A few weeks ago now, I spent three days at a business conference. The focus was on how to build a better business…and I realised that there are actually several parallels between a good business and a good marriage.
Let me explain…
1. You have to remember why you went into it in the first place.
All too often, business owners get distracted by the day-to-day running of the business and lose sight of the bigger picture. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that this can happen in a marriage as well – we get caught up in looking at the bank balance or maintaining our social life or exercising, and forget why we took the leap into marriage in the first place (and that was because we were in love!).
The remedy for this is to simply take time alone together to remember – however that looks for you! We like to go out on movie dates, but a nice dinner out on the town, a romantic getaway or even a long drive can work wonders.
2. To succeed, you have to get the right people on your team.
It’s easy to underestimate how important a team can be in a small business – if they have the wrong attitude or don’t understand where the business is headed, they can very easily derail the whole operation.
In marriage, it goes without saying that you need to be married to the right person, as they will be your ‘business partner’ for the foreseeable future! But it doesn’t stop with being married to the right person…you also have to surround yourselves with friends and family that will support where you are headed and what you want to achieve in life. I’ve seen a number of people who get married and then isolate themselves from all their friends – that’s not healthy at all.
3. Speak the language of your customers – or they really don’t care what you’re doing!
I’ve seen so many small businesses who are marketing to entirely the wrong audience – they send the wrong messages because they don’t know how their target market communicates or what they value.
If you’ve heard of the book ‘The Five Love Languages’ by Gary Chapman, then you know how I’m going to compare this to marriage! Everyone has a love language, and if you’re ‘in business’ with them, then you really must know how they communicate. It could be as simple as doing the washing up more often or turning off the TV and just having a chat.
So there you go…three reasons why marriage is like business. I’m sure as I learn more about both, there will be more comparisons ahead!
Sarah-Joy Pierce is a young business professional, columnist, tea-drinker and shoe-collector. She loves to dream of the day when she’ll be the next Carrie Bradshaw.