How Marital Challenges Prepare You For The Highs And Lows Of Business by Forbes – Entrepreneurs

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The twin concepts of “challenging marriage” and “good marriage” are not necessarily two opposite sides of a coin. They can, in fact, be complementary to one another. To be honest, the best relationships can be more challenging because a challenge is usually an important prerequisite to experiencing the best.

Life is never predictable. It’s a constant work in progress, and so are marriages. Going through the ups and downs of a marriage together helps you become more committed to creating a better life, and the lessons learned can help you in other walks of life – especially as an entrepreneur.

Be it a marriage or a business venture, both share a common goal: to create value that lasts for generations to come. And the path that leads to this goal is fraught with challenges. Let’s look at some of the common challenges most marriages face at some time, and how the lessons learned can help you prepare for the highs and lows in your business as well.

Focus on your strengths and not your weaknesses.

Every marriage faces hardships. That’s a given. But when the sailing’s rough, it’s easy to start focusing on your mistakes and problems. That doesn’t help. What you need to do is focus on the strengths and positive aspects of your marriage instead. Think about all the things you are grateful for in your relationship and all the positives in your marriage that can help you see it in a better light.

The same is true for your business. Instead of worrying about things you don’t particularly excel in, it makes more sense to focus on the things you are particularly good at and leverage those to get better results. In some ways, it’s like the Pareto principle, or the 80/20 rule: 20% of your efforts result in 80% of your success. So, it makes sense to focus on doing the things you are good at that are most likely to give you results.

Have a thoughtful financial plan in place.

Be it a marriage, or a business, financial problems can often be overwhelming. For couples who view finances, savings and expenses in fundamentally conflicting ways, managing household finances successfully can be a hurdle. This can often result in disappointment, frustration and conflict. While marital troubles can arise from financial mismanagement, you must remember that in the end, it’s just money. And it shouldn’t have the ability to wield any power over your commitment to the relationship. 

Both in marriage and business, many financial problems can be thwarted if you:

• Commit to a long-term plan.

• Spend responsibly.

• Always keep a backup resource for unforeseen expenses.

It’s easy to be better prepared for financial hurdles than to deal with them later. Be thoughtful about your expenses instead of being impulsive, which has a high probability of knocking your expenses off track. Successful marriages, in which there’s a budget consideration in any decision making process, can be a great model to emulate for businesses.

Forgiveness is a gift, for both the forgiven and the forgiver.

Any relationship that harbors negativity spells trouble for the stakeholders. Forgiveness is not merely about being nice to your partner but about avoiding all the hurt and emotional trauma that comes from withholding it. Inability to forgive can result in couples holding grudges against each other for trivial things. Learning to forgive is a great way to avoid common pitfalls that many marriages face.

The same lesson, when applied to business, can work wonders for leaders. Instead of the usual knee-jerk reaction of an urge to take revenge after being burned by a bad business deal, co-founder or employee, marriages prepare true leaders to forgive — to let feelings of animosity wither away — and focus on something constructive.

When the odds are stacked against you, team up.

Despite your best efforts, there are bound to be outside forces that will try to intrude on your happiness and create instability. This is where working as a team can be crucial. Most successful marital relationships have one important element in common: In critical situations, as well as the daily grind, the happiest, most positive couples act as a team.

Similarly, teamwork helps business leaders look past failures and enables them to accomplish milestones more efficiently as opposed to taking on the challenges individually. For teams to work well, teamwork can’t be a choice. A business needs new, innovative ideas to succeed, and teamwork enables you to enjoy a unique perspective that benefits the business overall.

To conclude, both marriage and business ventures need the same key elements: full commitment, a constructive mindset, teamwork, strengthening each other and planning ahead for the future.

January 4, 2019 at 07:52AM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs