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The Business of Marriage: How to apply successful business practices to have a healthy and HAPPY marriage

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Bonika Wilson,

CEO, WCM Firm Inc.

The Business of Marriage: How to apply successful business practices to have a healthy and HAPPY marriage

Introduction:

Why do we plan?

Couple: Jada and Will

Successful businesses – Business Plan

Successful teams – Game Plan

Successful buildings – Floor plan

Successful marriages = Marriage Plan

After 26 years of working with business owners and 21 years of marriage, I have put together the blueprint which I believe will SAVE marriages.  Marriage, like a business, is a contractual union where one seeks to receive a tangible asset.  By definition, a business is an organization or economic system where goods and services are exchanged for one another or money.  A marriage is a formal union, which binds and unites two individuals legally, economically, and emotionally.  Both a business and a marriage are formed through a contract to fulfill a need and receive something in return.  After years of advising businesses and their owners, what I have always appreciated was the opportunity to guide them from their business plan.  Whenever the owner or CEO would come into my office with a problem, the first place I would direct them would be to their business plan or their strategic plan.  Often the solutions to their problems were either there or guided us to the solution, which made advising them less complex.  I remember being in my office one day and thinking “wouldn’t it be nice if I could solve marriage problems in a similar manner?”  I thought if I could guide my married friends back to their purpose, their mission, and their vision, that would be awesome!  Further, great business plans and strategic plans offer employees directives on the way in which they behave.  These guiding principles are found in the way of core values, or some organizations refer to them as a value statement.  I quickly envisioned telling my girlfriend during her next call for advice, where she would vent about some unreasonable thing her husband had done, and I would respond by saying “let’s reflect on the core values of this union”.  I hope by now you are laughing at the thought, but I am hopeful that at least you find yourself intrigued to want to explore a concept like this a bit more.  Identifying, agreeing to, and staying committed to your core values and guiding principles will be the most important factor in sustaining a happy and healthy marriage.  I recently read an article about Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, and it was clear to me that their guiding principles and values were centered around commitment, loyalty, and the allowance of individuality within the marriage.  After being married for 20 years, here was the advice that they shared:

 

“Being married is the hardest thing you will ever do; you must find your happiness independently and don’t expect your partner to make you happy!” says Jada.

 

Will commented, “We don’t even say we’re married anymore. We refer to ourselves as life partners, when you get into that space where you realize you are literally with somebody for the rest of your life,” Smith shared on the podcast. “There’s no deal breakers. There’s nothing she could do — ever. Nothing that would break up our relationship. She has my support till death, and it feels so good to get to that space.”

 

“Here’s the thing about Will and me — [we] are family. That is never going down. It’s just not. Ever,” the 46-year-old said. “We are family. Take out all that marriage/relationship crap, at the end of the day, Will and I are family. I am going to hold him down, it doesn’t matter.”

The actress continued: “All that relationship and what people think and ideas of a husband, partner and all that, man, whatever. At the end of the day, that is a man that can rely on me for the rest of his life, period.”

Successful marriages, like successful businesses, take resiliency and commitment.  What are the commonalities of successful businesses?  After a successful commercial banking career, and a desire to start my own company, I asked myself that important question.  I have always subscribed to the ideology of, if you want to achieve something, find someone who has achieved it and become their understudy.  So, I went on this quest to understand the characteristics of successful businesses and just as important, the characteristics of the CEOs or entrepreneurs that led these organizations.  What I unequivocally discovered is that successful businesses start with a good plan and a commitment to executing the plan.  Some of the organizations had a written plan while others chose a more casual approach by selecting to have a verbal plan.  However, each organization, and most of its leaders, had begun the journey with a strategic plan or a business plan.  I am reminded of the familiar quote “To fail to plan, is to plan to fail.”  As I recollect my days as a commercial banker, I quickly recant the many commercial loan requests I reviewed.  Every loan request review began with a deep dive into the business plan.  I remember the excitement of taking the journey through the eyes of the hopeful and adventuristic business owner, oftentimes, feeling limited and restrained by my own conservative and risk-averse mindset.  The business plan served as the roadmap for the owners and leadership teams.  The business plan was also a lens for the external stakeholders to understand the mission – the purpose of the organization.  For me, as a banker, financing a company was not only about the purpose, but so often, I wanted to know their “why” – the company’s vision.  You may be asking yourself, “why does that matter?”.  The reason the “why” is so important is that the “why,” should guide how the company makes decisions.  My analysis of the company was not solely “can they repay today?” but how will they make long-term decisions, that in essence, will affect their ability and commitment to repay throughout the life of the loan.  In understanding their mission, I understood their purpose for existence.  “What are we here to accomplish today?” The vision helped to understand the “why do we exist,” and “what are our future goals?”  The vision addresses “because we exist,” this will happen.  Stated differently, the vision says, “We exist to make this happen, this different or this better”.  The vision allows companies to make decisions that are in line with supporting their goal, versus the mission which focuses on accomplishing the current or daily goal.  The mission could change but the vision should never change unless the company has undergone a buyout, merger, or some other significant transition.  

Now, you may be thinking, what does all this business jargon have to do with marriage?   The concept is what has saved businesses for centuries.  It’s having an effective, well thought out plan and executing on it, in an intentional, inspiring yet accountable way.  It’s about identifying your purpose, as a couple, and being intentional about living for that purpose daily.  This book will help you understand how to realize your vision, be purposeful about your mission, be guided by your values, and be strategic about accomplishing goals.  The gift is in the approach to lovingly supporting each other, to fulfill your legacy in a way where you know you are unstoppable because you are on a mission with someone who is beside you to ensure you succeed.  After you complete this book, you will have tools to be a helpmate for your spouse on this marriage journey.  Your spouse will realize how invaluable your role is in their life, and that ultimately fulfilling their role happens because your partnership exists.  You will understand how to lovingly hold each other accountable by performing monthly check-ins and how to ensure your partner is a helpmate and not dead weight.  After all, wasn’t the purpose of marriage to give and receive something?  Your marriage can and should be the most powerful asset you have!  Through this partnership you should be able to utilize and sharpen your gifts and talents, to make you, your family, and this world better.  This book is better than a business plan, it is a marriage plan.  This is your first step to having a healthy and HAPPY marriage!

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