7 Tips for Success in Business & Marriage
from a Happy Anniversary
On August 30th, 32 years ago, my best friend and I were married in a small 119 year old church. Thirty-two years is a long time in which to learn a few things. We have made it through many of the vows we made that day: sickness and health, richer and poorer, good times and bad. I can honestly say we are still friends. I believe marriage to be an ongoing labour of love. Here are 7 tips for success in business & marriage from a happy anniversary after 32 years. .
We had my parents long lasting love story on which to model our own.
I am not going to wax poetic or tell you all is roses. That would be ridiculous and wrong. I will however, tell you we still share private jokes and laugh our selves silly at all kinds of things. We have developed a rhythm a great working relationship.
What does this have to do with business? I think a marriage is very much like a well run business and here are the seven tips:
Passion for your business, a true love of what you plan to do. An affinity or talent in your area of expertise and a long term commitment to your business. Without this your business cannot survive the tough times.
Love & respect: In almost equal parts; I believe this to be a fabulous recipe for an enduring marriage that revels in the good times, and weathers the storm in bad times only to come out the other side even stronger together.
#2) A Plan
They say “A Business that fails to plan is a business that plans to fail” and they are correct. A plan is a road-map that shows you: A financial overview including your estimated yearly income, your projected growth, and your five year budget. It will also look at your strengths and weaknesses, where you are going and the plan gives a route so that you always have a guide to refer to in the event things go too far off track.
A marriage should begin with a plan of sorts: not the finaincial spreadsheets and estimates but lots of long deep conversations,laying out a joint road-map to your future, including the big choices: the option to have children or not: And if so what sort of education will they need. Where you want to live, how to divvy up the holidays to accommodate both parties respective families. Will you have pets? What type of home or homes do you each prefer and ultimately where and when you hope to retire.
#3) Customer Service:
This is of premiere important in business, one can build loyalty by handling your customers well, in good and bad situations, in fact in any situation, you always have to think of the customer first.
To make a marriage work, you each must treat your partner like your best customer, even when you disagree with that customer: You must work it out, often compromising on the issues, so no-one is making a scene!
All employees need to be recognized for their work, this is a necessity for maintaining a harmonious workplace. Great morale is worth its weight in gold.
In marriage it is exactly the same. Each of the partners need to hear praise and compliments for a job well done: From taking out the garbage to vacation planning, to sitting up all night with a sick child, recognition sometimes as simple as a thank you makes the tough times easier to get through and gives a boost to each of you.
Every business gains some extra ‘oomph’ after employees have had a great vacation. We all need to have time to rest and relax and recoup in order to do our job well the rest of the year.
Marriages need vacations as well. Sometimes, a spouse may need a short break to better appreciate what they have. Even weekly time out with the girls or the hockey team gives a bit of time to re evaluate what you each have at home. Sometimes business trips can make you long for a quiet night curled up with your significant other sharing a joke that only the two of you would understand. These little things can be like a vacation from the pressures of life and children and work. A way to recharge, renew re-commit to your spouse.
Any business must have clear policies laid out so that any employee knows how to handle a customer with everything from a mini complaint to a lawsuit and everything in between. When the policy is well thought out and everyone is on the same page you often find that things run fairly smoothly and when a problem arises, there is a policy to deal with it.
In a marriage you must decide on policy for handling everyday issues, from cleaning to groceries and a joint policy for discipline and reward in respect to your children.. Always better to present a united front. When you have policy discussions things run more smoothly and you each know how the other will handle many situations.
Business no matter what size, must have procedures in place to handle all types of situations. In the event of fraud one must have a clear procedure in place so that everyone is on the same page. In the event of a serious customer complaint there must be a chain of command and a clear picture of who handles what.
In marriage you also must have some procedures in place that take into account all the intricacies of a long term commitment. Our #1 rule is always go to bed with a kiss, not in anger. This can make for a long evening although it always makes for a great next day when the storm has abated.
Business and marriage can be well run, happy and long-lasting. Use these seven tips for success in business & marriage and you will see things run a bit smoother . What similarities do you see in your marriage or relationship and business?