you become more attractive. When you become more attractive, then you can either attract your current partner or attract a new one. But just for a second, imagine if you showed up differently in such a manner that we call it the lighthouse, that you were able to change the way that she responds to you.

Gentlemen, have you put in the work and done what is necessary only to still have divorce looming over your head? Because your wife isn’t satisfied yet? Well, in this episode, I’m going to talk to you about the next steps, like what is possible from this point where you’ve either either gotten divorce papers, or your wife is still threatening divorce. And we’ll talk about what it is you can do and should you even put more effort into it. So first, let’s set the scene here. And I hear this a lot from guys. And I’ll say, Doug, I’ve been putting in the work I’ve either there in The Activation Method, which is our flagship program for men to save their marriage without talking about it. And they save it till it’s too late. And this often happens, right? We talked about guys waiting too long to get help. We don’t do that in business for some reason, right, guys, but we do that within our relationships, which is really weird. And I was in a similar way. So I definitely get it. And I don’t want that for you. However, if that is the case for you, whether you’re in The Activation Method, or you’re just listening to this show, and maybe other shows and reading books, or doing what’s necessary to turn your relationship around. And maybe Divorce isn’t looming for you. But I encourage you to stick around either way, because I think you’ll get some fine points in here that’ll help you but if divorce is looming for you, first I feel for you, that’s a crappy place to be. And as a lot of my friends who have gone through divorce, even guys who have had really good quotes, divorces, in other words, it was easy for them. And they’re the ex-wife now, but there, their soon-to-be ex-wife or what have you leaving a party and they parted on good terms and all of that stuff. They all said the same thing. And they said, Doug, I wouldn’t want this. For my enemies. It was one of the hardest things if not the hardest thing I ever did. Now, it’s not just because you’re going to lose half of your income, theoretically, right? Unless you have a really solid prenuptial or what have you? 

But it’s the emotional toll. And men don’t take that into consideration. The emotional toll of having your friends divided, right? The friends that you used to have with your wife, a lot of times they pick sides, but also the emotional strain and the feeling of of loss, the feeling of being a failure if your marriage is not working. So again, if this is looming over for you, I feel for you, I want to help. And I want to help you decide if Hey, should I even put the work in at this point? And the short answer is I think yes. And I think yes because again, working with 1000s of men, through our programs and outside of our programs. I’ve just seen this time and time again how it could work. Right? So if you’re in the stage that Hey, Doug, I’m working, right? And I’m putting in the time and I’m putting in the effort. Should I keep going? My question for you is going to be is going to be somewhat simple. One, have you been consistent and really working hard like you would a startup? Right? You guys are all business guys. At least most of you watching this. So in your startup phase, right? You’re you’re in the hustle you’re willing to do whatever it takes to push through a product launch or scale or an exit of your company. Are you doing that within your marriage and what does that look like to me as somebody who gets to see inside, literally 1000s of marriages every year? What that looks like to me is are calendaring out time to do your Alpha Rise and Shine your ARS as we call it within TPM. are you actually doing that filling your cup first? Are you calendaring out time to learn? Right? Not just happenstance, like you’re listening to me on the treadmill? Or maybe you’re watching me at work or what have you? Are you counting up time for growth and education? Because this is time because things did not work? And in business, right? If my business isn’t working, I’m going to try to figure out why it’s not working. And I’m gonna take classes on marketing, sales, fulfillment, operations, whatever it takes, right? I’m gonna get experts to come in and help me out. 

I’m gonna calendar out that time, that’s gonna be a priority so I can learn the skills that I don’t have. Because clearly my business isn’t working. There’s got to be a skill gap, right? There’s got to be a skill gap that I’m just missing. And it’s the same for our marriages and our relationships. And so when we’re looking at this, I want to know, for the last 30 days, have you been consistently consistently putting it all in in your marriage? And if the answer is yes, good for you, right? I asked myself this question. When my wife and I were going through our hard times, and the answer came back as No, it was no for me, you know, I would do it really, really well for a week or two. And then I get triggered to get upset and get pissed off, say Screw this, I’m out of here, right type attitude. I didn’t have the skills that we teach a TPM. We just didn’t have those resources at the time. So I would do it. And so when I asked myself, Hey, Doug, have you been the ideal, the best husband you can possibly be for a 30 day period? And the answer that came back to me is no. And when it did, I was like, Okay, I’m being honest with myself. Now, let’s see if I can do that. Now, if you’re going through this, and it looks like divorce is coming is coming. There are a couple of things I want you to consider. Right? If you are going to be divorced, and your wife is she’s done. Maybe you’ve had an affair, maybe she’s had an affair. Or maybe you’ve been a nice guy for so long, you become a doormat, and she’s found something else or you’ve been a jerk. Either way, she’s decided that, hey, enough’s enough, should you still keep putting in the work, where you’re going to write because if you have children, your soon-to-be ex-wife is going to be in your life for the rest of your life. What do we want to or not is going to happen, your kids are going to bring her up, right? She’s depending on the age of the kids, she may be involved in passing off for custody, all kinds of things. 

So you’re going to be in relation with her, regardless if you want to or not. And as a product of a family that got divorced. So my parents divorced when I was five years old, I was very cognizant of the way that they treated each other, and the way that they talked about each other. And even the things that they didn’t say, I was really attuned as a young kid, to what was going on between my parents, and it affected me. And it really affected me the way that they act around each other. And my parents don’t, don’t, I don’t think they know this to this day, maybe. But I really noticed, and my brothers who are seven and 10 years older than me, right, so when my parents got divorced, they were 12 and 15. It also affected them. So you want to be a positive role model to your kids on hey, this didn’t work out Mom and I didn’t work out. And we’re working to communicate better or working to resolve our issues as we separate, right? And I think that’s a really good thing to do. That’s, to me, it’s a manly thing to do, it’s a very difficult thing to do. But as men, we want to be courageous in our actions. And, you know, you’re not to stay friends with your soon-to-be ex-wife, but at least be able to communicate in a rational manner. Now I get it that there’s It takes two to tango, right? So maybe she’s not being rational, maybe she’s not doing the right things. Maybe she’s crazy, maybe she’s all all the problems around her. I totally get it guys. But just for a second, imagine if you showed up differently in such a manner that we call it the lighthouse, that you were able to change the way that she responds to you. So when we show up as the WOLF wise, open, loving, and fierce, the people around us change their energy changes, right, the way that they react to us or act to us changes, we are then able as the WOLF to change the way that they are in relation to us. See, I believe that we train the people around us to treat us the way they treat us. We’ve just trained them that way. It’s up to us, as the leaders to train them a new way. Now, if we’ve been, as I said if you’ve been a jerk for a decade, it’s gonna take some time for your wife not to believe you’re a jerk. 

She’s got 10 years of evidence saying, hey, this guy’s an asshole. But if you can show her through your actions, or through the work you’re doing, and through your energy, which I mean, by energy, I mean, you’re showing up as this new man confident, secure in yourself learning new skills, learning the art of communication, not only with other men, but also with women. Women communicate with different guys, we know this. So if you’re if you’re doing this, she’s going to see a change, man. This is often I mean, we get guys all the time that join The Activation Method, and divorce papers or have been signed. And then within a couple of weeks, they will turn it around, they’ll either get married, they’ll get back together. It happens all the time. I see it all the time. Now, it’s not the norm, of course, but it happens a lot. And what happens is, the wife says, Hey, he is he’s going all in, he’s taking a course he’s investing money, he’s investing time into bettering himself, his stock is on the rise. And when you invest in a company, do you invest in a company whose stock is going down, or when that stock is going up? Clearly, you want to invest when it’s rising, right? And your wife’s gonna see it the same way. Now, maybe it’s too late. Maybe it’s not in her eyes. You know, like I said, it takes two to tango, but you have control of your actions. So again, you know, if you have kids, children, adult children or you little children, you and your wife will be connected the rest of your life, that’s for sure. So that’s one thing to consider. So it is worth continuing to do the work. Now you don’t do it for her. You do it for you. And you do it for your kids. Right, you do it for you. And you do it for yourself also because what happens historically, and I see this a lot is men go into the next relationship with the same issues and look a little bit differently at first. It’s a new woman, it’s got the new car smell if you will, it’s fresh, it’s awesome. But a lot of the patterns start repeating themselves over time. Hey, guys, I wanted to interrupt this episode, because it’s dawned on me that many of you guys aren’t aware that we actually have a book on how to save your marriage without talking about it. Now 1000s of men have read it, they’ve reviewed it. 

I want to give you the opportunity to do the same. If you’re interested in grabbing it. It’s a short read. But it’s helped a lot of men just like you. And maybe you’re not interested in The Activation Method yet. But this is a small entry point that can really turn things around for you to go over Amazon we have it priced as cheap as Amazon will let us and that way you have a resource that you can use right now to start getting some results in your marriage. Now let’s get back to the episode. And sometimes we get guys coming into the program that are on their third or fourth marriage. And by that time, the guy finally goes, Oh, it’s me. It’s not the woman. I’ve screwed this up three, four or five times. Hmm, I wonder if there’s a pattern here, right? Yes, there is. And so if you don’t control or excuse me, if you don’t fix the issues that are going on inside of you, right, none of us are perfect. If you don’t fix those issues, you’ll carry them on into the next relationship. You’ll carry that baggage with you. And that’s again, what so when I was back in the time when my wife and I were in San Diego, I clearly remember this and asking myself, Hey, Doug, have you been because I was thinking about leaving my wife? Have you been the best husband you could possibly be for 30 days consistently? And I said no. And it was just a revelation to me. Right? I was being very honest with myself. And I started thinking about that. Okay. Now, you know, there were other women in my life that I knew and peripherally and I was, I was being faithful. But there were other women that I thought, Hmm, this, this could be an easy jump, you know, over here, this looks enticing. And I won’t have to deal with the issues, because my wife is crazy. That was my thought process at the time. Now, my wife wasn’t crazy at all. But like most people, I was blaming her MIT for the majority of the issues that were occurring in my marriage. Hindsight is 2020. It wasn’t her. It wasn’t me, it was both of us. So I knew that I had to fix what was going on my side of the street, the things that were going on inside me the things that I was doing, or I would bring it into this next relationship. So why not just work on it now I thought to myself. And then if it doesn’t work out with my wife, well, fine. That’s not what I want. I want things to work out. But if it doesn’t, okay, and I will be a better man, stock rising is always what I think it is my stock in the sexual market value marketplace is rising, my stock would rise. 

And I’m not just talking about fitness working out and things like that. That’s important. But I’m talking about communication style. Right? Did I am I a good communicator, I thought I was I thought I was a really good communicator, and I was in business, I was a great communicator in business, but I wasn’t with my wife. And as more and more I dug into it, I realized, wow, women talk differently than men. They listen differently than men. And it’s not just the stuff you see in sitcoms, but really at a deep, deep level. And I started studying this, this is some of the information that we now teach within the powerful man a study in a deep way. And I was able to turn things around with my wife to the point today, that we have two beautiful kids, and our marriage has never been better, where it’s like a new level in our marriage, which is awesome, right? And that’s what I want for you guys. But again, if divorce papers are there for you, you know, there, do you still work on it? The answer is obviously yes, one for the kids. But two, you’re going to take that baggage into the next relationship. The third reason, the third reason you keep doing the work is because if divorce is looming, and happens, it is such a hit on a man. Now I can tell you, on the other side of divorce, a lot of guys do really well. We have men who go through our program that do get divorced. We have a special within our private community, we have a group called the Next Chapter in the next chapter is for these guys that have gone through this process, but they keep doing the work on themselves. So that the next woman as I said, they meet, you know, they don’t have the baggage, and they can take these new skills into that next relationship. Right? And that’s another thing you have, you want new skills. So not only do you not take the baggage into the next relationship, but you can up-level that relationship. And when you do this, whatever you want to think vibrations or you know the world or what have your energy, you become more attractive when you become more attractive and I’m gonna touch talking physically, although that’s the thing. But you become more attractive energetically you start attracting a better woman, right? Better looking more successful, perhaps one that’s playing at a higher level, you know, isn’t going to have as much That’s trauma, and she’s not going to have as much baggage to bring in. Right. And that’s also a thing. 

Now, the fourth reason you keep doing the work is you could potentially turn it around. It happens all the time, guys, I see it a lot. And the way it happens is when the guy does the work, and the woman sees he’s serious about it, again, what women want to do is they want to feel you, and they want to see that you’re investing resources, so mainly time and also money that you’re committed. That’s the reason they don’t care. If you’re spending the money, they don’t care how much money you’re spending, but they want to know that you’re committed, right? And that’s one way that they see it like you invest your time and money and your energy into something. And so they get the fact that, okay, he’s committed to doing this, and they’ll start looking at you with a different lens, now, they will test you, alright, so if you’ve been a jerk for 10 years, you’re doing the work. And all of a sudden, you’ve shifted the way you are, she is going to test you to no end. Why would she want to open her heart up again, to get hurt, just to find out that temporarily, you’re being a great guy? And really, you’re still a jerk. So she’s going to test you and she’s going to poke you. In fact, I got a call from a guy probably three hours ago. And for an hour and a half, his wife just tested them, tested him and tested them. And he stood the storm. He was the lighthouse. He didn’t flinch, he didn’t go into DEER mode. He didn’t defend. He didn’t excuse he didn’t explain, he didn’t react. And what did his wife do? She melted at the end, there were a series of attacks and tests to see if she was safe and if he was really this next level of a man that he was claiming to be. And for him, he has embodied the skills that we teach, he’s embodied the WOLF wise, open, loving, and fierce. And since he’s embodied all of these traits, and is doing the work on itself, and this guy is doing a lot of work on it, which is great. And he’s applying this work he’s doing not only in his marriage but also with his kids, although also with his friends. Also in his business, it applies everywhere. And he’s applying them and so he’s hitting new levels on every aspect, self-health, wealth, relationships, business, and he’s ever done. And it’s amazing. And she’s seeing it. And she wants to know, is this real? And she’s gonna keep testing them, the fitness test or the shit test, whatever you want to call them, they never stop guys. 

You want to learn to accept them and realize this is your woman, just testing to make sure she’s safe. If she stops doing these tests, then you have problems, then it might be too late at this point, because she stopped believing there’s even a possibility. But if you’re still arguing if she’s still shit testing you, and if you don’t know what that is, we’ve done a lot of episodes on that. I’ve done a whole master course on it for the men in our community. If you’re interested in finding out more about that, just let us know we can put that out for you guys. But she’s still doing this, what she’s doing is testing your mettle. Right, she’s testing to see if you’re really this guy that you’re trying to portray. Another way of saying this is she’s trying to see if you’re the man that she knows you could be every woman and I do mean every woman knows their man and knows what his potential is. And if you’re not living up to your potential and business, health relationships, what have you, it hurts her, it scares her. And so she’s going to test you. And so you want those to be coming. And you do the work. So you can learn to dodge these like an Aikido master and get through them, like the WOLF, like this guy I was mentioning earlier. So let’s just say the guy I mentioned earlier, his relationship was on the line. And it’s the same thing I told him is what I’m telling you. He’s like, Doug, I think I just want I think I just want to leave and just call it quits. I was like, great if that’s what you want to do. I’m here to support you. I’m a coach, I don’t judge. I don’t give you directions I go. But what we want to do is keep working on you so you can take these new skills into your next relationship. Now, he doubled down on the new skills. And what ended up happening even though he wasn’t trying at that point to save his marriage. He did. Right It turned around because his wife kept testing him. He was like, you know, hey, I’m a Keto mass. He just dodged a deflected them and kept moving forward in a loving but very grounded masculine way. Because of that, he was able to win his wife’s affection back she started showing up differently. Because all of a sudden, she has this man who is reaching his potential and all these areas that she has always seen. When I asked him I said, Hey, man, how long have you thought you’ve been in DEER mode? Right? Again, DEER for the guys who are new to the show is an acronym we use for defend excuse, explain react. And he was like, Oh man, probably seven, eight years. The cool she’s got seven to eight years of evidence that you’re a DEER and therefore she has to rise up and be the alpha A lot of times in a relationship. He and I have been working together for about a year. And so I guess now she’s got a year of you showing up really six months probably because it took a while. It takes a while for guys to really get through to that next level. 

Six months or so of you really showing up in a superb powerful way. And this is his natural self, by the way, like nothing, nothing different. So it might take her longer, but because he showed up in such a great way, it changed her perspective, and also his kids and everything else. So when the question comes up to me is like, Doug, Hey, man, it’s over, it’s not gonna work out. It’s not looking good. She’s got a lawyer. She’s given me six months or divorce papers are coming, or I’ve got divorce papers. Basically, they’re saying to me, forget this man, I’m not doing any more of this work. I say, No, no, that’s not the right way to think of this, you shouldn’t be doing the work for her anyway. You shouldn’t be doing the work for her anyway, you should be doing the work for you. And when you do the work for you, you become better. When you become better, you become more attractive, and when you become more attractive, then you can either attract your current partner or attract a new one, you know, that’s the key, your wife can also tell when you’re doing it for her. And when you’re doing it for her, you’re seeking external validation. So when I show up, and I’m trying to impress you, let’s just say, you listening to this, if I show up trying to impress you, you can pick up on that energy, you can tell, and it’s going to be temporary. When I get tired when I get sick. When I get stressed, the quote real version of me will come out, right the chinks in the armor. But I show up this way, which is me authentically, when I show up like this, I’m going to be the same Doug, the same guy, when I’m tired, stressed, sick, or whatever, I’m just this guy all the time, I have a couple too many glasses of wine, I’m still this guy. Right. And it’s one of the things that people say to me all the time when they meet me in person is they’re not surprised, like, wow, you’re the same guy see on the TPM show, or you’re the same guy See, in the ad, or whatever it is. It’s because that’s what I am. I’m a real guy like you. I’m a husband, a father, I’m a businessman. I have friends, and I do dumb stuff, from time to time, I try not to do it as much as I did in my youth, but I’m a real human, I’m flawed. But I show up as authentically me. It’s easier, right? And I always tell people, like I don’t lie to people, which is true, I don’t, because I don’t remember anyway, which is not exactly true. But kind of is, you know, the real reason, I just don’t lie, because integrity is important to me. But part of that is not putting on a facade for somebody else. I really tried to be authentically me at all times. And there are caveats, right with all that, you know, in different situations, and I’m not going to be a jerk and say everything that’s on my mind to offend people. That’s not what I’m here for. But I’ll be authentically my own personality.

I share that with you because I want you to be authentically you. And I’m hoping authentically you is finding your ground and doing your work. Now you don’t have to do work with TPM, I really think strongly that we have the best program in the world, which is The Activation Method. In fact, if you’re interested in more information, The Activation Method, just because I know some guys watching this, I’m just thinking to myself, there’ll be something in the description, just click that link, and you’ll get more information. But do something, don’t just go from show to show on YouTube or what have you. Or listen to another podcast and take action. This is great. Like, if you’re listening to this, and you’ve made it this far through this episode, you’re probably in the top 1%. And the reason I know that is I know that we have over 35,000 people listening to these episodes, right each and every time. And that’s that’s a good number. But it’s also a smaller number than those people having problems in their relationships. And then that’s not saying that, you know, we’re the best and everybody should listen to us. I’m not saying that at all, you know, but what I am saying is very few people try to better themselves in a real way. In a real way. I had a gentleman who was I think it was 41 come up to me. And it was a social event. It was me and a bunch of guys sitting around. And he had he had a few cocktails. And he goes Hey guys, have you guys ever thought about doing personal development? I thought he was kidding. But he wasn’t. And I was like, Oh, interesting that this guy is never consciously at this age, I thought but first one, I applaud him if he’s listening to this, but at this age, never thought about bettering himself in that way he has done in business, but now he wanted to take this to his personal life that was really curious for me because I’m always looking, I’ve always wanted to better myself and keep growing. So you want to love yourself where you are in this part of the journey. And what can we do now? Right? What can we grow into is a key factor. So if you’re thinking about it, again, keep reiterating this. Gosh, you know, it’s just not working with my wife. I’m gonna throw my hands up and give up. 

First of all, I have been there. I get it. I know where you’re at. I’ve been there. I can tell you as somebody who has a unique seat and gets inside literally 1000s of men’s marriages every year, and these guys are high performers, men like you are bettering themselves. The one percenters the probably the 1% of the one-percenters in terms not financially only, but in terms of people actually taking action. Right? I mean, think about people Well, they don’t take action people. People always talk about losing weight or making more money. But how many people ever do, or people talk about starting and having their own business? But how many people actually deal with a small, small percentage? So are you going to take action? Are you going to be on one-on-ones? And for my unique point of view? My answer for you now, my suggestion to you is Yes, do it for your kids. Do it for your soon-to-be ex. But most importantly, do it for yourself, raise your stock, learn new skills, new skills of relationship, right? We don’t get taught this guy, we don’t get taught how to be great men, great husbands just didn’t happen. I don’t care if you’re Gen X or what generation you’re in. It didn’t happen. We learn by watching our parents. And if you’re Gen X like I am, you’re outside that we call ourselves the feral generation, right? We’re outside all the time. You just didn’t learn these things. So take these new skills, learn these new skills, and then apply them to all your relationships, I can tell you, it’s so much easier. You know, you know what it’s like when your marriage is working, or when it was working, how much easier life was, I enjoy going home, I enjoy spending time with my wife, I enjoy our conversations. I enjoy making love to her. I enjoyed those things, but at times when things were bad, I didn’t enjoy any of them. And my business suffered from it. Because I was always thinking about how crappy My marriage was. So my business would falter. But when things are good, I have tons of energy and I can be free-flowing with all of those things. So when in doubt, put in the work is my advice to you. Whatever that looks like, you’re gonna get discouraged. It’s human nature, you’re gonna get discouraged. But when you’re doing it for yourself, and you remember why you’re doing the work, right? Just lean on that. 

The last thing I’m gonna give you the last thing is iron sharpens iron. I remember in first grade, I think it was yes. First grade. No, excuse me. It was fifth grade, way off. Fifth grade. It’s been a long time. I had a teacher who was a homeroom teacher so we shifted classes a homeroom, and she had this paper mache thing. I’ve talked about this probably 50 times on different podcasts or different shows. Not only this one but other ones that I’ve been guests on. She had something said birds of a feather flock together. So choose your friends wisely. I can’t tell you the teacher’s name. I don’t remember anything else about that class, except for that phrase. And it stuck with me. I remember thinking how stupid it was. But I can tell you, that’s one of the biggest truths I’ve ever had. So surround yourself with a community of other men who when you’re stumbling can be there to lift you up and help you out. Now TPM, we have an amazing community of men, many of you guys are listening to this right now. Want to give you guys a shout-out. I love seeing you guys in the community, I read what you’re saying, and I love the support you guys give each other, our community is all about being competitively lifting each other up. Right. But if you can’t be in that, elite group, find another community I don’t know of another one that exists. Otherwise, I’d recommend it. And that’s why we built it. We couldn’t find a community out there. I looked, Tim looked, and all of our other guys looked. And that’s why we’ve attracted world-class coaches. Because, as far as I know, there isn’t a community like the TPM community that exists. So but if there is one in your area, get involved, and maybe it’s with your church, maybe it’s a group of guys used to play pickup basketball with maybe it’s a group of guys, that you’re, you know, family friends, it’s just harder to talk to those people because you’re so close to him, versus having actual community of people who have decided consciously, hey, I want to better myself, I want to be a better father. I want to be a better husband. I want to be a better businessman. I want to be a better community leader. I want to be a better human being. If that’s you, then our community wants to welcome you in again. There’s going to be a link in that description. Whatever you do, guys, in the moment of insight, take massive action. We’ll see you next time on the TPM show.