I’ve been working with my spouse for almost two decades now, and in this video I’m going to teach you how to do it well. Just be warned, you may hate the answer.
This topic is big enough to warrant its own book, but if people won’t give you a simple answer to a complicated topic it’s because they don’t understand it well enough. So here you go, I’m going to give it to you in a sentence: To work well with your significant other you must each play a clearly defined role.
Sex and Entrepreneurship are both team sports. And if you’re doing it alone it can still be cool, but it’s called something else entirely.
Here’s how we did it:
Here’s the trick to managing both love and business.
Step 1. Choose well. Selection is 80% of the battle in romance. If you can’t find someone amazing, masterbate. And keep looking. Because a bad relationship is worse than no relationship at all. That goes for business and love. Unless you want to split your company up in the divorce, don’t mess up this step. It will be ruinous. A business will not bring you together any more than kids will. It will expose your flaws.
What makes someone amazing? Most of that is going to be intensely personal. You’d probably hate being married to me, but my wife swears she loves it. Maybe there’s just no accounting for taste. Or maybe we selected well. I’ll let you be the judge, but here is the criteria we’ve refined over the years for people who ask this questions:
Gotta be love. Bit like pornography. Hard to describe, but you’ll know it when you see it.
Committed to maintaining a thriving sex life
Committed to the relationship
Has a growth mindset
Shares most of your values
On balance is your equal
On balance is emotionally stable
Plays a different, but complementary role in the relationship
Legitimately wants you to be happy
Takes full responsibility for their actions and emotional state
If you or your partner doesn’t already have that mentality, then stop watching this video now and address that. You simply will not succeed working with your spouse if you don’t both have a growth mindset.
Step 2. Define your roles. Lisa and I realized early on that no relationship will survive two alphas fighting for control. This is a team sport. You each need to have a clearly defined role and play it well. Lisa and I have found that this tends to break along traditional gender lines. It doesn’t have to, but I think there are deep biological reasons why this plays out in the averages.
Said simply, men will break themselves in half to lead, sacrifice, and provide, making them ideal rockets. Women on the other hand are adept at securing cooperation and realizing their agenda by coordinating the actions of a team, making them the needed fuel to move the rocket.
Here it is: Men and women, in general, want their partner to make them feel fundamentally different things. This disconnect creates a massive amount of friction.
Step four. Create Rules of Engagement around how to deal with the collision of two modes of being. Romance and Business aren’t like oil and water where they don’t mix. They’re like mentos and Coca Cola, they’re explosive when put together.
Rule number 1: Define your roles CLEARLY.
Rule number 2:
Rule 3: Partner only with your equal
Rule 4: Act differently in your romantic partnership than in your business partnership
Rule 5: Lead with love
Rule 6: Over communicate.
I hope hearing how Lisa and I have navigated this tricky terrain is helpful for you all. I hope that you take this merely as a starting point and you find what works best for you. I hope you understand the averages, but don’t feel you need to conform to them. Find what works for you and live a life that you love.
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