This year marks the 19th Valentine’s Day for my husband and I, wow. Being together for nineteen years, married for almost thirteen, is a lot of changes, growth, peaks, and valleys. All these years, houses, jobs, and life moments later, we still love spending time together. We support each other like best friends, defend each other like siblings, and work together like partners. Many of what we have learned over the years of marriage carries over into building a successful business as well. Goals, focus, effort, communication, and consistency make for building a fruitful relationship, as well as a flourishing business.
I am a small business owner, after teaching elementary school for thirteen years. When I started my business, I had no idea what I was doing, and frankly, did everything wrong. I didn’t lean on my team and reinvented the wheel everyday. I did not take my business seriously, I worked it like a hobby, and didn’t want to put in the work, even part time, to make it work.
The early days in a relationship often times sees the same type of mistakes. We may be focused on what’s not important, misaligned goals, and unclear communication, which don’t build a solid foundation for the longevity of a healthy relationship.
Being reactionary in a relationship or as a business owner will drive both into the ground. You can be dating the best guy, the most perfect woman, with the best Instagram-worthy dates, and if someone is not doing their level best, with clear and most honest communication, it won’t work. It’s not about your partner, it never has been, it’s about YOU*. You’re the one who can impact the outcome of the relationship by believing the best in yourself, loving yourself, and following through on the highest expectations you have for yourself. Waiting on the other person, seeing the negative in you and those around you, not being honest and authentic, rushing a relationship just to post about it, these are not going to build a long-lasting, satisfying relationship.
As a business owner, these same traits that make someone a good Valentine year after year, build a successful business that will sustain itself for years to come. Knowing your strengths and challenges, working through the challenges that impact business, communicating consistently with business partners and customers, and putting the work needed to build the vision you have for your company; these characteristics make one a good, solid business owner.
We will make mistakes, over and over, throughout our relationships and business. We just need to learn from those and keep moving. Being better and doing better feels good, and that drives success at home and work. We don’t have all the answers, so we seek information from other experts. My husband and I have read many a John Gottman in our day, and in business, we have also read several books and attended seminars that have positive impacts in our respective industries.
Staying committed to learning, communicating consistently, and daily activity toward goals are important for success in business, and in relationships.
*I am speaking about emotionally and physically safe relationships. If your relationship is not emotionally or physically safe, seek help immediately, there is support for you*