I’ve never done anything like this episode before; this is a very unique topic from me. I plan to share three keys to having a happy marriage and business success at the same time. (If these keys are too late for your marriage, no criticism here.) But these two things CAN be compatible! After ten years of marriage and interacting with couples both old and young, I am very fascinated by this subject. Maybe these three tips will help you keep the balance.
That 50% of marriages end in divorce is very sad to me. Being successful means you’ve probably had set backs and failures along the way. Being successful is not easy. I know some who feel their marriage is holding them back. I’ve heard women say, “Ah, if my husband would just let me run this business” or “If my husband would just leave me alone and let me do my thing, I’d really be successful.” I’ve also heard men say, “If my wife just stopped nagging me about stuff” or “If my wife wouldn’t keep harping on me because the bills aren’t paid, I could keep going with this thing.” Christina and I have learned a few things in our ten years which I hope might be helpful to some of you.
Tip #1. Your spouse should be your partner in every endeavor. To clarify, Christina has never, ever been actively involved in my business. But we are partners; we agree. We don’t agree as in, “No, I don’t think you should start a business. But if you’re going to do it, just go ahead!” No, no! She is supporting me, and I am supporting her. We both have ambitions. Christina is a teacher and probably works more hours than I do right now. I support her 110%. I began teaching a computer class at her school mainly to be supportive of her work. (I DO love teaching the class, too.) Christina always listens to the weekly updates I send to my employees. We recently had an hour and a half conversation about some important business decisions coming up for me. I seek her advice and make sure she is on board.
Some of you are probably thinking, “Well, my wife and I aren’t in this together. What should I do?” Don’t start your business yet. Take some time and get advice. What a shame to wait until your marriage is falling apart before seeking advice from an older married couple. Perhaps you could get help to take your marriage from a five to a seven on the scale of one to ten. Go to score.org and find a business mentor in your area who has a happy marriage. Reach out to someone on that website. Find a counsellor elsewhere. But make sure you are both on the same page before moving ahead.
Tip #2. Decide whether your marriage is more important than your business. This goes hand-in-hand with number one. Make this decision before starting your business. If you’ve already started the business, hit a pause button to address this issue. Answer this question: if I had to choose one or the other, would I choose my marriage or my business? Ironically, most business people would probably agree that their marriage is more important. Your actions will reveal whether your marriage is REALLY more important or if you are just saying it is.
When a client calls you on your date night, would you make a later appointment with the client or automatically dismiss your date? Every single day you’re deciding whether your marriage is more important in little decisions. To say, “Oh yeah, my marriage is more important than my success” doesn’t mean much when your daily decisions say otherwise. Prove your priority every single day. Make sure your spouse sees you over and over making decisions which show him or her that the marriage is more important.
Several years ago, Christina and I were at a very low point. We had started the credit card processing business, but my financial situation was terrible after a failed real estate business. All our bills were late, and we were broke. I kept putting money into the business, money I didn’t have! She was struggling. I was struggling. I made the following promise to her, “I want to make sure you know that I’m not going to lose my marriage over my business. I refuse to do that. I’m a talented guy and can get a job making good money. If at any point you feel like this is too much and you can’t take it, all you have to do is say the word. I won’t be upset with you or look at you as the person who stole my dream.” For me to accomplish my dream of being successful in business also means I should provide for my family and make my wife happy. These are requirements for me. If fulfilling those things means I must delay my dream for a few years while I save up money, then I’m going to do that. I am going to do what I believe God has called me to do, but I may need to pursue it by another path. I believe God brought my spouse into my life as my partner. My plan includes caring for her needs even if that means putting my ultimate goal on hold temporarily.
Engaging in a conversation like that is vital to a happy marriage and business success. Your spouse must know he/she is more important than the business. Assurance that you’ll choose your spouse every single time you need to make that decision is priority. Without that you won’t keep a happy marriage and enjoy business success at the same time. If other family members don’t understand your long-term vision, that’s fine. But your spouse must understand. For those not married yet, think carefully about this issue. Make sure you get a spouse who does understand your dreams and ambitions.
Tip #3. Over communicate! Communicate constantly with your spouse. One area in our marriage which has been most difficult for Christina is my optimism. Optimism is valuable but not without some reality! To constantly assure your spouse you’ll be making $10,000 next month is wearing when the reality is closer to $3,000. I am continuing to work toward balance in that area. You’ll have your “area,” too! Make sure you are communicating through all the ups and downs.
Share what is important to you and learn what is important to your spouse. Make sure your plans won’t ruin your spouse’s plans. His/her plans may be very different from yours, but they are not any less valid or less valuable. So, communicate often and honestly. Hopefully these three keys will help you keep the balance in your marriage. They’ll help you have a happy marriage and a successful business at the same time.
Read the previous post here: Two Things I Wish I Knew 10 Years Ago about Business http://www.ccsalespro.com/two-things-wish-knew-ten-years-ago-business/
Read the next post here: Can a College Student Sell Merchant Services? http://www.ccsalespro.com/can-college-student-sell-merchant-services/