On Marriage and Business

October 20, 2015

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I'm Deb- CEO, worldwide executive coach, mentor, consultant and speaker. I'm here to help you take your leadership and impact to the next level!

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by Christian Del Rosario ©AttreoStudio All rights reserved

Our family has just experienced one of those “big events” in life. Our beautiful daughter got married this past weekend. I could not be more proud of the person she has become nor more thankful for our new son-in-law. We will miss having her in our home, but are thrilled she now has a home of her own with the man of her dreams.

Reflecting on these life events, it made me realize that marriage and business have a few things in common. So bear with me as I wear my MOB (Mother of the Bride) hat and discuss a little business from that perspective.

  1. A wedding requires planning.
    A lot of it. Details, orders, follow-ups, fittings, deadlines, invitations, RSVPs, catering, venue, decorations, attire, music, protocol, rehearsals, etc. The list seems endless. Thankfully, my daughter is great at details and planning.
  2. A wedding requires patience.
    No matter how meticulously you plan a wedding (and believe me, my daughter is meticulous!), something will inevitably try your patience. One of our key players backed out three weeks before the big event. I’ll save that story for another day. In the end, it worked out great, but there for a while, let’s just say, my patience was truly tested!
  3. Marriage requires a license and a contract.
    The couple stands before a crowd and makes solemn vows. They obtain an official license, and once the vows are done, that license is signed as a binding contract.
  4. Marriage requires commitment.
    Marriage is not a prospect to be taken lightly. There will be good times and there will be hard times. There’s a reason for that “for richer, for poorer” line in traditional vows. What carries a couple over the speed bumps in life is a very strong vehicle called “commitment”.
  5. Marriage requires respect, love, and passion.
    Show me a couple who do not speak respectfully to each other, and I will show you a marriage that is in jeopardy. Marriage doesn’t mean you will never disagree on matters. It does mean you will respect and love the person passionately in spite of any differences.

Now let’s apply these five principles to business.

  1. A business requires planning.
    You need a plan before you start that addresses who you are, what you offer, and how you will carry out the business. And your planning doesn’t stop once the business is established. In fact, it is just the beginning. You will need to plan annually, quarterly, monthly, and weekly what steps you will take to maintain and grow your business.
  2. A business requires patience.
    Business is all about people, and people will try your patience. As a leader, you will deal with prospects, clients, customers, employees, peers, and vendors. Somewhere along the way, your patience will be tried. People will let you down. People will make mistakes. What makes the difference is how you react and what you do to get back on track quickly.
  3. A business requires a license and a contract.
    Don’t even try to neglect the legalities of your business. Hire a good lawyer and a good CPA, and do it right. It is not hard to get a business license and start a business; and contracts do not have to be intimidating. But you do need both.
  4. A business requires commitment.
    In recent years, much has been made of “doing work you love, and the money will follow”. While I agree with that to a large degree, I will say that there is a whole lot of effort and commitment in between the work you love and the money you receive.
  5. Business requires respect, love, and passion.
    Respect the opinions of others, even if they differ from yours. Learn from others. And treat your business with respect. Do not neglect it or treat it lightly. It is not a hobby; it is your livelihood. If you have employees, it is their livelihood as well. And by all means, you should have a great deal of love and passion for what you do. While commitment keeps you in the game, love and passion make you play your best.

Statistics say that most businesses do not survive past the five-year mark and that a large number of marriages end in divorce. Yet, we all know businesses and marriages that are strong and not only survive but thrive for the long haul. I guarantee that in the case of both, the five practices listed above have been actively and consistently applied.

Take them to heart for your life and business.

And to my daughter and son-in-law…it was a beautiful wedding…and only the start to a beautiful life.